Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spinning Lady: Clockwise or Counter clockwise?

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

Initially for me, the lady spins clockwise, but if I focus I can get my brain to see the counter spin.

If I start reading something next to the image, it changes direction on me as often as you can say 'input new data here'. :)

Spinning lady


For more on right brain v left brain functioning see, "Right Brain v Left Brain" Herald Sun October 09, 2007.


The Toronto Model: an overview of Police Tactics at the G-20 Summit

Since the beginning of the anti-globalization protests in 1988 police tactics have evolved into a fine craft. (see the time line of the protests at FilterBlogs: What lessons can the Toronto G8/G20 "People first! We deserve better!" experience teach us?).

The think set goes that, in order to maintain control in a highly unpredictable environment like a demonstration by many disparate groups, police instigate, or make up, incidents of unlawful behavior in order to empower themselves with extraordinary powers based on an interpretation of the law with in a specific meme. This along with the application of anti-democratic law that can be applied in specific jurisdictions, like Ontario's "Public Works Protection Act" which suspends probable cause) are used to round up people with out the rule of law.

This piece, by Catherine Porter, published by The Toronto Star on Saturday June 26th, sketches out very nicely the police tactics that we experienced here in Toronto over the weekend of the G-20 Summit.

It is important and needs to be spread around as much as possible. Thus I'm reprinting the entire piece. Before I published I looked up the Toronto Star's "Terms and Conditions of use" section to see if I'm behaving responsibly.

The Toronto Star's Terms and Conditions of use page says, in part...

"Restrictions on Use of Materials

Reproduction, duplication, or distribution of the Toronto Star Websites and/or all or any part of their contents for anything other than your personal, non-commercial use is a violation not only of these Terms and Conditions but also of copyright and trademark laws..."

Since this is an ad-free blog, and this is for my personal use; I think I'm on solid ground. No take down from Google, or maybe my internet connection terminated by Rogers, I hope.

Porter: When police stick to phony script
by Catherine Porter.

They call it the Miami Model.

But it could be called the Genoa model, the Pittsburgh model and, after this weekend, the Toronto model.

It refers to police tactics used in Miami seven years ago, during the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit, and, more importantly, the protests erupting on the streets outside.

Manny Diaz, Miami’s then-mayor, called the police methods exemplary — a model to be followed by homeland security when confronting protesters.

Human rights groups including Amnesty International called it a model of police brutality and intimidation.

Protesters were beaten with tear gas, sticks, rubber bullets . . . You can watch police stun cowering protesters with Tasers on YouTube. Last year, the city agreed it had trampled citizens’ right to free speech by forcing marchers back from planned protests and settled out of court with Amnesty International.

What is the Miami Model?

I called Naomi Archer to find out. She is an indigenous rights worker from North Carolina who happened to be giving a lecture on the Miami Model yesterday at the U.S. Social Forum — the G20 for community activists.

Archer, who was in Miami as a liaison between protesters and police, has a 40-box checklist to identify the Model. Here are the main themes.

• Information warfare. This starts weeks before the event. Protesters are criminalized and dehumanized, and described as dangerous “anarchists” and “terrorists” the city needs to defend against.

“Often, a faux cache is found,” says Archer. “They are usually ordinary objects, like bike inner tubes, camping equipment, but the police make them out to look threatening. It lays the groundwork for police to be violent and it means there’s a reduced accountability of law enforcement.”

• Intimidation. Police start random searches of perceived protesters before any large rallies. They are asked where they are staying, why they are walking around. Police raid organizer’s homes or meeting places, “usually just before the summit, so there’s maximum chaos organizers have to deal with,” says Archer.

“All this is meant to dissuade participants. The best way to make sure you don’t have a critical mass of people taking over the streets like in Seattle is to reduce the numbers at the outset.”

This is usually made possible by last-minute city regulations, curtailing the right to protest. In Miami, the city commission passed a temporary ordinance forbidding groups of more than seven to congregate for more than 30 minutes without a permit.

• “They threw rocks.” That’s the line police use after tear-gassing or beating protesters most times, Archer says. Urine and human feces are variations on the theme. But it’s always the protesters who triggered the violence. A popular police tactic is called “kettling.” Officers on bike or horses herd protesters into an enclosed space, so they can’t leave without trying to break through the police line. Take the bait; you provoke a beating or arrest. And of course, there are the famous agent provocateurs, outted publicly two years ago in Montebello. Police officers dressed up like militant protesters to protect the peaceful crowd, they say; Archer says it’s to instigate trouble.

In Montebello, one of the three cops dressed in black was holding a rock.

“It’s the same lies every single protest,” she says. “It’s justification by law enforcement for their violent actions. This is a propaganda war.”

• Job well done. At the end, regardless of the bodies clogging the temporary holding cells and hospitals, the police always congratulate themselves. And by the time the cases go to court, the story is long forgotten and the circus has moved to a new unsuspecting town.

More than 270 people were arrested in Miami during the summit seven years ago . How many were convicted, in the end? I called the American Civil Liberties Union to find out.

“None,” said lawyer Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, who was the president of the Miami chapter back then.

So far in Toronto, the police show has unrolled according to script; we’ve seen the propaganda, the cache, the intimidation, the secretive new regulations, the scary military arsenal. . . .

Next up, rocks. Will we all believe that one too?

Great article, I like it when complex ideas is laid out clearly like that, nicely done Catherine Porter.

How can democratic groups defeat the tactic?

I think the model relies on our hard wired territorial imperatives and our fight or flight instincts; the only way to defeat it in that light, is with an opposite and maybe more powerful belief set, our hard wired social instincts, those behavior patterns instilled in us by our parents, and our community in the important, early learning years of our lives.

I believe this is what guilds the thinking behind the non-violent tactics of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. These are the tactics that will nullify this reactionary security model.

