Friday, February 27, 2009

FreakAngels by Warren Ellis & Paul Duffield

FreakAngels is a free, weekly, ongoing comic written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Feltlight Children: Pul(sew)idth's fabric synths (Korg MS 20)

Pulsewidth, and artist from Brisbane, Australia, creates fabric synthesizers from felt, cotton and wool stuffing. There's a big flickr gallery of Pulsewidth's work, and an etsy store where you may buy it.

I have put much time and love into these little things and tried to make them as close i could to the real versions. I hope you like them as much as i do.

If there is a special keyboard or guitar, pedal or amp (etc) that you would like to have a little felt version of, please email me with your request with some pictures and i can do my very best to make it tiny, cute, and felty.

Pul(sew)idth [Etsy via Technabob]

Electrically-Heated Pants


Yes, they exist. Unfortunately, they look like this:

February 26th, 2009 by Ally in Electronic Gadgets

There is nothing I loathe more than being cold, for some people overheating is worse. Typically it’s the overly scrawny that hate the cold, either way, for those that do hate the cold, there are now these incredibly brilliant pants. They aren’t the most fashionable pants out there and not exactly form fitting, but they’re heated. For those that were wondering, the pants shown in the photo are the women’s pants, I was a bit surprised to discover that one myself.

Then again not every female out there wants pants that fit like a second skin, so these loose fitting pants might be a breath of fresh air for some. They come in two different styles, one featuring the slightly plaid look and the other showing off plain gray. The pants have a safe electric current that heats the pant’s Thermo-Tex ink-printed liner. To control the temperature there is a small rechargeable battery pack that slips into your pocket. The pants also have mesh-lined vents to get rid of excess heat and insulation to provide extra warmth when the heater isn’t going. The pants used to be priced at $269, but are on sale for the still pricey $121.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Octuplets mother offered $1M porn contract

(02-25) 10:34 PST Los Angeles, CA (AP) --

The Southern California mother of octuplets is being offered $1 million to star in hardcore porn.

Vivid Entertainment spokeswoman Jackie Martin says the offer also promises a year of health insurance for Nadya Suleman and her 14 children.

Suleman gave birth to octuplets at a Bellflower hospital on Jan. 26, and already had six other children. The home the unemployed single-mother lives in is facing foreclosure.

Vivid says the offer was sent Tuesday via overnight mail and there has been no immediate response.

The offer letter says Suleman's video would be distributed under the Vivid-Celeb imprint, which has released videos starring Pamela Anderson and Kim Kardashian.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Recompute: A Sustainable Desktop Computer

by Bridgette Steffen

Computers are hard on the environment - from their materials and manufacture to their energy use and ultimate disposal. There are definitely some more energy efficient and eco-friendly models out there, but in order to make computers more sustainable, we need to completely rethink them. For this year’s Greener Gadget Design Competition, Brenden Macaluso decided to redesign the computer to make it’s whole lifecycle more sustainable. Featuring a slick cardboard case, his Recompute focuses on sustainability throughout the computer’s manufacturing, use and disposal, offering a fully functioning PC with off-the-shelf components.

The only materials required to manufacture Macaluso’s Recompute desktop computer are cardboard, non-toxic white glue and the computer components themselves. Standard computers on the other hand require numerous materials such as ABS plastic, aluminum, and steel, in addition to many energy-intensive manufacturing processes. This simple cardboard computer only requires die-cutting, printing, gluing and finally electronic assembly of three parts - the motherboard with processor and memory, a power supply, and a hard drive.

To use the computer, simply hook it up to your existing monitor, keyboard and mouse. You don’t need any special new hardware to run it, and for even more flexibility, there are 8 USB ports for external hardware customization. To dispose of the computer, you still need to send the electronic parts to be recycled properly as they contain heavy metals, but the cardboard is easy to remove and recycle. Recompute does not require any special tools to dismantle.

As for the specs of the computer, all of the components are off-the-shelf technology, including an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, and 2GB of RAM. While there could be some concern about heat, air flow, and possible ignition due to it being made of cardboard, the designer has taken this into consideration. Plastics begin to melt at 120°, whereas cardboard won’t burn until 258°. The goal of this new computer design is to minimize the use of processed materials, reduce labor and parts to manufacture it, and finally be able to more completely recycle a computer at the end of its useful life.

If you’re a fan of Recompute be sure to vote for it today in this year’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition! We’ll be using your votes to decide the top ten gadgets that will proceed to an exciting round of live judging at the Greener Gadgets Conference for $5000 in prizes.


+ Recompute

+ Greener Gadget Design Competition

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Simpsonize Me!

Have you ever wanted to be a character on the Simpson's!? Well The creators of the Simpson's and Burger King joined forces in honor of the Simpson's Movie a couple years ago and have made this possible! I feel that it's pretty accurate and a great way to kill some time. One fun thing about it is that you can have a blank background or have some scenery from the Simpson's show! Here's a couple that I made.

Make me a Muppet!

Have you ever pictured yourself as a character on the Muppet's? Well F.A.O Schwartz has the closest thing to it that I could find. You can buy them for $90! I think it would be a lot cooler to have a program (like Burger King has) that analyzes an image and creates options from that. But I'm not a programmer so I'll just sit back in my arm chair and wait for it I guess. Here's the one I thought kind of looks like me. I look a little jaundice ridden but I'll get over it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Agwa De Bolivia, coca leaf and herb liqueur

Agwa De Bolivia is a liqueur extracted from the coca leaf, which as you may have heard is the same plant that gives us chocolate, Coca-Cola, Chanel, and cocaine. While the manufacturer is certainly playing that angle up the most, the tincture is filled with a variety of head-buzzing herbs, including ginseng and guarana, both of which are likely culpable for any tweaked out feeling.

That its manufacturers call it an "Alco-Jolt" does little to imply that it's the sort of booze you savor, unless your idea of a classy cocktail is a Red Bull and moonshine tipple. According to Liquor Snob, it smells like Hai Karate and tastes like "you eat a big prune pie and wash it down with a can of Moxie, then swish it all away with Listerine." Which is to say they sort of liked it.

