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Stop and Hear the Toneses

May 31, 2011

The above is actually the fast version of John Cage’s composition As Slow as Possible

Since September 5, 2000, which is the 88th birthday of the avantgarde composer and artist John Cage, the slowest and longest concert that the world has ever heard has been playing: ORGAN2/ASLSP As Slow aS Possible that means this piece of music, for the organ, will be performed for 639 years in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt.

You can listen to the current note being played here.

This documentary about one blind man’s pilgrimage to Halberstadt to hear the note change for the first time in years looks fascinating.

Perhaps I’ll buy the CD. It would provide a nice accompaniment while sitting on the porch and breathing in the scent from the lilacs wafting across the yard. And who knows, maybe just the right frequency would act as a bug repellent and chase the little bastards off my azaleas, although Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap seems to being doing the trick for now.

And in case you don’t have the time now, but might sometime in the next 628 years, a link to the current note has been provided on the blogroll to the right.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    May 31, 2011 11:51 am

    Take a look at this one melvin and let me know what you think –El Salvadoran Government & Social Movements Say No to Monsanto.

    Sounds somewhat promising but I’m not sure how seriously to take this information after reading this bit –

    In the United States, Monsanto recently lost a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, which upholds current regulations that prohibit the planting and commercialization of Roundup Ready Alfalfa, until a proper Environmental Impact Statement is conducted by the USDA to better understand the GMO’s impact.

    -since we already mentioned here that Uncle Sugar did in fact later approve Roundup ready alfalfa with no restrictions whatsoever.

    You’d think somebody -AlterNet, the author – would have noticed that pretty glaring discrepancy.

  2. cometman permalink*
    May 31, 2011 12:05 pm

    Wow, this sounds like it could send out a few shockwaves. Beware of Greeks bearing credit default swaps – Papandreou accused of treason! by a member of the Greek parliament –

    Recently, in an interview on Greek television, Member of Parliament for New Democracy, Mr. Panos Kammenos, made allegations that if true, could very well constitute treason for the Greek Prime Minister, members of his staff and possibly members of his own family.

    Some of the details are a little shaky, but this really doesn’t sound good at all –

    The gist of the allegations rest on the charge by Mr. Kammenos, that the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. George Papandreou and members of his team, presided over the sale of 1.3 billion dollars worth of credit default swap contracts (CDS on Greek sovereign debt) on or around December of 2009, shortly after coming to power. The 1.3 billion dollars worth of insurance protecting against a Greek default was bought during the spring and summer of the same year, by the Hellenic Postbank, a public banking arm of the Greek government.


    so long as the credit protection remained at the Hellenic Postbank of Greece, the CDS contracts would function as insurance against the type of “credit events” that would transpire over the following twelve months. Indeed, the very insurance that was being held in public coffers by the Hellnic Postbank, is today worth approximately 27 billion dollars according to numbers cited by Mr. Kammenos on multiple occaisions [sic]. Considering that Greece is now under duress to raise collateral for its “bailout” money, 27 billion dollars would go a long way towards preventing the privatization and sale of the nation’s assets to foreigners (this figure assumes a partial default and subsequent payout). Unfortunately, the Greek government is no longer in possession of this 27 billion worth of CDS, because it sold them in December of 2009, for a paltry 40 million dollar profit. The contracts were sold to a private firm for “high net-worth individuals” founded in 2009, by the name of IJ Partners.

    IJ Partners, based in Geneva, has a number of well-known Greeks who serve as either managing partners or members of the board, including former IMF economist Miranda Xafa (who intermediated Greece’s dealings with the IMF), former CEO of Piraeus Bank (one of the banks named in a law suit as shorting Greek government bonds during the period in question) and Theodore Margellos, the well-known exporter who, according to Mr. Kammenos’ speech on the floor of parliament, was accused of falsely passing off imported corn from Kosovo as Greek produce. I should also note that according to Mr. Kammenos’ accusations, the firm’s Vice President, Mr. Jose-Maria-Figueres, shares board membership on a separate NGO with none other than the Prime Minister’s own brother, Mr. Andreas Papandreou Jr.

