Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Joe Strummer: If You're Out There Getting the Honey, You Don't Go Killin' All the Bees

CoEvolution: Your iPad is Like An Arthropod

Via Big THink: "Learning guru John Seely Brown finds an intriguing analogy between the disruptive technology of today and what evolutionary biologists have observed in the fossil record during a period over 500 million years ago. The Cambrian period was like evolution on steroids. After a period of long evolutionary stasis, a warming climate created marine habitats that gave birth to new complex life forms. Among the great evolutionary innovations of this period were animals with external skeletons, or arthropods.
To follow Brown's analogy, if anthropologists many years from now are to look at our current "Cambrian explosion" they will see that in the early 21st century human biology did not change so much. Instead, humans have co-evolved with technology, acquiring increasingly sophisticated tools in a short period of time." More here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Early Roman Kings: Dylan Unleashed

The video from the Cinemax series "Strike Back" has been out for a little while, but we have been really grooving of late to the Bob Dylan TEMPEST album, especially "Early Roman Kings" a heavy blues riff, lyrically adventurous, as always : All the early roman kings in their sharkskin suits bowties and buttons hightop boots drivin' the spikes in raisin' the rails nailin' the coffins in top hats and tails fly away over fly away flap your wings fly by night like the early roman kings all the early roman kings in the early early morn comin' down the mountain distributing the corn speeding through the forest racin' down the track you try to get away they drag you back tomorrow is ? we'll see what it brings everybodys talkin' about the early roman kings there's peddlers and theres meddlers they buy and they sell they'll destroy your city they'll destroy you as well their lecherous and trechurous hell-bent for leather each of 'em bigger than all them put together sluggers and muggers wearin' fancy gold rings all the women goin' crazy for the early roman kings i can dress up your wounds with a blood clotted rag i ain't afraid to make love ? if you see me comin' and your standin' there wave your hankerchief in the air i ain't dead yet my bell still rings i keep my fingers crossed like the early roman kings i can strip you of life strip you of breath ship you down to the house of death one day you will ask for me they'll be no one else that you'll wanna see bring down my fiddle tune up my strings i'm gonna break it wide open like the early roman kings i was up on black mountain the day detroit fell they killed 'em all off and they sent 'em to hell ding dong daddy you're comin' up short gonna put you on trial in a sicilian court i had my fun i had my flings gonna shake 'em on down like the early roman king -Bob Dylan 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shabab Libya: Libyan Militia Linked to Embassy Inferno

Shabab Libya, publication of the Libyan Youth Movement, reports "Suspicion in last week’s attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans has focused on members of a hardcore Islamist militia known for its sympathies to al-Qaeda, its fierce animosity to the United States and its intimidation of other Muslims who don’t conform to its harsh ideology."

"That doesn’t mean Libyan authorities will move against Ansar al-Shariah soon. The group is among the most powerful of the many, heavily armed militias that the government relies on to keep security in Benghazi."

"In fact, it guards one of Benghazi’s main hospitals."
Libya’s militias are a legacy of last year’s bloody civil war that led to the ouster and killing of longtime dictator Colonel Moammar Gadhafi – and their continued power underscores the weakness of the country’s new political leadership nearly a year after the war ended.

"With a range of ideologies, the militias arose from local groups that took up arms and battled Col. Gadhafi’s forces. Across the country, they still resist integration into the armed forces and remain in many places the sole forces keeping a fragile sense of order."

"Ansar al-Shariah, which denies it was part of the attack, is not the biggest of Benghazi’s militias. But it is viewed as the most disciplined and feared, with links to other militant groups in Benghazi and eastern Libya. They are also the most forceful in demanding that the new Libya be ruled by a strident and intolerant interpretation of Islam and shariah law not far removed from al-Qaeda’s."

More here

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

US Embassies Attacked; US Foreign Service and US Military Personnel Killed; Libyan Chaos Ensues

Insurgent attack on US Embassy in Libya resultsi n death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens,as well as other Foreign Service and US Military personnel. While the military personnel were shot, the Ambassador evidently suffocated from smoke inhalation, but reports including photos indicate that his dead body was carried through the streets by Muslims protesting a film about the prophet Mohammed.

Graphic photos here

Details on the US response, beyond rhetoric, unclear at this moment. More on the attack on US Embassies in Egypt and Libya here

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Living Room Candidate

The Museum of the Moving Image's "The Living Room Candidate" TV campaigns in the 20th century and beyond.

