April 2012

“Too Much Magic” With James Howard Kunstler | The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs: Episode 07

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Social critic and peak oil provocateur James Howard Kunstler is on The DisinfoCast to discuss his upcoming book Too Much Magic: Technology, Wishful Thinking and the Fate of the Nation. Kunstler believes that the end of cheap, readily available oil is very near, and with it the collapse of the industrial society as we know it. According to Kunstler, alternative energy sources and other technological solutions are just wishful thinking, and the future that awaits us may very well resemble our past.





At the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Kimmel “has one real question” for the President (in attendance), at 21:50 in the video below.

Best quote:

“Mr. President, I hope you don’t think I’m out of line here, but marijuana is something that real people care about. The fact that you believe Speaker Boehner when he tells you he still has control of his party leads me to believe that you must be smoking some crazy great weed yourself.”







This could be a very important skill, pay attention kids! By John D. Sutter for CNN:

If you take Adam Harvey’s advice, here’s what you might wanna wear to a party this weekend: A funny hat, asymmetrical glasses, a tuft of hair that dangles off your nose bridge and, most likely, a black-and-white triangle taped to your cheekbone. Optional: Cubic makeup patterns all around your eyes.

All of these otherworldly fashion accessories – which could leave a person looking kind of like an opulent villain from “The Hunger Games” – have a singular goal: to stop your face from being detected by cameras and computers. Called CV Dazzle (short for “computer vision dazzle;” more on the name later), Harvey’s project is a provocative and largely theoretical response to the rise of surveillance cameras on street corners and face-detecting technology that’s been incorporated into social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr.

If you employ these techniques, Harvey, 30, hopes computers won’t even know…






stopsignIs it art? Is it vandalism? The city of San Diego is putting the kibosh on one of the most extensive yarn-bombing campaigns in history, in which 100 stop signs were turned into flowers via knitware. San Diego CityBeat relays a message from the artist:

I started planting flowers in earnest starting March 1st. The 100th one was planted last night. But today I got an email from Bill Harris who works for the city. I had expected it, and was considering an obstinate stance. After a 15 minute phone call, I decided to work with them, and plan an ending.

He started the call with “Congratulations on making it to 100.” He explained how people within the city had gone to great lengths to find a way to keep them. They even contacted other cities to find out what they did. “Even Berkeley takes them down,” he told me. The problem is that the stop sign is a traffic sign.



Cannabis CafeVia BBC News:

A judge in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from entering cannabis cafes.

While soft drugs are tolerated, there is growing concern at tourists visiting just for drugs, and foreign dealers selling illegally at home.

The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.

A group of cafe owners argued at The Hague district court that the ban was discriminatory against foreigners. Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new “weed pass”, which is also being debated. There are about 700 coffee shops, as they are called, in the Netherlands. The cultivation and sale of soft drugs through them is decriminalised, although not legal; police generally tolerate possession of up to five grams of cannabis.


Paul J. Zak, author of The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, asks “Could a single molecule—one chemical substance—lie at the very center of our moral lives?” in the Wall Street Journal:

Research that I have done over the past decade suggests that a chemical messenger called oxytocin accounts for why some people give freely of themselves and others are coldhearted louts, why some people cheat and steal and others you can trust with your life, why some husbands are more faithful than others, and why women tend to be nicer and more generous than men. In our blood and in the brain, oxytocin appears to be the chemical elixir that creates bonds of trust not just in our intimate relationships but also in our business dealings, in politics and in society at large.

Known primarily as a female reproductive hormone, oxytocin controls contractions during labor…



Via ScienceDaily: Depending on the weather, wind turbines can face whispering breezes or gale-force gusts. Such variable conditions make extracting the maximum power from the turbines a tricky control problem, but a…