Author Archive | majestic

Help Dario Argento Make A Movie Starring Iggy Pop

Two venerable icons of counterculture, Dario Argento and Iggy Pop want to make a movie together and they’re crowd funding it at Indiegogo:

THE_SANDMAN_POSTERHere’s the pitch:

Friends! Romans! Countrymen –– lend us your… eyes — while you still have them, that is — and look over our Indiegogo campaign, to ensure that The Maestro (of Terror), Dario Argento, and The Godfather (of Punk) Iggy Pop have free reign to make this next horror film a true masterpiece for the ages!

Beware The Sandman!

Maybe other places, you’ve heard about other kinds of Sandmen — forget everything you’ve heard. This guy doesn’t put sand in your eyes so you drift peacefully to sleep — don’t you wish! This Sandman is the real deal, going back to the dark, original German legend: the REAL Sandman was someone who stole the eyes of any children that wouldn’t just close them and go to sleep… then he’d go feed them to his hungry children on the moon.… Read the rest

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In Defense of Obama

Obama Chesh 2.jpg

Photo: Elizabeth Cromwell (CC)

Paul Krugman has penned a lengthy essay for Rolling Stone on why President Obama is getting a raw deal from virtually everyone, including an opinion that “Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history”:

When it comes to Barack Obama, I’ve always been out of sync. Back in 2008, when many liberals were wildly enthusiastic about his candidacy and his press was strongly favorable, I was skeptical. I worried that he was naive, that his talk about transcending the political divide was a dangerous illusion given the unyielding extremism of the modern American right. Furthermore, it seemed clear to me that, far from being the transformational figure his supporters imagined, he was rather conventional-minded: Even before taking office, he showed signs of paying far too much attention to what some of us would later take to calling Very Serious People, people who regarded cutting budget deficits and a willingness to slash Social Security as the very essence of political virtue.

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Sulawesi Cave Paintings Offer New Conclusions About Origins of Art

Cave paintings in Sulawesi, Indonesia, have been estimated to be at least 39,900 years old, changing ideas about creative art being exclusively European, reports BBC News (note to Graham Hancock fans: how does this affect Graham’s hypothesis in Supernatural?):

Scientists have identified some of the earliest cave paintings produced by humans.

Sulawesi cave painting with Dr Maxime Aubert (Photo: Dr. Aubert).

Sulawesi cave painting with Dr Maxime Aubert (Photo: Dr. Aubert).

Until now, paintings this old had been confirmed in caves only in Western Europe.

Researchers tell the journal Nature that the Indonesian discovery transforms ideas about how humans first developed the ability to produce art.

Early artists made them by carefully blowing paint around hands that were pressed tightly against the cave walls and ceilings. The oldest is at least 40,000 years old.

There are also human figures, and pictures of wild hoofed animals that are found only on the island. Dr Maxime Aubert, of Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, who dated the paintings found in Maros in Southern Sulawesi, explained that one of them (shown immediately below) was probably the earliest of its type.

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Where GMOs Hide In Your Food

GMO Full Disclosure AdvocateThe mighty (alright, once-mighty) Consumer Reports picks up the GMO labeling cudgel:

More than 70 percent of Americans say they don’t want genetically modified organisms in their food, according to a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of 1,000 adults. The trouble is, it’s hard to avoid them. Consumer Reports’ tests of breakfast cereals, chips, soy infant formulas, and other popular products found that GMOs lurk in many packaged foods—including some that carry labels suggesting that they don’t have these controversial ingredients.

In more than 60 countries, manufacturers must label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. But GMO labeling isn’t required in the U.S. Yet our survey found that 92 percent of Americans want genetically modified foods to be labeled. And concerns about the potential health and environmental risks of GMOs coupled with an unwillingness on the part of the federal government to mandate labeling are leading many states to take action on their own.

