January 11th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Meraki makes it brain dead simple to share wi-fi and pushes it out to massive scale at super low cos

Meraki makes it brain dead simple to share wi-fi and pushes it out to massive scale at super low costs. The result is free wi-fi across areas much bigger than previously feasible by individuals, and at much lower cost and subject to much lower red tape than previous municipal wi-fi projects."

Free the Net is a community-built network. Meraki provides the technology, but we rely on people to help build and grow. There are a number of ways you can help:

* If you can see the Free the Net signal, sign up for a free repeater to boost your signal.
* Volunteer to host an outdoor repeater on your roof or balcony. The outdoor units help spread the signal throughout your neighborhood and are critical to the growth of the network.
* Spread the word! Tell your friends and neighbors to sign up at http://sf.meraki.com.
* Check out the network map and keep yourself up-to-date on our progress.

Link to project, Link to map
Chris Keeley

A collection of 25 canisters, holding the cremated remains of patients from an American psychiatric

A collection of 25 canisters, holding the cremated remains of patients from an American psychiatric hospital.

David Maisel


http://www.davidmaisel.com/works/works.asp





Library of Dust

these canisters hold the cremated remains of patients from an American psychiatric hospital. Oddly reminiscent of bullet casings, the canisters are literal gravesites. Reacting with their ash inhabitants, the canisters are now blooming with secondary minerals, articulating new metallic landscapes.”
Chris Keeley

Ape Lad: Hobo Life

http://tv.boingboing.net/2008/01/10/ape-lad-hobo-life.html 

Today on Boing Boing tv, another exclusive interview with Aloysius, the hoboist great-grandpappy of illustrator Adam "Ape Lad" Koford. The elder Koford shares never-before-known knowledge with us about what it was like to live la vida hobo while he developed that famous comic strip about cats. Previous BBtv episodes featuring Ape Lad and Aloysius are here, here, and here

 
Chris Keeley

To Robber in Disguise, Bank Yields Big Score

To Robber in Disguise, Bank Yields Big Score

By Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 11, 2008; B05

A man impersonating an armored car guard walked out of a downtown Washington bank with more than $100,000 yesterday, and it took bank officials hours to realize that they'd been robbed, D.C. police said.

Police believe that the robber was armed only with a uniform that resembled a Brinks guard's as he entered the Wachovia branch at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW about 9:30 a.m. Bank officials let him sign for a locked satchel of cash, said Lt. William Farr, the head of the D.C. police bank robbery unit.

The man then walked out of the bank. Last night, police had next to no idea of whom they were looking for.

About an hour after the robbery, the genuine Brinks guard arrived at the bank branch and was told that another guard had completed the day's cash pickup.

Only after returning to his office did the Brinks driver tell his supervisors that he did not make a pickup at the Wachovia branch, police said. Brinks officials contacted the bank, and a branch manager called D.C. police about 8 p.m., almost 11 hours after the theft.

Authorities did not have a detailed description of the robber and did not know whether he left the bank in a vehicle or on foot.

"We're now behind. We're trying to catch up with everybody, all the employees," Farr said last night in a telephone interview. "[But] if we can get good pictures from the surveillance cameras . . . I think we'll get him."

D.C. police and FBI agents will canvass the area around the bank, hoping that passersby saw the robber leave the bank, officials said.

Chris Keeley

Balint Zsaco

Balint Zsaco
Warriors of the Pokot and Samburu tribes are fighting a mile away. A bush fire engulfs the horizon. I hear the tally in blood so far is three Samburu warriors killed, while the Pokot have rustled 750 of their cattle
thanks to the basic decency of ordinary Kenyans — whose priorities are to work hard, educate their children, fear God and enjoy a few Tusker beers. 
The African saying that “when elephants fight, the grass suffers” applies tragically. Kenyan politicians are paid more money than many of their counterparts in the West — though they rarely bother to turn up at Parliament. 
a Samburu witch doctor announced that it was time for his warriors, supporters of Mr. Odinga, to advance on the Pokot tribesmen, who had backed Mr. Kibaki.

 
Chris Keeley

Sherdukpen Citipati Mask” from India

Sherdukpen Citipati Mask” from India
In the main gallery an 18th- to 19th-century skull mask from the Tibetan Sherdukpen people of northern India seems made to order for a Mexican Day of the Dead festival, while what looks like an African monkey mask is actually from Nepal


Italian Carnival Mask”
The show emphasizes transcultural twists and turns. A 19th-century Italian carnival mask made of painted papier-mâché has much in common with a demonic mask of a Tibetan king used in ceremonial dances in 18th- or 19th-century Bhutan. (It’s made of the same material.) A pale, moonlike mask with a woebegone expression and a pale, angular, grinning visage next to it — both in carved, painted wood — might almost belong to the same comedic drama. Yet the moon mask is Korean, for satiric dances; the angular one is Swiss, a witch’s mask for winter festivals.

