January 8th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Just for anyone's information, I am on the mailing list of Shadi Fadda, and receive this kind of cat

Just for anyone's information, I am on the mailing list of Shadi Fadda, and receive this kind of catalogue of news items with Palestinian human interest stories daily.  Intriguing that this kind of catalogue is addressed daily to  president@whiehouse.gov.
 
I wonder who, if anyone, in the White House scans such messages.
 
Regards,  John
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 10:21 AM
Subject: [f_shadi] Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines January 7, 2008 ~

Israel 'escalates' miltary actions
Israel's prime minister has vowed to step up attacks on Palestinians firing rockets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  Ehud Olmert's comments at a meeting of his cabinet on Sunday came as at least four Palestinians, including two civilians, were killed in an Israeli raid.
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/A1F96183-C164-4B9D-97C6-C98A0A5BAF35.htm


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Chris Keeley

Scientists in China have identified about 400 genes that appear to make some people more easily addi

Scientists in China have identified about 400 genes that appear to make some people more easily addicted to drugs, opening the way for more effective therapies and addiction control.

Experts believe genetic factors account for up to 60 percent of a person's vulnerability to drug addiction, with environmental factors accounting for the remainder.

The researchers focused on four addictive substances -- cocaine, opiate, alcohol and nicotine -- and mapped out five main routes, or "molecular pathways," that lead to addiction, they wrote in the journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Figuring out pathways are important in the study of complex diseases as they narrow down the genes and proteins involved. In diseases such as cancer, pathways help doctors make more accurate diagnoses and predictions of the course of the disease.

For drug addiction, the researchers said: "These common pathways may underlie shared rewarding and response mechanisms and may be targets for effective treatments for a wide range of addictive disorders."

The researchers trawled through more than 1,000 peer-reviewed medical publications that linked genes and chromosome regions to drug addiction over the past 30 years and assembled a list of 1,500 addiction-related genes.

Some of these genes turned up more frequently than others in the pathways and scientists narrowed the list to 396.

Chris Keeley

FDA To Approve Sale of Meat & Milk From Cloned Animals

FDA To Approve Sale of Meat & Milk From Cloned Animals

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Food and Drug Administration is preparing to declare that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat. Joseph Mendelson of the Center for Food Safety warned about the dangers of cloned livestock. Mendelson said: “Once the FDA says these products are safe and that they are out there, it’s very hard to turn it back.”

Chris Keeley

10,000 Israeli Police Officers On Duty For Bush’s Visit

10,000 Israeli Police Officers On Duty For Bush’s Visit

The incident occurred just prior to President Bush’s trip to the Middle East that will include his first visits to Israel and the West Bank as president. Israel is planning its largest security operation since the Pope’s visit in 2000. A security force of more than 10,000 officers will be on duty to protect President Bush. Police say the president’s hotel in Jerusalem will resemble Fort Knox. On Monday President Bush said he wants to help push talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

President Bush: “As I already said, there is going to be a timetable, one timetable is the departure of George W. Bush from the White House. Not that I’m a great, you know, heroic figure, but they know me and they’re comfortable with me and I’m a known quantity, and therefore the question is will they decide to make the effort necessary to get the deal done while I’m president. As opposed to, maybe the next person won’t agree with the two-state or maybe the next person will take a while to get moving”.

Chris Keeley

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, believe that expanding their company’s lobbying

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, believe that expanding their company’s lobbying operation in Washington, D.C., has become a necessity

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, believe that expanding their company’s lobbying operation in Washington, D.C., has become a necessity.

