Saturday, April 10, 2010
This is Billy Joe Shaver. He wrote “You Asked Me Too” for Elvis Presley. More recently he shot a man in Waco. (No, not to see him die, but seemingly as the culmination of a barroom argument.) This started a two year legal ordeal that ended yesterday with some Texas justice. (Thank Munz for the story.)
“Billy Joe is a not-very-well-known-outside-of-Texas country-ish singer-songwriter (whose songs have been covered by Bob Dylan, Elvis, and Waylon Jennings) whose persona is that of the extreme crusty ole outlaw who has seen pain and suffering you can't even imagine. He is accused of shooting some guy in the face in a bar called Papa Joe's near Waco. The case involves a knife being used to stir a drink, Billy Joe allegedly asking the victim "Where do want it?" (ie, the bullet about to enter his body), a suicide, a woman (of course), and flamboyantly folksy defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, whose former clients include David Kuresh, Tom DeLay, and Kay Baily Hutchinson. DeGuerin already brought people in the courtroom to tears by telling a prospective juror and Iraq veteran something about him being the reason they "are all here," by which he meant an assault-with-a-deadly-weapon trial. His legal strategy includes such statements as "put yourself in Billy Joe's boots." (Click here for more>)
And click here for the media story and verdict.
Click here for Johnny Cash. (Who else?)
The secret words are Smith and Wesson
Posted by Mick at 4/10/2010 05:21:00 PM
I’m getting damned tired of posting horror stories of marijuana prohibition, but while they keep happening, I’ll have to keep on posting. (It’s a little forensic today.)
"For Brian McGacken of Farmingdale, New Jersey, an evening of loud sex resulted in a 10-year prison sentence for growing marijuana. On Feb. 17, 2007, New Jersey state troopers arrived at McGacken's home, responding to an anonymous 911 call complaining of screams coming from McGacken's home. McGacken explained the noise was a bout of loud sex; his girlfriend appeared at the front door and corroborated his claim. But officers searched his home anyway, and found enough marijuana -- including potted plants -- to put him away for 10 years on charges of producing a controlled substance. Appealing the conviction, McGacken argued that, once police knew the noise was consensual sex, they no longer had reason to search his home. But the appellate panel at the Superior Court of New Jersey disagreed. On Monday, they dismissed McGacken's appeal, stating that "the potential for harm was too severe for the police to accept an explanation for loud screaming that could have been a cover-up of its true source." (Click here for more.)
Posted by Mick at 4/10/2010 05:12:00 PM
Friday, April 09, 2010
It surely has to happen. Sean Hannity may be promoting a Palin/Bachmann presidential ticket for 2012, but surely such an alliance of psychotic narcissism cannot hold. They are rivals for crown. They both want to be Queen of Denial, and the sole recipient of unlimited and unrelenting public attention, fan-adoration, and money. Sooner or later, one will see the other as an impediment to her imperial ambition, and the knives will come out. The hissing and scratching will rise to the biblical, no claw will be retracted, and we’ll really see a game played by Chicago Rules. It think it’s safe to assume these bitches be merciless. Which means endless fun will ensue, as we all sit back with nasty shit-eating grins to enjoy the hysteria and mayhem so much that we’ll probably need to order drugs, beer and snacks. Is there anything we can do to speed up the inevitable conflict?
Click here for Relevant Bob
The secret word is Dagger
(or, as Shakespeare would have put it…
“Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?”)
Posted by Mick at 4/09/2010 02:42:00 PM
I suppose this is one way to approach the singularity.
“Google is the closest thing to an Omniscient (all-knowing) entity in existence, which can be scientifically verified. She indexes over 9.5 billion WebPages, which is more than any other search engine on the web today. Not only is Google the closest known entity to being Omniscient, but She also sorts through this vast amount of knowledge using Her patented PageRank technology, organizing said data and making it easily accessible to us mere mortals. Google is everywhere at once (Omnipresent). Google is virtually everywhere on earth at the same time. Billions of indexed WebPages hosted from every corner of the earth. With the proliferation of Wi-Fi networks, one will eventually be able to access Google from anywhere on earth, truly making Her an omnipresent entity.” (Click here for more – much more)
Posted by Mick at 4/09/2010 02:31:00 PM
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Back in the day, when I used to read comics with greater avidity, Dr. Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts was one of my all-time top favorites. In fact, being Master of the Mystic Arts seemed like a pretty nifty life-niche, and I freely admit that certain memories of Strange were incorporated in the creation of Victor Renquist. For some time, I’ve wondered why the good doctor has not returned, seeming – in modern terms – a triangulation of Raymond Chandler, H. P. Lovecraft, and Harry Potter. The good news is that Dr. Strange is back, although looking uncommonly like Prince, and not, alas, in his own book, but as a major guest star in Spider-Man Fever #1.
