Flying Spaghetti Monster

A Žižuku Poem

A DS106 Daily Create,

Life in the deep. An excerpt from “Life: A user’s manual”.



Inspiration and instructions by DS106 On The Couch,

Identification of the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” by New Scientist,

Image “Touched by His Noodly Appendage” By Source, Fair use,

#tdc1459 Dark tales of the Columbia River.

Like others, I got carried away with the Daily Create today #tdc1459. Who knew that a humble map could evoke so much trouble. We were asked to “start a story” based on a point on the old Oregon map from the Dave Rumsey Collection. After choosing my spot and bit of trawling around the internet, whatdya know, it was a spot stricken with intrigue and mystery in the days of the wild west.

Oregon Map



I even found an old poem on parchment that tells all. It goes something like this.

The Wanted Man


The eyes on the poster of the Wanted Man
Still haunt me to this day.
Nobody knew who the critter he was
But he sure did travel our way.

T’was the year of 1871.
We were kings of the plains
And the West was won.
A cowboy’s life was a busy ‘un,
But that was all about to change.

Some say he came from South of the border
With no regard for law.
Nobody knew where his hide-out was
But he pestered us dusk ‘til dawn.

And judging by his vocabularie,
His cussin’ godammit
Would rattle the prairie.
His head was bald
And his arms were hairy,
And his pesky dawg had mange.

One night he rode down the Colombia River
And strolled right into town.
He wore buckskin as soft as a baby’s arm
And his stetson pulled right down.

He hit the saloon all muscle and stubble,
Where the drinks cost half
And the ladies cost double.
If y’ask me he sure was hankin’ for trouble
Like a varmint at close range.

He started at the bar and ordered a bourbon
And ordered three big ones more.
He slogged a guy right in the mush
And burst him through the saloon door.

When he gambled he had a fist full of aces,
He filled the spittoon
From fifty paces.
But he soon caught the eye of some pretty faces
And its now our story gets strange.

Our man had terrorised this town of Astoria
But he didn’t know it all, no sir.
He’d caught the eye of the local gal Gloria,
And you sure didn’t meddle with her.

He might be used to rustlin’ cattle,
But you couldn’t rope Glo
Without a battle.
She could kick like a steer
And bite like a rattle.
But he did. And her Pa said “that’ll
Teach you son to show off your saddle,
And you’ll take my Glo for your goods and chattels”.
The whole thing was quite deranged.

On their wedding night the mangy dog
Slept at the foot of the bed.
Gloria was decked in the finest lace
From her toes up to her head.

As the daytime soon turned into dusk,
The bedroom air
Filled with cheap musk.
And then to say the least that Glo was brusque,
It left them both a bit short-changed.

The eyes on the poster of the Wanted Man
Still haunt me to this day.
Now only wanted by Gloria’s Pa
Her honour to repay.

T’was the year that brought fame to Astoria,
The talk of the town
Was that saloon gal Gloria.
Her marriage was short and not much full of euphoria,
“It was like making love in a crematoria
And now I’m quite estranged”.

But centuries later the tale lives on
In fireside stories told.
How a local maid so fine and perty
Fell for a cowboy bold.

And the story is told in new towns built,
Where the River
Meets the sea.
But one place would go down in history,
On the banks of the Columbia where the wind blows free,
Which was the site of our tale so blistery,
And “Cape Disappointement” solves our mystery,
And is still named so today.



Eleanor Dumont (Madame Moustache)

We believe Saloon Gal Glo might have looked something like this.

#Noir106 The Music!

‘Strike Anywhere’

by David Kernohan and Viv Rolfe

It was a privilege being part of the DS106 ‘3 Fingers of Gin‘ radio show recently. Whoever so effortlessly turned out such a professional sounding production was a genius, and I never anticipated our attempt at ‘noir jazz’ sounding so good. As always with DS106, from the chaos and different ideas and talents of the group emerged something slick and entertaining. What amazing people.

