Category Archives: Media

Chart of the day II: STDs soaring in California


From the Los Angeles Times:

BLOG STDs

And what’s the reason for this rapid increase in diseases once largely under control?

Ah, that’s where it gets interesting.

From RT America:

LA sees surge in STDs among millennials

Program notes:

A surge in sexually transmitted diseases in Los Angeles comes a decade after the California city thought they had these health problems under control. RT’s Manila Chan explains the sharp rise in STDs, with officials pointing their fingers towards online dating and ‘hookup apps.’

Headline of the day: There’s no business like. . .


From the Los Angeles Times:

Paramount sued by production assistants over wages, bathroom breaks

The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also says the workers were not allowed to take breaks for meals or to use the restroom, leaving them to instead use their cars as bathrooms. 

Viggo Mortensen on American militarism, art


Viggo Mortensen is one of Hollywood’s most interesting actors, a commanding and often sympathetic screen presence.

But he’s much more than a screen presence. Born in New York, he was raised in Latin America, and holds citizenship in both the U.S. and Denmark. Among his other talents are gifts for painting, photography, writing, and poetry. Oh, he speaks four languages fluently and can converse in several others. And he’s also a recording artist and founded his own book publishing house, Perceval Press.

Give his credentials as a talented polymath, it should come as no surprise that he’s also a man of considered political opinions, and it is these that are the focus of the latest edition of TeleSUR English’s The Laura Flanders Show:

Viggo Mortensen: Empires and Justice in the Middle East

Program notes:

This week Laura and Viggo Mortensen discuss heroes, outlaws, empires and justice in the Middle East. Academy Award-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen has appeared in scores of movies, including The Lord of The Rings, one of the highest grossing film series of all time. What you may not know is he’s also a poet, photographer, musician and painter. He speaks four languages, and he is the founder and publisher of an independent publishing house, Perceval Press. The twelfth anniversary edition of Perceval’s collection of essays in response to the Iraq occupation: Twilight of Empire — was released this winter with essays by Mike Davis, Amy Goodman, Jodie Evans and Dennis Kucinich among others – and a forward by Howard Zinn. This episode also features a few words from Laura on Hillary Clinton – her warmth and her wars.

His Twitter feed is here, and his Facebook arts page is here.

Headline of the day: O Tempora! O Mores!


From the Guardian:

Internet cat video festival is ‘harder to get tickets to than Burning Man’

The viral videos have become an industry, now with their own gathering – and with that comes a ‘cattoo’ parlor, astrology readings and a sexed-up music video

A rare look at a comment spam generator


Anyone who blogs confronts a barrage of spam comments, phishing expeditions designed to win in return your personal email, and all the data that can flow from there.

Today’s spurious comments including one from someone who had purchased or otherwise acquired a spam generator but who had followed the steps to make it actually work.

Instead, we were given a missive which included all the algorithms used in generating the spam, ones that, properly used, could tailor the message to a specific post and, hopefully, win an emailed reply.

So we decided to pass it on, for archival purposes if nothing else, and at best as a lesson in how the nasty stuff works:

{
{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online
more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found
any interesting article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.
{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.
{Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed} as
I {can not|can’t} {in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service.

Do {you have|you’ve} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so that|in order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe.
Thanks.|
{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make
some plans for the future and {it is|it’s} time to be happy.

{I have|I’ve} read this post and if I could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you {few|some} interesting things or {advice|suggestions|tips}.
{Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this
article. I {want to|wish to|desire to} read {more|even more}
things about it!|
{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make {a few|some} plans for
{the future|the longer term|the long run} and {it is|it’s} time to be happy.

