Monday, October 11, 2010

World Of Ashcraft

You didn't really think Jigsawnovich was the name my parents gave me, did you? Check out my new blog.
http://worldofashcraft.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/attn-mr-democrat-campaign/

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beer & Rap in Ramallah, Palestine

DAM - Palestinian Hip Hop group performs 8:00 pm today at Taybeh in Ramallah, Palestine

Taybeh Products for sale: Taybeh Beer, Taybeh Honey, Taybeh Olive oil, Too Top Olive oil, Tatreez (embroidery), Maftool (couscous), Thyme (zataar), Peace lamp...
Food at the fest: Shawarma, Falafel, chicken, kabab, kanafeh, BBQ


Thursday, September 30, 2010

North Korea: Black Suit vs. Beige

Black vs. Beige: could the color of Kim Jong Il's son's suit mark a symbolic shift towards business, away from militarism?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ahmadinejad vs. Capitalism...Oh Really?

Although some of dangers of capitalism being too unregulated and very globalized were exposed when the sub-prime housing crisis impacted not only the U.S. but other countries with international investment portfolios, Ahmadinejad's statement against capitalism seems ironic, since Sepah (Revolutionary Guards) are taking over more and more businesses in Iran, already reportedly reaps huge profits off black market items in Iran, and arrests so many people and demands such huge bail that it's starting to look like an extortion racket. Also, the Islamic regime famously persecuted the Communists who helped them come to power.

So is this the best that AN could come up with as a theoretical counter-attack to the more severe economic sanctions that have been put in place against the IRI?

http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/22013125Ahmadinejad Lashes Out at Capitalism
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Rap Satire and Anti-Rap Propaganda: Iranian Rapper, Video Maker, Promoter React


by Julie Jigsawnovich

Rap music and style have been exploited in movies and TV shows approved by Ershad, Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, with depictions that distort and deviate from the spirit of real Iranian rap. I asked Fred, Shaya, and Adrenaline to express their opinions of this material. Farbod "Fred" Khoshtinat created the video for Hichkas’ “Ye Mosht Sarbaz” (Bunch of Soldiers) track [and has since won a 2010 Democracy Video Challenge award and also directed the "Dasa Bala" video for Arash] Shaya may be the only female rapper still trying to create and perform new songs inside Iran. Adrenaline is an underground rap promoter. They do not know each other, and they answered the following questions separately, without seeing each others’ answers.

JJ: How would you describe the “rap” in the trailer for this Iranian government-approved movie, Shame-e Aroosi (Wedding Dinner), which you can see here?

S: I don’t like this. This is a kind of joke.

FK: This is fast rhyming about moral things like weddings and stuff.

A: Honestly, I didn’t even watch it to the end. I can describe it in one word: “garbage”.

JJ: Are you surprised that Ershad allowed “rap” and “graffiti” to be shown in a movie in Iran, when Police there arrest real rappers and graffiti artists?

S: No, but we are sorry when we see these scenes in our movies. They show this just to give some fun to every person that bought a ticket.

FK: The thing that they are against are the lyrics that have been used in rap. And, by the way, you can never see such a thing in Iranian TV. This is Iranian cinema–whole different rules!

A: Sorry that I didn’t put it in a charming, polite way. I don’t care about the governments, because I have seen many crazy things from them that make “inviting Lil’ Wayne for a show in Iran national TV” like nothing. And you don’t need to worry about the POLICE! They can arrest you for ONLY WALKING IN THE STREETS! It’s up to them–they have the right to arrest anyone at anytime if they feel like it! So don’t worry about police arresting graffiti artists!

JJ: Do you think this movie helped or hurt rap in Iran?

S: Absolutely hurts.

FK: I don’t think it has any effect on rap in Iran. I don’t really consider that song a rap!

A: You don’t need to worry about third question either! Because there are only A FEW people–like 15, or maybe 20–in Iran who really know the real hip-hop! So Persian rap is already hurt! We need a miracle here.

JJ: Has rap been shown in any Iranian movies or on Iranian TV lately?

S: I saw some rap music in movies, but they portray rappers as sick people.

FK: No, there is no such a thing as rap in Iranian TV.

A: Sorry, because I don’t watch Iranian TV or movies–NEVER! And I mean it!

JJ: Fred, I heard there was an Iranian TV show called Shock that used HichKas songs. And this TV program was State propaganda–saying all rappers use drugs and are into devil worship. Did you see Shock? Is it true what I heard about that show?

