technology leaps ahead fashion finds a rut, jingle bells wallpaper, repeating the same economic mistakes over and over

I try not to think too much about style – clothing and accessories and all the culture associated with it. Yet it is inescapable, if nothing else as a practical matter. I can’t go out in public nude. I wouldn’t even if I could. We are the naked ape. We have no fur or scaly armor to protect us from the elements. I have to wear something. There are choices. So I do consider – or my vanity considers what looks best. That in turn in tempered by practical considerations like cost and how much use I’ll get out of what I buy. Synthetic fibers are out because they irritate my skin. I don’t like looking like I was poured into anything or like  I’m wearing a recycled tent. I have an ego. Thus having enjoyed a few compliments on my fashion choices I am even more aware of making better rather worse choices. It has occurred to me on looking around that style or fashions have become somewhat frozen. There is still variation – the slim hip-hugger look versus the loose and comfortable. Men’s suits and women’s dress-ware has settled into the in-between, not loose, not too tight for most people. One of the reasons I enjoy old photographs of people is that clothes, shoe  and hair styles change. I can look at them and imagine what it was like to live in the 1920s or the 1950s. Fifty years from now – based on appearance alone, no technology in the background, it will be hard to tell if the picture was from 1994 or 2011. You Say You Want a Devolution?

Go deeper and you see that just 20 years also made all the difference in serious cultural output. New York’s amazing new buildings of the 1930s (the Chrysler, the Empire State) look nothing like the amazing new buildings of the 1910s (Grand Central, Woolworth) or of the 1950s (the Seagram, U.N. headquarters). Anyone can instantly identify a 50s movie (On the Waterfront, The Bridge on the River Kwai) versus one from 20 years before (Grand Hotel, It Happened One Night) or 20 years after (Klute, A Clockwork Orange), or tell the difference between hit songs from 1992 (Sir Mix-a-Lot) and 1972 (Neil Young) and 1952 (Patti Page) and 1932 (Duke Ellington). When high-end literature was being redefined by James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, great novels from just 20 years earlier—Henry James’s The Ambassadors, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth—seemed like relics of another age. And 20 years after Hemingway published his war novel For Whom the Bell Tolls a new war novel, Catch-22, made it seem preposterously antique.

Now try to spot the big, obvious, defining differences between 2012 and 1992. Movies and literature and music have never changed less over a 20-year period. Lady Gaga has replaced Madonna, Adele has replaced Mariah Carey—both distinctions without a real difference—and Jay-Z and Wilco are still Jay-Z and Wilco.

 

Some of this is probably a practical matter. The cost of gas, health care, housing, insurance and utilities have all gone up. We’re still digging out of a recession, who wants to or has money to get experimental with their wardrobe.

oklahoma’s finest  garland’s drive-in-restaurant – opened in 1947

Rich People DON’T Create Jobs: 6 Myths That Have to Be Killed for Our Economy to Live. For what its worth wish OWS and progressive Democrats+ Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-VT) the best of luck in their pursuit of economic justice. Historically their chances are slim. The last great stride the U.S. made in economic justice was the New Deal. Its been down hill from there – slowly dismantled piece by piece over the last three decades in particular. There used to be and there still is a little hand-held, gasp, non-electronic game in which you try to get the little BB’s inside to go into little divets. It becomes more difficult to get them all in as you get the first two or three because tilting the game too much causes the beads to roll out. The game has certain natural tendencies towards thresholds of difficulty. Wall Street, the powers that be, the players, the suits that control finance – they have a natural tendency toward greed and rigging the game as much as possible. Many Americans, whether they are participating in OWS or more traditional avenues of progressive change are scratching their heads: why haven’t more Americans learned this lesson about Wall Street from 2008. The same reason people choose to forget the lessons of the 1980s meltdown, or the recessions/downturns/depressions of 1929, 1937, 1969-1970, 1836-1838 ( the U.K. also has the same short memory). Few of the very wealthy actually suffer the consequences of these economic downturns. They rebuild pretty much the same machine that existed before. They start pushing the limits to see how much money they can make and how much they can get away with. A new cycle of hurdling towards disaster starts over.

chromed black and white tree. i used an action on a black and white to get this effect. if you search google for photoshop+chrome+action there are various ones to try.

