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Hometown: London
Home country: UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 06:25 PM
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Journal Archives

Creation of new Media company makes media "Death Star" fully operational for Corpulent Persimmon

Donald Trump, ensuring a boundless feast of the hot diarrhea that his audience craves.


Hogs gather around the food trough.
“I saw the chief pig defecate in the trough.” Said Cow
“We are hogs and this is what we eat.” They said, and ate.
“I am a Noted Idiot” said Cow


Why Obama Fears for Our Democracy

In an exclusive interview, the former president identifies the greatest threats to the American experiment, explains why he’s still hopeful, and opens up about his new book.


Barack Obama was describing to me the manner in which the Mongol emperor and war-crimes innovator Genghis Khan would besiege a town. “They gave you two choices,” he said. “‘If you open the gates, we’ll just kill you quickly and take your women and enslave your children, but we won’t slaughter them. But if you hold out, then we’ll slowly boil you in oil and peel off your skin.’” This was not meant to be commentary on the Trump presidency—not directly, at least. In any case, Obama has more respect for Genghis Khan than he has for Donald Trump. He raised the subject of Genghis Khan in order to make a specific, extremely Obama-like point: If you think today’s world is grim, simply cast your mind back 800 years to the steppes of Central Asia. “Compare the degree of brutality and venality and corruption and just sheer folly that you see across human history with how things are now,” he said. “It’s not even close.”

We were sitting at opposite ends of a long table in his office suite in the West End district of Washington. The offices were empty, except for a couple of aides and a discreet Secret Service detail. Obama was in a good mood, happy to discuss the work that has consumed him for more than three years: the writing of A Promised Land, his presidential memoir—or what turns out to be (because he has much to say about many things) the first of two volumes of his presidential memoir. The first volume’s 768 pages carry him from childhood to the bin Laden raid of 2011. A publication date for the next instalment, which will presumably cover such issues as the Syrian civil war, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Iran nuclear deal, has not yet been announced. A Promised Land is an unusual presidential memoir in many ways: unusually interior, unusually self-critical, unusually modern (this is the first presidential memoir, I believe, to use the term ethereal bisexual to describe an unrequited love interest), and unusually well written. The book does suffer at times from a general too-muchness, and it has its arid stretches, although to be fair, no one has yet invented a way to inject poetry into extended explanations of cap-and-trade, or Mitch McConnell’s motivations.

We covered a lot of ground in our face-to-face discussion, which took place on Wednesday, and in a follow-up call on Friday. The broadest subject of our conversation was the arc of the moral universe: Does it still bend toward justice? Does it even exist? When Obama was elected 12 years ago, the arc seemed more readily visible, at least to that swath of the country interested in seeing someone other than a white male become president. But he now recognizes that the change he represented triggered an almost instantaneous backlash, one that culminated in the “birther” conspiracy that catapulted its prime propagandist, Donald Trump, to the White House. “What I think is indisputable is that I signified a shift in power. Just my mere presence worried folks, in some cases explicitly, in some cases subconsciously,” Obama said. “And then there were folks around to exploit that and tap into that. If a Fox News talking head asks, when Michelle and I dap, give each other a fist bump, ‘Is that a terrorist fist bump?,’ that’s not a particularly subtle reference. If there’s a sign in opposition to the ACA in which I’m dressed as an African witch doctor with a bone through my nose, that’s not a hard thing to interpret.”

For Obama, though, the overarching story of America, and all humanity, is one of fitful progress—and nothing about the past four years has seemed to change his mind. Joe Biden’s election is proof that America moves forward; the persistence of racial animus and resentment-driven populism represents the difficulty of maintaining momentum. Obama’s you-think-you-have-it-so-bad invocation of Genghis Khan was prompted by a passage I read aloud to him. It is a brief peak-Obama, “Ozymandias”-inflected passage about a visit to Egypt. Obama recalls brooding over a face of a forgotten figure etched into an ancient wall, a face that resembled his. “All of it was forgotten now, none of it mattered, the pharaoh, the slave, and the vandal all long turned to dust. Just as every speech I’d delivered, every law I passed and decision I made, would be forgotten. Just as I and all those I loved would someday turn to dust.”


