Thursday, December 31, 2015

Turns Out People Who Swear A Lot Are Actually Smarter Than People Who Don't

from Distractify:
If you enjoy a strongly uttered four-letter word every now and again, you've definitely heard it. It probably came from someone at least 20 years your senior and was accompanied by a furrowed brow and/or wagging finger:

"Swearing is the sign of a weak mind."

"Cussing is the sign of a poor vocabulary."

"Profanity is a sign of limited intelligence."

Maybe you felt guilty and agreed with them, or maybe you gave them a silent middle-finger with your mind. Regardless of how you reacted, science is here to tell us (again) that they were wrong.

Exciting new research recently published in the journal Language Sciences confirms what f-bomb droppers have always known in their hearts: Swearing isn't a mental crutch--it's a sign of verbal intelligence.

The study, a joint effort of psychologists at Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, found that people who swear more may actually have stronger language skills overall than those who don't.

They reached this conclusion by pitting two popular theories against each other:

A folk assumption about colloquial speech is that taboo words are used because speakers cannot find better words with which to express themselves: because speakers lack vocabulary. A competing possibility is that fluency is fluency regardless of subject matter—that there is no reason to propose a difference in lexicon size and ease of access for taboo as opposed to emotionally neutral words.
To test which theory was correct, researchers gave study participants 60 seconds to rattle off as many swear words as they could. Then, they asked them to do the same with a more benign subject, such as animal names. (In social science this is known as the Controlled Oral Word Association Test.)

If old-fashioned swear haters are right, participants fluent in swearing should have had trouble coming up with the neutral words but that's exactly the opposite of what happened.

Instead, those who listed the most curse words were consistently able to list the most words in other associative trials—showing an undeniable connection between swearing skills and a larger overall vocabulary.

Fucking awesome, right? It gets better.

Because the researchers separated the types of swear words listed into distinct categories (like slurs, general pejoratives, sexual terms, etc) they could also determine that "speakers who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately."

In normal words, this means that swearing is actually a sign of verbal intelligence, rather than linguistic deficiency. Which is a huge professional advantage, not to mention a life skill that many people lack.

So if you want to hurl a few swears at the sky every now and then, go ahead. It just means you're better than everyone else.

I'm not even shitting you, bro.

thanks Tara Tiger Brown!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Holy rollers:
Church transformed into psychedelic skate park


The Church of Santa Barbara in Llanera, Asturias, located near the northern coast of Spain, had been in disrepair for years until a group of concerned individuals formed a collective called the ‘Church Brigade’ and secured funding to transform the stately house of worship into a psychedelic skate park using murals by Okuda San Miguel.

The church was originally designed by Asturian architect Manuel del Busto in 1912. Church Brigade used crowdfunding strategies but also secured a grant from Red Bull. The public skate park is now called Kaos Temple.

The transformation took place in early December. My favorite bit from the project description is “Time flies, do not think and get involved.”

Here’s an interview with Okuda San Miguel about the project. By the way, the word they translate in the subtitles as “fabrics” actually denotes “factories”:

via Bored Panda

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

One more time.

Peoples' not caring about OTHER people as much as they should will bring the end of humans on this planet, sooner rather than later.

What makes me say that today? The fucking news, the overwhelming majority of politicians, and business people who put profits over people and the planet.

Shortsightedness, greed, ignorance, manufactured fear. Made painfully obvious by "healthcare" co$ts, GUNS in this country and peoples perceived need for them, when they should be totally banned. That a pig like Trump dominates any discussion of any kind is a pathetic reflection of what much of the worlds reality has become. It's fucking foul.

Make some fucking noise in any way you can, big or small, and stop this mis-direction of humankind.



(yes I originally posted this on my Social media a few weeks ago, but i believe it needed to be shared again, here at this time of year)

Thanks for your interest and support.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Important Sunday Message

Peoples' not caring about OTHER people as much as they should will bring the end of humans on this planet, sooner rather than later.

What makes me say that today? The fucking news, the overwhelming majority of politicians, and business people who put profits over people and the planet.

Shortsightedness, greed, ignorance, manufactured fear. Made painfully obvious by "healthcare" co$ts, GUNS in this country and peoples perceived need for them, when they should be totally banned. That a pig like Trump dominates any discussion of any kind is a pathetic reflection of what much of the worlds reality has become. It's fucking foul.

