Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Punk & The Pistols - The London Weekend Show 1976

Unfortunately you have to put up with the truly awful Janet Street-Porter...
(Thanx Fifi for finding this one!)

Magnets mess minds, morality

Talk about messing with your mind. A new study by neuroscientist Liane Young and colleagues at Harvard University does exactly that: the researchers used magnetic signals applied to subjects’ craniums to alter their judgements of moral culpability. The magnetic stimulus made people less likely to condemn others for attempting but failing to inflict harm, they report in PNAS.
Most people make moral judgements of others’ actions based not just on their consequences but also on some view of what the intentions were. That makes us prepared to attribute diminished responsibility to children or people with severe mental illness who commit serious offences: it’s not just a matter of what they did, but how much they understood what they were doing.
Neuroimaging studies have shown that the attribution of beliefs to other people seems to involve a part of the brain called the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ). So Young and colleagues figured that, if they disrupted how well the RTPJ functions, this might alter moral judgements of someone’s action that rely on assumptions about their intention.
To do that, they applied an oscillating magnetic signal at 1 Hz to the part of the skull close to the RTPJ for 25 minutes in test subjects, and then asked them to read and respond to an account of an attempted misdemeanour. They also conducted tests while delivering the signal in regular short bursts. In one scenario, ‘Grace’ intentionally puts a white powder from a jar marked ‘toxic’ into her friend’s coffee, but the powder is in fact just sugar and the friend is fine. Was Grace acting rightly or wrongly?
Obvious? You might think differently with a magnetic oscillator fixed to your head. With the stimulation applied, subjects were more likely to judge the morality based on the outcome, as young children do (the friend was fine, so it’s OK), than on the intention (Grace believed the stuff was toxic).
That’s scary. The researchers present this as evidence of the role of the RTPJ in moral reasoning, with implications for how children do it (there is some evidence that the RTPJ is late in maturing) and for conditions such as autism that seem to involve a lack of ability to identify motives in other people. Fair enough. But to most of us it is news – and alarming news – that morality-related brain functions can be disrupted or suspended with a simple electromagnetic coil.
If ever a piece of research were destined to incite paranoid fantasies about dictators inserting chips in our heads to alter and control our behaviour, this is it.
Phillip Ball @'The Great Beyond'

Guided By Voices - AOL Session 2002

Bootsy's basic funk formula

Dr. Eddzherton's Apple Macbook vinyl decal

Other designs here and here.
(Thanx son #2!)

Wine cask inventor dead at 92

The inventor of the wine cask, South Australian Riverland grape grower Thomas Angove, has died in Renmark, aged 92.
Mr Angove revolutionised wine packaging in the 1960s when he created the resealable plastic bag in a cardboard box.
His son, managing director of Angove Wines John Angove, says his father was a great contributor to the wine industry.
"I remember dad coming home with this sort of prototype of a plastic bag inside a cardboard box and I remember thinking to myself and I probably said it to dad 'That's crazy, nobody will buy wine in a plastic bag stuck inside a cardboard box', but in his usual manner he persisted," he said.
"He thought he was onto a good thing and history certainly indicates that he was.
"His commitment and involvement in industry matters and industry bodies and the welfare of the industry overall, as opposed to just Angove family winemakers, was very significant and I think reflects his very broad vision of what the world and life was all about."

Thomas Angrove - I raise a glass of fruity lexia in your honour...(hic!)

Policing for profit!

Whatever you do, make sure not to hurt the dog.

Worst case of being at the wrong spot at the wrong time. And you know, I live in a rowdy street, so I know about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But at least, if something happened to me here, it's very unlikely I'd be the victim of our local police since they deserted my area some years back. It was a sad story when I read about it last year, and it's sadder still today.

This Thursday a year will have passed since Ian Tomlinson died after being assaulted by a policeman at the G20 protests. No charges have been brought; no one has been punished. Despite 300 official complaints about the policing of the protests on April 1st, and plenty of video and photographic evidence, no officer has faced serious disciplinary proceedings(1,2). Those who removed their identification numbers, beat up peaceful protesters and bystanders, then repeatedly lied about what had happened remain untroubled, either by the law or their superior officers. There has been no apology to Tomlinson’s family. 

Contrast this with another case, in which a Nottinghamshire police officer caused two deaths in June. As soon as it happened, the police reported themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and launched their own investigation. A chief superintendent told the press that “we will certainly take any lessons we can get from this process and make sure we put them in place so this sort of thing never happens again. It has caused immense sadness and immense shock.”(3) The papers carried pictures of officers paying tribute, saluting the flowers left outside police headquarters(4). There was no cover up, no botched post-mortem, no lies about the victims or their families. The officer responsible was quickly charged and, though his victims died as a result of neglect not assault, last month he was convicted over the deaths(5).
There’s a significant difference between the two cases: the Nottinghamshire victims were dogs. The officer had left two police dogs in his car and forgot about them while he completed some paperwork. Judging by their response to these two tragedies, both police and prosecutors appear to care more about dogs than human beings.
George Monbiot @''


