Tag Archives | History

An Oral History of Porn: The Rialto Report

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I spoke with Ashley West, the man behind the Rialto Report (Editor’s Note: This website contains graphic images).

RR-image1Why an oral history of porn?

The birth of modern porn has been chronically under-served by chroniclers so far.

As a result, history has been entrusted to self-important academics whose principal talent is to suck all life out of a subject, or the sex media whose mission is to sell more product by titillation, or well-meaning fans who believe that every film is an undiscovered classic, or the mainstream media who have a monotonous need to find a narrative of abuse.

We wanted to give a voice to the original pioneers, the cowboys of the industry back when it was the Wild West, and ask them the obvious questions: Why did you do it? What was it like? And what effect has it had on the rest of your life?

The fact that most of the people we speak to are now in the autumn of their lives adds a huge amount of poignancy, pathos and value to their perspectives.… Read the rest

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Terrorists can be defeated by fighting fear with cooperation

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Robert Imre, University of Newcastle

From anarchists in the 1920s and radical leftists in the 1960s, to fringe, extreme-right Christian bombers or gunmen in the United States in recent decades, or radical Islamists such as Islamic State today, terrorist groups have one thing in common. They seek to shock, while simultaneously portraying themselves as victims. While their beliefs can vary wildly, what they all share is the “propaganda of the deed” in their extreme violent activities.

Typically, political violence in the most extreme form – terrorism – usually will see groups fracture in to smaller sub-groups. Once violence is legitimated, it then becomes a way to settle internal disagreements as well.

Given that we have seen a number of terrorist groups come and go over the decades, it bears scrutiny how these various groups were successfully stopped, as well as where governments failed.… Read the rest

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End of an Era: Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guides

vuhh3thjjjnlzoknw9pnFilm criticism has never garnered the level of mainstream interest that I would have liked, but with the passing of Ebert and now Maltin’s retirement of The Movie Guide, are we never to see film critics hit the mainstream again?

As a kid, I remember climbing up on the bookshelf to pull Maltin’s Movie Guide down so my parents and I could look up the movie we were watching. It was an invaluable resource that is no longer as necessary as it once was.

via io9:

Reading Robbie Gonzalez’s article about Mat Honan’s lament for the iPod Classic made me think of another entertainment colossus that was recently, and just as quietly, retired: Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, which is ending with the 2015 edition published just last month.

Maltin was, like his contemporary Roger Ebert, a crucial figure in making classic movies and the language of film criticism accessible to a mass audience, and like Ebert a big part of that appeal was personality.

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How the Government and Private Elites Have Teamed Up for Decades to Astroturf America

Dean G. Acheson, U.S. Secretary of State, January 21, 1949 to January 20, 1953

Dean G. Acheson, U.S. Secretary of State, January 21, 1949 to January 20, 1953

Recently it was reported that a blue-ribbon, anti-Iran nonprofit is so well-connected that it may have been working intimately with the U.S. government behind the scenes. Journalist Glenn Greenwald wondered whether the group, United Against Nuclear Iran, is in fact a government front. That would hardly be as unusual as you’d think.

After serving as President Harry Truman’s secretary of state, Dean Acheson reminisced that 1940s organizations he had supported — the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies and the Citizens’ Committee for the Marshall Plan — were “uniquely and typically American.” Many groups engage in protest, Acheson noted, but “few organize privately to support Government, and fewer still to support policies and measures not directly beneficial to themselves or their group.”

My research discloses that these organizations, far from being extraordinary, were just the most famous of dozens of elite, bipartisan “citizens committees” that have secretly collaborated with the administration of the day, whether Democratic or Republican.… Read the rest

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Explainer: why do landslides happen and why are they so devastating?

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Mark Hounslow, Lancaster University

Landslides don’t attract the same media attention as more familiar geological hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes. And yet they can be just as disastrous and, in fact, 2014 has been a particularly bad year.

In Hiroshima, Japan, a series of landslides has left 39 people confirmed dead and a further 52 missing. In March a hillside collapsed in Washington state, US, leaving 43 dead, and in May massive mudslides in Afghanistan caused several thousand deaths. In early August, landslides in Nepal left almost 200 dead or missing.

Landslides can vary greatly in speed, water content and size. Different landslides can look very different and can vary greatly in their destructive power – size is not everything. Nevertheless, they pose a significant hazard to human life, buildings and transport routes.… Read the rest

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Freemason, Scholar and Master Builder, Randall Carlson (Part 2)

Via Midwest Real 

(This is part 2, click here for part 1).

