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Sister of held Chinese blogger Hao Wu blogs on detention

Rebecca MacKinnon of Global Voices says,

Nina Wu, the sister of detained filmmaker and Global Voices contributor Hao Wu, has now started a blog on MSN Spaces. It includes a photo gallery of “Haozi” as the family calls him. Even if you don’t know Chinese, leave her a comment in English and let her know your support for Hao.

Thanks to a volunteer who wishes to remain anonymous, we have a full translation of her first post. She includes an update on her latest visit to the police. It is a chilling account of what it’s like to be the family member of a Chinese person who has been detained without charge.

Image: From the Wu family's archives, a self-portrait snapshot taken by Hao Wu some months ago, and posted online by his sister Nina. Link to English translation of Nina Wu's blog post. Bloggers who support Hao are adding these badges to their sites.

Previously: Blogger, documentarian Hao Wu held one month

Update: here's an English translation of Nina's latest post. Snip:

When I got up today my eyes were swollen into two big walnuts. I had to wear sunglasses out.

Luckily, it was bright outside, and the sun felt good on my body. I squinted and looked at the sky. The Beijing sky is much worse than Shanghai’s, but I remembered how I used to rise early and return late. When did I last have time to look up at the sky? I shouldn’t be too demanding.

There was a din along Dawang road where the old houses were being demolished. Remembering the innumerable times my little brother walked among the noisy mass of people, I felt close to him again. I greedily looked over every street peddler, every pile of rubble.

Brother, are you lucky enough to see this bright and beautiful day? Do you know that your sister is walking on the same street you walked on so many times before? When I thought that he may be locked in a dark room, without any view or news of the outside world, my mood darkened too.

Dale Dougherty on playwright Charles Mee

BB pal and MAKE: editor/publisher Dale Dougherty just emailed me this excellent commentary on a play he recently saw:
"There is no such thing as an original play," writes the playwright Charles Mee, who has the text of his plays online at "Please feel free to take the plays from this website and use them freely as a resource for your own work." He encourages others to "pillage his plays" as he has done to the work of other playwrights.

Last week, I saw "Hotel Cassiopeia" by Charles Mee, which was part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The play was about the American collage artist, Joseph Cornell, a man who lived for most of his life in his parents' house in Queens, caring for a disabled sibling, and never having an an intimate relationship of his own. The play itself was more about the mind of the artist than the life of the artist, however. In this production, when you walk into the theatre, the actor playing Cornell is already on stage, sitting at a desk with his head in his hands. "Hotel Cassiopeia" is ornate and dream-like, without much of a plot. Real and imagined characters enter, old Hollywood movies are played on the wall and objects are retrieved and added to Cornell's collection in the drawers of his desk. He wonders whether anything he does has any meaning and is worth doing. He has a certain love of finding and keeping things, which seem as real to him as any relationship might be. Cornell is talking about these things in reverie:

the little store nearby where you can find
star fish
butterflies in little boxes
and in the antiques store
the things from Asia
inlaid wood
a thousand little drawers

After the play, I found myself mulling it over, like a dream, strange and beautiful. I went to the Web to look up more information about Joseph Cornell and the play itself. I was delighted to find Mee's website, "The (re)making Project", with the full text of the play (and all of his plays.) Intentionally or not, Mee's thoughts about his own work seem to echo the ideas of Open Source and Creative Commons, viewing his own work as something to be remixed by others.

Jasmina Tesanovic: Scorpions Trial, Day 3

Jasmina Tesanovic, Belgrade
Scorpions Srebrenica Trial
Day Three: March 15, 2006
The Tin Soldier

I repeat, we should not mix anymore. This is not healthy, it is perverse, it is sickening: my gay friend, a Woman In Black, is looking at the Scorpion witness today and saying: he is so cute...

