...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



A proposal for the World Summit on Sustainable Development's action plan calls for the use of the technologies to be increased to account for 15 percent of the world's total energy production by 2010.

Sources said delegates from the United States, Saudi Arabia and other industrialized and oil-producing states were lobbying to eliminate the provision.
The European Union also wavered on the agreement.

"We may have to bend if we can't convince all of our partners," said one EU official, Christine Day. "It's early in the negotiations."


However, the United States is seeking to erase specific targets and timetables on many topics throughout the plan, which includes 150 pages addressing biodiversity, food security, clean water and health care.
Instead, U.S. officials said they prefer voluntary partnerships with business and other groups.

"I don't know of a goal that has protected a child from a waterborne disease or provided energy to a village," a senior U.S. diplomat told reporters in a background briefing. "Goals do not by themselves bring about change or results."

{somewhere real close, real soon, there's a line, and after we cross it, all the remorse, all the awakening, all the sorrow and grief a human heart can contain won't be enough }

...Swedish scientists identified what may be a new form of life, a tiny particle in the spinal fluid of schizophrenics. In China, a vending machine was dispensing medicine to users who described their symptoms on a touch screen; more machines were expected to be installed in supermarkets. India's supreme court was investigating the painting of the Coca-Cola and Pepsi logos directly onto the rock face in the Himalaya mountains....

from Harper's Weekly Review.......

and further...Stockholm � Swedish scientists have found a tiny, mysterious particle in the spinal marrow fluid that could help explain the cause of schizophrenia.
"They may be involved in the development of the disease or may result from the disease process in brains of schizophrenic patients," the researchers said in an abstract of the study published Friday.
Schizophrenia is a widespread and debilitating form of mental disease with symptoms ranging from delusions and an altered sense of self to apathy and social withdrawal. It affects about 1 per cent of people.
Lennart Wetterberg, professor of psychiatry at Stockholm's St. Goran Hospital and one of the co-authors of the study, said the full significance of the findings is not clear and more research is needed.
"We have viruses, bacteria and prions � this could be an entirely new form of life," he told Reuters.
But he said this is just one theory, and it is still uncertain what form of life the particles, which are bigger than ordinary viruses but smaller than bacteria, represent.
The study, published in Neuroscience Letters, was made on the basis of spinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture from 22 schizophrenic patients and 38 control patients.
The study found spherical particles � only 100,000th of a millimetre in size � in the spinal fluid of 20 of the 22 patients with schizophrenia against only two of the 38 controls, it said.
The particles did not include bacterial DNA material and had so far not replicated in culture.
"They are not any of the usual viruses or bacteria that have been found," Mr. Wetterberg said. "They are more like something like the prion, which is causing mad cow disease � but it took 15 years until it was found out what that really was."
He said it was too early to speculate whether the particles were a cause of schizophrenia or whether the disease caused them, and a bigger number of people would have to be studied.
"We have found the first link in a chain, and whether my excitement increases or decreases depends on the answer to the next step," he said.


The feds, Palast reported in the U.K. Guardian, weren't much interested in possible Saudi connections to Islamic terror plots. "There were always constraints on investigating the Saudis," one source told Palast.
"They said the restrictions became worse after the Bush administration took over this year. The intelligence agencies had been told to 'back off' from investigations involving other members of the bin Laden family, the Saudi royals, and possible Saudi links to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan," Palast wrote.
Rounding out the top 10, we have a pair of heavily footnoted essays by Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Centre for Research on Globalisation and an economics professor at the University of Ottawa.
According to Chossudovsky, U.S. spooks are meddling in the affairs of Macedonia by arming an array of guerrilla factions in an attempt to secure control of a still-unbuilt oil pipeline and fill the coffers of American corporations...
from Project Censored Top 10 Stories via robotwisdom

Gillmor points, I click

this is why I read girlhacker

I read that the last man in the United States to be branded for a crime was Jonathan Walker. In Pensacola, Territory of Florida, 1844, he had "SS" burned into the palm of his hand. What did the "SS" stand for?

Slave Stealer.
L.M. Boyd

dead cow points

knees of glory, knees of shame

laboring, soldiering, bearing it up, carrying it on


The most dramatic drop in tax revenue since 1946 has put the government into deficit for the next three years and has shriveled the projected 10-year federal budget surplus by 60 percent in just five months, the Congressional Budget Office reported yesterday.

The CBO's influential midyear budget forecast underscores the deterioration of the government's fiscal health. As recently as March, congressional forecasters had predicted the government would run a much larger surplus -- $2.4 trillion -- than the $1 trillion total that the CBO now foresees between 2003 and 2012. That number has shrunk because of a plunge in tax receipts, the likes of which has not been seen since the repeal of World War II surtaxes 56 years ago, said CBO Director Dan L. Crippen.

Washington Post

These poverty-stricken residences scattered over a desert hillside hardly seem much of a threat to anyone, yet they are the reason that Julio Sandoval has been in prison for nine months, for helping migrant workers in Baja California settle in homes like these. Another housing activist, Beatriz Chavez, a well-known leader of similar efforts farther south down the Baja peninsula, has been in prison since May of 2001.

Their crime is an offense unique to Baja -- despojo agravado. Despojo, according to Tijuana attorney Jose Pe�aflor, "means using land or water belonging to someone else, without their authorization, in a furtive manner." This offense is on the books throughout Mexico. But in Baja the legislature created a new, more serious charge a few years ago -- despojo agravado -- the crime of leading or instigating others in committing despojo.....
"The government is afraid of the poor sections of the population, especially the migrant indigenous people from Oaxaca, and wants control over them," said Beatriz Chavez, over the phone from the Cereso prison. "They think their only way to ensure control is by throwing the leaders of social movements among them into prison."

For months the two cases have wound slowly through the state's court system, and Chavez and Sandoval now await sentencing. Rumor has it that the judge is preparing to give them five years apiece. Baja California authorities wouldn't permit a reporter to enter prison facilities to talk to the jailed activists, nor would they make any public statements themselves.
David Bacon in LA Weekly

tremble's got that wit thing

american margins illumined

crazy old lady blog

shame on you boy.

now if they only had one of these for fascism...

"We're hoping we will give people an additional tool that will help make the decision not to drive after drinking," said Capt. Jim Wolfinbarger of the Colorado State Patrol. "Traditionally, thousands of times a year, people are making poor decisions. If they're fortunate, they'll make it home. If they're unfortunate, they'll get arrested. If it's a tragedy, they'll kill somebody."

Perhaps the insanity of our social destructiveness � including the Bush Administration�s deranged declaration of a permanent war against the rest of the world � will bring about an examination of alternative ways of living together in conditions of peace and liberty. Our political systems cannot bring about such harmonious and life-sustaining ways because they are premised on a rejection of the principle of self-ownership. In a society of self-owning individuals, there would be no place for politicians, bureaucrats, and other state functionaries. Like the rest of us, they would have to confine their lives to minding their own business, and deriving whatever benefit they could from persons who chose to cooperate with them.

There is one person who can restore you to a state of self-ownership, however, and that person is you. To do so, you need only assert your claim, not as some empty gesture, but in full understanding of the existential meaning of such a claim, including the willingness to take full control of and responsibility for your life. While your claim will likely evoke cries of contempt from many, you may also find yourself energized by a life force that permeates all of nature; an �lan vital that reminds us that life manifests itself only through individuals, and not as collective monstrosities; that life belongs to the living, not to the state or any other abstraction.
post by Butler Shaffer in indymedia

hippy truth is still truth. miso is good food, and good for you


hard drive external docking simplified
via boing-boing(above)

Brown had signed a contract agreeing that DSC owned any "invention" or anything "conceived" on the job but said he actually began thinking about his high-level source code solution 12 years before he started work at DSC. [ Lawyer, 8-12-02]

