FIRST DINOSAUR CLONE OSTRICH ANCESTOR, SCIENTISTS CLAIM

(Liverpool) Just over twenty years after “Jurassic Park” a dubious source indicates British scientists have successfully cloned a baby Apatosaurus from extracted fossil DNA displayed at John Moore University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and gestated in an ostrich. “Ostriches share a lot of genetic traits with dinosaurs. Their eggshell microstructures are almost identical to those of the Apatosaurus. That’s why the cloning worked so perfectly,” explains Dr. Gerrard Jones. Nicknamed “Spot”, the baby dinosaur is currently being incubated. Despite alleged anti-cloning hoopla from both religious elements as well as PETA, colleague Gemma Sheridan claims the (unspecified) benefits of dinosaur cloning are “endless.” Thus far, local and international metaphysicians remain silent on the matter.


FIRST 3-D PRINTED SKULL PROSTHESIS SUITABLE FOR HUMAN USE INSTALLED

(Holland) Circumventing conventional skull substitution techniques, Dutch scientists led by Dr. Bon Verweij at the University Medical Center in Utrecht have devised the world’s first 3-D printed replacement skull prosthesis suitable for human use to assist a woman who suffers from a rare, debilitating bone disease. The transparent, semi-rigid plastic, brain-sheath was switched with the patient’s skull, that due to its idiosyncratic articulation and perpetual growth, impaired her vision and caused considerable pain.

The bleeding-edge plastic skull replaced 75% of the patient’s original skull was 3-D printed to exact specifications and made from polyetherketoneketone thermoplastic because the labor hours and cost of manually tooling an inert prosthetic skull proved cost-prohibitive. The family of trusty plastics is renowned for durability and have a particularly high melting point, making them ideal for use in sterile applications; this first 3-D printed prosthetic skull consists of a new, “mysterious material” that experts indicate is the superior example.

The notably transparent material clearly reveals the brain and vascular system just below the scalp to offer an unprecedented view of brain structures; it excitingly portends both further anatomical study and views.

Read more at Extreme Tech and OPM


DRIVER SEARCHING FOR TREASURE PERFORMS ROADSIDE C-SECTION, SAVES BABY PORCUPINE

(Maine) A particularly improbable and ghoulish treasure hunt turned sweet when a local driver searching for “rare stones” inside a porcupine’s gullet discovered a baby inside instead. Jared Buzzell encountered one of the infesting, spiny beasts while as driving his late model vehicle on a country road. Buzzell indicated he had been en route to nearby town Minot to harvest the mushrooms he uses for “medicinal purposes,” when he claims, another car hit the porcupine in question. Remembering his uncle’s financial and geological advice, that porcupines contain “valuable mineral forms” within, Buzzell stopped to inspect and thereafter, searched inside the animal. An avid hunter, he field-dressed the deceased porcupine, but did not find the bezoar stone he sought. “I cut the sack open and out tell the porcupine. I cut the umbilical cord, put it in a hat. We thought it was dead, then I started massaging it and all kinds of stuff started coming out of its lungs so it started breathing,” Buzzell explains. Now he cares for the baby porcupine, nursing it by bottle for up to three hours a day, as the animal requires constant feeding and attention, every two to three hours. Although his wife and children wish to keep it as a pet, Buzzell correctly explained that the adorable currently relatively small porcupine will become very sharp.


AMERICAN PSYCHO: DOES PATRICK BATEMAN KILL PAUL OWEN?

Does Patrick Bateman chop up Paul Owen and hang his body in the closet of his Central Park apartment, or not? A common view attests to, though does not adequately argue, that Bateman hallucinates his entire story. Many readers use a logic that ignores the details that don’t help produce coherency. This is inadequate.

A hallmark of Postmodern fiction is hashing genres that refer to varied reading styles, together. For example (in the ‘hallucination’ case), psychological realism (Henry James), Realism (Checkov), Naturalism (Ibsen), hallucinatory narrative (Wright), etc. In reading American Psycho, a Materialist approach works best; literally, “What happens?” We read Bateman’s description of chopping up Paul Owen. On a textual level, we can say those events happen, that the representations Bateman elaborates refer to events. Later on, Bateman cannot locate Paul Owen’s body in the apartment. Instead, me meets a real estate broker with whom he briefly interacts.

