Saturday, February 05, 2011
Click here for an interesting video take on the future of publishing supplied by the lovely Hermit. (But stick with it to the end.)
Posted by Mick at 2/05/2011 09:46:00 AM
Friday, February 04, 2011
While fools still snigger at the idea of climate change.
SAN FRANCISCO - February 3 - The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that the extent of Arctic sea ice for January 2011 was the lowest ever in the satellite record for that month. In January 2011, Arctic sea-ice extent averaged just 5.23 million square miles (13.55 million square kilometers), the lowest January ice extent since satellite records began in 1979. Air temperatures over much of the Arctic were 4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 6 degrees Celsius) above normal in January. Meanwhile, earlier this week several members of Congress moved to block or delay action to slow global warming. "The evidence mounts daily that climate change is here now, yet some members of Congress are digging their heads deeper into the sands of denial, preferring to preserve polluters' profits over the future of our planet," said Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute. Polar bears, ice seals, walruses and other Arctic animals rely on the sea ice for survival. Arctic sea ice also plays a critical role in regulating our global climate by reflecting sunlight and keeping the polar regions cool; it has declined dramatically over the past 30 years. (Click here for more)
Meanwhile, in an email exchange about the Australian super-cyclone, the always-on-the-money Aeswiren neatly nutshells what’s happening…
“I guess this mega-stormage stuff is a taste of what the warmer world will be like. Searing hot summers-- as in Russia last year, and occasional enormous storms that threaten civilization. I read that the winter's are getting wilder, in the N. Hemi, because the arctic is generally a bit warmer. This seems to mean the circumpolar jet stream is weakening and wanders off course, allowing arctic air masses to slop off the pole and slide down into temperate zones, with resulting snow and havoc.”
Click here for Tiny Tim (Really. Do yourself a favor.)
The secret word is Bad
Posted by Mick at 2/04/2011 11:21:00 AM
One thing I will not miss from my life in the USA is the wanton-ignorant, arrogant stupidity of Bill O’Reilly. Click here. (Clip supplied by MrMR)
Posted by Mick at 2/04/2011 11:13:00 AM
Thursday, February 03, 2011
I hadn’t heard of the Toynbee tiles until the excellent Wendy alerted me to this odd phenomenon. (And the guy who won an award at Sundance for a documentary about them.) Wikipedia tells us…
“The Toynbee tiles (also called Toynbee plaques) are messages of mysterious origin found embedded in asphalt in about two dozen major cities in the United States and four South American capitals. Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license plate, but sometimes considerably larger. They contain some variation on the following inscription…
IN Kubrick's 2001
ON PLANET JUPITER
Some of the more elaborate tiles also feature cryptic political statements or exhort readers to create and install similar tiles of their own. The material used for making the tiles was long a mystery, but evidence has emerged that they may be primarily made of layers of linoleum and asphalt crack-filling compound.Articles about the tiles began appearing in the mid-1990s, though references may have started to appear in the mid-1980s.” (Click here for more)
Click here for more about the documentary.
The secret word is Inexplicable
Posted by Mick at 2/03/2011 12:55:00 PM
Yeah, yeah, it’s maybe the ego in overdrive. But I hadn’t seen this particular photo before and it does have a certain retro-drama. It shows me rousing the rabble at a rally to spring the three editors of Oz -- Felix Dennis, Jim Anderson, and Richard Neville -- from jail while they appealed their conviction. The image surfaced when our pals at Dangerous Minds posted my 1967 video interview with John Peel that went up on Doc40 a couple of weeks ago. I guess I was in full revolutionary delinquent mode, and what follows is an example of the writing style that was a part of it and showed up on Rock's Back Pages this week. Maybe I shouldn’t have been quite so hard on Germaine, but, at the time, she had royally and recently slagged me off in Oz and payback is always a temptation.
“THE ISLE of Wight Festival, to me, seemed a practical demonstration of the way the wealth of the underground is at present distributed: a V.I.P. enclosure surrounded by fences & protected by guards; kids walking into the medical tent in a state of collapse because they hadn't eaten for 2 days; illustrations of a culture which, although paying sanctimonious lip service to the concepts of love & equality, manifests an inequality of rank & money as brutal as that of Czarist Russia. It is a society where a man can be paid £500 a minute for playing a guitar, yet protests that people need to be fed are shouted down: "You're spoiling a groovy scene: shut your mouth"! The kids who, in desperation, lead others in an attempt to pressure the 'haves' into giving something to the 'have-nots', are insulted & ridiculed from the stage, and condemned in print. Human ethics are used like a substitute for cash in the bank, while love is peddled as a commodity more blatantly by Rikki Farr than by any whore in history. Woman's Liberationist Germaine Greer stays in the backstage enclosure & trades small-talk with rock business flunkies, and wonders why the kids don't liberate themselves. Meanwhile, the kids who do are being slugged with iron bars by those same guards who protect her privileged enclosure.”
Posted by Mick at 2/03/2011 12:39:00 PM
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
No, they haven’t shut down Doc40. I guess we’re not that much of a menace. They have, however – as our pal Bernard informs us – shut down a site in Spain. It would seem to indicate that, if our corporate overlords feel sufficiently threatened, they can leave us blind, deaf, and cut off.
