Saturday, October 31, 2009

Amazon Gets a Break from Cattle Industry

from GreenPeace
Brazil —
A major victory has been won for climate and forest protection. Four of the largest players in the global cattle industry joined forces to ban the purchase of cattle from newly deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon from their supply chains. This fabulous news follows Greenpeace's call for zero deforestation in the rainforest.

In June 2009, Greenpeace's report, “Slaughtering the Amazon,” exposed the link between forest destruction and the expansion of cattle ranching in the Amazon. Upon releasing the report and video, thousands of activists took action and sent letters to shoe companies, attracting attention to the issue. This resulted in major shoe companies Adidas, Nike, Timberland, Clarks, and Geox make the commitment not to buy leather from Amazon destruction.

The Climate Connection

Forest destruction accounts for almost 20 percent of global warming causing emissions, which is more climate pollution than all the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships combined.

The Brazilian cattle sector, which occupies 80% of all deforested areas of the Amazon, is the country’s leading carbon polluter.

Amazon Declaration

Each of the companies, JBS-Friboi, Bertin, Minerva and Marfrig, declared the adoption of environmental and social standards to ensure their products are free from cattle raised in newly deforested areas of the rainforest. The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (ABRAS), which includes Walmart and Carrefour, attended the event and supports the call for zero deforestation.

The event was attended by Governor Blairo Maggi of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, which has the highest rate of deforestation in the Amazon and the largest cattle herd in Brazil. Maggi announced that the state would support efforts to protect the Amazon and would provide high-resolution satellite images for monitoring.

At the United Nations General Assembly in September, President Lula announced a target of 80% reduction in deforestation by 2020 for Brazil.

Protecting forests and tackling climate change

In just 10 weeks’ time, governments around the world will meet in Copenhagen to agree a strong climate deal to avoid catastrophic climate change. Deforestation accounts for around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world’s trains, planes and cars put together. A good climate deal will only be effective if it successfully tackles emissions from both fossil fuels and deforestation.

We are calling for developed world governments to provide $140 billion a year to tackle the climate crisis, to fund both mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries. Approximately $40 billion a year of this should be designated to forest protection. The funds would be provided in return for a commitment to stop deforestation globally by 2020.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chuck Biscuits is Alive: 1965 - ?

* So as i am about to post this, since i wrote it earlier, word out now 100% sure and maybe the 1st place on line to say this, CHUCK IS ALIVE! A friend of mine is friends with one of Chuck's best friends (Otis Link) and he has spoken to Chuck today... so it will be everywhere else in a matter of hours I hope. - But this got me thinking, why does everyone wait until someone passes away before they pay their best respects? Fuck it! I'm paying my respects to Chuck right now, one way or another.

News from earlier is was that Chuck Biscuits passed away a few days ago. Chuck was is one of my favorite drummers of all time. The era when he played with Black Flag I believe was their absolute peak, and it was for less than a year. I got some classic photos from that time since i was so inspired. There were gigs where i would sit right between his kit and Greg's amp, just 'cause i could, to take it all in to the extreme. Later I also photographed Chuck while he was in the Circle Jerks. Even further down the line, when Rick Rubin called me, said they were looking for a drummer for Danzig, the first name that came out of my mouth was Biscuits, my advice was heeded and they all had a great infamous run together.

The first time I ever saw Chuck he was playing in D.O.A. probably one of the most important bands ever to come out of Canada and certainly one of the most important punk bands from that early 80's era. He was only around 15 years old when I saw him playing that 1st time in 1980. Starting at such a young age travelling on underground punk tours, breaking ground like no one else at the time, may have explained his more relaxed and prone to goofy demeanor that followed him for as long as i knew him. That said, I never saw anyone hit the drums as hard or with as big sticks as he used, he also sat up really high on his kit, unlike anyone i have ever seen, practically standing, one would imagine just so he could hit the skins with that much more force. He was truly incredible.

From what i hear, "he died Saturday after a prolonged battle with throat cancer. He was 44." {NOT TRUE}

Here are a few favorite rare photos of mine of him, and only a few of the many bands he was in.

Black Flag c. 1982 (Biscuits, 2nd from right)

Circle Jerks c. 1983 (Biscuits, center back hiding behind his jacket lapel)

Danzig c. 1987 (Biscuits, the only blond)

-as usual, click on the images to see them large.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ren & Stimpy and John K.

I was just reading about some old weird Spiderman episode from the 1960's on one of the blogs i frequent, and I'm thinking "what the fuck about John K. and Ren & Stimpy" (from the 80's or was it early 90's?) with the incredible eye for art and disgusting humor. The first two seasons of this show when Krisfaluci was at the helm, you'd be hard pressed to find better animation, characters and great ill humor anywhere. I loved these shows.