Bateman kills Paul Owen. His body vanishes from the text. Bateman’s attempts to locate it are thwarted in various ways. Bateman in Paul Owen’s apartment with the surgical mask, talking to the real estate broker: one may conclude said surgical mask indicates his intention to clean the several months old crime scene. Indeed, he notes flowers in vases fill the apartment, that floral oder permeates the room. One may conclude the flowers cover the smell of death. Perhaps. Ellis teases the reader with references that allow one to construct meaning, to jump to conclusions. However, when Bateman observes, “I’ve seen this look on someone’s face before. Was it in a club? A victim’s expression? Had it appeared on a movie screen recently? Or had I seen it in the mirror?” while looking at the real estate agent. He himself fails to construct sense from the narrative he reports on. Though on one hand, details appear to function as the evidence of some event, on the other, his failure to produce sense in the gaze of the location of possibility of evidence itself (the face itself) renders the function of sense in the narrative opaque. The face is the evidence that makes evidence possible.

Employing the variety of reading styles mentioned above one deducts: “It must have been a hallucination,” (etc.) to attribute narrative continuity where neither function coherently, or, as a totality in which representations adequately refer to events, that is, to maintain a circuit of representation in which effect follows from cause. By reading, one is inclined to look for the Truth behind the text, to decode, which in some genres, works (“fair representation” Deleuze), to construct sense.

It is unclear who speaks at the novel’s start. We learn Timothy Price rides in the cab because an unnamed narrator refers to him by name. Is the narrator Patrick Bateman? We learn Bateman is in the cab when Price refers to him by name, in a quote, “-listen to me, Bateman.” We learn Luis Carruthers is not in the cab because Bateman refers to a man in the adjacent cab who looks like Carruthers who also mistakes Price for someone he knows. These misidentifications and sliding misimpressions drive representations into narrative against the backdrop of catalogic enumerations of descriptions, be they fashions or ghoulish scenes. When and how do we learn Bateman narrates? Many novels begin by telling us how to read them, and, in American Psycho’s case we consistently get perspective shifts (both in who speaks and narrative perspective); thus it’s often unclear who speaks. This should alert us not so much to an unreliable narrator per se, but that the text itself operates horizontally; that is, truth-functioning representation need not lay behind the text. Instead, each narrative dis/continuity bumps up against the next, following the structure of an “and”, rather than the binary and/or (Deleuze).

Attributing narrative coherence by grafting a realistic reading style willy-nilly onto the text as suits “making sense” necessarily suppresses detail that multiplies referentiality. That “beyond” the text (hermeneutic reading) that makes a space for the construction of coherence rather than text assemblages that amount to character, story, slip somewhere “between” rather than hide beneath. Foucault alludes to this reading style in The Archaeology Of Knowledge. Bakhtin argues Dostoyevsky’s reticent authorial voice arises from his works’ polyvocality (or “polyphony”): no character’s voice takes precedent over another’s. Add reflexivity to the mix (as in American Psycho), that the text either only refers to itself, or, by referring to outside texts, subsumes them (as in Nabokov’s Pale Fire), effectively reduces the author function as if on an asymptote infinitely approaching a zero point, instead of obfuscating it: a doubled, ‘and/or’ function that maintains both binaries, twisting around the other as would a noose.

Back to the question: does Patrick Bateman kill Paul Owen, chop him up, and stash him away in Owen’s Central Park apartment? Bateman kills Paul Owen and doesn’t kill him, or, affirmative evidence alludes both the reader and Bateman. Near the novel’s end Bateman reveals this point thus: “…there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there. It is hard for me to make sense on any given level. Myself is fabricated…” describes both the novel’s textuality, as well as, Bateman himself in his reflexivity, a confession without object.


WOMAN’S 260 CATS FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM HER HOME BY POLICE, ANIMAL CONTROL

A sign that reads, “I’m the Crazy Cat Lady. And this is the crazy cat house,” would no longer indicate what meowed within. Cats, approximately 260, resided with an unidentified Philadelphia, Pennsylvania woman until authorities intervened. Expectedly, the woman did not initially cooperate with police and Animal Control. According to a local source, removing the beasts took “all day.” The woman in question advised neighbors she operated a “cat rescue” service, a transparent ruse intended to lure the naïve public to donate their spare cats. Though authorities report wishing to, “Find the cats good homes,” they must first obtain legal custody to do so, which one expects would compound aggravation times number of cats in question. Neighbor Destiny Perez asserts: “My daughter has been scratched twice. They like bite and rub all over you. [And] some of them would sneak into the houses.” A representative from Animal Control authorized to comment has stated that the sheer number of cats involved, who legitimately need homes, will require considerable expansion of their current facility, making it a veritable cathouse.


