Milwaukee is the largest city within the state of Wisconsin and 25th largest (by population) in the United States. The city is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, Milwaukee had a population of 573,378. Large numbers of German and other immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and the following decades.
Once known almost exclusively as a brewing and manufacturing powerhouse, Milwaukee has taken steps in recent years to reshape its image, in large part by reviving its downtown. In the past decade, new additions to downtown have included the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Midwest Airlines Center, an internationally renowned addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Discovery World, as well as major renovations to the Milwaukee Auditorium and U.S. Cellular Arena. In addition, many new skyscrapers, condos, lofts, and apartments have been constructed in neighborhoods on and near the lakefront and riverbanks for the purpose of attracting new residents to the city.
The name "Milwaukee" comes from an Algonquian word Millioke, meaning either "Good/Beautiful/Pleasant Land" (c.f. Potawatomi language minwaking, Ojibwe language ominowakiing) or "Gathering place [by the water]" (c.f. Potawatomi language manwaking, Ojibwe language omaniwakiing).
The city runs largely on the grid system, although in the far northwest and southwest corners of the city, the grid pattern gives way to a more suburban-style streetscape. This is no coincidence as former mayor Henry Maier sought to create "suburbs within the city" using recently annexed land to help counteract the urban sprawl that was damaging the city's economy. North-south streets are numbered, and east-west streets are named. However north-south streets east of 1st street are named, like east-west streets. The north-south numbering line is along the Menomonee River (east of Hawley Road) and Fairview Avenue/Golfview Parkway (west of Hawley Road), with the east-west numbering line defined along 1st Street (north of Oklahoma Avenue) and Chase/Howell Avenue (south of Oklahoma Avenue). This numbering system is also used to the north by Mequon in Ozaukee County, and by some Waukesha County communities.
It is crossed by Interstate 43 and Interstate 94, which come together downtown at the Marquette Interchange, which is currently under an extensive construction project set to be completed in 2008. The cost of the reconstruction will be around $810 million. The Interstate 894 bypass runs through portions of the city's southwest side, and Interstate 794 comes out of the Marquette interchange eastbound, bends south along the lakefront and crosses the harbor over the Hoan Bridge, then ends near the Bay View neighborhood and becomes the "Lake Parkway" (WIS-794).
Further information: List of Milwaukee neighborhoods
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This article is about the former prime minister of Australia; for the Western Australian public servant, see Malcolm Fraser (surveyor).
John Malcolm Fraser, AC, CH (born 21 May 1930), is an Australian politician who was the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia. He came to power in the 1975 elections following the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government, in which he played a key role and, like its immediate predecessor, the term of the Fraser Coalition government was one of the most controversial periods in Australian political history. After three election victories and many legislative achievements, he was defeated by Bob Hawke in 1983, and ended his career alienated from his own party.
Fraser developed an early reputation as a right-winger, and he had a long wait for ministerial preferment. He was finally appointed Minister for the Army by Harold Holt in 1966, in which he presided over the controversial Vietnam war conscription . Under John Gorton he became Minister for Education, The Arts and Science, and in 1968 he was made Minister for Defence: a challenging post at the height of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War and the protests against it.
In March 1971 Fraser resigned abruptly in protest at what he said was Gorton's interference in his ministerial responsibilities. This led to the downfall of Gorton and his replacement by William McMahon. Under McMahon, Fraser once again became Minister for Education and Science. When the Liberals were defeated at the 1972 elections by the Labor Party under Gough Whitlam, he became a member of the opposition front bench under Billy Snedden's leadership.
Rise to Leadership
Fraser responded to Snedden's defeat at the 1974 elections by successfully challenging for the opposition leadership. In 1975, in the context of a series of ministerial scandals that were rocking the Whitlam government, Fraser opted to use the Coalition opposition Senate numbers to delay the government's budget bills with the objective of achieving an early election (see Australian constitutional crisis of 1975). After several months of deadlock, during which the government secretly explored methods of obtaining supply funding outside the Parliament Governor-General Sir John Kerr intervened and revoked Whitlam's commission on 11 November 1975. Fraser was immediately sworn in as caretaker prime minister under a strict stipulation to give the Governor-General immediate advice to issue writs for an election of both Houses.
Malcolm Fraser was rancorously branded by Whitlam and his followers as one who had shamefully connived in the overthrow of a popular and democratically elected government, and his role in "the dismissal" remains one of the most passionately-debated subjects in Australian political history. On the other hand, much of the electorate welcomed Fraser's appointment pending the 13 December election.
