Archive for the ‘Special’ Category

h1

Domestic dogs display empathic response to distress in humans

June 9, 2012

Dr Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer, both from the Department of Psychology, developed an innovative procedure to examine if domestic dogs could identify and respond to emotional states in humans.

Eighteen pet dogs, spanning a range of ages and breeds, were exposed to four separate 20-second experimental conditions in which either the dog’s owner or an unfamiliar person pretended to cry, hummed in an odd manner, or carried out a casual conversation.

The dogs demonstrated behaviours consistent with an expression of empathic concern. Significantly more dogs looked at, approached and touched the humans as they were crying as opposed to humming, and no dogs responded during talking. The majority of dogs in the study responded to the crying person in a submissive manner consistent with empathic concern and comfort-offering.

“The humming was designed to be a relatively novel behavior, which might be likely to pique the dogs’ curiosity. The fact that the dogs differentiated between crying and humming indicates that their response to crying was not purely driven by curiosity,” explained Dr Custance. “Rather, the crying carried greater emotional meaning for the dogs and provoked a stronger overall response than either humming or talking.”

The study also found that the dogs responded to the person who was crying regardless of whether it was their owner or the unfamiliar person: “If the dogs’ approaches during the crying condition were motivated by self-oriented comfort-seeking, they would be more likely to approach their usual source of comfort, their owner, rather than the stranger,” said Jennifer. “No such preference was found. The dogs approached whoever was crying regardless of their identity. Thus they were responding to the person’s emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behavior.”

Text and image via Medical Xpress

h1

Geoengineering Could Disrupt Rainfall Patterns

June 8, 2012

A geoengineering solution to climate change could lead to significant rainfall reduction in Europe and North America, a team of European scientists concludes. The researchers studied how models of Earth in a warm, CO2-rich world respond to an artificial reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the planet’s surface.

The study is published June 6 in Earth System Dynamics, an Open Access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Tackling climate change by reducing the solar radiation reaching our planet using climate engineering, known also as geoengineering, could result in undesirable effects for Earth and humankind. In particular, the work by the team of German, Norwegian, French, and UK scientists shows that disruption of global and regional rainfall patterns is likely in a geoengineered climate.

“Climate engineering cannot be seen as a substitute for a policy pathway of mitigating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” they conclude in the paper.

Text and Image via ScienceDaily

h1

Free Voina

December 7, 2011

On December 05, one of founding members of the Russian art collective Voina, Leonid Nikolaev, was abducted by Russian police and his whereabouts are unknown. Nikolaev was attending a rally against election fraud in St. Petersburg when he was grabbed by police along with other protesters and taken away.

Vor (Oleg Vorotnikov). Artist, activist and the leader of Voina. Born August 17th, 1978 in Bereznyaki, Perm Krai. Oleg has been involved in arts since 1995. He renounced the use of money in 1998. Since 1999, Oleg has been concentrating on social practices in urban space. In 1999 he married artist Kozlenok (Natalia Sokol). Oleg graduated from Moscow State University’s philosophy department in 2003. In the fall of 2005, he began doing street art with Kozlenok, forming the art collective Voina. Oleg has participated in every Voina action to date. In 2006-2007 he worked as the head of the information department at Moscow State Cinema Museum. Vor and Kozlenok’s son Kasper Can’t-Take-Our-Eyes-Off-Him Sokol was born on April 19th, 2009. Kasper became Voina’s youngest member. In November 2010, the Russian Federation initiated a politically motivated parental rights termination process against Oleg. He was incarcerated in St. Petersburg from November 2010 to February 2011 on charges related to Voina’s Palace Revolution action (article 213 part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code). n May 2011 he was declared a federally wanted fugitive. In July 2011 Russian police issued an international arrest warrant for Oleg. He is unemployed and homeless, facing charges under articles 213, 318 and 319 of the Russian Criminal Code (criminal case #276858) in connection with the “Palace Revolution” action and with his participation in an opposition rally on March 31st, 2011 in St. Petersburg.

Kozlenok aka Koza (Natalia Sokol). Artist, activist, author of Voina actions and the group’s chief coordinator. Born June 3rd, 1980 in Balakovo, Saratov Oblast. Kozlenok renounced the use of money after meeting artist Vor (Oleg Vorotnikov) in 1998. She’s been married to Oleg since 1999. In 2003, she graduated from Moscow State University’s physical department. She finished grad school there in 2006. Kozlenok holds a PhD in physics, and is affiliated with the sub-department of molecular physics at MSU. She’s been doing street art since the fall of 2005 as a member of Voina, and has participated in every Voina action to date. On April 19th, 2009 she gave birth to Kasper Can’t-Take-Our-Eyes-Off-Him Sokol, Voina’s youngest activist. In November 2010, the Russian Federation initiated a politically motivated parental rights termination process against Kozlenok. She’s been living without any documents since November 15th, 2010, when Russian police seized all her papers. In August 2011 she was declared a federally wanted fugitive. Kozlenok is homeless and facing charges under article 319 of the Russian Criminal Code (criminal case #299810) in connection with an incident on March 31st, 2011 in which police officers were doused with urine during an opposition rally in St. Petersburg.