Anyway here's one of the spin off characters you may not have had the chance to see in a full episode, with a few incredible guest stars to boot.

Below are clips from the beginning of the episode, introduced by John K. himself, that supposedly got them cancelled AGAIN when the show was revived a few years back, for an adult audience on Spike TV or whatever it was. This was pretty ill, to say the least, and certainly not like the ones that originally ran on Nickelodeon, just from this clip you'll see why.

more of this hard to find, totally insane, episode:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One Million Clicks Against Poverty

Pretty neat ad campaign from Amnesty International; there’s a big image of “what global poverty looks like” that it’s going to take a million clicks to unveil. Seems to be steadily progressing. Go carve your gang tag in.

(Amnesty International: 1 Million Clicks Against Poverty)
(Via Dangerous Minds)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ten Tactics for Turning Information Into Action
Why you should stop fronting on the internet

Interesting video from, found via the excellent responsible-advertising blog Osocio.

10 tactics for turning information into action shows how rights advocates around the world have used the internet and digital technologies to create positive change. The 50 minute film will be launched at the Front Line Club in London, in December 2009 with a series of screenings worldwide. It is accompanied with a deck of cards featuring tools, tips and advice to help you plan your Info-activism action. The 10 Tactics project website will be launched in November.

Thanks, Dangerous Minds via (Osocio: 10 Tactics for Turning Information Into Action)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Clap Hands

Just keep clicking next page and you will continuoisly be seeing images that are interesting, i have no idea who or what this website is, someone just sent it to me out of the blue since i have a picture of mine in there of Ice-T. The web is an interesting collection place sometimes,

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Something you might not have known...

Before he was a right wing loose nut, total fucking idiot, Ted Nugent was someone all my DogTown, other skate friends, and i used to look up to, pre-punk rock in the heavy metal hey-day of the mid-seventies. Ted was as fast and hard as it got, and that's all we needed.

I just found this classic clip from the era. As Incredible and as live as it gets.

Now if you're not old enough you'll think i'm a fucking idiot for even posting this, but if you're nearly as old as i, or older, you know there was not much better than this at the time, in the mainstream at least. I'm not embarrassed, it's part of what made me what i am today. I will still list "Double Live Gonzo" as one of my top ten albums of all time. Do i respect Ted now? HELL FUCKING NO, But you can't take away those great times either. He was inspiration for a lot of us.

Oh did i forget to mention, he basically was the only rock'n'roller of the era who was steadfastly against drug use and he only ate meat he killed himself? And did i make it abundantly clear i do NOT agree with this fool on anything in the last 30 years, except maybe a strong work ethic, and his O.G. Straight Edge stance? OK, cool.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shithead Sarah Palin's Going "Rouge"

Editors from the progressive magazine The Nation are pulling together a book to be released the same day as Sarah Palin’s with a similar title and cover mocking the former Alaska governor’s memoir. The book titled “Going Rouge: Sarah Palin an American Nightmare” is edited by Richard Kim, a senior editor at the weekly magazine, along with The Nation’s Executive Editor Betsy Reed. The book’s cover displays a picture nearly identical to the photo chosen for the cover of Palin’s own “Going Rogue: An American Life.” In both pictures, Palin is wearing red behind a cloudy sky, though the background of “Going Rouge” is dark and gloomy with a lightning bolt come down over Palin’s left shoulder.

(via Politico, thanks Dangerous Minds)

Friday, October 23, 2009

gotta love Michael Moore

I just got around to reading an EXCELLENT letter that Michael Moore sent out to his mailing list (which i am on) and is also on his blog.

"Michael Moore's Action Plan: 15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now"


It's the #1 question I'm constantly asked after people see my movie: "OK -- so NOW what can I DO?!"

You want something to do? Well, you've come to the right place! 'Cause I got 15 things you and I can do right now to fight back and try to fix this very broken system.

Here they are:


1. Declare a moratorium on all home evictions. Not one more family should be thrown out of their home. The banks must adjust their monthly mortgage payments to be in line with what people's homes are now truly worth -- and what they can afford. Also, it must be stated by law: If you lose your job, you cannot be tossed out of your home.

2. Congress must join the civilized world and expand Medicare For All Americans. A single, nonprofit source must run a universal health care system that covers everyone. Medical bills are now the #1 cause of bankruptcies and evictions in this country. Medicare For All will end this misery. The bill to make this happen is H.R. 3200 -- but this bill is worthless without the amendment from Rep. Anthony Weiner that will bring us closer to the real bill that should be passed: H.R. 676. You must call AND write your members of Congress and demand that they support this amendment, no compromises allowed.