Russia to open massive WWII archive

Russia plans to open the world's largest WWII archive, the size of which will "comply with the contribution of our country to the Victory."  (The Russians have always insisted that they won World War II, not us.  The real answer is that we all won it.)  This archive project will apparently entail building new buildings to house the holding which will be brought in from numerous archives around the country.  The project will also include a major digitization effort and will apparently include some sort of commercial database dealing with Soviet casualties.  The article hints that similar efforts may be undertaken to assess German and Hungarian losses on the Eastern Front.
There are significant practicality issues associated with this project.  Furthermore, the desirability of taking war records out of existing archives and putting them into a purpose-built archive designed around an event as opposed to something that organically grew as out of an agency or other organization, is eminently debatable.  (For an excellent discussion of these issues, see the fine post at The Russian Front.)  On the other hand, many archives in Russia are in lamentable condition, so if the price of survival for these records is some disorganization, perhaps that is a price worth paying.  In addition, the digitization component of the project is certainly a good thing, though one does wonder what if any political criteria will be applied to select the documents and files that will be digitized.
Interestingly, Andrei Artizov, the head of the Russian Federal Archive Agency (Federal'naia arkhivnaia sluzhba Rossii aka Rosarkhiv) says that the new archive should include substantial German records "like those of Hitler's chancellery, the Reich's Security Services and others. In compliance with the existing legislation, they are part of Russia's property."  Meanwhile, a so-far very modest U.S. Government effort to do something similar with copies of analogous Iraqi records captured in 2003 generates accusation of malfeasance.
In any case, this will be an interesting story to follow.

New blog

Started by a very good friend of mine and dedicated only to the music and productions of the man above...
Don't forget that if you like reggae then keep an eye 

RA200 - Carl Craig

First Listen: Jonsi - 'Go'

Jonsi is the nickname of Jon Thor Birgisson, the enigmatic Sigur Ros singer. In Sigur Ros, his music is ethereal, sprawling and mysterious — it's even sung in a language of his own devising. But Jonsi also writes songs that can be upbeat, even celebratory, and often sung in English. His new solo album, Go, is where he's found a home for that music, and it's a brilliant and creative assortment of songs.
Recorded in Jonsi's studio in Iceland and in Connecticut, Go features wonderful arrangements of strings, brass and woodwinds, recorded with the help of Nico Muhly. Muhly has worked with Bjork, Philip Glass and even Bonnie "Prince" Billy; listen to "Tornado" and you'll get a good idea of the exhilaration Muhly helps bring to these songs. You can hear Go in its entirety here until its release on April 6.
Birgisson grew up in Iceland, raised by parents who weren't particularly musical; his early memories include playing The Beatles at double speed on his turntable and listening to and playing along with Iron Maiden records. You can hear him speak at length about his musical past and loves in an upcoming episode of All Songs Considered, in which Birgisson plays guest DJ. His history as Sigur Ros' singer and guitarist spans 16 years, during which time the band has released five studio albums and created a sound that's dramatic, euphoric, thoughtful, spacious and unforgettable.

Mummy - what's a CD?

Universal Music Group, one of the "Big Four" major labels, is the first to react to the years-long decline in CD sales. CD sales are down 15.4% this year, a slightly slower decline than the two years prior but still a huge drop, and though digital sales are nearing the volume of physical sales, revenues are still plummeting. Retailers and consumers alike have clamored for lower prices on CDs, and the labels have responded far too slowly, dropping from $18 to $13 in 2003.
Now, UMG is radically changing the price of the dying format, to between $6 and $10 for single-disc releases. The announcement is making the other labels quite nervous--they'll probably have to follow UMG's lead, whether the program is successful or not, and really, it doesn't matter if it's successful or not, given CDs have precious few years left anyway. But sources from the other labels say that they may simply drop the standard price to $10, which while not as drastic as UMG's strategy may still encourage more CD purchases.
After all, CDs are objectively superior to music purchased from digital retailers like iTunes, Zune, and Amazon. They come with album art and a booklet, they never have DRM, and they're encoded in high-quality lossless WAV files that can then be ripped in any format of any quality the user wants, including several other lossless formats. But on the other hand, buying a CD is certainly a bigger pain than downloading; a user has to get to a store, get home, rip the album, and then move it to a portable device, rather than simply clicking a few times in iTunes. And, of course, environmentally speaking, CDs are far more harmful. Still, if the choice is between a $6 CD or a $9.99 iTunes album, the CD is unquestionably the superior choice.
While this is an encouraging show of flexibility from the notoriously rigid major labels, it's not going to change the basic fact that the move is merely delaying the death of a format. The cut isn't going to "revitalize," "save," or "make viable" CDs: it'll just make them slightly more desirable for a couple of years until digital firmly buries physical.

Shows you how long the bastards have been overpricing though...

'Nyet' to $1 million?

 Perelman has been without work for four years and has declined all job offers. He previously worked at the Steklov Mathematics Institute.

"As far as I know, after there was so much media attention ... he did not want to be a public person and to look like an animal in the zoo," Rukshin said.

Will my Toyota reach escape velocity?

The federal probe into runaway Toyotas has resulted in enough scientific mystery that investigators have asked NASA scientists for help. 