MLB urns and caskets for the seventh-inning slump-over

HOW TO: Make a Get Smart shoe phone

Paul Gardner-Stephen made a shoe-phone, last seen pressed against Don Adams' mug in Get Smart. Because spy gear is best hardened by transparency, Gardner-Stephen made this Instructable showing how he did it. Spoiler alert: You put a phone in a shoe. [via MAKE:]

The Phonophone Il iPhone: powerless iPod speakers, classic design and horn acoustics


The speaker system that uses no power is usually a travesty of audiphonics: the tinny sound of Bach reverberating through the fillings of a cavity-ridden back molar plucked from the inside of a skull and spread out across the room.

But Tristan Zimmerman, the designer of this wonderfully shaped iPod speaker systems, claims that his Phonophone Il iPhone is different: it exploits the science of horn acoustics to maintain rich sound while boosting the audio output of the standard earphone jack to 55 decibels... which is equivalent to the volume coming from a pair of laptop speakers.

That's respectable for a powerless solution, but not the kind of output that can be clearly heard over the screams and ululations of a night out at Club Rectum. But that's okay, because what the Phonophone really is is a wonderful throwback to the horn-and-conch of classical acoustic amplification. Visually, it's beautiful: a perfect shape captured in ebony and onyx. It looks Grecian, while at the same time conjuring a fondness for the living room aesthetics of the early jazz era with its geometry. It would just never fit in with Club Rectum's decor.

I love the look. But $600 is way too much to pay for any powerless speakers when I could be paying that for oscillating LEDs and bowel-evacuating bass.

Phonophone Il iPhone [Charles and Marie via Cult of Mac]

Major cache of fossils unearthed in L.A.

Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Volunteer Judy Scharf, left, assistant lab supervisor Trevor Valle and volunteers Pat Simun and Linda Wright carefully brush away dirt surrounding the pelvis of a mammoth at the Page Museum in Rancho La Brea. The mammoth, which museum researchers have named Zed, is among a colossal cache of fossils unearthed along L.A.'s Miracle Mile.
A nearly intact mammoth, dubbed Zed, is among the remarkable discoveries near the La Brea tar pits. It's the largest known repository of Pleistocene ice age fossils.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
February 18, 2009
Workers excavating an underground garage on the site of an old May Co. parking structure in Los Angeles' Hancock Park got more than just a couple hundred new parking spaces. They found the largest known cache of fossils from the last ice age, an assemblage that has flabbergasted paleontologists.

Researchers from the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea tar pits have barely begun extracting the fossils from the sandy, tarry matrix of soil, but they expect the find to double the size of the museum's collection from the period, already the largest in the world.

Photos: Major fossil cache in L.A.

Prehistoric discovery

Among their finds, to be formally announced today, is the nearly intact skeleton of a Columbian mammoth -- named Zed by researchers -- a prize discovery because only bits and pieces of mammoths had previously been found in the tar pits.

But researchers are perhaps even more excited about finding smaller fossils of tree trunks, turtles, snails, clams, millipedes, fish, gophers and even mats of oak leaves. In the early 1900s, the first excavators at La Brea threw out similar items in their haste to find prized animal bones, and crucial information about the period was lost.

"This gives us the opportunity to get a detailed picture of what life was like 10,000 to 40,000 years ago" in the Los Angeles Basin, said John Harris, chief curator at the Page. The find will make the museum "the major library of life in the Pleistocene ice age," he said.

Because of its need for haste, the team also is pioneering a new technique for extracting the fossils. Most paleontologists spend days to weeks carefully sifting through the soil at the site of a dig. In this case, however, huge chunks of soil from the site have been removed intact and now sit in large wooden crates on the museum's back lot. The 23 crates -- ranging in size from that of a desk to that of a small delivery truck -- are responsible for the excavation's informal name, Project 23.

The site of the old two-story parking garage, which was used by the now-defunct May Co. department store, is now owned by the Page's neighboring museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. LACMA had razed the building to construct an underground parking garage that would restore parkland above the structure.

The entire Rancho La Brea area at Hancock Park is a paleontological treasure chest. Petroleum from the once-massive underground oil fields oozed to the surface over the millennia, forming bogs that trapped and killed unsuspecting animals and then preserved their skeletons. It is now a protected site, although dispensation was granted to build the new garage.

Because of the historic nature of the area, the work had to be overseen by a salvage archaeologist. In this case, the work fell to Robin Turner, founder of ArchaeoPaleo Resource Management Inc. of Culver City, which previously had overseen work on other sites at or near the tar pits. Her group hit pay dirt when the excavation got about 10 feet below the surface.

"I knew we would find fossils . . . but I never expected to find so many deposits," Turner said. "There was an absolutely remarkable quantity and quality."

There were 16 separate deposits on the site -- an amount that, by her estimate, would have taken 20 years to excavate conventionally. But with LACMA officials prodding her "to get those things out of our way" so they could build their garage, she had to find another way.

Her solution was a process similar to that used to move large living trees. Carefully identifying the edges of each deposit, her team dug trenches around and underneath them, isolating the deposits on dirt pedestals. After wrapping heavy plastic around the deposits, workers built wooden crates similar to tree boxes and lifted them out individually with a heavy crane. The biggest one weighed 123,000 pounds.

"We designed a crate so that we could take out the entire deposit without disturbing it so that, at a later date, you could do a proper excavation as you would if it were still in the ground," she said.

In 3 1/2 months, working seven days a week, she and her colleagues removed the entire collection two years ago and delivered them to the museum. For some of the deposits, she said, they had to wear oxygen tanks with full gas masks because of unusually high levels of hydrogen sulfide escaping from the soil.

The only exceptions to the crating process were the mammoth named Zed and a horse skull. Because they were separate from the other assemblages, they were partially excavated and encased in plastic casts for cleaning in the museum -- the conventional technique for recovering fossils.

Curators are excited about Zed because he appears to be about 80% complete, missing only one rear leg, a vertebra and the top of his skull, which was shaved off by excavation equipment.

Curators collected 34 mammoths in the initial excavations of the La Brea tar pits from 1906 to 1914. "But they were all disarticulated bones, jumbled together," said paleontologist Christopher A. Shaw, collections manager at the Page. Mammoths on display at the museum are assembled from the bones of many animals.

Zed's tusks also are nearly intact -- another rarity since they are made of dentin, which is much more fragile than bones.

Zed's skeleton is now being cleaned in the museum's "fish bowl" preparation room, and the team of paleontologists and volunteers has so far completed only his jawbone and some vertebrae. All researchers know so far is that he stood about 10 feet tall at the hip and was 47 to 49 years old. Mammoths normally lived to about 60, so Zed died prematurely.

