Monthly Archives: April 2009

Abandoned Places

We watched Into the Wild last night and enjoyed it a lot, and I’m watching Heima right now which I suppose fits in nicely also. Vaguely along those lines — those of isolation and the return to nature — I’ve also been enjoying reading through the archives of the Artificial Owl blog which has gorgeous photos of abandoned places. This photo (from the Atacama DesertLa mano del desierto) is not really an “abandoned place” but as a piece of art I love it.


Death by Police

I hope everyone has seen this video of UK police thugs murdering manslaughtering a guy last week… In short, an older guy was walking home from work (totally unrelated to the protest) and made the mistake of walking through the G20 protest to get home — police come up behind him and beat him to the ground with batons, pull him back up, beat him down again, and he has a heart attack and dies. Since it’s illegal in the UK to film the police (here’s a guy who was tossed in jail for photographing them ignoring traffic laws, prior to the law being enacted), it wasn’t until the police denied culpability that a tourist from New York City came forward with footage of the attack (even though it was captured at least in part on IPCC CCTV — not a surprise since the UK has one surveillance camera for every dozen people). Of course, police brutality has been anything but uncommon in the UK for a long time. I do everything I can to avoid contact with the police. While I’m sure there are well-intentioned people who misguidedly join the police hoping to serve society, the face of the police — around the world — is all too often simply that of another violent gang running a thuggish protection racket.


Last cop I saw was parked illegally in front of a McDonalds — with his siren-lights flashing no less — as he stood in line waiting for his donut Big Mac. If I did that, I’d be ticketed at a minimum. If I commented to him that what he was doing was wrong I have no doubt I’d face his wrath and my day would get a whole lot worse (my hat’s off to guys like Jimmy Justice who video tape the cops messing around). And if I hit a guy from behind and beat him to the ground and he died, you can bet I’d spend a long time in jail. Why do I doubt that anything will happen to the cop in the video? Here’s a “good” video of the police beating a guy — who of course was later convicted of beating them. Decide for yourself who the aggressor is. I doubt you’ll agree with the courts.

So as not to imply this is UK-only, here’s another of a US cop beating a girl in custody (officially, “she fell down” after he paused the camera) — videos like this are plentiful — and it’s all to frequent here in Toronto as well with a Police force rampant with corruption and brutality.

The Perfect Kid’s Room

Nefarious is visiting a friend so Caitlin and I took this opportunity to make a big dent in painting her room. She’s got an immense loft in the new studio, and we’ve painted the walls blue with a lower landscape of green, to fit the stick-on dinosaurs and aliens that Jon gave her for Christmas. It was a little scary at the top of the ladder! It’s going to be a really fun room when we’re all done. The first five photos below are her new room, and in the sixth you can see it from the ground story. The last three photos in order are the big seamless room (where I’ll build the submarine and other projects), our new living room, and our kitchen and above it the master bedroom… It’s a huge space and these photos only show about half of it. Can’t wait to get moved in!

I’m sure Pittsburgh is very nice, but…

You know, whenever I watch a movie that is set in Hawaii, I wonder to myself why all Americans without a real good reason locking them to the mainland don’t move there [edit: I guess here's why Hawaii sucks, although I disagree]. It’s one of the nicest places I’ve ever been in my whole life. If I was an American, I’d move there in a heartbeat. But still, some people prefer Buffalo. I don’t get it.

This weekend Caitlin and I are painting a mural on Nefarious’s new room’s wall and getting that all ready for the move — it’s the only room that really needs work. Then we pack up this place, move it, and then I start work on the submarine. I hope that project works out… I feel like being in a submarine under the water will be really serene and relaxing place to be.

Click for big… I like this photo.


Will 2012 really be the “end”?

I read a great article today about the implications of a serious solar storm in 2012 (or sooner/later — they happen every 500 years or so). The short version is that it’s a massive natural EMP attack that completely destroys our electrical grid to the extent that it takes years to rebuild.

The problem we have as a modern society is that what we have is built on the shoulders of previous societies — so when you give us a hard slap, like this would do, we don’t get knocked back fifty years, we don’t get knocked back a hundred years — we get knocked back into the stone age. How many of the things in your house, in your life, can you make from scratch? Can you make a table, or a chair, without a hardware store? How will you mill the wood? How will you make the nails? What will you use for a hammer? How much first aid do you know? How much first aid do you know without what you can buy at a pharmacy? Can you even grow vegetables? And do you know how to store them over a winter? Can you shoot a bow an arrow? Can you make one?

Of course, we can scavenge the massive pile of junk that we have lying around, but how long does that last? Probably longer than it takes to rebuild from a solar storm, but if you threw a second problem at us — even a minor pandemic — and it’s all over.

Anyway, read it — 90 seconds from catastrophe.