Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

incredible promotion of "micro banking" in Uganda with lip synched music video

from MicroBanker:
The video we made with 500 of our microfinance borrowers in Uganda has now been viewed over 100,000 times! This 'greatest lipdub of Africa' was shown on BBC East Africa and Al Jazeera UK, was featured in Huff Post and articles and praised by Jessie J. We've received hundreds of touching, inspiring, and incredibly encouraging comments from all around the globe.

More than one hundred people have already become microbankers on this website. They have selected selected a business plan they found particularly interesting, and can now follow the weekly repayments of the women, ask questions to 'their client' directly, and use the repayments to give out more loans. It's amazing to see that amongst the >100 microbankers, there are people from 21 different countries, as diverse as the USA, Germany Trinidad and Tobago, Malaysia and Australia.

There are still hundreds of women waiting for a chance to set up a small business and work for a better future. We'd like to grow to 3,000 loans in the near future. Please help us by donating for a business plan on this website, and share the video and our message to as many people as you can!

So this is a shot behind teh scenes of the largest lipdub of Africa, with 500 women dancing to Jessie J's 'Price Tag' ft B.o.B. song. Every single one of these strong and resourceful women has started a business of her own. Their dream is to show you and Jessie J how this has impacted their lives!

In the largest lipdub of Africa, 500 women dance to 'Price Tag' by Jessie J ft. B.o.B. Every single one of these strong and resourceful women has started a business of her own. Their dream is to show you and Jessie J how this has impacted their lives! For more info go to Like us on, follow us on

Thank you

Directed by: Ivan Mikulic
Camera: Berta Banacloche
Choreography: Mexim Janzen
Project management: Duko Hopman

So this is right after our shoot for the largest lipdub of Africa, with 500 women dancing to Jessie J's 'Price Tag' ft B.o.B. song. Every single one of these strong and resourceful women has started a business of her own. Their dream is to show you and Jessie J how this has impacted their lives!

For more info go to

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bicycle Anecdotes from Amsterdam

Where bikes are like water to a fish...

Amsterdam is widely considered to be one of the very best cities for cyclists in the world. That didn't happen by accident, and seeing images from a few decades ago when the city was choked with cars really brings the point home. The locals took some very specific steps to get to where they are today, something that many other cities around the world could learn from.

But enough from me. You have to check out this video. It provides some of the best images of what it's like to actually live in a city where biking is not a sub-culture.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

World Health Organization:
Outdoor air pollution a leading cause of cancer

from The RAW Story (published last week)
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday classified outdoor air pollution as a leading cause of cancer in humans.

“The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances,” said Kurt Straif of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

“We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths.”

The IARC said a panel of top experts had found “sufficient evidence” that exposure to outdoor air pollution caused lung cancer and raised the risk of bladder cancer.

Although the composition of air pollution and levels of exposure can vary dramatically between locations, the agency said its conclusions applied to all regions of the globe.

Air pollution was already known to increase the risk of respiratory and heart diseases.

The IARC said pollution exposure levels increased significantly in some parts of the world in recent years, notably in rapidly industrialising nations with large populations.

The most recent data, from 2010, showed that 223,000 lung cancer deaths worldwide were the result of air pollution, the agency said.

The data did not enable experts to establish whether particular groups of people were more or less vulnerable to cancer from pollution, but Straif said it was clear that risk rose in line with exposure.

In the past, the IARC had measured the presence of individual chemicals and mixtures of chemicals in the air — including diesel engine exhaust, solvents, metals, and dust.

Diesel exhaust and what is known as “particulate matter” — which includes soot — have been classified as carcinogenic by the IARC.

The latest findings were based on overall air quality, and based on an in-depth study of thousands of medical research projects conducted around the world over decades.

“Our task was to evaluate the air everyone breathes rather than focus on specific air pollutants,” said the IARC’s Dana Loomis.

“The results from the reviewed studies point in the same direction: the risk of developing lung cancer is significantly increased in people exposed to air pollution,” he added.

The predominant sources of outdoor air pollution were transport, power generation, emissions from factories and farms, and residential heating and cooking, the agency said.

“Classifying outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans is an important step,” said the IARC’s director Christopher Wild.

“There are effective ways to reduce air pollution and, given the scale of the exposure affecting people worldwide, this report should send a strong signal to the international community to take action without further delay.”

