Some retailers are buying counterfeits and mixing it in with legitimate product.
by Tony Longworth on March 27, 2013
- Most parents can’t get their kid to take out the garbage. This 19 year-old has invented a system for cleaning 7 million tons of plastic from the World’s oceans. Boyan Slat envisions a system of plastic boons tied between floating processing platforms that would sort the plastic from plankton and retrieve it for recycling. The system would be set up around some of the World’s largest garbage patches.
- Portugal: 12 Years after decriminalizing drugs.
- Ecuador auctions off 3 million acres of rain-forest to Chinese oil companies.
- A fight between an anti-Spam organization and a web host threatens to slow down the Global Internet, effecting services like Netflix and banking websites. It is being described as the largest DDOS attack in history, reaching 300 Gbps.
- Russian authorities raided an office of NY based Human Rights organization.Organizations primarily funded from outside of Russia are considered “foreign agents” and are subject to more rigorous checks.
- Turkish police fire teargas at protesting Syrian refugees.
- North Korea cuts last line of communication with South Korea.
- Trained actors in the UK provide Rent-a-Mourner services.
- Visual Data Point: The Shifting Economic Centre of Gravity:
by Tony Longworth on March 26, 2013
- Victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre have reported being harassed by NRA pro-Gun robocalls.
- Michelle Bachmann under ethics investigation for campaign finance issues.
- The Scottish Government has approved a wind farm that Donald Trump has been fighting against.
- Legislation protecting creators of GMOs from being sued over potential health risks quietly sneaks through Congress attached to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill.
- An Italian Court has overturned the acquittal of Amanda Knox in the murder of Meredith Kercher, and have requested a retrial.
- Syrian rebels have begun to fight amongst themselves.
- North Korea threatens U.S. Mainland and Pacific Rim assets.
- More people on Earth have access to mobile phones than working toilets.
- Anonymous hacks Mossad website giving them access to data and the identity of 30,000 spies.
by Tony Longworth on March 25, 2013
- Cyprus negotiated a deal with the EU to stall a bank failure and the complete collapse of the Cypriot economy. Deposit accounts over 100,000 Euros will face a “one off” tax levy of 20-40 percent. Russians, who hold a substantial amount of the foreign deposits in Cypriot banks, protested the decision as “stealing”… ironic when you consider that most Russian money held in Cypriot banks is apparently derived from organized crime. Does the bailout give banks the power to blithely seize personal accounts to pay for their errant speculation?
- The body of exiled former Russian Billionaire Boris Berezovsky was found in his UK home over the weekend. UK Police say his death is “consistent with hanging.” At this time, there is no evidence of third party involvement, but a suicide note has not been found.
- Japan discovers sea bed deposits of rare earth minerals used in hi-tech applications.
- Check out North Korea’s hilarious new propaganda video: An imaginary three-day war where they defeat the U.S. and capture 150,000 troops. Shine on, Crazies!
- 1000 dead ducks were pulled from a river in China. This follows the discover of 16,000 pig corpses last week in the Hangpu, the river supplying Shanghai with its drinking water.
- The art of George W. Bush
- Britain’s extreme spring weather linked to melting sea ice.
- Hungary destroys 1000 acres of Monsanto GMO Maize fields.
- China buys 24 fighter jets and four submarines from Russia
- TED shows visions of the Future.
c/o Charles Fréger < < Wilder Mann Image of The Savage
The bear is the wild man’s close counterpart—in some legends the bear is his father. A beast that walks upright, the bear also hibernates in winter. The symbolic death and rebirth of hibernation herald the arrival of spring with all its plenty. For festival participants, says Fréger, “becoming a bear is a way to express the beast and a way to control the beast.”
Traditionally the festivals are also a rite of passage for young men. Dressing in the garb of a bear or wild man is a way of “showing your power,” says Fréger. Heavy bells hang from many costumes to signal virility.
- Rachel Hartigan Shea < <National Geographic
The following clip may be for you if you were at all surprised that the end of the Bush W. administration did not bring about an end to the Bush wars, or the Bush war shenanigans, or Gitmo, or that the Obama presidency has shown less than zero appetite for pursuing and prosecuting Bush officials who lied, deceived, profiteered, and engaged in such war crimes as unprovoked war, attacks on civilians, use of banned weapons, torture, and illegal detention, or that two resounding Democratic presidential victories still find America hip-deep and drone-high in dirty undeclared wars, or that in a Washington DC where every player and every entity supposedly clings tenaciously to its every power and perogative, Congress shows not even tepid interest in asserting its sole legal right to make war, or that in these times of tough austerity talk, the defense budget remains sacrosanct, the REAL third rail of US politics.