3. Demand publicly-funded elections and a prohibition on elected officials leaving office and becoming lobbyists. Yes, those very members of Congress who solicit and receive millions of dollars from wealthy interests must vote to remove ALL money from our electoral and legislative process. Tell your members of Congress they must support campaign finance bill H.R.1826.

4. Each of the 50 states must create a state-owned public bank like they have in North Dakota. Then congress MUST reinstate all the strict pre-Reagan regulations on all commercial banks, investment firms, insurance companies -- and all the other industries that have been savaged by deregulation: Airlines, the food industry, pharmaceutical companies -- you name it. If a company's primary motive to exist is to make a profit, then it needs a set of stringent rules to live by -- and the first rule is "Do no harm." The second rule: The question must always be asked -- "Is this for the common good?" (Click here for some info about the state-owned Bank of North Dakota.)

5. Save this fragile planet and declare that all the energy resources above and beneath the ground are owned collectively by all of us. Just like they do it in Sarah Palin's socialist Alaska. We only have a few decades of oil left. The public must be the owners and landlords of the natural resources and energy that exists within our borders or we will descend further into corporate anarchy. And when it comes to burning fossil fuels to transport ourselves, we must cease using the internal combustion engine and instruct our auto/transportation companies to rehire our skilled workforce and build mass transit (clean buses, light rail, subways, bullet trains, etc.) and new cars that don't contribute to climate change. (For more on this, here's a proposal I wrote in December.) Demand that General Motors' de facto chairman, Barack Obama, issue a JFK man-on-the-moon-style challenge to turn our country into a nation of trains and buses and subways. For Pete's sake, people, we were the ones who invented (or perfected) these damn things in the first place!!


1. Each of us must get into the daily habit of taking 5 minutes to make four brief calls: One to the President (202-456-1414), one to your Congressperson (202-224-3121) and one to each of your two Senators (202-224-3121). To find out who represents you, click here. Take just one minute on each of these calls to let them know how you expect them to vote on a particular issue. Let them know you will have no hesitation voting for a primary opponent -- or even a candidate from another party -- if they don't do our bidding. Trust me, they will listen. If you have another five minutes, click here to send them each an email. And if you really want to drop an anvil on them, send them a snail mail letter!

2. Take over your local Democratic Party. Remember how much fun you had with all those friends and neighbors working together to get Barack Obama elected? YOU DID THE IMPOSSIBLE. It's time to re-up! Get everyone back together and go to the monthly meeting of your town or county Democratic Party -- and become the majority that runs it! There will not be many in attendance and they will either be happy or in shock that you and the Obama Revolution have entered the room looking like you mean business. President Obama's agenda will never happen without mass grass roots action -- and he won't feel encouraged to do the right thing if no one has his back, whether it's to stand with him, or push him in the right direction. When you all become the local Democratic Party, send me a photo of the group and I'll post it on my website.

3. Recruit someone to run for office who can win in your local elections next year -- or, better yet, consider running for office yourself! You don't have to settle for the incumbent who always expects to win. You can be our next representative! Don't believe it can happen? Check out these examples of regular citizens who got elected: State Senator Deb Simpson, California State Assemblyman Isadore Hall, Tempe, Arizona City Councilman Corey Woods, Wisconsin State Assemblyman Chris Danou, and Washington State Representative Larry Seaquist. The list goes on and on -- and you should be on it!

4. Show up. Picket the local branch of a big bank that took the bailout money. Hold vigils and marches. Consider civil disobedience. Those town hall meetings are open to you, too (and there's more of us than there are of them!). Make some noise, have some fun, get on the local news. Place "Capitalism Did This" signs on empty foreclosed homes, closed down businesses, crumbling schools and infrastructure. (You can download them from my website.)

5. Start your own media. You. Just you (or you and a couple friends). The mainstream media is owned by corporate America and, with few exceptions, it will never tell the whole truth -- so you have to do it! Start a blog! Start a website of real local news (here's an example: The Michigan Messenger). Tweet your friends and use Facebook to let them know what they need to do politically. The daily papers are dying. If you don't fill that void, who will?


1. Take your money out of your bank if it took bailout money and place it in a locally-owned bank or, preferably, a credit union.

2. Get rid of all your credit cards but one -- the kind where you have to pay up at the end of the month or you lose your card.

3. Do not invest in the stock market. If you have any extra cash, put it away in a savings account or, if you can, pay down on your mortgage so you can own your home as soon as possible. You can also buy very safe government savings bonds or T-bills. Or just buy your mother some flowers.