Curators have found three broken ribs that were healed before his death. He probably got them from fighting with other male mammoths, "or he was just clumsy as hell," said Shelley M. Cox, who is supervising the cleaning.

The team also has begun digging through the largest crate but has so far excavated only an area about 6 feet by 4 feet and about 2 1/2 feet deep. From that small area, they have so far removed a complete saber-tooth cat skeleton, six dire-wolf skulls and bones from two other saber-tooth cats, a giant ground sloth, and a North American lion. The tar has yielded more than 700 individual plant and animal specimens, 400 of which have been cataloged, Shaw said.

The team doesn't know the ages of the deposits yet. All previous specimens from Hancock Park date from 10,000 to 40,000 years ago, and there is no reason to suspect these will be any different, but each must be radiocarbon-dated.

Individual fossil deposits in the area generally cover a time span of about 2,000 years, Harris said, and deposits that are just a few feet apart can be separated in time by thousands to tens of thousands of years. "Hopefully, the 16 [new] deposits will have 16 different ages," Shaw said.

Prosecutor drops a charge in Pirate Bay case

Huge win for the Pirate Bay in the Swedish prosecution of the BitTorrent search engine: The prosecutor has dropped one of the major charges against the four men who run the Bay, IT World reports.

Prosecutors dropped a charge for aiding in the copying of copyright works, because they couldn’t prove copies of the content were made. The music industry blustered:

It’s a largely technical issue that changes nothing in terms of our compensation claims and has no bearing whatsoever on the main case against The Pirate Bay. In fact it simplifies the prosecutor’s case by allowing him to focus on the main issue, which is the making available of copyrighted works,” [industry lawyer Peter Danowsky] said in a statement.

Ummmm … “making available”? I have no idea what Swedish law says, although I believe European law comports with U.S. Copyright law, which pretty clearly has been interpreted as requiring an actual distribution. Read back on the fate of the “making available” theory here and here and here.

Evidence presented on Tuesday included screenshots showing computers were connected to The Pirate Bay’s tracker, or software that coordinates P-to-P (peer-to-peer) file sharing. But a majority of the screenshots show that The Pirate Bay was actually down at the time and that the client connections timed out. The clients, or peers, were still connecting with each other, but through a distributed hash table, another protocol for coordinating downloads unrelated to The Pirate Bay.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Alien life 'may exist among us'

By James Morgan
Science reporter, BBC News, Chicago

Could "shadow life" be lurking in the deep ocean?

Never mind Mars, alien life may be thriving right here on Earth, a major science conference has heard.

Our planet may harbour forms of "weird life" unrelated to life as we know it, according to Professor Paul Davies, a physicist at Arizona State University.

This "shadow life" may be hidden in toxic arsenic lakes or in boiling deep sea hydrothermal vents, he says.

He has called on scientists to launch a "mission to Earth" by trawling hostile environments for signs of bio-activity.

Weird life could even be living among us, in forms which we don't yet recognise, he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago.

"We don't have to go to other planets to find weird life.

"It could be right in front of our noses - or even in our noses," said the physicist.

"It is entirely reasonable to expect we will find a shadow biosphere here on Earth.

"But nobody has actually taken the trouble to look.

"The question is why? The cost is not expensive - it would be a fraction of the money we spend searching for extraterrestrial life."

'Second genesis'

Professor Davies was one of the speakers at a symposium exploring the possibility that life has evolved on Earth more than once.

How do we know we are dealing with separate Earth genesis and not a Mars genesis?
Professor Paul Davies,
Arizona State University

The descendants of this "second genesis" may have survived until today in a "shadow biosphere" which is beyond our radar because its inhabitants have biochemistry so different from our own.

"All our microscopes are customised for life as we know it - so it's no surprise that we haven't found microbes with different biochemistry," said Professor Davies.

"We don't quite know how weird life would look. It's as wide as the imagination and that's why it's really hard to look for."

If it exists, weird life could be based on DNA and RNA - but with a slightly different genetic code or different amino acids.

At the other end of the spectrum, we could find creatures which have more drastic differences.

"Maybe one of the elements life uses - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus - could be replaced by something else," said Professor Davies.

"When I say that, everyone immediately thinks of silicon life - because of Star Trek. But I'm not talking about anything that drastic.

"For example, most of the jobs that can be done by phosphorus can be done by arsenic."

Arsenic may be poisonous to humans, but it has chemical properties which might make it ideal in a microbe's machinery, he said.

'Mission to Earth'

So how do we go about hunting for something we have never seen before?

"There are two possibilities," said Prof Davies, Director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science.

Mono Lake in the US is home to arsenic-fuelled microbes

"One is that weird life is ecologically isolated, in niches beyond the reach of mankind."

In this case, we must begin trawling the world's most inhospitable environments - deserts, salt lakes, and areas of high pressure, temperature or UV radiation.

"We could have a 'mission to Earth'. There's a big long list of places we could be looking," observed Professor Davies.

"For example, if we are looking for arsenic life, we could head for environments which are both arsenic rich and phosphorus poor - such as deep ocean vents.

"There is also a heavily contaminated lake in California which is arsenic rich - Mono Lake - and we do find microbes in there which get their energy from arsenic.

"But they don't actually incorporate the arsenic into themselves. They spit it back out again. They smoke but they don't inhale."

On the other hand, it could be that "weird life" is actually all around us - intermingled with carbon based life.

"In that case it's going to be really hard to detect - you have to find some way of filtering everything else out."

This laborious process has been used to search for unknown organisms in seawater - by painstakingly filtering everything else away.

If we did discover something unprecedented, "we'd all start arguing" said Professor Davies, a theoretical physicist.

"The question would be whether this life was truly different, or whether there was a common precursor a deep branch on the main tree of life.

"Also, how do we know we are dealing with separate Earth genesis and not a Mars genesis?

"We know rocks do get traded between the two planets, and life could hitch a ride.

"Personally, I'm only interested in establishing whether life happened more than once. If we find it has happened twice from scratch then its going to have happened all around the universe.

"It's going to be teeming with life and there's a very good chance we are not alone."

Life in the lab

Another way to determine what alternative life might look like is to try to invent it ourselves.

If we can create new molecules which can behave in life-like way, we may then go out and look for these in the environment, says Professor Steven Benner, of the University of Florida.

His team have created perhaps the closest yet to a man-made alternative form of life.

"We are announcing the first example of an artificial synthetic chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution," he told the conference.

