Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
In light of events that occured in the Middle East earlier this year, many worry that in the future, rogue governments could cut off access to the internet as a way to control political "threats."
Douglas Rushkoff has championed the idea that the current corporate-controlled internet is far from the open commons we pretend it is.
"If we have a dream of how social media could restore peer-to-peer commerce, culture, and government, and if the current Internet is too tightly controlled to allow for it, why not build the kind of network and mechanisms to realize it?" Rushkoff asks.
Sounds daunting. And expensive, right? Wrong.
Funded primarily by the personal savings of group members and a grant from the National Science Foundation, residents of Jalalabad have built the FabFi network: an open-source system that uses common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles.
No doubt Abbott will be championing this as a way forward for Australia.
As the emerging economies of Asia come online in earnest, the web's ability to bring people together is proving its most appealing aspect.
Whether they are raising a voice of opposition in the Singapore elections, organising rallies against corruption in India or helping victims of the earthquake in Japan locate their loved ones, online communities are giving people a space to band together and speak out.
In some cases, Asian nations are overtaking their Western counterparts as the "friendliest" countries.
In Indonesia, almost 80% of internet users engaged in a social activity such as managing a social-network profile, writing a blog or using a microblogging service, such as Twitter, in a one month time period, according to GlobalWebIndex.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Absolutely brilliant. This is real singing.
I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that's real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything
what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here
what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way
Brilliant shots of the Faslane Peace Camp, in Argyll, Scotland, site of the Trident Nuclear Detterent. It has been continuously occupied since 1982, bringing attention to the presence of nuclear weapons on Scottish soil.
More information available in Wikipedia
I had this LP many years ago. Haven't heard this for years.
i have flown
to star-stained heights
on bend and battered wings
in search of
sure that everything of worth
is in the sky and not the earth
and i never learned
to make my way
where the iguanas play
All about Dory Previn: http://www.musictory.com/music/Dory+Previn
Airdrie United, a Scottish soccer team, wanted to honor the Allied soldiers who died during World War Two on Remembrance Day, a British holiday. The team put together a poster with a vintage photo of nurses serving water to soliders, but only later did they learn it was a picture of German nurses and Nazi soldiers.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I modestly think that this could be a postcard for Adelaide.
The South African or Boer War Memorial, located at the corner of King William and North Terrace, commemorates the first South Australians to go to war. Over 1500 men and horses fought, with over 50 South Australian's killed.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Based on the relatively poor health of incarcerated populations and the high mortality rates seen after release, one might predict that inmates would also suffer from high mortality while incarcerated. A recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report, however, showed that while incarcerated, inmates aged 15–64 years experience 19% lower mortality than comparably aged controls in the general population; among blacks, mortality for prisoners is 43% lower than age-adjusted mortality for the general black population.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Military Hardware Industry must be salivating. Seems that regardless of the foreign adventures, they are the ones to make out. Taxpayers get fucked with the cost and the knock on effect of higher petrol prices. Sick.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Jason Seater, 21, had been out drinking with pals when he was caught on CCTV urinating in the lake in Portland, Oregon, at 1.30am.
Officials immediately ordered the entire reservoir to be drained at a cost of £22,000 ($36,000).
Health experts say the move was ridiculous but David Shaff, an administrator at the Portland Water Bureau, defended the decision and said: “There are people who will say it's an over reaction. I don't think so. I think what you have to deal with here is the 'yuck' factor.
“I can imagine how many people would be saying 'I made orange juice with that water this morning.' "Do you want to drink pee? Most people are going to be pretty damn squeamish about that.”
It will take more than a spoon-ful of sugar to make this medicine go down.
In its latest attempt to derail the plain cigarette packaging legislation, Big Tobacco has pulled out one of its favourite pro-tobacco messages: say no to a nanny state.
The print advertisements and website ask, “Do you really like living in a nanny state?” and explain, “The government doesn’t believe you can make your own decisions. More and more, the government is telling us what we should and shouldn’t do.”
The tobacco industry’s concern with the legislation is, of course, the loss of their branding – one of the last available avenues to market cigarettes to consumers.
It’s motive? Retaining the current level of profit by selling cigarettes that cause addiction and then prematurely kill one in every two people who smoke them.
Big Tobacco has relied on a range of arsenal and contradictory messages to fight the plain packaging legislation so far.
First we were told there was no evidence plain packaging would work. Then, we were told it would increase smoking. And most recently, that it would increase terrorism and allow organised crime to flourish.
Economically, we were told plain packaging would waste taxpayer money. And, it would cost the taxpayer even more money because the tobacco manufacturers would sue the government.
