September 25th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Sputnik turns 50, NYT science section pays homage

Sputnik turns 50, NYT science section pays homage

The entire Science section in the New York Times today was devoted to the space age, honoring the 50th anniversary of Sputnik. Russia launched the first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957.

This is really a tremendous spread -- about 10 articles, plus lots of multimedia stuff -- and I can't stop reading it right now, even though it's late in the day and I should be eating or sleeping.

John Schwartz has a wonderful piece in here about what might be ahead for the next 50 years in space travel: Link. About today's special edition, he tells BoingBoing:

The top story is by John Noble Wilford, the NY Times reporter who wrote the story beginning "Men have landed and walked on the Moon." [Ed. note: Oh snap.]

Just about every story in the section is tied to the theme, and there is plenty of video with a beautiful interactive graphic that shows Sputnik inside and out.

Link to the section.

Here's a snip from "New Horizons Beckon, Inspiring Vision if Not Certainty", presented next to a video interview with Schwartz:

NASA has embarked on a program to return to the Moon by 2020, not just for what some critics call “flags and footprints,” but also for a lasting presence with scientific research and preparation for expeditions to asteroids and, eventually, Mars. The space shuttle program is being wound down by 2010 to create the next generation of vehicles.

Other nations, notably Russia and China, have ambitious plans and could spur a space race like the one that sent Americans to the Moon. “It took Sputnik for us to recognize what the Soviet Union was up to,” said Harrison H. Schmitt, who flew the last mission to the Moon, in 1972. “I don’t know what it will take this time.”

Private enterprise is moving ahead, beginning with space tourism and, later, transport services for NASA and other governments to outposts like the International Space Station. Beyond that, ventures could include mining on asteroids and manufacturing drugs in space.

John M. Logsdon, director of the space policy institute at George Washington University, says a big question has yet to be answered. “At the level of government, I think we’re still struggling as to why we’re sending people to space,” Dr. Logsdon said. “It’s a decent question, and I think it’s an unanswered question.” 

Chris Keeley

I am now 55 years old. Like a lot of people in middle age my late-night thoughts bend to contemplati

I am now 55 years old. Like a lot of people in middle age my late-night thoughts bend to contemplations about how short my remaining time is. Even with increasing  longevity there is not enough time to do all that I want. Nowhere close. My friend Stewart Brand, who is now 69, has been arranging his life in blocks of 5 years. Five years is what he says any project worth doing will take. From moment of inception to the last good-riddance, a book, a campaign, a new job, a start-up will take 5 years to play through. So, he asks himself, how many 5 years do I have left? He can count them on one hand even if he is lucky. So this clarifies his choices. If he has less than 5 big things he can do, what will they be?

Another friend, a musician, told me about a recurring dream he had in which he could see the exact number of days left in his life.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Subject: Escalation with Iran? Ask your Senator to Vote No

 Subject: Escalation with Iran? Ask your Senator to Vote No
Can you ask your Senators to oppose the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on Iran? If passed, this amendment would move the United States closer to military conflict with Iran.
Click to write an email. <>
Or call them: 202-224-3121    
Dear Supporter of a Just Foreign Policy

The Senate is scheduled to vote as early as today on an amendment that, if passed, would dangerously escalate our government's conflict with Iran.

Can you contact your Senators and ask them to vote against the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on Iran? You can call them through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or use the simple tool we set up to send an email. <> <>

President Bush has intensified his conflict with Iran, both rhetorically and by authorizing military actions against Iranians in Iraq. U.S. forces have arrested Iranian officials in Iraq even when these officials were in Iraq at the invitation of the supposedly sovereign Iraqi government .

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Bahram jaan,

Bahram jaan,

 Two quick points:

1. In my humble opinion, freedom of speech is not the same as freedom to insult and abuse others; especially when it is aimed at the individuals and minorities of different religious or cultural heritage.
Free expressions of opinions are to facilitate a better understanding of a wide spectrum of ideas. We hope that in the long run, through the process of debate and enlightenment, better ideas would eventually prevail.
Quite on the contrary, recent campaigns of hatred, camouflaged under the fig leaf of free speech , are intentionally aimed at stirring up the worst emotions among the masses of the host countries. They are  meant to start a fire, and not to create light.  They have a clear political agenda.

The intents of the publishers of both the Muhammad cartoons and this one are to dehumanize and demonize the target groups. This is usually the first step to lull  the ignorant masses (and yes, even the intellectuals) into accepting the atrocities that are being planned against the target groups; be it the minorities in their midst (Jews in Hitler's Germany, Moslems in todays Europe) or "savages" in far-away countries.
In the latter case, the hysteria stirred up by the media portrays the Japs, the vietnamese gooks, and the barbaric moslems as different species: they are not humans, they do not suffer the way we do.
As a result, we are justified to commit any atrocity  to drag them into the modern civilization, or at least to eliminate their threat if all else fails. Nothing is a taboo or off the limits: Fire bombing half of Tokyo's civilian population in one night, nuking the Japs in Hiroshima and Nakazaki, napalming  the gooks, "accidentally" bombing dozens of civilians in Iraq on a weekly basis, and now getting ready to bomb the hell out of Iran are not only justifiable, but  necessary actions.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Mr. Yee, is a torturer and killer but never see him on the job, only in the civilized company of his

In "Lust, Caution," by contrast, "the sex scenes here remind me of hell, [going] deeper and deeper toward hell," Lee says. "This is a more realistic approach. Truthful. It's not an illusion like 'Brokeback Mountain' . . . It's like hell, it's sinking . . . The shooting feels like hell to me."

