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Archive for June, 2012

buttload of geniuses on the idea of optimism in 2007

[Posting this because I see "optimism" as a distinctive feature of part
of RAW’s individualist libertarian socialist pragmatic Damned Old
Crankiness. – rmjon23]


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From hence this wanderer came….


Love and Peace.

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sorry to dis-join your URLkleness

momma, poppa, baby tomato
walkin’ down the street
enjoying tonight’s McKnaught Comet, MAWGHN.

baby tomato slides behind
a banana slug and stomps on it.


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RIP: Alice Coltrane


Alice Coltrane, 69; performer, composer of jazz and New Age music;
spiritual leader
By Jon Thurber
Times Staff Writer

January 14, 2007

Alice Coltrane, the jazz performer and composer who was inextricably
linked with the adventurous musical improvisations of her late husband,
legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, has died. She was 69.

Coltrane died Friday at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in West
Hills, according to an announcement from the family’s publicist. She
had been in frail health for some time and died of respiratory failure.

Though known to many for her contributions to jazz and early New Age
music, Coltrane, a convert to Hinduism, was also a significant
spiritual leader and founded the Vedantic Center, a spiritual commune
now located in Agoura Hills. A guru of growing repute, she also served
as the swami of the San Fernando Valley’s first Hindu temple, in

For much of the last nearly 40 years, she was also the keeper of her
husband’s musical legacy, managing his archive and estate. Her husband,
one of the pivotal figures in the history of jazz, died of liver
disease July 17, 1967, at the age of 40.

A pianist and organist, Alice Coltrane was noted for her astral
compositions and for bringing the harp onto the jazz bandstand. Her
last performances came in the fall, when she participated in an
abbreviated tour that included stops in New York and San Francisco,
playing with her saxophonist son, Ravi.

She was born Alice McLeod in Detroit on Aug. 27, 1937, into a family
with deep musical roots. Anna, her mother, sang and played piano in the
Baptist church choir. Alice’s half brother Ernie Farrow was a bassist
who played professionally with groups led by saxophonist Yusef Lateef
and vibes player Terry Gibbs.

Alice began her musical education at age 7, learning classical piano.
Her early musical career included performances in church groups as well
as in top-flight jazz ensembles led by Lateef, guitarist Kenny Burrell
and saxophonist Lucky Thompson.

After studying jazz piano briefly in Paris, she moved to New York and
joined Gibbs’ quartet.

"As fascinating – and influential – as her later music was, it
tended to obscure the fact that she had started out as a solid,
bebop-oriented pianist," critic Don Heckman told The Times on Saturday.
"I remember hearing, and jamming with, her in the early ’60s at
photographer W. Eugene Smith’s loft in Manhattan. At that time she
played with a brisk, rhythmic style immediately reminiscent of Bud

"Like a few other people who’d heard her either at the loft or during
her early ’60s gigs with Terry Gibbs, I kept hoping she’d take at least
one more foray into the bebop style she played so well," he said.

She met her future husband in 1963 while playing an engagement with
Gibbs’ group at Birdland in New York City.

"He saw something in her that was beautiful," Gibbs, who has often
taken credit for introducing the two, told The Times on Saturday. "They
were both very shy in a way. It was beautiful to see them fall in

Gibbs called her "the nicest person I ever worked with. She was a real

She left Gibbs’ band to marry Coltrane and began performing with his
band in the mid-1960s, replacing pianist McCoy Tyner. She developed a
style noted for its power and freedom and played tour dates with
Coltrane’s group in San Francisco, New York and Tokyo.

She would say her husband’s musical impact was enormous.

"John showed me how to play fully," she told interviewer Pauline
Rivelli and Robert Levin in comments published in "The Black Giants."

"In other words, he’d teach me not to stay in one spot and play in one
chord pattern. ‘Branch out, open up … play your instrument entirely.’
… John not only taught me how to explore, but to play thoroughly and

After his death, she devoted herself to raising their children.
Musically, she continued to play within his creative vision,
surrounding herself with such like-minded performers as saxophonists
Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson.