The Priority of Memory on September 11

This morning, everyone agreed, the sky over New York City was crisp and clear, like it was on The Day. I was up early, and at sunrise, Venus, the Crescent Moon, and Jupiter, were in a wonderful alignment in the sky. I put up Old Glory, unfurled in a Flatbush that has seen so much before, then put on my tie, and headed for the office. The Q train was filled, crowded with workers and students. I was proud, as some of the international students noted who stayed with us during our daughter's recent wedding, that New York City remains so incredibly, remarkably, miraculously diverse. All of us, working folks, students, New Yorkers, headed on our way to varied points throughout the 5 boroughs to do our New York thing, and hopefuilly return home this evening. Today, at the office, the morning included, as it always has and no doubt will among those who were there and remember, a sharing of a few stories and memories. The tales of Brooklyn on that day remain varied and extraordinarily person personal, as for everyone.

We've told the story here, before. This year, we will let the memories establish their own priorities as we see what the future brings.

September Concert: Top Jazz Artists Perform Tonight at Ashford and Simpson's Sugar Bar on the upper west side. Details here

Friday, September 7, 2012

Noonan on the Democrats

Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal on the DNC:

"Bill Clinton is The Master. That is stipulated. Almost everyone in the media was over the moon about his speech. It was a shrewd and superb moment of political generosity, his hauling into town to make the case, but it was a hack speech. It was the speech of a highly gifted apparatchik. All great partisan speeches include some hard and uncomfortable truths, but Mr. Clinton offered none. He knows better than so much of what he said. In real life he makes insightful statements on the debt, the deficit and the real threat they pose. He knows more about the need for and impediments to public-school reform than half the reformers do. He knows exactly why both parties can't reach agreement in Washington, and what each has done wrong along the way. But Wednesday night he stuck to fluid fictions and clever cases. It was smaller than Bill Clinton is.

Still, he gave the president one great political gift: He put Medicaid on the table. He put it right there next to the pepper shaker and said Look at that! People talk Medicare and Social Security, but, as Mr. Clinton noted, more than half of Medicaid is spent on nursing-home care for seniors and on those with disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism. Will it be cut?

Here's what I'm seeing the past 10 years. The baby boomers have been supporting their grown children and their aged parents. They are stressed, stretched and largely uncomplaining, because they know that as boomers—shallow, selfish—they're the only generation not allowed to complain. And just as well, as complaints are the only area of national life where we have a surplus. But they are spiritually and financially holding the country together, and they're coming to terms with the fact that it's going to be that way for a good long time. They're going to take a keen interest in where Medicaid goes.

Romney-Ryan take note: this will arrive as an issue."

FUll article here

"Tore Up" on a Friday: Jerry Garcia Band

The Hank Ballard classic performed by the Jerry Garcia Band in 1993. "Tell me what did I do/to make you go away"....At around 6:55 JG unleashes a short burst of what it's all about...Melvin Seals gives an awesome tutorial on the blues piano..a great, late, Jerry Garcia Band performance...

