Wednesday, August 31, 2005

canal breach update: lake and floodwater levels have equalized

Hi folks,
Here is a post from the Times-Picayune about the levee breach. It seems that water has stopped pouring into the city from the lake, and has even started to recede a little, as the levels have equalized. When the tide rises tonight, though, this is expected to change.


Tidal shift

Maj. Gen. Don Reily, head of the U.S. Corps of Engineers' storm recovery operation, said at midday Wednesday that Lake Pontchartrain water level has dropped and has “equalized” with flood-waters in the city. That means water has begun to recede, flowing back into the lake, at a rate of approximately a half-inch an hour.

The general said this should continue, except during a high tide “later in the evening.”

“As it (the water) recedes this will help” the attempt by the Corps and the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board to temporarily plug the breach in the 17th Street Canal and drive sheet-pilings and also possibly rock into the junction of the canal at Lake Pontchartain,” the general said.

In the two-pronged operation, the huge sandbags and “concrete jersey-barriers are being dumped into the flood-wall breach,” by the Corps, the general said at a press conference in Baton Rouge early Wednesday afternoon where a New Orleans Sewer and Water official and U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter also spoke.

“We’ll certainly have to build it up quite a bit just to restore temporary integrity,” the general said.

If these two attempts are successful, and the lake recedes more, the next step will start as soon as the city gets power to their pumps, he said. The temporary plug at the lakeshore will then be removed so that pumping station Number 6, which he said handles about 10,000 cubic feet of water per second, can began pushing water out of that canal into the lake, he said.

“It should take a minimum of 30 days to get the water out of the system,” he said. “Then of course after that there’s quite a lot of sediment and debris and a lot of material to be removed, and it will take much longer to get that,” he said.

“We have a contractor with three barges of rock that’s out on the lake now,” he said. “The challenge is getting access to the site –- inside the canal to the flood-wall, but it possibly can be used at the entrance to the lake although we prefer to use something more temporary that we can remove quickly.”

Brutal Katrina lives on

Some of the media coverage I am seeing of Hurricane Katrina speaks of floodwaters 'continuing to rise', etc. but I believe that this may be misleading some to think that these waters are simply the kind of floodwaters that would follow a big storm. They aren't.

This is something entirely different: this is lakewater pouring into a city that sits as much as 20 ft below sea level. New Orleans is normally kept dry by a system of levees, but these levees have ruptured, and water is going to continue to pour into the city until these levees have been repaired. And the water that is there already will stay there until it is somehow pumped out.

Even calling this "water" is a bit of a misnomer, since it is more like a soup made from raw sewage, alligators, oil refinery offal, and everything else in the city Katrina has swallowed.

Katrina is not, as some might think, fading into the background. Her aggressive assault on the city of New Orleans continues, and I doubt we have even had a glimpse of the scope of the human suffering she will eventually cause.

Times-Picayune article on levee breaches

Please help pray for all the victims of this terrible disaster.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

levee has broken in New Orleans

so, this is just terrible, the levee has broken in New Orleans and the lake is flowing into the city. 80 percent of the city is underwater and it is 20 feet deep in some places. I am so sad to hear this. please help pray for all the victims of this terrible disaster.

Monday, August 29, 2005

kitty in a boat

Friday, August 26, 2005

a blog post from Eschaton on the IQ Gender study

below is a blog post from Eschaton about the recent assertion that "men are smarter than women".

tags: IQ gender bias, eugenics, evolution, race, survival of the fittest, ethics, junk science


Ah, Eugenicists

I guess old racists never die. The BBC is reporting on shocking new "men smarter than women research" by one Richard Lynn.

Who's Lynn? FAIR gives us a sampling:

---What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of the 'phasing out' of such peoples.... Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.

---Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contributions to civilization?

Gender bias in IQ testing

A controversial new scientific finding claims that men are, on average, more intelligent than women. The study was based on standardized IQ tests.

I would like to formally challenge this assertion, and offer the following to the community at large:
  • An invitation to persons from all walks of life to share what they know about the fallibility of standardized IQ tests.
  • An invitation to researchers to publish information on gender bias in standardized tests, and to quantify the male-to-female ratio among standardized IQ testing authors and administrators.
  • An invitation to scientists to submit the scientific finding in question to a rigorous application of the scientific method.
  • An invitation to women from all walks of life to come up with standardized IQ tests of their own, whether in jest, or in earnest.
  • An invitation to artists, writers, cartoonists and photographers to publish work related to this issue.
If you would like to participate, simply publish your materials to the Internet and include the following tag (keyphrase): IQ gender bias

I will be searching Google and Technorati for material published with this tag in the coming months and collecting links for publication in the Traces Library for Creative Literacy and

--Suzy Nees, Editor
The Traces Library for Creative Literacy

Thursday, August 25, 2005

self-governing online worker communities

here is a slashdot post about a unique new approach to human resource management. Schlumberger, an oil-resources company, is fostering the creation of online groups of employees with similar interests and allowing these communities to govern themselves and choose their leaders. read more...

tags: employment, workplace, democracy, motivation, innovation, trend, Wessel, Wall Street Journal

check out this octopus video

here is a fascinating video I found on Digg that shows a giant octopus catching a 4 ft. shark.

microevolution as defined by Wikipedia

here is a definition of microevolution as defined by Wikipedia.

tags: science, darwin, darwinism, evolution, genetics, creation, mutation, intelligent design, the scientific method, common ground

Darwin vs. DaVinci

"Intelligent Design (or ID) is the controversial assertion promoted by a movement denominated by the same name, that certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent. Most ID advocates state that their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature, without regard to who or what the designer might be." --from Wikipedia

What if public schools were to create an entirely new subject (in addition to science curriculum) called Nature Studies? This could be entirely distinct from science, and it could bolster (or incorporate) the pitiful excuse for art education we are giving our children. In this subject area, children would not be asked to prove, to quantify, or to clinically summarize natural processes. They would simply be asked to observe nature and to give free rein to their curiosity about what really makes the world go around.

Who knows? Maybe this kind of existential brainstorming could actually help us clean up the giant mess we have made of the planet.

tags: Gaia hypothesis, Earth science

some thoughts on ID from a mycologist

here is an excerpt from an interesting post on science & faith by a mycologist:

"...Science is an enormously successful tool in its restricted field, but you wouldn't want to use it to choose a spouse, to compose music, or to guide your faith. ID is an attempt to drag religion into the science's "net," and suggest that scientific evidence has the power to answer questions about God. While teaching ID in a science class does great harm to science, it has the potential to do even greater harm to religion."

tags: intelligent design, the scientific method, Our Friends the Mycelium, Aardvark Gumbo

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

what is intelligent design, anyway?

here is another interesting blog post on intelligent design I just found on Technorati.
"What isn't intelligent about nature?" asks the author.

this is a refreshing post to me in that it does not automatically jump to the conclusion that folks who question the theory of evolution are therefore proponents of literal interpretations of the Bible.

In fact, the author assures us, there are "atheists who support intelligent design."

Here is what I think: No scientific theory should be such a sacred cow that you can't challenge it without being accused of being a moron. That is the wrong kind of atmosphere for good science.

If we as a culture are looking for real, valid, scientific information about our world, we can't be hitting people over the head just for being curious about the possibility that there actually is an Unseen Hand in the grand scheme of things.

tags: the scientific method, creationism, flat earth, distinction, definition, God, divine order, mycelium, faith, purpose, theory of multiple intelligences

an article on intelligent design

below is an excerpt from an article by Deepak Chopra on intelligent design. from the Huffington Post.

"Current news stories make it seem that "intelligent design" is non-scientific piffle, motivated by ulterior motives to preserve God and Jesus in the face of Darwin. Yet design and intelligence are far from that. We find ourselves in a period of fascinating transition. Darwinian evolution has proved an enormously fruitful theory, but like all theories its weaknesses have showed up over time." More...

a story on the Panchen Lama

here is a Reuters story from the Yahoo headlines this morning about the Panchen Lama of Tibet.

tags: China, house arrest, Gedhun Choeki Nyima, political prisoner, cultural appropriation, Buddhism, eradication, freedom of religion, Dalai Lama, party line, censorship

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

shame on you Pat Robertson

An open letter to Pat Robertson

Shame on you.
How dare you call yourself a good Christian.
How dare you claim to speak for other Christians.
Your comments regarding Chavez are shocking, and completely unacceptable.

--S. Nees, Virginia, USA

tags: Pat Robertson, suggestion, assassination, Chavez, Venezuela

Monday, August 22, 2005

CS monitor article on Iraq

The Iraq war 'tipping point'?
and article by Tom Regan in the Christian Science Monitor

tags: Iraq, exit strategy, war, dissent, Gladwell, Bush, Hagel

check out this cute tiny home

tags: less is more, green design

Sunday, August 21, 2005

GOP senator says Iraq looking like Vietnam

By Douglass K. Daniel, Associated Press Writer
August 21 2005

WASHINGTON - A leading Republican senator and prospective presidential candidate said Sunday that the war in Iraq has destabilized the Middle East and is looking more like the Vietnam conflict from a generation ago. More...

tags: Iraq, foreign policy, energy, Bush, dissent, Vietraq

Saturday, August 20, 2005

former top aide to Powell sorely regrets WMD speech

(CNN) - A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was the "lowest point" in his life.

"I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell advisor who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life." More...

Friday, August 19, 2005

some thoughts on the Cindy Sheehan story

Hi folks,

Hope you are all having a nice day. I was sorry to learn that Cindy Sheehan's mom has fallen ill. I wish Cindy my heartfelt sympathy at this difficult time.

People are talking so much about Cindy, throwing around words like "grieving" and "loss" as if these words could somehow do justice to the sheer hell of losing a child. Cindy is holding up a whole lot better than I ever could. I'd be a basket case if I lost a kid. No matter what age they were. No matter what they died for.

Compassion is a funny thing. We only get a tiny little window into the suffering of others unless we really, really, really try hard. I see a lot of people not trying very hard here. Instead, I see people riding the tailwinds of politics and self-righteousness and putting together terribly designed counterprotest websites for reasons I cannot fathom.

People who think that the Christians are running amok in this country are a bit mistaken, I think. I see few real Christians these days. I see a lot of cross-wavers, but not very many real Christians.

If you ask me, a true Christian looks at a cross and they get a little chill because they can see themselves nailed to it. They are capable of imagining what it would be like to feel the weight of one's body straining against metal nailed through flesh.

That is the true meaning of the cross, to me. It is an urgent symbol to WAKE UP AND CARE about your fellow human because YES you are capable of hurting others and YES it does matter how you live your life.

Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me. Whether you are a Christian, a Zen Buddhist, an atheist, or whatever, these are pretty good words to live by. Humanity is a soup. Unless you train yourself to become acutely aware of your effect on others, you are pretty much guaranteed to cause others to suffer, and that is just plain foolish.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

In the US heartland, anxiety over oil, Iraq

This Reuters story by Alan Elsner describes growing concern in the solidly Republican state of Nebraska over rising gas prices and the war in Iraq.

tags: energy, oil, gas, fuel, prices, voter, dissent, Bush, credibility, Hagel

steep oil prices have rat racers shifting gears

this article by Stephanie Armour describes some of the ways commuters are dealing with rising gas prices. some commuters are quitting their jobs to find work closer to home, and many are carpooling or taking public transport.

no mention of incentives to companies who allow their employees to telecommute...though creative solutions seem to be in the works, according to the article.

could an end to the rat race be in sight?

tags: gas, oil, energy, rat race, consumption, trend, incentives for non-commuters, offset, credit, model, economy. see also: carbon sequestration, nutrient trading, climate change, global warming, best management practice

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tech & Culture news for August 17, 2005

Hi folks,

“Cindy Sheehan” is still the top search term in Technorati. Haters on both sides of the debate have jumped on this story en masse, so I don’t read the posts very much any more. Candlelight vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan will be held around the US tonight. has more information on this if you are interested.

I was happy to find three new posts on mountaintop removal in technorati since my last query. The recent Mountain Blog post is particularly interesting to me for several reasons. First, it’s always nice to find relevant content on the Appalachian region to supplement the paper-thin Internet resources related to our area.

To quote a friend: “We aren’t just quilts and apple butter here.” I agree and believe that its high time “The Internet” reflected this fact.

Second, the Mountain Blog author mentions, with an understandable contempt, the “trash trees” (locust) that grow back in MTR areas. I used to hate these trees, too, but they intrigue me now.

A few years back the power line near my home was sprayed with a powerful herbicide that killed more or less everything, and these locust trees were the first thing to pop back up. At first I tried to uproot them, but it was a hopeless task. Now I am experimenting with ways to incorporate them into a little land reclamation project I have undertaken along the power line, and it seems to be working pretty well.

Yes, these trees are terribly aggressive, and it is depressing to think of them replacing zillions of acres of native forests. But you do what you can. These trees are native to my area, and they are legumes so they fix nitrogen in the soil.

So far I have been pleasantly surprised how well the land has bounced back, both in terms of aesthetics and soil quality. Not that I would ever want someone to parlay this bit of optimism into an excuse to continue raping the land. Far from it. It just makes me happy to see living things beat the odds like that.

So for sheer staying power, these trees get my respect.

The Christopher Walken presidential campaign (wink wink) has lost a little steam but it is still showing up in the Technorati top ten…a well-deserved honor for such an entertaining hoax. Let's hear it for the Cowbell President.

Wishing you a pleasant afternoon,


"stick to your guns" art exhibit photos

hi folks
here are some pictures from the "stick to your guns" art reception last week...this exhibit is in Roanoke, Virginia near the transportation museum. It will be open until September 9 2005 and it is really great so you should look at it if you get the chance. More news on this event is in the Scratch House News blog.

image tags: roanoke, virginia, art, culture, calendar, things to do, Joseph Kelley, Genesis Chapman, Beth Deel

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bucky Fuller lecture in Asheville on August 18

Making the Invisible Visible: Bucky Fuller and Immersive Media Environments
Thursday, August 18, 8:00 pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
56 Broadway, Downtown Asheville

$5, Co-sponsor: BMCM+AC
Part of the Media Arts Project's Off the MAP series

R. Buckminster Fuller, the visionary American design scientist, is perhaps best known for his development of the geodesic dome. However, this was only a small part of his comprehensive design approach that incorporated aspects of mathematics, philosophy, engineering, and the arts. He strongly believed that human understanding is based on experiential learning. He viewed this as the only truly effective way for most people to understand complex and inter-related phenomena.

Today, innovative visualization tools and immersive media environments are increasingly being used to bring complex ideas to life. David McConville, co-founder of the Elumenati, will discuss the influence that Fuller's designs and philosophy have had on artists and scientists. From experiments in the 1950s with immersive projection to contemporary video game designs, McConville will explore how Fuller's visionary ideas are continuing to be brought to life.

Co-sponsored by the Media Arts Project and the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, this lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition IDEAS + INVENTIONS: Buckminster Fuller and Black Mountain College <> at BMCM+AC.

Call 828-350-8484 for more information.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bluegrass Energy Expo

the Bluegrass Energy Expo will take place in Lexington, Kentucky on September 24 and 25, 2005. This event is free and open to the public, and will focus on the development of clean, renewable energy sources: "Whether you are a student, a motorist concerned about rising fuel costs, a solar energy buff, or a homeowner looking for ways to reduce your utility bills, The Lexington Convention Center is the place to be on September 24th and 25th, 2005." More...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

more cowbell! art & culture news for August 13

hi folks,

well I thought I had a big news flash this morning when I found out that chanterelles were for sale at the farmers market in Blacksburg. how could you top that I wondered. ha! little did I know what a big scoop I was going to find on Technorati: Christopher Walken is running for president in 2008. Yep. apparently it is true (wink wink!). Will his supporters greet him with cowbells I wonder?

I don't know but I am going to run out and buy a cowbell as soon as I am done posting this.

let me see. what else. "Cindy Sheehan" is still parked in the #1 spot in Technorati, and news of her vigil is slowly making its way into the mainstream media. Good job, "mainstream media"! You can do it! Although I must say you do need to try harder in the future if you want to keep running with the fast dogs, because being the big dog isn't enough these days.

hm. what else. oh yes the "stick to your guns" art reception in Roanoke last night was WAY COOL. this exhibit is in an old warehouse near the transportation museum, and features work by Joe Kelley, Beth Deel, and Genesis Chapman, just to name a few. I will post some pictures later today. The Scratch House News blog has info on this exhibit, which will be up until September 9.

On Sunday, August 7 the Winston-Salem Journal published a powerful piece on mountaintop removal...when I get a chance I will try to link to it. the folks at Appalachian Voices sent me the info.

bye I have to go do chores now, have a great day! --Suzy

tags for new & upcoming content on the loop: One Straw Revolution, Masanobu Fukuoka, Dust Bowl of China, Great Leap Forward, Appalachia -- Science in the Public Interest, Appropriate Technology, Livingston, Kentucky

Thursday, August 11, 2005

please do not disturb Our Friends the Mycelium

hi folks,
here are a few links to some information on conservation tillage and no-till agriculture, a practice that is gaining acceptance in industrial agriculture for its ability to limit soil erosion, preserve water, and save time & energy. No-till farming also limits disturbance to the delicate but beneficial fungal mats (called Mycelium) that lie just beneath the surface of the soil.
No-till farming is not just for large-scale farmers. Home gardens can benefit a great deal from this practice, too. Mine did!

tags for this post: tilth, conservation, energy, runoff, carbon sequestration, global warming, soil fertility


Top ten benefits of conservation tillage
From the Core4 website

Conservation tillage: The end of the plough?
From the food & agriculture organization of the United Nations

On farms, a No-Till Tactic for Global Warming
from the Washington Post (2002)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

“Bush Indictment”: hoax, or graffiti? Tech news for August 10

Even if the recent “Bush Indictment” search event in Technorati was a concerted effort on the part of frustrated bloggers to malign the President, the fact that the search term appeared on the charts at all means that Bush actually has been indicted.