Kovave Spirit mask from Papua New Guinea
Many of the masks are feats of construction and conjuring. Consider a spirit mask from Papua New Guinea used in male initiation rites; it is made mostly of tapa cloth, reeds, grasses and seed pods, with its conical hat, wide ears and long, wolflike snout toothed with sharp nails. Or an Eskimo shaman’s mask made of wood, wire and feathers. Its stern face, with the black goatee and curled mustache of a dime-novel villain, is encircled by two rings of twig from which tiny hands and feet sprout. It seems to orbit toward us, getting bigger every second

Duchess” (1994) by Rammellzee.
When it comes to contemporary art, masks aren’t what they used to be as objects, but that doesn’t necessarily make them any less potent in effect. A remarkable object by the artist-rapper Rammellzee channels Japanese face armor and its more recent descendant Darth Vader while maintaining a streetwise, found-object funkiness all its own

Chris Keeley

The acacias and a species of ant that colonize them live together in an arrangement called mutualism

The acacias and a species of ant that colonize them live together in an arrangement called mutualism. The ants nest in the trees’ thorns and sip on their nectar; in return, they swarm out ferociously, ready to bite, when a tree is disturbed by an elephant, a giraffe or other grazing animal.



Palmer, an ecologist at the University of Florida, was walking past a fenced-off research site in Kenya when he noticed something curious: instead of thriving, acacia trees that were protected from leaf-eating elephants and giraffes were withering and dying.

“That struck me as paradoxical,” he said in a telephone interview this week from the site. “If you remove large herbivores, you should see more vigorous trees.”

Dr. Palmer and his colleagues investigated. Their findings, reported in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, add to the mounting evidence that relationships between plant and animal species can be far more complex than had been thought and that even seemingly benign interference can have devastating effects.

The acacias and a species of ant that colonize them live together in an arrangement called mutualism. The ants nest in the trees’ thorns and sip on their nectar; in return, they swarm out ferociously, ready to bite, when a tree is disturbed by an elephant, a giraffe or other grazing animal.

But somehow, Dr. Palmer said, the trees seem to sense when no one is munching on their leaves and, after a year or so, seemingly decide, “We are going to reduce our investment in ants” by not producing so many roomy thorns or so much tasty nectar. The ants’ responses — lassitude is one — eventually encourage wood-boring beetles to invade the trees. Soon their tunnels leave the trees sickly, dying or dead.

The finding shows that what looks like two-species mutualism may involve other species. And they offer new proof of the fragility of the web of life, a phenomenon observed, for example, when wolves vanish from mountain landscapes or sharks and other top marine predators are fished out of the marine food chain.

Without wolf predation, elk are freer to roam and eat more plants. Result: aspen begin to vanish. Similarly, the overfishing of sharks and similar large fish leave smaller, algae-eating fish free to graze unhindered on algae growing on (and feeding) coral. Result: dead coral.

Dr. Palmer said it was shocking to see how quickly the ant-acacia mutualism, evolved over thousands of years, “dissolved” once the herbivores were removed. Now, he said, he and his colleagues want to see if they can restore the old pattern by again allowing giraffes and elephants to feed on the trees.

Chris Keeley

Liz O. Baylen

Rory Beca dress ($342 at Blonde, Santa Monica), Prada jacket ($1,180 at Prada), Ericson Beamon cuff ($643 at Curve, Los Angeles), CC Skye ring ($116 at www.ccskye.com).

Image fashion: resort
Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Time
Chris Keeley

William Pfaff: The Changed Debate on Leaving Iraq--1/10/08

The Changed Debate on Leaving Iraq

William Pfaff

Paris, January 10, 2008 – The main division on Iraq policy among the surviving U.S. presidential candidates is not Republicans versus Democrats but between those who favor an indefinitely long-term U.S. occupation of Iraq, with U.S. political domination of that country, and those accepting a limited presence.

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Chris Keeley

Foreign Service Journal Review of Bill Polk's latest book

Winning Battles but
Losing the War
Violent Politics: A History
of Insurgency, Terrorism &
Guerrilla War, from the
American Revolution to Iraq
William R. Polk, HarperCollins,
2007, $23.95, hardcover, 273 pages.
REVIEWED BY ROBERT V. KEELEY
Violent Politics: A History of
Insurgency, Terrorism & Guerrilla
War, from the American Revolution
to Iraq is William R. Polk's third
book in three years, all clearly stimulated
by the war in Iraq. Like its
predecessors, it offers uncommonly
useful expertise and policy guidance
to anyone who is serving in Iraq,
dealing with Iraq, or just concerned
about the quagmire we have fallen
into there.
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