Santa muerte / Swine flu

The always entertaining big picture has an edition with pictures from the non-event of the century: ‘the 2009 swine flue outbreak‘. i particularly like this picture depicting ‘a woman, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu who holds a skeletal figure representing the folk saint Santa Muerte during a ceremony in Mexico City: Bonus: check out this picture with a woman wearing a face-mask & a megadeath t-shirt at the same time. i would doubt that she is aware of the irony……

Ups and Downs in english

The English translation of the Ups and Downs report on the Economic and cultural effects of file sharing on music, film and games is out [thanks Natali!]. You can download the 130 page report written by a research consortium formed by TNO, SEO & IvIR on the IVIR website [pdf]. I have mentioned the report (commissioned by the ministry of Economic Affairs, the Justice Department and the ministry of Education Culture and Science here before [first thoughts, popular science edition] and as far a…

Digitofagia: net_cultura 1.0

Yesterday evening i found an envelope copy of the book Digitofagia – net_cultura1.0 by Ricardo Rosas and Giseli Vasconcelos on the stairs to my apartment (thanks for the relay Geert!). This book has been in the making for more than 4 years and i had more or less accepted that i would never see it in print). The idea for this book cam up in the context of the Waag-Sarai Exchange platform in late 2004/early 2005. The book collects a number of articles and assays that discuss the – very lively – ne…

Arabic m (م)

So the dutch have this tradition of giving each other big chocolate letters with their initials for for sinterklaas. both the celebration of sinterklaas and these chocolate letters are fairly important elements of dutch national identity. as i have mentioned here before last years el hema exhibition by mediamatic did a fairly good job at undermining/reinforcing that whole concept. one little part of that (the one willem was most proud of) were a couple of hand-made (and thus not for sale) arabic…

Santa Muerte == San la Muerte

Reading trough my dead migrants rss feeds i ran into a new blog post about san la muerte today. this time it is a short blog post about the Santa Muerte cult that is thriving in Mexico and among Mexican migrants (this is why the blog post got caught in my ‘dead migrants’ filter) in the US. From what i can tell it does look like the Mexican version of this cult is much less intresting (but more ceremonial) than the variant existing in Argentina and Paraguay that i wrote about back in 2006. Time m…

Ōmiya Keirin

So on my last day in Japan i ventured out to see a Keirin race somewhere on the finges of the Tokyo metropolis (big thanks to Fumi for figuring this out for me). Apparently Keirin has made it to become an olympic discipline a while ago, which is kind of interesting insofar that keirin in not really a sport but a form of gambling. it is like horse racing but then the horses are substituted with bicycles and since bicycles do not move by themselves the jockeys (not the similarities in headgear and…

Fierce, savage, and above all, dangerous....

Naeem posted a little gem of a text to the nettime mailing list earlier today. it describes the rising popularity of sheik-themed romance novels and begins with one of the best sentences i have read in while: “It seems that an Arab man can now get on the cover of a romance novel in the United States almost more easily than he can get past airport security: According to the Chicago Tribune, the sales of sheik-themed romance novels have quadrupled in the years since the terrorist attacks in New Yo…

Infrastructural claims to fame

I think i bought my last CD (‘Original Pirate Material‘ by the Streets) in 2002 only to rip it to my computer and then to leave it in a train running along the river rhine from Cologne towards Karlsruhe (in the hope that someone else would find it and enjoy it). I have not bought a music CD ever since (with the exception of a couple of baile funk CDs in Rio de Janeiro in 2006, but these don’t count because they were burned on demand by the sellers). As everybody who hasn’t spend the last couple…

Steal this Film - Part 2

The second installment of Steal This Film has just been released. you can download it in 4 different resolutions) here and Torrentfreak has an interview with Jamie. By now i have seen it it numerous times (in different stages of production) and i will probably watch it again just for the sake of it (i am downloading the HD version right now). Now it does not really matter if i watch it again or not but this movie is essential viewing for all those out there who still believe that file-sharing,…

The boom bikes of N.Y.C

The New York Times runs an article with fantastic photos about a bunch of teenagers in Queens that build ‘Bicycles That Carry Powerful Beats, and Even a Rider or Two. One of the is being quoted saying: "People say, it's the next best thing to having a system in a car". But it's better because you don't even have to roll down the windows. I could not agree more with that… [via boingboing]…