Bowie: The Stamps That Fell To Earth.

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(Click for full size.)

The Royal Mail has released a set of David Bowie themed stamps, which have been enlarged, attached to weather balloons and sent into space as part of a launch stunt.

The set of 10 stamps have been designed in-house by Royal Mail and use a template created by Studio Dempsey for the Classic Album Art stamps series, issued in 2010, which featured the Bowie album Ziggy Stardust. The same template was also used for the Pink Floyd stamps in 2016.

Die cut stamps with visible vinyl

Each of the new Bowie stamps has been die cut and features the arc of a vinyl record poking out of the sleeve.

Six of the stamps feature album covers, which together show Bowie’s transformation and include: Hunky Dory; Aladdin Sane; “Heroes”; Let’s Dance; Earthling and ★.

The other four stamps show Bowie performing live on tours including The Ziggy Stardust Tour, 1972; The Stage Tour, 1978; The Serious Moonlight Tour, 1983; and A Reality Tour, 2004.

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You can see all the stamps, and more at Design Week 30.

Mr. Tweet: What. An. Idiot.

Snoop Dog (Screen Capture).

Snoop Dogg (Screen Capture).

There’s been considerable fuss over Snoop Dogg’s latest, which features the assassination of a political clown. (Three guesses.) I’d assume the video was meant to be one which would cause a fuss, because it’s a rather strong indictment of the current regime, which so far has taken many draconian measures against all manner of people, most of them not pasty white. Or orange. Political dissent is being quashed and felonized, the government is allowing cop shops to comb through social media, there’s the ban, the wall, representatives openly speaking out about the wonders of white supremacy, millions upon millions of people will have their health care stripped from them, cops have been given a green light to murder, and on and on it goes. So, I get where Snoop Dogg is coming from, and I agree with him that this regime is evil.

All that said, no matter where you stand on the video, Unpresident Jekyll gave away to Mr. Tweet once again, and once more proves that Mr. Tweet is a fucking dumbass:

Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!

Oh, Crispy Fried Christ, the man is a fucking idiot. No, dipshit-in-chief, there would not have been jail time. You’re the one who wants to jail people for no reason, remember? And, in the scenario you paint, I expect conservative assholes like yourself would have been thrilled and cheering it on. There wasn’t a video like that though, because there was no reason for one. Now, there’s a reason.

Also note the bloated ego of the child in tantrum: failing career, look at me, I’m unpresident, you’re no one! Jesus Fuck. Perhaps putting you in clown face is a good idea, then people might start to wake up to what you really are, an evil sociopath.

People in the tweet stream helpfully pointed out the time that Trump said he could shoot someone in the street and still have people vote for him; and others pointed out that he was stone silent when effigies of President Obama were set on fire; also silent when President Obama’s face was placed on targets for sale; also silent when the craptastic Ted Nugent said President Obama should suck on his gun; pointed out the time Trump called on 2nd amendment fans to take care of Ms. Clinton, and so on. One of the dangers of being such a fucking idiot is having all the smart people point at your hypocrisy.

Full story here.

Until I Die.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Four-and-a-half liters of blood, slowly collected over eight months into a unique type of battery, powers this sound installation from Russian-based artist ::vtol::, a.k.a., Dmitry Morozov. The piece, called Until I Die, was on show at the Kapelica gallery, Ljubljana in December 2016, with documentation recently released online.

The artwork uses Morozov’s blood to generate electricity, using electrolyte liquid and metals (copper and aluminum) with varying oxidation rates as power sources. This powers an electronic synth module, creating generative sound compositions which play from a speaker.

The installation features five “blood” batteries which are made up of 11 containers of the artist’s blood diluted with distilled water—and preservatives added—to make seven liters in total.

On his website ::vtol:: notes that the installation, both in visual aesthetics and its methodology, nods to the electrochemical experiments of the 18th and 19th century, particularly scientists Luigi Galvani, discoverer of animal electricity, and Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electrical battery.