Even if you are not surprised by any of the above, you should probably watch this fascinating period-piece from the dusty archives of access television (the proto-podcast medium). It was recorded shortly after the election of George H. W. Bush in 1988 and opens with the question, ‘how did a man so steeped in the scandals of the Reagan period and so caked in dirt and blood from his time in the CIA, manage to eke out a presidential victory?’
I worked for [Bush], I witnessed personally his supervising the CIA’s covering up of illegal activity at the end of the Angola operation, in early 1976. And he was actually fending off a hostile Congress, instead of investigating and firing the perpetrators of crimes, he was fending off the FBI and the Congress, on at least three or four major CIA criminal activities.
The show was broadcast at a time when the USSR had already begun its dramatic implosion. Within eight months, Solidarity would win power in Poland, and the whole of the East Bloc would teeter and collapse. Talk would soon turn to the ‘peace dividend’, the massive economic gains that western powers would enjoy now that the Cold War was over. Defense, intelligence and security budgets could be cut back, and Eastern European markets would open up. Google ‘peace dividend’ today, and you won’t find much. (Talk would also turn to the inevitable break-down of communist China, but that didn’t happen either.)
The program is Alternative Views which broadcast out of Austin Community Television from 1978 to 1998, often on little budget (watch the co-host leap up to man a camera to get the show rolling, then yell out his questions or comments from the far side of the lens). The guest is John Stockwell who served thirteen years in the CIA, in Congo, Vietnam, Angola, before resigning in 1976. His book, In Search of Enemies (1978) caused the agency to sue him, dropping the case only after he was bankrupted.
The images of China people know are of crowded metropolises, constant construction and factories. It’s too easy to forget that this massive country contains some vast regions of wilderness, from lush jungles to desolate sands, and they are stunningly beautiful.
I have been to Xinjiang, the western-most and largest province, where the people look like they should be in a Emir Kusturica film, not a Zhang Yimou one, and where, on an excursion to the Turpan basin, the second lowest point in the world (where a thermometer registered 50 degrees – but it was a bone-drying heat), I was awed by the expanse of nothing.
Here’s a trailer for biking film, Where the Trail Ends, (free-ride? All these sub-cultures) that is much like a skiing film: big mountains and people plummeting down slopes most people wouldn’t walk, even roped up. At first – along with just clicking on the video and not reading the title - with the faces, the Chinese-muslim hats, the Chinese and Arabic script on the sign, and the grilling of lamb skewers (oh, so so good with the Uighur flat bread and a freezing cold Wusu beer), I figured maybe south Xinjiang, around the Taklamakan desert (which I have plans to ride around, not through, one day). It’s the Gobi, so the other, northern border.
by Tony Longworth on March 22, 2013
- Starbucks CEO: We support marriage equality ,”and if you don’t like it, sell your stock.”
- Chicago plans to close dozens of schools to combat a billion dollar deficit. The closures effect up to 10% of Chicago area schools.
- An embarrassed South Korea admitted today that hacking attack on several banks and media companies systems was actually an inside job, not China .
- A 60 car pileup caused chaos, yesterday, on a Canadian Highway following a sudden snowstorm in Alberta. 100 people were injured, mostly minor, but one serious.
- The Eurozone is scrambling to contain a possible collapse of the Cypriot economy.
- Scottish independence referendum given firm date: 18 September, 2014.
- A Kuwaiti man who insulted the Emir on Twitter has had his prison sentence extended to five years
- The Northeast United States is about to be hit by a plague of locusts . Probably my fault somehow.
- A Quantum Leap forward in computing power : Lockheed Martin is about to commercially deploy a new computing system based on quantum mechanics.
- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy under formal investigation for campaign funding fraud .
- China returns defecting soldiers back to North Korea .
- Anti-Taliban uprisings spread among Afghan Villages .
- Al-Qaeda in Northen Africa have beheaded a French hostage in Africa in retaliation for military action in Mali. Philippe Verdon, a French Geologist, has been held since his capture in November, 2011. French authorities are still seeking confirmation of Verdon’s death.
…or why the banks of Cyprus dare not open
More on the subject, including the Russian mafia angle, with Costas Lapavitsas after the break. Read the rest of this entry »