Saturday, April 09, 2011


I turned on the BBC news to hear about a shooting on a Brit nuclear submarine. A sailor assigned nuke duty going postal? And then the London Daily Mail told me that the President of the United States may have had secret and sinister brain surgery. By comparison I feel positively rational.

“It could be caused by the shape of his hairline, a slightly slapdash barber or simply a trick of the light. But bloggers in America are convinced the ‘scar’ on Barack Obama’s head has a more sinister explanation. Conspiracy theorists claim the line, running up over the president’s crown from behind his right ear, proves he has secretly had brain surgery. They suggest it could be anything from a routine procedure to the work of extra-terrestrials, and have posted enhanced images of his head on Right-wing blogs as ‘evidence’.”

Click here to see “the evidence” presented on a knee-jerk site called Escape Tyranny.

Click here for GG Allin

The secret word is Delusional

Sidney Lumet – RIP
Johnny Preston -- RIP


It’s Saturday. Do I need to comment?

Click here for The Rolling Stones


Friday, April 08, 2011


We always knew it was coming but now it’s here – the bacteria that was immune of all antibiotics. The most telling part of this clip from The Guardian is “the drug industry isn't developing new antibiotics fast enough, because the process is difficult and the results aren't profitable enough.” That says it all about modern capitalism.

“The era of easy antibiotics may be coming to an end in our lifetimes — a gene that causes a variety of bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant is widespread in the Delhi water supply, according to a new study. A paper by Timothy Walsh from Cardiff University and colleagues, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, reveals that the gene, known as NDM-1, is widespread in the water used for cooking, washing and drinking in Delhi. It will inevitably be brought into hospitals in the gut flora of patients. The potential for movement around the world is high. NDM-1 can cause many types of bacteria – including E coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae – to become resistant to powerful antibiotics called carbapenems, which are used when other antibiotics fail to work. The team also found the gene had spread to bacteria that cause cholera and dysentery. "Worryingly, dysentery caused by this particular isolate is currently untreatable," said Mark Toleman, one of the authors. The drug industry isn't developing new antibiotics fast enough, because the process is difficult and the results aren't profitable enough. And meanwhile, governments haven't been responding to the threat of drug-resistant epidemics with the urgency they deserve. Says Toleman: "Following the publication of this study, the Indian government took draconian measures against the Indian scientists who collaborated with us and our colleagues were threatened."


Shall I gloat, or just observe how all things, no matter how disgusting, are cyclical?

“In case you somehow haven’t heard the news, Glenn Beck has been for all intents and purposes fired by Fox News due to declining ratings, especially in key demographics. Beck, who was the voice for much of conservative Tea Party America, not matter how ridiculous, had experienced a massive ratings decline since his march on Washington, D.C., The Restoring Honor Rally.” (Click here for theorizing)

Click here for the Everly Brothers

The secret word is Finished



Thursday, April 07, 2011


“Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.”

Thus spake Susan Burns after trying to destroy “Two Tahitian Women”

“The Paul Gauguin masterpiece that was attacked Friday by a woman at the National Gallery of Art “sustained no damage,” the museum said Monday, after conservators examined the canvas. The painting, owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and valued at $80 million, is expected to be back on view at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the gallery announced. The work, “Two Tahitian Women,” is part of the exhibit “Gauguin: Maker of Myth,” which opened in late February. A museum visitor, identified in documents filed with the D.C. Superior Court as Susan Burns, 53, of Alexandria, grabbed the painting by its frame and attempted to pull it off the wall. She then hit the painting, which was protected by a plexiglass shield, with her right fist, the court papers said. Burns, who was handcuffed and detained, has been charged with attempted theft in the second degree.” (Click here for more)

Click here for The Band

The secret word is Ear


Can anyone doubt the Palins are a tribe of grifters.

“ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Tax documents show unwed mother Bristol Palin earned more than $262,000 for her role in helping raise awareness for teen pregnancy prevention in 2009. The most recent data for The Candie's Foundation that's posted online by research firm GuideStar shows compensation at $262,500 for the now-20-year-old daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. Bristol Palin was 18 when she was appointed as a teen ambassador for the New York-based foundation in 2009, months after giving birth to son, Tripp. She and the 2-year-old boy's father, Levi Johnston, are no longer together. Palin family attorney John Tiemessen and foundation officials did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday. Palin, who still works for the foundation, told The Associated Press last year that girls would think twice about having sex if they knew how tough it is to be a mother. She said she "wasn't prepared at all" for the dramatic changes in her life since becoming a mom. "I don't think anyone realizes how difficult it really is until you actually have a screaming baby in your arms and you're up all night," Palin said. When she was first named to the ambassador role, Palin said in a statement she felt she could be a living example of the consequences of teen pregnancy.” (Click here for more)


Sometimes you just want to weep.

“Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a prominent bee expert. Scientists have found numerous examples of a new phenomenon – bees "entombing" or sealing up hive cells full of pollen to put them out of use, and protect the rest of the hive from their contents. The pollen stored in the sealed-up cells has been found to contain dramatically higher levels of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals than the pollen stored in neighbouring cells, which is used to feed growing young bees. "This is a novel finding, and very striking. The implication is that the bees are sensing [pesticides] and actually sealing it off. They are recognising that something is wrong with the pollen and encapsulating it," said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture. "Bees would not normally seal off pollen." But the bees' last-ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behaviour is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. "The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It's a defence mechanism that has failed." These colonies were likely to already be in trouble, and their death could be attributed to a mix of factors in addition to pesticides, he added.” (Click here for more)


Christopher Robin Frozdick had a difficult childhood.


Wednesday, April 06, 2011


The boundary between cute and creepy may be narrower than we think.

“Computer animation has a problem. When it gets too realistic, it starts creeping people out. Most recently, moviegoers complained about the near-realistic depiction of humans in Disney's 3D flick Mars Needs Moms, which bombed at the box office despite costing hundreds of millions of dollars. A theory called the "uncanny valley" says we tend to feel attracted to inanimate objects with human traits, the way a teddy bear or a rag doll seems cute. Our affection grows as an object looks more human. But if it looks too human, we suddenly become repulsed. Instead of seeing what's similar, we notice the flaws — and the motionless eyes or awkward movements suddenly make us uncomfortable.” (Click here for more.)

The secret word is Rodent


…check out this dementedly eerie commercial for the 2011 National Day of Prayer.
Click here for the Apocalyptic Wrath of the Lord.


This is almost as much fun as Penguin Whacking and much less violently atavistic.
Click here. Trust me.


Click here for early Lemmy (from Jeff Dexter)


(I believe this is going viral.)


Click here for Jimmy Smith

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Our pal Chris Hedges makes the case for civil disobedience.

“The phrase consent of the governed has been turned into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. Civil disobedience is the only tool we have left. We will not halt the laying off of teachers and other public employees, the slashing of unemployment benefits, the closing of public libraries, the reduction of student loans, the foreclosures, the gutting of public education and early childhood programs or the dismantling of basic social services such as heating assistance for the elderly until we start to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience against the financial institutions responsible for our debacle. The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation’s most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth. The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. And for this reason at 11 a.m. April 15 I will join protesters in Union Square in New York City in front of the Bank of America. “The political process no longer works,” Kevin Zeese, the director of Prosperity Agenda and one of the organizers of the April 15 event, told me. “The economy is controlled by a handful of economic elites. The necessities of most Americans are no longer being met. The only way to change this is to shift the power to a culture of resistance. This will be the first in a series of events we will organize to help give people control of their economic and political life.” (Click here for the rest)

The secret words are Act and Up


Regular readers know that here at Doc40 we have an enduring interest in the crow family. Their use of tools was a quite sufficient source of fascination, but now New Scientist tells us they have the basics of very un-avian socialization they really need watching. In LA I observed them daily, but now I’m in Brighton they are much less in evidence because seagulls rule bigtime.

“Angry ravens might kick and chase each other, but if they are close allies they make up afterwards. Plenty of primates and other mammals reconcile after a conflict, but previously no birds were known to do so, says Orlaith Fraser of the University of Vienna in Austria. Monitoring a group of seven captive ravens (Corvus corax), Fraser and colleague Thomas Bugnyar found that pairs of birds were likely to be more friendly to each other if they had fought each other in the previous 10 minutes. "It wasn't just standard friendly behaviour," Fraser says. Rather the ravens sat touching each other, and sometimes touched their beaks together or preened each other. Ravens are not tactile like primates, so sitting in contact is a strong social signal. "That's very good evidence for reconciliation," says Filippo Aureli of Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. Comparing animals' typical behaviour with the behaviour they display in the minutes immediately after a fight is a "well-established method" to look for such behaviour, he adds. Ravens that had squabbled were more likely to reconcile if they were allies. "These are valuable partners who share food and support each other in fights," says Fraser."Many animals have mechanisms for maintaining valuable relationships," says Phyllis Lee of the University of Stirling, UK. Social animals that can recognise other individuals and form long-term relationships with them are most likely to be able to reconcile, she says. Fraser and Bugnyar previously showed that ravens sometimes console group members who have lost a fight.”

