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dorkbot-nyc 10th anniversary meeting & party this Wednesday

This Wednesday, December 1, dorkbot-nyc is having its 10th anniversary meeting with a special extra party : The 37.8.4-th dorkbot-nyc meeting and 10th ANNIVERSARY PARTY will take place from 7-10pm on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at Location One in SoHo. THIS IS OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY! COME HELP US CELEBRATE! Wear a homemade suit! Wear a crazy dress! Wear your jeans and a t-shirt! DOESN'T MATTER! Come hear three old-timey dorkbot pals rant and rave! Eat some pizza and drink some beer. Bring a cake?!? Bring some blinky lights! Just bring yourself?!? WHATEVER YOU WANT! It'll be a semi-normal dorkbot meeting that morphs into a casual party/celebration of 10 years of world-wide dorkbot nerd-on-geek action. Meeting starts at 7pm, party continues until 10pm.

The Realist Archive Project is complete

Ethan Persoff has just announced the completion of The Realist Archive Project , in which the complete run of Paul Krassner's legendary and rare satire/freethought/conspiracy underground magazine has been scanned and posted online. Jesse Walker describes "the lost bridge between Mad and Wikipedia" (with a bonus find of a letter to the editor from a then-conservative Karl Hess): In 1958 Paul Krassner set out to create a Mad magazine for adults. He was well-qualified for the task, being both a former Mad contributor and, in fact if not always in spirit, an adult. The result was The Realist, a journal whose great innovation was to refuse to label which articles were journalism and which were satire, and sometimes to add just enough truth to a piece of fiction that readers would be left completely befuddled as to what, if anything, they should believe. Some call it a prelude to the underground press. I call it a prelude to the Internet. Over a three year period, a quarte

When "no possessions" meets "his own"

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I couldn't resist combining Google's John Lennon birthday doodle with another famous line drawing portrait:

modern school reunion announcement 2010

The announcement for the 38th annual reunion of Friends of the Modern School , coming up this Saturday at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has been posted . The Friends is an alumni association for people associated with an anarchist school and colony which was at Stelton, New Jersey (near current-day Piscataway), and the reunions are open to interested members of the general public.

I'm back

Well, it's been a while, but after a hiatus, I'm back to blogging! I'm currently doing some long overdue housecleaning, and expect to get back on a semi-regular posting schedule.

dorkbot-nyc kicks off its 10th season

This Wednesday, dorkbot-nyc is starting the first meeting of its 10th season; as I described it in my post about its 5th anniversary, "its motto, 'People doing strange things with electricity', gives the impression of what to (un)expect. Its dorky arena includes almost anything within the wide bounds of electronics, including both hardware and software, with a square emphasis on low-budget, do-it-yourself, personal projects. The results are geeky, goofy, technical, off-beat, and as wacky as the presenters' personal interests". This promises to be an exciting season; the previous one saw the introduction of a Vimeo account that has videos of some of the presentations.

Chomsky on his inner anarchist

There's a new video interview with Noam Chomsky (a transcript is also available), based on an open submission thread on reddit, that includes a question about anarchist strategy posed by Roderick T. Long (using the handle BerserkRL, which I find amusing to hear Chomsky read out loud in the video interview; it's the third and final question, starting at 15:40 in the video, and is slightly condensed for time but otherwise similar to the version originally posted on reddit, although the reference to Kevin Carson didn't make the cut; hat tip to commenter "Joel" , not me, on Roderick's blog). Chomsky has been one of the most well-known and intellectually respected anarchists in the world since coming to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with articles like "Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship" and "Notes on Anarchism", but while he's always advocated for a stateless society as the ultimate goal, his shorter-term political strategies

Quote of the day: James Bovard on free trade vs. free trade agreements

One would presume that an honest trade agreement would simply require little more than a handshake between the political leaders of the nations involved. If trade is free, then what is there to quibble about? But that would defeat the entire purpose of using free trade agreements to give preferences to favored nations and favored industries. Free trade is not complex; it does not require an army of hair-splitting bureaucrats to achieve. Free trade agreements, on the other hand, usually outweigh the Bible and have more trick clauses than a Hollywood movie deal. (The U.S.-Australia FTA is nine hundred pages of wheedling, hemming, and hawing.) Free trade minimizes the power of rulers to decimate the purchasing power of citizens. Free trade agreements allow politicians and bureaucrats to pick winners and losers with arcane formulas that guarantee that trade lawyers will never go hungry. Free trade allows consumers and businesses to benefit from the best goods the world can produce

Sagan book club follow up

Well, due to a problem with the email software, an old email from the Sagan Appreciation Society that contained a plug for last December's SHSNY Book Club for Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan's Acquiring Genomes was sent out just a few days ago; since the next book club meeting in the series, devoted to Michael Specter's Denialism , is coming up this Thursday (after that it's John Brockman’s This Will Change Everything on March 18 and Rebecca Goldstein’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction on April 27 ), it reminded me that I've been meaning to post a brief follow up to my original post . As it turned out, nobody showed up specifically for the Carl Sagan connection, and as it happened, the discussion didn't wind up being about how the book ties into Carl's work in any detail, mostly centering on the differences between Lynn Margulis's theories of evolution and the more orthodox neo-Darwinist approach. However, Sagan fans are welc

Paul Goodman essay contest

There's an essay contest , partially sponsored by the magazine Dissent , currently running (until May 1, 2010) dedicated to the much-neglected social critic Paul Goodman.

Contact featured on DVD Verdict

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As the screen grab above shows, DVD Verdict is currently featuring a link to their review of Contact (the original DVD, not the Blu-Ray edition which they've also reviewed , but oddly, they haven't reviewed Cosmos ) on the front page as part of their "Today in Verdict History" feature. And hey, Nick Sagan gets mentioned in their review of the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation ! "We discover that Nick Sagan, who wrote the Picard/Crusher episode 'Attached,' is the son of Carl Sagan. Not only that, but young Nick's recorded voice was sent into space aboard one of NASA's Voyager probes in the 1970s, bearing a greeting from the children of Earth."

Mission to Moscow on TCM tonight

Following up on a screening and an informative panel discussion last week at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a rarely seen WWII-era propaganda film (not to be confused with the similarly-subtitled Police Academy installment) is airing on Turner Classic Movies tonight at 10PM EST (it's also available as an unrestored print-on-demand DVD via the Warner Archive, no doubt due to the involvement of Casablanca 's Michael Curtiz and Howard Koch). During the era of the US-Soviet Union wartime alliance, the film, based on ambassador Joseph E. Davies's visit to the Stalinist USSR, goes all-out in seeing the nation through, well, rose-colored glasses, as an economically productive nation driven to war despite its lack of any aggressive intentions (even the invasion of Finland is portrayed as an act of self-defense), partly due to a treacherous Nazi conspiracy led by Leon Trostky; Stalin is shown as not only a great leader, but a friendly, avuncular fellow who's willing to stop