Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Noir: Vacuum Sealed Love

Some couple try all kinds of romantic tricks to keep love alive for longer, but Japanese photographer Haruhiko Kawaguchi takes a more literal approach – he wraps people in plastic wrap, sucks out the air and takes photos of their distorted bodies.
The bizarre images of people huddled together in weird positions, in vacuumed plastic wrap may look like stills from a a sado-masochistic practice, but they are Haruhiko Kawaguchi way of showing and preserving the love between two people. His project, “Flesh Love”, is pretty straightforward. Two people, usually couples, are “packaged” in a 100 by 150 by 74 centimeters plastic bag the artist buys from the Internet. After carefully arranging their body parts so he can get the best shot, Kawaguchi uses an old vacuum cleaner to suck out all the air and make the subjects look like a pack of packaged meat you buy at the supermarket. It takes about 10 to 20 seconds for hit to take the photographs, during which time the shrinkwrapped couple has to endure the pressure and lack of air. But it’s all in the name of love.

Love is the source of everything, according to Haruhiko, who like to be called Hal. A man who accumulates wealth does is out of love for his wife, or for expensive cars. People go to war out of love for power, or out of love for their country or their own life. So he feels proud to be able to capture the hottest, greatest moment of love, when the lovers are welded together in plastic wrap. If one of them dies, or if they break up, there is still this photo of their immortalized love.

The magic happens of the kitchen floor of Hal’s Tokyo apartment, under the watchful eyes of the artist and his American girlfriend, Katherine. Photo subjects are covered with lubricant so the skin doesn’t burn when the plastic presses upon it as all the air is sucked out. Still, the sensation isn’t very pleasant – the plastic seals off your nostrils, presses on your eyelids and the ears pop as if you’re diving into deep water too fast. Kawaguchi says he’s so far photographed about 80 couples for Flesh Love, and there have been some accidents. It’s the men who panic the most, he says. Four or five of them started struggling for air while in the bag, and one even peed in his pants, but none of them were able to break the plastic bag from the inside. But there have been no major incidents, and the artist always has oxygen sprays nearby.

Noir: GAGA and Sheen WINNING for Rodriguez

The casting for Machete Kills, the Robert Rodriguez follow-up to the original Machete(itself springing from the faux Grindhouse trailer) is gathering apace and the ltest news is that none other than controversial rock star Lady GaGa has a role in the film.
Though there was initially some suspicion that it was a joke, Rodriguez confirms that GaGa will be playing the role of La Chameleon in the film and tweeted the poster image of her in full - as subtle as ever - costume. Interestingly, the role was first linked to the actor Cuba Gooding Jnr (still rumoured to be in the film) so it may be a case of dual identities or disguises.
The singer joins an already eclectic cast which already includes Danny Trejo (in the title role once more),  Mel Gibson, Sofia Vegara, Amber Heard, Michelel Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos, Vanessa Hudgens, Jessica Alba, Alexa Vega (whom Rodriguez directed as a child in Spy Kids), Jessica Alba and supposedly Charlie Sheen as the US President.
The sequel sees the US president hire Machete to take down a Mexican arms-dealer with designs on launchingg a deadly weapon into space.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Noir: Mr. Bulgam Bhai (Mr. Sputum)