"Is it alive? Well, I can tell you that it is not self-sustaining.

"You have to have a graduate student stand there and feed it from time to time, but it is evolving."

The molecule is essentially a modified version of our own DNA double helix - but with six "letters" in its genetic alphabet, instead of four.

These nucleotides pair up in strands, which can replicate, though only with the help of polymerase enzymes and heat.

"Sometimes mistakes are made in pairing and these mistakes are maintained in the next generation - it is evolving," said Prof Brenner.

"The next step is to apply natural selection to it, to see if it can evolve under selective pressure.

"The accepted definition of life is a molecule capable of Darwinian evolution, so we are trying to put together molecules that are capable of doing it."

But he questioned whether our definition of "living" is perhaps too "Earth-centric".

"Remember - just because you are a chemical system which is self-sustaining and capable of Darwinian evolution, that doesn't mean that is the universal definition of life," he said.

Drug Erases Fearful Memories

Monday, February 16, 2009

A common drug can selectively target long-term memories better than other therapies.

By Emily Singer

A common blood-pressure drug can selectively dampen fearful memories, according to research published today in Nature Neuroscience.

The findings add support for a new approach to treating anxiety disorders: chemically blocking the emotional component of a memory as it is being recalled. In healthy volunteers, the drug was more effective than exposure therapy, one of the most common treatments for anxiety disorders, which involves repeatedly exposing patients to what they fear.

The research builds on preliminary tests in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which people who have experienced severe trauma, such as rape, are plagued by disturbing and uncontrollable memories of the event. "Anytime you can reduce the emotional component of a memory while leaving the other content intact is very exciting," says Seth Norrholm, a neuroscientist at Emory University, in Atlanta, who was not involved in the research. "We want patients to understand what triggers their fear without feeling the anxiety."

The findings also build on our understanding of memory, supporting the notion that even an old memory, once recalled, becomes labile and susceptible to alteration.

To create a memory, the brain moves information from short-term storage into long-term storage--a process called consolidation. Repeating a phone number soon after hearing it, for instance, uses short-term memory. But short-term memories are particularly vulnerable to interference; learning a second phone number shortly after the first is likely to wipe out the memory of the original number.

In recent years, scientists have discovered that the simple act of remembering a past experience requires that the memory be consolidated once again. And both animal research and some human studies have shown that during reconsolidation, long-term memories-- once thought to be fairly stable--can be more easily meddled with.

In the new experiment, researchers from the University of Amsterdam repeatedly showed healthy volunteers pictures of spiders, one image of which was followed by an electrical shock. As the person learned to link the spider with the shock, just seeing that picture triggered anxiety. Psychologist Merel Kindt and her colleagues assessed the emotional aspect of the memory by measuring how startled a volunteer was by a loud sound accompanying the picture. This "startle response" is linked to the emotional intensity of a memory and can be measured using the movement of the eye muscles as the volunteer blinks in surprise.

The next day, scientists tested the emotional association between the electric shock and the spider by measuring the volunteers' startle response after seeing the spider. During the tests, the researchers gave half of the group propranolol, a beta blocker that's been used for decades to control blood pressure, and the other half a placebo. On the third day, both groups remembered the link between the shock and the spider equally well: they both accurately reported when they expected to get a shock. But those who had been treated with the drug were less startled by sound accompanying the spider, suggesting that the emotional aspect of the memory had been dampened while the informational content was left intact.

The new findings build on decades of animal research that shows that the brain stores different types of memories in different areas. A brain region called the amygdala, often dubbed the brain's fear center, plays a central role in the storage of emotional memories. Research in animals suggests that propranolol, which blocks a certain molecule in the amygdala, interferes with reconsolidation by preventing the synthesis of proteins needed to store the memory.

Previous research has shown that propranolol can help PTSD patients. But the new study takes the work a step further, by comparing propranolol treatment with exposure therapy, commonly used with PTSD. With this treatment, patients repeatedly recall their traumatic memory in a safe environment, eventually learning to disassociate the memory from fear. "Exposure therapy is the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders," says Kindt. "But it's not successful for everyone, and patients relapse 20 to 60 percent of the time."

The researchers found that after exposure therapy (also called extinction), the fearful response to the spider could be rapidly brought back. But the same was not true for those treated with propranolol, suggesting that the memory was truly weakened or erased. "It shows that blocking reconsolidation is really different than extinction, which has been a matter of controversy," says Alain Brunet, a psychologist at McGill University, in Montreal, who has tested propranolol in PTSD patients but was not involved in the current study. Previous research suggests that exposure produces a new form of learning, rather than degrading the fearful memory. The fact that the original memory remains intact may explain the high relapse rates with this treatment, says Kindt.

Kindt's team has already tested whether the propranolol effect lasts longer than three days--a key requirement for therapeutic use--but she declined to give the results because they have been submitted for publication. Other scientists are testing additional drugs in animals to search for potentially more potent compounds. "Whether it's clinically going to be useful on its own, or perhaps in a cocktail of other agents that also dampen emotional state, only time will tell," says Todd Sacktor,a neurologist and scientist at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn.

While Kindt's study and others are promising, larger tests are required to determine how useful propranolol treatment will be, as well as the most beneficial conditions for delivery. Because the drug is widely available for other purposes, some PTSD patients have reported trying it on their own, with little success. It may be that the drug must be delivered under very controlled circumstances in order to work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

High Heels 'Improve Sex Life'

Thursday February 7, 2008

High heels not only lifts a woman's butt and makes her taller -- it also improves her sex life.

An Italian Urologist says her research shows two-inch heels improve pelvic floor muscles, assisting sexual performance and satisfaction.

Dr. Maria Cerruto -- who admits that she loves high heels -- says she studied 66 women under 50 years old and showed that electrical activity in their pelvic muscles improves when they held their feet at a 15 degree angle.

"Women often have difficulty in carrying out the right exercises for the pelvic zone," Dr Cerruto says, "and wearing heels could be the solution."

One can only wonder how this news will effect shoe-lover Carrie Bradshaw in the forthcoming "Sex and the City" movie.

Dr. Cerruto says tighter pelvic muscles can assist the functioning of the bladder, bowels and uterus.

The good doctor's advice: Take two Jimmy Choo's and call me in the morning.

"Loose" women to send knickers to Hindu group (Reuters Oddly Enough)

By Rina Chandran

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Thousands of Indians, many fuming over a recent assault on women in a pub, are vowing to fill bars on Valentine's Day and send cartons of pink panties to a radical Hindu group that has branded outgoing females immoral.