The nation's auto-safety regulators have tapped nine experts from the space agency to answer questions involving software, hardware and other electronics issues, the Department of Transportation is expected to announce Tuesday, according to sources briefed on the plan who asked not to be identified because it is not yet public.

A separate panel from the National Academy of Sciences will be convened to work on a broad 15-month review of vehicle electronics and incidents of unintended acceleration across the industry. That probe will cover the potential for problems in electronic controls, human error and mechanical failure.
Peter Whoriskey @'TheWashingtonPost'

C-SPAN Caller Complains: Too Many Black People Call In

Meteorologists vs. Climatologists: the final confrontation...

Basically, we're back to the same old opposition: people with more education being regarded as having a private agenda by people with less education. We're doomed by our own petty behaviour.

The split between climate scientists and meteorologists is gaining attention in political and academic circles because polls show that public skepticism about global warming is increasing, and weather forecasters — especially those on television — dominate communications channels to the public. A study released this year by researchers at Yale and George Mason found that 56 percent of Americans trusted weathercasters to tell them about global warming far more than they trusted other news media or public figures like former Vice President Al Gore or Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate. 
Yet, climate scientists use very different scientific methods from the meteorologists. Heidi Cullen, a climatologist who straddled the two worlds when she worked at the Weather Channel, noted that meteorologists used models that were intensely sensitive to small changes in the atmosphere but had little accuracy more than seven days out. Dr. Cullen said meteorologists are often dubious about the work of climate scientists, who use complex models to estimate the effects of climate trends decades in the future.

But the cynicism, said Dr. Cullen, who now works for Climate Central, a nonprofit group that works to bring the science of climate change to the public, is in her opinion unwarranted.

“They are not trying to predict the weather for 2050, just generally say that it will be hotter,” Dr. Cullen said of climatologists. “And just like I can predict August will be warmer than January, I can predict that.”

Three years ago, Dr. Cullen found herself in a dispute with meteorologists after she posted a note on the Weather Channel’s Web site suggesting that meteorologists should perhaps not receive certification from the meteorological society if they “can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change.”

Resentment may also play a role in the divide. Climatologists are almost always affiliated with universities or research institutions where a doctoral degree is required. Most meteorologists, however, can get jobs as weather forecasters with a college degree. 

“There is a little bit of elitist-versus-populist tensions,” Mr. Henson said. “There are meteorologists who feel, ‘Just because I have a bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on.’ ”
Whatever the reasons, meteorologists are far more likely to question the underlying science of climate change. A study published in the January 2009 newsletter of the American Geophysical Union, the professional association of earth scientists, found that while nearly 90 percent of some 3,000 climatologists who responded agreed that there was evidence of human-driven climate change, 80 percent of all earth scientists and 64 percent of meteorologists agreed with the statement. Only economic geologists who specialized in industrial uses of materials like oil and coal were more skeptical.
Leslie Kaufman @'NYTimes'

Are dragons gay?

"We also discuss and offer a solution to the problem of how, since dragons are invariably male, the species can be propagated."

Antony Gormley’s Naked Men Perched on NYC Buildings

British artist Antony Gormley conquers New York’s Flatiron District with his legion of naked men inhabiting pathways and sidewalks in and around Madison Square Park and perched on ledges and rooftops of buildings from 14th to 34th streets on Manhattan’s East Side. Cast from the artist’s own lean body in iron and fiberglass, the 31 anatomically correct statues, which make up the installation Event Horizon, literally swarm the park. Finding them is a bit like playing the game “Where’s Waldo” yet once spotted they bring to mind the angels watching over Berlin in Wim Wenders’ film Wings Of Desire.
Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize, Gormley is celebrated in the UK for his spectacular public art works. His massive Angel of the North sculpture extends its wings high on a hill in Gateshead, while 100 life-size, cast iron figures in Another Place stretch out into the sea on Crosby Beach. Event Horizon, which marks Gormley’s U.S. public art debut, was first installed in 2007 on bridges, rooftops and streets along the South Bank of London’s Thames River. The New York installation, which is supported by its own website with a map, photos, and a video of Gormley discussing the project while scouting locations around Madison Square Park, remains on view through August 15.
Note: Following recent controversy about whether his sculptures looked like jumpers, we asked Gormley to comment. Here’s what he had to say:
“I am confident that New Yorkers and visitors to this city will understand that the figures are works of art. The ambition of Event Horizon is to activate the skyline and to perhaps make people visually aware of their surroundings. Silhouetted against the sky these bodyforms look out into space at large asking: Where does human evolution fit in the scheme of things?”
Paul Laster @'Flavourwire'

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Musicvideo for Dominik Eulberg's: SANSULA (oder der letzte Grund) This is a low budget musicvideo done completely without CGI. All Takes are shot in a Forest with a Video Projector, an HD cam and some curious Frogs.
secret show in los angeles at 9 pm 3 / 30 /2010 shhh..

