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June 17, 2009

You can view more fractal art and other works by the artist Karin Kuhlmann here. You can purchase one of her prints here.

More on chaos theory and fractals including a fractal generator here.

Mathemagic – this performance was pretty cool. Reading the comments about the wonders of Vedic math led me to this site. Not as earth shattering as I was led to believe but there are a few cool short cuts for doing math in your head.

Chaos Piano

Some math rock I like from Battles

35 Comments leave one →
  1. Stemella permalink*
    June 18, 2009 11:32 am

    Nice pic! and very nice song too. Sounds like a koto a little bit at the beginning. I’d never heard Battles before. I’ll have to investigate further.

    I saw a Seattle related story that might be of interest

    Eddie Bauer files bankruptcy, gets $202 million offer

    As one might expect now that they are a higher end clothing store they are struggling. It looks like Rainer Holdings (we used to call the beer Green Death) is going to buy it and keep it alive. I wonder how REI has maintained? REI kicks LLBeans ass! ;)

    • cometman permalink*
      June 18, 2009 11:44 am

      Here’s what I don’t get about bankruptcy – how do you get to file for it TWICE in 6 years and still stay in business? I mean even if it’s legal, I’d think their suppliers would be a little wary about not getting paid at some point and stop doing business with them.

      Green Death?!?!?! We used to call it Vitamin R!

      I think there’s another ad for Rainier Lite that featured a moped instead of the motorcycle. You could see the huge red letter ‘R’ on top of the brewery as you drove into the city. When the company got sold, Tully’s coffee bought the brewery and replaced the ‘R’ with a big ‘T’. Just wasn’t the same.

      And never ever make fun of LL Cool Bean :P

      • cometman permalink*
        June 18, 2009 11:53 am

        Huh. Can’t seem to embed a youtube all of a sudden. Just checked some comments with videos from a couple days ago and I did it the same way. Did wordpress change something?

        • Stemella permalink*
          June 18, 2009 2:47 pm

          It worked for me. You have to watch that video 10x, loud!! haha

          here’s how I post them

          type youtube=pasteurlhere with [] those kind of brackets around them

          • cometman permalink*
            June 18, 2009 3:32 pm

            That fixed it. Still strange though. If you check the code on the last video I posted of that rattus thingy there are no brackets around it – just the straight url and the video still showed up.

            And if you have nothing better to do than watch old beer commercials, there are lots of other funny Rainier clips on youtube linked to the one I posted :)

            • Stemella permalink*
              June 18, 2009 3:45 pm

              Here’s a cute one

              guinness not, ribbet rainier

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 18, 2009 2:46 pm

        You mean to tell me I can’t make fun of this?!???

        • cometman permalink*
          June 18, 2009 7:44 pm

          Ok Ok Ok I take it all back. I couldn’t even make it through the whole video. Definitely not cool.

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 18, 2009 2:51 pm

        Definitely green death. It doesn’t mix well warm with tequilla.

        hurlicious! :P

  2. cometman permalink*
    June 18, 2009 12:12 pm

    Speaking of math, too bad Timmeh and the T-Men can’t figure out how it works.

    Read a few articles about the latest plans for “reform” and it seems the best they can come up with is to give the Fed more oversight power over the banks which is akin to expecting an arsonist to keep your house from burning down. Not sure why there is no public discussion about the fact that the Fed is pretty much a private institution which is not officially part of the government. I think a lot of people aren’t really aware of that.

    I read somewhere yesterday that part of the “reform” would be to have the banks come up with “credible” plans of how they would handle things in the event of another big meltdown. WTF?!?!?! Talk about shutting the barn door after the cows are out. It’s basically asking the banks “How would you like the government to bail you out the next time this happens”. No mention of breaking them up so a systemic meltdown is far less likely at all, which ought to be one of the first steps taken if they were serious about reforming the system.