When I think of ‘noir jazz’ the atmospheric black and white photographs of Herman Leonard immediately spring to mind. The smoke-filled pictures and crisp lighting conjure up sounds of dark saxophone or bright trumpet just drifting through space. John Coltrane and Charlie Parker never really did it for me in terms of their harsher saxophone tones, but the likes of Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster would certainly be more appropriate for that velvety, growly, ‘noir’ sound. I’m very lucky to have a superb Julius Keilworth saxophone that weighs a tonne, but that is the trade off for a good sound. I’ve also been lucky to hit on a spectacular reed at the moment – so this recording will never be entirely reproducible in time as the quality of reed vary so much and influence the sound tone greatly.


When we set to record our music I think David and myself instinctively knew what it would be, and as always, we had very little conversation about it. We recorded all in one take. The first take is always the best. Most of it was bashed out on a Technics KN6000 which has done more gigs than I can shake a stick at but still can produce any music style that you could possibly wish for. We used the Technics for bass and drums.

We record the Technics directly through a Blue Snowball microphone into GarageBand which isn’t ideal and we could do with finding some direct input connectors, but hey, it seems to work. You do tend to pick up the clatter of the keys. Headphones on, and guitar, sax and other instruments were then layered over the top. GarageBand is brilliant and has never let me down through all the recordings and punishment that I throw at it.

Mood music!


We tried to create a series of moods that would enhance the radio show – whatever it would end up being. Motifs from parts 1 and 2 can be heard throughout with growling saxophone. My favourite was part 3 – all David’s own work featuring a flute which was somewhere between ‘car chase’ and ‘lift music’.




I like the idea of creating musical moods – I have a book of silent movie piano music – that can provide anything from ‘Fervent Passion’ to ‘Unleashing Storms’. Perhaps we should record some more for the next instalment of ‘3 Fingers of Gin’!

My First Birthday!

It is the 20th May 2014. It is my FIRST anniversary of DS106. And my dad would also have been 81 years old today.

My First Daily Create

My First Daily Create










This blog isn’t an original idea and there is a slight trend for DS106 articles as ode to our parents and marking multiple anniversaries such as Cogdog’s mum on 9th Feb (sharing b’days with David as it happens).

Well it would be easy just to write a blog post about how I cannot believe how I’ve only been doing DS106 for a year, or rather, it has been doing me! The almost embarrassing fact that my 1GB folder has 665 items in it! And that isn’t counting music, video and photographs. I am quite amused that the Giant Baby crawling through Vancouver was created at 23.37pm, which was certainly not my first near “all nighter”. Most of the songs and videos can be blamed for that and I remember going to sleep finally as the dawn was breaking after completing “Song Number Inflation“!

It has made me think about the power of digital art and the creation of legacy. I feel slightly sad that my dad was pre-digital and I don’t have much of his art apart from a few precious paintings. Pop was a great musician, and I have no recordings of his piano playing, and only one poor photo of him playing the piano. How I wish for a bit more.

Pop's Art

Pop’s Art

I do have a few of his paintings and did photograph some of them before the remaining 300+ oil and water colours were finally uncovered and removed from the back of his wardrobe. His wardrobe was his Flickr!

Pop was never really interested in painting and drawing until later life when he was rendered near housebound with illness for ten years. That didn’t stop him enthusiastically embarking on creating art, especially as his arthritic fingers made him give up the piano many years before. But this isn’t a story of sorrow, he was a hugely positive and enthusiastic person – always – and I never once heard him complain.

He had the brain the size of a planet and would be devouring books by Velakovsky one minute and laughing ridiculously to Tom and Jerry the next.


I’m a bit undecided about whether we should all go and create digital legacies though.

The negative. I do feel slightly guilty!
I do feel guilty that I am clogging up the internet with “stuff” that is all taking energy and electricity to maintain on servers and wires, using precious natural resources. I have the feeling that one day the planet will get so heavy with servers it will just fall out of the sky. Hopefully one day sustainable resources, disposable computers and green technology will catch up.