I envision the tactics Gandhi used to create Indian Independance on India's terms, as the British empire morphed it's global empire into a neo-colonial one: large demonstrations using well planned civil disobedience that stood in the way of evil and those who represent it - while enduring the consequences of that principaled stand - whether it be a beating, long imprisonment, or death... and employed with an understanding that any feeling of a need for retribution defeats the purpose of the tactic (which is spreading a belief in common good).

Fascist Nazi Germany style industrial death factories are the only response to this tactic. But practitioners of non-violence know that because of it's in-human nature, Fascism cannot stand the test of time and will be defeated through non-cooperation.

All the while the movement builds and builds it's good nature that will replace the old with something qualitatively different: the age of high enlightenment, a society rooted in tolerance and a intimate knowledge of it's own humanity. Otherwise it's not worth doing in my opinion - another generation of war then, 'we learned the lesson this time', just doesn't cut it in my books. Plus we've reached the technological level where the next war after this next nuclear one will destroy civilization itself, so end of problem.

To realize this vision we need to develop the philosophy of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to fit the practical circumstances of our time in places of study that also teach - nurturing a generation of knowledgeable activists who can teach and organize the tactic in other communities towards a global culture of non-violent resistance.

A resistance - to what appears on this day to be - a very important step down the path towards the dismantling of the liberal democratic model in this country.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big Brother G-8 says, "Austerity is good for you". Perhaps it is not true?

Dateline: Toronto, In the after glow of a police state crack down...
Video and photos of burning police cars and smashing glass in some media drowned out all else this weekend here in Toronto. Not only the messages on the placards of the peaceful "People First We deserve Better!" march, but also The G-20 Toronto Summit Declaration that was released after the Summit - that was also in town over the weekend. ;)

The G-20 message: Austerity, austerity, austerity.

Except China which is to increase funding to social programs, governments collectively agreed to reduce spending, everything from child care to pension funding will be hit in a bid to balance budget deficits by 2013.

These measures are to fix the fallout associated with the financial melt down of 2008 caused by wild speculation in the over-the-counter derivatives market.

In PBS's FRONTLINE progam "The Warning", the head of the "Commodity Futures Trading Commission" Brooksley Born runs head long into Allen Greenspan and a phalanx of banking lobbyists. She loses in her bid to regulate the over-the-counter derivatives market - which may have saved us this, and future pain. (see Chapter two, "Brooksley Born Arrives on the Scene".)

Currently as the Obama Administration tries to regulate the market today, the banking lobby is pulling out all the stops to head him off. The fact of the matter, in my opinion, is that these toxic derivatives are an integral mechanism in the American Empire Project, (see "Project for the New American Century, Rebuilding America's Defenses" published by the American Enterprise Institute). It a way to move the post World War Two industrial machine to the four corners of the world and dismantle the affluent society here (a bulwark during the cold war against the relatively high - on a world scale - Soviet standard of living).

Bankers and Industrialists are so serious about this they are threatening to collapse the economy and destroy any chance the Democrats have to maintain a majority in Congress. This as opposed the longer crisis to crisis rape of the middle class they have institutionalized through de-regulation. (I'd call the bluff which it isn't - so, coup d'etat say?).

As bank reform was going through congress in May, banks held a demonstration of their power. They showed Obama and progressive Democrats they could cause an instant depression if they wanted to - with the 1,000 point 14 minute drop in the DJIA that pundits blamed on a computer glitch. See Wikipedia "May 6, 2010 Flash Crash or the The Crash of 2:45". We didn't see the other half of the message which probably read something like this. "Watch the DJIA at 2:45."

Talk about terrorism.

Yeh, "glitch". The 'glitch' was Obama didn't know who's calling the shots.

- imho - banks and industrial buyers working the commodities markets - which they do every day to guarantee themselves the price they buy raw materials at and the price they sell their widgets at - withheld buy orders while continuing to sell.

See, Zero Hedge, "Dissecting The Crash" by "Tyler Durden".
Tyler Durden's picture

Or as another observer said, that's what happens when there's "NOBODY THERE TO TAKE PROFITS" (See article, Black Thursday at the '

So the next step in dismantling the affluent society is a global austerity program. This is same kind of reactionary thinking that deepened and sustained the great depression of 1929 - 1939; and which lead ultimately, to the second world war.

In case you were wondering It's a think set that the Obama administration was speaking against at this weekends conference. The Obama administration wants to continue with Keynesian economic theory, spend public money to reboot the future through Obama's super-high-efficiency post oil economy vision.

For some reason the banks and industrialists are opposed to this vision that icludes their redundancy - I guess they'd rather a vision that includes our and our children s redundancy instead (world war).

The other related issue is the use of military style clamp down on public expression; the kind of peaceful public expression we're likely to see a lot more of as the austerity programs outlined above continue to be implemented and as the economy staggers from one crisis to another.

The poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable will be hit first - sort of an ass-backwards vision of what this (civilization) is supposed to be about.

Black Bloc Anarchists or Agent Provocateurs?

Question: If you were going to break the law in the middle of a police phalanx would you wear a uniform that identified you as a Black Bloc member?

The same Black Bloc uniform that police say all the security is all about?

Yet for some reason, while all the smashing and burning is going on there are no police in sight.



Public Inquiry needed into Policing at the G20 Summit

Issues that make it imperative we have a Public Inquiry:

  • Where did the $750,000,000 of the $1billion allotted for policing go that is unaccounted for in the public record?
  • The use of illegal assembly pronouncements in public parks where people were gathering to march in permitted marches.
  • The repeal of the "Public Works Protection Act", a law enacted during the second world war (1939) to protect public institutions from German agents used over the weekend to search and detain - without probable cause.

Here's Paul Jays' "TORONTO G-20 - THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME" piece:

More at The Real News

I'll second that motion!

