When Hot Dogs Attack!

Kudos to the Fresno Bee who have informed the world about the Dastardly Spice and Sausage Attacker.

A burglar who broke into a home just east of Fresno rubbed food seasoning over the body of one of two men as they slept in their rooms and then used an 8-inch sausage to whack the other man on the face and head before running out of the house, Fresno County sheriff’s deputies said Saturday.

The victims, both farmworkers, told deputies they were awakened by a stranger applying “Pappy’s Seasoning” to one of them and striking the other with a sausage.

Burrimond said the money was recovered, but that the piece of sausage used in the attack was discarded by the suspect and eaten by a dog.

That’s right, the dog ate the weapon,” Burrimond said.

“I tell you, this was one weird case.”

You know, I said this would happen if they wound down the Guantanamo Bay camps.  All those highly trained interrogators with knowledge of advanced torture techniques and nowhere to practice them.

Exhibition: Francis Bacon retrospective, Tate Britain

Type Francis-Bacon painting into google images and you’re introduced to an austere, drab battleship gray or flesh-colored world of deformed human figures, limbs askew like broken marionettes, their heads grossly distorted or blemished.  In Bacon’s vision, human lines are twisted into beautiful yet disturbing shapes.  There is no chaos here; the draftsmanship is meticulously planned.

Bacon’s interest in motion echoes the preoccupations of the Futurists, but Bacon is obviously up to something more than portraying physical movement.  It is as if an artist took the photographic studies of Muybridge as a starting point, but did not feel constrained by the bounds of physical possibility.  Oil as a medium suggests dimensions that are not accessible by flesh.  Bacon took flesh beyond the limits of physical possibility, to a world limited only by the paints, the canvas, and the imagination.

Francis Bacon was born in 1909, and his life and career spanned most of the twentieth century.  His work was always striking and new, the figures crippled but violently alive and full of motion.  The centenary year approaches so the retrospectives have begun–the first at Tate Britain on Millbank, close to Pimlico tube station, from September 11th, 2008 to January 4th, 2009.  It’s worth popping along during the week if you can, to miss the crowds.

What on earth are they up to at CERN? New York Times gives an exclusive clue

Excuse my schooboy humor

Excuse my schooboy humor

Well even with the blatant attempts to awaken the beasts of the nether dimensions, I expect it would be a bit much to expect tentacle porn, but this is the next best thing.

The image was scanned from New York Times, March 29, 2008

I ripped it shamelessly from largehardoncollider.com and cropped it to a reasonable size.

Obviously I think CERN is up to a bit more than just a cheesy remake of The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife.  Goodness me, it’s a serious business, this Big Physics.  Chaps in hard hats and inscrutable bits of huge kit the size of cathedrals.  Well done those chaps, and good luck for the morrow.

Talking of this “size of a cathedral” trope that seems to be popular with journalists writing about the Large Hadron Collider, I wonder whether the CGPM will take steps to standardize this dimension.  I’d hate to see the CERN officials having to report failure because one team built according to the specifications of Chartres Cathedral and another team assumed Canterbury units.

Zapatero set to deliver on promise to fix Spain’s anomalous abortion laws.

The Associated Press reported last week that Spain’s Socialist government is set to reform the country’s anomalous abortion laws.  While abortion is legal in Spain and 100,000 abortions take place each year, the restrictive 1985 law is interpreted differently by different regions, so access to abortion is uneven.

The equality minister announced the appointment of an expert advisory panel, and says she expects new legislation to be introduced before July, 2009.   Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero‘s first government in 2004 introduced same-sex marriages but failed to deliver on a campaign promise of abortion law reform.  Since his re-election in March this year, Zapatero has been talking of finally tackling abortion.

The current law was introduced by Spain’s popular Socialist leader, Felipe González, in the first majority government after Spain’s transition from Francoism to a modern democracy.