Make some fucking noise in any way you can, big or small, and stop this mis-direction of humankind.



(yes I originally posted this on my Social media a few weeks ago, but i believe it needed to be shared again, here at this time of year)

Thanks for your interest and support.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

What the fuck is a holiday nowadays anyway?

There is no father of all judging between good and evil and punishing the unjust. There is just the claus and effect of capitalism.

James Brown

Jimi Hendrix

isn't this what X-mas is all about?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Artists Hack 600 Paris Billboards With Climate Messages
for COP21

Sorry I didn't post this story when it was actually going on, but still great and worthy of posting now.

from CityLab (The Atlantic)

Two days before the launch of the UN COP21 Climate Conference, 600 posters were installed in outdoor media spaces across Paris. 82 Artists from 19 different countries made artworks to challenge the corporate takeover of COP21 and to reveal the connections between advertising, the promotion of consumerism and climate change.

Travel around Paris this week and you might run into some unusual public ads: an Air France billboard proclaiming, “We’ll keep on bribing politicians and emitting greenhouse gases”; a Volkswagen promotion saying, “We’re sorry that we got caught.”

Is the world’s worst marketing agency on the loose? Actually, the 600-or-so altered ads are the work of street artists working with Brandalism, a shadowy group that since 2012 has replaced European billboards with activist messages and art. Their latest hack from this weekend takes aim at global-warming denial and the corporate forces opposing climate action, right before the Paris climate talks (known as COP21) are scheduled to begin.

From the group’s website:
Following on in the guerilla art traditions of the 20th Century and taking inspiration from Agitprop, Situationist and Street Art movements, the Brandalism project sees artists from around the world collaborate to challenge the authority and legitimacy of commercial images within public space and within our culture.…

All the artwork is unauthorised and unsigned. This is not a project of self-promotion, and none of the artists names… or websites appear on the works: we believe there are already enough private interests taking ownership of our streets.

Here’s a sampling of what’s popped up in the city; for many more images, visit Brandalism’s gallery.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Q&A With Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys Who Shares His Strong Opinions on Basically Everything

from the SF Weekly:
On Thanksgiving, we're betting you got together with friends and family, watched the parade, ate and drank a bunch, then slipped into a food coma on the couch. Well, we took a break from that this year because Jello Biafra decided that Thanksgiving was the perfect time for a chat with SF Weekly. The former lead singer/songwriter for The Dead Kennedys — who, in recent years, has turned to spoken word and political activism — spoke with us about everything from ISIS and "pulling a Kurt Cobain" to tech-related gentrification in San Francisco and his upcoming show at Slim's with his band, Guantanamo School of Medicine. For someone who once wrote an open letter of suggestions to President Barack Obama and tried to incur a law forcing businessmen to wear clown suits, Jello was every bit as charismatic, entertaining and opinionated as you might expect. Here are some highlights from what turned into a very long conversation ...

SF Weekly: You're the last person I thought I'd be talking to on Thanksgiving...

Jello Biafra: Well, you've gotta kill this day somehow. It's not everybody's favorite holiday. It's basically Euro-Supremacist Day, when you think about it. Someone on a cable comedy show said the other night, "Every time there's been a wave of immigrants coming into this country, people have been worried that they're going to come in and wreck the place and destroy the whole thing. And it has absolutely never happened — except for the ones that showed up and created the holiday that we're celebrating now."

Talking of invasions, as someone who's been in the Bay Area since the late 1970s, you've already seen one dot-com boom and bust ...

... I usually call it dot-com holocaust ...

Do you see any way for the city to recover culturally?

It's hard to say what's going to happen. It's a different crop of people this time, for one thing. Some of them strike me as being meaner, more conservative and more money-grubbing, even compared to the first batch. A lot of people are running around wishing they were Gavin Newsom or Ron Conway. There's no idealism involved. Hearing people say, "Hey man! Now the Summer of Love is a start up!" That's when I wish I had a grenade in my back pocket. Where's ISIS when you need them? It has changed the demographics and the flavor of the city.

Is there any way out?

As far as coming back from this, I think it's just going to depend on who shows up and votes. Proposition F never should've lost and the only reason it did was because it was an off-year election when the mayor and other high officials were all running unopposed, so people weren't paying attention and didn't vote. A lot of what turned things around the last time was when we got a progressive Board of Supervisors. They came in and said, "Enough is enough." It's always possible. I mean, I have hope. I wouldn't call it optimism, but I do have hope.