Please republish this anywhere you see fit.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

What lessons can the Toronto G8/G20 "People first! We deserve better!" experience teach us?

CLC and Canadian Peace Movement must put new special emphasis on developing Gandhi-esque philosophy & tactics - schools and cadre in response to reactionary 'Black Bloc' movement & the military style security tactics employed at the "G Summits" - or abandon the movement, and an increasingly motivated generation of under employed activists

Global labor's anti-globalization movement which in the past has produced extraordinarily large demonstrations, may have experienced it's first set back at the G8/G20 Peoples First march in Toronto.

Only 30,000 (maximum estimate I've seen) people showed up. When the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) wants to do a big demo they can bring out 300,000. I don't know how mobilized the CLC and the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) were, what kind of budget they had to work with, but this is truly disappointing.

It's hard to tell with these thing though, the low turn out may have been a result of intense pouring rain the morning of the demonstration. But the over the top security preparations which are a direct reaction to Black Bloc style tactics - and those tactic themselves coming from tiny groups which attach themselves to the main march may have kept families at home.

Wikipedia has a good article on the "anti-globalization movement". The movement began, and has continued to focus on disrupting regular meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank - now G8 and G20 - summits of the leaders of the leading economic powers. Follow the link above to a overview of the 9 previous demonstrations with some nice analysis.

  • Berlin88
  • Madrid94
  • J18
  • Seattle/N30
  • Washington A16
  • Washington G-7 IMF
  • Law enforcement reaction
  • Genoa
  • International social forums

The last bullet point, "International social forums" refers to a movement that instead of reacting to the timing of G8 meetings, sets it's own timetable - but focuses on the same agenda points as the Anti-Summit protests. It combines people's summits which then hit the streets for peaceful mass demonstrations.

Eleven years ago this fall the Seattle march (dubbed N30) where a peaceful sit down protest canceled the summits opening ceremonies - the first to actually accomplish some part of it's stated aim. The Seattle protest also saw some of the Black Bloc tactics we're seeing here in Toronto. Then as now images of violence have became icons of the protest.

This usurpation of the movement by the anarchist tactics, that media focus on (because it's easy and cheap to produce - writes itself story telling), are obscuring the issues the movement is trying to high-light.

The financial collapse of 2007 and the subsequent reduction in people's standards of living has brought all kinds of examples of how this "McEmpire" global strategy is hurting the middle class. We no longer need the images of broken Starbucks windows to focus peoples attention.

And - importantly - there is an increasingly motivated core of unemployed and under employed citizens, especially in the G20 counties who for a generation now have first hand experience of the neo-liberal economic vision. The CLC must put new special emphasis on developing Gandhi-esque philosophy & tactics - schools and cadre in response to reactionary 'Black Bloc' movement & the military style security tactics employed at the "G Summits" - or abandon the movement, and an increasingly motivated generation of activists.

CLC affiliated groups are doing peaceful civil disobedience - where the core idea is standing in the way of evil or those charged to prosecute that evil, but offering no resistance to the consequences of that stand.

A good example from CBC's Street Level Blog, one block north of the fence and at the core of the financial district, "Sit-in protest at King and Bay".

The fellow in the video below, at an Allen Gardens rally part of the week of summit protests is truly a hero in my opinion. This video could be an icon of the protests - instead of burning Toronto Police cars.

In new media we have more control of what becomes the icon. Share this, post this, spread it around.

I also like the Sargent of the bike corp. who tried her best to get him to see, with out saying it out loud, that it wasn't the officers job to interpret law (that done through precedent created in the court), but rather do what they're ordered to do by their commanding officer. Nice raconteur between two obviously pretty smart people as she says.

This case should go to court, buddy should have been writing down badge numbers towards that end, I hope there's enough film that his lawyers can file the complaint that will begin the process.

Here's a great montage I found ("Joy of Sox" ---> "wmtc" blog) of the People First, we deserve better" rally. This is what every demonstration I've ever been to looked like - a little too happy cool-aide for my taste but, fun for the kids. :)
(I prefer the Berrigan Brothers, CALCAV approach.)

Link to 'we move to canada' (wmtc) blog post, "what the media ignored: 25,000 peacefully demonstrate against g20 policies in toronto".

Image of burning Toronto Police car: BlogTO/Ryan Remiorz.


CBC brilliant new media reporting at the G20 Summit protests

CBC is doing some neat stuff with social media around the G8/G20 protests.

In Twitter they've got a #cbcg20 tag going.

CBC reporters are using the list tag to report the protests from the street. Editors could use the list to plan where to target their resources in real time (don't know that they're doing that but it seems like a logical next step).

It's a great public news feed for real time news, but also people reporting on the Summit Protests can source facts and confirm or discredit rumors using the feed. It makes their jobs easier to do and the job easier to perform, Might led to better, quicker reporting in the future, a positive development in resource short publishing industry.

On the they've created a team of "Street Level" bloggers writing and posting in real time to a dedicated page that takes an RSS feed of the headline and the first 25 words. Each abbreviated post then is linked to the CBC "Street Level" bloggers own blog.

See "Recently by G20 Street Team", the StreetBloggers Home Page.

From the list of CBC reporters working the Summit.
fim-fox-52.jpgKim Fox is a CBC News senior producer of social media, aiding in the development and execution of social media, community management and user engagement strategies. Before joining CBC, Kim worked and consulted as a multi-platform producer for many media companies including Maclean's, Canadian Business, Second City, Sirius, MTV, Fox, Sony, and Clear Channel.
Looks like it's Kim Fox's genius that I'm talking about here. Nice!

