Five members of the feminist group FEMEN demonstrated topless in Times Square this morning against Russia’s actions in Ukraine. This protest was a continuation of the demonstrations which FEMEN has carried out throughout the world this month. They have protested from Paris to Crimea, speaking out against Moscow’s interference in Ukrainian sovereignty.
It is hard to quit smoking. Every one of them looks real good to me right about now. Every cigarette looks like it was made by God, rolled by Jesus and moistened shut with Claudia Schiffer’s pussy.Bill Hicks
I Love You | Beat Happening
Terracotta Incantation Bowl
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Terence McKenna (via alloftime)
DMT is the most harmless, the safest, of all hallucinogens.
The fact that it occurs naturally in the human brain is the first clue to the fact that it’s benign.
The second clue is the fact that it only lasts eight to twelve minutes. What that means to a pharmacologist is that the body perfectly understands what to do with this compound.
You take a hit of DMT and your body says, ‘Oh, I recognize this. Activate deamination cycle, activate demethylation cycle, acivate serotonergic cycle…’ - it knows what to do.
And within 10 minutes you’re down.
A compound that you take and 48 hours later your lying around in warm baths and refusing telephone calls is a compound you shouldn’t have taken, because it’s hitting you too hard, its not clean its not smooth.
DMT, the most powerful hallucinogen known to human science, clears your system in 15 minutes.
Bob Slater’s Hill ( 1938 )
Mende Wooden Sowei Helmet Mask
Origin: Sierra Leone
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 18” (45.7cm) high x 8.25” (21.0cm) wide
In many African societies, masked dancers perform on special occasions, but the dancers are nearly always men. The Mende people, however, are one of the notable exceptions where women don masks. Nearly every member of the Mende tribe belongs to a secret association: the Sande society for women, and the Poro society for men. When girls and boys reach their teens they go through special training to join these organizations, learning all they will need to know to become full adult members of society. Women teach the girls dancing and singing, domestic skills, childcare, grooming, and etiquette, in addition to religious knowledge. This mask was used in a traditional initiation ceremony into the secret Sande society. This mask represents everything an adult Mende woman should be: wise, serene, and elegant. The mask was not intended to be a portrait of a specific person; rather, it represents an ideal woman. The delicate facial features of the mask, the modestly downcast eyes, and the discreetly closed mouth, are examples of inner beauty as much as outer beauty. The smooth high forehead indicates wisdom and success. In Mende thought, a woman’s future may be told by her forehead. Because elaborate hairstyles are desirable among adult Mende women, the hair is carved to show an intricate style of braiding and banding. The hair is carefully arranged in orderly patterns, reflecting the balance and harmony of an ideal household. To fully appreciate the Sande Society mask, we would have to see it in the context of the ceremony for which it was intended. Now still and silent, this wooden mask once embodied a powerful spirit called sowei. Imagine the awesome appearance of this beautiful mask worn by a woman with raffia swirling about her as she moved. The mask itself is an embodiment of the sowei spirit, not simply decoration that conceals the dancer. In evoking the spirit, the masked woman gives up her own identity to allow the spirit to take over. The sowei spirit is present to escort the girls into initiation, to provide guidance while they are in training, and to emerge with them in festive celebration of their readiness for adulthood and marriage.
Jules de Balincourt (b. 1972, Paris, France, New York based) - Fire People, 2013 Paintings: Oil on Panel
When scientists made the stunning announcement last year that a baby born with H.I.V. had apparently been cured through aggressive drug treatment just 30 hours after birth, there was immediate skepticism that the child had been infected in the first place.
But on Wednesday, the existence of a second such baby was revealed at an AIDS conference here, leaving little doubt that the treatment works. A leading researcher said there might be five more such cases in Canada and three in South Africa.
And a clinical trial in which up to 60 babies who are born infected will be put on drugs within 48 hours is set to begin soon, another researcher added.
If that trial works — and it will take several years of following the babies to determine whether it has — the protocol for treating all 250,000 babies born infected each year worldwide will no doubt be rewritten.
“This could lead to major changes, for two reasons,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, executive director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Both for the welfare of the child, and because it is a huge proof of concept that you can cure someone if you can treat them early enough.”
The announcement was the third piece of hopeful news in two days about the virus that causes AIDS.
On Tuesday, scientists reported that injections of long-lasting AIDS drugs fended off infection in monkeys, and on Wednesday, researchers announced a “gene editing” advance that might enable immune cells to repel the virus.
The first infant to make an apparent recovery from H.I.V. infection, now famous as the “Mississippi baby,” was described last March at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, the same annual meeting where the new case was reported on Wednesday.
The Mississippi child, now more than 3 years old, is still virus-free, said Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist who has run ultrasensitive tests on both children in her lab at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.
The second baby, a girl born at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., is now 9 months old and apparently free of the virus that causes AIDS.
Her mother, who has advanced AIDS and is mentally ill, arrived in labor; she had been prescribed drugs to protect her baby but had not taken them.
Four hours after the birth, a pediatrician, Dr. Audra Deveikis, drew blood for an H.I.V. test and immediately started the baby on three drugs — AZT, 3TC and nevirapine — at the high doses usually used for treatment of the virus.
The normal preventive regimen for newborns would be lower doses of two drugs; doctors usually do not use the more aggressive treatment until they are sure the baby is infected, and then sometimes not in the first weeks.