Kasper Can’t-Take-Our-Eyes-Off-Him Sokol. Artist, Voina member since birth. Born April 19th, 2009 on a ship in Moscow. Stateless. Participated in every Voina action since May 2009. Voina’s youngest activist. In November 2010, the Russian Federation initiated a politically motivated parental rights termination process against Kasper’s parents Kozlenok (Natalia Sokol) and Vor (Oleg Vorotnikov). Kasper has been beaten twice and arrested three times (twice in 2011 alone) by Russian police in connection with Voina’s activity. He is homeless.

VOINA. A street collective of actionist artists who engage in political protest art. Political orientation: anarchist. Enemies: philistines, cops, the regime. Organization type: militant gang, dominated by horizontal ties in everyday life and employing vertical relationships during actions. The group preaches renunciation of money and disregard towards the law (“the no-whoring way”). Founded by Vor and Kozlenok in October 2005, the group was named after Vor (“War”). Initially, Voina actions were clandestine and anonymous, and were called “training” or “practice”. Voina has enjoyed public recognition since 2008. To date, over 200 activists have participated in Voina actions. At least 20 criminal investigations into the group’s activities have been initiated, some of them still ongoing. According to Russia’s Investigations Committee,

“Art group VOINA’ is a left-wing radical anarchist collective whose central goal is to carry out PR actions directed against the authorities, and specifically against law enforcement officials with the aim of discrediting them in the eyes of the public. Branches of VOINA exist in all major Russian cities. The group’s sympatizers number approximately 3000. VOINA members maintain contacts with anarchist groups and individuals from all around the world holding left-wing radical views on art and on the world order (Italy, Slovakia, France, USA, South Africa, Greece)”.

Leo the Fucknut (Leonid Nikolaev). Artist, Voina activist. Born December 27th, 1983 in Moscow. College dropout (studied materials science). Leonid has been participating in Voina actions since December 2009. In May 2010 he was titled Voina President after a series of actions against killer VIP drivers (“Leo the Fucknut is our President” (“Leo the Fucknut is our President”). He was incarcerated in St. Petersburg from November 2010 to February 2011 on charges related to Voina’s “Palace Revolution” action (article 213 part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code). Leonid has been a member of the political council at the Moscow branch of Solidarnost, a united democratic movement. He is continuously involved in opposition activity in Russia, and has been arrested in excess of 30 times. Leonid currently lives in Moscow. He is unemployed and facing charges under articles 213 of the Russian Criminal Code (criminal case #276858) in connection with the “Palace Revolution” action.

Leonid Nikolaev whistling in protest to illegitimate elections. December 4th, 2011.

The arrest of Leonid Nikolaev.

Goals and objectives of the Art-Group Voina in the period 2008-2010

1. Rebirth of heroical behavioral ideals of an artist-intellectual, in a manner of Russian libertarian decemberism. Creation of image of artist as romantic hero, who prevail over the evil. Creation of lively romantic models in today`s soulless commercial conceptual art.
2. Rebirth of lively expressive art, which is sincere and honest and provoking observers` deep emotional experience. Actualization of monumental expressive genres, where large scale harmonizes with totally rich in content orientation, in contrast to outdated hypertrophy of forms, which deovid of sense.
3. Creation of innovative topical art-language, which is producing for pure art, but not for a money. It is mean language, which is adequate for today’s cultural and socio-political context, which is can show actual of the new epoch, which have no analogues in the past. Creation of Russian national actual art, without outmodedness and provinciality, and which provokes admiration of intellectuals all over the world.
4. Rebirth of Russian laughing culture, traditions of absurdity and sarcasm in context of high art, that is Rebirth of lively merriment in the art-spaces. Creation of political street-art in Russia in the best traditions of skomorokh and carnival middle-age art.
5. Conceptual destruction of glamour timeserving and conformist Russian art-market, which is reproducing outdated forms of art, artificially falsifying processes of pricing of art-market and creating financial pyramid from devalued art-junk.
6. Creating of real left front of art in Russia in traditions of futurism of 1920 years, which is radically shift all ideological poles by the facts of its being. Rebirth of political protest art all over the world.
7. War with “werewolfes in straps” for the freedom of contemporary art. War with socio-political obscurantism and ultra-right reaction for the triumph of nano-modernization in Russia. Subversion and destruction of outdated repressive-patriarchal socio-political symbols and ideologies. Art-war against all global world for total triumph of justice in Art-Area.