It's not the messengers fault but this is apparently the image that is being used around the world of front pages and top stories on the Canadian Labor Congress's (CLC) "People First, We Deserve Better! demonstration yesterday, The Black Bloc (anarchists) have again taken attention away from the majority and what they're trying to say and focus it in a small group of about 300 who feel a need to bang they're heads against the fence the government has built for them. :)

The CLC will have to reconsider their participation in future Anti-Summit protests. The low turn out for the main march and the fact the the CLC's main message is lost in all the spectacle - that corporate media are eating up.

In an article I published in tandem with this one, entitled, "What lessons can the Toronto G8/G20 "People first! We deserve better!" experience teach us?" I opine that for the sake of unity the "People First" movement must put new special emphasis on developing Gandhi-esque philosophy & tactics - schools and cadre, in response to the reactionary 'Black Bloc' tactics & the military style security tactics employed at the "G Summits" - or abandon the movement, and an increasingly motivated generation of under employed activists.


Friday, June 25, 2010

No Big Bang, just trillions of entropic fields

I was reading my piece on Sean M. Carroll and his talk to the American Association of Science's 212th Meeting: Session 94 titled: The Origin of The Universe and the Arrow of Time (courtesy Google Video). Sean M Carroll turns the big bang inside out, upside down and backwards to show how flawed it is, but also to show a way forward. He asks, "What happened before the big bang?" Pointedly he tells the story of the big bang backwards to show how many question are left un-asked and, unanswered.

When I was writing the story I titled, "Sean M Carroll Re-writes The Big Bang Theory", the idea of entropy confused me - and it still does. But I thought today, 'I'm going to go ahead and publish my idea of what entropy is, dam the torpedoes (and my ignorance of mathematical physics) - I think this hangs together.'

My vision is this; the expansion of the universe is caused by fields of entropy created when highly complex systems evolve, like our solar system. The increasing strength of their entropic spheres push away other entropic systems. Thus, no Big Bang!

Entropy is defined as, "the degree to which matter is away from this ultimate stable state".

A stable state in my mind is something that is dead. No change equals death. So the furthest things from a stable state are things that are alive, the earth's biosphere for examle, of us human beings.

Therefore the highest state of entropy we know of is consciousness.

Secondly, no 'thing' has zero entropy, or it doesn't exist - because everything is related to/influenced by everything else.

You can extend that formulation to the solar system:

I think a solar system is as close to being 'alive' or having an extremely high state of entropy as almost anything in the universe, several of this suns planets are much closer to earth like conditions than in for example, the matter that makes up a nebula; yet one might look at a nebula and say, 'there, that thing has much more entropy than the planetoid Pluto', but I disagree. The middle aged and relatively highly organized system of rotations and orbits that this solar system has been functioning towards for 4 billion years, is much further from the stable than that nebula even though Pluto may appear to be a dead and desolate place. The stable (unchanging?) functioning of a complex system is not death, not low entropy - although it might appear that way. Nothing in the universe is as close to going from matter to consciousness(the highest state of entropy we know of) as the 'dead' planets of our solar system. With a mere twist of the gravity well (by say, a large rogue planetoid entering the plane of the planets) any one of the millions of highly complex matter points in this, and a billion other, solar system could be moved to an orbit which over time, could begin to develop life.

The problem is that our perspective is that of the life expectancy of a fruit fly (1 week) as compared to an 11,700 year old Creosote bush. In galactic terms our short lives expire after 27,000 rotations of the earth around the sun, while the earth will circle it some 2,920,000,000,000 times in the life of the sun.

Can we prove this, can one measure the entropic field of the solar system?

I think we already have. When the pioneer space craft wasn't where it was supposed to be back in 2007 (The Pioneer Anomaly), scientists figured out where it was and backward engineered a formula that they then attributed to the 'Bow Wave' of the solar system (it's OK - that's called empirical science - disprove it and your a winner). It's a region on the far outer reaches of the solar system where the forces of gravity create a field which interacts with the relatively less dense vacuum of extra solar space (sorry - we don't know very much about out there). This interaction point is dubbed the Bow Wave of the solar system modeled after the bow wave planet earth makes as it hurtles around the sun, measured in 2007 as well by NASA's Themis mission (FilterBlogs posts on Themis).

I'm not big on gravity, I don't think it exists. I think gravity is the entropic fields I talk about above: the forces accumulated in the spinning and orbiting of masses, and groups of masses, create what we understand as gravity. The Newtonian laws don't change just our appreciation of the complexities of the equation. In my model, mass matters less than the motion of said mass and the field they create - it's all about mass(motion/time).

So anyway, the quality of the entropic field is that bow wave formula that "explains" the pioneer space craft anomaly.

That is all - for now.

Image from WikiMedia - linked to Pioneer Anomaly page.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

John Isner v Nicolas Mahut: 'a string-bag of offal vs a parched piece of cow-hide'

Thanks to Allan Wood for Twigging me to the Gaurdian UK's Wimbledon 2010 Blog through his great post in "Joy of Sox", "Longest Tennis Match In History Ends On Third Day". I was going to post part of this in comments... but then it turned into something longer than I expected...

At the Gaurdian UK Wimbledon 2010 Blog, Xan Brooks, a Guardian UK associate editor, is writing the days events in short blog style posts that go up on the web page in real time. There's a story developing over at Court 18, one of the "off-broadway" venues at the world's oldest tennis tournament; a match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut is entering the second hour of a tie breaking fifth set in a match that began the day before and was called due to darkness...

Xan Brooks writes:

"4.05pm: The Isner-Mahut battle is a bizarre mix of the gripping and the deadly dull. It's tennis's equivalent of Waiting For Godot, in which two lowly journeymen comedians are forced to remain on an outside court until hell freezes over and the sun falls from the sky. Isner and Mahut are dying a thousand deaths out there on Court 18 and yet nobody cares, because they're watching the football. So the players stand out on their baseline and belt aces past each-other in a fifth set that has already crawled past two hours. They are now tied at 18-games apiece.