“The plot is simple enough, Stephen Strange has ordered a book on Albion Crawley, a turn of the century occultist who wrote about some crazy spider gods. Upon arrival, the book releases some spider demon who becomes involved in a conflict between Spider-Man and the Vulture. Spider-Man appears to go tripping the light fantastic in Strange’s bath tub and all holy hell breaks loose. No seriously, that’s about it for this first issue, other than an intriguing last panel cliffhanger. Yep, this is some seriously messed up psychedelic comics. The art is the real star here with Brendan McCarthy melding some blend of Riley Rossmo style lines with the day glo world of Madman. It looks like a spider comic on acid and honestly, it reads a bit like one too.” (Click here for more)
Click here for Wilson Pickett
The secret word is Dormammu
Posted by Mick at 4/08/2010 03:41:00 PM
Just when I finally through I’d groked the measure of the universe – that it was massive beyond imagining and I was infinitesimal – but not so infinitesimal as the really little stuff like quarks – the news arrived that our universe may only be a tiny thing in a black hole in a much larger universe that we really couldn’t imagine – and on and on seemingly to some mind-boggling infinity. How do we like those apples?
"ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2010) — Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe? Such a scenario in which the universe is born from inside a wormhole (also called an Einstein-Rosen Bridge) is suggested in a paper from Indiana University theoretical physicist Nikodem Poplawski in Physics Letters B. The final version of the paper was available online March 29 and will be published in the journal edition April 12. Poplawski takes advantage of the Euclidean-based coordinate system called isotropic coordinates to describe the gravitational field of a black hole and to model the radial geodesic motion of a massive particle into a black hole. (Click here for more)
Posted by Mick at 4/08/2010 03:32:00 PM
Posted by Mick at 4/08/2010 03:23:00 PM
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
“They can’t do anything to me. I’m dead.”
This story seems damned churlish after all that rock & roll has done for the drug trade. Our pal HCB commented in an email – “I'd get a new tour manager”
"If Mexico's drug gangs hated anything as much as cops, it was singers and reporters. Not singers in any slang sense of snitches or stool pigeons; they hated real, guitar-strumming, love-song-singing crooners. Fifteen singers were executed by drug gangs in just eighteen months, including the beautiful Zayda Pefia, the twenty-eight-year-old lead singer of Zayda y Los Culpables, who was gunned down after a concert; she survived, but the hit team tracked her to the hospital and blasted her to death [in 2007] while she was recovering from surgery. The young heartthrob Valentin Elizalde was killed [in 2006] by a barrage of bullets from an AK-47 just across the border from McAllen, Texas, and Sergio Gomez was killed [in 2007] shortly after he was nominated for a Grammy; his genitals were torched, then he was strangled to death and dumped in the street. What doomed them, as far as anyone could tell, was their fame, good looks, and talent; the singers challenged the drug lords' sense of their own importance, and so were marked for death.” – Christopher McDougall, Born to Run.
Click here for Sid
The secret word is Vicious
Posted by Mick at 4/07/2010 05:12:00 PM
If you happen to be in Florida, our pal Jett has show of his paintings at the St. Augustine Art Association's 2010 Spring Art & Craft Festival on April 10th & 11th at Francis Field, on West Castillo Dr., in lovely downtown St. Augustine, FL. (Click here for Jett)
Posted by Mick at 4/07/2010 05:03:00 PM
Massey Energy Co. has been cited over and over for repeated mine safety violations in recent years, racking up hundreds of penalties at the Upper Big Branch mine, where an explosion on Monday killed at least 25 workers. In the USA, where less than 20% of miners are UMW members, energy corporations routinely factor dangerous working conditions into their cost saving calculations, figuring it’s cheaper to pay the fines than make their mines safe for the workers. Thus it is under 21st century, deregulated, union-busting, free-market capitalism, where they party like it’s 1910, and the fact that the image of George W. Bush is used in this mine-safety poster gives a slight indication of how long this murderous cynicism has been going on.
