Archive for November, 2009


post halloween phrightening phractal photos


I Am Thinking About Two Things

Thinking about worst things like worst schools, worst things that happen to people, worst people, worst things and people and things that happen to people in and because of schools.


Also thinking about what it is to read for diction and sentences and pacing. Thinking sometimes there needs to be that and then something else sometimes. This something is something that makes the diction and pacing and sentences ring themselves and estranged and special; that keeps them from getting pulled back into the bad-prosaic glut of their plots or subject matter.

More and more I am wanting sentences to add up as mass instead of movement. This is something I am finding in Robert Lopez right now. Because I am reading Robert Lopez right now and finding this, it is making me more aware of my desire for it. This is also making my days a little better than they would otherwise be.

What other books do this? I think Kathy Acker does this and this is why her books have magic logic. I think Diane Williams does this. That some books accrete mass as much as meaning or as a kind of meaning is how they have magic logic I think. I am not sure what magic logic is yet but it is real because you can tell.


(This is a thylacine. They are my favorites. I’m not sure of favorite what, but they are.)


swell maps

an awesome image bank of Fisk alluvial maps can be found here.


tintin in the land of the soviets



happy 34th anniversary

The Edmund Fitzgerald

(one day belated)


Trying to clear out some space for consciousness in the land of quantum-determinist atheists

If you take a scientific and strictly reductionist view of the mind you might have an argument that looks similar to the following: All matter in the universe is governed by the same laws, the mind is composed of matter, the particles of which have properties we know a little about. The mind is a product of these behaviors: Πgi(xj) where i and j are all possible indices of particles and something like “quantum numbers,” respectively. Supposedly, with enough particles and quantum numbers you can account for the complexity of the world, but I think that many who take this view feel that it forbids things like the “soul” or “free will.”

This is completely reductionist, that any system can be broken down into the sum of its parts and their product can account for the behavior of the whole. This is a tenet of statistical mechanics/thermodynamics and serves as check for physics in general and also chemistry and biology, the next rungs on the scientific theory scale ladder. In regards to physics in particular this line of thinking mimics the plan of attack for basic quantum mechanics – that a system can be broken down and analyzed by assuming products of functions of independent variables.

But what if there are functions that cannot be separated in such a way? What if there are properties (functions) that have two particles as a domain – f(gi(xj), gi+1(xj))? In this case, you would have to examine both of the particles in the system in order to learn conclusively of the behavior of the property – you would have to examine the entirety of the system. This, however, is not how we explain objects.

Take a cup for example. I can tell you lots of things about it – its color, weight, topological properties. I can also examine a few of its particles. But if I am to claim I know all there is to know about the cup then I must also claim that I can extend things learned about the small part of the cup to the remainder of the parts of the cup. But I cannot make claims about properties of the cup that require more particles than I can examine – I can make guesses and see how they line up with experiments about the entirety (like weight?), but I can’t deduce these properties. So either all properties of the universe can be detected through some finite number of particles or there is no limit to the size of the domain of a property. The reductionist claim sounds like all properties are properties found through a single particle, or a single particle of each type.



Bastardi Says Snowiest in Over 5 Years NYC to D.C.
Posted 2009-07-14

By Joe Bastardi
Could the “Year Without True Summer” Mean the Coldest and Snowiest Winter in Over Five Years from New York City to Washington, D.C.?

According to’s Chief Meteorologist and Expert Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi, cooler-than-normal weather this summer in the Northeast could point to a cold, snowy winter for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. He says the heart of winter will be centered over the area from Boston to Washington, D.C.

For people across the Great Lakes and Northeast, this has been the coolest summer in more than a decade. After a period of more classic summer heat in the coming weeks, cooler weather is expected to continue the trend of the “Year Without True Summer.” For Southeast residents, the hot topic for the end of summer will be the tropics heating up after August 15th.

The Weather So Far this Summer

This summer has been unusually cool across the Northeast, northern Plains and parts of the West. Places like New York City and Philadelphia, which are typically warm and humid this time of year, have had relatively cool and wet weather instead.
Click on image for larger image.

While no single factor is taking responsibility for the unusually cool weather, the combination of El Niño and worldwide volcanic activity over the past six to nine months may have played a role in causing this trend. The El Niño is a global atmospheric event that takes place over the equatorial tropical Pacific Ocean. The warming of the waters in that area can result in pattern changes globally, having a major effect on the weather across the United Sates, especially during the winter months.

People have been commenting on how the “Year Without True Summer” has been affecting them on’s Facebook site. The following are a few of the remarks:

* Robin from southern Maine said they aren’t swimming or doing much outside, and camping is no fun in the rain.