In June, 2006, Sergey Brin, one of the co-founders of Google, went to Washington, D.C., hoping to create a little good will. Google was something of a Washington oddity then. Although it was a multibillion-dollar company, with enormous power, it had no political-action committee, and its Washington office had opened, in 2005, with a staff of one, in suburban Maryland. The visit, which was reported in the Washington Post, was hurried, and, in what was regarded by some as a snub, Brin failed to see some key people, including Senator Ted Stevens, of Alaska, who was then the chairman of the Commerce Committee and someone whose idea of the Internet appeared to belong to the analog era. (He once said that a staff member had sent him “an Internet.”) Brin told me recently, “Because it was the last minute, we didn’t schedule everything we wanted to.” It probably didn’t help that his outfit that day included a dark T-shirt, jeans, and silver mesh sneakers.

Brin did meet with Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, and they spoke about “network neutrality”—an effort that Google and other companies are making to insure that the telephone and cable companies that provide high-speed access to the Internet don’t favor one Web site over another. Around the time of Brin’s visit, an organization called Hands Off the Internet, financed in part by telecommunications companies, ran full-page newspaper advertisements in which it accused Google of wanting to create a monopoly and block “new innovation”; one ad featured a grim photograph of a Google facility housing a sinister-looking “massive server farm.” Brin recognized it as a warning. “I certainly realized that we had to think about these things, and that people were going to misrepresent us,” he said. “We should be entitled to our representation in government.”

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Chris Keeley

Page and Brin hired their first C.E.O., Eric Schmidt, who had a Ph.D. in computer science and twenty

Page and Brin hired their first C.E.O., Eric Schmidt, who had a Ph.D. in computer science and twenty years of management experience in tech companies; most recently, he had been the C.E.O. of Novell. They settled on an unusual power-sharing arrangement. As Schmidt describes it, “We’ve agreed that on any major decisions the three of us agree.” By 2002, Google had become very profitable, thanks to a novel program called AdWords, in which advertisers bid to display their ads whenever a Google user searches for keywords. If the user then clicks on the advertisement—a “sponsored link”—Google earns revenue on a pay-per-click basis. In 2003, Google introduced its second advertising vehicle, AdSense, which sells advertising to content sites. For advertisers, the system is a lot more scientific than the way that ads are placed on television or in magazines, because they can count clicks; for Google, the monetary benefits are obvious. In 2004, Google went public, selling its stock at an opening price of eighty-five dollars per share. Page and Brin, each of whom owned about fifteen per cent of the company, became billionaires; so did Schmidt, who owned about six per cent. Google’s stock has at times climbed over seven hundred dollars a share, and a great many Google employees have become fabulously wealthy.

In 2005, Google, outbidding Microsoft, paid a billion dollars for a five-per-cent stake in AOL and a five-year contract to deliver all AOL searches and search-based advertising. But it was the intended purchase of DoubleClick, a company that specializes in display and banner ads and video advertising, that unnerved many in the advertising industry. Microsoft, joined by A.T.&T., claimed that the combination of DoubleClick and Google would be “anti-competitive,” and pressed the Federal Trade Commission to block the merger. WPP also raised concerns. Not surprisingly, ad agencies worry that Google might steal their business—that it might create advertising as well as sell it. Mark Read, WPP’s director of strategy and a member of its board of directors, says that an aggressive Google “makes our people nervous. They tend to talk to our clients directly. Traditional media has been much more respectful of the client-agency relationship than perhaps Google has been.” Read is most worried about Google’s vast database, which forms a “virtuous circle”—more searches produce more data, which attract more advertising dollars.

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Chris Keeley

In early 2006, Kate Nash, an eighteen-year-old London resident, fell down a flight of stairs at her

In early 2006, Kate Nash, an eighteen-year-old London resident, fell down a flight of stairs at her home and broke her foot. Earlier that day, she had learned that she had not been admitted to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, a prestigious drama academy. As consolation, her parents bought her an electric guitar and an amplifier. Nash began writing songs and recording them on her computer, using the GarageBand software program. Within a few weeks, she had posted several songs on her MySpace page. The British singer Lily Allen discovered Nash’s music, and featured Nash’s page in her MySpace “Top 8.” Soon, Nash had signed with Fiction Records, a subsidiary of Polydor.

