Sunday, December 30, 2007
Dogman Presents FLIPPER / Krist Novoselic-"Way of the World"
Dogman Presents Flipper/Krist Novoselic Live
MOSQUITO SPIRAL - SAVING GRACE [UNPLUGGED]
The Advengers "Amercian In Me"
Faith No More: Falling To Pieces
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit/Somebody To Love
SOFT BALLET - ESCAPE-Rebuild
Soft Ballet - Merchendiver PV
Stony Skunk - Haengbok Haeyo
L7 - Interview w/clips
L7 - Crackpot Baby on Roseanne
hide - Flame (live)
The Monkees YOu Just May Be the One
The Offspring - Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
X "Because I Do"
Buck-Tick Dizzy Moon PV
Rux - The Ruckus Army
Crying Nut, Rock Tigers, & Rux - I fought the law[live]
Mano Negra - I Fought the Law (with Jello Biafra) & Sidi'H'B
Thug Murder - "I Fought the Law" TKO/Flat Records
The Clash - I Fought The Law
Lydia Lunch & Clint Ruin - Sympathy for the Devil
L'ARC-EN-CIEL DIVE TO BLUE
Sublime Live Set 1
Sublime Live Set 2
Sublime Live Set 3
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
An accomplished local surfer who lived for monster waves died Tuesday at Ghost Trees, a Monterey County surf spot known for its potent swells and dangerous conditions.
Peter Davi, 45, one of the area's most beloved watermen, apparently lost his board and attempted to swim to shore, according to fellow surfers. He was later found floating in the water unconscious and was pronounced dead around 1:30 p.m., the Monterey County coroner's office said.
His death devastated Santa Cruz and Monterey surfers, many of whom had ventured to Ghost Trees on Tuesday in search of big waves.
"Pete was well-loved and well-respected worldwide," said Anthony Ruffo, one of Davi's best friends, who was at the surf spot Tuesday. "People from everywhere are calling. He'll be so missed. He's the diplomat of surfing. He was an anchor and a bridge between Santa Cruz and Monterey surfers."
"He's my friend," Ruffo said, "and I'm going to miss him so much."
Also at Ghost Trees was Tyler Smith, a professional surfer from Santa Cruz who said the wave faces were as big as 60 to 70 feet, "almost as big as we've seen out there."
"It could be the biggest swell we see all season," said Smith, a competitor in the Maverick's contest held in the waters off of Half Moon Bay. "It was really dangerous. It's big, and it breaks right in front of these rocks. It was big, and it was really tall."
At least 15 personal watercraft were circling in the water, Smith said, some carrying surfers and others carrying surf photographers. Big-wave riders often use such watercraft to tow each other into big surf and then snatch each other out of danger after a ride or a fall.
Smith said he believed Davi, who was the size of a football lineman, was paddling into waves and may have run into trouble after the leash tethering him to his board broke.
"It's super-sad, man," Smith said. "He was a gentle giant who surfed for his whole life. Everybody knew him. He was kind of like the godfather."
Davi's friends said that he was a fisherman and that his son Jake, who is also a well-known surfer, was on his way to California late Tuesday from Hawaii.
"I'm just kind of tripped out," said Anthony Tashnick, a Santa Cruz surfer and Maverick's competitor who surfed side-by-side with Davi on Tuesday. "Peter was one of the founders of that area. He's been surfing it for years. He's a legendary local."
Davi's death comes days before the waiting period opens for the big-wave surf contest at Maverick's. Davi was an early participant in the contest.
Chronicle staff writer Julian Guthrie contributed to this report. E-mail Demian Bulwa at email@example.com.
This article appeared on page B - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, December 03, 2007
By Helen Briggs
Science reporter, BBC News
Young chimps outperformed university students in memory tests devised by Japanese scientists.
The tasks involved remembering the location of numbers on a screen, and correctly recalling the sequence.
The findings, published in Current Biology, suggest we may have under-estimated the intelligence of our closest living relatives.
Until now, it had always been assumed that chimps could not match humans in memory and other mental skills.
"There are still many people, including many biologists, who believe that humans are superior to chimpanzees in all cognitive functions," said lead researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University.
"No one can imagine that chimpanzees - young chimpanzees at the age of five - have a better performance in a memory task than humans.
"Here we show for the first time that young chimpanzees have an extraordinary working memory capability for numerical recollection - better than that of human adults tested in the same apparatus, following the same procedure."
Dr Matsuzawa and colleagues tested three pairs of mother and baby chimpanzees against university students in a memory task involving numbers.
The mothers and their five-year-old offspring had already been taught to "count" from one to nine.
During the experiment, each subject was presented with various numerals from one to nine on a touch screen monitor.
The numbers were then replaced with blank squares and the test subject had to remember which number appeared in which location, then touch the appropriate square.
They found that, in general, the young chimps performed better than their mothers and the adult humans.
The university students were slower than all of the three young chimpanzees in their response.
The researchers then varied the amount of time that the numbers appeared on-screen to compare the working memory of humans and chimps.
Chimps performed much better than university students in speed and accuracy when the numbers appeared only briefly on screen.
The shortest time duration, 210 milliseconds, did not leave enough time for the subjects to explore the screen by eye movement - something we do all the time when we read.
This is evidence, the researchers believe, that young chimps have a photographic memory which allows them to memorise a complex scene or pattern at a glance. This is sometimes present in human children but declines with age, they say.
"Young chimpanzees have a better memory than human adults," Dr Matsuzawa told BBC News.
"We are still underestimating the intellectual capability of chimpanzees, our evolutionary neighbours."
Dr Lisa Parr, who works with chimps at the Yerkes Primate Center at Emory University in Atlanta, US, described the research as "ground-breaking".
She said their importance of these primates for understanding the skills necessary for the evolution of modern humans was unparalleled.
"They are our closest living relatives and thus are in a unique position to inform us about our evolutionary heritage," said Dr Parr.
"These studies tell us that elaborate short-term memory skills may have had a much more salient function in early humans than is present in modern humans, perhaps due to our increasing reliance on language-based memory skills."
The research is published in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The inmate who is serving an 18-month sentence for possession of a knife, was found by wardens on Sunday morning.
Prison officials said the incident was "extremely serious".
The Ministry of Justice said the man, who was not on suicide watch, had since been returned to the prison, after receiving treatment in hospital.
A prison service spokeswoman said: "We can confirm a prisoner at HMP Bristol has seriously self-harmed.
"The prisoner was treated in hospital and has now returned to the prison."
Selections from the Daily Weekly, our news, politics, and media blog.
November 28, 2007
Krist Novoselic, political activist and the former bassist for Nirvana, blogs on The Daily Weekly every Tuesday.
Krist Novoselic: KZOK Punk and Flipper's Return
I first heard punk-rock music in 1979. Seattle's KZOK had a Sunday night radio program called Your Mother Won't Like It. The show featured music from listeners who served as guest DJs. One evening the guest hosts brought in a ton of punk rock!!! Music from the Sex Pistols, Ramones, and the Wierdos along with a whole assortment of first-wave punk. I recorded most of the show on a cassette that wore out from overplay.