Role in "the dismissal"
The Liberal-Country Party coalition won a landslide victory with the support of media, notably the Murdoch press, which had previously supported the ALP. The Coalition won a second term nearly as easily in 1977. Fraser quickly dismantled some of the programs of the Labor government, such as the Ministry for the Media, and he made major changes to the universal health insurance system Medibank. He initially maintained Whitlam's real level of tax and spending, but real per-person tax and spending soon began to increase. He did manage to rein-in inflation which had soared under Whitlam.
Although his so-called "Razor Gang" implemented stringent budget cuts across many areas of the Commonwealth Public Sector, including the ABC, the Fraser government did not carry out the radically conservative program that his political enemies had predicted, and that some of his followers wanted. He in fact proved surprisingly moderate in office, to the frustration of his Treasurer (finance minister), John Howard and other pro-Thatcherite ministers, who were strong adherents of monetarism. Fraser's economic record was marred by rising unemployment, which reached record levels under his administration, caused in part by the ongoing effects of the global oil crisis that had begun in 1973.
Fraser was active in foreign policy. He supported the Commonwealth in campaigning to abolish apartheid in South Africa and white minority rule in Rhodesia. During the 1979 Commonwealth Conference, Fraser, together with his Nigerian counterpart, convinced newly-elected British PM Margaret Thatcher to withhold recognition of the internal settlement Zimbabwe Rhodesia government (Thatcher had earlier promised to recognise it). Subsequently, the Lancaster House talks were held and Robert Mugabe was elected leader of an independent Zimbabwe in 1980. Under his government, Australia also recognised Indonesia's annexation of East Timor, although many East Timorese refugees were granted asylum in Australia.
Fraser was a strong supporter of the United States and supported the boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. But, although he persuaded some sporting bodies not to compete, Fraser did not try to the prevent the Australian Olympic Committee sending a team to the Moscow games.
In immigration policy Fraser also surprised his critics. He expanded immigration from Asian countries and allowed more refugees to enter Australia. He supported multiculturalism and established a government-funded multilingual radio and television network, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a Whitlam initiative.
Despite his support for SBS, the Fraser government imposed stringent budget cuts on the national broadcaster, the ABC, which came under repeated attack from the Coalition for its supposed left-wing bias and for allegedly "unfair" or critical coverage on TV programs including This Day Tonight and Four Corners, and on the ABC's new youth-oriented radio station Double Jay (2JJ). One of the results of the cuts was the plan to establish a national youth radio network -- in which Double Jay was the first station -- was delayed for many years, and did not come to fruition until the 1990s.
Fraser also legislated to give Indigenous Australians control of their traditional lands in the Northern Territory, but would not impose land rights laws on the conservative governments in the states.
At the 1980 elections, Fraser saw his majority sharply reduced and his coalition lost control of the Senate. Fraser was convinced, however, that he had the measure of the Labor leader, Bill Hayden. But in 1982 the economy experienced a sharp recession; and also a protracted scandal over tax-avoidance schemes run by prominent Liberals plagued the government. A popular minister, Andrew Peacock, resigned from Cabinet and challenged Fraser's leadership. Although Fraser won, these events left him politically weakened.
By the end of 1982 it was obvious that the popular former trade union leader Bob Hawke was going to replace Hayden as Labor leader. Fraser wanted to call a snap election to defeat Hayden before Hawke could replace him, but he was prevented by the tax-evasion scandal and by an attack of ill-health. When Fraser acted, he had left his run too late. On the day Fraser called the election for 5 March, Hawke replaced Hayden as leader of the ALP and Leader of the Opposition. Fraser was heavily defeated by Hawke in the 1983 elections.
Fraser immediately resigned from Parliament. Over the 13 years that the Liberals then spent in opposition until 1996, they tended to blame the "wasted opportunities" of the Fraser years for their problems, and Fraser grew resentful of this and distanced himself from his old party. The Hawke Government supported his unsuccessful bid to become Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Decline and fall
In retirement Fraser served as Chairman of the United Nations Panel of Eminent Persons on the Role of Transnational Corporations in South Africa 1985, as Co-Chairman of the Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons on South Africa in 1985-86, and as Chairman of the UN Secretary-General's Expert Group on African Commodity Issues in 1989-90. Fraser became president of the foreign aid group Care International in 1991, and worked with a number of other charitable organisations.
On 14 October 1986, Fraser, then the Chairman of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group, was found in the foyer of the Admiral Benbow Inn, a seedy Memphis hotel wearing nothing but a towel and confused as to where his trousers were. The hotel was an establishment popular with prostitutes and drug dealers. Though it was rumoured at the time that the former Prime Minister had been with a prostitute, his wife believes it more likely that he was the victim of a practical joke by his fellow delegates. Fraser himself refuses to comment on the matter.