"They placed profits over safety repeatedly," said Tonya L. Hatfield, a lawyer in the coal-mining town of Gilbert, W.Va., who has sued Massey in cases over a 2006 fire at the Aracoma mine, where 12 miners were trapped and two died. In that case the company agreed to pay $2.5 million in criminal fines. The fine, when combined with $1.5 million in civil penalties, was apparently the largest ever imposed in a coal-mining death case.
"Aracoma's conduct in this case is clear and uncontroverted," said Logan Circuit Judge Roger L. Perry, as reported by two local papers. "Given the voluntary admissions of guilt, it is clear not only that Aracoma acted with deliberate intent regarding the unsafe working conditions in its coal mine, it acted with criminal intent." (Click here for more)
Click here for some second hand Merle Travis and a video
Posted by Mick at 4/07/2010 04:54:00 PM
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
The Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Steel Phallus) happened last Sunday. It is an annual springtime Shinto fertility held in Kawasaki. Japan. The exact dates vary, but the main festivities always fall on the first Sunday in April. The penis forms the central theme of the event that is reflected everywhere – candy cocks, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade. The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Posted by Mick at 4/06/2010 03:44:00 PM
Face-recognition technology is already intruding as CCTV and other surveillance cameras gain the capacity to ID individuals on the street and in public places. Smartphone apps may soon allow cops, government agents and even private individuals to do the same. Fortunately, for outlaws, those concerned with basic privacy, and anyone else who objects to being face-booked, some good news has arrived. Anti-recognition camouflage face paint could soon be protecting the wearer against identification. Adam Harvey, a designer and technologist with NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, has begun reverse-engineering algorithms behind face detection. He generated a series of blocky images that could become the "building blocks of anti-surveillance makeup," and focused on the simplest yet most important patterns for foiling the face-recognition tech. Couple this with an alt-fashion, retro-Kiss, face-paint fad, and electronic Big Brother could be seriously thwarted.
“Anti-Face-Recognition Camo Images with a red square represent those where a face was found, whereas no red square meant the face escaped detection. "TEST PATTERNS" marks patterns made according to the reverse-engineering, while "RANDOM PATTERNS" shows random doodles made without the benefit of face-detection patterns. "NO PATTERNS" simply indicates how face detection algorithms work even on basic line drawings.” Click here for more.
Click here for Billy Idol
The secret word is Mask
Posted by Mick at 4/06/2010 03:37:00 PM
Monday, April 05, 2010
Our pal Munz sent us this encouraging pay-back story from Bolivia, where – among other corporate atrocities – Bechtel have tried to steal their rainwater and sell it back to the people.
“Move over Coca-Cola: here comes Bolivia. The Andean nation’s indigenous people have long resented the U.S. beverage company for usurping the name of their sacred coca leaf. Now, they are aiming to take back their heritage. Recently, the government of Evo Morales announced that it would support a plan to produce a coca-based soft drink which would rival its fizzy American counterpart. It’s still unclear whether the new drink will be promoted by a private company, a state enterprise, or some type of joint venture between the two. The new beverage will be called Coca Colla, in reference to age old history: in Bolivia, Quechua, Aymara, and other indigenous peoples descended from the Incas are known as collas. In a move that will undoubtedly exasperate Coke, Bolivian officials say Coca Colla will feature a black swoosh and red label similar to the classic Coca-Cola insignia. Coca Colla reportedly has a black color, just like normal Coke, and could be sold on the market as early as April." (Click here for more.)
Click here for Hank III
The secret word is Refreshes
Posted by Mick at 4/05/2010 03:20:00 PM
Now all we need is return to the Victorian values of totally traditional and properly appointed opium dens – with soft lights and full-service cabin attendants, the hall of mirrors and the tail of the dragon – and the world would be a much more attractive place. Hell, I might even retire if such was the case.
Posted by Mick at 4/05/2010 03:11:00 PM
Our pal aeswiren writes – “Our civilization is sleep walking towards the cliff. Calm rising fears and drive home afterwards seems to be the modus operandus. In the US, major media have still not brought themselves to even consider discussion of this. And in just a few years, we will hit shortages. You can imagine what that's going to be like.”