pagan bells

jingle bells wallpaper

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beating super-bacteria with super viruses, out in the park snow is falling wallpaper, the tragedy of police over reaction

Just a few days ago Bloomberg ran this story – Superbugs Will March Unless Antibiotic Behavior Changes. As we use, over use and develop new antibiotics, bacteria has shown a remarkable ability to evolve resistance to those antibiotics. Even if the use of broad spectrum antibiotics were used less ( probably a good idea in regards the broad spectrum drugs like Zithromax or Zmax), as Bloomberg suggests, new superbugs would still continue to evolve, abet at a slower pace. One possible strategy is to get the bugs before they infect people – Beating Superbugs with a High-Tech Cleanser

Now Dr. Udi Qimron of the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine has developed an efficient and cost-effective liquid solution that can help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria and keep more patients safe from life-threatening infections. The solution is based on specially designed bacteriophages — viruses that infect bacteria — that can alter the genetic make-up of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “We have genetically engineered the bacteriophages so that once they infect the bacteria, they transfer a dominant gene that confers renewed sensitivity to certain antibiotics,” explains Dr. Qimron.

The solution, recently detailed in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, could be added to common antibacterial cleansers used on hospital surfaces, turning resistant bacteria into sensitive bacteria. It’s easy to prepare, easy to apply, and non-toxic, Dr. Qimron notes. He estimates that one liter of the growth medium — the liquid in which the bacteriophages are grown — will cost just a few dollars.

 

MIT’s Technology Review did a report on bacteriophages or microphages a few years ago. They have shown a remarkable ability to kill some of the most tenacious bacteria or render them susceptible to antibiotics. I cannot find the link, but a couple of years ago there was a middle aged man that had some kind of flesh eating bacteria that no traditional medical treatment would stop. he ordered some bacteriophages by mail order – apparently they are sold over the counter in some European countries. He applied the tiny critters to his leg – where some of his flesh had been eaten down to the muscle. Within a few days his wound started to shrink and heal.

snow, winter, soft light, city park

out in the park snow is falling wallpaper

H/t to here for this story – Botched raid costs Minneapolis $1 million

The Minneapolis City Council approved a $1 million settlement Friday after a botched drug raid in 2010 in which an officer threw a “flash-bang” grenade into a south Minneapolis apartment burning the flesh off a woman’s leg.

The payout to Rickia Russell, who suffered permanent injuries, was the third largest payout for alleged Minneapolis police misconduct on record.

Flash grenades are intended to distract and intimidate, not to injure people, but during the raid the device rolled under the legs of Russell, who was seated on a sofa, and exploded. The police were looking that day for a drug dealer, narcotics and a firearm, but found nothing.

Russell, now 31, suffered third- and fourth-degree burns that caused a deep indentation on the back of one leg, requiring skin grafts from her scalp. She is still undergoing physical therapy.

“What happened in this case was an accident,” Minneapolis city attorney Susan Segal said in a statement. “It’s very unfortunate that Ms. Russell suffered serious injuries, however, accidents like this are rare.”

Yet incidents of fires, injuries and even deaths caused by the devices have led to costly settlements and policy changes in cities nationwide, including Minneapolis, where a 1989 fire started by a police grenade killed two people.

Russell’s attorney, Bob Bennett, said that Russell did not want to comment publicly, but said “she was glad to have some closure.”

On the night of Feb. 16, 2010, 18 officers were executing a search warrant on the apartment at 5753 Sander Drive based on a tip that narcotics were being sold at the address by someone named David Conley.

In what Bennett called “a cascading series of errors,” a Minneapolis police SWAT team smashed down the door with a battering ram without warning, when the search warrant police had obtained required officers to announce themselves before entering.

Police had applied for a “no-knock” warrant but did not get it, Bennett said.

 

No police officer was charged with misconduct. A tip that someone may have had drugs and one firearm necessitates a SWAT team. No surveillance to see if the tip had some validity. No minimum amount of force was even contemplated. The seemingly automatic use of a flash grenade. Nothing about the events leading up to the raid or the raid itself seem to make sense in proportion to either the supposed crime or the thin bit of evidence used to get any kind of warrant. It appears that the one guiding frame of mind at work was maximum response.

black and white driftwood