DOCTORS TO TREAT CRITICAL TRAUMA PATIENTS DURING SUSPENDED ANIMATION

In a new experiment that recalls the 1990 Tim Robbins vehicle “Jacob’s Ladder”, doctors at Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA will put stabbing and gunshot victims in suspended animation by swapping the individual’s blood with saline solution. Doctors have opted to use saline solution instead of the superior coconut water, which has been used as a blood plasma substitute since WWII, because saline can withstand colder temperatures without freezing, which causes capillary degradation. The suspended animation process could buy time for critically wounded individuals who would otherwise succumb to their injuries.

The body in induced hypothermia requires less oxygen. Having experienced extreme trauma, in which case the disarticulated body (to whatever extent) may at normal temperature (37°C) and bleeding-out, has approximately five minutes before loss of blood pressure causes oxygen to not reach cells, which kills it. In the case of induced hypothermia, however, doctors may operate for up to about 45 minutes. Resuscitation is not especially straight-forward, though; the body, having been deprived of oxygen can become over-oxygenated, which causes cells to release toxin.

Hasan Alam of The University Of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor demonstrated the process on a pig in 2002 by sedating the animal, inducing a hemorrhage, exsanguinating said pig, replacing its blood with either chilled potassium or saline solution, while rapidly chilling it to 10°C. Upon replacing the pig’s blood and reheating, the heart typically resumed beating without assistance. Hasan and team noted neither impairment in the pig’s motor nor cognitive function upon bringing it back from the dead.

Read more at New Scientist


SNAKE WITH VESTIGIAL LEG DISCOVERED IN CHINA

A Chinese woman, Dean Qiongxiu, 66, discovered a snake scuttling along her bedroom room wall: scuttling, not slithering, because the snake had a semi-functional, clawed foot. Many varieties of snakes, especially the deformed, are considered good luck in China. Ms. Qiongxiu beat the snake with her shoe and promptly preserved it in a bottle of ethyl alcohol, which, evidently she had ready-to-hand.

The 16 inch snake is now under study at the Life Sciences Department at West Normal University in Nanchang. Snakes with multiple heads (normally two) are relatively more common than limbs, though such an occurrence is not unknown. Notably, the average snake has one head and no limbs; the rare mutation indicates the expression of dormant DNA from the snake’s ancestral forebear. Bi-cranial snakes tend to attack “each other.” A snake with a single limb will not likely survive long in the wild, as its vestigial limb impedes mobility, making it more vulnerable to predators …and shoes.


DNA ANALYSIS SHOWS PARACAS ELONGATED SKULLS ARE NOT HUMAN

DNA analysis has shown the elongated skulls of the Paracas people of Peru are not human. The two year study must be confirmed, but preliminary mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) shows neither commonality with contemporary humans nor Neanderthals and Denisovans. Paracas mtDNA differs from any hominid DNA yet known to science, those who elected skull elongation, such as Nazca neighbors and contemporary humans.

Elective skull elongation/deformation, though not common, occurred in Europe, Asia, Siberia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Central America, among the Chowtaw people of North America, and especially in Peru, among the Nazca from the late Bronze age until the 19th century. Until now, the Paracas peoples were believed to practice elective skull elongation. Morphological evidence suggests the Paracas skulls differ significantly from the neighboring Nazca people. The 3000 year old Paracas skulls (of which hundreds exist: many more than any other groups) have just one parietal plate. Contemporary humans and all other individuals with elongated skulls have two parietal plates joined by the parietal suture, which divides the skull into fused hemispheres above the corpus callosum. The Paracus skulls have no such suture: Paracas skullcaps are one piece rather than two skull plates fused together.

Skull elongation was performed as recently as the 19th Century in France, where, like all other elective skull elongations, pressure was applied to the skull with devices such as wooden contraptions or by head-wrapping. No one knows how skull elongation effects mental ability. Skull elongation was a status symbol. A child’s head was bound with cloth or fixed inside a wooden flattening device to reshape the skull, which is malleable like the moist clay of an earthenware pot. Though it is possible to reshape the skull relatively easily, it is not possible to change its cranial capacity. Paracas skulls differ from all other elongated skulls in this respect, as well, because they have 20% greater cranial volume than both other known elongated skulls and contemporary humans.

Due to the Paracas skulls’ consistently continuously round shape relative to other elongated skulls, their one-piece skullcap, and completely unknown mtDNA, one may surmise the skulls’ shape occurred naturally. The as-yet unnamed geneticist studying the skulls released a statement saying further DNA analysis is necessary to confirm the results. The Dallas, TX geneticist refuses to be identified so far, to avoid the inevitable deluge of queries about skulls’ possible alien origins. Such hypotheses are impossible to prove one way or the other because no confirmed alien DNA exists.

