27 January 2017

Presented Without Comment

March For Science | 22 April 2017

What started as offhand comments on social media have spiraled into the beginnings of a potentially large nationwide protest in support of empirical science. 
Inspired by the success of Women's Marches held worldwide in support of women's rights and other causes, and in light of numerous moves apparently aimed at silencing, minimizing, defunding, or discrediting the work of scientists during President Trump's first week in office, numerous groups and individuals have proposed holding a "March for Science" or "Scientists' March on Washington".  
As reported by the Washington Post, the idea went viral almost immediately after it was conceived:

In short order, the march had a Facebook page (whose membership swelled [overnight] from 200 people to more than 150,000 by ]the following afternoon]), a Twitter handle, a web site, two co-chairs, [postdoc Jonathan] Berman and science writer and public health researcher Caroline Weinberg, and a Google form through which interested researchers could sign up to help.  
In response to our inquiry, organizers told us that things were moving quickly and that they plan on releasing both a date for the event and a platform statement by 30 January. In terms of the group’s ability to handle such a rapidly growing concept proposed by a diffuse group of different individuals, they said in an e-mail:
At present we have around 10 people spending a truly horrifying amount of time working to pull this off and around 30 contributing wherever they can. We also have, at present count, 9000 people who have reached out to volunteer to help.  
Though their platform is not finalized, they told us that their motivation was both non-partisan and straightforward: 
Scientists worldwide have been alarmed by the clear anti-science actions taken by the Trump administration. It has been less than a week and there have already been funding freezes and efforts to restrict scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public. These actions are absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy. This is not a partisan issue — people from all parts of the political spectrum should be alarmed by these efforts to deny scientific progress. Scientific research moves us forward and we should not allow asinine policies to thwart it. 

According to the Scientists' March on Washington web site, the event will be open to “anyone who believes in empirical science” and not restricted to scientists specifically.
Snopes! Now more than ever! 

Source: snopes.com

28 Jan 2917 - Updated to reflect organizer's choice of title for the march.

22 January 2017

Declassified | Millions Of Pages Of Material Released By CIA

Since 2000, CIA has installed and maintained an electronic full-text searchable system named CREST (the CIA Records Search Tool), ... in College Park, Maryland. The CREST system is the publicly accessible repository of the subset of CIA records reviewed under the 25-year program in electronic format (manually reviewed and released records are accessioned directly into the National Archives in their original format). Over 11 million pages have been released in electronic format and reside on the CREST database, from which researchers have printed about 1.1 million pages.
Previously, in order to directly access CREST, a researcher was required to visit the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. [The] CIA recognized that such visits were inconvenient and presented an obstacle to many researchers. Therefore, in January 2017, the CIA published the records of the CREST collection online.
Declassified material includes information on The Family Jewels, Project Stargate, UFOs: Fact or Fiction, Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, Atomic Spies: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and POW MIA.

Wired published The Best of the CIA's 12M Pages of Files Online. Start Here on 19 February 2017.

Link to CREST online.

Reputable (And Not So Reputable) News Sources

Click image to enlarge
Via FB

21 January 2017

Women's March On Washington | Sister March | 5000 Attend Baltimore Vigil

Baltimore Sun photo | Click to enlarge
Ms. Lanny-yap is circled in red.

The Baltimore Sun estimates that 5,000 people attended a demonstration in Charles Village today as part of the Women's March on Washington. Organizers say they originally "envisioned a small vigil for Baltimore ... thinking [it] might attract 20 to 40 people who would stand on the sidewalk."

And, from the Women's March in Washington:

You said it, Jennifer.

20 January 2017

Alli Sebastian Wolf | The Glitoris

100:1 scale model,
painted gold and covered in glitter and sequins

Alli Sebastian Wolf is an artist from Sydney, Australia. She says The Glitoris was made to educate people on a part of the body that is still greatly misunderstood. “It’s political and feminist, but also a celebration,” she said. “It’s a hell of a lot of playful fun. Under the surface it’s so much more. It’s a glorious spaceship-looking creature with 8,000 nerves that can swell to three times its size in moments.”
Wolf’s “Glitoris” is set to be exhibited in Sydney bar and art space The Bearded Tit. The exhibition will also feature performances by a group of “Clitorati”, described by Wolf as “bejewelled priestesses of the clit”.
Seems appropriate on the day Americans inaugurate a giant prick.


18 January 2017

"And The White House Will Be Occupied By A Downright Fool And Complete Narcissistic Idiot"

Click here to see how cartoonists from around the world are showing their feelings about the incoming administration.

