SEPTEMBER 30 — PAUL MATTICK
Theorist of modern autonomist, direct communism.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Yap Island, the Carolines, Micronesia: FESTIVAL OF TERETETH, Goddess of the Coconut Toddy.
India: FEAST OF SOMA, the God of Ambrosia and Immortality.
Cheyenne Indians, Western Plains states: FESTIVAL OF MAHEO, God of the Void.
ALSO ON SEPTEMBER 30 THROUGHOUT HISTORY…
1452 — First printed book published, Johannes Gutenberg’s Bible.
1765 — Mexican independence fighter José Maria Morelos born, Valladolid.
1949 — Mao Tse-Tung becomes Chairman of “People’s” Republic of China.
1966 — African nation of Botswana wins independence from Great Britain.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch
You must first invent the universe
Space is filled with a network of wormholes
You might emerge somewhere else in space
Some when-else in time
The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars
A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way
The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths
Of exquisite interrelationships
Of the awesome machinery of nature
I believe our future depends powerfully
On how well we understand this cosmos
In which we float like a mote of dust
In the morning sky
But the brain does much more than just recollect
It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes
it generates abstractions
The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has its own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world
For thousands of years
People have wondered about the universe
Did it stretch out forever
Or was there a limit
From the big bang to black holes
From dark matter to a possible big crunch
Our image of the universe today
Is full of strange sounding ideas
How lucky we are to live in this time
The first moment in human history
When we are in fact visiting other worlds
The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean
Recently we’ve waded a little way out
And the water seems inviting
thank you Melissa P.!
SEPTEMBER 29 — MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI
Prominent Italian modernist filmmaker, political radical.
Above: Short segment of Antonioni’s film Zabriskie Point (1970).
SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Royal Courts of Justice, London: PAYMENT OF QUIT-RENT, an ancient,
solemn, annual ceremony in which the city pays the crown six horse-
shoes, 61 nails, a bill-hook and a hatchet. Germany: MICHAELMAS,
the English Feast of Goose, in which the weather is forecast
by the breastbone of a goose.
Mexico: FESTIVAL OF TEZCATZONCATL, Chief God of Intoxication.
ALSO ON SEPTEMBER 29 IN HISTORY…
1547 — Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes born, Alcalá de Henares, Spain.
1902 — French experimental writer Emile Zola dies, Paris, France.
1912 — Influential Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni born, Ferrara, Italy.
SEPTEMBER 27 — BHAGAT SINGH
Legendary Indian romantic, volcanic anti-imperialist.
“The people are scared of the word anarchism. The word anarchism has been abused so much that even in India revolutionaries have been called anarchist to make them unpopular…. [But] I think in India the idea of universal brotherhood, the Sanskrit sentence vasudhaiva kutumbakam etc., have the same meaning.”
Above: Singh in jail at age 20.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
ANCESTOR APPRECIATION DAY. India: FESTIVAL OF VARUNI, Goddess of Wine. Ila, Zambia: FESTIVAL OF NAMAKUNGWE, The Originator.
ALSO ON SEPTEMBER 27 IN HISTORY…
1722 — Patriot and beer brewer Sam Adams born, Boston, Massachusetts.
1840 — American political cartoonist Thomas Nast born, Landau, Germany.
1907 — Indian freedom fighter Sardar Bhagat Singh born, Banga, Layalpur, Punjab.
1964 — Warren Commission Report on JFK death released: “Only Oswald.”
And The Bugs Inside Them
“The greatest mystery of all is found in the worker termite’s third gut, which is delineated by an intricately structured stomach valve, as unique from species to species as individual snowflakes are and, in its way, just as lovely. The size of a sesame seed, the third gut contains a dense mush of symbiotic microbes. Many of these microbes live nowhere else on Earth; they depend on adult termites to pass them on to the young by means of a “woodshake,” a microbial slurry. Recently, sophisticated genetic sequencing produced an inventory of more than 80,000 genes, spanning some 300 microbial species, from the guts of Costa Rican termites. If we could turn wood waste into fuel with even a fraction of the termite’s efficiency, we could run our economy on sawdust, lawn clippings, and old magazines. Last year the Department of Energy founded three Bioenergy Research Centers, which collectively house scientists from seven government labs, 18 universities, and several private companies, and are aimed at making cellulosic ethanol competitive with gasoline within five years. The centers are expected to come up with ideas that can be commercialized—actually making them more like Bell Labs, say, than like the Manhattan Project. Even for people accustomed to avalanches of data, the effort to map the contents of the termite’s third gut is extraordinary. “A disgusting mess of a data set,” says Phil Hugenholtz, the head of the institute’s Microbial Ecology Program. Traditional genomic analysis sequences one organism at a time, but Hugenholtz is a leading practitioner of metagenomics—the new science of sequencing genes from whole environments of microbes at once, and sorting out the resulting jumble of loose DNA code with the aid of computer science, statistics, and biochemistry. Metagenomics is not only breathtakingly fast; it allows us to catalog genes that were previously unknowable because so few types of microorganisms—fewer than 1 percent of all species of bacteria—can be cultured in a lab. Many biologists regard metagenomics as a scientific revolution akin to the invention of the microscope.”