The positives.
Digital imagery is used in therapy for dementia and to enrich people’s lives in care homes. Capturing a bit of a digital legacy might be hugely significant in later life which might sound a bit morbid, and links to something else I think about is we should be so much better in talking about that kind of stuff.

Another positive.
When I first got involved in open educational resources particularly in the SCOOTER project, some of the most joyful resources were those contributed by retired staff – eminent professors involved in sickle cell disease which was the focus of the project, who more than welcomed their materials being captured for others to use.

In fact sit and imagine the huge amount of not just physical waste that is discarded when an academic retires, but that the work on their PCs that just get skipped and erased. Their academic legacy obliterated in a thrice. We should be thinking about this more earnestly. I did a fag packet calculation when I left my last job of 7 years, the module and lecture preparation totalled about £30,000.  Scrapped. In the bin, apart from the stuff I released as OERs and now can reuse, and so can others.

A positive.
Making art dammit for me is an alternative to television, so perhaps there is a case there for electricity at least being being offset.

A negative.
Where does work stop and leisure start these days? DS106 has given me more in terms of professional development – technology, learning innovation – to support my university work. It isn’t necessarily the personal expense of computers, gadgets and electricity that gripes me, but a part of me feels a bit reticent, and it might be that I’m perpetuating this expectation that we should all work in our own time these days, and we are perpetuating longer and longer working hours for the next generation.

Another negative.
There is so much hoo-ha over privacy on the internet and so many important questions not being asked, what also worries me is the signatures and foot prints that I will leave behind? What happens to all your personal accounts after you’ve gone? I do worry about this and have every thing in a single spreadsheet with all my computer accounts along with all my important personal papers. From time to time I also have a purge and get rid of old blogs and accounts I no longer use. But I still worry about data privacy, my foot prints and risks in the future, although to what, I’m not quite sure.

This is starting to get creepy.
Having looked up digital legacy on Google now I am totally creeped out by the companies offering to manage your digital legacy and video yourself for after you are gone from this mortal coil. That is as creepy as cryogenic storage…..uuggggh.

But art is good right?
This is a silly conversation I’m having with myself. If pop was here, we could thrash it out good and proper, and he certainly understood more about the evolution of the planet and global changes than most and would probably argue that our little imprint is immaterial, or maybe not.

It is a strange concept that for my generation and younger that when we die we will leave behind this online personality and reflection of their life. I can only think that would be extremely upsetting and disturbing. My reflection of Pop is purely in my memory, with one or two artefacts, and occasional occurrences that I believe to be a spiritual essence of him, and that is fine and I can dip in and out of that when I please.

Pop's Art

Pop’s Art










Barkology. The origins.

From Bachology to Barkology. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 08.53.34.fw










Barking Certificate by Christina Hendricks.

I loved Christina’s Daily Create today because it referred to the Institute of Barkology. It is a little known fact that the institute was derived in the 1600’s from the word Bachology, pertaining to the ancient and thankfully almost forgotten work of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750).

It is a little known fact that in his early manifestations of human creativity, JS Bach was in fact the originator of the Daily Create. Bach was compelled to “Artwork Machen” and composed one Invention per day to pacify his spontaneous creativity through challenges he published every day, always punctual with his two- and three-part contrapuntal musical offerings whilst working in his dark attic lodgings in the city of Hundsville, Germany. Of course, he was always careful not to complete his Daily “Erstellen Ger Flumpf” until he had finished his paid work of the day.

How did the institute get its name?

The interdependent polyphonies and independence of rhythms to maintain a hypercongublastic predominant textural element have sometimes been likened to the sound of a dog howling. Hence, the name Barkology was later derived in reflection of the polytonality of the internal structures and the pain experienced by both the student and the listener of the gregariously constrained counterpoint, not florid, and usually without anyone giving a phrygian mode.

Newly discovered artwork. Dammit.

Unfortunately in 1703 the original institute burnt down, and below is the only surviving portrait of JS Bach during his “Täglich Erstellen” phase.