4. Unionize your workplace so that you and your coworkers have a say in how your business is run. Here's how to do it (more info here). Nothing is more American than democracy, and democracy shouldn't be checked at the door when you enter your workplace. Another way to Americanize your workplace is to turn your business into a worker-owned cooperative. You are not a wage slave. You are a free person, and you giving up eight hours of your life every day to someone else is to be properly compensated and respected.

5. Take care of yourself and your family. Sorry to go all Oprah on you, but she's right: Find a place of peace in your life and make the choice to be around people who are not full of negativity and cynicism. Look for those who nurture and love. Turn off the TV and the Blackberry and go for a 30-minute walk every day. Eat fruits and vegetables and cut down on anything that has sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour or too much sodium (salt) in it (and, as Michael Pollan says, "Eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants"). Get seven hours of sleep each night and take the time to read a book a month. I know this sounds like I've turned into your grandma, but, dammit, take a good hard look at Granny -- she's fit, she's rested and she knows the names of both of her U.S. Senators without having to Google them. We might do well to listen to her. If we don't put our own "oxygen mask" on first (as they say on the airplane), we will be of no use to the rest of the nation in enacting any of this action plan!

I'm sure there are many other ideas you can come up with on how we can build this movement. Get creative. Think outside the politics-as-usual box. BE SUBVERSIVE! Think of that local action no one else has tried. Behave as if your life depended on it. Be bold! Try doing something with reckless abandon. It may just liberate you and your community and your nation.

And when you act, send me your stories, your photos and your video -- and be sure to post your ideas in the comments beneath this letter on my site so they can be shared with millions.

C'mon people -- we can do this! I expect nothing less of all of you, my true and trusted fellow travelers!

Michael Moore

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This was probably one of the very first albums i bought for myself. Much like the writer from Dangerous Minds wrote, i surely did not even understand a good potion of the humor, but the parts that i did had me laughing for days! There were other songs Cheech and Chong made over the years that were equally as impressive, but Basketball Jones got a certain notoriety that's lasted for a long time.

Basketball Jones was a song/routine/character from Cheech and Chong’s 1973 Los Cochinos record. The original album cover had a secret compartment where you could see how they smuggled pot, sandwiched in their car door. I bought this LP at a garage sale when I was about ten and just starting to get into comedy albums. I only half understood the idea of “drugs” at the time, I’m pretty sure, so I can’t imagine a Cheech and Chong album made much sense to me at that age. But I loved the routine “Basketball Jones” by Tyrone Shoelaces & Rap Brown Jr. H.S.” and would go around singing the musical part of it like ten year olds do. The song is about teenager Tyrone (as in “tie your own”) Shoelaces and his love of basketball sung in a falsetto voice by Cheech Marin. It’s catchy as hell, but small wonder, dig the backing band: George Harrison, Klaus Voorman, Carole King, Nicky Hopkins, Tom Scott, Billy Preston, Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector and Michelle Phillips.

This cartoon has made some impressive Hollywood cameos over the years, in Robert Altman’s California Split, Hal Ashby’s Being There and in the 70s underground comedy Tunnel Vision.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Room for Debate: Why Japan Values Aesthetics

I found this piece incredibly interesting, from the Opinion section of The New York Times
Beauty and the Bento Box

What does the care devoted to the visual details in a packed lunch suggest about the culture? Why is such value placed on aesthetics in everyday life in Japan?

John Maeda, Rhode Island School of Design
Kenya Hara, art director of MUJI
Nick Currie, artist and author
Denis Dutton, professor of philosophy of art
The first answer from the President of RISD (where both my Shepard Fairey and my Step Mother both went) was interesting enough that made me want to share this entire article, read a bit of his opinion and the rest of the piece by hitting the link at the bottom.

Doing More With Less

I would say that Japanese culture is particularly attuned to the appreciation of beauty because it springs from an island nation with limited natural resources. Japan has always had to get by with less wood, metal, fuel and so on, so its culture has evolved around how to make less into more.

The “more” is simply the addition of visual or tactile aesthetic features that may range from the subtle to overt. Have a small block of wood? Make it red so that it stands out more. Or cut out a notch randomly into the block for a curious shape that’s more interesting to examine with your hands. Make one side smooth and the others rough so there’s more contrast. Create a hollow space in the block to house a bell inside.

This is a natural reflex among artists and designers. By combining critical thinking with critical making, the humble block of wood transcends its simplicity by the addition of idea of an unexpected nature.

You can feel the necessity of turning less into more in any supermarket in Tokyo. There you learn that a single stalk of celery can cost you a dollar. Or you eye a nice slab of beef that costs more than a Prada leather wallet. You quickly realize that a design problem emerges: namely, how to cook with fewer resources to create the “illusion” of more.