Motiveless Crimes
Nathan A. Williams, 18, admitting that he robbed a convenience store in White River Junction, Vt., in July, told the judge, "I still don't know quite to this day why I did it." And Gerald Fitzgerald, 73, pleading guilty to a series of petty crimes in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in July: "I don't know why (I did it)." And Ms. Rie Fujii, 24, pleading guilty in Calgary, Alberta, in June to abandoning her children while she partied: "I don't know why." And Darlene Eva Gallant, 41, sentenced to two years in prison in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, in May for maliciously injecting her grandson with insulin: "I hurt someone more precious than my life, and I don't even know why." And pharmacist Robert Courtney, pleading guilty in Kansas City, Mo., in February to diluting customers' cancer drugs: "I keep asking myself, 'Why?'" [Valley News(Lebanon, N.H.), 7-3-02][Sault Star, 7-6-02] [Edmonton Journal-Calgary Herald, 6-22-02] [Edmonton Journal-CP, 5-28-02][Columbia Tribune-AP, 2-27-02]
Cultural Diversity
The several African nations' soccer teams that rely on witchcraft to give them an edge were confounded at this year's World Cup when Senegal almost made it to the semifinals after supposedly rejecting that strategy and competing solely on ability.....
from News of The Weird AUGUST 25, 2002


Fourth, danger: Yes, now we have Amber Alert, and we think there is an epidemic of child abductions, but there isn't. Your child is more likely to play professional basketball than she is to be abducted on the way to or from school.
Jon Carroll at SFGate

The official environmentalists, like the Sierra Club, want the art gone and the dogs on leashes. They want a unified vision. Me, I like the glimpse of chaos and old-fashioned semi-clean fun, available daily at the Albany Bulb.
and again

Learning how to love is harder than learning how to hate.
and once more"

always there, L.M. Boyd

Tara Sue Grubb via Dan Gillmor

A large portion of Chinese pioneers established residence along the California Coast and began the business of gathering, drying, and exporting seafood resources back to China. In the 1870's California's largest export was dried seafood bound for Hong Kong. Other Chinese pioneers began vegetable gardens and became the main purveyors of fresh vegetables in the county. There were stores, laundries, restaurants, and labor-contracting businesses owned and operated by the new pioneers. In addition to the single men, families such as the Wong, Chong, and Ginn families settled SLO.
{this is not to mention the 'City of The Pharoah', erected, filmed, and interred by Cecil B. DeMille out on the Nipomo/Guadalupe dunes. archeology and fantastic history-'The Ten Commandments' project...}

Eddie Joe Lloyd, 54, became the 110th person in the United States to be exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing, according to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit New York-based legal group that promotes the use of DNA evidence.

The real level of world inequality and environmental degradation may be far worse than official estimates, according to a leaked document prepared for the world's richest countries and seen by the Guardian. It includes new estimates that the world lost almost 10% of its forests in the past 10 years; that carbon dioxide emissions leading to global warming are expected to rise by 33% in rich countries and 100% in the rest of the world in the next 18 years; and that more than 30% more fresh water will be needed by 2020.

another Sterling link: Iron Curtain unravelling "Judging by the international community's assessment of efforts so far, the battle against the narcotics trade in Afghanistan has made little or no headway.
In the spring, Hamid Karzai's interim government announced a poppy-eradication program under which farmers would be compensated $500 per acre for destroyed poppy. However, according to a recent report from UN experts in Kabul, a poppy farmer can earn an estimated $6,400 per acre of gross income by planting poppy. This figure was from past years; according to the "Tehran Times" of 20 August, the current income is closer to $14,000."


the line design around the church when I was young


this man was a friend of mine and this is how I learned of his passing.


Macadamia��anybody who starts from is OK with me

The court ruled that impairments are not disabilities if they can be mitigated by lifestyle, by devices or by medications. The lower courts, following Sutton, now disqualify people with diabetes, heart conditions, epilepsy, cancer and "mental illness" from pursuing ADA employment discrimination claims because their impairments can be mitigated with medications.
Caught in a viscious catch 22 workers with these conditions are "too functional" to be "disabled" yet can be fired for the "nondisabling" conditions. The Supreme Court virtually de- defined disability into thin air.
As Ruth O'Brien put is, the Supreme Court "turned the ADA on its head" by giving employers "the right to discriminate" and "the freedom to decide against hiring people who had limiting impairments." (Crippled Justice)
A glaring result of that ruling is that of a person with cerebral palsy was denied the status of "disabled" because she had a pharmacist education. Even Jeffrey Gorman, a paraplegic, was challenged by Kansas City lawyers as to whether he was disabled or not by claiming his mobility impairment was mitigated by his wheelchair.

Brian Schmautz, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, said protesters threw things at the police.
Protesters at one point pushed down a barricade and a female police officer who was standing behind it, Groepper said. The officer sprained or broke her wrist falling down, and two patrol cars were damaged, Groepper said.
Police ordered about 500 protesters to move. Riot police wearing helmets then walked into the area, pushing activists with their batons. Some activists fell. Police then fired aerosol canisters of pepper spray at the protesters.
Police also used pepper spray after about 150 demonstrators blocked vehicle access to Morrison Bridge.
Five protesters were arrested through the afternoon, police spokesman Henry Groepper said.
Many of the protesters criticized a new forest initiative announced earlier in the day by Bush that would make it easier for timber companies to cut wood from fire-prone national forests.

{now there's some unbiased journalism. he wants to stop the fires and those treelovers don't want him to. he wants to stop Saddam Hussein from killing puppies, and those baby-eating-bear-lovers are trying to stop him. the protesters throw things, the female police officer gets hurt, a human face, a human pain, and then 'some' protesters fall, facelessly, anonymously, not really human. I do believe the day is close at hand when these
hidden sentiments will begin to be expressed, in lives, in brutality beyond the unacceptable so common now. Ashcroft's little death camps, for sinners and the unclean. it gets religious. these are demons, or demon-ridden lost souls, doing the bidding of an invisible master. it's like potboiler fantasy made real.
the Two Towers, indeed. }


It doesn't seem like that long ago that Laura Bush was on the radio telling us that "The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women. " I guess at some point, when we weren't paying attention (and how often do we pay attention to the needs of poor women?) that stopped being true.
from Body and Soul {one of a series of worthwhile links from the nielesenhaydens}

A candle in a teacup on a brick.

{John M. Ford's heartbreakingly beautiful and rigorously built '110 Stories' proves the necessity of poetry.
from the nielesenhaydens' Making Light and electrolite}

most Americans are more afraid of boys from the housing projects holding them up in an alley for 20 bucks than they are of having their pensions and portfolios gutted by Wall Street scoundrels.
Jurors and judges see something of themselves in the fallen rich. Men like Keating and Milken and former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay reflect the deepest dream of the middle-class -- wealth. Main Street finds Wall Street highly seductive.

Danish scientists have documented the first known exception to the rule, a man whose muscle cells contain mitochondria that came mainly from his father.

The discovery was so unexpected that the researchers repeated their experiments several times to make sure they hadn't mixed up samples or made other mistakes.

"The only explanation for our results is that it is a case of paternal inheritance of mitochondria. It was a very big surprise to us," said Marianne Schwartz, a geneticist at Copenhagen University Hospital.


missing links to unknown Russian music
{maybe because it was really 'Georgian' music? or because there's a hit out on me from the Slavic Anti-Decimation League? or because they want money just like Hollywood? whatever the cause I found this place and less than 24 hours later it's gone. one of the most beautiful male voices I've ever heard, Hamlet Gonashvili, singing 'Chela'. but he is a Georgian hero, and I think maybe they don't like people calling their heroes 'russian' there in Georgia. maybe that's it.{8/23:well they're I'm happy.}}

No longer able to feed meat-and-bone meal (MBM) to farm animals, British researchers are assessing its potential as a construction material.

The Meat and Livestock Commission has asked engineers at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Watford, near London, to investigate whether ash from incinerated MBM can be mixed into concrete and used to fill holes, lay roads and even build houses.

About 2.5 million tonnes of MBM are produced in Europe each year as a by-product of the meat trade. MBM was used in animal feed in Britain until 1996, when the practice was banned because the feed was thought to be playing a role in the spread of mad-cow disease.

