Thursday, December 23, 2004

History of the Singing Dogs!

Rummage Through The Crevices: The Place of Xmas-Carolling Dogs In The History Of Sample-Based Music

Bollywood for the Skeptical

Great Resource of sounds and infomation on the Indian Film industry. When we lived in Philadelphia, one of the local stations ran Bollywood films every Sunday and Ivy would dance and dance to the music.
Bollywood for the Skeptical

Blue Screen of Death Photo Archive

Flickr: Photos tagged with bsod

Monday, December 20, 2004

Top Hoaxes of 2004

The Museum of Hoaxes gives you an opportunity to reflect on some of the better (wors?) hoaxes of 2004 and a chance to vote for your favorite:
Top Hoaxes 2004

I'm not like other guys....

- Lego Thriller

The worst boy band ever?

Very funny parody from an ad agency:
b o y o b o y

Jean Shepherd Archive

Audio archive of Jean Shepherd, legendary author and poet, probably best known as the voice and story behind the film, "A Christmas Story."
Jean Shepherd Archive

Keep these off my Christmas list

PC Magazine: Ten to Avoid; The Worst Products of the Year

Friday, December 17, 2004

The IKEA of Japan

Can't wait for one of these to open in the States
Welcome to

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

David Cross

The funniest man alive!
Can someone comment on this? Is this clip from Mr. Show?
Nothing Compares 2 U

Audio Oddities

Here's a great site that makes MP3s from found cassette tapes:

sweet thunder - tape findings

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Money Saving tip of the week

Can running cheap vodka through a Brita filter improve its drinkability to the point of competing with Ketel One?
Oh My God It Burns!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Interesting Musical Instrument Site

A lot like Elderly Instruments in Lansing but they may have some real off the wall items.
Folk of the Wood

Friday, November 19, 2004

Need a hotdog for your roll?

David Diehl catalogs 78 RPM party records and creates a fairly comprenive discography of those under-the-counter gems your parents (OK, maybe not your parents) had hidden behind the Magnavox Hi-Fi

The Blue Pages

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Google does it again!

My guess is that this new tool will divide the library world like no other. Half of the librarians I know love Google, the other half hate (or is it fear?) it. For those of you who discount Google, and thereby discount the intellectual ability of you users to discern authoritative content, here's yet another opportunity to point to technology and say, "But Google can't tell what's scholarly and what's not! It takes an MLS to do that. I'm the only one who can do that, not you, not Google, not even Mr. Whiskers and he practically has an MLS since he sat in on all my distance education classes!"
Google Scholar

The Grey Video

Watch it before it's illegal to do so.
The Grey Video

Xmas Brings out the best in everyone

Add this to the list of Christmas CDs I'll be buying this holiday season.
John Waters Decks Halls with Quirky Xmas Set

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Go Red States!

From my friend Ted:

John Hostettler, the Congressman representing the 8th district of Indiana, has been convinced by local religious groups to introduce legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more moral sounding number.

There are plans to extend the interstate from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana all the way through Texas into Mexico in the coming years. While most believe this highway will be good for the state’s economy, religious conservatives believe “I-69” sounds too risqué and want to change the interstate’s number.

Hostettler, a proponent of the interstate extension, agrees. “Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.”
The change will more than likely be introduced in committee when Congress convenes after the first of the year.

Perfect NYC souvenir

Paper coffee cup made ceramic

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Today's entry for the Booklist

Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession: "Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession"

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Well deserved tribute CD

The best punk-rock band you've never heard of (OK, since only my friends and family read this, you've all heard of them!) finally get their due:
Blue Hearts Super Tribute

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Hardware Hacks

Haven't seen this yet but evidently you can hack an Atari 2600! Books: Hardware Hacking: Have Fun While Voiding Your Warranty

Amo la musica di colpo secco!