Early albums under her name, including "A Monastic Trio," and "Ptah the
El Daoud," were greeted with critical praise for her compositions and
playing. "Ptah the El Daoud" featured her sweeping harp flourishes, a
sound not commonly heard in jazz recordings. Her last recording,
"Translinear Light," came in 2004. It was her first jazz album in 26

Through the 1970s, she continued to explore Eastern religions,
traveling to India to study with Swami Satchidananda, the founder of
the Integral Yoga Institute.

Upon her return she started a store-front ashram in San Francisco but
soon moved it to Woodland Hills in 1975. Located in the Santa Monica
Mountains since the early 1980s, the ashram is a 48-acre compound where
devotees concentrate on prayer and meditation.

Known within her religious community by her Sanskrit name,
Turiyasangitananda, Coltrane focused for much of the last 25 years on
composing and recording devotional music such as Hindu chants, hymns
and melodies for meditation. She also wrote books, including
"Monumental Ethernal," a kind of spiritual biography, and "Endless
Wisdom," which she once told a Times reporter contained hundreds of
scriptures divinely revealed to her.

In 2001 she helped found the John Coltrane Foundation to encourage jazz
performances and award scholarships to young musicians.

In addition to Ravi, she is survived by another son, Oren, who plays
guitar and alto sax; a daughter, Michelle, who is a singer; and five
grandchildren. Her son John Coltrane Jr. died in an automobile accident
in 1982.

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Cosmic Flatulence (Or Does God Have Gas?)

(follow the link for some amazing photos)

Astronomers map a hypergiant star’s massive outbursts
Sunday, January 14 2007

 Using Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory, Kameula,
Hawaii, astronomers have learned that the gaseous outflow from one of the
brightest super-sized stars in the sky is more complex than originally
The outbursts are from VY Canis Majoris, a red supergiant star that is also
classified as a hypergiant because of its very high luminosity. The
eruptions have formed loops, arcs, and knots of material moving at various
speeds and in many different directions. The star has had many outbursts
over the past 1,000 years as it nears the end of its life.

A team of astronomers led by Roberta Humphreys of the University of
Minnesota used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory
to measure the motions of the ejected material and to map the distribution
of the highly polarized dust, which reflects light at a specific
orientation. The polarized light shows how the dust is distributed.
Astronomers combined the Hubble and Keck information to produce a
three-dimensional image of the matter emitted from VY Canis Majoris.

"We thought mass loss in red supergiants was a simple, spherical, and
uniform outflow, but in this star it is very complex," Humphreys said. "VY
Canis Majoris is ejecting large amounts of gas at a prodigious rate and is
consequently one of our most important stars for understanding the high-mass
loss episodes near the end of massive star evolution. During the outbursts,
the star loses about 10 times more mass than its normal rate.

"With these observations, we have a complete picture of the motions and
directions of the outflows, and their spatial distribution, which confirms
their origin from eruptions at different times from separate regions on the

Humphreys and her collaborators presented their findings today (Jan. 8) at
the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, Wash.

Astronomers have studied VY Canis Majoris for more than a century. The star
is located 5,000 light-years away. It is 500,000 times brighter and about 30
to 40 times more massive than the Sun. If the Sun were replaced with the
bloated VY Canis Majoris, its surface could extend to the orbit of Saturn.

Images with Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 revealed for the
first time the complexity of the star’s ejecta. The first images provided
evidence that the brightest arcs and knots were created during several
outbursts. The random orientations of the arcs also suggested that they were
produced by localized eruptions from active regions on the star’s surface.

With spectroscopy obtained using the Keck Telescope, Humphreys and her team
learned more about the shape, motion, and origin of the star’s outflow. Line
of sight velocities, measured from the spectra, showed that the arcs and
knots were expanding relative to the star. With recently obtained Hubble
images, the group measured the ejecta’s motions across the line of sight.

This image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys, was made with
polarizing filters to show how the dust ejected by the star is distributed
in three-dimensional space. The light from the star becomes polarized when
it is reflected off the dust. The dust formed around the star and was driven
into space. To see the polarized light, astronomers used a polarizing
filter, which lets through only light vibrating in one direction and blocks
out light vibrating in other directions. Astronomers assembled this picture
from separate images taken at three different polarization angles, colored
red, green, and blue.
The team found that the numerous arcs, loops, and knots were moving at
different speeds and in various directions, confirming they were produced
from separate events and from different locations on the star.

