June 29, 2011

Multifunctional Headphones

Have Sennheiser headphones myself but these probably work just great.

June 25, 2011

Fail-Troll Flop?

Notorious Zeitgeist critic MarioBrotha made some predictions which turned out to be somewhat incorrect. The movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward was nominated for an award (for best documentary film) at the Image Gazer Film Festival. (I did a blog on this just yesterday.) Mario however seemed to think that the movie wasn't even nominated, and secondly that it would result in a flop. That people have to pay $15 at the theatre is strictly the responsibility of the organization. Peter Joseph and the Zeitgeist Movement have nothing to do with the admission costs that the festival charges. The movie is freely available on YouTube for viewing - without any cost.

Typically for "fail-trolls" is that they put a negative spin on every bit of information. The main motivation here is that they want to see the other party fail, in this case Peter Joseph and the Zeitgeist Movement. But when you see that the movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward was not only nominated but in fact won the award for best documentary film, surely that must constitute as a decisive 'fail-troll flop.' Because all the predictions turned out to be false. Poor Mario. The image below is taken from the Image Gazer Film Festival facebook page.

June 24, 2011

Zeitgeist Moving Forward Winner Best Documentary

Winner Best Documentary Film Award, Image Gazer Film Festival.

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward [2011] by director Peter Joseph is a 162 minute film work which continues what the prior two films of the Zeitgeist Film Series started: a critical look at the “Zeitgeist” or ‘Spirit /Awareness of the Time’. A prominent underlying thesis of the Film Series is that a great many notions, beliefs and practices currently engaged in today and assumed as “presupposed”, “given” or seemingly empirical to our societal approaches and values are not only intellectually/historically incorrect but highly detrimental to our personal and social progress and sustainability.

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward focuses on the very fabric of the social order: Monetary-Market Economics. While the majority of the world today have slowly come to see some basic flaws in the economic system we share, as large scale debt defaults, inflation, industrial pollution, resource depletion, rising cancer rates and other signposts emerge to bring the concern into the realm of “public health” overall, very few however consider the economic paradigm as a whole as the source. The tendency is to demand reform in one area or another, avoiding the possibility that perhaps the entire system is intrinsically flawed at the foundational level. ZMF presents the case that it is, indeed, the very foundational mechanics of this system that generates the patterns of behavior and unsustainable methods of conduct that are leading to the vast spectrum of detrimental consequences both personal, social, and environmental and the longer they go on, the worse things will become.

Moreover, unlike the prior films of the series, this film lends more direct support to the data sets of both The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project as Activist and Sustainability organizations respectively.

Please visit thevenusproject.com and thezeitgeistmovement.com to learn more about these issues and how to help bring the world back in line with nature.

Sketchzoid #34

June 23, 2011

Banc Jeu Zero

Yesterday I read an article on a Dutch newspaper website and it was both shocking and revealing. The article was about which countries owe Dutch banks money. It has more significance when you realize that after the credit crisis of 2008 2 major banks in the Netherlands were nationalized, meaning the government took them over and rescued them with taxpayer money. So in essence the money that's being owed to the Dutch banks, also belongs to the normal Dutch citizen if I can make that correlation. (Of course the government plans to privatize the banks again once they are solvable.)

The article reads as following. Ireland (13), Portugal (5), Spain (58) and Italy (34) owe 109 billion euros in total to Dutch banks, and to insurance companies and pension funds "dozens of billions." Dutch minister of finance Jan Kees de Jager reports this to parliament. The minister is also an advocate to loaning Greece more money since he fears that when that country goes bankrupt it will have a 'domino-effect' to other south European nations. However, the average man on the street is very much against that plan and fears that loaning money to Greece will be futile endeavor.