Take the words to "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang.
Paste them into Bablefish, the automatic translator.
Translate the lyrics from English to Italian.
Translate 'em back to English.
Laugh at the results:
AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION: "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang

Monday, October 25, 2004

Lost In The Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide To The Music You Missed

A new collection from Kim Cooper and company:
Lost In The Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide To The Music You Missed
It's not out yet, but the Library Journal review was glowing.
Another one by the same author is "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth."
I have a request for this one and will be reading it in a week.
I'll let you know what I think.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Audio for days, weeks, months, years...

I first hit this site when I found their awesome collection of Halloween songs: Ghouls with attitude I think I recognized maybe four of the songs on this 51 track comp! It's well work a look.
Moreover, it looks like there's hardly an end to the variety of music they've posted.

Oddio Overplay

What the hell am I going to do?

So much for planning on buying the Mobile Investigation Crime Lab.
My hero has let me down:

Friday, October 15, 2004

More fun with Conspriacy theories

George Bush Bulges

My new favorite book

Vinyl Junkies

Is Bush Wired?

Is Bush Wired?

Freedom Tower Silver Dollar

One of the most offensive offers I've ever seen. But it gets worse, folks. Turns out, the "dollars" are not dollars, and are not made from silver recoverd from a vault under the Towers. Heck, they're not even made from silver!
Freedom Tower Silver Dollar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Schoolhouse Rock send-up

Pirates & Emperors

Schoolhouse Rock send-up

Pirates & Emperors

Friday, October 08, 2004

Coffee table book #6,103

I never went to Florida for Spring Break. Heck, I was 30 by the time I could participate as a college student. Up to that point, I was working, chump. Nonetheless, I never really had a lot of desire to go. Know why? This is why:
Spring Broke

The Psychedelic Jew's Harp

Nowhere near as good as I was hoping...
The Psychedelic Jew's Harp

Caffeine content guide

Line up ya junkies!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Raised by Wolves?

After watching the Disney video, "The Jungle Book," Ivy asked me if it was 'real.' This has been a common question these days: she's working through reality and fantasy, especially when her favorite movies are "The Sound of Music" (movie based on reality, real person, etc., but obviously elements of fiction thrown in to keep the story interesting) and "The Wizard of Oz" (Mostly fantasy, but essentially a dream sequence with some reality bookending the main story).
I explained that the majority of the movie is not real, though there have been a couple of instances where humans have been raised by animals.
Here's a link I found, backing up the stuff I tell my daughter:

Monday, September 27, 2004

Nightable reading

This may be more academic then I'd like but it's still on my list of possible books to read this year:
The Colossus of Roads: Myth and Symbol along the American Highway

Friday, September 10, 2004

Night table reading #2

In the spirit of Martin Gardner and James Randi
Nine Crazy Ideas in Science : A Few Might Even Be True

Night table reading this week

Since my computers are packed away, and no benevolent god has dropped and iPod from the sky in front of me, my infrequent listings of songs on my playlist has got to wait for a while.
Instead, I offer up some titles of the books I'm currently reading. I've always been one to read a couple books at the same time, only because I read so little fiction.
Anyway, here's what I'm reading over the weekend:
Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in the Quarter

Book review

Haven't read this yet, but it looks interesting. One of the advantages of my new job is that I get to see most of the books that the 13 libraries order!
Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

CD Burning: an Ethical Flowchart

Note: Any legal statutes pertain to UK law, and may or may not apply in the US of A
The London News Review :: Should I Rip This? v1.0

CD Burning: an Ethical Flowchart

Note: Any legal statutes pertain to UK law, and may or may not apply in the US of A
The London News Review :: Should I Rip This? v1.0

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Planet of the Apes as Twilight Zone Episode

As an added bonus, the site has a ton of Apes stuff!
Forbidden Zone Video Clips

Monday, August 23, 2004

Book list item

For lack of a better place to put stuff like this, I'm blogging book titles that I'll eventually read.
The Big Con

Fake Dr. Pepper

Like trying new Sodas (or Pop as they call it where I'm from)?
Already tried Mr. Pibb?
Well then have a sip of over 100 Dr. Pepper wannabes!
Not Quite What the Doctor Ordered
My personal favorite: Dr. Whatever. The malaise and ennui of Generation X in a 12-ounce can.