The Paracus skulls are both more numerous and older than any other groups’ elongated skulls, and a first round DNA analysis shows they are neither related to contemporary humans nor our hominid ancestors. By any conventional definition, notwithstanding further investigation, the individuals belonging to the elongated Paracas skulls are not, strictly speaking, human in any conventional sense.


LOVE LETTER TO ANDREA DWORKIN

While as walking down Jefferson St. teen feminists bit my hands pretty hard.


SELF-DESCRIBED FEMINIST APPROPRIATIVE PERFORMANCE

Tuesday night I viewed a performance at Grace Space (Bushwick, BK) in which two women read a text that rang a bell; it took me a few minutes to place it. The audience sat on two benches around the performance, in two semi-circles such that everyone who elected to sit on said benches (instead of the open areas in front) would see the performers’ backs. Clara and Jasmin sat facing each other reading a text, some kinda theory, a dense “not sure if kidding” kinda deal, with objects between them: lipstick, makeup, dildo (which each intermittently fellated, taking turns reading the text), maybe more objects… I sat on a bench, so my view of the performance was obstructed by the performers themselves. The function of the obstructed view interested me because one must consequently move to get a better view after the performance had begun, and necessarily choose to do so, or not. Most people stayed wherever they had initially sat down. As the benches were curved, no doubt some bench views were more direct than others (mine, for example). After a while, Clara and Jasmin stood up and removed their clothes, sat back down with their objects, and applied makeup to each other, during which time the text played on a recorder. After a few minutes I placed the text; I had, in fact, written it. I will admit to, prior to placing it, thinking, “I should read this. Is it ridiculous?” The text is a response to an article Clara and Jasmin recommended to me about an artist who appropriates works by other artists (and a writer, in fact, the writer of the particular article to which I responded), presenting various documentations and appropriations as art. In a gesture I can most easily suggest resembles Deleuze’s notion of productive repetition (or, the function of copying per se, see: Difference And Repetition), Clara and Jasmin “copied” Roisin Byrne’s impulse to a appropriate, working through their interest in the figure of The Parasite (a la Serres), adding supplements. The particular connotations: applying makeup to each other while as nude, fellating a dildo while as reading my appropriated text (which itself wasn’t intended to be more than a casual response to http://www.artandeducation.net/paper/we-are-parasites-on-the-politics-of-imposition/), choosing to read the text’s idiosyncratic punctuation (ellipses, asterisk for emphasis, rendered as ‘asterisk’, which implies a footnote), and adding (in the precise sense of Serres’ parasite, which interrupts), assertions like, “Daddy, will you buy me some makeup?” etc., surely a Lacanian connotation. Here is my response to Anna Watkins Fisher’s piece on Roisin Byrne they read.

