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November 29, 2004

Scientists Give Human Organs to Lamb

'WASHINGTON - In Minnesota, pigs are being born with human blood in their veins.

In Nevada, there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human.

In California, mice peer from their cages with human brain cells firing inside their skulls.

These are not outcasts from "The Island of Dr. Moreau," the 1896 novel by H.G. Wells in which a rogue doctor develops creatures that are part animal and part human. They are real creations of real scientists, stretching the boundaries of stem cell research.' (MyrtleBeachOnline.com article via /.)

NASA sending hammer to space

Everybody cross your fingers:

'If all goes well, an 820-pound copper "hammer" the size of a bathtub will separate from its mother ship and, 24 hours later, smash into the comet's icy nucleus at about 23,000 mph.

The high-speed impact will wallop the pickle-shaped comet with energy equivalent to 4.8 tons of TNT, said Michael A'Hearn, a University of Maryland astronomer and principal investigator on the $311 million mission.

Nobody's sure what will happen next.' (The Arizona Republic article via FARK)

Poachers kill 'dolphins that saved swimmers'

Well, that didn't take long:

'POACHERS in New Zealand may have killed two members of a pod of dolphins that recently saved the lives of swimmers from a great white shark attack, lifeguards said yesterday.

The mutilated carcasses of the two bottlenose dolphins were found on Wednesday in the Awaroa River, which branches off the upper reaches of Whangarei Harbour on North Islandís east coast.' (The Scotsman article via AmSam)

November 25, 2004

Paul Graham: Why Nerds Are Unpopular

'I know a lot of people who were nerds in school, and they all tell the same story: there is a strong correlation between being smart and being a nerd, and an even stronger inverse correlation between being a nerd and being popular. Being smart seems to make you unpopular.

Why? To someone in school now, that may seem an odd question to ask. The mere fact is so overwhelming that it may seem strange to imagine that it could be any other way. But it could. Being smart doesn't make you an outcast in elementary school. Nor does it harm you in the real world. Nor, as far as I can tell, is the problem so bad in most other countries. But in a typical American secondary school, being smart is likely to make your life difficult. Why?' (Paul Graham article)

November 23, 2004

Dolphins save swimmers from shark

'Howes tried to drift away from the group, but two of the bigger dolphins herded him back just as he spotted a three-meter (nine feet) great white shark swimming towards the group.

"I just recoiled. It was only about 2 meters (6 feet) away from me, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face," Howes said.

"They had corralled us up to protect us," he said.' (CNN.com article)

November 17, 2004

Naropa Audio Archives: Peter Lamborn Wilson (and more)

Naropa University runs a great online audio archive, as a way of

'preserving and providing access to over 3500 recordings made at Naropa University since 1974. The collection was developed under the auspices of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (the name of the universityís Department of Writing and Poetics) founded by poets Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg and contains readings, lectures, seminars, panels and workshops from a constellation of artists who aim at restoring the poetís ancient role as keeper of the culture and social commentator.'
You can probably imagine the veritable treasure trove of material that's now freely accessible thanks to this wonderful project... and if not, just wander around the site a bit to be thoroughly wowed.

Needless to say, the curators are constantly adding recordings, and I highly recommend subscribing to their RSS feed to be automatically notified of new additions.

A place to start could be this 1999 Peter Lamborn Wilson lecture, in which he clearly and forcefully makes his controversial case against drug legalization. Here's the article to go with it.

Next, you might wanna check out this 1984 writing class led by Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in which, among other points of interest, Burroughs goes into his idea of "Life as a Cut-Up" in some detail.

Just two examples. Now go and splurge.

November 14, 2004

Male fish becoming female?

'BOULDER, Colo. - Researchers in Colorado have made a startling discovery. Fish, apparently male, are developing female sexual organs. Scientists believe it's the result of too much estrogen in the water and they're finding estrogen in rivers across the country.
Government researchers recently found natural estrogens and estrogen mimickers in 80 percent of the streams they tested in 30 states.
[... ]
No one is certain what the impact is on humans. But since finding evidence that estrogen may be turning male fish into female fish, scientists are now looking at what it means for the nation's drinking water.' (MSNBC Nightly News article)

November 13, 2004

Kuro5hin: Coding Viruses for the Mind

'If as some have suggested religions are viruses of the mind, then it might make sense to separate the components of any given religion into two parts. The first part being those things which are necessary to maintain viral infection and which assist in the infection of new hosts. The second part is the payload: Those instructions which the virus writer wishes those who have been infected to carry out or execute.