The IARC said that was set to publish its in-depth conclusions on October 24 on the specialised website The Lancet Oncology.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

40 police photos of dapper criminals from the 1920s

from Boing Boing:

The Justice & Police Museum of Sydney, Australia has a collection of "special photographs" of criminals from the 1920s. Curator Peter Doyle explains:
These ‘special photographs’ were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station in Sydney and are of men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their ‘apprehension’. Compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, the subjects of the special photographs seem to have been allowed – perhaps invited – to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics.
Caption for above photo: Although no record for Fay Watson is found in the NSW Police Gazette for 1928, the Sydney Morning Herald (26 March 1928, p. 12) reports her arrest in a house in Crown Street, Darlinghurst, and subsequent conviction for having cocaine in her possession, for which she was fined ten pounds.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Giant floating purple finger
flips the bird at Czech government

from Dangerous Minds

As parliamentary voting gets going in the Czech Republic this week, artist David Cerny is sending a message to President Milos Zeman by floating a HUGE purple “f*ck you” finger on the Vltava River pointed directly at Prague Castle.

Alrighty then…



Via Nerdcore

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our music tastes change as we get older to match the shifting social circumstances of our lives, according to a new study

from the Telegraph (UK)
Why young punks grow to like classical and jazz in older age

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent

Teenagers who dispair of their parents' music tastes should beware - their own musical preferences are likely to follow the same path.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge believe they unravelled how a preference for Teenage Kicks can evolve into a love for Moonlight Sonata.

They have identified three distinct musical ages that people pass through as they mature – intense, contemporary and sophisticated.

For example, teenagers use “intense” music such as punk and metal to establish their identity, but as their lifestyles change, so do their music choices.

As they move into early adulthood, interest in intense music decreases and a preference for “contemporary” music such as pop and rap rises.

This corresponds to a shift in lifestyle to where people are socialising far more in bars, clubs and at parties where uplifting and danceable music tends to be played.

However, the preference for contemporary music plateaus in early middle age and individuals start to like sophisticated music like jazz and classical.

The scientists say this marks a shift to a more solitary expression of our intellect, status and greater emotional maturity.
They also found that tastes became less pretentious with far more older people liking country, folk and blues music.

“There is a tendency for young people to prefer music that their parents cannot stand or find obnoxious, so there must be some developmental changes that take place as we get older,” said Dr Jason Rentfrow, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Cambridge.

“Teenage years are often dominated by the need to establish identity.

“‘Intense’ music, seen as aggressive, tense and characterised by loud, distorted sounds has the rebellious connotations that allow adolescents to do this.

“While the first musical age is about asserting independence, the next appears to be more about gaining acceptance from others.

“What we took away from the results is that these forms of music reinforce the desire for intimacy and complement settings where people come together with the goal of establishing close relationships – parties, bars, clubs and so on.

“As we settle into ourselves and acquire more resources to express ourselves – career, home, family, car – music remains an extension of this.

“There are aspects of wanting to promote social status, intellect and wealth that play into the increased gravitation towards ‘sophisticated’ music.

“For many this life stage is frequently exhausted by work and family, and there is a requirement for relaxing, emotive music for those rare down times that reflects the other major ‘life challenge’ of this stage – that of nurturing a family and maintaining long-term relationships, perhaps the hardest of all.”

The research, which is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, drew on musical preference surveys that have been completed by more than 250,000 people over a ten year period.

It examined how musical preferences differed with age and compared these to “life challenges” that have been identified as playing key roles as people mature.

The findings seem to challenge the idea that our music tastes stay the same and it is just culture that overtakes us as we get older.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers found that people actively changed the music they liked.

“Of course there are not hard boundaries as people in later life do still enjoy listening to the rock and roll then enjoyed when they were younger,” said Dr Rentfrow.

“But the reasons for listening may change. We use music for different reasons and there may be more nostalgia involved as we get older.”

It is not just listening tastes that change, but also the tastes of those who are creating music.

The researchers point to musicians such as Sting and Paul McCartney, who personified the rebellious youth culture of their time, who are now producing classical and folk albums.

“The project started with a common conception that musical taste does not evolve after young adulthood,” said Arielle Bonneville-Roussy from Cambridge’s Department of Psychology, who led the study.

“Most academic research to date supported this claim, but - based on other areas of psychological research and our own experiences - we were not convinced this was the case.

“I find it fascinating to see how seemingly trivial behaviour such as music listening relates to so many psychological aspects, such as personality and age.”

