Wednesday, March 31, 2004

A quick update...

Not much to report at present...

I'm currently preparing for "Urinetown- The Musical" which starts bumping in next week, and no, I'm not taking the piss...

Lots of set LX which need to be wired up and lots of equipment that needs to be packed... So why is it that I can't seem to get away from the phone?

It's become quite a coup for me, my immediate boss has chosen this point (the busiest point) of the year to take his family to Prague and Tuscany and so I've been left in charge. Fantastic opportunity, but lots (and I do mean LOTS) of work.

Speaking of coups... I was rather stoked to find out that I will be reviewing the 2 many DJs gig for In The Mix... I was going to go anyway, but I won't say "no" to a free ticket.

That's all for now. I might have more to report once work is a little less all-encompassing.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Shameless Self-Promotion - Concord Dawn.

Concord Dawn are one of New Zealand's hottest exports - A Drum and Bass outfit that's busy showing the world how it's done in the land of the long white cloud.

They're about to embark on a world tour, but, before doing so, they took time out to answer a few questions sent to them by your's truly.

You can read the article here.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Neurocam: Assignment 04 – Part 2.

OK, where was I? Or, to be more exact, where was I seated?

I was seated beneath the man with the axe. “Z” was seated between me and the door. “C” and the neat guy were down by the front door reading magazines. There were two slightly older guys sitting between “Z” and the door. The waitress was behind the bar and the couple dressed in “Melbourne blacks” were seated towards the back of the bar. Most importantly, there was no sign of the promised New Zealand supermodel.

As the 10pm end of the assignment approached “Z” began to look a touch uncomfortable. She started to fidget a little, then closed her book, put it back into a bag and removed a camera. “Z” examined the camera closely, checking something on the display, then put it down on the table and continued to wait.

Then, at 9.55pm, our supermodel arrived, accompanied by a gentleman who was wearing a beige suit. She was (how shall I put this?) like no other supermodel that I have every laid eyes upon. If this particular supermodel is anything to go by, New Zealanders apparently like their female supermodels to appear quite masculine.

She was quite tall, wearing a long black dress with heels, and her hair was cut into a short “bob”. She also seemed to have a bit of a “9 o’clock” shadow.

The supermodel and her companion sat down at the bar. The waitress barely had enough time to take their order before the first Neurocam attendee has made their move.

“Z” stood up and approached the supermodel.

“Excuse me!” She said. “Would I be able to get your autograph?”

The supermodel looked quite surprised, but agreed to the request. After the piece of paper that “Z” had offered was signed, “Z” made a further request. “Do you mind if I take your photo?”

Again the supermodel and her companion seemed a little confused, but agreed to the request.

It took “Z” a few attempts to take the photo (the flash didn’t work at first) but once she had succeeded she thanked the supermodel and returned to her seat.

I decided that this was the opportune time for me to make my move. I stood up and approached the supermodel.

“Sorry to interrupt your evening.” I said. “But since autographs are the order of the day I was wondering if I could get you to sign something for me…”

The supermodel seemed to think this through. “That’s OK” she finally decided.

I handed her the small exercise book that I had taken with me to the assignment. She signed it quickly and handed it back to me.

“Excuse me?” Asked the waitress from behind the bar. “Just what do you think you are doing?”

“Don’t you know who this is?” I replied excitedly.


“Haven’t you seen her ads?” I asked.


“Oh, she’s fantastic in them. She’s really quite famous you know.”

“Oh.” Replied the waitress and then promptly went back to was doing.

As I turned to return to my seat, the supermodel’s companion tapped me on the shoulder.

“You might want to take this.” He explained, and shoved a small card into my hand.

I looked at it closely as I retook my seat. It seemed to be a small ad for something called “Innocence” and it starring the Supermodel.

What is the connection of “Innocence” to Neurocam? What is the connection of the rather hirsute supermodel to Neurocam? This was turning into a very odd assignment.

As soon as I had taken my seat “C” approached the supermodel. He too asked for her autograph. Once he had received it he made a B-line for the front door and quickly left the bar.

The next (and final) person to approach the supermodel was the neat guy who had been sitting at the front of the bar with “C”. As he asked the supermodel for her autograph the waitress behind the bar decided to get stuck into him.

“What do you think you are doing?” She asked pointedly.

“I’m just getting an autograph.” He replied.

“Do you people have no shame? Can’t you just let the woman be?”

The neat guy looked quite embarrassed. Head down, he again asked the supermodel for her autograph.

“I’m very sorry.” The waitress told the supermodel. “I didn’t realise my customers could be so rude.”

“That’s ok.” Replied the supermodel as signed the piece of paper.

The neat guy then also left the bar. I found myself wondering if he was catching a lift with “C”. I think that they may have exchanged something whilst they were reading their magazines… Unfortunately I was too far away to be sure.

The waitress continued to apologise to the supermodel. Graciously, the supermodel replied that it wasn’t a problem. The supermodel and her companion then stood up and moved to the back of the bar.

It was around this time that “Z” also left the bar.

I hung around for a few minutes more, finished my drink, and then left so I could get to a 10.30pm appointment.

As I got to my car, I looked at the autograph that the supermodel had given me. I was quite surprised by what I found.

Does that say Robert Henley? Was the supermodel in fact the mysterious architect of Neurocam in disguise, or was this just another trick?

I thought about returning to the bar, but doing so would result in my late for my appointment. I hopped into my car and left.

And so ends my account of my fourth Neurocam assignment. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. It was a much quieter affair than the other assignments and there seemed to be less people involved. Was this another test? Were those present, with the exception of “Z”, the only other people to pass the last Neurocam test?

I have no answers to those questions, maybe Robert will be able to shed come light on the events of the night.

I'm certainly eager to see what happens next!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Neurocam: Assignment 04 - Part 1.

Apologies for my delay in writing this post. The last few days have been rather hectic.

I'll cast my mind back to last Wednesday night and do my best to paint you a picture of the events of my 4th Assignment.

After having some difficulty finding a parking spot, I finally arrived at Umme Bar on Gertrude street at around 9.30pm. I intended to be there a touch earlier so that I could purchase a drink and set about making myself look inconspicuous before any other Neurocam attendees arrived. Due to the parking hassle though that ended up not being a possibility.

I noticed two things when I first walked into Umme: The first thing was that it really is a lovely, comfortable bar. Quite small and intimate, Umme has a Japanese theme. The lights all have oriental style paper lamp-shades and the bar has an extensive Sushi menu. I've been there before on a Friday night and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was nice, however, to go on an evening when it was a little less busy and a touch brighter lit. Of a weekend the place is much darker and they have a resident DJ who plays a combination of Japanese Techno and Drum and Bass. Yes, that is as cool as it sounds.

The second thing I noticed was that "Z" was already present! When I first spotted her, she was at the bar ordering a drink. I felt a little dismayed. "Z" seems to be consistently finding out about the Neurocam assignments, considering that she is meant to be "eliminated" from Neurocam I'm beginning to find her recurring presence a little unnerving.

After Z purchased her drink, she seated herself about half-way down the room, opened a book and began to read.

I approached the bar and, bucking the Japanese theme slightly, ordered myself a Cascade Pale Ale. The waitress/barmaid that served me was in her mid-twenties, with shortish brown hair. She was wearing a green and white patterned top with dark pants. She poured me a pint, took my $20 note and handed me my change... Was that an New Zealand accent I detected when she thanked me for the note?

Immediately opposite the bar, in Umme, there is a wall with a range of photographic prints displayed along it. Beneath the print there are five tables and chairs spread evenly along the wall, small candles set upon them to provide light and atmosphere. Most of the displayed prints were of indistinct "nice" images; jumping feet, couples standing outside, flowers and the like. It was only after I had sat down that I realised that I was sitting under the one print which seemed a touch out of place. It's a little unnerving to look up and realise that you're sitting under a photo of a large bald-headed man who is grinning wildly and wielding a bloody axe. I considered changing position, but thought that constantly changing seats might make me look a bit conspicuous.

Taking the first sip of my beer, I looked around the room and took note of the others who were present.

At the bar there was a young couple. The guy was wearing a brown shirt and jeans. His companion was an attractive girl of asian descent who was wearing a pink and white top. I'm not sure what they were speaking about, but they did seem to be having fun. I did hear the guy say "There are no pens in the newsroom" which they both seemed to find amusing.

Towards the front of the bar there were two men (maybe in their early thirties) who were happily drinking their beers. Both of them were wearing dark colours and it seemed as though (judging by the number of empty beer bottles) they had been there for some time.

Right at the front of the bar, next to the front door, there was a younger man, reasonably tall, wearing a neat outfit and a tie. He was also drinking a beer and seemed to be reading one Melbourne's street press publications.

Behind me there were two younger women talking quite loudly. Most of their conversation was quite banal; who dated who, who they found annoying at work, that type of thing.

As I went to take my second sip, "C" wandered in and chose a seat at the bar. I tried to catch his eye, but, although he noticed me, he seemed uninterested in even acknowledging me, let alone starting in conversation.

