Lefty Blogs
williampfaff ++ ++
Russian News ++
seaton-newslinks. USA expat in Europe ++
bilegrip Asu spleen ++
us-rockstroh a rant, not a blog ++
aboutmyplanet eco ++
sfgate ++
crookedtimber ++
onthecommons ++
sjlendman ++
abutamam freeiraq ++
airamericaradio +
amygdalagf +
angryarab ++
annezook +
antiwar ++
billmon ++ whiskeyB
consortiumnews ++
dailywarnews ++
drforbush +
english +
halcyondays ++
hereticalideas ++
boxspinning boxes

jamaicaobserver newspaper
jameswolcott +
lefarkins +
liberalgirlnextdoor ++
lonehighlander Libya, not lefty
mahablog +++ solid
maruthecrankpot +
indymedia melbourne
messopotamian +7Apr06
monkey ++
motherjones ++
nocapital +
norightturn +NZ
peakoil ++
pilger +
politicalhumor +
rafahtoday Feb05?
rense w= wacko conspiracies
rigorousintuition x
hegemon ++
ruckus ++
rudepundit ++
satiricalpolitical +
scaramoucheblog ++
secretsinbaghdad ++15Ap06
aliveinbaghdad ++
riverbendblog ++
sideshow +++
signs-of-the-times +++
slashdot ++techy
talkleft ++
thinkprogress ++
thismodernworld +++
uncapitalist ++
velorution ++ bicycles
org ++Brazil peasants
warandpiece +
warfare.ru +russia military
alternet ++
gbruno ++YT
axisoflogic ++
bobharris +
bradblog +
buckfush +funnies
buggery +
buzzflash ++
counterpunch +++
crooksandliars ++?
grist ??
huffingtonpost ++
infoshop +
inthesetimes x
iranmania x
juancole ++
kuro5hin ++ notlefty
kurtnimmo ++
lrb ++ Iraqi?
lewrockwell ++
marklynas climate change
mnftiu get your war on comics
rall ++ Ted Rall cartonist
selvesandothers ++
theleftcoaster +
thepoorman +
tnr ++ magazine
tompaine ++ mag
traprockpeace ++
truthout +
boondocks ++
. . . helix
rain radar
worldtribunal +
worldwatch ++ $ required
zaman + Turkish news
youcantmakeitup + ?
youngfox ????????????
bareknucklepolitics videos?
popdrain videos??
discovery videos??
cs videos??
aegisIraq video??
mariyaguchi video??
iwilltryit video..
ahram cairo newspaper
jfaughnan 28/04/2006 10:25AM
shrillblog +
thinkprogress +
marchforjustice + pictures
messopotamian + Iraqi not so radical, but scared (also see IraqTheModel which was a USA front, but is now also scared)
scaramoucheblog +
blogads liberal blogs by CPM $ per view
malakandsky ++ stolid?
republicoft + black gay parent??
dailykos ++
rawstory ++
democraticunderground ++
atrios ++
workingforchange +
leftinthewest +
dembloggers +
talkingpointsmemo +
firedoglake ++
vastleft ++
pamspaulding +
americablog +
washingtonmonthly ++
mydd +
politics1 +
bartcop ++
politicalwire +
sisterstalk black lesbian?
culturekitchen ++
wonkette +++
billstclair +
freefreedomtoldhere ++ pipe bomb

almuajaha defunct
whynot defunct
winstonsmith defunct
samadams dormant
mquinn02 defunct
iraqblogcount ++14Apr06 suspended
iraqicomments most recent: jan2005
iraqidoctor most recent: Aug2005
georgemustgo + moved?
vialls ++Dormant (joe is dead)
warblogging Defunct
hammeroftruth quiescant?
mediastorm quiescant? +
bushwhackedusa defunct
hamasonline defunct

22 May 2009

Urchins, Power cheats, Death of Broadband

Sea Urchins.
In my search for the perfect beach, which can never succeed, since the perfect beach is in the past, - Chaweng 1979 -
I have ventured to Bohol in RP, to a mostly vacant resort. I snorkeled out above a band of black long spined urchins, saw some coral, even ordinary coral is an extraordinary boost to the minds pattern recognition resources, an entry into a realm of blossoming beyond your walkers ken.