All the text was obtained at Free Voina

h1

More on ‘Earliest’ evidence of human violence

December 2, 2011

Reconstructed Maba 1 cranium (A) Right lateral view (B) anterior view (C) left lateral view (D) posterior view (E) superior view (F) basal view [Credit: University of the Witwatersrand]

Archaeology News Network: An East Asian human fossil from Maba, China and dated to the late Middle Pleistocene age has provided evidence of interhuman aggression and human induced trauma occurred 126,000 years ago.

A report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that a 14 mm ridged, healed lesion with bone depressed inward to the brain resulted from localized blunt force trauma. Was it an accident or interhuman aggression?

The Maba cranium was discovered with the remains of other mammals in June 1958, in a cave at Lion Rock in Guangdong province, China. The Maba cranium and associated animal bones were unearthed at a depth of one meter by farmers removing cave sediments for fertilizer. Continue HERE

h1

Lutetia may have witnessed the birth of the Earth

November 19, 2011

Image credit: ESA 2010 MPS for OSIRIS Team. MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

DISCOVER: When we look at the solar system now, we see it after it’s had billions of years of evolution under its belt. Things have changed a lot since it first formed out a swirling disk of material, 4.5 billion years ago. We can make some pretty good guesses about the way things looked back then, though. We can see other systems forming around other stars, for example, to get an idea of what things look like when they’re young.

But we can also look at our own solar system, look at the planets, the comets, the asteroids, and, like astronomical archaeologists, get a glimpse into our own cosmic past.

We know that asteroids formed along with the rest of the system back then. We also know that there are many kinds of asteroids: rocky, metallic, chondritic, some even have ice on or near their surface. Some formed far out in the solar system, and some formed near in. The thing is, we think the vast majority of the asteroids that formed close to the Sun were absorbed by — and by that, I mean smacked into and became part of — the inner planets, including Earth. Only a handful of those asteroids still remain intact after all this time. But now we think we’ve found one: the main belt, 130 km-long asteroid Lutetia.

Lutetia up close and personal

On July 10, 2010, the European Space Agency probe Rosetta passed just 3162 km (1960 miles) from the asteroid Lutetia, a lumpy rock 130 km (81 miles) end-to-end.

This image, taken at closest approach, shows how battered and worn Lutetia is. Craters pockmark the surface, including several that are many kilometers across. Like the Martian moon Phobos, grooves line the surface, which may be from boulders rolling around, perhaps ejected from some of the craters when they were formed. They may alternatively be stress fractures from impacts; there is still a lively debate over what causes these features in small bodies.

Much of the surface appears smooth, indicating great age for this object. Over billions of years it’s been assaulted by dust grains moving at incredible speeds, as well as the solar wind. This has essentially sandblasted the surface, taking – literally – the edge off of the rims of craters.

We have very few high-resolution images of asteroids, and the more we get, the more we learn about them. Given that every now and again we get hit by them, I’m a big fan of understanding them better. Continue HERE

h1

What Monkeys Can Teach You About Money

September 4, 2011

Allen St. John: How a Yale research team made history by teaching capuchins to spend money … and discovered that they’re just as smart—and stupid—as your financial advisor.

It’s a little bigger than a quarter and about twice as thick, but because it’s made of aluminum, it weighs roughly the same. It’s flat and smooth, except for what seem to be a few tiny bite marks around the perimeter. To you, it might look like a washer without a hole. To Felix, an alpha male capuchin monkey, and his friends at Yale University, it’s money.

“When one of the monkeys grabs a token, he’s going to hold onto it as though he really values it,” explains Laurie Santos, a psychology professor at Yale. “And the other monkeys might try to take it away from him. Just like they would with a piece of food. Just as you might want to do when you see a person flaunting cash.”

During the past seven years, Santos and Yale economist Keith Chen have conducted a series of cutting-edge experiments in which Felix and seven other monkeys trade these discs for food much like we toss a $20 bill to a cashier at Taco Bell. And in doing so, these monkeys became the first nonhumans to use, well, money.