He has not been indicted formally, of course, and there is no indication that this is imminent. But he has been indicted personally. He has been indicted by Bloggers according to the broader definition of the word “indictment”.

The word “indictment” is not only used to describe formal charges against a person. The word can also be used to describe an accusation of wrongdoing which has nothing to do with the criminal justice system.

Merriam-Webster defines the word “Indict“ as follows:

1. To charge with a fault or offense: CRITICIZE, ACCUSE.
2. To charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a jury (as a grand jury) in due form or law

If someone had succeeded in spoofing the search stream to bring up fake headlines about President Bush being formally indicted in court, that would be much more than a hoax. It would be a malicious, probably felonious abuse of search robots. But putting the words “Bush” and “Indictment” together and searching on them can’t really be considered a hoax. It is really a lot more like graffiti.

Graffiti is one thing. Hoaxes are another. Neither is good, but it is critical that we understand the difference between the two.

Was this a case of rumormongering? Maybe. Was it someone’s twisted scheme to take Technorati for a ride? Perhaps. It all depends on whether or not this was a contrived event, or whether it was an instance of wishful thinking on a mass scale combined with plain old curiosity to know what others are talking about.

All in all, it serves as a sobering reminder that we need to be very careful of what we read on the web. And it is a reminder, too, to search robot designers of the need for safeguards to keep robots from being used to spread mass hysteria. Perhaps stricter leash laws for robots are in order.

Caveat Emptor, robots! Don’t help people believe lies and propaganda. The truth is confusing enough as it is.

art news for August 10

Hi folks,
I just got this press release from my friend Kate in Japan...looks like a great show. I am sorry I will miss it.
thanks for reading. have a great day. --Suzy


Iwate Kokaido Art Show
12th - 21st August 2005.
Iwate-ken Kokaido - Iwate Prefecture Civic Hall
11-2 Uchimaru, Morioka, Iwate, Japan.
tel: 019-623-4681
opening party 12th August, 2-8 pm

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show 2005 is an exciting artist led experiment in providing a joint stage for a historical building and contemporary artists.
9 internationally renowned artists based in Iwate prefecture will exhibit site specific installations in the recently rescued old Iwate-ken Kokaido (Iwate Prefecture Civic Hall) complimented by a series of live music, dance, video and performance events, 5 "art cafés" a live interactive “Photo Art Board”, and artists` talks.
Admission to all the Kokaido Art Show exhibits, performances and events is free and open to all. So please come along and join the fun.
for more information on the Kokaido Art Show please go to

Founded in 1927 Iwate-ken Kokaido designed by Dr. Koichi Sato, retains its original art deco style both inside and outside the building.
It`s architectural value, recording the transition from modern to contemporary design, is considerably enhanced by its historical value as a cultural and social centre for citizens over the last 78 years.
Resisting proposals to demolish the building, the Iwate-ken Kokaido has been saved and designated as historical architecture in need of preservation.
In order to achieve the goal of restoring and preserving it for future generations we need to use it well now and heighten public awareness of its importance.

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show has therefore been conceived as a meeting place to provide many people with opportunities to learn more about the Iwate-ken Kokaido, to be acquainted with contemporary art, and to meet the artists living in this area and interpreting the diverse cultural climate of Iwate.
In order to make the event accessible to a wide range of people admission to all the Kokaido Art Show exhibits, performances and events is free.

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show Executive Committee itself represents quite a cross section of the local community including the participating artists, town planners, architects, designers, dancers, performers, several NPOs, businesses, etc.. So far organising the event has been a lot of fun, all the people involved are full of great ideas and loads of energy.

All the visual and performing artists have overcome the basic problems of the site and limited budgets, by coming up with really exciting installation and performance ideas which address the architectural, social, cultural, historical, contemporary and potential contexts of the unique site.
Responding to this challenging situation has been a refreshing chance to rethink established ideas and styles, and we are all looking forward to research feedback on new ideas from a very mixed audience beyond the limited ‘art audience’ for more conventional museum, gallery, concert or theatre venues.