Pirate Radio

Here's a memoir by Sue Carpenter, detailing her experience running a pirate radio station in both San Francisco and Los Angeles:
40 Watts to Nowhere: A Journey into Pirate Radio

Sunday, August 15, 2004

What a Crappy Present - CD Gift Advice, Parents and Kids

I must have missed this last Christmas.
The folks at present another great swing at the recording industry.
What a Crappy Present - CD Gift Advice, Parents and Kids

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Hey, did anyone ever tell you that you look like...

When you're a tall, blond, glasses-wearin' fella like myself, folks seem to think you look like about any other guy out there whose tall, blond, and wears glasses.
Or just tall and blond.
Or just a guy who wears glasses.
Here's a collection of photos of people I've been compared to. Vote for your favorite:
The Enclopedia Brittanica Kid

Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch

Hermey the Elf from the Rudolph cartoon

Paul Kantner from Starship (as opposed to Paul Kanter from Jefferson Airplane)

Stairway to Heaven, as Schubert wrote it

As a publicity stunt, "The Stairway Suite" was commisioned by the University of New South Wales Orchestra to illustrate how Stairway to Heaven would sound if Schubert, Holst, Glen Miller, and others had written it:

Stairway to Heaven, as Schubert wrote it

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

And now a word from our Sponsor


For a definition, check out The Don Martin Dictionary -- Alphabetical Listing

More Tattoos

Here's a link to several galleries in line with the previous post.
Geek Tattoos

and their main page:
Tattoo galleries

Nerd Tattoo Gallery

Some are really nice,
Some are sort of interesting,
Most are completely idiotic.
Revenge of the Tattooed Nerds

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Okonomiyaki restaurant in Vancouver

The review is kind of old but I'm hoping this place is still there the next time I'm in the Pacific Northwest.
Mini-Review Modern Club

Pizza or Pancake?

Can it be both?
When I lived in Japan, my favorite regional cuisine was Okonomiyaki. Since I lived in Kansai, Okonomiyaki-ya were everywhere. We had a favorite just outside of the city of Otsu, though Kyoto had its fair share of decent restaurants as well.
It wasn't until I left Japan that I realized
A) Okonomiyaki was very much a regional delicacy: it was even hard to find decent Okonomiyaki outside of the Kyoto/Osaka area and
B) it was nonexistent in the States. I've never seen a Japanese restaurant offer Okonomiyaki, though I heard rumors of one in NYC that did.
Japanese cuisine -- okonomiyaki (savory pancakes)

Order in time for Christmas

These would be perfect for decorating your tree:
Up In SmokeHeadLites

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Friday, July 16, 2004

There's No Biting in Librarianship!

(from The Stranger's column, "I Anonymous")
You, the "biting librarian." You got sloshed and bit my girlfriend at the end-of-the-year library-school party at the UW. We heard you got arrested, but we were really disappointed to see you at Convocation. Perhaps you noticed the cold shoulder you were getting--we couldn't believe you had the poor taste to show up at all. It sucks ass that the administration didn't take action to remove your ass--you, a UW employee who works at the Women's Center on a violence prevention project, for fuck's sake. Well, my librarian friends and I are talking. This is a small field, you know, and your violence against one woman is going to follow you to every job you apply for, because we will make sure that word spreads far and wide about you. Shame on you, and shame on the administration for sweeping this under the rug. There's no biting in librarianship!

Billy Ocean video collection finally complete

Live Aid DVD Due in November

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Quotes from Chairman Roth

The only people who put iced tea in Jack Daniels bottles is The Clash, baby!

US Festival, 1983

Out of control Prank phone calls

I'm a real sucker for a good prank phone call. Here's a link to some of the funniest ones I've heard in a long time.
Oh, yeah, I know they're mean and cruel and very anti-social. I still think they're funny. Sorry if that makes be a bad person. Jeeze...