    For those not versed in financialese, if the Greece is a house, basically what the government did is sell off the insurance policy on its house held by a public bank to private interests at a time when the government knew the house was on fire, leaving the house to burn and private interests to collect an enormous profit.


    The whole country is going to riot if this is true. The government will be hard pressed to get its police force to do jack shit against protesters. Papandreou better hope the paltry $40 mil he made selling off his nation’s insurance policy is enough to hire Blackwater.

    Which makes a nice segue to this interesting op-ed – Economics as Morality Play – where the author discusses how what economists and pundits say on the TV doesn’t really have any basis in reality. Even though he calls the economists out on their shortcomings, I do think he gives the Ber-nank and others a little too much credit for trying to be honest. It isn’t really the media vs the economists IMO because they’re all in on the scam together once you get to a certain pay grade. Otherwise very good piece and the conclusion seems particularly apt in light of this and so many other revelations about financial skullduggery –

    Economists in the last thirty years have been turning their discipline into a pseudo-science, but even that was preferable to this anarchy. Even the crappy economists that universities have been turning out over the past thirty years had some standard of rigor – well most of them did, anyway – and they all recognise certain simple truths. When people start cobbling together their own theories – alloying morals and metaphysics, opinions and theology – the whole thing falls apart. Memes pass from one person to another and a collective hysteria takes hold, while rational voices are drowned out in a sea of shouting and perniciousness. All the world, to use the words of a great poet, becomes a stage.

    This is what accounts for the curious situation we face today. The solutions are all on the table, they’ve even been tested before and yet we are impotent to step forward and pick them up. All we can do is watch this unusual spectacle play out – paralysed – and experience the very real implications that follow from it. Economics as morals – politics as theatre; apocalypse as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  3. artemis54 permalink
    May 31, 2011 2:04 pm

    Portland rocks!

    • artemis54 permalink
      May 31, 2011 5:13 pm

      Just realized from the camera angles that this occupied the walkways on both sides of the bridge. Note also the typical Portland admonition at the end to recycle any paper pamphlets, etc distributed during the action.

      Even the Portland teabagger faction, when it held a symbolic tea dump into the Willamette, made sure that it was bulk organic tea – no stapled bags with chemically inked tags. Nothing was ever more typical of the city.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 2, 2011 1:59 pm

        Been busy lately and only had a chance to watch about half of that video, but kudos to the mayor and everyone else involved. Great response to a nasty incident.

  4. artemis54 permalink
    June 1, 2011 2:24 pm

    God really, really hates Ireland

    “ I …warned America about Ireland’s sad, sick, sodomite culture and fag Irish Senator David Norris’s case before the European Court of Human (i.e., Fag) Rights. (Incidentally, the “Openly-Gay” fag Irish Senator Norris was represented before that Strasbourg European Fag Court, by the famous Dyke-Enabler and Irish President, Mary Robinson.) We warned that WBC has had lots of experience with Ireland’s militant sodomite citizenry, steeped for many decades in ignorant, blind, idolatrous Catholicism, belching out their vile fagspeak, slander, and blasphemy against God and His Word – cursing WBC members as guests on Dublin talk-radio shows. Remember, Martin Luther said Catholic churches, seminaries and monasteries are nothing but sodomite whorehouses filled with unnatural brute beasts and devils. We warned that the very leprechauns of Ireland are likely to be fags!”

    That’s LGBT leprechauns to you, sir.

  5. cometman permalink*
    June 2, 2011 2:04 pm

    About a week ago at the tail end of about a month straight of nasty, rainy weather I made an offhand comment to a friend that we shouldn’t complain too much about the weather because at least we didn’t have to worry about tornados.

    Probably shouldn’t have opened my mouth as yesterday tornado warnings were issued for good parts of new England and at least a couple touched down doing extensive damage and killing a few people. I concur with this headline – What are deadly tornadoes doing way up in New England?

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 2, 2011 2:38 pm

      Tornadoes have been reported in every state in the union at one time or another.