Fuseika House Can Be Entirely Opened To Its Surroundings


Located in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, Fuseika House by T-Square Design Associates measures only 114 sq.m. but thanks to the possibility of completely opening three facades, feels a whole lot bigger.

Positioned between two rivers, T-Square Design Associates envisioned a house in which air conditioning wasn’t necessary, replaced by the river breeze blowing freely through the property. Fuseika House features a neutral zone between the interior and exterior perimeter bordered by sliding louvre doors. This design allows the residents to control light, wind and even the privacy of the house by moving the doors according to the weather or time of day.

The open perimeter of Fuseika House is made possible by the reinforced concrete structure which forms the main frame of the project. As well as being central to the structure of the property, the raw concrete interiors contrast in texture and colour to the wooden sliding doors and details.

The minimal interiors of the house are matched by the restrained use of materials in the structure: the concrete main frame is accompanied only by wood. This dialled-back use of materials shifts the focus almost entirely to the innovative form of Fuseika House.

Egypt Unearths New Mummies Dating Back 2,500 Years

More than 100 painted wooden coffins, many with bodies, were found in the necropolis of Saqqara, officials said. After several recent finds at the site, it’s the largest discovery there this year.



Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed more than 100 delicately painted wooden coffins, some with mummies inside, and 40 funeral statues in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, the Egyptian antiquities authorities said, calling the discovery the largest find at the site this year. The sealed, wooden coffins, some containing mummies, date as far back as 2,500 years and are “in perfect condition of preservation,” Khaled el-Enany, the Egyptian minister of tourism and antiquities, told reporters in Saqqara on Saturday. The fine quality of the coffins meant that they were probably the final resting places for the wealthiest citizens, officials said.

Other artifacts discovered include funeral masks, canopic jars and amulets. “This discovery is very important because it proves that Saqqara was the main burial of the 26th Dynasty,” Zahi Hawass, an Egyptologist, told the magazine Egypt Today, referring to the rulers from about the mid 600s B.C. to 525 B.C. It would also enrich existing knowledge about mummifications in that period, he added. The artifacts and coffins will eventually be exhibited at several museums in Egypt, including the Grand Egyptian Museum, a sprawling archaeological center under construction near the Giza Pyramids that is expected to open next year.

Saqqara, a city about 20 miles south of Cairo, is a vast necropolis for the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis, and it has long been the source of major archaeological finds. Made a UNESCO world heritage site in the 1970s, the necropolis holds more than a dozen burial sites, including the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, the first known burial pyramid. In a dramatic flourish at the news conference on Saturday, experts opened a coffin and scanned a mummy with an X-ray, determining it was most likely a man around the age of 40. The discovery announced on Saturday is the most recent in a series of historical finds at the site. Officials said in October that they had found 59 intact coffins.

More discoveries are predicted at the site, with archaeologists expecting to find in 2021 an ancient workshop that prepared bodies for mummification. The latest discovery comes as Egypt is making a concerted effort to draw visitors back to the country, which depends heavily on tourism. Political problems, including a 2011 uprising that toppled the longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, coupled with terrorist attacks and other instability have deterred tourists, and the coronavirus pandemic has dealt another blow. According to a Times database, Egypt has reported 110,547 total virus cases, with an average of 226 new infections per day over the last week. The country reopened its borders to visitors in July.


"L'accident d'automobile" (1905)

un film des frères Lumière au suspense insoutenable et aux effets spéciaux bluffants ! [version 4K colorisée]



White Women's Support for Trump Remains High in 2020 Election

White women have to answer for backing the Republican nominee yet again.