Bob Schriner

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Ed's Museum: Wykoff, MN

We tried to go here on our trek across the country, from Tacoma to Philly but never got there. Now that we're moving to Wisconsin, we'll have to see about making a road trip and visiting the place. Here's the write-up from
Ed's Museum

The Living Room Candidate

Here's a site that archives all the presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to the present.
The Living Room Candidate
It's put together by the American Musuem of the Moving Image.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Starbucks Everywhere

So this guy is out to visit every (4000+) Starbucks locations around the world.
Starbucks Everywhere
Take a look at his list of "not visited stores." This is way, way nuts....

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Interesting T-Shirts

It must be getting cheaper and cheaper to produce T-shirts. I keep seeing new sites every day, offering very inexpensive t-shirts with all sorts of keen designs. Here's a good one:

Interesting T-Shirts

It must be getting cheaper and cheaper to produce T-shirts. I keep seeing new sites every day, offering very inexpensive t-shirts with all sorts of keen designs. Here's a good one:

The Problem With Music

An article by Steve Albini which shows how bad, really bad, the music business is:
The Problem With Music

New E-mail address

Since the gods have graced me with a g-mail account, I guess I should start using it.
You can contact me at if you want.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Coin Operated TV Benches - SECOND UPDATE

From Airport magazine (maybe but site was down when I tried to hit it):

Frankly, it's doubtful that Shreveport Regional could get coin-operated sets. According to Midwest International, the nation's sole coin-operated TV vendor, Shreveport's 350,000 enplanements probably aren't enough.

"We generally need 500,000 enplanements" to make it worthwhile, said Richard Sandblom, accountant for the Salt Lake City firm, which has about 500 sets in 40 airports, including New York JFK, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa, Minneapolis and Oakland, and another 1,000 TVs in bus terminals.

Most of his aviation contracts are with airlines, but a few are with the airports themselves, such as San Antonio, Milwaukee and Salt Lake City. The company offers two styles of chiefly black-and-white TV chairs that come in attached sets of three. Each 15-minute session costs 25 cents, of which the airline or airport receives 25 percent.

Midwest International found that the added expense of offering color TVs simply wasn't worth it "because a color TV will get no more playing time than a black and white."

Coin Operated TV Benches (From the Lost Artifacts of Popular Culture series) UPDATE

News Flash!
While in the Orlando airport, I found TWO sets of coin operated TV benches! Ironically, I was on my way to my flight so didn't have a chance to try them out. They were plugged in, and I got the following from a placard on the bottom of one of the chairs:

Midwest International
650 Wilmington Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Model 550
FEI: 87-0282300

We are very close...


After seeing Kill Bill, I was reminded of all the Enka I heard while living in Japan. Enka is, if you can define it in one phrase, Japanese torch songs. In between the Beatles, Elvis, and other typical 50s rockers, a patron at the Karaoke bars I used to frequent would usually sing some Enka.
Barbara's Enka Site: Kaori Kouzei
This is a link to a female performer but I'll try and dig up some male songs as well.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Worst Album covers: Site #1

This could be an entire genre all to its own. My friend Jill sent me a link to a PowerPoint presentation on Ugly Album covers. In an attempt to try and find a link that worked, I came across the following:

Diesel Greatest Hips: Worst Album Cover Gallery and Funny Pictures For the Ages

I'll have to do some more searching and see what I can find.

New Tribute to the Clash

This is either utterly fabulous, or could be as bad as this:

Shout at the Remix: Tribute to Motley Crue

Hey Man, is that Freedom Rock?

