Archive for the 'technology' Category

Methyl Iodide for California’s Crops

No Methyl iodideMethyl iodide is so reliably carcinogenic that it’s used to induce cancer in the lab. Even so, Tokyo-based Arysta LifeScience Corporation is pushing for its use. Arysta seeks approval for the use of methyl iodide as a soil fumigant – injected as a gas into the fields of communities across California and the U.S.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first registered methyl iodide as a pesticide on October 5th, 2007, despite a letter from dozens of distinguished chemists saying that it is “astonishing” that the EPA is considering “broadcast releases of one of the more toxic chemicals used in manufacturing into the environment.” EPA initially limited its approval, registering methyl iodide for only one year. Then, during the final months of the Bush Administration, EPA quietly removed the time limits on its decision, effectively giving Arysta a green light for entry into the United States’ market.
However, on September 25, 2009, U.S. EPA agreed to reopen its decision on methyl iodide, pending results of a California Scientific Review Committee. The science is in. The Committee’s final report (PDF), which found (PDF) that “any anticipated scenario for the agricultural…use of this agent would…have a significant adverse impact on the public health,” was posted on DPR’s website on February 11, 2010. On March 31, groups from around the country submitted a petition to U.S. EPA to reopen their decision.
Despite scientist concerns, on April 30, 2010, California proposed using methyl iodide in agriculture.

POWs, Revolution, and the media

I wrote this a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting in WordPress’ “drafts” folder forever. Maybe it’s interesting, despite it’s lack of finality.

All we know is what our general news/media sources allow us. Let’s take that into context using good old CNN (a trustworthy, reliable news source according to most Americans’ viewing habits) as an example and we’ll play a little game:

Let’s see, CNN brings us ‘news’ about a golf player, the story of which I really don’t care to learn. But hey, American hostage in Iraq, whereabouts still unknown? That sure sounds interesting, right? It has to do with terrorists.

So I click it. It’s about the mourning and attempt at closure and the ‘hope’ of his family, back at home. Talking about fundraisers and social networks. Making a brief hypothesis near the end saying that withdrawing troops may be rewarded with the freeing of more hostages. Okay… So I feel completely bad for this guy and his family but… How is this news? So the family’s bummed–I should sure as hell hope so. But bringing this up as “news”–on the front page of one of the country’s most populated news websites–contributes to the situation … how? Is this actually news we need to know?

That point aside, let’s think: what was he doing in Iraq anyway? From

Jeff and Lilly were building a little piece of the American dream in LaPorte, Indiana, as their packaging equipment company, Equipment Express began to grow. Jeff was installing his company’s equipment in an Iraqi water bottling plant when armed gunmen came in and kidnapped him. A day later a video was shown of Jeff being held by hooded and heavily armed captors. In spite of much hard work by the FBI, military intelligence and other groups, there is no information about Jeff’s current status.

And from WikiPedia:

Jeffrey Ake, a contractor, was kidnapped on April 11, 2005, and shown in a videotape two days later. He has not been seen or heard from since. His kidnappers contacted his wife on the day he was kidnapped and demanded $1 million dollars in exchange for his release. After three weeks of negotiations, the kidnappers cut off all communication.

But actually, the source (Washington Post) says this:

Jeffrey J. Ake is 48 now, if he is alive. He is also a husband and son and the father of four children who miss him terribly. He is a storyteller, a Rotarian and a small-business owner who thrived in distant capitals.

He traveled to Iraq, tools in hand, on a private contract to repair machines at a water-bottling plant. Early one morning in April 2005, the telephone rang at a lakeside rambler in LaPorte, 80 miles east of Chicago. An Iraqi man, talking fast in poor English, told Liliana Ake, “We have your husband.”

And you know what’s funny? I can’t find anything else. Nothing of relevance. Family’s in sorrow, has been for years; the business had to file for bankruptcy, he should have demanded better security, yada yada. My question is what was this water-bottling plant? and to whom went the water? Was he a random American fixing the plumbing or was this a private contractor helping out United State resources in an region wanting the United States out? We’ll never know, but my point is simple: this CNN article is by no means news; nor is most of what the news networks distract us with.

Let’s continue to what I’d like to address: who all has heard of  Kyrgyzstan? I sure hadn’t before this week (actually before the Kyrg couchsurfer stayed with us on St. Patrick’s day, ironically). Some little half-Asian half-Eastern European country between Kazakhstan and China. Okay, maybe not half-European but I like the way they dress.

Now I don’t know if you noticed the tiny link to an article displaying pictures of people burying their dead in Kyrgyzstan, but yes indeed there is such a link on that CNN page.