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Right to Remain Silent.
a short film by By Phil Brown

The film covers the mass arrests of nearly 2000 peaceful protesters during the COP 15 in Copenhagen (environmental meeting), whilst following effected activists and discussing the wider ramifications of the growing trend around the world of criminalizing protests.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

MC5: A True Testimonial

this is fucking great, don't miss it!

from Dangerous Minds:

The absolutely terrific documentary MC5: A True Testimonial was made in 2002 but never had a theatrical run and has never been released on DVD. Other than screenings at film festivals, the movie has mostly gone unseen despite receiving stellar reviews. The reasons were legal entanglements that often cripple or doom rockumentaries to obscurity, the details of which I’m not going to get into because they involve friends I don’t want to piss off.

Here’s a rare chance to see MC5: A True Testimonial. It may not last long on YouTube so I suggest watching it now. A finer film on the Motor City 5 will doubtlessly never be made. Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!

Update: Yes, I know the film was booked briefly in NYC and a booking or two in Michigan. But, to me, that doesn’t constitute a “theatrical run.” For all intents and purposes, and I’m sure the film makers would agree, the film was never released in any significant way to theaters.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The History of Movie Popcorn

from Boing Boing

Popcorn really took off in North America in the mid-1880s, but it would take 50 years for it to become a favorite food at movie theaters. According to Andrew Smith, author of Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn, "movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Then the Great Depression happened and movies took off as popular cheap entertainment. Popcorn vendors set up outside to provide an equally cheap snack. By the early 1930s, a Kansas City entrepreneur named Julia Braden convinced theaters to allow her to bring her popcorn kiosk into the theater. Of course, eventually the theaters established their own concession stands. This week, both Smithsonian and the New York Times looked at the history of movie popcorn.

"Why Do We Eat Popcorn at the Movies?" (Smithsonian)

Who Made Movie Popcorn? (NYT)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Food Will Win the War: Disney's most surreal war propaganda cartoon, 1942

from Dangerous Minds
Food will win the war
Not just a potato twice the height of the Rock of Gibralter… a sexy potato twice the height of the Rock of Gibralter

You may be familiar with Disney’s most famous World War Two propaganda, Der Fuehrer’s Face, in which Donald Duck dreams of an alternate life under Nazi rule. It’s weird, but not nearly as weird as Food Will Win the War. During both World War One and Two, the slogan, “Food will win the war,” was bandied about to both discourage food waste and encourage an increase in agricultural yields; the idea was that the U.S. needed to remain war-ready with a food surplus. In the film, however, the slogan is invoked more as a morale booster, and the result is a confusing mish-mash of messaging.

Instead of telling farmers to produce more and families to waste less, the narrator emphasizes our current glut of food, which is really counterintuitive to a message of prudence and industriousness. It’s as if the writers got so carried away with nationalist boasting, that they forgot the actual purpose of the film. Even more strangely, they demonstrate our surfeit of food by means of very strange scale comparisons.

For instance, did you know that if we had made all our wheat from 1942 into flour, we could bury every German tank in it? And if we had made it into spaghetti, we could weave from it a fashionably nationalistic sweater-vest to clothe the entire Earth! Why would you aspire to do such a thing, you ask? Why would we knit a celestial spaghetti sweater?!? Who cares! We’re America, fuck yeah!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

BANKSY continues...
"Better Out Than In"

This New York Residency may go down as one of the greatest artistic endeavors of our time. Banksy is killing it on the daily here in NYC. Go to his web page for for more details, audio accompaniment to some of the pieces, the continuing daily updates, videos and exposures.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Disney World is your worst nightmare: Watch the amazing "Escape from Tomorrow" trailer

from our friend Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds

Obviously this is not meant to be any sort of review—I just stumbled across this movie myself and I haven’t seen it—but after watching the trailer for Escape from Tomorrow, which [came] out on Friday in theaters and on VOD, I cannot fucking wait to see this film.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s what some folks who have, you know, actually seen Escape from Tomorrow had to say:

“It is not possible that this film exists.”- Drew McWeeny, Hitfix

“Its cult status will remain immortal.”- Rob Nelson, Variety

“Intensely engaging. A daring attempt to literally assail Disney World from the inside out. Conveys a phantasmagorical nightmare on par with something Terry Gilliam might have dreamt up in his ‘Brazil’ days.”- Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“A mind melting vacation from hell. You’d hardly believe us if we tried to describe it.”- William Goss, The Playlist

“Just the fact that it exists at all is a miracle.”