How much of the fabric of the city is left at this point?

I would say quite a bit. I mean, there's still a lot of Mom and Pop Latino businesses [in the Mission] that have been there since before I moved here. Not as many as there were, but they are still there, and their customers are there.

What is all this doing to music?

A lot of us, myself included, are a lot more unaware than we should be of other areas of culture and underground coolness going on in San Francisco, that doesn't necessarily involve white people. There are a lot of other things going on that we could be dipping into. I've had people tell me that they're thinking about moving to Vallejo. I mean, what's next? Concord? I hope not!

What do you find more satisfying on a personal level: spoken word or Guantanamo School?

Well, I've been back to rock the last couple of years, which I missed — it just didn't happen as quickly as I thought because there were so many adventures happening. Once the band got going, it eats up a lot of the time I might have spent putting together another spoken word show. It would be nice to have both at all times, but I just haven't had time.

What keeps you from getting burned out?

I would say that my sick sense of humor is what sustains me in all areas of life. Knowing what I do about the way our city and the whole world is really run, if I didn't have my sick sense of humor, I would've pulled a Kurt Cobain years ago.

I once read a review that said: "Jello Biafra is a man who's never really happy unless he's plenty pissed off." Is that accurate?

I guess that's one way of putting it! It's not quite right. Yeah, I enjoy ranting and raving and making fun of things. I'm sarcastic and I'm cynical and, yeah, I enjoy that. More to the point, I'm in a unique position where I can actually do something with those feelings. I'm really grateful that, at my age, I can still eke out something of a living just from my big mouth and bad attitude. It doesn't hurt that I'm still pretty good at making up words and music and cool songs, but I'm just glad there are some people still around who want to listen to me.

Is there going to be a new Guantanamo School of Medicine record soon?

I was hoping I'd have that done by now but I've fallen behind in my writing, which is my own personal problem to try and solve next year. Sooner or later, I'll get my shit together. I'm one of the few people my age who has all these fresh ideas — it's just a matter of getting away from all of these things yanking at me in my daily life. I really need to immerse myself and get everything written and arranged.

What can we expect from the Slim's show?

If you've seen us before, you know what you're in for. For those who haven't, it's in some ways, a heavier, fiercer version of Dead Kennedys, but because I finally have my own band again, the surf and the psyche moves have come back in. It'll mostly be newer GSM songs, with a little bit of Dead Kennedys sprinkled in as well. I'm not a retro act, for crying out loud! Even in places like Germany, when people are yelling for "Too Drunk to Fuck" three songs into the show, as soon as they hear the new songs, they're happy.

Do you find you have a new generation coming to see you now?

It depends on the place. The one at Slim's is all ages, which I try to do as much as possible because, when I started going to punk shows in San Francisco, I was 19. Where would I be now if I couldn't have gotten in until I was 21? It would've left me more likely to stay in school and get my degree!

Monday, December 21, 2015

"School of Life" Monday's Watch and Listen This Week: PHILOSOPHY - Sartre

from The School of Life on YouTube

Jean-Paul Sartre explored the problems and joys of being fundamentally free. Existentialism, the belief system with which he is associated, considers the anguish of freedom. Please help us to make films by subscribing to our channel:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Nice Sunday Listening
Black Sabbath - "War Pigs" Live Paris 1970
+ the whole show if you want it!

Black Sabbath performing "War Pigs" live at the Olympia Theater in Paris, France on December 20, 1970

and here's the full show if you're as stoked as I am on this for a sunday morning:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Talking Shop With Bernie Sanders & Killer Mike

On November 23rd, 2015, Killer Mike sat down with Senator Bernie Sanders at The SWAG Shop in Atlanta, GA to discuss topics ranging from gun control to democratic socialism.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Story of the real "Boy In The Bubble"
(short film - retro report)
from The New York Times

In the early 1970s, an unusual boy captivated the nation. Now, decades later, his story continues to unfold in remarkable ways.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

John Trudell, Outspoken Advocate for American Indians,
Is Dead at 69

from the New York Times

John Trudell, whose outspokenness and charisma made him a leading advocate of Native American rights, and who channeled his message of righteous defiance into poetry and songwriting, died on Tuesday at his home in Santa Clara County, Calif. He was 69.