The mysterious loss of his trousers resulted in national amusement, the incident passed into Australian folklore, and is still exploited for humorous effect.
Memphis trousers affair
After 1996 Fraser was critical of the Howard Liberal government over foreign policy issues (particularly support for the foreign policy of the Bush administration, which Fraser saw as damaging Australian relationships in Asia). He campaigned in support of an Australian Republic in 1999 and in the 2001 election campaign he opposed Howard's policy on asylum-seekers.
The 2001 election completed Fraser's estrangement from the Liberal Party. Indeed, he and Whitlam say they are now good friends. Many Liberals became unrestrained in their attacks on the Fraser years as "a decade of lost opportunity," on deregulation of the Australian economy and other issues. This was highlighted when in early 2004 a Young Liberal convention in Hobart called for Fraser's life-membership of the Liberal Party to be ended. As Fraser passed 70 he had lost none of his combativeness and generally gave as good as he got in these exchanges.
In 2006, Fraser launched a "scathing attack" on the current Howard Liberal government, attacking their policies on areas such as refugees, terrorism and civil liberties, and that "if Australia continues to follow United States policies it runs the risk of being embroiled in the conflict in Iraq for decades and a fear of Islam in the Australian community will take years to eradicate". Mr Fraser also said the way the Government handled the David Hicks, Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez Solon cases, was questionable. Mr Fraser stated: "One of the things we should say to the Americans, quite simply, is that if the United States is not prepared to involve itself in high level diplomacy concerning Iraq and other Middle East questions, our forces will be withdrawn before Christmas."
Ayres, Phillip, Malcolm Fraser, a Biography, Heinemann, Melbourne, 1987.
Kelly, Paul, "Malcolm Fraser", in Michelle Grattan (ed.), Australian Prime Ministers, New Holland, Sydney, 2000.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Discordianism is a modern, chaos-centered religion founded circa 1958–1959 by Malaclypse the Younger with the publication of its principal text, the Principia Discordia. It is widely regarded as a parody religion,
The very idea of a Discordian organization is something of an oxymoron. Nevertheless, some structure is indicated in Principia Discordia. The most general group, presumably including all Discordians (and potentially others), is The Discordian Society, whose definition is "The Discordian Society has no definition". Within the society are sects of Discordianism, each under the direction of an "Episkopos" (overseer in Greek, source of English bishop and episcopal).
Discordians who do not form their own sects, whether they belong to someone else's sect or not, make up the Legion of Dynamic Discord, and may be referred to as Legionnaires. Would-be Discordians are told in the Principia Discordia:
If you want in on the Discordian Society then declare yourself what you wish do what you like and tell us about it or if you prefer don't. There are no rules anywhere. The Goddess Prevails.
Some Episkoposes have a one-man cabal. Some work together. Some never do explain.
Episkopos are the Overseers of sects of Discordianism, who have presumably created their own sect of Discordianism. They speak to Eris through the use of their pineal gland. It is said in the Principia Discordia that Eris says different things to each listener. She may even say radically different things to each Episkopos but, all of what she says is equally her word (even if it contradicts another iteration of her word).
According to the Principia Discordia, a pope is "every single man, woman, and child on this Earth." Papacy, however, is not granted through possession of this card; it merely informs people that they are "a genuine and authorized Pope" of Discordia.
While the powers of a Pope are not enumerated in the Principia, we are given some idea from a note under the card which states, "A =POPE= is someone who is not under the authority of the authorities." Some Discordians have also taken it upon themselves to further elaborate upon the powers of a Pope. On the back of some Pope cards, the following message can be found:
The rights of a Pope include but are not necessarily limited to:
The third right (requiring permission from the deceased in cases of burying or marriage, but not baptism) may be a reference to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practice of baptism for the dead, or it may just be a witty conflation of marriage and death. Being a Pope, it is arguably up to the reader to decide.
This understanding of the notion of Pope has far reaching consequences in Discordianism. For example, the introduction to Principia Discordia says, "Only a Pope may canonize a Saint. … So you can ordain yourself — and anyone or anything else — a Saint." The last enumerated right of a Pope may be an allusion to the necessary-and-proper clause.
A female version, with the word Mome substituted for Pope, has also been promulgated.
To invoke infallibility at any time, including retroactively.
To completely rework the Erisian church.
To baptise, bury, and marry (with the permission of the deceased in the latter two cases).
To ex-communicate, de-ex-communicate, re-ex-communicate, and de-re-ex-communicate (no backsies!) both his-/her-/it-/them-/your-/our-/His-/Her-/It-/Them-/Your-/Our-self/selves and others (if any).