“It sounds like the setup to a bad joke,” says Chen. “A monkey walks into a room and finds a pile of coins, and he’s got to decide how much he wants to spend on apples, how much on oranges, and how much on pineapples.” Continue HERE

h1

[Dissenter] Rosa Luxemburg

August 2, 2011

Rosa Luxemburg in 1910: a soapbox fighter not a soulless statistician. Photograph: Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist activist in early 20th-century Berlin, murdered by her political enemies after World War I. She’s the topic of the debut edition of “Long Story Short,” a new podcast on people and ideas in Jewish life. HERE

h1

Osama bin Laden RIP

May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden, * March 10, 1957, † May 1, 2011.

h1

{}{}{}_{}{}{}

April 12, 2011

You are welcome to meander around the past, and its resources. We’ll be back.

h1

Help the Human and the Non-Human in You

March 13, 2011




These are just a few links, but there are other options besides donating.

The American Red Cross

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres

Animal programs

Save the Children

International Medical Corps

Global Giving

Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake

British Red Cross

World Vision

Shelter Box

NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

If you have tech skills, Crisis Commons is seeking volunteers to monitor the situation in the Pacific Rim, gather data and identify needs stipulated by local agencies and humanitarian aid organizations that can be addressed through collaborative online software development. Honshu Quake

Adventist Development and Relief Agency International’s Response to Japan Tsunami

All Hands Volunteers’s Response to Japan Tsunami

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Response to Japan Tsunami

International Rescue Committee’s Response to Japan Tsunami

…or create your own way.

h1

Dead Horse Bay

August 3, 2010


Dead Horse Bay is a small water body off Barren Island between the Gerritsen Inlet and Rockaway Inlet in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

Like most of New York City, Dead Horse Bay has a long history of changes. Over the years, much of old New York has been torn down, replaced, torn down again, and replaced again by new buildings and people, and the layers of history are all but forgotten. Not true at Dead Horse Bay, where remnants of the past litter the beach today.

Along Millstone Trail near the bay, a millstone is left over from the 17th century, when Dutch settlers used the water for tide mills to grind wheat into flour.
Continue reading on ATLAS OBSCURA


……CONTACT THEM IF YOU WANT A TOUR TO DEAD HORSE BAY:

h1

Ommwriter – a place to write

July 24, 2010

They say:

A wise man once said “We are all at the mercy of our wild monkey minds. Incessantly swinging from branch to branch.” With multiple windows and applications all vying for our attention, we have sadly adapted our working habits to that of the computer and not the other way around.

Ommwriter is a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate.

Ommwriter is a simple text processor that firmly believes in making writing a pleasure once again, vindicating the close relationship between writer and paper. The more intimate the relation, the smoother the flow of inspiration.

If you are a scriptwriter, blogger, journalist, copywriter, poet or just someone who enjoys writing, welcome back to concentrating.

Go to OMMWRITER

h1

Limit(e) Beckett: A New Online Academic Journal

July 19, 2010


Limit(e) Beckett is a collaborative project and an online resource, aimed at promoting the study and appreciation of Beckett across existing borders. We want to foster dialogue between the francophone and anglophone worlds, between established and emerging scholars, between academic and non-academic readers, and between different disciplines and across different media.

Our website, at http://limitebeckett.paris-sorbonne.fr/ is the heart of this project. It provides several approaches to our central aim: as journal, as creative showcase, and as online resource. Limit(e) Beckett is a new and innovative peer reviewed bilingual journal, which publishes scholarly articles on Beckett and the limit(e). Our first issue features articles in French and English, on Beckett and philosophy, Beckett and the arts, and Beckett across languages. The website will also be a showcase of Beckett’s wide influence beyond academia, featuring creative engagements with Beckett’s work in the visual arts, film, contemporary writing and beyond. Finally, Limit(e) Beckett also offers a valuable online resource for Beckett enthusiasts, making out-of-print works of criticism available online, and collecting information about upcoming events and useful resources.

In order to ground this online resource in a real community, we organize occasional events around this broader project. We launched this project in 2009 with a highly successful conference in Paris that brought speakers from the UK, the US, France and beyond, and featured both academic papers and an exhibition of artworks inspired by Beckett. We hope to hold further events in the future.”

LIMIT{e} BECKETT

…extra:
Samuel Beckett: Debts and Legacies, 2010 SEMINAR PODCAST

h1

Terrorism Studies: Social scientists do counterinsurgency

May 17, 2010

Game theorists posit that even suicide bombers are rational actors.

Today, few consider the global war on terror to have been a success, either as a conceptual framing device or as an operation. President Obama has pointedly avoided stringing those fateful words together in public. His foreign-policy speech in Cairo, last June, makes an apt bookend with Bush’s war-on-terror speech in Washington, on September 20, 2001. Obama not only didn’t talk about a war; he carefully avoided using the word “terrorism,” preferring “violent extremism.”