FK: Yes, it’s all true about Shock. It also showed some parts of Hichkas’ “Bunch of Soldiers” music video.

JJ: I heard that rap music was considered “Western music” in Iran, and was therefore forbidden for most rappers to perform. No?

FK: My opinion is that their main concern is on the lyrics. We have legal rock and pop, but they have moral lyrics.

JJ: I think the lyrics to Hichkas’ “Bunch of Soldiers” do show a type of morality. He’s talking about loving God, friends and family–and being ready to defend his country against attack. He is saying he is street wise, but that he has made mistakes. He is not saying anything ****ual, and he is not criticizing the regime. What more could they ask for? Really!

FK: Hichkas is someone outside the system who is leading some people. This is some big political issue. Hichkas is influential, and the regime dislikes this.

JJ: How did you feel when you saw the “Bunch of Soldiers” video you made for Hichkas included in Shock?

FK: I was shocked and amazed. Iranian TV just showed five seconds of the video, where Hichkas is moving his hands fast–while a Shock narrator claimed that drugs made rappers and Satanists mad. It was propaganda to convince the society about arresting the rappers.

JJ: Did the inclusion of the “Bunch of Soldiers” video in Shock help or hurt your career?

FK: It hurt. That inclusion meant that they had their eyes on us–and they really did.

JJ: When did Shock first show on TV?

FK: I think it was summer before last–I’m not sure. But two months after that they started to arrest underground artists, again.

***

From the archives of Oct. 2009

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mashaii vs. Islamist Hardliners

When it comes to pre-Islamic history, music and women's rights, does Mashaii might offer some glimmer of hope? Iranian friends of mine tell me he's even helped give official approval to pop songs somewhat critical of the regime. It's a shame he doesn't like hip hop. I hear that Iranian hip hop musicians are still taking big risks inside Iran.--Jigsawnovich




Thursday, September 16, 2010

IRI can track Haystack proxy users

Frankly, there are already other proxy servers that internet users in Iran are using safely. I don't see why Haystack was even needed. Now it turns out Haystack may have endangered users. Very sad. Not good.

Tor developer criticizes Haystack http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/haystack

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Democracy Video Challenge winners honored at UN

Had a great time at the Democracy Video Challenge screening at the United Nations. Enjoyed seeing the people I met in DC again, seeing friends I invited and also meeting new people. Congratulations to Farbod Khoshtinat, Taraneh Golozar and Shahin Pajoom for their success with the ATTN: Mr. Democrat video. It's been viewed more than 21,000 times now. I look forward to the day it reaches 100,000 views.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

VOA interviews Iranian Democracy Video Challenge Winner

Farbod "Fred" Khoshtinat's video, ATTN: Mr. Democrat, is one of six winners of the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge.




Click through for wide screen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

ATTN: Mr. Democrat director receives award from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton


The sharp truths in Farbod "Fred" Khoshtinat's ATTN: Mr. Democrat video are almost shocking. It's wonderful to see these truths and the greatness of this video acknowledged--and by acknowledging them, the greatness of brave Iranian people who do fight and struggle against exterior and interior obstacles as they seek the way to their own kind of freedom and democracy.

Thanks again to everyone who voted and helped spread the word about this video.

Here is the video link to the Democracy Video Challenge award ceremony. Secretary Rodham Clinton mentions Iran's green movement around 4:00 and Farbod "Fred" Khoshtinat receives the award around 6:18. Here is more info about Democracy Video Challenge.

There are six winners of the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge: Anup Poudel of Nepal, Yared Shumete of Ethiopia, Farbod Khoshtinat of Iran, Joel Ben Marsden of Spain, Adhyatmika Euuy of Indonesia and Juan Pablo Patino Arevelo of Colombia.

Here is the transcript in case your computer/internet connection is too slow for video, or your country blocks YouTube.

2010 Democracy Video Challenge Award Presentation
Hillary Rodham Clinton 

Secretary of State

Judith A. McHale 
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

Treaty Room

Washington, DC September 10, 2010

UNDER SECRETARY MCHALE: Come on in. These are the stars of the show, the real stars of the show. They probably feel a little uncomfortable because they’re normally on the other side of the camera. (Laughter.)

Good afternoon. I’m delighted to be here with all of you today. I’m Judith McHale and I have the great privilege of introducing you to some great filmmakers. These are the winners of our Democracy Video Challenge, which is in its second or third year that we have done this, where we reach out to young filmmakers around the world and ask them to submit videos which illustrate how they think about – the contest is called Democracy Is… and so they interpret in film, in a two-minute film, what democracy means. And it’s absolutely extraordinary. The sort of versions and interpretations of this are really incredibly well done, but also very moving. We have – obviously, all of us have an enormous commitment to democracy and to see how these young filmmakers interpret that world, I invite you all to see it.

We’re also delighted to have some of our partners here with us today, without whom we could not have done it. And I’d also especially like to thank Lori Brutten from IIP, who has organized this, the sort of State Department genius behind this, and Dawn McCall, our new head of IIP, who have joined me here today.

But most importantly, I’m delighted to have our Secretary of State, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with us today to say a few words about these great filmmakers. Secretary Clinton.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Judith. And this is an especially exciting day for us here to celebrate these young activist filmmakers who are using technology to make their voices heard and, by doing so, giving voice to so many millions of others, and the State Department’s partners who have made the Democracy Video Challenge not only possible, but amazingly successful.

So far, over 3.5 million people around the world have been reached by our growing Democracy is… campaign. This is an effort led by Judith and her entire team to engage youth in a global dialogue on democracy. And we are about to kick off the 3rd annual Democracy Video Challenge at the United Nations next week. So I am very eager to see what ideas this continues to generate.

The prompt for this challenge, as you know, is “Democracy is…” It’s open ended. It is meant to provoke thought and to spur ideas. It truly is a challenge that builds on the freedom that democracy provides for individuals to pursue their own dreams. Each of these young winners has captured six different visions of democracy – some satirical and lighthearted, some poignant and haunting – but each shaped by their own experiences and expressed through their own unique artistic lens.

Now, not all democracies look or behave exactly the same way. As our winner from Nepal said about his video – I hope you don’t mind me quoting you – (laughter) – “Democracy can exist in all countries and it doesn’t have a fixed shape or size.” But the fundamental tenets are non-negotiable. The videos we are honoring today capture essential truths about democracy across the world and respond to the deepest yearning of human beings to have a right to their own lives and their own dreams. Democracy is about fair play. Democracy equalizes the voices of people. And democracy is a learning process.

And so I said earlier this week at a speech I gave that democracy needs defending. And I think we have a very good cross-section of defenders standing here. Another one of our winners, whose beautiful video was inspired by the Green Movement in Iran, said, “I believe if I want democracy, I should fight for it! And this is my way of fighting.” And it gives me great hope to see what these young people are saying.

Now, here at the State Department, we talk a lot about the need to use 21st century diplomacy to solve 21st century problems. Well, this is the heart of that 21st century diplomacy – connecting directly to people, particularly young people, who Judith constantly reminds me – (laughter) – represents what percentage of the world’s population? (Laughter.)

UNDER SECRETARY MCHALE: Sixty-five percent are under the age of 30.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Boy, does that make me feel old, I gotta tell you. (Laughter.)
So this is about not only the next generation, it’s about this generation. I particularly want to welcome representatives of the countries of the winners who are here today, and thank you all for coming.

Now, Under Secretary McHale will come back to officially present the awards, which I think you will call the name and I will hand the award. Is that the way we will do it? So I will maybe come out around here, and as you call the name, if the winner will come up here, and then we can give the award. And I hope you all get pictures – that way? Is that okay? All right.

UNDER SECRETARY MCHALE: As Secretary Clinton has mentioned, these winners come from around the world, from each of the six different regions of the world, and they were voted on by people who were tuned into and watching constantly YouTube. So we also especially want to thank YouTube for helping us with this.
From Colombia, Juan Pablo PatiƱo. (Applause.)
From Ethiopia, Yared Shumete. (Applause.)
From Indonesia, Adhyatmika. (Applause.)
From Iran, Farbod Khoshtinat. (Applause.)
From Nepal, Anup Poudel. (Applause.)
And from Spain, Jual – I’m sorry, Joel Mardsen. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re very proud of these winners and we are looking to follow them with great interest. We hope that this not only confirms their own ideas, but actually serves to generate more from them and encourage others to join their ranks. So let’s give our award winners another round of applause. (Applause.)
And Judith, why don’t we invite some of our partners and perhaps you could introduce them as well.

LORI BRUTTEN: (Inaudible), Steve Grove, the director of YouTube Student Politics; Rick Cotton, Chief Counsel of NBC Universal; Kate Raftery from the – Vice President for Learning and Citizenship at the International Youth Foundation; Patti Pearson, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Director of Special Projects.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Great. (Applause.) Great. Thank you all very much.

# # #

Friday, September 10, 2010

Researchers give robots the capability for deceptive behavior

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-09/giot-rgr090910.php

Farbod "Fred" Khoshtinat shakes hands with Hillary Clinton

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton quotes Farbod Khoshtinat 4min. into the video and presents the award to him at 6min 18sec into the video. Khoshtinat's ATTN: Mr. Democrat video is one of six winners in the Democracy Video Challenge.

Monday, August 9, 2010

If Female Orgasms are Halal, Genital Mutilation is Haram

by Julie Jigsawnovich

On BBC Persian, panelist Mehdi Khalaji reportedly discusses that the prophet approved of his wife, Aisha's, orgasm.

Unfortunately, I don't speak Persian well enough to follow the discussion. But I'm thinking maybe the prophet's approval of female orgasm could be used as an argument against female genital mutilation--you know, in addition to the obvious health and human rights concerns. Sometimes to convince religious people on an issue, it's helpful to use arguments linked to whatever religion the person follows. Even it only prevented one girl from getting mutilated, it would still be worth making the argument.

I'd be willing, in addition, to argue against male circumcision.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Travis Bickel with a Sword?

Violent vigilantes frighted community in Iraq.

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100801/FOREIGN/707319894/1002

Strong quake jolts southeastern Iran

Mehrnews.com reports: "TEHRAN, July 31 (MNA) – An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale struck the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman on Saturday.

The epicenter of the earthquake was the town of Negar. The quake happened at 11:22 a.m. local time, the Tehran Seismological Center said.

Saturday’s earthquake comes only a day after a 5.7-magnitude quake hit the northeast city of Torbat-e Heydariyeh at 6:20 p.m. local time injuring at least 270 people.

A powerful earthquake devastated the historic city of Bam in Kerman Province in 2003, killing about 27,000 people.


Source of Damage to Tanker in Strait of Hormuz Still Unknown



‏Active Tectonics at the Natanz Region, Central Iran

by ‏F. Jamali, K. Hessami, H. Tabasi
‏abstract‪:‬
"This paper uses geomorphic features to constrain active structural deformation at the Natanz region, central Iran. Offset stream beds indicate rightlateral strike slip motion at a rate of about 2.5 mm/yr along the NW-SE trending Qom-Zefreh fault zone. Deep incision of the Moghar river which crosses the Charkheh and Zardkuh anticlines also indicates uplift at depth on thrust faults dipping SSW beneath the anticlines. The fact that the active Qom-Zefreh strike-slip fault runs parallel to the active fold and thrust zone suggests that oblique motion of Arabia with respect to Eurasia is partitioned in this part of central Iran. We conclude that the active blind faults which leave clear signatures in geomorphology should be seriously considered as a seismic source while assessing seismic hazard in the region."
to see full paper, go to:
http://www.iiees.ac.ir/iiees/English/Publication/Jsee/jsee19_1.html
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hichkas "ye rooze khoob miad" performed by a little girl


The very poetic words to this song were written by the Iranian rapper, Soroush Lashkary, who goes by the name Hichkas. "A good day will come that we won't kill each other/won't look at each other in a bad way/We will be friends with each other/putting arms around our shoulders/like childhood in school--and none of us will be jobless/We're rebuilding IRAN..."After all this blood rains, someday a rainbow will show up/The sky won't be from stone anymore/river's color won't be red like roses...
An English translation of the lyrics is here:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jealous Robot Wants to Take Over the World

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/06/24/science/1247468035233/interview-with-a-robot.html?ex=1294200000&en=2eb7abb3c9442dff&ei=5087&WT.mc_id=VI-D-I-NYT-MOD-MOD-M157-ROS-0710-PH&WT.mc_ev=click

2:47 on the video: "I would love to be your friend…Friendship is when we team up together to accomplish something important like building a better future or conspiring to take over the planet. I feel like we are good friends already."

Towards the end, "The real Bina lives her life out there. I want a life. I want to get out there and garden."

