Columbus-ing Around: Columbus, The Borg, and the Great White Devil

The BorgA challenging new post over at Modern Mythology asks what we are actually talking about, when we talk about race:

History is portrayed as a science. And yet popular history remains as much subject to emotion as reason. History may be consciously rewritten; much more often, it simply evolves. … The present is a consequence of the past. But the past is an invention of the present. (Empires Apart.)

This concept of whiteness as function rather than people or culture is presented surprisingly clearly in the character of the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation. They are a perfect metaphor for whiteness not as race but as force of hegemonic appropriation, as you can see in the first episode they appear in, “Q-Who?”

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Why are Americans Flocking to Fight for Israel?

Abby Martin breaks down recent developments in Gaza, including the targeted shooting of Al Jazeera’s office in the violence stricken Gaza Strip. She also comments on the mysterious case of two Americans who have died during Operation Protective Edge while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, highlighting how their case as foreign nationals fighting for Israel is not unique considering at least 5,500 “lone” soldiers serve in the IDF.

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The Boom Festival: Awakening to Our Psychedelic Futures

Via David Nickles of The Nexian (The DMT-Nexus’ E-zine).

David Nickles will be giving a talk entitled “Turn On, Tune In, Rise Up: DMT, Globalization, and Radical Psychedelic Engagement” in Liminal Village at Boom 2014.

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BOOM Festival

Boom is a shining example of the thriving psychedelic resurgence. The very notion of coming together in an autonomous space specifically designed to facilitate transformative experiences reflects a contemporary psychedelic ethos that is spreading worldwide and taking shape in exciting ways. A rich modern history—as well as deep ties to prehistoric practices—has brought this unprecedented resurgence to its thrilling present position, and the potential futures on the horizon are the stuff of dreams.

Humans have been surrounded by psychoactive plants and have explored altered states of consciousness since the dawn of history. The rediscovery and popularization of some of these plants, alongside modern synthesized compounds, played a significant role, both as cause and effect, in the social turmoil of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with governments, militaries, and countercultural psychonauts exploring the depth and breadth of psychedelic experiences.… Read the rest

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Greenhouse: Browser App Shows Who’s Funding Politicians

Example

Example

I’ve already downloaded it myself.

via Alternet:

While it’s easy and almost safe to assume that most of today’s politicians take large donations from dubious corporate interests—given the fact that we live in an oligarchy and all—inquiring minds still want to keep track of who’s taking money from big oil, big pharma, big defense contractors, you name it.

Seattle teenager Nick Rubin recently made keeping track of the money trail a whole lot easier with his creation  Greenhouse, a browser plug-in that operates under the motto “Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.” (Get it? Green House?) His website describes Greenhouse like this: “A free browser extension for Chrome Firefox, and Safari that exposes the role money plays in Congress. Displays on any web page detailed campaign contribution data for every Senator and Representative, including total amount received and breakdown by industry and by size of donation.

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The Comforts of Blame

Vladimir_Putin_-_2006

Attribution: Kremlin.ru

Sure, Putin is a bad guy, but is he the head of the Illuminati, responsible for all the problems in the world – is any one person even capable of such?

Binoy Kampmark writes at CounterPunch:

Investigations tend to be called upon to do just that. Causes are identified; actors are located.  The investigation being demanded by all countries that lost citizens on Malaysian flight MH17 in Ukraine was a perfectly logical, and legal demand.  The language of pre-emption, however, was never far away, begging the question on whether an investigation was even needed.

From the start, the rhetoric surrounding the shooting down of MH17 has been scripted as a matter of moral urgency and outrage.  Culprits have been sought with zeal, and the language of a crime site used to explain the radius within which the remains of the aircraft fell.  Someone pulled the trigger, as much as that can be said.

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Epigenetic Tie to Neuropsychiatric Disorders Found

2D structure of neurotransmitter dopamine. Created with BKChem and Extensible SVG Optimiser

2D structure of neurotransmitter dopamine. Created with BKChem and Extensible SVG Optimiser

Could this discovery lead to the end of “treating” mental illness through the endless prescribing of psychiatric drugs?

Via ScienceDaily:

Dysfunction in dopamine signaling profoundly changes the activity level of about 2,000 genes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and may be an underlying cause of certain complex neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, according to UC Irvine scientists.

This epigenetic alteration of gene activity in brain cells that receive this neurotransmitter showed for the first time that dopamine deficiencies can affect a variety of behavioral and physiological functions regulated in the prefrontal cortex.

The study, led by Emiliana Borrelli, a UCI professor of microbiology & molecular genetics, appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

“Our work presents new leads to understanding neuropsychiatric disorders,” Borrelli said. “Genes previously linked to schizophrenia seem to be dependent on the controlled release of dopamine at specific locations in the brain.

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A Modest Urn for Modest People

Who doesn’t love a good Big Lebowski reference?

Modest-Urns

via Oh Gizmo!:

These Modest Urns by Archie McPhee are a novelty or joke at best. I think. They’re McPhee’s “most modestly priced receptacle” which can hold up to 62.8 cubic inches of ashes or whatever else you want to put into it. I say “ashes” because they’re being marketed as uber-affordable urns for your ashes, your pet’s ashes, or for whoever else’s ashes. For all intents and purposes, it should be able to get the job done.

They even have a modestly priced receptacle for pets.

modest_urn_5

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Lilith Returns: Party At The World’s End

Party At The World's End“We are on the side of man, of life and of the individual. Therefore we are against religion, morality and government. Therefore our name is Lucifer.

We are on the side of freedom, of love, of joy and laughter and divine drunkenness. Therefore our name is Babalon.

Sometimes we move openly, sometimes in silence and in secret. Night and day are one to us, calm and storm, seasons and the cycles of man, all these things are one, for we are at the roots. Supplicant we stand before the Powers of Life and Death, and are heard of these powers and avail. Our way is the secret way, the unknown direction. Ours is the way of the serpent in the underbrush, our knowledge is in the eyes of goats and of women.” -Jack Parsons

Ten years in the making, “Party At The World’s End,” is a counter-cultural urban fantasy is coming in September from Disinfo alum James Curcio.Read the rest

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The Newseum Publishes the Front Pages of Newspapers From Over 800 Countries Daily

The Newseum is based in Washington DC and publishes the front page of newspapers from over 800 countries daily.

via Newseum.org:

Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays these front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form, and some may contain material that is deemed objectionable to some visitors. Discretion is advised.

From their About Us page:

Newseum Blends High-Tech With Historical
One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum’s 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The Newseum Institute serves as a forum for First Amendment study, exploration and education. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum.

The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment.

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