Archive | April 9, 2013

Short Film: ‘Premier Automne’

Abel lives in the winter and Apolline lives in the summer. Isolated in their “natures”, they never met each other. They are not even supposed to meet. So when Abel crosses the border and discovers Apolline, curiosity is overwhelming. Their encounter soon becomes more complicated than they could imagine. Both of them will have to learn compromise to protect the other…

Premier Automne (2013) from Carlos De Carvalho on Vimeo.

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Slab City, CA: A Tourist Spot You May Have Missed

The Good German’s post on hobos and riding the rails reminded me of something I found last year. I had been watching a video about ridin’ the rails when my roommate mentioned this place to me: Slab City, USA:

The winter home for many ‘bago bums and trailer tramps, the slabs evidently heat up too much in the high summer. But each fall this becomes the destination of many former wage slaves who have slipped the shackles of the prized 40 hour work week. Just don’t mind the sounds of occasional explosions on the other side of the hill.

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Oops! Hip Cosmetic and Fashion Companies Sponsored “Guantanamo” Themed Party at Coachella

Coachella: cool bands, good times…Guantanamo?

Flaunt magazine’s “New Guantanamo” party has a few people shaking their heads, including its one-time sponsors: cosmetics manufacturers Smashbox and fashionable jean designers True Religion.  The party invite features images of scantily-clad women carrying assault rifles and the promise of “Pleasurable Torture” sponsored by the two companies.

Since the story broke on website Refinery 29, (Warning: Nudity. Not safe for prudes and busybodies – like this guy) the two companies have been scrambling to distance themselves from the resulting media blow-out. Smashbox’s representatives say that the company is pulling out, claiming that they didn’t know about the event’s controversial theme. True Religion has pulled out as well.

At the time of this writing, Flaunt is going forward with their party, but a statement given to website Buzzfeed hints that might be considering some changes to the event:

“In its 15-year history, Flaunt has not shied away from controversy or provocation.

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Maori Dance Ritual Offends Danish MP During Trip to New Zealand

A member of Denmark’s parliament has expressed offense and revulsion over the welcome she was given by New Zealand officials on a recent visit to that country. Marie Krarup described her arrival at a New Zealand military installation:

When we came to a naval base, we were not received with a handshake or salute by uniformed men as usual. No, we were welcomed with a Maori dance ritual, with a half-naked man in grass skirt, shouting and screaming in Maori. It’s a mystery to me how the poor naval officers could endure both the ceremony and the surroundings.

Denmark does not maintain an embassy in New Zealand, however, the Danish ambassador in Australia quickly moved to assuage the sudden controversy that erupted over Krarup’s remark by explaining the New Zealanders are doing the best they can.

These events as well as the specific event during the welcome ceremony referred to by Mrs Krarup reflects for me the sincere wish of the New Zealand hosts to bid me welcome in the best possible way, namely through a Maori ceremony of welcome that has been a tradition for generations.

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Florida Man Kills Girlfriend As Astrology-Motivated ‘Sacrifice’

The dark side of zodiac compatibility tests, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

A Lauderhill man told a bizarre tale of needing to find a victim who had a Taurus zodiac sign when he described the fatal Easter Sunday stabbing of his live-in girlfriend to police, authorities said Monday.

Darrius Johnson, 22, stabbed Monica Gooden, 20, multiple times early Sunday at their residence, according to his statements recorded in a Lauderhill police complaint affidavit.

Johnson told police the victim had control over his spirit and that the couple had fought over his wanting a relative to live with them, the affidavit states. Police said that Johnson also told them he “sacrificed” the victim for his and her betterment, and that he knew he had to sacrifice someone with a Taurus astrological sign, the report states.

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Londoners Take To The Streets To Celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s Death

Beginning in the afternoon, until riot police dispersed the crowd after midnight, the center of the South London district of Brixton apparently became enveloped by partying yesterday. Brixton Buzz has an extensive collection of photos:

A substantial crowd gathered in Windrush Square in Brixton last night on the news that Margaret Thatcher had died. By 6pm there was already a large crowd filling the square. It got a bit silly by the end, and riot police were called in.

 

 … Read the rest

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3D-Printed Guns Get Better

Flickr user perpetualplum (CC)

As both gun nuts and control nuts violently yell at each other in Washington DC and in the mainstream media, the very-real gradient of rational opinion-holders debate reasonable alternatives. Bans notwithstanding, as low as 6% oppose simple background checks. Inventors are talking about the feasibility of smart gun technology. There’s been talk for ages of numbering bullet casings. Most importantly, we’re actually starting to reevaluate our archaic mental health infrastructure and attitudes toward the nature of killers and perpetrators of gun violence. Plenty of intelligent minds are reminding us that, as with terrorism, your odds of getting gunned down are still pretty low. But best of all, we’re looking at the societal problems on the whole, and smaller DIY solutions.

The rational people, I mean.

There are still those who see any move to regulate any aspect of guns as total despotism. And there are those who think that big, bad (um… inanimate) guns are lurking around every corner, waiting to strike.… Read the rest

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Mass Death Of Bees Accelerated Greatly In 2012

Perhaps genetically engineering poison into our food supply was a short-sighted idea, hints the New York Times:

A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.

A conclusive explanation so far has escaped scientists studying the ailment, colony collapse disorder, since it first surfaced around 2005. But beekeepers and some researchers say there is growing evidence that a powerful new class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, incorporated into the plants themselves, could be an important factor.

The European Union has proposed to ban the use of neonicotinoids on crops frequented by bees. Some researchers have concluded that neonicotinoids caused extensive die-offs in Germany and France.

The Agriculture Department says a quarter of the American diet, from apples to cherries to watermelons to onions, depends on pollination by honeybees.

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DisinfoCast: Got Any Questions for Daniele Bolelli?

Writer/martial artist/college professor Daniele Bolelli will be returning to the DisinfoCast this week to talk about his new book Create Your Own Religion: A How-To Book Without Instructions.

This will be Daniele’s third appearance on the DisinfoCast, (1, 2)but you might have also heard him on The Joe Rogan Experience (1, 2, 3), The Duncan Trussell Family Hour (1, 2, 3), The Adam Carolla Show (1) or his own podcast: The Drunken Taoist. He’s a funny guy with a distinctly skewed take on religion. No starry-eyed Sky Pilot here: In his own words, “Believe it or don’t believe it, do whatever you want. It’s all bullshit.”

Anyway, I’ll be interviewing Daniele on Thursday (April 11, 2013 at 6:30 PM CST) and I’d love to ask him some of your questions. Leave them in the comments section below.… Read the rest

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Disgraced New York City Councilman’s Pagan Rituals Exposed

Queens Republican Dan Halloran is at the center of a scandal involving an attempt to influence the New York City mayoral race with bribes.

Bizarrely, he may also be the most influential pagan politician in city history, with the press now carping on the odder beliefs and activities of his faith, Theodism, including a time when he was stripped, tied to a tree, and whipped as punishment for improper actions toward a female slave. The New York Post attempts to wrap its head around it all:

Halloran – arrested Tuesday as the suspected bag man in state Sen. Malcolm Smith’s alleged plot to buy his way onto the mayoral ticket — has been publicly flogged as part of his Theodish punishments.

Halloran converted in the 1980s from Catholicism to the pre-Christian Germanic religion, whose believers drink mead or whiskey from horns and dress like characters in a Renaissance fair. He learned about their tough disciplinary code when he committed an undisclosed act against a female “thrall” — or probationary servant.

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