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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spencer Tunick Amsterdam: Nude Women on Bikes

Amsterdam Tourist Information • Posted: June 3, 2007

Spencer Tunick at work in Amsterdam.

This video shows U.S. photographer Spencer Tunick instructing and photographing hundreds of naked women on bikes.

This photo shoot is one of several that took place during his June 3, 2007 Amsterdam ‘installation’ (as Tunick calls these art events).

Floortje van Dijck reports in Dutch daily De Pers about her own participation, first in the parking garage and later on her bike on a nearby bridge.

“We had to stand on bikes along the spiral onramps of the parking structure. This was easier said then done, as there was nothing to hold on to.”

Indeed, some participants report that they felt afraid when at one point they were instructed to stand on the chairs, with their backs to the camera, and then to lean back.

“You are meters above the ground,” van Dijck writes. “The photographer’s assistents are shouting instructions. Apparently someone on the second tier is not yet positioned correctly. But then, no one said that participating in a work of art would be comfortable.”

Stiff Nipples and Goosebumps

“With stiff nipples and goosebumps 2.000 people change from difficult position to difficult position.”

“I am naked, but it has nothing sexual, nothing strange about it. Between all these nude people I feel at ease, though I would have preferred the temperature to be about ten degrees warmer.”

Next the men and women are separated. The men are directed to a photo shoot at the gas station next to the parking garage.

Meanwhile, the women with bikes — selected out of the larger group of women — make their way to a bridge across the Lijnbaansgracht canal.

Spencer Tunick Amsterdam: nude women on bikes

There is some giggling, but Tunick repeats his “Don’t smile!” like mantra.

“I’m nog laughing that much either. It is now light and outside the safe intimacy of the parking structure the eyes of the cameras and the paparazzi on the other side of the canal suddenly make me feel very naked and vulnerable.”

As natural as the nudity felt within the protection of the naked group, so unnatural it feels as soon as the shoot is over, van Dijck says. “It will take a while before we are truly free.”

Incidentally, when van Dijck asked others why they participated in the photo shoot, most answered, “for kicks,” “out of curiosity,” or “because I like his work.”

While some participants and onlookers no doubt were attracted by the prospect of seeing naked people, the Dutch generally have an easy-going attitude toward nudity.

Dutch Amsterdam copyright information Original content © Copyright 2009 [Read what that actually means]

"Lost" bringing back characters from 1st season

By James Hibberd

SAN DIEGO (Hollywood Reporter) - The characters Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) will be back on ABC's "Lost" next year, along with several other characters who haven't been seen since the first season, producers said over the weekend during a panel presentation at the Comic-Con convention.

The revelation confirms reports that suggested a "Lost" reunion of sorts for the final season. In May's finale, the castaways detonated a bomb on the mysterious island in hopes of resetting the last several years of their lives.

The news was among a scant few tidbits dropped during a well-produced hour in San Diego that featured several new mock ads and parody shorts, but no new video from the final season.

"There's a good chance you'll be seeing many characters you haven't seen since the first season again," said executive producer Damon Lindelof.

The final season, producers said, will in some ways resemble the first.

"(In the first season, the characters) were running around the jungle, things felt intense and surprising and (there was) the emotional discovery about the characters," said executive producer Carlton Cuse. "We have a way that we're going to be able to do that in the final season too."

Yet fans shouldn't think that any sort of narrative reboot will invalidate everything that's already happened, "because that would be a real big cheat," said Jorge Garcia, who plays Hugo on the show.

"Just trust us," reassured Cuse.

The show will also employ a new narrative device that's unique to the final season.

"The time-travel season is over, the flash-forward season is over," Lindelof said. "We're going to do something different."

As for lingering mysteries about the show's story, "everything that matters we're gonna answer," assured Lindelof.

Fans camped overnight to see the "Lost" panel at Comic-Con, which occupied the pop-culture convention's largest ballroom, usually reserved for presentations on major summer movies.

Other news from the panel:

* The matter of the mysterious Dharma food drops will be solved ... but there won't be much about the Dharma Initiative in the final season.

* Asked if the mysterious Jacob has ever appeared as any other character in the series, Lindelof said "no."

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

Full Size House To Be Built With LEGO Bricks


James May, co-host of the British Top Gear television series, is going to attempt to build a full size, two story house entirely out of LEGO bricks.

As part of his BBC series James May's Toy Stories, he plans to build a two-storey house in the middle of Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking.

May will be hosting a building day on Saturday, August 1, when members of the public can help him with the challenge.