"C" ordered a drink, settled back, and, presumably, waited for events to unfold.

At first not much happened. We all sipped our drinks and tried to look inconspicuous. "Z" continued to read her book. "C" looked around the room. The neat guy down the front continued to read his magazine. The couples continued their conversation (the older men were discussing the value of the "RRR" community radio station).

After a few minutes the phone behind the bar rang. The waitress answered it, mumbled something I couldn't overhear, and placed the handset back down. It was about this point that "Z" made her move.

"Z" stood up, approached the bar, and asked the asian girl a question. I was too far away to hear the actual question, but the girl looked quite embarrassed, replied "No. No I'm not." Then, looking more embarrassed, and figitting nervously, she dropped her phone. "Z" apologised profusely, bent down, picked up the phone, handed it back to the girl and returned to her seat. "Just consider it a compliment." "Z" informed the girl before resuming her book.

Around this time a new couple entered. They were wearing what I like to think of as "Melbourne-standard blacks"; neat black tops, neat black pants, black shoes and black jackets. They ordered some drinks and made their way to the back of the bar.

After a few minutes "Z" stood up again. This time she approached "C". He seemed much more willing to have a conversation with her than he was with me... They exchanged a few words, and then... Wait a minute! Did he just hand her something? I couldn't be sure, but it looked like they exchanged more than words. Unfortunately my position was such that I couldn't turn and get a good look at what they were doing unless I made my interest extremely obvious and, before I could come up with a quick way to alter my seating arrangement, "Z" had already returned to her seat. I started to wonder again what the connection between "Z" and "C" really was... Is he conspiring with her against Neurocam?

It seems that "Z's" actions inspired the neat guy who was sitting down the front of the bar. Once "Z" had returned to her seat, he stood up and also approached "C". Was this what I was there to observe? Are "C", "Z" and the neat guy in league together. "C" and the neat guy exchanged a few words and then both proceeded to the table at the front of the bar (where the neat guy had been seated previously). Strangely, they didn't continue their conversation once they arrived, instead they each picked up one of the free magazines and began to read it. I began to wonder if they were doing the old "switcheroo", using the magazines as cover. Unfortunately my view was partially blocked by "Z" and the two older men, all of whom were sitting between me and the front of the bar.

At this point things seemed to stagnate slightly. Not much happened for around 10 minutes except that both the young couple who had been seated at the bar, and the two young women who had been seated behind me, collected their things and left. There was no sign of the "New Zealand supermodel" that we were meant to meet.

We didn't have long to wait though, and when she did finally arrive things started to get very interesting...

Cue the suspenseful music...

Unfortunately I'm now going to once again rely on the ever useful "cliffhanger" as a narrative tool, and leave it there for tonight.

At present I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open without the aid of toothpicks so I'll post this much of the story now and finish off my rest tomorrow.

See ya then!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Watch this space! or Excuses, Excuses!

Last night was my 4th (or is it 5th) Neurocam Assignment.

There's quite a bit to report, but I've only just got home from work and have a heap of stuff that I have to get done.

I know that you're all eager to find out what happened, but you're just going to have to wait until tomorrow night.

I've got a bit more time then and will be able to file a report that will do it some justice.

We here at Capcoincidence Central would like to apologise for any disappointment/inconvenience/anger/revolution/evolution that this delay may have caused...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"Can you tell me how to get to....?"

There's an entire generation (or maybe even more than one) of Australian and American school-children who were brainwashed for exactly half an hour every weekday morning and afternoon of their formative years.

The results of that brainwashing are still noticeable today.

Beware! Unbeknownst to you, those closest to you may be affected.

Do you, any of your friends or any of your loved ones:

* Still live with the misconception that you can just "sweep the clouds away"?
* Pronounce the letter "Z" as "Zee"?
* Not phone the psychiatric hospital when one of your friends says that they are off to meet their imaginary friend?
* Consistently count things in dozens?
* Know how hard it can be to be "green"?
* Think that living in a garbage can is an acceptable "alternate lifestyle?"
* Not think that the "tickle-me Elmo" is one of the most truly frightening inventions ever made?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then the odds are high that you were one of those kids who was constantly asking those around you "Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street."

Personally, I used to think that it was damn impolite that the Tourism Commission hadn't produced a map which showed us how to get there. Demand was obviously so high that they could have made a killing. And they claim to come from a capitalist society. Bah!

Well it seems that the tables have turned. This time it's the characters from Sesame Street who needed a road map, and it seems like someone found them one... A road map to peace.

It's quite a bizarre little story and I'm not quite sure what I think of it, but something inside me told me that I should mention it.

Today's post has been brought to you by the letters T and V.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Canberra... briefly... and a photo.

Sydney yesterday, Canberra today and Melbourne tomorrow.

Inspired by the promise of a beer with a visiting Cyzilla, I managed to change my flights so that I could intercept him at Sydney airport after he had disembarked from his flight from Tokyo. After a not-so tearful reunion we were indeed drinking an 8am Cascade at the airport bar.

After the beer we moved onto discussions of world politics, followed by observations on the state of the world in general and a quick update on the state of our own lives, then it was time to catch a quick flight to Canberra.

It wasn't long before we were sitting in the sun having our second beer of the day (before noon) accompanied by "Lunch", Jared and Suzy in a Canberra cafe/bar named "Debacle"... Very cool...

A very pleasant meal (and yet another beer), as well as further discussion (both political and personal) and then it was time to go have a quick catch up with my parents and my dog.

Back tracking slightly, last night was spent at Christy and Paul's place. They very kindly allowed me to crash on their couch, cooked me a fabulous dinner and tolerated my ranting (once again about the current state of the world... I'm starting to sense a pattern). Thanks go out to them both for being so generous.

I'll be having an early night tonight and then I'll be on an "It's bloody early" 6am flight to Melbourne from which I'll head straight into production meetings at 9am. Combine all of that with the next Neurocam assignment at 9.30pm and tomorrow starts to look like a very long day.

While I'm mentioning Neurocam, here's one of the photos from last week's meeting with Robert:

I'm curious, does anyone know if anyone else has been singled out for this sort of one-on-one treatment?

Anyway, time for me to go, blogging when I should be hanging out with my parents could be considered a little rude.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Sydney (again) and Neurocam: Assignment 04

I'd like to open this post by saying a big "thank you" to everybody who sent e-mails wishing me a speedy recovery from the flu. For the record, the cold and flu tablets combined with a plethora of vitamins seem to have done the trick... Then again, it may be that I'm currently breathing the (ever-so slightly) warmer Sydney air.

That's right! I'm currently in Sydney and am writing this post from an internet cafe on Pitt Street. I flew up here last night and will be flying out again tomorrow. Just a quick visit to bump out "Blithe Spirit" which has finished it's eight week run at the Opera House.

On that note, it was very sobering to turn on the TV this morning to be greeted by a story about a potential Sydney-based terror cell, especially considering that I was about to spend the day working in what would be their number 1 target. Still, I refuse to let that sort of thing get to me. If I did, I'd probably end up building a five metre high fence around the house, put electrified barbed wire at the top, and then hide behind it with a cocked shotgun waiting for anyone who tried to cross the threshold. That's not a healthy way to live and, more importantly, it'd probably cause some tension between me and my housemates.

And now on to the bit you've all been waiting for... I've received my latest Neurocam assignment!

Here's the e-mail Robert sent me:

Assignment 04

Operative: G

Time: Wed 9.30pm

Location: Ume Bar, Gertrude St, Fitzroy (opposite 200 Gertrude St

Make your way to the bar and buy a drink. Find a seat and make yourself inconspicuous.

There will be a well-known New Zealand Supermodel present at the bar accompanied by a man in a beige suit & black hat. You need to obtain the model's autograph.

Under no circumstances engage in conversation with others about Neurocam. Your primary role is surveillance only. You need to observe any suspicious or unusual activity relating to Neurocam between 9.30 - 10pm. Do not attempt to intervene. Send me a brief report on anything that happens.


New Zealand supermodel? Apart from Rachel Hunter I'm not aware of any New Zealand supermodels... Anybody got any ideas on who it could be? It may even be Rachel Hunter, if Tom Cruise and John Travolta can be scientologists then I see no reason why Rachel couldn't be part of Neurocam.

Well I'll be there on Wednesday, doing my best to look inconspicuous, and I'm sure I'll find out then... I wonder what sort of assignments other people have been given...

In other Neurocam news, Robert also attached two pictures of me that were obviously taken during our recent meeting. It's a little hard for me to upload them while I'm in an internet cafe, so I'll include them in a post tomorrow.

Speaking of which, this post has probably already cost me a small fortune so I'll leave it there for now. Thanks again for the many wishes of good health, it was much appreciated.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Neurocam E-mail CD.

I’ve spent the last few days doing two things:

1. Fighting the flu with as much rest, vitamins and cold and flu tablets as my body could handle.

2. Trawling through the Neurocam e-mails CD to see if there was anything of interest.

As a result of these two things I have discovered that:

1. Having the flu sucks.

2. The second Neurocam CD is a great demonstration of the fact that quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality.