After voting early in Chicago this year, I grabbed one of the many “I voted!” stickers fanned out in rows on the table next to the ballot-processing machine. As I exited my polling place, I tucked the sticker between the pages of the book I’d brought to read while I waited in line to vote, thinking I’d wait to peel and wear it a few days later, on Election Day. That day, I sat at my desk, scouring the internet for images of people finding moments of joy at the polls. I’ll admit I was allowing myself to feel cautiously optimistic. Then, hours before the polls closed, early exit polling started being released. We’d known all along it could take days, even weeks, for a winner in the 2020 presidential election to be announced, but these early returns — even if they’re not always totally reliable — began to tell a story about the electorate.

One statistic registered like a block of lead in my gut: Exit polls conducted by Edison Research found that while a reported 57% of women overall voted for Joe Biden this year, 55% of white women voted for Trump — representing at least a two-point increase for this demographic since 2016. I’ve always loved to collect my “I voted!” sticker following any election, presidential or otherwise. I’ve never taken my constitutional right to vote for granted, and as a white woman, there’s an inherent privilege in doing so. Depressingly enough, this is a privilege an apparent majority of white women seem to have wielded like a weapon for the second election in a row. The stickers that the City of Chicago passed out this year were themed around the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which was passed in 1920 and prohibits the government from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex.

But as most of us know by now, it was really only white women who benefited from the 19th Amendment’s passage and protections. In 2016, when given the choice between a woman whose record includes stints as first lady, U.S. senator, and U.S. Secretary of State, versus a man who was accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 different women prior to the 2016 election, a plurality of white women opted instead for the latter — a reality TV star turned a one-term, impeached president who is the embodiment of white patriarchy, a system in which white women have always been protected at the cost of everyone else. If internalized sexism was to blame for white women’s choice in 2016, how to explain 2020, an election in which voters had the choice between two demographically identical old white men?

As a voting bloc, white women seemingly doubled down in their support of Trump, opting to align themselves against science, reproductive rights, diplomacy, and economic solvency in support of the spoils they (we?) reap as secondary benefactors of white privilege. We know that white women tend to vote along policy versus demographic lines, so is it safe to assume that white women don’t care about the rising death toll caused by this pandemic? That the legions of women out of work and the ensuing wage gap and widening achievement gap are not of concern for them? The states that turned blue for Biden in the days following November 3 were carried by the work of women of color who turned out voters in urban areas. The fanfare surrounding Biden’s win has highlighted the support he generated amongst “an unlikely alliance of women, people of color, old and young voters, and a sliver of disaffected Republicans,” as the New York Times put it — but it is categorically false to claim this was a victory won by all women.


Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Apollo ‎– AMB LP 3922
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Nov 1992
Techno, IDM, Electro, Experimental, Ambient


Xtal 4:51
Tha 9:01
Pulsewidth 3:47
Ageispolis 5:21
I 1:13
Green Calx 6:02
Heliosphan 4:51
We Are The Music Makers 7:42
Schottkey 7th Path 5:07
Ptolemy 7:12
Hedphelym 6:02
Delphium 5:36
Actium 7:35

Selected Ambient Works 85-92

by David M. Pecoraro
FEBRUARY 19 2002

Stop me if this gets sappy. And it might.


Because Selected Ambient Works 85-92—recently reissued by PIAS America—was the very first electronic music I ever bought, and certainly the first I ever heard over and over again. Long ago, before I was old enough to drive, I would sit in a small, cluttered bedroom in my parents’ suburban ranch house, absorbed for hours by the sounds contained on this disc. The creeping basslines, the constantly mutating drum patterns, the synth tones which moved with all the grace and fluidity of a professional dancer, the strange noises that I’d be unable to identify even if I tried. Back then, Aphex Twin was making music like nothing I’d ever heard before. What’s become apparent since is that I probably wasn’t the only one affected. After last year's disappointing Drukqs, it’s easy to forget that, back in the Warp Records heyday, Richard D. James was to this new breed of ambient and electronic music what Babe Ruth was to baseball. Sure, there were upstarts; µ-Ziq, Squarepusher, and Autechre were all on the scene by the time this collection hit shelves. But James was still the poster boy, the presumed ringmaster, single-handedly defining a style of music in the minds of many. Now, as a new wave of mostly twentysomethings step to the forefront of IDM, redefining electronic music for the third time in a decade, it becomes more and more obvious just how far reaching James’ influence was.