But if “global war” isn’t the right approach to terror what is? Experts on terrorism have produced shelves’ worth of new works on this question. For outsiders, reading this material can be a jarring experience. In the world of terrorism studies, the rhetoric of righteousness gives way to equilibrium equations. Nobody is good and nobody is evil. Terrorists, even suicide bombers, are not psychotics or fanatics; they’re rational actors—that is, what they do is explicable in terms of their beliefs and desires—who respond to the set of incentives that they find before them. The tools of analysis are realism, rational choice, game theory, decision theory: clinical and bloodless modes of thinking.

Read more HERE

h1

May 15, 2010

“If you do not work on an important problem, it’s unlikely you’ll do important work. It’s perfectly obvious. Great scientists have thought through, in a careful way, a number of important problems in their field, and they keep an eye on wondering how to attack them. Let me warn you, important problems must be phrased carefully – It’s not the consequence that makes a problem important, it is that you have a reasonable attack. That is what makes a problem important. When I say that most scientists don’t work on important problems, I mean it in that sense. The average scientist, so far as I can make out, spends almost all his [or her] time working on problems which he [or she] believes will not be important and he [or she] also doesn’t believe that they will lead to important problems.” – Richard Hamming (1986) “You and Your Research”, Bell Communications Research Colloquium Seminar, 7 March

h1

Meet Dr. NakaMats

March 19, 2010

The mastermind behind over a world-record breaking 3,000 patents, Yoshiro Nakamatsu (中松 義郎) began inventing at the age of five, and is responsible for a universe of genius gadgets you probably use every day, like the “PyonPyon” spring shoes, the karaoke machine, CinemaScope, the “Cerebrex” armchair, the sauce pump, the taxicab meter, and a hydrogen-powered engine. And if you’ve ever happened to use a digital watch, a floppy disk, a CD or DVD, you’ve also got him to thank. (text by MotherBoard) Take a look at the short documentary:
Patently Strange: The World’s Most Prolific Inventor

h1

Positive Visual Cortex…SEE MORE!

June 5, 2009

forest copy
forest

A University of Toronto study provides the first direct evidence that our mood literally changes the way our visual system filters our perceptual experience suggesting that seeing the world through rose-colored glasses is more biological reality than metaphor.

“Good and bad moods literally change the way our visual cortex operates and how we see,” says Adam Anderson, a U of T professor of psychology. “Specifically our study shows that when in a positive mood, our visual cortex takes in more information, while negative moods result in tunnel vision. The study appears tomorrow in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The U of T team used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine how our visual cortex processes sensory information when in good, bad, and neutral moods. They found that donning the rose-colored glasses of a good mood is less about the color and more about the expansiveness of the view.

090603103807

The researchers first showed subjects a series images designed to generate a good, bad or neutral mood. Subjects were then shown a composite image, featuring a face in the center, surrounded by “place” images, such as a house. To focus their attention on the central image, subjects were asked to identify the gender of the person’s face. When in a bad mood, the subjects did not process the images of places in the surrounding background.

However, when viewing the same images in a good mood, they actually took in more information — they saw the central image of the face as well as the surrounding pictures of houses. The discovery came from looking at specific parts of the brain — the parahippocampal “place area” — that are known to process places and how this area relates to primary visual cortical responses, the first part of the cortex related to vision.

“Under positive moods, people may process a greater number of objects in their environment, which sounds like a good thing, but it also can result in distraction,” says Taylor Schmitz, a graduate student of Anderson’s and lead author of the study. “Good moods enhance the literal size of the window through which we see the world. The upside of this is that we can see things from a more global, or integrative perspective. The downside is that this can lead to distraction on critical tasks that require narrow focus, such as operating dangerous machinery or airport screening of passenger baggage. Bad moods, on the other hand, may keep us more narrowly focused, preventing us from integrating information outside of our direct attentional focus.”

Info and details by SCIENCE DAILY.

h1

Nature v nurture? Please don’t ask

April 17, 2009

The question has fuelled some of history’s fiercest scientific and political feuds. Now we have an answer.

The monster Caliban, according to his master, Prospero, was “a devil, a pure devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick”. Yet only a few decades before Shakespeare wrote The Tempest, St Ignatius Loyola had founded the Jesuit order, with its famous maxim: “Give me the child until he is 7, and I will show you the man.”

This ancient debate over the relative contributions of inheritance and experience to the human condition has never been more charged than in the genetic age. On one side stood those who sought and saw genetic explanations for human psychology; on the other, those who believed it to be moulded by culture. There was little common ground. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, an evolutionary psychologist, has even joked that perhaps we are genetically programmed to set nature against nurture.

