The 808 Keychain Micro Camera

Back in 2001 I was the proud owner and frequent user of a L’Espion Digital Dream keychain camera. It took terrible pictures (storing 20 on its 2MB memory!) but it was teeny and I could take it places normal cameras couldn’t go. My photos from that time are here. Now we have cameras on mobile phones such things aren’t necessary anymore, but I got a tingle of recognition when I saw this beauty, going by the somewhat incongruous name of the 808 Micro Camera.

It seems they’re “made in China from unused cell phone camera parts” and they sell for under £10 (not including memory card). I’ve just ordered one on eBay for £6.80 and will review when it arrives, but I’m expecting glory.

And obviously my mind is racing as to what you can do when the unit price of a stand-alone video camera drops this low. Buy lots of them would the first step. And then use them all at the same time. I’m thinking insect eyes.

All you need to know and more in this MetaFilter post.

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The Soldier and the Hunchback

I saw this in the Mindless Ones annocommentations and it’s stuck in my brain all day, probably because it’s such a simple metaphor, but I’m not sure exactly what for, beyond the obvious.

The answer and the question, form and not form, the world and the void. Crowley, and later Robert Anton Wilson who commented extensively on these figures, saw the Soldier and the Hunchback as a revolving unity, Yin and Yang style, the answer becoming the question becoming the answer, a fundamental dynamic of all creation.

Of course, going down the path into the minds of Crowley and RAW for a simple answer is a fool’s errand, and having dipped my toe into Google I’m withdrawing. But it’s a nice diametric to play with. Am I being a soldier or a hunchback in this situation? Is it always better to be a hunchback?

Or maybe it’s just pointless nonsense.

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1973 Hells Angels UK documentary

Adam Curtis posts a great little film made by the BBC in 1973, following a UK chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

They’re obviously not very nice people (especially as they tend to go on about Nazis). And the film has a disapproving commentary that talks about their “psychotic tendencies” and their “empty daily existence”. But as you watch the film you begin to realise that the director (or possibly the editor) was making a completely different film. It uses the Hells Angels as a comic and exaggerated parody of the emptiness of the daily life for everyone in Britain.

I’m tempted to draw parallels with the rioting youth of last week, although that might be too simplistic. The drudgery and no-future of non-working class men and their romanticism of Californian outlaw biker lifestyles is potent though.

via Mindless Ones

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A third batch of League annocommentations

Having finally ploughed through the third batch of the Mindless Ones’ LOEG: Century 1969 notes I’m rather agog to discover there’s still more to come. Excellent stuff, nonetheless.

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Neil Young busking in Glasgow, 1976

The great thing about this footage is the lingering shots of the crowd. The 70s really was another country.

via Clusterflock

Update: And here’s where he was busking.

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See also Sam Alden’s illustration blog which is most gorgeous.

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Generation Fucked

An Adbusters article from 2007, republished in light of recent events, looking at the state of British youth.

According to the Unicef report, which measured 40 indicators of quality of life – including the strength of relationships with friends and family, educational achievements and personal aspirations, and exposure to drinking, drug taking and other risky behavior – British children have the most miserable upbringing in the developed world. American children come next, second from the bottom.

It goes on to look at the potential causes of this at some length and, given Adbusters takes a strong anti-consumerist line in general, it’s doesn’t come across as that extremist.

via Something To Read

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Songs The Fall taught us

The Fall have done a fair few covers in their time and, if you’re not a big muso, it’s often rather surprising to discover, for example, Mr Pharmacist was originally by a 60’s psych-rock band from San Francisco. This collection of 36 mp3s of the original tracks Mark E Smith was driven to cover is rather spiffy and a timely reminder to keep tabs on the WMFU blog.

In the course of a week various Fall songs kept running through my head and I realized a lot of them were covers. I wondered what it’d look and sound like to compile them in one place. Upon doing so, and listening to them repeated times, I realized that this collection of 45 songs says almost as much about MES as his book does. Eclectic, eccentric, and rarely obvious, they are a fascinating insight into a very original mind.

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