Kim Simpson Live At The Little Lighthouse

I had a very special guest in the studio on Monday who had a live in-studio performance (much like Damian Youth’s a few years ago) and you can download that show at

Singer-songwriter Kim Simpson set in with me for two hours, helped pick the playlist and played eleven of his songs live in the studio. We got to find out a lot about him and his band Mad Dukes in an interview between songs. Some may remember his few posts on this blog. Kim hails from Austin TX, although he grew up in Salt Lake City. He had a mini intermountain tour with his band Mad Dukes through Utah and Idaho and stopped by KUTE at the tail end of his stay. Kim plays his acoustic guitar like ringing a bell and songs are top class. Besides his few originals, he played also covers of Bobby Fuller and Jody Reynolds. He even played a three songs in some foreign languages – you’ll be surprised! It was wonderful to have him over. (Mad Dukes are out now on Rippyfish).

Hittite graves, artifacts unearthed in Adana, Turkey

ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
Four graves, two jugs and seven coins dating to the Hittite period were unearthed during excavations conducted in the Mediterranean province of Adana, archaeologists working at the site announced on Monday.

Adana Archaeology Museum Director Kazım Tosun told reporters that the graves were unearthed on May 25 during the excavations in the Ceyhan village of Sirkeli.

Tosun said they had found some human bones in the graves. �The excavation is still under way. The findings will be exhibited at the Adana Archaeology Museum,� he said.

He also said the excavations were begun at the request of Akdeniz Petrolleri Inc. prior to oil exploration it will be conducting in the region. Tosun added that further work would determine whether the area will be declared a protected site, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Blackwater in New Orleans and Louisiana

In reading Humid City, i stumbled across this post linking to Alan Maas interviewing Jeremy Scahill about operations of Blackwater post-Katrina. One thing blew my mind:

Within days of their guys deploying down there, Blackwater was handed a very lucrative $409,000 contract–literally to guard a morgue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Fourteen guys, four vehicles, for 22 days–and they were paid $409,000.

That’s nearly half a million dollars to guard some dead bodies for three weeks. We had people living out of their cars in the parking lot of the bookstore at this time. Blackwater was paid $30 million in the first four months. Exactly what were they being contracted to do and why were they being paid that much?

Here’s the old report from Scahill back on September 10th, 2005.

I’ll ignore the sinister implications of deploying mercernaries on American soil for the moment. It’s scary, but it’s been done before. Don’t forget the Pinkertons being used for union busting. Let’s see why a contractor is being paid so much money for an absolute bullshit task of guarding dead bodies for three weeks for half a million dollars. How much of that $30 million was spent on guarding other low priority facilities when at that time, money was slow coming to relieve the actual victims of Katrina.

Cosmic radiation from the Cat’s Eye nebula played a role in human evolution

Cosmic radiation from the Cat’s Eye nebula played a role in human evolution. It sounds like something explaining cosmically powered mutants out of a comic book, but the Meinels are quite serious, established astronomers, and invite skeptical investigation of their theory. Most of the article is devoted to their background, so i excerpted just the bit explaining the radiation influencing rapid mutations in the human lineage proposal.

While reading a story about ice-core research, Aden wondered whether the core samples also contained information about cosmic radiation levels over the Earth’s history. To his and Marjorie’s surprise, an examination of existing ice core data showed a significant surge in radiation roughly 40,000 years ago – about the same time, they noted, that modern humans emerged in Eurasia, and numerous other species in the northern hemisphere were either undergoing significant change or disappearing altogether.

“That’s when we first became tempted to put two and two together,” said Aden. “If there was a large surge of cosmic rays, and there’s good evidence that these rays can (cause mutations), the question becomes, did they help create new species of life?

“Our findings indicate that two very rare occurrences happened at roughly the same time, which suggests that how we’ve evolved might not be just slow, random mutation and natural selection. Maybe we are partly the product of cosmic radiation.”

The Meinels even have a likely source for the radiation: the gaseous remains of a dying star called the Cat’s Eye nebula discovered by William Herschel in 1786.

According to their hypothesis, the nebula began emitting a burst of radiation roughly 200,000 years ago. “Around the time that Neanderthals began to appear,” said Aden.

Approximately 40,000 years ago, the frequency and intensity of the radiation surged, spawning in the Meinels’ view, a host of evolutionary changes. “Then, about 10,000 years ago, the Earth passed out of the nebula’s jet of cosmic rays, ending the accelerated mutations,” said Aden.

Why just humans though?

back to the Nigerian yellowcake forgeries

At least nine former intelligence officials have come forward to speak to Vanity fair, describing the Nigerian documents variously as, “”a disinformation operation,” “black propaganda,” “black ops,” or “a classic psy-ops [psychological-operations] campaign.” The article is mammoth, and while it never nails down who the culprits who forged the documents, it makes it damned clear no one who saw them could have reasonably believed that they were real. The Bush administration clearly and deliberately deceived the American people by citing the Niger documents.

In addition, Vanity Fair has found at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union in which analysts at the C.I.A., the State Department, or other government agencies who had examined the Niger documents or reports about them raised serious doubts about their legitimacy—only to be rebuffed by Bush-administration officials who wanted to use the material.

There’s not much new information, if any, but i hate that the Bush administration has pretty much gotten away with this. Unfortunately, the article concludes with an off-topic assertion that the party who has benefited most from the Iraq War is Iran. Bullshit. Saudi Arabia and the oil corporations have benefited most.