It’s not that there’s nothing of interest on the CD, it’s just that the number of e-mails that merely say “What is Neurocam?” outweigh the number of e-mails that say ANYTHING else in pretty much the same way an elephant outweighs a field mouse.

Still, I did get to see the way that other people made their initial enquiries about Neurocam. Here’s a few of them (all typos/formatting included):

Subject: So.....
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 10:35:17 +1100
.... what's this all about then ey? :)

Subject: i wanna play
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 22:49:36 +1100
well i do.

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 20:45:07 +1100
what is neurocam

Subject: Greetings!
Date: Wed 14 Jan 2004 12:23:08 +1100

To whom it may concern,

I'm not even sure that this is a real e-mail address... but here we go anyway...

I stumbled onto your site (after noticing a billboard with your advertising on it) and am more than a little curious.

What (or whom) is Neurocam?

Are you able to supply me with any further information?

Is there anybody on the other end of this e-mail address?

Any response would be appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Subject: What is Neurocam?
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 23:07:31 +1000

Well, what is it?

Subject: well okay, I'm taking the bait...
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 23:20:16 +1100

I'm ready, I'm curious, what the hell are you on about?

Can you tell I have too much spare time?

Subject: I'm ready
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 18:32:37 -0800 (PST)

I'm ready to join the party, why not send me the rundown.

Subject: neurocam
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2004 00:32:38 -0800 (PST)

what is neurocam?

Subject: What is Neurocam? Let me in!
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 17:49:11 -0600


saw your site. got intrigued. sign me up. and give me your best shot.

Subject: what
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 19:10:21 +1100

neurocam is not a pyramid marketing scam
neurocam is not a product
neurocam is not a service
neurocam is not an internet dating website
neurocam is not an escort agency
neurocam is not a new technology
neurocam is not a spam engine
neurocam is not a marketing campaign
neurocam is not trying to sell something
neurocam is not trying to buy anything
neurocam is not anything to do with money
neurocam is not a cult religion
neurocam is not a scientific discovery
neurocam is not anything to do with politics
neurocam is not anything to do with religion
neurocam is not a prank or a hoax
neurocam is not a drug
neurocam is not a new species
neurocam is not a form of artificial intellegence
neurocam is not a game
neurocam is not a movie or television series

if you are none of these things what are you?

Subject: And this is about what?
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 22:56:40 +1300

I noticed your interesting, yet confusing website and was wondering
if you could give me a little insight as to what this is really about?

And on it goes. In total there are 46 e-mails which ask the question “What is Neurocam?” in some form or another. It doesn’t appear as though Robert has responded to all of these or, if he has, he has chosen not to include those responses in this file. Of the responses that he has included the majority of them read something like this:

Welcome to Neurocam.

Neurocam is a process which you have become part of. Your involvement is dependent on your level of commitment. Your level of commitment dictates how much will be revealed to you about Neurocam.
Your level of commitment is demonstrated by your performing a series of weekly assignments designed to assist you in understanding what you are becoming part of.

Would you like to join us?

Or this:

Neurocam is a revolutionary new technology that will change the nature of human experience.

Do you want to be a part of this process? No it's not Amway.

At least one other person, however, received the questionnaire that I was sent. I know this only because their response was included in the file:

Subject: Re: What is Neurocam?
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 17:56:49 +1000

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 154lb
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Blue
Hours per week spent working on computers: 60-70 hours.
Hours per week spent watching TV: 5-7 hours.
Hours per week spent driving: 0.
Favourite sport: N/A.
Favourite film: The Net.
Favourite book: Across the Nightingale Floor
Favorite music track: N/A.
IQ: (unknown).

Yes, I have seen the film Strange Days.

Why is it that some of us were sent a questionnaire and others weren’t? Is it just that fewer people responded back if they were sent a questionnaire?

Amongst all the guff, there were some interesting e-mails contained in the file. It was particularly enlightening to look at the e-mails from around the time of the assignments. For example, here’s one from the night after my second Assignment:

Subject: Assignment 1
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 09:12:45 +1100

I made it along last night, briefly, found G despite the darkness of it all, and have his details. I also gave him my mobile number, no name.

Looks like it would have been a fascinating show - especially given the great one page handout - very intriguing, and dare I say, closely related to how I'm thinking about neurocam. But, I had to leave to be somewhere else by 8.

I'm tempted to call G, but I figure given the 'don't talk about neurocam' instruction, that ah, I shouldn't. So I won't. Unless of course curiosity gets the better of me, but it could always get the better of me in the direction of wanting to get another assignment. A nice buzz out of my ordinary world, thanks ;)

Obviously that one’s from “C” to Robert describing the events of what was my second assignment. More interesting, however, is this e-mail that Robert sent just prior to that same assignment:

Subject: Assignment 01
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 16:32:12 +1100

You will need to be at 3 Rochester St Fitzroy between 7.30 and 8pm. Your assignment is to make contact with another agent known as G and exchange contact details with him. You are not allowed to discuss Neurocam with him or how you came to be involved in this. G will have a small square of paper on the left side of his chest featuring the letter "G". He will be assisting you in a group assignment next week. The instructions for this assignment will be sent to you via sms. Once you have Gs mobile number you may leave. You will need to attach a small square of paper to the left side of your chest with a clearly marked "B" on it.

“B”? I was never told about an agent “B”… Why would Robert direct someone to find me and not tell me? Was this another test? My instructions for that night were that I was only to exchange details with “C”. I wonder if “B” was responsible for any of these e-mails which arrived just after that assignment:

Subject: Assignment 01
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 09:10:21 +1100
Hi Robert,

Assignment 1 is incomplete. I was unable to make contact with Agent "G", due to time constraints(a surprise birthday party) i was unable to stay past 8:15. And as I presume you know it was rather dark!


Subject: Assignment 01
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:02:34 -0800 (PST)


I arrived at 3 Rochester street at 7.40, and I left at 8.00. My assignment is complete, but I don't yet understand the intention.

Subject: ?
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 20:50:36 -0800 (PST)


I must admit, I was expecting to hear from you following assignment 1. Given that I do not know what I was supposed to have achieved, I hope you are not avoiding contact with me for not having achieved it. If I was supposed to stay for the performance, tell me so.
I am looking forward to hearing from you again - I hope it will be soon.

Very curious indeed. If we jump ahead to the couple of days following my third assignment we find a flurry of e-mail activity, some of which references this very blog:

Subject: Assignment 01
Date: Thu, March 06 2004 11:32:46 +1100

I missed out on collecting anything from "Doctor Ben" but I continued following when everyone else lost the trail. Listen Robert, things got pretty weird with Ben's "patient". He freaked out and ran away from Ben. I gave chase until I believe they both got in a blue Ford and drove away.
Does neurocam have anything to do with the fruity patient and what’s with that book he gave Ben. "A History of the Mind" or something like that. I am a little concerned about what i got myself involved in. Is what happened at the hospital part of the Assignment, because it seems that only one other person 'experienced' that part of the night. That’s a little strange because there were about 7 or 8 others at the meeting point but most gave up chase.

By the way, I think that some people at neurocam should read "The Crying of Lot 49". It seems similar in the way the pieces of the puzzle fall together.

Kind Regards

Subject: Neurocam CD
Date: Sat, March 08 2004 16:32:09 +1100

Since I haven’t received any new mail from you regarding Tuesday night's events, I thought I'd check in with you.

I've been looking at the CD I acquired and I *think* I've unlocked most of it's secrets - the information about how the headset"headset" reads andrecords the electrical pulses from the brains higher association cortex was very interesting. However one paragraph didn't seem to fit... "Electrical pulses are sampled every 0.125 milliseconds and converted to digital form by the 3000mhz PORTABLE COMPUTING DEVICE."
From the information on the CD, most of the interactive program was created in early 2000, and as far as my knowledge goes in computing, there was no such thing as a 3000mhz CPU. At least nowhere outside of NASA or a Cray Supercomputer. Let alone a portable version of the device. Any chance of enlightenment on this subject?

I've also come across a web blog written by another Neurocam follower -
"G" - which I take it you are also reading, and have become quite curious as to the previous events taken place before my introduction to the Neurocam program. The elimination of Z made me curious, and slightly concerned... Either I've misinterpreted what I've read, I assume Z spoke to too many people about the program?
From the blog, (an extract from an email from yourself) "Of the 13 people present on the night, part of the test was to assume they were not all working for us, hence disallowing collaboration."
Something with that confuses me... it just doesn't seem to jive. If this program was so important to keep it tight nipped between each individual, why such an open method of recruitment? Why inform "G" to work with "C" on the last assignment? Either I'm just poking holes, or something's amiss…

I look forward to your response.

