The Friends of California Libre...

25 January 2005

Trouble in Paradise Again

Greetings, friends,
I'm still resting comfortably in my bubble. I go to work, see if anyone in Canada or Europe has a future for me yet, and dig for the news that you don't know (and probably don't want to.) Then I come home and watch more "Twin Peaks"! A few more choice moments from my continuing voyage through all 29 episodes (almost 24 hours exactly) of David Lynch's soap opera:
Nadine comes out of her overdose-induced coma thinking she's a senior in high school. She also has superhuman strength.
Bobby Briggs and Shelly Johnson throw a Welcome Home party for her husband Leo, a vegetable after being shot by Hank, and he falls face first into the cake. "New shoes! New shoes!"
Mike the one-armed shoe salesman says: "He is Bob, eager for fun; he wears a smile, everybody run."
Dale Cooper has a vision of Bob when Jocie Packard suddenly drops dead (and apparently has her soul imprisoned in an end-table): "Coop, what happened to Jocie!"
The Mayor disrupts his brother's wedding to a much younger woman (who gives him the standard wedding night heart attack.) "I was married for fifty years, God bless her soul. That's because I think with my brain and not my garden hose."
David Duchovny (and I definitely did not remember this) makes a rather interesting entrance as Denise (formerly Dennis) Bryson, a transvestite DEA agent.
After losing the mill and the Ghostwood Development to Catherine Martell, Ben Horne flips out and thinks he's Robert E. Lee. Pretty soon the Great Northern is decorated with Confederate flags. When he snaps out of it, he comes up with a brilliant strategy to get revenge: Save the endangered Pine Weasel. To help him out, super-cute Billy Zane comes to Twin Peaks and sweeps Audrey off her feet. "But I'm only eighteen."
Next on the cute-actors-show-up-in-the-second-season list: Heather Graham as Norma's sister, fresh out of the convent. She'd just debuted playing a similar sweet redneck in "Drugstore Cowboy" the year before.
Major Briggs disappears on a fishing trip and mysteriously reappears, with a fresh tattoo behind his ear.
Dale Cooper's former partner in the FBI, Windom Earle, now insane, announces his arrival with a dead transient tied up with wire in Sheriff Truman's office, pointing to a chessboard. Windom finds Leo Johnson wandering in the woods, out of his coma, and turns him into a slave with a shock collar.
and last, but certainly not least:
Donna Hayward delivers an orchid grown by the rather effeminate Mr. Harold Smith (who gets Meals on Wheels because he can't go outside, and later hangs himself) to the grave of Laura Palmer; then, in what I consider one of the greatest moments in American television, Donna rails at her best friend through the layer of dirt and flowers. "Laura, I'm really, really mad at you!"

Okay, I like to give you good news when I get it. If you like to do drugs in nightclubs (or know someone who does), you'll appreciate this:
Subject: Enormous Victory for Live Music
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 14:20:30 -0500 (EST)
There is great news to report in the fight to Protect Live Music. As you may know, the Drug Policy Alliance spent 2004 battling against the CLEAN-UP Act in Congress.
While there was much in the bill we liked -- it provided funding for safe cleaning of illegal methamphetamine laboratories -- we opposed a key provision that would have punished nightclub owners and music promoters for their customers' drug use.

Well, not only did the CLEAN-UP Act not pass last year, but earlier this month a new version of the CLEAN-UP Act was introduced that does NOT even contain the controversial provision. This is an enormous victory for the Alliance and our supporters; live music fans across the country; musicians, club owners and activists; and the Protect Live Music campaign. It's also a great way to start to 2005. We are grateful to the thousands of Alliance supporters like you who took action against the CLEAN-UP Act through our website and in protests last year.

Makes you want to run right out and take a spin in this vehicle from Burning Man (on drugs, of course); part of the fun here is reading the fake reviews of the product (thanks, Geri):

And now, something completely different: The entire nation of Norway on drugs:
Norwegians confused by Bush family's 'Satanic salute' during inauguration

And an opportunity to do some real good for the world (thanks, Mike):
Petition to stop Ashlee Simpson singing live
A petition to try and persuade Ashlee Simpson's record company to stop her singing live ever again has been launched. Already 65,000 people have added their names to it.
The petition at was set up after the 20-year-old star sang at a half-time football show earlier this month in Miami and was booed for her efforts by the 72,000 fans in the Orange Bowl stadium.