The term “nanny state” was coined by British politician Iain Macleod in 1965. At one stage a health minister, he smoked furiously and died at 57 of a heart attack.
The metaphor was given further prominence by the British author and journalist Auberon Waugh. Waugh, also a heavy smoker, opposed any action on smoking and died of heart disease at 61.
Closer to home, governments have been accused of nanny stateism in the process of implementing all of our greatest public health reforms.
In the 1950s, 75% of Australian men smoked. But with bans on tobacco advertising, smoke-free legislation and increased tobacco taxes, this rate is down to less than 17%, and we now have the lowest levels of smoking ever among adolescents.
Many more stunning shots here.
Monday, June 20, 2011
In the days that followed, Deck decided to give his life some purpose (at least for a few months) and, several months later, set off on a road trip around the United States in order to document our country's many misspellings. He gave himself the mandate of correcting at least one spelling mistake every single day. Together with a rotating cast of friends, he traveled from the Northeast ("bread puding") to Georgia ("pregnacy test") to Wisconsin ("Milwuake Furniture") while documenting each mistake and each correction on his blog -- a mission that taught him about the breadth of America's language problem and its citizens' strongly divergent attitudes toward the English language.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs.
Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises.
One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously.
Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer's spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.
Clearly still offended, one of the judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children.
Born to Run was one of the first LP's I ever bought. I got it in the Oxfam Shop in St Andrews in the late 70s. I never really liked Springsteens later work and had no idea who Clarence Clemons was until I read the news today.
Brilliant musician even I was ignorant all those years.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
She stripped naked because marine experts believe beluga whales do not like the touch of artificial materials such as diving suits.
The taming of the whales took place in the Murmansk Oblast region in the far northwest of Russia at the shore of the White Sea near the Arctic Circle branch of the Utrish Dolphinarium.
An area of the sea is enclosed to stop whales and dolphins getting out and instructors tame the mammals before they are transported to dolphinariums around the world - a practice many animal conservationists consider cruel.
Belugas have a small hump on their heads used for echo-location and it was thought that there would be more chance of striking up a rapport with them without clothes as a barrier.
Ms Avseenko took the plunge as the water temperature hit -1.5C.
The average human could die if left in sub-zero temperature sea water for just five minutes.
However, Ms Avseenko is a yoga expert and used meditation techniques to hold her breath and stay under water for an incredible 10 minutes and 40 seconds.
Friday, June 17, 2011
After announcing that Budweiser will sponsor the FA Cup as of next year, the Football Association has assured supporters that they will never be exposed to a single drop of the stuff.
The initial announcement filled fans with the fear that Budweiser would be the only low-quality alcoholic beverage available at matches during next year’s competition, causing angry scenes which forced the governing body to react by calling an emergency press conference.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The main characters “thump” Romans, pirates and Goths but a “detailed analysis had not been performed hitherto” of the injuries they suffered.
By “screening” all 34 books, the authors found 704 cases of head or brain injury, all but six suffered by men.
The victims were mostly Romans (450) but also included 120 Gauls, 59 bandits or pirates, 20 Goths, eight Vikings and five Britons. In 402 cases the perpetrators of the violence were Asterix and/or Obelix themselves.
In 696 cases “blunt force” was used but eight people were strangled and six suffered a fall.
More victims (390) suffered severe trauma than moderate (89) or mild (225), with the researchers using the standard Glasgow coma scale to assess the seriousness of their wounds.
About half (390) lost consciousness after being attacked and 188 were drawn with hypoglossal paresis – “an outstretched or sideward pointing tongue”. Half also had periorbital ecchymoses or “raccoon eyes” and some had “sporadic amnesia”.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Hundreds of tickets to the London 2012 Olympics have been allocated to Libya in a move that could yet pose potentially awkward diplomatic questions for the British government.
Libya's Olympic authorities, which is headed by Muammar Gaddafi's eldest son, Muhammad were allocated "a few hundred" passes to next year's Games, the organisers confirmed, while refusing to reveal the exact number.
The London organising committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) said in a statement last night: "The Libyan NOC [National Olympic Committee], not an individual, has been allocated a few hundred tickets (not thousands) which they are responsible for distributing to sports organisations and athletes within their country."
Locog is obliged to give tickets to any of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member states who request them.
Britain fears diplomatic embarrassment over attendance by members of the regime, according to the Daily Telegraph, which reported that a spokesperson for the IOC had said NOCs were only suspended when they were "not able to function any more because of government interference".
Muammar Gaddafi and a number of senior figures from his regime are currently subject to an internatonal travel ban, while the International Criminal Court has also sought warrants for their arrest.
