Saturday, July 02, 2011
Back in my Brighton lair with my cat and my pipeweed, and the dark legions of Mordor maybe at bay, (but don’t speak too soon) I’ve finally had time to reflect on all of the recent adventures that my teenage mind has inflicted on my ancient body. As the whole Glastonbury experience recedes into perspective, I discover just how mixed my feelings really are. The combo of former Deviants and Pink Fairies I laughingly call The Edgar Allan Poe Blues Band was everything I could have hoped for. It’s early days yet, but the music is really coming along amazingly well, and the only debates are of the kind that happen between creative people who want to improve the work. Beyond the band, however, the experience was decidedly lacking. Okay so the mud and chaos couldn’t have been helped, but – with a round trip drive of almost 300 miles – to arrive at the site and wait three hours to get accredited and then finally reach the stage to find no food, very little water, and not so much as a fucking beer, indicated that we were in the bowels of a vast and arrogant corporate clusterfuck. Individuals were aces – Becky the Glade coordinator, the guys working the stage, and the heroic 4x4 drivers. RH has said it all in last Monday’s post so I won’t go on. On another level, though, I keep a very open mind about mystic places and belief in John Michell’s laylines. But I do remember the feeling – as I lay in the sun on the hill above the first pyramid stage in 1971 – that there was a kind replenishment coming from the earth. (Of course, I had taken quite a bit of acid.) Certainly no replenishment was happening in 2011. If anything the Magic of Avalon was being choked off by a slurry of the worst of contemporary pop culture. Beyonce? Beyonce? I can figure no equation that relates Beyonce to the Once & Future King. Blake's Jerusalem wasn't not being builded there. (When I got back from the trip, I flopped into a chair and cut off my performers wrist band. Finn the cat immediately seized it and ran away into the bathroom. He clearly didn’t want me going back there again.) I’m now looking for to a period without any epic challenges. A time to relax, to write, to get back to my poetry and fiction. But let me not temp fate. The way my luck’s been running, aliens could land in the back garden on Tuesday.
Click here for Hank Williams
The secret word is Ra
Posted by Mick at 7/02/2011 08:34:00 PM
Friday, July 01, 2011
The moral of this story (lifted from io9) is that you don’t mess with Corvus Corvidae.
“Crows will not only remember your face and go after you repeatedly if you bother them, but they will also teach other birds to do the same. Their scolding and physical harassment can last for years, possibly for the life of the bird. Crows are the devil-birds of the sky. Not only do they look like the kind of bird that would be perched on the shoulder of a Disney villain, they do frighteningly smart things. For one thing, they use tools to assess and find food. They even make frogs explode. (The crows swoop down and tear the frogs' livers out. The frogs swell up in a belated self-defense reflex. Unfortunately, they're used to swelling up with their livers in place to provide counter-force and so they split themselves open.) Now it's been shown that crows aren't just smart, they're organized. Two researchers at the University of Washington trapped, banded, and released crows at a site near Seattle. They did so wearing distinctive masks - to freak out not only the crows but any poor hikers who were going by. Unlike the meek Seattle hikers, the crows started fighting back as soon as they were released. They scolded the researchers, which didn't seem too sinister until the scolding brought other nearby crows into the fray. Neighboring crows joined in, until at some release sites the researchers were being scolded and dive-bombed by fifteen crows at a time. When the researchers put the masks back on and ventured out, they were again scolded, dive-bombed, and mobbed by crows. But not all the mobs contained crows that were banded. This meant that some of the crows that had participated in the original scolding sessions remembered the researcher's 'faces' and went on the offensive when they saw those faces again. The crows they were with joined in the mob, and the masks became known as trouble to an even larger population of crows. Researchers have only tested crow memory for five years, but they believe that the birds remember faces for their entire lives - fifteen to forty years. Get on the wrong side of one crow in your forties or fifties, and you could be mobbed everywhere for the rest of your life.”