The cause was cancer, said Cree Miller, the trustee of Mr. Trudell’s estate.

Mr. Trudell, a Santee Dakota, was national chairman of the American Indian Movement during much of the 1970s, a turbulent stretch in the relationship between Native American activists and the federal government.

His tenure began after the episode at Wounded Knee, S.D., where, in February 1973, Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge reservation, incensed by tribal corruption, and American Indian Movement activists, protesting the government’s treatment of their people, occupied the town in a 71-day standoff with federal marshals and F.B.I. agents.

Three men — Bob Robideau, Darelle Butler and Leonard Peltier — were tried in the killing of two agents during a confrontation in Oglala, S.D., two years later.

Mr. Trudell — “the most eloquent speaker in the Movement,” as Peter Matthiessen wrote in “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,” his 1983 book about the siege — held community meetings in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where the trial of Mr. Robideau and Mr. Butler was held, and he testified for the defense. The two men were acquitted. Mr. Peltier, tried later, was convicted and remains in prison.

But well before that, Mr. Trudell had already made a name for himself as an effective champion of his people, decrying the indignities they had suffered for more than a century at the hands of the American government.

In November 1972, he was among the leaders of a group that occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, demanding the enforcement of historical treaties that granted Native Americans sovereignty over their land.

Perhaps most famously, in 1969, he joined an occupation of Alcatraz Island, home of the former prison in San Francisco Bay, arguing that the terms of an old treaty gave American Indians the right to unused federal land.

The occupiers, calling themselves Indians of All Tribes, held the island for 19 months, demanding that they be given the right to develop it as a cultural and education center. Mr. Trudell, then in his 20s, emerged as the group’s spokesman, frequently delivering a broadcast called “Radio Free Alcatraz” and speaking at news conferences.

Rejecting a government proposal that the island be turned into a park with “maximum Indian qualities,” Mr. Trudell said: “We will no longer be museum pieces, tourist attractions and politicians’ playthings. There will be no park on this island because it changes the whole meaning of what we are here for.”

The F.B.I. compiled a substantial file on him.

In 1979, Mr. Trudell burned an American flag on the steps of the F.B.I. building in Washington, saying that the flag had been desecrated by the government’s behavior toward American Indians and other minorities, and that burning was the appropriate way to dispose of a desecrated flag.

The next day, his home in Nevada burned to the ground. The fire killed his pregnant wife, Tina Manning, who was also an activist, as well as their three children and Ms. Manning’s mother.

An investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs found that the fire was an accident. But some viewed the inquiry as perfunctory, and its findings were questioned by an investigator hired by Mr. Trudell, who suspected the fire had been deliberately set.

“I don’t want to say that the F.B.I. kills innocent kids and children,” Lindsey Manning, a cousin of Tina Manning, said in “Trudell,” an acclaimed 2005 documentary film by Heather Rae. “I just don’t want to say that. But you never know. You never know.”

The film asserted that the cause of the fire had never been established.

John Francis Trudell was born in Omaha on Feb. 15, 1946, and grew up partly there and partly on a reservation near the South Dakota border. His father, Clifford Trudell, was a Santee Dakota; his mother, the former Ricarda Almanza, was of Mexican-Indian descent. She died when John was a boy.

Mr. Trudell dropped out of high school and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Afterward, he moved to Southern California, where he studied radio and communications at a community college before joining the Indians of All Tribes group on Alcatraz.

Mr. Trudell began to distance himself from the American Indian Movement after the fire at his house, and in the 1980s, he turned to writing. He published several volumes of poetry, including “Stickman” and “Lines From a Mined Mind,” often writing in protest of corporate power and government oppression. He also recorded spoken-word albums accompanied by traditional Native American music as well as contemporary pop. His latest album, “Wazi’s Dream,” was released this year.

The recordings earned him admirers in the music world, including Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and Kris Kristofferson.

Mr. Trudell also acted in feature films, including “Thunderheart” (1992), with Sam Shepard and Val Kilmer, in which he played a character drawn from a crucial figure in the events leading to Wounded Knee; and “Smoke Signals” (1998), based on a collection of short stories by Sherman Alexie.

Mr. Trudell’s first marriage, to Fenicia Ordonez, ended in divorce. He is survived by a brother, Roger, and several children and grandchildren. Ms. Miller, his estate’s trustee, declined to say specifically where Mr. Trudell lived in Santa Clara County.