Thus the aesthetic experience of a bento box is not some mere extravagance of artistry, but has a pragmatic component as well. This situation has existed since the time of the chefs in ancient Kyoto — a story told to me by my late mentor, Japan’s greatest graphic designer Ikko Tanaka.

Tanaka-sensei pointed out to me how the style of cooking in his native Kyoto area was especially elaborate and ornate. He asked me if I knew why this was. I thought it was simply a matter of aesthetics. I was surprised to learn that it was actually because Kyoto was inland and especially limited in food resources, so the chefs developed a special way to combine aesthetics with nutrition such that their creations were designed to last longer in one’s digestive system.

read the whole piece here in the NYTimes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Standing nowhere with nothing to say" -Stewart Lee

Designer friend Michele Gillette just sent me the english comedy bit on Real Estate agents in the UK and other assorted topics of the economy. "I quite liked it" ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Food Poisoning, Foodborne Illness Information and Research

This blog is a central location where Dr. Doug Powell and food safety friends provide rapid and brief commentary on food safety issues, post videos, powerpoint presentations and podcasts.

this interesting blog was pointed out by our boy Adam on his SkullSnaps blog.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One Day. Thousands of people
from GreenPeace

One day. Thousands of people like you. Gathering in more than 140 countries worldwide. With the same message to world leaders: Stop playing politics and save the planet.

Help us get the word out about October 24th! Watch the video then spread the word by sharing it with your friends!

We’ve been hearing a lot out of Washington over the last few months about what’s “politically possible” when it comes to stopping global warming. But the truth is that it’s not up to corporate lobbyists from the oil and coal industries to decide what’s possible. It’s up to you and me.

That’s why I hope you’ll join me and help spread the word about October 24th.

Time is running out. And we’re the ones who get to decide what’s politically possible. It’s our future.

Ben Kroetz
Greenpeace Online Organizer

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why the Dow Broke 10,000, and Why You Should Still Watch Your Wallet

Another blog from Robert Reich while i'm off the grid for two days...
How did the Dow break 10,000 when the rest of the economy is in the toilet?

1. Corporate earnings are up -- mainly because companies have been cutting costs. Payrolls comprise 70 percent of most companies' costs, which means companies have been slashing jobs. In the end, this is a self-defeating strategy. If workers don't have jobs or are afraid of losing them, they won't buy, and company profits will disappear.

2. Federal borrowing has filled the gap that consumers and businesses created when the latter began to reduce their debt. Federal debt, in other words, has kept the economy from tanking. Can't keep up forever, though.

3. With such horrid employment numbers, Wall Street figures the Fed will keep interest rates low for some time, and continue to flood the economy with money. That's good news for the Street because it means money stays cheap -- and with cheap money the Street can make lots of bets on almost everything under the sun and moon. As a result, the Street's earnings are way up. But this, too, is temporary. At some point the Fed is going to worry about inflation and a falling dollar.

4. Investors of all stripes want to get in early and ride the wave. Pension funds, mutual funds, and other institutional investors figure the bull market has more oomph in it because, well, other investors will jump in. Think Ponzi scheme. Nice for now, but watch out if you're one of the last in.

In other words, this is all temporary fluff, folks. Anyone who hasn't learned by now that there's almost no relationship between the Dow and the real economy deserves to lose his or her shirt in the Wall Street casino.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Audacity of Greed: How Private Health Insurers Just Blew Their Cover

from Robert Reich's blog

Robert Reich was the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. His latest book is "Supercapitalism." This is his personal journal.
The health-insurance industry has finally revealed itself for what it is.

Background: The industry hates the idea that's emerged from the Senate Finance Committee of lowering penalties on younger and healthier people who don't buy insurance. Relying on an analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers, insurers say this means new enrollees will be older and less healthy -- which will drive up costs. And, says the industry, these costs will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. Proposed taxes on high-priced "Cadillac" policies will also be passed on to consumers. As a result, premiums will rise faster and higher than the government projects.

It's an eleventh-hour bombshell.

But the bomb went off under the insurers. The only reason these costs can be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums is because there's not enough competition among private insurers to force them to absorb the costs by becoming more efficient. Get it? Health insurers have just made the best argument yet about why a public insurance option is necessary.

Right now they run their markets and set their prices, and pass on any increased costs directly to consumers. That's what they're threatening to do if the legislation attempts to squeeze, even slightly, the colossal profits they plan to make off of thirty million new paying customers.

They want every penny of those profits. They demand every cent. And if the government dares raise their costs a tad higher than they expected when they first signed on to support the bill, they'll pass those costs on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. They can carry out their threat only because they have unaccountable, untrammeled market power.

But they've now hoisted themselves on their own insured petard. They've exposed themselves. If they had to compete with a public insurance plan, they couldn't get away with this threat. They couldn't pass on the extra costs. They'd have to compete with a public insurance option that forced them to give consumers the best deals possible.

