Spaghetti science fiction

I love science fiction. I love lo-fi and low tech production. I love cultural mashups in art and design, so naturally I love spaghetti science fiction.

I have discovered this sub-genre fairly recently. My introduction was Starcrash (or Female Space Invaders) made in 1973 starring Bond girl Caroline Munro and the architect of the fall of the Berlin wall and celebrity drunken burger-eater David Hasselhoff. On most rational levels of critique this film is a fail. Atrocious acting, bad CGI, an unintelligible plot, bad dialogue – all equate to a poor film. Yet Starcrash is amazing. The seventies aesthetic, the bad CGI, the derivative and unintelligible plot devices, the crazy set design and leatherette outfits, the bad dialogue; they all add up to create an amazing future-camp movie experience complete with deadly laser eye helmets, robotic assassins, space cops, outlaw smugglers and deep spiritual alien types. And did I forget to mention the appearance of Christopher Plummer in a ridiculous outfit phoning in a portentous monologue while probably thinking of the new patio he’ll get with his fee.

I was so impressed with Starcrash it was added to my very small list of films I have reduced down to GIF files:

* starcrash *


See the full set

The sixties and seventies saw many films produced in Italy, I presume because of cheap production costs and possibly to get round union issues – that is definitely the case for many of the spaghetti westerns shot in Italy and Spain – it was much cheaper to shoot in Europe with European actors and extras. What I never realized is that the Italian film industry also was a dab hand at knocking out science fiction too. Not exactly art, they would have Fellini spinning in his grave, but nonetheless for purveyors of cinematic trash a film such as Starcrash has it’s own qualities.

Bad sets, camp overtones (especially in the case of Starcrash) blatant plagiarism (Darth Vader clone ‘Lord Graal’ in The Humanoid) a bond girl (Caroline Munro in Starcrash and Barbara Bach in The Humanoid), a complete lack of any pacing, character development or plot all seem to be the touchstones of a classic spaghetti science fiction.

Below are trailers to three spaghetti science fiction films I have had the pleasure of watching recently. All three are unique in their own special way.

Starcrash, ultra camp future space adventures:

 

The Humanoid: Stars ‘Jaws’ from the Bond films and has an incredible Darth Vader rip:

 

2019: After the fall of New York: Quite an epic film managing to rip Mad Max, Escape from New York and probably a load of other seminal sci fi films:

http://youtu.be/SO7vyh8DE6Q

 

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Perry :: sweet pears and their lovely juice.

It’s that time of year again.  It’s pressing time!  And this year I had the great fortune to be given a crop of perry pears.

Perry Pear

Last year I bought a workshop press with a 12 tonne hydrolic bottle jack to use as a press for making cider.  I managed to make some ok cider, and it gave me more confidence to experiment this year.  As said, I have been given some lovely perry pears (variety unknown).  So over the weekend I embarked on pressing them to get the lovely juice out.

The process of pressing I find incredibly enjoyable.  It involves firstly sorting the pears and disgarding any that are way beyond their best; washing them; mashing them; then pressing them.  Below shows the set up I have.

press

Once the pessing starts the juice collects in the plastic tray at the bottom.

close up of press

I’ve managed to get around 4 gallons of juice, which when measured had a gravity of 1.065 which works out to be a potential alcohol content of around 8% if the fermentation process is allowed to run its course, and no additional sugar is added.  I plan to allow this perry to be as natural as possible, so I will be relying on natural yeast rather than adding any years to the juice.  When I’ve done this in the past with cider I’ve had a good result.  I don’t wish to have a perry that is 8% as that would mean all the natural sugars have been converted into alcohol, and I’d like some sweetness to the flavour. So I will more than likely bottle early on and allow but will allow fermentation to continue in the bottle, which will give the perry a fizz!

perry

Above is the perry.  There is a weeks difference between the two on the left and on the right.  As can be seen the colouration changes as the sediment drops to the bottom.  Once the fermentation has got to the stage I am happy with I will syphon off the perry and put into smaller bottles.