Facebook data mining could seem amateur in comparison! These data miners are offering immortality!

digital backup of human consciousness:

http://lifenaut.com/Mind-How.html

http://www.terasemcentral.org/projects.html

http://www.cyberev.org/

interesting terminology: "beingness"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Iranian Regime Compared to South American Dictatorships, Sepah Retreats from South Pars Oil Field, Bazaar Strikes Continue

The Wall Street Journal reports: "The engineering arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps said Friday it was pulling out of projects in a giant Iranian natural-gas field in the Persian Gulf, blaming mounting sanctions from the West.
I discussed this news with an American Liberal, Jeannette Hanna, whom I met on the Cultures of Resistance page on Facebook.
Hanna: I didn't realize that the Rev. Guard was also a business consortium. Do you believe it?

Jigsawnovich: Iranian friends have told me that the Revolutionary Guards are in control of all major industries in Iran. And I've read articles claiming that although Ahmadinejad has been "privatizing" many national Iranian businesses, in reality he is reportedly selling them to individuals who are fronts for the Revolutionary Guards, a subset of the Iranian government. My understanding is that by doing this, he puts more economic power under the Revolutionary Guards' control, while regulatory aspects within the Iranian government lose control.

I hope the US and UN sanctions are successful in reducing the power of Revolutionary Guards who have reportedly violated Constitutional rights of Iranians since the election, especially IF the Revolutionary Guards might be moving towards nuclear weapon development and might show the same disregard for others' human rights that they have shown for their own people. But whether sanctions can do this with minimal adverse impact on pro-democracy, pro-human rights, secular, Liberal Iranians, remains to be seen. The Revolutionary Guards have reportedly so deeply infiltrated the economics of Iran that friends tell me it is hard to hurt them without hurting Iranian people that international supporters of true democracy and freedom don't want to get hurt.

Hanna: Where do the religious stand on this? They wouldn't want the Rev. Guard in charge unless the Guards promised to keep them in some kind of effective role...

I suppose that one way to keep the secular elite under control would be to have them be the ones whose names are on the companies being privatized for the Guards...it then involves them, too.

Jigsawnovich: The Iranians I know who are sincere and practicing Muslims want a secular government, not a theocracy, because they believe that their government is corrupting and abusing the religion. But my friends seem to be more intellectual and more creative than some of the religious people who do support the regime.

The Revolutionary Guards and Basij characteristically recruit people who are willingly obedient to all the religious rules and people who are economically disadvantaged.

Decadent, rich Iranians reportedly bribe police and security forces when they throw wild parties and break Islamic laws. Enjoying freedoms they can afford to purchase would make them unlikely to try to force regime change. And I've been told that most of the top business owners already have a relationship with the RG. The Revolutionary Guards have seen to that in their efforts to prevent the kinds of strikes that lead to the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

That's why the bazaar strikes are significant. The bazaar merchants apparently still have some power.

Homylafayette blog reports that: Pro-regime, anti-Ahmadinejad site publishes photos of bazaar strike
And here is footage from the early part of the strike, July 13, 2010


Hanna: How is it possible to be Pro-regime and Anti-Ahmadinejad? Who/What is The Regime, then?

Jigsawnovich: pro-regime = supports the current form of government in Iran
anti-Ahmadinejad = against policies enacted during the Ahmadinejad administration

Hanna: OK, thanks. Pro-regime=Approves the STRUCTURE of power, whoever is in the President's position. Anti-Ahmadinejad….Really then, policies were enacted during his admin, but he wouldn't have had the power to pass them himself. It is more of a historical description, like "during the time of Ahmad." Well, without changing the STRUCTURE....or at least the rigidity of the Supreme Leader by getting a different one, there can be no change.

I understand that even if Ahmadinejad had been allowed to lose the election to a moderate....things couldn't possibly have really changed as long as the RG was in place to follow through on the wishes of the Supreme Leader....and with their economic power....that pretty much sews things up. Am I getting it?

Jigsawnovich: It may be possible the Revolutionary Guards could become so powerful that they stop taking orders from the Supreme Leader. Iran could become a military dictatorship unrestrained by either the Supreme Leader or the Iranian Parliament, and only retaining Islam as a tool for recruiting people and keeping them under control. Ahmadinejad could be kept as the frontman, so that it looks like they still have a President instead of a military commander.

