October 16th, 2004


Two hours of my life I'm never getting back

Right, I got an FTP server set up (U-Serv), got the router upgraded, got the firewall working and set permissions up properly for anonymous users (so that they can send me files, but not download any).

The reasons for which will become clear shortly.
  • Current Music
    Talvin Singh - Light

Musical Requests

After I posted my somewhat miserabilist ravings concerning the lack of new things in the world I was somewhat shocked that nobody stepped in, slapped me upside the head and said "No, look, there are new things and here's one."

So here's a challenge for you - find me some new music - something that's somehow unlike anything I've heard before.  I don't mean something wholly new - I'm fairly sure that there's nothing out there that's not at least _like_ something I've already heard - but something with a new twist, a new edge or a new background.

For instance, most of the music I've heard has been western in origin - I have a Talvin Singh album somewhere, but other than that I don't think I have _anything_ that's not part of the western hegemony.  And presumably there are some cutting-edge artists out there in the middle/far east who are producing music unlike anything we tend to get over here.

Which isn't to say I want to be deluged in techno-banghra, but if you have something like that you think I should be listening to, throw it in my direction.  My address is on my userinfo, my ftp is at ftp://andrewducker.dyndns.org and you can send me fairly large emails at andrew@notzen.com

Go on - surprise me.  I promise to report back with a brief review/opinion of anything sent in my direction...

Oh, and if you leave me something, add a comment here so that I know to check...

Stress and Aggression

The cycle of violence is built into mammalian brains, according to the latest issue of Behavioural Neuroscience. Scientists from Holland and Hungary have identified a fast, mutual positive feedback loop between stress hormones and a brain aggression control centre in rats.

They tested 53 rats in five experiments and found that if they stimulated the brain's aggression mechanism, they raised stress hormone levels. And if they raised hormone levels, the aggression centre went into overdrive. This would, they say, explain why aggressive behaviour escalates so easily, and why a hard day at the office could end in domestic violence.

"These stress hormones, in part by mobilising energy reserves, prepare the physiology of the body to fight or flee during stress," said Menno Kruk of the Leiden/Amsterdam Centre for Drug Research. "Now it appears these very same hormones talk back to the brain in order to facilitate fighting."

Whole article stolen from The Guardian here.


Whoever dumped Leonard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" and Terry Wogan's "Floral Dance" in the FTP server is getting a kicking.

trashcanglam - I'm looking at _you_.
  • Current Music
    Terry Wogan - Floral Dance

Music Thoughts so far

Mr Bungle: I already have Disco Volante, but it was great to be reminded of the sheer anarchic fun of what is effectively abstract jazz played on things that aren't technically instruments.  Well worth a listen.  I recommend "Desert Search for the Techno Allah"

Fantomas - Rosemary's Baby.  Fantomas are another Mike Patton project.  Film Soundtracks done with singularly chaotic and confusing style.  Very energetic and moody.

Liz Phair - Flower.  Pretty background music.  Will listen to more (Napster seems to have numerous albums).

Sopor Aeternus - Dead Souls.  Firmly in the Apoptygma Berzerk "Alternative soundtracks to gothic movies" vein.  Heh - gothic/vein.  Gettit?  Oh, never mind.  Anyway, listenable, but nothing I haven't heard before on numerous occasions.

Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina.  60s Brazillian Psychedelia.  Nicely rhythmic, but could be any number of mainstream 60s bands singing in a foreign language.

Comedy Music that's not getting the satisfaction of a review:
Leonard Nimoy: Ballad of Bilbo Baggins
Vic Reeves: Vienna
Ivor Cutler: Various
Terry Wogan: Floral Dance

Nothing so far that isn't instantly recognisable as similar to music I already own (or have heard on numerous occasions).  Except for the Floral Dance, the less said about which, the better.  Nice try with the Mr Bungle though.  If I didn't already own it, it'd be a winner.
  • Current Music
    Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina

Pants on _Fire_

A select group of people have a unique ability to spot when someone is lying, US research shows.

A University of San Francisco study found only 31 people out of 13,000 could identify in nearly all cases when someone was lying.

The group used facial expressions, body language and ways of talking and thinking to spot liars while the others did little better than chance.

The team are now using them to help train police and other investigators.

More here.


Been out picking up Lilian's car from where it got towed away to (don't ask!).  Then went to Borders to buy books on special offer (Finally picked up Quicksilver).  Then off to get Mexican food.

You lovely people have sent me another 34 tracks to listen to, so I'll be posting my thoughts on that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've had to rewrite three of the above sentences, indicating a possible tiredness.  So off to collapse and then to bed.
  • Current Music
    Talvin Singh - Traveller