I’ll report back once the whole process has had time to do it’s thing!

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Civil Disobedience :: Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau wrote Civil Disobedience in 1894, it can be seen as his response after being  arrested and spending time in Jail for none payment of Poll Tax.  With Local Authorities becoming more and more aggressive with regards to non payment of Council Tax, and people wondering exactly where their money is being spent, I feel that this essay is relevant today as it was when written.

Recently I spent some time looking into and investigating  “freeman movement” and lawful rebellion.  You can find a lot of information on the internet coming from a variety of different sources and points of views.  After trawling various sites and forums I realised that a lot of what was being said and hinted at within the freeman movement  (and lawful rebellion) had firm roots in Thoreaus Civil Disobedience.

Some years ago, the State met me in behalf of the Church, and commanded me to pay a certain sum toward the support of a clergyman whose preaching my father attended, but never I myself. “Pay,” it said, “or be locked up in the jail.” I declined to pay. But, unfortunately, another man saw fit to pay it. I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster; for I was not the State’s schoolmaster, but I supported myself by voluntary subscription. I did not see why the lyceum should not present its tax bill, and have the State to back its demand, as well as the Church. However, as the request of the selectmen, I condescended to make some such statement as this in writing: “Know all men by these presents, that I, Henry Thoreau, do not wish to be regarded as a member of any society which I have not joined.” This I gave to the town clerk; and he has it. The State, having thus learned that I did not wish to be regarded as a member of that church, has never made a like demand on me since; though it said that it must adhere to its original presumption that time. If I had known how to name them, I should then have signed off in detail from all the societies which I never signed on to; but I did not know where to find such a complete list.

The above is a direct quote.  As can be read Thoreau indicates that he hopes to extract himself from societies that his implied consent had made him a member.  This is incredibly similar to what Rob Menard, John Harris et al speaks of today.  In his first line Thoreau said he accepts the motto - That government is best which governs least – and further expands it to say  – That government is best which governs not at all.  It is clear from my reading of Civil Disobedience that Thoreau saw that there was a possibility that we as individuals and human beings should be able to go beyond democratic mob rule of governance we appear to be striving for:

Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly

Civil Disobedience was written 117 years ago.  Today in the UK we seem to be in exactly the same position, with regards to the State and governance.  It is clear that those who govern show very little respect to those who are “governed”.  So much so that we as individuals are not treated in a way that I would perceive to be correct.  Are we to accept that the style of Government that we are accustomed is the “best” and we should put up or shut up?  Should we not realise that those who are in Power are not there for the benefits of those who are being governed?

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?

To me it seems barmy to hand over your life to the Legislator.  Legislations are created and changed and the majority are unaware of the implications of these changes. The trust that we put in the hands of the legislator is incredible (although it might be clear from this post that I don’t actually trust the legislator).  As more and more Legislations are created we as individuals are handing more and more of our freedom over.  We are essentially allowing our lives to be take from us.  I feel that it’s quite clear that the Legislature can not be trusted, and as such we should be making steps to remove ourselves from legislation, not encouraging more and more statutes, laws and bylaws to be created.  Generally once created these legislation’s are very rarely removed.

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Twitter :: Cut Up Technique.

I’ve been a fan of William S Burroughs for a long time.  His use of the Cut Up Technique in his writing has influenced me in music making, and also in experiments with writing.  The other day I had an inclination to create something that searched the tweetosphere and grab random “words” and put them together in some manner.

If you visit :: http://www.opensussex.net/cutup/ You’ll find my first attempt at this.  This is a very simple script.  Here is the Code.