    Matt Renner at Truthout has a good article which mentions that compensation and prosecution are also not being discussed as part of any reforms. He has some quotes from James K Galbraith and William Black there.

    And then there was this from Rawstory.

    The administration would merge the OTS with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an administration official said Tuesday. The proposal also calls for creating the Consumer Federal Protection Agency (CFPA) to police credit, savings and other payment markets, the official added.

    It will be guided by five principles, the official said on condition of anonymity, including “transparency, simplicity, fairness, accountability, and access.”

    What else can you do but laugh at a quote about greater transparency being made by someone requesting anonymity?

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 18, 2009 3:38 pm

      I watched Timmy blather on this morning explaining the plans to one of the finance committees. His voice makes my brain shut down. I hear what he’s saying but it doesn’t seem to mean anything. Some of the critters addressed many of the concerns you mention. No dice.

      Treasury seems to resemble Holder’s approach with the DOJ. Move along kiddies, no cleaning up the corruption, no holding the law breakers to account. We’re just going to plow right ahead with all these unbelievable powers and do exactly what we please. The Unitary Executive is thriving and political power is amassing even more than before. We’ll have to watch and see how SquO deals with signing statements.


  3. Stemella permalink*
    June 18, 2009 3:51 pm

    And this?!?!? This is freakin’ ridiculous! Who dances with a giant gumboot? Hah! Toddy!!!

    • cometman permalink*
      June 18, 2009 7:50 pm

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! Not the boot! I never danced in front of it but there are some family photos with that damn thing. Normally I avoid the tourist shopping hell that is Freeport like the plague but my sister and her kids came to visit and we just had to go there. Kids saw the boot and embarrassing photos ensued.

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 18, 2009 9:30 pm

        Next time you see the boot? Fuckem up toddy!

        Also in the fuckem up omg its aboot feckin time, toddy!

        Stanford surrenders to FBI, in court Friday

        Texas billionaire Allen Stanford has surrendered to authorities and will face criminal charges on Friday over allegations of massive fraud involving certificates of deposit issued by his Antigua bank, his lawyer said.


        He surrendered,” DeGuerin said after speaking with Stanford, who had been staying with his girlfriend in Fredericksburg, about 50 miles south of Washington. “He’s in FBI custody.”

        The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment.

        It was not yet clear what criminal charges Stanford faces. According to the Houston Chronicle, a grand jury weighing the charges returned a sealed indictment earlier on Thursday.

        Ok, so he’ll probably get out on bail and go back to his gf, but it’s a start. Dayum.

  4. Stemella permalink*
    June 19, 2009 6:27 am

    A very good article from Patrick Cockburn on Iranian revolutionary history and his assessment now that Khamenei has spoken and supported the election results in favor of Ahmadinejad.

    History suggests the coup will fail

    I’ll be looking for Fisk’s and Cole’s assessments later.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 19, 2009 6:42 am

      And only moments later, from one of the Iranian twitterers,

      unconfirmed reports – Revolutionary Guard has been mobilised to secure Tehran – 4 minutes ago from web

      The situation in Iran is now CRITICAL – the nation is heartbroken – suppression is iminent – 12 minutes ago from web

      The tyranny of religion persists. It matters not to me if the religion is Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Rastafarianism or Paganism – when they invoke their gods to control people through fear – they are tyrants. I support people who seek freedom from religious oppression. Until mankind can stop using their gods to oppress their own people and justify the murder of others who have different gods, there will never be peace between them.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 19, 2009 7:00 am

        God is dumb.

        That song has always been one of my favorites by Frank.

        • Stemella permalink*
          June 19, 2009 7:32 am

          How cool was that? Dweezil et al playing as Frank rapped. Yeah, he pretty much sums up how I feel about all the deities, “with a little ugly on the side”

          Thanks for the Frank fortification!

