Tag Archives: United States

We will not bow to masters or pay rent to the lords!

2 Apr

You poor take courage you rich take care!

Oh Billy Bragg

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My unlikey-do list #1

27 Mar

I am making a “Bucket List” of sorts, the “of sorts” part being that I don’t have any real plans of doing most of these but would do most of them in a heart beat if they were presented to me as a possibility.

I’ll put more up as I get around to it. Here’s number 1 on my list.

#1 Attend a feminist rally

27 Mar

I’ve found one! I’ve found one! My God, they exisit.

28 Sep

Daniel Suelo wasn’t poor, a victim of bad luck, mentally ill, or even uneducated. He just decided that he wanted to have nothing to do with money. So he gave up consumer culture altogether, and for the last 9 years, he’s survived by living in a cave in Utah, and dumpster diving, foraging, fishing, and occasionally hunting for food. He spends his time in the great outdoors–and in the public library, where he blogs about it all.

Suelo must have the lowest carbon footprint of any blogger in the United States. And he’s never taken food stamps or other government assistance, and despite what his lifestyle may lead you to believe, he’s certainly not crazy. He’s just got an aversion to money.

According to MatadorChange, he was working in South America when he was first moved to consider a money-free, zero impact lifestyle:

While in Ecuador on a Peace Corps mission, he witnessed a rural community acquire increased monetary wealth through farming and shift their traditional lifestyle towards a diet of unhealthy, processed food and a newfound addiction to television … He made the conscious decision to return home, quit his job, and carve out a life without money.

Suelo himself writes “I’ve been living without a cent to my name since the autumn of 2000 (with a month’s exception during my first year)” on the front page of the website he runs from the public library.

It’s interesting to look at Suelo’s nearly decade-long dedication to anti-consumerism in contrast to the recent ‘eco-stunts’ that essentially promote similar ideals: sure, No Impact Man learned how hard it is to walk up six flights of stairs to get to his apartment for a year, but he he got a film and book deal out of it. Suelo’s got no cameras following him around, and he mostly just uses his blog to wax poetic about his living philosophy.

Of course, few would be willing to take such a plunge into a moneyless, ultra-low impact life. But simply knowing that Suelo has should be enough to make us think a long hard minute about all the stuff we heedlessly buy. Reverend Billy may be the head of the Church of Stop Shopping, but Daniel Suelo is its patron saint.

Vacation.

22 Sep

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people correct negative thought patterns and better adapt to the world around them.

Quick, run out into a highly populated area and grab the closest stranger to you. You’ve got a “one in five” chance of grabbing a very depressed person.

I, a human being of the planet Earth do not agree with that percentage in the least (because I have eyes and ears, I don’t know about you). I’m aiming a bit higher, let’s say one in three at least. Anyway the point is that out of five very depressed people one of them apparently wants to end their life, or at least that’s what Ashley told me over the summer of 2003.

It’s a memorable summer mainly because two people I love snuffed it and I was entering my junior year of High School. Life moves on whether you’re ready or not and in no time I was too busy to reflect. Depression and suicide statistics were a distant memory and things were going well. Then they found her in a tree, and boom, Ashley  became the statistics she always spoke  of. I’ve often thought she might have chosen hanging not because it was easy (it isn’t) but because the statistics of hangings in America have dropped rapidly over the last twenty-five years.

So here’s to you Ashley. I’ve kept my promise, kept going this long. “Stick around till the good parts are gone”.

Facebook and its addicts are the scum of the Earth.

5 Sep
Image representing Bebo as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Don’t like my opinions? I have more.

I rejoined Bebo today, the social network you know little about. There’s something about it that seems slightly more mature, and several shit-tons less addictive. It’s basically where I keep my stats. My Stats House if you will, and I’ll have a link to my profile on the side bar to the left so you can see what I mean, drop me a line, maybe add me as a friend (why must we call it “friends”?).

Anyway enjoy your weekend, I’m buying whiskey.

-onbey

Of course they did.

27 Mar
Big bang

Image via Wikipedia

New Haven, Conn. — For a brief instant, it appears, scientists at Brook­haven National Laboratory on Long Island recently discovered a law of nature had been broken.

Action still resulted in an equal and opposite reaction, gravity kept the Earth circling the Sun, and conservation of energy remained intact. But for the tiniest fraction of a second at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), physicists created a symmetry-breaking bubble of space where parity no longer existed.

Parity was long thought to be a fundamental law of nature. It essentially states that the universe is neither right- nor left-handed — that the laws of physics remain unchanged when expressed in inverted coordinates. In the early 1950s it was found that the so-called weak force, which is responsible for nuclear radioactivity, breaks the parity law. However, the strong force, which holds together subatomic particles, was thought to adhere to the law of parity, at least under normal circumstances.

Now this law appears to have been broken by a team of about a dozen particle physicists, including Jack Sandweiss, Yale’s Donner Professor of Physics. Since 2000, Sandweiss has been smashing the nuclei of gold atoms together as part of the STAR experiment at RHIC, a 2.4-mile-circumference particle accelerator, to study the law of parity under the resulting extreme conditions.

The team created something called a quark-gluon plasma — a kind of “soup” that results when energies reach high enough levels to break up protons and neutrons into their constituent quarks and gluons, the fundamental building blocks of matter.

Theorists believe this kind of quark-gluon plasma, which has a temperature of four trillion degrees Celsius, existed just after the Big Bang, when the universe was only a microsecond old. The plasma “bubble” created in the collisions at RHIC lasted for a mere millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second, yet the team hopes to use it to learn more about how structure in the universe — from black holes to galaxies — may have formed out of the soup.

When the gold nuclei, traveling at 99.999% of the speed of light, smashed together, the plasma that resulted was so energetic that a tiny cube of it with sides measuring about a quarter of the width of a human hair would contain enough energy to power the entire United States for a year.

It was the equally gargantuan magnetic field produced by the plasma — the strongest ever created — that alerted the physicists that one of nature’s laws might have been broken.

“A very interesting thing happened in these extreme conditions,” Sandweiss says. “Parity violation is very difficult to detect, but the magnetic field in conjunction with parity violation gave rise to a secondary effect that we could detect.”

Sandweiss and the team — which includes Yale physics research scientists Evan Finch, Alexei Chikanian and Richard Majka — found that quarks of a like sign moved together: Up quarks moved along the magnetic field lines, while down quarks traveled against them. That the quarks could tell the difference in directions suggested to the researchers that symmetry had been broken.

The results were so unexpected that Sandweiss and his colleagues waited more than a year to publish them, spending that time searching for an alternative explanation. The physicist is still quick to point out that the effect only suggests parity violation — it doesn’t prove it — but the STAR collaboration has decided to open up the research to scrutiny by other physicists.

“I think it’s a real effect, but we’ll know more in the upcoming years,” Sandweiss says.

Next, the team wants to test the result by running the experiment at lower collision energies to see if the apparent violation disappears when there is not enough energy to create the necessary extreme conditions.

If the effect proves to be real, it could help scientists understand a similar asymmetry that led to one of physics’ most fundamental mysteries — namely, why the universe is dominated by ordinary matter today when equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created by the Big Bang.

Sandweiss, for one, is looking forward to some answers. “I’d really like to see this evolve and find out exactly what’s going on,” he says.

Silly scientists.