Wednesday, 31 March 2004

on this day 1990: anti-poll tax rally in central London erupted into the biggest riot seen in the city for a century.

the unpopularity of the poll tax contributed to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher who resigned in November 1990 after 11 years at the helm of British politics.

Her successor, John Major, appointed Michael Heseltine Environment Secretary to dismantle the poll tax.
Bill Clinton chose to ignore 1994 Rwandan genocide

President Bill Clinton's administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time.

Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene.

It took Hutu death squads three months from April 6 to murder an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus and at each stage accurate, detailed reports were reaching Washington's top policymakers.

the administration did not publicly use the word genocide until May 25 and even then diluted its impact by saying "acts of genocide".

Ms Des Forges said: "They feared this word would generate public opinion which would demand some sort of action and they didn't want to act. It was a very pragmatic determination."

because of course the US had no interests in Rwanda, a small central African country with no minerals or strategic value. mere human lives mean nothing to america. as has been demonstrated time after time, from the calculated genocide of native americans through to current news that because of American weapons built with Uranium components, Radiation levels In Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bomb

archive: world's greatest country?
Maybe the Music's Just Lousy?

file sharing may not be the cause of falling CD sales.

Researchers at two leading universities have issued a study countering the music industry's central theme in its war on digital piracy, saying file sharing has little impact on CD sales. "We find that file sharing has only had a limited effect on record sales," Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill said in their report. "The economic effect is also small. Even in the most pessimistic specification, five thousand downloads are needed to displace a single album sale."
Publication of book cancelled as libel laws blamed for stifling free speech

A book investigating links between rich Saudis and US politicians has been suppressed by the giant publishing firm Random House because, it says, of growing "libel tourism" by wealthy foreigners, and exorbitant legal "success fees".

Libel lawyers are stifling free speech, the deputy chairman of Random House, Simon Master, said yesterday.

The UK publication of House of Bush, House of Saud, by the American writer Craig Unger, has been cancelled because Secker and Warburg, a Random House subsidiary, says it can no longer afford such risks.

The book focuses in part on the activities of a Jeddah-based Saudi billionaire, Khalid bin Mahfouz, who has been engaged in a war of words in the US, where there have been public accusations by officials linking him and others to funding received by Osama bin Laden.

Unger collates links between Mr Bin Mahfouz and Islamist fundamentalists. But the new dimension of his research is that he also analyses the Texas business links between the Bush circle and the families of Mr Bin Mahfouz and other rich Saudis.
muscle morphs
Watch guys morph, grow muscle and become hunks & bodybuilders in short video clips.
plus more muscle morphs
(via fleshbot)
Human Enhancement

James Pethokoukis notes how some transhumanists fear that they will be persecuted for altering their biological constitutions.

"The future, it has been said, creeps in on small feet. We do not awaken suddenly to a brave new world."

"Unlike "dry" tech advances, such as in information technology or communications, advances in "wet tech" strike at some of society's deepest religious and spiritual convictions about what it means to be human."

"human enhancement will be an inescapably critical issue since it may well lead to a "post-human" race and the eventual extinction of the evolutionary dead end known as homo sapiens."
Cloned Cats on Sale Now

For US$50,000, an American company is now offering cat owners a chance to clone their pets. Sausalito, California-based Genetic Savings & Clone announced the offer in an email to clients whose pet genes it's storing. Clients received the email in early February and had to decide on the offer by February 27.

he company says that its first cloned cat, however, is now two years old and healthy. It is guaranteeing that cloned cats will be healthy and strongly resemble their genetic donor or owners will get a refund.

Tuesday, 30 March 2004


"Ikenie is a sad creature who comes from the end of the world. He is a little depressed and self-injurious character."

"Ikenie means "sacrifice" in Japanese."
Fluids for Christ

Fluids for Christ is dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of selecting seeds or receptacles from a donor bank without first knowing the donor's religious convictions.
Girls Eating Sandwiches
Artificial Horse Vaginas
Electro-ejaculator for bulls and rams
iPod Used In Domestic Homicide

Arleen Mathers, 23, from Memphis, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after she bludgeoned her boyfriend to death with an iPod.

Brad Pulaski had died of blunt trauma to the head after being repeatedly bludgeoned with an iPod.
(via give, get, take and have)
mind balance
Mind Balance is an application developed as part of an ambitious collaboration with researchers at University College Dublin to implement new brain-computer control interfaces.
Toward the New Degeneracy by Bruce Benderson
Gareth Pugh fashion
Shomer-Tec Online Law Enforcement and Military Equipment Catalog
russian prison tattoos
(via geisha asobi blog)
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense.
The No-Contact Jacket

"The No-Contact Jacket is a wearable defensive jacket created to aid women in their struggle for protection from violence. When activated by the wearer, 80,000 volts of low amperage electric current pulses just below the surface shell of the entire jacket. This exo-electric armor prevents any person from unauthorized contact with the wearer's body."

"If an assailant were to grab hold of the wearer the high voltage shocking exterior would interrupt their neurological impulses which control voluntary muscle movement. The neuromuscular system would be overwhelmed causing disorientation and loss of balance to occur and of course pain."
A gallery of found items
american Court Opens Door To Searches Without Warrants.

It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone: Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business.

Leaders in law enforcement say it will provide safety to officers, but others argue it's a privilege that could be abused.

Will this power be abused?

New Orleans Police Department spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo said the new power will go into effect immediately and won't be abused.

Well, as long as the Police Department says it won't be abused, then I guess it's OK.

and The Fourth Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

14 defining characteristics of fascism
(via j-walk blog)
War on terror means more state secrets

predictably those who stand to gain from the orwellian newspeak "war on terror" are those in positions of power who prefer secrecy to true democracy.

as today's guardian reports... in the uk new curbs on release of information to the public are being planned by the government next year as part of Tony Blair's commitment to fighting the "war on terror".

Confidential draft guidelines drawn up by the Cabinet Office propose a substantial widening of the definition of national security, and a further weakening of the commitment to "open government" by ministers.

The guidelines would increase use of vetoes by ministers and encourage departments across Whitehall to prepare certificates in advance to block requests from public and press under the new Freedom of Information Act which becomes law next January.

The changes are similar to the clampdown by George Bush on facts released under the US freedom of information act after September 11.

The guidance says the definition of "national security" should not be so narrow as to cover only circumstances where harm has occurred, or will occur; rather, it should be extended to "preventing harm occurring and avoiding the risk of harm occurring".

This goes beyond the 1989 Security Service Act, which limited release of information to protect the security services from espionage, terrorism and sabotage and actions intended to overthrow or undermine parliamentary democracy.