PATNA, India – Perched high on a rooftop amid the pollution and noise of a vibrant Indian city, a new kind of superhero listens for signs of the enemy.
His ears tuned to an array of elaborately curved trumpets, Bulgam Bhai strains to hear the ever-present danger and then pounces. When an Indian coughs, this jocular public health avenger — all candy stripes and waxed mustache –- appears in a flash with a potentially life-saving question:
“Has it been two weeks?”
A persistent cough of more than two weeks can indicate tuberculosis. An estimated 330,000 Indians die each year from TB, according to the World Health Organization, and more than 2 million become infected.
Bulgam Bhai –- his appetizing name means Mr. Sputum in Hindi –- is part of a delightful public service campaign to convince more Indians to visit a clinic or lab if their coughs turn pernicious.
Most cases of tuberculosis are easily curable. Bulgam Bhai’s goal is to spread word f the ready availability of testing and treatment, says Dr. Sarabjit Chadha, project director at Project Axshya which, along with the BBC World Service Trust, created the engaging superhero. (Project Axshya is part of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.)
The Bulgam Bhai campaign ran on television and radio in 300 districts of 21 Indian states between February and March, with a potential audience of 234 million people, and was restarted again in July. A nationwide toll-free helpline received more than 1,600 calls during the ad’s first 30 days on the air.
“The campaign was primarily focused on creating awareness about symptoms of TB (i.e. 2 weeks of cough) and the call for action (sputum examination) in the community,” Dr. Chadha said via email. “Preliminary findings suggest that the campaign has been able to achieve the viewership. The response on the advert from the community including physicians has been extremely positive and encouraging.”
India needs more such campaigns, which harness to the public good the infectious humor and imagination of an advertising industry that’s usually devoted to selling products like cars and — much less delightfully — skin-whitening cream.
Bulgam Bhai couldn’t come at a better time.
Even as tuberculosis rates are falling in India and across most of the world, Indian doctors this year announced the first cases of a TB strain that is totally resistant to all antibiotic treatment. Government officials first denied these reports, the Wall Street Journal reported last month, and later – quietly – confirmed them.

Noir: Z.E.R.O.

Zombie Extermination, Research and Operations 

Imagine: You half-hear a low, guttural sound from outside as you lay sleeping. You figure it's just your stomach after too much delicious Mexican food...image but a sudden thud on the outside wall of the house shakes you from a peaceful slumber. Deep within the primal centers of your brain, you realize the dead have risen to claim our once-peaceful realm. What do you do? What do you need?