At first glance Byrne’s work reminds of when I surreptitiously added objects to arrangements of objects on display at Gagosian’s midtown space (at some show or other), that look like they belong in the installation. Only the artist or a curator would’ve noticed my interlopers. I stopped, mostly, because I judged the impulse petty. Contextual or conceptual frame determines what is permitted (or not), which is extrinsic. It’s both vandalism and frames vandalism (or defacement), as such. These impulses betray a certain bad consciousness about that contextual and conceptual framing that regulates art’s ‘value’ because though one wishes to subvert the frame, getting attention for doing so wants to inscribe one into that circuit, as well. Byrne deploys parasite function in a reactionary mode, or perhaps as a content gourmand; that is, in the typical understanding of the term. Serres, on the other hand, argues the parasite, really, interruption, is essential to the thing itself, identity, discourse, though its representation ‘is’ typically suppressed some other hegemonic identity may arise (‘apparently’) positively through suppressed negation. So, when I added objects, I did not try to get attention. It amounted to vandalism one must notice (and likely quietly fix); it was just a gesture, and drawing attention would have defeated the point. Fisher mentions most writing about Byrne is about the ethics of stealing, forgery, so I’ll ask, how does the parasitic function Byrne deploys differ from forgery, à la Elmyr de Hory (check out “F For Fake” if you haven’t)? Does not the impulse lie in expectation of resistance to a kind of “Fourth Order Simulacra”? in which any distinction between the real and simulated not only no longer functions, the difference/reference to an original is not even legible. Warhol dealt with this when Gerard Malenga asked him to authenticate Mao paintings he (Malenga) had forged (having been caught by customs, in Italy). Warhol’s solution: authenticate the paintings; keep the money. We see the artist function disseminate through a particular mode of reification apparent in Late Capitalism that tends to render things (i.e. whatever) more-or-less interchangeable. Artists like, say, Rirkrit Tiravanija or Franco Mondini-Ruiz “deal with” (or work from this ‘open’ impulse) by counter-signing whatever what one may add or subtract from his installation, or even, appropriating other artists’ work into his own; respectively. We see it in Internet culture, too, ‘stealing’ images, disseminating, without attribution, etc. In my collage work I appropriate other artists’ work and place it next to whatever I wish to reframe both. But really, I just select whatever fascinates me or find curious, willy-nilly. Theorists often attribute intentionality to art where none exists, like in Fisher’s reading, which may apply a Feminist reading that Byrne subsequently short-circuits through its appropriation. Is the difference through which appropriation/what appears, perhaps on a surface level, as forgery depend on at what point one enters the market? Byrne seems to me to work the same way as de Hory or Malenga, except she enters the market as a primary, which is the essential difference. Whereas de Hory (in his bad consciousness) wished to trick the art world (and profit), and Malenga simply wished to profit (and reproducibility and attribution/signature is essential to Warhols) Byrne tricks artists, male artists. To that, I say, “So what.” An artist who she copies need only ‘sign’ her work (say, one of her reproductions) and sue her, claiming her as an unwitting fabricator. Thing is, what likely makes her pieces successful is the ease with which one may discuss what she does. The function matters, in its art context, not the thing itself. The question remains: what? in excess of her source material (work she parasites) arises? How exactly does her work differ from Richard Prince’s? (who I’ve enjoyed less, lately). The emphasis on her correspondence, a woman trolling male artists seems relevant enough, but to what extent is it relevant generally? About that I am uncertain. We should pay attention to Fisher’s language, too, ‘enticed’, for example. Apropos to the de Beauvoir quote, though men have done the same, how does her work function being a woman (vis-à-vis Feminism)? Did Fisher add the feminist question, its functioning as a supplement? Seems so to me… Conceding Fisher’s point, let’s ask, Is the work relevant because Byrne is a woman? to what extent may that reveal the artist-function is a boys’ club? The easiest (and possibly most revealing) way to tease out an answer: how angry are, and especially male, artists at her? in a way that they would not be at a man? Just because Byrne appropriates Fisher, does that single difference invalidate the Feminist reading, or do multiple readings sit alongside each other in tension? Matt Barney’s art practice relies almost solely on recontextualizing other artists’ works (basically art-historical mad-libbing) that amounts to elaborate self-portraiture. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, though. Insider art. If someone wants to watch The Cremaster Cycle as just weird and cool, that’s fine. If you don’t know that old guy throwing warm glycerine is Norman Mailer, it’s still fun, and that’s OK. (You don’t have to “get it”, and if you do, you realize there isn’t actually much to ‘get’, which fascinates me). Is that Barney’s main point that his work is essentially a parody of Greenbergian Art History post-Arthur Danto (notably, he doesn’t paint) essential to his being a man? And regarding Byrne’s not attributing (“stealing”) content from Fisher, it’s a common impulse. Damien Hirst is pretty notorious for outright stealing ideas from younger less established artists, saying simply, “Fuck ‘em!” Warhol openly stated that his friend whose name I can’t remember fed him ideas (which evidently his friend loved because he had no impulse to be an artist himself), saying something to the effect of, “What you do is look around at what everyone else is doing and you do the same thing, only better.” But my favorite example of this kind of impulse (very generally) is Larry Gagosian’s buying the lock from Chris Burden’s “Five Day Locker Piece” for $1500 as art artifact, which completely subverts Burden’s performance impulse. Byrne work like black hole, subsuming anything she wishes, to problematize the line between art and anything else, by for example, even consuming the discourse that could conceptually contain it, but I don’t think the work itself, does; it’s essentially her. Documentation and supplementary material exceed the ‘boundaries’ of the work. That is both a success as well as troublesome. Rirkrit accomplishes a similar end (à la Warhol) by irritatingly agreeing with anything anyone says about his work, in a particularly glib manner. His colleagues at once do not buy his manner, consistent assent, but will snub you for pointing out the emperor has no clothes on.”

childproof is (1) made for adults that only kids understand: lighter, rx cap, fence & playpen. (2) a band of weirds in brooklyn