To perform all rites and functions deemed inappropriate for a Pope of Discordia. Popes in Discordianism
There are as many interpretations of Discordianism as there are Discordians, and several definitions of Discordianism on the Internet center around the words "Ancient Greeks", "Chaos Worship" and "Anarchism". This is an extremely debatable assertion of what would define Discordian philosophy as a whole; indeed, it is a notion directly confronted by the concept of the Eristic Illusion, as mentioned in the following passage, a summary of part of the Discordian philosophy which appears in the Principia Discordia:
Here follows some psycho-metaphysics. If you are not hot for philosophy, best just to skip it. The Aneristic Principle is that of apparent order; the Eristic Principle is that of apparent disorder. Both order and disorder are man made concepts and are artificial divisions of pure chaos, which is a level deeper than is the level of distinction making.
With our concept making apparatus called "mind" we look at reality through the ideas-about-reality which our cultures give us. The ideas-about-reality are mistakenly labeled "reality" and unenlightened people are forever perplexed by the fact that other people, especially other cultures, see "reality" differently. It is only the ideas-about-reality which differ. Real (capital-T) True reality is a level deeper than is the level of concept.
We look at the world through windows on which have been drawn grids (concepts). Different philosophies use different grids. A culture is a group of people with rather similar grids. Through a window we view chaos, and relate it to the points on our grid, and thereby understand it. The order is in the grid. That is the Aneristic Principle.
Western philosophy is traditionally concerned with contrasting one grid with another grid, and amending grids in hopes of finding a perfect one that will account for all reality and will, hence, (say unenlightened westerners) be True. This is illusory; it is what we Erisians call the Aneristic Illusion. Some grids can be more useful than others, some more beautiful than others, some more pleasant than others, etc., but none can be more True than any other.
Disorder is simply unrelated information viewed through some particular grid. But, like "relation", no-relation is a concept. Male, like female, is an idea about sex. To say that male-ness is "absence of female-ness", or vice versa, is a matter of definition and metaphysically arbitrary. The artificial concept of no-relation is the Eristic Principle.
The belief that "order is true" and disorder is false or somehow wrong, is the Aneristic Illusion. To say the same of disorder, is the Eristic Illusion.
The point is that (little-t) truth is a matter of definition relative to the grid one is using at the moment, and that (capital-T) Truth, metaphysical reality, is irrelevant to grids entirely. Pick a grid, and through it some chaos appears ordered and some appears disordered. Pick another grid, and the same chaos will appear differently ordered and disordered.
Reality is the original Rorschach. Verily! So much for all that. – Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Pages 00049–00050
And this from the Principia Discordia's very beginning, a Discordian koan:
Greater Poop: Is Eris true? Malaclypse the Younger: Everything is true. GP: Even false things? M2: Even false things are true. GP: How can that be? M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.
The word Chao (pronounced similarly to "cow") was coined as the singular of chaos. In the Discordian religion the chao is a symbol of the 'pataphysical nature of reality; singular instances of chaos being at the center of pataphysical theory. The word is a pun that enables the following couplet in the Principia Discordia:
To diverse gods Do mortals bow; Holy Cow, and Wholly Chao.
The Sacred Chao is a symbol used by Discordians to illustrate the interrelatedness of order and disorder. It resembles a Taijitu (Yin-Yang) symbol, but according to the Principia Discordia:
The Sacred Chao is not the Yin-Yang of the Taoists. It is the Hodge-Podge of the Erisians. And, instead of a Podge spot on the Hodge side, it has a pentagon which symbolizes the Aneristic Principle, and instead of a Hodge spot on the Podge side, it depicts the Golden Apple of Discordia to symbolize the Eristic Principle.
The Sacred Chao symbolizes absolutely everything anyone need ever know about absolutely anything, and more! It even symbolizes everything not worth knowing, depicted by the empty space surrounding the Hodge-Podge. – Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Page 00049
The choice of the pentagon as a symbol of the Aneristic Principle is partly related to The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., partly a nod to the Law of Fives, and partially for the Golden Ratio references associated with the pentagon/apple allegory. The Golden Apple of Discordia is the one from the story of The Original Snub (below).
The Sacred Chao
The Law of Fives is summarized in the Principia Discordia:
The Law of Fives states simply that: all things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5. The Law of Fives is never wrong. – Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Page 00016
The Law of Fives as quoted uses the word "Five" five times.
Like most of Discordianism, the Law of Fives appears on the surface to be either some sort of weird joke, or bizarre supernaturalism; but under this, it may help clarify the Discordian view of how the human mind works; Lord Omar is quoted later on the same page as having written, "I find the Law of Fives to be more and more manifest the harder I look."