On and on they go. Soon they will sprout beards and their hair will grow down their backs, and their tennis whites will yellow and then rot off their bodies. And still they will stand out there on Court 18, belting aces and listening as the umpire calls the score. Finally, I suppose, one of them will die."

I read on, and on at the Wimbledon 2010 live blog... nothing can beat the hilarious post above reprinted by Allen Wood at Joy of Sox - but quite a while later, this bit of inspiration evolves...

"7.20pm: And so this match goes on and on, on and on. Somewhere along the way, the players have mislaid their names. The man who was once Mahut is now a string-bag of offal. The man who was Isner is a parched piece of cow-hide. The surviving members of the audience don't seem to care who wins. They just cheer and applaud whoever looks likely to make a breakthrough and bring this nightmare to a close. Invariably they are disappointed.

The offal looks fresher, possesses a piercing backhand and still throws itself about the court on occasion. But the cow-hide can serve and has the advantage of going ahead by one game and forcing the offal to catch-up. This the offal is only too happy to do. It hits a backhand down the line and then follows that up with an ace, and the score now stands at 45 games apiece."

A few posts later:

"7.45pm: What happens if we steal their rackets? If we steal their rackets, the zombies can no longer hit their aces and thump their backhands and keep us all prisoner on Court 18. I'm shocked that this is only occurring to me now. Will nobody run onto the court and steal their rackets? Are they all too scared of the zombies' clutching claws and gore-stained teeth? Steal their rackets and we can all go home. Who's with me? Steal their rackets and then run for the tube.

It's 48-48. What further incentive do you need?"

And then,

"8pm: Don't look now but I think the cow-hide has officially expired. John Isner stands at the baseline. He is facing the right way but he is no longer moving and the string-bag of offal peppers him with aces left and right to bring the score to 50-50. But Cow Hide is still facing the right way and that says something. And he is still vertical, and that says something too. What it says, unfortunately, is that the match is not quite over yet."

Xan Brooks is like a dieing fish, out of water and on the beach, his breaths of inspiration are getting shorter and shorter, his attempt to power through now fading, and a tide is creeping in that threatens to swallow him away. Luckily the match is suspended due to darkness, again... No one notices as a comatose commentator drifts away on a blissful ebbing tide.

Image Credit:

(The match begins again the next day tied 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 59-59. 11 games later it finally ends, John Isner prevails in the longest match ever played anywhere: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68.)

Xan Brooks picture; Guardian UK profile


"Rolling Stops" a yeild to common sense over "Crack Downs"

This blog was originally published in "Michael Holloway's BikingToronto Blog" where I also write. See the Biking Toronto Banner in the side bar to link to my spaces there, or many of the links in this piece.

Over at the Biking Toronto Discussion group, "Bikelanes & Infrastructure" Colin McKay started the topic: "Can we please have a police crackdown on cyclists running reds?".

The inflammatory title of the piece serves to begin a discussion about the differences between cars and bike, the history of infrastructure creation and the bias towards car traffic reflected in traffic law.


Oh well; but that's what I wanted to talk about here.

Three weeks and three days ago Mark added a common sense essay to the discussion the included a link to this great video below. This seems like a good place to start here.

Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.

So far there are 12 comments on the discussion including one added today, by Todd Tyrtle - have a look.

My take here (Michael Holloway's BikingToronto Blog) and at this blogs sister site the "Toronto/GTA Bicycle Route Mapping Wiki", is that everything must change a little, some things must change a lot in the transportation infrastructure of the city to make Toronto a bike friendly environment.

I rode courier for four summers and 3 winters people running reds was never a problem. Like the video says you make a habit of running red the problem will soon be gone - you'll be dead. The main point of Mr. McKays introduction if I read it correctly is that we need to be taken seriously with in the commons.

I'm all for that - but you're not going to stop a practice used by messengers to get they're job done, on a grid that treats them like second class users - with a crack down - what ever that might be.

Equal, that's the key I think; we all want to be treated like equals, but the stage the way it's set right now has people with a car being a lot more equal than them without.

I agree that responsible cycling is key to the discussion, I even think bicycles should be licensed - along with changes to the drivers license test that includes much more about sharing the road, and perhaps even a section of the test that involves a bicycle road test for motor vehicle drivers! You can't drive a car until you've got your cycling license for example.


Seismography of the June 23 2010 Toronto Earthquake - and Real-time Tweets too!

This morning I've been working my search engine to try and find some more info about the 5.5 Magnitude Toronto/Ottawa earthquake of June 23 2010.

"The Hartford Courant" published a photo of the section of the University of Connecticut's seismograph that recorded the event.

The blue squiggle is the earthquake, the green rumbling is the seismologists jumping all around the lab with glee (I don't know that):

Yesterday, about a minute after the shaking stopped, I posted a report in the USGS "Did you feel it?" widget. These reports along with seismographic data, help scientists locate the earthquake and determine its' magnitude.

I was disappointed with the USGS site this morning, I was hoping I could take a snap shot of my report and the other reports to post here, in order to give readers a sense of the event from the point of view of people who recognized it in the first seconds and felt a need, or a duty to report it. The data I, and 1768 other Torontionians sent, didn't come back out of the machine though.

(An example of how more transparency would improve the reporting section of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program site: for some unknown reason the number of reports today has gone up four fold, to 5669 reports from the 1768 one hour after the event. People reporting 8 - 10 hours later?)

There is a vast page of location reports with lots of data, but individual reports are hidden.

Maybe as part of the initiative USGS Eartquake Hazards Program can make a widget that pumps more data out.

I should note here that Natural Resources Canada > Earth Sciences Sector > Earthquakes Canada has a similar reporting widget (actually an exact copy) at: "DID YOU FEEL IT? REPORT IT HERE!". They received 417 reports yesterday.

