Saturday, February 19, 2005

even the most jaded, Noel Cowardesque tots will enjoy this Dutch farting pig cartoon. Joeipiee!  Posted by Hello
Left Populism

"The Left has, with amazing simplicity, pointed to the daily 'experience' as the home of the concrete. It has therefore substituted for any sustained and scientific analysis of the objective conditions of life a rather banal spontaneity as the very condition of the political: at the appropriate moment the people will--through the very experience of oppression--rise up and rebel against tyranny. It is in this context that the U.S. vote has been about more than just the re-election of a criminal clique to global power. It is also a referendum on left populism. Fifty million Americans, including some of the most impoverished sections of the working class, have not only not 'rebelled' but have actively sided with the ruling class. In doing so, according to the populist mantra, they have acted on their 'experience'. Where does this 'experience' come from? What left populism obscures is that this is an experience painstakingly fabricated in religious and cultural terms by Karl Rove and funded by huge corporate donations. The 'spontaneous' far from being spontaneous is an ideological effect of capitalism and its institutions. What is 'out there' is put 'out there'. It needs to be critiqued, not propitiated. The Left sentimentalizing of politics as the automatic agency of the oppressed has not only failed at intervening into the ideological consciousness of workers: it has, by its own logic (experience!), actively cultivated it."

(thanks wood's lot)

Billie Whitelaw in "Happy Days" Posted by Hello

Beckett actress Billie Whitelaw in "Charlie Bubbles", on the cover of "William, it was really nothing" from Smiths and Morrissey Cover Stars. It was the beginning of the end for Morrisey & me when he stopped putting other people on his record covers... Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

farewell to sad-voiced Sammi Smith, definitive Kristofferson interpreter and more from a great and underrated era of country music. The big hit was "Help Me Make It Through the Night" but her weary, brave version of "Sunday Morning Coming Down" made Johnny Cash's seem callow in comparison--

Well, I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

I'd smoked my mind the night before
With cigarettes and songs I'd been picking.
But I lit my first and watched a small kid
Playing with a can that he was kicking.
Then I walked across the street
And caught the Sunday smell of someone frying chicken.
And Lord, it took me back to something that I'd lost
Somewhere, somehow along the way.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I'm wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short a' dying
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down.

In the park I saw a daddy
With a laughing little girl that he was swinging.
And I stopped beside a Sunday school
And listened to the songs they were singing.
Then I headed down the street,
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing,
And it echoed through the canyon
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I'm wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short a' dying
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down... Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

abstract of a PDF I found at Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Environment and Health. She came by and interviewed us a few years back. We don't drink much of the well water, but still...


Biagioni, Karla

“The Public Health Effects Of Abandoned Coal Mine Workings On Residents In South Wellington, Nanaimo” in Martin J. Bunch, V. Madha Suresh and T. Vasantha Kumaran, eds., Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Environment and Health, Chennai, India, 15-17 December, 2003. Chennai: Department of Geography, University of Madras and Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. Pages 23 – 31.

The direct public health effects of organic compounds and metals associated with drinking water are unclear, especially as only a small fraction of the daily intake of elements reaches the human body . However, surveys by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have “confirmed the presence of several organic petroleum and solvent types of compounds in drinking water effected by mine operations” . Among these pollutants are “suspect carcinogens” .

Previous studies have shown that in coal mining areas, the quality of groundwater decreases with depth. There is an extensive network of abandoned coal mines in South Wellington, and several domestic wells have been drilled directly into these mines or coal seams. In August 2002 the Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection calculated the quality of well water in the Cassidy observation well in Nanaimo. In this analytical report, substances in the well such as sulphur and iron were shown at levels exceeding the recommended drinking water quality guidelines.

I am currently researching the potential positive and negative impacts of abandoned coal mine workings on the health of residents in South Wellington, Nanaimo. This project will compare the health of two groups, a study group drinking well water, and a control group drinking the city’s mains water. The major objective of the data analysis will be to determine which specific illnesses are more common in the study area and in the control area." Posted by Hello