Click here for The Great Society
The secret word is Gallows
Posted by Mick at 7/01/2011 04:00:00 AM
Posted by Mick at 7/01/2011 03:52:00 AM
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Whether you believe in the concept of Gaia or a totally rational physics-based approach to the problem, surely only cretins and liars can now hold on to their denial.
“Extreme floods, prolonged droughts, searing heat waves, massive rainstorms and the like don't just seem like they've become the new normal in the last few years—they have become more common, according to data collected by reinsurance company Munich Re (see Part 1 of this series). But has this increase resulted from human-caused climate change or just from natural climatic variations? After all, recorded floods and droughts go back to the earliest days of mankind, before coal, oil and natural gas made the modern industrial world possible. Until recently scientists had only been able to say that more extreme weather is "consistent" with climate change caused by greenhouse gases that humans are emitting into the atmosphere. Now, however, they can begin to say that the odds of having extreme weather have increased because of human-caused atmospheric changes—and that many individual events would not have happened in the same way without global warming. The reason: The signal of climate change is finally emerging from the "noise"—the huge amount of natural variability in weather. Scientists compare the normal variation in weather with rolls of the dice. Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere loads the dice, increasing odds of such extreme weather events. It's not just that the weather dice are altered, however. As Steve Sherwood , co-director of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia, puts it, "it is more like painting an extra spot on each face of one of the dice, so that it goes from 2 to 7 instead of 1 to 6. This increases the odds of rolling 11 or 12, but also makes it possible to roll 13." Why? Basic physics is at work: The planet has already warmed roughly 1 degree Celsius since preindustrial times, thanks to CO2and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. And for every 1-degree C (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in temperature, the amount of moisture that the atmosphere can contain rises by 7 percent, explains Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the U.K. Met Office's Hadley Center for Climate Change. "That's quite dramatic," he says. In some places, the increase has been much larger. Data gathered by Gene Takle, professor of meteorology at Iowa State University in Ames, show a 13 percent rise in summer moisture over the past 50 years in the state capital, Des Moines.” (Click here for more)
Click here for Helen Shapiro
The secret word is Distruption
Posted by Mick at 6/30/2011 04:20:00 AM
Posted by Mick at 6/30/2011 04:14:00 AM
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
While felines conspire rabbits just get high in the flowers.
“Police in Brandenburg who discovered a large plot of cannabis called on the neighbouring house only to find an 84-year-old woman who had been feeding her rabbits with the plants. “The rabbits really like it,” the woman told officers who called on her in the village of Golzow near Belzig, according to Saturday’s Tagesspiegel. A police officer had seen the healthy, metre-high plants from the road while on his way to work and told his colleagues, who visited the plot’s owner – the elderly woman. She told them that she had not grown the plants herself, but that they had simply started growing there, and had proven to be excellent rabbit food. Not only did the rabbits love eating the plants, they grew back very quickly after she cut them down, she told the investigating officers. A spokesman for the Brandenburg police said her explanation had sounded plausible, but the officers could not leave her with the plants, rather cut them all down and took them to the forensics laboratory for testing. The three large plastic sacks of weed will now be tested to determine the level of THC – the psycho-active ingredient in cannabis - they contain. There was no official comment on what the elderly woman was expected to feed her rabbits with now.”
Click here for Harry Bidgood
The secret word is Thumper
Posted by Mick at 6/29/2011 08:40:00 AM
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
"Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child. Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence. Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby. But her case is by no means isolated. Across the US more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals. "Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws," said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). "It's turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights." Click here for more.
Click here for Patti
The secret word is Vindictive
Posted by Mick at 6/28/2011 07:37:00 AM
Monday, June 27, 2011
My intention was to write all about my impressions of our excursion to Glastonbury Fayre as soon as I’d cleaned the mud off my wandering boot heels. But then – lo and behold, and thanks to the wondrous Helga – the first video of The Last Men Standing playing our song “Taste The Blue”. So I’m going to share that with you all for now and the commentary will have to wait until later.
Click here for all the fun of The Fayre
The secret word is Blue
Posted by Mick at 6/27/2011 09:10:00 AM