Negativland Takes On Religion

Negativland, a longtime favorite band of many a disinfonaut, is back. Their new album (out in October, advance orders through negativland.com), IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD, finds the group tackling their biggest subject ever: why humans believe in God. Millennia-in-development, this ambitious and densely-crafted double CD is packaged inside an actual Holy Bible which has been appropriately repurposed into a “found” art object.

IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD intends to entertain, inform, and provoke. On the CDs, Negativland mixes found music, found sound, found dialogue, guest personalities and original electronic noises into a compelling and thoughtful musical essay that looks at monotheism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, neuroscience, suicide bombers, 9/11, colas, war, shaved chimps, and the all-important role played by the human brain in our beliefs. Reading the attached Bible is optional. Here’s the album trailer

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A Toilet Seat with a Fan That Sucks Out Bad Odors

And here's a woman with her pants still up, sitting on the Fresh Air Plus toilet seat.

And here’s a woman with her pants still up, sitting on the Fresh Air Plus toilet seat. She does look relaxed, though.

No need to carry matches around anymore! (Because we all do that, right? Right?!)

via CNet:

We are in a golden age for toilet technology. Recent years have given us highly entertaining innovations like toilet landing lights, home toilet wave-to-flush kits, and Bluetooth-equipped toilets that can be flushed using an app. There is no stopping the forward progress of toilet tech, as evidenced by Fresh Air Plus, a newcomer to the lavatory scene.

Fresh Air Plus is a Kickstarter project that replaces your old, lifeless toilet seat with a seat that has a built-in exhaust fan designed to capture and safely vent unwelcome odors outside your house. The Kickstarter promotional video describes the issue as “stinky, gross, and sometimes socially awkward.” The seat has a sensor that detects when someone is sitting down.

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“Limits to Growth” was right: New research shows we’re nearing collapse

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[Edit: One of our awesome Facebook followers, David Waggle Jr., alerted us to the fact that The Limits to Growth is actually available for free download via Dartmouth College Library. Enjoy!]

via The Guardian:

The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.

 

It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

 

Limits to Growth was commissioned by a think tank called the Club of Rome. Researchers working out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including husband-and-wife team Donella and Dennis Meadows, built a computer model to track the world’s economy and environment.

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Sirius Business: Parallel Man & Dinoworld

At this point, my research in Siriusian influence on Earth doesn’t pay the bills, so I need to supplement this work with other writing. One of these gigs is reviewing genre media for a variety of outlets. Usually, this involves films or books, but recently a comic book landed on my assignment blotter. The comic book is Parallel Man, published by Future Dude, and concerns a dimension jumping revolutionary out to save, not one, but many Earths spread throughout branching dimensions.

Parallel Man #1 Dinoworld

Parallel Man #1 Cover

The comic itself features great art by Christopher Jones and Zac Atkinson. The book was written by publisher Jeffrey Morris and Fredrick Haugen. I’m not writing a review in this column, though. What struck me about this story was that a significant portion of the world occurs on a very well-imagined planet that is inhabited by evolved reptilian humanoids. Interestingly, the creators take this world beyond the usual stock details of past pulp stories and Sleestaks of Land of the Lost.… Read the rest

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Do Gut Bacteria Rule Our Minds? In an Ecosystem within Us, Microbes Evolved to Sway Food Choices

This image illustrates the relationship between gut bacteria and unhealthy eating. Credit: Courtesy of UC San Francisco

This image illustrates the relationship between gut bacteria and unhealthy eating. Credit: Courtesy of UC San Francisco

via ScienceDaily:

It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us — which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold — may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

In an article published this week in the journal BioEssays, researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico concluded from a review of the recent scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way.

Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance. But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem — our digestive tracts — they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions, according to senior author Athena Aktipis, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF.

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Darpa signs on for Pentagon’s “Space Plane”

DARPA_Logo

DARPA is about to make a reusable spacecraft for the Pentagon. “It would be a spacecraft that most resembles what people see in the movies,” former Air Force command officer Brian Weeden said.

10 launches in as many days, autonomous, carries mid sized satellite payload.

What do you think the payload will be for the Pentagon? Something to win the hearts and minds with? Democracy or Freedom? Nikes? Can’t wait to find out what you think.

via The Daily Caller:

Aerospace and defense contractor Northrop Grumman recently unveiled its concept for the Pentagon’s new space plane, the XS-1 — an unmanned drone-shuttle capable of carrying small and medium-sized satellites into orbit cheaply and autonomously.

“It would be a spacecraft that most resembles what people see in the movies,” former Air Force Space Command Officer Brian Weeden told War is Boring about the concept craft, which is being headed up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

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British Jihadis to Undergo Forced De-Radicalization

Although the British government’s motives may be honorable, deprogramming anyone sounds scarily close to brainwashing. Breitbart has the story:

Britain’s governing coalition has agreed that potential Jihadis who return to Britain from abroad should be forced to undergo a de-radicalisation programme when they arrive back in the UK.

Iraqi insurgents with guns.JPG

Photo: Menendj (CC)

The proposal is one of a series of measures agreed by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats who form Britain’s coalition government. Also proposed is a new law to force airlines to share full passenger lists with police and security agencies, and plans to temporarily suspend to passports of UK citizens fighting for ISIS, preventing them from coming home.

According to the Sun, talks over the measures were “tense” and going on well into the night last night, ahead of the Prime Minister’s emergency statement in the House of Commons this afternoon.

The proposals come after the UK’s offical terror threat level was raised last week to severe, meaning that an attack is “highly likely”.

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Neanderthals Created Cave Art

A new discovery at Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar suggests that Neanderthals were, contrary to their poor reputation, cave artists (and created the hashtag). Report via Chicago Tribune:

Belying their reputation as the dumb cousins of early modern humans, Neanderthals created cave art, an activity regarded as a major cognitive step in the evolution of humankind, scientists reported Monday in a paper describing the first discovery of artwork by this extinct species.

Gorham's Cave.jpg

Gorham’s Cave. Photo by Gibmetal77 (CC)

The discovery is “a major contribution to the redefinition of our perception of Neanderthal culture,” said prehistorian William Rendu of the French National Center for Scientific Research, who was not involved in the work. “It is a new and even stronger evidence of the Neanderthal capacity for developing complex symbolic thought” and “abstract expression,” abilities long believed exclusive to early modern humans.

In recent years researchers have discovered that Neanderthals buried their dead, adorned themselves with black and red pigments, wore shell and feather jewelry and cared for the elderly and infirm, all evidence of complex thought.

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