Subject: Curiouser and and curiouser...
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 21:49:12 +1000

Interesting... Just reading "G"'s update on his blog... I had a suspicion there might be someone recording the events of Tuesday night. Now my suspicions have been confirmed. Whoever the camera man, they did a fantastic job concealing the camera. However I do have some thoughts on who it might have been... I notice a particular picture was titled "CC.jpg". The title of that picture makes me wonder of some things... From my perspective, it might mean something, something of you knowing more than I first thought, or it could just be merely a coincidence. It might've been named "CC" for entirely different reasons to what I'm thinking... but I guess that's what all this is about. Finding out the "truth", as it were.

I can't help but feel out of the loop of things... Seems any of my participation so far is leading nowhere. I'm now obtaining a large portion of my information from "G"'s blog. The thought of my own elimination dawns on me...

I look forward to your response.

Subject: Re: Curiouser and and curiouser...
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 00:39:50 +1000

No, I am not affiliated with anyone by the name of Carlos Cactus. My thoughts on the image name, "CC", was that my first initial is "C", and an individual I had attended Tuesday nights assignment with also had the first initial "C". I thought I recognized him as the person on the left in that image. I suspected there might have been a chance you knew us more than I had first thought. I guess I was mistaken.

Let’s hope I don't bungle any of my assignments. I wouldn't want to miss out on all this fun!

As you can see, it’s all very interesting but not very informative… I ask again – What was Robert’s purpose in giving me access to this information? Is this part of the “promotion” I was offered, or something else entirely?

Once again, as is often the case with Neurocam, I’ve been left with more questions than answers. There is one e-mail, however, that may be more worthy of note than the others. I’ll finish this post with it and let you decide how relevant it may be:

Subject: Neurocam.
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 14:56:21 +1100

I would have to disagree with you about uninformed choices having no merit. Some of the most rewarding experiences we have come about through rather random circumstances of which we have no real understanding. It is not meaningless to commit to something we know very little about if the act of commitment in itself becomes part of an experience. Also, who is to say that Neurocam is in fact directed or scripted by anything other than its participants? Perhaps it is up to you to make your own Neurocam?


Robert Henley

Saturday, March 20, 2004


On the back of the toilet door at the local cafe:

Dude! Where's my comfort zone?

Now there's a Michael Moore book I can't wait to read.

I am working on a "Best of the Neurocam e-mails" post, but I've been fighting the flu for the past few days and thus have been far from motivated...

I should have it up by tomorrow...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Good, The Bad, and The Inner Harmony...

I wasn't aware that Jared had once been a Buddhist monk.

Lucky for me, some kind soul has decided to document that particular chapter of Jared's life in the form of a cartoon.

The resemblance is uncanny...


I feel like a bit of an idiot.

After receiving the latest Neurocam CD from Robert Henley (maybe) last night, I had assumed that it was made for use on a Macintosh computer...

Well you know what they say about assumptions...

I got to work today, put the CD into the Mac and (surprise! surprise!) discovered that it only contained a Word document, which would have been viewed on my computer at home.

Oh well...

So what was in the document?

E-mails! Lots and lots of e-mails.

The document seems to contain copies of all the e-mail correspondence that has taken place between Robert and the other Neurocam members... Except that all of the names have been deleted.

There are queries about the nature of Neurocam, assignment reports (including my own) and even a few e-mails which describe my blog. There are also copies of Robert's e-mails to each of the Neurocam members detailing their various goals during assignments and answering the many questions that some of them have asked...

It makes very interesting reading.

The first thing that struck me after my initial read-through is that there seems to be a lot more people involved in Neurocam then I had suspected. To hazard a guess, I'd say that there are at least 50 - 60 separate "voices" on this CD...

I wonder if some of these e-mails are from the New Zealand version of the project... It's hard to tell, some of them are extremely vague whilst others are quite specific and even mention in detail some of the Melbourne-based assignments that I've also experienced.

I'm not sure why Robert wanted me to have this file. I can only assume that he would like me to post some of the information up on my blog. I've sent him an e-mail asking that he clarify his intention, but am yet to receive a response.

I'll have a good read of these e-mails over the next few days and see if I can fashion them into some sort of "cream of the crop" post...

Is this part of my promotion?

Where will things go from here?

I'll let you know once I know anything more...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Robert Henley – The Meeting.

WARNING: This is going to be a very long post.

I think that last night I finally met Robert Henley, but I’m not entirely sure. The whole experience was a little (Ok… a lot) strange and I was left with more questions than answers. Then again, I can’t say that I’m surprised by that, it’s pretty much what I’ve come to expect from the mysterious organisation known as Neurocam.

Last night, as per the SMS instructions, I made my way into the Melbourne CBD. At 10.02pm my mobile beeped, informing me that I had received further directions:

Rankins Lane 10.30pm.
2nd laneway off Little Bourke after Elizabeth.
SMS once you are outside.

I had almost ½ an hour to waste.

After purchasing a bottle of water I wandered aimlessly around the city, envisioning what the upcoming meeting could entail.

It was around 10.15 that my sense of anticipation began to turn into one of apprehension. With all of my other Neurocam experiences there had been certain “safety nets” in place that made them a little less threatening, for example I had taken a friend with me on Assignment 1, Assignment 2 had occurred in a populated part of Fitzroy whilst it was still light, and for Assignment 3 I had been teamed up with C. As I wandered around the CBD I became very aware of the fact that this time I was truly going it alone. I had made certain assumptions about Neurocam up until this point that allowed me to feel a degree of safety, but I was now realising that they were assumptions that might not end up being justified. I’m sure there’s an old saying about assumptions…

Despite this sense of unease I had no intention of not making the meeting and so, at 10.30pm, I walked into Rankins Lane. Now I’m sure that Rankins Lane is quite a lovely spot during the full light of day, but last night it was remarkably under-lit and decidedly deserted. This didn’t help my growing anxiousness.

I walked for about 30 meters until I was half-way down the alley. I then sent the necessary SMS and waited.

Was that music I could hear? In the background there seemed to be a slightly atmospheric soundtrack, similar to that which was playing during Assignment 2. Its source, however, was indeterminable. It could have been coming from anywhere, even, as I half-expected, from my own imagination.

As I waited I scanned the alley and took note of the plethora of doors that led out of it; the back of shops, loading docks, entries to inner-city apartments and offices. Due to the fact that the alley was deserted, I predicted that Robert would emerge from one of these many doors.

Sure enough, a door soon opened across from me, but, instead of the expected Robert, a young woman stepped out. She was a touch taller than me (making her around 185 cms), with long brownish-red hair. She was wearing a tight black dress and heels. In her hands there was a cigarette.

Taking a long drag on the cigarette, she looked me up and down, sized me up, looked disgusted at what she saw, and then beckoned with her head that I should follow her through the door. I’d come this far and, in my mind, there was now no turning back, so I did as she directed, pulling the door shut behind me.

Beyond the door there was a flight of wooden stairs, more dimly lit than even the alley outside. They seemed to be quite decrepit, but that may have been only a trick of the light. The “cigarette-smoking woman” led the way up. As I followed her I noticed that on each landing there were a number of doors that seemed to be the front-doors of a set of apartments.

We reached the top of the stairs (about three flights in total). To my left there was an open door, beyond which seemed to be a (once again dimly lit) converted-warehouse apartment. The woman stopped and turned to face me.

“Do exactly as I say.” She barked. “Ask no questions!” She then indicated that I should follow her into the apartment.

The first thing I noticed upon entering was that there was another person present in the room. Standing at the far end of what seemed to be a large dining room/kitchen/sitting room (dining table, fridge, couches, etc) was a youngish looking woman of small stature. In her hands she held a live rat. Her clothing seemed to be either a pair of bright orange overalls, or a very baggy, very long, orange shirt.

We walked past “rat girl” and the “cigarette-smoking woman” (now cigarette-less as she had extinguished it before entering) took the rat gently from her. The rat girl (now as rat-less as the cigarette woman was cigarette-less… Maybe I should have chosen descriptive names with a bit more longevity…) didn’t acknowledge my presence.

I was led through this first room and into what seemed to be the landing of another stair-well. Instead of leading me down the stairs the woman led me straight through the landing and into another room.

This new room was about the same size as the first room that I had entered, but seemed to be more of a lounge room/study. Like everything else in the building (and immediately outside of it) it was extremely dimly lit. I could now definitely hear the atmospheric music that I thought I may have imagined whilst waiting outside.

In the centre of the room there was a single chair, in front of which was an extremely bright desk lamp. The lamp was pointed “interrogation-style” towards the chair.

Behind the lamp I could make out what seemed to be two separate figures. As I approached the chair I was able to discern some, but not all, of their characteristics.

The taller of the two figures seemed to be wearing a white woolen dressing gown, his/her sex was indeterminate and his/her face seemed to be wrapped in some kind of cloth. The smaller of the two also seemed to be wearing some type of gown or smock. I was again unable to determine the sex of the figure, nor any of its facial features. It’s possible that he or she was also wearing some type of mask/hood. I was unable to tell due to the fact that I was now being quite effectively blinded by the light emanating from the desk lamp.