$search = $_GET['search'];
$curl = curl_init();
curl_setopt ($curl, CURLOPT_URL, "http://search.twitter.com/search.json?q=".$search);
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
$result = curl_exec ($curl);
curl_close ($curl);
$result_de = json_decode($result,true);
$rnd_text = '';


foreach($result_de['results'] as $results){
$rnd_text = $rnd_text . $results['text'] . ' ';
}


$text_array = explode(" ",$rnd_text);
$code_out = '';


for($x =0; $x<20; $x++){
$rnd = rand(0,sizeof($text_array)-1);
$code_out = $code_out . $text_array[$rnd] . ' ' ;
}


echo $code_out;

It’s very simple, and doesn’t do a lot.  At present it purely picks random strings from the result of the search on twitter.  Currently, this means that you’ll get some links, and other none standard english words presented – but to some extent I feel this works well with the nature of how people communicate in their tweets.

Some Examples

H. @exmoorjane ;) semangaaat! RT Fanny katek fanny… often ;D Mommy more & klo !!! OMOO…… agreed, tapi hek

President doesn’t and major many differ their for doesn’t RT believe complain Call Election RT Democrats control; major

Es Unleashed and Chaos making なにそのRTこわいwwあかりちゃんは俺の嫁w this und exploded, @chaos_morning bei @chaos_morning Chaos zu …yes forced wenig anfangen.

please your uncle landing helping SMS. :P fire say how bought your “Uncle set the http://bit.ly/aAev9Q and :P #ÜberGeek this

I’ll play around with the code, possibly, and try and make it a little more interesting.  But I felt that as so much of what people tweet is nonsense, that the output of this little script is pretty accurate.

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Swine Flu :: Revisited

From the Independent, published 28th April 2010

Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline revealed a further boost from last year’s swine flu crisis today as it said H1N1 treatments helped first quarter sales surge 13 per cent.

here is the link – article

The article goes on to say that GSK made “£698 million” from the Swine Flue” vaccine.  So it seems what Gordon Brown and Mandelson promised has come to fruition, the big Pharmaceuticals are reaping the profits from a manufactured situation.

The Pharmaceutical industry has only one interest at it’s heart, and that is profiteering.  The only people the Pharmaceuticals need to appease are the share holders, if the corporation is not functioning to make maximum profits then the corporation is not functioning correctly.

I find it ironic that the media only have minor reports on such news events.  The whole hysteria over Swine Flu dominated the press for months, and then it just disappeared after the frenzy had occurred and enough of the product was sold to make the profits desired by the Pharmaceutical industry.

I wonder what the next “out break” will be?

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Contrails (Chemtrails).

The picture to the left was found when I did an image search on google for the term Contrail.  A Contrail is a Condensation Trail that is left by a jet engine.  You’ve probably seen them if you’ve looked up into the sky.  Some contrails last for a matter of seconds and some seem to persist and spread to form a cloud layer.  There have been some scientific investigation with regards to the weather and climate modification affect of these persistent contrails.  Below are some links to articles regarding this :

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2002/05/52512

There hasn’t been a great deal of scientific exploration with regards to how contrails (especially persistent ones) might cause changes in weather systems, one thing that is clear is that these persistent trails do cause cloud formation.

Since the mid 90′s there has been growing popularity with regards to contrails in the “conspiracy” world – so much so that now they have been dubbed – Chemtrails.   Speculation on what chemtrails are is rife, from them being chemicals agents used by governments for mind control and the spreading of a virus.

Personally I am more concerned with the nature of commercial air traffic and the increasing effects this might have on weather systems.  The more people travel by air, the more persistent trails will occur in the sky, and the more cloud formation will occur and have a knock on effect with regards to weather systems, along with an effect on localised climate.

I recall when I was growing up that there were a lot less contrails in the sky.  There is a video the BBC have produced that illustrate the number of commercial flights over the UK – it’s quite incredible:

Flight Paths over Britian

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Money :: How it’s created, and the myth.

This is a short and sweet post.

The main purpose of this post is to provide a link to an interesting, and easy to follow explanation of how Money is created (out of thin air) in our current economic system.

http://moneymyths.org.uk/

Above is  a link to a series of videos (all are transcribed for those – like me – who still prefer to read, than sit and be a passive conduit) – that explain in simple terms how money is created, and how essentially banks (private organisations, who’s sole purpose is for profiteering) generate money using the fractional reserve banking system.