          Here’s another one, specifically for those of the Jeebus persuasion

          • cometman permalink*
            June 19, 2009 8:15 am

            Damn I miss that guy. I went to a concert on one of his last tours back in the late 80s – the one that the live album “The Best Band You Never Heard Before In Your Life” was made from later. Friend of mine who was a big fan suggested I check it out and that’s what got me to be such a big fan. It was during the time that Swaggert and Oral Roberts and Jim and Tammy were all making the news for being freakshows of biblical proportions and Zappa sang a bunch of tunes knocking the piss out of them. He did a block of covers with the words changed and the one I remember was called “Lousiana Hooker with Herpes” sung to the tune of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and it was a riot!

            Funny thing is that within a couple years the friend who turned me on to Zappa became a goddamned born-again and gave away all his Zappa tapes so his wife wouldn’t get mad at him. He was never as much fun after that.

  5. cometman permalink*
    June 19, 2009 6:36 am

    The Greeks lost their marbles a long time ago. Now they’re trying to get them back. The new Acropolis Museum opens tomorrow with the hopes that Greece may get back the cultural treasures that Lord Elgin stole many years ago.

    That short article doesn’t say, but I’m thinking this new museum will house the pieces from a smaller museum which had been built on top of the acropolis. That museum had some original pieces and some mock-ups of the ones in the British Museum. It was a decent museum and climate controlled to protect the art work from the pollution of Athens which had been eating away at any sculptures left outside, but it was pretty tiny.

    Now I really want to get back to Greece again.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 19, 2009 7:17 am

      Apparently there have been some tizzies thrown about those lost marbles. The Queen does not appear to be amused.

      Greek fury at Elgin marbles ‘loan deal’: Queen turns down invitation to opening of major new museum in Athens built to house Acropolis treasures

      A bitter new row over ownership of the Elgin marbles has erupted, threatening to eclipse the inauguration this week of a major new museum in Athens designed to house the contested masterpieces.

      Just days before the opening of the €130m (£110m) New Acropolis Museum, officials in Athens and London were this weekend engaging in barbed exchanges over the classical treasures.

      The dispute, which has indirectly dragged in the Queen, the Greek-born Duke of Edinburgh, and Gordon Brown, re-erupted when Hannah Boulton, the British Museum’s spokeswoman, told an Athens radio station that it would consider a loan request from Greece provided that it acknowledged, as is customary with all borrowing institutions, that London owned the pieces. The sculptures, she said, could be displayed in the New Acropolis Museum for three or four months, “the length of time for an average loan of objects”.

      Antonis Samaras, Athens’s culture minister, rejected the proposal, saying that acceptance would be tantamount to legitimising “Elgin’s deeds”. “Three months won’t be enough to take them out of their boxes,” he said, giving the Observer a guided tour of the concrete and glass museum. “As a time frame, it’s bizarre. And agreeing to the condition [of ownership] would be like sanctifying [Lord] Elgin’s deeds and legitimising the theft of the marbles and the break-up of the monument 207 years ago. No Greek government could accept that.”

      The pressure is on. The Greeks want their marbles back. :)

      • cometman permalink*
        June 19, 2009 7:56 am

        The Greeks should just tell Queenie that they acknowledge that the British Museum owns them and then keep them anyway. Fuck ’em. And while they’re at it they should get this and this back too.

        Those are my two favorite piece of Greek art and I looked all over for them at the National Museum in Athens the first time I went there, only to find the Brits had them. They have at least one of them anyway. The Pope may have the one of Achilles and Ajax, I couldn’t determine exactly which museum claims ownership with a quick search. Fuck him up too!

        • Stemella permalink*
          June 19, 2009 8:07 am

          The Pope has it at the Vatican

          Yeah, fuck’im up and his dumb pointy hat too!

          • cometman permalink*
            June 19, 2009 8:29 am

            Thanks for finding that. Pretty sure that one was discovered in Italy so the Italians are within their rights to claim it I guess. But any excuse to fuck up the pope is fine by me :)

  6. cometman permalink*
    June 19, 2009 6:43 am

    Today is Juneteenth.