Kate Nash’s “Made of Bricks” débuted at No. 1. Photograph by Jo McCaughey.
Photograph by Jo McCaughey
At least, so the story goes. A similar tale of Web-to-chart success circulated about Allen when her début album was released, in 2005. The truth, however, is slightly different. Allen’s MySpace page has been consistently popular (it has racked up more than ten million page views), but the songwriter sent a demo, as aspiring musicians have for decades, to EMI and was signed before her MySpace page even existed. About Nash, what we can say for certain is that her bumptious second single, “Foundations,” entered the British charts last June at No. 2, pushing forward the British release of her first album, “Made of Bricks,” by a month. The album débuted at No. 1 in August, and is being released this week in the United States.

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Chris Keeley

Calling all gnostic dwarves, flesh eaters, absintheurs, occultists, opium eaters and decadents!

http://www.strangeattractor.co.uk/further/ 

Calling all gnostic dwarves, flesh eaters, absintheurs, occultists, opium eaters and decadents! 

dedalus.jpg

Dedalus is one of the finest independent publishing houses in the UK, if not the world, and publishes great books by SA friends and contributors including Phil Baker, Amelia Hodsdon, Robert Irwin, Mike Jay, Gary Lachman and Alex Martin, not to mention classics by Huysmans, Beckford, Bruisov, Meyrinck and many others.

Due to absurd government overspending on the colossal folly of the 2012 Olympics, the Arts Council have been forced to remove their funding from Dedalus. This means that this wonderful institution is in real danger of closing down. The most helpful thing you can do is to buy some books.

There’s almost too much good stuff to choose from, but I can unhesitatingly recommend the following (links take you to author pages where you can buy books):

The Dedalus Book of Absinthe by Phil Baker

The Arabian Nightmare / Satan Wants Me by Robert Irwin

Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the 19th Century by Mike Jay

The Decadent Traveller / Cookbook / Gardener by Lucan and Grey

The Dedalus Book of the Occult / Literary Suicides by Gary Lachman

Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf  by David Madsen

Or go and browse their web site for yourself: Dedalus

Continue reading ‘Dedalus Books needs you!’

Chris Keeley

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Carla Bruni, a former model, on a sunset visit to the pyrami

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Carla Bruni, a former model, on a sunset visit to the pyramids at Giza, Egypt, on Dec. 30. 



Far from endearing Mr. Sarkozy to his people, his paparazzi romance with the model-turned-singer Carla Bruni has fueled criticism that he is ignoring the country and spending too much time having fun. 

Mr. Sarkozy, 52, was photographed with Ms. Bruni, 40, touring the pyramids of Egypt and archaeological sites in Jordan. There, in the Middle East, was Ms. Bruni, a beatific look on her face, as she leaned her head on his shoulder; there he was holding her waist, his fingers touching her exposed midriff.

His romantic life with Ms. Bruni, he insisted, was different. “We do not want to be manipulative about our relation in any way, but we did not want to hide,” he said. “I did not want a picture of me taken in the early morning. Sordid. I did not want a picture of me taken at night. I did not want you to describe the same hypocrisy under a cloak.” 

He described his divorce last October as “not the happiest moment in my life,” portraying himself as just like any other Frenchman when it comes to love. “The life of a President, on these essential matters that are those of love, is like the life of anybody else,” he said. “I am going to make a confession: I get up in the morning, I go to bed at night, like millions of French people
Chris Keeley

A triptych by Francis Bacon, appearing at auction for the first time, is expected to set a record fo

A triptych by Francis Bacon, appearing at auction for the first time, is expected to set a record for a British or Irish work when it leads Christie’s Post War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London on Feb. 6. Held by a private collection, “Triptych 1974-77,” above, is the last in a series painted by Bacon (1909-1992) in response to the suicide of his lover, George Dyer, in their room in Paris. Bacon’s “Study From Innocent X” (1962) sold in May for a record $52.6 million.