Archive | April 3, 2013
Via Root Force:
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A series of recently released studies make it clear that wind power is not going to save us—not from global warming, not from high extinction rates, and not from the system of high-energy-consumption industrial exploitation that is killing the planet.
Let’s start with the most damning findings: even the most large-scale shift to wind power cannot slow greenhouse gas emissions enough to have any positive effect on the climate, although it may manage to make things worse. Why?
A study published in Nature Climate Change in September found that although hypothetically there is enough power in the earth’s winds to sustain current levels of energy consumption, in practice you could never harvest enough energy from wind to affect the climate:
Turbines create drag, or resistance, which removes momentum from the winds and tends to slow them. As the number of wind turbines increases, the amount of energy that is generated increases.
Early in 2012, Redefine proprietor Vivian Hua and I decided to do a series of interviews focusing on musicians who drew from esoteric spiritual pursuits for inspiration. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but what we ran into is that we don’t actually know of, or personally know too many of these musicians, so it didn’t get very far. The other thing we ran into was that a few people agreed to talk to us and then completely bailed when they saw the weird shit we were going to ask them. What the fuck are you going to do?
Fortunately for us, we did manage to chat with Brooklyn’s Prince Rama, whose Taraka Larson used to intern with Paul Laffoley strangely enough, and they pretty much knocked the ball out of the park. It was also another one of those odd witchery situations, because I talked to them after their show, but the recording was mysteriously inaudible.… Read the rest
Early Christianity had a classic “habit” of retro-fitting Pagan seasonal celebrations with quasi-literalist Catholic theology, and this has resulted in some truly surreal mashups of cultural traditions.
For example, ritual symbols of fertility and renewal that were intended to honor the Goddess of Spring (who was known as Eostre, Ostare, or Eastur), originally held immanent seasonal meaning. However, these same symbols were eventually stapled haphazardly into a culture-collage of rabbits, eggs, grass, and an undead savior returning from the grave for your soul.
Add contemporary Capitalist opportunism to the mix, and the result is one of the most disturbing manifestations of Christo-pagan-consumerism: the Shopping Mall Easter Bunny. Enthroned like a springtime Santa in a pastel cardboard holiday-land of cellophane grass littered with jellybean droppings, this crypto-pookah has been terrifying generations of children for years.
Some of the other seasonal holy-day mashups retained at least some coolness (halloween costumes & Christmas gifts).… Read the rest
The BBC on those who believe that radio and tape recording devices offer a window to the realm of the dead:
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In 1969, a mysterious middle-aged Latvian doctor turned up in Gerrards Cross with a large collection of tape recordings…he had established contact with Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and many other deceased 20th Century statesmen. The recordings – 72,000 of them – contained their voices. His name was Konstantin Raudive, and he called his technique Electronic Voice Projection, or EVP.
It wasn’t real-time interactive communication. You asked your questions, and then left the tape running, recording silence. But listening back, through the mush and static, you could sometimes just about make out people speaking.
Nowadays, EVP is a standard tool of ghost hunters worldwide. There are hundreds of internet EVP forums and many serious and well-educated people who see it as proof positive that the dead are trying to talk to us.
George Carlin used to riff about oxymorons like “jumbo shrimp,” “genuine imitation,” “political science” and “military intelligence.” But humor is of the gallows sort when we consider the absurdity and tragedy of the world’s most important peace prize honoring the world’s top war maker.
This week, a challenge has begun with the launch of a petition urging the Norwegian Nobel Committee to revoke Obama’s Peace Prize. By midnight of the first day, nearly 10,000 people had signed. The online petition simply tells the Nobel committee: “I urge you to rescind the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Barack Obama.”
Many signers have added their own comments. Here are some samples:
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“It is with very great regret that I sign this petition, but I feel it is morally the right thing to do.
Via Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi on crime and punishment under California’s Three Strikes law:
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Suddenly, a pair of socks caught his eye. He grabbed them and slipped them into a shopping bag. “No, they were ordinary white socks,” he says, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. “Didn’t even have any stripes.”
Wilkerson never made it out of the store. At the exit, he was, shall we say, overenthusiastically apprehended by two security officers. Thanks to a brand-new, get-tough-on-crime state law, Wilkerson would soon be sentenced to life in prison for stealing a pair of plain white tube socks worth $2.50. Because Wilkerson had two prior convictions, both dating back to 1981, the shoplifting charge counted as a third strike against him. He was sentenced to 25 years to life, meaning that his first chance for a parole hearing would be in 25 years.
Wilkerson is unlucky, but he’s hardly alone.
Olympus Has Fallen is the latest in the popular “learn to fear thy enemy even more than you did before” category, as director Antoine Fuqua visualizes a story that can’t be more topical with the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) occupied by a North Korean terrorist fanatic and his barbaric followers.
The President is held hostage, the building is trashed, and its defenses shredded while our hero, a disgraced former Presidential guard, becomes the savior despite the mounting body count including a massacre of civilians and military responders as well as the near capture of top secret nuclear codes.
Of course, at the last moment, Mr. America fights off the incompetent Pentagon bureaucracy, repels the invaders and singlehandedly saves the President’s son, before rescuing the commander in chief and averting the war to end all wars.… Read the rest
Are there still ways to keep secrets online? Final Boss Form writes:
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A subcultural style [cannot] be “owned”. The only way to ensure that your aesthetic is not going to become used by others is to never share it with anyone. Another approach is to protect your aesthetic with physical violence (see: gang colors). Otherwise, once you allow your presence to be seen, it can be consumed.
Most communities protect their culture through some form of obfuscation. Some of this practice is incredible.
• Tum bl r an d LJ u sers sep ar ate w ords the ough o dd spacin g in o rde r to fo ol sea rc heng i nes.
• Chinese users hide political messages in image attachments to seemingly benign posts on Weibo.
• General Petraeus communicated solely through draft mode.
• 4chan scares away the faint of heart with porn.
• More technically astute groups communicate through obscure messaging systems.