For various reasons, my next dose of punk was about three years later through the American hardcore movement. Buzz Osborne, a new friend from nearby Montesano, loaned me some of his hardcore records. Buzz was also in a band called the Melvins.
One group that stood out was Bay Area avant punkers Flipper and their album Generic. I really didn't know what to think on first listen. The sound was dark, and the low-fi production with loose playing almost sounded live. It was on the third listen that I had an epiphany. The music drew me into a universe where bleak was beautiful. I realized the work was as heavy and transcendent as anything in the rock echelon. Mainstream convention was shattered. Flipper were too weird and dangerous for the world. And if the world didn't get it, that was just another loss for humanity.
Flipper were proto-grungers. Their sound was slow and sludgy: a big influence on many Seattle bands of the late '80s, early '90s. Kurt Cobain wore a Flipper shirt on Saturday Night Live. I remember seeing a Flipper sticker on the Soundgarden Chevy van.
Song structure was very basic. Each tune had only one or two parts. A typical arrangement was a strong bass line, steady drums with dissonant guitar. The lyrics were about personal alienation, anti-authoritarian, or both. And there was as sense of humor too! They made four records in the 1980s including the seminal Generic and Gone Fishin, respectively.
This band was really on the edge—for better or worse. In December of 1987, co-vocalist and bass player Will Shatter overdosed and died. Guitarist Ted Falconi, drummer Stephen Depace, and vocalist / bassist Bruce Loose parted for a while. They emerged in 1993 with a new album, American Grafishy. Tragically, in 1995 Bassist John Dougherty met the same fate as Shatter, and Flipper slipped into an extended hiatus.
Loose, Depace, and Falconi reunited in 2005 with bassist Bruno DeSmartass to headline a benefit for CBGB's in N.Y.C. After a handful of shows, Bruno left the band to work on his business (thus breaking any notion of some kind of bass player curse). In 2006 Flipper were asked by Thurston Moore to play the All Tomorrows Parties festival in the U.K. That's where yours truly was invited to play bass.
We followed the gig with a tour of the U.K. and Ireland opening for the Melvins. It was a lot of fun. After the tour, I wanted to keep playing with the fellows but didn't have the desire to be in a nostalgia band. So we started playing new material. There was a spark of inspiration within our group. Jack Endino recorded us, and we're now in the process of mixing.
2008 is shaping up to be a time of re-emergence for Flipper. To hold fans over, I've included a live track for your pleasure. The tune is “Way of the World.” It was recorded by Jack Endino at Seattle's Funhouse last August. I hope it's as much fun to listen to as it was for us to play.
Please note what's going on here…we have an amalgam of writer, artist, promoter, and music distributor!
Also, the music is being offered by the artists willingly and free of charge.
— Krist Novoselic
A soft toy designer has come up with a macabre new range of road kill teddies.
The first to be launched is Twitch the Raccoon which comes complete with its own body bag to keep the maggots out, reports Metro.
Twitch also has an identity tag revealing it was "run over over by a milk float last Thursday, near the Hangar Lane Giratory system in London".
A zip on each side of the toy allows the owner to remove Twitch's innards and stuff them back in again. A tyre print runs across its back.
Creators, Compost Communications, style themselves 'toy terrorists' and according to their website: "We squash and burn and bludgeon and maim. But we're also toy fanatics like you. We love toys."
Toy creator Adam Arber, 33, from London, said: "I got the idea from looking at my mother-in-law's dog which is quite ugly and I thought it would make a great toy. A friend of mine had taken some pictures of road kill and the two things gelled into one idea."
He said he thought the toys, which cost £25, would appeal to people with a sense of humour and "probably not anyone easily upset".
Coming soon are other characters including Grind the rabbit, Splodge the hedgehog and Pop the weasel.
The toys go on sale this week at Play Lounge in Soho, London, and from mid-December on www.roadkilltoys.com.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The adage "punk is dead" has been around far longer than punk was alive. But for Bryan Ray Turcotte, author of "F- up and Photocopied" and the recently published "Punk Is Dead: Punk Is Everything," that's the wrong debate. Punk isn't a music genre that fits neatly in historical boundaries. It's everywhere - the do-it-yourself ethic, the safety-pin clothing aesthetic, the three-chord song.
And perhaps the biggest reason punk's influence is felt so far afield is that it didn't just create rock gods for kids to worship - it also empowered young people to create on their own. To celebrate the luminaries and the unknown bands, Turcotte created "Punk Is Dead."
"It's not that it's so different, it just tells more of the story," Turcotte says. "The first book, I felt obliged to sort of wrap my arms around the actual bands, the key bands, the bands that changed history. With the success of the first book, I felt like I had carte blanche to do what I wanted to do - set the record straight about the impact of the fringe bands."
To do that, Turcotte drew on his collection of flyers, photos and other bits of ephemera. Turcotte estimates that from his years as a San Francisco skate punk through his time working at Slash records in Los Angeles, to now, almost 40, working as a music supervisor, that he has between 20,000-30,000 fliers. He found original members of bands to tell their own stories, and he organized it by subgenres within the scene ("Death metal speed glam" gets its own chapter, if only to show that the different styles had more in common than they knew).
"The kids in the suburbs, the ones who felt they didn't belong, that's the reason it swept so big," he notes. "All the opening bands that nobody's ever heard of, that's the spirit of punk."
Turcotte sets his work apart by finding people who haven't had their stories told before. Both volumes are attempts to create a punk rock book about punk rock. Turcotte didn't have much money or knowledge of graphic design when he started. The important thing, he says, was to "just go out and do it."
"I was trying to maintain the integrity of (punk) feelings. I designed the book using Photoshop, by myself, on a Mac and a $99 printer," he says. "The reason this book took so long to come out was because of my inexperience.
"It's not mean to be perfect. Even after it's come off the presses, I keep finding mistakes, and that's sort of what it should be. If I spent the time to make it perfect ... I don't know, I'd never be done." "Punk Is Dead" isn't meant to be the definitive look at punk culture; it just manages to turn a spotlight on a few of those who typically get cropped out of the photos.
Bryan Ray Turcotte reads at 7 p.m. Fri. The Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F. (415) 863-8688. www.booksmith.com.
- Reyhan Harmanci, firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared on page G - 28 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Touch-Me "Odyssey 2002 SEX"
BUCK-TICK - FLAME 02DIQ
Buzzcocks - What Do I Get
The Monkees - Randy Scouse Git
FAKE? - SOMEDAY (live at zeep tokyo)
English Beat: "Save It For Later"
The English Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom
L'ARC-EN-CIEL DIVE TO BLUE
Andi Sex Gang - Sebastiane( full band )
John Cale - Dying On The Vine
The Cramps live on Snub TV. Includes You Got Good Taste & All Women Are Bad.
mucc - suisou (live)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Hong Kong actor Ekin Cheng did not think twice about accepting the role of wushu icon Huo Yuan Jia, even though he had to shave his head.