The guidelines also say that a minister can, "if he or she is of the opinion that to disclose the information would adversely affect national security", withhold facts covering the water industry, control of pollution, offshore safety, and town and country planning.

blah blah. true democracy isn't just about allowing us to buy loads of crap we don't need. democracy is about active citizenship. it involves an education system that teaches people how to think, not what to think, and encourages people to actively seek out information in order to form opinions rather than easily manipulated knee jerk emotive reactions.

we all know that the 'war on terror' is simply the corporate and military emperor's newest suit from their extensive wardrobe of justifications for suppressing true democracy. what else can we expect from an undemocratic power structure.

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Reporters without borders

Monday, 29 March 2004

on this day 1971: american Lieutenant guilty of My Lai massacre

Lieutenant William Calley was found guilty of murder at a court martial for his part in the My Lai massacre which claimed the lives of 500 South Vietnamese civilians.Lieutenant Calley was in charge of Charlie Company, a unit of the American Division's 11th Infantry Brigade, who were on a mission to root out the communist 48th Viet Cong Battalion fighters.

The Viet Cong were not in the village and instead more than 500 unarmed civilians were brutally killed in an unprovoked attack by US troops.

Lieutenant Calley faced four charges:... the murder of at least 30 "oriental human beings" at a junction of two trails... killing 70 others in a ditch... shooting a man who approached him with his hands raised begging for mercy... killing a child running from the ditch where the 70 died.

The massacre came to light a year after it happened after investigative media reports.

The crimes included murders, rape, sodomy, maiming and assault of civilians.

Charges came after the army commissioned an investigation into the cover-up of the massacre which became known as the Peers inquiry.

The Peers inquiry recommended charges should be brought against 28 officers and two non-commissioned officers involved in the concealment of the massacre.

Lieutenant Calley was the only one to be convicted and he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Within three days he was out of prison, pending appeal, on the personal instructions of President Richard Nixon.

He spent the next three years under house arrest at Fort Benning in Georgia. Freed on bail in 1974 his sentence was then cut to 10 years but he was paroled later that year after completing one third of his sentence.

Saturday, 27 March 2004

Creating the enemy
(by Brendan O'Neill in spiked)

"Terrorism has exposed deep-seated crises in Western society - its inability to deal with risk, the absence of moral consensus, dominant ideas of victimhood and fragility, a lack of vision or purpose. 'Terrorism' - in the sense of that thing we have become obsessed with over the past two years - is best understood as a reflection of deeper domestic problems, rather than an alien threat from far away."

"At every step, this inability to cope with uncertainty, the tendency to overblow risks, and the focus on human vulnerability, has informed how society has interpreted and dealt with the threat of terrorism - and this has been decisive in determining the impact that terrorism has had on both society and individuals."

"At a time when society finds it difficult to negotiate risk, terrorism can appear more disturbing and frightening than it is; when society doesn't do well with change, particularly unpredictable and unknowable change, terrorists tend to be viewed as a much bigger threat than they really are."

"That terrorism, or the threat of terrorism, has been managed through the prism of risk-aversion is no mere academic observation. This approach to terror has had a destabilising and paralysing impact, spreading the psychological and even physical effects of terrorism far beyond the initial impact of individual terrorist acts."

"Instead of launching wars in far-off lands, surely what our societies need are debates about what we stand for and why; about the values we hold dear and wish to pass on to future generations; about our vision of the Good Society and how we might achieve it."

"If we are going to make our societies more resilient, we need a clearer sense of what we are for, and how we might fight for it."

archive: "Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability In An Uncertain Age" by Frank Furedi
"Therapy culture represents a shift from the view of the robust, independent person, capable of great individual and collective achievements, to the notion of the fragile, powerless victim in need of continual professional support."

Frank Furedi explains that the traditional conservative imagination has always presented a modest narrative about the human subject, in particular around the emphasis on deference, and people's inferiority to God. 'The left historically had a more ambitious sense of the human potential. What changed over recent decades was that the conservative imagination stayed the same - and the left's imagination adapted to the mood of demoralisation, coming up with a version of the human potential that was even more powerless than that of the right.'

It's spam, except delivered by instant messaging. A report this week claims it is growing three times as quickly as conventional spam.

spim is more insidious than spam because messages pop up automatically when a user is logged in, making them harder to ignore.

plus: All SPAM restaurant opens in the Philippines
SPAMburgers and SPAMnuggets are just a few of the items on the menu.

The canned luncheon meat was founded during World War II by Hormel. In the Philipines almost 3 million pounds of spam are consumed each year. The owner of SPAMJAM said his restaurant is so successful, he plans to open two more.
7ft-tall X-ray machine

Five hundred police officers took part in an operation to scan suspects for drugs and weapons in Harlesden High Street, london. suspects had the choice of being strip-searched or scanned.

Police say the radiation used by the machine is 1,500 times less than a normal chest X-ray, or the equivalent of standing in the sun for 40 minutes.

Supt Malcolm Baker, involved in the use of the X-ray scanner, said: "It has the ability to see through their clothing and produce an image of anything they have hidden under their clothing or in their pockets."

"It's very graphic and it doesn't leave much to the imagination."

Friday, 26 March 2004

memory management

"We now know that the brain stores emotional memories very differently from unemotional ones. Negative emotional memories, for instance, tend to capture more details about the experience than positive ones."
Top doc backs picking your nose and eating it

Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor.

Innsbruck-based lung specialist Prof Dr Friedrich Bischinger said people who pick their noses with their fingers were healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies.

"Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.

"Modern medicine is constantly trying to do the same thing through far more complicated methods, people who pick their nose and eat it get a natural boost to their immune system for free."
Yayashin Book
(via j-walk blog)
Magic 8-Ball dissected
(via b3ta)
"The Time Travel Institute is dedicated to the research and exploration of the temporal sciences. Together, we can make the future happen... today!"
Virgin Mary Urinals
pink girls
(via geisha asobi blog)
The AirBike™ VTOL Personal Aircraft
3.5-metre tall robot
(via octopus dropkick)
Five photographs in response to five text messages sent by Erwin Wurm

Thursday, 25 March 2004

coloured smoke
Loretta Lux
(via grow-a-brain)
slow wave

Slow Wave is a collective dream diary authored by different people from around the world, and drawn as a comic strip by Jesse Reklaw.
(via j-walk blog)
Atheist Presents Case for Removing God From American Pledge

The US Supreme Court has heard arguments for removing the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance recited in public schools. Millions of schoolchildren recite the pledge each morning before classes.

Atheist Michael Newdow, a California doctor with a law degree, told the court on Wednesday that the government "is supposed to stay out of religion".

But the US solicitor general said the pledge was a "patriotic act".

The words "under God" were added to the original 1892 pledge in 1954, as part of an effort to distinguish the US way of life from the Soviet Union's atheistic communism.

