Art/Aesthetics · Education · Human-ities · Performativity · Public Space · Social/Politics

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design students disrupt university board meeting to announce manifesto

Last month, 100 students attending the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design (NSCAD) interrupted a board meeting to read their manifesto.

“Our manifesto was collectively written by the student faculty and staff to reaffirm what is essentially to NSCAD as a university.”

“The meeting was pretty much immediately adjourned once the students entered the room,” she says. “Half the board members left, but some stayed and had a conversation with students.”


Via NSCAD is Alive and The Chronicle Herald.

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Social/Politics

The Anti-Capitalist Resistance and The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book

In recent years the world has borne witness to numerous confrontations, many of them violent, between protesters and authorities at pivotal gatherings of the world’s political and economic leaders. While police and the media are quick to paint participants as anarchistic thugs, accurate accounts of their ubsequent treatment at the hands of authorities often go untold — as well as the myriad stories of corporate and government corruption, greed, exploitation, and abuse of power that inspired such protests in the first place. In this startling, politically astute graphic novel, Gord Hill (The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book) documents the history of capitalism as well as anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements around the world, from the 1999 Battle of Seattle against the World Trade Organization to the Toronto G20 summit in 2010. The dramatic accounts trace the global origins of public protests against those in power, then depict recent events based on eyewitness testimony; they go far to contradict the myths of violence perpetrated by authorities, and instead paint a vivid and historically accurate picture of activists who bring the crimes of governments and multinationals to the world’s attention.

As the Occupy movements around the world unfold, The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book is a deft, eye-opening look at the new class warfare, and those brave enough to wage the battle.

Book description via Perseus Academic

A powerful and historically accurate graphic portrayal of Indigenous peoples’ resistance to the European colonization of the Americas, beginning with the Spanish invasion under Christopher Columbus and ending with the Six Nations land reclamation in Ontario in 2006. Gord Hill spent two years unearthing images and researching historical information to create The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book, which presents the story of Aboriginal resistance in a far-reaching format.

Other events depicted include the 1680 Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico; the Inca insurgency in Peru from the 1500s to the 1780s; Pontiac and the 1763 Rebellion and Royal Proclamation; Geronimo and the 1860s Seminole Wars; Crazy Horse and the 1877 War on the Plains; the rise of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s; 1973’s Wounded Knee; the Mohawk Oka Crisis in Quebec in 1990; and the 1995 Aazhoodena/Stoney Point resistance.

With strong, plain language and evocative illustrations, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book documents the fighting spirit and ongoing resistance of Indigenous peoples through five hundred years of genocide, massacres, torture, rape, displacement, and assimilation: a necessary antidote to the conventional history of the Americas. Includes an introduction by activist Ward Churchill, leader of the American Indian Movement in Colorado and a prolific writer on Indigenous resistance issues.

Book description via Perseus Academic

About the Authors

Gord Hill: Gord Hill is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation in British Columbia. He has been active in Indigenous resistance, anti-colonial, and anti-capitalist movements since 1990. He is also the author of The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance, a slim volume of history published by PM Press (and distributed by AK Press) in 2009 that is a companion to the graphic novel.

Ward Churchill: Ward Churchill is a writer, political activist, and co-director of the American Indian Movement of Colorado. He is the author of numerous books on political and Indigenous peoples’ resistance, including On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, Struggle for the Land, and Acts of Rebellion.

Architectonic · Bio · Human-ities · Science

Native Americans and Northern Europeans more closely related than previously thought


Using genetic analyses, scientists have discovered that Northern European populations—including British, Scandinavians, French, and some Eastern Europeans—descend from a mixture of two very different ancestral populations, and one of these populations is related to Native Americans. This discovery helps fill gaps in scientific understanding of both Native American and Northern European ancestry, while providing an explanation for some genetic similarities among what would otherwise seem to be very divergent groups. This research was published in the November 2012 issue of the Genetics Society of America’s journal Genetics.