“Since the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is fast approaching, I considered the spirit of the Chinese people. To me, the spirit of the Games is synonymous with the spirit of martial arts. I believe the Chinese should look to Huo Yuan Jia’s altruistic example, and be open-minded about the study of martial arts.
'The Legend of Huo Yuan Jia' poster
“The first day of shooting was on location at the starting point of Huang He (Yellow River). It’s one of China’s amazing tourist attractions. The view was majestic. If we were not filming the series, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to witness such a breathtaking sight since it would take several hours of travel to get there.”
Cheng revealed that he did a lot of research to prepare for his role as the founder of the global Chin Woo Athletic Association. He even met up with Huo’s descendants to suss out the martial arts master’s psyche.
“I watched previous productions of Fok Yuen Gap (Cantonese for Huo Yuan Jia). For example, (Jet) Li Lin Jie’s interpretation in Fearless as well as the well-known TV series by Wong Yuen Sun. There are numerous things to consider when portraying a character like that.”
Cheng has been asked many times whether he would be concerned about comparisons between his interpretation of the historical icon and Jet Li’s in Fearless (2006). He acknowledged that people would inevitably draw comparisons with Shaolin-trained Li’s portrayal as it is the most recent.
However, The Legend of Huo Yuan Jia is actually based on a much older 20-episode TV version, The Legendary Fok. Produced in 1981, the Hong Kong ATV series is said to be the first to feature Huo Yuan Jia. It starred the popular 1970s Hong Kong action hero, the late Wong Yuen Sun, as the title character. Even the theme song used for the present production is the original Cantonese song sung by veteran Hong Kong crooner Johnny Yip Chun Tong.
“The advantage of a television series is that its duration allows more room for the development of a character. So, it is more about his life experiences and his relationships with his family, his wife and all the people whom he loves and holds dear. It is also about how he deals with the decline of China, and how he set out to bring about change and empowerment.
“All these are not often accounted for in movies. So, I did a lot of groundwork. Hence, it’s not just about how well I fight or how cool I look,” stressed the 40-year-old actor.
Cheng relished playing a Chinese folk hero who instilled pride and nationalism in his countrymen.
“Essentially, he’s a cultural icon, a national hero. I had to achieve that strong sense of altruism he exudes, and how he looks at the big picture.
“In ancient China, people were by nature extremely conservative. Culturally, there was a heavy emphasis on ethics and morals. So, Huo had to push for a change in centuries-old ideas, customs, procedures and regulations.
“Now, in our generation, originality is much applauded. So, we just claim that we’ve achieved a breakthrough, it is that easy. But, in the past, it was very difficult to initiate change. People were more resistant to reformation and less inclined to accept new ideas and concepts. So, Huo was a force to be considered.”
Cheng exclaimed that the most unforgettable experience while filming the TV series was the bitter cold weather in China.
“The unbearably chilly temperatures made it very difficult to do anything at all. Especially for action scenes, where every move became impossibly difficult to execute and every scene laborious to shoot.
“There was a scene in which (Jordan) Chan Siu Chun, who plays Chen Zhen, had to film in the rain. He had already rehearsed and practised all the moves. Then, when it came to filming the scene with the rain falling on him, he ran off, because it was so cold that the raindrops practically froze. And since our heads had been shaved, it was quite mind-numbing.”
Fans can expect Cheng’s latest film by early next year. “I’ve just wrapped up the filming of a movie by Singaporean director Kelvin Tong. It’s a very interesting horror flick titled Rule Number One (Dai Yat Gai). I play a policeman and my co-star is (Shawn) Yue Man Lok. The supernatural action thriller is about how logic and one’s perception may not always be correct.”
Cheng also has another exciting project in the pipeline.
“I’m going to Japan to film a movie, where I’ll be portraying a ninja. I’ve already undergone a period of training in Japanese martial arts, because Japanese sword-wielding techniques are markedly different from the Chinese.”
Hong Kong Actor Close Up: Ekin Cheng
Cool info on Ekin Cheng, including pictures, videos, news, biography, photos, stats, and wallpapers.
English Name: Cheng Yee-Kin, Dior Cheng, Kaohun Cheng, Magua
Chinese Name: 鄭伊健
Born: October 04, 1967
Birthplace: Hong Kong
Occupations: Singer, Actor
One in 10 Britons suffer migraines
Studies have indicated a strong link between migraine with aura - the type associated with bright flashing lights - and a hole in the heart.
Scientists found repair of the defect cut the severity of migraine attacks by 37%.
Details of the study, led by doctors in London and Shrewsbury, were presented to the American College of Cardiology.
Around one in ten in the UK suffer from migraines - more than diabetes, asthma and epilepsy combined.
A migraine is a severe headache often accompanied by bright flashing lights in front of the eyes and long periods of sickness.
There is currently no cure for the condition. Some sufferers struggle by with available drug treatments, but for many it seriously affects their ability to live a normal life.
A hole in the heart, known technically as a patent foramen ovale (PFO), is a minor defect in the wall that separates the two upper chambers of the heart, the atria.
In most cases it causes no health problems, but can, in a small minority of people, lead to a stroke.
It is also thought that failure completely to filter the blood of impurities in the normal way may result in migraines.
The link was in part discovered after work on divers, who are more susceptible to decompression sickness - the bends - if they have a PFO.
Several who had the heart problem fixed, also found their migraines got better.
The latest study screened 432 migraine with aura patients, and found 24% had a moderate or large PFO - six times greater than the number found in the general population.
Six months after the procedure to repair the defect, patients reported a 37% reduction in migraine burden - calculated by multiplying the number of headaches by their length.
In patients who underwent a sham procedure the reduction was just 17%.
The researchers had hoped to achieve a 40% reduction - but argue the results are still significant.
Dr Andrew Dowson, of King's College Hospital, London, one of the lead researchers, said: "For the first time we can see trends in a prospective study to suggest that PFO closure may be an effective way to treat certain types of migraine.
"A reduction in headache burden for a patient with severe migraine may allow that individual to gain more control and lead a more fulfilling and productive life.
"The key now will be establishing the criteria that will help to determine which patients should be referred to the interventional cardiologist for further treatment."
Anne Turner, of the Migraine Awareness Association, said: "Migraine is a very individual condition and although we've got lots of effective treatments available, it is very much a matter of trial and error to find the one that works for you.
"This study has opened a whole new avenue which may provide a potential answer for some people."
Zoe Willows, 29, from Reading, took part in the trial.
She used to have five or six severe migraine attacks each month during which she would experience numbness down one side of her body, blurred vision, and an inability to speak as well as an intense headache.
Since the procedure last July to close the hole in her heart Zoe has only had one migraine attack - coming out of the operating theatre immediately after the procedure was completed.