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I love conversations like this because they remind us that there are truly massive, un-fuckwithable forces at play in the universe that could crush us in an instant. Why would I like such a thing? It helps me remember to be humble, not take my own personal nonsense too seriously, and to enjoy the shit out of life.

So, until the asteroids hit, (real, or metaphorical) do awesome things, and for God’s sake, remember to check your ego every now and then. 

Anyway, there’s an esoteric library’s worth of information over at Sacred Geometry International. Literally hundreds of hours. Go there!

They also have tremendous Twitter and Facebook accounts.

We truly love your participation and support. Get involved by checking out our new sitefollowing us on Twitter, and Facebook and please subscribe and review on iTunes!Read the rest

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Aleister Crowley and Thelema

Aleister Crowley, Golden Dawn. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Aleister Crowley, Golden Dawn. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

I came across this brief historical account of Aleister Crowley that coincides with the Feast of the Prophet and his Bride.

via Oxford University Press’ Blog (follow link to read entire essay):

The twelfth of August marks the Feast of the Prophet and his Bride, a holiday that commemorates the marriage of Aleister Crowley and his first wife Rose Edith Crowley in the religion he created, Thelema. Born in 1875, Crowley traveled the world, living in Cambridge, Mexico, Cairo, China, America, Sicily, and Berlin. Here, using Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism as our trusted guide, we take a closer look at the man and his religion.

In 1898 Alesiter Crowley was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as Frater Perdurabo. The teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were based upon an imaginative reworking of Hermetic writings further informed by nineteenth-century scholarship in Egyptology and anthropology.

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The Zombies of Haiti

An interesting history of zombie-ism in Haiti.

via Mysterious Universe:

Bloodthirsty fictional zombies have become very popular in recent times, inhabiting everything from books, to TV shows, to movies, delighting and scaring many horror aficionados. Yet many people may not realize that in some cultures, zombies are considered to be very real. In these societies, zombies are not the stuff of imagination or fiction, but rather real flesh and blood creations that shamble through the shadows and our nightmares. However, how much truth is there behind these traditions of actual real-life zombies? Do real zombies actually exist somewhere out there in the dark corners of the world?

"Zombie". A Zombie, at twilight, in a field of cane sugar of haïti.

“Zombie”. A Zombie, at twilight, in a field of cane sugar of haïti.

To find answers to this question, perhaps a good place to look is the island nation of Haiti, located in the Caribbean Sea on half of the island of Hispaniola, which has a long tradition of real zombies, also spelled as zombi.

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The Poltergeist Phenomenon

A compelling interview with historian Christopher Laursen about the presence and history of poltergeists.

A 14-year-old domestic servant, Therese Selles, experiences poltergeist / spontaneous PK activity in the home of her employer, the Todeschini family at Cheragas, Algeria, as featured on the cover of the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911.

A 14-year-old domestic servant, Therese Selles, experiences poltergeist / spontaneous PK activity in the home of her employer, the Todeschini family at Cheragas, Algeria, as featured on the cover of the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911.

via The Daily Grail:

Christopher Laursen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia whose dissertation focuses on poltergeist phenomena. I first met him at the Parapsychological Association’s 2012 conference, and have been glad that his web magazine, the Extraordinarium, has allowed me to continue following developments in his research over the past few years. His PhD dissertation, titled Mischievous Forces, looks at the shifting perspectives on poltergeist phenomena in the 20th century, focusing on changing research paradigms in the United States and UK during this period. It’s with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to interview him via email regarding his work and recent developments in his studies, including an online survey of people who have experienced purported poltergeist phenomena (Click Here to take the survey).

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Randall Carlson on Rewriting History, Bridging the Gap Between Science and Religion and Avoiding Catastrophe

Via Midwest Real
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Every night we go to bed taking it for granted that tomorrow will come. Sure, from time to time we have an unpleasant thought along the lines of “worst case scenario, my heart will give out and I won’t wake up.”

But, what if that wasn’t the worst case scenario?IMG_1109

As we speak, massive chunks of instant extinction are flying by the vessel we inhabit at preposterous speeds. If one of them crosses Earth’s path, it could easily be game over for the human race.

As long as we’ve been aware of that inconvenient fact, it’s been good for precisely one thing- apathy. That’s because the ability to do anything about it was completely absent from the equation. Well, that’s not the case anymore. We actually do have the technology and intelligence to do something about it. However, thus far, we’ve shown a complete and total lack of will to seriously discuss it.… Read the rest

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