CONTINUE ARTICLE HERE

h1

Shilajit

March 7, 2009

shilajitfulvicacid

Ayurvedic Shilajit, ‘conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness’ contains humates (humic & fulvic acids).
Fulvic Acid is fragments of DNA from past generations of living organisms, giving life, energy, health, immunity, and renewal to Earth and all of its life forms. It has innate intelligence accumulated in its complex structure (above drawing) to protect and support life and is one of the key factors of enzyme reactions within all living cells supporting longevity, optimum health and all life as we know it. As a natural electrolyte it balances and energizes biological properties inside you (or you can also use it on open pores). This electrical potential enables cell balance, replication and construction which is the main factor for life, health and well being.
Humic Acid increases energy with improvement in morale .. decreased appetite, deeper & higher-quality sleep, less pain from physical injuries.
Humates are over-all healing, allowing more oxygen into the body and blocking the production of stress-causing hormones … (thanx to elenakulikova)
pinealgland

Shilajit
Shilajit in Perspective
Conscious Planet

h1

At WORK

February 23, 2009

If you complain about your work or about not having one, this photo essay is for you. Thanks to the Boston Globe, you can view part of a global portrait of humans assembling, generating, mantaining, and building the small and large, the mundane and expensive, the trivial and important. Cheers.

m14_17755025Eladio Gonzalez sands and buffs Oscar #3453 at R.S. Owens & Company Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, in Chicago. Oscar 3453 began its life with the transformation of a chunk of metal alloy into a 13 1/2-inch-tall statue at the factory where the statuettes have been made since 1983. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
m07_17714845An operator walks in the control room of the closed third unit of the nuclear power plant of Kozlodui north east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. Bulgaria’s parliament has approved plans to seek European Union permission to re-launch two old nuclear reactors mothballed when it joined the EU two years ago. The two aging 440-megawatt reactors at the Kozlodui plant were shut down in 2007. The government says Bulgarian businesses lost euro100 million (US$129 million) when Russian natural gas supplies were suspended for nearly two weeks. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)
m19_17870553A coal worker stacks wood in the Cienega de Zapata, Cuba on February 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa)
m24_17122887A person works in a facility at Arura Tibetan Medicine Group, a Tibetan medicine enterprise ranked number one in China, on November 21, 2008 in Xining of Qinghai Province, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)
m28_17862035A Belarussian man works in a felt boot factory in Smilovichi, some 35 km east of Minsk on February 5, 2009. Felt boots for cold winter conditions called “valenky” are common throughout Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Latvia. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
m30_17949413A worker at Iraqi’s Iskandariyah power plant works on a broken electricity-generating turbine shaft February 11, 2009 in Iskandariyah, Iraq. Built in the early 1980s, the Iskandariyha plant is Iraq’s largest and most important, providing a significant percentage of the country’s total electrical power. Years of neglect by Saddam’s government, as well as a 1991 aerial strike by the US during the Persian Gulf War, have left the plant hobbled and sometimes only operating at half capacity. The plant burns Iraq’s plentiful crude oil to generate power with almost no modern environmental regulations while its employees, numbering over 1000, work on dirty, oil-slicked floors with little safety equipment. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
m36_16797459An employee works in a textile factory in Suining, Sichuan province, China October 22, 2008. (REUTERS/Stringer)
m40_16790869A person works with a gunpowder mixture inside a firecracker factory on the outskirts of the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri October 21, 2008. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA)
m42_17040621An employee prepares gold bars for transport at a plant owned by Argor-Heraeus SA in the southern Swiss town of Mendrisio November 13, 2008. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)
m44_16864613A laborer walks over newly-made pipes at a cement plant in Yingtan, Jiangxi province, China on October 28, 2008. (REUTERS/Stringer)

To see the 45 pictures included in the photo essay click HERE.

h1

Happy 100th Anniversary of Futurism!

February 20, 2009

marinetti_figarojpegmarinetti109-m

The history of Futurism begins on 20 February 1909 in Paris with the publication of the first Futurist manifesto in the large-circulation daily, Le figaro. Its author, the wealthy Italian poet, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, writing from his luxurious villa rosa in Milan, had selected the Parisian public as the target of his manifesto of ‘incendiary violence’. Such attacks on the establishment values of the painting and literary academies were not infrequent in a city enjoying its reputation as the ‘cultural capital of the world’.

marinetti_dune Dune, parole in libertà 6:05 (1914)

Thanks to Melanie for reminding me.

h1

PEACE FOR PALESTINE

January 5, 2009

081210-ei-appeal1200px-flag_of_palestinesvgsjs10_wa

Boycott Israel
Campaign for boycott divestment and sanctions to end the occupation of Palestinian Territories.