The astronomers also used the measurements to determine when the outbursts
happened. The outermost material was ejected about 1,000 years ago, while a
knot near the star may have been ejected as recently as 50 years ago.

The arcs and knots represent massive outflows of gas probably ejected from
large star spots or convective cells on the star’s surface, analogous to the
Sun’s activity with sunspots and prominences associated with magnetic
fields, but on a vastly larger scale. Magnetic fields have been measured in
VY Canis Majoris’s ejecta that correspond to field strengths on its surface
comparable to the magnetic fields on the Sun. These measurements show that
the supergiant star’s magnetic fields would supply sufficient energy for
these massive outflows.

The astronomers used the measurements to map the velocity and direction of
the outflows with respect to the embedded star. When combined with the dust
distribution map, they also determined the location of the arcs and knots,
yielding the three-dimensional shape of VY Canis Majoris and its ejecta.

"With these observations, we may have captured a short-lived phase in the
life of a massive star," Humphreys said. "The most luminous red supergiants
may all eventually experience high-mass loss episodes like VY Canis Majoris
before ending their lives."

The typical red supergiant phase lasts about 500,000 years. A massive star
becomes a red supergiant near the end of its life, when it exhausts the
hydrogen fuel at its core. As the core contracts under gravity, the outer
layers expand, the star gets 100 times larger, and it begins to lose mass at
a higher rate. VY Canis Majoris has probably already shed about half of its
mass, and it will eventually explode as a supernova.

Space Telescope Science Institute News Release

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If Only They Would Teach E-Prime at the Buildings and Safety Office


LOS ANGELES – When people talk about seeing holy signs, they don’t usually
mean "Your Ad HERE" on the side of a church.

That 50-foot message, visible to thousands of commuters on a nearby freeway,
was projected Wednesday evening on a dark portion of the bell tower of the
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

The sign was gone within hours, but the Los Angeles Roman Catholic
Archdiocese was not amused.

"A church tower is different from a billboard. If it wasn’t, we would have
been selling ad space 2,000 years ago," spokesman Tod Tamberg said.

However, the sign wasn’t really trolling for advertisers. It was a guerrilla
art piece by James Cui, who included a telephone in the projected image.

"I’m flattered you noticed," the 28-year-old Highland Park graphic artist
told the Los Angeles Times. "I hoped I was hitting a lot of people with it."

Cui uses a laptop computer and a video projector powered by a portable
generator to cast his images on blank walls.

His projections on other walls visible from freeways, which have included
short film clips, have gotten some official attention.

"The first time was election night and a CHP cop stopped and asked if I had
anything with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on it. I had some old stuff from
his movie ‘Pumping Iron,’ and I put it up," Cui said.

That patrolman laughed, he said, but another California Highway Patrol
officer was unhappy with Cui’s projection of a film clip of a topless woman
with a black "censored" bar covering her eyes.

"He was upset. He gave me a warning," Cui said.

The city also isn’t thrilled, since municipal law prohibits continuous,
full-motion video signs. A violation is a misdemeanor worth up to six months
in jail and a $1,000 fine.

"What he put up is the equivalent to an advertising sign and not a work of
art," said Dave Keim, head of code enforcement for the Department of
Building and Safety. "To us, anything that attracts the attention of the
public is a ‘sign’ and you need a permit."

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Re: Time to RePay RAWilson for All the Slack


where did these people get the right to publish sumbunal of Robert Anton
Wilson’s most important books on the internet?

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bored? try Tommyvision!

a collection of the most interesting/entertaining streaming videos I’ve
found on the internet



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Leary's rare Neurologic online (but for how long?)


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Interview with RAW

Hi all,

What an amazing list! More info than I can comprehend (at least without
my boss noticing that I’m not working…)

Compliments out the way…the reason I’m posting is that I’ve convinced
a magazine I occasionally write for over here in the UK (The Idler –
http://www.idler.co.uk/) that they should let me do a piece on RAW.

Now ideally I’d love to do an interview with him, but I know he’s very
ill at the moment, so I’d thought I’d ask the advice of those of you on
here who seem closer to RAW than others as to whether this is worth
pursuing, and if so how I’d go about getting in touch with him?

Any feedback much appreciated…


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