17 January 2017

Bystander Intervention Strategies | American Friends Service Committee

Bill Talsma
If you witness public instances of racist, anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-trans, or any other form of oppressive interpersonal violence and harassment, use these tips on how to intervene while considering the safety of everyone involved.

Do make your presence as a witness known.
  • If possible, make eye contact with the person being harassed and ask them if they want support. Move yourself near the person being harassed.
  • If possible and you feel you can risk doing so, create distance or a barrier between the person being harassed and the attacker.
  • If it’s safe to do so, and the person being harassed consents—film or record the incident.
Do take cues from the individual being harassed.
  • Is the person engaging with the harasser or not? You can make suggestions, “Would you like to walk with me over here? Move to another train car? For him to leave you alone?,” and then follow their lead.
  • Notice if the person being harassed is resisting in their own way, and honor that. (Especially white folks, don’t police the tone of the person being harassed).
  • Follow up with the individual being harassed after the incident is over, see if they need anything else.
Do keep both of you safe.
  • Assess your surroundings—are there others nearby you can pull in to support? Working in a team is a good idea, if it is possible.
  • Can you and the person being harassed move to a safer space/place?
Don’t call the police.
  • For many communities experiencing harassment right now (including arab and Muslim communities, black people, queer and trans folks, and immigrants) the police can cause a greater danger for the person being harassed.
Don’t escalate the situation.
  • The goal is to get the person being harassed to safety, not to incite further violence from the attacker.
Don’t do nothing.
  • Silence is dangerous—it communicates approval and leaves the victim high and dry. If you find yourself too nervous or afraid to speak out, move closer to the person being harassed to communicate your support with your body.

16 January 2017

May You Always Be The Butterfly

Vicious Cycle | Vimeo Staff Pick

Michael Marczewski | Vimeo
Vicious Cycle features a group of little autonomous robots performing a range of repetitive functions, driven by mechanical devices. But as the mechanisms mercilessly start getting faster and faster, things take a turn for the worse for the helpless robots.

What To Wear To A Protest March | Women's March on Washington 2017

Christabel, Emmeline,& Sylvia Pankhurst lead a suffragette parade through London in 1911.

From Wardrobe Oxygen:
Thousands are expected to come to Washington DC on January 21st to march on the first day of incoming President Donald Trump’s administration. As someone who lives in the area and attended rallies and inaugurations at this time of year I can tell you it’s going to be cold, you’re going to be on your feet for a long while, and basic necessities like bathrooms and bottled water are few and far between. What’s a woman to wear when sending a message to the government that women’s rights are human rights?
Update: After many questions, I have more details about the march and the content of this piece at the bottom of this post. I have also updated the tips thanks to many of you who have written in.
Second Update: I have added some information about transportation from rally buses to the march starting point. Also please note any links below may be affiliate links. At the bottom of the post I share more information about this.
Click on the link above for comprehensive information about what to wear and what to bring (and what not to bring) on Saturday.

Click here for the official Facebook page for the Women's March on Washington.

Click here for the official Facebook page for the sister marches around the country.

01 January 2017

Studio Smack | Paradise

From the press release:
PARADISE, [is] a contemporary interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights.
Studio Smack, best known for their music video Witch Doctor by De Staat, have released a new animation: a contemporary interpretation of one of the most famous paintings by the Early Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights.
In their latest work, the group cleared the original landscape of the middle panel of Bosch’s painting and reconstructed it into a hallucinatory 4K animation. The creatures that populate this indoor playground embody the excesses and desires of 21st century Western civilization. Consumerism, selfishness, escapism, the lure of eroticism, vanity and decadence. All characters are metaphors for our society where loners swarm their digital dream world. They are symbolic reflections of egos and an imagination of people as they see themselves - unlike Bosch's version, where all individuals more or less look the same. From a horny Hello Kitty to a coke hunting penis snake. From an incarnate spybot to headless fried chickens.
These characters, once precisely painted dream figures, are now digitally created 3D models. All of them have been given their own animation loop to wander through the landscape. By placing them altogether in this synthetic fresco, the picture is never the same. What the animation and Bosch’s triptych have in common is that you’ll hardly be able to take it all in, you can watch it for hours.
‘Paradise’ was commissioned by the MOTI Museum in The Netherlands for the exhibition New Delights, which is part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500-year anniversary. A gigantic video installation of this work is exhibited in the Museum until the 31st of December.