The millions of bricks came all the way from the Czech Republic. The house will be life-size with a staircase, toilet and shower.

I would live there. And by live there I mean come home drunk, pass out on the floor, and wake up with LEGO marks all over my face. Then maybe some puking action.

Lego house attempt for James May's Toy Stories [getsurrey]

Thanks to Kieren, who built an entire planet out of LEGO and then ran through it like a leaf pile.

It’s the new real thing from Coke – fizzy milk

COWS may not think it is the real thing but Coca-Cola is set to launch fizzy milk on the world.

The drink contains skimmed milk mixed with sparking water, flavoured with fruit and sweetened with cane sugar.

Scientists have developed the drink at the firm’s laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia, ensuring it will not curdle in its 8oz aluminium bottle.

Going under the name Vio, Coca-Cola has begun test-marketing the carbonated drink at natural food stores and delis in New York It sells for about £1.50 a bottle, no chilling required. One of Coke’s copywriters claims it tastes “like a birthday party for a polar bear”.

It comes in four “natural” flavours — peach mango, berry, citrus and tropical colada — and could even be marketed as a healthy nutritional drink. But it has 26g of sugar a bottle, on a par with other non-diet Coca-Cola products, and 1.5g of fat.

A flavour tester for, a drink industry research site, who tasted the citrus version, said: “It’s big on milk flavour and, as a result, has a somewhat creamy body. It didn’t seem sweet until you consumed almost a whole bottle.”

The drink is part of a wider Coke initiative called Project Life to develop milk-based products. If it is a success in the United States it could be launched globally.

Coca-Cola GB said there were no plans for a British version but added: “We are constantly listening to consumers.”

David Jago, director of insight and innovation at Mintel, the consumer research firm, said: “I suspect it is a bit of a novelty. British people will expect a milk drink to be chilled and will be suspicious if they see it on the shelves.”

Dairy farmers hope the drink could boost milk consumption.

David Cotton, vice-chairman of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, said: “Anything that helps to sell milk is great. If Coca-Cola want to market fizzy milk and give us the odd shilling, we would be very happy.”

World's Biggest Cave Found in Vietnam

World's Biggest Cave Found in Vietnam

James Owen
for National Geographic News
July 24, 2009
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A British caver wades through an underground river in Vietnam's Son Doong cave, the largest single cave passage yet found, a survey team reported in July 2009.

First explored in April, the cave has since been measured using high-tech lasers that give "dead accurate" sizes, according to an expert with the International Union of Speleology.

View more images of the Son Doong cave >>

Photograph from BARM/Fame Pictures

James Owen
for National Geographic News

A massive cave recently uncovered in a remote Vietnamese jungle is the largest single cave passage yet found, a new survey shows.

At 262-by-262 feet (80-by-80 meters) in most places, the Son Doong cave beats out the previous world-record holder, Deer Cave in the Malaysian section of the island of Borneo.

Deer Cave is no less than 300-by-300 feet (91-by-91 meters), but it's only about a mile (1.6 kilometers) long.

By contrast, explorers walked 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) into Son Doong, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, before being blocked by seasonal floodwaters—and they think that the passage is even longer.

In addition, for a couple of miles Son Doong reaches more than 460-by-460 feet (140-by-140 meters), said Adam Spillane, a member of the British Cave Research Association expedition that explored the massive cavern.

Spillane was in the first of two groups to enter the cave. His team followed the passage as far as a 46-foot-high (14-meter-high) wall.

"The second team that went in got flooded out," he said. "We're going back next year to climb that wall and explore the cave further."

(See photographs of the Son Doong cave.)

Laser Precision

A local farmer, who had found the entrance to the Son Doong cave several years ago, led the joint British-Vietnamese expedition team to the cavern in April.

The team found an underground river running through the first 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) of the limestone cavern, as well as giant stalagmites more than 230 feet (70 meters) high.

(See pictures of giant crystal formations in a Mexico cave.)

The explorers surveyed Son Doong's size using laser-based measuring devices.

Such modern technology allows caves to be measured to the nearest millimeter, said Andy Eavis, president of the International Union of Speleology, the world caving authority, based in France.

"With these laser-measuring devices, the cave sizes are dead accurate," he said. "It tends to make the caves smaller, because years ago we were estimating, and we tended to overestimate."

Eavis, who wasn't involved in the survey, agreed that the new findings confirm Son Doong's record status—despite the fact that he had discovered Borneo's now demoted Deer Cave.

"This one in Vietnam is bigger," Eavis conceded.

