Une semaine de bonté (“A Week of Kindness”) is a comic and artist’s book by Max Ernst, first published in 1934. It comprises 182 images created by cutting up and re-organizing illustrations from Victorian encyclopedias and novels.

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Marie Darrieussecq

Marie Darrieussecq (born 3 January 1969 in Bayonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques)

Pig Tales. A Novel of Lust and Transformation (1996)

“Difficult to write one’s story when one lives in a pigsty—when one has, in fact, become a sow. Yet such is the narrator’s extraordinary adventure in this terribly sensual fable” (Marie Darrieussecq).

Upon its publication in 1996, Pig Tales, the first of Marie Darrieussecq’s novels, was met with immediate success. As one critic writing for Les Inrockuptibles (4 September 1996) observed, in reading this novel, “One laughs, yet in terror, for the metamorphosis of the narrator-as-pig reveals, in counterpoint, the aimless drifting of a society in which the pig is not always the pork.”

The story of a young woman who is slowly transformed into a sow, the novel bears strains of Kafka yet reveals, finally, an entirely original, subtly penetrating perspective. According to Libération (29 August 1996), “The theme of metamorphosis is not truly new in literature… But on this theme, the author varies with audacity and a certain raw humor, and she cultivates in her fable…a falsely innocent realism.”

In fact, the novel is particularly interested in the question of consciousness; as Darrieussecq explains in an interview with Jean-Marc Terrasse, the story’s narrator “is compelled [as a result of her transformation] to think for the first time…She becomes a person; it is the metamorphosis of a female object into a conscious woman” (http://www.uri.edu/artsci/ml/durand/darrieussecq/fr/terrasse.pdf). In this sense the novel is, according to the author, “The story of liberation through thought” (Terrasse 258).

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In present-day economic system, disasters and shocks are becoming a dominant object, exploited by the economic and political elites to reorganize societal conditions in line with the neo-liberal doctrine. Runaway objects are contested objects that generate opposition and controversy. They can also be powerfully emancipatory objects that
open up radically new possibilities of development and well-being. The Linux operating system is a well-known example. There are other, less known but potentially very significant new objects being created.

“In Brazil, the phenomenon is best seen in the million and a half farmers of the Landless People’s Movement (MST) who have formed hundreds of cooperatives to reclaim unused land. In Argentina, it is clearest in the movement of ‘recovered companies,’ two hundred bankrupt businesses that have been resuscitated by their workers, who have turned them into democratically run cooperatives. For the cooperatives, there is no fear of facing an economic shock of investors leaving, because the investors have already left.”
(Klein, 2007, p. 455)

Most runaway objects do not start out as big and risky. More commonly, they begin as small problems or marginal innovations, which makes their runaway potential difficult to predict and utilize. They often remain dormant, invisible, or unseen for lengthy periods of time, until they burst out into the open in the form of acute crises or breakthroughs.



Yrjö Engeström University of Helsinki





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Historicity of events in Ancient Israel and Judah

Further information: Archaeology of Israel

In the United States the biblical archaeology movement, under the influence of Albright, counter-attacked, arguing that the broad outline within the framing narratives was also true, so that while scholars could not realistically expect to prove or disprove individual episodes from the life of Abraham and the other patriarchs, these were real individuals who could be placed in a context proven from the archaeological record. But as more discoveries were made, and anticipated finds failed to materialise, it became apparent that archaeology did not in fact support the claims made by Albright and his followers. Today, only a minority of scholars continue to work within this framework, mainly for reasons of religious conviction.[39] William Dever stated in 1993 that

[Albright’s] central theses have all been overturned, partly by further advances in Biblical criticism, but mostly by the continuing archaeological research of younger Americans and Israelis to whom he himself gave encouragement and momentum … The irony is that, in the long run, it will have been the newer ‘secular’ archaeology that contributed the most to Biblical studies, not ‘Biblical archaeology’.[40]

The scholarly history of the Deuteronomic history parallels that of the Pentateuch: the European tradition history school argued that the narrative was untrustworthy and could not be used to construct a narrative history; the American Albright school asserted that it could when tested against the archaeological record; and modern archaeological techniques proved crucial in deciding the issue. The test case was the book of Joshua and its account of a rapid, destructive conquest of the Canaanite cities: but by the 1960s it had become clear that the archaeological record did not, in fact, support the account of the conquest given in Joshua: the cities which the Bible records as having been destroyed by the Israelites were either uninhabited at the time, or, if destroyed, were destroyed at widely different times, not in one brief period.[41] The most high-profile example was the “fall of Jericho“.[41]

John Garstang, who excavated in the 1930s, announced that he had found fallen walls dating to the time of the biblical Battle of Jericho.[42] However, Garstang later revised the destruction to a much earlier period.[42] Kathleen Kenyon dated the destruction of the walled city to the middle of the 16th century (c. 1550 BCE), too early to match the usual dating of the Exodus to Pharaoh Ramses, on the basis of her excavations in the early 1950s.[43] The same conclusion, based on an analysis of all the excavation findings, was reached by Piotr Bienkowski.[44]

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Deforestation in Amazonia

Read this Sept. 3 story from the Washington Post on a new report suggesting wild fires and industrial activity are giving Canada the dubious distinction of being the new global leader on deforestation.

Tropical forests in Amazonia are being cleared rapidly, representing an important worldwide element of land-use and land-cover change. While some processes are common to foreststhroughout the world, others are not. Amazonian clearing is dominated by large cattle ranchers, with an increasing role being played by soybeans. Small farmers and estate crops such as oil palm have less relative importance here than elsewhere.Deforestation in Brazilian Amazonia has a significant contribution from “ulterior” motives such as land speculation, money laundering and tax evasion. Infrastructure projects, especially highway construction and improvement, represent key governmental decisions unleashing chains of activity that escape from government control. Deforestation sacrifices environmental services such as maintenance of biodiversity, water cycling and carbon stocks. The substantial impact of this deforestation on loss of environmental services has so far not entered into decision-making on infrastructure projects, making strengthening of the environmental assessment and licensing system a high priority for containing future loss of forest.

Fearnside, P. (2013). Deforestation in Amazonia. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151675

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Colombian statue found after eight decades of mystery

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ABC signs Facebook deal to livestream 2016 presidential debates

Free, online and without advertisements. A cord-cutter’s dream!

David Lumb

09.20.16 in Politics
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The “old Jews” of Mexico come out after 500 years

“Jews in Mexico: A Struggle for Survival”

Source: The “old Jews” of Mexico come out after 500 years

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An intricate tale of ‘medicine, monopoly and malice’, FIRE IN THE BLOOD tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 – causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths – and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back.

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07/19/2016 05:43 pm ET | Updated Aug 12, 2016
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