Z.E.R.O. Zombie Kit The dead have risen, and they've returned as something different. Those you were once closest to now hunger for your flesh, and possibly the Mexican food you had for dinner.
There is no room for error when dealing with the undead. Our Z.E.R.O. (Zombie Extermination, Research and Operations) Kit takes into account all the different aspects of surviving the looming zombie apocalypse. When the undead hordes rise from their shallow graves to wreak havoc on all decent civilization, you'll need to both fight back (Extermination), and find a cure (Research).
Always be prepared. In the new zombie world you can be king of the hill, or the tastiest treat in town.
Life Post Zombie Apocalypse is Harsh...Survive it!
First, as in any disaster, whether it is a hurricane, blizzard, alien invasion or giant lizard attack, you need basic survival gear. Fighting back will be necessary as well, but you have to survive the elements and everyday hazards before you can mount an offensive.
Stanley First AidStanley First Aid treats bite wounds, scratches & more.
You're sure to get a few cuts and bruises along the way so you need good first aid. The Stanley Personal Protection Large First Aid Kit will help you stop bleeding and take care of other wounds in no time. Zombies don't have the best eyesight, but their sense of smell is on par with a bloodhound's. There's no scent as irresistibly alluring as blood, so make sure you clean and dress wounds when they happen. In addition to keeping zombie hordes from tracking you, treating wounds will prevent infection.
BlackHawk SOLAG GlovesPunching zombies is the most fun you can have, but only with BlackHawk SOLAG Gloves.
Preventing scrapes is the best way to keep blood from attracting zombies, so covering exposed skin with protective gear is essential.Blackhawk S.O.L.A.G. Kevlar Gloves keep hands safe from normal cuts, and the reinforced stitching stops zombie teeth from ripping through flesh and turning a healthy human into the enemy. Best of all, the molded knuckle protectors let you put a hard jab straight down the gullet of a walking dead monster in the event you're unarmed.
Don't Lose Your Head, Don't Miss Your Shot, and Don't Get Lost.
5.11 Tactical Field Ops WatchWatch It! The 5.11 Tactical Watch helps you take the perfect shot and get moving fast.
Knowing your surroundings and where you're going is essential to survival in any setting. Make sure you're wearing the 5.11 Tactical Field Ops Watch, which not only tells time, but also has a digital compass so you know your bearings. The integrated SureShot calculator gives you shooting solutions out to 1000ft so that you don't need to carry one when you're taking headshots out from 300 meters to save a loved one's life. Zombies send panic through the hearts of even the most hardened men, so let the 5.11 Tactical Watch take the guesswork out of your long distance shots.
OPMOD PVS-14 Night Vision Scope Thermal-Eye X-50 Thermal Imaging CameraThermal Vision and Night Vision will prove essential for identifying the zombie menace in darkness.
In addition to knowing where you are, seeing what's around you will definitely help you survive when a chomping, cadaverous fiend comes for a reckoning. For late night viewing, the OPMOD PVS-14 Night Vision Scope will let you peer into the darkness. When patrolling your camp in pitch blackness you have to be absolutely certain you can see everything, but at a distance it can be difficult to differentiate between an injured human and a zombie. For this we added the Thermal-Eye X-50 Thermal Imaging Camera. As we all know, rising from the grave expels most of the heat from a zombie, leaving behind only faint warmth in the lower extremities. So if you view a stumbling figure with warm feet and a cold head, you know to take the shot. Just as the 5.11 Tactical Watch lets you calculate elevation compensation for long shots, the thermal imager helps you shoot with the confidence, knowing you're only going to re-kill the undead.
No one survives long without batteries. People are going to loot stores for all the batteries they can find when the dead rise, so stock up now with the SureFire 123A Lithium Battery Box. Ten or twenty batteries might be nice to have, but you're not planning on living for just a few months, you're going to live a full lifetime. The included SureFire battery box has FOUR HUNDRED batteries. They're going to prove to be one of the most valuable forms of currency in the post-zombie world. While we only included one box in our Z.E.R.O. Kit, you might want to pick up a couple extra, plenty for yourself and plenty for trading. Just a few boxes could make you one of the richest men in the world!
Brunton SOLARIS Portable Solar Panel Battery ChargerCombine the outstanding charging power of the Solaris with its unique ability to distract zombies.
If you do run out of batteries and need to power your kit, a solar charger can become your best friend. Zombies have many horrifying abilities, but the one thing they can't do is blot out the sun, so when you set up the powerful Brunton SOLARIS Portable Solar Panel Battery Charger you'll enjoy 62 watts of power, which will keep your precious electronics working long after the power grids have shut down. As a side benefit, if a zombie attacks you near the solar charger you can yell out, "Left hand on Green!" and the zombie will forget your brains and focus on completing the task given them.
SureFire Benelli Forend LightThe SureFire Benelli Forend Light for shotguns turns a regular shotgun into a Zombie Destroyer!
While the hunger for human flesh overrides nearly all zombie impulses, certain childhood memories will temporarily replace their hunger. This is a short-lived solution though, as zombies can't tell right from left, and the resulting frustration will send them into a rage.
Give the Undead Nightmares by Taking the Fight to Them!
Once you've gathered your basic survival gear together, you need to think about how you're going to dispatch those creeping, gnawing, nearly unkillable monsters. Your rifle, shotgun and handgun (one gun will not keep you alive long) need to be enhanced for maximum zombie-slaying effectiveness.