First Listen: David Byrne & Fatboy Slim - 'Here Lies Love'

Here Lies Love, a collaboration between David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, tells the story of Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos and her rise to prominence. Throughout the album's two discs and 22 songs, they also tell the parallel tale of Estella Cumpas, the servant who raised Marcos.
Byrne and Fatboy Slim tell their stories using club music from the '70s disco era — Imelda Marcos loved the discos — and they incorporate quotes from the first lady and her husband, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, to help with the narrative.
The story is told using 22 prominent guest singers. Of those, 20 are women who portray the story's two main characters, including Sharon Jones, Annie Clark of St. Vincent, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Tori Amos, Nellie McKay, Kate Pierson of The B-52's, Martha Wainwright, Santigold and Cyndi Lauper. Steve Earle provides the voice of Ferdinand Marcos, while David Byrne sings lead on one song and shares the spotlight on another.
Musically, Fatboy Slim (a.k.a. Norman Cook) provides many of the beats, while Byrne mostly plays guitars, though that's a bit of an oversimplification. Many other musicians add rhythm and texture to a record filled with horns, woodwinds, strings and keyboards by Tom Gandey, a.k.a. Cagedbaby. Byrne and Cook composed many of the songs together, while Byrne wrote many on his own.
Here Lies Love — available here in its entirety until its release on April 6 — is a theatrical affair, though no theater piece is in the offing. For now, there's just the two CDs, the 120-page book and a DVD that includes historical footage cleverly edited to six of album's songs. Please leave your thoughts on the album in the comments section below.


What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?


Broken Haze - Raid System

 ..First up is Broken Haze, fitting as he’s the label head really. While he’s only been releasing music officially for a few years, he has managed to create his own unique blend of electro and future hip hop and made a name for himself in Japan in a relatively short time as not just a producer to watch out for but also a live performer worth catching. Filled with cut up melodies, chopped up drums, digital glitches, dark moods and at times quite heavy and industrial, his music echoes with the likes of The Glitch Mob, Prefuse 73 or Clark. His debut album was released in April 2008, entitled ‘Raid System’. He also forms half of Nerdz Era, a Japanese duo that makes full on, dancefloor friendly electro.
For this guest mix he’s chosen to showcase his own work and that of his friends, a perfect snapshot of his sound and a mix that deserves big speakers and a big sound for the full effect. Be sure to check his myspace and the Raid System site for more on him. He’s also got a track forthcoming on Jus Like Music’s ‘Oscillations’ compilation. And if you like what you hear tune into the monthly Raid System Radio sessions, broadcasted on Ustream live from the legendary Jar Beat Records shop in Kichi Jyoji.
Stay tuned for the rest of the series including guest mixes from XLII and Ken One. Next up is XLII..

Download Broken Haze – Raid System special pt 1 (right click and save as)

Nazi scandal engulfs Human Rights Watch

WTF??? 'Scarface' - The School Play (Thanx Fifi!)

Pink Floyd - Interstellar Overdrive (Live @ Manchester College of Commerce 2/05/69)

   (Thanx again Capt!)
This is an unreleased version from the 'Ummagumma' test pressing!

Change yr socks twice a day - it's the apocalypse!

"Uh These are just ideas put into a fictional (and very vague) scenario. Hopefully you are smart enough to figure out if they are appropriate and best for your situation."!!!
Found on the Hutaree militia site, "The End of the World as We Know It" Man. When the apocalypse comes, TEOTWAWKI Man recommends using insoles -- "Gels or what-have-you" -- and generally taking care of your feet.
"It's recommended to change your socks, twice a day actually, just to let 'em air out, if nothing else," he says, to the occasional accompaniment of rifle fire and combat plane. "Also, foot powder is recommended."
Lots more on these folks on the show tonight. For now, file this under things that can't be 100 percent, absolutely proved: TEOTWAWKI Man looks an awful lot like Joshua Clough, the guy who's second from the left on the bottom row in this collection of Hutaree mug shots. Clough, now indicted along with eight other Hutaree members for seditious conspiracy, apparently couldn't cut it with Michigan's mainline militia movement.
Amy Cooter, who's been studying the state's militias for a doctorate at the University of Michigan, says TEOTWAWKI Man looks like Clough to her. She reports that the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia -- host of the annual Pumpkin Purge -- sent Clough packing at least a couple of years back.
"He was asked to leave because he was not training safely -- just not following basic safety precautions," Cooter says. She describes the relationship between the Hutaree and the rest of the Michigan's militias as distant. The Hutaree are expressly apocalyptic Christian. The rest of the movement, she says, "is concerned with the Constitution."
The TEOTWAWKI Man videos were posted to YouTube under the account of JC2 Productions (Commercials! Weddings! Movies! Special effects!) We wrote to them and got no answer -- maybe because TEOTWAWKI Man is in jail. Maybe.

The Flamingos - Jump Children

Derrick May on meeting Juan Atkins & Kevin Saunderson (Melbourne 2006)

M-Flo vs NERDZ ERA - Miss You [NERDZ ERA remix]


Bat out of Hell? How a flying fox virus might help cure Ebola, HIV and other deadly plagues...

It seems germ warfare is about to introduce a new kind of WMD...

Lee is an expert on the viral envelope, the dynamic outside surface of a virus that latches onto a cell, then changes its shape to let the virus enter and infect the cell. This work began as part of a biodefense grant from the National Institutes of Health, screening a library of 30,000 compounds for activity against the envelope of Nipah virus, an emerging infection first identified in 1999 in Malaysia.