Michael Newdow states on his site ...The words are "liberty and justice for all." The Pledge should be a unifying experience for every citizen. Placing a religious ideal into its midst is not right, and serves no purpose except to alter a purely patriotic tradition into one that satisfies the religious bent of the majority. That is exactly what the First Amendment was written to preclude....
Urban Tapestries and other embedded techs
Spiders Inspire Printing of Tiny 3D Structures

Special inks print objects 100 times smaller than previously achieved

A process inspired by the way spiders spin webs has been used to print tiny three-dimensional structures that can be used for such applications as drug delivery and tissue engineering.
For a technique called direct-write assembly, Jennifer Lewis and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed new inks that flow through microscopic nozzles and then rapidly solidify to retain their shape.
Humans with Robot Arms

Human studies have shown that brain-machine interfaces could allow paralyzed people to operate complex devices by thought alone. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina report that arrays of electrodes implanted in the brain could provide useable signals for controlling "neuroprosthetics"—brain-linked prostheses. The new research builds on an earlier study by Duke researchers in which monkeys learned to control a robot arm using a neural interface.
"alveolata noctiluca neonlight"

Variety of 24 interactive 3d-particle shockwave pieces. Mouse movement affects sound, color, shape, and speed.
(via octopus dropkick)
NASA hears words not yet spoken

NASA has developed a computer program that comes close to reading thoughts not yet spoken, by analyzing nerve commands to the throat.

It says the breakthrough holds promise for astronauts and the handicapped.

"A person using the subvocal system thinks of phrases and talks to himself so quietly it cannot be heard, but the tongue and vocal cords do receive speech signals from the brain," said developer Chuck Jorgensen, of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.

Jorgensen's team found that sensors under the chin and one each side of the Adam's apple pick up the brain's commands to the speech organs, allowing the subauditory, or "silent speech" to be captured.
the untitled project
"The Untitled Project is rooted in a base interest in the nature of power. With the removal of all traces of text from the photographs, the project explores the manifestation of power between large groups of people in the form of public and semi-public language. The absence of the printed word not only draws attention to the role text plays in the modern landscape but also simultaneously emphasizes alternative forms of communication such as symbols, colors, architecture and corporate branding. In doing this, it serves to point out the growing number of ways in which public voices communicate without using traditional forms of written language."

The days of dull, grey concrete could be about to end. A Hungarian architect has combined the world's most popular building material with optical fiber from Schott to create a new type of concrete that transmits light.

A wall made of "LitraCon" allegedly has the strength of traditional concrete but thanks to an embedded array of glass fibers can display a view of the outside world, such as the silhouette of a tree, for example.
(via my analog life)

Wednesday, 24 March 2004

Posthumans & Extended Lifespans
Writer, artist, and Associate Editor of Leonardo Reviews for the journal of the International Society for the Arts, Science and technology, Robert Pepperell joins ImmInst to discuss the prospect for posthuman existence and extended lifespans.

Chat Time: Sunday Mar 28, 2004

In 1995 Robert Pepperell published 'The Post-Human Condition' (Intellect Books 1995, reprinted 1997) which addressed the impact of new technology on art, philosophy, science and what it is to be human. A new and updated version of the Posthuman Condition, subtitled "Consciousness Beyond the Brain" was released in 2003.
Hussam Abdo

the Israeli army displayed an arrested Palestinian boy, Hussam Abdo, thought to be in his mid-teens, carrying a suicide bomb belt at a checkpoint between the West Bank and Israel.

bbc video realmedia

i just cry watching this news clip, imagining what that poor boy is going to be put through in the hands of those soldiers. what immediatly comes to mind is a documentary i saw a few years back, on the subject of peer pressure among israeli soldiers. a film that showed Israeli soldiers beating young Palestinians with rifle butts, trying to break the bones of their arms and legs. Rabin had ordered Israeli soldiers to break the arms of children who threw stones during the Palestinian intifada.

in one clip there are two soldiers in the Israeli Defence Forces who had captured a young man - a teenager no more than 16-18 years old - and thrown him to the ground. The young Palestinian had thrown a few stones at them. one soldier was holding the young man down, and they placed his left arm against a piece of rock. The second soldier found a stone as big as a man's head. Then he hit, with violent force, the heavy stone several times against the captured boy's arm in an effort to break it. Cold-bloodedly, calmly and clearly utterly convinced that by breaking the boy's arm he would break the will to hit back against the occupiers of his land.
money origami
origami created from common currency.
(via octopus dropkick)
Atheism is Indeed A Civil Rights Issue
(by Eddie Tabash)

nonbelievers should focus on electing other nonbelievers to political office.

in 1958, a Gallup poll revealed that 53 percent of American citizens would vote against a Black candidate for president on grounds of race alone. In a 1999 Gallup poll, that figure had declined to four percent.

That same 1999 Gallup Poll revealed 49 percent, would vote against an atheist on grounds of atheism alone than would vote against someone for any other reason.

Ever since the famous Supreme Court rulings of 1962 and 1963 that ended teacher-led prayer and Bible readings in public schools, in poll after poll Americans have favored returning government sponsored prayer to public schools by a minimum margin of 69 percent to 27 percent. In many surveys the percentage favoring restoration of school prayer exceeds 75 percent.

So far, President Bush has succeeded in appointing judges to the lower federal courts who openly favor a Christian theological basis for our legal system. These judges, unfortunately reflecting attitudes held by most Americans, maintain that the Supreme Court has been wrong in its unbroken line of decisions that require government to treat belief and nonbelief equally.

Further, if President Bush succeeds in restructuring the Supreme Court so as to create a majority willing to nullify church/state separation, open discrimination against atheists and secular humanists may become the active and enforceable law of the land.

One of the most important advances members of any unjustly despised minority can make is to begin electing members of their own community to political office.

And on the seventh day Tony Blair created...
Blair is to allow Christian organisations and other 'faith groups' a central role in policy-making in a decisive break with British traditions that religion and government should not mix.

The new high-powered ministerial grouping will have an input across government. Although based in the Home Office, it will advise the Departments for Education, Culture, Media and Sport and Trade and Industry.

despite repeated requests non-religious groups have been excluded from any involvement in the religious working group.
World's Greatest Country?
(by M. Shahid Alam)

"Every time America’s ‘leaders’ boast of the “world’s oldest democracy,” and of exporting democracy to the world, I can see peasants expropriated; workers shot, tortured and jailed; people’s revolutions overthrown, crushed by American force, guile and lucre all across the Periphery; all to protect the unrestrained right of American Corporations to make money."