She said: "It has changed my life dramatically. I have got so much more energy."
More than 2,000 Brits were asked to choose their favourite from a shortlist chosen from the 16,500 words in the Cambridge English Dictionary.
The survey found 13% of respondents chose "nincompoop" which is believed to be derived from the Latin "non compos mentis", meaning not of sound mind.
The poll was commissioned by Ubisoft, makers of the language computer game My Word Search.
The second most popular word was "love" and the third was "mum".
Ubisoft spokesman Mike Masuku said: "The results demonstrate our passion for language and the sentiment we attach to words such as love and mum.
"It also highlights how narrow most people's vocabulary has become."
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Taiwanese idol drama ‘Lan Qiu Huo’ (Basket Fireball/Basketball Fire/Hot Shot) holds a press conference on November 21, 2007 (Wednesday). All-star cast including Jerry Yan, Show Luo, Wu Chun, and Coco Chiang (Jiang Yi) attend the press conference. Fans of the three heartthrobs also come to the press conference to support their idols.
With a cost of $60 Million TWD, or over 1.88 million US dollars, the drama will have 13 90-minute episodes. It is estimated for release in summer 2008. Japan, Korea, Southeast Asian countries, and Hong Kong will also air the drama by the end of next year.
Taiwanese Drama Close Up: Lan Qiu Huo
Cool movie info on ‘Lan Qiu Huo’, including pictures, movie reviews, videos, news, wallpapers, trailers, posters, and pics.
Title: 籃球火 / Lan Qiu Huo
English title: BasketFireball
Also known as: Basketball Fire / Hot Shot
Broadcast network: CTV / GTV
Broadcast period: 2008
Jerry Yan as Dong Fang Xiang 東方翔
Alan Luo as Yuan Da Ying 元大鷹
Wu Chun as Wu Ji Zun 無極尊
Date published: 11/22/2007
One of my fondest memories as a parent was taking road trips with my then-3-year-old son while Fishbone played on the car stereo.
Fishbone has always been--and continues to be--a necessity for any road trip mega-mix. Nothing gave me more pleasure than to hear my son sing along to the band's "Party at Ground Zero" and yell at the top of his young lungs the "WAAAAAAAAAAHHHH" of frontman Angelo Moore.
Long before bands such as Operation Ivy and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Fishbone was a staple in the ska scene. Their fun, frenetic, poignant and poetic songs set them apart from their peers and have influenced many an artist.
Even after 25-plus years, 10 albums, various lineup changes and consistent touring, the ska/funk/punk/rock/reggae ensemble still has it--no matter what genre you want to put them in.
On their latest album, "Still Stuck in Your Throat," the 'Bones continue with their blended concoction of musical diversity, while creating a rockin' good album, full of fun, that is reminiscent of their earlier works.
From the opening track of "Jack Ass Brigade," with its super-snappy ska beat, complete with donkey sound effects, you know Fishbone is about to take you on a musical roller-coaster ride. And what a ride it is. Songs like "Party With Saddam" and "Skan'n Go Nuttz" will appeal to the Tony Hawk generation, while songs like "Forever Moore" have a soulful rock-steady vibe that will simply take you to a happy place.
As usual, Fishbone has something to say about the state of the world. It is refreshing, however, to see somebody having a good time while saying it.
As luck would have it, Fishbone played Alley Katz in Richmond recently in support of the new album. To see the band live can only be described as the Energizer Bunny with a bad case of ADHD. Upcoming rockers should take a lesson from this group of 40-somethings. Their over-the-top, no-holds-barred set was simply breathtaking. Seriously, Fishbone's energy was so kinetic, I couldn't keep up, and had to stop for air over and over again.
Fishbone stepped through a barrage of old and new songs, and paused long enough for frontman Moore to get a word or two in about current affairs. Bassist John Norwood Fisher, with his distinctive slap-bass style, and drummer John Steward kept the beats alive, while the sax and trumpet kept the show skanking to the beat. Fishbone was red hot.
Anyone looking for a break from the cookie-cutter
Published 22 November 2007
A crop of new rock bands is changing the face of Chinese youth culture
It is an unusually crisp afternoon in Beijing, and positioned squarely between an impossibly large pile of cabbages and an oversized stone lion is a small door. As a convoy of brick-laden trucks thunders past on the road outside, the sudden racket of a synthesised drumbeat and bass guitar comes crashing out from within. The sign outside reads: "Yu Gong yi Shan", which roughly translates as "The man who moved the mountain instead of going around it". It is an apposite motto for the Beijing rock scene.
Inside, a stream of staccato bleeps and whizzing noises accompanies Gothic-sounding chords played on a mini-keyboard. A bunch of men huddles around a soundboard at one end of the dark room, facing a stage full of ladders, a half-constructed lighting rig, a drum kit and a large pile of electrical leads. In the middle of it all is a gangly man, dressed in an overcoat and thick, Clark Kent-style glasses, crouched on the floor and jabbing at the dials of an amp. This is 24-year-old Chen Xi, lead singer of Snapline, Beijing's latest music phenomenon. By day he is a graduate in mechanical engineering and nuclear energy who works for Microsoft; by night he becomes the jumpy, overexcitable frontman of a three-piece rock band, shouting about the universe, porn stars and his girlfriend Jenny.
"My band mates laugh at me for working for Microsoft," Chen Xi says in his practically perfect English. "They hate brand names." Snapline, like the rock scene from which they have evolved, espouse a self-effacing philosophy that would be unfamiliar to fans of much contemporary western rock, with its megabucks and competing egos. While the rest of China falls over itself to modernise and rebrand the nation for the outside world, a contingent of scruffy twentysomethings is cramming into dingy bars and underground music venues to drink beer, shout obscenities and headbang.
This is supposed to be the "me" generation of only children, born under China's one-child policy. Yet these young people are anything but materialistic, label-wearing consumerists. Like Chen Xi, they are mostly either college kids, studying subjects such as information technology, maths and economics, or graduates with good jobs. Their heroes are the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Nirvana, Radiohead and the Cure. Their music of choice ranges from infectious electropop to angry punk with industrial guitar riffs.
"We started messing around making music at college in 2001," shouts Chen Xi, gesturing to the bassist Li Weisi, 23, and guitarist/keyboard player Li Qing, 25, both of whom also play in another popular band, Carsick Cars. "Last December we heard an American label was over here looking for local talent. They liked our stuff and asked us to sign a deal." He shrugs. "We didn't have any other offers, so we said OK."
In September the band released their first album with the Chicago-based record label Invisible. Party Is Over, Pornostar is a snappy 40 minutes of pop, punk and rock tunes sung almost entirely in English. "I sing in English because my Chinese sucks," laughs Chen Xi, who claims he is no match for Chinese-language poets and feels more comfortable using English, which he learned at school. "People say our music is post-punk. I'm not sure I would describe it as that. It's hard to pin it down to one type, because we're always changing our minds. I sing what's in my head and the others play along."