“Sit!” Ordered the “cigarette-smoking woman”.

I did so.

As my eyes began to adjust I noticed that the smaller of the two figures was grasping at the dressing gown of the taller one, only to be continually slapped away. Both figures seemed to be communicating through a series of unintelligible grunts and moans.

Time passed. It was probably only a few seconds, but due to my heightened sense of apprehension/expectation it seemed like it may have been a few minutes. Then, without sound or warning, a face appeared from behind the light.

Was this Robert? It was hard to tell. The new arrival definitely seemed to be male, but was either wearing some type of tight full-face mask (similar to a wrestler’s mask) or had a fully painted face. The face I was presented was mostly black with red and white high-lights that took the form of pie-like triangles tangenting out from the figure’s nose.

Without a word the figure thrust a CD into my hands and then disappeared back behind the desk lamp as quickly as he had appeared.

I examined the CD– It was almost identical to the CDs I had recovered during Assignment 3, except that this time there was some writing on it: Attn: Graham Henstock.

Nobody said anything. I stayed seated where I was. Nobody had told me to move and, although I assumed that the aim of the meeting had been achieved, I was reluctant to move in case I missed some vital piece of the experience (as I had in Assignment 3).

A minute passed, then another. The two figures behind the light continued their unintelligible squabble. Then, after another minute, the figure with the mask reappeared and stood beside the chair. He nodded at me.

I took this as my cue and stood up. I about-faced and started out of the room.

As I left the room I noticed that there was a long table against one of the walls. On it were laid out a number of books including “A short history of the Mind”, “The Magus” and a biography of the playwright Samuel Beckett. I wanted to stop and examine the books more carefully, but I only noticed them as I was walking out and wasn’t sure how any pause in my departure would be interpreted.

I passed through the stairwell and into the first room. The “cigarette-smoking woman” was conversing with the “rat-girl” (who was now holding the rat again). “Thank you.” I said as I passed them.

This seemed to confuse the “cigarette smoking woman” a little. “Ummm… that’s fine…” she mumbled as I left.

I headed back out into the entryway and down the stairs. Once I was at the bottom I opened the door and stepped back into the alley.

Rounding the corner back onto Little Bourke Street I glanced at my watch. It was only 10.43pm. The whole experience had taken less than 15 minutes. Why then did it fell like it had taken so much longer?

So there you have it! A possible meeting with the man himself…

Was the figure with the painted face/mask Robert? I can only assume that I am at least meant to assume that it was, but what was that saying about assumptions again?

Is this sort of thing happening to other Neurocam members? Somehow I suspect not, but, then again, last night seemed like quite a production if it was only for my benefit.

What is on the CD and why was it so important that Robert get it to me? I’m assuming that it’s a Macintosh disk, so I’ll take a look at it once I get some spare time and access to the Mac at work today.

As I said at the beginning, I now have a lot more questions. I wonder if the contents of the CD will produce any answers…

I’ll report back on what I discover.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Meeting Robert: Update 1.

After a bit of SMS ping-pong I have been told to be in the Melbourne CBD tonight at 10pm. Apparently Robert has "something" that he wants to give me.

According to the messages from Robert's PA, I will be texted the exact details of our meeting time/place at 10pm. I have been told to make sure that I am alone.

My sense of anticipation is building.

An urgent Neurocam request...

I just checked my inbox and found the following e-mail:


We need to meet tonight.

Please SMS your mobile number to my PA on 041 *** ****. Do not attempt to talk to him.


Very strange, I wonder why Robert wants to meet me...

I've done as he has requested and am yet to receive a response. I'll let you know what eventuates.

Maybe it's time for some anger management sessions...

Considering that most of Henry Rollins' tour diaries are written whilst he's on route from one city (or country) to another, it's probably quite apt that I've read, finished and enjoyed most of his latest book "Broken Summers" during my recent flights to and from Brisbane.

It may be the shared touring experience that causes me to feel such a high level of kinship with Henry Rollins... Then again, it may be that, whilst I'm reading of his desire to teach drunk morons a lesson via the valuable teaching aid of a high-velocity inter-continental ballistic water bottle, I am seriously considering grabbing the man who is sitting two seats in front of me, tearing his Mambo tank top off, fashioning it into a crude noose, wrapping it around his neck, tying one end to the handle of the plane's toilet, dangling his feet over the bowl, pressing the flush and watching as he is both asphyxiated and turned inside-out due to the disparity in air pressure between the inside of the cubicle and the outside of the Boeing 767.... Even I'm a little surprised by the response a mobile being turned on whilst I'm at 38,000 feet can elicit from me... If nothing else, it was definitely healthy for my ever-so-slightly morbid imagination.

As you've probably guessed, I'm back in Melbourne. The Bump Out of "Blue Room" went well. So well, in fact, that I was able to shift my flight and come home early... Big mistake!

I should have taken the time to relax in the hotel pool and just done my best to ignore the high humidity. Instead I had a quick dip in the pool, showered and raced for the airport. It was only as a passed through the security check-point that I realised that I was actually remarkably tired, kind of grumpy and that my right ear was still blocked with water from my brief moment in the pool. The grumpiness level wasn't helped by the fact that the only complimentary alcohol available on the plane was "Fosters". I'm sure that had to be some Qantas executive's idea of a joke.

Maybe this outburst of anger and frustration was entirely due to the tone of Rollins' book. It's hard to process his level of intensity over a number of sittings, let alone cramming it into two 1 1/2 hour flights. Then again, it could just be that the guy on the plane was actually a moron who needed some Rollins-style learning.

I'm sure the world will seem like a slighter nicer place once I've had a real beer and a bit of sleep... It'd better, if I keep this up I end up sounding like Jared.

My right ear's still blocked by the way....

Sunday, March 14, 2004

All the cool kids are doing it...

I'm not sure whether I should be congratulating Euan on his new blog or contacting my lawyers to arrange the lawsuit. I'm pretty sure that he wasn't the first person to use the "Evan Bowman" pseudonym, but I guess that the two times when I did so, I was only doing it to stir him up, so perhaps I should be a little forgiving. Not sure how I feel about him referring to me as "Unky Gra Gra" on his site though...

Welcome to the world of blogging Euan, even if you're only doing it because all the cool kids are....

Whilst we're talking about the cool kids, I noticed on Dean's blog that Douglas Rushkoff now has a weblog. They don't get much cooler than Douglas Rushkoff. His books "Media Virus" and "Coercion" are required reading in my friendship circle. And his novel "Ecstasy Club" was a laugh a minute. His blog is well worth a look, especially his recent post on Neuromarketting...

It's almost time for me to head to the airport so I can fly to Bris-Vegas and pack-up "The Blue Room", but before I go, and while I'm still on the subject of blogs, I've got a quick question for "Lunch" - Did you really think that we wouldn't find out? I trust that you won't be too offended now that I've revealed your secret...

Saturday, March 13, 2004

A musing on Rollins and the nature of my life.

It's with some trepidation that I have begun to read Henry Rollins' new book "Broken Summers". During different periods of my life the words of Henry Rollins have managed to either comfort me immensely or alienate me completely, but they've certainly never failed to fascinate me.

"Broken Summers" is the latest collection of Henry's tour diaries. Written over three years, they are an unforgiving, painfully truthful insight into Henry's experiences and state of mind whilst on the road. Which leads me to the reason for my sense of trepidation. The last Rollins book I read was another collection of his tour diaries entitled "Smile! You're traveling." At the end of the experience I felt extremely hollow. Here was an example of a rarely spoken truth - Endearing angry young men, more often than not, turn into cranky old men.

At the time I almost swore never to pick up a Rollins book again. It was true "car-wreck" material - An intelligent individual, angry at everything (including himself), doing his best to convince me that he was a "lone warrior" who didn't need such abstract concepts as "happiness", "companionship" or "love". There was many a time that I was tempted to throw the book aside and cease my immersion in the life of a man who seemed to be flailing around aimlessly, looking for something that he couldn't describe, filling his life with more and more work so that he had an excuse for not living it.

It doesn't mean that I didn't take something valuable away from "Smile! You're traveling." There are large sections of the book where Henry's razor-sharp, extremely funny sense of humor reigns supreme, and others were his anger is turned into insightful, slightly rabid but always articulate, social commentary. These sections of the book included some of the most interesting (and, I admit it, enjoyable) material I have ever read. It was just that by the end of the book I was left with a sour taste in my mouth, a sense that I had been privy to the personal disintergration of a once great man.

I'm happy to report that "Broken Summers" seems not to be continuing that trend. I'm only about 50 pages in, but this time Henry seems to be a little more mentally together and healthy. He's still very much the "lone warrior" and he's still prepared to rant and rave about whatever issue seems to take his fancy (It's nice to know that, like myself, he is disgusted by the way that the world is slowing selling it's soul to advertising), but the tone of the book seems a touch more positive. I even suspect (dare I say it?) that he seems to be kind of "happy". Here's hoping that that tone continues until the end of the book.