"For several years, I have passed out a questionnaire to assess my students’ preparation for my undergraduate courses in Development Economics and the Global Economy. One perennial question I ask is about US ‘foreign aid.’ What percentage of its gross domestic product does the United States annually allocate as foreign aid to Third World countries? I offer my students five choices: (A) One-tenth of one percent, (B) One percent, (C) Five percent, (D) Ten percent, and (E) Twenty-five percent. Incredibly, about half the class chooses C, and most of the remaining half pick D and E. Two or three ‘unpatriotic’ students in each class pick A or B. The correct answer is A. Perhaps, my students think it proper and patriotic to pick a percentage that makes their country look generous."

meanwhile.... "The United States commands the largest lead in military power. At $396.1 billion in fiscal year 2003, US military spending exceeds the combined military budget of the next twenty countries."

Monday, 22 March 2004

Rumsfeld 'wanted to bomb Iraq' almost immediately after 9/11

Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defence, urged President Bush to consider bombing Iraq almost immediately after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, says Richard Clarke, who was the White House counter-terrorism coordinator at the time.

the day after the attacks officials meeting to consider the US response were already certain al-Qa'ida was to blame and there was no hint of Iraqi involvement. Yet Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq.

Clarke claims that "We all said, 'No, no, al-Qa'ida is in Afghanistan.'" However Mr Rumsfeld complained in the meeting that "there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq."

the bush gangsters wanted to believe that there was a connection between Iraq and the al-Qa'ida attacks in the US, clarke says. "There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al-Qa'ida."

Bush's ex-terrorism aide accuses him of "terrible job" on security

Richard Clarke, who retired as the White House counter-terrorism coordinator last year, accused the president of putting pressure on him to find evidence of Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks, despite being told repeatedly that there was no link.

"The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.' Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this," he said.

"I said, 'Mr President. We've done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's no connection ...' He came back at me and said, 'Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean, that we should come back with that answer."

Mr Clarke coordinated the writing of a report by the CIA, FBI, and his own staff, concluding that Iraq had few links with al-Qaida and no involvement in the September 11 attacks. He said: "We sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the national security adviser or deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer ... Do it again.'"

Mr Clarke's comments came as former US president Jimmy Carter launched a withering attack, claiming that George Bush and Tony Blair had waged a war in Iraq based on "lies".

US Afghan allies committed massacre

Dramatic corroboration of the massacre of Afghan prisoners by the US-backed Northern Alliance at the start of the war in 2001 was last night provided by American pathologists commissioned to investigate the claims by the UN.

A vivid account of the slaughter had been provided last week to The Observer by three of the Britons released from the US concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, more than two years after they were first seized in Afghanistan. They told how they narrowly escaped the massacre before being handed over to American forces and flown to Guantanamo Bay.

Forensic anthropologist William Haglund, who earlier led inquiries into mass graves in Bosnia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, told The Observer how he dug into an area of recently disturbed desert soil outside the town of Shebargan, and exhumed 15 bodies, a tiny sample, he said, of what may be a very large total.

Thanks to the cold and arid climate, they were well enough preserved to carry out autopsies. Haglund's conclusion 'that they died from suffocation' exactly corroborates the stories told by the Guantanamo detainees in last week's Observer .

meanwhile..... the details about elements of the released guantanamo detainees' story assumed a new importance last week, after murdoch's top selling tabloid the Sun published claims by a US Embassy spokesman, Lee McClenny, that the three britons had trained at an al-Qaeda camp in 2000. in response the three released britons told The Observer last week that they had all confessed to this accusation only after months of solitary confinement and 200 separate interrogation sessions, only to have it finally disproved by MI5, which brought documents showing they had been in Britain at the time.

After US Embassy spokesman McClenny made his claims against the released detainees in the Sun, he refused to answer further questions from journalists, while Lt Col Leon Sumpter, the US spokesman at Guantanamo Bay, said any allegations concerning detainees were highly classified, even after their release: 'I don't know how the Embassy got this,' he said. 'It didn't come from us, and we knew nothing about it.' McClenny's letter was widely criticised as an attempt to nullify the Tipton men's stories of abuse at American hands.

israelis Demolish More than 40 Palestinian Houses in 5 Days

The demolition of houses or destruction of other private property of Palestinians in occupied territories is explicitly forbidden by the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 53), as is collective punishment (Article 33).

“In 1948 Israel played an active role in driving 75% of the Palestinians from their land. Over the next four or five years the Israeli bulldozer, following the tank, systematically demolished” more than 418 Palestinian villages, said Jeff Halper, an Israeli professor of anthropology and a founding member of Israeli Committee Against House Demolition.

Since 1967, as Israel’s tanks suppressed Palestinian resistance to the Occupation with increasing frequency and ferocity, its bulldozers have demolished more than 10,000 Palestinian homes.

Since the eruption of the 2000 Intifada (uprising) against the 37-year-old Israeli occupation, IOF demolished more than 3,000 Palestinian houses, according to Palestinian estimates.

Israel assassinates Hamas leader

Yassin was killed in a missile strike by Israeli helicopters as he left a mosque in Gaza city at dawn. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, said to have personally overseen the operation, brushed aside international condemnation and vowed to continue the orwellian Newspeak 'war on terror.'

flash: "an american requiem"
flash: "how to spot a liar"
rumsfeld gets caught out

Saturday, 20 March 2004


1157performancegroup is to hold an unprecedented casting call for its next production. The experimental company requires a dead body to take a leading role in its latest show. The consent of the donor of the body is being sought beforehand.

the show is called Dead: You Will Be.
big ben

two peace protesters climbed the Big Ben clock tower in a day of demonstrations against the Iraq war.

Friday, 19 March 2004

Sidereal Clock
Keep time by the stars instead of the sun
Youniverse, Toward a Self Centered Philosophy by Robert Ettinger

Youniverse book site

"Ettinger, frequently referred to as the "founding father of cryonics," has run the Cryonics Institute since its inception, overseeing a growing number of frozen patients and hoping to restore them, sooner or later, to a longer and more interesting life in a better world."

"The moral philosophy of Ettinger is based on two principles: "Me-first" and "feel-good." Indeed, the book is subtitled 'Toward a Self Centered Philosophy.' Ettinger doesn't view these two principles as unproven axioms, but rather as a straightforward consequence of human nature. "Me" is the only part of the world that we can experience directly, so "me" has to come first in our scale of values, and well-chosen objectives and goals have to lead to a state of increased "feel-good." Ettinger demonstrates that even "altruistic" behavior can, and should, be derived from these two principles."
Solar-powered Molecular Motor Built
Could provide parts for nanoscale machines

The first molecular motor has been created that runs on electricity or light. Developed by Frederick Hawthorne and colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles, the tiny motor could power machines on a scale smaller than biological motors such as flagella. They could be used to power structures thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair—small enough to ride on the back of a virus.