Text and Image via Archaeology News Network. Continue HERE

Performativity · Projects · Technology

How to Build a Flying Saucer

At the end of the nineteenth century, the most distinguished scientists and engineers declared that no known combination of materials and locomotion could be assembled into a practical flying machine. Fifty years later another generation of distinguished scientists and engineers declared that it was technologically infeasible for a rocket ship to reach the moon. Nevertheless, men were getting off the ground and out into space even while these words were uttered.

In the last half of the twentieth century, when technology is advancing faster than reports can reach the public, it is fashionable to hold the pronouncements of yesterday’s experts to ridicule. But there is something anomalous about the consistency with which eminent authorities fail to recognize technological advances even while they are being made. You must bear in mind that these men are not given to making public pronouncements in haste; their conclusions are reached after exhaustive calculations and proofs, and they are better informed about their subject than anyone else alive. But by and large, revolutionary advances in technology do not contribute to the advantage of established experts, so they tend to believe that the challenge cannot possibly be realized.

Excerpt of “How to Build a Flying Saucer After So Many Amateurs Have Failed: An essay in Speculative Engineering” by T. B. P. Continue reading HERE

Recently declassified records from the Aeronautical Systems Division, USAF (RG 342 – Records of United States Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations) reveal some surprising, perhaps never-before-seen images.

Via Michael Rhodes at NDC Blog

The Avrocar S/N 58-7055 (marked AV-7055) on its rollout.

The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War. The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coandă effect to provide lift and thrust from a single “turborotor” blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer.

Originally designed as a fighter-like aircraft capable of very high speeds and altitudes, the project was repeatedly scaled back over time and the US Air Force eventually abandoned it. Development was then taken up by the US Army for a tactical combat aircraft requirement, a sort of high-performance helicopter. In flight testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems that limited it to a degraded, low-performance flight envelope; subsequently, the project was cancelled in September 1961.

Through the history of the program, the project was referred to by a number of different names. Avro referred to the efforts as Project Y, with individual vehicles known as Spade and Omega. Project Y-2 was later funded by the US Air Force, who referred to it as WS-606A, Project 1794 and Project Silver Bug. When the Army joined the efforts it took on its final name “Avrocar”, and the designation “VZ-9”, part of the US Army’s VTOL projects in the VZ series.

Text via Wiki. Continue reading HERE

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Social/Politics

Aqua-Nationalism. How global warming will melt our glaciers, empty the Great Lakes, force Canada to divert rivers, build dams, and, yes, sell water to the United States

An hour south of Lethbridge, Alberta, and twenty minutes from Montana, Milk River is one of the last Canadian towns before the border. The one-block downtown is Prairie minimalist: a Chinese restaurant near a lonely stop sign, beyond it a bank, and across the highway, yellow and green grain elevators. Just west of town, the pavement peters out to a gravel range road, and to the south the Milk River surges with flood water. From the Rockies to Medicine Hat, this usually dry country, where researchers scour barren coulees for dinosaur bones, was awash in six days of uninterrupted rain. Pincher Creek declared an emergency; High River faced its namesake. Though troubling, this spring’s wet weather provided an ironic counterpoint to my objective: to find the century-old Spite Canal, an artifact of Canadian-American history born of drought and embodying the enmeshed nature of the two countries’ relationship with water.

Looking north across treeless hills, I saw a conspicuously straight line emerge from the rain. My rental car vibrated over a Texas gate, and minutes later I scrambled up a grassy embankment. Beyond it was a ditch about two metres deep that followed the contour of the land northward. This crude trench — unmarked, largely unremembered, and now crumbling back into the prairie — is the physical fact on the ground that induced Teddy Roosevelt’s chest-beating America to sign a treaty with Canada that is still lauded today.

Its origins can be traced to the late 1800s when settlers north and south of the forty-ninth parallel relied on two rivers: the St. Mary and the Milk. Both flow from Montana into Canada before diverging; the St. Mary carrying on to Hudson Bay, the Milk turning back into Montana after looping 250 kilometres through Canada. Rising high in the mountains, the snow-fed St. Mary ran strongly all summer; the Milk, born in the foothills, often dried to a trickle. That led the Americans to launch a plan in 1901 to divert water out of the St. Mary and move it across the foothills to the Milk and their ranches in Montana.