It looks like they had great plans at EarthquakesCanada, something about a Community Internet Intensity Maps (CIIM) data portal, but it looks like funding got cut and all the interactive stuff isn't - except the reporting widget. The site as it stands is so, Web 1.0.

Yesterday I wasn't on any of my social networking sites and not being totally convinced my experience was an earthquake, I didn't go to check my news feed (Twitter). This morning though, my historical search of Twitter allowed me to go back in time - in real time. One of the first people from my neighborhood to report the event on Twitter was @Radzyn.

Following her thread back you can see news of the event connecting neighborhoods as the event causes network boundaries to crumble; first tweets centre in Leslieville and then quickly to other Toronto neighborhoods, who chime in, "Yes! here in Leaside too!', and then out into the world.

This morning I wanted to find video of a Seismometer swinging wildly as the Toronto/Ottawa earthquake resonated around the globe. No such luck. We at least have a still shot of one such Seismometer, thanks to The Hartford Courant. So... by the look of it, there's little being done by University Geology Departments to show us how cool geologists are. That's too bad, people love earthquake stuff. Perhaps there's no budget for that sort of thing, it is after all, just a dalliance (NOT).

The advances in miniaturization and robotic production is making more scientific instruments available at lower costs. So now individuals can replace institutions in some areas of scientific research. Distributed data collection by amateurs is one area where this really works.

Near me there is a fellow with his own home weather station, he's got his own weather web site too, and he's part of the Weather Underground, a continent wide network of personal weather stations. Go to the Weather Underground site for your city and look through the list of weather stations you might find one very close to where you live that has it's own portal.

When I want local, real time data, or local records from the last 24 hours, months or years - the Upper Beaches Weather Watch station is the best, quickest place to go.

Now cost reductions and increased accuracy of small scientific interments has come to geology. For a mere US$659.90, you can be a Home Geologist, with your own Seismometer!

Can the "Seismic Underground" be far away?

Where do I get one of those white lab coats? :)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Earthquake in Toronto June 23, 2010 Videos

I've been going through all the videos people are posting on Youtube about the Earthquake in Toronto June 23, 2010 (those are the keywords,) and nobody got to their cameras in time to get the shaking, but this guy is obviously on line right away afterwards.

"The Peej" is on Facebook and Twitter as it happens and he says they both, "light up while my building is still shaking!" And... he's got great video presence - this is a good one.

"Earthquake in Toronto!" He-he.

This is the press conference in Ottawa everyone has probably already seen, a little shaking and everyone runs out of the room except the guy giving the press conference, he calmly (a little TOO calmly - he's on camera, and he's a politician), gathers up his papers and heads out after everyone else has deserted him.

This one gets third place, it's not the actual earthquake but a damn funny re-enactment.


I Reported Toronto Earthquake to USGS at 1:44 Local Time

At 1:42 PM local time a 5.5 magnitude earthquake rumbled through Leslieville in east end Toronto. The earthquake was centred nearly 600 miles to the north east. About fifty miles north east of Hull Quebec (USGS event map), the sister city to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada's capital city.

Here on the unstable Don River delta, in downtown Toronto - about a mile from "The Fence" around the G20 Summit - things really moved! The TV on my little side table shook - but didn't move off its' stand. The shaking lasted about a minute it seemed to me.

I've never experienced an earthquake but I'd also never experienced anything like this either, so after the shaking stopped I clicked the USGS bookmark in my browser to see if the event was on the map there, it was not, so I reported it, as did 1768 other Torontonians.

As the questions came up step by step in the USGS "Did you feel it?" questionnaire, my answers reveled to me, that yes, I had just experienced an earthquake.

About 50 minutes later I checked back at the USGS website and Boing! There it was, a big red square indicating an earthquake in the last hour - magnitude 5.5!

(Click on the map to go to USGS MAP - North America Region)


NETGEAR on Cisco network; Authoritarian China type Government you can own today!

My connection to the internet is a wireless router through a Cisco systems network manager that manages the thing for my landlord. As part of the Cisco system a firewall is installed called NetGear. This morning I'm writing a piece on Bill C-32 the new Canadian Copyright law now before the Canadian Praliament and I found out that I cannot search for the word "Napster"!

That pissed me off, a firewall that blocks me from going out???! If this shit is allowed to spread that's the end of the open web. What's really stupid is that Napster is now owned by BestBuy. Does Staples Business Center pay NetGear to block BestBuy?

So, I wondered, what else do my corporate protectors not wish me to see? I tried Limewire, same thing, "No Limewire for you!!".

Pirate Bay? No problem! I can P2P through them. ?? Is Pirate Bay paying NetGear to f*ck Limewire?

The stupid continues.

The technology is that enterprise stuff that allows employers to spy on their employees - the landlord can grab a screen shot of my computer anytime he wants. That's not a key-logger but it's the next best worst thing.

So, I am paying my landlord to allow Cisco Systems (a big military supplier and a huge faceless corporation) to collect data about my every click on the net (and maybe every stroke, I don't know).

Modern World, security is a fallacy. You are not secure. You are in grave danger every minute of your life - you're going to die. I'm sorry, it's true. You can't prevent file sharing, you can't cure cancer, and you can't stop terrorist nut jobs.

Go buy some soap, modern world, and wash your messy brain up - that will be more effective than all this Fear and Loathing.

(Of note here, my rant is spurred partly by the G8/G20 Summit that is in town right now, there are cops and copters everywhere.)

Time to get my own connection to the internet I guess. :)


What Government is CSIS working for again... ?

This morning CBC is reporting that - on the eve of the G20 Summit in Toronto - the head of the The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Richard Fadden is saying that several Canadian Politicians, who are Chinese by ancestry, are unduly influenced by a foreign government.
"We're in fact a bit worried in a couple of provinces that we have an indication that there's some political figures who have developed quite an attachment to foreign countries,"

The National Post reports some observers, namely Wesley Wark, history professor from the University of Toronto thinks this is intended to distract us from the expenditures on security for this event.
“What on Earth is the CSIS director doing making this public? Why is he coming forward with this information?”