      As a child, I was at the horseraces in Shelby Montana when a tornado went by. They herded everyone into a huge old wooden barn – a pile of half rotten sticks – to ride it out. If it had hit that structure, we all would have been killed instantly. Going back to the motel we saw several cars tossed out into the fields, so it must have been fairly strong, but it didn’t hit any houses.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 2, 2011 7:45 pm

        Yeah, there was one that ripped up NH two years ago if I remember right. At the time I thought it was an anomaly. Now I’m wondering if it’s becoming a trend. Kind of glad I haven’t had the opportunity to witness one personally.

        Did get to witness a pretty big earthquake in Seattle firsthand about ten years ago while I was working in the WAMU tower. Went outside when things started shaking and recall one passerby remarking that it must be a train going through the tunnel downtown. I told him to look up and take a look at the buildings swaying back and forth.

  6. artemis54 permalink
    June 3, 2011 1:02 am

    A new line for my cv. I have been called many things, often with justification, but this is the first time I have been called an organophosphate insecticide:

    It appears that Melvin has succeeded (0.00 / 0)
    in killing another blog.
    That guy is the malathion of the whiteysphere.

    I am sure you can guess the provenance; didn’t want to chance the tormented souls tracking back to here.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 3, 2011 12:55 pm

      Hilarious that they continue to make these comments about blog killers and yet there hasn’t exactly been a large influx of posters wanting to converse with the usual idiots there.

      Still wondering what blogs you supposedly have killed. Maybe I should be silent for a week or so here and you can gain another blog killing chit for yourself ;)

  7. cometman permalink*
    June 3, 2011 1:27 pm

    Some unrelated notes –

    Not sure exactly what the implications of this are, but it’s sounds important – Quantum Physics First: Physicists Measure Without Distorting.

    The premise is that you can’t observe a photon without distorting the results because the tools you use to measure affect position and velocity. If I’m reading it right, in this case it sounds like they still can’t directly measure the photon but used a technique to measure indirectly. Anyway, fascinating.

    Caught some of this on the radio yesterday and like most government directives, it’s patently ridiculous –Arne Duncan: For-Profit Schools Need to be 35 Percent Effective. The concern is that for-profit schools like U of Phoenix aren’t really educating people while they rake in gobs of student loans. Now Uncle Sugar says the loans will keep going to these types of for-profit schools (that mostly rehash what students should have learned in high school if we actually made funding public schools a priority in this country) based on these absurdly low standards –

    Under the finalized rule, which goes into effect July 2012, for-profit schools and certificate programs at non-profit colleges and universities could become ineligible for their students’ federal student aid if they fail to meet a set of three tests three times within a four-year period: if at least 25 percent of former students are paying their loans (which the Department of Education defines as reducing their loan balance by at least $1); if a former student’s annual loan repayment is not more than 12 percent of her actual earnings or 30 percent more than her discretionary income. Put another way, for-profit schools only need to clear one of these hurdles in order to keep on pocketing their students’ financial aid and federal student loan money.

    Greek protesters seize the finance ministry, at least symbolically –

    Protesters belonging to the left-wing The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) union unfolded a giant banner from the roof of the finance ministry building on the central Syntagma square, calling for a nationwide strike against the new austerity measures that the government agreed to take in return for the new bailout package.

    “From dawn today forces of PAME have symbolically occupied the finance ministry, calling on workers to rise, organize their struggle and prevent the government’s barbarous and anti-popular measures from passing,” the front said, AFP reported.

    Not sure why this is news exactly as it has been pretty well known for the last two years to anybody paying attention, but I’ve seem several similar articles to this one making the rounds today – Congressional Research Service Confirms Big Banks Borrowed Cash For Next To Nothing, Then Lent It Back to the Federal Government at Much Higher Rates. Nice work if you can get it.

    And a couple good ones from Taibbi.

    This one notes how the Congressman representing the people of Jefferson County Alabama who were royally fucked by the bankster crowd is now fighting for the bankers that put his county in the poorhouse rather than his own constituents – The Continual Screwing of Jefferson County, Alabama.