While these amounts may not seem much in comparison to bigger economies such as the U.S., for a small country such as Holland these figures way heavily, especially if taxpayer money is involved. In Holland the taxation on consumption is one of the highest in the world. We may have a decent social net for when you get sick or unemployed but this system is already stretched to the max under the current economic climate and austerity measures are high on the agenda. The Dutch government also jumped quickly on the new paradigm that people should work until they are 67 before they can retire and made it law.

Personally, I wonder how this system can last - considering that countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal are doing much worse than Holland. I've come across information that suggests that Spain and Italy owe 1 trillion dollars in total, Greece and Ireland are between 3-400 billion dollars in total debt. Seriously, how can this have a 'happy ending?' Even if these economies recover it will take many years, decades even before they are in the green. You simply can't keep on borrowing, everyone knows that. That begs the question; 'Are we nearing the end of this system?' Wont you get to 'zero' at some point?

June 19, 2011

Oops, Lost 18 Billion

Osama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn - three times more than the reported $6.6bn. Just before departing for a visit to the US, al-Nujaifi said that he has received a report this week based on information from US and Iraqi auditors that the amount of money withdrawn from a fund from Iraqi oil proceeds, but unaccounted for, is much more than the $6.6bn reported missing last week.

"There is a lot of money missing during the first American administration of Iraqi money in the first year of occupation. "Iraq's development fund has lost around $18bn of Iraqi money in these operations - their location is unknown. Also missing are the documents of expenditure. "I think it will be discussed soon. There should be an answer to where has Iraqi money gone."

The Bush administration flew in a total of $20bn in cash into the country in 2004. This was money that had come from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets.Officials in Iraq were supposed to give out the money to Iraqi ministries and US contractors, intended for the reconstruction of the country.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Iraqi officials argue that the US government was supposed to safeguard the stash under a 2004 legal agreement it signed with Iraq, hence making Washington responsible for the cash that has disappeared. Pentagon officials have contended for the last six years that they could account for the money if given enough time to track down the records. The US has audited the money three times, but has still not been able to say exactly where it went. Al Jazeera's Iraq correspondent, Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said: "It's an absolutely astonishing figure - this goes back to 2003 and 2004.

"There is going to be a fairly wide net cast - some of them [involved in mishandling of this money] are thought to be US officials, but many here believe that it is the Iraqis who have filled their pockets. "Safeguarding the money was up to the Americans ... after the invasion, provisional authority here was run by the American military. "Piles and piles of shrink-wrapped US dollars came here, but the cash coming in is not the important part - it is what happened to it after [it got here]. "There are no documents to indicate who got it, where it was spent and what was ever built from it."
(Source: Al Jazeera)


I'm trying to remember the name of the documentary I watched a while back where it was claimed that billions of dollars where flown into Iraq only to be handed out to American corporations doing reconstruction work. (I'm guessing it was the internet documentary "the 1 percent" but I have to check up on that.) In any case it was claimed the cash was handed out to companies like Halliburton and that they went on a shopping spree, buying SUV's for every employee (that sort of thing) - deliberately wrecking them at times or replacing the cars after minor damage.

Since the money is likely to have been misused it's also no wonder they can't find any paperwork, and probably never will. The pile of money was one big "candy jar" where everyone gladly put their hands in like little children.

June 17, 2011

Blackbird: The Second Batch

Amazingly enough, the blackbird couple that nests in the tree of my neighbors produced yet more offspring. On the first of May I snapped a few pictures of their younglings whom were already close to maturity. Yesterday I took the picture above where a fresh out of the nest blackbird is chilling on a branch. (I suspect there was another because momma blackbird also flew in the conifer a couple of times and out of sight.) It still has a couple more weeks to go before flying out but the rate of reproduction with this particular bird is simply amazing. I estimate they produce offspring every 2 months (in summertime). They are also incredibly active and when you have the time to observe the garden you can see them hopping around during daylight practically the entire time. Not so strange considering how many mouths they have to feed. No doubt the breadcrumbs I lay out now and then are also appreciated.

