John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica



 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Indies Film Fever


Indies Film Contest
Atom Films
I just got this in my Atom Films newsletter.  Intel and AtomFilms are sponsoring an Indies Film Contest that anyone can enter.  The grand prize winner will get $25,000 cash, plus a home entertainment system worth $20,000.  With that kind of scratch, you could buy a spiffy new electric vehicle and a hooker, or a few years worth of gasoline!  Even if your film kinda sucks, they will pay you $10,000 for 2nd and 3rd place, which is generously called "two first prize winners."  See their bizarre, yet official rules to enter.  You have until November 21st to submit your digital cinematic vision for consideration.

Some of the official rules mandate that you must use an Intel processor at some point along the way, so you Mac/Apple freaks should call your PC-based buds and make some arrangements.  If you win, you could always pay for his or her participation in your indie film project with some time with hookers or in the champagne room at the strip club.

Other weird rules include that the film shall not be longer than four minutes long.  I guess that is because scientific studies have shown that you frackin' slackers don't have a five minute attention span without taking your ritalin.

Another official rule of the Intel/Atom Films contest that I found strange was that you must use their music, if you want to have any music with your film.  Here is the list of approved soundtracks for use with your entry.  I downloaded SCI-FI_1.ZIP just to hear one sample of the available audio.  It's not bad, and potential contestants are allowed to modify the tuneage to suit the needs of their film.

I'm looking forward to (hopeful that) someone using little bits of all of the many audio MP3s available on the audio page in a massively schizophrenic way, just to piss off the sponsors at Intel.  Take that, you Intel control freaks!

In related news: the Amazon/AmEx/Tribeca indies film contest has wound down to five finalists for your consideration on the Amazon Screening Room about which I blogged here, last month.  You can vote for your favorite of these five entry finalists until October 28th:
  • "Duel at Red Table" by Jack Paccione Jr.
  • "Battaglia" by Owen Smith
  • "Richter's Agenda" by Paul Matusheski
  • "Coming Home" by Greg Benson
  • "Meter Maids" by Joseph Garner
Out of these five films, I only saw "Meter Maids" and it was a good film -- worthy to be a finalist.  I'm not surprised that it is a finalist for your consideration among the others.  Do take five minutes and vote for one of these films before the end of this month.  Someone is going to get that $50,000 AmEx card -- so if you vote, you can help out one these five talented indie film makers.






[Headphones] :: Allah's Helicopter - JfZ




Monday, October 03, 2005
Nissan Pivo - Eggsellent!


Pivo
Pivo
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., today unveiled Pivo, its imaginative electric car concept, in partnership with renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at the company's Nissan Ginza Gallery in downtown Tokyo.

Pivo, which will be on display at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, features an innovative cabin that revolves 360 degrees, eliminating the need to reverse. Thanks to its compact body, the car is also exceptionally easy to maneuver.

The three-seater car comes with a number of user-friendly technologies, including Nissan's Around View Monitor which reduces blind spots by displaying the outside surroundings on screens mounted on the inside of the car's A-pillars located on either side of the windshield. A dash-mounted infrared (IR) commander allows the driver to operate the navigation and stereo systems with simple finger movements without letting go of the steering wheel.

Pivo is powered by Nissan's compact, high-performance lithium-ion battery and its unique Super Motor, resulting in zero emissions.

The gallery space for the Pivo event, which was designed by Murakami, features a futuristic vegetable garden installation, as well as large balloons and illustrations of "Pivo-chan," a character he designed based on the concept car's inspiring image.

[Nissan press release via autoindex.org]

I first saw this Pivo concept car on 3yen, a hip blog covering everything cool about Japan, in their news section.

You can read more about Pivo in articles by Reuters on CNN or AP on Yahoo.  Yahoo News has a nice photo slideshow page of auto shows and concept cars. Nissan premiered their Pivo concept car ahead of the 39th Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public on October 22nd.

Here's a challenge for you deeplink researchers: find me an image of this "Pivo-chan" character by the artist, Takashi Murakami and post the URL in the comments here. Thanks.






[Headphones] :: Jessica: Pleasure Club Mix - JfZ


Saturday, October 01, 2005
Porn for War Pix stirs little controversy


Since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I have often complained that the main stream media has completely failed to report the real news of the war to the citizens of the United States.  Left-wingers complain that Bush administration only wants to tell happy stories of rebuilding schools and hospitals and that government simply lies about everything else.  Right-wingers complain that the media only reports "if it bleeds, it leads" bad news stories.  It's likely that there is truth in both camps.  A third factor of media disservice to the public is their own self-censorship over FCC rules or editorial tastes.