Nipah is so deadly that work with the virus itself can only be done in biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) labs where researchers wear tightly sealed hazmat suits with internal oxygen supplies. The labs themselves are strongly secured. There are only four in the U.S.

Lee got around that by creating a hybrid virus. He striped off the envelope covering the relatively benign vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and added the Nipah envelope to that core. This allowed him to screen the compounds in his lab at the university using much lower BLS-2 safety standards, to see if they inhibited viral entry into the cell.

"One compound (LJ001) looked really good, it had an IC50 of one micromolar [meaning that it inhibited the pathogen at a low concentration], which for an initial read is okay. Most importantly, it wasn't toxic" to cell cultures, Lee explained.

Mike Wolf, a grad student in the lab, wanted to make sure the compound was specific to Nipah, so he screened it against VSV. When the inhibition curves came back identical, he originally was disappointed because the study's funding was based on exploring potential therapeutics for Nipah.

Lee, however, encouraged him to be more persistent, and curious. After a series of studies confirmed the activity and lack of toxicity, Lee sent double-blinded samples of the compound and control to a colleague at the BSL-4 lab at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston who tested it against Nipah, Ebola and other viruses. They were shocked when LJ001 inhibited viral entry to all of them.

Tea Party activism is not about political dissent - It's about vile, storm trooper sound bites

Near a suburban school, one of many graffiti-hit signs that serve 
as mindless political protest.

We are 100 yards, no more than that, from the front entrance to the school. There is a stop sign here, and underneath the word "Stop" someone has spray-painted "Obama."
Stop Obama.
Why has somebody done it? Because in the current climate, people have been convinced they can. Or, more likely, that they should.
My son is in the seat next to me in the car. He says, "This isn't the only one. There are others in different parts of town."
At least here it is only vandalism about this President and the country's new health care bill, not phone threats left for some members of Congress. It is not an honorable old hero of the civil rights movement like Rep. John Lewis hearing the kind of racial insults he heard nearly 50 years ago in America. Or other congressmen being spat upon, all in the name of democracy at work.
At least here it is not Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan, being called a "baby killer," or a brick through a lawmaker's window. It is not Sarah Palin on her Twitter page - this woman who officially puts the twit in Twitter - posting the following message:
"Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD."
As always, you wonder where this patriotism and righteousness and Tea Party activism was during Bush-Cheney. You wonder if all the people who want to take to the streets - and to the television cameras now - decided they weren't needed for eight years because they thought the country was going so good. Or maybe they have just convinced themselves that the Obama who must now be stopped didn't just inherit this America, he created it.
This is no longer about political dissent. It is about storm trooper sound bites, and hate. This isn't the kind of honest debate on which our system of government has been built. It is vile, back-alley fighting, getting worse by the day, with no end in sight. People say that opposition to all Presidents, even the most unpopular white ones, sounds like this. No, it doesn't.
"It's so good to be here for the showdown in Searchlight [Nev.]," Palin says on Saturday. "So proud to be with all you who are proud to be Americans."
Palin is in Nevada because Sen. Harry Reid is a Democratic candidate she and other lovers of America are "targeting" this November. Of course, the implication, as always, is that anybody on the other side of the debate - about health care or anything else - isn't nearly as good an American as she is.
Palin is such a fighter and great American that she quit on her stool as governor of Alaska because there was more money to be made in the other 49 states, shouting about death panels and health care and "European socialism" and writing unreadable books. In so many ways, she is a perfect media darling for our times. She doesn't scrawl graffiti, she thinks in it.
If you even think that this President ought to be given a chance, that he might have some good in him, that he doesn't hate America the way the radio idiots say he does, then you must be someone just like him and she will help shout you down. You are another lousy, lefty Socialist who doesn't understand the new health care bill is unconstitutional. Why? Because the screamers say so, that's why. They learned it online.
"The country does not like this [health care] bill," Republican strategist Mike Murphy says on television Sunday.
The country. Another guy speaking for the whole country, coast to coast, Washington Heights to Starbuck, Wash. Is America divided over health care right now? Sure it is, the way it was divided over Social Security under FDR and Medicare under LBJ and just about every important social program in the country's history.
Will a bill be presented to my children and their children on this bill someday? It likely will be. And economists say that Iraq will eventually be a $3 trillion war for this country. But all those who have taken to the streets because of the bill that Obama signed the other day must think that Iraq has paid for itself, no matter how much money it continues to cost this country, how many dead or broken bodies.
But Obama is the one who must be stopped, on health care and everything else. Stop Obama. Sometimes you wonder what that really means. Sometimes you probably find yourself wondering just how much you have to hate this President before you love America enough.

Grey's Unethical Anatomy

The moral to this story is: never trust your TV! But I'm sure you knew that.

A medical student and faculty directors from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics analyzed depictions of bioethical issues and professionalism over a full season of two popular medical dramas -- "Grey's Anatomy" and "House, M.D." -- and found that the shows were "rife" with ethical dilemmas and actions that often ran afoul of professional codes of conduct.

