Parting Words for '06

"What remains of democracy is largely the right to choose among commodities. Business leaders have long explained the need to impose on the population a 'philosophy of futility and 'lack of purpose in life,' to 'concentrate human attention on the more superficial things that comprise much of fashionable consumption.' Deluged by such propaganda from infancy, people may then accept their meaningless and subordinate lives and forget ridiculous ideas about managing their own affairs. They may abandon their fat to corporate managers and the PR industry and, in the political realm, to the self-described 'intelligent minorities' who serve and administer power."

- from noam chomsky, hegemony or survival

Marijuana Shamanism

December 26, 2006
Global warming may be thawing out the planet and threatening the lives of us and a host of other living species, but some things of interest are popping up as well. In 2003, a mummy of what is believed to be a shaman was found in the northwestern part of China. According to a story in the Peoples Daily Online (China):
Chinese scientists are conducting laboratory work hoping to identify a 2,800-year-old mummy presumably of a shaman in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The well-preserved mummy of a seemingly Caucasian man with a Roman nose and deep-set eyes was unearthed from a cluster of ancient tombs in 2003 and research work has been going on ever since.
Archeologists found the mummy most intriguing because a sack of marijuana leaves was found buried alongside the corpse.
The mummy remains intact in its original outfit despite the passage of time: leather hat, heavy coat and boots, huge earrings of copper and gold, a turquoise necklace, a copper laced stick in the right hand and a bronze ax in the left, according to Li Xiao, head of the heritage bureau in Turpan.
There are a few interesting things here: the mummy is "seemingly Caucasian"; he has a "sack of marijuana leaves"; and most of the outfit sounds slightly out of place. However, regardless of these conundrums, I would like to bring the marijuana to the forefront. Here is just another example of how long this plant has been a part of the human experience. The presence of the plant with an ancient shaman (who probably used it in religious/healing rites) further points to its potential value as well.
May we all have the chance to know the usefulness of this ancient plant...

National Nothing To Do Day

From Creative Outbursts (a PA e-zine):

In case you were not aware, this Monday, December 25th is National Nothing To Do Day. Banks, schools, and government buildings will be closed in observance of this wonderful day. In fact, most everywhere will be closed, save for a few lame stores that maybe should be closed instead. Chinese restaurants do not observe the holiday either. The Department of Homeland Scrutiny will be keeping its eye on them.
Ordinarily, I'd waltz downtowne to the local coffeeplace to waste time and harass lame baristas on my off-day. Monday, however, will call for a change of plans, a la the Nothing To Do tradition. An alternative set of plans... involving eggs, karo syrup, and an oven timer. There is only so much time and so many nativity scenes to vandalize.
Of course I kid. Vandalizing nativity scenes means Something To Do, not keeping in the holiday spirit at all. And now if you'll excuse me, I have nothing in the oven and all weekend not to share it.



After a bit of a hiatus...
I thought I would share this conference with people...
Technology, Entertainment, Design
...with some really interesting speakers. Who are these people and what are they doing holding a conference with one another?