- Chris Bumbray, JoBlo

“Easily the most jaw-dropping film I’ve ever seen at a film festival. The film is like a bad acid trip version of ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’, but with Wally World substituted by the real thing.”- Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine

“A subversively satirical attack on the totalitarian nature of mass entertainment. Randy Moore’s film does deliver something new, being a bravura leap into the unknown and a testing piece of surrealism in its own right.”- Damon Wise, The Guardian

The plot involves a father who loses his job, but doesn’t want to tell his family while they’re at “the happiest place on Earth.” Apparently things go downhill from there…

Escape from Tomorrow was shot guerrilla-style, on the sly, at Disney World and elsewhere over a 45 day period. They returned to the amusement park several more times for pick-up shots.

At this moment I’m more excited about seeing Escape from Tomorrow than I was about seeing the final episode of Breaking Bad...


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Piracy isn't killing big content; government needs to be skeptical of entertainment industry claims,
according to London School of Economics

Copyright and Creation, a policy brief from a collection of respected scholars at the rock-ribbed London School of Economics, argues that the evidence shows that piracy isn't causing any grave harm to the entertainment industry, and that anti-piracy measures like the three-strikes provision in Britain's Digital Economy Act don't work. They call on lawmakers to take an evidence-led approach to Internet and copyright law, and to consider the interests of the public and not just big entertainment companies looking for legal backstops to their profit-maximisation strategies.

“Contrary to the industry claims, the music industry is not in terminal decline, but still holding ground and showing healthy profits. Revenues from digital sales, subscription services, streaming and live performances compensate for the decline in revenues from the sale of CDs or records,” says Bart Cammaerts, LSE Senior Lecturer and one of the report’s authors.

The report shows that the entertainment industries are actually doing quite well. The digital gaming industry is thriving, the publishing sector is stable, and the U.S. film industry is breaking record after record.

“Despite the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) claim that online piracy is devastating the movie industry, Hollywood achieved record-breaking global box office revenues of $35 billion in 2012, a 6% increase over 2011,” the report reads.

Even the music industry is doing relatively well. Revenue from concerts, publishing and digital sales has increased significantly since the early 2000s and while recorded music revenues show a decline, there is little evidence that piracy is the lead cause.

“The music industry may be stagnating, but the drastic decline in revenues warned of by the lobby associations of record labels is not in evidence,” the report concludes.

Piracy Isn’t Killing The Entertainment Industry, Scholars Show

Monday, October 14, 2013

Microsoft Word considered harmful

from Boing Boing:

Charlie Stross really, really hates Microsoft Word. So much so that he's written a 1600-word essay laying out the case for Word as a great destroyer of creativity, an agent of anticompetitive economic destruction, and an enemy of all that's decent and right in the world. It's actually a pretty convincing argument.
As the product grew, Microsoft deployed their embrace-and-extend tactic to force users to upgrade, locking them into Word, by changing the file format the program used on a regular basis. Early versions of Word interoperated well with rivals such as Word Perfect, importing and exporting other programs' file formats. But as Word's domination became established, Microsoft changed the file format repeatedly -- with Word 95, Word 97, in 2000, and again in 2003 and more recently. Each new version of Word defaulted to writing a new format of file which could not be parsed by older copies of the program. If you had to exchange documents with anyone else, you could try to get them to send and receive RTF — but for the most part casual business users never really got the hang of different file formats in the "Save As ..." dialog, and so if you needed to work with others you had to pay the Microsoft Danegeld on a regular basis, even if none of the new features were any use to you. The .doc file format was also obfuscated, deliberately or intentionally: rather than a parseable document containing formatting and macro metadata, it was effectively a dump of the in-memory data structures used by word, with pointers to the subroutines that provided formatting or macro support. And "fast save" made the picture worse, by appending a journal of changes to the application's in-memory state. To parse a .doc file you virtually have to write a mini-implementation of Microsoft Word. This isn't a data file format: it's a nightmare! In the 21st century they tried to improve the picture by replacing it with an XML schema ... but somehow managed to make things worse, by using XML tags that referred to callbacks in the Word codebase, rather than representing actual document semantics. It's hard to imagine a corporation as large and [usually] competently-managed as Microsoft making such a mistake by accident ...
Why Microsoft Word must Die

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stan Lee on Superhero Science

Premiering on PBS next Tuesday, Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle is a three-part series about the history of comic book heroes and their impact on culture. There's also a hardcover companion book, titled Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture, featuring full color art and interviews with Stan Lee, Michael Chabon, Grant Morrison, Adam West, and dozens of other icons and insiders. In the above clip from the PBS documentary, Stan Lee talks about the science of superheroes.