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Monday, June 13, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 09, 2011
This is one of the Gaelic words which has come into English. In older books it is spelt céilidh, with an acute accent, and this older spelling is used often among Gaels in Canada.
In Gaelic, cèilidh encompasses more meanings than in English. It can mean anything from a “traditional” kilts and Dashing White Sergeant event, to a few friends singing a few songs, to a chat over a cup of tea.
Television is often blamed for killing off old-style cèilidhs, which would involve most people in a village gathering to hear songs and stories. In addition to being a noun, cèilidh is also used as a verb. Chaidh mi a chèilidh oirre means “I went to visit her”.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Islamic groups have accused top Universities of complacency in tackling the number of people on campus expressing the sort of views normally associated with members of the Conservative party.
Aadil Jabbour from Nottingham University’s Islamic Society said, “I think for too long there’s been complacency around these top universities. I don’t think they have been sufficiently willing to recognise the number of Tories preaching hysteria on their campuses.”
Most Westerners, when viewing it, focus on the wave itself, which towers over Mount Fuji in a show of almost implacable force, all the more terrifying considering the three fragile boats under it. Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, wrote in “A History of the World in 100 Objects” that the picture reflected frightened fishermen and an insecure, cloistered Japan about to be forced by American gunboats into the modern world. But Japanese art critics differ—and they have a point. In the picture the boatmen look more serene than fearful, as their vessels slice through the waves. Their stillness in the face of danger is all the more poignant in Japan, as they have a job to do. They are racing to deliver fresh fish to market, and yet they remain, as far as many Japanese see it, in delicate balance with nature.
Since the March 11th tsunami, once again Japan is examining itself through the prism of a great wave. What it sees can at first strike an outsider as oddly romantic. Talk to mayors of port cities up and down the stricken north-eastern coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island, and they almost invariably describe the mighty ocean as a friend and source of hope—even though some lost loved ones, homes and businesses in the onslaught.
In Japan at large some people (though woefully few national politicians) feel that the destruction wrought by nature has revived a sense of purpose; some have even taken it as a cue to get married and procreate. During two decades of constipated economics and politics, the deadening sense grew that Japan had lost its appetite for risk, whether entrepreneurial derring-do or even, in the context of a population that had begun to shrink, the risk of picking the wrong mate. But with a disaster on a biblical scale in March, the Japanese bowed to no one. Some fishermen, faced with 40-foot (12-metre) waves, took to their boats and headed straight over them: echoes of Hokusai’s deliverymen. Granted, that was the best way to save their boats. But how refreshing if it were to reflect a reawakened sense of courage in the country as a whole.
Monday, June 06, 2011
A study of antimatter, once only in the realm of science fiction, will now shed light on the universe | The Australian
Now antimatter atoms have been caged for long enough to study them in detail.
An experiment at CERN, the Geneva-based European Organisation for Nuclear Research, has managed to capture 309 antihydrogen atoms for 1,000 seconds, or 16 minutes, at a time.
The accomplishment is unlikely to lead to the faster-than-light travel of Star Trek however. As CERN scientists point out, even if they assembled all of the antimatter they had ever made and annihilated it, there would not be enough energy to light an electric light bulb for more than a few minutes. But being able to scrutinise antimatter could shed light on the nature of the Universe.
Antihydrogen has been produced in particle accelerators, but it was almost instantly destroyed when it encountered normal matter. The longest it had previously been stored for was two tenths of a second.
"We have the antihydrogen right where we want it," said Professor Jeffrey Hangst, of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, who led the experiment.
Hebb's parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, were both blind musicians. Hebb and his older brother Harold performed as a song-and-dance team in Nashville, beginning when Bobby was three and Harold was nine. Hebb performed on a TV show hosted by country music record producer Owen Bradley, which earned him a place with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff.
Written and proformed by Bobby Hebb. It is one of the most covered popular songs, with hundreds of versions released. BMI rates "Sunny" number 25 in its "Top 100 songs of the century".
"Sunny" has been covered by, among others, Boney M, Cher, Georgie Fame, Johnny Rivers, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, the Electric Flag, The Four Seasons, the Four Tops, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Les McCann, Dusty Springfield, and The Alex Trio featuring David Wise.
Hebb wrote the song after suffering a double tragedy - a national loss followed by a personal one: On 22 November 1963, the day after US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Hebb's older brother Harold was killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and many critics say that those events inspired the tune. Others claims Bobby wrote the song for God.
"Sunny" was recorded at Bell Sound Studios in New York City and released as a single in 1966. It met an immediate success, which resulted in Hebb touring in 1966 with The Beatles.