Returning on a falling tide, I found the band of black urchins was now belly-shallow, I couldnt swim over them without getting a chest full of spines. Full of fear, I contemplated climbing onto a banqua until next high tide. Eventually I decided to walk backwards in my flippers, ever so slowly and carefully, as the tropical evening came crashing on.
I got back to the beach with just one spine in a heel. The spines are not so bad, not so toxic. Actually magnificent single crystals constructed molecule by molecule over the long 30 year lifetime of each urchin. I attempted to elicit the locals into an urchin eradication program. A few days clearance work and the beach would be useable by casual swimmers again. I got no response.
... In RP there seems to be no tradition of eating urchin roe. Whereas in NZ, Maori relish the oily kina. In Mindoro the dive shop owners wouldnt countenance the killing of any wildlife. Anyway they looked down on snorkelers, they made their living taking boatloads of scuba enthusiasts out to famous walls. Beaches were for infants and non-divers.
...I then learned that urchins are important to coral. They vacuum the algae that tends to smother living coral, particularly where resorts leach eutrofaction into the bay. So I learned to co-exist with urchins. I learned where the half-dozen or so black urchins lived in the inshore coral at Big La Laguna.

... Now I find that Urchins are a problem in colder waters, consumption of algae there creates a "barrens" which threatens fish habitat.

...Scott Ling, University of Tasmania: "The work up at St. Helens, where we have large barrens, we're really looking at a cure up there. Here the urchins just appeared, and we're looking at how good these large lobsters can be at preventing the sea urchin barrens forming further."

large Crayfish ("rock lobsters") are dropped onto urchins which have 'extended their range south' - it seems the cray eat the urchins.
This is great news. Cray as they are called in South NZ and Tasmania are perhaps the finest taste one can experience on this blue world.
Sadly, rich Asia has discovered this southern treat, so I can not afford it now. Traveling South past Kaikoura, we once stopped at a Cray shed, and got given a bunch of legs free. The tails were off to Japan, but the legs we boiled in a tin by the roadside, carefully sliding each delectable muscle out of its carapace. I dont know if they still give legs away.
Power cheats
"Privatised" electric power corporations have overcharged NZ people by $4.3 Billion dollars
Full hydro lakes are pouring over slipways.
Seems like the worst of Capitalism and Government.
Better to return to State operation ... the "electricity Department" couldnt be any worse
What is needed is an information channel alongside the power, which gives a price for the next 20 minutes.
Appliances could then decide to switch on or off.
eg Washing machines could wait until low rates.
Oil heaters could switch down at high peaks.
Hot water heaters could use 4am low rates only, unless 7am urgent overrides kicked in.
Smart appliances could smooth peaks.
At times of full lakes and strong winds we could all indulge in electric clothes driers and sandwich makers for peanuts - the marginal cost of spinning those generators. Instead we shiver in unwashed clothes while fat coupon clippers toast their own greed.
SOEs (State Owned Enterprises) the worst part of state and enterprise?

In the case of all but Contact, of course, that shareholder is the Government, which has creamed windfall returns amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars from the power companies for years.

Peak Broadband
Predictions are appearing that broadband is peaking with peak oil. The dream of world wide video is over.
I just paid my voda bill, why the fuck I dont know. They obviously were letting me slide on low-speed forever. Now I've paid and I still cant stream videos.
Moral: dont pay your Voda bill, get by for months...
Its irritating how many sites post video links. The 98% of the world who dont have broadband will never get it.
Phone billionaires attempt to bind people to expensive 3G contracts. I know 3rd world people, they only go for free txts and occasional pic sends. The rest of the time its bluetooth porno swaps.
Having said all that, this is a funny video:
Hitler reacts to Star Treck:
really Hopkins in the bunker?
Of course, having once lived in 3rd world, its impossible to go to the cinema ($14?) having paid $3 for a dvd with 20 new movies (how do the Chinese manage such fantastic data compression ?) - In the 3rd world slums one sees new movies by the dozen, sometimes shot with hand-held cameras in cinemas, sometimes oscar-voter pre-releases. Back here in the cold cold-hearted West, I dont bother with movies.
Now that the rich have video recorders and can fast forward over commercials, I find it impossible to tolerate ads, so I dont watch much TV. The worst ads are the 'clever' mini-dramas, which in NZ are intolerable, even on first viewing. 'Reality' TV is obviously cheap actors with cheap scripts, so that gets a miss.
How is it to exist post peak of so many elements of culture?