    Still amazes me that it took over two years from the Emancipation Proclamation before all the slaves in Texas were told they were now free. Something I don’t remember being taught in history class as a kid, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

  7. Stemella permalink*
    June 19, 2009 7:10 am

    Another story to watch, this one is a serious, uh ohhh

    U.S. Fortifies Hawaii’s Defenses Against North Korean Arms

    Speaking at a Pentagon news conference, Mr. Gates said he had directed the military to deploy mobile, ground-based interceptors to Hawaii. Mr. Gates also ordered seaborne radar into the waters off Hawaii to provide detailed information to track and attack any North Korean missile.

    “We’re obviously watching the situation in the North with respect to missile launches very closely,” Mr. Gates said, adding that the military had some concerns about North Korea’s ability to launch a missile “in the direction of Hawaii.”

    Admiral Mullen declined at the news conference to confirm reports that the military was tracking a North Korean flagged cargo ship that might be hauling weapons, missile parts or even fissile material prohibited under international law.

    And there is this also, from Honolulu

    Hawaii missile defense fortified

    • cometman permalink*
      June 19, 2009 8:43 am

      There was a good op ed from the cantankerous one Alexander Cockburn in The Nation this week about the threat posed by North Korea. Unfortunately most of that is behind the subscription wall. But basically he mentions that while North Korea isn’t exactly a model nation, they haven’t done anything that the US and other Western countries haven’t done 10 times over. He compares North Korea’s jailing of some journalists to what the US did to the Cuban Five and mentions that while we demand that North Korea stop its development of nukes, the West barely made a peep about accident between two nuclear submarines in February of this year. What little news did come out was a couple weeks after the incident took place and then nothing. Cockburn also mentioned the hypocrisy of Obama saying that one nation shouldn’t decide who should and shouldn’t have nuclear arms right before telling the North Koreans they shouldn’t have nuclear arms.

      I really doubt N Korea has any plans to start lobbing missiles at Hawaii, but any excuse for the military to spend more money is just fine it seems. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia after all…

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 19, 2009 9:05 am

        You’re very likely right on that account. I saw an article recently how Gates was ordering billions more in Missile Defense systems for the Pentagon and then there is this from the WSJ. Raytheon’s eyeing India as a big growth market

        for the next five years, with the potential to sell the world’s largest democracy new weapon systems for fighter aircraft, infrastructure security and hardware for missile defense.

        To gain access, the U.S. company’s missile-defense unit has sought out a number of partnerships with Indian businesses and is close to reaching two agreements, Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon’s president, said in an interview at the Paris Air Show on Monday.

        One of those partnerships would help Raytheon secure contracts to upgrade two Phalanx close-in weapon antiship missile systems aboard Indian maritime ships, Lawrence said.

        In 2007, Raytheon signed a collaboration agreement with India’s Tata Power Co.’s (500400.BY) strategic electronics division, helping it gain market share and tap emerging opportunities. Such opportunities include air-defense missile systems to protect important infrastructure, missile-defense systems and potentially weapon packages for aircraft, Lawrence said.

        The policy of keeping the military industry dominant in our economy appears to be seamless between the former and this administration. More of that not change we were hoping for.

  8. Stemella permalink*
    June 19, 2009 9:13 am

    Just released: Stanford indicted for CD fraud scheme. Among many other acts of pure deceit, he diverted 1.6 billion of investor’s money into private accounts for himself. Others from Antigua who helped him are indicted also.

    Multiple counts of conspiracy for wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice.

    What? aren’t all those standard practice on Wall Steet? I hope they are following his tentacles all over Texas. Follow that dirty laundry, somebody?