{I have|I’ve} {read|learn} this {post|submit|publish|put up} and if I {may just|may|could} I {want to|wish to|desire
to} {suggest|recommend|counsel} you {few|some} {interesting|fascinating|attention-grabbing} {things|issues}
or {advice|suggestions|tips}. {Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write {next|subsequent} articles {relating
to|referring to|regarding} this article. I {want to|wish
to|desire to} {read|learn} {more|even more} {things|issues} {approximately|about} it!|
{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} {online|on-line} {more than|greater than} {three|3}
hours {these days|nowadays|today|lately|as
of late}, {yet|but} I {never|by no means} {found|discovered}
any {interesting|fascinating|attention-grabbing} article like
yours. {It’s|It is} {lovely|pretty|beautiful} {worth|value|price} {enough|sufficient} for me.
{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and
bloggers made {just right|good|excellent} {content|content material} as {you did|you probably did}, the {internet|net|web}
{will be|shall be|might be|will probably be|can be|will likely be} {much more|a
lot more} {useful|helpful} than ever before.|
Ahaa, its {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {discussion|conversation|dialogue} {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} this {article|post|piece of
writing|paragraph} {here|at this place} at this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}, I
have read all that, so {now|at this time} me also commenting {here|at this place}.|
I am sure this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} has touched all the internet {users|people|viewers|visitors},
its really really {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} on building
up new {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}.|
Wow, this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} is {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious}, my
{sister|younger sister} is analyzing {such|these|these kinds of} things, {so|thus|therefore} I am going to {tell|inform|let
know|convey} her.|
{Saved as a favorite|bookmarked!!}, {I really
like|I like|I love} {your blog|your site|your web site|your website}!|
Way cool! Some {very|extremely} valid points! I appreciate you {writing this|penning this}
{article|post|write-up} {and the|and also the|plus the} rest of the {site is|website is} {also
very|extremely|very|also really|really} good.|
Hi, {I do believe|I do think} {this is an excellent|this is a great} {blog|website|web site|site}.
I stumbledupon it ;) {I will|I am going to|I’m going to|I may} {come back|return|revisit} {once again|yet again} {since I|since i have} {bookmarked|book marked|book-marked|saved as
a favorite} it. Money and freedom {is the best|is the greatest} way to change, may you be rich and continue to {help|guide} {other people|others}.|
Woah! I’m really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of this {site|website|blog}.
It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s {very hard|very difficult|challenging|tough|difficult|hard} to get that “perfect balance” between {superb usability|user friendliness|usability} and {visual appearance|visual appeal|appearance}.

I must say {that you’ve|you have|you’ve} done a {awesome|amazing|very
good|superb|fantastic|excellent|great} job with this.
{In addition|Additionally|Also}, the blog loads {very|extremely|super} {fast|quick} for me on {Safari|Internet explorer|Chrome|Opera|Firefox}.

{Superb|Exceptional|Outstanding|Excellent} Blog!|
These are {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {great|enormous|impressive|wonderful|fantastic}
ideas in {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} blogging.

You have touched some {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {points|factors|things} here.
Any way keep up wrinting.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} up too.
{This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!
Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys
I’ve {incorporated||added|included} you guys to {|my|our||my personal|my own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey}! Someone in my {Myspace|Facebook} group
shared this {site|website} with us so I came to {give it
a look|look it over|take a look|check it out}. I’m definitely {enjoying|loving} the information. I’m {book-marking|bookmarking} and will be tweeting this to my followers!
{Terrific|Wonderful|Great|Fantastic|Outstanding|Exceptional|Superb|Excellent} blog and {wonderful|terrific|brilliant|amazing|great|excellent|fantastic|outstanding|superb} {style
and design|design and style|design}.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} up too.
{This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work
and {exposure|coverage|reporting}! Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful}
works guys I’ve {incorporated|added|included} you guys to {|my|our|my personal|my own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey} would you
mind {stating|sharing} which blog platform you’re {working with|using}?
I’m {looking|planning|going} to start my own blog {in the near future|soon}
but I’m having a {tough|difficult|hard} time {making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding} between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your {design and style|design|layout} seems
different then most blogs and I’m looking
for something {completely unique|unique}. P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being}
off-topic but I had to ask!|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you mind
letting me know which {webhost|hosting company|web host} you’re {utilizing|working with|using}?
I’ve loaded your blog in 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web browsers|browsers} and
I must say this blog loads a lot {quicker|faster} then most.
Can you {suggest|recommend} a good {internet hosting|web
hosting|hosting} provider at a {honest|reasonable|fair} price?
{Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I appreciate it!|
{I love|I really like|I like|Everyone loves} it {when people|when individuals|when folks|whenever people} {come together|get together} and share {opinions|thoughts|views|ideas}.
Great {blog|website|site}, {keep it up|continue the good work|stick
with it}!|
Thank you for the {auspicious|good} writeup.