Mr. Yee, is a torturer and killer but never see him on the job, only in the civilized company of his wife and her mahjongg-playing friends, or with the woman from that group who becomes his mistress, with her own deadly mission. Their sex scenes thus become our wordless window into that other side of him, as when he takes Tang Wei's character violently from behind in their first liaison and beats her about the back.

Ang Lee's 'Lust,' built on trust

The director pushes his actors to the limit in 'Lust, Caution,' a tale of sexual roles, violence and deception. On the set, they believe in him.
By Paul Lieberman
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 23, 2007

NEW YORK — THE first image in Ang Lee's new movie, "Lust, Caution," is of an animal, a watchdog, a German Shepherd. Only after that do we see a human, a man, also standing guard.

When Lee cast Chinese-TV actress Tang Wei to play the lead, in her first movie, he warned her that there would be sex scenes, though he didn't know how explicit they'd be. The novice film actress told him, "I'm leaving myself to you," having no idea how wrenching the experience would be -- that she'd pass out, for instance, when they finished one shoot.

Lee's male lead, Tony Leung, had a different acting profile, a quarter-century of making films that established him as one of Asia's top stars. So Lee felt comfortable loading up the Hong Kong-based Leung with materials to prepare him for his role -- from a Humphrey Bogart film noir to one of Henri Rousseau's moody jungle paintings, "with the predator and prey," Leung noted.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Juan Cole: Demonization of Ahmadinejad Part of Pro-War Effort


Juan Cole: Demonization of Ahmadinejad Part of Pro-War Effort
Ahmadinejad appearance at Colombia dominated the news media on Monday. The headline on the Daily News read "The Evil Has Landed." Fox News ran a screenshot that read: “Is war the only way to stop Mahmoud?” Middle East analyst Juan Cole said the demonization of the Iranian president is part of a neoconservative push for yet another war. Cole writes: "The real reason his visit is controversial is that the American right has decided the United States needs to go to war against Iran. Ahmadinejad is therefore being configured as an enemy head of state. "
While Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon kicked off a special session on climate change at the United Nations. Ban Ki-Moon said governments must take "unprecedented action" to reverse the trend of global warming.

UN: "Unprecedented Action" Needed on Climate Change

  • Ban Ki Moon: "We hold the future in our hands. Together we must ensure that our grandchildren will not have to ask why we have failed to do the right things and left them to suffer the consequences. So let us send a clear and collective signal to people everywhere. Today, let the world know that you are ready to shoulder this responsibility and that you will address this challenge head on."
Over 80 heads of state attended Monday's meeting but President Bush chose not to attend. Bush, who opposes international treaties to address global warming, has organized a competing climate change forum later this week in Washington. Ban Ki-Moon criticized the U.S. effort. He said "The UN climate process is the appropriate forum for negotiating global action." Yvo De Boer, a top UN climate change official, said the Bush administration needs to be part of the global discussion.
  • Yvo De Boer: "The United States is still the largest emitter worldwide of greenhouse gases. For that reason and for a number of others the participation of the US is essential at the same time the large developing countries like China, India Brazil, South Africa are growing very fast and to develop a future regime that also doesn't engage them in terms of limiting emissions of greenhouse gases would be pretty much meaningless."
Yvo de Boer stressed the urgency of reaching an agreement on a plan of action that would replace the Kyoto Protocol.
  • John Coequyt of Greenpeace: "Well what's on the table right now and what really needs to happen is we need to have a negotiating mandate, a very clear binding mandate that comes out of discussions in Indonesia and from that we need to see much larger greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the developed world, we need to see expanded participation from the developing world and we need to see global agreement that in the long run we're going to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half, in order to solve this problem."

Bush Administration Worked to Block California's Strengthening Emissions Standards

Meanwhile newly released government documents show that the Bush administration directed a behind-the-scenes effort to block California's attempt to develop its own standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. Emails show Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters prodded her staff to lobby members of Congress and state governors to oppose California's efforts.
Chris Keeley

The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

In a speech at Columbia University, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended Iran's right to nuclear power but denied Iran was seeking to build nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad's appearance sparked widespread protests at Columbia. We speak with Trita Parsi, author of "Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States" and Baruch professor Ervand Abrahamian, co-author of "Targeting Iran." [includes rush transcript]



  • Ervand Abrahamian, Iran expert and CUNY Distinguished Professor of History at Baruch College, City University of New York. He is the author of several books on Iran and the co-author of a new book from City Lights called "Targeting Iran."
  • Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the largest Iranian-American organization in the US. He is the author of "Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States."

