Tuesday, September 30, 2008
A 15sq meter house that can be built in a weekend. All for less than the price of a car (you supply the scenic lakeside property). Yet another cool thing that Americans are apparently incapable of designing. We never did catch on to the whole minimalism thing.
The bittersweet art of cutting up books (dark roasted blend)
All of the New Yorkers comics from the upcoming issue are economic-crisis related
McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said Palin will do at least one news conference before election day. That could mean that the person who could potentially lead the free world will have done one national press conference before being sworn into office.
The Democratic vice presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has given more than 89 national and local interviews over roughly the same period of time.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Salon article on same.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
In direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, George Bush will be permanently activating an Army Unit inside the U.S. (yt) to assist with civil unrest and crowd control.
Check out the Army Times article on same for a decidedly different slant on this horrifying new bit of domestic fascism.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Use the form below to submit bad assets you'd like the government to take off your hands. And remember, when estimating the value of your 1997 limited edition Hanson single CD "MMMbop", it's not what you can sell these items for that matters, it's what you think they are worth. The fact that you think they are worth more than anyone will buy them for is what makes them bad assets.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Put it all together, and the America that emerges is a cartoonish version of the country most despised by red-meat red-state patriots: France. Only with worse food.
Friday, September 19, 2008
See also The New Yorker (see Related Links sidebar for New Yorker stories) , and Village Voice
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Ideological incompatibility - and frankly, the danger of close proximity - has reached the point where we can't share the same government with these dolts. I just don't want to be physically near somebody who wakes up and wants the world to end, and who might even do something to speed the process along in a psychotic wish-fulfillment episode. I think breaking up would be best for both of us.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
An excellent Mother Jones piece on Republican political meddling, censorship, and obstruction with science.
Waxman had this to say: "While I appreciate the value of vigorous scientific debate, I question why White House economic advisers are apparently conducting their own research on right whales and why the vice president's staff is challenging the conclusions of the government's scientific experts." And indeed, the whole saga does seem pretty over the top. But it also perfectly fits a recurring pattern across President Bush's two terms.
Again and again, at agency after agency, government science has been undermined, torqued, twisted, muzzled. For eight years the scandals have just kept coming—so much so that even very high-level appointees like the surgeon general and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have encountered interference with their attempts to convey scientific information. "It is an outcome of the 'faith based' presidency, with many decisions made based on instincts rather than facts," says Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, who's served as a nasa adviser. "The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence. The Bush administration treats science as if you have a choice regarding whether or not to accept demonstrable scientific knowledge, analogous to the choice of which church to go to or which type of automobile to drive." Meanwhile, the battery of insults has dragged down the morale of scientist civil servants and amped up the cynicism of Americans who've watched their government grow increasingly dysfunctional. "We're beyond 'here's another abuse,'" says Francesca Grifo, director of the scientific integrity program at the ucs. "It's more how they changed the system to turn it into this new kind of machine that perpetually sidelines the science."
With time running out after A.I.G. failed to get a bank loan to avoid bankruptcy, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, convened a meeting with House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to explain the rescue plan. They emerged just after 7:30 p.m. with Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke looking grim, but with top lawmakers initially expressing support for the plan. But the bailout is likely to prove controversial, because it effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by A.I.G. and other institutions it does business with.
How does McCain feel about government intervention in the free market, you ask? Depends on when you ask... He's brazenly changed his mind on it 5 times - in 24 hours.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The Computer Security Group at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) has released a short, chilling video demonstrating how a single person can hack an election on a touch-screen voting system -- even one with a so-called "Voter Verifiable Paper Trail" (VVPAT) added to it -- in such a way that it is highly unlikely that the manipulation would ever be detected by either the public or election officials.
Direct link to videos (youtube) [Part 1] [Part 2]
Monday, September 15, 2008
The Incredible Ingo Scooter
Hey, why not?
Throughout her career, Ms. Palin has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and blurred the line between government and personal grievance.
Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records.
Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears. (Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.) An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.
When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.
“Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Sean Smith spent two months with the 101st Airborne in Baghdad during the dog days of the American occupation. He filmed heavy fighting with the Mahdi army in Sadr City and Shulla, and powerful unmediated testimony from soldiers openly critical of the occupation.