A "consortium of pub-going, loose and forward women," founded by four Indian women on social networking website Facebook has, in a matter of days, attracted more than 25,000 members with over 2,000 posts about the self-appointed moral police.

The women said their mission was to go bar-hopping on February 14 and send hundreds of pink knickers to Sri Ram Sena, the militant Hindu group that has said pubs are for men, and that women should stay at home and cook for their husbands.

The same Hindu group was blamed for attacking women in a bar in the southern city of Mangalore in January, an incident that sparked a national debate about women's freedoms in India.

Collection centers have sprung up in several cities, with volunteers calling for bright pink old-fashioned knickers as gifts to the Sri Ram Sena as a mark of defiance.

"Girl power! Go girls, go. Show Ram Sena... who's the boss," reads one post on Facebook from Larkins Dsouza.

There is a separate campaign to "Walk to the nearest pub and buy a drink (and) raise a toast," that has found supporters from Toronto to Bangkok to Sydney, with even teetotalers saying they will get a drink on Saturday to show solidarity.

"Though I don't promote smoking or drinking for both sexes, we definitely don't need hooligans telling us what to do and what not. Best of luck!," reads one post from Iftehar Ahsan.

There are more heated discussion threads as well that range from the limits of independence to religion and politics, reflecting the struggle facing a country that has long battled to balance its deep-rooted traditions with rapid modernization.

Growing numbers of young and independent urban women have become an easy target for religious fundamentalists and aging politicians trying to force traditional mores on an increasingly liberal, Western outlook.

Not to be outdone, the Sri Ram Sena, which has cautioned shops and pubs in southern Karnataka state against marking Valentine's Day, has promised to gift pink saris to women and marry off canoodling couples to make them "respectable."

(Reporting by Rina Chandran; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Miral Fahmy)

They call it Mellow Yellow? (Reuters Oddly Enough)

Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:48am EST


By Matthias Williams

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A hardline Hindu organization, known for its opposition to "corrupting" Western food imports, is planning to launch a new soft drink made from cow's urine, often seen as sacred in parts of India.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or National Volunteer Corps, said the bovine beverage is undergoing laboratory tests for the next 2 to 3 months but did not give a specific date for its commercial release.

The flavor is not yet known, but the RSS said the liquid produced by Hinduism's revered holy cows is being mixed with products such as aloe vera and gooseberry to fight diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Many Hindus consider cow urine to have medicinal properties and it is often drunk in religious festivals.

The organization, which aims to transform India's secular society and establish the supremacy of a Hindu majority, said it had not decided on a name or a price for the drink.

"Cow urine offers a cure for around 70 to 80 incurable diseases like diabetes. All are curable by cow urine," Om Prakash, the head of the RSS Cow Protection Department, told Reuters by phone.

Prakash, who is based in Hardwar, one of four holy Hindu cities on the river Ganges where the world's largest religious gathering takes place, said the product will be sold nationwide but did not rule out international success.

"It is useful for the whole country and the world as well. It will be done through shops and through corporates," he said.

The Hindu group has campaigned against foreign imports such as Pepsi and Coca Cola in the past, which it sees as a corrupting influence and a tool of Western imperialism.

The RSS was temporarily banned after a Hindu mob tore down a mosque in 1992 which lead to bloody religious riots.

The Shiv Sena, a hardline Hindu political party also known for attacking what it sees as threats to Indian culture such as Valentine's Day, started a similar initiative last year to appeal to its powerbase in Mumbai.

To promote the food of the native Marathi culture, the Shiv Sena said it was "making a chain like McDonalds" to sell a popular local fried snack.

(Additional reporting by Vipul Tripathi)

(Editing by Miral Fahmy)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Electric man power strip rag doll

Too adorable: this little rag-doll like electric man power strip pulses 110-volts of juice through his circulator system and out his limbs to keep your gadgets charged. It's $14.99, which is more expensive than a cheap strip picked up at Best Buy, but no where near as button cute.

Electric Man [Urban Outfitters via Technabob]

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bret Easton Ellis Quoted

Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles, California) is an American author. He was regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney. He is a self-proclaimed "moralist," although he is one of his generation's most controversial authors because of his excessively violent and sexually bizarre content. Although influenced by French literary giants like Flaubert and Balzac, Ellis' value as a novelist is more social than aesthetic, depicting the grotesque materialism, status obsession, and social transgression of affluent American youth in the 1980's. also employs their technique of linking novels with common, recurring characters. (wiki page)


He was born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles and raised in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley, the son of Robert Martin Ellis, a wealthy property developer, and Dale Ellis, a homemaker. His parents divorced in 1982. He was educated at The Buckley School, where he did not distinguish himself; then he took a music-based course at Bennington College in Vermont, which is thinly disguised as Camden Arts College in his novel The Rules of Attraction and his other books. He was a part-time musician in 1980s bands such as The Parents before his first book was published. Less Than Zero, a tale of disaffected, rich teenagers of Los Angeles, was praised by critics and sold well (50,000 copies in its first year). He moved to New York City in 1987 for the publication of his second novel.

The Rules of Attraction followed a group of sexually promiscuous college students, and sold fairly well, though Ellis admits he felt he had "fallen off", after the novel failed to match the success of his debut effort.

His most controversial work, the graphically violent novel American Psycho, was intended to be published by Simon & Schuster, but they withdrew after external protests from groups such as the NOW and many others due to the misogynistic nature of the book. The novel was later published by Vintage. Some consider this novel, whose protagonist, Patrick Bateman, is both a cartoonishly materialistic yuppie and a serial killer, to be an example of transgressive art. American Psycho has achieved considerable cult status.

His collection of short stories, The Informers, contains vignettes of wayward Los Angeles characters ranging from rock stars to vampires.

The novel Glamorama is set in the world of high fashion, following a male model who becomes entangled in a bizarre terrorist organization comprised entirely of other models. The book plays with themes of media, celebrity, and political violence, and like its predecessor American Psycho it uses surrealism to convey a sense of postmodern dread.

His most recent novel is Lunar Park, which uses the form of a celebrity memoir to tell a ghost story about the novelist "Bret Easton Ellis" and his chilling experiences in the apparently-haunted home he shares with his wife and son. In keeping with his usual style, Ellis mixes absurd comedy with a bleak and violent vision.