Slaughterhouses are now left with mountains of animal leftovers that they currently incinerate and pay to dump as landfill.
from Nature



Dolby Nokia

...but also a whole lot of people ranging from Al Gore and Sen. Pat Leahy to Owen Chamberlain, the Nobel laureate, who used to sit between the two drummers because he said it gave him interesting ideas -- that, to [paraphrase] Dylan, you can live outside the law, be honest and get away with it. Or, to quote Phil Lesh, when the Dead were welcomed into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, "Sometimes you don't merely have to endure, you can prevail."
Scott McNally in Salon

The Australian Church was rocked in 1996 by a string of sexual abuse cases by priests - notably against child migrants housed in orphanages. the liquid centers of chocolate cordials.
But the best part was his face. When he drew back
and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost
as though he were a mother still

opened from giving birth, like your mother
must have looked at you,
no matter what happened after�

Ellen Bass
The Missouri Review
Volume 25, Number 1, 2002
in Poetry Today

Marilyn Monroe's prehensile toes


the ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face

Ferlinghetti takes wing

Demand to infiltrate the National Security grouch apparatus!

Poets, union organizers, academics, environmentalists, people of all persuasions, must demand to join, to observe, to participate in,
councils of the military, councils of the police, and organizations
of the right, in order to come into contact with the War Caste.

All poets and writers should
occasionally take on an investigation
that requires close scrutiny of, and contact
with, the police.

Don't be only an image in a dossier.

from the inestimably present tense and liturgically observant Exquisite Corpse....
KeeRAYzy Beatniquarian Ed 'Ahhhhahhhh*SUN*flower' Sanders. And this seamlessly joined, sanded, and finished piece by the master wordworker, Antler.

erowid is evolving transcendently along. these are their spirituality links


outstanding in a field not their own

Rains continued there Sunday, flooding major rivers, he said. In the worst areas, army helicopters dropped food packets to marooned villages.

Nearly 16 million people have been displaced by flooding in Bihar, where 338,000 houses have collapsed, officials said.

Weather officials have forecast more rains in India next week.

everything's reduced to an absurdity, and therefore everything's absurd. but it's not reduced in the real world, only in that strange half-world of television, where most people live now, where the most truth in most people's lives is found. in that world there can be anthrax, or west nile virus, but not both, not without some kind of breakdown. the Catholic Church is a haven for pedophiles therefore everything the Pope says is meaningless. but the Pope is pretty clearly a very decent man. and the Catholic Church, or the Christian Church as it was known until the Reformation, held in its powerful arms much that was pure and holy from ancient days, along with much that was and is evil. both at the same time. like all of us.

100 most endangered monuments in the world, at the moment

face the facts

Hikers had tipped off the sheriff's office

wood thrush declines
but if you never go outside
what difference does it make?

gators doing hard time

When cowards feel safe
they become scornful


william vollman's view stands the test of time

stories of nakedness and truth

SF '06


father's day

the Catholic Church is impossible to describe simply as an organization, as a spiritual discipline, as anything. it is too big, too complex. even the most rigorous definition brings an excess of structure, of complexity.
this is a church whose leaders claim direct descent from Jesus Christ himself. whose leaders have claimed over the years to bring the word of God to earthly presence. it is one of the richest organisations in the world. the Vatican stores art treasures that are worth fantastic amounts of money. it has real estate holdings that are vast and economically important.
and it has a membership of millions. many of them willing to continue to contribute small amounts of money regularly through its parishes and dioceses, with no stipulation on its use. though many of the people contributing are themselves poor and the amounts negligible by themselves. William Randolph Hearst made a sizable fortune in just the same manner. a small amount of money from many many people, collected regularly.
my father was molested by a catholic priest when he was very young. he never told me about it. his brother did, after my father had died, and now his brother has died, and there isn't anyone I know that I could go to for more information about what happened.
according to my uncle my father told my grandfather about the molestation, my grandfather went to the monsignor of the parish, and in the quiet uproar that followed, my grandfather found it expedient to move the family to a different parish, in another part of the city of, I believe, Rochester, New York.
so, essentially, a priest molests a boy, the boy's father complains, the church leans over and breathes hard, and the boy's family is intimidated and uprooted, blown away.
the levels of cynicism and bitter helplessness that this makes inevitable are not hard for me to understand, now. when I was 14 and in a preparatory seminary they would have been.
and I think now how strange it must have felt for him, to see me there, in a cassock, in a boarding school run by priests. but how much sickness he carried, how much he bore and how much he denied, is impossible for me to know.
I was never overtly molested in a sexual way by any of the priests and Christian Brothers I had contact with through 9 years of 'parochial' schooling. but there were many incidents of violence, much of it the result of sexual attraction and repression, and more than a few when I was alone with some black-robed man, and the air was thick with something I didn't recognize then for what it was.
still, I'm not writing this to accuse, or even complain. what I want to explore is the idea, that it's perfectly acceptable in most people's minds for this institution, or any other for that matter, to teach children religious 'truths', no matter how far-fetched, no matter how obviously absurd, no matter how destructively misleading, as long as those truths are not sexually permissive. I'm writing this to say that misleading children about spiritual things is a form of molestation at least as, and often more, violating and damaging than many forms of sexual abuse.
I think most people are themselves so blinded by sexual taboo that they can't see that. it's a form of hypocrisy that is itself one of the cloaks behind which a horrendous amount of sexual molestation has taken place, quietly, for hundreds of years, in the dark corners of catholic churches.
it wasn't until the valiant insistence on political franchise by the so-called gay and lesbian community that it became possible to speak of these things publicly. to speak of any sexual 'abnormality' publicly, including rape and venereal disease.
these hypocritical taboos are still in effect, though not as invulnerably as before. now we have an outcry and a public shame, and, in the context in which they appear, an appropriate outcry, and a deserved shame.
but why is it all right for these same priests to teach children that masturbation is a sin that will cause them to be thrown into hell for all eternity, unless they 'confess' and are absolved, and do 'penance'? why are they allowed to do this to millions of children? and that's still a sexual subject. there are a multitude of other strange and illogical teachings the Catholic Church is free to inflict on any child that comes under its influence.
and not only the Catholic Church. the Mormon Church. The Jehovah's Witnesses. the remarkably named Christian Science, and on and on. the sickness isn't just sexual. and it isn't confined to the Catholic Church, or even to religious organisations for that matter. but it is most visible there.
the rebuttal begins with the concept of religious freedom, but I'm not convinced. obviously a religion that teaches that pedophilia is a way to pass on the experience of divine grace wouldn't be allowed to practice, that being one of the offered causes for the firestorm of Waco, as I recall. and a religion that teaches that human sacrifice is a way to make it rain wouldn't be allowed to practice, in America at least. but these other 'debatable' teachings are permitted, I think, because the process of denying sanction to erroneous teaching would lead uncomfortably close to the very doors of the people to whom the power to grant and deny sanction has been given.
so we live in a time of unbelievably rapid accumulation of scientific knowledge, when the progress of technology approaches the magical, and we are trained to look down on 'savages' who believe in 'tree spirits' and 'ghosts'. we are united in condemning those who use their positions of trust to violate and damage the innocents placed in their charge, as these crimes are made clear to us.
but I think time will show, if we have that time, that there were many other forms of violation, and subtler forms of damage, taking place right before us, with the same invisible protections, our hypocrisy and fear, as so recently protected the pedophile priest.

....I saw her like a shadow on the sky

In the last light, a blur upon the sea,

Then the gale's darkness put the shadow by,

But from one grave that island talked to me;

And, in the midnight, in the breaking storm,

I saw its blackness and a blinking light,

And thought, "So death obscures your gentle form,

So memory strives to make the darkness bright;

And, in that heap of rocks, your body lies,

Part of the island till the planet ends,

My gentle comrade, beautiful and wise,

Part of the crag this bitter surge offends,

While I, who pass, a little obscure thing,

War with this force, and breathe, and am its king."

The Island of Skyros

John Masefield

The Israeli military is building a cemetery for army dogs killed in the line of duty, according to news reports.
Quoting the military weekly "Bamahaneh," the Yediot Ahronot daily said the cemetery, at the main dog corps base in Israel's center, will feature green lawns, flowers and fountains.
An American Jewish leader contributed $30,000 for the project, the paper said, without naming him.