"US authorities have seized the domain of the hugely popular sports streaming and P2P download site Rojadirecta. The site, which is one of the most visited sites on the Internet, lost its .org domain which now redirects to a notice from DOJ/ICE. Rojadirecta is an unusual target because two courts in Spain have ruled that the site operates legally, and other than the .org domain the site has no links to the US. Rojadirecta is known as one of the world’s major Internet sports broadcast indexes. The site links to broadcasts of many popular soccer matches plus other sporting events including NBA, MLB, NFL, NPB, IPL. The site has well over a million visitors a day, and is listed among the 100 most popular sites in Spain in terms of traffic. This morning, however, visitors were surprised by a warning from US authorities. Continuing the previous “Operation in Our Sites” actions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had seized Rojadirecta’s .org domain. Rojadirecta is an unusual target for several reasons, not least because the site has been declared legal twice by Spanish courts. The site’s owners have previously fought a three year legal battle in Spain, which they won, but a single seizure warrant from US authorities has made this victory pointless.” (Click here for more)
The secret word is Isolated
Posted by Mick at 2/02/2011 02:02:00 PM
When our good buddy UK Steve sent me this story from The Irish Times, I could only respond that it “would seem to confirm what The Rolling Stones told us all those years ago. ‘What a drag it is getting old.’ (And maybe a salutary warning about taking your benefits and trying to make bit extra on the side as a rock star.)”
“American-born Proby (72) enjoyed British success in the 1960s with a string of hits including Somewhere and Maria from West Side Story and enhanced his fame by being banned from the BBC after splitting his skin-tight trousers during a notorious concert in Luton. Magistrates in Worcester ruled that Proby, who denies the charges, should be committed to stand trial at the city's crown court, the Press Association reported. Proby spoke only to confirm his address, date of birth and his real name -- James Marcus Smith -- during a five-minute appearance before two magistrates. Proby, who lives in Twyford, near Evesham, in Worcestershire, faces a total of nine charges over claims for pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit. Among the charges are two counts of failing to declare savings and investments, and four of failing to inform the authorities of a change in circumstances. He was granted unconditional bail to reappear at Worcester Magistrates' Court for a formal committal hearing on March 30th."
Click here for Proby
Posted by Mick at 2/02/2011 01:47:00 PM
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
While the future of Egypt hangs in the balance, I hardly know enough about what's happening on the ground to comment, but I am impressed by the numbers of young women in the heart of the protests and passionately hope that they are not crushed by an Islamic fundamentalist takeover.
Click here for Bob
The secret word is Change
Posted by Mick at 2/01/2011 09:56:00 AM
This note was written by William Burroughs to Brion Gysin in 1977 when Uncle Bill was venerable but impoverished icon. Later efficient management and a functioning business plan would turn WSB into a venerable and prosperous brand. From where I’m sitting, it seems like a really good idea.
Posted by Mick at 2/01/2011 09:51:00 AM
Of course, being a brand isn’t all peaches and credit. I was at Uncle Bill’s 70th birthday party in February 1984 at the New York Limelight nightclub where he was photographed with the “up and coming” young Madonna. The reality of the situation was that Burroughs was positioned by his minders at a table and a line formed of people who wanted to have their picture taken with him. The movement was brisk and Bill looked tired, kind of shell-shocked, and glad of the joint. I was even pressured by some friends to take part in the process myself. I found it all profoundly embarrassing and never did know what happened to the picture.
Click here for Burroughs on Ginsberg
Posted by Mick at 2/01/2011 09:48:00 AM
Monday, January 31, 2011
Within hours of coming home to Great Britain, I encountered a Spitfire. Admittedly it was on TV rather than airborne reality, but World War II aircraft are not too common a sight on US TV unless you’re a total devotee of the History Channel and even there, over the last few years, the focus has largely moved from it’s famous obsession with Adolf Hitler to more modern marvels like logging, ice trucking, and the UFOs of Area 51.
I must make it clear that I have absolutely nothing against the Spitfire. The grand creation of R. J. Mitchell is an all time gorgeous piece of machinery, and may also have saved my generation from a life of goose-stepping fascism. What has taken a certain degree of cultural adaptation is that Brit media appears constantly to be celebrating the finest hours of the nation’s history of which the Spitfire and the Battle of Britain are splendidly visual examples. And this Anglo media love affair with the past is by no means limited to World War II or the 20th century. It seems to encompass everything from the Napoleonic Wars to the Norman Conquest, and frequently stars Sean Bean. Tonight, in the wee hours, I’ll be watching an episode of dramatic bio-series of Oswald Mosley. It’s all jolly good fun, an maybe even faux-educational, but I am left with the distinct feeling that Britain is now a culture that believes it has completed its date with destiny, and retired to a bed of its once-epic former laurels.
Again, I feel a disclaimer coming on. I also have nothing against destiny, history, laurels, or even – under certain circumstances – retirement. I have even taken part in a few forty-years-ago-today BBC shows about the counter culture which I guess are a part of exactly what I’m talking about. My problem is re-acclimating to an environment where history runs long and deep, after dwelling for so long in Southern California where all but a very eccentric few are wholly unbothered and unaware by and of anything that happened prior to a week ago last Tuesday. (Once met a Hollywood movie studio executive who lacked a basic grasp of the films of Clint Eastwood.) I have a feeling I will return to this theme more than once.
John Barry – RIP
Click here for Bond theme
The secret word is Memory
Posted by Mick at 1/31/2011 12:50:00 PM
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Yes, neighbours. I’m solidly with Homer Simpson. Mmmmmm, donuts. Fuel of the wastrel. The donut breakfast made me what I am today, and don’t even talk about what it did for the Police Department. Also a well favored hangover cure. But it hardly needs any art-cute ceramic receptacle. (I’m also not too keen on rainbow sprinkles.) I don’t know who thought this was smart, but, as far as I’m concerned, donuts are eaten from the bag, and coffee comes in a paper Dixie cup (preferably with a blue on white Greek motif if you’re in New York City.) All else is superfluous.
Click here for White Stripes
Click here for Inkspots
The secret word is Joe
Posted by Mick at 1/30/2011 11:01:00 AM