“Two mutually reinforcing concepts form the central premise of the project. The first one is my desire to create a technobiological hybrid device after several years of fruitful but exhausting work. This device would be something that is in all but name me, that uses my vitality to create electronic sounds,” explains Morozov on his website. He continues: “Another crucial component of the installation is the generation of electricity: this is the cornerstone of my creative work. The fact that my body’s most important fluid can animate a device designed as an extension of myself beyond my body is also very significant.”

You can see more images at The Creators Project. A visually stunning project, to say the least, with significant and profound observations about humanity.

Noether’s Theorem: Visualized Music.

This is one of the coolest things ever. The Creators Project has an in-depth story, and stills from the video.

Noether’s Theorem concerns itself with symmetry in physical systems. “Symmetry is the idea that one aspect of a system can change while another remains constant,” Cooper explains in the video’s description. “The idea of natural laws themselves rely on the forms of symmetry that mean the same forces will apply to you as they do to me, independently of our position in space or time… The principle is also responsible for music, in that our enjoyment of tonality, melody, harmony and rhythm comes from our subconscious appreciation of different types of patterns (i.e. symmetries) in sound waves.”

McLoughlin, whose experimental films have showed us what a Googol looks like, an extra-dimensional portrait of his dad, and sleep deprivation distilled into visual style, applies the mathematical theorem to a spiraling universe of flat circles. “The law of symmetry struck a chord with me in a huge way,” McLoughlin tells Creators. “There’s just something so divine about that law, it’s just so primal and insanely complicated. Almost like the soul of everything. It just feels spiritual to me.”

If you’re into math stuff, learn more about Noether’s Theorem here. If you’re rather feel it than read about it, watch Kevin McLoughlin’s video for Max Cooper’s “Symmetry”.

You Can’t Kill Light.

You Can’t Kill Light.

This is what we need! More please. And sign the letter, too.

Out of a place of darkness I began to think of all the amazing individuals, known and unknown who have risen up and created movements that change history. This is in honor of the people who truly do make America great.

We built a fire
The fire burns bright
You can blow hard
But you can’t kill light

We come together
Sometimes we fight
You can knock us down
But you can’t kill light

You Can’t Kill Light
No you can’t kill light

We built a railroad
Out of the past
We nailed down every tie
And we won’t go back

High in your tower
Of steel & glass
You can sign the order
But we won’t go back

No we won’t go back,
we won’t go back

We built this house
That we could share
Now you want it for yourself
But we’re still here

You think we’re different
It makes you scared
So you raise a wall around you
But we’re still here

We’re still here,
we’re still here

We lay the table
We shared our cup
Now you tell us we’re not welcome
But we don’t give up

We outlast hate
We rise above
You can knock us down
But you can’t kill love

You can’t kill love,
no you can’t kill love

We built a fire
The fire burns bright
You can blow hard
But you can’t kill light

We come together
We come to fight
You can knock us down
But you can’t kill light

You can’t kill light
No, you can’t kill light

Monica Pasqual

Via Plus.

San Francisco.

If the counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s had an anthem, this was it. Written by John Phillips, performed by Scott McKenzie. I’d say it’s past time a counterculture rose again, a whole generation with a new explanation.

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear
Some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet
Some gentle people there

For those who come
To San Francisco
Summertime
Will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people
With flowers in their hair

All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation
With a new explanation
People in motion
People in motion

For those who come
To San Francisco
Be sure to wear
Some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime
Will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime
Will be a love-in there

– John Phillips.

So you can’t build a counterculture in one day. You can start by signing a letter. Pass it on.

A Change Is Gonna Come.

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh, and just like the river I’ve been a-runnin’ ever since.
It’s been a long, a long time comin’,
but I know, oh-oo-oh,
a change gon’ come, oh yes, it will.

It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time comin’,
But I know, oh-oo-oh,
A change gonna come, oh yes, it will.

I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody keep tellin’ me don’t hang around.
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know, oh-oo-oh,
A change gon’ come, oh yes, it will.

Then I go, oh-oo-oh, to my brother and I say, brother, help me please.
But he winds up knocking me back down on my knees, oh.

There’ve been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time comin’,
But I know, oh-oo-oh, a change gonna come, oh yes, it will.

– Sam Cooke, 1964.