AMMAN (JT) �� A 125-year-old resident of the North Badia died at dawn on Sunday after a long and healthy life, during which he was a soldier in the 1916 Great Arab Revolt and a tribal magistrate.
The Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted Fneikher Diab Al Fawwaz's relatives as saying that he died of natural causes and was enjoying good health and a sharp memory.
During his lifetime, Fawwaz accompanied Prince Faisal I, ex-King of Iraq and brother of the founder of modern Jordan King Abdullah I, to Damascus in 1918 to liberate it from Ottoman rule as part of the Great Arab Revolt, the agency said, quoting one of his 230 grandchildren.
The grandson said Fawwaz served his community by acting as a bedouin judge who solved disputes between his fellow people. He was a practising Muslim, and used to go for frequent walks. His diet consisted mainly of olive oil, ghee made from sheep milk, honey, milk and milk products.
During his life, Fawaz married five wives. Four had died and the fifth was 50 years younger than he was.

Jordan Times
Monday, August 12, 2002

Because it is measuring probabilities, the Bayesian approach considers all the evidence in the email, both good and bad. Words that occur disproportionately rarely in spam (like "though" or "tonight" or "apparently") contribute as much to decreasing the probability as bad words like "unsubscribe" and "opt-in" do to increasing it. So an otherwise innocent email that happens to include the word "sex" is not going to get tagged as spam.....

But these numbers are not misleading, because that is the approach I'm advocating: filter each user's mail based on the spam and nonspam mail he receives. Essentially, each user should have two delete buttons, ordinary delete and delete-as-spam. Anything deleted as spam goes into the spam corpus, and everything else goes into the nonspam corpus.....

If I thought that I could keep up current rates of spam filtering, I would consider this problem solved. But it doesn't mean much to be able to filter out most present-day spam, because spam evolves. Indeed, most antispam techniques so far have been like pesticides that do nothing more than create a new, resistant strain of bugs.

Paul Graham has a plan for spam


recent alligator history

Christ's repair shop

Cornell University�biological control�the science is available

Bill Moyers was here, and he said some pretty disturbing things about your organization.
he also gave this speech on October 16th 2001

the society for environmental journalists

Particularly telling is Steingraber�s description of thalidomide damage in the 1960s. It illustrates graphically that timing can be even more important than dosage, especially since hormone-disrupting chemicals can cause horrible damage at doses well below levels that have been considered safe.
During organogenesis, the fetus develops from the top down and the centre out. What was discovered in 1991 about thalidomide is that when pills were taken between days 35 and 37 of pregnancy, the baby was born with no ears; between days 39 and 41, it had no arms; between days 41 and 43, no uterus; between days 45 and 47, no leg bones; and between 47 and 49, deformed thumbs.
Thalidomide is long gone. But now we have the dirty dozen, the persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the most prominent of which are PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins and furans. In addition, we have newcomers, such as the flame retardant PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers).
POPs and, apparently, PBDEs can wreak havoc during organogenesis, and cause cancer anytime in life.
They all lodge in fat and accumulate over time; biomagnify is the technical word. What this means is that each creature in the food chain has a level of these chemicals 10 to 100 times greater than the creatures on the next rung down.
Some POPs have been banned from production but that�s a very qualified consolation because they hang around for generations after release. And new chemicals with similar characteristics, such as PBDEs, keep being identified.
Faced with this continuing saga of mutilated embryos, the most remarkably sane proposal I�ve heard comes from Kjell Larsson, the Swedish minister of the environment. He�s urging the European Union to ban all chemicals that build up in human tissue over time unless they can be proven absolutely safe.
from a review of Sandra Steingraber's book "Living Downstream"

Spraying toxic pesticides to combat WestNile virus {will} cause more harm than good, exposing the population to a new public health threat through exposure to toxic chemicals. In fact, spraying may even have the paradoxical effect of increasing the mosquito population by affecting its predators.

    Pesticides are Dangerous and Threaten Public Health
  • The toxic pesticides proposed for spraying are harmful to human health, wildlife, and ecosystems. Children and the elderly are most susceptible to the effects of toxic pesticides. In both laboratory studies and occupational settings, the toxic pesticides being used for WNv mosquito control in Massachusetts have been known to cause short- and long-term respiratory problems, immune and nervous system disruption, cancer, and reproductive and learning disorders.

  • The Spraying for Pesticides Has Not Been Proven Effective
  • Adulticiding, or the spraying to kill adult mosquitoes, has not been proven effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that ground and aerial spraying is usually the least effective mosquito control technique.

"We should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals; we should look about and see what other course is open to us."
Rachel Carson Silent Spring, 1962.

first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there's Greenpeace


Also, there is a quite explicit assumption (I know all too well, from personal experience) that Art must be produced only at the cost of great Suffering; that it must never be enjoyable, natural, spontaneous; that the "tragic view of life" is incontestably the only view for intellectual" (to the extent to which one worried critic, whose name I won't mention, wrote of the "strange" rejection by Indian literary scholars and critics of this "tragic view" as it was argued by Westerners at a scholarly convention in India some years ago�they strenuously resisted this missionary attempt, for some unknown reason); that Virginia Woolf's statement concerning the artist's necessary "anguish" is taken as a sane, reasonable remark, rather than the personal, limited, and in my opinion totally irrational remark that it is.

In a scolding review in the New York Times Book Review recently, the professor-critic spoke of his subject (John Gardner) as an "over-achiever." Presumably, from the spiteful point of view of the "underachiever," anyone who seems reasonably sane, reasonably happy, unburdened by a priori assumptions of Original Sin, and more or less happily involved in writing�in contrast to concocting imaginary "musts"�is an "over-achiever" and must be punished. When Virginia Woolf said she liked it that Tolstoy had to labor so much in the writing of War and Peace, she was speaking for all puritans�whether they imagine themselves completely secularized or not�and what she says is absurd. One may as well say that he "likes it that" Berryman did suffer, in order to have created some good poetry. The Puritan is a sadist.
Joyce Carol Oates in The New York Review of Books

Christian sects squabbling over stewardship of the place have never trusted one another with the key.

Why is it such a touchy issue? For starters, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the holiest place in the world for Christians, and it must be shared by various denominations that have competed for power and quarrelled over differing theological points of view and rituals.

Jason Keyser in The Jordan Times

the night cabbie is on the job, and doing it well.

Vachel Lindsay married his wife the day after he met her, and stayed married and in love. the marriage produced two children:

  • Nicholas Cave Lindsay became a teacher and poet who has made his living as a boat builder and carpenter. He has published several volumes of poetry and oral history. Nicholas and his wife, Dubose, live on Edisto Island, off the coast of South Carolina, and they are the parents of ten children. Today Nicholas is recognized as the only authentic interpreter/performer of his father's ideas.
  • Susan Doniphan Lindsay lived in Wales after she married John Russell, son of Bertrand Russell. Susan, like her father, was an artist and a writer. She also was a celebrated dancer, receiving a scholarship with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Susan died November 22, 1990, at the age of 64.
when he was young and single he walked across America using his poetic gift to feed himself, and abiding by these principles:
  • 1. Keep away from the cities.

  • 2. Keep away from the railroads.

  • 3. Have nothing to do with money.

  • 4. Ask for dinner about quarter after eleven.

  • 5. Ask for supper and a night's lodging about quarter to five.

  • 6. Travel alone.

  • 7. Be neat, truthful, civil and on the square.

  • 8. Preach the gospel of beauty.
Vachel wanted to live only by trading his poetry for room and board. All the money Vachel received he spent soon or he sent to his family. He never wanted money in his pockets.