Click here for Two Gallants


To be a fucking janitor?



Monday, April 04, 2011


I can only despair of these wretched fundamentalist Christians ever approaching a common humanity or acquiring the slightest basic respect for the sensibilities of others or belief systems that fail to match their own benighted ignorance. The last time this vicious idiot attempted to burn a Koran Barack Obama had a quiet word with him. This time he just went ahead and damn the consequences.

“KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - At least 10 people have been killed and 83 wounded in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials said on Saturday, on a second day of violent protests over the burning of a Koran by a radical fundamentalist Christian in the United States. A suicide attack also hit a NATO military base in the capitalKabul, the day after protesters over-ran a U.N. mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharifand killed seven foreign staff, in the deadliest attack on the UN in Afghanistan. Some protesters in Kandahar carried white Taliban flags and shouted slogans including "long live the Taliban" and "death to America." In rioting that lasted hours, they smashed shops, burned tires and vandalized a girl's high school. Two of the dead were Afghan policemen, an official said. The violence is the worst in Afghanistan for months, and comes as the country gears up for the first stage of a years-long security handover to Afghan troops, and after the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, delivered an optimistic assessment of progress in the war. The attacks were driven by anger at the actions of extremist Christian preacher Terry Jones who supervised the burning of the Koran in front of about 50 people at a church in Florida on March 20, according to his website.” (Click here for more)

Click here for Julie Driscoll

The secret word is Imbecile


The following weird but fascinating tale comes from io9.

“The Interstellar Boundary Explorer discovered a strange barrier of energy and particles that surrounds the solar system. Recently scientists have isolated the ribbon of energy, but questions remain. The heliosphere, the bubble of energy provided by the sun which envelops all the planets in the solar system, was known to block cosmic rays coming in from the rest of the universe. It seems that it doesn't do so alone. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) orbited earth, in an attempt to map the edges of the solar system. The maps it brought back show that there is a specific energy barrier wrapped around the solar system. IBEX scientists have looked over maps made by the mission, and have managed to chart the shape of this huge ribbon of energy. The IBEX used cameras that were sensitive to energetic neutral atoms, instead of photons, to focus on the boundary of the bubble of energy around our solar system. The heliosphere is puffed up, to a large degree, by the high-energy particles that shoot out of the sun. The ribbon appears to stretch down and wind around the heliosphere like stripes on a candy cane, and then move on. There's no word, now, on how the 'ribbon' of energy was made. Scientists believe that it is a result of the heliosphere interacting with the magnetic field created by the galaxy, but don't know specifics. The unexpected finding leaves people with a clearer view of what the edge of the solar system looks like, even if no one knows why it looks that way.”

HERE KITTY, KITTY! (I couldn’t resist)



Sunday, April 03, 2011


As we kissed in the wild blazing night time, I remember her whispering yes.” I happened across an unexpected Bob Dylan live clip from 1966 of the song "I Don’t Believe You (She Just Acts Like We Never Had Met)" and, aside from posting a link and hoping that it stays up long enough for everyone to watch it who wants to, it took me back, way down the trail of time, back to all those Sunday mornings after all those Saturday nights when one woke in a haze of pain to an almost unknown morning companion who was often wondering the same as you were, and the width of the destroyed bed became a gulf of perception, a misapprehension on some lost highway of lust and romance, a hungover void of comprehension without coffee, comprehension, and certainly not a bloody Mary. Or maybe not. Maybe the lady had a sense of humor. Maybe she had a pint of scotch in her bag. And of course, one time – or maybe more than once – you would encounter the love of your life, but like the saying goes, “You have to be kissed by a lot of frogs before you turn into a prince.”

Click here for rare Japanese-hosted Bob. Quick, before Sony takes it down.

The secret word is Comedown


“Or you could take a few Nembutal and sleep until Monday.”


Rover Frozdick was a serious Ingmar Bergman fan.