Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flower power/acid house mashup album

Simon sez, "We did a free Summer of Love mashup compilation/album to tribute the first (1968) and the second (1988) Summer of Love revolutions in one. So we mashed Flower Power hits with acid house and rave stuff. As a bonus each artist created a custum vintage VW Bus paper model and we give them away in a handy print ready pdf file. The Summer of Love 2008 is a featured torrent in the Mininova so its ultra fast. There is a wacky alternate download as well, plus straming and track by track download too. Fans can find an empty VW bus sablon in the pdf so they can design their own bus and send it to us, we will post them in a gallery at the WHA!? site."

Death of Free Internet is Imminent



Canada Will Become Test Case

By Kevin Parkinson

21/07/08 "
Global Research" -- - In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world B and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in real time with any other on the planet. The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community.

The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it.  Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas-  have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet. And mostly, it's good news, except when poor judgements are made and people are taken advantage of. Scrutiny and oversight are needed, especially where children are involved.

However, when there are potential profits open to a corporation, the needs of society don't count. Take the recent case in Canada with the behemoths, Telus and Rogers rolling out a charge for text messaging without any warning to the public. It was an arrogant and risky move for the telecommunications giants because it backfired. People actually used Internet technology to deliver a loud and clear message to these companies and that was to scrap the extra charge. The people used the power of the Internet against the big boys and the little guys won.


However, the issue of text messaging is just a tiny blip on the radar screens of Telus and another company, Bell Canada, the two largest Internet Service Providers (ISP'S) in Canada. Our country is being used as a test case to drastically change the delivery of Internet service forever. The change will be so radical that it has the potential to send us back to the horse and buggy days of information sharing and access.


Mother's Milk of Politics Turns Sour

    Once again we're closing the barn door after the horse is out and gone. In Washington, the Federal Reserve has finally acted to stop some of the predatory lending that exploited people's need for money. And like Rip Van Winkle, Congress is finally waking up from a long doze under the warm sun of laissez-faire economics. That's French for turning off the alarm until the burglars have made their getaway.

    Philosophy is one reason we do this to ourselves; when you worship market forces as if they were the gods of Olympus, then the gods can do no wrong - until, of course, they prove to be human. Then we realize we should have listened to our inner agnostic and not been so reverent in the first place.

    But we also get into these terrible dilemmas - where the big guys step all over everyone else and the victims are required to pay the hospital bills - because we refuse to recognize the connection between money and politics. This is the great denial in democracy that may ultimately mean our ruin. We just don't seem able to see or accept the fact that money drives policy. It's no wonder that Congress and the White House have been looking the other way as the predators picked the pockets of unsuspecting debtors. Mega banking and investment firms have been some of the biggest providers of the cash vital to keeping incumbents in office. There isn't much appetite for biting - or regulating - the manicured hand that feeds them.

    Guess who gave the most money to candidates in this 2007-08 federal election cycle? That's right, the financial services and real estate industries. They stuffed nearly $250 million into the candidate coffers.


Early 20th c. George Eastman House photos now on Flickr


The 1910 autochrome of medieval cosplayers, cropped above, and the monkey-on-a-rhino gelatin print below are in a set of early 20th century photographs from The George Eastman House, which has joined the flickr commons. I spotted this on photographer Raul Gutierrez' blog (a regular source of joy for me), and there he wrote:

Flickr Commons is a fantastic idea. My wish is that the whole thing could be taken further. Imagine an open source version of flickr dedicated to showing artwork and photography from public institutions in which users had the opportunity to contribute scholarly work or to group images into collections.

George Eastman House's photostream [Flickr]

I also loved this photo of Egyptian women in beautiful dresses; a woman in a fur throw with a corsage, and this stunning, simple portrait. Also, baby rhinos!

Three reporters shot at anti-gun campaign press conference

Water on the Brain

Author Elizabeth Royte chats about the bottled-water boom and backlash

By Michelle Nijhuis

Journalist Elizabeth Royte drinks tap water, but she spends a lot of time thinking about the bottled kind. In her new book, Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It, Royte investigates the causes and consequences of the bottled-water industry's astounding growth.

With her refillable water bottle in hand, Royte travels to Fryeburg, Maine, where a water-pumping operation for Nestle's Poland Spring label divides the town. In the course of her research, she also tastes fancy bottled waters with a water connoisseur, monitors her eight-year-old daughter's water intake, and conducts an informal poll of friends and acquaintances, asking whether they know where their tap water comes from. "Most people, even those who knew exactly how many miles the arugula on their plate had traveled, had no idea," she writes. Royte's own tap water comes from the famously high-quality New York City system -- a network of reservoirs that, with the blessing of the U.S. EPA, makes up the largest unfiltered water supply in the nation.

