Stephen Bové - Art, Technology, Right Action

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gun Craft Dichotomy

Holland & Holland Royal 12 Guage
Originally uploaded by sbove.
Weapons appeal to the tool maker in every man. They are in some ways the ultimate product of human ingenuity. They can save lives, put food on the table, or be wielded by skilled warriors to defend house, home and motherland. Of course, they can be pressed by the unjust into service of aggression and butchery.

For centuries, high craft -- some would say art -- has evolved around fashioning weapons for kings and warriors. Bronze shields emblazoned with emblems of power. Armor polished to a glinting sheen. Guns smelling of wood, steel, oil and powder ornamented with hand-engraved scroll or scenes from battle and the hunt. Whether spears or sabers, rifles or daggers, these "products" of human endeavor are marvels of ingenuity and precision.

Even men who are philosophically opposed to violence will feel a rise of reverence and desire when they hold such fine implements. Otherwise frugal men will spend thousands of dollars, indeed in the case of some of the guns pictured here, hundreds of thousands of dollars, to procure such weapons.

Primal. Satisfying. Beautiful. Seductive. Good and Evil in the same hand.

900Mhz wireless speakers.

900Mhz wireless speakers.
Originally uploaded by sbove.
Another AR innovation. Patented wireless battery-or-wall powered speakers. Plug the transmitter into your compuer or stereo or ipod and it broadcasts a hi-fi signal to any of the speakers (not just two of them) within 300 feet...through walls, glass, trees...whatever. The battery power option is great so the speakers can be placed anywhere without wires (toss a few in choice locations during a party). The eco-friendly engineers at AR even included a battery charger so that if you put in rechargable cells, all you have to do is plug in the speakers for awhile and they're ready to go powercord-less again. Nice. Reviews on Amazon indicate the sound is a bit bass-y. Too bad the spks. don't have independent tone controls next to their volume knobs. Expect AR to start selling transmitter-less sets for people who need more than 2 speakers. At $199 for the set up (and as low as $150 on some sites now), there's hardly reason to fret about buying an extra transmitter. More on the AR site.

Tube powered speakers for Computer & iPod

Killer design from AR (that's Accoustic Research, not Audio Research)...a tube-amp powered set of speakers (low freq. and two satellites) with an iPod dock in the top of the low-freq unit and an extra jack for stereo or PC audio in. Nice lucite encased glowing tube! At $199, its a bargain if the audio quality is good. Sign up for the launch announcement at the AR site...

Empathy across the ages.

Did they die together or were they placed this way by their tribe? A husband and wife who died at the same time from disease or wounds? Two children buried by loving parents after some calamity?

"A pair of human skeletons lie in an eternal embrace at an Neolithic archaeological dig site near Mantova, Italy, in this photo released February 6, 2007. Archaeologists in northern Italy believe the couple was buried 5,000-6,000 years ago, their arms still wrapped around each other in a hug that has lasted millennia. REUTERS/Enrico Pajello/Handout (ITALY)."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Symbiosis R U

General Bacteria
Originally uploaded by sbove.
Mass sequencing of the Human skin biota shows that we live in close symbiosis with at least 180 species of bacteria on our skin alone.

"Microbes in the body actually outnumber human cells 10-to-1"

"Our microbes are actually, in essence, a part of our body..."

"8 percent of the species [were] previously unknown..."

"The microbes that we have in our body are not accidental. They have evolved with us"

More proof that the organic world is one huge intertwined co-evolving code base.

Ask not what your bacteria are doing for you, but what you are doing for your bacteria.

Read whole article here.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Largest Government Intermediated Transfer of Wealth in History

Originally uploaded by sbove.
My Country, Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Highway Robbery

"When President Bush took office five years ago, the national debt was at $5.6 trillion; since then, big budget surpluses have collapsed into huge deficits, and the debt has shot up nearly 50 percent."

That's $3 Trillion in additional debt in 6 years.

That's $20, 000 per US tax payer (assuming ~150 million tax payers, which is generous)

That's $400/mo each for five years to pay down, assuming a 6% rate of interest.

Thank the shrub for deficit-spending a new Prius Hybrid on behalf of every American tax payer.

Thats how huge that number is. Each of those Prius's is 175 inches long...that's 14 feet. If you lined all 150,000,000 of them up, the line of cars would go on for 340,000 miles...a line of Priuses going around the world at the equator 13.6 times. Can you even conceive of the enormity of this??? If you can think about that number and imagine George Bush talking about "getting America un-additicted to oil" and not projectile vomit on the nearest W-supporter, well, you're "like a rock only dumber" too.


The interest on this is ~$750 million PER DAY.

That's enough to buy an additional 37,000 Prius cars per day. Toyota only sells 8,000 Priuses per month at the moment. That's enough to rebuild the world trade centers 1 per day, 365 world trade centers in a single year. Just on the debt service. My fellow Americans, you, we, have been fucked like cheap whores and left to grovel for burritos at a rat infested road-side taco stand while the Johns/Carls/Georges and Dicks drink Champagne in their $35 million Gulfstream jets en route back to their palaces in Houston, Dallas, Aspen and Kinnebunkport.

John Doerr, the now fading top VC of the Internet days, was oft quoted as saying, "the Internet represents the largest legal creation of wealth in the history of the world."

Well, the whole Internet sector generated about 1 trillion in market cap at the peak of the bubble.

The whole Internet (all the new .com companies in the US during the period between 1994 and 2001) drew a total of around $100 billion in venture capital. 7 years, $100B in capital, $1Trillion in market cap. All of that in one of the most positive, life affirming, intellectually stimulating, hope building market movements ever witnessed by our fair nation.

What Bush and his criminal cronies have done makes this look like the merest form of financial child's play.

6 years, 3 trillion in debt expenditures, most of it for a worthless inhumane war that has instigated the killing of over 100,000 civilians, fomented a full-on civil war in Iraq, driven the price of oil to record highs, and will leave the USA diminished in all respects domestic and International.

The boys from Texas really hated Clinton. They put up with him and his saxophone playing, cigar-dipping, leftie, not-inhaling, San Francisco-loving, Internet-crazy long-hairs for 8 years. But when they stole their day in the sun, well they gloated in it with a vengeance and took the country to the cleaners. They played the horrific ignorance and fear of the religious right like a country-fiddle and presided over the LARGEST GOVERNMENT INTERMEDIATED TRANSFER OF WEALTH IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. I shit you not. Find me a bigger financial fleecing and I'll let you buy me lunch at McDonalds (but I still won't eat any of their cruelty-infested meat products, mind you).

There are a few of us who have been watching and wondering when the rest of the country will figure out how badly they have been duped and robbed.

I don't know if that will ever happen, but, I hope it does before these condescending bastards make off with another trillion or 4 of OUR money.