Archive for May, 2008

Save The Internet!

Net Neutrality 101

When we log onto the Internet, we take lots of things for granted. We assume that we’ll be able to access whatever Web site we want, whenever we want to go there. We assume that we can use any feature we like — watching online video, listening to podcasts, searching, emailing, and instant messaging — anytime we choose. We assume that we can attach devices like wireless routers, game controllers, or extra hard drives to make our online experience better.

What makes all these assumptions possible is “Network Neutrality,” the guiding principle that ensures the Internet remains free and unrestricted. Net Neutrality prevents the companies that control the wires bringing you the Internet from discriminating against content based on its ownership or source. But that could all change.

The biggest cable and telephone companies would like to charge money for smooth access to Web sites, speed to run applications, and permission to plug in devices. These network giants believe they should be able to charge Web site operators, application providers, and device manufacturers for the right to use the network. Those who don’t make a deal and pay up will experience discrimination: Their sites won’t load as quickly, their applications and devices won’t work as well. Without legal protection, consumers could find that a network operator has blocked the Web site of a competitor, or slowed it down so much that it’s unusable.

The network owners say they want a “tiered” Internet. If you pay to get in the top tier, your site and your service will run fast. If you don’t, you’ll be in the slow lane.

What’s the problem here?

Discrimination: The Internet was designed as an open medium. The fundamental idea on the Internet since its inception is that every Web site, every feature, and every service should be treated without discrimination. That’s how bloggers can compete with the CNN or USA Today for readers. That’s how up-and-coming musicians can build underground audiences before they get their first top-40 single. That’s why when you use a search engine, you see a hit list of the sites that are the closest match to your request — not those who paid the most to reach you. Discrimination endangers our basic Internet freedoms.

Double-dipping: Traditionally, network owners have built a business model by charging consumers for access. Now they want to charge you for access to the network, and then charge you again for the things you do while you’re online. They may not charge you directly via pay-per-view Web sites. But they will charge all the service providers you use — who will pass those costs along to you in the form of price hikes or new charges to view content.

Stifling innovation: Net Neutrality ensures that innovators can start small and dream big about being the next EBay or Google without facing insurmountable hurdles. Unless we preserve Net Neutrality, startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay for a top spot on the Web. On a tiered Internet controlled by the phone and cable companies, only their own content and services — or those offered by corporate partners who pony up enough “protection money” — will enjoy life in the fast lane.

The End of the Internet?

Make no mistake: The freewheeling Internet as we know it could very well become history.

What does that mean? It means we could be heading toward a pay-per-view Internet where Web sites have fees. It means we may have to pay a network tax to run voice-over-the-Internet phones, use an advanced search engine, or chat via Instant Messenger. The next generation of magical new inventions will be shut out of the top-tier service level. Meanwhile the network owners will rake in even greater profits.

What can I do to help?

Sign the SavetheInternet.com petition.

Call your members of Congress today and demand that Net Neutrality be protected.

Encourage groups you’re part of to sign the “Internet Freedom Declaration of 2007”.

Show your support for Internet freedom on your Web site or blog.

Tell your friends about this crucial issue before it’s too late.


Cited from: http://www.savetheinternet.com

Thursday, 29 May, 2008 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

The Story Of Stuff


by Annie Leonard
Sponsored by Tides Foundation & Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

You’ve learned a lot in The Story of Stuff. But of course, there is a lot more information out there on the topics raised in the movie. Click on the resources below and learn more:

Fact Sheet (PDF)

Annotated Script (PDF)

Glossary (PDF)

Recommended Reading

Another Way

Full List of NGOs

You can download The Story of Stuff in its entirity from this site. Simply save the link below to your computer (50 MB).

Download Movie (.mov)


Cited from: http://www.storyofstuff.com

Thursday, 29 May, 2008 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

GenderVision: Being Transgender… Myths & Youth Issues

For best viewing experience, download program (64MB) [embed]

Gordene O. MacKenzie, PhD carefully reviews the difference between sex and gender, as well as some of the basics of gender identity and expression. Then Nancy Nangeroni and Gordene interview Grace Sterling Stowell, director of BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth. They discuss the services provided by BAGLY, as well as some of the issues that trans youth face. Then Nancy, Grace and Gordene expose some of the most popular myths about transgender people.


