MonthJune 2006

Chopped, packaged and shipped

It was revealed last week that 46 Australian patients received tissue implants from Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS), a company under investigation and now shut down by the United States Food and Drug Administration for illegally obtaining body parts from cadavers (many of which were diseased) and placing them in the stream of commerce.

A tragic scandal now has repercussions beyond the New Jersey shores where BTS is located. Patients who received body parts from BTS have filed lawsuits claiming to have contracted syphilis, hepatitis and other diseases from the bones and tissues they received from pillaged cadavers. The emptied corpses were sent to funeral homes in New York to prepare for burial. Yet, Michael Mastromarino, the CEO of BTS, and his colleagues had other macabre business objectives in mind, including looting the corpses for profit.

Full Story: Online Opinion.

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice: An Introduction to African-American Rootwork

Catherine Yronwode’s book in progress about hoodoo.

I get the funny feeling I’ve linked to this before, but can’t find it in the archives.

Graffiti and the Obelisk

What would happen if all graffiti writers overnight would write their name backwards? It is a cheap paperback cliche of occultism that reading the bible backwards will undo the universe while the devil supposedly can be heard by playing certain records backwards. It is enough to mention Babylon, that ancient dystopia of linguistic diversion, to remind you that messing with the structure of language has always been considered to be dangerous. It is the power of computers to generate all permutations that can made by combining according to different rules a certain range of tokens. It would not be hard to code a small software running on your pocket PC or Mobile phone that would tell you what combinations could be made with words you encounter while out on your game: the man-machine graffiti interface.

Full Story: socialfiction.

(via Frequency 23.

Man, I really need to start reading socialfiction a regular basis again.

All you need to do is communicate

Wes on community at Frequency 23:

What I’m trying to say is this… these forums are here to help you develop, to help create a non-local superorganism that can adapt and maneuver within the larger body politic, and all you need to do is communicate to be a part of the overall community.

Communication is the essential manifestation of feedback that helps entrain, that provides the linguistic protoplasm binding together the cells of the superorganism

Full Story: Frequency 23.

Radiohead and the future of music

I’m not a huge fan of Radiohead – I dig ’em alright, but I think they’re vastly overrated. But this last paragraph from a Sasha Frere-Jones article in the New Yorker is interesting:

Radiohead no longer has a contract with EMI and says that it has no plans to sign with a label. However the band chooses to release its next record, it can still make a handsome living by touring and selling merchandise. Labels spend a lot of time and money worrying about illegal downloading and file-sharing. What they should be worried about is more bands like Radiohead, which could make major labels a relic of the twentieth century.

Full Story: New Yorker.

(via Disinfo).

Grow Your Own House

plant your own house

Those familiar with Paul Laffoley will be excited to see this project:

The Fab Tree Hab — a home literally made from trees, using an ancient technique called pleaching (the art of weaving (and sometimes grafting) trees together to form structures) — was one of the design entries for the Index: awards, emerging from the genius of a crew including MIT architect Mitchell Joachim and our friend, Javier Arbona of Archinect. The project description emphasized consideration of whole systems (and ecosystems) in creating a truly sustainable built environment, rather than a piecemeal approach that could yield uncertain longterm outcomes.

World Changing: Grow Your Own Treehouse and other thoughts on Ecological Architecture

See also: Influences on Archinode’s Fab Tree Hab

Cool Ganesh Toy

ganesh on boombox toy

Awesome Ganesh toy by Doze Green.

More photos

(thanks Danny)

Channel Null: Take ‘Em Out to the Woodshed

Sort of a nickel guide to demonology:

By our nature, our auras attract things we want and need. Force animates us and intention guides our minds to manipulate us such that we move towards what we seek; those things we invoke early and often will show up, in the manner they can. But we suffer from ego-scaffolding that burdens us down with a whole complex of “memes.” And a great number of them lead to all sorts of contradiction and negatives-around-which we form identities. Thought processes and behavior patterns begin to take on a life of their own, and for all intents and purposes, may as well be demonic in nature. Whether they exist inside or outside of matters little. Our subject and object collapse such that these entities dwell on the limit-point of self-definition. And a lot of them revolve around statements like “I don’t really need to be wealthy” or “I am poor.”

Comment forthcoming.

Full Story: Dark Science and Infernal Art.

Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic

I’ve never put much thought towards animal magic before, even though animals have been so important to magical practices throughout the world and history. This book by my Key 23 colleague and fellow northwesterner Lupa looks like the perfect introduction for me.

FFBB is animal magic from a more practical viewpoint. Where most of the books on the subject tend towards hijacked Native American/New Age hybrids and animal totem dictionaries, this book covers both well-known and new territory.

I wrote it for the practicing magician who already knows the basics of magic, whether you just want to use a few techniques, or immerse yourself in the animal magic paradigm. I leave ethical decisions up to the reader, and I don’t line the pages with tons of pre-fabricated spells and rites. Here’s a summary of the varous chapters:

Totemism: The differences between tribal totemism and modern, neopagan totemism; theories of what totems are, and how to work with them on numerous levels; practical totem magic

Familiars: Finding (not just waiting for) a physical animal familiar; proper care of familiars; familiar magic beyond My familiar sits and looks at me during sex magic; spiritual familiars

Evocation and invocation: Animals of the directions/quarters; extinct, cryptozoological, and fictitious animals in magic; pop culture animal magic via Mononoke Hime

Creating Species on the Astral Plane: Animal qualities in servitors; composite species; new species; sigilonodon

Shapeshifting: Magical shapeshifting (sorry, no physical lycanthropy here, folks; therianthropy; shapeshifting and personality aspecting/programming

Working with Animal Parts in Magic: Sources for materials; working with the spirits; practical advice

Animal Sacrifice: History; whether or not to practice it; alternatives; guest essay by Nicholas Graham

Appendices: Guided totem meditation; useful divination techniques; how to make a fur pouch; animal-focused nonprofit groups

If you’d like to preview the first 25 pages care of the publisher, click here.

The cover price is $21.95 USD. You can order a signed copy of FFBB directly from me via our website.

It’s also available with a 10% discount through the publisher, Immanion Press. And Amazon also carries it.

The Art of Mark Bryan

mad tea party

The art of Mark Bryan.

(via A Day in the Life)

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