It can be controlled by simple electron transfer processes or photoexcitation. The motor includes a nickel atom that serves as an axle. This is sandwiched between a cage-like assembly of carbon, boron and hydrogen atoms that rotate around the axle. The motor could be used to close a valve or a switch, the researchers say, and could function in a liquid, gas and vacuum environment.

"Potential applications of the circular motion include modifying, on command, the properties of a surface or molecule to which the device is attached and blocking and opening specific regions on a surface, such as pores or reactive sites," say the researchers.
Nanoscale Elevator Raises the Bar
Complex device demonstrates progress in designing and building molecular machines

A complex nanoscale machine that can shuttle molecules like a tiny elevator has been designed, built and operated. Developed by Italian and American researchers, the tiny, chemically driven machine consists of a platform with three rings, each of which is attached to the leg of a tripod-like structure. At just 2.5 nanometers high and 3.5 nanometers in diameter, the elevator represents a big advance for the construction of molecular machines, experts say.

Constructed by Jovica Badjic from the University of California, Los Angeles and colleagues, potential applications for the molecular elevator include remote-controlled drug delivery systems inside the body and precise control of chemical reactions—the elevator could bring two reactants together in a tightly controlled manner.
The Octopus News Magazine Online
(via grow-a-brain)
belly art
Niel's Birth
virtual autopsy
the Modified Librarian
librarianship and the art of body modification
(via j-walk blog)

Thursday, 18 March 2004

mariko mori
mariko mori
mariko mori
mariko mori
memento mori

"A memento mori is a form of image that urged a European person of the late Middle Ages to "remember thy death." Its purpose is to remind the viewer that death is an unavoidable part of life, something to be prepared for at all times. Memento mori images are graphic demonstrations of the fact that death was not only a more frequent, but a far more familiar occurrence in medieval Europe than it is today."
animation: i love death
mark ryden
live coffin cam

The subject is female and died of natural causes aged 41

solar powered glow-in-the-dark gravestones.
Coffins From Ghana
Coffins From Ghana
Coffins From Ghana

plus: Wholesale Body Bags Proudly Made in USA By Americans
Celebrities With Phones
Celebrity Handwriting
Celebrity tongues
Celebrity morgue
warhol on japanese tv
flounder, the art of Scott Scheidly
David Shapiro

everyday, for the last ten years, Shapiro has picked up three things off the street. Each plucked piece is sealed in a tiny plastic bag and pinned to the wall forming a grid of thousands of disjointed scraps.
Willie Cole

"Since the mid-1980s Willie Cole has been preoccupied with the steam iron as a domestic, symbolic, and artistic object. Cole first assembled used irons into iconic figurative forms reminiscent of African art. In exploring ways to infuse these modest, unpretentious figures with the potency of their progenitors, Cole discovered the scorch."

Domestic Odyssey
The San Jose Museum of Art presents Domestic Odyssey, an exhibition that features work by national and international artists who use household items — appliances and furniture — as touchstones for their work.
(via art for housewives)
the presidential prayer team dot org

the Bush & Kerry Blogs side by side
a 1990 Interview: a film Fellini never started, the one about Carlos CastaƱeda

"look for answers, post answers, or post questions!"
Radio Vox Populi

"As weblog authors update their sites their writing is collected, synthesized into speech, and streamed to listeners as an Internet radio station. Live from the commons 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

Gallery of network images
mister pants
Eric Conveys an Emotion
Un Chien Andalou

"wall graphics for the commitment phobic"
(via j walk blog)
tomato soup

the blog of death
junk music

"Music people want to hear performed on objects they don't want."

John Dahlsen

Environmental, recycled, assemblage art.
how to Make A Dorodango

If you've been wanting to make a dorodango, here's the site for you. A dorodango is a shining mud ball.
text on things

"12 03 04
The Exorcist in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies
obesity is not America's only food problem. Too many american people are hungry
damon soule
(via news of the dead)
TransVision 2004: Art and Life in the Posthuman Era
August 6 to August 8, 2004
Location: University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

"bringing together a wide array of transhumanist thinkers, artists, scientists and ethicists."

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

ON THIS DAY .... 1968
Anti-Vietnam demo turns violent

"More than 200 people were arrested after thousands of demonstrators clashed in an anti-Vietnam war protest outside the United States embassy in London. The trouble followed a big rally in Trafalgar square, when an estimated 10,000 demonstrated against American action in Vietnam and British support for the United States."

Labour MP Peter Jackson told The Times newspaper: "I was particularly outraged by the violent use of police horses, who charged into the crowd even after they had cleared the street in front of the embassy."
flash: "an american requiem"

flash: "how to spot a liar"

plus: rumsfeld gets caught out

"Hint of suspicion"
"In order to save time, the following article is being printed several months ahead of schedule as a service to readers and nascent conspiracy theorists......"

Tuesday, 16 March 2004

"A website devoted to the stickers of contemporary propagandists"
(via octopus dropkick)
Downhill Battle - music activism 

Downhill Battle is an anti-corporate-control-of-music organization.

"When people who are songwriters say 'That's my property and if you give it away for free then I'll lose my incentive,' then, well, good riddance."
trailer: casshern: Robot Killer
this is a magazine
"It has words and pictures in it."
Jesus Inspirational Sport Statues
Technion researchers in Israel develop spider robot
Technion researchers have developed a spider robot that is capable of moving through underground cavities, pipe ways and tunnels. It can search for survivors in collapsed buildings. It can also check for and carry out control and maintenance operations on complicated and complex systems in dangerous structures such as atomic reactors.

Dr. Amir Shapiro, who developed the robot together with Dr. Shraga Shoval said that this is a three-legged, planer robot that moves by grasping onto tunnel walls. "The robot moves quasi-statically, by pressing against the tunnel walls while moving its free legs to the next location," explained Shapiro. "We are presenting an algorithm, called PCG, that is used to plan the grasping points of the spider robot on the tunnel walls." He added that the algorithm creates a stepping pattern of the 3-2-3 type, which brings the robot from the starting point to the end using a minimal number of steps. According to Technion researchers, the spider robot is an additional step toward the planning and creation of ambulatory machines.
"naked, pregnant and proud"

the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, Alison Lapper by Marc Quinn.
stencil graffiti
flash: 6plusequal1
trailer: enki bilal's "immortel"
long live north korean cunnilingus
monkey pops
quicktime: iPod3
(via octopus dropkick)

Saturday, 13 March 2004

photos by Michael A. Rosen
French charge 62 activists over war on 'brainless ads'

In Paris, defacing ads on the Metro has become a trendy political movement. it is a protest against, among other things, the commercialization of public space and brainless consumerism. Scarcely a poster on any Metro station in central Paris is free of a scribbled message.

in the old days before the so called dangers of the internet, there was simply the dangers of wanking. then and now, the negativity is fundamentally the same religously inspired sexphobia and anti-pleasure hysteria....