Thanks, Boing Boing

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sirens of the lambs
Banksy doin' NYC

I want to know is Banksy vegan or what?

from the Gothamist:
Banksy just posted photos of his latest piece... which IS the stuffed animal truck we were wondering about yesterday. The truck—which had the street artist's 1-800 number on it—was spotted around South Brooklyn yesterday afternoon—around 1 p.m. a tipster had told us, "It was so loud. Not sure but i think someone was in the truck banging as if the animals were trying to escape." Disturbing indeed — he calls the piece The Sirens Of The Lambs.

As of 11 a.m. [friday] the "slaughterhouse delivery truck [was] touring the meatpacking district," and then will tour citywide. - In the meantime, above is the video Banksy posted on his YouTube yesterday, showing some reactions to the truck.

Friday, October 11, 2013

‘Christianity Was A Hoax’
And Scholar Claims He Has The Proof!

from Dangerous Minds:

To the question Was Jesus Christ a real person? American biblical scholar Joseph Atwill says, “The short answer is no.”

Oh boy! This ought to be fun.

On October 19 Atwill will present some provocative new findings in London. Atwill’s thesis is that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats who fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ. Per Atwill: “The Caesars committed a crime against consciousness. They reached into the minds of their subjects and planted false concepts to make them easier to control.” Atwill claims to have iron-clad proof of his claims.

Atwill’s most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus—the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea—alongside the New Testament.
I started to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts. Although it’s been recognised by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.
Here’s a promo video about Atwill and his findings:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Good News for Head bangers of all types:
Scientists discover possible cure for noise-induced hearing loss!

from The Positive:
Scientists have found a potential cure for permanent deafness caused by loud noise exposure, infection and toxic drugs, using a drug that stimulates the inner ear.

Until now, it has been regarded as impossible to restore the sensory hair cells responsible for hearing once they have been lost, and the type of deafness often suffered by musicians and DJs was assumed to have been incurable.

However, a drug codenamed LY411575 brings about the regeneration of the crucial sensory hair cells and in tests was able to restore hearing to mice that had been deafened by loud noise.

This discovery, which was reported in neuroscience journal Neuron , suggests that the same may be possible in humans, although more research is still needed.

LY411575 works by suppressing proteins called Notch — which prevent stem cells from becoming new sensory hair cells within the cochlea, the auditory area of the inner ear.

According to charity Deafness Research UK, over one million Britons are exposed to potentially damaging noise levels in the workplace and 87 percent of deafness at all degrees of severity results from damage to the sensitive hair cells within the cochlea.

“We’re excited by these results because they are a step forward in the biology of regeneration and prove that mammalian hair cells have the capacity to regenerate,” lead researcher Dr. Albert Edge of Harvard Medical School said.

“The significance of the study is that hearing loss is a huge problem affecting 250 million worldwide.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Government Shutdown - THE REIGN OF MORONS IS HERE

from Esquire

by Charles P. Pierce

Only the truly child-like can have expected anything else.

In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress -- or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress -- a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, a law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party's 2012 nominee for president of the United States. That is why the government of the United States is, in large measure, closed this morning.

We have elected the people sitting on hold, waiting for their moment on an evening drive-time radio talk show.

We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too. We have elected people to govern us who do not believe in government.

We have elected a national legislature in which Louie Gohmert and Michele Bachmann have more power than does the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been made a piteous spectacle in the eyes of the country and doesn't seem to mind that at all. We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade that believes that its opposition to a bill directing millions of new customers to the nation's insurance companies is the equivalent of standing up to the Nazis in 1938, to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and to Mel Gibson's account of the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th Century. We have elected a national legislature that looks into the mirror and sees itself already cast in marble.

We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.

This is what they came to Washington to do -- to break the government of the United States. It doesn't matter any more whether they're doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party's mouthbreathing base. It may be any one of those reasons. It may be all of them. The government of the United States, in the first three words of its founding charter, belongs to all of us, and these people have broken it deliberately. The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address in which government "was" the problem, through Bill Clinton's ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being "over," through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius, and through all the endless attempts to find "common ground" and a "Third Way." Ultimately, as we all wrapped ourselves in good intentions, a prion disease was eating away at the country's higher functions. One of the ways you can acquire a prion disease is to eat right out of its skull the brains of an infected monkey. We are now seeing the country reeling and jabbering from the effects of the prion disease, but it was during the time of Reagan that the country ate the monkey brains.