Nitrous Oxide

No, not talking about the laughing gas here but about the Polish trance producer. Trance being my cup of tea I often listen on YouTube to music of that genre and I must say that N2O is one of the most talented composers out there. With respect to other musicians I often find that they have a few good or decent tracks with the rest being mediocre, but with Krzysztof Prętkiewicz (Nitrous Oxide) the standard is simply much higher. Tracks such as 'Alive' and 'Red Moon Slide' will do awesome on any dance floor. To complicate matters a bit, Krzysztof has used several artist names in the past. 3rd Moon, N2O and Nitrous Oxide are all his, but if you type in the names on YouTube you'll undoubtedly discover his trademark of music. Not wanting to sound too commercializing but if I discover one of his cd's in the music store I'm going to buy it off the shelf without a second thought. So if you are a trance lover check out his work.

June 11, 2011

Indian Aphrodisiac

Last night I was strolling on YouTube and found myself looking at some Bollywood videos. More to the point; this one. I find the whole Indian cinematic experience fascinating and to be honest the main reason why I started investigating is because I find some of these actresses gorgeous. Aishwarya Rai is a natural beauty but Madhuri Dixit (see pictures) belongs in the same category. To make matters worse most videos displayed stunning beauties so I found myself watching for over an hour forgetting time.

While through western eyes India may seem traditional and somewhat old-fashioned, I think they are catching up pretty quick. Song and dance in the movies is superbly done. Madhuri Dixit is such a good dancer and entertainer that she would have made it in western similar productions just as easily. I've also seen videos that were outright artistic, women in colorful long fashionable gowns walking in the desert with the wind blowing through their hair. Looked fantastic. Bollywood is on equal playing field with Hollywood in many aspects.

As mentioned before India has a strong foundation in tradition, but I think I've figured them out. While excess nudity is not done in India, they make it up with these movies they produce because quite often I see the screen filled with beautiful women dancing. With a little imagination, what most guys seem to posses, it's still highly erotic. So that is the Indian way, kinda. With all these attractive women on the movie screen it's no wonder there are over 1 billion people in India. Guys probably walk out of the cinema after the movie, horny as a bat. Not that I mind though, I'm starting to appreciate Bollywood more and more.


"For the good of humanity Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project needs to be destroyed." As a member of the aforementioned movement comments such as these send chills through my spine. The comment itself can be found on YouTube where a user by the moniker of Axis4peace3 ran a huge channel mostly filled with the latest news items. Due to copyright claims the channel got removed. What I did find out is that Axis4peace3 is a devout Christian and months ago I commented on his channel pointing out that fact. He replied that I was putting him in a box while he had no problems referring to the Zeitgeist Movement as a cult.

While this is one incident where a religious person is deeply offended (probably by the first Zeitgeist movie) it is by no means an isolated incident, and while they are 'for peace' they seemingly have no problem advocating stern measures to be taken against that which challenges their ideology. I'm not hesitant to say that the 'for peace' reference in his nickname can be taken with a grain of salt. Personally, I discovered years ago that when a belief system becomes too fundamental it becomes equally rigid - bound to clash with other fundamental belief systems that have a (slight) deviation or those concepts that challenge them. Peace and fundamentalism don't go hand in hand.

June 10, 2011

Inside Job Review

Just finished watching the movie 'Inside Job' which was produced, written and directed by Charles Ferguson. The film takes a hard look at the financial meltdown of 2008 but more importantly it examines some of the root causes. Here's a short summarization (storyline) from IMDB;

"'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China."

The movie also alludes to the de-regularization of the markets, starting in the 1980s under the Reagan administration, as the main cause of the credit crisis. Financial institutions that are heavily intertwined with government were essentially given a free reign to make a profit and that's what they basically did at the expense of everything else. The maximization of profit and the pursuit of self interest is not that shocking to me, after all that's the cornerstone of the free market. That people can't see the ramifications of their actions or take accountability for them, is.