Grist recently caught up with Royte to talk about hydration myths, anti-bottle mayors, and water snobbery.

Water bottles
question Twenty years ago, you write, bottled water was a niche market in the U.S. Today, it's a more than $10 billion business. What the heck happened? Why did Americans start drinking so much bottled water?

answer The simplest reason is marketing. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on advertising that either told us explicitly or implied that bottled water was better. [Bottled-water companies] used words like pure and natural, and used images of athletes and models and celebrities -- the advertisements were aspirational, they told us we'd be more like these people if we drank this product.

While this marketing juggernaut was going on, there was also, until quite recently, a total absence of criticism. There was no competition from tap water, because utilities don't have their own marketing budgets or ad budgets to tell us, "Tap water is great! Drink more tap water, and you'll be thin, and look more beautiful, and do better yoga poses."

Star Wars photoshopping contest


Shanghainese disco bunny steals UK govt official's heart, nicks his Blackberry

The group stayed at the disco for at least two hours. One senior aide was approached by an attractive Chinese woman. The couple danced and later disappeared together.

The security official said: "In these circumstances it was not wise. Nobody knows exactly what happened after they left. But the next morning he came forward and said: "My BlackBerry is missing." The prime minister's Special Branch protection team were alerted.

Link (via /.)

Media Coverage of Obama and McCain: "Nuts" or a "Disgrace"?


By Eric Boehlert

The Beltway press has become dysfunctional, failing to see news when it happens and hyping non-stories that require no real reporting.

Journalism, by nature, is not difficult. It really isn't. Most of the key attributes for solid reporting and editing come naturally to most people; fairness, hard work, and -- most important -- common sense.

News judgment, for instance, consists mostly of editors and producers using common sense to determine, based on the limited resources at hand, which breaking events and stories should be covered, and which ones can be set aside as less important.

During the slow summer months of a presidential campaign, that judgment and that common sense is usually even easier to put into practice because, traditionally, so little happens on the campaign trail with the candidates that what ought to be covered becomes self-evident.

Yet the Beltway press corps has become so borderline dysfunctional that even the simplest tasks, such as selecting which stories to cover -- such as using common sense -- now escape most of the major players at the mainstream news organizations.

Two events in recent days reaffirmed that sad conclusion, when entire news organizations opted to throw all sorts of time and attention at what was essentially a pointless campaign-related sideshow, while simultaneously displaying blanket indifference to what should have been the campaign story of the week, if not the month or possibly the entire summer.


GOP Candidate Quits, Cites Broken Republican Brand

All Spin Zone

Sure, the Republican brand is broken, adrift without core principles, or at least nobody in the party will abide by what they say are their principles. So Congressional candidate Carl Mumpower has suspended his campaign in protest of the broken Republican brand. Of course, he's getting free press while his campaign is suspended.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Heath Shuler, the Democratic rookie from the 11th District of North Carolina, is going to have a much easier race this November than previously predicted. His opponent, Dr. Carl Mumpower, has suspended his campaign. This has been reported in some Washington DC outlets like Politico, The Hill, and CQPolitics, but the story is told best from the 11th District and the Ashville Citizen-Times:

"I am grateful for this strong signal of unity from the District leaders and honored that my home county and the people who know me best were the first to officially get on board," Mumpower said. "When we get at least seven more county commitments out of the fifteen, then the people of WNC will know that our Republican Party organization stands for something they can count on. The campaign remains on hold until that foundation is firmly in place, and I will not yield."

In a Saturday letter to the 11th Congressional District Chair, Stephen Duncan, Mumpower announced his campaign was on hold until his party formally committed to its core principles and developed a process for holding Republican elected representatives to those principles.

Mumpower faces an uphill battle in unseating incumbent Congressman Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, who was elected in 2006. But he said Monday he felt he must take this step before proceeding with his campaign.

"I'm not going to be doing any fundraising or advertising — there won't be any active campaigning for the Republican Party," Mumpower said Monday. "I'll put things on hold until I get party officials to commit to the principles and to the process of holding elected officials accountable."

Mumpower, an Asheville City Councilman, said he was particularly troubled by a recent vote in Congress to override President Bush's veto of the Farm Bill. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and Shuler, a Waynesville Democrat, both voted to override a bill that Mumpower says is laden with "pork and special interests."

Citing core principles of small government, fiscal restraint and stricter immigration enforcement, Mumpower said his party has strayed from what the American people want.

Oh, this could very well be a "tactic," but the reasons behind Mumpower's decision are telling. He's saying that Republicans in this country are not living up to their principles. In short, he is acknowledging that the Republican Brand is broken. Given Republicans and their hesitancy in recognizing that they've spoiled their reputation, it is also surprising that other Republicans agree with Mumpower that the Republican brand is broken: