A Propos “S’hole Countries”: African Weavers & the Wonders of Spider Silk
African art / art / Culture / Politics / Silk / Textiles / Trump speech

A Propos “S’hole Countries”: African Weavers & the Wonders of Spider Silk

African art has captivated collectors for millennia.  This video offers fascinating behind-the-scenes views of the production and expert weaving of Spider silk by craftsman in Madagascar. Observe the close-up ‘manufacturing” extrusion methods and hand weaving of historical design patterns into sophisticated, invaluable textiles, cherished by museums and private collectors.  The differences between spider and worm … Continue reading

current events / history / judiciary / Politics

Letter Mailed Today: Appealing to Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginzburg to Resign

Had to add this update:  Now, she’s officially announcing her intent to fall asleep–on the bench!  See this from today’s New Yorker…. Incidentally, she has not responded to this letter. Dear Justice Ginsburg, I realize the ironic timing that I sit down to write to you on April Fool’s day but my letter is meant … Continue reading

Culture / Curiosities / foreign affairs / Human Rights / International / international relations / Middle East / Politics

Twisted Progress: Announcing the New “Frequent Checkpoint Card”

This just in:  Israel will issue 250 biometric cards to business people and merchants for people crossing the Erez Checkpoint between Gaza and Israel. The cards allow expedited security screening at Israeli-controlled crossings. Found this other artful photo of a better-than-typical checkpoint pedestrian walkway.  Sharing here while most are far different by an order of … Continue reading


Julian Assange on Google’s Geopolitical Reach

Pipes carry water in and out of Google’s Oregon data center. Julian Assange, famous innovator of Wikileaks, gave a rare interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s program Q which aired on the WAMU public radio station in Washington, DC tonight.  Facing certain imprisonment in the U.S., Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and has lived … Continue reading

Anthropology / Arts & Culture / Human Rights / International / international relations / Middle East / Politics / urban design

The Middle East Art Scene Featured in New York City

Good of The New Yorker to have featured the work of artist Wafa Hourani, documenting a certain type of particularly insidious urban decay.  Kudos to Massimiliano Gioni, the New Museum’s new artistic director who put on the current exhibit called “Here and Elsewhere” featuring artists from the Middle East, North Africa and their diasporas…. The exhibit runs through … Continue reading

foreign affairs / Human Rights / International / international relations / Middle East / News Commentary / Politics

A Tale of Lobbying: vicissitudes of power and the emperor’s clothes.

The evolving lobbying landscape and U.S. foreign policy; is there a question about the power of AIPAC?    As President George Washington first warned, beware of “entangling alliances.” …and let the firestorm begin:  One retort is here…. …and another interesting perspective from The New Republic. Open windows are ideal.   Continue reading

Curiosities / International / News Commentary / Politics / Science / Technology

The Power of Mother Nature—As a Weapon of War?

We’re aware of dramatic decisions made by the government of China with regard to developing power resources, alternating courses of damming and flooding of thousands of villages in the Yangtze River Valley, at tremendous cost to livelihood and of course archaeological treasures.  However, this project was staged, strategically planned and populations were relocated.  This was a case of national development … Continue reading