Appendix Beth of Robert Shea's and Robert Anton Wilson's The Illuminatus! Trilogy considers some of the numerology of Discordianism, and the question of what would happen to the Law of Fives if everyone had six fingers on each hand. The authors suggest that the real Law of Fives may be that everything can be related to the number five if you try hard enough. Sometimes the steps required may be highly convoluted.
Another way of looking at the Law of Fives is as a symbol for the observation of reality changing that which is being observed in the observer's mind. Just as how when one looks for fives in reality, one finds them, so will one find conspiracies, ways to determine when the apocalypse will come, and so on and so forth when one decides to look for them. It cannot be wrong, because it proves itself reflexively when looked at through this lens.
The Law of Fives
The Original Snub is the Discordian name for the events preceding the Judgment of Paris, although more focus is put on the actions of Eris. Zeus believes that Eris is a troublemaker, so he does not invite her to Peleus and Thetis's wedding. This is "The Doctrine of the Original Snub".
The Original Snub
The Curse of Greyface is one of the most important parts of Discordianism. It features prominently on several pages of the Principia Discordia. According to the Principia, Greyface was a man who lived in the year 1166 BC and taught that life is serious and play is sin. The curse is a psychological and spiritual imbalance that results from these beliefs.
The Curse of Greyface
Greyface encouraged his followers to "Look at all the order around you" (Principia Discordia page 00042) and somehow convinced mankind to agree with his ideas about Serious Order. The Principia notes that it is something of a mystery why Greyface gained so many followers when anyone could have looked at all of the disorder in the world.
Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were known even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own. – Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia Page 00042
For more details, see also the section "THE CURSE OF GREYFACE AND THE INTRODUCTION OF NEGATIVISM" in the fifth edition of Principia Discordia.
By accepting that life is a serious, orderly matter, the followers of Greyface end up viewing things as either orderly or disorderly. In this system, order is preferred to disorder at all costs. This preference results in both constructive order and destructive order.
The alternative is to view things as either constructive or destructive. In this system, construction is preferred to destruction. Selecting construction results in both constructive order and constructive disorder.
Order/disorder and constructive/destructive
[M]ankind has […] been suffering from a psychological and spiritual imbalance. Imbalance causes frustration, and frustration causes fear. And fear makes for a bad trip. Man has been on a bad trip for a long time now. – Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia Page 00042
The human race will begin solving it's [sic] problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously. – Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia page 00074
In addition to the generic advice of culturing your natural love of chaos and playing with Her, the Principia Discordia provides "The Turkey Curse Revealed by the Apostle Dr. Van Van Mojo" to counteract The Curse of Greyface. The Turkey Curse is designed to counteract destructive order. It derives its name from the fact that the incantation resembles the sounds of a turkey.
Counteracting the curse
The Principia Discordia contains the Law of Eristic Escalation. This law states that Imposition of Order = Escalation of Chaos. It elaborates on this point by saying that the more order imposed the longer it takes for the chaos to arise and the greater the chaos that arises. This can be read as an argument against zero tolerance and hard security, or just a statement about the world. It can also be seen as a parallel to the second law of thermodynamics.
Law of Eristic Escalation
The Pentabarf is the set of 5 holy laws of Discordianism. It is as follows:
The Pentabarf is the most fundamental of all Discordian catma. ("Catma" is a general term for Discordian teachings, sayings, quotations, explanations, jokes and illustrations, as distinguished from Discordian "dogma", which consists of certain specific passages from The Honest Book of Truth, cited in Principia.)
The 5th law mirrors both the nature of Taoist sayings ("the Tao that can be spoken of is not the true Tao"
There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.
A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.
A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Roman Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).
A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.
A Discordian is Prohibited from Believing What he reads. The Pentabarf
In the Principia Discordia, "Five tons of flax" is given as the answer to the question, "Is there an essential meaning behind POEE?" (This is a reference to a Zen story about "Three pounds of flax.") Some discordians claim that the entire conversation between Greater Poop and Mal-2 (including "the three pounds of flax" story) is actually a collection of humorous koans.
Discordians have since taken "Five tons of flax" as an absurd slogan or as a universal answer to philosophical questions. "Flaxscript" is also depicted as a genuine form of scrip, serving to avoid the use of government-issued currency.
Five tons of Flax
"Consult your pineal gland" is a common saying in Discordianism. Although it has never been proven, the pineal gland is believed by some, such as Rick Strassman, to produce trace amounts of DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a psychedelic chemical which is believed to play a role in dreaming and other mystical states. It should also be noted that the pineal gland was also used in Descartes's explanation of Cartesian Dualism as the "seat of the soul" and the connection between the material and immaterial world. In some cases it is referred to as "the atrophied third eye". It has also been suggested that the third eye (Ajna) physically resides at this location between the two hemispheres of the brain.