Current Reading

  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War- Tony Horwitz
  • A Sultan in Palermo - Tariq Ali
  • Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens
  • Negropedia- Patrice Evans
  • Dead Funny: Humor in Nazi Germany - Rudolph Herzog
  • Exile on Main Street - Robert Greenfield
  • Among the Truthers - A Journey Among America's Growing Conspiracist Underworld - Jonathan Kay
  • Paradise Lost - John Milton
  • What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Thinking the Unthinkable - John Brockman
  • Notes from the Edge Times - Daniel Pinchbeck
  • Fringe-ology: How I Can't Explain Away the Unexplainable- Steve Volk
  • Un Juif pour l'exemple (translated as A Jew Must Die )- Jacques Cheesex
  • The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
  • Pale King - David Foster Wallce
  • David Bowie: Starman bio - Paul Trynka
  • Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen
  • The Future of Nostalgia -Svetlana Boym
  • Living in the End Times - Slavoj ZIzek
  • FIrst as Tragedy Next as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Daniel Wilson
  • Where is My Jet Pack? -Daniel Wilson
  • Day of the Oprichniks - Vladimir Sorokin
  • Ice Trilogy - Vladimir Sorokin
  • First Civilizations
  • Oscar Wilde -Andre Maurois
  • The Beats - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • SDS - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • The Unfinished Animal - Theodore Roszak
  • Friends of Eddy Coyle
  • Brooklands -Emily Barton
  • Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahme-Smith - Entertaining and historical
  • Dictionary of the Khazars - Pavic
  • Sloth-Gilbert Hernandez
  • War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy
  • Charles Addams: An Evilution
  • Life in Ancient Greece
  • Time - Eva Hoffmann
  • Violence - S. Zizek
  • Luba - a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Great Apes - Will Self - riveting and disturbing
  • Lost Honor of Katherina Blum - Heinrich Boll - could not put it down
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed (author deserving of new wide readership)
  • Living in Ancient Mesopotomia
  • Landscape in Concrete - Jakov Lind - surreal
  • 'There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby'-Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - creepy stories - translation feels literarily "thin"
  • Mythologies - William Butler Yeats (re-read again & again)
  • How German Is It ? - Walter Abish
  • The Book of Genesis - illustrated by R. Crumb - visionary
  • "Flags" - an illustrated encyclopedia - wish I could remember all of these. Flag culture
  • Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ubik - Philip K. Dick
  • Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
  • Hitler's Empire - Mark Mazower
  • Nazi Culture - various authors
  • Master Plan: Himmler 's Scholars and the Holocaust - Heather Pringle
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
  • Living in Ancient Rome
  • Traveling with Herodotus -R. Kapuszynsky
  • Oblivion - David Foster Wallace - Some of his greatest work
  • Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace - still wrestling with this great book
  • Netherland - Joseph O'Neill - staggeringly great read
  • Renegade - The Obama Campaign - Richard Wolffe
  • Mount Analogue - Rene Daumal
  • John Brown
  • Anathem - Neal Stephenson - love Stephenson but tough slogging first few chapters
  • 7 Deadly Sins
  • ALEX COX - Alex Cox
  • FIASCO by Thomas Ricks
  • I, Fellini - Charlotte Chandler & Federico Fellini
  • Best of 20th century alternative history fiction
  • Judah P. Benjamin - Eli Evans - Confederacy's Secretary of State & source of the W.C. Field's exclamation
  • Moscow 2042 - Vladimir Voinovich - Pre-1989 curiosity & entertaining sci fi read; love his portrayal of Solzhenitsyn-like character
  • Gomorrah - Roberto Saviano - Mafia without the It-Am sugar coating. Brutal & disturbing
  • The Sack of Rome - Celebrity+Media+Money=Silvio Berlusconi - Alexander Stille
  • Reporting - David Remnick - terrific journalism
  • Fassbinder
  • Indignation - Philip Roth
  • Rome
  • Let's Go Italy! 2008
  • Italian Phrases for Dummies
  • How to Pack
  • Violence - Slavoj Zizek
  • Dali: Painting & Film
  • The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Jimmy Breslin
  • The Good Rat - Jimmy Breslin
  • Spook Country - William Gibson
  • A Blue Hand - The Beats in India - Deborah Baker
  • The Metaphysical Club - Louis Menard
  • Coast of Utopia - Tom Stoppard
  • Physics of the Impossible - Dr. Michio Kaku
  • Managing the Unexpected - Weick & Sutcliffe
  • Wait Til The Midnight Hour - Writings on Black Power
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed
  • Burning Down the Masters' House - Jayson Blair
  • Howl - Allen Ginsberg
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Palace Thief - Ethan Canin
  • John Adams - David McCullough
  • The Wooden Sea - Jonathan Carroll
  • American Gangster - Mark Jacobson
  • Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Gawker Guide to Becoming King of All Media
  • Jews and Power - Ruth Wisse
  • Youth Without Youth - Mircea Eliade
  • A Team of Rivals - Doris Goodwin
  • Ghost Hunters -William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death - Deborah Blum
  • Dream -Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy - Stephen Duncombe
  • Love & Theft - Eric Lott
  • Exit Ghost - Philip Roth
  • Studio A - The Bob Dylan Reader

Current Listening

  • Alexi Murdoch Wait
  • Wilco Summer Teeth
  • Wilco The Album
  • Carmina Burana - Ray Manzarek (& Michael Riesmann)
  • Polyrock - Polyrock
  • 96 Tears - Garland Jeffries
  • Ghost of a Chance Garland Jeffries
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Mustang Sally Buddy Guy
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Black and White Years
  • Together Through Life - B. Dylan
  • 100 Days 100 Nites - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
  • DYLAN: 3 disc Greatest...
  • Glassworks - Philip Glass
  • Wild Palms - Soundtrack -Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Dinah Washington - Best of..
  • Commander Cody& His Lost Planet Airmen Live at Armadillo