The internet, however, with its instant access to a digital planet hungry for truth -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- doesn't allow any event or news story to remain buried by goverments or corporations forever.  Even the most highly guarded secrets are eventually told to someone.  The Pentagon seems to leak like a sieve, lately.  Dirty political tricks, like Karl Rove and the Valerie Plame scandal, eventually blow back.  Even the ugliness of war eventually hits home.

One bizarre article, "War Pornography," by Chris Thompson published in the East Bay Express last month was picked up by news agencies seemingly all over the planet, but not covered in newspapers or on TV news in the U.S.  Apparently, an amateur porn site in the Netherlands allows soldiers free access if they upload their own amateur photos of the war dead from Afghanistan and Iraq.  This newsblurb -- which simply boils down to a controversial URL -- isn't as sophisticated as arguing the pros and cons of Dubya's two Supreme Court justice nominations, nor as immediate as Katrina blaming, nor as sexy as some missing girl from the Bible belt in the Caribbean.  It just is.

Regardless of your own politics, here are two of the photos I chose to display here on Thunderstorms in the Imajica.  First, to show that war is hell for everyone concerned, no matter what side you are on.  A British soldier in Basra under fire, last month.  I looked, and looked, but I can't say what his ultimate fate was from this fire fight in Basra.



And the second photo shows that the U.S. and Coalition forces do act more humanely than their enemies in Iraq.  Unlike foreign fighters or hardcore Ba'athist insurgents in Iraq, who gleefully embrace the opportunity to slaughter the wounded Coalition forces after engagement on film for Arab language media, the U.S. military instead bounces into a hotzone with their medical personnel to help the wounded.



In the case of the second photo: a poor bastard that didn't stop at a roadside military check point, but was obviously stopped by American fire power.  His left leg was reportedly amputated from ballistic injuries.  He had additional explosives and military ordinance in his car.

War in Iraq is hell for our military service members.  I'm all for supporting our troops, but at the same time, I'm not for glorifying war and carnage as if were a damn game.  It's not.  Ask any cop on an urban beat who may have had to shoot someone.  Killing in self defense is an adrenaline filled experience that makes you feel euphoric and lucky to be alive, unlike the dead guy, but it is not a fucking video game.  Scenes of carnage weigh on you, even if you are the victor in the conflict.

For the sake of truth, I'll post a direct link to Forum 23.  I feel compelled to warn you that you will never in your life see anything as gruesome, hopefully.  Do not even browse the forum casually if you are easily nauseated or sickened by images of absolute violence and gore.  The two images above are fairly tame in comparison to the other images in Forum 23.

[warning]
These are real digital pix of war casualties taken by the boots on the ground.  Most are 100+ Kb images.

NowThatsFuckedUp.com Forum 23







[Headphones] :: Dancing with the Dubya - JfZ




Friday, September 30, 2005
Tag Board Archive - September 2005


Everyone!  Into the pool!!
So ... why?  Well, I go through the TAG board periodically (or when asked) and delete entries.  Mainly I delete your entries because it reloads the page periodically or when you add a new entry for chatting and when it gets too large, it takes up bandwidth loading constantly.  My general rule was this: if you put an annoying little smilie emoticon on the TAG, that entry was the first to go when I cleaned house.

The second rule: if the entry was older.  But the second rule bummed me out because I hate to throw away memories, so, some entries were deemed to be classics and had to be preserved (like Hygelic reading my blog in the bathroom on his cell phone).

Then the first and second rules unfortunately clashed when it came to old school phreeks who might put an ascii emoticon at the end of their sentence, like Skennedy (et al).  These people were violating my first unstated rule through no fault of their own, and, because the programmers of the TAG board must have thought to themselves, "how handy-fucking-dandy would it be if we just translated every ascii emoticon to a different happy little yellow face?"  So, they dropped another few hits of Exstacy, patted each other on the back and went back to coding the TAG board.

So, whether it is a good thing or a bad thing -- I've decided to archive the TAG board here for all to see -- and still be able to delete older entries (and keep the TAG.html small) with a clear conscience.  I normally archive halfway through the month.

Read 2005 Archive: [August][July][June][May][April][March][February][January]

Read 2004 Archive: [December][November][October][September][August][July]
[Prior to July 2004]