CTV reports, "G8, G20 summit costs climb, surpass $1 billion". Liberal MP Mark Holland calls it "the most expensive 72 hours in Canadian history."

It's seems likely this is a distraction, but the buttons these bastards are pushing to do it shows a lack of common sense, aplomb or moral centred-ness. Including in this spin a reference to this counties use of internment camps during the second world war is insensitive to say the least. Is the CISI director suggesting they may send the troops now amassed around Rogers Centre the short march up Spadina to China Town and arrest every one?!

During the second world war those of Japanese dissent were rounded up just like that and sent to concentration camps in the interior of British Columbia and camps in Northern Ontario for the duration - and their property stolen.

But lets get back to what I wanted to talk about here.

Who are these CISI guys working for anyways - the United States? There's plenty of connection between our two countries spy agencies, and sometimes it's hard to tell who's foreign policy this CSIS is working in support of.

It makes one wonder again, when on the eve of an economic summit where trade in the Trillions of dollars is to be discussed, why the head of the CSIS is under cutting our position in those talks with inferences to the effect that some people in that group of negotiators may be working for the Chinese government?

Heads should roll, budgets cut, departments closed.

It's about time anyways (re: Air India debacle). The RCMP made the bomb that blew up the Air India plane and CISI helped; and covered up their meddling role, designed to under cut their rival, the RCMP's domestic terrorism portfolio).

There I said it, no one else will.

Picture of Helicopters landing on the golf driving range, just west of Spadina Avenue courtesy


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rebellion by The Arcade Fire

I like The Arcarde Fire.


Rebel Rebel by David Bowie

I always thought this was about a woman, but what do I know...


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Foofighters, Times like These, Big Me - original videos

* * *

Posthumous Longtail Aperitif, September 10, 2010

After some articles are put to bed at FilterBlogs they get a Posthumous Longtail Aperitif; links to related articles published after my original post.

A breakdown of "Posthumous Longtail Aperitif":

* After, after, before.
* Finished but not finished, and at the beginning.

Dailymotion took down both videos in this article, I've replaced them with the same ones now posted in Youtube. Whatever.

Thanks to Youtube user, Soveringc for posting

Thanks for the continuing bullsh*t should go to FoofightersVEVO who are the people acting for the people who own this version of the Foofighters song and video, I guess...

* * *

Youtube doesn't have this version of the video, some sort of rights thing going on there, most of the old versions of the videos are now in the Vevo format, but this is not; this about breaking out of the box you're in - using the visual metaphor of consumerism - is the best of the lot, well maybe Big Me is as good...

First thing off the bridge: your Playstation!

Big Me - original video

What you buy is your identity, that and the things you do...

Thanks to Dailymotion user "huntylch" for posting.

Thanks to Dailymotion user "todoblanco" for posting.

* * *

New comments on the TakeDowns, September 10,2010

Artists should not sell the rights to their songs, all videos should be produced with the understanding that the final product is owned by the band and all rights are the bands. Producers are selling you sweet sugar vanity that has no intrinsic or lasting value; in exchange they receive your soul (your music) forever.

Something wrong with that isn't there? Outta be a law... (hey that's a good line for a song about this)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Maybe if people listened, history wouldn't keep repeating itself."

- Jane Wagner

This piece has been sitting in 'drafts' for a long time (12/29/09), might as well get it out there.

Ever since a I published "Ultra Conservative Right Building Networks on Twitter", I've had great feed back; many people thanking me for showing them some of the ways Twitter is being used, but also for the heads-up on ultra right networking.

Since my name was bundled in with #tcot (Top Conservatives On Twitter) #FF (Friend Friday) TeaParty organizing effort, I get the odd follow from folks with a less than a hundred tweets and 5,000 or so following. This is evidence that the ultra right have jump started a community on Twitter using several social networking innovations in tandem: Twitter lists, the "Get 1,000s Followers" technology (through key words a program aggregates twitter accounts to each other) and online radio. This networking was galvanized through political action in Washington around the Health Care Reform (#hcr) debate and through Fox News which propels a movement - that is at most a 5% slice of the American political pie - to the top of their 'news' broadcasting lineup. Fox's partisan journalism is in the best traditions of William Randolph Hearst who laid the ideological ground work for the Spanish/American War of 1898 that reminds me of the build up to the war in Iraq.

This group of TeaPartists has created the impression of a publica which members of Congress have used to avail themselves of lobbyist money from Big Pharma and others on the business side of the Health Care Reform debate (#hcr). Up until just before Christmas 2009 many Republicans were siding with the Democrat majority to pass a bill that it is hard to imagine anyone being against. But the leadership of the Republican party, still filled with the radical right from the Bush/Cheney/Rove years whipped Congress into a partisan war.

One wonders what their agenda is, besides the obvious, personal power.

A good indicator is the example of teaparty twitterer John Sykes, aka @johnsykes1035 (john psychs?). His bio says: "Caracas, Exeter, Cornell, USMC, Vietnam, CIA, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Fort Lauderdale, Conservative, Christian". Is he cryptically saying, that he is/was a part of psychological operations, an intelligence man? Mr. Sykes has a Tweet server which he loads with Tweets. The program Tweets regularly, and as well he throws in live tweets along the way - for the human touch. He's loaded it with quotes from the Bible and from for example Henry Ward Beecher, Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin. A reading list from the book self of Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, who I have been following for you.

These teapartyists remind me of the history of the second world war, specifically the terror visited upon all German citizens by the spot-lighting and persecution of visible subcultures in the German diaspora by the "Brown Shirts". Not that they are now those fascists, but that with a tweak here and there the group could easily be manipulated that way. Like someone is setting the foundations (Gingrich/Rove).