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The Coming Era of Unlimited — and Free — Clean Energy

When I saw this headline in  a tweet from Daniel Pinchbeck I thought it was going to link to one of “those” blogs, but no, it’s straight from a stalwart of the mainstream media, the Washington Post, which is touting 100% solar-generated electricity meeting all our needs, sooner rather than later:

In the 1980s, leading consultants were skeptical about cellular phones.  McKinsey & Company noted that the handsets were heavy, batteries didn’t last long, coverage was patchy, and the cost per minute was exorbitant.  It predicted that in 20 years the total market size would be about 900,000 units, and advised AT&T to pull out.  McKinsey was wrong, of course.  There were more than 100 million cellular phones in use in 2000; there are billions now.  Costs have fallen so far that even the poor — all over world — can afford a cellular phone.

The experts are saying the same about solar energy now.

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New 20-Year Study Shatters Myths About Marijuana Use

Professor Wayne Hall has published the results of a 20-year study of the use of marijuana in the journal Addiction (PDF of Full Study article here), which summarizes his findings as follows:

Adverse effects of acute cannabis use

  • Cannabis does not produce fatal overdoses.
  • Driving while cannabis-intoxicated doubles the risk of a car crash; this risk increases substantially if users are also alcohol-intoxicated.
  • Cannabis use during pregnancy slightly reduces birth weight of the baby.

Adverse effects of chronic cannabis use

  • Regular cannabis users can develop a dependence syndrome, the risks of which are around 1 in 10 of all cannabis users and 1 in 6 among those who start in adolescence.
  • Regular cannabis users double their risks of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders, especially if they have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders, and if they start using cannabis in their mid-teens.
  • Regular adolescent cannabis users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers but we don’t know whether the link is causal.
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Lee Camp: ‘The John Oliver of Russia Today’

LeeCamp BW alley lighter“The John Oliver of Russia Today” is how Salon describes Lee Camp, well known to long-time disinfonauts for his comedic rants (see our  video archive here) and now the star of his own show on RT, Redacted Tonight:

Americans are looking to a growing assortment of comedians to help them digest the news and respond to current events. On one end of the spectrum, we have “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” which offer a temporary reprieve from the lunacy of the 24/7 news cycle. Liberal as their leanings are, their targets are outlandish enough that many moderates and conservatives can enjoy their takedowns, too. In the world outside cable news, Bill Maher and John Oliver dial the anger up a few notches. “Last Week Tonight” has become America’s moral compass in just a few months on the air. Then there’s Russell Brand’s YouTube rants against Fox News pundits, which are angrier still.

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Food 2.0

Krispy Kreme DoughnutsThe next big thing for many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors is food. Paul B. Farrell explains ‘Food 2.0′ at MarketWatch:

  • Silicon Valley: “The Next Start-up Craze” is “Food 2.0” predict MIT Technology Review’s editors. “They are taking on corporate giants such as ConAgra, General Mills, and Kraft that spend billions on research and technology development.” Still, you can bet a successful new food-tech start-up is likely to have one of the Big Ag firms along as a venture partner or later as buy-out sugar-daddy.

  • Big Ag’s Monsanto: The global food industry, especially Big Ag capitalists like Monsanto, which controls 27% of the global seed market, is already having trouble feeding a global population of seven billion today. You can bet your corn futures that Monsanto will need many new ag technology breakthroughs if it expects its stock to double again like it had the past four years. And Big Ag is already facing heavy backlash over genetically modified food as it is.

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Dubai Police Will Wear Google Glass Eyewear With Facial Recognition Technology

Should you happen to visit Dubai and notice a bespectacled cop looking at you, chances are he’s running you through the local police department’s facial recognition database to see what they’ve got on you. Report on this Orwellian policing initiative via Reuters:

Dubai police plan to issue detectives with Google Glass hands-free eyewear to help them fight crime using facial recognition technology, a police spokesman in the wealthy Gulf Arab emirate said.

Google Glass Sunglasses

The wearable device consists of a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame and is capable of taking photos, recording video and playing sound.

The spokesman confirmed a report in Dubai’s 7 Days newspaper that software developed by Dubai police would enable a connection between the wearer and a database of wanted people.

Once the device “recognized” a suspect based on a face print, it would alert the officer wearing the gadget.

The gadget would be used in a first phase to combat traffic violations and track vehicles suspected of involvement in motoring offences.

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