“If this is the land of the free,” Mr. Trudell said during the occupation of Alcatraz, summarizing the issue that would propel his life and work from then on, “we want to know why we don’t have the respect and dignity that all free men are accorded by other free men.”

Correction: December 11, 2015
Because of an editing error, an obituary on Thursday about the Native American activist John Trudell referred incorrectly to the trials of his fellow activists Bob Robideau, Darelle Butler and Leonard Peltier. They were tried in the killing of two F.B.I. agents during a confrontation in Oglala, S.D., in 1975 — not during the occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973.

Correction: December 14, 2015
An obituary on Thursday about John Trudell, a leading advocate of Native American rights, misstated the source material for the movie “Smoke Signals” in which Mr. Trudell had a role. It was based on a collection of short stories by Sherman Alexie, not on a novel by Mr. Alexie.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Animated Life: Mary Leakey
from The New York Times

Incredible learning going on here...
This short documentary remembers the paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey, who discovered footprints of human ancestors on the African savanna.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

"School of Life" Monday's Watch and Listen This Week:
Alain de Botton on Art as Therapy

LECTURE @THE SCHOOL OF LIFE: The founder of The School of Life, Alain de Botton examines the purpose of art. We often hear that art is meant to be very important; but we're seldom told exactly why. Here de Botton argues that art can be a form of therapy.
Find out more by reading our book ‘Art as Therapy’:

Brought to you by

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Bernie Sanders Has Stuck To
The Same Message For 40 Years

from NPR:

There are many ways to describe Bernie Sanders: a democratic socialist, an independent senator, a Democratic presidential candidate. But the best adjective may just be: consistent. No matter how you label it, Sanders' worldview is locked in.

Over 40 years, Sanders has built his political career on a very focused message about what he calls a "rigged economy."

Now he's running for president, which typically means reacting to what's happening in the world, in real time. But even in the wake of terrorist attacks by ISIS, Sanders' primary focus is still where it's been since the 1970s.

The "1 percent"

On the advantages enjoyed by the richest Americans, over the years, the numbers Sanders cites have changed. But the intensity and message have not.

Income inequality

It's a theme that runs through every speech Sanders gives. And over the course of a decade, the way he describes the "unfair distribution of wealth" has changed very little. In a 2005 speech on the House floor and 10 years later at his campaign kickoff rally in Burlington, Vt., this past spring, he delivered essentially the same line.

Voter turnout

Listening to speeches and debate performances going back to 1976, another theme emerges: his concern with voter turnout.

Sanders attributes this to politicians not talking about the real issues facing the working people of America, kowtowing to corporate interests instead of helping the poor and middle class get ahead.

Their needs and struggles have been a near single-minded focus of Sanders since his earliest days in politics.

"His concerns have always been about families and their economic problems, and when people say that Bernie is consistent, that is what he's consistent about," said Huck Gutman, one of Sanders' oldest friends from Vermont.

Gutman spoke about his friend in a wide-ranging interview earlier this year, as Sanders prepared to kick off his campaign. And Gutman said the laser focus isn't just there when the cameras are rolling.

"When we talk, that's what he talks about all the time," said Gutman.

Asked if he ever tries to change the subject to something like sports, Gutman said it doesn't work.

"I bring up things sometimes. It doesn't stay there very long," said Gutman. "Bernie and I go for walks every weekend. We have long talks. And it's always about economics and politics."

The question now is whether this consistency, this focus, is an asset or a problem for Sanders' candidacy. His supporters say that's one of the things they love about him. They don't want him to get distracted by the latest news.

Sanders held an event this week in a Baltimore neighborhood where riots broke out in April. His press secretary asked reporters to keep the questions to the issues the senator was there to discuss — poverty, unemployment and the criminal justice system. "Don't ask about ISIS today," said Symone Sanders, the campaign's press secretary. So, as the press conference was wrapping up, a reporter asked Bernie Sanders if there was a reason he didn't want to talk about ISIS.

Sanders scoffed.

"What I have said is that obviously ISIS and terrorism are a huge national issue that we've got to address, but so is poverty, so is unemployment, so is education, so is health care," said Sanders. "So is the need to protect working families. And I will, I will continue to talk about those issues."

That's what he's always done. Whether that continues to work for his presidential campaign depends on whether voters' top concern remains the economy or if it is displaced by fear of terrorism and ISIS.