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Sunday surprise: Ernst Haas

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — beauty is in the viewfinder of this beholder ]
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Two bodies of water:

Ernst Haas, Tobago Wave
Tobago Wave, photograph by Ernst Hass, with permission of the Ernst Haas Estate

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The closest correlation to this image that comes to mind is from Genesis:

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

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I’d like us to explore this juxtaposition of two bodies of water a little farther. Here, for instance, is Terence Stamp, retelling The Tale of the Sands from Idries Shah‘s Tales of the Dervishes:

And to bring that tale, lyrical as it is, home to the realities of twenty-first century living — and indeed the context of national security — consider the matter of the Rios Voadores or Flying Rivers, as described in a National Geographic piece this February, Quirky Winds Fuel Brazil’s Devastating Drought, Amazon’s Flooding:

The loop starts in the Atlantic Ocean, where the winds carry moisture westward over the Amazon. Some falls as rain, but as the air passes, it also absorbs moisture from trees. When these “flying rivers” hit the Andes, they swing south, showering rain over crops and cities in eastern Bolivia and southeastern Brazil.

Beginning a year ago, however, a phenomenon called “atmospheric blocking” transformed that wind pattern. Marengo, a senior scientist at the Brazilian National Center for Early Warning and Monitoring of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN), likens this to a giant bubble that deflected the moisture-laden air, which instead dumped about twice the usual amount of rain over the state of Acre, in western Brazil, and the Bolivian Amazon, where Cartagena lives.

At the same time, cold fronts from the south, which cause precipitation over São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, were shunted aside, and as the system lingered, the drought took hold ..

Here’s a video to give you a glimpse..

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Did I mention national security? Here’s what Chuck Hagel said in the second paragraph of his Foreword to the Pentagon’s 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap:

Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.

I have an analytic post forthcoming on Lapido Media about Water shortages and violence in the Middle East. A hat tip to blog-friend Pundita, who has been blogging intensively on water shortages recently [1, 2, eg]. And my grateful thanks to Victoria Haas for her gracious permission to use her father’s superb photograph at the head of this post.

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The master’s eye — to catch the two-in-oneness of sky and sea, cloud and wave, water and water so exactly, in so balanced a form.. and then, within that massive, unmissable symmetry in blue and green, the milder asymmetries he captures of left and right — the billowing, the surging. Exquisite.

It is Sunday: treat yourself to a viewing of his portraits of Marilyn Munroe, of Jean Cocteau, of Albert Einstein, his extraordinary Sea Gun. Who has both the wanderlust to find and the eye to see such a thing?

Veri-Fire announcement

Friday, March 20th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — the future of handgun safety? ]
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Blog-friend James Skylar Gerrond announced today: “Veri-Fire will launch Guardian, our biometric trigger guard for handguns on 13 April.”

What is it?

Guardian is the revolutionary solution in responsibly securing your handgun against unauthorized or accidental use while maintaining unprecedented readiness.

I can barely imagine wanting a handgun — I’m one of those — but if I had one, I’d want it fitted with the Veri-fire Guardian.

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Veri-fire locked:

VF_render_WhiteBG_GIF_v2

diagrammed:

Test_VFG-Drawing2

and unlocked:

VF_render_WhiteBG_open_GIF_v2

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I wrote a while back about AE Van Vogt‘s science fiction work, The Weapon Shops of Isher, which introduced the concept of “guns that could only be used in defense and only for their owners” — and the Armatix iP1 pistol / watch combo. Sadly, that piece is one of those we lost in the hack last year. This time, the science fiction ref — provided by Brett Fujioka — is from Psycho-Pass.

Chris Bateman and Cornelius Castoriadis

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — to Chris Bateman and all — concerning the hard problem in consciousness ]
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Chris Bateman is a game designer and philosopher whose sense of games informs his philosophy, while Cornelius Castoriadis was a philosopher influenced by Lacanian psychoanalysis — for some reason, I have previously and it seems erroneously identified him as an architect. The first quote below is from Chris Bateman’s blog post a day or three ago, Voiding The Hard Problem of Consciousness on Only a Game:

SPEC DQ Bateman Castoriadis

The second quote is from Castoriadis’ book, World in Fragments: Writings on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination.

This post is offered as a coversational rejoinder to Chris’ post, in the spirit of the ‘Republic of Letters’.

A very brief brief on black banners

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — wherein black flag patches run riot ]
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Just a quick something I gleaned via Leah Farrall‘s recent blog post:

Abu Bakr on IS and JaN flags

That’s the gist of an excerpt I transcribed from an Aussie Insight video last year, which featured host Jenny Brockie and the gentleman depicted, one Abu Bakr. Bakr was arrested just before Christmas and charged with “possession of documents designed to facilitate a terrorist attack”. The exchange went like this:

Jenny Brockie: I see you’re wearing the ISIS flag on your shirt

Abu Bakr: It doesn’t really come down to what sort of flag because this flag, here, people might say you’re a supporter of Jabhat al-Nusra, and this flag here, people might say you’re a supporter of ISIS, but these flags are all one, they’re all the same flag, one Muslim nation and that’s it.

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It’s great to see you back and blogging, Leah —

Arabs at War

— and we’re keenly awaiting the arrival of your book!

Super Buds

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron — you can’t even watch the Super Bowl without the Antichrist slipping deftly into your subconscious — or can you? ]
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Thank God I don’t watch the Super Bowl. If I did, and unless I’d been taking a break during the commercials to go on a scavenger hunt in the kitchen, I might have been exposed to this:

Horrific, no? And yet so smoothly and sweetly done!

As you might imagine, this cute commercial was “the Most Successful Commercial of the Super Bowl” according to TIME, and “racked up more than 37 million views”.

On the other hand, this video commentary has only managed 13,495 views as of the time my writing this post:

It seems the forces of advertising Antichrist are beating out the voices of false prophecy about 2472 to 1.

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Or perhaps not.

I have an alternative theory. Perhaps the Budweiser Clydesdale horses are just Clydesdales, the puppies just puppies — and for the record, it was “17 Clydesdale horses and eight golden Labrador puppies” I missed, thank God, fingers crossed, just in case — and the ad just an ad, the beer just a beer, with nary an Antichrist in sight.

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Scholar that I am, I believe you might like further resources with which to deepen your understanding of this matter of commercial appeal or (fingers crossed) theological interpretation.

Our “co-prophet” skipped his usual introduction in this particular “cute puppy” video, but he posts extensively, and I was happy to find his commentary on the Vatican Doves, which I discussed recently [ here and here ]:

So that’s how our co-prophet sees himself — the “third eagle” of the Apocalypse.

And then there’s the ad itself, which I must finally admit I prefer to its alleged millennial meaning.

Two looks behind the scenes:

and:

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And that’s it, folks.

Sigmund Freud, or was it Groucho Marx, said it first: sometimes a Clydesdale is just a Clydesdale.

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Hat-tip: blog-friend Bryan Alexander of the ever-ghastly Infocult.


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