Campaign Against Arms Trade
Lots of background information on the UK arms industry, government policy and the arms trade generally.

Electronic Intifada
News and analysis about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from a Palestinian perspective. See also Electronic Lebanon.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Information on the Israel/Palestine conflict, plus campaign actions and related events.

War on Want
Radical anti-poverty charity running a major campaign against the occupation.

Foundation for Middle East Peace
A nonprofit US-based organisation that promotes a peace based on two states, bringing security for Israel and freedom for Palestinians.

Al-Haq
Al-Haq is an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organisation that works in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to uphold the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Free Gaza
The Free Gaza Movement. 40 Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals sail to Gaza to deliver urgently needed medical equipment in August 2008.

Civitas Project
Foundations for Participation:Civic Structures for the Palestinian Refugee Camps and Exile Communities.
Based at University of Oxford. Works on representation for refugee communities in exile.

Gush Shalom
Promotes peace and conciliation with the Palestinian people.

Coalition for Palestine Australia
Committee Against Israeli Apartheid Canada
Association France Palestine Solidarite (AFPS) France
ACSUR Las Segovias, Group of NGOs for Palestine Spain
Palestine Solidarity Committee South Africa
End the Occupation USA

h1

Lucid Dreams with…

December 28, 2008

… plants commonly known as Oneirogens.

Etymology: From the Greek “oneiros” meaning dream and “gen” meaning to create, describes that which produces a dream-like state of consciousness.

africandreemrootSilene capensis (syn. Silene undulata) (also known as African Dream Root) is a plant native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where is regarded by the Xhosa people as a sacred plant. Its root is traditionally used to induce vivid (and according to the Xhosa, prophetic) lucid dreams during the initiation process of shamans, classifying it a naturally-occurring oneirogen similar to the more well-known dream herb Calea zacatechichi.

calea_zacatechichiCalea zacatechichi, also known as Dream Herb, Cheech, and Bitter Grass, is a plant used by the indigenous Chontal of the Mexican state of Oaxaca for oneiromancy (a form of divination based on dreams.) The plant naturally occurs from southern Mexico to northern Costa Rica. It has been scientifically demonstrated that extracts of this plant increase reaction times and the frequency and/or recollection of dreams[1] versus placebo and diazepam. It is also employed by the Chontal people as a medicinal herb against gastrointestinal disorders, and is used as an appetizer, cathartic anti-dysentery remedy, and as a fever-reducing agent.

entada_rheedii_1entadaEntada rheedii is a large woody liana or climber. It is also known as African Dream Herb and Snuff Box Sea Bean. It is often spelled as Entada rheedei, though initially published as E. rheedii. The alternate spelling is to correctly honour Hendrik Adriaan von Rheede tot Draakestein (1637-1691).

Its leaves are dried and smoked to induce vivid dreams. Its seeds are found on east and southern African beaches, having grown on river and estuary banks and in swamp forest. They have thick and durable seed coats and can survive lengthy periods of immersion in sea water. These seeds are sought after as pieces of jewelry and as good-luck charms. As a result of its ready dispersal by sea, Entada rheedii is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

aheader1
Information here obtained from Wiki, inspired on the research of Krystle Cole from Neuro Soup. Someone to meet….Really pleasant gal, and lots of juicy (literally) information for the neuro-travelers.

post by Wanderlust

h1

…on truth

December 26, 2008

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

~ Isaac Newton

h1

Crowd Technologies (hmmmm)

December 23, 2008

Crowd surveillance is nothing new my big brotha! In any case, here is a great selection of articles put together by Pruned. Click on the titles to check the articles.

051018_3_crowds_1Counting Crowds: it’s all politics really.

060403_1_parkless_1The Parkless Park: the pageantry of mass psychology.

061006_crowd_dynamics_1Crowd Dynamics Ltd.: services include crowd control modeling, evacuation planning, traffic management, pedestrian flow engineering, and queuing analysis.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Shoe – – – – > Bush (with a vengeance)

December 16, 2008

…an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at some guy named George Bush.

now, I leave you with some lovely digital re-enactments (the mighty GIFs):

iraqimage001
iraqimage002
iraqimage004
iraqimage005
iraqimage006
iraqimage007
iraqimage008
iraqimage009

h1

The Selk’nam

November 27, 2008

fuegobodyp11

The Selk’nam also known as the Ona, lived in the Tierra del Fuego islands, in southern Chile and Argentina. They were one of the last aboriginal groups in South America to be reached by Westerners, in the late 19th century, when the Chilean and Argentine governments began efforts to explore and integrate Tierra del Fuego (literally, the “land of fire” based on early European explorers observing Selk’nam smoke from their bonfires).