With CEOs of major corporations transferring in and out of government you would think that these people have an understanding of the result of their actions, however seemingly it's not there. The current Obama administration is filled with the same people that caused the crisis in the first place and they have no intention of regulating the market to avoid similar financial meltdowns. Business as usual apparently. Which leads me to believe that there's even a more dire cause, and that is simply the cultural mindset.

Even Ferguson remarked that while researching the film and conversing with a friend about the housing bubble that was crashing under their eyes that 'they should get into it in order to make a buck.' His friend advised against it because it was going down even more so but that's not important here. The mindset of making a buck almost literally over the backs of other people is. It's the prevalent 'American Dream' where most people aspire to be millionaires, that's what in the end gets you into trouble because you have all these single-minded people walking around trying to take advantage.

What the movie also points out, although not in abundance, is that this culture of raking in the dollars is promoted at almost every level and in many institutions. Professors at universities who teach and promote a free market with little government and are against regulations - often work at financial institutions, companies or enter a prominent position in government. As such there are very few dissenting voices. Maybe what the movie failed to point out more clearly is that a culture based on greed and self interest will cause crises by default.

June 9, 2011

First Oil

The other side of 'bringing democracy to the Middle East' apparently is securing economic interests. Not surprising. Has been going on for ages. You can wonder what's the most important with these military interventions because 'national interests' a.k.a. economic interests are often if not always there. And since dictators have been supported in the past by the West you can also equally wonder about 'spreading democracy.' Full article here.

June 6, 2011

TZM: Response to FBI targeting Political Activists as Terrorists

TZM: Response to FBI targeting Political Activists as Terrorists

As many students of history are familiar, Galileo Galilei, famed mathematician & astronomer, known today by many as the “father of modern science”, was forced by the Catholic Church under threat of torture to recant his “heretical” view that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice-versa in the 17th century. This scientifically valid idea voided long held religious dogma and hence challenged the Church's integrity itself.

In a letter from 1634, René Descartes, one of the world's most noted thinkers and philosophers, stated:
“Doubtless you know that Galileo was recently censored by the Inquisitors of the Faith, and that his views about the movement of the earth were condemned as heretical. I must tell you that all the things I explained in my treatise, which included the doctrine of the movement of the earth, were so interdependent that it is enough to discover that one of them is false to know that all the arguments I was using are unsound. Though I thought they were based on very certain and evident proofs, I would not wish, for anything in the world, to maintain them against the authority of the church.... I desire to live in peace and to continue the life I have begun under the motto to 'live well you must live unseen'.”

If we step back and think about the challenges that faced this small progressive and scientific community during 17th Century Europe and compare the fear and patterns of suppression coming from the established orthodoxy of that time to that of the modern-day, we find only mere variation. Descartes' revelation and retreat from exposure, as expressed by the motto:
'to live well you must live unseen' is a disheartening disposition that speaks volumes and sadly carries on to this day across the world. The use of fear, intimidation and other time tested variations of oppression continue to persist as the dominant institutions of our society work to protect it's established orders regardless of social validity. Even more, the overall cultural itself, which invariably tends to support the accepted beliefs put forward by those that define “power” of a period, also tends to condemn those who choose to pose a challenge as it becomes a threat to the mass accepted identity itself.

The result is that many simply are not willing to risk their lives, occupations and reputations to challenge the orthodoxy of the time.

In late May 2011 news reports were generated that detailed how the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States was actively targeting “Political Activists” under the pretense of “Terrorism”.


Just as people like John Lennon and Martin Luther King Jr. were watched and harassed by the FBI for their activism decades ago, it appears modern, so-called “Anti-Terrorism” resources are being used to target environmentalists, peace, animal and political activists.

Just like the accusations of “Communism” against people like MLK Jr. in the mid 20th century, this newer, more generalized device called “Terrorism” of the 21st century is no less an “heretical”, accusatory tool than what was employed by the Inquisition century's ago to maintain the politico-religious social system.