Several events in the main hall include:
a Dance and Video Performance In 100 years time for the opening ceremony at 4pm on 12th August.
And as the finale on 21st August World Music Performance from 11am
and from 4pm a Charity Art Auction where members of the public can buy direct from the artists who are donating 30% of the sale price to the cost of running the Kokaido Art Show. With prices for original art works ranging from 2,000 yen to 2 million yen you too can become an art collector.
There will also be a docomo mobile bar code treasure hunt – but we can`t give many of the details about that away until after it has happened!

The Iwate Kokaido Art Show "art café" extends the festival atmosphere:
5 different Morioka restaurants and cafes will provide food and drink in temporary art orientated annexes in 5 sites within the venue featuring:
  • live music and performance events
  • a series of artists` talks
  • and a big screen internet connection to follow public contributions to the
  • live interactive “Photo Art Board” which will be running on the Kokaido web site.
-When people who visit the Kokaido Art Show send us an e-mail and photo from their cell phone within a few seconds their message and photo-image will appear on our web site and the screen.
(If you make a donation of 1,000 yen or more your message also comes up with the pink sponsor mark.)

There is no private view, all Kokaido Art Show exhibitions and events are open to all. So please come along and join the fun.
Although the web site is not yet complete it is already up and running
so for more information on the Kokaido Art Show please go to
and for artists` short CVs and images please go to

Iwate Kokaido Art Show 12th - 21st August 2005 Artists` Comments

Hironori Katagiri - Embracing Defeat - a sound installation on the theme of Emperor Hirohto`s broadcast to the Japanese people on surrender
in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, Malay, and Indonesian.
“After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure. We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.” (Extract from Emperor Hirohito’s speech, August 15th, 1945)
(NB before the war the Iwate Kokaido building was converted into a temporary Imperial residence for Emperor Hirohito`s 5 day visit to Iwate.
For his installation Katagiri is using the “Special Room” the Emperor slept in).

Kate Thomson - A Maze of Relative Perceptions - an installation using styrofoam, re-cycled English, Japanese, Arabic and Korean newspapers, marble, and color kinetic diode light.
A maze of ‘relative perceptions’ framing space and creating a kind of theatre set for life. Challenging viewers to look again at the space and their relationship with their environment and each other and discover changing perspectives and perceptions both in the immediate and wider contexts.
As the Kokaido Art Show as a whole can be perceived as a collaboration between art and architecture, I decided to invite four students from the Architecture Department, Iwate Prefecture Junior College of Industry and Technology to collaborate with me on the maze project:
Tomomi Houchi, Yumi Kudo, Maki Dosaka, and Kazuya Fukushi. They have been wonderful to work with.

Takuya Okada - Aggregation, Accumulation and Diffusion 2005 - a dynamic structural design using pieces of bamboo
If I had been offered one hundred pieces of bamboo and told that I could use them freely, I would surely have spent a sleepless night in over excitement. I was such a kid. Since the Iwate Kokaido Art Show takes place during the summer vacation, which is an ideal time to go back to those days and feel like a kid again, I would like to do something different and enjoy artwork in a pure sense.

Minako Ishikawa - Characters as a line, Characters as a meaning: 00508 Iwate-ken Kokaido - an installation of historical fragments related to Kokaido
I am happy to be offered an opportunity to take part in the Iwate Kokaido Art Show, which is held inside this historical building. Since childhood I have always felt a kind of awe and longing towards this marvelous building. It was mainly its appearance that fascinated me, but this time I would also like to do some research on its history and surroundings.

Kazue Sato - untitled - a poetic space of light and shadow made from flat bars of steel
Combining steel and wire netting (usually used as building materials) to make a structure within a building, allowing the interior atmosphere to merge into the gentle curve of the steel. I would like to create something hard and soft, something light and heavy, and a place that is both present and absent at the same moment.

Hisashi Momose - Reversible Painting: Alternate Double - a series of reversible abstract paintings sandwiched between sheets of glass and suspended through the space
Art should be an _expression, an invention of methodology, and also a sublime revelation.

Takeshi Honda - Mountain Life-Rice - an installation of houses made of rice
I have drawn a series of paintings related to rice farming, and among them is a picture portraying a house made of rice. Having learned that nearly half of the budget for building the Civic Hall came from citizens` donations, I’ve come to see a link between this building and rice (which used to be a basic unit of capital). I would like to place a small house made of rice inside this hall, and ponder on its dramatic history and rice culture of this country.