"Basically I think we're in a stupid pointless war because a lot of politicians either a) can't admit they're wrong or b) are making a lot of money off of this war"
Anyone even remotely considering voting Republican should be forced to watch this.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Doubleneck guitars on LP covers (via gmt+9)
Including a few from the insanely talented Deke Dickerson, who I had the privilege of seeing perform this past weekend at the HotRod Hoedown. (photoset here, and here's Deke doin' one of my favorites, Ernie Chaffin's "Feelin' Low")
Friday, September 12, 2008
70 Amazing Houses from around the world
Camile Rose Garcia's Ambian Somnambulants show at Jonathan Levine Gallery
Check out the wooden works of Mr. Matsumo
Where Have You Gone R. Cobb? (designobserver)
In 1968 the two most influential underground newspaper cartoonists in America were R. Crumb, who most everyone knows today, and R. Cobb, who sadly many do not. Crumb devastated establishment pieties while Cobb attacked the establishment’s devastation of rights and liberties. Both made an indelible impression on my impressionable generation.
Crumb, who lives in the south of France today, survived the Sixties to become a bone fide culture hero, with films, books, and exhibitions celebrating his creative madness. Cobb, who lives in Australia, left the ephemeral art of cartooning for a career as a concept designer and art director in television and films, including The Abyss, Aliens, True Lies, Total Recall, Rocketeer and many more.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We know one of Palin's first acts as mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska was to ask the librarian the procedure for banning books. Oh, but that was a "rhetorical" question, says the McCain-Palin campaign. We know Palin is not telling the truth when she says she was against the notorious $400m "Bridge to Nowhere" project in Alaska - in fact, she campaigned for it - but she keeps repeating the claim anyway. She denounces the dipping of snouts in the Washington trough - but hired costly lobbyists to make sure Alaska got a bigger helping of federal dollars than any other state.
She claims to be a fiscal conservative, but left Wasilla saddled with debts it had never had before. She even seems to have claimed "per diem" allowances - taxpayers' money meant for out-of-town travel - when she was staying in her own house.
Yet somehow none of this is yet leaving a dent. The result is that a politician who conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan calls a "Christianist" - seeking to politicise Christianity the way Islamists politicise Islam - could soon be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Remember, this is a woman who once addressed a church congregation, saying of her work as governor - transport, policing and education - "really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God".
If Sarah Palin defies the conventional wisdom that says elections are determined by the top of the ticket, and somehow wins this for McCain, what will be the reaction? Yes, blue-state America will go into mourning once again, feeling estranged in its own country. A generation of young Americans - who back Obama in big numbers - will turn cynical, concluding that politics doesn't work after all. And, most depressing, many African-Americans will decide that if even Barack Obama - with all his conspicuous gifts - could not win, then no black man can ever be elected president.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
(EFF and ACLU)
Art with Pritt corrective pens
(via the fantastic Fubiz)
The Empire that was Russia: Amazing color photography from early 20th century Russia
Around 1907 Prokudin-Gorskii envisioned and formulated a plan to use the emerging technological advancements that had been made in color photography to systematically document the Russian Empire. Through such an ambitious project, his ultimate goal was to educate the schoolchildren of Russia with his "optical color projections" of the vast and diverse history, culture, and modernization of the empire. Outfitted with a specially equipped railroad car darkroom provided by Tsar Nicholas II, and in possession of two permits that granted him access to restricted areas and cooperation from the empire's bureaucracy, Prokudin-Gorskii documented the Russian Empire around 1907 through 1915.
When you’ve been working with bullshit for as long as I have, you start to spot recurring themes: quacks and the pharmaceutical industry use the exact same tricks to sell their pills, everybody loves a “science bit” - even if it’s wrong - and when people introduce pseudoscience into any explanation, it’s usually because there’s something else they’re trying desperately not to talk about. But my favourite is this: alternative therapists, the media, and the drug industry all conspire to sell us reductionist, bio-medical explanations for problems that might more sensibly and constructively be thought of as social, political, or personal. And this medicalisation of everyday life isn’t done to us; in fact, we eat it up.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Of college graduates, 30 percent to 45 percent in India and China have engineering degrees, compared with 5 percent in the United States. Venture financing and patent applications are falling in Europe and the United States and rising in China and India, he said.
Most alarming to Mr. Compton is that 60 percent of engineering doctorates from American universities are granted to foreign nationals, but they are no longer staying here to work. “The American economy is not as exciting as China and India, and a lot of them are going back home,” he said.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.
UPDATE: Article and video of journalist Amy Goodman being arrested for "conspiracy to riot" by cowardly jackbooted thugs.
How is it that cops fall into complicity with this shit so easily?