So, we can sympathize with Descartes' notion, as to move against the Zeitgeist is to position yourself against the odds, regardless of how empirical, necessary or obvious the truth you wish to convey and act upon is.

Unfortunately, Descartes' position is unacceptable in the modern world. The risks that now exist within our current order are beginning to far outweigh the temporal personal risks generated by the act of activist objection itself.

It is no longer issues of accurate data, “rights” and “freedoms”. Today our very stability as a civilization is now in question and, if left unhindered, it threatens us all, regardless of one's position in the modern feudal hierarchy.

So, we can sit in confusion and watch as global unemployment rises due to technological unemployment and the resulting regional instability that is sure to grow. We can stare blankly at the systematic debt collapse of the world economy, country by country, like dominos, as self-appointed global banking institutions that derive money out of nothing impose austerity measures against the poor and middle class of each country to help support the wealthy, furthering the income divide.

We can twiddle our thumbs as what we have called “democracy” turns inexplicably into global plutocracy and the world economy becomes measured by how much money the rich move around amongst themselves. We can distract ourselves with our little gadgets as the rain-forests – considered by many to be the “lungs” of this planet – are destroyed at faster and faster rates, reducing our ability to absorb the growing CO2 in the atmosphere. We can keep the TV on as the clean water and food shortages that currently affect over 1 billion people continue to grow to 2 billion... 3 billion. We can scan the tabloids at the grocery store news stands as the very basis of industrial civilization, the Hydrocarbon Economy, inches towards crisis scarcity with virtually no active initiative taken to change course.

We can continue to pretend that our “leaders” are anything but “mis-leaders”, set in motion by monetary commercial interests that follow the rules of the free-market with all legislation and offices going to the highest bidder, one way or another... and we can stand amused as a new global arms race gains speed as each country comes to terms with the very real reality that wars for resources are upon us in a way unlike any period in history.

This is what separates our world from the one Descartes hid from.

The fact is, the fear tactics of the Orthodoxy - in this context the FBI or any such “Intelligence Agency” - are no longer worthy of viable concern or even acknowledgment. At no time in history has any true social change come in a manner that was not opposed with hostility by the dominant orders of the time. If you choose fear, then fear exists and those little lists/tactics held by the Intelligence/Police Agencies have merit. If you choose love, pride and self-respect then no accusations, lists, or threats can ever stop you. The trick now is in numbers and if we can gain critical mass and override the “divide and conquer” techniques used to keep the orthodoxy in place, the game is over.

The Zeitgeist Movement is a global sustainability activist group working to bring the world together for the common goal of species sustainability before it is too late. It is a social movement, not a political one, with over 1100 chapters across nearly all countries. Divisionary notions such as nations, governments, races, political parties, religions, creeds or class are non-operational distinctions in the view of The Movement. Rather, we recognize the world as one system and the human species as a singular unit, sharing a common habitat. Our overarching intent could be summarized as “the application of the scientific method for social concern.”

To learn more about our work, please visit www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

June 3, 2011

Day In The Garden

Had the day off today and the weather was just great, warm but a bit windy. Had the camera with me when I sat in the sun and made a couple of shots. Above, a moth (I guess) was feeding on the petunias and was moving around like a hummingbird. You have to look for it in the shot.

Couple of green flies going at it.

Young jackdaw resting in a tree after it was startled by a cat and flew against my window. Do like photography, and when you really look for it you can find the perfect shots.

Continued Madness

This sort of madness seems to be getting more and more common these days here in my native Holland. In the province of Limburg and in the town of Hoensbroek, a 41 year old man flipped after an altercation with a neighbor in the street. The argument seems to have been over (the height) of some conifer trees! The disturbed man grabbed an ax and a torch, killed his neighbor across the street and seriously wounded another person. Shortly thereafter the police arrived on the scene where they were challenged by the disturbed individual who apparently dared them to shoot. After a warning shot and threatening gestures from the man the police shot to kill.
Really disturbing to see these kinds of violent, utterly useless outbreaks. I recall that as a kid (some 30 years ago) that a murder was committed in my hometown. Most people were shocked at the time because it was practically unheard of. A few months ago we had a maniac here in Holland who went on a shooting spree in a mall. Murder and senseless violence is getting more and more common. That's scary.

