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Delicious AND nutritious: Study finds that years of smoking pot seems to increase lung function!
01.11.2012
02:49 pm

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Science/Tech

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Speaking as someone who would make a definitive study of one, I was pleased to read that marijuana smoking apparently does very little lung damage:

Via Vulture:

A government study, one of the most extensive examinations ever of the long-term effects of marijuana use, has found that smoking one joint a day for 7 years, or one joint a week for 49 years, does not impair lung function. In fact, “marijuana users performed slightly better on the lung function test” than people who don’t smoke anything. The study did not measure the effects of smoking a joint the size of a zucchini.

I might be able to help out there…

Marijuana Smoking Does Not Harm Lungs, Study Finds (New York Times)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Pink Floyd: Gems from the original soundtrack of ‘More’ (1969)
01.11.2012
01:52 pm

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Movies
Music

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For one of the top-selling rock groups of all time, there are several albums by Pink Floyd that are virtually unknown to the vast majority of people who would call themselves “big” Pink Floyd fans (but who only own The Wall and The Dark Side Of The Moon).

One album is their 1969 soundtrack recording for German director Barbet Schroeder’s More, an English language film about heroin addicts in Ibiza modeled on the Icarus myth.

As Roger Waters said of the working on More:

“His [Barbet Schroeder’s] feeling about music for movies was, in those days, that he didn’t want a soundtrack to go behind the movie. All he wanted was, literally, if the radio was switched on in the car, for example, he wanted something to come out of the car. Or someone goes and switches the TV on, or whatever it is. He wanted the soundtrack to relate exactly to what was happening in the movie, rather than a film score backing the visuals.”

Speaking of visuals, More was shot by Academy Award- winning cinematographer Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven).

It might be hard to imagine “The Nile Song,” which is undoubtedly the heaviest song in the entire Pink Floyd canon, taking a backseat to what’s going on onscreen:
 

 
The gorgeous “Cymbaline,” sung by David Gilmour, is only heard in the film on someone’s record player. This slower live performance was filmed in the Abbaye De Royaumont, 30 miles north of Paris, in 1971. This would have been one of the final live performances of this song as they would soon drop it from their concert repertoire in favor of the material that would become Dark Side of the Moon.
 

 
After the jump, much more ‘More’!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kate Bush on her favorite vegetarian dishes, 1980
01.11.2012
01:49 pm

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Amusing
Food
Music

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Another BBC curio from the vaults, here we have Kate Bush talking about her favorite vegetarian dishes on the TV show Delia Smith’s Cookery Course in 1980. Smith is a bit of a legend of British broadcasting, having hosted cookery shows since the early 70s, That doesn’t stop the food in this clip looking a bit, well, bland I’m afraid, but Bush aficionados will be glad to hear the story of how she turned vegetarian, and overjoyed to have this first hand peek into her eating habits:
 

 
Thanks to Philip McEachen!

After the jump, the video for Bush’s 1993 single “Eat The Music”...

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Google Street View tells an odd story
01.11.2012
12:09 pm

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Okay, This is even weirder than the hovering pliers-shaped spaceship previously spotted in the UK. You need to *click* on the woman taking a stroll at this Brazilian address: R. Flor de Tipuana - Santa Terezinha. Then look at what happens.

This is just odd, right?  But what is even stranger are the events Redditors noticed on Google Street View that follow:

Redditor anexanhume says: “I offer the following without comment.”

Redditor squidesquide then points out: “Now I feel bad for her.”

Finally, Redditor danc4498 notices: “I feel like these people are laughing at her.”

Jeez, I hope she’s all right! . 

(via reddit)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Listen to newly discovered Doors track: ‘She Smells So Nice’
01.11.2012
11:35 am

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Music

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When producer Bruce Botnick was putting together the new 40th anniversary edition of the Doors classic L.A. Woman, he discovered the tape of an unreleased song recorded during those sessions titled “She Smells So Nice.”

Considering how many times this album has been released and re-released over four decades (the 5.1 surround mix in the Perception box set that came out in 2006 is the one I listen to, it’s great) and that this is probably the final time it’ll come out on any kind of disc media, it’s about time they gave the public a lil’ something new.

Pre-order the new 40th anniversary edition of L.A. Woman at Amazon.
 

  She Smells So Nice by The Doors Official

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘OK, no job!’
01.11.2012
10:16 am

Topics:
Books

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Here’s a scan from the book More Picture Stories: Language and Problem-Posing Activities for Beginners which is “perfect for students with little or no literacy skills in English.”

Basically, this a picture book for people who speak little or no English and are just arriving to the United States. The above picture depicts the classic “casting couch” scenario.