The pictures
are scanned postcards and the additional info mentions E. Lucas Bridges, the only European to live amongst the Ona and learn their language and customs before they became extinct.

fuegobodyp2

h1

Fluoride NO MORE (save yourself and others)

October 31, 2008

(Mom! What is that transparent thing coming out of the faucet?)

Dear Friends:

There is a LOT of information available about fluoride out there, but this info. is sometimes conflicting (e.g. Fluoride Information Movement vs. Fluoride Action Network ). How can we make up our minds about it? Why? After a modest research over net and some libraries, I felt the necessity to expose some studies and some facts that I find pertinent. Obviously, I ENCOURAGE you to do your own research…In any case, these links will lead you to some relevant sources.

From the Fluoride Action Network (an international coalition seeking to broaden public awareness about the toxicity of fluoride compounds and the health impacts of current fluoride exposures) website 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation, I only present you 10 of those clear reasons.

Here we go:

01) Fluoride is not an essential nutrient (NRC 1993 and IOM 1997). No disease has ever been linked to a fluoride deficiency. Humans can have perfectly good teeth without fluoride.

02) Fluoridation is not necessary. Most Western European countries are not fluoridated and have experienced the same decline in dental decay as the US (See data from World Health Organization in Appendix 1, and the time trends presented graphically at http://www.fluoridealert.org/who-dmft.htm ). The reasons given by countries for not fluoridating are presented in Appendix 2.)

03) Where fluoridation has been discontinued in communities from Canada, the former East Germany, Cuba and Finland, dental decay has not increased but has actually decreased (Maupome 2001; Kunzel and Fischer,1997,2000; Kunzel 2000 and Seppa 2000).

04) There have been numerous recent reports of dental crises in US cities (e.g. Boston, Cincinnati, New York City) which have been fluoridated for over 20 years. There appears to be a far greater (inverse) relationship between tooth decay and income level than with water fluoride levels.
Modern research (e.g. Diesendorf 1986; Colquhoun 1997, and De Liefde, 1998) shows that decay rates were coming down before fluoridation was introduced and have continued to decline even after its benefits would have been maximized. Many other factors influence tooth decay. Some recent studies have found that tooth decay actually increases as the fluoride concentration in the water increases (Olsson 1979; Retief 1979; Mann 1987, 1990; Steelink 1992; Teotia 1994; Grobleri 2001; Awadia 2002 and Ekanayake 2002).

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

QUIT FACEBOOK

October 31, 2008

As soon as I saw this article on Adbusters, I couldn’t stop my desire to read it. I also left this virtual empire a few months ago.
So…What is up with our friendly social networks? What are they doing to us? What are the costs to the pysche of a young person? What am I doing by posting this? In effect reflect about defect and eject the insect before becomes and object of respect or a sect…anyway here I leave with the writings of Carmen Joy King, a contributor of the friendly Adbuster Culturejammer Headquarters.



The young Facebook’s multimillionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s back head (photo: Emily Shur)

In march, at the peak of Facebook popularity, I quit. with four swift clicks of the mouse, I canceled my account. Gone was the entire online persona I had created for myself – profile pictures, interests and activities, work history, friends acquired – all carefully thought out to showcase to the world the very best version of me, all now deleted.

Ironically, the decision to destroy my carefully built-up virtual image came as a result of wanting to enhance my profile. All that particular week I’d been hungry for new quotes on my page, something to reflect the week I’d been having: something introspective. I perused a quotes website and found this one attributed to Aristotle:

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

I became despondent. What, then, was I? If my time was spent changing my profile picture on Facebook, thinking of a clever status update for Facebook, checking my profile again to see if anyone had commented on my page, Is this what I am? A person who re-visits her own thoughts and images for hours each day? And so what do I amount to? An egotist? A voyeur?

Whatever the label, I was unhappy and feeling empty. The amount of time I spent on Facebook had pushed me into an existential crisis. It wasn’t the time-wasting, per se, that bothered me. It was the nature of the obsession – namely self-obsession. Enough was enough. I left Facebook.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Tesla Says:

October 24, 2008

“There is no thing endowed with life – from man, who is enslaving the elements, to the nimblest creature – in all this world that does not sway in its turn. Whenever action is born from force, though it be infinitesimal, the cosmic balance is upset and the universal motion results.”

-Nikola Tesla