Cited from: http://www.gendervision.org/joomla/

Thursday, 29 May, 2008 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment

Bad Questions To Ask A Transsexual: The Director’s Cut

by Calpernia Addams

After years of teeth-grindingly ignorant and insulting questions, Calpernia Addams finally snaps and shares her list of Bad Questions which you should never ask a transsexual. These are all real questions from real life!

Thursday, 29 May, 2008 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

MGMT, Design For Humanity

by Christina Scannapiego

MGMT ANNOUNCED TO PERFORM AT 2nd ANNUAL BILLABONG DESIGN FOR HUMANITY EVENT

dfh-event-mgmt.jpgBillabong USA has announced that electro-pop superstars MGMT will perform live at the 2nd Annual Design For Humanity event taking place June 4 at Hollywood hotspot, Avalon/Spider Club. Design for Humanity, Billabong’s charitable division, will benefit The Surfrider Foundation, an organization which strives to preserve our world’s oceans and beaches. 100% of ticket sale proceeds will go the The Surfrider Foundation.

Billabong’s 2nd Annual Design for Humanity event promises to be an unforgettable night of art, fashion and music, including a spectacular runway fashion show featuring one-of-a-kind celebrity designs, a photography and art exhibit and auction, a special live performance by MGMT, sounds by DJ Steve Aoki, and much more.

“This event is a labor of love for our brand,” says Candy Harris, Women’s Brand Director at Billabong. “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate fashion, music and art all the while giving back to an organization that preserves our way of life.”

“This is an incredible melding of music, art, fashion and social responsibility,” says Surfrider Foundation CEO, Jim Moriarty. “We are honored to be named as beneficiaries for this year’s Billabong Design for Humanity event”

Design for Humanity will feature a full-scale runway show, where Billabong fashion and swimsuit pieces will be showcased on the catwalk, with one-of-a-kind collaborations from celebrities like Amber Valetta, Joy Bryant, and Charlotte Ronson. Pieces from this rare collection will be auctioned off on eBay, with all proceeds going directly to the charity.

Billabong’s collaborations with LA industry icons Lisa Kline and Jenny Han, who have created signature limited edition swimsuits for Cruise 2009, will be also be featured in the show. These pieces will be available at retailers nationwide. In addition to the celebrity and designer collections, exclusive t-shirts for Urban Outfitters designed by cultural icon Cory Kennedy will be available with proceeds from all collections benefitting The Surfrider Foundation.

Before the fashion show begins, guests can head to the Avalon’s Spider Club, for the art exhibit and auction which will feature works by well-known industry artists, like Wolfgang Bloch and Chris Jordan, as well as world-renowned surf photographers. Each piece will be auctioned off on eBay and bidding will begin the evening of the event. Three limited-edition posters will also be available for sale at the event and online.

After the fashion show, the party begins with a rock concert by music sensations and fan-favorites MGMT, and DJ sounds by Steve Aoki, one of LA and NY’s hottest and most in-demand DJ’s. MGMT has quickly climbed the charts and is one of the most unique and celebrated sounds on the indie music scene today.
More information and tickets:

8pm doors open
9:30pm Fashion Show
10:15pm MGMT performs
11pm DJ Steve Aoki

Tickets can be purchased for $30 (General Admission) and $150 (VIP) at designforhumanity.com.


Cited from: http://www.foammagazine.com/featured/mgmt-design-for-humanity/#more-641

Thursday, 29 May, 2008 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

You’ve Got To

by The Young Punx
Video by Han Hoogerbrugge

Oh, the memories. I first succumbed to the psychedelic trance of this nutty little video after a crazy, sweaty, sexed up nite in Tempe, glued to the screen and high as can be at 5 in the morning. I don’t think I blinked even once during the entire thing. So, yeah, I was thinking about that scene with a little grin on my face and just had to post the video to seal the moment in time. Goddamn, I miss you, Arizona. Enjoy.

Download The Video Here:
http://www.theyoungpunx.com/youvegotto/index.htm

Thursday, 29 May, 2008 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

Ode To Soy

Ahhh, soy. The little bean that could. Today’s sophisticated vegan is no stranger to this multi-faceted marvel. It’s versatility is simply unparalled and we consume it in some form or another on a daily basis, be it soymilk, soy cheese, tofu, mock meat or even soy ice cream. Personally, it’s been my wildcard food of choice for a long time now. (I’m an avid consumer of Silk products.)