Megumi Honda - Gesture - an ordinary place dotted with extraordinary ‘objets d`art
I was wondering if it might be possible to see a space in a new light, a space within an old building which has become lifeless and inorganic through its long history, by putting some alien object inside. I also hope that its de-familiarising effect might shed light upon its future use.

Shin’ichi Mori - Iwate-ken Kokaido 2005 - using photography and water
An installation of photographic images and water recording the present state of the Civic Hall after 78 years time.

Plus Masahi Nagai The Swinging Twenties
Professor of architecture Masashi Nagai will exhibit a collage of images of 1920s architecture, design, transport systems, etc. as a thesis on the cultural climate of Japan in relationship to international developments during the period the Iwate-ken Kokaido was built. With reference to the arts and crafts movement and social as well as design functionalism, one of his aims is to encourage debate on whether architecture is still as topically modern and socially aware as it was in the 1920s.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

tech & art news for August 9

hi folks,

"Cindy Sheehan" continues to dominate the technorati search charts today. Other noteworthy search terms today include "Bush Indictment" and "Oil". I am looking for "VietRaq" to pop up next.

Yahoo headlines today featured a story about some bad blood between CNet and Google, a storyI first read about in Slashdot about a week ago. Long story short: CNet called attention to some instances in which mammoth search utility is a little bit too robust, if not downright invasive, and Google got mad.

Looks like Google isn't the sacred cow it used to be.

In art news, Joe Kelley's work will be in the "Stick to Your Guns" exhibit opening this Friday in Roanoke. See the Scratch House News for more info on this. It sounds like it will be a great exhibit.

Also here is a funny comic by Matt Bors called A Quick Guide to Mountaintop Removal.

Have a great day. Thanks for reading. --Suzy

Monday, August 08, 2005

angry mothers etc

hi folks,

One of the top news items today is the story of Cindy Sheehan. Her son, Casey, was killed in the Iraq war, and Cindy is now on a vigil outside the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Cindy says that she is prepared to continue her protest until she is given an opportunity to speak with President Bush. Bush is at the ranch on a five week vacation.

A Newsweek poll on Sunday stated that 64 percent of Americans do not feel that the war has made them safer.

Also in the "angry mothers" file is a letter from coalfield resident Maria Gunnoe. Her family farm sits next to an 1183 acre mountaintop removal coal mining operation. Floods, blasting, toxic well water and rampant erosion have made life miserable for Maria and her two kids.

"My children sit up at night when it's raining," says Maria. "When they do sleep, they sleep fully clothed, in case they have to escape in a hurry. No child (or adult, for that matter) should have to endure this constant hell."

More information on mountaintop removal coal mining can be found on the Appalachian Voices website.

tags for this post: coal, oil, energy, ghetto, West Virginia, VietRaq

Sunday, August 07, 2005

symposium info from Mexico

from an email to Traces:

Dear Friends

I'm a sculptor from Monterrey, México. I have worked in stone since 1978, mainly in Monterrey Black Marble (a very nice black marble from my city).

I was in several stone symposiums in Europe (Italy, Spain, Germany) and now I'm building a studio for the 1° Simposim de Escultura en Mármol Monterrey (SIEMM) during October 2006. With the “Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey MARCO” we are planning the publicity of the SIEMM, soon I will send you the internet address to share with you this event.

With my best regards

Jorge Elizondo


tags for this post: art, public art, sculpture, stone, marble, international sculpture symposium, Mexico

Friday, August 05, 2005

Good morning August 5

Hi folks,

I spent way too much time on the Internet yesterday, but there was some very interesting news on it so I couldn't really help myself. I was reading the slashdot discussion board and following a story on "honeypots" that google is setting up to trap those who use the mammoth search utility for malicious purposes. Good. Glad to hear that someone is doing something about this.

my personal opinion is the web is too wild for the kind of decent, honest folks who are not technically savvy enough to know about its Dark Parts, snakeholes, quicksand puddles, bear traps etc. set up there by unscrupulous humans. glad to see some robot watchdogs on the job to clean up the web. let's just hope they actually do some useful watchdogging, instead of just unceremoniously sniffing you-know-whats and acting like they own the world. Bot no follow!

speaking of bots up the A in this morning's slashdot I found an article of interest to ANYONE who uses google: Google Balances Privacy, Reach.

hm. what else. found the bitter greens journal and some interesting links in it, including a highly spirited essay on soil that I enjoyed very much. a scientist friend was also appreciative about the spirit of the article, but noted some inaccuracies so I must share this caveat with you.

the jacksonville center will be having a neat event this weekend, a reception for the floyd artists new work exhibit. I believe this will be happening on Saturday evening but be sure to check their newsletter if you want to know for certain. a big list of participating artists.