There’s nothing new about this re-release, aside from improved availability and decreased cost. But then, improving on this package would be near impossible. Sure, the music on Selected Ambient Works 85-92 may sound a bit dated (as does, to be fair, most electronic music more than a few years old), but there’s no denying it was the defining statement of Warp’s early years, and the foundation for the careers of bands like Boards of Canada and Plaid. The songs here are not ambient in the same way as those on this disc’s sequel. Technically, most fall into Brian Eno’s broad definition of the style—it can be appreciated in small segments just as much as in its entirety. The music develops slowly, unafraid to linger on a particularly effective sound for as long as necessary—the creeping keyboard loop of “Schottkey 7th Path,” for example, is continually modified throughout the course of the song, but never once eliminated from the mix—but James would never be content as a mere follower in anyone’s footsteps. His work here serves a model for what would come to be known as traditional IDM. A simpler version of the style we’ve grown accustomed to, certainly, but IDM nonetheless.

James’ early work is heavily indebted to early dance music, filled with beats so eminently danceable as to confuse those who only know him from the spastic drum patterns that came later. There’s little of that here, though. Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is, rather, an album stretching back to the days before software allowed for heavy sampling or glitch technology. Drum machines serve as its backbone and synthesized bass and keyboard sounds provide the meat. Most of the songs follow a relatively basic formula as well. One element—say, a synth melody—is introduced and repeated, and as new elements are added with each go round, the song gradually builds to a dense, multi-layered swirl. This Ravel-esque approach flavors much of James’ older material, and yet, despite the simplicity of his equipment and approach, the songs here are both interesting and varied, ranging from the dancefloor-friendly beats of “Pulsewidth” to the industrial clanks and whirs of “Green Calx.” Indeed, these early works do a fine job of showcasing James’ ability to transform even the most seemingly mundane patterns into something unique and interesting. “Hedphelym,” for instance, is built around a relentless headache-throb cliché of a house beat. But James surrounds the pulsation with an ethereal feedback that bleeds all over the track, leaving the percussion awash in a murky solution of synth tones, pairing dance music with ambience in ways the Orb never dreamed possible.

Slightly more structured (and equally enjoyable) is “We are the Music Makers,” a track which follows a drumbeat and a bassline past a pair of intertwined synth loops and a repeated Willy Wonka vocal sample as simple keyboard melodies pour down from overhead. But the aforementioned “Green Calx” is the closest Selected Ambient Works 85-92 comes to the spastic trickery of which James would become such a pioneer. It matches pitchshifted tones and drum machines with a burbling bassline, assorted machine-gun synth interjections, the slightly effected tones of various pistons, motors, and machines, and even the occasional cartoon spring noise. Moments like these serve to foreshadow both James’ later work, as well as the infinitely more complex twists and turns that IDM would make in the years that would follow. They say next to no one heard the Velvet Underground’s first album when it was released, but everyone who did went on to start a band. Listening to Selected Ambient Works 85-92, one can’t help but imagine the seeds being planted in the imaginations of the lucky few who were there when it all began. Nestled in these simple, undeniably danceable tracks are the roots of contemporary IDM. And despite its somewhat primitive origins, the final product remains among the most interesting ever created with a keyboard and a computer.

Detailed Statehouse breakdown We had 0 flips, lost both NH chambers, may lose the now split AK House

We also BARELY held the MN House (atm around 560 to 570 total votes spread over 4 districts (6A (only a 40 vote margin for the Dem atm), 33B , 38B, and 39B) are all that is keeping the Rethugs from flipping it back (we flipped it in 2018) as well.