The soya bean originally found its roots in the culture of food many a century ago, thanks to Asian diets and lifestyles but its uses have since evolved into something of a recent phenomenon, being implemented in countless modern production processes of not only the culinary kind but also medical, environmental and even automotive. Nowadays, you can find soy fueling our cars, feeding our livestock, preventing and/or reversing the effects of cancer and then some.

Its benefits are outstanding and there’s no denying that the humble soybean has taken the world by storm as of late (especially in the west) but as this well-marketed legume quickly gains its glorified status, one has to stop and ask what’s up with all the hype? Soy has been around for a good few millennia now, so why are the westerners (or, rather, Americans) just recently beginning to sink their teeth into it? Fortunately, you don’t have to dig too deep to find out.

The truth is, there’s been a dark cloud of conspiracy surrounding the recent soy craze for some time now. Despite the firm, popular belief in soy’s unending advantages, naysayers bash the bean as being dangerous and detrimental to our health, as it inhibits the body’s intake of nutrients and minerals, increases the production of phytoestrogens, fucks up our thyroid and stunts our growth. Researchers attribute the diminished stature of the Chinese to the, albeit minimal, consumption of soy in their daily diets. Many, if not most, of these numerous findings conflict with the cool bean’s empowering promise of greater well-being, so who exactly is touting these miracle claims anyway?

Enter, our old friend, the FDA.

Associates of this shady organisation have invested millions in crafting a nationwide marketing campaign for the infamous soybean. Groups such as the United Soybean Board, who are responsible for the Soybean Checkoff, a program that they describe as such:

Like producers of other commodities, such as beef, dairy and eggs, soybean farmers collectively invest a portion of their end-of-season profits to fund research and promotion efforts. This collective investment is called a checkoff. The soybean checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual contributions of 0.5 percent of the market price per bushel sold each season. The efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of 68 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the Board.

The soy industry hired Norman Robert Associates, a public relations firm, to “get more soy products onto school menus”. The USDA responded with a proposal to scrap the 30 per cent limit for soy in school lunches. The NuMenu program would allow unlimited use of soy in student meals. With soy added to hamburgers, tacos and lasagna, dieticians can get the total fat content below 30 per cent of calories, thereby conforming to government dictates. “With the soy-enhanced food items, students are receiving better servings of nutrients and less cholesterol and fat.”[1]

Under the old component system, soy protein could be used in foods, but it couldn’t replace more than 30 percent of the meat in products. For instance, a burger patty could not contain more than 30 percent soy protein; the remaining 70 percent of the patty had to be meat. The soy was also fortified with iron, a requirement that came about as a result of USDA research which indicated that soy inhibits the body’s ability to absorb iron.[2]

Indeed, something’s up and more research is starting to break ground. Whether or not the intentions of the FDA, USDA and the newfound soy industry are genuine (and how often are they?), the fact is there’s all sorts of dirt on the topic. There are two sides to every bean and, until these findings prove otherwise, I’m turning over a new leaf and switching to hemp. Surely a seed responsible for the ostracising of an entire cultural movement and a relentless war on drug abuse can’t be nearly as harmful.

For more information on soy, visit Soy Research Today.


1Soy Alert — Tragedy and Hype: The Third International Soy Symposium, by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig, PhD, 2000
2USDA School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children, Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D.

Wednesday, 28 May, 2008 at 2:37 pm Leave a comment

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Misadventures Of A Vagrant T-Girl

There's plenty fun to be had. From the Cayman Islands, to London, to Phoenix and back again, Silky's been there, done that. But life's for the living and I ain't dead yet. Making vegans look cool, trannies sound sexy and delivering shit hot Electro is my deal. Loving my beautiful wife, nurturing my baby boy Phoenix and making my small mark on this jaded world of post-consumerism is my mantra. Friends, welcome. Guests, indulge. There's plenty fun to be had.

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Birthdate: 19th February, 1983 Nationality: Caymanian Star Sign: Aquarius/Pisces Orientation: Bisexual Diet: Vegan Occupation: Graphic Designer WiiMail: w8848634343789919@wii.com
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