Zombie Stopper Holographic Weapon SightThe Zombie Stopper strikes fear into the hearts of undead creatures.
Let's start with the bread and butter of any zombie-fighter: the shotgun. Zombies are only dangerous at close range, and they often stand idly until a delicious human comes along. If you're clearing a house at night and a zombie steps around a corner you need to see exactly what you're shooting at, and the SureFire Benelli M1 Super 90 Forend Weaponlight provides a bright 120 lumens of light without changing your grip or weighing down your shotgun. It uses the Lithium 123A batteries from the SureFire Battery Box, so you won't need to worry about power. It's both super durable and powerfully bright. This will give you plenty of light to see those lifeless eyes roll back once you've given your zombie attacker peace.
While you need to see if a zombie is hunting you in the blackness of night, to turn the tables and go from hunted to hunter you need the absolute best in rifle scopes and red dot sights. Enter EOTech and their Zombie Stopper Holographic Weapon Sight. This red dot sight gives you an appropriately zombie-themed reticle, and placing that biohazard design on a ghoulish skull will help steel you to always take the shot without hesitation. Even if you're using the Zombie Stopper for hunting food it will always serve as a reminder that you must be aware of your surroundings.
Little known fact: zombies love the woods. If you're hunting deer to feed your family keep in mind that a walking creature of the night could pop out from behind any tree or bush and make a feast of your brain.
Crimson Trace Zombie Edition Laser GripDon't rely on a non-zombie specific laser grip.
When a large herd of zombies is converging on your position you may not have time to reload your rifle or shotgun and may need to quickly transition to your sidearm. Since speed is of the essence it's best to have a laser grip on your Glock (the best zombie-slaying handgun). The Crimson Trace Zombie Edition Laser Grip activates with a normal grip, so you don't need to worry about pressing a button to turn it on. Seeing the red laser on your target ensures you'll never miss a shot.
As a side benefit, zombies are drawn to the red light in much the same way a cat is (no surprise, as zombie infection comes from a feline-human hybrid virus). If you run out of ammo you can use thisred laser grip to distract the zombies and make your escape!
Browning Zombie Apocalypse KnifeZombies fear blades like cats fear dogs, and vacuum cleaners.
That brings up an important point: much like batteries, ammunition will be scarce once the zombies cause the fall of civilized society. There are a few ways to deal with this. First, knives are both an outstanding survival tool and stalwart zombie killer. Browning understands this very well, which is why they developed a Zombie Apocalypse Knife.
The seven inch blade is for precision zombie hunters who sever brain stems like ninja assassins. The drop point blade is extra strong and will hold up to all the rigors of a zombie-plagued world.
While you'll have to learn to rely on your knife when taking on the zombie masses, shooting a rifle is still easier and will dispatch zombiesat a faster rate when faced with a large group of these horrors. As ammunition is sure to run low, you'll need a way to reload your empty cartridges.
OPMOD Battle MugThe OPMOD Battle Mug: The only cup that can take down a zombie.
RCBS has reloading gear so tough you could bash out an undead brain and continue reloading immediately. From the RCBS Pro-Melt Furnace, for re-forging your bullets, to their Progressive Press, for getting your bullets into cartridges, you'll be all set for the next nightmarish wave.
Don't forget that at any moment a zombie can appear, so if you're sitting by a campfire enjoying a glass of water you may not have your knife or gun in hand. It's best to make sure ANYTHING in your hands is tactically sound, so never drink from a regular cup. Drink from the cup of survivors and champions the world over. The OPMOD Battle Mug is a super strong cup, made from aluminum and features a crenellated base for extra zombie smashing power. You can go from thirst-quenching to death-dealing in less than .45 seconds. We tested that.
Search for a Cure or You'll Search for a Grave.
Unfortunately, all the gear so far is simply a stop-gap as long as the zombie disease rages on. You can take down thousands or even millions of risen dead and hardly make a dent in the overall undead army. Don't think short term when prepping for the apocalypse. If you want a safe world for your children and grandchildren you must find a cure. For this you need thebest laboratory equipment.
Labnet PipettesTest, test and test Again. Three tests should do it, by then you'll have cured the zombie disease.
We've included Qorpak BeakersLabnet Pipettes and a Celestron Microscope so you can take samples and study the innermost workings of zombies. The destructive nature of their cells might lead you to a better understanding of their life expectancy or how to possibly treat their symptoms so they no longer hunger for human flesh.
Properly tamed, a zombie can do the physical labor of 30 men without tiring. You will only be able to determine if a zombie can be tamed through laboratory research.
Many hours of grueling arguments, exhaustive research and bite-dodging testing went into developing the selection of zombie survival gear below.
The Z.E.R.O. Kit also includes night vision devicessolar chargersmulti toolstactical vestssunglasses, and much more. We've completed all this work to give you the best chance of surviving when Death returns to Earth with hell by his side. You only need to do two things: buy the Z.E.R.O. Kit and fight for your life.
All the zombie gear in this kit is listed below so you can purchase the items separately, but remember that the kit was very carefully put together to cover all your bases. Each item you choose NOT to buy is one less day you'll live.

Package Contents:

Z.E.R.O. (Zombie Extermination, Research and Operations) Kit by OpticsPlanet includes:
Weapon Accessories Knives Cases and Backpacks Reloading and Gunsmithing Equipment Tools Protective Gear Laboratory Equipment

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