The Republican Party as Flying Saucer Cult

Watching the Republicans flail around in psychotic convulsions at the CPAC finally seemed to have convinced some Americans of what I have observed for most of my life, namely that the GOP is the party of the criminally insane.  The recent bile-spewings of Rush Limbaugh and Alan Keyes, are nothing new.  It is rather sick […]

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Soviet Pop Dirvishes: Ensemble Birch

On BoingBoing there is a link to this “hypnotic folk dance,” which only one commentator identified correctly as Nadia Nadezhdin’s ensemble Birch founded in 1948.  (Thanks, Terry di Paolo!)  However, it is worth pointing out that the name of this particular piece, Прялица, means “spinning jenny,”  as in spinning of thread for weaving cloth.  This should […]

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Charles Moore – The Right Stuff

Born in Alabama, the photographer Charles Moore closely followed the civil rights movement with his camera and an open mind.    It’s been said that the photos taken by this former Marine helped shaped the public consciousness of the civil rights movement.   With a keen sense of dramatic moments loaded with iconic significance, Moore laid […]

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Super-organism of the human hive

The topic of Skinner’s rural-urban continuum came up in a staff meeting today, where my colleague Sumeeta referred us to a recent column by Steven Strogatz in the NYTimes.   The idea is along the lines of Christaller’s central place theory, in which the demand for goods and services drives the spatial distribution of human settlements.   […]

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Ecocities = More Bicyle, Less Car

When I am able to blank out the last thirty five years, during which I have continuously despised and fought against the automobile (even when I owned one myself…yes, I’m talking about that rattling death-trap of a 1967 Ford Falcon!), when I can forget all that, it does my heart good to hear people talking […]

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Big Hair In Romania

There is something strangely futuristic about the fashions of the 2009 Estetika and Wellness Fair, held this week in Bucharest, Romania.  A set of photos is floating around, depicting the weird loops and cascades of hair on display during the stylist contest.  Reuters blog snarks “Very 17th Century Brothel, Honey!” but it reminds me more […]

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Chicken Little Protein: Space Merchants Radio Play

One of the great satirical classics of Science Fiction is surely “Space Merchants,” by Fred Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth, which skewers the American traditions of corporate greed, deceptive advertising, and the treatment of consumers as stooges, suckers, retarded fools, and miserable cattle. The story accomplishes this in a slick, almost effortless Science Fiction setting, […]

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