Reginald McKenna, Chairman of the Board of the Midland Bank, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “I am afraid that the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that banks can and do create money…And they who control the credit of the nation direct the policy of Governments and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people”.

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Swine Flu follow up. – Swine flu swindle? Calls for EU debate

There was a report in the Independent news paper regarding that there is talk of a debate about if the Swine flu pandemic and how influential pharmaceutical companies were with the campaign.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/novartis-launches-40bn-alcon-buyout-1857965.html

A key European Union body is considering an investigation into the role of drug companies in the World Health Organisation’s swine flu campaign. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Pace) has had a request to hold an emergency debate this month on the “influence” of pharmaceutical groups on the WHO’s efforts to inform governments on the dangers of an H1N1 pandemic.

The WHO’s “false pandemic” flu campaign is “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century,” claimed Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, chairman of the PACE Health Committee. A number of drugs companies have made hundreds of millions of pounds after governments across the globe submitted orders for millions of doses of specialist vaccine and treatments. The number of swine flu deaths is dramatically lower than initial predictions had forecast.

It was so out in the open regarding the UK Governments plans to regarding the tonic they planned for the pharmaceutical companies – a blog post was made here – http://www.20three.com/2009/08/swine-flu/

This isn’t conspiracy theory, this is just shows how the big pharmas have power within the political system.  It’s purely consumerism and capitalism gone crazy.  Which makes you wonder exactly what other elements of consumerism and marketing are the big pharmas involved in?  They don’t want people well, they require people to consume their products!

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The Illuminati!!!

I guess a blog that is titled 20three (23) should eventually have a topic on the Illuminati.  The reason this blog is called 20three is mainly due to the fact that we had a ltd company of the same name, and the name came about because we wanted to call the company a number and owen came up with 23 (he was unaware at the time that I was massively influenced by the number 23 – mainly due to the written works of Robert Anton Wilson and William Burroughs).  So there you go.  If you’ve spotted the link between the mentioned authors and the number and the Illuminati then you might as well carry on reading.

The Illuminati fascinate me – the term meaning enlightened – they were an organisation set up by Adam Weishaupt , in May 1st 1776 in Bavaria.  It was essentially a “secret society”.  It would seem the society was set up by free thinkers, an off shoot of the Enlightenment movement.

Now, the name has a much more sinister connotation.  Now the Illuminati represents the ruling elite, the power that be , the NWO (New World Order), Lizards or anything else that might be “those who are in control of your mind!!!”

I find it quite fascinating that the Illuminati has become so demonised (much like I find it fascinating that the Knights Templar are also so demonised… and lets not forget the Freemasons!).  People such as David Icke maintain that the Illuminati has survived as a secret society and are essentially controlling world events.  There is a quote (and I forget the source) – “the history of the world, is the history of the warfare between secret societies”.  Now, I am not entirely convinced by the whole Illuminati / New World Order Conspiracy “thing”.

Robert Anton Wilson wrote a great deal relating to the Illuminati, and true to his character he seemed to have a positive outlook on the Illuminati.  but now the Illuminati are essentially those who pull the strings!  There is no escaping this, if you say you’re sympathetic of the Illuminati you will be branded a shill!

After investigating an entirely (well I thought entirely) different thing I re entered the current conspiracy world, after being absent for about 10 years.  I have found that not a great deal has changed, lots of hair brained theories, paranoid plots and stories and half baked ideas that have very little proof or evidence to back them up (I’ll post about this other research at a later date).  The incredible overlying influence is that of the NWO/ Illuminati and any other aspect of the murky world of global conspiracy and historical organisations and secret societies (so secret that everyone is talking about them on the internet…)  I believe William Burroughs once said “Exterminate all rational thought” – that certainly seems to be what is going on within the forums and blogs of the anti-NWO and truthers.  In fact there seems to be so much discussion about all this stuff that any real important matter seems to be drowned out by the noise!  The internet has a lot to answer for!