However the British caver can still claim the discovery of the world's largest cave chamber, Sarawak Chamber, also in Borneo.

"That is so large it may not actually be beaten," he said. "It's three times the size of Wembley Stadium" in London.

Noisy and Intimidating

Son Doong had somehow escaped detection during previous British caving expeditions to the region, which is rich in limestone grottos.

"The terrain in that area of Vietnam is very difficult," said expedition team member Spillane.

"The cave is very far out of the way. It's totally covered in jungle, and you can't see anything on Google Earth," he added, referring to the free 3-D globe software.

(Related: "Google Earth, Satellite Maps Boost Armchair Archaeology.")

"You've got to be very close to the cave to find it," Spillane said. "Certainly, on previous expeditions, people have passed within a few hundred meters of the entrance without finding it."

The team was told that local people had known of the cave but were too scared to delve inside.

"It has a very loud draft and you can hear the river from the cave entrance, so it is very noisy and intimidating," Spillane said.

Bigger Caves Waiting?

Of more concern to the caving team were the poisonous centipedes that live in Son Doong.

The explorers also spotted monkeys entering through the roof of the cave to feed on snails, according to Spillane.

"There are a couple of skylights about 300 meters [985 feet] above," he said. "The monkeys are obviously able to climb in and out."

A biologist will accompany the team on its return visit next year to survey the cave's subterranean wildlife.

Eavis, of the International Union of Speleology, added that there are almost certainly bigger cave passages awaiting discovery around the world.

"That's the fantastic thing about caving," he said.

Satellite images hint, for example, that caves even larger than Son Doong lie deep in the Amazon rain forest, he said.

The Goods: Exclusive New Red Band Trailer

The Truth About Amsterdam, RE: Bill O'Reilly loves Amsterdam

More...Lost videos galore!

As Lost fans are already well aware--or should be, anyway--the show's creative team gave its final presentation at Comic-Con over the weekend, dropping hints about what's to come whenLost wraps up next year. Details from the panel are available from our own Todd VanDerWerff,here. Full video of the panel can be found on YouTube, or embedded on Doc Arzt's Lost Blog. But if you just want to see the choicest bits of video prepared especially for the panel, here they are:

That first piece is a commercial for the Hurley-owned fast food franchise Mr. Cluck's. The second (shot from the Comic-Con audience) is an America's Most Wanted segment about Kate. Both offer some interesting teases for what the explosive Season Five finale may have wrought.

Also new from Lost-ville: A new set of videos, posted monthly on, revealing secrets of The DHARMA Initiative via a fake '80s In Search Of...-style show. Promises to be fun. Here's episode one:

Director Peter Jackson on "District 9" -The Next Big SciFi Hit? (VIDEO Interview)

District 9 Peter Jackson Interview

District 9," filmed in a quasi-documentary style, the $30-million special-effects-heavy film from newcomer Neill Blomkamp, produced by genre-master Peter Jackson, follows the social and geo-political repercussions of aliens crash-landing in Johannesburg where they are sequestered in an apartheid-style homeland, treated like refugees and forced to work for humans. They soon find a kindred spirit in a government agent that is exposed to their biotechnology.

After 48 seconds of documentary-style interviews with people expressing concerns about recent immigrants, District 9 zooms into high gear with a spaceship crash landing impact. An alien interrogation ensues, but by then an intriguing framework sells the idea that this won’t be your ordinary special-effects-crazed thriller. The concept for this movie is unique. In a world where aliens existed the first thing a government would need to do to manage their existence, with regulations and restrictions, curfews, news of where you can and can't go.

"District 9" producer Peter Jackson took pains to explain to the LA Times that "It's a unique take on the science-fiction genre," he said. "It has dramatized sequences and uses home movie clips. But it's not like 'Cloverfield.' It doesn't remind you of anyone else's movie."

The movie's off-line promotions employ signage that deliberately echoes "Whites only" placards once seen in the South as well as cultural touchstones from Blomkamp's upbringing in apartheid-era South Africa. "Warning: Restricted area for humans only," reads an ad painted on a New York City wall. serves as a primer to the self-contained world of "District 9," detailing security guidelines for humans and "non-humans."

Posted by Casey Kazan.

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District 9 Website

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'Lost' Comic-Con videos...

Here's a couple of the new "Lost" universe mock ads that were part of the show's Comic-Con presentation, plus a fan video from the panel itself. Enjoy...

Ending of 'Lost' revealed at Comic-Con? Not exactly ...

Here's the setup: At the start of the "Lost" panel, executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse presented a locked box they said contained the last page of the final episode's script and that they would open this box on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the show's finale next year.