Now's the time for Congress and the White House to say to the insurance industry: You want to play hardball? Okay. We'll play it, too. You didn't want a public insurance option. That was one of your conditions for supporting the bill. You wanted gigantic profits from having thirty million new paying customers and the market to yourself. The Senate Finance Committee and the White House agreed because they wanted your support and were afraid of the negative ads and hurricane of opposition you could finance. But you're even greedier than we imagined. And now you've demonstrated that greed to the American people. They don't want to turn over even more of their hard-earned money to you. So, insurance companies, we've got news for you. We're going to make sure Americans have the freedom to choose a public insurance option that's cheaper and better, and you're going to have to work hard to keep them your customers.

Let's hope SOMETHING works.

I have thought Robert Reich, since leaving the Clinton administration, was always an interesting voice precisely because he's not a radial, but in fact a real insider at one point, barely progressive voice, but a voice from what i see as a sensible center of normalcy i'd like to think exists (even if it's not radical enough for me). Of course many now see him as left, but that's just because everything over the last 30 years has been pushed so fucking far to the right. I appreciate the respect he's earned and how he uses it now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Letters of Note" Blog of written correspondence from well-known people

(Click on image to see it bigger)

"Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. Scans/photos where possible. Fakes will be sneered at. Updated 2-3 times every weekday."
I like the example above (picked up from BoingBoing) for the obvious music business reference and also the fact that it exposes Warhol's address as being only a few minutes away from where i currently live.

Here's another of my personal favorites written by Albert Einstein "The word God is the product of human weakness" and it's original source with even more incredibly interesting commentary here at Search magazine.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Farms as Skyscrapers

It's been a decade since Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier launched his "Vertical Farm" project, devoted to the design of skyscrapers that house farms, instead of people or offices. It's an engagement science fiction-esque idea -- no surprise that we've followed it closely on BB (see previous posts below). Last year, the meme spread rapidly when Despomier appeared on The Colbert Report, exposing Manhattan borough president Scott M. Stringer who then evangelized it to the City of New York. For more on that, see "Country, the City Version: Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest" from the New York Times, July 15, 2008.

Of course, the practical challenges of vertical farming -- from energy needs to security -- aren't easy to wave your hand past. Still, the conceptualists press on and the Vertical Farm Project remains the hub for news on these efforts. Blake Kurasek of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Graduate School of Architecture recently published his designs for "The Living Skyscraper: Farming the Urban Skyline." I find the renderings to be incredibly exciting, giving me the same optimistic feeling that I had when I first saw the striking images below from T.A. Heppenheimer's 1977 classic book "Colonies In Space."

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?

The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs, and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another 3 billion people. An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented, employing cutting edge technologies. The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world's urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.
The Vertical Farm Project

Interview with Dickson Despommier, vertical farming advocate ...
Vertical farming proposals for cities - Boing Boing
Vertical Farming: High-rise urban mass agriculture - Boing Boing

(Thanks, BoingBoing!)

I gotta admit the comments on the BoingBoing original blog kinda kill all the fun in these beautiful drawings, but they have some good points and sense. I just thought these looked cool.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Creative Commons Annual campaign kickoff

Creative Commons has launched its 5th Annual Fundraising Campaign. Donate $75 or more and you'll get a special edition t-shirt featuring this lovely design by Shepard Fairey! For those who may not know, Creative Commons is an incredibly important non-profit making it easier for people to legally use, share, repurpose and remix creative work. It's about a shift from the default all-or-nothing stance of "all rights reserved" to a spectrum of "some rights reserved." Of course, everything Boing Boing does is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution. Creative Commons isn't about knocking down copyright, but rather complementing it in ways that support, and fuel, creativity and culture.
Read more and think about donating to Creative Commons

(Thanks, BoingBoing)

Monday, October 12, 2009


Environmentaland is the world’s first interactive environmental hybrid theme park and museum, located in Los Angeles at the Hollywood & Highland complex. Presented by Global Inheritance in conjunction with FUEL TV. In Environmentaland you’ll be able to play desert mini golf, participate in a recycled paper plane toss, test your taste buds in the organic challenge, tour the eco-planetarium, design your own mini recycling bin, generate power in the energy playground featuring the energy seesaw, Pearl Jam hand crank listening station, bike powered light box competition, and more. GLOBAL INHERITANCE has previously featured a number of exhibits at the Coachella Music & Art Festival including Portal Potties, Alternative Energy Golf Carts and TRASHed::Art of Recycling.

Environmentaland is located at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles, CA.

