Obama in Effigy?

There is something about this image that brings far more incredulity to the mind than at any time when George W. Bush was President.


Finding the 1970s

I know I took a brief hiatus from this blog – having started a new one dedicated to Middle East watching at thegemmayzehtree.wordpress.com

but… I found something of significance worth posting here.

I recently unearthed a 1970’s pioneer turntable and receiver system from the donation/give-away pile in my basement. Both systems were perfectly intact, however, the turntable needed repairing. So I brought it to a local stereo hi-fi shop in Salem, MA where it’s been for the past week. I paid about $125 to get it rehabilitated and cleaned. It works brilliantly. The sound of vinyl records is so crisp and clear. And the quality of the stereo electronics surpasses anything you would see today. I’ll post a picture below. Here’s the text though of some research I dug up for the products… some history.

Silver Pioneer: 800-Series Receivers

Pioneer SX-828

The SX-828 was introduced in 1972 and was offered again in 1973. It was a higher power version of the SX-727, having 60 watts per channel, RMS. It featured six toggle switches to control certain functions, instead of the push buttons used on the SX-727. The SX-828 was Pioneer’s top of the line receiver in 1972 and 1973. Its performance specifications were only slightly better than those of the SX-727. Pioneer believed in using real walnut veneers and solid walnut trim, one of the pleasures of owning a receiver like this. List price for the SX-828 in 1972 was $429.95, but jumped to $469.95 in ’73. The hefty construction of this receiver with extensive use of steel in its chassis resulted in a shipping weight of 32 pounds.

A very complete summary of the unit with copious amount of photos. Yeah! Hipster porn!

Vintage Audio Online: Pioneer SX-828 Receiver


Here’s the reading list for the past few weeks…

This will probably be so dense with articles I’ve read and demarcated (blam! great word) for re-posting from the past couple weeks that nobody will have any use for it other than myself, someday. But I’ll take a stab at at it…

Gizmodo: Tremendous Time-Lapses

Eisenhower Warns of the Military Industrial Complex

Niall Ferguson in Newsweek on Obama’s response to Egypt

These viral NASA spots are getting ridiculously cool, inspiring the same awe of space, the universe, and our place in it as Star Trek and Planet Earth.

Here’s a novel, and new idea…
Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish writes about the most recent gay trend… Gay Retirement Oases

Another site for Mid-East watchers and Arabic enthusiasts…
The Arabist

This is the kind of article TIME Magazine is ultimately known for… TIME explores the Singularity Movement… the point at which artificial intelligence will surpass mankind and become aware of itself and perpetuating of its evolution and knowledge. The ultimate question is… do will really want to share a planet with a species of our own intention that are smarter than us and that might vie for the same resources. Yep, we’re heading for a scenario like the Matrix here. I’ll try to sparse quote it at a later point.

2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal

The UK’s Guardian takes us behind the tactics of the Egyptian internal security force before the downfall of Mubarak…

28 hours inside the dark heart of Egypt’s torture machine

Ever wonder what was going on inside those tents in the middle of Tahrir…
NYT Video: Cairo’s Facebook Flat

Gawker takes a look at the latest drug fad… poisonous snake bites


I think I’m suffering from writer’s bloc… I just haven’t been able to sit down recently and compose a coherent sentence where I don’t get completely lost in the middle. My mind has been a bit scattered as of late. Perhaps I’m too busy.

I was contacted by a ghost recently. Almost, actually. Someone I had almost, but not entirely consigned to the dustbin of history and dissolved hopes. It’s just odd when they reappear. I don’t know how to feel about it or what to say. In a way becoming used to the silence is sad, but it just seems like the easiest thing to do. Well I’ve never been particularly skilled at expressing my feelings in words – so I’ll just let Adele do it for me… her finest work yet.

God what a song. I found myself listening to that more than Gaga’s “Born This Way.” I mean its good, but eh… I got more excited about Bad Romance and Alejandro. It still amuses me seeing how many gays on the iPhone app Grindr now have their profiles set to display the words “Born This Way.” Gurrrrrllllll!! Yeah, no. I mean, how much gayer can you get?

Alright, so I’ll get around here to posting this ridiculous backlog of links I’ve accumulated in my ‘saved drafts’ folder. But just a word first – the situation in the Middle East… now being described as the Arab World’s 1848. I’ll investigate that later.

Actually here is the main problem, which I’ll divert briefly to address. I was talking to my Mom the other day before I left for Colorado/Arizona and she asked me if I’d made some appointment or talked to some person about something I had to do, and I responded with an “I’ll interface with them tomorrow.” “Interface?!?! I mean, where the fuck did that come from. My fear of being reduced to a soulless walking corporate automaton has apparently already manifested, and I haven’t even worked a full year.

I can feel the stagnation coming on. I dread that sedentary feeling. Where the use of the computer and internet become so overwhelming, consuming so many hours of the day that the constant switching back and forth between applications manifests in an acute temporary attention deficit disorder. It’s no wonder I can’t concentrate anymore, even though I’ve been exercising heavily. Still though, this is precisely why I need to get out of this country. Whether its for academic study of Hezbollah or volunteering with the Peace Corps somewhere, I have a strong feeling that’s the only thing that will shake me out of this stupor – and this streak of the American disorder that manifested in my personality.

A New Year… already?

Well Dear Readers,

I sincerely apologize for failing to update this blog while I was on vacation in the Caribbean. I was intending to post my recollections of the various ports I visited in the Caribbean, South and Central America, however I found myself to be – how shall I say – completely and utterly absorbed with doing absolutely nothing that involved contact with the outside world. Basically I did not touch the internet for 10 days. It was relieving – to be at a remove from technology for a while, to instead focus on reading and meeting some truly amazing people from all around the world. I’ll write more on this later as I have some photos to post from my sojourn to the south. Anyway… here are some items of interest to usher in the new year… which by the way – I have always taken issue with – this idea of the “New Year” marked by January 1st. Its great and all to have cause to celebrate and to make new resolutions and what have you, but honestly what are we celebrating? It’s been 2011 years since the birth of Christ apparently… how is that even remotely significant in comparison to the actual number of years human civilization has been around? But of course where would we start? 3500 B.C.? I have no idea. It’s just an arbitrary number that really has no significance what so ever. But I suppose if we truly endeavor to celebrate with the existence of mankind in mind every year, then I have no problem with it.

Some links…
5 Minutes of Syria

Entering the Stronghold: Audiovisual Animation – Courtesy: The Daily Dish

In other news, the new Republican-led Congress has decided that what the American people need is a live reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House… as if the document was not available in the public domain or understandable by anyone with basic reading skills in English. It’s laughable honestly, as much as I appreciate a live reading of the Constitution, I would think the House Members’ time could be better spent, you know, passing legislation.

Quote of the Day

Courtesy: Gawker: Miley Cyrus’ Lack of Shame Will Save Her

Meanwhile,¬†Miley Cyrus’ bong rips have made salvia both more popular than ever: Anecdotally, “the stuff Miley was smoking” is flying off drug dealers’ shelves at a rate of “three times the usual tally”! And since everyone who smokes salvia does it exactly once, in the dank basement of a frat house at 4AM when they really should be studying, expect this to completely change American culture, one mindblowing PSYCH101 essay at a time.