* Vince from State College, Pa., pointed out that the Centre County Gypsy Moth website says that a rainy spring has caused the gypsy moth population to collapse due to an increase in a moth-killing fungus in many areas of the county

In years past, cooler summers have been followed by harsh winters. Temperatures in New York City did not top 85 degrees in June this year. There have only been three other times in recorded history when New York City failed to reach 85 in June. In each of those instances, snowy winters followed.
Click on image for larger image.

Chicago had 12 days in June when temperatures did not exceed 70 degrees. This has happened only one other time in 1969. That year was followed by a snowy winter as well.

Surprisingly, people in Alaska have enjoyed usually warm weather this summer with highs in the 70s and 80s. Fairbanks recorded a record high temperature of 91 degrees on July 8. The unusually warm weather across interior Alaska has contributed to an increase in wildfires. Almost a million acres have burned due to the persistent hot and dry weather conditions.

End of Summer Forecast

Bastardi says the current pattern of unusually cool temperatures in the Northeast and Great Lakes will persist through much of the rest of the summer. However, there will be a five- to ten-day period of more typical summer weather in these regions by late July and early August before temperatures trend cooler again.

People across the mid-Atlantic, including those in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia, may see more humid weather through the end of summer despite temperatures being slightly below normal.
Click on image for larger image.

Across the Southeast, more typical late-summer heat and humidity will prevail. The big area of focus for people across that region at the end of summer will be activity in the tropics.

According to Bastardi, the tropics will begin to heat up after mid-August. People along the Southeast coast and across the eastern Gulf of Mexico will especially need to be on guard. Quick-forming tropical storms will be a threat, leaving people in coastal areas with only a few days notice for preparation.

It is this lack of time to prepare that will be the big danger of this year’s tropical season. People from the coastal Carolinas to Florida, Alabama and Louisiana should be ready well in advance to take immediate action if rapid-developing tropical storms threaten.

In the Deep South and southern Plains, the hot weather that has gripped Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana will remain throughout the rest of the summer. However, the heat should tend to be less extreme.

Along the northern edge of the heat, people across the Rockies, Midwest and Ohio Valley should expect frequent thunderstorms that could produce heavy rain and flash flooding. These regions have already had their fair share of these heavy storms so far this summer.

Thunderstorms should also begin to flare-up more across Arizona and New Mexico. Dry weather will be more the rule rather than the exception for the West Coast from Washington to Southern California. A higher wildfire risk could result.

A Look to the Winter

Bastardi predicts the current El Niño will fade over the winter and will probably not play as much of a role in the overall weather pattern as one would think during a typical El Niño year.

The areas that will be hit hardest this winter by cold, snowy weather will be from New England through the Appalachians and mid-Atlantic, including North Carolina. Areas from New York City to Raleigh have gotten by the past two years with very little snowfall. This year these areas could end up with above-normal snowfall.
Click on image for larger image.

While some parts of the Appalachians did have harsh winter weather in the form of ice last year, this winter could be one of the snowiest since 2002-03, when up to 80 inches fell in many places. Snowfall totals this year could reach between 50 and 100 inches. Last winter, the usage of salt was way up due to the number of ice storms. Salt supplies could be compromised again this year for state and local road crews that battle the winter weather. On the other hand, ski resorts could have a great year with plenty of powder for skiers.

Bastardi adds that the overall weather pattern that has prevailed this summer is pointing to a winter very similar to that of 2002-03, when major cities on the East Coast had above-average snowfall. Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity points out that in February of 2003, a major snowstorm paralyzed much of the Interstate 95 corridor, including New York City and Philadelphia. During the storm, airports were closed, roads were impassable, roofs collapsed and some schools were closed for a week, causing summer vacations to start late.

The storm track that could develop this year will bring storms up the Eastern Seaboard. This type of storm track will differ from that of the past two years, when storms tended to take a track farther west from Texas into the Great Lakes. That track into the Great Lakes brought unseasonably mild weather to the major East Coast cities, keeping them on the more rainy side of the storms. The track this year right along the Eastern Seaboard would put the major cities on the cold, wintry side of the storms.

A colder, snowier winter would mean an increase in energy bills, added snow removal efforts, more travel delays and extended school closures.

The Midwest and central Plains, which have been hit hard the past two winters, may end up with a lack of snowfall this year. Places like Chicago, Omaha, Minneapolis and Kansas City may have below-normal snowfall and could even average a bit milder than past years.

A warm and somewhat dry weather pattern is expected from the Pacific Northwest into the northern Plains. The typical barrage of winter storms that hit Seattle and Portland may not occur this winter and lead to below-normal precipitation.

The below-normal precipitation predicted for the Pacific Northwest could have “extended and severe ramifications” on the economy in a region that relies heavily on winter precipitation, according to Expert Senior Meteorologist Ken Reeves.

“A less stormy track through the Pacific Northwest, while on the surface may seem like a good thing, it is actually the opposite,” Reeves said. “Winter snows supply water to the region throughout the year and also supply a significant portion of their power needs. About 70 percent of electric power generation in the Northwest comes from hydro sources.”

The Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, from Feb. 12 to 28 could be impacted by the lack of snow and cold weather this winter.

A storm track into California and the Southwest means near-normal rainfall for Southern California. While some people across Southern California fear the El Niño will bring harsh storms to the region, the fading of the El Niño will lessen that risk and provide near-normal rainfall.


i’ve perfected the art and science of belgian waffle making…

you must separate the egg whites, beat them hard, and then fold them into the batter to make the waffles extra crisp and yummy.


Fragment: (S/T)ex(t) Play

There can be nothing more obvious than the artificiality and social-constructedness of gender and sex within a text. This is obvious because, however many times we write them, George’s penis and desire are never more than an act of erasure or reinscription from Robert’s vagina and malaise, and of course (except in instances of unusual print surfaces and drink spills) none of these words are likely to get any harder or wetter, no matter how often we ram words like arousal up against them. Which is to say: Anything resembling physical desire or sexual identity in a text is purely the effect of a wording friction whose consistency throughout a given work results solely from authorial choice or lack of imagination. The plain fact is that Sarah’s cock or cloaca is exactly as natural to her as her urinal cake or, for that matter, the pronoun his.

The appendage of certain-sexed words to others is in the interest of a general legibility and a meta-coding as within a dominant fictive aesthetic. The tropes of literary realism reinforce a naturalistic (as opposed to performative) notion of identity.



“I feel powerless to avert these tendencies and yet somehow feel guilty in complicity. I think that’s part of being american. I also think that it also requires a level of self-respect and self-awareness to counteract these tendencies.” You seem to have these qualities, as do most of my friends. and we should continue to be conscious of them. But, unless you’re proposing a radicalizing business model, this is a fact of economics — surely we’ll go along with the progressives, but we need a leader to change it. (ARE YOU HER?)

“But it isn’t a fall from grace, and we aren’t regressing, per se. You could watch a television commercial and say “Look at how stupid Americans are now, buying/watching/being tricked by all this crap”, but what is the alternative? What would you rather have? When has it ever been better? The 50s? The 30s? When people were hanging each other in public squares? Was that a golden age?”

Last paragraph: CALM AND PRECISE. CALM AND PRECISE. if everyone wanted to be so careful in their readings, blogs wouldn’t exist. they (interesting blogs) simply aren’t the medium for such things. now i’m guilty of my own hyperbole — so instead, let’s change that: please, everyone, write interesting blogs which dissect and complicate issues we are all engaged with. Is this the space of ghostisland? Or is it more creative? Or are they the intermixed? (they certainly aren’t the same thing)

Back on track: no offense, but you’re not being calm and precise. you’re conflating 2 million years of human history with a naive crisis in the present. Though I agree with what you’re saying, I don’t agree with your methodology. It’s fine to propose a question or two to the “radical” community, but what do you expect of such a community? It would be interesting for you (or someone else) to publicly articulate the conception of the radical that you’re thinking of.

As a student of both radicals and non-radicals, I tend to side with the latter, however right they may be, because they tend to tell the truth. hyperbole is inspiring, but history is fascinating: let’s use both to construct reasonable, practicable world-views.


How does “radical politics bloody its fist pounding at the obvious”? Do you mean this in the context of the human race you provided: a race, which, “destabilized populations of easy-to-kill animals with such speed and ferocity” and “once it got a little crowded…immediately commenced eradicating each other with an endless enthusiasm, as the vast majority of all species on Earth seem to do”? I think this reading ascribes too much weight to evolution, science, and human nature in its understanding of history and radical politics. That said, the events you describe and your plea for calm and reasonable critique seems important.

Though, I wonder: how can one be calm and reasonable in the scenario you have sketched? A critique of our social order needs to have as complex and expansive a concept of responsibility as the social order itself is today. Our individual actions and even actions of individual nation states are thoroughly intermingled. But, this complexity of global affairs under global capitalism musn’t cause us to shy away from a political critique of oppression and imperialism. At stake is the notion of who’s accountable for the criminal acts and violence so pervasive in our society; war crimes and criminal wars such as: Israel’s occupation of Palestine and continued aggression against a dislocated population deservant of reparations, and Obama’s Middle East Wars entail both individual actors who slaughter innocent civilians directly and indirectly (through crippling infrastructure) and high up actors such as Cheney, Obama, Gates, Eric Holder who set the conditions for such practices.

BEN SEGAL’S remarks provide some insight into the potential and shape of radical critique: critical praxis, which “takes history seriously and seeks radical change from a standpoint of hard, clear, and non-idealized historical memory….Foucault’s notion of ‘archeology’ is a perfect example of this. Radical politics can then work from a better understanding of the determinant and often hidden structures that tend to lead to humanity’s violent and destructive behavior.”

November 2009
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