links for 2011-01-31 | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

links for 2011-01-31

  • Scenario: Your government is displeased with the communication going on in your location and pulls the plug on your internet access, most likely by telling the major ISPs to turn off service.

    This is what happened in Egypt January 25 prompted by citizen protests, with sources estimating that the Egyptian government has cut off approximately 88 percent of the country’s internet access. What do you do without Internet? Step 1: Stop crying in the corner. Then start taking steps to reconnect with your network. Here’s a list of things you can do to keep the communication flowing.

  • Five men linked to organized crime have been arrested in the largest Canadian bust involving the drug ketamine.

    More than 1,000 kilos of ketamine, worth an estimated $15 million, were intercepted last month by the Canada Border Services Agency. CBSA official Colleen Pinvidic said the white powder was vacuum-sealed in bags and secreted in boxes containing mugs that arrived at the Port of Vancouver in a container from Hong Kong.

  • “The Arabs are taking control of Bat Yam, buying and renting apartments from Jews, taking and ruining girls from Bat Yam! Fifteen-thousand Jewish girls have been taken to Arab villages! Guard our city – we want a Jewish Bat Yam,” the leaflets said.

    The rally came in the wake of a religious edict forbidding Jews from leasing or selling homes or land to Arabs. The proclamation was signed by 50 rabbis, many of whom are state employees, before it was announced publicly several weeks ago. Another 250 have joined since then.

    Over 1,000 rabbis have signed a letter against the edict, calling it “a painful distortion of our tradition” and a “desecration of God’s name”. But these are diaspora rabbis. And although Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has condemned the initial proclamation, the rabbis who signed it remain state employees.

  • Abandoned houses offer unique opportunities from a visual point of view. The deterioration transforms materials. Texture on top of texture. New patterns overtaking old ones. Nature repossessing. This textural aspect to deterioration and the patterns that it creates can be rich and fascinating to look at.

    I also find that the experience of seeing a deteriorated house (or any familiar object) interesting. When looking at the image we see a dual image of the house – one as it is, and one as it was. You see a huge hole in the side of the house not just as a hole, but also as an interruption of the known. And so the mind seeks to recreate the known. We fill in the holes. We project. Our eyes follow the angle of the broken awning to a point, now destroyed, and we can feel the mass that was of the front 3rd floor. The same with the porch covering. This visual duality – the mind flipping between destruction and pre-destruction – is magic. It’s entertaining and engaging.

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