In his early thirties, dressed in a fancy suit, with an upright muscled body, he lies at full speed. His voice is scarcely audible, so that his contradictions cannot be followed. We, the audience, are huge today. Most of us are law students, led by their right wing professor from Belgrade law school, who thinks very well of the Scorpions, and very badly of all other ethnic communities on this territory. They are the clerico-fascist party in the government coalition; in the nineties, they used to be Milosevic's best allies, supporters of his troops such as Scorpions.

The "cute" witness was in his teens back then. Today he is obviously a professional criminal, blackmailed and pampered by his famous commander, who still makes them all tremble with his praises or scoldings.

Back then, the Tin Soldier was a war orphan, hired to drive a truck. A truck full of food-tins, he claims: food for the troop. Today he remembers nothing, or next to nothing, of names places deeds words. Not even one Name, not even one Place.

He has become a true geek, autistic and narrowly determined. He is a Tin Soldier, whose emptiness clanks like an empty tin, its contents eaten by Scorpions. He says he has no friends, no wife, just a boss whom he drives. The Tin Soldier needs no money for his expenses. He just wants to go. He says, many many times, as any answer to judge's questions; "everything is possible."

[image: Detail of interior house wall, Serbia, by Aleksandra Radonić]

Read the rest

Videoblogger's protest footage demanded by FBI

Josh Wolf says,

I'm a videoblogger and an independent journalist, and I  frequently cover protests and other civil unrest in San Francisco.

On July 8th, I shot a protest in the Mission during which a cop was injured in the course of an altercation. Later that week I was visited by the FBI and asked to hand over the unedited footage from that night.

After speaking to my lawyer I denied their request. A few months later, in the beginning of February I was subponead to appear before a Federal Grand Jury with the tape. On behalf of my pro-bono attorney's at the San Francisco National Lawyer's Guild (NLG), we have filed numerous motions in an attempt to quash the subpoena and a hearing to decide to quash the subpoena occured this morning. We are still awaiting the results of that hearing.

Link to a post on Josh's blog with video from the press conference. If I'm not mistaken, I believe this post contains some of the disputed footage from the July 8, 2005 protest.

Missing Byrne/Eno track "Qu'ran" appears on blogs

Following up on yesterday's post about the remixable re-release of David Byrne and Bryan Eno's masterpiece My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, reader Blake Leyh sez:

I have made the Eno/Byrne track "Qu'ran", referred to earlier as the missing track from "My Life In The Bush of Ghosts", available for download at my blog. Enjoy.

Mike points to another copy here.

And E.W. Brenner says,

here is a link of interest to people who are fond of the song "Qu'ran."
This was my favorite song on the record. I just bought my copy of the newly remastered album (which, for reasons cited in this blog post, does not include this track) here: Link.

Ralph Bakshi phone doodle gallery

200603310845 Stephen Worth says: "Today on the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Blog, I posted my collection of Ralph Bakshi phone doodles. I worked with Ralph on Cool World and on Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon. I'd regularly raid his trash for his amazing drawings; and when he figured out what was going on, he'd sign the sketches and inscribe them to me before throwing them away. Ralph is one of the most important animators who ever lived. Inbetween the images, I explain why."

Art made from Gocco printer for sale at The Wurst

Aaron Draplin Gocco ArtThe Wurst is selling art prints made on a Japanese silk screen printer called the Gocco. (Shown here: "Things We Love," by Aaron Draplin.)

Carla got me a Gocco printer for Christmas, and while I'm not nearly as talented as the artists at The Wurst, I'm having fun with device. It uses flashbulbs (like the kind found in old cameras) to expose your image onto the screen.

David Maisel's Library of Dust

Photographer David Maisel has documented the forgotten and unclaimed copper canisters containing the ashes of patients who died at a state-run psychiatric hospital, originally known as the Oregon State Insane Asylum, between 1883 and the 1970s. From the artist's statement:
What happens to our bodies when we die? Inside a dusty room in a decaying outbuilding on the grounds of a state-run psychiatric hospital are simple pine shelves lined three-deep with thousands of copper canisters...The copper canisters have a handmade quality; they are at turns burnished or dull; corrosion blooms wildly from the seams of many of the cans. Numbers are stamped into each lid; the lowest number is 01, and the highest is 5,118...

