TagWashington

Seismic Symphony

Due to his failing sight, Western Washington geology professor David Engebretson is teaching a class he developed pioneering the study of earth science in a unique manner – using sound. He has also created audio that is analogous to the history of Earth’s magnetic field reversals. Take a listen to the short clip NPR. He talks through it, but makes insightful points about what musical patterns he can hear, and what that may mean in terms of our geological history.

Link

The Revolt of the Comic Books

revolt of the comic books

Excellent article on the attempts of superhero comics to deal to critique American politics, and how they fail:

The Superhero Registration Act is a straightforward analogue of the USA PATRIOT Act; the rhetoric of its opponents could have been cribbed from an ACLU brief. But under scrutiny, their civil libertarian arguments turn out to hold very little water in the fictional context. The “liberty” the act infringes is the right of well-meaning masked vigilantes, many wielding incredible destructive power, to operate unaccountably, outside the law — a right no sane society recognizes. In one uneasy scene, an anti-registration hero points out that the law would subject heroes to lawsuits filed by those they apprehend. In another, registered hero Wonder Man is forced to wait several whole minutes for approval before barging into a warehouse full of armed spies from Atlantis. Protests about the law’s threat to privacy ring a bit hollow coming from heroes accustomed to breaking into buildings, reading minds, or peering through walls without bothering to obtain search warrants. Captain America bristles at the thought of “Washington … telling us who the supervillains are,” but his insistence that heroes must be “above” politics amounts to the claim that messy democratic deliberation can only hamper the good guys’ efforts to protect America. The putative dissident suddenly sounds suspiciously like Director of National Intelligence Mitch McConnell defending warrantless spying.

I haven’t read Ellis’s Black Summer yet (I have issue 0, just need to find the time), but I suspect it falls into the same trap: Horus’s murder of the president is little different from the US’s invasion of Iraq.

Full Story: American Prospect).

(via American Samizdat).

Reproductive Clinic Uses RFID To Guarantee Parental Identity

So now that the Veri-Chip has been found to have side-effects, why not tag and track people before they’re born? The fact that “usually, two employees manually check the names to prevent a mistake from being made”, isn’t very comforting knowing how fallible we human beings are. Add the fact that RFID tags can be easily hacked, and you have quite a messed-up sci-fi scenario. Big Brother is watching you and your reproductive system.

” Overlake Reproductive Health located in Bellevue, Wash., has become the first reproductive-medicine center in the United States to deploy an RFID-based system for tracking human eggs, sperm and embryos. This system should help ensure that no identity mistakes are made during collection, storage and fertilization.”

RFID Journal

Ron Paul and the racist right

I’m posting this here because I think there’s a fairly large cross-over between Technoccultists and Ron Paul supporters, and because I’d really like to get the bottom of this. Paul’s not going to get to get a fair shake in the mainstream media or the progressive media, and the libertarian media (such that it is) seems a bit quiet on the issue of Ron Paul’s alleged racism. Though I admittedly skew to the left for the most part, I have a few libertarian tendencies as well so I feel like maybe I can give him a fair shake. For your inspection:

Ron Paul, In His Own Words.

Ron Paul: The Radical Right’s Man in Washington.

The defenses of Paul I’ve seen so far are:

1. Deny that the newsletters even exist and claim that the Daily Kos poster who posted this is “obviously a neocon Guiliani supporter who has been building up a record on this site in an attempt to give you some sort of street cred to run bullcrap like this diary throughout the Republican primary.” (From “libertynow”‘s comments on the Kos diaries).

2. Take the Paul’s defense that he didn’t write the newsletters at face value.

The former I find fairly absurd, and the latter just doesn’t quite work for me. And while it’s true that you can’t choose your supporters, one has to look at why the racist right tends to support Ron Paul. Even before I read about these newsletters, I was worried by Paul’s immigration positions and asserted that he was deliberately playing to the racist right. But I’m quite open to being proved wrong.

Perfectly good questions

Part 1 and Round 2. Examples:

What the HELL was going on in Omaha in 1989?

Why was all of Wilhelm Reich’s research burned by the FDA?

Why did Rev. Moon get to crown himself ‘King of the World’ in a ceremony that was attended by members of congress and the Bush administration and held in a congressional building in Washington, DC?

From one of my new favorite sites, Brainsturbation.

Top 10 Counterculture Colleges in America

The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, which I happen to go to, was selected by High Times as the number one counterculture school in the America. Whoo hoo! The story’s spotty, but it paints a pretty good picture of what life is like here. My biggest complaint is that the reporters were only here during spring, when it rains less and people are less miserable. The local paper did an equally spotty job of reporting on the story. Seems people around here are concerned that the publicity will hurt Evergreen, and the school works hard to deny that marijuana is any more prevalent here than at any other school. They also complain that the story wasn’t based on scientific data. Like what? Counterculture actions per capita? The problem is that the school has been trying hard to “mainstream” Evergreen by emphasizing sports and de-emphasizing culture. The administration seems to want the school to become just another state college. Hopefully this article will attract some bright free-thinkers to the school and keep the counterculture spirit alive.

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