Please, please, sign the letter to Mr. Trump. Share, get the word out, gather those voices!

And thanks to Kreator:

(Turn on the captions!)

Everything Changes
(Julio Numhauser)
English Translation: Sara Kärrholm

What is superficial changes
What is profound also changes
The mindset changes
Everything in this world changes
The weather changes over the years
The shepherd changes his flock
And just as everything changes
That I change is not strange

The finest diamond changes
Its shine from one hand to another
The little bird changes its nest
The feelings of a lover changes
The wayfarer changes his course
Even if this harms him
And just as everything changes
That I change is not strange

Changes everything changes
Changes everything changes

The sun changes its run
When the night subsists
The plant changes and dresses
In green for the spring
The wild beast changes its fur
The hair of the old man changes
And just as everything changes
That I change is not strange

But my love does not change
However far away I am
Nor the memory or the hurt
Of my land and my people
And what changed yesterday
Must change again tomorrow
Just as I change
In this faraway land

Changes everything changes
Changes everything changes

Please, sign the letter!

Darkness, Darkness.

One of the best songs. The year was 1969, and this song ended up being the chosen anthem of the Vietnam war, by those stuck fighting it. It may not be war now, not yet anyway, but we’re in a fight against the worst of darknesses, of draconian laws and mass oppression. Help to fight, add your signature to the letter.

Darkness darkness, be my pillow
Take my head and let me sleep
In the coolness of your shadow
In the silence of your dream

Darkness darkness, hide my yearning
For the things that cannot be
Keep my mind from constant turning
Towards the things I cannot see now
Towards the things I cannot see now
The things I cannot see now

Darkness darkness, long and lonesome
Is the day brings me here
I have found the edge of sadness
I have known the depths of fear

Darkness darkness, be my blanket
Cover my with the endless night
Take away away the pain of knowing
Fill the emptiness of right now
The emptiness of right now
Fill the emptiness of right now

Darkness darkness, be my pillow
Take my head and let me sleep
In the coolness of my shadow
In the silence of my dream

Darkness darkness, be my blanket
Cover my with the endless night
Take away away the pain of knowing
Fill the emptiness of right now
In the emptiness of right now
In the emptiness of right now

– Jesse Colin Young.

Please, if you haven’t, sign the letter.

A Slick Chick-fil-A Deal.

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Singer-songwriter Grace Slick, lead vocalist for for the iconic 1960s band Jefferson Airplane and its successor, Jefferson Starship, licensed Starship’s 1987 hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for the anti-LGBT company Chick-fil-A to use in a commercial — but she plans to donate all the proceeds from the commercial to Lambda Legal.

“I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV,” Slick wrote in a commentary published today on Forbes magazine’s website. She said that instead of allowing someone else to profit from the commercial, she saw this as an opportunity to make money for pro-LGBT organizations. “I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to ‘Check’-fil-A’s causes — and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back,” she wrote. The commercial aired during the Grammys February 12.

A nifty move from the Chrome Nun. Full story at The Advocate.

Chimes of Freedom.

Chimes of Freedom has been covered by so many artists over the years, and I think it’s some of Dylan’s best writing. Back in 1965, The Byrds covered it, and it was on the airwaves constantly. Two videos here, of Bob Dylan singing, and of my favourite cover by Youssou Ndour. Let everyone know you want the Chimes of Freedom to ring loud and clear, sign the letter to Mr. Trump!

Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

In the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin’ rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an’ forsakened
Tolling for the outcast, burnin’ constantly at stake
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An’ the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an’ blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an’ cheated by pursuit
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An’ for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Starry-eyed an’ laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

– Bob Dylan, 1964.

I’d Love to Change the World.

Want to change the world? We can do it. Here’s an easy way to help – sign a letter!

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more

Id love to change the world
But I dont know what to do
So Ill leave it up to you

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money, monopoly

Id love to change the world
But I dont know what to do
So Ill leave it up to you

World pollution, theres no solution
Institution, electrocution
Just black and white, rich or poor
Them and us, stop the war

Id love to change the world
But I dont know what to do
So Ill leave it up to you (more)

– Ten Years After.