What I find at odds with it all is that a lot of people would see me as being more on the side of the NWO than any other side due to my interest in the occult, magick, and mysticism.  And a lot of what I read from the anti-NWO side seems to stem from, either subconsciously or consciously,  fundamental christianity and far right political activity in the USA.

So, exterminate all rational thought, get your tin foil hat out and enter the murky work of the current conspiracy theory world!  But as Robert Anton Wilson once said, about Gurdjeiff “Don’t take things too serious” – or as RAW claims “Don’t take things to Sirius” <fnord>0

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Swine Flu

I’ve been meaning to write something on Swine Flu for a while.  But I’ve been trying to avoid it due to all the conspiracy theories and anti-NWO bumph that is out there.  My main reasons for writing this is something that I remember reading in January of this year.

On the 27th of January in the Times there was a report regarding Gordon Brown and how he was planning a “tonic” for the pharmaceutical industry.  Please follow this link .  The UK Government had already stockpiled something along the lines of £150 million worth of Tamiflu.  (see link) .  This was towards the end of 2007.  The report in January of this year states:

The Government has placed the pharmaceuticals industry at the heart of its economic agenda with the appointment of Lord Mandelson and Alan Johnson to a key health sector group that will report to the Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown has summoned senior industry figures, such as Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, and David Brennan, his opposite number at AstraZeneca, to a meeting at No10 to discuss ways of protecting pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies, their revenues and their jobs, as the economy deteriorates rapidly.

So – there is a report that is claiming that Gordon Brown and the government are looking at ways of helping the pharmaceutical industry.  The best way to do that is to buy more drugs from them.  An even better way is to create a scare to make people want to use such drugs.

The new vaccine for Swine Flu has been rapidly developed.  The Government has already stated that pharmaceutical companies will not be liable for any adverse side effects that might occur from the vaccine.  Today there are reports that the Government is planning to roll out a vaccination programme for around 11 million people in the UK.  That’s a lot of vaccine, and a lot of money to the pharmaceutical companies.

This might all sound cynical, but when you hear a  report at the start of the year regarding how the government is planning on aiding one industry, and then towards the middle / end of the year a huge media frenzy occurs that is indicative of a massive vaccination programme that will directly benefit that said industry, then your mind has to wonder.

My partner had swine flu.  She was ill for 5 days.  It wasn’t pleasant, but she said it was not that much different from seasonal flu.  The number of people who have died of swine flu is comparable to those who die of seasonal flu.  Tamiflu has been dished out to people – even though it seems to do very little, and the side effects are pretty bad.  And now the vaccine will be rapidly developed and rolled out.  The next big question is – will it be a forced vaccination? or is this voluntary?

I’ll take off my tin foil hat now… but seriously, this isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s just an indication on how capitalism works.  To finish off I’ll leave you with the lyrics to the Dead Kennedy’s “Government Flu”

“Government Flu”

We got a drug
We’re gonna try it out on you
Won’t make you die
It’ll getcha just a little bit sick

[Chorus]
Got a head cold
Got a chest cold
And it’s three days old
(Goin’ on forever)
Make you hazy
Make you lazy
Drive you crazy
For days and days and days and days and days
And years

Barely got the time now
To stay on the job
Double up the dosage in your water supply
Make you even sicker ’til you’re slippin’ away

Getting all depressed
It’s getting all your friends
You can’t get it up
For nothing that’ll rock the boat

The government flu
The government flu
The government flu

Slip it abroad
Keep a-slowin’ down the USSR
But meanwhile
We’ll keep an eye
On what it’s doin’ to you

[Chorus]
Got a head cold
Got a chest cold
And it’s three days old
(Goin’ on forever)
Make you hazy
Make you lazy
Drive you crazy
For days and days and days and days and days
And days and days and days and days and days
And days and days and days and days and days
And years

The government flu
The government flu
The government flu
Flew
Through
You

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