Take a picture of a light in the dark TDC738

Daily create today is to take a picture of a light in the dark. I’d actually created this animated gif a while back along with a series of gifs in nature that I haven’t release yet. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, and then a daily create comes along!











Ripon, Christmas 2013.

My Nikon camera has a button that takes 5 images in quick succession, and even so you get a bit of wobble. Upload the pics to Fireworks and animated gif-a-go-go.










DS106 New Year round up!

In the beginning was the word.

And the word was DS106, and the URL, Two things now amaze and stagger me in writing this round-up:

1) My first piece of art (if you could call it that) was only on 20th May 2013.
2) Including this blog post, I have just shared 100 items!!

Regarding the date, that must have been the start of the DS106 “open course” which has brought such a wealth of online chums. I’m hardly surprised that in retrospect it has turned out to be such a momentous date, because the 20th of May would have been my Dad’s birthday. Amazingly significant things always happen on that date – i.e. I also sold my house on that same day after a long two year slog; this was also a pleasant change from the year before when I got chased across a field by a herd of cows and damaged myself diving under a fence to escape. Thanks Pop.


DS106 item that got away. 20th May 2013

100 items!!!!

Excuse me whilst I swear profusely in disbelief. But, here is indeed the evidence, of what is possibly a liberal estimate as it does only include entire and completed items and not sounds and videos that contain more than one asset. It also does not include the several items that “got away” and were not released – such as the Giant Baby above, which was not the image finally shared.

Animated GIFs and GIF-a-chrome

In an earlier round-up last summer I described the joy of mastering the animated GIF (in Fireworks), and this time I can add the joy of GIF-a-chrome and GIFs-to-music largely thanks to John Johnson. Also the revelation that GIFs are just great for animating! Dur! I have 12 animated gifs in total. And now, for the first time, animated gif that also got away.


Photographs on Flickr

Six photos last year and now a total of 32, mostly on Flickrwith the occasional one unreleased. Recently I have loved creating tree-art and inspired by other DS106 photographers and now wander round with my camera asking “what would Cogdog do?” Most proud? Love “Grand Canyon Man”.


Grand Canyon Tree Man, November 2013

Grand Canyon Tree Man, November 2013














Musical and sound productions

Mostly pulled together in Garageband, my 3 sound recordings from last summer have grown to 20 items, although a piece about “Arc Welding” is yet to be inflicted on the community. There includes two adverts (“Dynobog, cleans the loo” and Andrew Sisters-stylee “Pork and beans“). There includes four songs (“Million MOOC songs“, “OER knees up” (with spoons), “Song number inflation” and my recent Christmas hit “Ding Dong Andrew Ng on High“).

The item which transformed my thinking most at the time was the “Gone with the wind” sound track which I blogged about and made me appreciate the importance and essentialness of music to cinematography. RESOLUTION – do more about this in 2014.

Radio production

Two joint efforts! Just one joint production back in the summer of 2013 “Who threw that custard?“, and some small input into the masterpiece that was the 2013 Christmas MOOCtivity. This was my first “live” radio session, and something that I intend to add to my list of RESOLUTIONS! Again, no donkeys were harmed in the Christmas MOOCtivity production.

Poems and writing

No poems this time which is very amiss. Only one piece of writing, but with 7 blogs on my other site SCOOTER, and this blog making the 16th on this site, I make that 26 pieces of writing in total since the very start. I am particularly proud of tdc636 “Knees-up-land” – the invitation to write about a fictitious town, and also tdc649 “OREO story” which spawned from Beware the Cookie Monster’s daily create.

Video productions

Two by last summer created on an old PC and Pinnacle studio, but the transition over to MAC has been a perilous one, and somewhat limited the creativity, but I am getting there. 8 videos shared, including 3 straight from iPAD and Photo Booth which don’t really count. The MAC iMovie did enable me to produce “Gone With the Wind“.

Round-up, round-up

I think by the end of this round-up I realise how important these random bursts of creativity are for my sanity. I actually do mentally need these activities however small as they are an important diversion away from work. I do need the “buzz” of a larger project, and love recording vocals. My RESOLUTIONS, to find out more on:

1) What is really behind that Andrew Sister’s sound?
2) Music in cinematography.
3) Nature’s own art – photos and gifs.