dennis Results are skewed! I don't see any New Orleans' blacks in the polling. I'd like to see their perception of what they went through. I don't think God would be in the blame list, eh?
Penny Ha, ha, ha! Great picture! Have a good weekend, JfZ!
VampireActress Greetings mortal ; ; hows it goin?
Akira3099 it should be.
Akira3099 That was just a really bad joke. They both could have "shit happens". And I don't believe God does that to people, so I was just going to go with the hurricane. If that's not why we name the things,
RaisingOrleans Great site!
J f Z The System would be "all of the above" and blaming the hurricane could be "God smote them" or "Shit Happens". Thanks for voting!
Akira3099 Yeah, you didn't put "The System" as a choice for the poll, either.. or even "Hurricane Katrina". I had to go with "shit happens".
plh two links: http://encarta.msn.com/media_461531413_761571674_- 1_1/Alaskan_Earthquake.html -and- http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~geol108/eq19/Alaska_Sc i/EQScience
plh ...earthquakes and the like - you ever see pics of the earthquake back in Alaska decades ago? truly awesome, hope that doesnt happen here
plh thanks for the recycle update JfZ - also think that pic of Rita is pretty cool - also youre right about people never effected by hurricanes and their lack of true understanding - the same goes for...
plh you can still call me spritey - ill always be a little sprite - thanks for blogging by today
Angelena You forgot one on the poll: put the responsibility where it lies: on the people who refused to leave.
Lyly I thought all death row cases with involving data from the Houston Crime Lab where stayed pending review. *sigh*
CM I'm still here. It's really a big freaking mess though.
JfZ thinks aloud Woot! Now I have to check my mail.
CM please also use the alt text in the copy/paste code, if you don't mind.
CM <-- there ya go, and thanks
J f Z karma
dennis I built my house in St Aug. that used NO elec xcept what sun provided- batteries. Saved my two kid's lifes in Rangers saving 50 gal of oil a month. Saving oil odged the bullet. It Worked! Safe!!
J f Z <-- data mining
Static Brain Hi. I haven't been by here in awhile. Just thought I would stop in. Oh and you promised to send me some links on datamining that you never did. Could you please do that?
Dr. God *Takes a quick dip in your Kool-Aide filled skull.*
Lyly Afternoon, J.
J f Z Thanks, CM
J f Z NP, Malthus. Keep up the good work, man.
Malthus Thanks for the note!
CM left you some messages on yahoo, in case you didn't find them.
J f Z Hey Dennis! Great to hear from you, and thanks for the link. You're going to have debate that in the comments section, where you'll find more room, too. Heh.
dennis jfZ - What am I missing? 100's of millions of dollars, 100's of thousands of volunteers - never did I hear the words, "Oh, they are only blacks!"
dennis "Bite Me! Ann Rice http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/blog_9 _7_05_0645.html
J f Z Caslknight: you could check the tag board [archives] for Rainchild100.
megan fgsgfsd
megan fgsgfsd
Caslknight ealier I was rading some archives and saw where a Rainchild100 was looking for simeone from Daytona Beach ... well Im from Daytona . Im borrowing this screename from someone she might know !!! hmmm??
Caslknight Is there a Rainchild in the house????
Caslknight Hi all ... hows everyone tonight??
J f Z I wish I had a slutbox somewhere, Wail. Heh. I'm a monk in a stripper's thong. Whoa. Wrong visual. I'm a stripper in a Monk's robes. Yeah.
Lyly great book list over at the other site
VampireActress I wonder will I get a link on your famous blog? ; ;
VampireActress I've written more, just incase you wanted to read ; ;
Penny Uh, JfZ ... I think Preppyboy was talking to YOU!
wailfulrhyme (sorry for the smiley. just felt it was needed.)
wailfulrhyme lol... lovely coincidence that I had to type in 35SEX to prove i'm human and post my message... reminds me of friday nights spent alone. yep... bye now. hehe
wailfulrhyme this is turning into the regular slutbox, JFZ. hehe... i'm gonna have to start calling you Gangbang. and whoa, i haven't tagged you in a long time. how are you?
Petra Jane I like it JFZ! Thanks for popping by. Now, WHERE did I put that Glock??
J f Z Penny and Preppyboy sitting in a tree ... B-L-O-G-G-I-N-G. Heh.
Britt he he. awesome.
preppyboy i wanna have sex with you
preppyboy i wanna have sex with you
Penny Wow, I disappear for a while and you change the site! Looking good, JfZ!
J f Z Ophelia? No. Just whem it was so close to the coast and growing yesterday, it sent in lots of storms. I was frustrated because I had to ride my bike in the rain.
Brandon Starr Hey, JfZ, are you in Ophelia's storm path?
CM <-- story with pics.
Deirdre Hey there JFZ.
VampireActress I've linked you ; ; I hope you don't mind ^.^
Brandon Starr Good stuff, JfZ!
VampireActress Had to come back and correct my address duhh ; ; lol
VampireActress Greetings, just vampin about. Nice place here.
CM
Dr. God Thank you for understanding.
Deirdre *hugs*
Lyly <---FEMA's disgrace. Lotsa links.
Mirror_Ball How's it going, J f Z? Haven't seen you in a while. You doing okay?
JfZ thinks aloud <-- Whoa. I was casually checking blogs stats, today, since I finally came back online fulltime. Thunderstorms beat MSN on this Yahoo search query. Lyly is on the first page, too!
Lyly <--report #2 (nothing really new)
ssprite also please say prayers there are no more serious storms before hurrican season is declared over
ssprite ...isnt the time to place blame - wait for congressional hearings a year or more from now once these people, animals and cities are on the way to recovery -
ssprite JfZ can you also include Salvation Army as an alternative to Red Cross? Salvation Army is also doing just as much as Red Cross is and many people are listing at both sites - thanks & i agree this isnt
shema helop!
Gloria Lmao. Linguistic jokes. I *love* 'em.
Deirdre JFZ!
Sevencrows An attempt to say marble while soused?
ssprite JfZ are you anywhere near Boynton Beach on the westside/alantic of FL?
Lyly I saw that when I got home tonight....who else was on Cheney's, erm, I mean, Bush's short list besides Roberts?
ssprite ...she is right in the middle of part of the diaster area - last time she posted the main tagboard she was still at work downtown but doing well
ssprite thanks ever so much on keeping on top of the updates - i added more links - one of which is a name registry (3rd down on my current list) - Deirdre od BD is also keeping us updated as she can...
Lyly <---field report #1 posted. uneventful. tomorrow may be different.
ssprite thanks for all your effort to - it makes an impact!!!
JfZ thinks aloud <-- First hand accounts from a NOLA blogger who is still there.
Halcyon yo J, yo J, yo J
Kristi/Unknown Okay JFZ, that's it! I'm going to Alaska and hunting you down! Just have a beautiful blonde waiting for me.
ssprite if you can... will you push my blog today for people that have been getting price gouged at gas stations across the country and especially in Florida? thanks