The result is songs such as "S2", a track that involves Chen Xi talking and sometimes singing over a frantic and extremely loud backing: "It's not about physics/It's just a piece of truth that you have to know/It's a mistake that everything comes from the great explosion/Everything comes from the same line." What can it all mean? "It's about negative space," he explains with great excitement. "If you simplify third, second and first dimensions into a dot, it will stretch into a long line in infinity. Eventually the two ends of that line have to meet up and that's when it becomes a circle."
This may not be punk rock's usual subject matter, but the tune, despite its cerebral lyrics, is instantly catchy. Performed on stage that night, "S2" sounds like a cross between LCD Soundsystem and Blur. Affable Chen Xi is transformed from a computer geek into a gyrating, Jarvis Cocker-like figure in a cardigan. Eyes closed, rattling off songs with a kooky smile, he slaloms the mike stand with his knees and waves his limbs about like a marionette. On one side of him Li Weisi grins and plucks the bass while on the other side, po-faced Li Qing, her hair in a pudding-basin cut, bashes out chords on the keyboard.
"Holy comments feed me," Chen Xi yells at the delighted audience, which knows all the words and sings them back as fans crash about in the mosh pit. Taking up the front row are members of Hedgehog, Gui Li and Carsick Cars - the other bands playing tonight. Snapline are the only ones with an international record deal, but the others are signed to the Beijing-based label Maybe Mars and have all played a part in the emerging scene.
"I genuinely believe the music these bands are producing is part of something big," says Nevin Domer, distribution director for Maybe Mars and booking manager for Beijing's best-known live venue, D-22, which has been compared to the legendary New York bar CBGB, circa 1975. "These kids didn't grow up listening to the music we did in the west. They are discovering it all at once, without filing it under categories. The music they are making is influenced by everything from B B King to Bob Dylan."
Though international acts still tend to bypass Beijing for the more glamorous Shanghai and Hong Kong, that situation is slowly beginning to change with rising interest in the capital city's emerging scene. At September's Beijing Pop Festival, several local hardcore bands supported the hugely successful American punk and hip-hop outfits Nine Inch Nails and Public Enemy.
Brian Hardgroove, bassist and musical director of Public Enemy, was so impressed with what he saw that he has just flown back to produce the album of an unsigned punk band, Demerit. "This country is at a historical turning point and the stuff coming out of Beijing now is on a par with what was coming out of London and New York in the Seventies and Eighties," he says. "The difference here is that whatever hardships punk bands were rebelling against then were nothing compared to what this country has seen."
Despite interest from industry insiders, however, financial backing for these bands is slow in coming and is yet to approach anything like the level of investment pouring into visual arts in China. "I'm not worried these kids are going to burn out underneath commercial pressure - if anything, I'm more worried lack of money will kill the scene before it gets a chance to develop," says Domer, who facilitated the collaboration between Demerit and Public Enemy.
Though bands like Snapline and Demerit may be grateful for the nod of support from the global industry, they haven't yet let it change their outlook. "It's nice that foreigners like our music, but I hope more Chinese people come to our gigs, too," says Chen Xi, standing on the street outside Yu Gong yi Shan, hands under armpits to protect them from the cold. "We're going on tour to Shanghai and Nanjing next week and my mum wants to come with us," he grins, and says brightly: "She bought a hundred copies of our album to show her support when it came out."
For more info and to hear songs by Snapline log on to: www.myspace.com/snapline
Violet Blue ponders the new war on porn, aimed right at the US Military
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I didn’t ask to become a military porn fugitive. And yes, maybe I've watched "Blowjob Impossible" a few too many times to be truly objective.
A while back, my longtime friend Tara (not her real name) was dating a guy who was set for his second deployment to Iraq. She was getting ready to go visit him at a base before he left; he was in charge of a group that was about to see some very heavy duty action. Before she left, she asked if I had any porn she could smuggle onto the base for the guys. She told me, “They really need it, and it would make them so happy."
Eager to support our troops, I happily obliged. I hit up all my local connections at porn stores and gathered a pile of donation magazines; the kind with real porn in them, like Leg Show, Black Tail, Juggs and Taboo. I met her at Muddy Waters on Valencia Street to make the exchange; she was late as she’d been caught up on BART trains delayed, ironically, by an anti-war protest taking place downtown. I asked her if that was weird, and she replied smiling, “No! I might protest a bit myself before heading home."
I knew Tara wasn’t kidding. She followed up with me a few weeks later, telling me how much the guys appreciated the porn – they whooped and cheered as it was distributed, and were even more exuberant when they found out it was handpicked by a girl.
I had no idea I’d participated in the breaking of any laws. But I had. And I’d do it again in a red-hot, Barely Legal second.
Porn -- the oft-ridiculous caricature of human sexuality, and most basic sex toy that there is -- is considered by officials as dangerous to our service people as drugs. The Military Honor and Decency Act of 1996 prohibits stores on military bases from selling "sexually explicit material." It defines that as film or printed matter "the dominant theme of which depicts or describes nudity" or sexual activities "in a lascivious way." Challenged as a First Amendment violation, the law was upheld by a U.S. appeals court in 2002.
In Iraq, service people are subject toGeneral Order Number 1a (GO-1a) put into effect December 19, 2000:The regulations prohibit conduct “prejudicial to the maintenance of good order and discipline of all forces."GO-1a prohibits a lot of things, such as "controlled substances and drug paraphernalia", gambling, selling or defacing artifacts and national treasures, entry into a Mosque without permission and much more. Including porn. GO-1a expressly prohibits our soldiers from -- or "protects" them from, "Introduction, possession, transfer, sale, creation or display of any pornographic or sexually explicitphotograph, video tapes, movie, drawing, book, magazine, or similar representations." Sure -- go sweat your life into your fatigues guarding a checkpoint that might deliver you a suicide bomber, but get caught with a DVD of "Shaving Ryan's Privates" and you're in trouble. And not the kind that involves shaving anyone's privates, not for fun anyway.
The laws are nearly ten years old, so what's the fuss, Miss Evil Porn Crusader? Well, according to USA Today,the US Military is currently "under fire" for not banning every conceivable kind of porn out there. According to the piece,
“Dozens of religious and anti-pornography groups have complained to Congress and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that a Pentagon board set up to review magazines and films is allowing sales of material that Congress intended to ban.
"They're saying 'we're not selling stuff that's sexually explicit' … and we say it's pornography," says Donald Wildmon, head of the American Family Association, a Christian anti-pornography group. A letter-writing campaign launched Friday by opponents of the policy aims to convince Congress to "get the Pentagon to obey the law," he adds."
What, exactly, are their anti-porn panties in a collective bunch about if hardcore porn is already banned? Specifically, "Playboy", "Penthouse" and all kinds of other "all-American" adult entertainment. The sponsor of 1996's Decency ActRep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Mdadds cryptically in the USA Today piece"the military is skirting Congress' intent" and notes "the material also could contribute to a hostile environment for female military personnel."