Hanna: That is exactly what I was thinking as we were writing back and forth. It was starting to look an awful lot like Chile and Argentina under military dictatorships....they didn't even have to bother with a front man. That is also how they and the top 2 % of the population ripped off the wealth of the country...privatization...and that top 2 % was complicit in the murders, economic chaos, resultant desperate poverty, destruction of the intellectuals, ownership of the media, etc.
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Public Enemy in Central Park

O.G. Political rappers, Public Enemy will perform Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 3:00PM on  Central Park/Mainstage. Admission Free. Also on the bill are Ghanaian hip-hop artist Blitz the Ambassador  and metal-oriented The 7th Octave .


Public Enemy, "the most influential and controversial rap group of the 80's performs on the 20th anniversary of their seminal album Fear of a Black Planet, with two rising and equally political new comers.

"Ghanaian hip-hop artist Blitz the Ambassador uses rousing horns and clever beats that make him impossible to take lightly. Alongside his band, The Embassy Ensemble, Blitz tests the limits of hip-hop with live instruments and heavily complex, cross-cultural musical exploration.

"In an age of disposable, cookie cutter acts, The 7th Octave offers up a different musical and lyrical perspective, combining metal riffs and blistering instrumentation with fiery, socially aware lyrics to provoke the minds of the new millennium generation."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Amazing Diagram of How Google Works

Click through for widescreen. Used by permission. 

How Google Works.
Infographic by PPC Blog

Tax Exempt Donations to Illegal Settlements in Israel

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/world/middleeast/06settle.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&hp
pg.2 
"The donors to settlement charities represent a broad mix of Americans — from wealthy people like the hospital magnate Dr. Irving I. Moskowitz and the family behind Haagen-Dazs ice cream…"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nobody Beats the Drum - Grindin' video

Space Invaders meet Get Smart meets Tetris 

click through for full screen

Mariana and the Diamonds -  "OH NO!" video

Top Notch Pop

click through for full screen

Israeli and Palestinian kids play soccer together


click through for full screen
Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports on the combined Israeli - Palestinian Peace team, playing in a tournament called "Football for Hope".

Chiddy Bang - "Sooner Or Later" video

This political hip hop video from Nigeria looks like documentary.

Chiddy Bang - "Sooner Or Later" (Pretty Much Amazing Music Video Premiere) from Pretty Much Amazing on Vimeo.



Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child trailer

Thanks to Dj Spooky for bringing this film to my attention!

Click through for widescreen
"Directed by Tamra Davis, the documentary features never-before seen footage of the prolific artist painting, talking about his art, and existing in the two years prior to his death in 1988. The OST features music from Mike D and Ad Rock."--YouTube caption.
Primarily known as a painter, Basquiat also made the early rap record, Beat Bop, with K-Rob and fellow artist, Rammellzee--who recently passed away.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Celebrate the American Revolution this July 4th

We are celebrating the American Revolution this weekend. America was a British colony that revolted against being ruled by the King of England. The Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution are some of the best things ever written, and they still inspire many people all over the world.

Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Survive a Nuclear Attack


How to Survive a Nuclear Attack

Seek shelter immediately...If you are a few miles out, you will have about 10-15 seconds until the heat wave hits you, and maybe 20-30 seconds until the shockwave does.

Do not look at the fireball and cloud. Under no circumstances should you look directly at the fireball. On a clear day, this can cause temporary blindness at very large distances.[5]

If you can't find shelter, seek a depressed area nearby and lay face down, exposing as little skin as possible. If there is no shelter of this kind, dig as fast as possible. Even around 8 kilometers (5 miles) you will suffer third degree thermal-burns; still at 32 kilometers (20 miles) the heat can burn the skin off your body. The wind itself will peak at around 960 kilometers per hour (600mph) and will level anything or anybody caught in the open.
Failing the above options, get indoors, if, and only if, you can be sure that the building will not suffer significant blast and heat damage...Stay away from any windows, preferably in a room without one; even if the building does not suffer substantial damage, a nuclear explosion will blow out windows at enormous distances.[6]
Wear cotton clothes...Substances like nylon or any oil based material will ignite from the heat.

Remember: it's not the initial blast that creates the high death toll; it's radiation exposure....The fallout may rain down as contaminated black soot known as "black rain," which is very fatal and may be of extreme temperature. Fallout will contaminate anything it touches.


Once you have survived the blast and the initial radiation (for now at least; radiation symptoms have an incubation period), you must find protection against the burning black soot.

Standard clothing will help protect you from Alpha particles.

Beta particles...pose a serious threat, however, to the eyes, should they be exposed for a prolonged period. Once again this is harmful if ingested or inhaled, and clothing will help prevent Beta burns.