Anyway, more good news; we've put a dent in yet another planet:
** Europe reaches new frontier ­ Huygens lands on Titan **
ESA PR 03-2005. Today, after its seven-year journey through the Solar System on board the Cassini spacecraft, ESA’s Huygens probe has successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, and safely landed on its surface.
Read more:
Scientists Floored by Photos from Titan
By Melissa Eddy
The Associated Press

Hopefully we won't have to move there:
Global Warming Approaching Point of No Return, Warns Leading Climate Expert
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent on Sunday U.K.

And this warning came from a scientist hand-picked by the US because he was "non-confrontational". Good God...I wonder what the confrontational scientists have to say? "Build a rocket to save the few that might survive"?

Not that our elected leaders give two shits:
U.S. Seeks to Scuttle Conference Text Linking Climate Change to Disasters
By Charles J. Hanley
The Associated Press

But as the tsunami in the Indian Ocean demonstrated, the Earth has ways of making you care.
Snow, Where'd You Go?
The Associated Press
Many wondering what happened to Europe's winter.
Alpinists' Ice-Dreamy Mountains Melting Away
By Katy Human
The Denver Post
Why the Sun Seems to Be 'Dimming'
By David Sington
BBC News
We are all seeing rather less of the Sun, according to scientists who have been looking at five decades of sunlight measurements.
Green Groups Hope Suit Forces U.S. Hand on Warming
By Timothy Gardner
NEW YORK - Green lobbyists and several U.S. cities hope a lawsuit against U.S. development agencies will force the government to act on global warming, even though President Bush has long insisted there's no scientific proof linking human activity to warming.

Speaking of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, this website provides the horrible detail you need to "feel their pain":
Tsunami Before-and-After Satellite Images
Set of 14 pairs of satellite images of locations in Sri Lanka and Indonesia before and after the Southeast Asia tsunami of December 26, 2004. Use the button to toggle between the before-and-after images depicting devastation and change in the landscapes.

And this article points out why, as noted in the last screed by Mr. Tripp, it might be better not to donate to the Christians for this effort:
Mix of Quake Aid and Preaching Stirs Concern
By David Rohde
The New York Times

But wait! I promised good news, and this is some very good news from our friends in Canada; a solar cell that works on a cloudy (or polluted globally warmed) day:
Solar Photovoltaic Breakthrough Taps Infrared Light
Renewable Energy Access
In a paper published on the Nature Materials Web site on January 9, senior author and Professor Ted Sargent, Nortel Networks - Canada Research Chair in Emerging Technologies at the University of Toronto's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his team report on their achievement in tailoring matter to harvest the sun's invisible, infrared rays.

Some scientists have too much time on their hands:
Scientists train Japanese-speaking rats
Well, sort of...
By Lester Haines
Neuroscientists at the University of Barcelona have discovered that rats can - with a little encouragement - tell the difference between Dutch and Japanese. Sadly, this newfound linguistic ability does not extend to actually understanding what is being said, thereby thwarting hopes that rat-brain-controlled stealth attack drones could be guided onto al-Qaeda strongholds by the dulcet tones of Donald Rumsfeld...

No, the truth is that trained rats and solar panels are not going to save us; only a respect for the future of Planet Earth, friends:
"We Live in an Indivisible World Where the Rich May No Longer Ignore the Poor"
By Laurence Caramel
Le Monde
Interview with Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen.

Meanwhile we can have fun playing games with each other:
Book on how to bribe Russians leaves Finnish government red-faced

But risk suffering the consequences:
** Russia visa risk for 'disrespect' **
A bill barring foreigners showing "disrespect" to Russia begins its passage through the parliament.
< >

And as for the consequences, they are manifold:
Canadian Mounties looking for thief with apparent fondness for sex toys
Do NOT Give This Man Batteries...

What you can say about a world where people send me this kind of crap? (Warning: this is a broadband video of a guy shooting himself in the head.)
The Last Interrogation
Video shows a suspect in police custody committing suicide in an interrogation room.

A world full of bizarre secrets:

Maybe ancient enemies can become pals:
For the EU, the hard part
International Herald Tribune
The sequence of referendums planned for this year is a huge political gamble: A rejection in just one would set the EU's development back years.

Germans and Poles Negotiate Joining Foreign Policy
Link to article:

There's trouble in paradise, but at least the worst is over (thanks again, Geri):
Subject: Jan. 24th, the most depressing day of the year
Wondering why you feel blue? UK psychologist pinpoints the malaise.
Here's the formula...

[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

The equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

Vive le screed!

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