MonthSeptember 2007

Exterminators: the front line in the human/insect war

New piece by me on Alterati:

“Total chemical warfare against insects.”

That’s one of many proposals from Otto Muehl’s nihilistic ZOCK Manifesto. It’s the sort of thing most environmentalists would, at best, scoff at (or, at worst, give you a several hour lecture on the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems). In college, I once knew a guy who decided to live in harmony with the lice that had made his head a home. But that didn’t last more than a week. Even the most militant conservationist will break out the high power chemicals when their home is infested with cockroaches or ants, or if their body is plagued with lice or scabies.

Ever since I saw the mockumentary The The Hellstrom Chronicle when I was a teenager, I’ve been unable to forget the notion that humans and insects are at perpetual war. A war that we are losing.

I don’t know if Simon Oliver was influenced at all by Hellstrom Chronicle, but his comic Exterminators sure seems to detail the front lines of this imaginary war.

Full Story: Alterati.

Exterminators: the front line in the human/insect war

exterminators comic

New piece by me on Alterati:

‘Total chemical warfare against insects.’

That’s one of many proposals from Otto Muehl’s nihilistic ZOCK Manifesto. It’s the sort of thing most environmentalists would, at best, scoff at (or, at worst, give you a several hour lecture on the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems). In college, I once knew a guy who decided to live in harmony with the lice that had made his head a home. But that didn’t last more than a week. Even the most militant conservationist will break out the high power chemicals when their home is infested with cockroaches or ants, or if their body is plagued with lice or scabies.

Ever since I saw the mockumentary The The Hellstrom Chronicle when I was a teenager, I’ve been unable to forget the notion that humans and insects are at perpetual war. A war that we are losing.

I don’t know if Simon Oliver was influenced at all by Hellstrom Chronicle, but his comic Exterminators sure seems to detail the front lines of this imaginary war.

Full Story: Alterati.

Buy Exterminators vol. 1.

What We Can Learn From The Lunatic Fringe?

perpetual motion machine

We’ve all heard claims of green inventions that are too good to be true: the zero-point energy generator, the water-powered car, the device for talking with dolphins to achieve world peace. Sometimes they amuse us; sometimes they confuse us, as we try to determine whether they’re legitimate or not; and sometimes they just annoy us. But can they ever help us? Yes: by keeping our imaginations open, and by honing our evaluation skills — skills which are useful both when deciding between existing technologies, and when thinking about technologies on the

Full Story: WorldChanging.

OK Soda

ok soda can

I recently threw out my can of OK soda. I had the Charles Burns one pictured above. I got it at the Olympia Comics Festival in 2002, when Burns spoke. He had a whole box he was giving away. I’ve moved the can to seven different homes over the past 5 years, each time thinking it seemed a bit silly to save a can an opened can of soda. But I was reluctant to throw it out. It sprung a leak eventually, and after letting slowly it drain in the sink for a few day I decided it was finally time to part with it. I’m still wondering if it was the right decision. Oh well.

For those that don’t know:

ok soda cans the original 4

OK Soda was a soft drink created by The Coca-Cola Company in 1994 that aggressively courted the Generation X demographic with unusual advertising tactics, including endorsements and even outright negative publicity. It did not sell well in select test markets and was officially declared out of production in 1995 before reaching nation-wide distribution. The drink’s slogan was “Things are going to be OK.”

Wikipedia entry.

Second “isolated incident” in Philly this month

Another one from Balko. Philadelphia police raided the wrong house in a drug bust:

In this case, he says surveillance officers didn’t give an address of the home they were targetting.

“They gave a physical description, house with a black storm door, in front of the residence was a pick up truck. Unfortunately there was a house 5 doors away that had a black storm door with pick up in front. The officers didn’t have time to determine which house was which,” said Inspector Horne.

Balko also notes: “The police department spouted the usual line about how this almost never happens. Except that it’s the second incident in Philly this month.”

Full Story: Hit and Run.

See also: Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America (free PDF).

Chicago Man Sues after Prostitution Arrest

It was Rocio Palacios who first noticed the woman who appeared to need help.

It was 8 a.m. when she and her husband, Erasmo, dropped their 6-year-old daughter off at school and had picked up their 22-year-old daughter to go out for breakfast when they saw the woman waving her arms at 53rd Street and Kedzie Avenue last November.

The Palacioses, of Chicago, claim the woman approached their car, parked outside Manolo’s restaurant, leaned in to the passenger side where Rocio was sitting and asked Erasmo if he wanted oral sex for $20 or sex for $25.

The couple laughed, realizing this wasn’t a woman in distress after all.

But within seconds, Chicago police swarmed the family car, hauling Erasmo Palacios out in handcuffs. He was charged with solicitation of a prostitute.

[…]

Eight hours later, Palacios, who has no criminal record, was released from custody. And weeks later, charges against him were dropped.

[…]

The city wants more than $4,700 in towing and storage fees if he wants the car back.

I feel safer.

Full Story: Officer.com.

(Via The Agitator).

Ronald Bailey’s Singularity Summit coverage

By 2030, or by 2050 at the latest, will a super-smart artificial intelligence decide to keep humans around as pets? Will it instead choose to turn the entire Earth, including the messy organic bits like us, into computronium? Or is there a third alternative?

These were some of the questions pondered by the 600 or so technosavants meeting in the Palace of Fine Arts at the second annual Singularity Summit this past weekend. The meeting was convened by the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The Institute’s chief goal is to make sure that whatever smarter-than-human artificial intelligence is eventually spawned by exponentially accelerating information technology that it will be friendly to humans.

Full Story: Reason Magazine.

Buy The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology.

Buy Bailey’s Liberation Biology: The Scientific And Moral Case For The Biotech Revolution .

The Top Twenty Most Bizarre Experiments of All Time

The Museum of Hoaxes provides an excerpt from the book Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments:

Warren Thomas, Director of the City Zoo, fired a cartridge-syringe containing 297 milligrams of LSD into Tusko the Elephant’s rump. With Thomas were two scientific colleagues from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Louis Jolyon West and Chester M. Pierce.

297 milligrams is a lot of LSD – about 3000 times the level of a typical human dose. In fact, it remains the largest dose of LSD ever given to a living creature. The researchers figured that, if they were going to give an elephant LSD, they better not give him too little.

Full Story: Museum of Hoaxes.

(via Boing Boing).

Jackie Gleason’s occult library on exhibit in Miami

occult digest from the library of jackie gleason

Jackie Gleason, yes that Jackie Gleason.

Exhibit Preview.

(via Boing Boing).

Sub Genius condoms

sub genius bob and connie dobbs condom

Buy Here.

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