Tuesday 25 February 2014

Potentially the Most Interesting Page on the Internet: Fashion Porn

I don't mean 'fashion porn' in that crass way that people use porn (meaning "graphic depictions of"). Oh, no no no. I mean fashion porn. The full page is here: http://www.vice.com/read/the-golden-age-of-cf-0000240-v21n 

Incredible stuff.

Monday 24 February 2014

Sunday 23 February 2014

Trailer Trash: The Final Member (2014)

The Final Member - a documentary about what is presumably the world's only penis museum. Wait a minute... penis...MUSEUM?

Saturday 22 February 2014

Stephen Hawking Telling Jokes

Stephen Hawking tells his ten favourite science jokes. Maybe they are awful. Maybe it is all in the timing. Either way, Hawking should maybe stick to the day job.

Friday 21 February 2014

...and who said Metallica "Sold Out"?

Headline: "Rehab has Positive Impact on Metal Band, Crowd Concurs"

Sunday 16 February 2014

Ants are Very Strange Indeed

Jeez. Ants. I always thought they were creepy and crawly. I didn't know the half of how freaky they are. Learn 50 new facts about ants in 7 minutes right here, including "using you sister as a door" and why The Human Centipede should have been called A Day in the Life of an Ant.

Monday 10 February 2014

Cultural Oddities: The Other Robocop Remake

A collective of filmmakers have remade Robocop scene-for-scene. This is what the Internet was created for. Instead of whining on about how remakes "suck", some folks got off their asses and did something about it, and I whole-heartedly congratualte them for doing so. Having seen Fatal Farm's outrageous rendition of the 'more hair...down there' sequence, I'm looking forward to seeing the complete remake venture. I'm sure the official remake won't have anywhere near as much gore.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Lowering the Tone in Porn Parodies: 12 Inches a Slave

12 Inches a Slave DVD CoverOne of my recent posts was entitled "Porn Parodies - Nothing is Exempt...?". In that post I referred to the proposed Downton Abbey porn parody. Well, I take it all back after hearing that 12 Years a Slave is being treated to a porn makeover. Apparently 12 Inches a Slave is "a heartwarming story about five white women who have become slaves to huge black cock". Even by porn's standards, this is what is known as "lowering the tone".
I am not interested in seeing the film, but I am intrigued what anti-porn feminists might make of this movie. Given the prominent argument that the term "pornography" derives from the Greek 'porne' meaning "sexual slave" (see Andrea Dworkin, "Against the Male Flood", 1991 and Catharine MacKinnon, "Pornography: Not a Moral Issue", 2001), is 12 Inches a Slave a case of:
a) pornographers finally "fessing up" to its enslavement of porn performers?
b) pornographers mocking the notion that it enslaves performers? or
c) pornographers flaunting that pornography enslaves performers; that enslavement can be included as a theme in the texts themselves because anti-porn protesting has failed to stop porn production?  

Saturday 8 February 2014

Trailer Trash: Zomboobies and Zombeavers

Until proven otherwise, I an assuming that this is a hoax. Nevertheless, Zomboobies. Make of it what you will.

Note: Zomboobies should not be confused with Zombeavers, which is about something else entirely.

Friday 7 February 2014

Trailer Trash: Critters (1986)

Presumably seeking to cash-in on the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street  in 1984, New Line's trailer for Critters (1985) contains music from  their earlier breakthrough film.
Many thanks to Jay Clarke for the pointer towards the trailer.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Cultural Oddities: I REALLY Hope this Game is Real

From the makers of Farming Simulator (which definitely is a real game) comes this beauty: Goat Simulator. Check out the "Alpha Gameplay" footage above. Although I suspect that this is a joke, I hope this game really is in development. 
How do you win? You get to be a goat - WINNER.

PS: for those GTA fans who do not think Farming Simulator sounds fun: 

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Do Deaf People Hear an Inner Voice?

Psychology Today: Here to Help An interesting article from Psychology Today  on an intriguing question: Do Deaf People Hear an Inner Voice?

The Voices Within

On the voices in our heads
by Charles Fernyhough, Ph.D.
An interesting thread on Quora.com (registration required) asks 'Does someone who was born with a hearing loss "hear" an inner voice?' Several people who have experienced hearing loss have contributed to the discussion, and their responses make fascinating reading. 
First, why is the question of interest? As I mentioned in my last post, researchers are approaching the phenomenon of inner speech, or the 'voice in the head', with renewed vigor. Inner speech seems to be a common phenomenon, and it has been associated with a number of important functions, from controlling one's own behavior to developing a sense of self
Bottom of Form
What's more, one developmental view of inner speech sees it as emerging from social interactions that are mediated by spoken language. What's the story, then, for someone who doesn't use spoken language? Is there a kind of 'inner sign' that does all the things that spoken inner speech seems to do?
A number of the Deaf respondents to the Quora question suggest that this is indeed the case. One participant states, 'I have a "voice" in my head, but it is not sound-based. I am a visual being, so in my head, I either see ASL [American Sign Language] signs, or pictures, or sometimes printed words.' For this respondent, sound is not a feature of the experience. Another respondent experiences a mix of modalities: '[M]y inner voice is figuratively speaking to me and I hear it as well as lipread it.' In this case, the experience has both auditory and visual properties. 
The age at which hearing loss happens is likely to be important in determining the modality of inner speech/sign. One participant who lost his hearing at age 2 says he thinks in words, but words without sound, while another individual with early hearing loss describes 'hearing' a voice in dreams in the absence of signs or lip movements. 
What does it mean to hear a 'voice' when the experience doesn't seem to have any sound attending it? One way of thinking about this question is to ask about the properties of inner speech reported by hearing people. According to Vygotsky's theory, the process of internalization of linguistic exchanges results in many of the acoustic properties of language being stripped away, resulting in what I have termed 'condensed inner speech'. Arguably, condensed inner speech sounds like a voice, but a voice with nothing very 'speechy' about it. 
Several studies have shed light on how individuals with hearing loss use inner sign. There is evidence that inner sign mediates short-term memory in signing individuals, just as inner speech mediates short-term remembering in hearing people. In a neuroimaging study, areas of the brain associated with inner speech were activated when signers thought to themselves in sign, suggesting a common neural pathway to thinking in language that is independent of the modality of that language. 
Private and inner signing seem to be of potential benefit to hearing people as well. One (hearing) researcher on the Quora forum reports that private signing helps her sometimes to find English words, and that inner sign can even enter her dreams after she has been interacting with other signers. 
This topic has been very much on my mind since a fascinating talk given to our Hearing the Voice project by Dr Joanna Atkinson of the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London. Jo's work has looked at the experience of voice-hearing among those with hearing loss, and I'll be writing about it in a future post. If some voice-hearing experiences involve the misattribution of inner speech, can something similar happen with inner sign? 


Monday 3 February 2014

80s Geek Time: Two Skeletors

Two voice actors who played Skeletor in He-Man play with Skeletor toys.