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[Headphones] :: BaD DoG Karaoke v1.0 - JfZ

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Blaming Katrina Poll




The extremely scientific Thunderstorms in the Imajica poll, "Who to blame for Katrina deaths", has revealed that most people don't blame any of the political leaders at the federal, state or local level.

The majority of people blame "no one" because "shit happens."  A few people blame everyone in the political food chain and a few blame God.

Here are a few of my own blame game observations.

George Bush was on vacation and relied on his cronies to handle the situation.  To his credit and likely from his experience with hurricanes in Florida, where his brother is the governor, he cut through some red tape by declaring a state of emergency before it hit.  But then, Bush was caught sleeping at the wheel when his minions failed to get the job done after the hurricane made landfall.

Another thing no one has picked up on, in my humble opinion: during many of the televised walk-through tours with governors and FEMA officials, Bush constantly referred to his location as "this part of the world," rather than anywhere specific like the Mississippi Gulf Coast or New Orleans.

To me, this seemed like Bush was so incredibly disconnected from the facts on the ground -- like he often is concerning Iraq, talking about "the broader Middle East."  I'm fairly certain that some black Americans didn't appreciate being called "refugees" from "this part of the world", as if they are not part of the United States.

FEMA director Michael Brown gave sworn testimony to a congressional committee, the other day.  In perfect Bush administration demeanor, he took no responsibility for his own failings, but instead blamed state and local government leaders in Louisiana.  If things went so well in Mississippi, then I imagine Dick Cheney's obligatory tour of the Gulf Coast being marked by a heckler following his entourage around screaming, "Go fuck yourself," was just how people in Mississippi greet each other.  Bottom line: Brown is just another arrogant and self-deluded Bush administration political weasel.

Governor Blanco will not be Louisiana's governor the next time people get a chance to vote.  I honestly can not point to anything that she did to help the people of her state.

No one blamed Mayor Ray Nagin in the poll, but Nagin himself blamed "being in the moment" for his angry comments toward his political chain of command.  His police force faces a long and nasty review process in the coming months.  GOP pundits trying to defend Bush and Brown point out his failings, but I wonder if they would be blaming him so much if he was a republican?  Perhaps.  I think I heard that the battered republicans are eating their own trying to hang on to power in Washington, D.C, nowadays.

All of the above was a choice I thought would have received more votes than "No one".

God smote them.  Although God was unavailable for comment at the time of this entry, his spokesperson issued a terse statement: "What the hell do you want?  Smiting is his job!"  But, in all seriousness, the other night by chance, I heard something even more troubling on the CBN channel than Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of the Venezuelan president, Chavez.  I heard an evangelical pastor say, "God has swept away all the evil in New Orleans and the Armies of God should take back that city."

Yeah.  Of course this pastor was a fat white guy, hiding his southern racism behind his bible and the new code words of compassionate conversativism.  Funny though, he looked more like Karl Rove than Bill Bennett.


[updates] Here's an interesting article: "25 Questions about the Murder of New Orleans" by Nation writers, Mike Davis & Anthony Fontenat, via Yahoo.

Also, concerning Katrina and the media: "From Deference to Outrage: Katrina and the Press" by Jay Rosen on ThinkPress.







[Fullscreen] :: DOOM movie trailer - Official DOOM site




 
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