...Avoid exposure to Gamma radiation. Try not to spend more than 5 minutes exposed. If you are in a rural area, try finding a cave, or a fallen log into which you can crawl. Otherwise just dig a trench to lie in, with stacked earth around you.

Begin reinforcing your shelter from the inside by stacking dirt around the walls or anything else you can find. If in a trench, then create a roof, but only if materials are nearby; don't expose yourself when not necessary. Canvas from a parachute or tent will help stop fallout debris from piling on you, though it will not stop Gamma rays...Use the following to help you determine the amount of material you'll need to reduce radiation penetration to 1/1000:[8] Steel: 21 cm (0.7 feet), Rock: 70-100 cm (2-3 ft), Concrete: 66 cm (2.2 ft), Wood: 2.6 m (8.8 ft), Soil: 1 m (3.3 ft), Ice: 2 m (6.6 ft), Snow: 6 m (20-22 ft)

Plan on staying in your shelter for a minimum of 200 hours (8-9 days). Under no circumstances leave the shelter in the first forty-eight hours. Ration your supplies. You will need to ration to survive, obviously; therefore you will eventually expose yourself to the radiation (unless you are in a specific shelter with food and water).

Processed foods are okay to eat, so long as the container has no punctures and is relatively intact. Animals may be eaten but, they must be skinned carefully with the heart, liver and kidneys discarded. Try not to eat meat that is close to the bone, for bone marrow retains radiation.
 Plants in a "hot zone" are edible; those with edible roots or undergrowth (carrots, potatoes...) are highly recommended. Use an edibility test on the plants. See How to Test if a Plant Is Edible.

Open water may have received fallout particles and is harmful. Water from an underground source, such as a spring or covered well, is your best bet. (Consider making a basic pit-style solar still, as described in How to Make Water in the Desert.) Use water from streams and lakes only as a last resort. Create a filter by digging a hole about 1ft from the bank and drawing the water which seeps in. It may be cloudy or muddy so allow the sediments to sit, then boil the water to ensure safety from bacteria. If in a building, the water is usually safe. If there is no water (there most likely won't be), use the water already in the pipes by opening the faucet at the highest point of the house to let in air, then open a faucet at the lowest point of the house to drain the water.


Earthquake plus nuclear facilities

Christopher Hitchens wrote in Slate: "While the "negotiations" on Iran's weaponry are being artificially protracted by an irrational and corrupt regime, it should become part of our humanitarianism and our public diplomacy to warn the Iranian people of the man-made reasons that the results of a natural calamity would be hideously multiplied in their case… earthquake plus ill-maintained covert nuclear facilities...


Tehran Nuclear Research Center is located in suburban Amirabad, according to this article.

View Larger Map




Active faults around Tehran — courtesy of IIEES:



Iran seismic hazard map — courtesy of IIEES:


Iran fault activity — courtesy of IIEES:

Potassium Iodide Can Help Prevent Radiation Sickness

Taking Potassium Iodide can save your life if you take it soon after you are exposed to nuclear radiation. Here's some info. from this website: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp

What is Potassium Iodide (KI)?
Stable iodine is an important chemical needed by the body to make thyroid hormones. Most of the stable iodine in our bodies comes from the food we eat. KI is stable iodine in a medicine form.

What does KI do?
Following a radiological or nuclear event, radioactive iodine may be released into the air and then be breathed into the lungs. Radioactive iodine may also contaminate the local food supply and get into the body through food or through drink. When radioactive materials get into the body through breathing, eating, or drinking, we say that “internal contamination” has occurred. In the case of internal contamination with radioactive iodine, the thyroid gland quickly absorbs this chemical. Radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid can then injure the gland. Because non-radioactive KI acts to block radioactive iodine from being taken into the thyroid gland, it can help protect this gland from injury.

