Author Archive | majestic

Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner?

This could change everything! Walk me now or I sue…

This excerpt from the New York Times Magazine picks up after Steven Wise visits a chimpanzee named Tommy at Circle L Trailer Sales near Gloversville, N.Y.:

…Seven weeks later, on Dec. 2, Wise, a 63-year-old legal scholar in the field of animal law, strode with his fellow lawyers, Natalie Prosin, the executive director of the Nonhuman Rights Project (Nh.R.P.), and Elizabeth Stein, a New York-based animal-law expert, into the clerk’s office of the Fulton County Courthouse in Johnstown, N.Y., 10 miles from Circle L Trailer Sales, wielding multiple copies of a legal document the likes of which had never been seen in any of the world’s courts, no less conservative Fulton County’s.

Under the partial heading “The Nonhuman Rights Project Inc. on behalf of Tommy,” the legal memo and petition included among their 106 pages a detailed account of the “petitioner’s” solitary confinement “in a small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed”; and a series of nine affidavits gathered from leading primatologists around the world, each one detailing the cognitive capabilities of a being like Tommy, thereby underscoring the physical and psychological ravages he suffers in confinement.

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Questlove: How Hip-Hop Failed Black America

Questlove2enhancedUber-hip man about town Questlove writes the first of “six essays looking at hip-hop’s recent past, thinking about its distant past, and wondering about the possibility of a future,” for Vulture:

There are three famous quotes that haunt me and guide me though my days. The first is from John Bradford, the 16th-century English reformer. In prison for inciting a mob, Bradford saw a parade of prisoners on their way to being executed and said, “There but for the grace of God go I.” (Actually, he said “There but for the grace of God goes John Bradford,” but the switch to the pronoun makes it work for the rest of us.) The second comes from Albert Einstein, who disparagingly referred to quantum entanglement as “spooky action at a distance.” And for the third, I go to Ice Cube, the chief lyricist of N.W.A., who delivered this manifesto in “Gangsta Gangsta” back in 1988: “Life ain’t nothing but bitches and money.”

Those three ideas may seem distant from one another, but if you set them up and draw lines between them, that’s triangulation.

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One of America’s Most Famous Architects Was a Nazi Propagandist

Philip Johnson.2002.FILARDOThat would be Philip Johnson, who once said “[t]he people with money to build today are corporations – they are our popes and Medicis.” Matt Novak details Johnson’s fascist beliefs, his Nazi sympathizing and hatred for Jews, whom he described as “a different breed of humanity, flitting about like locusts,” at Gizmodo:

American architect Philip Johnson designed some of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century. Johnson, who died in 2005, has long been hailed as one of the greats. But there’s one fact about the man that many people in the architecture community don’t like to talk about: Johnson was a fascist who openly supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazis for nearly a decade.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair opening, so special attention is being paid to one of Johnson’s most beloved buildings: the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows.

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Ibuprofen Leads to Leaky Gut

Equate Ibuprofen Pills and BottleSo many people take ibuprofen or brand name versions of it like Motrin that it’s almost become the 21st century aspirin, doled out to any family member feeling sick, worried about getting sick, or about to undergo strenuous exercise. But before you reach into the medicine cabinet, consider this report from the Daily Beast:

…Recently, some gluten-free champions have revisited studies from the past 20 years that show NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen might just play a contributing role by increasing the likelihood of leaky gut syndrome. According to one NIH study, “All the conventional NSAIDs studied were equally associated with small intestinal inflammation apart from aspirin…” and “intestinal permeability changes were significantly more pronounced” with some of the tests.

There is also evidence that NSAIDs cause intestinal damage when taken in conjunction with exercise. “This is the first study to reveal that ibuprofen aggravates exercise-induced small intestinal injury and induces gut barrier dysfunction in healthy individuals.

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Too Big to Jail? Why Kidnapping, Torture, Assassination, and Perjury Are No Longer Crimes in Washington

President Obama with, third from left, Gen. James E. Cartwright.

President Obama with, third from left, Gen. James E. Cartwright.