Then, near the end of the session, a rogue Josh Holloway takes the stage, mock Taser zaps Lindelof and forces Cuse to unlock the box so the final "Lost" scene can be revealed to the Comic-Con crowd.

Watch the video, before reading the rest below, as not to spoil the fun ...

OK, you finish the video? Do that first....

This gag had the audience rolling. But what made it even funnier was that at the "Heroes" panel a few hours later, producers talked about how the fourth season really does have a circus -- there's a dark carnival recruiting heroes throughout next season. You figure "Lost" writers heard about the carnival subplot and used it to add an all-too-plausible element to their gleeful mocking of the other kid attending their high school of serialized TV shows. Also, I can watch Benjamin Linus ask, "What the f--k is this?" all day.

Man climbs building with vacuum gloves

A man has climbed up a BBC building using a pair of vacuum gloves he built himself, in a stunt for a new BBC One science show.

Inventor Jem Stansfield, the presenter of Bang Goes The Theory, used an everyday vacuum cleaner to construct the kit.

He scaled the 40m (120ft) high BBC White City building in west London, watched by hundreds of people.

This stunt was carried out by trained professionals following strict safety procedures and should not be attempted or replicated.

Bang Goes The Theory starts on BBC One on Monday 27 July at 1930 BST

Amsterdam craze: tossing Smart cars into the canals

Amsterdam, July 25, 2009 [] — Amsterdam police is deeply concerned about a new craze in which vandals toss parked cars from the Smart brand into the city’s canals.

The so-called ‘Smart tossing’ takes place mainly during the weekend, when many youths are out for a night on the town.

Smart car at Amsterdam canal
Smart car parked alongside Amsterdam canal.
Photo by Tinou Bao

Was 1984 the greatest year in movies ever?

by Chris Nashawaty

Over the past few months, a lot of ink has been spilled about how 1939 was the greatest year in movies ever. After all, that was the year of The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. Granted, not a bad double whammy. And it didn't stop there: 1939 also was the year of Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Love Affair, Gunga Din, Dark Victory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Those are all celluloid gems, no doubt about it. But aside from the first two, how many of them make you honestly want to play hooky and watch right this second?

I thought so.

So let me put forth an alternate argument. When it comes to the year-in-film you really want to waste a Cheetos-snarfing afternoon on the sofa with, all you have to do is go back 25 years. Will the cinema eggheads and film snobs ever agree with this? Of course not. Not when you're dealing with movies like Ghostbusters (pictured), Bachelor Party, and Gremlins. But personally, I'll take 1984 over just about any other Hollywood vintage. Here's a month-by-month argument (with embedded clips!) why...

-The Lonely Guy
-Broadway Danny Rose...which includes this shootout scene in a room full of helium.

-A little Kevin Bacon movie you may have heard of...

-Splash (Part of a great one-two punch of pre-serious Tom Hanks from the year, along with Bachelor Party)
-Romancing the Stone
-And only the greatest movie about rock & roll ever made...

-Friday the 13th -- The Final Chapter (Don't laugh, it's one of the few good ones. With Corey Feldman as a pint-sized psycho)
-And Rick Springfield "in his sizzling motion picture debut"...

-Mel Gibson shirtless in The Bounty
-Robert Redford swinging for the fences in The Natural
-Harrison Ford and Short Round eating chilled monkey brains in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
-Lil' Drew Barrymore being all spooky in Firestarter
-And, of course, this...

-Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America
-Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
-Bachelor Party
-Top Secret!
-The Pope of Greenwich Village
-The Karate Kid
-Conan the Destroyer
-Cannonball Run II

-Repo Man
-The Gods Must Be Crazy
-The Muppets Take Manhattan
-Purple Rain
-And a little honey that we'll let Orson Welles introduce...

-Red Dawn
-Clint Eastwood in Tightrope
-Oxford Blues

-A trio of great highbrow films (The Brother From Another Planet, Amadeus, Stranger Than Paradise) and one very lowbrow one...

-The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
-The Coen brothers' debut, Blood Simple
-Stop Making Sense
-Body Double
-And another movie you may have heard of...

-The Killing Fields
-A Nightmare on Elm Street
-And just to show that they can't all be classics...

-Beverly Hills Cop
-The Flamingo Kid
-Johnny Dangerously
-And just to close out this miraculous cinematic year on a catchy note...