“In the quest to discover novel products, Verenium has pioneered the field of “bioprospecting”. This has enabled the company to tap into the vast genetic resources of the microbial world by venturing into varied and often hostile environments, such as volcanoes and deep sea hydrothermal vents. Because the harsh temperatures and pH conditions in which these “extremophiles” live often mimic conditions found in today’s industrial processes, extremophilic microbes represent a valuable source of potential products.”
“Arctech’s microbes have been bio-engineered from the digestive systems of specially-bred termites, which are unique in their ability to digest the compressed, fossilised plant matter we know as coal.”
“Microorganisms make up an immensely important and often overlooked part of the environment. “They constitute the bulk of our biosphere and underpin all the nutrient cycles on our planet,” says Philip Hugenholtz, leader of the microbial ecology program at the Joint Genome Institute. Converting cellulose in trees and grasses into the simple sugars that can be fermented into ethanol is a very energy-intensive process. “If we had better enzymatic machinery to do that, we might be better able to make sugars into ethanol,” Bristow says. “Termites are the world’s best bioconverters.” Researchers at the Joint Genome Institute, which sequenced some of the human genome and is now largely devoted to metagenomics, have just finished sequencing the microbial community living in the termite gut. They have already identified a number of novel cellulases–the enzymes that break down cellulose into sugar–and are now looking at the guts of other insects that digest wood, such as an anaerobic population that eats poplar chips. The end result will be “basically a giant parts list that synthetic biologists can put together to make an ideal energy-producing organism,” says Hugenholtz. Several other projects–from whale carcasses to wastewater sludge–are under way or already complete, promising a huge volume of novel genetic data. A recent project at the University of California, Berkeley, for example, identified three new organisms living in the highly acidic environment of abandoned mines. (Bacteria covering the floors of these mines convert iron into acid, which can then pollute nearby streams.) “They are close to the size of viruses and may be the smallest organisms ever discovered,” says Brett Baker, a research scientist at UC Berkeley. These organisms may give clues to other life forms adapted to extreme environments, such as Mars…”
José Antonio Sistiaga: Ere Erera Baleibu Icik Subua Aruaren
(w/ new live score by Savage Republic)
“Basque abstract artist José Antonio Sistiaga painted directly onto film with homemade inks to create this silent 1970 feature. But Sistiaga’s strangely titled work… is different from the films of Stan Brakhage, who didn’t come to film from painting and had his own rhythm. […] [I]ts combination of color and 35-millimeter ‘scope (with about half an hour in black and white) yields the kind of spectacle one associates with musicals and [science fiction] epics.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum
A hand-painted masterpiece of the 1970s; a legendary band of the 1980s. Sistiaga’s rarely-screened ere erera baleibu icik subua aruaren is a work of uncompromising beauty that absolutely deserves a wider appreciation. Savage Republic, one of the unrecognized godfathers of post-rock, formed roughly three decades ago in the midst of the Los Angeles punk rock scene and abruptly disbanded in 1989. In recent years, they’ve reformed and their unique sound (somewhat akin to a Middle Eastern surf band backed by the rhythm section from Joy Division) is as compelling and inexorable as ever. Original members Ethan Port and Thom Fuhrmann, joined by Alan Waddington and Kerry Dowling, will perform their newly commissioned score to Sistiaga’s prodigious work (presented in a stunning 35mm print from Paris.) DJ Michael Stock of Part Time Punks will be on-hand to man the decks, spinning tunes during the pre-show!
Sunday, September 27th – 7PM
The Cinefamily Silent Movie Theatre
611 N Fairfax Avenue / Los Angeles, 90036
Buy tickets here.