One of the aspects I find most appealing about Henry Rollins' books are his observations on the nature of touring and constant travel. That's probably not surprising, considering what I do for a living.

A friend told me recently that he suspected that many people filled their lives with "movement" instead of "quality". That by finding an increasingly large number of things to do/places to be/work to finish they were able to convince themselves that they were living "quality" lives when, in fact, all they were doing was "movement." His theory was that people (in general) need less things in their lives and more time to appreciate the things that they do have. I'm pretty sure his statement was a veiled comment on my lifestyle, but I'll forgive him for that. It's not a statement, however, that I entirely agree with, though I can see where it might stem from. I think some elements of Rollins' books address this issue and that Henry demonstrates that there is (occasionally) room for richer, more diverse "quality" in a busy lifestyle. Maybe that's part of the reason they appeal to me.

It's interesting, however, that I must admit to a slight feeling of unease whenever I consider this issue at any length. Maybe that's a little more telling than I'd like it to be. Oh well... I'll mull it over for a while and see if any epiphanies eventuate.

Got to go now... I need to pack my bags before I fly back to Brisbane tomorrow.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Neurocam CD contents revealed!

Here we go! As promised, here’s a run-down of the rest of the contents of the Neurocam CD. It’s going to be quite lengthy, but (I hope) well worth the read.

You may remember that when I last attempted to crack the CD’s secrets that I only got as far as a page that contained five buttons that looked like blueprints/schematics for the Neurocam headset and recorder. Thanks to a little guidance from Robert I’ve now been able to delve a little deeper.

All I had to do was place the cursor over the top of each picture, wait until it had increased in side, and THEN click on the button. Here’s what I discovered:

The first picture was a side-on view of the Neurocam headset (which looks a lot like a re-jigged dark blue bicycle helmet with a “Neurocam” transfer stuck on the side). Clicking on it revealed a new screen with some funky futuristic graphics, a single button and a small window where a movie was waiting to be played.

Clicking on the button caused the following text to scroll across the screen: Neurocam’s transparent head-stem contains micro-circuitry that links hundred of processors in series to create a data rate of 265 megabytes/sec. This speed is required to activate the headset’s millions of electro-pulse generators which send electrical information to specific points on the NEURAL LACE SENSOR NET SYSTEM.

The movie on this page was similar to what had gone before (and, it would turn out, what went after), a series of images flashing by at break-neck speed. There were images of sex, people winning races, the word “Neurocam” and the whole thing finished with the sentence “WE KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!”

Having discovered all there was discover on that page, I returned to the page with the five blueprints/pictures and clicked on the second picture; a rear view of the headset.

The new page opened to show a side view of the headset with five buttons aligned vertically and a movie window.

The first button revealed the following text: The NEURAL LACE SENSOR NET SYSTEM is connected the main body by minute super-conducting strands similar to those found in the human nervous system.

The second button: Neurocam is ¼ the size of the smallest laptop and 200 times as fast. It can be used like a 3 dimensional dictaphone to record anything during the user’s day that needs to be remembered. REPLAY YOUR DAY!

And the third: If Neurocam is worn in RECORD mode during the first 2-3 minutes after the user has woken up, it will enhance dream recall. If you can remember a dream clearly, Neurocam will produce a high quality recording of it.

The forth: Neurocam is powered by a system that amplifies the charge of electrical energy from the unused frontal lobes of the brain. Extensive testing has shown no side-effects or long-term health risks. Using the human brain as a power source will become common.

And the fifth button had this to say: Neurocam will become a standard tool for artists and creative professionals. People will be able to instantly record visual and auditory versions of their ideas and transmit them directly into their client’s minds.

After finally having wading through (and transcribed) all of that information I was able to click on the movie window, only to be a tad disappointed. The movie on this page was merely a series of animated horizontal lines and patterns, unless, of course, there was more subliminal information that I missed out on.

I now returned to the page with the five blueprints. Slightly apprehensive (if there was much information in each page this was going to take me all day) I clicked on the third picture (a top view of the headset).

This time I was presented with a more detailed schematic of the sensor net within the headset. I instantly recognised the music playing underneath – The Chemical Brothers “Under the influence”. I was also relieved to see that there were only two movie windows on this page and a single button.

The first movie was an animated version of the over-head view of the sensor net.

The second movie was a kind-of “fly-through”. It zoomed in on one part of the sensor net showing it in more and more detail. Each layer resembled an intricate spider’s web and would peel back to reveal another smaller, but almost identical, layer.

Clicking the button on this new page un-veiled the following: The GEODESIC SENSOR NET is a neural lace that fits tightly over the skull. It contains millions of receptor units and pulse generators which record and play back synaptic patterns.

It was time once again to return to the blueprint page. This time, you guessed it, I selected the forth button; a frontal view of the headset.

No more schematics on the next page, just a picture of the human brain, two buttons and a movie window in the middle of the brain picture.

When I played the “brain movie” I was greeted with a side-view of a youngish girl wearing the Neurocam headset (the same girl viewed in one of the earlier movies). She slowly faded out and was replaced with images of sex, sport and victory. In all, it was extremely similar to the other movies I’d found so far.

I was surprised, however, when I clicked on the first button. Instead of the expected text, I was shown yet another movie (although not a very exciting one), this time it was merely a series of vertical lines, expanding out from the centre of the screen. Once again I found myself wondering about any possible subliminal content.

The second button stayed truer to expectation, it revealed further text: Neurocam records the bio-chemical event of “seeing”. Images can be extracted from our memories, our dreams, or directly from the fovea, via the optic nerves.

That was all for that page, so it was with some relief, both mentally and physically (my writing hand was beginning to cramp), that I headed back and clicked on the fifth blueprint. This was the only blueprint that wasn’t a picture of the Neurocam headset, instead it was a rendition of the portable recorder that goes along with the headset.

The picture of the new page was a close up of the recording device (which looks an awful lot like a dark-blue CD walkman) and a solitary button.

Selecting the button caused a description of the device to scroll across the screen: The Neurocam 3000mhz portable hard drive is worn in a shoulder holster that allows the device to be used in RECORD mode while the user is mobile.

There was no obvious movie on this page, but clicking on the recording device caused yet another new page to open. I found myself viewing a page with what seemed to be a Macintosh computer “screen shot” in the centre. The computer in the “screen shot” was running a program entitled “Neuroplayer 1.0”. It seemed to resemble a video-editing program. To the upper right of the page there was a large button entitled “PLAY” and alongside the “screen shot” there were three more buttons… My writing hand started to ache again in anticipation.

Holding the mouse over the screen shot caused it to spring into life. The program in the “screen shot” ran through a series of images (primarily those of someone surfing an extremely large wave and those of a fit young man running through a deserted desert) all contained in a number of windows such as those used by a video-editing program (hence my earlier comparison).

By clicking on the first of the buttons I uncovered (you guessed it!) yet more text: Neurocam features a 4cm micro-controller unit which has a special trackball to access the Neuroplayer interface.

And behind button number two: The interface uses an operating system similar to Mac OS which runs “Neuroplayer 1.0”, a program which manages neurological recordings and playback conversions.

And button number three: The Neurocam interface is perceived internally. The visual information making up the “screen” is fed directly into the image processing section of the H/A cortex. It is recommended that users remain seated at all times during playback.

By this point my lunch break was well and truly over, so it was fortunate that there was only one more button to press – The one labeled “PLAY”.

You can imagine my extreme disappointment when I discovered that the only movie left to view was the one that I had seen when I first went searching through the Neurocam CD directories.

Just to refresh your memory, it went a little like this: Lots of scrambled images cutting in and out… People swan-diving... The word “Neurocam” repeated over and over… The phrase “Mind Invasion” appearing occasionally… And finally it finished with an advert for the defunct New Zealand website of Neurocam.

And so finishes our exploration of the Neurocam CD. I seriously considered not including this information due to its length this post was going to end up being, but decided that, if I was going to go to the effort of reporting everything else that happened as part of Neurocam, I needed to remain consistent and do the same here.

I’ll leave it there for now (my typing fingers are striking in sympathy with my writing hand). I’ll put up my personal thoughts on the CD a little later (once I’ve had time to mull them over a little). I’ll say this much – Somebody has put a lot of time and work into the Neurocam CD, my level of respect for the minds behind this experience has risen considerably.

I would love to hear your thoughts/impressions though…

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A raincheck...

In yesterday's post I said that today I would reveal the remaining contents of the Neurocam CD, but sadly I'm going to have to disappoint.

It's not that I couldn't get further into the CD (Robert's suggestion worked fine) it's just that there was so much information there that I don't really have time to type it all up for you tonight.

I'm sure I'll have the time tomorrow, so in the meantime here's a little something to tide you Neurocam-addicts over...