The ever-insightful Tom Engelhardt highlights the teflon status of White House cronies at TomDispatch.com:

How the mighty have fallen.  Once known as “Obama’s favorite general,” James Cartwright will soon don a prison uniform and, thanks to a plea deal, spend 13 months behind bars.  Involved in setting up the earliest military cyberforce inside U.S. Strategic Command, which he led from 2004 to 2007, Cartwright also played a role in launching the first cyberwar in history — the release of the Stuxnet virus against Iran’s nuclear program.  A Justice Department investigation found that, in 2012, he leaked information on the development of that virus to David Sanger of the New York Times. The result: a front-page piece revealing its existence, and so the American cyber-campaign against Iran, to the American public.  It was considered a serious breach of national security.  On Thursday, the retired four-star general stood in front of a U.S.

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The Landscape-Scarring, Energy-Sucking, Wildlife-Killing Reality of Pot Farming

six riversJosh Harkinson writes about the ugly side of marijuana as a cash crop for Mother Jones via Medium:

STARTING ABOUT 90 MILES northwest of Sacramento, an unbroken swath of national forestland follows the spine of California’s rugged coastal mountains all the way to the Oregon border. Near the center of this vast wilderness, along the grassy banks of the Trinity River’s south fork, lies the remote enclave of Hyampom (pop. 241), where, on a crisp November morning, I climb into a four-wheel-drive government pickup and bounce up a dirt logging road deep into the Six Rivers National Forest. I’ve come to visit what’s known in cannabis country as a “trespass grow.”

“This one probably has the most plants I’ve seen,” says my driver, a young Forest Service cop who spends his summers lugging an AR-15 through the backcountry of the Emerald Triangle—the triad of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties that is to pot what the Central Valley is to almonds and tomatoes.

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Powdered Alcohol Debuts

palcoholThis stuff is about as far from a single malt or cult cabernet as you can get, but sadly Palcohol is probably going to be more popular than either. SB Nation hails powdered alcohol’s potential to liven up boring sports games:

Trying to sneak booze is an American past time. Well, not THE American past time — but now there’s a way for you to sneak alcohol easily into your favorite sporting event! Heck, you don’t even need to use a syrup bottle.

Meet “Palcohol”

These are essentially Capri Suns for adults. A large, booze-filled pouch designed to turn every trip to Chuck E. Cheese into a party. This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky, wacky idea. This stuff has been approved!

It’s important to note that the powder can be used in drinks OR on food. So, who other than Spilly would be interested in this marvelous monstrosity? Palcohol has the answers.

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Terasem: Rapture of the Nerds

TIME reports on the Terasem Movement, a transhumanist school of thought focused on promoting joy, diversity, and the prospect of technological immortality via mind uploading and geoethical nanotechnology:

In the backyard of a cottage here overlooking the water, two poles with metal slats shaped like ribcages jut out from the ground. They look indistinguishable from heat lamps or fancy light fixtures.

These are satellite dishes, but they aren’t for TV. They’re meant for dispatching “mindfiles,” the memories, thoughts and feelings of people who wish to create digital copies of themselves and fling them into space with the belief that they’ll eventually reach some benevolent alien species.

livehappily

Welcome to the future. Hope you don’t mind E.T. leafing through your diary.

The beach house and the backyard and the memory satellites are managed by 31-year-old Gabriel Rothblatt, a pastor of Terasem, a new sort of religion seeking answers to very old kinds of questions, all with an abiding faith in the transformative power of technology.

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Michael Ruppert’s Suicide Note

Many a disinfonaut will have noted the suicide of former LAPD cop and conspiracy theory stalwart Michael C. Ruppert. Cheri Speak has been following the matter closely and has obtained one of two suicide notes left by Ruppert (one to his girlfriend was deemed too personal to be released):

…I would like to update the readers with some new information I have just received from Michael’s attorney Wesley Miller.

According to Miller, the reason Michael’s death was confirmed by “Napa County Sheriffs” is because Michael was staying in a trailer on his friend, Jack Martin’s, property in Calistoga, California. It was Jack who found Mike’s body resting in an outdoor meditation spot on the property.

Michael Ruppert left two handwritten notes, one of which was a very personal note to his girlfriend/life partner and is a personal letter that will not be shared, at least not any time in the near future.

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