The authors of the review, available in the April issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, say they were well aware that their findings would end up stating the obvious. But they nonetheless wanted to provide data that would shed light on the relationship of these depictions on the perceptions of viewers, both health professionals and the general public.
Informed consent was the most frequently observed bioethical issue. Of 49 total incidents, 43 percent involved "exemplary" consent discussions, while the remaining instances were "inadequate." In general, exemplary depictions portrayed "compassionate, knowledgeable physicians participating in a balanced discussion with a patient about possible treatment options."

Conversely, inadequate depictions were "marked by hurried and one-sided discussions, refusal by physicians to answer questions" and "even an entire lack of informed consent for risky procedures," the authors state.

They also tallied 22 incidents of "ethically questionable departures from standard practice," most of them depicting doctors endangering patients unnecessarily in their pursuit of a favorable outcome. "In almost all of these incidents (18 out of 22), the implicated physician is not penalized," the authors note.

Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music (Part I)

    (Thanx Capt!)
davidhepworth Miss Ultimo sack Peaches Geldof because recent allegations mean she's no longer a "positive role model". Did I miss her saintly phase?

Anger in China over web censorship

Smoking # 54

nside GCHQ: 'Caution: Here comes the BBC'


Caution sign
One of the signs that greeted the BBC team
"Don't take it personally," said the woman behind the reception desk. But it was hard not to. People were avoiding us and there were signs all over the building warning of our presence .
"Caution. BBC Radio 4 recording here. Keep all conversations to 'Unclassified'."
It was hardly surprising. We were being allowed to record inside one of Britain's most secret establishments - GCHQ, the Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Their job is to listen in on others, record their conversations and pick up their e-mails. But for the first time in its history we were turning the microphones on them.
We didn't exactly walk right in.
Negotiations for access to this highly secretive operation lasted several weeks. Could we, they enquired, assure them that the microphones we were going to use were as "low sensitivity as possible"? And would we, they asked, allow their sound engineers to listen back to the recordings we made in open areas to check that we hadn't picked up any conversations that we shouldn't have?
'The Doughnut'
And then, when we got there, there was layer upon layer of security checks. We got past the first two before my recording equipment was taken away to be examined. I left it with three men in a room who were standing round a table with all sorts of weird looking devices.
GCHQ: Cracking the Code , written and presented by the BBC's security correspondent Gordon Corera
It will be broadcast on Radio 4 at 2000 BST on Tuesday, 30 March
Or hear it later on the iPlayer
"Please look after my baby," I said, before being escorted outside. (Producers can, understandably, be very protective about their recording machines).
I have no idea what went on in that room but it obviously included the electronic equivalent of a full body search. I had to piece everything back together afterwards. Even the batteries were treated with suspicion - if I needed any more over the next 48 hours, I was told, they would supply them.
There were more checks to come. We hadn't, at this stage, even got past main reception. A rather forbidding looking receptionist asked for identification before pointing to a sign which expressly forbade anyone taking cameras, mobile phones and - rather bizarrely, given the reason we were there - recording equipment or similar electronic devices into the main building.
Somehow we got through and there we were, strolling with our minders, round what is known at GCHQ as The Street, a circular walkway which runs throughout the building nicknamed affectionately, The Doughnut.
Visitors to Cheltenham have to wear a red badge to mark them out, but you couldn't miss me. I was the one wearing headphones and carrying a large microphone. People gave us a wide berth. It felt like I had a communicable disease.
Shutters down
Secrecy at Cheltenham is ingrained. A decision had been made to allow a glimpse into their world but there were some who weren't entirely happy about it. As if to hammer the point home, there was an announcement over the public address system within minutes of our appearance.
Radio found in Aberystwyth
Exhibited Soviet radio - found in a field, but no one knows who buried it
"Blinds facing the street between blocks A and B should be lowered and closed immediately. End of message."
It turned out that a member of staff was worried about us being able to see through the windows into the open plan offices facing onto the street. They didn't want us to be able to read what was on their computer screens and had alerted security. There was a low whirring, grumbling noise and the shutters came down.
There were reminders of past "transgressors" - people who had betrayed their secrets - all around us. Dotted around the building were glass cases with exhibits from GCHQ's history including two radio sets.
The first was a radio used by the Portland Spy Ring to send messages back to Russia in the 50s and 60s. Next to it was a radio set which had been discovered by a farmer ploughing his field near Aberystwyth. It had been cached there by someone working for the Soviets but, to this day, no-one has any idea who it was.
Still, there was an upside to being avoided if not altogether shunned. We had no trouble getting a table in the staff restaurant when it came to lunchtime. You had only to announce that we were from the BBC and diners would obligingly move away to make room for us. It's not something you could count on when booking a table at a high class restaurant like Quaglinos but then GCHQ is an altogether different world.
Mark Savage @'BBC'

Video of Tea Party racists spitting on Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver

Ever since stories about anti-healthcare reform campaigners calling black and gay lawmakers 'nigger' and 'faggot' and spitting on them, conservatives have been sneering that they haven't seen any evidence and implying it's a media conspiracy. Here's video of one incident.
Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver of Missouri (in the tan suit in the video) had released a statement last week confirming the racism and that he'd been spat on. Here's video, via the Huffington Post, in which it looks like he's been spat on.

