Saturday, November 24, 2007
As the Turkey weekend laboriously grinds on, I do my best to write, sleep, and ignore it since, apart from having no need for any public displays of gratitude, it would seen that what was a dubious concept in the first place (pilgrims, Native Americans, dumb birds etc.) has now degenerated to drooping orgy of overeating, shopping, and football. I can only bring you this quote from Warren Ellis as conveyed by our pal Dr. Adder…
“Don't forget, my Yanqui readers, the true meaning of Thanksgiving: give your neighbors an infected blanket this Thursday and then move into their houses after they're dead.” – Warren Ellis
And, or course the above page from a fundamentalist comic that I stumbled across in my web travels. I find it hard to fathom what these people do with their time when they’re not complaining, praying, swaying to Christian rock, voting Republican, or mindfucking their children. Do I really have spell out the multilateral aberration this work of art.
I suppose they could play human Pacman.
The secret word is Butterball
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
You wanna see some Möbius transformations? Me? I just smoked a joint and stared at the sequence like an unreconstructed hippie, but, if you wanna find out about the science, click here. On the other hand, you might just prefer a fractal sequence.
The secret words are Live and Learn
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
“Please wash your hands after engaging in pain management.”
This theory that sexual fantasy may be a method to reduce pain is hardly new, dating as it does, from 1999, and although it's still entertained today, I have reservations. From my own experience, I would say that any major psychological motivation can function as a distraction from pain and sex angle is just a headline grabber. I recall from when I was a kid how the legendary Manchester City soccer star Bert Trautmann played out the 1956 FA Cup Final with a broken neck, and also all the damage Pete Townshend has done to himself, seemingly without noticing, while on stage with The Who. Me, I think I would prefer opiates to fantasy. I mean, fantasy takes one so far and no further. (And what if pain is part of the sexual fantasy, we wonder?)
"Bringing to mind a favorite sexual fantasy may be a good way to lessen pain, according to a recent study of college students by researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Wisconsin. The work, which tests the authors' theory about the relationship between pain and mood, could produce simple, cost-free ways to lessen pain in a variety of situations, says anesthesiologist Peter S. Staats, M.D., who led the study. "It also suggests changes in the way physicians should approach patients experiencing pain," Staats says. The new theory indicates that pain stimuli yield strong negative emotional responses. Operating on that premise, counterbalancing pain with a strong positive emotional response should decrease pain. Researchers set out to measure the effects of sexual fantasies a very strong positive emotional response on pain. "The biology underlying this theory relates to the idea that emotions are likely processed in the thalamus, a region of the brain also closely involved in processing pain responses," says Staats, director of the Division of Pain Medicine at Hopkins and an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine." (For more) Thanks Valerie.
Nobody feels any pain? Let’s hear from Ol’ Bob, an expert on the subject.
(Photo by Gahbryel)
Monday, November 19, 2007
“It says here that the global environment is totally fucked.”
"That's nice, dear."
Doug the Bass sent over this fascinating if highly disturbing AP report with some very nasty numbers on the condition of our planetary condition…
The following are some key findings in a report issued Saturday by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
• Global warming is "unequivocal." Temperatures have risen 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 100 years. Eleven of the last 12 years are among the warmest since 1850. Sea levels have gone up by an average seven-hundredths of an inch per year since 1961.
• About 20 percent to 30 percent of all plant and animal species face the risk of extinction if temperatures increase by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. If the thermometer rises by 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit, between 40 to 70 percent of species could disappear.
• Human activity is largely responsible for warming. Global emissions of greenhouse gases grew 70 percent from 1970 to 2004. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is far higher than the natural range over the last 650,000 years.
• Climate change will affect poor countries most, but will be felt everywhere. By 2020, 75 million to 250 million people in Africa will suffer water shortages, residents of Asia's large cities will be at great risk of river and coastal flooding, Europeans can expect extensive species loss, and North Americans will experience longer and hotter heat waves and greater competition for water.
• Extreme weather conditions will be more common. Tropical storms will be more frequent and intense. Heat waves and heavy rains will affect some areas, raising the risk of wildfires and the spread of diseases. Elsewhere, drought will degrade cropland and spoil the quality of water sources. Rising sea levels will increase flooding and salination of fresh water and threaten coastal cities.
• Even if greenhouse gases are stabilized, the Earth will keep warming and sea levels rising. More pollution could bring "abrupt and irreversible" changes, such as the loss of ice sheets in the poles, and a corresponding rise in sea levels by several yards.
A wide array of tools exist, or will soon be available, to adapt to climate change and reduce its potential effects. One is to put a price on carbon emissions.
• By 2050, stabilizing emissions would slow the average annual global economic growth by less than 0.12 percent. The longer action is delayed, the more it will cost.
(This version CORRECTS seven-tenths to seven-hundredths of an inch.)
And here’s live concert clip from REM stating the obvious.
The secret word is Arithmetic
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Since at least the 1970s we have watched the reduction and disempowerment of organized labor in the West, and with it the destruction of one of the most crucial sets of checks and balances on the natural inequality of capitalism, especially when it forgets its own essential need for consumers. In outsource-target, developing nations, labor unions are suppressed by any means necessary including the occasional death squad. The concept is hardly grasped by former communists, and China fails to rise above the Red sweatshop. We listen to the well financed, and professionally orchestrated sobbing of the obscenely wealthy at the horror of taxation – even to pay for their own wars – and their absolute conviction that management should be paid a 1000% or so more than labor. And when propaganda and corruption fails, violence is always the last resort. This brilliant photo essay by Martin Shakeshaft and David Bowmer actually covers the 1984 UK miners strike when Margaret Thatcher supposedly broke the mineworkers union, but it is a pattern repeated over and over by rightwing regimes. And yet this does have a surprise ending.
Music? How about Marilyn Manson doing “Working Class Hero”? Too decadent? Okay, so here’s Lennon.
Was Saturday night better when I stopped thinking and just got drunk I wonder?