It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to {far|more} added agreeable from you!
{By the way|However}, how {can|could} we communicate?|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hello|Hey} just wanted to give you a
quick heads up. The {text|words} in your {content|post|article}
seem to be running off the screen in {Ie|Internet explorer|Chrome|Firefox|Safari|Opera}.
I’m not sure if this is a {format|formatting} issue or something to
do with {web browser|internet browser|browser} compatibility but I {thought|figured} I’d post to let you
know. The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look great though!
Hope you get the {problem|issue} {solved|resolved|fixed} soon. {Kudos|Cheers|Many
thanks|Thanks}|
This is a topic {that is|that’s|which is} {close to|near to} my heart…
{Cheers|Many thanks|Best wishes|Take care|Thank you}!

It continues, after the jump. . . Continue reading

Chart of the day: Bronze Age fairy tale roots


From “Comparative phylogenetic analyses uncover the ancient roots of Indo-European folktales” by Sara Graça da Silva of the Institute for the Study of Literature and Tradition of New University of Lisbon and Jamshid J. Tehrani of the Center for the Coevolution of Biology and Culture at England’s Durham University, published in the Royal Society Open Science Journal, which uses linguistic analysis to traces the origins of the “The Smith and the Devil,” a venerable folk tale found in many of the world’s traditions, back to roots in the Bronze Age [and click on the image to enlarge]:

Reconstructing tale descent histories. Example of an ancestral state reconstruction, showing ATU 330 ‘The Smith and the Devil’ traced on a consensus tree derived from 1000 Bayesian language trees. The proportion of black shading in each internal node represents the average probability of the tale being present in the corresponding hypothetical ancestor across the tree sample. The proportion of red shading in each node represents the number of trees in which the corresponding hypothetical ancestor was absent. Branches are colour-coded by linguistic subfamily. The oldest ancestral node that was reconstructed, Proto-Indo-European, is labelled ‘PIE’.

Reconstructing tale descent histories. Example of an ancestral state reconstruction, showing ATU 330 ‘The Smith and the Devil’ traced on a consensus tree derived from 1000 Bayesian language trees. The proportion of black shading in each internal node represents the average probability of the tale being present in the corresponding hypothetical ancestor across the tree sample. The proportion of red shading in each node represents the number of trees in which the corresponding hypothetical ancestor was absent. Branches are colour-coded by linguistic subfamily. The oldest ancestral node that was reconstructed, Proto-Indo-European, is labelled ‘PIE’.

The Empire Files: The U.S. role in birthing ISIS


Our respect for Abby Martin continues to grow as she matures as a journalist, first moving from hosting a show on Berkeley’s community access cable station to RT America, where she hosted Braking the Set, and then, after a brief hiatus, moving on to teleSur where she now hosts The Empire Files.

Each step of the way she has matured as a journalist, attaining a sense of gravitas that is the antithesis of what it takes to survive on this country’s corporate media.

In this latest edition of The Empire Files, she conducts what is probably the best interview we’ve seen on the troubles now afflicting the Middle East and North Africa, and lays the blame squarely at the doorstep of those most responsible, the U.S. Department of State and successive presidential administrations, and their use of oil as a weapon to bring down governments.

Her guest is Vijay Prasad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and he dissects the U.S. role in the violence now unfolding in Libya and Syria.

One of his most trenchant statement brilliantly sums up the nexus of crises across the globe: “The rich have gone on strike and are refusing to pay taxes.”

And so, from teleSUR English:

The Empire Files: Examining the Syria War Chessboard

Program notes:

The war in Syria is an unparalleled crisis. It has gone far beyond an internal political struggle, and is marked by a complex array of forces that the U.S. Empire hopes to command: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and more. To simplify this web of enemies and friends, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Vijay Prashad, professor of International Studies at Trinity College and author of several books.