Luminaries like Andrew Breitbart and Sean Hannity had questioned all the lawmakers' claims, preferring to believe the disgusting racists who make up their flocks. A tea party group even offered $15,000 for video proof of the spitting incident. Although they may now claim, like some blogs, that "the good congressman just walked a little too close to a protestor with his hands cupped." Yeah, that must be it. Silly old us in the 'mainstream media'.

Just remember where... read it first!

SVT Font by Vier5


Designer: Vier5
Release: March 2010

When Vier5 turn their gimlet eye to the subtitles used in cinema, the result is SVT, a spectacularly subtle font originally designed for the Centre d'art Contemporain de Brétigny in France. Boxy and light, this no-frills typeface is about communication in its clearest form.

Grounded on the classical notion of design, Paris-based Vier5 focuses on applying new, up-to-date fonts. They aim to replace visual empty phrases with individual creative statements tailored specifically for the client and medium used. "Design is the possibility of drafting and creating new, forward-looking images in the field of visual communication," Achim Reichert, one-half of the design collective, says of his work. Read more in this (very brief) interview with the artist below.

Interview with the Designer Vier5

A short description about the font:
There is no description from needed. The character is visible. It was originally designed for different posters for Centre d'art Contemporain de Brétigny/France.

What was the main idea behind designing the font?
The lettering for subtitles in cinema, i.e. English or Armenian films.

How would you characterize your style?
No Style.

How did you come up with the name of the font?
SVT stands for S.V.T., an incorrectly-remembered name of a Parisian company for subtitling.

What inspires you?

Which is the bigger challenge: working on your own personal project or for a client with a strict briefing?
These opposite realities do not exist.

What is the ideal usage of your font?
Ideal use will always take place in future projects.

How would you describe the state your handwriting is in?
It works in a certain way. 

Where does the font end, where does the image begin? Is there a line to draw?
It depends on how the viewing takes place. Texts in smaller caps are already seen and processed from images to content, big headlines with uncommon silhouettes have to be read letter by letter before understanding.

Your future plans/projects?
Are in the future.

Man - I wish that I had bought this...

Cubesails to drag spacejunk from orbit

One of the biggest modern threats to spaceflight -- apart from politics  -- is space junk. For each satellite, rocket, capsule, space station,  missile, booster, observatory, dog or monkey we put into space, we  litter Earth orbit with 5 percent more junk every year.
So it seems we are doomed to failure. There's currently an estimated  5,500 tons of debris up there, and it's getting worse. The more active  we become in space, the more junk we shed, and it is a hyper-velocity  hazard, putting future astronauts and our multi-billion dollar satellite  industry at risk. What's more, space debris can interrupt satellite communications,  possibly even satellite TV signals -- we can't be having that!
SATELLITES:  Keep track of all the news from satellites orbiting not only Earth, but  other planetary bodies too.
Fortunately, various agencies around the world have accurate means of  tracking the larger bits of debris, providing some kind of warning  should a speeding bit of shrapnel get too close to our orbital real  estate. We might not be able to do anything (yet) about the smaller  stuff, but UK scientists have come up with a novel idea about how to  remove the larger stuff from orbit.
Enter the CubeSail, a modified solar sail designed to bring  dead satellites and rockets down to Earth.
HOWSTUFFWORKS:  Space junk is a growing issue, but what are the risks to astronauts?

Life's a Drag for Satellites.
The nanosatellite concept, designed by scientists  at the University of Surrey and funded by the European space  company Astrium, will be launched for space trials in 2011. Inspired by  the solar sail -- a spacecraft  propulsion system that uses the pressure of sunlight to get around space  -- the CubeSail uses air resistance to slow down its motion.
Unfolding into a 5×5 meter sheet of plastic, the CubeSail is designed  to "drag" defunct satellites from orbit, making use of the thin wisps  of atmospheric gases at orbital altitudes. Although the density of air  molecules is low, it's enough to make the sail act like a parachute,  slowing it down, dragging the dead satellite to a fiery reentry much  sooner than it would have done otherwise.
"Protecting our planet and environment is key for sustainable  growth," said Vaios Lappas, lead researcher on the project. "CubeSail is  a novel, low cost space mission which will demonstrate for the first  time space debris/satellite deorbiting using an ultra light 5 x 5 sail  stowed and supported on a 3 kg nanosatellite."
Seek and Destroy CubeSails?
Although this system is intended to be attached to future missions  that require a safe (and cheap) means of being removed from orbit, I can  imagine this kind of system being attached to some kind of "seek and  destroy" robot, taking out old orbital debris.
The CubeSail could be launched alone and under its own power and  guided to orbital debris being tracked from the surface. Once the robot  "docks" with the debris, it opens its sail, pulling the junk from space. Like with many space technologies, I also wonder if such a sci-fi  concept could have a military application.
Both the USA and China have demonstrated that they  can "shoot down" satellites with ground-launched missiles, filling  low-Earth orbit with millions of pieces of smaller bits of debris,  ultimately making Earth orbit impassible (there's no military advantage  in filling space with junk after all). Perhaps anti-satellite weaponry  could be more passive, sending ground-controlled CubeSails into orbit,  seeking out, attaching to, and ultimately destroying enemy satellites  but without the mess?