Written by Chris Wood, The Walrus. Continue HERE

Games/Play · Performativity · Videos

The World’s Largest Dodgeball Game

From University of Alberta — The University of Alberta’s ownership of the Guinness dodgeball record has been much like a yoyo game—now you have it, now you don’t. And so on Feb. 3, U of A students, staff and faculty were back at it for a third attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of players in a game.

After more than an hour-long of pushing, running and throwing by players, the Guinness World Record adjudicator, Philip Robertson, who flew in from New York for the game, took to the stage.

“What can I say,” he says. “I’ve never seen so many people throw dodge balls against each other before. It was tremendous to watch, really good fun. The guidelines were all followed. And with that, I’m happy to announce that University of Alberta, Canada, has a new Guinness World Record.”

Via msnbc

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Sonic/Musical

Sounds of the sea: Listening online to the ocean floor

Satellite photos used to be for military eyes only, but Google Earth changed all that. Now something similar is happening to the ocean depths, with any web user able to listen in and “surf the sea floor” – and the US Navy is not happy.

“The cable is going underneath here,” says Benoit Pirenne, standing at the water’s edge on Canada’s Vancouver Island. “It’s going out 500 miles (800km) in a big loop in the ocean, coming back in the same place.”

The Vancouver cable connects a network of scientific instruments on the floor of the north Pacific, some as deep as 1.5 miles (2.5km).

Set up by Pirenne and his colleagues at the University of Victoria, and called Neptune Canada, they continuously monitor the marine environment.

Ocean floor listening posts in the north Pacific off Vancouver Island

The scientists are harvesting large amounts of information, including water pressure readings that help them better understand the movement of tsunamis through oceans, which they hope will lead to more accurate warning systems.

But they are also listening.

Pressure-sensitive microphones pick up the live sounds of everything from whales and shipping to seismic activity and the movement of tectonic plates, and this audio is shared with scientists all over the world.

It’s also now available to anyone else with an internet connection.

Written by Rhitu Chatterjee and Rob Hugh-Jones at BBC News. Continue HERE

Bio · Vital-Edible-Health

The Mystery of the Canadian Whiskey Fungus

A scanning electron microscope image (500X) of the mold found outside the Hiram Walker Distillery. Photo: Caren Alpert

Adam Rogers at Wired: The air outside a distillery warehouse smells like witch hazel and spices, with notes of candied fruit and vanilla—warm and tangy- mellow. It’s the aroma of fresh cookies cooling in the kitchen while a fancy cocktail party gets out of hand in the living room.

James Scott encountered that scent for the first time a decade ago in a town called Lakeshore, Ontario. Just across the river from Detroit, Lakeshore is where barrels of Canadian Club whiskey age in blocky, windowless warehouses. Scott, who had recently completed his PhD in mycology at the University of Toronto, had launched a business called Sporometrics. Run out of his apartment, it was a sort of consulting detective agency for companies that needed help dealing with weird fungal infestations. The first call he got after putting up his website was from a director of research at Hiram Walker Distillery named David Doyle.

Doyle had a problem. In the neighborhood surrounding his Lakeshore warehouses, homeowners were complaining about a mysterious black mold coating their houses. And the residents, following their noses, blamed the whiskey. Doyle wanted to know what the mold was and whether it was the company’s fault. Scott headed up to Lakeshore to take a look.

When he arrived at the warehouse, the first thing he noticed (after “the beautiful, sweet, mellow smell of aging Canadian whiskey,” he says) was the black stuff. It was everywhere—on the walls of buildings, on chain-link fences, on metal street signs, as if a battalion of Dickensian chimney sweeps had careened through town. “In the back of the property, there was an old stainless steel fermenter tank,” Scott says. “It was lying on its side, and it had this fungus growing all over it. Stainless steel!” The whole point of stainless steel is that things don’t grow on it.