Archive | December 12, 2013

Accelerated Christian Education: Aiding and Abetting Child Abusers?

picture-14Jonny Scaramanga writes at Leaving Fundamentalism:

If you’ve been following my series on Christian reform homes, you’ll have noticed the name Lester Roloff popping up. It is, as Abigail McWilliam puts it, the common thread uniting reports of abuse from ‘troubled teen’ homes across America. Everything comes back to Roloff. Almost all of the homes we’ve discussed were founded by him or one of his former employees and associates, and all of them run on the model of Roloff’s original Rebekah Home.

If you haven’t been following, the reform homes have a pattern: They are single-sex boarding schools on compounds surrounded by chain-link fences topped with barbed wire. Punishments are extreme: extended periods of solitary confinement; kneeling on hard surfaces for hours, sometimes with pencils under your knees; and whippings and beatings of the cruelest kind.

And they all use Accelerated Christian Education. In return, ACE produces educational materials specifically praising the convicted felon and his reform homes.

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Scott McCloud’s Four Types of Artists

artquadHere’s a fun scheme of classifying different types of artists. The scheme is Scott McCloud’s, mapped onto Ken Wilber’s quadrants. Can you think of any more examples?

From FC Student Blog:

In his book, Making Comics, Scott McCloud created a chart categorizing artists according to four intentions — what artists are most interested in, in creating art. His categories are:

  • Formalist — The Formalist is interested in examining the boundaries of an art form, stretching them, exploring what the form is capable of. The Formalist is interested in experimenting, turning the form upside-down and inside-out, moving in new, bold, untried directions, inventing and innovating. Formalists are the cutting edge, the avant-garde, the ones willing to break tradition and established ways. Strict narrative or craft is not as important as trying something new and unexpected, playing with and breaking traditional concepts, getting to the heart of understanding what art itself is.
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Sangreal, The Cosmic Grail: Denizens of the Deep – Part 8

Sangreal_Denizens_Deep_Cover_2“It’s this celestial bucket brigade, he notes, that allows a select group of comets to grace the skies above Earth, flaunting their dusty tails as they deliver key organic compounds into our atmosphere.”

Via SacredGeometryInternational.com

Previous articles in this series archived here (1-8)

Someone once said comets are like cats — they have tails and they do what they want. As of this writing (late Nov. 2013) it appears that Comet Ison has not survived its close passage around the Sun intact and will not, therefore, provide the hoped for celestial display that might inspire folks other than astronomers to take a deeper interest in cosmic events. This is not to say that important knowledge will not be gleaned from its demise, but it is disappointing nonetheless. What we have seen is a comet in the final stages of its life cycle, disintegrating into a stream of cosmic dust and boulders.… Read the rest

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Algorave: Dance Music Created By Coding Algorithms

algoraveCan all digitally-created music really just be thought of as humans manipulating algorithms? If so, why not get to the heart of things? A burgeoning, extremely nerdy subculture called algorave revolves around generating, altering, and combining electronic sound loops via on-the-spot coding, using languages such as SuperCollider, with the coding projected on a large screen. Could this be the worst new form of music, or the most honest? Wikipedia writes:
An algorave is an event where people dance to music generated from algorithms, often using live coding techniques. Algoraves can include a range of styles, including a complex form of minimal techno, and has been described as a meeting point of hacker philosophy, geek culture, and clubbing. The first self-proclaimed "algorave" was held as a warmup concert for the SuperCollider Symposium 2012. The first North American algorave took place in Hamilton, Ontario during the artcrawl of 9 August 2013.
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Washington’s Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist and Never Did

Al-Qa’ida Training ManualThomas Mullen writes for the Washington Times Communities that “History is repeating itself. Islamic fundamentalism is the new communism. The difference is that the U.S. is no longer capable of squandering its resources for decades whacking moles. It’s time to start playing the game smart, before America loses it for good.”:

For twelve years, the Bush and Obama Administrations have promoted a narrative about the War on Terror. It has changed slightly in superficial ways, as when President Obama gave it a new name, but the crux of the narrative has not changed. The United States is fighting a war against a worldwide terrorist organization called al-Qaeda, formerly headed by über-terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Americans are led to believe that this organization has a single mission against the United States and is directed by a hierarchy of terrorist leaders, all reporting up to a senior command located somewhere in Afghanistan. Many of the lawmakers and cabinet personnel who promote this narrative likely believe it themselves, at least to some degree.

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Rasta Zombie: Director Mitch Williamsmith On Legalization and the Undead

Rasta ZombieFull disclosure: I’m not a fan of zombies.  My favorite zombie film is still Night of the Living Dead and I only made it through about twenty minutes of the first episode of The Walking Dead before getting bored and switching to some cartoons.

I really didn’t think there was too much ground left to cover for stories about the undead.  We’ve seen proverbs of survival, criticism of consumer culture, and allegorical tales of human beings facing the personification of the primal lizard brain.

But zombies versus pot?  Scary.

Writer and director Mitch Williamsmith, along with producer Shaun Kennedy and cinematographer Brian Kennedy, are working on their new film, Rasta Zombie, which will combine marijuana activism, zombie apocalypse, and every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard.

But how can a zombie film successfully tackle a theme like marijuana legalization?  I cornered Williamsmith and demanded answers.

ISLA: Tell me about your plans for the film.Read the rest

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Bye-Bye Darwin: The Hidden Rhythm Of Evolution

"A Venerable Orang-outang", a caricature of Charles Darwin as an ape published in The Hornet, a satirical magazine.[disinfo ed.'s note: The original essay was written in Spanish. The author acknowledges that the English translation is not perfect. He also mentions in response to comments that "as can be seen in the Spanish version, the Bibliography refers to the books 'mentioned' in the text, not the books 'used' over 33 years of research. My aim is NOT to write an academic paper. If in doubt please consult the original text in Spanish on "byebyedarwin.blogspot.com".]
ABSTRACT:

This article surprisingly reveals the existence of a very precise spiral rhythm in the emergence of the evolutionary leaps that mark the history of the universe.

The proposed hypothesis is very simple: just as in any musical instrument successive second harmonics (1/3 of the vibrating unit) progressively generate new sounds, these same second harmonics generate all the major evolutionary novelties in universal dynamics as a whole. It is truly surprising that such a simple proposal is found to be precise and categorical when cross-checked against historical data.… Read the rest

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Badge Classes And Segregation Inside The Googleplex

Filmmaker Andrew Norman Wilson's eerie short Workers Leaving the Googleplex reveals his brief time employed as a temp in video production at Google's headquarters and how things went terribly wrong. Google fancies itself as creating the future, and its system of separating workers into white, red, green, and yellow badge classes reads like a preview of how society will be organized in some dystopian future. Wilson was fired and threatened with legal action after Google campus security caught him interacting with lowly yellow badge workers, who are not granted the privileges of red and white badge holders, such as riding Google bikes, eating free gourmet Google meals, setting foot anywhere else on Google's campus, or even talking to employees with other badge colors, many of whom do not know that the yellow badge class exists:
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