Author Archive | Ted Heistman

Hipsters Who Hunt

Picture: EPA (PD)

I think the evolution of the new lefty urban hunter goes something like this:

2006: Reads Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, about the ickyness of the industrial food complex. Starts shopping at a farmer’s market.
2008: Puts in own vegetable garden. Tries to go vegetarian but falls off the wagon.
2009: Decides to only eat “happy meat” that has been treated humanely.
2010: Gets a chicken coop and a flock of chickens.
2011: Dabbles in backyard butchery of chickens. Reads that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg decided to only eat meat he killed himself for a year.
2012: Gets a hunting permit, thinking “how hard can it be? I already totally dominate Big Buck Hunter at the bar.”

Hunting by Liberal Urban Locavores is a trend good for the Environment

Hat Tip: Ran Prieur

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The Great Porcupine

Picture: Pearson Scott Foresman (PD)

In the spring of 2006, I was living in Madison, WI and going through a painful divorce. I decided the best remedy was for me to spend large stretches of time alone communing with nature. My work schedule at the time allowed me four days off after working three overnight shifts. So after work, I would drive five hours North to the Nicolet National Forest. The forest is a marvel of modern conservation. Reduced to clear cut stump fields by the turn of the century, it was restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. Today it is a lush, healthy second growth forest teeming with wildlife – even wolves and black bears.

After one of my many long drives to Nicolet, I parked my car in the gravel Parking lot of my favorite lakeside campground and backpacked down a cross country ski trail which at this time of year was completely deserted by humans.… Read the rest

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Encounters with “Next Nature”

Picture: DarkOne (CC)

Walking home from the coffee shop after I posted the article about “Next Nature”, I encountered a small animal that suddenly became huge and threatening.  That is, it seemed small and harmless at first when I thought it was a friendly dog, but when I realized it was a large raccoon it suddenly seemed huge and scary. It approached me very boldly, but it was not interested in me but in a point just behind me; a gap in the fence which gave it access to some dumpsters near a bus station.

My fear became curiosity in a fraction of a second: “Cool, an urban raccoon!” I thought. I noticed it had a stumpy tail; most of it had probably been lost in a fight or some type of accident. It was clearly a survivor. The stumpy tail made it appear even bigger and more bear-like as it shuffled off to the dumpster.… Read the rest

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Anthromes: A New Paradigm for the Biosphere

Like it or not We are living in the Anthropocene. This calls for a new way of looking at the biosphere:

Via  Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology:

Old Paradigm:
Natural systems with humans disturbing them

New Paradigm:
Human systems, with natural systems embedded within them

Ecosystems no longer dominate the planet but rather human systems:

Q: “What are Human Systems?”

A: Human systems emerge from human interactions. As individuals, and even as populations, humans are just another species. Human systems, on the other hand, represent the integrated effects of humans interacting with each other at scales capable of forcing changes in the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere and other earth systems. Human systems have emerged as new primary earth systems, both by dramatically altering preexisting natural processes and more importantly, by introducing a host of new earth system-processes entirely novel to the earth system.

More information on this topic can be found at the Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology.… Read the rest

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I've been following this website for a while now. I heard of it through science fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling. I think many disinfonauts would enjoy it as well. The basic premise is that while nature becomes culture ( picture a wilderness area being cleared and turned into a subdivision) culture also eventually becomes nature (picture the Exclusion zone of Chernobyl becoming a wilderness again, or urban areas becoming habitats for wild animals) Man-made systems, seeking to simplify nature, often become overly complex and devolve back in to chaos:
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Soul Capture: Don’t Love the Cosmic Cockroach

Picture: Sharadpunita (CC)

I’ve read OpticusWrangler’s essay “Opti and I” a couple times now and I see some interesting ramifications that I think might be good for further discussion. Anyone who enjoyed the other piece probably won’t mind if I go non-linear.

I used to be a dog musher. Let me start by describing the kind of dog I like: The kind you can’t quite tame. Not the type that acquiesces completely, but rather, the kind you have to come to an understanding with. The kind that holds some of herself back and doesn’t just give away everything. Dogs I like retain something of the wolf in them. Husky dogs that basically say “Yeah, we’re buds but I’m not going to come running every time you call me, WTF? Is everything about you? There is other interesting stuff going on sometimes believe it or not!”