I wonder, what exactly is he suggesting about our servicemen? I'll agree that porn can most certainly be used to create a hostile environment for all genders and orientations, but that's a matter of soldiers' (and officers') conduct; not the porn itself. Porn can't "make" anyone do anything they didn't already want to, and people who rape — and act abusively — will do so, no matter the catalyst or tools they use. "Saturday Night Beaver" is not a gateway drug, nor is it bad for morale. Connecting with explicit human sexuality, as lame (or as delicious) as porn can be, is what keeps us from being machines, killing, defending, or otherwise. Not to mention that enjoying it should be one of the rights they're dying for.
And do these guys think that our servicewomen don’t want porn? It's a pretty entertaining notion to think that our servicemen might be at risk for a hostile environment if military women could only get their hands on a DVD copy of "Rambone".
It's interesting to note that the loudest protests againstGO-1a have come from The Humane Society and other animal companion organizations.GO-1a(.pdf via militarymascots.org) also prohibits soldiers from keeping animals. In fact,in 2005 soldiers confirmed that the US government hired contractors to shoot dogs and cats to carry out this grim set of "good order and discipline" laws. And I'll make the same argument for porn that the Humane Society has made for allowing soldiers to have companions, "But Americans, be they in Baghdad, Beaufort, Billings, or Boston, all know the same truth. The bond between humans and animals does not compromise character or morale. It enhances them."
So while the bond between a serviceperson andSummer Cummings' massive mammaries -- orRocco Siffredi's lethal weapon -- may be fleeting, it's no less valid for morale. Soldiers need to take care of themselves, and wanking is an important part of that. The Pentagon may have stood by Playboy this round, but they dumped 67% of the titles available to service people. I don’t think it's a question of "why does the Pentagon hate the military" but instead, why do conservative groups get to ban our soldiers from the little taste of stateside sex they can get their hands on?
True, I may have seen "Top Buns" too many times. But I know this: masturbation to porn is a healthy form of self-pleasure. And denying it is not. Our soldiers are risking everything for a variety of very confusing and conflicting values. Not everyone is going to agree with their urge to fap to "Clear and Present Dildo", but as Americans, isn’t it their right?
Violet Blue is author and editor of nearly two dozen sexual health books and erotica collections. She is a professional sex educator, lecturer, podcaster, blogger, vlogger, porn/erotica reviewer and machine artist. She has written for outlets ranging from Forbes.com to O, The Oprah Magazine.
Violet is also a fetish model, a member of Survival Research Labs, an author at Metblogs San Francisco; girl friday contributor at Fleshbot.com, a San Francisco native and a Forbes Web Celeb. Her tech site is Techyum; her audio and e-books are at Digita Publications.
For more information and links to Web sites discussed in Open Source Sex, go to Violet Blue's Web site, tinynibbles.com.
The ancient Okudaira samurai clan is embroiled in a bitter court battle centering on the sale of a feudal castle in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, with one family member opposed to the plan suing another supporting it for what she claims was an illegal adoption.
Takako Okudaira, 83, of Tokyo's Nakano-ku and a cousin of the late Masanobu Okudaira who was the 17th head of the Okudaira clan, has sued the 19th and current head of the family, 51-year-old Masayuki Okudaira, demanding he give up his legal status as her adopted son, saying she knew nothing about it.
Masayuki Okudaira is also the president of Nakatsu Kangyo, the company that operates the feudal Nakatsu Castle, located in Nakatsu and officially up for sale since last month, a sale that the old woman in Tokyo bitterly opposes.
"None of the writing on the adoption papers is mine and the seal used is wrong, too," she said. "We got Nakatsu Castle built through the help of citizens, so I will never allow the sale of the castle. I sued because I want to know what really happened with this adoption."
Masayuki Okudaira, meanwhile, denies any wrongdoing.
"My adopted father told me that he had carried out the adoption with Takako's consent," he said. "I'm still consulting with my lawyers."
Takako Okudaira said that on April 14, 1995, Masayuki Okudaira filed an application with the Nakatsu Municipal Government to be adopted as her son. When the old woman obtained a copy of her family register in 2001, she noticed that Masayuki was officially noted as her adopted son. The statute of limitations on pursing criminal charges in connection with the change to her family register had already passed and it was too difficult for the old woman to travel from Tokyo to Nakatsu, so she decided not to pursue the issue, she said. However, Takako Okudaira decided to take legal action after hearing the city of Nakatsu was shocked by news that the castle's owners planned to sell it.
In 1988, Masayuki Okudaira was adopted by a relative, Kazuo Sakamoto, who then headed Nakatsu Kangyo. Okudaira succeeded Sakamoto as president of the company the following year. He took on the Okudaira name in 1995. On Oct. 20, a Nakatsu Kangyo shareholders' meeting approved the sale of Nakatsu Castle.
|CHIEF HAS FINAL SAY ON WHAT BODY ART OFFICERS MAY DISPLAY WHILE ON DUTY|
|By Mark Gomez|
San Jose Mercury News
|Article Launched:11/22/2007 01:44:19 AM PST|
San Jose police officers with an affinity for tattoos may sweat a little more than usual in the summertime.
The San Jose Police Department recently adopted a policy that prohibits cops from displaying tattoos while on duty. So officers with tattoos will either have to wear long-sleeved shirts year-round to cover up or have them removed.
Responding to unhappy officers, Police Chief Rob Davis last week agreed to exempt cops with tattoos the chief decides are not offensive to the public.
Over the past several months, the matter of officers and tattoos has become a nationwide issue in law enforcement and the military. Many agencies, including the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Police Department, have adopted policies prohibiting personnel from showing off body art while on duty.
"It's absolutely one of the big issues," said Bobby Lopez, president of the 1,360-member San Jose Police Officers Association. "It's been coming for a while, only because the next generation always goes over the top."
Some law enforcement agencies are seeing younger officers sporting "sleeves," which can be one large tattoo or a collection of smaller tattoos that usually covers the entire arm, from shoulder to wrist.
Tattoos, which many years ago often signified military service or gang affiliation, have become more mainstream, according to a study published last year in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology. Nearly one out of every four Americans has a tattoo, according to the study, which also found about 36 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have tattoos.
But Chief Davis believes the policy, which went into effect Sept. 23, is necessary. Davis first became aware of the issue after hearing people in the community voice concerns about the tattoos being displayed by officers. After looking internally, Davis found that "the concerns people voiced were valid."
"We cannot settle for anything less when it comes to the presentation of our officers in the community, and how we are perceived in the community," Davis said.
Some agencies, including police departments in San Jose, Long Beach and San Diego, allow tattoos that are partly visible or deemed inoffensive. In San Jose, any exceptions to the rule must be approved by the chief's office or a member of his command staff. Davis said the policy will be "pretty stringent," and that officers seeking an exception must meet "a real high mark."
"Clearly there are some individuals who are not happy," Davis said. "They are in the minority. The majority of the feedback from officers has been 'this is great.' They've seen some of the tattoos displayed" and do not feel they are professional.
The Marine Corps cited similar concerns when it banned new, extra-large tattoos below the elbow or the knee earlier this year.
Lopez, the union chief, agrees that some tattoos displayed by officers need to be covered up to maintain an appearance of professionalism. Lopez was pleased that Davis was willing to make an exception, especially for veteran cops who are suddenly being told to cover up their tattoos. Lopez estimates that about 30 of the 1,360 San Jose officers will be affected by the policy.
"We do have some officers who are unhappy, but the compromise was great," Lopez said.
The issue started to pick up steam last year, when five police officers from Hartford, Conn., lost a lawsuit claiming tattoo bans violate their First Amendment rights. A lower-court judge dismissed the lawsuit and a federal appeals court ruled that policies banning officers from displaying tattoos don't violate the Constitution.
"Nobody is restricting their rights of how to express themselves on their own time," Davis said. "When working for the San Jose Police Department, we have to regulate appearance. My belief is that the community expects that of us."
Lopez agrees that officers must maintain a certain level of professionalism, but would like to see more wiggle room in the policy.
"We are professionals, and we understand that," Lopez said. "Not all tattoos would we consider offensive, and sometimes they are a little patriotic.
"Let's always remember the big old tattoo of 'mom,' " Lopez said. "Are we going to cover up mother?"
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Windsor Castle has been the victim of a cat burglar every day for the past four years.
A cat called Mime, which lives in a Chinese restaurant 50 yards opposite, has been strolling past armed police and royal guards in order to dine with royalty - the Queen's corgis.
Mime is now such a regular visitor she gets VIP treatment. On the Queen's birthday when Mime's normal route was blocked due to a locked gate, security staff opened it especially to let her through.
Owner Kevin Lam said: "When people come to my restaurant after visiting the castle they ask me why the Queen's cat is in the restaurant. I keep having to tell them that she is actually my cat!"
But he said the ten-year-old cat's daily lunchtime visits had not always been appreciated by the corgis.
He told The Sun: "A courtier told me the corgis used to fight with her at first, but after lots of barking and some hissing they came to a sort of truce."
Popular Japanese actor Shun Oguri will star in NTV's "Binbou Danshi" this winter. He has played the lead male in a drama series before ("Hanazakari no Kimitachi e"), but this is his first time as the protagonist.
Shun Oguri plays a poor but optimistic college student in this comical story. Because of his overly nice personality, he ends up taking on other people's debts and faces various challenges to pay off those debts.
The series premieres in January and will air on Tuesdays at 10:00pm. BENNIE K will sing the show's theme song, the first they have ever done for a television drama.
Japanese Actor Close Up: Shun OguriCool info on Shun Oguri, including pictures, videos, news, biography, photos, stats, and wallpapers.
Name: Oguri Shun
Nicknames: Ogushun, Guri & Ogurin
Date of Birth: December 26, 1982
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Blood type: O
John Jones had collected items for more than 20 years
John Jones' house in Aberystwyth was so full that he built a network of tunnels so he could move around in it.
Four tonnes of rubbish had to be removed from the 62-year-old's bedroom before police could carry his body out through a window, the inquest was told.
Ceredigion coroner Peter Brunton recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The inquest in Aberystwyth was told Mr Jones, a widower who weighed 20 stone and had mobility problems, had collected rubbish for more than 20 years.
His garden and sheds at his home were packed full of rubbish, along with several garages which he had rented from Ceredigion Council.
Mr Jones' body was found in a bedroom at his home in September, after he had not been seen by his neighbours for some time.
Coroner Mr Brunton said it was likely some of the rubbish had fallen on Mr Jones and he had probably died from asphyxiation.
But pathologist Christopher Simpson told the inquest that the cause of death was unknown because the body was so badly decomposed.
Sgt Wyn Griffiths of Dyfed-Powys Police said Mr Jones was found under bags of rubbish.
He told the inquest that the body was carried out of a bedroom window, which had been entirely removed by fire fighters because the house was so packed full of items.
"Nobody could have entered the bedroom. There was some sort of tunnel system so he could climb through the house," added Sgt Griffiths.
"There were items up against the sides of the walls, in the hallways, bedrooms, landing and items hanging from the ceiling.
"The easiest way was to carry the body through the window."
Mr Brunton said Mr Jones was a "compulsive collector of rubbish".
"On the balance of probabilities, part of the rubbish that Mr Jones had accumulated in his bedroom collapsed on his body."
An Italian sweet shop owner has been fined after making chocolate copies of a local porn star's proudest asset.
Bologna police told Teresa Conti, 40, to melt down the chocolate version of blue movie actor Rocco Siffredi's penis.
They said numerous passersby with children had complained of the confectionery organs on display in the window.
She was fined £150 for promoting indecency.
Conti said: "I only did it to get one up over my rivals and the displays in their chocolate shops."
Monday, November 19, 2007
Most people outside Japan know Matsuyama Kenichi as the enigmatic genius L is the "Death Note" movies. Well, prepare for a whole new "MatsuKen"! The 22-year-old actor will take on the role of vocalist in a death metal band in the movie adaptation of gag manga "Detroit Metal City". Written by Wakasugi Kiminori, it has run in the comic "Young Animal" since 2005.
Matsuyama Kenichi will play Negishi Souichi, who leaves his family's farm in Oita Prefecture for the bright lights of Tokyo. There he swaps his taste in Swedish pop for the totally out-of-character death metal, taking on the role of vocalist in the trio Death Metal City and adopting the name Johannes Krauser II. The story arc leads up to a climactic showdown with the hell-raising American kings of black metal, Jack ill Dark (whose signature tune is "Fuckingham Palace"!). Matsuyama Kenichi is currently learning the guitar and "death voice" stylings to pull off the performance. Filming is scheduled to start at the end of February. The movie is expected to feature cameos from prominent musicians, though no names have been announced.
Japanese Actor Close Up: Matsuyama KenichiCool info on Matsuyama Kenichi, including pictures, videos, news, biography, photos, stats, and wallpapers.
Real Name: 松山 研一/松山 ケンイチ
Date of Birth: March 5, 1985
Birthplace: Aomori Prefecture, Japan
Blood type: B
Height: 6'0.83" (185cm)
Weight: 60 kg
Chest: 86 cm
Waist: 73 cm
Shoe size: 28 cm
“It cheers me up to see you again, my idol Seo Tai-ji. I feel I can start again thanks to you. You greatly influenced my life when I was a teenager.”
“Dear Tai-ji. I come here again. I wish I could live here. I really miss you.”