Images: The space junk problem (NASA) and the the CubeSail  concept (ESA/Univ. of Surrey/Astrium).
Sources: University  of Surrey, Physorg.comBBC

Ian O'Neill @'Discovery News' 
(Thanx BillT!)

Once upon a time...

Fairytale generator
(Thanx Walter!)

Monday, 29 March 2010

Rare Bill Laswell production...

...of Korean percussion ensemble 'Samulnori'
Get it 
(Google alert work for you Dave? LOL!)

Shame on John McCain

BS Top - Brown McCain Palin 
I am not sure who must have felt worse—John or Cindy McCain—when Sarah Palin bounded onstage in Tucson last Friday, wearing that fetching black leather dominatrix jacket to deliver a hair-swinging, wink-winking pep talk, and revving up the Tea-baggers who came to see her not him. It was a sweet moment for Sarah. McCain’s 2008 election team—those “old school” losers, as she doubtless thinks of them—have trashed her ever since they lost.
Cindy McCain was glacially self-contained in a trim, chic suit, at her husband’s side. When will high-def pick up the grinding of teeth? She introduced Palin as “a breath of fresh air” when in fact, as far as the McCains are concerned, Palin was a tornado wreaking havoc on the senator’s campaign for president with a personal reality show that enthralled the public but appalled the voters. She has since used the celebrity he bestowed on her to become the La Pasionaria of the No Spin Zone crowd, who now want only to unseat him and install his cocky challenger J.D Hayworth.
It's like the Hanoi Hilton in reverse: He held out under physical torture, but under political torture it seems he’ll say and do just about anything.
No doubt for Cindy McCain the thought of having her husband back in town and hanging around the house if he loses his Senate seat is worth the indignity of once again appearing next to him to pretend that the current pin-up of violent populism stands for the same things as a principled war hero.
But for John McCain himself, and the people who have so long admired him, surely this moment in Tucson was a killer moment of moral degradation. McCain’s whole deal has been that he’s his own man, a maverick, a courageous loner. He defied the Bushies by speaking vehemently against torture. He stuck his neck out for the Iraq surge. He denounced the corrupting influence of money in politics. He was the scourge of pork. Whatever he really thought about Palin as his campaign went down in flames and his team threw her under the bus, he gallantly kept his counsel.
That bit, at least, paid off, I guess. It meant he could call on Palin to get him out of a hole in his fight against a meretricious former talk-show host riding anti-incumbent fervor to within seven points of upending him. By using Palin to pander to the Tea Party, however, McCain showed his willingness to repudiate everything that made him special, just so he can hold on to a Senate seat. It’s like the Hanoi Hilton in reverse: He held out under physical torture, but under political torture it seems he’ll say and do just about anything. That character change seems to date from the strange reversal of magic that occurred when he succumbed to political opportunism in 2004 in Pensacola and embraced George W. Bush, the man who allowed the disgraceful smear campaign against him in South Carolina four years earlier.
As for Palin, her political heart, if she had one, would of course be with McCain’s challenger, who purportedly stands for everything she does. But being consistent politically is no longer as important to Sarah Palin as being a star. The McCain gig in Tucson was a big booking; images of being embraced anew by a legend provided resonant media far more valuable than backing the other guy in the race, who merely furthered the Tea Party cause. When she’s out at their fervid rallies, Palin pretends to be talking to True Believers in a political movement. But she’s really only talking to consumers. Buy my book. Watch my show. Hype my brand. She has chosen celebrity over politics, and who can blame her, given what hell it is to try and serve your country in Washington these days.
If McCain wins this last race he knows it will be because of her. It’s not impossible that Palin will turn out to be his most enduring legacy. Disinterested public service has become, just so… what’s the phrase, “old school.”
Tina Brown @'Daily Beast'

Tally ho! 'Barbour cavalry' rides to Tories' rescue

Hundreds of hunt supporters are under orders to ride into action in key marginal seats within hours of a general election being called, in the knowledge that David Cameron will allow a return to hunting with dogs if he gets to Downing Street.
Documents seen by The Independent show that hunt masters have been rounding up supporters and sending them to the most fiercely contested seats, ahead of a big push planned for the first 72 hours of campaigning. A letter from one Tory candidate, while thanking the huntsmen and women for their support, pleaded with them not to invade his constituency like the cavalry, "cantering into town in pink chinos and Barbours".
Hunt organisers have told supporters that the sport needs a decisive Conservative victory – Mr Cameron is expected to allow MPs a free vote on letting traditional hunting resume. A message to members of the Avon Vale Hunt, which has operated in Wiltshire for 122 years, warns that it could soon cease to exist unless the Tories secure an outright majority. The hunt chairman, Tim Page, wrote: "I would like us all to reflect on what is at stake if we do not succeed in helping get a Conservative government elected at the forthcoming general election, and, importantly with a sufficient majority to give the time to a free vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act 2004." ...
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In a word - TWATS!!!
...and all the more reason to stop the Tories getting into power.