That said, I love dogs, but I still retain a firm belief in my superiority over them.… Read the rest

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Presences and Absences of Chernobyl: Interview with Photographer Timm Suess

Picture: "Reactor 5 and 6, and Cooling Tower 1" Timm Suess (CC)

Timm Suess is a photographer specializing in abandoned structures. In March 2009 he went on an expedition to the zone of exclusion in Chernobyl, Ukraine and the neighboring town of Pripyat.  His Chernobyl Photographs have appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine, the Sun in the UK, and in the science journal Nature. His photographs are also featured in the book Beauty in Decay.

He lives with his wife and in Switzerland.

 Hi Timm,

I’ve been spending some time looking through your  website Many Faces of Decay. I actually have an interest in abandoned structures, as well. A friend and I explored and photographed an abandoned brewery a few years ago here in Olympia, WA where I live. It’s a very elegant old brick building. We found a black bearskin inside that a squatter had left there, of all things.Read the rest

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This is Your Brain on Porn. Any Questions?

Relationship Advice Blogger and Neuroscientist Gary Wilson explains the Biology of Internet Porn Addiction. I originally found his site while researching the topic of "coitus reservatus" an ancient tantric technique, found in both Eastern and Western traditions, which is the art of sex and orgasm without ejaculation.  I had been reading some books related to Magick, Alchemy, and Eastern Mysticism that referred to this practice.  Some writers had used some pretty psuedo- scientific lingo, saying things like "semen is composed of cerebro-spinal fluid" implying that ejaculating too much literally drains your brain. I knew that couldn't be right. So how many nuts should I bust or not bust to stay healthy?  In my google searches I came to Gary and his wife's site, which also linked to the Porn Addiction site. I found this series of videos fascinating. I think it explains a lot about addiction in general and the more primitive parts of the  human brain. It jibes with a lot of things I had researched earlier about dopamine and ADHD. I hope you will find it as fascinating as I did. I think it might have application to the mechanism of video game addiction as well.
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Is Bigfoot in the Process of Becoming Real?

Picture: Patterson-Gimlin photo (C)

Bigfoot research reminds me of string theory. Like string theory, Bigfoot research is all based on inferences drawn from a pretty small data set, and as we observe these inferences, the creature seems to takes on a life of its own.

In many ways, string theory resembles a very esoteric form of philosophy rather than objective empirical science, but it may help make sense of the world. There is an aspect of it that is very creative. In a particular line of thinking, studying string theory is like creating reality. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, without a mind to observe it, “reality” remains in the realm of possibility as quantum superposition, collapsing into the real by the act of measuring.

Like the wise sage Mitch Hedberg once said “I think Bigfoot is blurry. That’s the problem“, but Bigfoot seems to become more real all the time as our minds have a chance to get our heads around him.… Read the rest

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Burzynski: Fighting the Big Pharma Cartel to Cure Cancer

[Note: the opinions expressed below are those of the contributor alone and publication does not indicate that The Disinformation Company endorses those opinions.]

My friend Talitha Thayla organized a screening of Burzynski: The Movie at Traditions Cafe in downtown Olympia, WA. It's a movie about the legal struggles of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, a physician whose antineoplaston cancer treatments has earned the ire of the United States Food and Drug Administration. The movie depicts patients being cured of aggressive brain cancers when the only alternative was crippling doses of radiation and chemo. You can watch the video in this post. As I watched the movie a familiar pattern unfolded: A monopolistic big business cartel uses the legal system to conduct a witch hunt against an individual who threatens their hegemony in keeping themselves rich and the public powerless. Only this time there is a refreshing twist: Burzynski is making headway in the fight. He's beaten the Texas Medical Board's and the FDA's malicious prosecutions Five times. One thing the FDA in its witch hunt against Dr. Burzynski never denied: His natural, non-invasive non-toxic therapy cures cancer. Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business from BurzynskiMovie on Vimeo.
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