 And finally,

None of this would have been half as fun, or indeed at times possible, without the lovely person in my life, who has been ignored, gone hungry, been the subject of art, and worst of all, starved of beer. RESOLUTION? To try harder in 2014 🙂





Thank you Cogdog Art.

Daily Create TDC649. And some.

Create a photo to go with the Satirical Article someone else created for TDC 647?

I rather liked this news story from TDC647 because it celebrated the power of the Oreo.

A new study on addictive drugs has found that Oreos, which are considered three cookies in one, are as addictive as cocaine. Dr. Bill Daniels from Amazon University reported on Wednesday that lab rats chose Oreos as rewards for running a maze as often as they did cocaine. An unexpected outcome of the study was a slight weight gain by all the researchers involved.



Lead researchers Dr Bill Daniels and Dr Betty Bracegirdle subsequently won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in recognition of their work. Researchers found that Oreo, in comparison to a range of other cookie brands, exhibited powerful stimuli that mimicked the psychological effects of cocaine. The modes of action were demonstrated to involve the stimulation of the pleasure centres in the brain.















Other scientific news this week.

Flatufonia. Is it genuine or just a load of hot air?

A paper by Christiansen (2008) for the first time has alluded to the musical and medical phenomenon known as “flatufonia”. The mechanisms of action are now thought to involve ingestion of vast quantities of pickled eggs and craft beer, resulting in gaseous emissions of unparalleled volume from the buttocks. Coupled with a rare mutation of the sphincter gene BUT-1, those bestowed with the gift of “flatufonia” can blow out candles at a distance of ten yards.

If you are Danish you can read more online. (Christiansen 2008).

No more bum blues.

In a paper by Saps et al 2013, the researcher and his team have demonstrated that 3D poo models produced an effective means of assisting gastric diagnoses in children. The current diagnostic scale – known as the Bristol scale – is not so child friendly, and the new poo models will provide a much better means of stool assessment.

It is understood that pet food manufacturers are also interested in the new model. DS106 participant and x-Waltham scientist V Rolfe (oh, that’s me), thought that the models might help with poo scaling in the development of new dog food. In one of her previous publications (Rolfe VE et al 2002) she discussed the limitations of a scale based on photographs alone. Using small plastic beads she was able for the first time ever to show a relationship between poo consistency and whole gut transit time. You can try this at home using sweet corn.







Laboratory research equipment used in the trial.





Photographic poo scoring system.

NASA 2013 Young Investigator of the Year!

Exciting news just in from NASA reveals that their Young Investigator for 2013 was none other than Mssss Talky Tina. Mssss Tina received Government Funding to investigate how long a shrimp can run on a treadmill. In previous notable work she has found the answers to a number of fundamental questions:

  • It’s a long way to Tipperary, but how long? The answer was 7,547 miles.
  • How deep is your love? 3.7 cm.
  • When will I see you again? When the pubs shut.
  • DS106 #4LIFE. Or is it? Yes.

Unusually, Mssss Talky Tina was unusually untalkative and was unable to provide a quote. Which was very unusual.











Mssss Tina in her laboratory.



TDC639 Combining two patterns

A quick daily create to combine two patterns into one photo. Well, neither a dog and a corn field are particularly patterns but I suspect it is what Spike might have been thinking a the time.

I was just putting him in the car to go and live with a friend because I’m renting and can’t have him. He is about 300 miles away as I write. He jumped onto the sofa and looked just how I felt.

Spike Cheesed Off


I hope he doesn’t miss me as half as much as I miss him.
I like to think that dogs dream and can imagine themselves out in the fields.
He now knows the sound of my car and when I pull up to see him he runs to the door.
Its been so long since I’ve seen him I start to think I’ll never see him again.


[Method: simply two images were combined in Fireworks. The field of corn was given more contrast. Spike was placed over the top at about 50% transparency. Spaniel dreams].