(via reddit)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
PARENTAL FAIL: Bigoted Girl Scout wants national cookie boycott over transgender scouts


 
A 14-year-old California Girl Scout named Taylor is attempting to start a nationwide boycott of Girl Scout Cookies due to a 7-year-old transgender child being allowed to join the Girl Scouts in Colorado.

I watched this video posted at Joe.My.God this morning and my expression turned into the same one I always sport when I listen to a close-minded bigot speaking, but this seemed even worse because it was coming from a child…

From what I can make of her argument, young Taylor here seems to think that high school age boys are suddenly going to want to wear drag and join the Girl Scouts so they can rape her or something?

Taylor, there are far, far easier ways for teenage boys to get laid!

No surprise, the loopy contingent at WingNutDaily is all for it:

After controversy arose over the potential admission of Colorado 7-year-old Bobby Montoya last month, The Girl Scouts of Colorado released a statement explaining, “We accept all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

Rachelle Trujillo, vice president for communications of the Colorado Girl Scouts, added, “If a child is living as a girl, that’s good enough for us. We don’t require any proof of gender.”

According to a report in the Baptist Press, Trujillo also affirmed transgendered children are currently serving in Girl Scout troops across the U.S., though she declined to give details.

Taylor, however, cites in the video GSUSA materials that outline the importance of the Scouts’ all-girl format and expresses concern about 12th-grade boys passing themselves off as girls.

“The real question is, why is GSUSA willing to break their own safety rules and go against its own research institute findings to accommodate transgender boys?” Taylor asks. “Unfortunately, I think it is because GSUSA cares more about promoting the desires of a small handful of people than it does for my safety and the safety of my friends and sister Girl Scouts, and they are doing it with money we earned for them from Girl Scout cookies.”

No Taylor, the real question is “What do YOU personally hope to gain from this?” That’s the question I think all intolerant people should ask themselves before the go on record with their tiny thoughts on YouTube. Taylor, did you really think this through? Do you really want to be the Rebecca Black of intolerance? For the rest of your life?

Pretty soon, Taylor’s last name is going to come out. It seems inevitable that she’s going to face an Internet backlash for this obnoxious video. The Internet has a rather long and unforgiving memory. It’s going to come up every time some one will do a Google search for her. To all future employers, college admission officers, potential boyfriends, she’s going to be this girl. No matter what her thoughts on this matter might evolve into when she’s an adult (not that I have especially high hopes that Taylor is ever going to be a tolerant or open-minded person, but who knows?) is she prepared for her new life with an Encyclopedia Dramatica entry?

And then there is the matter of how she replied to someone a few minutes ago on YouTube. It’s not her chastity that she’s worried about, is it, despite what she says in the video?

@AgentHaun Now, who’s the “hater?” I have to say, I approved this comment to reveal what the Gay-Lesbian-Transgender-Inters­ex-Questioning activism is full of. Intolerance for religion, intolerance for straight people, intolerance for Truth, especially when the facts are presented before them. I have deleted so many of these types of comments, but the Truth is, you all cannot disprove the facts in this video, which makes you angry and hurtful. I’ll just keep deleting.
HonestGirlScouts 4 minutes ago

“Intolerance for religion, intolerance for straight people, intolerance for Truth…” that gets to the heart of why this is so annoying:  Christians who think THEY are somehow the victims of the LGBT community.

Taylor’s an idiot, but she’s also just a stupid kid. Her parents are the ones at fault here for raising such a petty, close-minded child.

“Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world” or doesn’t he?

I’m directing that question to you, Taylor’s parents.

They taught her this way of looking at the world and gave her their approval and full support when she decided she was going to go ahead and do this. I blame them. They are the ones who should have told her—even if they agreed—that this was a bad idea and will have unforeseen consequences for her in future.

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I’m still making that face as I type this.

If you want to show your support for the Girl Scouts of America for being an open-minded organization, why not buy extra cookies this year just to spite the haters!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
ART THOUGHTZ: Damien Hirst is ‘The Bono of the Art World’
01.11.2012
09:00 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

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Hennessy Youngman may not know that much about artist Damien Hirst, but that won’t stop him. His wide-eyed rant about Damien Hirst being “the Bono of the art world” is wildly entertaining.
 

 
(via The World’s Best Ever)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Carl Theodor Dreyer: ‘Vampyr’ from 1932
01.10.2012
05:21 pm

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Movies
Music

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vampyr_1932
 
Carl Theodor Dreyer preferred to work with non-actors, as he believed they offered a more reactive performance. In truth, it was because non-professionals did as he said without question or interpretation, which gave Dreyer greater control over the film. Jacques Tati and Pier Paolo Pasolini similarly used non-actors. With Tati it often blighted his films (see Traffic), while for Pasolini it brought something sublime (see The Gospel According to Saint Matthew).

