MonthOctober 2008

Hard Times Have Some Flirting with Survivalism

“Atash Hagmahani is not waiting for the stock market to recover. The former high-tech professional turned urban survivalist has already moved his money into safer investments: Rice and beans, for starters. “I hoard food,”  says Hagmahani, 44, estimating that he has enough to last his family a year or two. “I’m not ashamed to admit it.”  “People keep asking when this (economic crisis) is going to clear up,”  says Hagmahani, who agreed to be interviewed on the condition that he be identified only by this pseudonym, which he uses for his survivalist blog, or by his first name, Rob.

The answer, he predicts, is that the country is entering what he calls a “Greater Depression.”  “Maybe they jolly well better get used to the change in lifestyle.”  Hagmahani is not alone in concluding that desperate times call for serious preparations. With foreclosure rates running rampant, financial institutions teetering and falling, prices for many goods and services climbing, and jobs being slashed, many Americans are making preparations for worse times ahead. For some, that means cutting spending and saving more. For others, it means taking a step into survivalism, once regarded solely as the province of religious End-of-Timers, sci-fi fans and extremists. That often manifests itself as a desire to secure basic emergency resources “‘ what survival guru Jim Wesley Rawles describes as “beans, bullets and Band-Aids.” 

(via MSNBC. h/t: LOLFed)

Official photos from Esozone: the Other Tomorrow

orryelle psychotronic

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floor art

Many many more photos at Flickr. Photos courtesy of Beth Wozniak.

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Technoccult TV station break

Just a quick note to mention that Technoccult TV will resume in late November, on a monthly schedule. Future episodes feature Reich artist Elijah Brubaker, the deadly fighting arts of Mu Ryu, and the long awaited interview with Rex Church.

Stone Age Man Took Drugs, Say Scientists

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“It has long been suspected that humans have an ancient history of drug use, but there has been a lack of proof to support the theory. Now, however, researchers have found equipment used to prepare hallucinogenic drugs for sniffing, and dated them back to prehistoric South American tribes. Quetta Kaye, of University College London, and Scott Fitzpatrick, an archeologist from North Carolina State University, made the breakthrough on the Caribbean island of Carriacou.

They found ceramic bowls, as well as tubes for inhaling drug fumes or powders, which appear to have originated in South America between 100BC and 400BC and were then carried 400 miles to the islands. While the use of such paraphernalia for inhaling drugs is well-known, the age of the bowls has thrown new light on how long humans have been taking drugs. Scientists believe that the drug being used was cohoba, a hallucinogen made from the beans of a mimosa species. Drugs such as cannabis were not found in the Caribbean then. Opiates can be obtained from species such as poppies, while fungi, which was widespread, may also have been used.”

(via Telegraph)

Fatty Acids Clue to Alzheimer’s

“Controlling the level of a fatty acid in the brain could help treat Alzheimer’s disease, an American study has suggested. Tests on mice showed that reducing excess levels of the acid lessened animals’ memory problems and behavioural changes. Writing in Nature Neuroscience, the team said fatty acid levels could be controlled through diet or drugs. A UK Alzheimer’s expert called the work “robust and exciting”. There are currently 700,000 people living with dementia in the UK, but that number is forecast to double within a generation.

Scientists from Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and the University of California looked at fatty acids in the brains of normal mice and compared them with those in mice genetically engineered to have an Alzheimer’s-like condition. They identified raised levels of a fatty acid called arachidonic acid in the brains of the Alzheimer’s mice. Its release is controlled by the PLA2 enzyme. The scientists again used genetic engineering to lower PLA2 levels in the animals, and found that even a partial reduction halted memory deterioration and other impairments.”

(via BBC News)

Muslim fanatic prisoners to be ‘de-programmed’ using controversial techniques to ‘cure’ them of beliefs

Psychologists in the Prison Service will try to “cure” extremist Muslim inmates of their political beliefs with controversial therapies similar to those used to “de-programme” members of religious cults.

The experimental treatments are being developed by a special Extremism Unit set up by the Ministry of Justice in January last year, The Mail on Sunday has discovered.

Sources say the therapy forms part of a wide-ranging strategy to combat Islamic extremism in Britain’s jails.

This London

(via Cryptogon)

Who determines who is a “fanatic” and who determines when they have been “cured”?

Don?t Blink: Tales From the Far Side

I’ve been a big fan of Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” for as long as I can remember. His “outside the box” comics of silly reactions that monsters, animals, insects, aliens, and even vegetables might have in reaction to us human beings pulls me out of my reality tunnel and makes me laugh, and sometimes more importantly, is a reminder not to take everything so seriously. Now a DVD set of “Tales From The Far Side”, an animated series that appeared on TV in 1994, is available.

“Almost everyone has seen a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon in a newspaper or on a T-shirt, mug, calendar, or greeting card. But if you weren’t watching CBS on the night of October 26, 1994, you missed Tales From the Far Side, an award-winning animated short film that you’ve probably never heard of. Yes, that’s right: the Far Side was animated. Twice. And it’s brilliant.

The first short film premiered as a Halloween special in 1994, where couch potatoes and animation buffs like me saw it and were never able to forget it. The program was never broadcast on television again, but it did make the rounds at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it took the Grand Prix. Three years later, a sequel (aptly titled Tales From the Far Side II) never even made it to television.

Both short films are comprised of a series of vignettes in the visual style of the print comics, with a haunting musical accompaniment by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell (who has featured some of the scores from the soundtrack on his disc Quartet). The tone ranges from the slapstick to the macabre, humorous to depressing, and even has some live action cow action thrown in there.”

(via Fantasy Magazine)

Alterati coverage of Esozone, with lots of video

Full Story: Alterati

Make a Faraday Cage Wallet

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You already have your tin foil hat, and you’re pretty sure no one can find you on the Google. However, there’s one detail you may not have thought of, and that’s those pesky RFID chips.

RFID tags identifying who and — gasp! — where you are can be found in passports, ATM cards, credit cards and some state-issued ID cards. The same technology will possibly even be used in paper money in the near future.

With the right equipment, these chips can be read from afar by data snoops or your friendly government official. A Faraday cage is sufficient for blocking such eavesdropping.

Here’s how to hide yourself from both the baddies and The Man.

Full Story: Wired

New transhumanist web magazine edited by R.U. Sirius

h+

R.U. Sirius, the editor of the seminal Mondo 2000 and about a billion other things is back with a new project: H+, a transhumanist web magazine. The first issue include Aubrey de Grey, Charlie Stross, Cory Doctorow, Warren Ellis, and much more.

H+

(via Dose Nation)

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