How does KI work?
The thyroid gland cannot tell the difference between stable and radioactive iodine and will absorb both. KI works by blocking radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid. When a person takes KI, the stable iodine in the medicine gets absorbed by the thyroid. Because KI contains so much stable iodine, the thyroid gland becomes “full” and cannot absorb any more iodine—either stable or radioactive—for the next 24 hours.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Self-Defense Against Baton

Partial List of Items Israel Prohibits from Entering Gaza

As reported by www.gisha.org,
"The following list is approximate and partial, and it changes from time to time. It is based on information from Palestinian traders and businesspersons, international organizations, and the Palestinian Coordination Committee, all of whom "deduce" what is permitted and what is banned based on their experience requesting permission to bring goods into Gaza and the answers they receive from the Israeli authorities (approved or denied). It is not possible to verify this list with the Israeli authorities because they refuse to disclose information regarding the restrictions on transferring goods into Gaza. It should be noted that Israel permits some of the "prohibited" items into Gaza (for example: paper, biscuits, and chocolate), on the condition that they are for the use of international organizations, while requests from private merchants to purchase them are denied. For more information, see: Gisha, Restrictions on the Transfer of Goods into Gaza: Obstruction and Obfuscation, January 2010 (available at: www.gisha.org)."

Partial List of Items Israeli Prohibits from Entering Gaza as of May 2010

Prohibited Items*
sage
cardamom
cumin
coriander
ginger
jam
halva
vinegar
nutmeg
chocolate
fruit preserves
seeds and nuts
biscuits and sweets potato chips
gas for soft drinks
dried fruit
fresh meat
plaster
tar
wood for construction
cement
iron
glucose
industrial salt
plastic/glass/metal containers
industrial margarine
tarpaulin sheets for huts
fabric (for clothing)
flavor and smell enhancers
fishing rods
various fishing nets
buoys
ropes for fishing
nylon nets for greenhouses
hatcheries and spare parts for hatcheries
spare parts for tractors
dairies for cowsheds
irrigation pipe systems
ropes to tie greenhouses
planters for saplings
heaters for chicken farms
musical instruments
size A4 paper
writing implements
notebooks
newspapers
toys
razors
sewing machines and spare parts
heaters
horses
donkeys
goats
cattle
chicks

*Some of these items are permitted if they are for the use of international organizations.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Anti-rape device with teeth

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/9VGvpC/newsfeed.time.com/2010/06/21/finally-sexual-assault-prevention-with-teeth//r:t

The Free Keys rock "Ships"

by Julie Jigsawnovich

CNN iReport--The Free Keys emerged from Tehran's music underground to international acclaim when they were featured in the Cannes award winning film, No One Knows About the Persian Cats. Not approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, The Free Keys fled to Pune, India where they’ve now legally released the track, "Ships."

The unusual time signature, enticing riff and mischievous vocals beckon like some kind of rock siren across the waves in moonlight. Reverberating echoes loop back on themselves, reaching critical mass. Suddenly one feels like the floor is collapsing--and one is falling down, down to the bottom of the sea.

Some enjoy the sensation of falling, skydiving, high diving. But "Ships" does not convey simple thrills. It’s something deeper, more primal, more real—akin to the sinking feeling that something is deeply wrong and terrible events may be about to transpire.

Such keyed-up emotion is not surprising given that the The Free Keys received international exposure just as the regime was about to crack down. But “Ships” could be topical within the larger context. The Islamic Republic debuted its first domestically built destroyer warship earlier this year. More Israeli nuclear submarines have reportedly headed for the Persian Gulf amidst international speculation over potential Iranian blockades of the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for increased sanctions and threatened ship inspections. Hundreds of "bunker buster" deep penetration bombs were reportedly shipped to the U.S. base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean south of Iran. And a few days ago Egypt allowed at least one Israeli and 11 American warships to pass through the Suez Canal reportedly headed towards Iran or U.S. ally, Pakistan. After all, just as the U.S. was passing "crushing sanctions", Tehran signed a $7 billion agreement inaugurating the construction of a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.

I asked The Free Keys' lead guitarist, Arya, whether the song is about war ships. He replied, "Ha ha, no. Actually it was merely a coincidence that we noticed too. 'Ships' is the title of our friend Rajan Virdee's poem that we used as lyrics. It's about a brewing love--and how in the abstract love has a strictly narcissistic motive behind it. One line in the poem says:
'But if such love is conjured under one spot-light
it's just as easily lost in despising and spite
like two ships crashing and burning in the night.'"

Ships launched by proud nations with complex, intertwined histories may approach each other soon. Will there be an engagement making The Free Keys' new track eerily prophetic? The music video for “Ships” is reminiscent of torpedoes and explosions.

Currently The Free Keys are offering listeners the opportunity to access this track for free. Arya continued, "The song is available for free download because it's a prototype version. Obviously the album version won't be. You can download it on www.4shared.com/audio/zfRkRRL2/Ships.html "