  9. Stemella permalink*
    June 19, 2009 9:15 am

    Hey! Even nicer pic! :)

  10. Stemella permalink*
    June 19, 2009 2:09 pm

    Friday news dump: 5pm EST

    US military debates release of Afghan air strike probe The report from the DOD will be released in about an hour, detailing the wrongful killing of 147 Afghani civilians. The article above indicates there was extensive waffling about its release, even though it’s declassified. There has been extensive “editing” Boy, this sure reminds me of Bushco tactics.

    And from the FDIC
    Three more bank failures:

    First National Bank of Anthony, Anthony, KS
    Cooperative Bank, Wilmington, NC
    Southern Community Bank, Fayetteville, GA

    I think this makes 40 failures since January.

    Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program TLGP program announced.

    The FDIC has created this program to strengthen confidence and encourage liquidity in the banking system by guaranteeing newly issued senior unsecured debt of banks, thrifts, and certain holding companies, and by providing full coverage of non-interest bearing deposit transaction accounts, regardless of dollar amount.

    AND House targets Fed in Bank of America investigation

    A House panel has subpoenaed documents that lawmakers say could shed new light on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s role in Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

    The subpoena comes ahead of a hearing next week in which Bernanke is scheduled to testify.

    Lawmakers have accused Bernanke and President Bush’s treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, of pressuring Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis into the deal and urging him to keep quiet about Merrill’s financial problems.

    Not divulging that information would have violated Lewis’ fiduciary duty to the bank’s shareholders.

    Lawmakers also have questioned whether Lewis threatened not to go through with the merger in order to squeeze money from the government.

    Maybe this will be Obama’s excuse for getting rid of Ben and putting CaneToad Larry in his place. Barry and Larry sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g, while Timmy takes notes

  11. artemis54 permalink
    June 19, 2009 11:55 pm

    Most beautiful! I am so glad I dropped in. Comments seem much easier to read now.

    I am of two minds about the marbles. If they had stayed in Greece, what kind of shape would they be in now? But that’s not much of an argument for permanent ownership.

    Cephalopod fans might be interested in my latest note on our northwest oyster problems over at the Deli.

    — melvin, even though wordpress stuck me with artemis.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 20, 2009 10:24 am

      Thanks melvin. You hit the nail on the head about the marbles. Elgin took a lot of them but not everything. He didn’t manage to get all the Caryatids from the Erechtheum and some of them stayed in situ. But the pollution of 20th century Athens is awful – I remember warnings when I was there for old people and little children to stay indoors on particularly bad days. It was eating away the Caryatids and the remaining originals were eventually removed, put in a small museum on top of the acropolis, and replaced with copies on the actual building. So the marbles wound up being preserved much better in the British Museum. Of course the marbles were originally removed before pollution was such a problem and the Greeks aren’t some backwards barbarians – they have taken measures to preserve their heritage once the dangers became clear. And especially now that they have a new museum it’s time to give them back.

      But that would open up a huge can of worms by setting a precedent of repatriation for art that has been stolen or borrowed or however you want to put it. If Western countries had to return all the art in their museums that was taken due to some feeling of “white man’s burden”, there would be a lot of empty space to fill. Another example I’m familiar with are the friezes from the Assyrian palaces found by Henry Layard. Many of those are in the British Museum, but you’ll also find them in the museums of many Ivy League schools and a lot of small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast. I was amazed to find that the dinky little college I went to had a couple of these in its art museum.

      I think it’s a precedent that ought to be set, although hopefully some happy medium could be reached. It would be tremendous if those Assyrian friezes could be eventually repatriated and put back together again. Same with the Elgin Marbles. And then Western museums could keep some smaller, less famous pieces in their permanent collections perhaps in exchange for some original Western art going to museums in other parts of the world.

  12. sisdevore permalink
    June 20, 2009 9:52 am

    this is a really cool blog, cometman. love the unifying theme. it’s so fucking odd.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 20, 2009 10:28 am

      Thanks Miss D. I have to say though that Stemella is the brains behind this operation. I’m still trying to keep the ink from getting all over the place when I use my quill pen :)

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