Robert Baden-Powell (Founder of the World Scout Movement and Chief Scout of the World) originally wanted a section on the dangers of "self abuse" in his 'Scouting for Boys'. His original manuscript read: "A very large number of the lunatics in our asylums have made themselves ill by indulging in this vice although at one time they were sensible cheery boys like you."

kellogs cornflakes ... Dr. John Harvey Kellogg advised In 'Plain Facts for Old and Young' that the the first line of defense against masturbation was in keeping children busy (i.e. daily working them to the point of exhaustion) and constantly under surveillance. For girls in particular Kellogg recommended the application of carbolic acid directly to the clitoris as: an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement, and preventing the recurrence of the practice in those whose will-power has become so weakened that the patient is unable to exercise entire self-control.

Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
by Judith Levine

The Sex Lies of the Religious Right: how conservatives distort the facts of life
By Marty Klein

by Pat Califia


The random Masturbation Synonym Generator
brought to you by "Online Headquarters for the International Masturbation Community"

U.S. adolescents who pledge not to have sex until they are married have about the same rate of sexually transmitted diseases as other teenagers.

The study of a nationally representative sample of about 15,000 youths aged 12 to 18 found that 88 percent of teenagers who pledged to remain virgins until they are married ended up having sex before marriage.

these teenagers were also less likely to use condoms when they did have sex because they had not paid attention to sex education.

Because of their ignorance about sexually transmitted diseases, "pledgers" were also less likely to seek medical help if they contracted one of the diseases. (source)
I Know Where Bruce Lee Lives, ultra-interactive KungFu Remixer
the creatures in my head
(via green fairy)
Freed Guantánamo prisoner

....... Jamal Udeen, 37, from Manchester, described prisoners having their genital areas forcibly shaved. he described being beaten up and put in isolation for a month for refusing an injection because the american guards would not tell him what it was. he gave in to subsequent unknown injections.

"After a while, we stopped asking for human rights - we wanted animal rights," he said. The Mirror reported that he now stoops because his shackles were too short.

In a separate interview with ITV1 he described becoming so used to detention that news of his release scared him. "I thought, I've been in a cage for two years. I sort of didn't want to leave," he said.

A second Briton released from Guantánamo Bay, Tarek Dergoul, 26, from London, last night savaged the United States for gross breaches of human rights which included an account of botched medical treatment, interrogation at gunpoint, beatings and inhumane conditions. The former care worker is in poor physical and mental health after his two-year ordeal. He is believed to have had an arm amputated and have difficulty walking.

He condemns the US and UK governments for allowing these gross breaches of human rights and demands the release of all the other detainees.

more than 600 detainees are still held at the american concentration camp without charges, without access to lawyers, without fundamental human rights.

14 defining characteristics of fascism
Powers of Ten

View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
darpa Desert robot race is ready to roll today

the fastest, longest and most treacherous autonomous vehicles race the world has ever seen.

the defence advanced research projects agency (darpa) requires the robots to navigate a mix of smooth highways, rugged paths and open desert, without any human intervention at all. the biggest challenge, say the competitors, is sensing and avoiding obstacles in real time.

update....Robot Race Ends As All Entries Break Down
"Two of the entries covered about seven miles of the roughly 150-mile course while eight failed to make it to the one-mile mark. Others crashed seconds after starting."
toilet seats cleaner than keyboards
KEYBOARDS, computer mice and telephone dials are more infested with microbes than toilet seats, according to a new study. office work stations can on average contain 400 times as many germs as a toilet seat, said Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist.
robot house-builders
A robot takes instructions directly from an architect's computerised drawings and then squirts successive layers of concrete to build up vertical walls and domed roofs. Behrokh Khoshnevis, an engineer at the University of Southern California, has been perfecting his "contour crafter" for more than a year now. The key to the technology is a computer-guided nozzle that deposits a line of wet concrete, like toothpaste being squeezed onto a table. Two trowels attached to the nozzle then move to shape the deposit. The robot repeats its journey many times to raise the height and builds hollow walls before returning to fill them. The first house is proposed to be built in 2005. If the technology is successful the robot could enable new designs that cannot be built using conventional methods, for example involving complex curving walls.
Toyota Partner Robots
Toyota is promoting the development of human-assisting partner robots.

church of euthanasia

A robot which looks and moves like a caterpillar, to help the disabled in the home, was unveiled in Britain on Thursday. The Flexibot, which can clamp itself to specific points on the wall and ceiling, could be used to aid the elderly and disabled with domestic tasks such as shaving, cooking and cleaning. It has three pivots allowing it to move between points and a three fingered hand to grip objects. "People in wheelchairs could take it to the supermarket and it could pick up cans of beans." Scientists from Staffordshire University's Center for Rehabilitation Robotics developed the robot with help from colleagues in universities and engineering firms across Europe.

Friday, 12 March 2004

Fall on your knees, my children, and pray to the GOD Burger!
(via gravity lens)

Alexander Lavrynov, a spacecraft designer, said he has patented a device for putting advertising into space that would be seen from Earth, Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.

"Space commercials could embrace huge areas and a colossal number of consumers," he said. "This would literally be intercontinental coverage."

plus: real lemon juice
the name game

1... The Interactive Top 10 Celebrity List

Which male heartthrobs are setting browser windows a-flutter this month? Check out the current favorites including Joseph Sayers, Ian Somerhalder, Caco Ricci, Andy Roddick and Raoul Bova.

2... Schoolchildren in Britain have a sophisticated political awareness

The results of a survey of more than 4,000 children aged 11 to 18 across britain destroys the idea that children only think about celebrities and gossip. Far from being obsessed by Posh and Becks, it found that children were more interested in politicians and campaigners. Martin Luther King was their choice as history's most important figure. David Beckham was not even in the top 10, coming in at 16. George Bush, Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Gandhi and Churchill all appeared in the top 10.

3... celebdaq

top movers: Greg Rusedski, The Queen, Jessie Wallace, Kim Cattrall, Keisha Buchanan
big losers: Antony Lundon, Chris Tarrant. Jamie Lee Curtis, Carrie Anne Moss, Amy Winehouse

4... Nebraska State Patrol Launches Name the Robot Contest

5... Goat! Gibbon! Greyhound! Goose!

6... guess my name

1999 September-October: while yeltsin was still russian president, his prime minister Putin sent Russian troops back into Chechnya in the wake of a series of bomb explosions in Russia which were blamed on Chechen extremists. His tough line increases his popularity among Russians. Yeltsin resigns and is replaced by Putin as acting president. in March 2000 Putin is elected president.

but were Chechen terrorists responsible for the explosions that killed more than 200 Russians in september 1999?