You'll remember yesterday that I raised the issue of whether or not there was a higher Neurocam power than Robert Henley. Well Robert was very quick to reply to those musings:


In response to your previous email and musings on your blog I can tell you that yes, you are correct in assuming that I am not the head honcho of Neurocam. When you come to understand a little more about how we work you will realise why we have such a great need for secrecy. I can tell you in all honesty that I don't truly know who (if it is one person) is behind Neurocam. I have been with Neurocam for five years now and have worked my way up through several promotions, always answering to the next highest in a kind of chain of command structure. I always get to find out more about Neurocam with each
promotion, but never get to know the whole story. Part of getting to my position has involved me not asking too many questions. I have on occasion met some of my superiors on assignment, but they are usually in disguise or there is limited light. I am allowed to reveal that I take my assignments from a woman known as "B", real name unknown. All I know about her is that she is tall, has blonde hair and is probably in her early thirties with a slight trace of a New Zealand accent.

I hope this hasn't confused you even more.

One other thing worth mentioning is that all of my work with Neurocam is given to me in the form of assignments. When I set you and the others assignments, this is always part of my assignments and presumably the same for many others in my position as well, with their own groups of operatives. Are you beginning to see it now?



So how many levels of management does Neurocam have? Is it just some sort of pyramid-management organisation where the original goals have become so diluted via the "Chinese whispers" of the secret management structure that it no longer really knows what it's up to? Who's really in charge? Is anyone actually in charge? Any thoughts would be more than welcome.

Lots of questions, very few answers. I'll sleep on it and give you my thoughts tomorrow when I write up the contents of the CD.

And this time I'll stick to my word... No really... Would I lie to you?

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Yep! That's me alright!

I always suspected that the Neurocam experiments/experiences were being filmed/photographed, but I didn't expect that I'd be so unaware. Especially when the camera must have been quite close to me.

A couple of days ago I sent an e-mail containing a series of questions to Robert Henley (self-confessed head of Neurocam). Here's what he sent me in reply (I've included my questions for your benefit):

Hi Graham thanks for your email.

I will try and respond to some of your questions within the framework of how much I am allowed to reveal.

} Please be assured that if I had
} been aware that there was a further goal I would have
} done my best to resume the chase. I understand the
} need for secrecy, however, and next time I'll try to
} consider all of the possible angles.

I was given specific orders not to tell you the exact nature of the goals associated with 03. I was not even allowed to hint at the fact there were two objectives, so I apologise for the lack of direction. I guess you will be better equipped to deal with future assignments now.

} Adrian/Ben: You seem to know a lot about him,
} especially considering that you've told me that he
} isn't part of Neurocam. Who is he?

Adrian used to work for Neurocam but is now working for another organisation whose name I can not reveal. He works for St Vincents in order to steal classified information from the Neurology Department to use as part of a research project he is involved with.

} What should I know/do if I come into
} contact with him again?

Follow at a distance, do not attempt to approach him. He is an unstable character and has been known to behave in a violent manner when cornered.

"Violent manner when cornered?" He could have warned me before the assignment... Or at the very least before C and I chased Adrian through the streets of Melbourne:

Still better late than never, I guess. Oh well, on with Robert's responses:

} The CD: I've been unable (thus far) to find anymore
} information on it. I only have limited access to a
} Mac at work and thus can only grab the occasional ten
} minutes to work on cracking the CD's secrets. Do you
} have any suggestions on how I should proceed in my
} search for further revelations?

Another agent sent me a copy and I was able to play all of the screens on my G4 laptop. The screen with the vertical arrangement of headset icons leads to several other screens with lots of movies, text and sound on them. If you roll over the icons they make a sound and enlarge. You then need to click on them. I found that the whole thing plays really slowly when on the CD but much better if you copy it to the HD. Also it is an old program and needs to boot up in OS9 or OS10 in classic mode to play properly.

The information on the CD was created by the organisation Adrian works for. It is part of a conspiracy to undermine some real research we are doing into similar areas, but not using anything as crude as Geodesic Sensor Nets.

} Are you still considering me for a promotion?

We are still keen to offer you a promotion if you would like to step things up a little. The next step is for you and I to meet. This will take place some time in the next week or so, I will let you know the details. I must insist on wearing some kind of disguise for privacy reasons.

I will send you some other photos taken from 03 shortly, you can post them if you like.

Gotta go, these F1 cars are driving me insane right outside my window...

Speak to you soon.


Quite a number of major pieces of information can be gleamed from this e-mail, although most of them just result in more questions.

The first is my upcoming "promotion"! What will that entail? I can only assume that my "promotion" will make me privy to more of the secrets of Neurocam, but do I really want to know?

The second thing, is my forth-coming meeting with "Robert". Could be very enlightening... Or extremely frustrating...

Thirdly, I've now got a clue on how to break further into the Neurocam CD. I'll do that at work tomorrow and report back on what I discover.

Fourth, I've now got more information on Adrian/Ben. Provided, that is, I can believe Robert's version of events.

And Fifth, and maybe more importantly, was this little revelation - Take a look at Robert's first response. The line that starts "I was given specific orders..." I was under the impression that Robert was the head/leader/architect of Neurocam, this line would suggest otherwise. Is there a higher power in Neurocam, someone that Robert takes his orders from? Whose drum are we really dancing to? Any thoughts?

As for the photos... True to his word Robert sent through five photos (including the two I've already shown you) with this small intro:

Here are some stills taken from some video footage of 03. I'll bet you can't guess where they came from. Let's just say all assignments are monitored by our internal team for assessment purposes; we have to know exactly what goes on out there...


The first photo included was of "C", the other agent I was ordered to team-up with that night:

All of these stills (apart from the chase) were obviously taken whilst we were on the tram. Whoever had the camera did an excellent job of hiding it from us... Or maybe we were just so focused on Adrian that we failed to see what else was happening around us.

The second still was entitled "CC". I'm not sure who it is of, but I assume that it's another Neurocam participant:

The final picture was the most interesting (I've seen plenty of pictures of myself before), mostly because of who it's subject was - "Z", the supposedly eliminated, but somehow still very much active, ex-Neurocam agent. I wonder if she's working for the same organisation as Adrian. Whatever the case, I still think she looks shifty. What does she know that the rest of us don't?

That's all from me for now. Tomorrow I'll report back on the rest of the contents of the CD.

If you need me before then, I'll be the one hiding in a corner with my paranoia running rampant.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Where's Saddam?

On May 1st, 2003, George Bush announced that the war on Iraq was over. At the time there was one question on everybody's lips - "Where's Saddam?"

Then on July 22, 2003, after months of continued fighting (even though the war was officially "over") Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay were killed by American troops. The US administration rejoiced, as did, it must be conceded, the majority of the population of Iraq, but one question was still on everybody's lips - "Where's Saddam?"

On December 13th, 2003, Saddam was discovered, and arrested alive, by American troops. The question had been answered; Saddam had been hiding in a bolt-hole beneath a shack near Tikrit. If there was dancing in the streets of Iraq then there must have been the world's biggest rave party happening inside the White House. Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the neo-conservative crew would have been doing the Washington shuffle with their hands up in the air. And I have no doubt that world-renowned DJ Dick Cheney was supplying the beats they were dancing to...

At the time my main thought was- "I didn't expect them to catch him alive.... Now what will they do with him?"

A secondary thought was- "Damn! There goes my chance of releasing a line of 'Where's Saddam?' children's books."

It's been close to four months since Saddam was taken alive, paraded around, reportedly cooperated with American officials and was finally locked away in a cell somewhere, and now I find myself asking the same old question - "Where's Saddam?"

It's amazing how quickly an issue will cease to be newsworthy. There was about a month's worth of news regarding Saddam's capture (and the subsequent events) but since then there has been very little. What's going on? Are they still interrogating him? Are they just holding him in a cell until they can hold a trial? Has he been sent to a version of "Dictator Detox" and will be re-launched (product-style) as a repentant, remorseful, all-caring ex-dictator who now respects the American authority? Or is he just in secret negotiations with Fox about who will get the rights to the TV-movie?

I don't know, but I find it amazing how hard it is to find out... I've been doing a bit of internet detective-work, but haven't turned anything up as of yet. Does anyone have any idea about what has happened to Saddam?

The good news, though, is that the line of kid's books is back on the agenda...

Friday, March 05, 2004

Another day, another post... And a lot more readers...

I was quite happy living in obscurity... Quietly existing in my little corner of Melbourne... Occasionally posting the odd rant that nobody would read... But now all that has changed!

I know that it's entirely due to my Neurocam adventures, but, as I write this, my blog has had more than 168 hits for the week. Not much, you might say, but, considering I was averaging around 50 hits per week in the past, I'm pretty excited.

So what am I going to do now that I have a bonafide readership base? Well I could make some profound social comment... Or I could reveal my inner-most secrets in an attempt to find online redemption... I could even start an online dating service... But instead I've decided to take the tried and true path of anyone who's ever had an audience - I've going to sell my soul to advertising!

Now before you all run away (I hate advertising too...) I promise that this'll be quick, painless, easily ignored and that there'll be another Neurocam update straight afterward.