“Of course I had worries,” Dr. Deveikis said in an interview here. “But the mother’s disease was not under control, and I had to weigh the risk of transmission against the toxicity of the meds.”
“I’d heard of the Mississippi baby, I’d watched the video,” she added. “I knew that if you want to prevent infection, early treatment is critical.”
The New York Times, "Early Treatment Is Found to Clear HIV In a Second Baby."
The Judgment of Paris
Oil on wood, 47 x 31 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Aboriginal rights a threat to Canada’s natural resource agenda, documents reveal
March 3, 2014
The Canadian government is increasingly worried that the growing clout of aboriginal peoples’ rights could obstruct its aggressive resource development plans, documents reveal.
Since 2008, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs has run a risk management program to evaluate and respond to “significant risks” to its agenda, including assertions of treaty rights, the rising expectations of aboriginal peoples, and new legal precedents at odds with the government’s policies.
Yearly government reports obtained by the Guardian predict that the failure to manage the risks could result in more “adversarial relations” with aboriginal peoples, “public outcry and negative international attention,” and “economic development projects [being] delayed.”
“There is a risk that the legal landscape can undermine the ability of the department to move forward in its policy agenda,” one Aboriginal Affairs’ report says. “There is a tension between the rights-based agenda of Aboriginal groups and the non-rights based policy approaches” of the federal government.
The Conservative government is planning in the next ten years to attract $650 billion of investment to mining, forestry, gas and oil projects, much of it on or near traditional aboriginal lands.
Critics say the government is determined to evade Supreme Court rulings that recognize aboriginal peoples’ rights to a decision-making role in, even in some cases jurisdiction over, resource development in large areas of the country.
“The Harper government is committed to a policy of extinguishing indigenous peoples’ land rights, instead of a policy of recognition and co-existence,” said Arthur Manuel, chair of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, which has lead an effort to have the economic implications of aboriginal rights identified as a financial risk.
“They are trying to contain the threat that our rights pose to business-as-usual and the expansion of dirty energy projects. But our legal challenges and direct actions are creating economic uncertainty and risk, raising the heat on the government to change its current policies.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs declined to answer the Guardian’s questions, but sent a response saying the risk reports are compiled from internal reviews and “targeted interviews with senior management in those areas experiencing significant change.”
“The [corporate risk profile] is designed as an analytical tool for planning and not a public document. A good deal of [its] content would only be understandable to those working for the department as it speaks to the details of the operations of specific programs.”
Last year Canada was swept by the aboriginal-led Idle No More protest movement, building on years of aboriginal struggles against resource projects, the most high-profile of which has targeted Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would carry Alberta tar sands to the western coast of British Columbia.
“Native land claims scare the hell out of investors,” an analyst with global risk consultancy firm Eurasia Group has noted, concluding that First Nations opposition and legal standing has dramatically decreased the chances the Enbridge pipeline will be built.
In British Columbia and across the country, aboriginal peoples’ new assertiveness has been backed by successive victories in the courts.
According to a report released in November by Virginia-based First Peoples Worldwide, the risk associated with not respecting aboriginal peoples’ rights over lands and resources is emerging as a new financial bubble for extractive industries.
The report anticipates that as aboriginal peoples become better connected through digital media, win broader public support, and mount campaigns that more effectively impact business profits, failures to uphold aboriginal rights will carry an even higher risk.
The Aboriginal Affairs’ documents describe how a special legal branch helps the Ministry monitor and “mitigate” the risks posed by aboriginal court cases.
The federal government has spent far more fighting aboriginal litigation than any other legal issue – including $106 million in 2013, a sum that has grown over the last several years.
A special envoy appointed in 2013 by the Harper government to address First Nations opposition to energy projects in western Canada recentlyrecommended that the federal government move rapidly to improve consultation and dialogue.
To boost support for its agenda, the government has considered offeringbonds to allow First Nations to take equity stakes in resource projects. This is part of a rising trend of provincial governments and companies signing “benefit-sharing” agreements with First Nations to gain access to their lands, while falling short of any kind of recognition of aboriginal rights or jurisdiction.
Since 2007, the government has also turned to increased spying, creating a surveillance program aimed at aboriginal communities deemed “hot spots” because of their involvement in protest and civil disobedience against unwanted extraction on their lands.
Over the last year, the Harper government has cut funding to national, regional and tribal aboriginal organizations that provide legal services and advocate politically on behalf of First Nations, raising cries that it is trying to silence growing dissent.
"Somebody really had it in for this guy.”
SANTA FE, N.M. — Thirty years ago, biologist David Propst was fresh out of graduate school when he started working on the Gila River. Tucked into the southwestern corner of New Mexico, the Gila’s headwaters run out of the Mogollon Mountains and flow through southern Arizona and into the Colorado River. Small farms along the way divert irrigation water. But there are no large dams.
At 649 miles, the Gila remains one of the last of the West’s free-flowing major rivers. The Yellowstone River, also undammed, is 692 miles long.
“If I were to get up on a hill overlooking the Cliff-Gila Valley,” said Propst, referring to where the Gila bursts from the canyon-constricted wilderness and opens to a wide valley, “and contrast that today with what it looked like in 1983, you would be hard pressed to see any differences.”