    Don’t know what else to do except laugh at this clusterfuck. The Goldies are considering it a boon to their image that they did not make a big financial deal with Gaddafi a few years back. of course the reason the didn’t didn’t get done wasn’t because of any scruples from the Goldies. They’d already robbed Libya blind with a prior deal and when they came back to fleece them again, they had to hire security to get out of the country with all their appendages still attached – Goldman Tries, Fails to Sell Soul With Libya Deal.

    A couple more for later perusal –

    Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy

    Bribes Work: How Peterson, the Enemy of Social Security, Bought the Roosevelt Name

  8. cometman permalink*
    June 6, 2011 1:06 pm

    Not much new today except the same old bullshit so I won’t bother repeating it.

    I did have a very nice weekend though – got to go to a used sci-fi bookstore I’ve been wanting to visit, saw a Tim Minchin concert, and had a nice dim sum brunch. Picked up a copy of The Space Merchants among others. Written 60 years ago and the authors seem to have our current situation pegged pretty well. Too bad nobody listened 60 years ago. And I’d highly reccommend seeing Minchin if you get the chance. Absolutely hilarious – I was grinning ear to ear the whole way through. He will be making appearances in the Pac NW later this month.

    Couple other notes –

    This was great. BofA was ordered to pay court expenses for trying to foreclose on a couple who had paid cash for their home and had no mortgage to begin with. They didn’t pay up and the couple’s lawyer called in the deputies and foreclosed on the local BofA branch. They got their $$ pretty quickly after that.

    Paul LePage replaced the welcome sign on the interstate heading into Maine with one that said “Maine: open for business” which has been pissing me off to no end every time I see it. Turns out somebody else was pretty pissed about it too

    The much-ballyhooed Open for Business highway sign went missing before Memorial Day and has yet to be found. But on June 2 an ad appeared on Craigslist offering to sell a “right-wing political sign” for $1,000 or trade it for “a multi-panel mural depicting the labor movement,” a clear reference to the Labor Department mural removed by LePage.


    Another fascinating physics development – Physicists Store Antimatter Atoms for 1,000 Seconds — And Still Counting.

    And for later perusal – Will Greece Let EU Central Bankers Destroy Democracy?

    • artemis54 permalink
      June 6, 2011 2:13 pm

      Well there is that well-cooked weiner.

      • cometman permalink*
        June 7, 2011 12:58 pm

        Ha! That one is impossible to avoid no matter how much you try.

  9. artemis54 permalink
    June 7, 2011 9:55 pm

    We could sure use a break here. The kid finally landed a job and loves it. Now all is in jeopardy bucause of this goddamned c-diff, which I hadn’t even heard of a couple months ago.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 8, 2011 12:18 pm

      Glad the job is going well, but yeah, yuk. Not good especially working around food.

  10. cometman permalink*
    June 8, 2011 12:27 pm

    More white hot stupid from Pepe le Pew. From the front page of the local paper today – Companies anxious over LePage stand on offshore wind:

    Paul Williamson was in California last month at Windpower 2011, the industry’s largest event in the world. Williamson, director of the Maine Wind Industry Initiative, met with global companies that could spend billions of dollars to develop floating wind farms off Maine’s coast.

    Some of the companies were privately voicing anxiety about Gov. Paul LePage’s position on ocean energy, Williamson said, and whether Maine continues to be a good place to invest.

    Their concerns were heightened last week by a prominent story in the Bangor Daily News headlined “LePage administration questions feasibility of offshore wind power.”

    By chance, the article appeared two weeks before a major conference for the offshore renewable energy industry, EnergyOcean International, to be held in Portland from June 14 to 16.

    With global energy companies poised to arrive, comments made in the story have Maine’s nascent offshore wind industry scrambling to contain the public relations damage.

    And here I was thinking that Maine was “open for business”. Perhaps if they set things up so that the windmills dispersed toxic chemicals as they created electricity, Le Page would find the project more “feasible”.