Drive to legalize marijuana rolls on in California

By Chuck Conder

OAKLAND, California (CNN) -- Richard Lee greets students, shopkeepers and tourists as he rolls his wheelchair down Broadway at the speed of a brisk jog, hailing them with, "Hi. How ya doin'?"
Marijuana activist Richard Lee is a local celebrity in the small district of Oakland, California, called Oaksterdam.

Marijuana activist Richard Lee is a local celebrity in the small district of Oakland, California, called Oaksterdam.

In this nine-block district of Oakland, California, called Oaksterdam, Lee is a celebrity.

Oaksterdam is Lee's brainchild, a small pocket of urban renewal built on a thriving trade in medical marijuana. The district's name comes from a marriage of Oakland and Amsterdam, a city in the Netherlands renowned for its easy attitude toward sex and drugs.

Lee is the founder of Oaksterdam University, which he describes as a trade school that specializes in all things marijuana: how to grow it, how to market it, how to consume it. The school, which has a curriculum, classes and teachers, claims 3,500 graduates.

Lee owns a medical marijuana dispensary, a coffee house, and an indoor marijuana plantation.

Lee owns a medical marijuana dispensary, a coffee house, and an indoor marijuana plantation.

Lee also owns a medical marijuana dispensary, a coffee house, a large indoor marijuana plantation, and a museum/store devoted to the cause of legalizing marijuana.

"I really see this as following the history of alcohol. The way prohibition was repealed there," Lee says, adding that he believes he is close to achieving his mission.

Lee is organizing a petition drive to place a marijuana legalization measure on the ballot in 2010, and he thinks the measure stands a good chance of being approved by voters.

America's High
Can we afford to make pot legal? Can we afford not to? The case for and against legalized pot, an AC 360 special.
Friday 10 p.m.

A recent California Field Poll showed that more than half the people in the state, where marijuana for medical use was approved more than a decade ago, would approve of decriminalizing pot.

The state's faltering economy is one reason why. If legalized, marijuana could become California's No. 1 cash crop. It could bring in an estimated $1 billion a year in state taxes.

Democratic State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is spearheading a cannabis legalization bill in the California Assembly. He believes the state's need to increase tax revenues will work in his bill's favor.

"I think it's a seductive part of the equation," he says.

Ammiano says there are a number of ways legalized pot could be marketed, "It could be a Walgreens, it could be a hospital, a medical marijuana facility, whatever could be convenient. Adequate enforcement of the rules. Nobody under 21. No driving under the influence."

Even California's Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, says legalizing marijuana deserves serious consideration.

"I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana," Schwarzenegger says.

But Ammiano says selling a legalized marijuana bill to his fellow legislators remains a delicate matter.

"If we held the vote in the hallway, we'd have it done," Ammiano says. "But people are necessarily cautious. They are up for re-election."

And that is why Lee believes voters will approve a marijuana initiative long before the state Assembly acts. Sitting under grow lights in a warehouse filled with hundreds of marijuana plants, Lee sums it up this way: "For some people cannabis is like a religion. As passionate as some people are about their religions and freedom to think what they want and to worship as they want."

But all of that is baloney to Paul Chabot. He is president of the Coalition for a Drug Free California. He says voters should not be fooled by promises of big bucks flowing to the state from marijuana taxes.

"It's their way of sort of desensitizing our communities, our state and our nation to a drug problem that we clearly need to put our foot down on, and say, 'No more. Enough is enough.' "

Chabot points out that California's medical marijuana law has been poorly regulated, and he expects more of the same if marijuana becomes legalized for everyone.

But a substantial number of Californians seem to believe that no amount of enforcement is going to make pot go away -- and that it's time for the state to begin taking a cut of the action.

Hot Tub Time Machine Red Band - HD Trailer

Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart Updated

By Dan Nosowitz

Boing Boing Gadgets' fantastic ease-of-netbook-Hackintoshing chart just got updated with three new models (all pretty promising) and a smattering of changes throughout. If you're thinking about a Hackintoshed netbook, check it, and our guide, out. [Boing Boing Gadgets]

18 Pictures From Vietnam's War in the Sky

10 Lost cities of the world That You Can Still Visit

Lost cities of the world

Ancient history books are littered with examples of cities that were destroyed, abandoned or swallowed up by the sea. The existence of some have never been proved. The remnants of others can still be visited.


Remains of the fabled city from the pages of Homer were discovered in the 19th century in Anatolia in Turkey. Legend has it that, following a siege, the Greeks plundered and then burnt the settlement to the ground. At an ancient mound at Hisarlik, archeologists have found 20ft walls and evidence of nine cities at the site, one of which could be the sacked city.

Find out more:

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