My clocks is wrong

dali_thepersistenceofmemory_325PH was staying with his daughter when he remarked she should, ‘Get a decent telly — one where the sound and programme are synchronised.’ He wandered through into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, and looking up at the tv on the wall there, noticed that that one was out of sync too. ‘Hey you’ve got two tvs that need sorting!’ he called to her. She came through.

‘There’s nothing wrong with the tv, Dad,’ she said.

Watching her speak, PH realised her lips were out of sync with her voice. He started to answer, but he was out of sync too. He could hear his words coming out before he’d started to move his mouth … Continue reading

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Deepest passion since childhood

Hi Sir,

I have been reading your posts on your website KMZ and learnt that you have programmed for Porn Studios in Budapest.

Sir, I am an indian moving to Budapest to find a job in porn industry as it is my deepest passion since childhood. I am writing to you to know how easy  or difficult is it for a male to get into porn in Budapest.

I would be highly grateful if you could take 2 minutes out of your busy schedule and guide me.

Thanks & Regards


In this email we received last week HM refers to Mechanics of Porn, published in KMZ Issue 03 in 2002. In eleven years this is the only response we’ve received. HM is a diligent man to have found the article – you won’t find it googling ‘porn industry’. It seems appropriate to reply to ask,  Continue reading

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Gag Dyad: art theft / foot fetishism

Recently a guy in Paris nearly got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre. However, after planning the crime, breaking in, evading security, getting out, and escaping with the goods, he was captured only two blocks away when his Econoline van ran out of gas. When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied: ‘I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh.’
— Crow Jane

Did you hear about the podophilic sadist and the masochistic misopod?
Podophilic sadist says, ‘Feet!’
Masochistic misopod cries, ‘Feet!’
Podophilic sadist whispers, ‘Feet!’
Masochistic misopod whimpers, ‘Feet!’
Podophilic sadist exults with a delirious, ‘Feeeeet!’
Masochistic misopod expires with a breathless, ‘Feet!’
‘Huh,’ says the podophilic sadist. ‘That guy really has a problem with feet.’
— AH

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Contemplations of the Rat

Lab rats contemplating alternately Fermi’s Paradox and the Pauli Exclusion Principle (click images to enlarge)

Fermi’s Paradox: Given the vast size and age of the universe (the sheer number of stars, amount of matter, and how long it’s all been swooshing around), probabilistically you’d expect life to be cropping up all over the place. You’d also expect, unless the earth is very atypical, that some life would be much less advanced than us, and some much more. It follows that the more advanced life forms should really be out there, travelling around and colonising the galaxy. But — we haven’t seen anyone much. Hence the paradox.

The Pauli Exclusion Principle: This states that no two electrons can share the same space (or more precisely, the same quantum numbers). As a result of the exclusion principle, electrons are prevented from all bunching up in the lowest energy tier next to the nucleus, and as a result — the need for different energy tiers, the structure of the atom, the shape of the periodic table, all of chemistry, and the reasons for how almost everything in the universe looks, sounds, feels and behaves.

Rats drawings by Hannah Marcus
Concepts for the possible volume The Secret Life of the Lab Rat: C is for Cheese

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Big breasts, little breasts, and EDAR370A

Han dynasty silk painting from China; Julio Romero de Torres painting from Spain

A team of geneticists at the Broad Institute in Cambridge Massachusetts is investigating how DNA differs among human genomes from around the world. Over the course of human history, naturally, different mutations have sprung up in different regions, and became prevalent or not depending on local conditions. Having identified region-specific pieces of DNA, the interesting part is then trying to figure out what those pieces of DNA do.

An example under current investigation is the EDAR370A gene, which is found in Asian people, and is thought to have arisen in China 30,000 years ago. To determine EDAR370A’s thing, the experimenters snipped it out, pasted it into mouse embryos, and waited to see how the mice turned out. They grew up to have Continue reading

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Did I Say The Wrong Thing?

It’s hard not to admire a good simile. They make literature more evocative: ‘Elderly American ladies leaning on their canes listed toward me like towers of Pisa.’ (Nabakov from Lolita.) They add venom to political bite: ‘He looks like a female llama surprised in the bath.’ (Churchill on De Gaulle.) And they help etch the cry for social justice into a nation’s memory: ‘We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ (Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream.)

Inspired wordcraft such as this is enough to leave you dizzy. But, alas, this is not the time to praise good similes but to bemoan the bad ones.

Anybody who’s spent time in front of a gaping white page knows that expressing oneself in a clear, original, and incisive manner is Herculean chore requiring both persistence and wit. Similes are a particular gamble because a good one can invigorate your work, while a bad one can leave readers unmoved, or worse, wincing. (Would students across America be memorizing King’s speech if he spoke of justice rolling down like a stray tennis ball on a uneven court?) Continue reading

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Quanta of Humour (à la CERN)

Q: What did the up quark say to the down quark after the charm quark dumped her?
A: Awh honey, you just gotta muon!

Q: What did the strange quark say to the W boson?
A: Fishfish wibble — I am a teapot!

Bottom quark pulls the gag from his mouth and says to top quark, ‘Ok, but before we get into this whole BDSM collision, what’s the safeword?’ Continue reading

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Party Small Talk

“Could I possibly trouble you for another cigarette?”
“Sure. You need all the elements?”
“Um … am I in my element? In my — hm, let me see …”
“Nono, do you need all the elements? Filters and papers and so on?”
“Oh — oh I see. Yes, thank you very much. Whoops! Ooh, don’t want to bump heads. Thanks. Am I in my element? Mm. D’you know, I’m not sure I really am in my element. Parties. Mm. Are you in your element?”
“No. I wouldn’t say so. But then, when are you in your element?”
“When am I in my element? When am I in my element? Mmm. Probably … probably in a ski resort. [Smiles] Probably at the top of a ski run, with some really good friends, tips pointing straight, and about to go down way too fast — heurghh heurgh-heugh! Haha. Mhmm. Yes.”
“How about you, eh? When are you in your element?”
“I don’t know. Maybe … maybe when I’m in the kitchen, alone, at about 4am, drunk out of my mind and gripping a big kitchen knife, and making ecstatic stabbing gestures into the dark, and giggling.”
“Ah. Hm.”

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Romantic narrative / Burroughs technique

He dies
Eats a peanut sandwich
A man with a severe peanut allergy
It was a kiss of death.
And subsequently kisses him
His girlfriend
Is careful to avoid peanuts

click to see poem pre-cut-up-text
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Let’s Have a Christopher Hitchens Christmas

A festive video for your holiday delight why not?

written and directed by Hannah Marie Marcus
performed by The Holiday Recording Party House Band (Hannah Marie Marcus, voice, keys; Meg Reichardt, guitar; Kurt Hoffman, clarinet; Paul Watson, trumpet; Ray Parker, upright bass; Michael Hearst, washboard; Rick Moody, voice)
special appearance by Raymond the dog
camera by Adrian Hornsby

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