The Quotes


  • "I read it for the first time in about 20 years this year–-recently. It wasn't so bad. I get it. I get fan mail now from people who weren't really born yet when the book came out. I don't think it's a perfect book by any means, but it's valid. I get where it comes from. I get what it is. I know that sounds so ambiguous. It's sort of out of my hands and it has its reputation so what can you do about it? There's a lot of it that I wish was slightly more elegantly written. Overall, I was pretty shocked. It was pretty good writing for someone who was 19. I was pretty surprised by the level of writing."
- On Less Than Zero

  • "It might be my favorite book of mine. It was a very exciting time in my life. I was writing that book while I was at college. Sort of like the best of times, the worst of times. There was a lot of elation, there was a lot of despair. It was just a really fun book to write. I loved mimicking all the different voices. The stream of conscious does get a little out of hand. I kind of like that about the book. It's kind of all over the place. It's casual. It's scruffy. That's the one book of mine that I have a very, very soft spot for."
- On The Rules of Attraction

  • "I reread that book in the summer of '03. . . . And I hadn't looked at that book either since '91. And I was dreading it. I thought it was going to be a really terrible novel. Everything everyone had ever said about it was going to be true. . . . And I started reading it... and I was surprised. It was good. It was fun. It was not nearly as pretentious as I remember I wanted it to be when I was writing it. Not nearly as weighted down with the importance that I thought I was investing it with. I found it really fast-moving. I found it really funny. And I liked it a lot. The violence was... it made my toes curl. I really freaked out. I couldn't believe how violent it was. It was truly upsetting. I had to steel myself to reread those passages."
- On American Psycho
  • "It's definitely the book that I can tell—I don't know if other people can tell but I can tell as a writer–-is probably the most divisive that I've written. It has an equal number of detractors as it does fans. It doesn't really hold true with the other books. It was the one that took the longest to write, and the one that seemed the most important at the time. It's an unwieldy book... I like it."
- On Glamorama

  • “I like the idea of a writer being haunted by his own creation, especially if the writer resents the way the character defines him.”

  • "Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is a crock. Some people truly do not need to be here."

  • "Sex is mathematics. Individuality no longer an issue. What does intelligence signify? Define reason. Desire - meaningless. Intellect is not a cure. Justice is dead. "

  • “I feel like I'm not smart enough to answer the questions I'm asked.”

  • “I convinced myself I hadn't seen anything, ... I had done this many times before ... I was adept at erasing reality.”

  • “You simply didn't have to pay as much attention to things. The precise pose was no longer required.”

  • “I'm not a big believer in disciplined writers. What does discipline mean? The writer who forces himself to sit down and write for seven hours every day might be wasting those seven hours if he's not in the mood and doesn't feel the juice. I don't think that discipline equals creativity.”

  • “Mailer is a genius. He's the one I most connect with in terms of fiction — his range is so wide. That's the sort of boldness I aspire to.”

  • “It should have been written already,”

  • “We were all such Didion junkies in college that might still be the highlight of my career.”

  • “I hadn't published a book in six years so I didn't know what to expect. It has been going very well. They've all been packed.”

  • “Fun is what reading a book should be. I had fun writing it. I wanted a reader to be gripped but it shouldn't be a heavy experience.”

  • “As a writer you slant all evidence in favor of the conclusions you want to produce, and you rarely tilt in favor of the truth.”

  • “[Stepping out from the shadow of Psycho , and such other iconic works as Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction , has been difficult for Ellis.] I had spent 10 years working on an outline about a writer very much like myself, ... He was a fictional writer who had written fictional books, one about a serial killer. He'd had hard times, drug and alcohol problems, and had fathered an 11-year-old boy. Something was stopping me from writing the book. Then I thought, this guy has similarities to you, why don't you make him you?”

  • “The writer in the new novel is haunted by everything - his father, the things he wrote. American Psycho haunts me and it will be on my gravestone. That's why it is such an important part of Lunar Park .”

  • “I totally relate to Tom Cruise, ... He's not crazy, it's just the litany of the mid-life crisis.”

  • “I'm a believer that a book should exist on its own.”

  • “Writing a novel is not method acting and I find it easy to step out of it at cocktail hour.”

  • “Lunar Park came out of wanting to write a Stephen King novel. In 1989, I wanted to write two genre novels. I wanted to write a Stephen King novel and a Robert Ludlum novel. I loved those genres and those writers."
  • "I've always thought that as long as narrators are interesting, likability is not an issue."
  • "You can't stand over every reader, saying, "See this part here? That's supposed to be funny. You're not supposed to be so grossed out or so offended by it..."

Less Than Zero

  • "People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles."

  • "I come to a red light, tempted to go through it, then stop once I see a billboard sign that I don't remember seeing and I look up at it. All it says is "Disappear Here" and even though it's probably an ad for some resort, it still freaks me out a little and I step on the gas really hard and the car screeches as I leave the light."

The Rules of Attraction

  • "What does that mean know me, know me, nobody ever knows anybody else, ever! You will never know me. "

  • "...and it's a story that might bore you but you don't have to listen, she told me, because she always knew it was going to be like that, and it was, she thinks, her first year, or actually weekend, really a Friday, in September, at Camden, and this was three or four years ago, and she got so drunk that she ended up in bed, lost her virginity (late, she was eighteen) in Lorna Slavin's room, because she was a Freshman and had a roommate and Lorna was, she remembers, a Senior or Junior and usually somestimes at her boyfriend's place off-campus, to who she thought was a Sophomore Ceramics major but who was actually either some guy from N.Y.U., a film student, and up in New Hampshire just for The Dressed to Get Screwed party, or a townie."

  • "I only had sex with her because I'm in love with you. "

  • "A great numb feeling washes over me as I let go of the past and look forward to the future. Pretend to be a vampire. I don't really need to pretend, because it's who I am, an emotional vampire. I've just come to expect it. Vampires are real. That I was born this way. That I feed off of other people's real emotions. Search for this night's prey. Who will it be?"

  • "Got you. You're mine now. For the rest of the day, week, month, year, life. Have you guessed who I am? Sometimes I think you have. Sometimes when you're standing in a crowd I feel those sultry, dark eyes of yours stop on me. Are you too afraid to come up to me and let me know how you feel? I want to moan and writhe with you and I want to go up to you and kiss your mouth and pull you to me and say "I love you I love you I love you" while stripping. I want you so bad it stings. I want to kill the ugly girls that you're always with. Do you really like those boring, naive, coy, calculating girls or is it just for sex? The seeds of love have taken hold, and if we won't burn together, I'll burn alone."