Upon arriving at ENVIRONMENTALAND, visitors will receive a program with a scorecard. As they visit each location within the museum, visitors have the opportunity to collect points. Scorecards are then brought to the redemption area to purchase cool items from the likes of FUEL TV, CamelBak, Loomstate, Interscope Records, Paramount, Goldenvoice, Focus Features and more. Starting this weekend, individuals with the highest score for the day will win a 3-day festival pass to one of the major music festivals in the U.S. (Coachella, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, etc).

About Global Inheritance

Global Inheritance was Born in 2002, Global Inheritance is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to empower individuals worldwide to think and act creatively in solving global imbalances. Our unique initiatives focus on the power of creativity to communicate and push for progressive social change.

Through technology, the arts and interactivity, Global Inheritance reinvents activism to a new generation looking to make a difference in their communities and beyond. With each step forward, Global Inheritance will continue to build bridges uniting individuals with the causes that need their help the most.

For more information visit:
(thanks, ObeyGiant)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chain and the Gang

Once again Ian Svenonious and the band rocked here in new york city last week. Here's a few pictures my friend Luke shot with his iPhone, panoramic photos he made in-camera while the band was playing. They are made up of 4-5 separate shots.

Here's the clip from the 1st time i saw them earlier in the year (different back up band now).
If you missed them on this last tour, DON'T MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. Everyone in the house thought they were great.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Era of Xtreme Energy:
Life After The Age of Oil

Sobering essay from TomDispatch’s Michael Klare on our dependence on fossil fuels and hows it’s going to get worse—for some time—before it gets any better:
The debate rages over whether we have already reached the point of peak world oil output or will not do so until at least the next decade. There can, however, be little doubt of one thing: we are moving from an era in which oil was the world’s principal energy source to one in which petroleum alternatives—especially renewable supplies derived from the sun, wind, and waves—will provide an ever larger share of our total supply. But buckle your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride under Xtreme conditions.

It would, of course, be ideal if the shift from dwindling oil to its climate-friendly successors were to happen smoothly via a mammoth, well-coordinated, interlaced system of wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and other renewable energy installations. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to occur. Instead, we will surely first pass through an era characterized by excessive reliance on oil’s final, least attractive reserves along with coal, heavily polluting “unconventional” hydrocarbons like Canadian oil sands, and other unappealing fuel choices.

There can be no question that Barack Obama and many members of Congress would like to accelerate a shift from oil dependency to non-polluting alternatives. As the president said in January, “We will commit ourselves to steady, focused, pragmatic pursuit of an America that is free from our [oil] dependence and empowered by a new energy economy that puts millions of our citizens to work.” Indeed, the $787 billion economic stimulus package he signed in February provided $11 billion to modernize the nation’s electrical grid, $14 billion in tax incentives to businesses to invest in renewable energy, $6 billion to states for energy efficiency initiatives, and billions more directed to research on renewable sources of energy. More of the same can be expected if a sweeping climate bill is passed by Congress. The version of the bill recently passed by the House of Representatives, for example, mandates that 20% of U.S. electrical production be supplied by renewable energy by 2020.

But here’s the bad news: even if all these initiatives were to pass, and more like them many times over, it would still take decades for this country to substantially reduce its dependence on oil and other non-renewable, polluting fuels. So great is our demand for energy, and so well-entrenched the existing systems for delivering the fuels we consume, that (barring a staggering surprise) we will remain for years to come in a no-man’s-land between the Petroleum Age and an age that will see the great flowering of renewable energy. Think of this interim period as—to give it a label—the Era of Xtreme Energy, and in just about every sense imaginable from pricing to climate change, it is bound to be an ugly time.
READ MORE: The Era of Xtreme Energy: Life After the Age of Oil by Michael Klare

(from DangerousMinds)

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Spray Paint The Walls"
the BLACK FLAG story
by Stevie Chick

Finally a biography of Black Flag, the most important band of my generation. Here's an advance peek of the cover proof with my photos. I've got word from a very trustworthy knowledgeable source, who has read an advance galley, that the book (although a few minor inaccuracies) is GREAT.
It's being released in the next month or so, you can advance order it on sale here at Amazon.

There are two small photo sections with some pretty rare and cool stuff, out of the 400+ pages of the book. Here are two more of mine (out of 8 or so you'll also see inside).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No Apologies for the truth


Alan Grayson on the Ed Schultz Show: Response Has Been "Overwhelmingly Positive"


(thanks, Dangerous Minds)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

never know what you might see in NYC

Sunday we stumbled into central park just because the weather was so nice, no plan, had no idea which way were were walking and came upon this incredible view, and then just a half hour later we see ninety year old Pete Seeger performing at the close of an EcoFest (also in Central Park), Incredible.