Still here? Then here we go:

If you happen to be in Canberra, ACT, Australia this weekend you should go check out my very good friend Petra Elliott who'll be performing acoustically at "Toast" (in Civic... Don't ask for an address - I don't have one) on Sunday night from 9pm. I promise you won't be disappointed.

See? That's the end of the advert. I trust that wasn't too painful for you.

And now for more Neurocam developments:

I got an e-mail from Robert today. It would appear that there may be more to the CD I recovered that previously thought:

Good work G

Persist with the CD, we are pretty sure you only scratched the surface.

By the way the photo you posted on your blog is not of me, but we know
who it is. More on that later.

Keep up the good work


As a result of this e-mail I played with the CD for a couple of hours more, but couldn't make it reveal any further secrets. Anybody got any ideas about what I should do with it? I suspect it might make a good frisbee...

Nothing else to report, as of yet, but, as I promised yesterday I do have some photos from Assignment 3. And, as an extra special surprise, I've also got a few photos that were taken during my 1st assignment.

Let's begin with Assignment 3.

Here's a photo of me with Doctor/Nurse Adrian/Ben and a few of the other people present on the night. Check out the guy in the car behind us!

Now here's a picture of "C" (who I met up with that night) and Doctor/Nurse Adrian/Ben:

He may be smiling there, but I still suspect that C may be a tad shifty... What's his connection to Z? I've asked Robert for his thoughts, but received no response.

Now onto the photos taken during Assignment 1. They probably require no explanation:

Yep! That's me! Spraying "Neurocam is a matter of perception" onto one of the Neurocam billboards... Any law enforcement reading this?

One of these days my lack of shame is going to get me into strife.

That's all I've got for you today. I imagine that the next few days will be a little quieter (a least as far as Neurocam is involved) so maybe I'll try to work on some of that social commentary that has been a touch lacking from this blog. Then again, I may just sit on the couch and watch non-stop cable...Mmmmm.... Cable....

Thursday, March 04, 2004

CD contents and Robert's thoughts on my performance...

It's been a very busy Neurocam day....

Upon getting to work this morning I tried the Neurocam CD on the Macintosh - SUCCESS!

Contained on the CD was a small program. When launched the program opened a page with the Neurocam logo on it. From there I had two options. I could click on a forward arrow, or (if I held the mouse over the "Get Out Of Your Mind" tag-line) I could go to a page entitled "What do you think Neurocam is?" I opted to go to for the latter.

A new page opened up. The words "What do you think Neurocam is?" were written across the middle of the page. Spread across the page were three "buttons".

Clicking on the first button caused the following text to scroll across the screen: Dream Recorder. VR service provider. Smart Drink. Video Camera. Video Editing Program. Advanced VR headset. Digital camcorder.

Clicking on the second button resulted in the following phrases: VR Simulator. Measures Electrical Activity From Brain. MS2000 We Know Who You Are. Meditative Effect. Medical Imaging Software.

The Third Button revealed the following (this time written in funky red): Neurocam Is Mind Control. VR game (like Red Dwarf). Dream Making Machine. Marketing Angle, VR Experience. Best VR Experience Ever.

A hidden extra on this page was the random text would appear when I moved the mouse around the rest of the page. Phrases I discovered in the void areas of the page included: Some Wanky Art Thing. Full Sensory Virtual Reality. Pre-programmed Images. A Huge CON! Oscilloscope On Acid. Sex Packets. A New Drug That Perpetuates The Dream State. Strange Days. A Teaser Campaign For A Crappy TV Show. Until The End Of The World.

Curiouser and curiouser... That was all the secrets that that page was willing to reveal to me, so I went back to the beginning and this time clicked on the forward arrow.

I was greeted with another page with the Neurocam logo on it, similar to the opening page, but this time there were five buttons surrounding the logo.

The first button revealed the following information: Neurocam is a neurological recording device that uses a GEODESIC SENSOR NET of 150 million electrodes to sample electrostatic energy from the brain's HIGHER ASSOCIATION CORTEX.

Fascinating! Clicking on the second button caused the following text to appear: Electrical pulses are sampled every 0.125 milliseconds and converted to digital form by the 3000mhz PORTABLE COMPUTING DEVICE.

Here's what the third button had to say: The higher association cortex deals with visual and auditory perception. Neurocam samples the electrical waveforms which make up specific bits of the perceptual information.

And the fourth button: Once perceptual information has been recorded by the Neurocam headset it can then be stored as digital files. These files can be converted back to electrostatic energy which is fed directly into the H/A cortex, creating the same perceptual set.

I then clicked on the fifth button, expecting a similar line of text. I was amazed when a short film started to play instead. The film was of a youngish woman (maybe mid-twenties) putting on a Neurocam headset. Then she was surrounded by a flurry of images (including the same short film I was able to get working on my laptop). Throughout the film a robotic voice informed me that Neurocam was capable of recording experiences, memories and dreams. The whole thing ended with a Neurocam e-mail and the (defunct) New Zealand web address.

My main thought was: Someone's put a lot of work into this.

Having discovered everything I could on the second page, I clicked again on the forward arrow.

The next page was a bit disappointing after all the excitement of the pages leading up to it. It only contained what seemed to be five "blueprints" of the Neurocam headset. I couldn't find anything else on the page. Quite an anti-climatic end to the whole CD experience.... Maybe I missed something...

In other Neurocam news. I got home today to find that I had an e-mail from Robert. It would appear that I missed out on some of the important events that occurred during "Assignment 3":

Good work Graham you did reasonably well on 03.

I am a little disappointed however that you failed to continue following "Ben" (his real name is Adrian and he works at St Vincents as a male nurse). The point of
working as a team was to allow one of you to retrieve the "items" while the other continued pursuit. Part of what you had to get from "Ben" related to an interaction
he had with a "patient" inside the hospital. Here is an account of another agent's experiences on the night to bring you up to speed:

>>>>>>G'Day Robert,
I found the conspicuous man last night, along with many others! I stood back and took a good look at the proceedings, followed the man to St. Vincents via
tram. As i got off the tram we were traveling on there was a bit of a commotion and suddenly the man was off running. I confronted one of the group who
had been following the man closely and was now running directly away from the scene. He dropped a cd in the exchange.

Interesting CD! Although i am having troubles on my PC viewing the files contained on the Neurocam CD.

Further to me acquiring the CD i found and continued to follow the now "scrubbed up" Doctor into the St.Vincents precinct and to the Emergency room. Unfortunately i am pretty sure he was no Dr. He tried to enter via the security ambulance entrance! He asked me for directions to the Emergency room, of
which i was happy to oblige. Following in i introduced myself to "Ben" (the conspicuous man) and met "Rob" who appeared to be another following the proceedings.
We had an inconsequential conversation full of innuendo. "Ben" then proceeded to take into his care a "patient", a man who had recently entered and looked
troubled, and took the patients book: 'A Short History of the Mind'. Interesting, i will check it out. Then proceeded a walk and further chase of both the patient
and Dr. "Ben" around the St. Vincents precinct. Unfortunately i managed to lose them as i made some educated guesses and followed the back lanes to where
they would come out. Where i met "Rob" again. He said that the pair, he thought, had got into a car and driven off.

Well i hope that i have passed your test. Any ideas on viewing the CD will be appreciated. I find it interesting that the files range from dates in 2000 to
only yesterday. How long has this been going on?>>>>>>>>>>>

I will allow you to pass on 03 as we were very impressed by the detailed report filed in your blog.

As for Z we have a huge problem and I too am worried that C gave her a CD. She was supposed to have been eliminated and C was supposed to have been one of those responsible for her elimination. I am concerned that they may be working together against us. Perhaps I am being overly paranoid, C has done some great work for us and we have been happy with his performance. Your actions on the night regarding confidentiality were however impeccable. Of the 13 people present on the night, part of the test was to assume they were not all working for us, hence disallowing collaboration.


Fascinating! It looks like I'm going to be reading "A Short History Of The Mind" sometime in the near future. It's nice of Robert to fill me in on the other events... if that's how they really occured...

Z and C? I wonder how Z found about the assignment if she was eliminated. Robert seems hesitant to point the finger at C, but I suspect that I should keep my eye on him during any future group assignments.

And now to finish off yet another exhaustive Neurocam post. I thought I'd include some pictures of the items I managed to score from Ben/Adrian's briefcase. A big thanks goes to Ratti for the advice on how to set this up.

Firstly, here's the picture of the "Man in the White Suit" that was included in one of the CDs:

Is that Robert? Or Ben/Adrian? Or merely the cut-out picture of some nameless fashion model? I really don't know... What do you think?

Secondly, here's a scan of the cheque that we found:

It's interesting that Tama hasn't responded to any of my follow-up e-mails. Maybe it was a mistake to include his/her first e-mail to me on the blog. I hope nothing nasty has come of it.

That's all I've got time for at present, but now that I know I can post pictures you can bet there'll be plenty to follow. Tomorrow I'll try to put up the photos I took during Assignments 1 and 3... Including pictures of Ben/Adrian and Agent C!