Well turn it up man.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

300 Images From 1800 Sites

An interesting design concept:
300 Images From 1800 Sites
This would be a welcome addition to a usability engineering class.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Gospel Album by the Bolthouse Twins

Here's a record that's shooting to the top of my "must have" list:
The Bolthouse Twins
"Gospel Music"
Sound SLP-134
I could find a couple of links, including one that's selling the album, but that defeats the purpose doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Today's Rotation (10 songs I heard during the course of my day)

Judas Priest - You Got Another Thing Coming
Big Star - The India Song
Amboy Dukes - Baby Please Don't Go
Department S - Is Vic There?
The Pogues - Dark Streets of London
The New Main Street Singers - The Good Book Song
Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Oh Death
Sidney Bechet - Viper Mad
Steven Jesse Bernstein - The Sport
Nick Cave - Stranger Than Kindness
The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail

Monday, May 10, 2004

musicplasma : the music visual search engine

Quite an interesting way to display visual data:
musicplasma : the music visual search engine
I tried a couple of searches and though I agree that I like the connecting artists it came up with, I'm not sure this would be the case every time.
I tried searching on Nick Lowe and Jonathan Richman, got a lot of obvious relevance matches like Dave Edmunds, Rockpile, etc., but I'm not sure this would be the case every time.

Social Security posts the Popular baby names for last year

The newest data from the social Security Administration:
Popular baby names
I also love the feature where you can see the 1000 most popular names for any given year.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Today's Rotation (10 songs I heard during the course of my day)

The Paragons - The Tide is High
Planet of the Apes Soundtrack - The Hunt
Jay Ferguson - Thunder Island (YUCK!)
They Might Be Giants - We're the Replacements
Lennie Hibbert - Village Soul
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Make it Good to Me

Google Fight : Make a fight with Googlefight

Google Fight : Make a fight with Googlefight
I'm probably way behind the curve on this one but thought this was a great idea.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Today's Rotation (10 songs I heard during the course of my day)

The Who - Sunrise
The Jayhawks - All the Right Reasons
10,000 Spoons - Four Hoarsemen (from London Booted) see here:
The Buzzcocks - I Don't Mind
Big Audio Dynamite - Just Play Music!
Iggy Pop - Repo Man
Brinsley Schwartz - Hypocrite
Toots Thielemans - Yesterday
Dukes Of Stratosphear - The Affiliated
Jona Lewie - You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Today's Rotation (10 songs I heard during the course of my day)

Sorry for not doing this for a while; I've been away from the office where I can play music while working....

The Clash - Janie Jones
Badly Drawn Boy - Disillusion
Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio (Saturday Night Live appearance)
Replacements - If I Only Had a Brain (bootleg; maybe from CBGBs, 1984. Still working though the provenance of a bunch of 'Mats bootlegs I have)
Too Much Joy - My Past Lives
Led Zeppelin - In the Evening
Beck - Paper Tiger
Steve Goodman - Lincoln Park Pirates
Big Star - Thirteen
Motorhead - White line Fever

I ususally just set my WinAmp client to play tracks randomly. For some reason, this was a very 80s day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Regrets, I've Had a Few

Like getting rid of my Atari 2600 and around 60 carts, custom controllers, and all my manuals and catalogs. So now I spend my time trying to recreate my setup. Take a look at this:
Stelladaptor 2600 to USB Interface
If you have an emulator, like x26, you can now use the actual controllers to play!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Today's Rotation (songs I heard during the course of my day)

Freelance Hellraiser - A Stroke of Genius
Beatallica - A Garage Dayz Night
Sleater-Kinney - You're No Rock 'n' Roll Fun
Shuggie Otis - Pling!
International Submarine Band - Blue Eyes
Squeeze - Slap and Tickle
Y La Tengo - Saturday
Nelson Sargento - Infra Estrutura
Departure Lounge - Straight Line to the Kerb
Jayhawks - Come to the River
The Monkees - Can You Dig It?

