A Journal of the Irrepressible

Archive for June, 2009

Ancient Bone Flute

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Another flute has been discovered in Germany. Like similar instruments found in caves in Germany, this one is thought to be around 35,000 years old. From today’s New York Times:

At least 35,000 years ago, in the depths of the last ice age, the sound of music filled a cave in what is now southwestern Germany, the same place and time early Homo sapiens were also carving the oldest known examples of figurative art in the world.

Music and sculpture — expressions of artistic creativity, it seems — were emerging in tandem among some of the first modern humans when they began spreading through Europe or soon thereafter.

Archaeologists Wednesday reported the discovery last fall of a bone flute and two fragments of ivory flutes that they said represented the earliest known flowering of music-making in Stone Age culture. They said the bone flute with five finger holes, found at Hohle Fels Cave in the hills west of Ulm, was “by far the most complete of the musical instruments so far recovered from the caves” in a region where pieces of other flutes have been turning up in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Brian

June 26th, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Posted in history, music, science

Birth of a Rebel


My friend Jayme Jacobson is an amazing artist who has just illustrated a story by Ken O’Donnel. The story involves Eclectons, an invention of Jayme’s – characters made from recycled paper and plastic, stuff you’d normally not give a second thought. In Jayme’s hands, tough, junk gets a second life. Ken and Jayme have entered the story they created, “Birth of a Rebel,” in Slideshare’s “Tell a Story Contest.” Frankly, their work is far and away the best thing there, and it’d be great if they won the contest. But you be the judge. Check out “Birth of a Rebel” for yourself.

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Written by Brian

June 16th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Posted in art, the marvelous, writing

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The Impending Collapse… Of Everything

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Jay Greathouse has been telling me for years – nay, decades! – that the end is near. Because I’m sympatico with conspiracy theories, I keep listening. But, somehow, the agro-industrial complex keeps chugging along, as it has for the past few tens of thousands of years.

The one thing we can count on, though, is change. So just because everything hasn’t gone kablooie doesn’t mean it won’t. And, as Jay points out, it depends entirely on your point of view. For the many at the base of the agro-industrial complex, the end came some time ago — and just keeps dragging on, like war, tax and biological reproduction.

What I like about Jay is his gritty determination (and determinism): the end may be near, or it may have already banged upside the head, but he’s doggedly gonna hunker down and weather the super storm. To that end, he’s mustering his mighty intellect (and I may tease him about a lot of things, but his intellect is truly in the 99th percentile [he'll gimme shit for that]) in a new blog called Raw Materials Econ: Resilience Economics for Everyone.

There’s a lot of cool stuff already up, including links to info about cannabis pricing, jury nullification, and issues of economic justice. Here’s hoping you’ll give it a read and offer your opinion.

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Written by Brian

June 16th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Higher Learning at WINO


WINO magazine, the wine news and review mag published in Seattle, has been running a Higher Learning column written by yours truly since issue one. They’ve recently pulled all my pieces together into a single page on the WINO blog, complete with spiffy new headlines.

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Written by Brian

June 8th, 2009 at 6:07 pm