Crass: There is no Authority But Yourself

Found this via Dangerous Minds. I have little to add beyond advising you to clear out an hour to watch this Dutch documentary about the collection of people, practices and ideals that came together to form the punk band Crass.  With a militantly anarchist outlook and a very DIY devotion to living what they screamed, Crass was one of the very few in art who lived their ideals 100%.  A great hit of inspiration if you’re feeling like you’ve got no option but the treadmill you’re on.

Muammar Qaddafi and Michael Jackson: the Oneness

Am I the only one that thinks Muammar al-Qaddafi and Michael Jackson look like the same person?  I mean, add 20 pounds and a limp and you’re basically there.  Oh and a pulse.  And a crack team of lady bodyguards. Really.  MQ? Sleeps in a tent.  MJ? Slept in a tent.  Face like wood putty? Check.  Rambling conspiracy theories, a love for costumes and radical decisions prompted by financial troubles?  Check, check and check.  Two men, two vast reservoirs of ego and paranoia swirling around in big piles of money, leaking weird gibberish across the land. Only natural that they’d have the same tailor, eh? But what if it was more than that?  What if Michael Jackson, hounded by his debts and public reputation, entered in a secret pact with mysterious Libyan nationals to support a clandestine coup, a neat little switch that whisked the real Qaddafi off the pedestal […]

Oil Rig Archipelagos: Planning for Catastrophe

As you’re probably aware, the explosion and sinking of the offshore oil platform Deepwater Horizon let loose a stream of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, not too far off from vital waters for fishing and biodiversity.  While the leak spurts out 5,000 barrels of oil a day, attempts to curb the flow of crude have been unsuccessful thus far.  Wells drilled on land can be blown out with explosives or capped with machinery but operating at the frozen, high-pressure depths changes the game significantly. What I found most distressing was that the blowout preventer failed. These offshore wells are required to have such an emergency shutoff valve as a fail-safe. By all accounts, it appears this valve got blown out with the same surge that wrecked the rest of the rig.  Not much of a fail-safe. Suddenly, it’s hard to hear the enthusiastic chanting of “Drill, baby, drill!” […]

This is some useful crap: toilet energy

It’s a natural reaction of just about every animal to flee the scene once digestion reaches its inevitable, fragrant conclusion.  The distance one keeps from contact with feces is something of an unspoken yardstick of development.  While India has more mobile phones than toilets (and the street center streams of sewage that comes along with no place to crap), the more genteel among the Japanese have magical robot toilet seats that squirt and air dry your nether regions while playing a jaunty ringtone. Not having to wipe yourself is the gold medal in the development Olympics. But could our aversion to our own waste be cheating us?  Perhaps a great re-think is in order for this “brown gold”. The U.S. military is investigating the potential of turning troops’ poops into reactor fuel, saving the expense and environmental impact of burning all those digested MREs (and Tim Hortons).  While making shit […]

Visions of Tehran

One of the most beautiful and useful gifts of the internet is the ability to deflate propaganda and re-humanize our so-called enemies by offering a glimpse of The Other, in this case, the people of Tehran.  These are the people, these laughing, walking, sleeping, eating, breathing, loving and beloved people who would be “civilian casualties” or “collateral damage” were we to start lobbing missiles that way in the name of “stabilizing the Middle East” or “protecting our allies.” Remember McCain? One great window on this part of the world is the Flickr photostream and website of street photographer Kamyar Adl. From his site: Kamyar says, ‘I became obsessed with 35mm cameras when I was a teenager after playing with my Brothers Nikon EL2 and its 50mm 1:1.4 lens.’ Some years later when his brother left Iran for LA, Kamyar and the poor ownerless Nikon became inseparable. After finishing school Kamyar […]

Times Square NYC Bomber Faisal Shahzad a Ron Paul Fan?

According to Faisal Shahzad’s resume he has a background in finance and has the email address The Daily News reports that he is 30 years old. Curiously a YouTube user going as fshahzad1 last signed on 6 months and says in his profile he’s 29. This YouTube user commented on the video “Peter Schiff vs the Federal Reserve – LIVE! – Part 1 of 5” the following: “oh we still have dollar? I thought we were done with it in 2001, who owns FED RES, 300 people. not US GOV” Maybe another user who also has the same username of “fshahzad1”– however given the users age, Google/GMail/YouTube Accounts are often the same username, and this video’s subject of finance it seems we are dealing with the same Faisal Shahzad. A man who interestingly enough shared values with Conservatives, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, and Ron Paul supporters that seemingly in American […]

The first day of the rest of your site (thanks Midphase)

We’re down but not out, I assure you. Sometime on Sunday we were knocked off the web for reasons that are still somewhat hazy.  Not to sling too much mud, but we were/are largely kept in the dark as to what happened, what was being done to fix it and when a solution would be coming.  Today, our hosts at Midphase declared our data D.O.A. and resurrected a backup from February. So… three months of writing down the drain, just like that.  Gee… way to back things up, guys. As a result, in terms of SEO we’ve basically dropped down a black hole, just when we were starting to get an audience going.  To those of you reading this, thanks for sticking with us.  Having people out there interested in what we write, who we interview and the weird little corners we poke around in means a lot to Alex […]