What is there to be done? The first and most important thing is to recognize how we came to this pass. Both sides did not do this. Both sides are not to blame. There is no compromise to be had here that will leave the current structure of the government intact. There can be no reward for this behavior. I am less sanguine than are many people that this whole thing will redound to the credit of the Democratic party. For that to happen, the country would have to make a nuanced judgment over who is to blame that, I believe, will be discouraged by the courtier press of the Beltway and that, in any case, the country has not shown itself capable of making. For that to happen, the Democratic party would have to be demonstrably ruthless enough to risk its own political standing to make the point, which the Democratic party never has shown itself capable of doing. With the vandals tucked away in safe, gerrymandered districts, and their control over state governments probably unshaken by events in Washington, there will be no great wave election that sweeps them out of power. I do not see profound political consequences for enough of them to change the character of a Congress gone delusional. The only real consequences will be felt by the millions of people affected by what this Congress has forced upon the nation, which was the whole point all along.

Among other things, the Library Of Congress is closed as a result of what the vandals have done. Padlock study and intellect. Wander aimlessly down the mall among the shuttered monuments to self-government. Find yourself a food truck that serves monkey brains. Eat your fking fill.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dead Boys @ CBGB October 1977
(video 4 Songs)

Some good quality footage of the Dead Boys at their peak in October 1977 at CBGB.
'Sonic Reducer','All This And More','Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth','High Tension Wire'.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Indie bookstores on the rise

good news...

from Boing Boing:

The number of members of the American Booksellers' Association is slowly creeping up, a welcome sign after a steep decline from 5500 members in 1995 to 2191 in 2002. ABA is comprised of indie booksellers, and though the dominant narrative has it that the indies were slaughtered by Amazon, the numbers suggest that the decline had more to do with the rise of the big-box chain-stores (ironically, these are dead [Borders] or dying [B&N] and were almost certainly killed by Amazon).

More interesting is why the number of indie bookstores is growing:
Amazon doesn’t do author events or signings, their discoverability is still atrocious compared to a physical location, and their promotions with smaller publishers are nearly nonexistent. If Amazon is successful in driving physical bookstores out of business (which is their ultimate goal, let’s be realistic), it is highly likely that a smaller-name author would see a drastic drop in sales.
Amazon Slayed a Negative 77 Indie Bookstores in 2012 [Nate Hoffelder/The Digital Reader]

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Elvis Costello and his fun with being banned from
"SNL" in '77 and again in '98 w/ Beastie Boys


One of the defining moments in Elvis Costello’s career happened on December 17, 1977, when he appeared on Saturday Night Live. Costello was 23 years old. His debut album, My Aim Is True, had just come out in America a month earlier. When the Sex Pistols were unable to appear on the show as planned (see their last live concert here), Costello and his recently formed band, the Attractions, got their big break.

They were supposed to play his single “Less Than Zero,” a catchy tune about a loathsome politician in England. But only a few bars into the song, Costello put a stop to it. “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “but there’s no reason to do this song here.” At that point he and the band launched into “Radio Radio,” a song that takes a jab at corporate-controlled broadcasting. Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels was furious. According to some reports, he raised his middle finger at Costello and kept it up until the unapproved song was over. Costello was banned from the show for nearly 12 years. You can learn more about the incident by watching this video from the Daily Guru:

The rift between Costello and Michaels eventually healed, and Costello was invited to appear again on Saturday Night Live in the spring of 1989. Ten years after that, on SNL’s 25th anniversary show, Costello went on the show again and parodied his notorious 1977 appearance by bursting onstage while the Beastie Boys were playing “Sabotage” and ordering them to stop. He and the Boys then launched into a raucous version of “Radio Radio”:

In an interview this month with Details magazine, Costello talks a little about the 1977 incident. “They’ve run that clip forever,” he says, “and every time anybody does anything outrageous on that show, I get name-checked. But I was copying Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix had done the same thing on the Lulu Show, when he went into an unscheduled number. I remember seeing it and going, ‘What the hell’s going on?’” To see for yourself what Costello is talking about, visit our post, Jimi Hendrix Wreaks Havoc on the Lulu Show, Gets Banned From BBC.

Friday, October 4, 2013


another from OBEY GIANT
Through his global travels, BNE has developed a strong empathy for those who struggle to find access to life’s basic necessities. Water is paramount. Check out this video of BNE and an Indonesian artist who is homeless. The artwork and ideas are powerful and beautiful.

-Shepard Fairey

Thursday, October 3, 2013


from ObeyGiant:
Please join our campaign to bring clean, safe drinking water to India!
It’s really easy and takes only a minute to literally change the life of someone in need.
Just click this link to join the campaign: