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21 September 2016

Celtic knots you can create (with KnotPlot) and vanish into forever

Click images to enlarge.

top: A knot in the style of knots from Irish Celtic illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells or the Lindisfarne Gospels, generated by the program (free to download, but donations gratefully accepted) KnotPlot, a program to manipulate the objects of the branch of mathematics/topology called Knot Theory.

bottom: Incipit (beginning) of Gospel of Matthew from the Lindisfarne Gospels, circa 700 A.D., attributed to Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne (Northumberland, England).

WARNING: Knot Theory (like Number Theory) can be so hypnotically beautiful that some people vanish into it and never emerge. That's okay with them, they don't want to be dragged back to our unexquisite reality.

14 September 2016

Crummy Old Wine Dept.: Give me liberty and give me death

click to celebrate

What you gonna do when you get out of jail? I'm gonna have some Fun! What do you consider Fun? (Tom Tom Club, "Genius of Love")

Vleeptron apologizes for being dark for a week, first we went to NYC to see The Magic Flute :-) and then the Vleeptron liquid-nitrogen-cooled pre-owned Cray supercomputer crashed. (We're going to replace it with a Dell Optiplex, whatever the heck that is.)

* * *

What's startling about this isn't what the researchers discovered, but that it seems to be the first time researchers have asked this question.

Okay, let's get hypothetical. You've just been in prison for 3 years. You're getting out of prison tomorrow. They'll give you $200 in cash and you'll take the bus back to the city.

Are you going to spend your first week visiting art museums?


Forbes magazine (USA)
Wednesday 10 January 2007

Prison Release
a Dangerous Health Time
for Many

(HealthDay News) -- Former prison inmates face a much higher risk of death in the period right after their release, particularly from drug overdoses, a new study found.

The risk is highest -- 12.7 times that of the general population -- during the first two weeks after release. Overall, the excess risk is 3.5 times that of the general population, and the risk for both women and men doesn't return to normal levels until several weeks after release.

"I was expecting an increased risk of death, but I was surprised at the extent of the increase and by how there is such a strong vulnerable time in the first two weeks," said the study's lead author, Dr. Ingrid Binswanger, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center. "It suggests that there might be things we can do to help people transition back."

The United States now has more people incarcerated than at any time in its history.

[also the Land of the Free has more prisoners than any other nation on the planet]

At the end of 2005, more than 2,000,000 people were being held in federal or state prisons or local jails, an increase of 2.7 percent from the end of 2004. On average, the number of prisoners has grown 3.3 percent annually since 1995, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Studies conducted in Europe and Australia have suggested that after-release mortality rates were higher in certain populations of inmates, including people with a history of intravenous drug use. But little information had been available for the United States.

"To the extent that I know, this is the first study of its kind in the United States," Binswanger said.

For her research, which is published in the 11 January issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Binswanger and colleagues looked at all inmates released from the Washington state Department of Corrections from July 1999 through December 2003. The prison records were then cross-referenced with the National Death Index, and resulting mortality rates were compared with Washington state residents matched for age, gender and race.

During that time frame, 30,237 inmates were released; 443 died during a follow-up period of almost two years. The leading causes of death were drug overdoses, cardiovascular disease, homicide and suicide.

"We found a number of causes of death that were in excess of what would be expected in a similar population in terms of age, race and gender," Bingswanger said.

Drug overdoses -- especially from cocaine -- were particularly pronounced during the first two weeks, as were, to a lesser extent, homicide and suicide. Deaths from cardiovascular disease, along with cancer -- particularly lung cancer -- were also high but weren't concentrated as strongly in the first two weeks.

"Some of the findings make sense from a physiologic perspective," Bingswanger said. "If you have an addiction and you've been relatively abstinent during the time you were incarcerated, then you return to a high level of drug use, you're more likely to have an overdose."

"The results point to the fact that drug-treatment programs are perhaps one of the most potentially beneficial kinds of interventions," she added.

The findings sounded a bell for two female inmates in New Mexico.

"We fool ourselves into thinking we're going to do [drugs] one last time before we go straight," said Anita C., currently being held at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center (BCMDC) in Albuquerque. "Because we've been clean so long, we underestimate our tolerance."

Beth, another inmate at BCMDC, added, "We build our own reality in here and it's not what we expected when we get out. When we get out, our plans don't go how we wanted. We either start using [drugs] or end it all together."

A second article in the journal noted that just being in prison added to the risk of contracting a potentially fatal illness, such as HIV or tuberculosis.

In an accompanying perspective article, contributing editor Dr. Susan Okie pointed out that risky sexual activities are rife in U.S. prisons. Because sex is prohibited, condoms are not passed out (except on a limited basis in Vermont and Mississippi). One Rhode Island state prisoner said inmates use latex gloves, sandwich bags or nothing at all to protect themselves.

