Monday, May 08, 2006

A Little Light Reading

Subtopia discusses the work of Eyal Weizman, who has written extensively on "military urbanism" in Palestine:

Through his depictions of the verticality and three-dimensional spatiality of a military controlled urban landscape, Weizman also produced an amazingly coherent set of maps of the West Bank in conjunction with B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, which reveals in a frightening visual display, the invisible geospatial complexity that has shaped an urbanism of the Israel-Palestinian conflict over the last 20 years.
Scientific American discusses new research on the mixture effects of common chemicals:
Biologist Tyrone Hayes and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have spent the past four years testing four herbicides, two fungicides and three insecticides commonly used in American cornfields. Individually, the chemicals had little effect on developing tadpoles at low concentrations, such as about 0.1 part per billion. But when Hayes exposed them to all nine at the same low level in the laboratory--the lowest level actually found in the field--the future frogs fell prey to endemic infection. Those that survived ended up smaller than their counterparts raised in clean water--despite taking longer to mature into adults.
Echidne locks horns with fundamentalist sexuality:
I understand the fear of rape and sexual violence in general, but I don't understand the fear of sex as such, the fear of sex so strong that it surpasses the fear of death. This idea of sexual license as an apocalypse, the end of everything. What would it actually end? Would there be copulation out in the streets? And if so, how many days would that last? Wouldn't people still need to eat and work and sleep and take care of their children?
Engineer-Poet explains a few things about high gas prices:
Most of this [Wahhabism] was paid for by the Saudi government and private patrons, financed by your spending at the gas pump. Yet when George W. Bush declared that your post-attack role was to go out and spend to prop up the economy, you didn't demand that Detroit help you to cut that monster off at the knees. Instead, you yawned when Congress gave huge tax breaks for any large (and thirsty) vehicle used "in a business"... and then bought plenty of Explorers and Durangos and Escalades and Avalanches yourselves, most of you just to look cool.

You had at least four years and two elections to express your displeasure to those folks you sent to Washington, four years to trade in that guzzling vehicle for something that wouldn't feed that monster in the Middle East, four years to act either collectively as voters or individually as consumers. You blew it, sleepwalking into the crisis.
And last, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management is pondering "The Monumental Task of Warning Future Generations":
Design ideas for the monuments and markers have been drawn from a broad range of sources: Yucca Mountain’s natural conditions, worldwide archeological studies, materials science, and verbal and symbolic linguistics. The monumental challenge is to address how warnings can be coherently conveyed for thousands of years into the future when human society and languages could change radically.
A monumental task, indeed...especially when one sees how difficult it is to make present generations understand present threats.


Anonymous said...

I was so pleased with this comment I made over at Echidne's on sex and all that, I reckon I'll bring it over here.

Please, fear of sex and sexuality isn't fear of sex. It's fear of women, fear of loss of control, fear of creativity and wild right brain worldless experience.

On the suface it's discomfort with what's messy and slippery and slimey, but deeper downn, it's a terror that the roots of life-- which reach up toward the sun to grow, blossom and bear fruit-- will clutch round the genitals of the disarmed recreant, and that that new life will feed off the old life.

When Americans stop using antiseptic and anti bacterial hand soap and let their bodies smell and let themselves freely suck on sweet peaches and run their tongues over red raspberries and feel the fullness of ripe tomatoes...when they relax and let their senses be aroused by eating good chocolate, drinking dark red wine, feeling the sun warm on their bare flesh...when they quit consuming their lives like a McDonald's big Mac, something you buy to eat and throw away the wrappers...when we begin admitting that we like to lick our fingers and lick each others fingers and to feel how good it is to have a body that can feel these things...then maybe we won't be able to be so scared of the boogey man of sex.

Fair fucks to you all.

Phila said...

Please, fear of sex and sexuality isn't fear of sex. It's fear of women, fear of loss of control

No argument here.