Should we have a right not to work? — this guy is headed in the right direction. as with most people, he is a lot more concerned about how it’s going to work, whereas i believe that it’s necessary to get more people to agree that it’s something that can be done, before we start “arguing” over what it’s going to take to make it work… but he’s headed in the right direction…
Pot-smoking students better at school than ‘marginalized’ tobacco-smoking peers — but nobody’s going to pay any attention until they change the name to something that doesn’t have the connotations that “pot” does… 😐
It’s Time to End All Drug Testing — cannabis is not going to be legalised until the media gets the idea that if they call it “marijuana”, people will think that it should be illegal, because it has a “street” name… 😛
but, apart from the fact that it no longer applies to me, i think that this article has got the idea down pat (with the exception of referring to it as “marijuana”), and more people should pay attention.
1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD — the other day i was at a friend’s house when my phone rang. it was my mother-in-law, who very rarely calls me, but when she does, it’s usually something fairly important, so i answered. she proceded to ask me “tech-support-geek” questions (something about filtering spam, i think) and i had to remember not to use “computer geek” language when i told her the proper techniques. this is the woman who has to have the difference between a browser and an operating system explained to her, repeatedly… to give her a little credit, she does have a neurological disorder that affects her memory… but so do i… 😐
i would give a copy of this to her, except that she doesn’t understand how to read a flowchart…
Continue reading 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD
Time for a Guaranteed Income? — this is the first step towards The RICH Economy, which i have been promoting for 20 years or so. nobody’s actually done it yet, but the fact that sweden is voting on it soon is definitely a step in the right direction…
although the author of this article doesn’t seem to think too highly of the concept… at least she isn’t dismissing the idea outright…
U.S. Customs Won’t Apologize for Destroying Musician’s Rare Flutes
by John Hudson
January 2, 2014
U.S. customs officials last week destroyed 11 rare flutes by a respected Canadian musician who was returning home via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. But the agency isn’t apologizing for the incident — it says the flutes were an ecological threat.
Officials at U.S. Customs and Border Protection identified the instruments owned by flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui as agricultural products that risked introducing “exotic plant pathogens” in to the United States, a customs official tells Foreign Policy. As a result, officials destroyed every single flute without contacting Razgui in an incident that makes your holiday airport delays trivial by comparison.
Razgui said there are around 15 people in the U.S. with such flutes, which means acquiring one ahead of his upcoming performances in February may be impossible. “I’m not sure what to do,” Razgui told The Boston Globe.
“They said this is an agriculture item,” Razgui continued. “I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life … This is horrible.”
Razgui’s mishap was first reported by the music blog Slipped Disc on Tuesday before jumping to the front page of the massive link-sharing site Reddit, which nearly melted the small blog‘s servers according to a follow-up post.
Though neither the blog nor The Globe received a response from U.S. Customs on the issue, a New York-based CBP official tells us the agency followed standard protocol.
“CBP is responsible for detecting and preventing the entry into the country of plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm America’s agricultural resources,” said an official, after being asked if the agency would issue an apology. “The fresh bamboo canes were seized and destroyed in accordance with established protocols to prevent the introduction of plant pathogens into the United States.”
Razgui, who has worked with numerous U.S. ensembles and performs regularly with the Boston Camerata, said he hand-crafted each instrument with difficult-to-find reeds. “Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.,” he told The Globe.
The CBP official said Razgui’s luggage was unclaimed and added that “fresh bamboo is prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of exotic plant pathogens.”
Customs officials destroy virtuoso flautist’s 11 instruments because they were ‘agricultural products’
By Scott Kaufman
December 31, 2013
A flute virtuoso was returning to New York via John F. Kennedy Airport when Customs officials confiscated and destroyed the instruments he was carrying with him.
According to Boujemaa Razgui, the officials told him that his 11 flutes — each of which he had constructed, by hand, himself — “were agricultural products and had to be destroyed.”
Razgui, who is a Canadian citizen, frequently travels with a variety of flutes, each of which is designed to be played with a specific ancient or modern genre in mind.
Slipped Disc’s Norman Lebrecht contacted Razgui, who recounted his ordeal with customs. “I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,” he said.
“There were 11 instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do. The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?”
Razgui also told Lebrecht that, as a non-citizen, he was reluctant to confront U.S. Customs officials.
By Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.
Jimmy Carter Defends Edward Snowden, Says NSA Spying Has Compromised Nation’s Democracy – i didn’t like him when he was president, but since then he has done a surprising 180 for a lot of things, and i like that about him…