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state change
  • 310265.0550

    Little known fact: Children's graffiti began the Syrian Civil War. A group of boys imitated the sights of defiant Tunisians and Egyptians on their TVs and tagged their school with anti-Assad slogans. Quickly they were rounded up and tortured. The uprisings began as protests to children's torture. Le Monde Diplomatique writes about the secret wars. http://mondediplo.com/2012/09/02syria Frontline takes you on an hour through the basics of the Syrian nightmare - first a razor sharp front-line battle story, then the narrative. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/battle-for-syria/

  • 310260.2130

    Biggest hit of the Browning-Chaney pairings. Burned alive in a 1967 vault fire. So alluring it's been reconstructed from production stills.

  • 310197.0748

    Jack (and Suzy) write a little op-ed piece in the WSJ admitting they're addicted to corporations for pleasure. For breathing, for eating. Read between the lines and start to realize, the new age of the CEO has turned transhumanist to a wide degree. Dangerous times ahead if this becomes our latest sociobiological path

    Here's a quote from their dimension of the galaxy, the intro fools us by agreeing with detractors, a simplistic argumentative employed best by demagogues:

    Here's a new party trick. Want to be accused of being a member of a satanic cult? Like to be called the kind of person who would steal candy from a child, or harm a puppy and start a forest fire—all in the same day? Do you want to be described as evil, heartless and stupid?

    Then just do this: Offhandedly mention in public that you agree with Mitt Romney—and that, yeah, you think corporations are people.

    Oh, how that notion sets some people right off their rockers! Take, for instance, the scene last month when senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren introduced President Obama at a big fundraiser in Boston:

  • 310188.1026

    Master mathmetician Roger Penrose intersects math, physics, neuroscience and cosmology to attempt to answer "the big question." While he gets as close as anyone could have in 1990, he fails tantalizingly to convince readers that outerspace and the brain's innerspace are integrally related. Like a fundamentalist he begins with Turing and using that as a model for the human brain's A.I., he ventures from algorithm to particle theory to cosmology to neuroscience. His detractors (like Edelman) make mincemeat out of his simplistic computational aspects of the brain, but Penrose is going for the biggest picture possible: space/geologic-time. Like Tipler-Barrow's Anthropic Comsological Principle, which he cites repeatedly, Penrose has built a key foundation for time-travel in multiple dimensions.

    Top: The big-bang eventually splinters into black hole singularity Bottom: Particle-wave theory. Two slits reveal how photons (light) behave like particles AND waves.

     

  • 310187.1040

    The masterpiece of analog cinema, Stanley Kubrick's 2001, simulated all levels of digital through unadulterated waveforms. HAL 9000, circuitry board repairs, guidance simulations, even picture-phone calls, all are imagined digital elements rendered through analog craft. A voice tempered Douglas Rain imitates a digital computer while thousands of hours on animation stands give screens the appearance of digital computation. Its insurmountable visual effects simulating space-travel were also rendered through time-consuming animation stand compositing. Original camera negative was sometimes stored for months as mattes were designed in multiple passes scheduled weeks apart. Never before or since have analog techniques been tweaked to such extremes. Now 2001 has made the crossover into a digital medium for large-scale projection. Museum of the Moving Image is screening the new DCP version of 2001 as part of its new See It Big! series (also making its DCP premiere Apocalypse Now Redux).

  • 310177.1952

    The Guardian on Televisa's role in electing the favorited P.R.I. candidate in the upcoming national election. Their exclusive:

    Televisa refused to meet the Guardian to discuss the allegations. It first ignored requests for comment, then proposed a meeting with legal counsel present. When the Guardian submitted a list of eight questions with a small sample document attached, a spokesman cancelled the meeting, saying the documents had not been not been submitted in a "timely" fashion.

  • 310170.2130

    Climatologists predict severely low rivers in the southeast U.S. in Nature. On Thursday Nature publishes article by 22 scientists spelling out dramatic climate changes, and warnings about CO2 explosion effects.

  • 310169.1934

    Top: With the Curios, Bottom: In the Studio (1909)

    From the Wm Cody Collection

  • 310164.0910

    Why parade Jamie Dimon around a fawning Senate? Basic facts are that hedges grow exponential on key bets or die quick deaths if they make a series of betting errors. Their total loss affects relatively small capital footprints. Banks remain profitable by betting in all markets while selling securities, bonds and mortages. Bank solvency is obviously never guaranteed under these market conditions yet the Fed retains a key role as the 'gambling house's' bank. Banks are members of a class of gamblers, authorized by the S.E.C. Oxymoronically it protects banks (and at one time hedges, see Long Term Capital Management crisis). Can you imagine the Fed stepping in if Harrah's declared bankruptcy on its bad bets? Above, the hedge against losing a bet is insurance, still legal, still dangerous. A key reason Bear Stearns and Lehman are gone.

  • 310162.1256

    "The Watergate that we wrote about in The Washington Post from 1972 to 1974 is not Watergate as we know it today. It was only a glimpse into something far worse. By the time he was forced to resign, Nixon had turned his White House, to a remarkable extent, into a criminal enterprise."

    -from Nixon Was Much Worse Than We Thought, Washington Post June 10

    For texts, obviously both All The President's Men and Final Days are critical bestsellers by Woodstein that explore the scandal from differing narratives. APM is a detective/procedural yarn, FD is reportage. FD best resembles the storytelling that Woodward continued in Wired, The Bretheren, Veil. Strangely the definitive Watergate book is neither of these. Barry Sussman, who was the city editor of The Washington Post, wrote it and called it aptly, The Great Cover-Up. Sussman's book examines each revelation as an element of a puzzle, or of a chess game in which moves are secret with only pawns and a king visible.

    "Before anyone else at the Post, Sussman saw Watergate as a larger story, saw that the individual events were part of a larger pattern, the result of hidden decisions from somewhere in the top of government which sent smaller men to run dirty errands... - David Halberstam Powers That Be

    For the operatic side of things Nixon, Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon by Anthony Summers, a book filled with rumor, innuendo and corruption that makes Harding's sold presidency look soft. Here's one example, the story of Chris Silberman...

    Silberman was a rogue commodities trader (American Metals Ltd) who appeared in a Life Magazine photo on a remote Bahamian dock with Nixon in 1969. He claims former Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt met with him after the 1969 Nixon meeting and openly wondered what kind of money could be made if the gold window was closed. The gold window is the only opening for the commodity in the U.S. for foreign markets and had never been closed before. Its closure, a matter of public record, allowed Silberman to take a sizeable sum of money from Laxalt and bet widely on gold futures. After making over $10 million, Silberman claims he drove it into the U.S. across a pre-arranged Canadian border crossing and handed the truck over to unknown drivers. Nixon closed the gold window against the advice of Paul Volcker without offering any substantial reason. One of many fascinating, loosely corroborated tales in the book. A must-read for any Watergate aficionados.