June 2, 2011

Zeitgeist: Beyond The Pale

Was pleasantly surprised to find out today that Peter Joseph is working on a next installment of the Zeitgeist movies. Somehow I had the impression Joseph was going to do other things and that his next movie was also going in another direction but I was mistaken. His upcoming flick is going to be titled 'Zeitgeist: Beyond The Pale' and will undoubtedly be another critical look at our society and culture. A trailer can be found here. There's also a website up for this particular movie but since it is scheduled to be released in 2012 at the earliest, it is still a long wait. Do like the artwork and video effects so far.


Around 20 years ago I visited London on a school trip and one of the things that I remembered most aside from the fun with my classmates was the fine pints of beer I drank there at the time. Being much younger of course one/two pints did the trick so maybe that's why I bought it again last week when I discovered the brand at a particular liquor store (I rarely visit). Must say that although it's a fine beer, it's not as exquisite as I remember but maybe it's also romanticizing the memory. Did have a little hangover this morning from the beers so that accounts for something I guess.

June 1, 2011

Buy Muertos' Books

In typical Conspiracy Science fashion my previous blog on possible motivations the Zeitgeist critics might have is called into question and Conspiracy Science-wise I'm clutching at straws. My point was not to find some dark ulterior motive as Muertos puts it, but simply to point out human behavior. Lets be honest, if something stands in the way of personal gain all people are tempted to take action that removes that threat. We live in a society that's based on the pursuit of self interest. It's also fascinating to see how people react when you question them. Maybe you guys over at the Conspiracy Science forums can take a hint since you question everything the Zeitgeist Movement does?

When a person like James Kush, who's in real estate, stands to make a lot of money with selling houses I'm not in shock and awe that he feels inclined to oppose that which calls his livelihood into question. In a sense it's "normal" human behavior although how the dialogue should progress is something entirely different and this is where James also fails considerably. Likewise I don't frown upon people making money or a living. I do that as well. That's simply the world we live in. Paul Jones making a living with his record company? Go for it. I actually like some of the remixes Jones made because I'm into trance/techno/house. Maybe the real issue here is to investigate and value individual elements on their own merit without comparing them to an overall predetermined bias?

So Muertos, I honestly don't mind you writing books and making some money. I like science fiction stories because they can be highly creative and transcend the normal world we live in by opening doors to new ideas. If you felt hurt by my little post about the Zeitgeist critics making money and that it possibly could be a motivation for their behavior, let me make it up to you. The blog title and added pictures should provide some additional publicity. I'll keep an eye out on how many hits this particular blog gets and you provide an appropriate fee. Back scratching and all.

Rogan Knows Best

Lately I ran into some YouTube videos where Joe Rogan rants about society and people. Not sure if everyone will appreciate it but this video I found hilarious. (Warning: explicit language.) Joe has a knack for explaining matters both bluntly and honestly, and I just gotta the display the first minute of the video here in text;

"That's the problem with human beings man is that there's a broad spectrum of us and the broad spectrum is necessary in order to have this sort of a complex society. Until we invent robots that are going to do shitty jobs we are going to need monkeys. We are going to need dumb-f*****g people. We are going to need idiots you know. That's a terrible way to look at the world and it doesn't necessarily mean that any idiots born into an idiot family has to be an idiot. It doesn't mean that the idiots can't snap out of it if somehow they do mushrooms or take a yoga class or try to look at their life in a different way but for many people the reason why they're idiots is not necessarily that their brain doesn't work that well. They got in a terrible pattern like really early in life, and they have become a dumb f***. And they are stuck and they live with a bunch of other dumb f***s. So that they get all this negative energy all this time."