For Dreyer, the use of non-actors in Vampyr (1932), added to the disorienting, dream-like quality, drawing the spectator into a strange and compelling, nightmare world.

Following on from his success with Music for Silents, composer and former Banshee, Steven Severin, has written a fantastic new soundtrack for Vampyr, which he will be performing at special screenings of the film across the UK during January and February. Dates include, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Bradford, York, Hackney, Brixton, Brighton, Stratford Upon Avon, Ambleside, Oswestry, Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter, Hebden Bridge, Nottingham, Birmingham, Lancaster & Salford. Details here.

Steven will also be releasing a CD of the soundtrack, which you can order directly form his website.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
How they see our anti-intellectual Republicans from another country
01.10.2012
03:43 pm

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In this case, England. In the editorial pages of today’s Telegraph, Assistant Comment Editor Tom Chivers made this, as far as I am concerned, completely accurate assessment of the brain dead freak show that the modern Republican party has become. He writes in Republicans turn their back on the Enlightenment:

The Grand Ol’ Party (GOP), as the Republicans are known, has an uncomfortable relationship with scientific fact. Rick Santorum, a frontrunner in the nomination race, has said of a fellow candidate: “If he wants to believe he is the descendant of a monkey then he has the right to believe that, but I disagree with him on this liberal belief.” Yes: acknowledging biology’s central premise is “liberal”. His opponents Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachman and Newt Gingrich have all made noises doubting either climate change, evolution or both; only Jon Huntsman, a forlorn no-hoper, acknowledges the reality of both.

It’s not just the candidates. Fifty-two per cent of Republican voters reject the theory of evolution, saying mankind was created in present form within the last 10,000 years; just 31 per cent think man-made climate change is happening. In Congress, Republicans fought stem cell research and the HPV vaccine. Sarah Palin, ignoramus-in-chief, mocked “fruit-fly research” as a “pet project [with] little or nothing to do with the public good,” rejecting at a stroke most advances in genetics since Gregor Mendel.

Boom! Cracking good line, that…

This Nixonian strategy actually changed conservative psychology, according to [Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science and Unscientific America]. “It’s been argued convincingly that when you energise people around these sort of [hot button issues like gay marriage, abortion, the war on Christmas] you get an authoritarian streak coming out, characterised by rigidity and inflexibility, thinking that you’re absolutely right and the other side is absolutely wrong; a need for certainty, a need for order.” This black-and-white thinking does not sit well with science’s error bars and uncertainties.

Worse, it’s become a vicious circle. The Republican party is trapped by its own anti-science tactics. Part of the culture war strategy included attacking intellectuals: describing them as weak and spineless and effete. Academics, always liberal-inclined, responded by becoming more so: “They’re so overwhelmingly liberal now it’s kind of ridiculous, and so is the scientific community. The Democratic party is drawing the votes of people with advanced degrees, and the Republican party is not,” says Mooney. So, in turn, the Republican party reacted by becoming ever more distrustful of intellectualism, and pushing wave after wave of scientists and academics from the Right to the Left. “The more the Republican party rejects nuance and attacks knowledge, the more the people who have knowledge go the other way. It shows in statistics about liberalism among professors and scientists, and distribution of PhDs across the parties: there’s a giant knowledge and expertise gap.”

And to appeal to this anti-intellectual base, the Republican elite now have to pretend to be stupider than they are. Gingrich, who in earlier years repeatedly acknowledged the dangers of climate change, suddenly dropped a chapter written by a climate scientist from an upcoming book after getting challenged on air by Rush Limbaugh, the hugely influential Right-wing talk radio host; Mitt Romney moved from “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that” to “We don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet” in the space of three months.

So expertly observed. So true!

Do they mean it, or is it pandering to their anti-intellectual base? “Santorum, Bachmann and Perry are completely out of touch with reality. With Romney and Gingrich, many people get the impression that they know what’s right and what’s wrong, but can’t say it,” says Mooney.

Perhaps. But nowadays, to get far in the Republican party, you can’t be part of what George Bush might call the reality-based community. It’s a worrying state of affairs: America is becoming an intellectual two-speed nation, with a technocratic, informed elite and a scientifically illiterate rump who are falling behind economically in their increasingly knowledge-based economy. The GOP is increasingly the party of the uneducated: it’s bad enough for them, but if it means voting stupid people, or people who are pretending to be stupid, into the most powerful office in the world, it’s bad for the rest of us too.

Plus one! I mean come on, how is this not 100% accurate? Barney Frank was right with his suggestion for the Democrats: “We’re not perfect, but they’re nuts.”

Republicans turn their back on the Enlightenment (The Telegraph)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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