AMY GOODMAN: For more on Ahmadinejad's visit, we're joined by two guests. Ervand Abrahamian is an Iran expert and CUNY Distinguished Professor of History at Baruch College here at the City University of New York. He's the author of several books on Iran, co-author of a new book from City Lights called Targeting Iran. And joining me from Washington, D.C. is Trita Parsi. He’s the president of the National Iranian American Council, the largest Iranian American organization in the United States, author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States.


Collapse )
Chris Keeley



"New York: Ragazzi Che Vestono, Pop-Group," Italian L'Uomo Vogue, Feb-March 1973 ENTER


Native Funk & Flash: An Emerging Folk Art, 1974


"Billy Bowers' Hot Dreams" by Terry Cook, CITY magazine, San Francisco, March 1975


assemblages constructed from 'modified found objects' to use the language of Marcel Duchamp.

To have clothing accepted as an art form is no easy task, but Bill Bowers succeeded in doing just that with the help of Mark Phillips who has collaborated with Billy since the early '70s converting the flat pieces into wearable clothing that could survive the grueling stage performances of the likes of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. A fashion designer for the leading rock stars like Alice Cooper, Led Zepplin, and the Rolling Stones, Bowers' Art-Wear creations have received due recognition by their inclusion in the permanent costume collections of the Smithsonian in the '70s and the Oakland Museum of California in 2006.

Chris Keeley

Pink Films 

Of the vast numbers of corporate-made genre films that flooded Japan in the 1970s, Donald Richie once remarked that the "West knows nothing of these pictures, nor should it."1 For many years, Richie’s dictum remained almost unwritten law, and throughout the 1960s, ’70’s, and ’80s, there had been no more conspicuous lacuna in the West’s knowledge of Japanese genre filmmaking than the softcore pink film (pinku eiga), whose daunting superabundance, destitute budgets, anarchic politics, and penchant for rough sadomasochism had traditionally impeded any wide distribution abroad. But as the elitist auteurism of the 1960s gave way to the populist, mock-anthropological genre studies of the 1980s and ’90s, as fringe sexual demographics have tentatively emerged from their scarlet-lettered closets, and as Asian chic curries more currency than ever before, the pink film has finally made its entrance onto commercially distributed video and DVD. Synapse Films has recently released pinku eiga guru Wakamatsu Koji’s Go, Go Second Time Virgin (1969) and Ecstasy of the Angels (1970), and now the British company Screen Edge2 gifts us with three more recent (and less political) pink films: Sato Toshiki’s Tandem (1994), Sato Hisayasu’s The Bedroom (1992), and Zeze Takahisa’s The Dream of Garuda (1994).

The Bedroom

The Dream of Garuda
The Dream of Garuda

Quand l'embryon part braconner. Zootrope Films site for the French release of Koji Wakamatsu's Taiji ga mitsuryosuru toki (The Embryo Hunts in Secret, 1966) - an early example of Japanese 'Pink' Cinema. (fr) Also... The Japanese Pink Film by Andrew Grossman (Bright Lights Film Journal, Issue 36, 2002).

Chris Keeley

Jennifer Shaw... Screen Door (2002, Split toned silver gelatin print, Edition: 25). From Jennifer Sh

 Jennifer Shaw... Screen Door (2002, Split toned silver gelatin print, Edition: 25). From Jennifer Shaw - Portfolio 1: Relics at Meter Gallery. "...The Tchoupitoulas Street corridor in New Orleans is an urban limbo 

Screen Door Jennifer Shaw... Screen Door (2002, Split toned silver gelatin print, Edition: 25). From Jennifer Shaw - Portfolio 1: Relics at Meter Gallery. "...The Tchoupitoulas Street corridor in New Orleans is an urban limbo - a five-mile stretch along the Mississippi that is strewn with both relics of industry past and hints of gentrification to come. The boarded-up screen doors and teetering piles of planks in Jennifer Shaw's photographs might not seem iconic to the casual passerby, but her intimate portraits embellish them with meaning."
Chris Keeley


IQ  --> 102

A random Anonymous Genius -->
had to send !!
The test is actually one of the most accurate tests I've ever taken
(and I've taken a lot). However, it only measures one particular type
of IQ (pattern recognition), which is heavily weighted towards
engineering. Geeks will do well on this test. It is not a measure of
theoretical IQ. It is a measure of applied IQ.

It also has a different scale. I usually score over 145, and end up
in the same part of the graph.

When I took the Mensa tests, they gave two: One was a fairly bog-
standard test like this one, and the other one was more of an
erudition test. It used lots of highfalutin' terms. It would favor
well-educated people. I was an undereducated redneck at the time I
took it.

I did quite well on the standard test, and not so well on the
erudition test. My vocabulary had not yet developed to the extent it
has now.

Also, they say speed doesn't matter, but that's bullshit. The time it
takes you to accomplish an IQ test is DEFINITELY one of the factors.
It wouldn't be an IQ test if it didn't measure it.