20 May 2009

Tu Fu, Las Meninas,

Winding River (2)
--Tu Fu

I come back from the court each day and pawn some spring clothing,
Every day I return to the river as drunk as I can be.
I have many debts for wine all over the place,
For men to live to seventy has always been unusual.
I see the butterflies go deeper and deeper between the flowers,
And dragonflies in leisured flight between drops of water.
As we're told, passing time is always on the move,
So little time to know each other: we should not be apart.

(Steven Owen, trans.)

Las Meninas
Picasso, looking on this painting, once said "The door Jose Nieto holds open suggests the entrance of fascist soldiers into the studio of Velazquez with a warrant for his arrest."
Google Earth goes to the Prado, somewhat ungracefully
The left cheek of la Infanta has been extensively restored. Difficult to imagine her before the fire


NewZild Mom

Hubble constant: new accuracy 74.2 kilometers per second per megaparsec (error margin of ± 3.6).

Arts and Letters Daily has long presented itself as the place for the best that’s thought and read in the western world. Actually it’s become an increasingly cranky right-wing hidey-hole for climate-change denialists, Islamophobes and anyone with an obsessive hatred of the French. Nevertheless, its focus on the new book The Art Instinct by one Denis Dutton is raising eyebrows
[DD is a tedious Climate Denier, disliker of Pablo Friere, Fidel Castro, most probably he hates Hugo Chavez, you get the picture, a PRN, a professional redneck, who picks up on red neck ideas for profit, not because he believes in anything. I have veryy little trust that his book on art is any good at all. Dont even bother to read the reviews, ...]

17 May 2009

'Material Transparency, Ant enemies

'Material Transparency
David Brin , SF author, in "The Transparent Society" advocates dropping cellphone cameras into 'tyrannical societies', with peer to peer coms, which he reckons would make tyranny obsolete.
I recall around 1972 when the first Sony portapak video camera-recorders arrived in New Zealand - the recorder was a separate case slung over the shoulder
I think Roger Donaldson was around, Griff was certainly central, in that upstairs space in Hobson St - near to Wah Lees?
The immediacy of the (B&W) image was arresting.
I recall one idea that occurred rapidly: This device would make injustice impossible, because it could be videoed and shown widely.
Specifically, Evictions by evil landlords would be rendered impossible, their injustice would be exposed.
Some other people had other ideas; they were beginning to realise the value of those inner city Auckland houses we were renting so cheaply. Capitalist types were buying them up and evicting the half-dozen hippie types inhabiting each villa. This trend became a flood, and Freemans Bay is now well gentrified. Video cameras failed to prevent injustice or inequality. Now chiefly used to extol the stainless upgrades in Herne Bay kitchens, I'll be bound.

Undaunted, or at least not yet fatally daunted, I propose 'Material Transparency' - Corporations must reveal all mass flows gas,solid,liquid. across their boundaries. Chemical formulae to be included. No exception due to 'commercial confidence' or 'corporate secrecy' would prevail. No 'secret ingredients'

This Materials Transparency would be easier to enforce than Financial Transparency - the rich will always seek to hide their money in secret offshore banks, no matter how much they trumpet 'new deals' which are about to 'eliminate money laundering' Once you are smuggling enough narcotics, you get entry into the same country clubs as the plutocrats.

16 May 2009 BL reported that the coal shortage situation affecting major thermal power stations across the country shows no sign of abating. ... 23 thermal stations were facing critical coal stocks, with fuel in these plants expected to last less than 7 days.
Of these, the coal stocks position in 13 large stations have been designated as super critical, with stocks expected to last less than four days,

Kuwait’s Petroleum Industries Company (PIC) will shut its urea and ammonia plants at Shuaiba for a month starting in late May because it does not have enough gas.\

Shuttle & hubble against the sun
I presume this is authentic ... they say Atlantis was against the sun for 0.8 secs

John Grunsfeld performs work on the Hubble Space Telescope as the first of five STS-125 spacewalk
Grunsfeld has like 55 hours of spacewalks, #4 of all time? Has grown almost old with Hubble
Zombie Ants

aaa"Zombie" Ants Controlled, Decapitated by Flies
Project: design a device with 100,000 neurons that can fly, land, recognise an ant species, oviposit between exoskeleton gaps, produce a larvae that controls the ant to walk away from its nest, decapitates the ant , then emerges from the head...
Lab time: 50 million years
Tahitian Humpbacks