In the United States in 2004, according to the article, 1.8 percent of prison inmates were HIV-positive, more than four times the estimated rate in the general population. And while the risk of transmission while incarcerated is low, it's "not negligible," Okie said.

"Mr. M.", a middle-aged, HIV-positive inmate interviewed for the perspective piece at a medium-security compound in Rhode Island, said, "I've seen it all. We have a lot of risky [sexual] activities ... Almost every second or minute, somebody's sneaking and doing something."

More information

For more on HIV transmission among male inmates, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

- 30 -


Anonymous Abbas said...
one of the reasons for serious prisoner numbers are also because they're getting more and more concerned with incarcerating people for petty crimes like smoking weed rather than violent crimes. it's annoyingly ridiculous. obviously due to laziness of looking up sources and facts, this is an oversimplified and futile comment.
Thursday, 11 January, 2007  
Anonymous Abbas Halai said...
Also you may wanna read this article about the analysis of the American Incarceration System.

Incarceration Nation.
Thursday, 11 January, 2007  
Anonymous tinaraghul said...
Hi Nice Blog.SoberRecovery & SoberRecovery Community Forums lists hundreds of drug rehabcenters, drug addiction treatment and alcoholism treatment resources in the U.S.
Friday, 13 March, 2009  
Anonymous muebles en pinto said...
It can't really have success, I suppose like this.
Monday, 10 October, 2011  
Blogger Joan said...
Prisons today are full of inmates who actually need to be in rehab somewhere instead of prison.Michigan Drug Rehab has very good programs for any type of alcohol or drug addiction problems.
Tuesday, 03 April, 2012

08 September 2016

weird-looking El Supremissimo Ementhaler addict forbids sarcasm / sarcastic North Koreans to be publicly disemboweled

Click to measure sarcasm/sincerity.

The Independent
daily broadsheet UK
Thursday 8 September 2016

North Korea bans sarcasm 

because Kim Jong-un fears 
people only agree with him ‘ironically’

Mocking expression 'a fool who cannot see the outside world' is said to be circulating in North Korea

by Harriet Agerholm

North Korea has forbidden people from making sarcastic comments about Kim Jong-un or his totalitarian regime in their everyday conversations.

Even indirect criticism of the authoritarian government has been banned, Asian media reported.

Residents were warned against criticising the state in a series of mass meetings held by functionaries across the country.

“One state security official personally organised a meeting to alert local residents to potential ‘hostile actions’ by internal rebellious elements,” a source in Jagang Province told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service.

“The main point of the lecture was ‘Keep your mouths shut.’”

The caution was also issued in neighbouring Yangang Province, sources revealed.

Officials told people that sarcastic expressions such as “This is all America’s fault” would constitute unacceptable criticism of the regime.

“This habit of the central authorities of blaming the wrong country when a problem’s cause obviously lies elsewhere has led citizens to mock the party,” an anonymous source said.

Another mocking expression, “A fool who cannot see the outside world,” was also said to be circulating in the totalitarian state, referring to the country’s notoriously isolationist leader.

The phrase was apparently conceived when officials voiced shock that Mr Kim did not attend celebrations held in Russia and China to mark the end of the Second World War.

Regional media have reported an increase in public acts of dissent in the country of late. Graffiti mocking the government and its leader have appeared twice in recent weeks.

North Korea has taken part in multiple weapons tests recently, in displays of force intended to demonstrate the country’s developing nuclear capabilities.
- 30 -


1 hour ago
When Kim said he was to ban sarcasm, I ironically thought:

1 hour ago
We have to say it, to know what the sarcasm is in it.

2 hours ago
Banning sarcasm? They're kidding, right?

3 hours ago
As we say in Scotland, hoy, you wi' the mop oan yer heid, you goin' tae wash the floor or jist stand their lookin' glaikit. Translate that!

4 hours ago
Why do they have to ban sarcasm? I thought everybody there loved Fat Boy, the Dearest Leader of All..

5 hours ago
He's now missing and presumed decapitated.

6 hours ago
A ban on sarcasm eh? I can see that being so easy to enforce.

6 hours ago
Harriet, what source did you use for this story? Asian Media? How generic can that get? You do a disservice to real NK news by perpetuating lazy journalism. It doesn't help the West by demonizing NK with unsourced accusations when there are real issues out there to push forward.

6 hours ago
I heard the jail food sucks there. That is definitely America's fault.

6 hours ago
This is a wise ruling by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.  His happy smiling chubby face brings joy to the people of Best Korea.  World leaders seek out his advice - why only last week a US Presidential candidate asked for the name of his hairdresser.

5 hours ago
I think you mean hair butcher... stop insulting the supreme leader like that.

07 September 2016

De Aard waar haar een Paradijs / Nu isse meesteen Hel.

Click to enlarge & remember

Benedict ברוך Spinoza unexpectedly visited me today -- a friend and I were chatting, the topic bounced from this to that and finally ended in the Netherlands, which both of us had visited and been delighted and impressed by. I confessed to being a closet Spinoza Fanboy, haunting all his known haunts throughout the Netherlands on numerous visits (with brief visits to the neighborhood Kafeshop and het Melkweg and the Concertgebouw), with time to fling unused bread to the ducks and ducklings swimming in the Herrengracht.
The only Bad Thing I know about Amsterdam during my long repeated relationship with Amsterdam is not a Bad Thing about Amsterdam, but is all Utrecht's fault. Amsterdam's Mayor Job Cohen suspended civil law for the day (a lovely summer Sunday), had the riot police lock all the Utrecht footie fans in a sealed train outside Ajax stadium and send them back to Utrecht under police guard. I don't know how you say "And stay out." in Dutch/nederlands.
Everything else about Amsterdam and all NL is wonderful, and there is an infinite volume of wonderful unexpected delightful spectacularly beautiful and interesting things in the Netherlands. Turn a corner and Wonderful Happy smacks you in the face again by total surprise. The food ... oh, Indonesian, Brown Cafes, the sidewalk Herring!
(At the county fair, a little 4H girl showed off her award-winning lamb, and said its name was Total Surprise -- no one had realized its mom was about to give birth.)
I know lots of places that proudly claim themselves progressive and tolerant regarding homosexuals.
But I know only 1 place on Earth that built a big fancy public monument to homosexuals: Amsterdam. Look for the signs all over town that say "TO THE HOMO MONUMENT -->" (Provincetown, Massachusetts USA has a Burger Queen.)
Above, a re-working of some Crummy Old Wine from Vleeptron. Now it's three faux postage stamps, instead of being the original Not A Stamp. (I'm really pissed off at expensive restaurants that keep bringing me crummy old wine, and I insist they bring me some good fresh New Wine.)
The issuing authority is TdS●Posta / Tierra de los Sueños. Postal material -- stamps, letters, postcards, postal money orders, postage due notices -- are very rare because it is difficult to communicate with Dreamland. A huge amount of Dreamland mail is forever lost just because we woke up and forgot the wonderful dream we were just having. The cast and crew of the NYU theater department party are gone, if that's what you might have been dreaming about. 45 minutes later you stumble into the office for 8 or 10 hours of sour nasty crap and unhealthy stuff. So we here in RL have found and preserved very little of TdS●Posta's postal ephemeridae and selvedge.
Would you like to listen to some ethereally beautiful music while you read this Profound Stuff about Benedict ברוך Spinoza by one of the Internet's leading amateur Spinoza scholars? Click HERE for ethereally beautiful music AND Superbeautiful Poetry.
One time a guy (everybody's forgotten his name, I hope) stabbed Spinoza. But didn't hurt him badly. For the rest of Spinoza's life, he wore the cape with the stab hole.
(These were Harsh Times in NL. Spinoza's close pal, the polical leader of the Netherlands, Jan de Witt (and Jan's brother) were torn apart by a mob. Do I have to add "angry mob"?)
Until age 24, Spinoza was a dues-paying member and student-scholar in good standing of Amsterdam's Portuguese Synagogue in Waterlooplein.
That ceased when the synagogue read The Anathema over him, forbidding all Jews from speaking, feeding, sheltering or having any contact with him. A sympathetic Anabaptist surgeon rented him the top floor of his cottage in Rijnsburg, today restored as a museum called Spinozahuis. (Take Rijnsburg bus from Leiden train station, ask driver to let you off at Spinozalaan, walk to Camphuysenstraat.) You can see Spinoza's lens-polishing workbench with all his tools. There's a wonderful statue in the small backyard garden; he doesn't look at all like a geek or a nerd, he looks quite dashing, even a little piratical.
Anyway, I am a pathetic Spinoza Fanboy, so I was not entirely surprised when these rare TdS●Posta stamps appeared in my faux mailbox. I have been dreaming of Spinoza and his tolerant, beautiful Netherlands for decades. Many nights I have dreamt of Spinoza's beautiful, tolerant Netherlands while I was sleeping in Spinoza's beautiful, tolerant Netherlands. Those are the best Spinoza dreams. (When not dreaming, check out the White Smurf in SoftLand, or the super fresh juice bar in The Bulldog.)

04 September 2016

TdS●Posta / historical reissue (c. 1585) / Coniuerer / Shaman / Runner

Click stamp to enlarge.

Tierra de los Sueños
Historical reissue (circa 1585)
Coniuerer / Shaman / Runner
Engraving by G. Veen from watercolor by John White

02 September 2016

PIZZAQ! cheap quick thrillz from the jungle or eddy down at the community college

It wiggles for me, hope it wiggles for you.
If no wiggle, reload page. Click to enlarge.

PizzaQ! What is it? Large with shallots, endives, funghi, light curry seasoning.