My hope is that this method of analysis will assist others in understanding the structure of existing religions as well as those who aim to write one from scratch.' (Kuro5hin.org article)

November 12, 2004

Virus warning: Cyborgs at risk

'Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics at Reading University in England, is looking forward to becoming a cyborg again.

But the academic, who has wired his nervous system up to a computer and put an RFID chip in his arm, is also warning that the day will come when computer viruses can infect humans as well as PCs.

Speaking this week at Consult Hyperion's fifth Digital Identity Forum in London, Warwick spoke of a future when those who aren't cyborgs will be considered the odd ones.

"For those of you that want to stay human...you'll be a subspecies in the future," he said.' (CNET News.com article)

November 10, 2004

Disinformation officially joins the blogosphere

It started off about a year ago with the site's redesign from a regular website edited by a staff, to a "content management system" type site, open to public submissions and moderated by the staff. Then, more recently, a RSS feed finally became available.

Now the process is finally complete. The Disinformation Company, Ltd. has fully jumped on the blog bandwagon, with staff blogs (so far Richard Metzger's, Alex Burns' and Jason Louv's) and the opportunity for all Disinfonauts to start a blog, for free, under the same umbrella.

This is very cool, as well as being the obvious right thing to do. The three Disinformants' blogs have been added to my "Other Personal Blogs and Sites" blogroll, to your right. Enjoy, but also consider becoming the media yourself.

Stage Sex Man Shocks Again in Court

I refuse to be complicit in letting this tale of heroism slip through the cracks:

'OSLO (Reuters) - A couple who sparked outrage by having sex on stage in front of thousands of stunned rock concert goers in Norway shocked again on Tuesday when the man pulled down his trousers in court.

"Oops, I must have dropped my pants," Tommy Hol Ellingsen, 28, said as he stripped in front of reporters during a break at a local court in Kristiansand, southern Norway.

Hol Ellingsen and Petra Leona Johansson, 22, were in court after refusing to pay a fine of 10,000 crowns ($1,574) each for copulating on stage during a concert in July.' (Yahoo! News article)
Reuters Oddly Enough: absolute must read. Not many newsfeeds can claim that, if you ask me. Go to the source: HTML or RSS.

November 09, 2004

Key23: Psychic TV Live in San Francisco

In what marks (finally!) my first real contribution to Key23, my piece about the recent PTV gig in San Fran is up. Check it out.

November 07, 2004

Ground Zero Suicide Inspired by Election

'NEW YORK - A 25-year-old man from Georgia who was apparently distraught over President Bush (news - web sites)'s re-election shot and killed himself at ground zero. Andrew Veal's body was found Saturday morning inside the off-limits site, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. A shotgun was found nearby, but no suicide note was found, Coleman said.' (Yahoo! News article)

November 02, 2004

The Nation: Not Quite an Exact Portrait

Alright. So, right about now could be an appropriate time to take a look at this:

'In its current form, the United States electoral system discriminates against large segments of the population, reinforces the power of money to influence politics, serves to bolster the two-party system and produces results that often conflict with the will of the majority. Perhaps in recognition of this state of affairs, only 51 percent of eligible voters participated in the last US presidential election in 2000, the lowest level in the advanced industrial world. The reality is that the representative nature of the US government, as determined by elections, is more myth than reality--a comforting storyline that masks a harsh truth.

Consider the following facts.' (The Nation article via Disinfo)

November 01, 2004

Kuro5hin: Shroomin' at the Ballot Box

'Approximately three hours ago, I decided to do mushrooms for the first time in nearly four years. Seemed as good a time as any. It's a sunny October day in Denver. Brown leaves constantly cascade on me as I walk down the sidewalk, blissfully trying to ignore the crackheads who think I'm a walking ATM and a group of ese's who are giving me the evil eye. Church bells are ringing (ringing...ringing really loud...does that always happen around noon?...shit) crazy black dudes are singing along with their 1991-era Walkmans. Everything was peaceful, and I felt at one with the universe.

Why oh why did I decide to fuck it all up by going to vote today?' (Kuro5hin.org article)