The pineal gland
It is hard to describe Discordianism as a religion because Discordians do not have any specific beliefs or dogma that would set them apart from the practitioners of other religions. Many of the practicing discordians believe that humanity suffers from the "curse of Greyface" (i.e, takes itself too seriously) and thus needs to be saved from this grave outlook on life. Thus the discordians seek to reverse the "curse of Greyface" by teaching the people "to laugh at themselves and their problems/lives." This, the discordians believe, would solve most of the problems of the world. Discordianism is the only religion of the world where you are allowed to laugh at emperors and popes. (Most discordians recognize Emperor Norton I as their emperor and every person on this planet as a genuine pope as authorized by the apostles of Eris.)
While Discordianism is separate from modern neopaganism, a number of neopagans have incorporated elements of Discordianism into their beliefs. In addition, Neopagan author Margot Adler discussed Discordianism in her book, Drawing Down the Moon, while religious authority J. Gordon Melton lists Discordianism among various Neopagan groups in his Encyclopedia Of American Religions. (Melton claims to have excommunicated all other Discordians, based on the fact that he is a Discordian Pope. Being Popes themselves, they then de-excommunicated themselves and/or each other.)
Church of the SubGenius
The Illuminatus! Trilogy
Schrödinger's Cat trilogy
Sunday, October 28, 2007
James Morrison (born April 21, 1954 in Bountiful, Utah) is an American actor.
A professional theater actor, Morrison has been on the professional stage since the early 1980s and has won awards such as the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance. He has also directed theater productions.
His most recent role is that of Counter Terrorist Unit Director Bill Buchanan on 24. He began as a guest star mid-way through the fourth season (2005), and was a main cast member in the fifth and sixth seasons (2006 and 2007). He is also returning in the seventh season (2008)
On television, Morrison has guest starred in series such as Frasier, The X-Files, JAG, The West Wing and Six Feet Under.
Morrison frequently works with producers Glen Morgan and James Wong, and was a main cast member of their 1995 series Space: Above and Beyond. Another project in which he worked alongside James Wong was in the movie The One where Morrison played the role of hero Jet Li's best friend.
Morrison is also a published poet and yoga teacher.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Mobile homes or static caravans are housing units built in factories, rather than on site, and then taken to the place where they will be occupied. They are usually transported by tractor-trailers over public highways. They are less expensive per square foot than site-built homes, and are often associated with rural areas and high-density developments, sometimes referred to as trailer parks. In the UK and USA they are at times referred to as "mobile home parks".
The term "manufactured home" specifically refers to a home built entirely in a protected environment under a federal code set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Contrary to popular belief, manufactured homes are not mobile homes. The term "mobile home" describes factory-built homes produced prior to the 1976 HUD Code enactment.
These houses are usually placed in one location, often a rented lot, and left there permanently. However, they do retain the ability to be moved, as this is a requirement in many areas. Behind the cosmetic work fitted at installation to hide the base, there are strong trailer frames, axles, wheels and tow-hitches.
Manufactured homes are not large recreational vehicles. The latter are more properly called travel trailers, motor homes or RVs, and they are usually parked at facilities called trailer parks, trailer courts, or RV parks for short terms.
The two major forms of manufactured homes are single-wides and double-wides. Single-wides are sixteen feet or less in width and can be towed to their site as a single unit. Double-wides are twenty feet or more wide and are towed to their site in two separate units, which are then joined together. Triple-wides and even homes with four, five, or more units are also manufactured, although not as commonly.
In the U.S., manufactured homes are regulated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), via the Federal National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974. It is this national regulation that has allowed many manufacturers to distribute nationwide, since they are immune to the jurisdiction of local building authorities. By contrast, producers of modular homes must abide by state and local building codes. There are, however, windzones adopted by HUD that manufactured home builders must follow. For example, state-wide, Florida is at least windzone 2. South Florida is windzone 3, the strongest windzone. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, new standards were adopted for manufactured home construction. The codes for building within these windzones were significantly amended, which has greatly increased their durability. During the 2004 hurricanes in Florida, these standards were put to the test, with great success.
However, older models continue to face the exposed risk to high winds due to the attachments applied such as carports, porch and screen room additions. These areas are exposed to "Wind Capture" which apply extreme force to the underside of the integrated roof panel systems, ripping the fasteners through the roof pan causing a series of events which destroys the main roof system and the home.