Fans of Seo Tai-ji, the legendary Korean pop idol, left messages to him at the SEO TAI JI 15th Anniversary Zone at COEX mall in Samseong-dong, Seoul. It opened on Nov. 3 to commemorate, as the name suggests, the 15th anniversary of his debut. Seotaiji Company, the entertainment firm the singer set up, says the number of visitors topped 40,000 as of late last week, prompting the exhibition to be extended by six days to Nov. 18. Seo, who earned his nickname “Culture president” with his groundbreaking music in 1990s, has come back center stage.
The culture president’s album released to commemorate the 15th anniversary of his debut sold out right after starting pre-sales at midnight on Nov. 3. A total of 15,000 copies were sold out in one minute online. Yedang Entertainment, which is in charge of sales, says the response was explosive. In offline stores, people were queuing to buy the anniversary album. “It’s quite new to today’s lackluster music industry.” Copies of Seo’s new album also sold out at offline stores too.
The release includes four albums of Seotaiji and Boys and three solo albums. It costs a cool W97,000 (US$1=W917). That means the album recorded sales equivalent to that of 150,000 copies of an ordinary album costing W10,000 in an instant. (This year’s bestseller is expected to be SG Wannabe with 200,000 copies.) The producers considered putting out additional copies but decided to keep sales limited.
An endless line of admirers in their 20s and 30s visit the site. Photos of Seo’s childhood and his past before becoming a star, clothes he wore, movie clips, and various instruments he used are on show here. Na Jeong-ae, a 28-year-old office worker, says, “I bought his new album in advance. I am excited to meet Seo Tai-ji again with his new album. He feels like my friend, my life and sometimes my god.” And student Park Jae-seok (25) says, “Seo Tai-ji has been my role model because he always challenges new goals.”
On the bulletin board of Seo’s official website (www.seotaiji.com), 5,000 welcome messages have been posted in less than a week to greet his new album’s release. Pop critic Kim Jak-ga said, “Seo in the 1990s was not just a star but a political and social spokesman for the young generation. That’s why so many fans are filled with pride and community spirit in welcoming Seo back.” (email@example.com )
By DORIE TURNER, Associated Press Writer
Monday, November 19, 2007
(11-19) 15:24 PST Decatur, Ga. (AP) --
The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.
Members of Archbishop Earl Paulk's family stood at the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church a few Sundays ago and revealed the secret exposed by a recent court-ordered paternity test.
In truth, this is not the first — or even the second — sex scandal to engulf Paulk and the independent, charismatic church. But this time, he could be in trouble with the law for lying under oath about the affair.
The living proof of that lie is 34-year-old D.E. Paulk, who for years was known publicly as Earl Paulk's nephew.
"I am so very sorry for the collateral damage it's caused our family and the families hurt by the removing of the veil that hid our humanity and our sinfulness," said D.E. Paulk, who received the mantle of head pastor a year and a half ago.
D.E. Paulk said he did not learn the secret of his parentage until the paternity test. "I was disappointed, and I was surprised," he said.
Earl Paulk, his brother, Don, and his sister-in-law, Clariece, did not return calls for comment.
A judge ordered the test at the request of the Cobb County district attorney's office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which are investigating Earl Paulk for possible perjury and false-swearing charges stemming from a lawsuit.
The archbishop, his brother and the church are being sued by former church employee Mona Brewer, who says Earl Paulk manipulated her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation. Earl Paulk admitted to the affair in front of the church last January.
In a 2006 deposition stemming from the lawsuit, the archbishop said under oath that the only woman he had ever had sex with outside of his marriage was Brewer. But the paternity test said otherwise.
So far no charges have been filed against Earl Paulk. District Attorney Pat Head and GBI spokesman John Bankhead would not comment.
The shocking results of the paternity test are speeding up a transformation already under way in the church after more than a decade of sex scandals and lawsuits involving the Paulks, D.E. Paulk said.
"It was a necessary evil to bring us back to a God-consciousness," said the younger Paulk, explaining that the church had become too personality-driven and prone to pastor worship.
The flashy megachurch began in 1960 with just a few dozen members in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. Now, it is in the suburbs on a 100-acre expanse, a collection of buildings surrounding a neo-Gothic cathedral.
For years the church was at the forefront of many social movements — admitting black members in the 1960s, ordaining women and opening its doors to gays.
At its peak in the early 1990s, it claimed about 10,000 members and 24 pastors and was a media powerhouse. By soliciting tithes of 10 percent from each member's income, the church was able to build a Bible college, two schools, a worldwide TV ministry and a $12 million sanctuary the size of a fortress.
Today, though, membership is down to about 1,500, the church has 18 pastors, most of them volunteers, and the Bible college and TV ministry have shuttered — a downturn blamed largely on complaints about the alleged sexual transgressions of the elder Paulks.
In 1992, a church member claimed she was pressured into a sexual relationship with Don Paulk. Other women also claimed they had been coerced into sex with Earl Paulk and other members of the church's administration.
The church countered with a $24 million libel suit against seven former church members. The lawsuit was later dropped.
Jan Royston, who left the church in 1992, started an online support group for former members to discuss their crushed faith and hurt feelings.
"This is a cult. And you escape from a cult," she said. "We all escaped."
These days, Earl Paulk has a much-reduced role at the cathedral, giving 10-minute lectures as part of Sunday morning worship each week.
"My uncle is 100 percent guilty, but his accusers are guilty as well," D.E. Paulk said, declining to talk further about the lawsuits.
On the Net:
The CBD compound found in cannabis is non-toxic
The California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute team are hopeful that cannabidiol or CBD could be a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy.
Unlike cannabis, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties so its use would not violate laws, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics reports.
The authors stressed that they were not suggesting patients smoke marijuana.
They added that it would be highly unlikely that effective concentrations of CBD could be reached by smoking cannabis.
CBD works by blocking the activity of a gene called Id-1 which is believed to be responsible for the aggressive spread of cancer cells away from the original tumour site - a process called metastasis.
Past work has shown CBD can block aggressive human brain cancers.
The latest work found CBD appeared to have a similar effect on breast cancer cells in the lab.
Lead researcher Dr Sean McAllister said: "Right now we have a limited range of options in treating aggressive forms of cancer.
"Those treatments, such as chemotherapy, can be effective but they can also be extremely toxic and difficult for patients.
"This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects."
Dr Joanna Owens of Cancer Research UK said: "This research is at a very early stage.
"The findings will need to be followed up with clinical trials in humans to see if the CBD is safe, and whether the beneficial effects can be replicated.
"Several cancer drugs based on plant chemicals are already used widely, such as vincristine - which is derived from a type of flower called Madagascar Periwinkle and is used to treat breast and lung cancer. It will be interesting to see whether CBD will join them."
Maria Leadbeater of Breast Cancer Care said: "Many people experience side-effects while having chemotherapy, such as nausea and an increased risk of infection, which can take both a physical and emotional toll.
"Any drug that has fewer side-effects will, of course, be of great interest."
But she added: "It is clear that much more research needs to be carried out."
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