Vachel, with his book Rhymes to be Traded for Bread, started out to experience the world first hand. He wanted to be perfectly honest with whomever he met on his tramps. Following these rules, Lindsay traveled the country making a name for himself.
Vachel Lindsay walked a vast stretch of land in this great country. His three tramps added up to 2800 miles. The first and shortest tramp stretched 600 miles. Vachel started in the state of Florida in 1906 and tramped his way to Kentucky. People began to notice this up-and-coming poet. Two years later after a trip to Europe, Vachel set off on a second walkabout. This time his trail led him 800 miles from New York City to Ohio where he had attended Hiram College. After this he returned home to Springfield, Illinois, and stayed there for a while, but four years of city life were too much, and in 1912 Lindsay prepared to tramp again. This trip was much more publicized. Local newspapers printed his rules and other tramping facts. Lindsay left on a tramp that was as long as his others combined. It was 1400 miles from Springfield to New Mexico, but Lindsay took every step.
    {most of the above is, verbatim, the fine scholarly work of Ms. Huffman's English 437 class at Lanphier High School in Springfield Illinois, Lindsay's hometown.
    other places on the web wherein the works of this much-maligned and misinterpreted herald can be found are:
    • Poet's Corner
      • Lindsay gets spat upon by politically-correct reactionaries, many of them also devoting their virulent scorn for Samuel Clemens' racist masterpiece Huck Finn (that's irony Shawna, bitter irony, I love these men, and they are not racist, but the opposite). Lindsay's case is harder to make because he was so incautious, unlike Twain who seems to have been a genius of non-hypocritical hypocrisy. Lindsay just hit it flat out and stayed at maximum velocity. He wasn't Sandburg, he wasn't, most definitely wasn't, Yeats or Eliot. but his heart was big enough it seemed to have no boundaries, merging with the world he loved, and that love is what people responded to, and still do, or would if they had a chance to hear his voice.}

"My father would be really happy if we actually played Frisbee with his remains," Daniel Headrick said. "He said he wanted to end up in a Frisbee that accidentally lands on someone's roof."

    the father of the modern disk and the originator of Frisbee golf�"Steady Ed" Headrick has died

On January 9 we convened a conference on war crimes in a big hall in Tel-Aviv. Several professors of international law and two senior (retired) army officers were on the panel. One of the speakers was a war hero, air force Colonel Yig'al Shohat, who had been shot down over Egypt and lost a leg. In a voice trembling with emotion, he called upon his comrades, the combat pilots, to refuse to obey illegal orders, such as bombarding civilian neighborhoods.

All the TV and radio stations and the two major newspapers ignored the conference, to which they were invited. It was clear that all of the enlisted media had decided to suppress the issue.

    Uri Avnery in Counterpunch

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's new computer link to Atlanta is 200,000 times faster than the fastest dial-up connections typical of home computers and is expected to spur significant advances in science and economic development in the region and beyond.
The link will connect DOE's ESnet computer network with Internet2, the network of top-tier universities, at speeds up to 20 times faster than the previous ORNL connection. With the new link, a data file the size of the film "Gone With the Wind" could be transmitted in a mere six seconds.
And this is just the beginning, as DOE and ORNL look forward to an ongoing partnership with the nation's research universities. Officials are confident they will see extraordinary progress in computers and high-performance networks for science and engineering.
"The network forms a test bed that will serve as the basis for network research and development that will carry DOE's computational mission forward for the next five to 10 years," Zacharia said. "Soon, we will need to transport petabyte-size files and this network and the research it enables will be crucial."

    from the JAMA:
    Mandatory parental notification for adolescents to obtain prescribed contraceptives is a controversial issue. Recently, legislation that would prohibit prescribed contraceptives for adolescents without parental involvement was introduced in 10 states and the US Congress.

    To determine the effect of mandatory parental notification for prescribed contraceptives on use of sexual health care services by adolescent girls.
    Fifty-nine percent (n = 556) indicated they would stop using all sexual health care services, delay testing or treatment for HIV or other STDs, or discontinue use of specific (but not all) sexual health care services if their parents were informed that they were seeking prescribed contraceptives. Eleven percent indicated they would discontinue or delay STD tests or treatment, even though the survey made it clear that mandatory parental notification would occur only for prescribed contraceptives. Analyses comparing girls of different ages and races and from urban vs rural clinics showed that, although the 17-year-olds and African American girls were significantly less likely to stop using sexual health care services with mandatory parental notification, roughly half of the 17-year-olds (56%) and African American girls (49%) indicated that they would stop using all sexual health care services, delay testing or treatment for HIV or other STDs, or discontinue use of specific (but not all) services with mandatory parental notification.

    {well gee. gee whiz. gee whiz criminently. you think there's maybe a genetic motive? the Grundies maybe trying to maintain control of their gene strain? all that hogwash about patriarchy v. matriarchy obscuring the fact that it's a non-gender thing entirely? that it's the genes themselves, struggling along and seeing their imminent extinction looming, and desperately scrambling for control? sounds so paranoid and weird doesn't it? but it is what I think is going on there. all those seemingly nonsensical taboos and strictures lead to the same hunger. and fear.}

Tobacco companies have used their financial ties with nicotine gum and nicotine patch manufacturers to pressure these firms into weakening their marketing of the nicotine-replacement products, according to a UCSF study of tobacco industry documents.
The examination of financial ties and conflicts of interest revealed that the parent company of one tobacco manufacturer also owned a firm that made nicotine gum, so the company profited both from selling tobacco products and drugs to break the tobacco addiction.
Such financial ties and conflicts of interest should be made public, researchers argue in the August 14 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
"This study shows how the tobacco industry has used its financial might to thwart public health," said Lisa Bero, PhD, UCSF professor of clinical pharmacy and health policy "In today's business climate, the ethics of financial ties should be discussed more openly. We should ask if a company should be able to profit both from selling an addictive product and a drug to treat the addiction." Bero is senior author on the JAMA paper.

    from EurekaAlert

All documents used in the study are now online at UCSF's Legacy Foundation site: Documents can be accessed by typing in the "Bates number" cited in the references of the JAMA paper.

Indian Camp at The Garden of The Gods

Japanese DSL growth graph


"It was a cold night in January. There was an all-night restaurant on Sunset called Ben Franks, so I asked my partner to roll down the window and ask the guy if he was going to Ben Franks� just to get a reaction. And the guy immediately keys on Scott, and he's got an overcoat on, and he's all bundled up, and he starts walking over to the car. It had been raining so much that the sewers in West Hollywood had backed up, and one of the manhole covers had been cordoned off because it was pumping out water. The guy comes over to the squad car, and he's walking right through that. He's fixated on Scott. So we asked him what he was doing. He says, 'I was out for a walk.' And then he says, 'I have something to show you.'"
from an article about face reading by Malcolm Gladwell via Morning News(above)

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia (AP) - An American-financed expedition to find the tomb of legendary conqueror Genghis Khan has stopped work after being accused by a prominent Mongolian politician of desecrating traditional rulers' graves....

Genghis Khan overran much of Asia before his death in 1227, gaining a reputation as a mass murderer. But at home he is the hero of Mongolia - a reminder of an era before this sparsely populated land was dominated by its giant Chinese and Soviet neighbors.
The Guardian UK

{This is maybe pretty representative of the general position of a lot of English thinking.
Parse it. A reputation with whom? The implication is everybody but the local Mongols. Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't hurt to remember there are still places and people in the world who think of the English themselves as not so lily-white on the conscience/culpability thing. Mass murder in the service of empire-building being not quite so fearfully inappropriate. That was, if I'm not entirely misinformed, the big issue with Ghengis. And England in its day. And the United States not all that long ago.}


Those of their towns which are not fenced in are usually more beautiful, as can be seen in this picture of the town of Secota. The houses are farther apart and have gardens (marked E), in which they grow tobacco, called by the natives uppowoc. They also have groves of trees where they hunt deer, and fields where they sow their corn. In the cornfields they set up a little hut on a scaffold where a watchman is stationed (F). He makes a continual noise to keep off birds and beasts which would otherwise soon devour all the corn. They sow their corn a certain distance apart (H), so that one stalk should not choke the next. For the leaves are large like great reed leaves (G).

They also have a large plot (C) where they meet with neighbors to celebrate solemn feasts, and a place (D) where they make merry when the feast is ended. In the round plot (B) they assemble to pray. The large building (A) holds the tombs of the kinds and prices. In the garden on the right (I) they sow pumpkins. There is also a place (K) where they build a fire at feast time, and just outside the town is the river (L) from which they get their water. These people live happily together without envy or greed. They hold their feasts at night, when they make large fires to light them and to show their joy.....