In the UK there are three main types of mobile home: touring caravans, static caravans, and motorhomes. A touring caravan is towed behind a car to its site and parked, often for only a brief period. Touring caravans are usually no larger than 10'x16' (3.048 m x 4.87 m) and can have 1 or 2 axles (2 or 4 wheels respectively). Static caravans aren't generally towed, as they are too large to tow, sometimes up to 40'x13' (12.19 m x 3.96 m), and therefore are transported on the back of large flatbed lorries. A static caravan will normally stay on a single plot for many years, and have many of the modern conveniences one would normally find in a home.
Motorhomes are similar in size to touring caravans but with one main difference: they have engines and do not need to be towed. Motorhomes can have many modern conveniences such as showers and full-sized cookers. Motorhomes are for all intents and purposes full touring caravans that can be driven from site to site.
Types of mobile homes in the United Kingdom
The rise of the manufactured home brought with it complications the legal system was not prepared to handle. Originally, manufactured homes tended to be taxed as vehicles rather than real estate, which resulted in very low property tax rates for their inhabitants. This led local governments to reclassify them for taxation purposes.
However, even with this change, rapid depreciation often resulted in manufactured home occupants paying far less in property taxes than had been anticipated and budgeted. The ability to move many manufactured homes rapidly into a relatively small area resulted in strains to the infrastructure and governmental services of the affected areas, such as inadequate water pressure and sewage disposal, and highway congestion. This led jurisdictions to begin placing limitations on the size and density of developments.
As noted above, early manufactured homes, even those that were well-maintained, tended to depreciate in value over time, much like motor vehicles, rather than appreciate in value, as with site-built homes. The arrival of manufactured homes in an area tended to be regarded with alarm, in part because of devaluation of the manufactured housing potentially spreading to preexisting structures.
This combination of factors has led most jurisdictions to place zoning regulations on the areas in which manufactured homes are placed, and limitations on the number and density of manufactured homes permitted on any given site. Other restrictions, such as minimum size requirements, limitations on exterior colors and finishes, and foundation mandates have also been enacted. There are many jurisdictions that will not allow the placement of any additional manufactured homes. Others have strongly limited or forbidden all single-wide models, which tend to depreciate in value more rapidly than modern double-wide models.
Apart from all the practical issues described above, there is also the constant discussion about legal Fixture and chattels - meaning that the legal status of a trailer is, or could be, affected by its incorporation to the land or not.
In the past, manufactured home parks have, often with legitimate reason, been thought of as substandard. With more modern manufactured home parks however, this is not the case. Most have regulations concerning the size and styles of homes permitted, and many are somewhat similar to more traditional subdivision developments. In some of the more satisfactory parks, all of the homes are owned by the individual occupants. Only the spaces or pads are rented, not the units themselves. Developments in which the buyer purchases both the home and the lot are almost indistinguishable from traditional subdivisions. In lower-end parks, some or all of the units are owned by the operators of the park and are rented to occupants. These developments are considered undesirable by property owners because they are known to depreciate the value of surrounding property.
Newer manufactured homes, particularly double-wides, tend to be built to much higher standards than their predecessors and meet the building codes applicable to most areas. This has led to a reduction in the rate of value depreciation of most used units.
Additionally, modern manufactured homes tend to be built from materials similar to those used in site-built homes rather than inferior, lighter-weight materials. They are also more likely to physically resemble site-built homes. Often, the primary differentiation in appearance is that manufactured homes tend to have less of a roof slope so that they can be readily transported underneath bridges and overpasses.
The number of double-wide units sold exceeds the number of single-wides, which is due in part to the aforementioned zoning restrictions. Another reason for higher sales is the spaciousness of double-wide units, which are now comparable to site-built homes. Single-wide units are still popular primarily in rural areas, where there are fewer restrictions. They are frequently used as temporary housing in areas affected by natural disasters, when restrictions are temporarily waived.
Manufactured home parks
Manufactured homes are often confused with but are not identical to modular homes. Modular homes are transported on flatbed trucks rather than being towed, and lack axles and an automotive-type frame typical of manufactured homes. However, like manufactured homes, some modular houses are towed behind a semi-truck on a frame similar to that of a manufactured home. The house is usually in two pieces and is hauled by two separate trucks. Each frame has five or more axles, depending on the size of the house. Once the house has reached its location, unlike a manufactured home, the axles and the tongue of the frame are then removed, and the house is set on a concrete foundation by a large crane.
Both manufactured homes and modular homes are commonly referred to as manufactured housing, although its technical use is restricted to a class of homes regulated by the Federal National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.
Most zoning restrictions on manufactured homes have been found to be inapplicable or only applicable to modular homes. This occurs often after considerable litigation on the topic by affected jurisdictions and by plaintiffs failing to ascertain the difference. Most modern modular homes, once fully assembled, are indistinguishable from site-built homes. Their roofs are usually transported as separate units, eradicating the telltale roofline of the manufactured home. As the legal differentiation between the two becomes more codified, the market for modular homes is likely to grow.
The traditional manufactured home industry would seem to have a bright future as well. As the demand for housing continues to grow, the price of housing continues to increase rapidly. The quality and features of manufactured homes has led to greater acceptance by a growing segment of the marketplace. Additionally, insurers and lenders are now more likely to treat the higher-end manufactured home as they would a traditional home.
Manufactured homes and tornadoes
In 2005, a neighborhood of about 500 manufactured homes was established in Nitzan. This was a temporary community set up north of Ashkelon, Israel, to house those evacuated from their homes in Gush Katif as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan.
These manufactured homes were named caravillas (Hebrew: קרווילה), which is a portmanteau of the words caravan, and villa. The building is composed of several prefabricated sections, similar to those of a manufactured home, that are joined on a foundation. This is akin to the Israeli concept of a villa, or Single-family home. The caravilla is more spacious than a regular manufactured home, and was instrumental in pacifying objections to the Disengagement plan.
Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Friday, October 26, 2007
Space Shuttle Columbia (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-102) was the first spaceworthy space shuttle in NASA's orbital fleet. Its first mission, STS-1, lasted from April 12 to April 14, 1981. On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas, on its 28th mission. All seven crew members aboard perished.
Columbia was roughly 8,000 lb. heavier than subsequent orbiters such as Endeavour, which were of a slightly different design, and had benefitted from advancements in materials technology. Despite refinements to the launcher's thermal protection system and other enhancements, Columbia would never weigh as little unloaded as the orbiters in the fleet. The next-oldest shuttle, Challenger, was also relatively heavy, although 2,200 lb. lighter than Columbia.
Externally, Columbia was the only orbiter in the fleet that had an all-tile thermal protection system (TPS), although this was later modified to incorporate nomex felt insulation blankets on the fuselage and upper wing surfaces. The work was performed during Columbia's first retrofitting and the post-Challenger stand-down. Also unique to Columbia were the black "chines" on the upper surfaces of the shuttle's forward wing. These black areas were added because the first shuttle's designers did not know how reentry heating would affect the craft's upper wing surfaces.
Until its last refit, Columbia was the only operational orbiter with wing markings consisting of an American flag on the left wing and the letters "USA" on the right. Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour all until 1998 bore markings consisting of the letters "USA" afore an American flag on the left wing, and the pre-1998 NASA "worm" logo afore the respective orbiter's name on the right wing. From its last refit to its destruction, Columbia bore markings identical to those of its sister orbiters — the NASA "meatball" logo on the left wing and the American flag afore the "Columbia" designation on the right; Columbia's distinctive wing "chines" remained.
Another unique external feature, termed the "SILTS" pod, was located on the top of Columbia's tailfin, and was installed after STS-9 to acquire infrared and other thermal data. Though the pod's equipment was removed after initial tests, NASA decided to leave it in place, mainly to save costs, along with the agency's plans to use it for future experiments. The tailfin was later modified to incorporate the drag chute first used on Endeavour in 1992.
Internally, Columbia was originally fitted with Lockheed-Martin-built ejection seats identical to those found on the SR-71 Blackbird. These seats were active on the initial series of orbital test flights, but were deactivated after STS-4 and were removed entirely after STS-9. Columbia was also the only orbiter not delivered with heads-up displays for the pilot and copilot, although these were incorporated after STS-9. Like its sister ships, Columbia was eventually retrofitted (at its last refit) with the new MEDS "glass cockpit" display and lightweight seats. Unlike the other orbiters, Columbia retained an internal airlock, but was modified so that it could be fitted to accept the external airlock and docking adapter needed for flights to the International Space Station. This retention of an internal airlock allowed NASA to use Columbia for the STS-109 Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, along with the Spacehab double module used on STS-107. If Columbia had not been destroyed, it would have been fitted with the external airlock/docking adapter for mission STS-118, an International Space Station assembly mission, in November 2003.
After the STS-118 mission, Columbia's career would have started to wind down. The shuttle was planned to service the Hubble Space Telescope two more times, once in 2004, and again in 2005, but no more missions were planned for it again until 2009 when, on STS-144, it would retrieve the Hubble Space Telescope from orbit and bring it back to Earth.
List of space shuttle missions
Columbia: the tragic loss- a documentary about the space shuttle