Saturday, March 19, 2011
“Its head looks like a turkey's, its body resembles a chicken's -- now scientists can explain why one of the poultry world's most curious specimens has developed such a distinctive look. The Transylvanian naked neck chicken -- once dubbed a Churkey or a Turken because of its hybrid appearance -- has developed its defining feature because of a complex genetic mutation. Researchers at The Roslin Institute at The University of Edinburgh found that a vitamin A-derived substance produced around the bird's neck enhanced the effects of the genetic mutation. This causes a protein -- BMP12 -- to be produced, suppressing feather growth and causing the bird to have an outstanding bald neck. The findings could help poultry production in hot countries, including in the developing world, because chickens with naked necks are much better equipped to withstand the heat.” Click here for more.
Click here for Louis Jordan
The secret word is Cluck
Jet Harris – RIP
Click here for Jet
Posted by Mick at 3/19/2011 09:44:00 AM
Friday, March 18, 2011
As we’ve seen with a vengeance over the last few days, disinformation is the name of the 21st century game, but now the deceptions come closer to where we live. This item was sent by our pal Bernard about the same time as I found it myself. I’m glad we’re all thinking alike.
“The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda. A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world. The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives. The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same. The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries". (Click here for more)
Click here for Syd Barrett
The secret word is Fabricated
Posted by Mick at 3/18/2011 08:15:00 AM
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I was going to say that I don’t know what to think, but the truth is that I suspect I’m avoiding thinking. An anonymous Fukushima worker is reported as saying he “was not afraid to die, that that was his job.” In Tokyo, our friend Yukiko now sounds desperate. “Re the nuclear plants, it's hopeless.” In China crowds line up to buy iodine salt in anticipation of a real or imagined radioactive cloud. In California, our pal Elf Hellion tells how the panic is more sophisticated and supplies of potassium iodide have been bought up to protect against jet-steam born radiation. My own TV observation is that the helicopters dumping seawater on the reactor seems more like a last-stand gesture than a solution, and a small voice notes that the Japanese mega-quake may not be the only seismic event along the ring of fire. The commentary I’ve just been reading all seems to be slightly smug, Green anti-nuke “I told you so” which may be very true, but somehow seems inappropriate in midst of such massive grief, anxiety, and actual misery. So much of this talk – especially in the US – is also so very national-centric. “Can it happen here?” Am I the only one who sees Fukushima as the trigger point of what must be considered a global calamity?
Click here for Johnny Cash
The secret word is Overawed
Posted by Mick at 3/17/2011 09:46:00 AM
Posted by Mick at 3/17/2011 09:41:00 AM
Regular readers may remember how indie-movie director Kris Hipps is working on a film of the old Tijuana Bible song “Memphis Psychosis. She has now reached the stage of having a complete video for the recorded track. Click here and viddy well, my droogs.
Posted by Mick at 3/17/2011 09:39:00 AM
At the end of last year, Easy Action records released the CD Portobello Shuffle, which is both a tribute to the songs of The Deviants and The Pink Fairies (yeah, really) and also a benefit record for our ailing pal Boss Goodman. There’s now a sampler video. Click here.
Posted by Mick at 3/17/2011 09:36:00 AM
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Departing from the usual Doc40 fun format, the following are some lengthy quotes from our good friend Yukiko-san in Tokyo which I present in the hope that it will bring a different perspective from much of the nonsense coming out of the TV.
“I have a niece, a biologist working in an academic district called Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, which is located just south of Fukushima Prefecture and the nuclear plant stands. Her husband is also a biologist working at the same pharmaceutical company as his wife. Hearing the very first news about the damage of the atomic plant, the two scientists decided to evacuate from the city, jumped in the car, and headed for Tokyo since they were "unable to believe TEPCO (the operator of the plant) and the government that no radiation leak had been detected".
Our normally calm correspondent flashes angrily at the mendacity of bureaucrats.
”To make this picture grimmer, watching the Q&A on TV between the press and NISA (Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency), which is supposed to be "the regulatory body for safety of nuclear energy and industrial activities" (from their website), I could perfectly understand the frustration of the press. Usually, my evaluation of the Japanese press is very poor and I've never liked those press guys, but this time only, I totally understood their irritation toward NISA: It was simply mind-boggling seeing HOW INCAPABLE AND STUPID BUREAUCRATIC SHIT THESE PEOPLE ARE and I was just dumbstruck with the fact that the safety of the nuclear power control in this country is on the hands of these MORONS, one of whom didn't even know the accurate count on the measured data.
”Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures have a serious electricity shortage, so TEPCO has rolled out a massive blackout program that includes suspension of a good part of the major train/subway lines in greater Tokyo, already causing significant confusion at every station this morning for. The electricity shutdown is supposed to continue for another few months, dividing the city into areas to be blacked out in turn, but nobody including TEPCO can tell for sure in well advance whether the power cut because the necessity depends on the actual demand/supply balance at a given time. People have already begun to take many measures to save electricity so that power can be directed to hospitals and generators for the patients who live on artificial respirators at home.
”People began to rush to supermarkets to stock water, food, etc. and the store shelves are rapidly going empty although I saw no panic at least in my area. And all the above is happening along with the constant aftershocks, which we've been feeling all day and night".
Yukiko has also translated a blogpost by a Japanese business woman, who happened to be in the Ibaraki Prefecture when the earthquake hit.
”I stayed at the station for about four hours until the sun set, when one of the train staff came out and began to announce, "No train will be operated today. The government has just advised us to recommend that you give up going home today and look for a place to stay tonight". The only people who were left at the station were those like myself who were unfamiliar with the area and had no place to stay overnight. It was too cold and windy to stay outdoors, so I asked a station attendant the direction toward hotels and began to walk. Fortunately, the first hotel I passed allowed me to stay in the lobby for free because the rooms were already full.
”Late at night, many employees of the hotel began to set up a table to provide us with food, a rice ball and hot miso soup. I was so grateful to the hotel staff and equally amazed by the refugees who were extremely calm. Mobile phones didn't work at all, so I stood in a queue for the phone in the lobby. At 3:00AM, I could finally tell my family that I was safe. As I hung up, the coin I had inserted came back - NTT (the biggest telephone company in Japan) had already made all phone calls free in the area.
”Japan is really a miracle. Under such a catastrophe, nothing like that happens. When the hotel was distributing food in the lobby to the obviously hungry refugees, some rice balls remained after everyone got the first round, but nobody would walk up there to get the second, probably for others who may come in later. The extensive queue where I stood to take the emergency bus service to the nearby station, everyone was very calm. Somewhere along the way, the queue split spontaneously into two lines; one was for those who wanted to get a seat even if waiting for the next bus, and the other was for the people who wanted to go back as soon as possible even if it meant standing.
”We really should be proud. In the past 24 hours, I saw nobody that was angry, shouting, or complaining in the wake of this unprecedented disaster. The only exception was a drunken dude who was challenging a station employee at Ueno. This country is really a miracle, and I sincerely hope other miracles will happen at this most difficult time.
Posted by Mick at 3/16/2011 07:54:00 AM
Monday, March 14, 2011
Despite everything, the world continues in its infinite absurdity
HONG KONG (AP) - Censors have cleared Bob Dylan to make his China debut despite worries that the country's authoritarian government would block his planned shows given the American folk icon's antiestablishment reputation. China's Ministry of Culture said in a notice posted on its website Thursday that Dylan will be allowed to perform in Beijing between March 30 and April 12. The website of the Dylan fan magazine ISIS reported earlier that Dylan was scheduled to perform in Beijing on April 6 and Shanghai on April 8, although Dylan's official website doesn't list those tour dates. The Chinese Ministry of Culture did not immediately post approval for the Shanghai show. A press official for the ministry declined comment on whether approval was imminent, asking a reporter to keep checking the ministry's website for updates. He would only give his surname as Zhou. The Chinese ticketing website MyPiao.com has already listed both the expected Beijing and Shanghai shows, but hasn't started accepting orders. The approval notice requires Dylan to stick to the program vetted by ministry officials, but didn't give specifics. Dylan's publicist at CBS Records didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The 69-year-old American legend was expected to meet resistance from Chinese censors considering his association with U.S. protest movements in the 1960s. Songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin" were inspirations for the American civil rights and anti-war movements. This is Dylan's second attempt to perform in China in recent years. He was originally scheduled to play Beijing and Shanghai last year, but the dates were canceled. Mainland music fans blamed a financial dispute with Dylan's Taiwanese promoter. The promoter denied the allegations, saying the flash point was a demand from the Ministry of Culture for Dylan to sign a pledge promising "not to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" during his performances. (Click here for more)
Click here for The Platters
The secret word is Wall
Posted by Mick at 3/14/2011 12:31:00 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2011
After the week that was I need a drink. In fact, I need a drink probably followed by another drink. In fact, I need a series of drinks that will leave me Pink Floyd numb for the rest of the entire godforsaken day. In fact, I would happily remove myself from the real world until well into Monday and only emerge after an extremely protracted survey of the condition of the world through the inebriate periscope.
Click here for Jim
The secret word is Out
Owsley Stanley -- RIP
Posted by Mick at 3/13/2011 11:44:00 AM