The project's title is "The Library of Dust". As I was setting up to photograph in a storage building that houses the cremated remains, prisoners from the local penitentiary were called in to clean up some of the mess in the adjacent hallway, crematorium, and autopsy room. A young male prisoner leaned into the room lined with the copper cans, scanned the room, and said in a low tone, "The library of dust.”
Link (via Mind Hacks)

Michael Eisner interviewing Bran Ferren on CNBC

Here's a video clip of former Disney chairman Michael Eisner interviewing uber-interesting former Imagineering head Bran Ferren, during the debut of Eisner's CNBC talk show (previous BB post). Unfortunately, to view the video you have to be using MSIE6, which cockblocks all Mac users and Windows users who've ditched IE for Firefox or Opera. Link (Thanks, Peggy)

Al Jazeera covers Pastafarianism, strippers, beer fountains.

What happens when worlds collide: The Arabic-language television network al Jazeera is running a story about Intelligent Design and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Link to English-language web feature for the broadcast segment.
(Thanks, grom)

Snakes on a Plane meets "Operation Divine Strake"

SOAP plus Operation Divine Strake =

Enough is enough! I've had it with these Strakes.

Whaddya gonna do about it? Strakes on a plain, baby. Strakes on a plain.

Ain't nothing you can do when it's Strakes on a motherfucking plain.

(Thanks, Gaijin Biker) .

On a more serious note, see also this post today on DefenseTech blog about Operation Divine Strake: Link. (thanks, Noah Shachtman.)

Previously: Snakes on a Plane meets Cory's angry letter to AA

Inventor of the Web's lecture on "The Future of the Web" MP3

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, gave a stirring speech at the Oxford Internet Institute that makes subjects related to Internet freedom accessible to non-geeks and geeks alike. The audio is available as an MP3. Link Coral Cache Link to 70MB MP3 (Thanks, Rich!)

Dumb Aussie junkies mauled by stolen koala, so they tried a croc

Gnat sez, "Aussie thieves try to steal a koala to sell for drug money. They get 'scratched to shit'. So they turn to everyone's #2 redeemable-for-speed animal, the freshwater crocodile. Convict genes will out! This story is remarkable for the persistent, diligent, hard-working stupidity of the criminals and the genial bemused zookeeper." Link (Thanks, Gnat!)

Bird flu expected on US West Coast

Bird flu is expected to hit the US West Coast by this summer, California's Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshe said today. From Reuters:
(Officials) said some 60,000 birds, mostly waterfowl, would begin their migration south from Alaska in mid-August, working their way down through Oregon, Washington and into California. Although both coasts have set up monitoring systems for any signs of the avian virus "we expect there will be access (to the United States) through Alaska rather than upstate New York," said Ryan Broddrick, director of the California Department of Fish and Game. He did not elaborate.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt warned against panic when avian flu hits U.S. shores for the first time, saying it would not inevitably mean the start of a human pandemic...

But he warned states to lay the groundwork for possible human to human transmission. "There is clearly a lot of buzz (but) I worry there is not enough busy-ness," he said.

Mosquito eardrums and future microphones

Scientists at the University of Bristol are studying the "ears" of locusts, membranes that oscillate on the scale of nanometers. (A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.) They're also measuring the movements of mosquito antennae (seen here) in response to sound. According to the researchers, insights into insect hearing could someday lead to novel microphone technology inspired by nature. From a press release (photo by D. Robert):
 Images Release Graphics Bbsrc32806 1
Professor Daniel Robert is the research leader at Bristol: "We have found that different sound frequencies elicit very different mechanical responses in the locust hearing system. By studying these tiny nanoscale movements and understanding how sound waves are turned into mechanical responses we may be able to develop microphones based on the functions of natural hearing. These could detect very faint sounds and analyse their frequency, something that current microphones cannot pick up."