MonthMarch 2008

FTM decides to get pregnant, carry child

pregnant man

To our neighbors, my wife, Nancy, and I don’t appear in the least unusual. To those in the quiet Oregon community where we live, we are viewed just as we are — a happy couple deeply in love. Our desire to work hard, buy our first home, and start a family was nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until we decided that I would carry our child.

I am transgender, legally male, and legally married to Nancy. Unlike those in same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions, Nancy and I are afforded the more than 1,100 federal rights of marriage. Sterilization is not a requirement for sex reassignment, so I decided to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my reproductive rights. Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire.

Full Story: the Advocate.

(via Grinding

Police do not recommend charges against praying parents

A brief follow-up to last week’s post tragic story of the malign effects of religious ignorance:

Vergin said his agency’s final report will make no recommendations on possible charges against the parents, leaving that up to the district attorney.

“There is no intent. They didn’t want their child to die. They thought what they were doing was the right thing,” he said. “They believed up to the time she stopped breathing she was going to get better. They just thought it was a spiritual attack. They believed if they prayed enough she would get through it.”

Although Chief Vergin insists “There is no physical evidence of abuse or neglect” (apparently one dead daughter isn’t physical evidence of neglect), their remaining children are now staying with an unnamed relative. This was not a court ordered decision, the parents agreed voluntarily at the advice of social workers. It is not mentioned whether the relatives they’re staying with have similar religious beliefs to the parents.

Full Story: Yahoo!

It doesn’t matter how much they loved their daughter or how much they thought they were doing the right thing. What they thought was the right thing was grossly incompetent and they pose a danger to their remaining children. I’m not a lawyer, but “involuntary manslaughter” sounds like an appropriate charge.

MTV: fascism happened

Trevor says:

These two videos from think MTV [1] [2] are presented as a warning of what could happen in the United States of America. But they look to me like nothing so much as a depiction of what has been happening for quite some time as part of the war on drugs.

I agree. See my series of posts The US as Police State.

Subliminal exposure to corporate logos effect how people think, study says

Kevin at Grinding looks at the connection between a new study on corporate logos and the connection to sigil magic:

The team conducted an experiment in which 341 university students completed what they believed was a visual acuity task, during which either the Apple or IBM logo was flashed so quickly that they were unaware they had been exposed to the brand logo. The participants then completed a task designed to evaluate how creative they were, listing all of the uses for a brick that they could imagine beyond building a wall.

People who were exposed to the Apple logo generated significantly more unusual uses for the brick compared with those who were primed with the IBM logo, the researchers said. In addition, the unusual uses the Apple-primed participants generated were rated as more creative by independent judges.

“This is the first clear evidence that subliminal brand exposures can cause people to act in very specific ways,” said Gr?inne Fitzsimons. “We’ve performed tests where we’ve offered people $100 to tell us what logo was being flashed on screen, and none of them could do it. But even this imperceptible exposure is enough to spark changes in behavior.”

Other than their defined brand personalities, the researchers argue there is not anything unusual about Apple and IBM that causes this effect. The team conducted a follow-up experiment using the Disney and E! Channel brands, and found that participants primed with the Disney Channel logo subsequently behaved much more honestly than those who saw the E! Channel logos.

Full Story: Grinding.

See also:

Marketing Without Tears.

Wikipedia: Priming.

The Art of Memetics: Pirate Edition

art of memetics

Edward Wilson (aka Fenris 23) and former Technoccult guest editor Wes Unruh‘s new book is available in a special “Pirate Edition” now.

Art of Memetics torrent available through GPOD.

You can also purchase a special “pre-release” version from Lulu.

Transcription of one of Newton’s alchemical documents

Historian of science Bill Newman says that Isaac Newton’s alchemical notebooks are like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. But as you’ll see as you peruse the 300-year-old manuscript at left, this puzzle is no child’s play—more like an enigma wrapped in a mystery riddled with a number of misleading clues. With Bill Newman’s help, we’ve "decoded" a page from one of these manuscripts. To orient yourself to the bewildering world of 17th-century alchemy, we recommend you first read our interview with Bill Newman before plunging into the manuscript.—Susan K. Lewis

‘Secret Worlds’


Neil Gaiman quote illustrated by the always-wonderful xkcd.

Alex Grey interview in SF Gate

alex grey

You had a kind of vision as a young man that changed your life and work. Can you tell me about that?

It was 1975. I had spent the year at the Boston Museum School doing some very bizarre performance works. The last one included going to the North Magnetic Pole and spending all of my money. I came back exhilarated and exhausted, not to mention slightly suicidal. I was pretty young, like 21. I’d been searching, and I just didn’t understand what my life was all about. So at one point I kind of asked, “If there is a God, then please give me a sign.”

Then, on the last day of art school, I was standing on a street corner, saying goodbye to my professor, when this woman drove by and invited us to a party later that night. My professor picked me up that evening and offered me a bottle of Kahlua and LSD, and since I felt like I had nothing to lose – I had never done psychedelics before – I tried it. I drank about half the bottle. And when we got to the front door of the lady giving the party, I told her what was in the bottle, and she drank the rest of it. I went into her apartment, sat on a couch and closed my eyes; inside of my head it seemed like everything was in a big, dark tunnel, but I was revolving around in a spiral toward the light. There was this beautiful, amazing kind of luminosity, a kind of light that I’d never imagined. It was the light of love, the light of redemption, in a weird way. I felt a kind of ecstatic joyfulness that was a real release from my depression, and I saw the experience as symbolically important in that I was in the dark, going toward the light.

This was a kind of spiritual awakening for you?

Exactly. It was like going through a spiritual rebirth canal. And it was like nothing I had experienced before. I called the girl (the party giver) the next day, and asked if we could get together and talk about the experience. She ended up being my wife, 33 years ago. So it was a definite turning point. I had met a sort of divine love in the flesh in the form of my wife, and this definitely opened me up to a new realm.

SF Gate.

(via Daily Grail).

Fitna the Movie

Update: see comments section for my thoughts on this film

Did Kenneth Grant have access to the “real” Neocronomicon?

All of Grant’s works were highly influenced by Crowley’s Thelemic tradition. One particular work, which holds considerable interest, is Nightside of Eden in which Grant proceeds to describe what he refers to as the Tunnels of Set.

A close examination of the Tunnels of Set will bring the reader to a realization that Crowley might not have been Kenneth Grant’s only influence for this darker side of occult mysticism. It seems that Grant’s Nightside of Eden is also somewhat rooted in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and his often referred to tome the Necronomicon.

Full Story: Key 64.

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