: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Self Portrait as a Drowned Man

The Nonist has the crazy backstory of Hippolyte Bayard’s Self Portrait as a Drowned Man:

This photograph, shot in 1840 and titled Self Portrait as a Drowned Man, is not of a drowned man, and if it had been it would be far less interesting or important. This humble image, so far as anyone knows, can claim all of the following honorifics- First instance of intentional photographic fakery. First photographic practical joke. First use of a photograph as propaganda / protest. And, quite possibly, a result of the world’s first reliable photographic process, direct positive or otherwise.

Read the post at Nonist for the rest of the story.


Josh Spear lays the Genepak x DNA-11 on us, artwork based on your own DNA from DNA-11.

Giraffes United Against Ceiling Fans

This just cracked me up. T-shirt available on Threadless

The Science of Sarcasm (Not That You Care)

Overlooking for a moment the agonizing journalistic gambit of writing an article on sarcasm… sarcastically, the research in The Science of Sarcasm (Not That You Care) is fascinating:

There was nothing very interesting in Katherine P. Rankin’s study of sarcasm — at least, nothing worth your important time. All she did was use an M.R.I. to find the place in the brain where the ability to detect sarcasm resides. But then, you probably already knew it was in the right parahippocampal gyrus.

Google’s Android Unboxed and Looks Awesome

Slashgear’s Android touchscreen prototype: Live pictures & video demo! drops some video of Google’s new phone software. Apple’s about to get Microsoft-ed all over again.

It also has built-in compassing. That may sound a little boy-scoutish but you really just have to see it to understand how cool it is.

Radiohead’s Nude, Remixed

The Radiohead version, on Youtube.

A remix made, through the influence of some dark conjurer’s sorcery no doubt, from antiquated computer hardware.

Big Ideas (Don’t get any) from 1030 on Vimeo.

via Engadget, and all the more amazing if you have some experience with the “instruments” – who knew a hard drive could sing?

Video by James Houston
Radiohead held an online contest to remix “Nude” from their album – “In Rainbows” This was quite a difficult task for all the electronic musicians that entered, as Nude is in 6/8 timing, and 63bpm. Most music that’s played in clubs is around 120bpm and usually 4/4 timing. It’s near impossible to mix a waltz beat into a DJ set.

This resulted in lots of generic entries consisting of a typical 4/4 beat, but with arbitrary clips from “Nude” thrown in so that they qualified for the contest.

Thom Yorke joked at the ridiculousness of it in an interview for NPR radio, hinting that they set the competition “for a laugh” and to find out what would come out of such an impossible task.

I decided to take the piss a bit, as the contest seemed to be in that spirit.

Based on the lyric (and alternate title) “Big Ideas: Don’t get any” I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they’re trying their best to do something that they’re not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there.

It doesn’t sound great, as it’s not supposed to.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum – Guitars (rhythm & lead)
Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer – Drums
HP Scanjet 3c – Bass Guitar
Hard Drive array – Act as a collection of bad speakers – Vocals & FX