If we should ever fight the inhabitants the results can easily be imagined. We have great advantages over them, for we have disciplined soldiers, strange weapons, devices of all sorts, and especially we have large and small ordnance. So far we found their best defense against us was to turn on the heels and run away.....

crocodile suttee


utopia in NY

MATT SALDIVAR MATT SALDIVAR, an amusing person in a foreign land

Certainly, Putin has hugely reduced environmental regulation and monitoring in Russia, which has had a deadly impact on environmental science. If they decide they want to go back to an authoritarian state, they could do it quickly....
there is always the risk that we will be arrested for investigating pollution from what we did not realise was a military facility. That's a big worry for us, because if we're arrested for researching pollution from a military facility, we could be charged with spying on it. Other scientists charged with spying have spent years in jail even before their cases are tried. The trials are usually secret, and proving your innocence is horribly difficult. We stay out of closed areas....
We found very alarming levels of radiation near Tomsk, where there is a plutonium-producing reactor which, although it may possibly have an undisclosed secret military purpose, is used to generate electricity. We found extremely high radiation levels in the Tom River downstream from the reactor, including traces of plutonium. There was an explosion at the plant in 1993 but many of the isotopes we found were too young to derive from any historical accident.
The Tom joins another river which runs into the Arctic Ocean and we think the pollution levels are high enough to pose an extensive threat to the ocean. Our study suggested that the plant is the world's largest radiological polluter

Andrew Balmford of the University of Cambridge and his colleagues looked at case studies of the economic productivity of ecosystems before and after they were converted to human use. They found that in each case the value of the wild land far outweighed that of its altered counterpart. In fact, the team estimates that global conservation of the natural habitats that remain would have an overall benefit to cost ratio of at least 100 to 1.

"People are hearing a message that nature is being eroded, but it takes a while to sink in, even for me," Balmford remarks. "One third of the world's wild nature has been lost since I was a child and first heard the word 'conservation'--that's what keeps me awake at night."

Dutch teenagers get among the highest scores in the world on international science and mathematics tests. If there are serious problems caused by legalising marijuana, then twenty-plus years of the Dutch experiment has not revealed what they are.

Health officials in Geneva have suppressed the publication of a politically sensitive analysis that confirms what ageing hippies have known for decades: cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco.

According to a document leaked to New Scientist, the analysis concludes not only that the amount of dope smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed dope on the same scale as these legal substances.

The comparison was due to appear in a report on the harmful effects of cannabis published last December by the WHO. But it was ditched at the last minute following a long and intense dispute between WHO officials, the cannabis experts who drafted the report and a group of external advisers.

Her team is now trying to track down exactly what it is about posh neighbourhoods that the birds like. One possibility is that rich people have bigger gardens so there is more habitat surrounding the parks. Also, they may be more inclined to feed the birds or perhaps offer a better menu.
{fewer underfed/feral cats?}

A RECENTLY released USAID funded nutritional assessment indicates that acute and chronic malnutrition rates of Palestinian children under 5 have reached emergency levels, with 22.5 per cent of children suffering moderate or severe acute or chronic malnutrition and 1/5 suffering moderate and/or severe anaemia. The study, designed by Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health, surveyed nutrition levels, availability of food in the market and household consumption, and found that the factors affecting the dangerous rise in malnutrition directly relates to Israeli-imposed movement restrictions and the dismal economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Akira Iritani, at Kinki University in western Japan, who led the research, says the genetically modified pigs contain 20 per cent less saturated fat than normal pigs - and so could be healthier to eat.

"I know genetically-modified food has met with poor public acceptance, but I hope safety tests will be conducted to make people feel like eating the pork for the sake of their health," said Iritani.
from New Scientist
{I had a dream the other night, then the next day on the way to town I thought, maybe we have to get in front of it. it's obviously too late to stop the idea. the reality is, it's here now. the dude made the pig into a spinach pig. it's creepy-ugly, but if we don't get in front of it the parade's going to leave us behind. which isn't exactly what I mean. the Pranksters always seemed to have that working, the impossiblitity of resistance alone doing anything more than burying the home team. you had to use their tools against them. but this is so close to surrender. I think what the dream meant, what the impulse behind the thought was, is to not be afraid of the nightmare world. that we may have to move through that to get anywhere at all. it doesn't mean accepting it, but like any victim, any survivor, there is a kind of acceptance necessary. either that or suicide. it happened, it's happening. don't compromise with it, don't lose sight of the real goal, but don't just stand there and get run over, either.}

Stealth in their cyber gaze.
They scour the land for Saddam.

They poison every river, creek and well.
They darken school and hospital.
They warp the words you spell.

Sweet my child, do not wake now.
Your eyes once soft are hard as rock.
Your hair is white as snow.

M. Shahid Alam

Moebius prick

map1. resources2. accumulate3.
and, tangentially, connections are made to:
california wildflowers from, and laterally over to U of Iowa and its uber-links geo-speakingly. and on, on!, to the thrillingly gazeworthy UCberkeley Earth Science and Map Library which includes Oddens Bookmarks which has whole lifetimes worth of links including Cartographic Curiosities being everything from a map of Gilligan's Island to a Dirty Harry tour of San Francisco. and this map of the night, and Dickens' London, and Joyce's Dublin. and a lot more. an hour and a half later, after boggling at the detail of the night/day map, here's a science-affinity reading list from the same guy, who also did Home Planet

Janis Ian continues to continue

when the future

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Jesus Christ in the Book of John, Chapter 16

And the limits of power saws might be acceptable when the work is constrained by budget or design. The effectiveness of handsaws is limited by skill, and human scale. The advantage of handsaws is wield-ability. To make the most of this wield-ability, the weight and stability of cast iron must be replaced with hand - eye coordination, balance, and physical training. Although these exercises could be finished in a couple of days by someone with highly developed skills and tools, they are intended to be repeated several times over several years. The order they are presented is merely from large to small, so that no wood is wasted, and because you can see things with a big saw that are not so obvious with a fine saw. The goal is for the tools and the material to train the human being. As with all learned abilities, it is only possible to do this by making extensive redundant connections between previously unconnected levels and tissues within one's own being. Relax. Be kind. Give yourself time.

from Mark Cassel Grable's elegant site where his beautiful work can also be found, in addition this calm and living story. and the open arms of these prayers

all proceeding from a wild hair start at fine woodworking

extremely portable chainsaw mill

The lawsuit's �potential effects on Indonesia's economy could,� the letter said, �adversely affect important United States interests�.
But HRW says that two weeks before the State Department wrote to the judge, Jakarta's ambassador in Washington, Soemadi D.M. Brotodiningrat, sent a letter strongly objecting to the lawsuit to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
The letter said the lawsuit �will definitely compromise the serious efforts of the Indonesian government to guarantee the safety of foreign investments, including in particular those from the United States�.
The State Department's letter argued, among other things, that the presence of ExxonMobil in Indonesia would expose its government and local companies to the highest business standards and that the suit could actually harm the cause of human rights there.
Meanwhile, in Aceh itself this week, 10 people were reported killed, among them five whose bodies were found Monday near the ExxonMobil plant. The killings took place as U.S. ret. Gen. Anthony Zinni was in Indonesia with a private group that is promoting peace talks between Jakarta and the Acehnese rebel groups....

implements of another world


In 1981, Todd Dombowski was twelve. He was playing near a tree in his grandmother�s backyard when smoke coiled up from the dirt. As he watched it, the ground beneath him suddenly gave way. Todd grabbed at the tree�s roots, caught hold, and was left dangling above a smoking, 80- foot-deep hole until someone heard his cries for help and came to rescue him.

from Margaret Berry at The Morning News

The disturbing, frightful questions that creep into the mind of anyone driving across the desert to Hajibirgit today are obvious. Who told the US to raid the village? Who told them that the Taliban leadership and the al- Qa'ida leadership were there? Was it, perhaps, Abdul Rahman Khan, the cruel police chief whose men were so quick to pillage the mud-walled homes once the raid was over? For today, Hajibirgit is a virtual ghost town, its village leader dead, most of its houses abandoned. The US raid was worthless. There are scarcely 40 villagers left. They all gathered at the stone grave of Zarguna some days later, to pay their respects to the memory of the little girl. "We are poor people � what can we do?" Mohamedin asked me. I had no reply. President Bush's "war on terror" his struggle of "good against evil" descended on the innocent village of Hajibirgit.

And now Hajibirgit is dead.

"I haven't smoked or drank for 18 months now, though I still take it day-to- day and pray for help. I believe in prayer and exercise. I have walked five miles a day for a year, without missing even one day. Quitting smoking and drinking has taught me the hardest lesson I've ever learned about my own weakness; it has also given me the greatest affection and empathy for those still addicted.

I have spent some time in the past year and a half in cancer wards. I have seen people gasp for air as a suctioning device cleaned their tracheas. I have heard myself wheezing horribly, unable to catch my breath, as a nurse begged me to breathe. I have seen an 18-year-old with throat cancer who had never smoked a single cigarette in his life. (His mother was a chain smoker.)"