I will have the chance to start painting in oils soon and am v. excited about this

the Dogs on Trucks forward chomping browser is still under development but a beta version should be available soon. Why are you developing this? some people are asking. what is the point of it? I don't understand. does it have to do with hyperspeed web browsing? how will you make money?

to which my reply is please do not call it the web. please do not use words like hyperspeed. or money. words like this will mislead people. the dogs on trucks forward chomping browser is much more of a playground trick, like putting rocks in the tires of your big wheel so you can be the loudest one when you go flying down a hill with a bunch of your friends. anyway enough about that.

intelligent design is still the top search term in technorati. has been for at least 36 hours it seems. Good search mates for this term include "anticipatory design science", "pattern recognition", and "divine order". if you are here for one of these tags perhaps you are interested in my science files, where you can find some articles on talking bacteria etc. look on the loop for those. I still need to fully read the story in Live Science about bacteria that can be trained to eat pollution and cr*p electricity. pardon my french.

oh and speaking of this I have been learning more and more about our friends the mycelium. did you know that they knit a sort of cozy protective hat for the earth? its true. they make mats that keep soil from washing or blowing away. amazing.

I am still in a grammatical quandry as to the correctness of this phrase. should it be "our friend the mycelium" or "our friends the mycelium"?

hope you all are well and having a wonderful day. with best wishes,


Thursday, August 04, 2005

what would bucky fuller do?

Dear Nantoka,

I read your suggestion about researching the Late Great Bucky Fuller. I found out that he invented a lot of neat things. I found some good tags, too. thanks for that.

Catherine in San Jose


hi folks,
web trend watchers might want to take note of the steady climb in the search term "intelligent design". also in slashdot today open-source as a business model. quite revolutionary, this whole open-source thing.

wendell berry is quoted in the loop today. if you have not read his work I think you will be impressed if not blown away as I was. wikipedia has a pretty good profile for him. he refuses to budge, apparently, on the Getting Wired thing. he refuses to get on a computer. period. does everything on a typewriter. I envy this completely. anyway he is just an incredible author.

intelligent design is in the news today. very top level news in technorati. my two cents: anticipatory design science is a nice partner tag for this search term.

other tags to look for: tags for the idea that we, as creators of our environment, need to be much more angelic in our behavior towards others, and much more aware of our heavy footprints.

Crunch on that, you stopid word crunchr. --rati
yor not the boss of me, Robot. --nuti.

--from the Great Big Book of Rati and Nuty

wild is the turkey

here is a picture I drew for C last year. if you like this turkey and you are just a general fan of turkeys perhaps you might find something of interest in my shop. I just added some turkey gear to it.

smile when you say dirt

hi folks
here is an interesting article by a blue ridge writer on dirt & human culture

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

notes on Pogo land etc.

hi folks, good morning. hope the morning finds you well.

I am back home from a very interesting visit to Caddo Lake. Caddo Lake is one of the strangest and most exotic places I have ever seen. I heart swamps!

The whole time I was at the lake I kept expecting to see Pogo or one of Walt Kelley's other characters to canoe out from behind a moss-draped cypress tree.

What I did see: Birds! in great numbers. Caddo Lake is a bird nerd's paradise if you ask me.

I saw herons (great, green, lesser, etc) egrets (great and little), Ibis (young & grown-up); kingfisher, and a wood stork I think. Heard owls and at night the sound of frogs and other swamp creatures was just deafening.

Many thanks to our very kind hosts Sam & Randie. Their boathouse was a perfect place for sketching.

back home yesterday I think I saw a rail, a bird I think I have seen in my yard a few weeks earlier.

New & upcoming content in the loop includes info on the Ivory-billed woodpecker sightings, the Traces autumn exhibit schedule, and some crazy news about Bacteria being trained to eat pollution and cr*p electricity.

Yikes. My one hour on the Internet were up a long time ago, I need to get going. more on all this later.


Monday, August 01, 2005

I went to Pogo land

hi folks,
I went to Pogo land this past week, and it was a fascinating trip. It wasn't Pogo land per se, but it was quite similar. More on this later.