Novelty record lists

Here a couple of great 45 lists devoted to a few of my favorite novelty categories:
Break-in 45s
Beatle-Related singles
He also has picture sleeves scanned.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Today's Rotation (10 songs I heard during the course of my day)

Crabwalking - Prince Jazzbo
Squeeze - Black Coffee in Bed
Richard and Linda Thompson - The Calvary Cross
The Stooges - Dirt
Led Zeppelin - In the Evening
Elvis Costello - Brilliant Mistake
The Byrds - You Don't Miss Your Water
King Sunny Ada - Synchro System
The Kinks - Living on a Thin Line
R. Stevie Moore - I'll Be Back

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Librarian for a day

Women's Day Magazine is sponsoring a contest to "Be a Librarian for a Day!"
In 700 words or less, you're to let Women's Day know what the library means to you.
In all fairness, MAXIM should run the contest too.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Coin Operated TV Benches (From the Lost Artifacts of Popular Culture series)

Hey, remember the 80s? Um, wait, no, remember these? They used to be everywhere: plastic benches, usually three or four seats attached together, with small black and white televisions attached to the seats. You'd put a quarter in the slot and get 10 minutes of entertainment.
I guess I remember them at bus stations and the like but haven't seen one in person in ages. My friend Paul says he's seen them at the Minneapolis Airport. Who manufactured them? Are they still in business? How come E-Bay doesn't have any for sale?
When I lived in Japan, I occasional stayed at a Minshuku, which is more or less a bed and breakfast but is much more fun. Usually, the family that owned the minshuku would have a TV in the room that operated on 100 yen coins but that might be the last time I say something even remotely resembling what I'm talking about.
A while back I had a flashback to those Magic Fingers devices that were present in every cheap hotel from here to Dubuque. I searched E-Bay and found a ton of them! How come these TV benches are nowhere to be found? I even did a Lexis Nexis search and couldn't find an appropriate match.
Any leads, send 'em my way.

Today's Rotation (10 songs I heard during the course of my day)

Desmond Dekker - Israelites
XTC - Dear God
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - From Her to Eternity
Bunker Hill - The Girl Can't Dance (1962)
The Byrds - Hickory Wind
The Mighty Fire Steel Drum Band - A Hard Day's Night
David Cross - My Wife's Crazy!
Del Close & John Brent - How To Speak Hip
The Untouchables - Free Yourself
New Main Street Singers - Potato's In the Paddywagon

101 FM Block Party Weekend Featuring Gamma, Krokus, and Seger

Springtime months need a Rocktober, a Zepptember. Why does the Fall have a monopoly on classic rock bastardizations of the months? I'm hurting my head trying to come up with way to combine Terrible Ted with February.
Wango ze Marcho?
A little help here, folks? There's got to be more than two.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Today's Rotation (10 songs I heard during the course of my day)

Nick Lowe - Maureen
Strokes - 12:51
Brinsley Schwartz - Understand a Woman
Too Much Joy - Clowns
Sidney Bechet With Noble Sissle's Swingsters - Viper Mad
The Honeycombs - Have I the Right
Dukes of Stratosphear - Mole from the Ministry
Freddie McGregor - Bobby Babylon
Sleater-Kinney - The Professional
DJ Dangermouse - Change Clothes

Open Source CMS Systems

As we bring up our new consortium website, I'd love to move away from the old HTML model and find a better collaborative tool that everyone can use, and requires minimal maintenance from me or another sys admin. Content Management Systems are surely the way to go.
Here's a site that allows you to try before you buy (a misnomer, of course; they're all free!):


Note: At Computers and Libraries 2004, there was a demo of Plone, which sits on top of Zope. Don't see it listed for some reason. The library in question was SUNY Stony Brook Health Science Library
Here's the link for Plone

Year-Round Gardening Chart

Really meant for Monica but looks like it will come in handy this Spring:

Research: Sanka or Sanwa

While studying Japan's outcast community--the burakumin-- I remember reading about another group, the Sanka. They are an indigenous nomadic tribe, located on Honshu. Interestingly, I found a couple of references within the Anime community. Here are the characters in the name:

I can't remember the original text that cited the group but they were described as "Japan's Gypsies."

Anime companion
RSS Subject Lists
How can Librarians create lists of RSS feeds that are somewhow subject-specific?