Two bombs went off in Moscow, but a third bomb planted in Ryazan, 100 miles south, was defused by bomb squad officer Yuri Tkachenko who said: 'It was a live bomb.' It was made of the same explosive, Hexagen, and planted in a similar target - a working-class block of flats.

The third bomb did not go off because the bombers were caught red-handed. They were Russian, not Chechen, and when they were arrested by local police they flashed identity cards from the FSB - the new styling for the KGB, the secret police Putin headed before he became Russia's acting President. Two days later the FSB announced that the third bomb had only been 'a training exercise'.

the lavon affair
Israel similarly has a prior history of setting off bombs with the intent to blame Arabs for them. In 1954, Israeli agents working in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and left evidence behind implicating Arabs as the culprits. The ruse would have worked, had not one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to capture and identify one of the bombers, which in turn led to the round up of an Israeli spy ring.

Some of the spies were from Israel, while others were recruited from the local Jewish population. Israel responded to the scandal with claims in the media that there was no spy ring, that it was all a hoax perpetrated by "anti-Semites". But as the public trial progressed, it was evident that Israel had indeed been behind the bombing. Eventually, Israeli's Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon was brought down by the scandal, although it appears that he was himself the victim of a frame-up by the real authors of the bombing project, code named "Operation Susannah."

plus in america: operation northwoods
in the early 1960s America's top military brass contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership.
U|Rockers belong to a loose collective of sexual anarchists born of the Internet and brought up on the freedom of communication.
(via die puny humans)
dead malls
(via gravity lens)
glowing butterfly
'A Vast Repository of Toonological Knowledge'

Thursday, 11 March 2004

Colby Taylor with Spaceships, Ladies Who Lunch and Fish
Jamal Udeen
Jose Padilla

in march 2003 a senior spanish Socialist politician, Pascual Maragall the former mayor of Barcelona, accused Spain's anti-terrorist police of torturing a Basque newspaper editor.

Amnesty International has received some very serious and highly detailed reports of torture in spain, which appear to be corroborated by medical evidence. an amnesty report said. "Many of the allegations referred to _ asphyxiation with plastic bags, repeated kicks and blows of the hand on the head or testicles, forced physical exercises for long periods of time, claims of sexual harassment, threats of execution, rape, miscarriage or injury to partners and relatives."

with elections in spain this sunday, who benefits from today's bombings in madrid? Following the explosions Arnaldo Otegi, the leader of the banned Basque political party Batasuna, stated that "Eta has always issued a warning whenever it left a bomb to explode." The fact that Eta, or whoever did it, has not claimed responsibility resonates with many contemporary terrorist events. (Chechens disown february Moscow metro bomb). Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for 9/11 and the question remains "whose agendas benefit the most from these events?"

plus: “Dreadful year” for Basque prisoners and relatives
The Etxerat association drew attention yesterday to the fact that curbs on Basque prisoners’ rights and the situation of their relatives were “worsening by the day”.

Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Welcome to the Unreal World

"Recently a plug-in was developed for The Sims allowing the virtual inhabitants to entertain themselves by playing none other than SimCity itself. When I first heard about this I was struck with the vision of Russian Matrioshka nesting dolls, but instead of dolls I saw simulations within simulations within simulations."

"It's conceivable that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original species but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of the original species. Essentially, Bostrom's argument is this: If humanity survives to the point where it's possible to run simulations of forebears, and our descendents desire to do so, then there would be vastly more simulations than realities and a greater likelihood that that we ourselves are living in a simulation."
Embrace the End of Work

"If liberals and the left do not re-embrace the end of work and the need to give everyone income as a right of citizenship, unconnected to employment, they will help usher in a much bleaker future of growing class polarization and widespread immiseration. If libertarians and the right do not adapt to the need to provide universal income in a jobless future they may help bring about a populist backlash against free trade and industrial modernization."
Inner and Outer Space: Architecture, Art and Neuroscience
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Location: San Diego, California, USA

This symposium at the University of California, San Diego will explore the role of conscious and unconscious brain-mind activity in the process of creating art and designing homes and buildings. Also on the agenda will be the question of how the human-built environment affects thinking and feeling.
US forces accused of looting, torture and death in Afghanistan

American forces in Afghanistan have been accused of flouting international law with arbitrary arrests, torture and killing of prisoners in a report by a civil rights watchdog human rights watch.

Soldiers are accused of using unprovoked deadly force in capturing civilians, some of whom were then allegedly subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment leading to deaths in custody. It is also alleged that looting has taken place during searches of homes.

The Human Rights Watch report says the situation at Guantanamo Bay is being replicated many times in Afghanistan, with detainees being held in even worse conditions at the military bases of Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Asadabad.

At least three prisoners are known to have died during interrogation, with two of the deaths being ruled homicide by American military pathologists after post-mortem examinations. US officials have refused to explain what happened in any of the cases.
(via news insider)

plus: Abu Abbas dies while in US military custody
Ted Jesus Christ GOD

"This is the OFFICIAL site for THE MESSIAH and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  Ted Jesus Christ GOD is the Second Coming!  HE is on World Earth now!"


a collection of weeping statues, weeping icons, miraculous images and a list of Catholic visionaries who are associated with Marian apparitions.
quicktime: beastyboy

The robot Banryu, or "guard dragon,'' is 90 centimeters tall and weighs 35 kilograms. With more than 50 built-in sensors, Banryu is capable of picking up changes in its surroundings and transmitting an alarm to its master's cellphone. A camera on its back can swivel 360 degrees and send images of the room around it. It can also sense the smell of burning and detect temperatures above 50 degrees.

The father of this mechanical guard-dog substitute is Yoichi Takamoto, president of Tmsuk Co., which has been working in collaboration with Sanyo Co.

We live in a visually dominated culture and suffer constant bombardment by visible messages. Adverts, shop fascias, street signs, the clothes of fellow pedestrians, newspaper headlines, magazine front covers, car designs create a visual cacophony.

To Dr Michael Bull, portable music players are "multi-faceted transformative devices", a "tool whereby users manage space, time and the boundaries around the self." through interviews with iPod and Walkman owners, he found that listening to music acts as a shield, aura or cocoon.

Using headphones helps to keep the world at bay and reclaim some space.

"They construct their moods, they re-make the time of their day," says Dr Bull., "It's a much more active process even though it's dependent on the machinery."