(click on the top image to check the details)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

COMBO a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis (2 times loop)

I first showed Blu's graffiti animation on my blog earlier in the year. Here's his latest:

a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis
year 2009
produced by studio cromie
music by Roberto Lange
made at Fame festival 2009

here's a piece Blu posted 2 years ago that i like and never saw 'til today:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Double Check Your Head - Beastie Boys
(+ some unpublished photos)

My friend Luke just found this blender photo including the LP cover I shot for the Beastie Boys "Check Your Head". Max Tannone formally known as "Minty Fresh Beats" has put together a pretty fucking cool Beastie Boys mash-up that actually mashes up some cuts from the Beastie Boys "Check Your Head" with other songs from the Beastie Boys "Check Your Head". Max also did the infamous Jadiohead mash-up.

Then I put two and two together and realized Max was a part of the softball game i played in all season that Adam Horovitz puts together. I had no idea that this is what he does. But may i say, not only is he nice with the mixing and mashing, but i'd be willing to say he's just as nice with his on the softball field.

That all said, let me throw in a few extra shots from that "Check Your Head" photo session we did the monday after Thanksgiving in 1991, purely on the strength. This was not an assignment, in fact the Beasties told me they already had a cover idea for the album done. I was in town visiting family for the holiday and went by to hang out with the Beasties at their G-Son studio after not seeing them since they left New York. We were playing basketball goofing around while listening to the album as they were working on sequencing or something. I was blown away and inspired, this being the 1st time hearing it and the 1st time they had picked up their own instruments in a long while. So before i got on the plane back to New York I set up the day to shoot them. We hung out, threw around a few ideas and came up with these great photos that have since become iconic. The original LP cover in fact came from a FAX i sent to them, previewing the prints i would put in the mail a few days later. The way i remember it, they were so late on the cover due to the switch and so stoked on the image, that they just used the fax!

the other ones you may have seen before:

Max's free "Double Check Your Head" downloads HERE

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas

I was actually invited to go see this with Rick Rubin the other day while he was in town, but was not able to meet up. I hope to check it out soon.

Opened recently at the New Museum here in New York, Emory Douglas: Black Panther:
Some of Emory Douglas’s images are nearly forty years old, but they are still as powerful as when Douglas first created them. They are dangerous pictures, and they were meant to change the world. Emory Douglas was the Revolutionary Artist of the Black Panther Party and subsequently became its Minister of Culture, part of the national leadership. He created the overall design of the Black Panther, the Party’s weekly newspaper, and oversaw its layout and production until the Black Panthers disbanded in 1979–80.

Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Douglas made countless artworks, illustrations, and cartoons, which were reproduced in the paper and distributed as prints, posters, cards, and even sculptures. All of them utilized a straightforward graphic style and a vocabulary of images that would become synonymous with the Party and the issues it fought for.
In the NYT: Emory Douglas
(from Dangerous Minds)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Crisis and Hope - Theirs and ours
Noam Chomsky

Here are the pull quotes from an interesting article
Bailing out banks is not uppermost in the minds of the billion people now facing starvation.

Where neoliberal rules have been observed since the ’70s, economic performance has generally deteriorated and social democratic programs have weakened.

People cannot be told that the advanced economy relies heavily on their risk-taking, while eventual profit is privatized, and ‘eventual’ can be a long time.

Obama is following General Petraeus’s strategy to drive the Taliban into Pakistan, with potentially serious consequences for this unstable state.

‘The crisis’—the financial crisis—will presumably be patched up somehow, while leaving the institutions that created it pretty much in place.

If I want to get home from work, the market offers me a choice between a Ford and a Toyota, but not between a car and a subway. That is a social decision.

We must overcome the marginalization and atomization of the public so that they can become ‘participants,’ not mere ‘spectators of action.’
This article is based on a talk delivered June 12, 2009, at an event sponsored by the Brecht Forum.

Please read the whole thing here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

ASGARDA: New Tribe of women warriors

IN THE UKRAINE, A COUNTRY WHERE FEMALES ARE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL TRAFFICKING AND GENDER OPPRESSION, a new tribe of empowered women is emerging. Calling themselves the “Asgarda,” the women seek complete autonomy from men. Residing in the Carpathian Mountains, the tribe is comprised of 150 women of varying ages, primarily students, led by 30 year-old Katerina Tarnouska. Reviving the tribal traditions of the Scythian Amazons of ancient Greek mythology, the Asgarda train in martial arts, taught by former Soviet karate master, Volodymyr Stepanovytch, and learn life skills and sciences in order to become ideal women.

See more photos with great captions and Read more about Amazon Women of the Ukraine by Jenna Martin

(from Dangerous Minds)