Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"no one is sure exactly how LSD ended up on the Buchla Model 100 at Cal State"

This hits the sweet spot for my music, obscure music gear, and former psychedelic drug-use interests:
"According to a report by San Francisco KPIX 5, Curtis opened a red-paneled module on the Buchla, at which point he saw 'a crust or a crystalline residue on it.' Curtis sprayed a cleaning solvent on the area and attempted to dislodge the crystal with his finger. After 45 minutes, Curtis was overcome with a strange tingling sensation, followed by a nine-hour trip.
The substance found on the instrument was later tested and identified as LSD. An anonymous LSD researcher and expert later confirmed to KPIX that the drug can remain potent for decades if stored in a cool, dark place, and that it is possible to ingest LSD through the skin.
The instrument’s inventor—the late Don Buchla of Berkeley—was heavily enmeshed in 1960s counterculture; in 1966, his synthesizers found their way onto a school bus purchased by acid advocate Ken Kesey and his followers. Buchla was also a friend of Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead’s sound engineer, and manufacturer of a highly potent strain of LSD. Despite the connections between Buchla and acid, however, no one is sure exactly how LSD ended up on the Buchla Model 100 at Cal State."
/gets up, raises lit lighter, falls down and passes out.

More on Don Buchla.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Throwing Milkshakes At Fascists Is The New Punching Nazis In The Face (And Both Are The Right Thing To Do)

We live in an era where White Supremacists routinely walk into churches, synagogues, and mosques and commit mass murder, sometimes in the name of Trump.

But god forbid somebody throws a milkshake and ruins the jacket of a known fascist:
"What these critiques misunderstand is why milkshaking is so potent against Farage and his brethren: It humiliates them. Nothing animates the far right or shapes its worldview quite so much as the desire to humiliate others—and the fear of being humiliated themselves. It’s why alt-right trolls, projecting their own sexual insecurities, enjoy calling their opponents 'cucks.' It’s why they rally around blustery authoritarian figures like Donald Trump who cast themselves as beyond embarrassment, shame, or ridicule. They brandish humiliation like a weapon while craving release from it.
Getting doused in a milkshake robs far-right figures of the air of chauvinistic invulnerability that they spend so much time cultivating. They hunger to be taken seriously despite their racist views. They want to be described as dapper, to be interviewed on evening news broadcasts and weekend talk-show panels, and to be seen as a legitimate participant in the democratic process. Most politicians to the left of Enoch Powell would brush off milkshaking as a harmless stunt. For those seeking mainstream legitimacy, it’s another searing reminder that they don’t belong."
Why right-wing appeals for the left to be "polite" to them in the face of literal mass murder is beyond me.  Relatively speaking, a milkshake to the head is a perfectly measured counter-statement to the violence, implied and actual, of White Supremacism.

Time To Move On With Our Lives

Gay of Thrones, S8E6 (final)

So, the final episode of Game of Thrones was, in my Highly Scientific and Maesterly opinion, O.K.  Just fine.  Just enough.

It's been seven years people.  The idea that we could get the "perfect" G.R.R. Martin ending if only we went another ten episodes / two years is just preposterous.  The HBO writers did a reasonable job with spotty material from an author who is excellent at character and world building, but water-tight plot development and resolution not so much.

The end.

(Would have liked to see Gendry at least take a seat on his own throne at Storm's End.  Or a surprise Nymeria appearance.  But here's me not bitching about it on the internet.)


Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Future Isn't At Home

"Brain Drain" is a phenomenon typically associated with aspirational folks in poor countries moving to richer ones for education and work.  But in 2019, with the fourth largest economy in Asia and an astounding college graduation rate of over 80 percent, many younger South Koreans can only find jobs (encouraged by their own government) outside of the nation:
"While India and other countries face similar challenges in creating jobs for skilled labor, the dominance of family-run conglomerates known as chaebol makes South Korea uniquely vulnerable.
The top 10 conglomerates including world-class brands such as Samsung and Hyundai, make up half of South Korea’s total market capitalization.
But only 13 percent of the country’s workforce is employed by firms with more than 250 employees, the second lowest after Greece in the OECD, and far below the 47 percent in Japan. 'The big companies have mastered a business model to survive without boosting hiring,' as labor costs rise and firing legacy workers remains difficult, said Kim So-young, an economics professor at Seoul National University.'"
It doesn't help matters that South Korea is also in the middle of an ongoing demographic crisis due to a lack of babies being born.  Every young person who moves abroad is likely to stay abroad, and more than likely to start a family away from Korea.

"not a moment to mince words"

Laurie Penny brings the fire here -- "The Criminalization of Women's Bodies Is All About Conservative Male Power":
"It’s time to be completely clear. Forcing a woman to give birth against her will is morally equivalent to rape. It’s exactly the same logic of entitlement and abuse: Men get to control women’s bodies. Female sexual agency must be punished. Women’s consent does not matter.
This is not a moment to mince words. This is a moment for moral clarity. Women’s personhood is not conditional. Women’s sexuality is not shameful. The only shameful thing, the only thing that no citizen who believes even fractionally in freedom should tolerate, is a world in which women are treated like things."
In growing parts of America, rapists are now literally less culpable than the women they rape and the doctors who treat them.