{Joe Eszterhas is a screenwriter who is waking up.

Informant4 responds:

like many people my age(.5 c.) I remember a world blurry with smoke. all the adults I knew with the rarest of exceptions were addicted to tobacco, Catholic nuns being the only group I can think of that as a group were non-smokers, everyone else, priests, doctors, especially teachers, smoked, the individual exceptions being a cause for curiosity. "why don't you smoke?" family reunions were thick with gray down to a few feet off the carpet. an adult identifier in a child's mind being the 'brand' they smoked. Chesterfields for my mother, Pall Malls for my aunt, L&M for my uncle, Camels for my father. I had a friend in high school who smoked Tareytons, a rare thing in those Marlboro years. and I was a militant non-smoker then. a pain in the ass for a girlfriend that smoked. nagging my mom. took a hundred dollars from my uncle in a bet I'd smoke by 21.

three of the four adults closest to me as a child have died from smoking-related illness. the one who hasn't, my mother, quit smoking years ago.
I wish Joe Ezterhas well, and admire him for his humility, and his humanity. but my honest response to his piece in the New York Times is to point to another unspoken, more deeply unrecognized, taboo. these are taboos. ask any kid who made any kind of anti-smoking noise in the 50's and early 60's. we were slapped down hard. and even more unquestioned was the prevalence of automobiles and all they brought with them. including the rearranged faces and truncated lives of a lot of kids.
my mom was an x-ray tech so I saw some first-hand trauma without being directly involved in it. a significant bunch of images when you're 10.

I would like to see a white cross at every spot on every road, street, or avenue where someone has died in a car wreck. I guarantee you that within 3 years you wouldn't be able to get little kids in the car to go anywhere. that's who shifted the smoking thing from accepted norm to its retro non-pc, 'white trash', hardcore image. a direct result of the education of the very young. but talking seriously about the addiction to gasoline is a deeper taboo, and the oil/auto idustry is far more impregnable than tobacco companies ever were. so we're up against a powerful enemy here. and it's pretty late in the day. but in the interest of the well-fought battle here's some numbers.

from the World Health Organisation
and the US Bureau of Transportation
and the Federal Highway Administration
and the Center for Disease Control

while it's true that the actual annual mortality stats for smoking are much higher, the injury numbers make it a radically different story. the crippling effects of smoking are far more likely to lead to death. the ratio of injury, non-fatal to fatal numbers for traffic 'crashes' are from about 40 to 1 to about 100 to 1 depending on when and where you are in the world.
everyone you know has either been in a bad or fatal wreck or knows/knew someone who has. the first kneejerk response, a result of media training, is to blame it on 'drunk driving'. a response which is close to what the tobacco companies created with their massively funded propaganda about 'choice'. the idea that people were coerced, manipulated, brainwashed into harming themselves this way strikes too close to the heart of the beast to get a truly open hearing. but it's true.

aside from the dubious categorization of every traffic fatality with measurable blood alcohol in a driver as alcohol-influenced, there is the anti-puritanical but historically obvious fact that alcohol has been part of the human social pharmacolgy for thousands of years, the car a means of transport for less than a hundred. couple that with the unconscionably high fatality rates for bicyclists and pedestrians and the idea that drunk driving is the problem is shown for what it is, a smokescreen. this is without mentioning the air and its poisons, and the unsheltering sky.

automobile 'accidents' are the leading cause of death for children and young adults, ages 1-33.
the leading cause of death.
these children are dying unnecessarily, there is no evolutionary fitness, no biological rightness to it at all. it is virtually random. the leading cause of death for children is not a disease or any other 'natural' cause, but a purely mathematical culling. a decimation.

Wiley Miller steps out of the box


The word 'shaman' is not gender specific. It has no linguistic connection to 'man' or 'woman' and the pluralized 'shamen' or feminist 'shawoman' and 'shamaness' are misinformed at best and political or ignorant at worst. The word shaman describes a very specific role and methodology within Siberian tribal society.

. . .

Siberian tribes used to feed Amanita Muscaria mushrooms to their reindeer and would then drink the reindeer's urine to effect a hallucinogenic state. Some people claim this is where the 'flying reindeer' concept came from. Notice how Santa's suit resembles an Amanita Muscaria mushroom. South and Central American tribes were unique in that it was their main methodology of journeying...
from Barbelith via the self-indulgently cynical and adolescently angsty Mordant Carnival who nonetheless rendered the seizure below.

online seizure blogged

SUVolution's inevitable end game

cat and girl are instant famous now, deservedly so
tenacious investigative determination from whence proceeded to moderntales which plops us right into the middle of the mercantile dilemma which is where we find young genius John Barber slaving away at his task and among so many brilliant young minds this same crux must press inevitably, and the answer is I don't know. but the porn/narcotic model of dangling a little for free, and then unexpectedly, that is, with no warning, springing the price tag on the unwary peruser is probably not going to work. it makes resentment in me, but then when it's free I'm not driven to kick down either, but then I'm living on around $125 a month after rent before groceries. so what to do? art vs. food vs. kissing ass. it seems as though the truth which is at the heart of artistic toil leads generally to the same ledge above the same abyss-i.e.: it has to change. all of it. and artists will always be there a little in front of the rest. and suffering for it. but you must continue. there isn't any other way.

ZZZ on a point from cDc(above) point toward this digital sundial

not to bother this person, or subject him to ridicule, but...
pace the unattributed Paul Simon quote, which he may feel is so universally known it needs no attribution, he is a teacher. he goes forth to battle one of his students as plagiarist with vituperative and cold-hearted resolve, possibly not the most mentoring attitude to take withal.
and wonderfully, astonishingly, here he uses first-person pronouns a stunning 65 times in eight paragraphs.
more than one teacher has weighed in on this subject. the idea being of course to avoid this self-reference as indulgent and feeble. one hopes Mr. Scott Rogers will learn, and communicate to the young minds in his charge what he has learned.

from a search for Louis Daguerre's painting The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel

which led also to the richly-rewarding Daguerreian Society

Torrential rains in Europe inundated Austrian villages Thursday, swept away tourists on Russia's Black Sea coast, flooded London's subway system and battered vineyards and olive groves in northern Italy.

Austria deployed 350 soldiers, thousands of firefighters and scores of Red Cross volunteers to help evacuate people from low-lying areas threatened by rising floodwaters in Upper Austria and the northern Waldviertel area of Lower Austria.
Near the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, an unknown number of tourists and campers was swept away in floods.
In northern Italy, hail and heavy rain has battered much of the region, damaging wine grapes, tobacco crops and olive groves. Nearly 3 inches of rain fell earlier in the week in Brescia, near Milan � more than the average monthly rainfall for all of August.

In addition, Japan's second largest city of Yokohama said it will send information on each of its 3.5 million residents only with their permission.

"In order to protect our residents' privacy, we decided not to participate in the resident register network system until the (data protection law) is enacted," said Nobuo Hoshino, mayor of Kokubunji, in a statement on Aug. 2. Other local government heads who said they will not participate stated similar reasons.
{Japan's national ID attempt. notice the autonomous cohesion and independent strength of the municipal body there. for all that 70's and 80's stereotype of Japanese conformist/insect hive-mindedness, it looks like they're less sheeplike than we are, in some areas anyway.}

Nutritionists have winced for years at the Mars chocolate bars being covered in batter and deep fried in fish and chip (french fries) shops in Scotland - particularly in Glasgow. But now a four-star restaurant in Edinburgh has put its own version of deep-fried Mars Bars on the menu as a delicacy - and it is proving to be popular. The chef at Channings Restaurant had been challenged to come up with a novel dessert for a VIP Burns Supper earlier this year. He covers the chocolate bar in filot pastry and then fries it like a spring roll, serving it with a sorbet flavoured with Irn-Bru or whisky. Nobody has counted the number of calories in each of his creations but everyone who tries it says it tastes delicious!
via rampant scotland

which led to this scots/gaelic page

and in turn to Scottish words illustrated

Operation Dumbo Drop

MPAA Rating: PG
The army escorts an elephant to a village during the Vietnam War.