“February 10, when the UK Industry Task Force on Peak Oil and Energy Security issued a report called "The Oil Crunch: A wake-up call for the UK economy." I only mentioned it in passing at the time, but it was a stern warning that "oil shortages, insecurity of supply and price volatility will destabilise economic, political, and social activity potentially by 2015." The British government, including energy minister Lord Hunt, responded by staging a closed-door summit meeting with the taskforce on March 22. As the UK's Guardian reported , the government intended to develop an action plan to contend with a near-term peak, and to "calm rising fears over peak oil." Veteran peak oil analyst and taskforce member Jeremy Leggett explained: "Government has gone from the BP position — '40 years of supply left, the price mechanism works, no need to worry' — to 'crikey'." According to reports from attendees, the summit yielded some important conclusions:
• Peak oil is either here, or close enough.
• Prices will have to go higher as demand outstrips supply.
• Governments will be forced to intervene to maintain critical levels of oil supply, and limit volatility.
• Rationing measures may be unavoidable.
• Electrification of transport must be pursued in order to reduce demand.
• Communities will need to work quickly to reorganize around walking instead of driving, producing food and energy locally instead of importing, and generally try to reduce their need for oil.
The next warning was a report that surfaced around March 12. Three authors from the College of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University had applied advanced mathematics to reserve and production data. The model estimates the world's ultimate crude oil production at 2140 billion barrels, with 1161 billion barrels remaining to produce as of the end of 2005. It forecast that world production would peak in 2014 around 79 mbpd. The annual depletion rate of world reserves was estimated to be around 2.1%. The model indicated that non-OPEC production peaked in 2006 at 39.6 mbpd. It forecasts that OPEC production will peak in 2026 at 53 mbpd, up from 31 mbpd in 2005, with the majority of the increase coming from Iraq, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Then OPEC production is expected to decline to 29 mbpd by 2050.
On March 22, another bombshell exploded in the press as former UK chief scientist David King and researchers from Oxford University released a paper claiming that the world's oil reserves had been "exaggerated by up to a third," principally by OPEC. They anticipated that demand could outstrip supply by 2014-2015. “
Posted by Mick at 4/05/2010 03:07:00 PM
Sunday, April 04, 2010
I think I’ll just post this without any comment at all.
"Unicorns, as we all know, frolic all over the world, pooping rainbows and marshmallows wherever they go. What you don't know is that when unicorns reach the end of their lifespan, they are drawn to County Meath, Ireland. The Sisters at Radiant Farms have dedicated their lives to nursing these elegant creatures through their final days. Taking a cue from the Kobe beef industry, they massage each unicorn's coat with Guinness daily and fatten them on a diet comprised entirely of candy corn. As the unicorn ages, its meat becomes fatty and marbled and the living bone in the horn loses density in a process much like osteoporosis. The horn's outer layer of keratin begins to develop a flavor very similar to candied almonds. Blending the crushed unicorn horn into the meat adds delightful, crispy flavor notes in each bite. We are confident you will find a world of bewilderment in every mouthful of scrumptious unicorn meat." (Click here if you really want to go further.)
Click here for Marc Bolan
The secret word is No
Posted by Mick at 4/04/2010 04:43:00 PM
I was rummaging through YouTube looking for clips of Eddie Cochran when I found this little trove of live Gene Vincent from the early 1960s. This is dynamite stuff, but kinda hardcore and mildly demented, and will probably make more sense if you’ve had previous exposure to Gene and the bop that just won’t stop.
Click here for Baby Blue
Click here for Be Bop A Lula
Click here for Say Mama
Click here for Rocky Road Blues
Click here for Long Tall Sally
Posted by Mick at 4/04/2010 04:35:00 PM
Yes, neighbours, it’s the cockpit of the flugelrad. The film Iron Sky (see Doc40 March 26th) isn’t supposedly due out for a couple of years, but the producers seem to be going into high tease. Last week we had their Moon Troopers and now we have the cockpit of the Nazi flying saucer. This may be edging into an unhealthy preoccupation, but having imagined myself through a novel based on the same folklore, this visual take is fascinating.
Posted by Mick at 4/04/2010 04:26:00 PM