The Brown Shirts are famous for the 'night of broken glass' or 'Kristallnacht'. Kristallnacht was part of a population control scenario designed by the genius Joseph Goebbels who used a new understanding social psychology and mass media, namely radio, to subdue the German majority to a small sub-culture of xenophobic activists known as the Brown Shirts organized under the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

This zealous sub-culture was united ideologically by avant-guard ideas including a 1920's version of 'back to the land, back to nature' movements and a pagan or pre-Roman Germanic religious ideology. They were further united in actions intended to create a group dynamic that was difficult for an individual with-in the group to act independently of. The groups common actions included violently attacking anti-nazi activists and the labelling of Jewish businesses and homes with the word "Juden" (meaning Jew) with an 'X' through it. A way of communicating to the larger culture that this group of terrorists was acting to solve the extreme unemployment crisis gripping the country by forcing Jewish merchants to give back what they had 'stolen' from the the Germanic people; a rhetoric which twisted Marxist ideology and thus served to divide the people from the Nazi's most outspoken critics, the communist and socialist parties, who were in turn, fighting each other. Later, on a chosen night, the smashing of the windows of those businesses and then as the terror spread, the expulsion of these people from their property and the confiscation of their belongings. Then the expulsion of the people themselves, men women and children shipped by train to resettlement camps 'for their safety' - from the Brown Shirts. Jews, communists, socialists, union leaders and others who spoke against the fascist Nazi party were taken to industrialized extermination factories like Dachau and Bergen Belsen.

(nb: I found no source saying Lily Tomlin said the quote in the title. It's making the rounds right now so maybe adding to this good disinformation thread will help spur her to either confirm or deny she coined the great line.)


Update: July 13 2010

I received this email from Lily Tomlin's assistant:

Dear Michael: On your recent blog you credit Lily Tomlin with the quote,

"Maybe if people listened, history wouldn't keep repeating itself."

- Lily Tomlin

Lily has asked me to email you to say the quote is written by her partner, Jane Wagner. Many quotes attributed to Lily are written by Jane and used in the material with which Lily is identified. Jane and Lily have been working together for many, many years.


Janice Mowery

assistant to Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner

Thanks for the kind note Janice.
Thanks for the quotation Jane Wagner it's an important sentiment I think, especially now.
And thank you Ms. Tomlin for taking the time to write.


Creative Living and Hard Wired Failure

Lately I've been learning to write computer code. I've been reading books and web sites about Html and Css. I've been reading the code behind blogger to understand all the user variables you can change. I'm writing a program for scoring baseball games and I'm turning one of my computers into a server.

All this machine logic is making me depressed.

Somehow, the parts of my brain involved to story telling are important for keeping me centered. Word play, the association of words, one to another in context that relate to anthropology - to human civilization are important to me. I lose my way if I don't dabble in word play; my faith in my nature, and coincidentally in the nature of the other fails, and I become rutted in a reactionary theology of negativity where the field lines of the universe conspire against me and all things that propel us all forward. In my neurosis I then flail myself for this happenstance. An ego gone mad - a hedonistic error piled on top of subjective observation that leaves me at the centre of my own illness, and cure. A place where if I start thinking 'right', the field lines of the universe would re-align to produce goodness, progress and the future.

Oddly, this is exactly what happens when I take the time to write creatively.

---> :)


Saturday, June 12, 2010

ScorePAD evalulation

Scoring scoresheets for iphone have been around for a while, but nothing open source until May 2010 when 6-4-3 Baseball Scorecard for Android came out. This has probably lead the standard in pad scoring ScorePad to release this evaluation version (ScorePAD V8) of their proprietary software. I've set it up with lineups for today's Toronto Blue Jays at Colorado Rockies - Game 2 (Scored Live tonight at the ISCB, 8:10PM EDT 6:10 PM MDT). I loaded in yesterdays lineup with today's probable pitchers - it may change.

The ScorePad has all the buttons I imagined when I began building my DIY Score Card.

You high-light the batter who's at the plate and then, if they hit the ball for a single, you go to the batter row to the right of the lineup section that has a selection scroll beneath it, click '1B', a green angled area appears in the AB box along where the first base line would be - indicating Fred Lewis is on first base.

There's no way for me to share this live with you in internet land, except by taking a 'print screen' shot of it with my Windows OS - like I've done here.


Project Scoresheet/Baseball Workshop - Google embed


Friday, June 4, 2010

Utne Reader points to this "Thingy"

Utne Reader pointed me to this interactive graphical representation of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster in the Toronto Star (pic). It was produced by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Yay! Open government, for the people, rather than to the people).

I've placed the oil spill over London UK, where it belongs perhaps - or over the United States Congress who approved near shore drilling last year - with the approval of the Obama White House.

(Obama has to choose his fights - the systemic collossus he is up against represented by corrupt representatives and senators is the product of a dieing epoch - imho - I would nationalize the banks and big oil.)

BP is also not interrupting a Live Feed of the spill that LiveStream is running 24/7 - Live Oil Spill Cam. I expect the feed comes from a wireless connection to BP's underwater subs, or perhaps a feed back to HQ from the ships they have on site. Either way good on them for that openness - transparency is worth a try I think.

Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at

On the other hand they are managing the play... Camp grounds near Galveston Texas are being rented by BP (Mother Jones: "It’s BP’s Oil") so pictures of oil soaked wildlife and fat little boys and girls won't start popping up everywhere. It will happen anyway by the way BP. The asemetric vectors around drilling in the Gulf may spell the end of near shore drilling and speed our investment towards wind solar and a super efficient post classical industrial infrastructure.

The dinosaurs are going down fighting, but mother earth keeps slapping 'em down! :)