  • "And it struck me then, that I liked Sean because he looked, well, slutty. A boy who had been around. A boy who couldn't remember if he was Catholic or not."

American Psycho

  • "ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, "Be My Baby" on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so."

  • "…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, an aberration. I am a non contingent human being. My personality is sketchy and unformed, my heartlessness goes deep and is persistent. My conscience, my pity, my hopes disappeared a long time ago (probably at Harvard) if they ever did exist. There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed. I still, though, hold on to one single bleak truth: no one is safe, nothing is redeemed. Yet I am blameless. Each model of human behavior must be assumed to have some validity. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this—and I have countless times, in just about every act I’ve committed—and coming face-to-face with these truths, there is no catharsis. I gain no deeper knowledge about myself, no new understanding can be extracted from my telling. There has been no reason for me to tell you any of this. This confession has meant nothing…."

  • "I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning"

  • "I'm into, oh murders and executions mostly. It depends."

  • "There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing. "

  • "A curtain of stars, miles of them, are scattered, glowing, across the sky and their multitude humbles me, which I have a hard time tolerating. She shrugs and nods after I say something about forms of anxiety. It's as if her mind is having a hard time communicating with her mouth, as if she is searching for a rational analysis of who I am, which is, of course, an impossibility: there... is... no... key."

  • "'What you need is a chick from Camden,' Van Patten says, after recovering from McDermott's statement.

    'Oh great,' I say. 'Some chick who thinks it's okay to fuck her brother.'

    'Yeah, but they think AIDS is a new band from England,' Price points out.

    'Where's dinner?' Van Patten asks, absently studying the question scrawled on his napkin. 'Where the fuck are we going?'

    'It's really funny that girls think guys are concerned with that, with diseases and stuff,' Van Patten says, shaking his head.

    'I'm not gonna wear a fucking condom,' McDermott announces.

    'I have read this article I've Xeroxed,' Van Patten says, 'and it says our chances of catching that are like zero zero zero zero point half a decimal percentage or something, and this no matter what kind of scumbag, slutbucket, horndog chick we end up boffing.'

    'Guys just cannot get it.'

    'Well, not white guys.'"

  • ""Hip," I murmur, remembering last night, how I lost it completely in a stall at Nell's---my mouth foaming, all I could think about were insects, lots of insects, and running at pigeons, foaming at the mouth and running at pigeons."

  • ""Hello, Halberstam," Owen says, walking by.
    "Hello, Owen," I say, admiring the way he's styled and slicked back his hair, with a part so even and sharp it... devastates me and I make a mental note to ask him where he purchases his hair-care products, which kind of mousse he uses, my final guesses after mulling over the possibilities being Ten-X."

  • "Disintegration---I'm taking it in stride."

  • "And though the coldness I have always felt leaves me, the numbness doesn't and probably never will. this relationship will probably lead to nothing... this didn't change anything. I imagine her smelling clean, like tea..."

  • "I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip."

The Informers

  • "Just read this fabulous screenplay. A remake of Camus's The Stranger with Meursault as a bi break-dancing punk rocker. Randy showed it to me. I loved it. Randy thinks "basically unfilmable" and that filming an orange rolling around a parking lot for three hours would draw a bigger audience."

  • "I keep feeling that people are becoming less human and more animalistic. They seem to think less and feel less so that everyone is operating on a very primitive level. I wonder what you and I will see in our lifetimes. It seems so hopeless yet we must keep on trying ... I guess we can't escape being a product of the times, can we?"


  • "The better you look, the more you see."

  • "We'll slide down the surface of things..."

  • "'As a genereal rule you shouldn't expect too much from people darling,' and then i kiss her on the cheek.

    'I just had my makeup done, so you can't make me cry.'"

  • Specks—-specks all over the third panel, see?—-no, that one—-the second one up from the floor and I wanted to point this out to someone yesterday but a photo shoot intervened and Yaki Nakamari or whatever the hell the designer's name is—-a master craftsman not—-mistook me for someone else so I couldn't register the complaint, but, gentlemen—-and ladies—-there they are: specks, annoying, tiny specks, and they don't look accidental but like they were somehow done by a machine—-so I don't want a lot of description, just the story, streamlined, no frills, the lowdown: who, what, where, when and don't leave out why, though I'm getting the distinct impression by the looks on your sorry faces that why won't get answered—-now, come on, goddamnit, what's the story?

Lunar Park

  • "You do an awfully good impression of yourself."

  • "I hear today's college women are 'prodigious.'"
    "Prodigious? Is that what you heard?"
    "Well, I read it in a magazine. It was something I wanted to believe."
    "The Jayster. Always a dreamer."

  • "Look how black the sky is, the writer said. I made it that way."

Losy Highway Synopsis

A very good and thorough synopsis of David Lynch's mindf@#k movie

Lost Highway
A re-post from

This is an incredible source of analysis, information and interpretation
A 21st Century Noir Horror Film

A graphic investigation into parallel identity crisis.

A world where time is dangerously out of control.

A terrifying ride down the Lost Highway.

(David Lynch, 21 June 1995)

A mesmerizing meditation on the mysterious nature of identity, LOST HIGHWAY is the latest film by David Lynch, creator of such modern masterworks as THE ELEPHANT MAN, BLUE VELVET and WILD AT HEART. Starring Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Loggia and Robert Blake, the film expands the horizons of the medium, taking its audience on a journey through the unknown and the unknowable. Radical, even for a Lynch film, LOST HIGHWAY is not only about the human psyche, it actually seems to take place inside it.

Set in a city that looks suspiciously like Los Angeles but which is actually a place of Lynch's own imagining, LOST HIGHWAY – like LA – is both blazingly modern and resolutely retro in look and feel. Dubbed by Lynch and Gifford "a 21st-century noir horror film," the film draws its plot, or rather, its plots, from classic film noirs filled with desperate men and faithless women, expensive cars and cheap motels.

From this inventory of imagery, Lynch fashions two separate but intersecting stories, one about a jazz musician (Pullman), tortured by the notion that his wife is having an affair, who suddenly finds himself accused of her murder. The other concerns a young mechanic (Getty), drawn into a web of deceit by a temptress who is cheating on her gangster boyfriend. These two tales are linked by the fact that the women in both are played by the same actress (Arquette) and may, in fact, be the same woman. The men in each are connected by a mysterious, mind-blowing turn of events that calls into question their very identities.