SEX/NUDITY 1 - Male villagers are bare-chested with knee-length loincloths that show the sides of their thighs.
VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - Gunfire in a couple of scenes, fistfights, reckless plane flying. A man is attacked by a man with a knife, a village is held at gunpoint, a man almost falls over a railing into a river many feet below, a boy is shown with a bloody nose and lip after being captured and interrogated, and a boat explodes. Two people and an elephant almost fall out of a plane, an elephant is shot (we hear the shots and see the corpse), an elephant runs wild through a village causing people to run away and scream in fear and a plane is fired upon.
PROFANITY 2 - A handful of mild obscenities.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - War, sacrifice and responsibility, the relationship between animals and humans, clash of cultures.
MESSAGE - Sometimes doing a good deed is worth any risk; you must take responsibility for what you cause to happen -- even inadvertently -- and you must try to remedy the situation.

"Gale Norton is the greatest threat to America's wildlife and natural heritage today," Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen says. "Our last remaining wild land is quickly vanishing, and we desperately need a steward who will passionately implement and enforce laws protecting those places and the wildlife that depends on them for survival. Instead, our Interior Secretary is determined to undermine those laws for her friends in industry."

As Colorado attorney general, she was hostile to environmental protection and took a head-in-the-sand approach to polluters. She stood by, for instance, as cyanide leaks from the Summitville gold mine killed wildlife in 17 miles of the Alamosa River. As a lawyer, she represented the oil industry, loggers and miners. She was a senior attorney at the arch-conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation under its founder, the bombastic Watt.

Norton has declined to oppose a single lawsuit by home builders and other developers attacking federal protections for critical wildlife habitat. As the Los Angeles Times put it in a March 26 editorial: "Ranchers, home builders and others in favor of pell-mell development are blasting away at the federal Endangered Species Act like hunters on a rampage through a zoo. And the people whom President Bush appointed to defend the act are either cowering or cheering them on.


following Zina Kaye's point to Bill Seaman led to Digital Traces

girlhacker pointed toward Teller vis the Costello/Brodsky collaborative, and I went there and was glad I did.

ZK: You mean the Anti-Destination Society, which is in fact a construct my father invented. He says that the Anti-Destination Society changes all the traffic lights to red so that he can't get anywhere in a hurry. A few years ago I brought it back into being and made it into a proper organization. My ideal was that everyone can become a secret agent. You can do what you like with it, just use the name. I was looking at what happened when the Cold War was supposedly declared 'over'. MI5, MI6, the CIA etc had to reconstruct themselves. They had, and still have to, re-establish themselves economically and as a power, by creating new enemies. The enemy can be the people, activists, perceived communists, anarchists, anybody with chewing gum, etc....

...Surveillance art deals with public spaces more than private spaces but there might not necessarily be any viewer. It might be narcissism which perpetuates some form of surveillance, normalizing it, like that young woman with a web-cam permanently switched on in her bedroom. She writes rubbish to go with it, but there is a certain kind of audience that can't seem to pull away...

Zina Kaye interviewed at old boys network in their reading room from a point via Bruce Sterling(see above)

these guys are doing something amazing but I can't get all the way in to hear what it is.

maybe I need this

vectored this book thru ftrain and joe bob briggs

NYRB Joyce Carol Oates

and now for something completely

Douglas Adams joined force with Terry Jones to create a CD-ROM called
Starship Titanic

Western Front

memory hole preserves the brief and cosmically witless and yet somehow still terrifyingly amusing speechmaking of the disenfranchised James 'Beam Me Up' Traficant

ftrain witlinks

mighty girl

{rather than blurbing everything, the idea is if it's here w/out comment it's good, recommended, something I want to go back to}

sara hepola


Indigenous peoples' and farmers' organizations from the Andes and the Amazon gathered at the offices of the Ecological Forum in Lima, Peru on 28 June 2002 to formally denounce US patents on maca, the high-altitude Andean plant (of the Cruciferae [mustard] family) that has been grown for centuries by indigenous peoples in the Puna highlands of Peru, both as a staple food crop and for medicinal purposes. Today, maca-based products are commonly promoted as natural enhancers of sexual function and fertility, and demand for maca is growing in the US, Europe and Japan. While maca exports have the potential to create new markets and income for Peruvian farmers, recent US patents related to maca may actually foreclose opportunity for the true innovators of the Andean crop.

again via the valiant and exciting etcgroup

Dr. West explains that if nanoparticles are present in the bloodstream, proteins in the blood will attach to the surface of the nanoparticles in an attempt to "wrap them up," like beans in a tortilla. When the proteins envelop the nanoparticles, the proteins� shape as well as their function may change. Parcels of nanoparticles in the bloodstream may be useful for some medical applications, such as drug delivery, but the changes in the proteins could trigger other unintended and dangerous effects, such as blood clotting. Equally alarming, West sees a need to examine whether nanoparticles absorbed into bacteria enhance the ability of other materials to piggyback their way in and cause damage. The nanomaterial itself may be benign, but, in the same way that proteins will bind to nanomaterials in the bloodstream, toxins, such as pesticides, could bind with nanoparticles in water, facilitating their transport.
It may be that the quality that makes nanoparticles so attractive to researchers trying to develop better drug-delivery systems�namely, their ability to enter the bloodstream and to cross the blood-brain barrier, as well as their ability to be taken up by individual cells�will turn out to be the same quality that makes them dangerous. The potential downside to the mobility of nanoparticles, including the possibility of "bad" particles joining forces with "good" nanoparticles, should be investigated with the utmost urgency, as companies race to find ways to bring us into intimate contact with human-made nanoparticles...

via etcgroup via some techpimp at the foresight institute's newsgroup-like thing via Kurzweil's newsletter

Here we report the discovery of six hominid specimens from Chad, central Africa, 2,500 km from the East African Rift Valley. The fossils include a nearly complete cranium and fragmentary lower jaws. The associated fauna suggest the fossils are between 6 and 7 million years old. The fossils display a unique mosaic of primitive and derived characters, and constitute a new genus and species of hominid. The distance from the Rift Valley, and the great antiquity of the fossils, suggest that the earliest members of the hominid clade were more widely distributed than has been thought, and that the divergence between the human and chimpanzee lineages was earlier than indicated by most molecular studies.
nature 11 July 2002


"Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was banned from classrooms in Midland, Michigan in 1980, due to its portrayal of the Jewish character Shylock. It has been similarly banned in the past in Buffalo and Manchester, NY. Shakespeare's plays have also often been "cleansed" of crude words and phrases. Thomas Bowdler's efforts in his 1818 "Family Shakespeare" gave rise to the word "bowdlerize".
Bowdlerism still exists today, but nowadays cleaning up sexual references is waning in popularity, and cleaning up racial references is growing in popularity. Case in point: This version of The Story of Dr. Dolittle, from the 1960s, was silently "cleaned up" from the 1920 original, in which Polynesia the parrot occasionally used some impolite terms to refer to blacks. In 1988, after the book had fallen from favor enough to have dropped out of print, the publishers issued a new edition that removed nearly all references to race from the book (and cut out a plotline involving Prince Bumpo's desire to become white). In contrast, the Newbery-winning Voyages of Dr. Dolittle has been available in its original form (impolite words and all) for a long time, in part because the Newbery awarders forbade their medal to be displayed on altered texts."

�from Banned Books Online. a well-written, calmly indignant, and strategically essential site, which led to this:

"The process of suppressing information -of people in power attempting to hide images, sounds and words- must itself be viewed in perspective. The organizing principles of The File Room archive recognize acts of censorship in relation to their social settings, political movements, religious beliefs, economic conditions, cultural expressions and/or personal identities. The means of censorship are understood in equally broad terms and techniques, from behind-the-scenes structural censorship that regulates and controls access to the means of production; to obvious physical restrictions of single instances; to subtle, pervasive, and often invisible psychological methods."

�from The File Room

which in turn led to the legal saga of Pen/Newman's Own freedom prize recipient CISSY LACKS-a Missouri high school Creative Writing teacher fired for "failure to censor her students' creative expression."

and to artist Laura Ferguson and her beautiful work
as well as to this Gutenberg of John Milton's Aeropagitica which if anyone's paying attention is the uplifting word whose noun form follows that of Dionysius, author of The Cloud Of Unknowing

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