(Lorne Greene at the CBC)

thanks languagehat for this interesting "Canadian English" page... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

paris 1900

"The fair's lighting and machinery were powered entirely by dynamos housed in the gaudy Palais de l'Electricité -- the origin of most of the black smoke in the photos. This hulking colonnaded Wurlitzer glowed with 5,000 multicolored "Fairy Lights." Its crown, the Fée de l'Electricité (the Spirit of Electricty), rode in a chariot showering colored sparks and flames." Posted by Hello

happy birthday Henry Adams

"Then he showed his scholar the great hall of dynamos, and explained how little he knew about electricity or force of any kind, even of his own special sun, which spouted heat in inconceivable volume, but which, as far as he knew, might spout less or more, at any time, for all the certainty he felt in it. To him, the dynamo itself was but an ingenious channel for conveying somewhere the heat latent in a few tons of poor coal hidden in a dirty engine-house carefully kept out of sight; but to Adams the dynamo became a symbol of infinity. As he grew accustomed to the great gallery of machines, he began to feel the forty-foot dynamos as a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the Cross. The planet itself seemed less impressive, in its old-fashioned, deliberate, annual or daily revolution, than this huge wheel, revolving within arm's length at some vertiginous speed, and barely murmuring -- scarcely humming an audible warning to stand a hair's-breadth further for respect of power -- while it would not wake the baby lying close against its frame. Before the end, one began to pray to it; inherited instinct taught the natural expression of man before silent and infinite force. Among the thousand symbols of ultimate energy the dynamo was not so human as some, but it was the most expressive." Posted by Hello

"East Ham" from 321 Spaces - A Photographic Exploration of Greater London Posted by Hello

"But of course we all know exactly what left means, when we're talking about social labels. In common parlance, left is clearly code for 'feckless, pseudo-intellectual wiener,' while right is code for 'winner' and 'the people who are actually running things while you assholes are reading James Joyce.' Left also emphatically stands for 'wrong side of history,' while right is explicitly understood to mean the only remaining legitimate vision for future social organization. All ambitious politicians run screaming from the word left, understanding it to be a fatal electoral contagion, whereas being labeled rightwing even adds a winner's aura to an openly drooling political psychopath, like Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning"
Scott Rosenberg

"Eason Jordan's trial-by-blog is simply the latest example of the convulsive and painful but inevitable and long-brewing transformation of professional journalism from a protected sphere into a more open environment. That's important, but it's hadly news any more. The Gannon story, on the other hand, offers us a peek into the next chapter of the story -- the one in which an opportunistic political establishment, sensing the vulnerability of the media, grabs the moment to reshape the public's very grasp of reality."

the one & only Laurable is one of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili 'the strife of love in a dream'

"The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili is one of the most unreadable books ever published. The first inkling of difficulty occurs at the moment one picks up the book and tries to utter its tongue-twisting, practically unpronounceable title. The difficulty only heightens as one flips through the pages and tries to decipher the strange, baffling, inscrutable prose, replete with recondite references, teeming with tortuous terminology, choked with pulsating, prolix, plethoric passages. Now in Tuscan, now in Latin, now in Greek –elsewhere in Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldean and hieroglyphs – the author has created a pandemonium of unruly sentences that demand the unrelenting skills of a prodigiously endowed polyglot in order to be understood. One of the woodcuts the reader comes across early in the book is of an unbridled winged steed, charging headlong at full gallop, ears drawn back, head twisted sideways, bucking the unlucky riders who try in vain to cling to its back and mane. The image might serve as an emblem for the whole work." Posted by Hello
Why Canadian Movies Stink

"And speaking of license requirements --CHUM met theirs, thanks in part to Cable Beach. Nora got a film made, Bill got a writing credit, and I got 20 grand and a religious experience. In fact, a good time was had by all -- except by you, the audience. "

interesting sounding Tree Planter project by a young Winnipeg artist. Don't lose those shovel pictures Bob! Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day! Posted by Hello

a Tindersticks DVD--

"There are no subtitles or printed reproductions of the lyrics anywhere in the DVD, so you'll still have to struggle to make out the words of Stuart Staples' low, mumbled delivery." Posted by Hello
Healthier in lungs, poorer in spirit

"What worries me is the hum of panic that I sense underneath the public ordinance, a panic engendered by a cult of health that's taken so many forms over the past 30 years that it's become the single religion of much of Western society. You run across it everywhere: in our preoccupation with diet and exercise; the endless ads in the media - in the US at least - promoting new drugs for an increasing number of exotic diseases; and the inclination to turn all eccentric behaviour into a 'syndrome' that can be treated medicinally. While none of these is alarming in itself, they add up to a new Puritanism that turns the old paradigm on its head: now instead of tempting the Fates by being bad, we put all our efforts into being good. If smoking was about being grown up, the new Puritanism is about being a perpetual child, and living in a protected world that has never existed except in fantasy."

Sunday, February 13, 2005