So their’s fucking revolution is going on in Kyrg because of a corrupt, croney-ist government forcing higher energy and public service prices on the people, and apparently another one happened in 2005, the Tulip Revolution overthrowing the “increasingly authoritarian” government. That didn’t work. Now, with cronyism and corruption going on all over the place, the president has actually fled the capital and an interior minister was even killed when the protestors successfully broke in to their white house/palace and took it over. Basically, as the NY Times puts it, the protestors/opposition seek “justice and democracy.”

There’s more involved, since this upheaval could affect affect a US military base that the country had plans to throw out anyway. The base is basically where we keep our troops to watch Russia or something… See the victory photo they even took for the Times to put on their website?

Anyway, search the mainstream media and the “news” will tell you that it’s “opposition” and “unrest” in Kyrg, not revolution nor extreme, and all this opposition is mourning their dead and new leadership is figuring out what to do. Basic enough, who cares about details.

Now, weeks later, I can’t find anything on CNN relating to it…

Media Dump Post

1) The guy actually is as drunk as you may think he’s not. If you watch the series you’ll realize that everyone’s a pretty big nerd and clearly doesn’t drink too often. Maybe.

2) This is a true story, except that Edison didn’t just kill little lambs and stray dogs and cats–he actually killed a misbehaving Coney Island elephantand filmed it.

A fucking elephant.

3) “This was directly opposed to capitalist society…” He clearly went to the wrong place with his technology; yet the only place he could go to continue its research.

Funny how satire gives us more news than actual news networks. Just in a different physical manifestation.

…it’s what they don’t tell you…

This has gotta be fake. He sounds like Kenan, or Kel, or whoever it was that played the invisible boy in Mystery Men. Brilliantly hilarious.

This reminds me of the other day when I was at the park doing handstands on the monkey bars and some huge big buff black guy that I’d talked to a few times came up to me and asked me (with 5 minutes of introducing respect and “now I don’t know what you believe but”-s and “I don’t want to sound like the devil and I’m sorry but”-s) “…how could one man and his family get ALL THE ANIMALS on the earth onto one boat?? How did he know how to build a huge boat? How did the lions not go eat all the other animals? How would they get a North American grizzly bear in Egypt? What about sea creatures? How did they deal with the stench??

I laughed and chuckled and said good, you’re thinking. He said his pastor would probably dismiss the comment if he’d set it in service and probably ask him after church to never return. And I said yes, because you’re thinking.

PUNCHLINE: Then french_poet came by to meet me for yoga and I told him the story. He says, “That’s what he’s questioning?! The minute details? Overlooking the whole invisible god in the sky telling some old guy to go build an arc??”


nuJazz is so cool because it loves its roots. Or what it makes its roots. Or just cool videos.

Samuel Beckett was an Irish guy who essentially started the absurd theater in France, along with a Romanian named Ionesco. Neither of them were French but they felt the calling to write in French–neat huh? What’s even cooler is that after, Beckett translated all his works into English from French. How cool is that? This is an AMAZING rendition of the play created by these british organisations, complete with amazing actors and a beautiful set. It’s so goddam surreal.

That’s it. See ya.

Damaged iTunes Library XML File?

This post is primarily for all you Google or next-generation search engine users of the upcoming years who, upon opening iTunes and seeing a “reading XML library file” dialogue feel their face drown of all blood & color, pose the dreaded question: is my iTunes library really gone?? as they can’t locate results other than obscure bulletin board posts from an older era (2005-2007) to reference for an answer.

No, your files are all still there, it’s your library that’s having some issues. But guess what? It’s probably still okay.

Find your iTunes Music Library.xml file (Mac users this is usually in your User > Music > iTunes folder… Not too sure about you PC users. You should see both iTunes Music Library.xml and also iTunes Music Library (Damaged).xml… Here’s the fun part:

Duplicate those two files and drag them onto the desktop in case you’ll need them (hold down option as you drag them to the desktop and this will copy them). Delete iTunes Music Library.xml in the Music > iTunes folder, and rename the “iTunes Music Library (Damaged).xml” into “iTunes Music Library.xml…” Open iTunes back up, and voilà, if it was just your mac app acting funny again, you still have all your playlists and organisations and won’t have to wait a day and a half (per 200 gigs of music, that is) to have it load all the music into a database file again.

Yes, it’s that simple–if you haven’t a larger problem at hand. Obviously there will be cases when your library file truly is fucked, in that case I’m sorry. I hope you find this helpful, obscure search engine-r.

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Another twenty some odd young adult who believes he sees things from a unique perspective. Here be my poetry & prose, short stories, favored school papers, rantings, and "blogs." Comment, critique, and profit.