Shores of Null – Quiescence (Album Review)

I haven’t tried to review anything in years, but this rather unknown doom band I came across recently compelled me to write one. Looking back at my Amazon reviews from 2005, I think I’ve improved quite a bit! I’ve included some videos and links at the bottom so you can preview their material or possibly support them by buying the album. My overall score: 9 out of 10 Shores of Null is a band from Rome that combines a diverse set of influences and styles, including doom, death, and black metal. Sounds reminiscent of November’s Doom, Woods of Ypres, ICS…

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The Grand Magicians and False Prophets

There is no magic; There are only illusions. There are no wizards; There are only magicians. The crowd waits for the reveal with bated breath. The curtain drops, and what was, is no longer. The magician bows and accepts the prestige of the illusion. They love the show, and the lights, and the costumes. The crowd love watching the impossible become real. Not because they really believe it, but because they know, ultimately, that it is all a lie. That’s the fun of it. We know that what our eyes see and our hears hear is not what is true.…

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Why We All Have High Hopes for Net Neutrality

1: Radio emerges. Some stations broadcast on the same wavelength. 2: Create the FCC to keep the airwaves “clean.” 3: FCC creates broadcast monopolies within each local market, hurting consumers and benefiting established broadcasters. 4: FCC institutes sweeping censorship laws retarding the growth of art and prevents wholesale any political discourse. 5: Television emerges to challenge radio. 6: FCC licenses, monopolizes, and censors television. For decades, only three major networks exist. 7: Cable companies emerge to challenge existing broadcast monopolies, offering a much wider variety of programing direct to consumers. 8: The government grants cable companies a total monopoly in…

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Man! Why is the sound so bad at this concert!

A veteran’s insight into live amplified sound. “Man, that band would have been amazing if it weren’t for the awful sound!” I said as the house lights went up and the band known as Holy Grail, along with what few people constituted their road crew, began hastily clearing their gear away for the next act. “I know, all I could hear was bass drum,” Matt said, pulling his ear plugs out. “If you go in the bathroom you can actually hear the guitar,” Ron said, sipping his bass pale ale. It was our last beer of the night before the…

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Discrimination: Rights and Consequences

There has been a great deal of jabs thrown about a bill recently passed by the Arizona state legislature that is intended to protect freedom of religion or enshrine discrimination against gays, depending on your position. The bill, called “SB1062” (or AB 1062, the assembly version) in the typical fashion of laws, is short by most legislative statutes and attempts to expand the state’s definition of free exercise of religion to include economic activities, or more specifically, the denial thereof. Though no specific mention of LGBT categories of persons are made, both proponents and opponents of the law have made…

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A Visual Guide to Identifying Genetically Modified Dogs

The above is a takeoff of a Facebook page’s “A Visual Guide to Genetically Modified Corn,” found here:IFLS People are often very misled about what “genetically modified” means. Man has been altering life-forms to suit his needs for thousands and thousands of years through the mechanisms of selective breeding, hybrids, and only lately through direct modification of code.Corn is a great example of this. It’s nature-made predecessor looks nothing like it. The ears are tiny and unusable; the casings of the kernels are thick and chewy. This makes sense for a natural plant, which seeks to spread its seeds, not provide…

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Minimum Wage: Moral, Amoral, and Practical Arguments; Ad Hominem Non-Arguments.

The minimum wage as a political issue has long been a dangerous one to oppose. Recent trends have included phrases such as “living wage” in addition to a minimum, though the sentiments are much the same as they were when the minimum wage was first enacted back in 1933 (a law the Supreme Court later found unconstitutional). Proponents of wage controls generally make moral arguments, primarily that wages should reflect some correlation to the cost of living at some level of affluence, and that failing to pay such a wage was an immoral act. Opponents, however, tend to focus on…

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Prometheus Weeps

     Prometheus charged Olympus and stole the fire. He brought it to his creation, man, to help him in a cold, dark, and deadly world. When man was handed the flame, he looked upon it, beautiful and bright. It lit the world around him, and at last he could see his surroundings. There were frightening sights, of sharp rocks and strange beasts, and trees that loomed over him like monsters.      Man threw the fire into the mud. He crushed the torch with his heel.      “Why did you do that?” Prometheus asked, trying to gather the…

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Inequality in America

I’ve seen the above video linked quite a bit on social networks during the recent past, and while I don’t usually stop to pick up every pebble in the road, I felt a little compulsion to do so with this bit of misinformation today. I don’t have time to debunk the many, many problems in this video, so I’ll just hit the big points. The first and most important is the sources, which are not sources of actual data, and he mixes them inappropriately, producing a graphic that is factually inaccurate. He also mixes the terms “money,” “wealth,” and “income”…

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Future Crime: The Moral Difficulties of Indeterminate Consequentialism

http://youtu.be/wEkIJb12GVA Above is a video I made as a companion to this piece for those who prefer speaking and video to reading. The content covers the same rough areas but is spoken in different words. The essay begins below.             “Future crime” is not a term of my own making; it’s one I lifted from the Spielberg movie “Minority Report,” which was based on a Phillip Dick story of the same name. In it, there are three mutants who are able to see the future, specifically murders, which are most disturbing to them. The police react to these visions by…

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