Unfolding with the logic of a dream, which can be interpreted but never explained, LOST HIGHWAY is punctuated by a series of occurrences that simply can't have occurred: one man turns into another; a woman who may be dead seduces the man who might have killed her; a man phones himself and - inexplicably - is at the other end of the line to receive his own call! As post-modern noir detours into the realm of science fiction, it becomes apparent that in LOST HIGHWAY, the only certainty is uncertainty. That, and the fact that David Lynch remains one of the most distinctive and fascinating artists working in film today.

At its outset, LOST HIGHWAY appears to be the story of Fred Madison (Pullman), a successful jazz musician married to Renee, a beautiful brunette who seems strangely withdrawn. A disturbing study of contemporary marital malaise, this chapter of the film explores Fred's escalating anxiety and insecurity as he begins to realize that Renee may be leading a double life. He has much cause for concern: though Renee says she will be waiting for him while he is out performing, Fred's call home is unanswered and her bed lies empty. One night he escorts her to a party hosted by a vaguely unsavory man, Andy (Michael Masee), whom he has not met before, and Renee is less than candid about how she came to know Andy and his crowd.

At the party, Fred has an alarming encounter with a strange gnome-like man (Robert Blake, identified in the film's credits as "The Mystery Man"), who insists that he has met Fred before and has even been in his home. The "Mystery Man" then proceeds to place a call to Fred's house and somehow manages to be at the other end of the line to take his own call. This shocking confrontation with the impossible - a person who seems to be in two places at once - forces Fred (and the viewer) to ask certain questions: Why does Fred suddenly feel like a stranger in his own life? Why does he know so little about his own wife? Why has he no recollection of encounters that would seem to be unforgettable? And, who is sending him those mysterious videos that indicate that someone has access to his home, and has been recording Fred and Renee's intimate moments?

Before Fred can decipher any of these strange occurrences, something even stranger happens. In a flash, Renee's bloodied corpse is found in their bedroom. Though Fred has no memory of the events that led to her death, he is the sole suspect. In fact, given his recent mental lapses, he could be the killer. The police apparently subscribe to that theory and Fred, in short order, is arrested, tried, convicted, and incarcerated.

Layering yet another mystery upon these mysteries, Lynch next takes his boldest storytelling leap: one day, during a routine cell-check, Fred is missing. In his place is a young man, Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty), who has a conspicuous wound on his head and who, like Fred before him, has no recollection of the immediate past. The authorities can't begin to understand how Fred escaped a maximum security prison or how Pete gained entry. Ultimately, they are forced to release Pete, who has no visible connection to either Fred or to Renee's death.

At this point, LOST HIGHWAY becomes Pete's story, and we soon learn that he is an auto mechanic with a girlfriend, Sheila (Natasha Gregson Wagner), parents (Gary Busey, Lucy Butler), and a wealthy client, Mr. Eddie (Robert Loggia), who is probably a gangster and who will let no one but Pete service his valuable cars. Still disoriented from his "blackout," Pete has a chance encounter with Mr. Eddie's sultry blonde mistress, Alice (also played by Patricia Arquette), and before long he finds himself embroiled in a torrid affair with another man's woman - a woman about whom he knows nothing and who, like Renee, appears to be leading a double life.

In keeping with the Moebius strip concept, Pete's story is virtually the inverse of Fred's: one man is a middle-aged artist who lives comfortably in the hills above the city, the other a youthful laborer from the blue-collar row-houses in the valley. Fred loses his woman to another man, Pete steals another man's woman. Yet, for all these differences, these two men function as each other's alter egos and their common, uncommon experiences in confused identity, memory loss, depersonalized sex and, ultimately, betrayal and death, are equivalent. "They're living the same relationship," observes Lynch, "but they're living it in two different ways. They're victims in different ways, in both worlds."

The "transformation" of Fred into Pete, which combines the fancy of Lewis Carroll with the phantasmagoria of Franz Kafka is, perhaps, the defining aspect of LOST HIGHWAY in that it denies the audience something they get from most other movies - a literal explanation. (Lynch even taunts the audience in a scene at Pete's home during which he asks his parents what happened to him and his father, eyes brimming with tears, refuses to answer. The implication is that the father has an explanation, but can't bring himself to utter it. Perhaps this is Lynch telling us that he, too, has an answer but that we, like Pete, will have to find it on our own.)

It is tempting, while viewing LOST HIGHWAY, to make something linear and literal out of Lynch's Moebius strip. For instance, one could say that Renee and Alice are actually the same woman, with Renee donning a blonde wig and sneaking off while Fred is working to cavort with Mr. Eddie, Andy and Pete. "The only problem," Lynch reminds us, "is that Renee was already killed." One could also try to explain the Fred/Pete phenomenon in strictly psychoanalytical terms. Lynch points out that there is an actual psychological malady called "psychogenic fugue" that "fits Fred Madison perfectly. When Barry and I were working we didn't know the term, but it's when a person suddenly takes on a completely different personality, different friends, everything."

In many ways LOST HIGHWAY is about psychogenic fugue. (Furthermore, the musical term "fugue," which is defined as "a musical form composed for multiple instruments or voices in which the subject is announced in one voice and then developed by another," is highly applicable to the film.) However, if psychogenic fugue were Fred's problem - if it were simply that he had developed a new identity for himself - how would one explain a new family, new body, and new fingerprints?

Easy explanations aside, Lynch maintains that the answers are nonetheless there. "There are explanations for a billion things in life that aren't so understandable, and yet inside - somewhere - they are understandable. There are things that happen to people that can be understood in terms of jealousy, or fear, or love. Maybe not in a rational, intellectual way." Lynch insists that the Fred/Pete "transformation" and other such occurrences "are not inexplicable." He continues: "It's like when you are sitting alone, you sometimes have the feeling that there are different parts of you. There are certain things that you can do and there are certain things that you would never do unless there was a part of you that took over. So, in a way, it's kind of logical."

Here, it is crucial to point out that grappling with LOST HIGHWAY's unusual plot will only take the viewer so far. In the end, the film is no more about its "story' than it is about its unique style. Rather, it must be seen in its totality – a complete integration of music, painting, architecture, poetry and drama that fuse to form a spectacle that is grander than the sum of its parts.