The nation is so partisan now. IF the Rethugs take the Alaska House (it is a nightmare to explain, lol, with power sharing Repugs propping up a split coalition with multiple indies as well), then the ONLY State with divided chambers is Minnesota, and 600 votes (atm, there will be multiple recounts) or so the wrong way and the Rethugs would have grabbed that too and then there would be NO states with divided statehouses. New Hampshire and Montana (they won the Governorship) gave the Rethugs their 22nd and 23rd Trifectas (control of Governor, and both Houses), Alaska would be the 24th. We have only 15 Trifectas. Only 11 or 12 (depending on the AK House) States have divided state government. Of those, 7 are divided only because Democratic governors won in Red (and 2 purples, PA and WI) states. Walz in MN would be all that stood in Minnesota's way if the Rethugs had flipped the House back there.

We are so losing the battle at the lower levels of government, and it has upward negative blowback at the federal level as well. We need a far bigger, more sophisticated state-centric level national apparatus to start to claw these statehouses back and to stop the rot of Rethug systemic control they achieve via voter suppression, election fraud, gerrymandering (both statehouse and US House), etc.

This is all likely going to fuck us when the post-2020 Census redistricting goes down, as the Rethugs can gerrymander away again, both at statehouse and US House levels, and may help cost us control of the US House in 2022 or beyond.

Election results, 2020: State legislative chambers that changed party control


Updated November 13, 2020

Eighty-six of 99 state legislative chambers across 44 states held general elections on November 3, 2020. As of November 13, partisan control flipped in two chambers—Republicans gained majorities in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the New Hampshire State Senate. Majority control of the Alaska House of Representatives remained undecided.

Heading into the 2020 elections, Republicans had majorities in 59 chambers and Democrats had majorities in 39 chambers. In the Alaska House, there was a power-sharing agreement between the parties as part of a coalition.

The National Conference of State Legislatures' Tim Storey and Wendy Underhill wrote, "With just two chamber flips so far, it looks like 2020 will see the least party control changes on Election Day since at least 1944 when only four chambers changed hands. In the 1926 and 1928 elections, only one chamber changed hands."

As a result of the 2020 elections, Republicans have so far gained trifectas—single-party control of the governorship and both state legislative chambers—in two states: New Hampshire and Montana. In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) won re-election. In Montana, Republicans maintained majorities in both legislative chambers and Greg Gianforte (R) won the gubernatorial race.


The US crossed the 250,000 COVID-19 death barrier on Friday the 13th, now at 251,256 deaths

Subtracting out the sub 80K population micro states of San Marino (Belgium will soon pass it as the number one nation in terms of deaths per million) and Andorra, the US is now 9th in terms of deaths per million. Many of the the South American nations are absolutely exploding across the board as well.


Iowa Democratic House candidate to request recount -- she's trailing by 48 votes


Democratic candidate Rita Hart is planning to file a recount request in the race for Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, where she trails Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks by only 48 votes. Hart's campaign manager noted Thursday that there have been errors in tabulation and data-entry identified in two counties in the past week.

"Multiple consequential errors have materialized in this race that have serious implications for the district's future representation. Given the errors found in Jasper and Lucas counties at the eleventh hour, we are moving forward today with requests for a complete recount of each precinct in the Second Congressional District to make sure all results have been reported accurately. Anything less will perpetuate doubt around this election," Zach Meunier said in a statement.

Iowa's secretary of state had already ordered an audit and recount in Lucas County on Tuesday, after one precinct reported test data and not the actual vote count. A similar order was issued in Jasper County, after a data error resulted in votes being given incorrectly to Miller-Meeks. The recount will be handled by county auditors and is expected to begin next week.

The race between Hart and Miller-Meeks is the closest House race in the country. CBS has not called the race, though Miller-Meeks claimed victory on Tuesday after counties conducted their canvassing on Tuesday.


Rita Hart

Mariannette Miller-Meeks

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