Choice is the key factor, he says. By choosing the music, you reclaim some of the world - it's no longer dominated by messages pointed at you.

what you listen to and when has a more subversive edge as well. It can recontextualise and undermine some of the messages aimed at you.
(via my analog life)
The ROZZ-TOX Manifesto
-- created in 1980 by Gary Panter after conversations with Matt Groening

Item 15: Law: If you want better media, go make it.
(via linkmachinego)

Tuesday, 9 March 2004

WorldFuture 2004
Starts: Saturday, July 31, 2004
Ends: Monday, August 02, 2004
Location: Washington, DC, USA

The annual conference of the World Future Society will this year focus on the theme, "Creating the Future Now!" Conference goals include increasing knowledge about the future, providing an opportunity for networking, creating a multigenerational community of futurists, providing opportunity for open dialogue, identifying and examining cutting-edge methodologies and recognizing early warning signals and trends.
Testing of Robot Brain Surgeon Begins
The Disabled People's Direct Action Network (DAN)

Disabled rights demo shuts westminster bridge

Seven people were arrested during the protest

About 40 protesters, some in wheelchairs, gathered on the central London bridge at about 0700 GMT today closing it during rush hour.

They say the government's draft Disability Discrimination Bill does not sufficiently address issues which affect disabled people's lives.

The Disabled People's Direct Action Network (DAN) is Britain's premier civil rights group. DAN believes in Direct Action, which means mobilising disabled people to demonstrate against injustice.

in the past DAN was responsible for getting ITV to scrap Telethon, a well publicised marathon charity fund-raising gala held annually on television which portrayed negative images of disability in order to raise money for charities.
Transsexual Dropped From Miss Universe

Model Chen Lili has been ordered to pull out of the Miss Universe competition by pageant officials because she was born a "man," despite the Chinese headquarters ruling last week that she could enter.

Lili first made headlines when she became the first person in China to win the right to change her birth details and have the certificate reflect her real gender.

She has so far not commented on whether she will challenge the ruling.
First European Micro Air Vehicle Conference and Flight Competition
Starts: Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Ends: Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Location: Braunschweig, Germany

MAVs are the smallest manmade flying machines. They are flying robots and have the weight and size of small birds. With the increasing civil and military demand for micro air vehicles, the German Institute of Navigation DGON has decided to host the first European Micro Air Vehicle Conference at the research airport of Braunschweig. The conference shall serve as a platform to exchange information on the state-of-the-art of MAVs.
adopt a bat

Is society ready for NBIC? As nano, bio, info and cognitive technology increasingly converge, proponents of NBIC (the acronym for this multitech intersection), are calling for the legal, ethical and regulatory implications to be considered from the very beginning.

The architect of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, Mike Roco, co-editor of a soon-to-be updated report on NBIC convergence and human performance, said at a recent conference that "society needs to be prepared for the major changes to come." Convergent technologies such as augmented vision or hearing, pervasive sensor networks and genetic manipulation will challenge the meaning of human nature and privacy, as well as many aspects of trade and international law.
new treatments could let humans live for centuries

Michigan State University clinical professor of medicine Michael Fossel said researchers had already "rejuvenated" skin cells in the laboratory and the potential existed to expand the technolgy to turn back the entire ageing process.

"We're altering the amount of gene expression. in skin cell tissue in the labratory we can actually reset the clock and take old cells and make them act like young cells."

"The question that we want to ask ourselves is 'can we do this to people?'

"The idea that you cannot reverse ageing in cells or tissue is wrong, you can."

"What we essentially do is reset the cells to do what they used to do when you were young," he said. "We don't change them, alter them, no we just reset them to do exactly what they did decades prior to what they're doing now."
Four Variations on the Theme of Human Enhancement
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Location: Hiram, Ohio, USA

The 12th Annual Summer Seminar of the Center for Literature, Medicine and the Healthcare Professions at Hiram College will address the social and ethical implications of human enhancement, focusing on four themes: Better children, superior performance, ageless bodies and happy souls. The seminar will build upon scholarly research and the recent publication of the US President's Council on Bioethics report Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Robotic Legs Closer for US Soldiers
Lower body exoskeleton could also help firefighters and rescue workers

Four years after being commissioned by the US military to create a strength-enhancing exoskeleton (human performance augmentation systems worn by humans to enhance mechanical strength and power), researchers are set to showcase a self-powered set of robotic legs. Created by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, the exoskeleton could become a useful tool for applications that require "superhuman" capabilities.
journey to the 10th dimension
Technology for Independent Living
Monday, April 26, 2004
Location: London, England

This Royal Academy of Engineering conference aims to highlight how new technologies can aid independence. The meeting will address three major issues: The development of smart homes that can provide a safe and useful independent living environment for older people, the potential use of robots both to carry out tasks in the home and to provide therapy and the exploitation of new devices in a market that has traditionally been fragmented.
Intelligent Cyborgs: Science Fact or Science Fiction?
Monday, April 19, 2004
Location: London, England

Kevin Warwick from the University of Reading and Chris Malcolm from the University of Edinburgh will discuss intelligent cyborgs and why they may or may not become a reality. Attendees will be able to contribute their own views in an open discussion that will conclude the meeting.
What Types of Cyborg Implants Are Available Now?

Monday, 8 March 2004

colonic artistry
(via Geisha asobi blog)
Gallery closed over naked pictures of girl

Police were called to the Spitz gallery in London last night when typically moronic concerns were raised over an exhibition featuring photos of Betsy Schneider's naked daughter.

Scotland Yard was alerted after visitors to the exhibition complained they considered the images, showing the girl as a baby, a toddler, and a five-year-old, to be pornographic.

The doors of the gallery at Spitalfields Market in east London were closed and the windows covered while the gallery took advice from officers. Betsy Schneider herself was amazed. She said: "The aim of these pictures is not to provoke or to shock. The idea is to show time, change and growth."

The case has echoes of the furore in 2001 when police threatened to seize three of American photographer Tierney Gearon's images of her children in the nude from the Saatchi gallery in London. Then the former culture minister, Chris Smith, intervened to chastise officers for overstepping the mark between probity and censorship.

Sunday, 7 March 2004

jane and louise wilson
its better to regret things you've done, than regret not doing them.
said Sarah Kozer to friday night's ultimate reality TV champion major james hewitt

Hewitt beat Driving School's Maureen Rees to win £93,500, which will be donated to The Passage
"existenz is paused".
Why the US loves British reality
(via kirsty jb)
back to reality

"Ignore the propaganda, focus on what you see."
(--Commander Sinclair, Babylon 5)

how The Brain Merges Illusion And Reality
"a new collaborative study involving a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis and neurobiologists at the University of Pittsburgh shows that sometimes you can't believe anything that you see. More importantly, the researchers have identified areas of the brain where what we're actually doing (reality) and what we think we're doing (illusion, or perception) are processed.

Freedom of choice entails commitment and responsibility. existentialists have argued that because individuals are free to choose their own path, they must accept the risk and responsibility of following their commitment wherever it leads.

Being Part of the Story: Augmented Reality
that 3 headed frog