  11. cometman permalink*
    June 10, 2011 12:38 pm

    Wonder If Bushwa Barry is wishing he had some brush to go cut somewhere yet because if we actually had a halfway decent election system and a really informed electorate in this country there’s no way in hell this clown would get re-elected. His bullshit attempts at bipartisanship, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean, have only resulted in him getting slapped around from all sides, for the most part by a bunch of his fellow equivocating hypocrites looking to help their own election chances through cynical ploys (and one or two who actually have some scruples).

    Both parties letting him have it RE: the illegal war he started in Libya. Played with the deficit hawks and talked up “austerity measures”, listened to retards like Timmeh (who was recently read the riot act for his catastrophic recommendations by Simon Johnson in the NYT) and the Ber-nank on the economy, but the economy is still tanking which doesn’t bode well for re-election and now the little peeps he’s making about more “stimulus”, which he should have done in the first place, are being drowned out by the trickle down crowd.

    Being unwilling to take a firm stand and do the right thing on anything since day one has turned him into a punching bag and I for one would love to fill the gloves with some gravel before socking him in the jaw myself.

    Talked big about protecting whistleblowers on the campaign before deciding to prosecute them instead, and he can’t even get that right. Looks like the DoJ case against Thomas Drake has completely fallen apart (since he didn’t really do anything wrong to begin with except point out massive waste of taxpayer $$$) and Drake has now agreed to plead guilty on one small count which carries no fine or jail time. One wonders if this deal was struck to avoid completely embarrassing the Feds were the case to have gone to trial.

    He’s still doing everything he can to please the Wall Street suits and NOT appoint Elizabeth Warren but can’t get any other takers. This was hilarious –

    Team Obama engaged her as an advisor to pretend to the few deluded pro-Obama progressives left in the US that they were serious about reform while getting a mighty inconvenient and popular figure mothballed. But she has embarrassed the Administration by obtusely ignoring its game plan and continuing to look perfectly willing and able to head the agency (notice how the criticisms that she had never run a business and therefore was incapable of building an organization have vanished?). It looked even more foolish when it floated names of possible permanent heads, only to have them say either that they had no interest in the job or that Warren should get it.

    It would probably be a lot more funny if there weren’t so many people kicked to the curb or plain old dead as a result of his actions.

    • cometman permalink*
      June 10, 2011 1:00 pm

      Maybe the unions are starting to wake the hell up before they are completely squashed, calling for an independent labor movement –

      AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent his strongest signal yet about the labor movement’s frustration with the dysfunctional politics of the moment—where Republicans go to extremes on behalf of big banks and multinational corporations, Democrats compromise and working families are left out of the equation.


      “We want an independent labor movement strong enough to return balance to our economy, fairness to our tax system, security to our families and moral and economic standing to our nation,” declared Trumka, who in recent months has been repositioning the AFL-CIO as a force that will hold Republicans and Democrats to what he describes as “a simple standard: “Are they helping or hurting working families?”

      “We can’t simply build the power of any political party or any candidate. For too long we’ve been left after the election holding a canceled check and asking someone to pay attention to us. No more! No more!” the federation president, a former United Mineworkers union chief, shouted above the cheers of the nurses.


      “For too long, we’ve been left after Election Day holding a canceled check, waving it about—‘Remember us? Remember us? Remember us?’—asking someone to pay a little attention to us,” recalled Trumka, who like many union leaders was frustrated with the failure of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and other needed labor law reforms. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a snootful of that shit!”

      Remains to be seen whether it’s just more empty platitudes or they really will start to support independent candidates.

      • artemis54 permalink
        June 10, 2011 6:36 pm

        Bravo Trumka

  12. cometman permalink*
    June 10, 2011 12:41 pm

    The backdoor bailouts continue. AIG has in its infinite wisdom decided to take another multibillion dollar shitpile off the hands of the Europeans. And why not ,when you know Uncle Sugar will come to the rescue again once they prove worthless?

  13. cometman permalink*
    June 10, 2011 1:03 pm

    Keep seeing articles on Morales’ actions not matching his pretty words and siding with the oligarchs rather than the people who put him in office in Bolivia.

    For later perusal – Decepción in Bolivia.

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