UK's oldest ISP blames DoS attack on attempt to suppress human rights report about West Papua (read it now!)

Greennet (previously) is the oldest ISP in the UK, tracing its origins back to Fidonet, where it was a hub for radical progressive political movements, which has attracted retaliations (in the form of DDoS attacks by repressive states) and surveillance (Greennet was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against GCHQ over surveillance activities that ended with the spy agency "admitting clandestine hacking activities"). Read the rest

Announcing the winners of Sense About Science's 2019 Maddox Prize

The UK charity Sense About Science (previously) has announced the winners of its 2019 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science:forest fire expert Bambang Hero Saharjo and pharmacist Olivier Bernard. Read the rest

Komodo Island is closing because people are stealing the dragons

Indonesia government officials are shutting down tourist visits to Komodo Island for 2020 because smugglers are stealing the fantastic Komodo dragons and selling them on the black market. All next year, conservationists will focus on boosting the dragon population and habitat preservation. From CNN:

Though plans to limit the number of Komodo visitors have been under discussion for months, Tempo reports the closure comes in response to the March bust of an alleged smuggling ring in which 41 Komodo lizards were taken from the island and sold abroad for 500 million rupiah each (about $35,000)...

Part of the UNESCO-listed Komodo National Park, Komodo Island has grown increasingly popular in recent years thanks to the addition of new flights and hotels in the nearby town of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. The park currently receives an average of 10,000 visitors per month.

According to UNESCO figures, there are more than 5,000 dragons spread across the national park's islands of Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motong and some coastal regions of western and northern Flores.

(image: UNESCO) Read the rest

Enchanting, dark, heavy Indonesian music blending traditional and experimental modes

Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi are Jogjakarta, Indonesia-based musicians melding the ancient, traditional sounds of their region with a very contemporary mode of heavy experimentalism. The duo, known as Senyawa, have just released a new album, Sujud, on the always-compelling Sublime Frequencies label, distributed by Forced Exposure. This is music that is best enjoyed at night, in the darkness, where the expansive, transgenre magick can wash over and through you. Listen below. From Sublime Frequencies:

The basic theme of the record can be summed up with one extremely powerful Bahasa Indonesian word, Tanah, which translates to "soil-ground-land-earth". Shabara's vocals are an expressive force, conjuring spirits from the soil with a deep humility and respect for the land and their existence in the universe. Suryadi has built a new guitar for these tracks and pushes the Senyawa sound into new territory, utilizing delay, loops, and other effects creating grounded backdrops of folk metal, punk attitudinal, and droning earthscapes - providing Shabara the perfect context to explore his whispering poetry and jagged, sharp-as-a-kris animistic powers.

Sujud by Senyawa

Read the rest

Cow racing isn't for the meek

In Indonesian culture, Pacu Jawi, or cow racing, is kind of a big deal. Used by famrers to pass the time after they've harvested their crops and, more recently to attract tourists to rural areas and festivals, Pacu Jawi racers prefer to do their thing in rice paddies, as the wet, muddy conditions make it easy for those jokeying their team of cows to skid along as the bovine bullets advance. Read the rest

Enjoy this very relaxing surfing video from Java

Jenya Ivkov documented a tropical paradise surf safari, and even the waves are nice and relaxing. It includes some lovely footage around the island. Read the rest

Spectacular photos of an active volcano in Bali

You may have heard that Mount Agung, an active volcano in the Indonesian island of Bali, started erupting Saturday.

It just so happens that my friend Kyle Kesterson is currently traveling there. He's staying in Ubud, about two hours away from the volcano.

On Wednesday, he shared his experience of getting to and witnessing the eruption, alongside some really stunning photos:

While I appreciate the concern for my safety as messages have been pouring in about Mt Agung’s current eruptions the last few days, FEAR is the common underlying theme.

Those who know me, know that even the slightest whiff of fear must be faced head on and transformed into excitement.

So at 2am, my fearless friend Valeria and I found a bold and curious taxi driver to drive us 2.5hrs in the direction of Mt. Agun, cameras in hand. As we pulled up around 4:30am, we saw the glow from the magma lighting up the slow billowing ash entering the atmosphere. Underneath it, our entire horizon was made up of the ghostly shape of this restless, commanding, all powerful giant.

We sat, stunned in the deepest sense of awe, underneath the clearest Milky Way and longest shooting stars I’ve ever witnessed. Instantly, I was small. Weak. Absolutely nothing against the formidable nature of nature. Nothing, but a spectator and participant in this collision of living energy.

Fear would have kept me tucked warmly in my sheets with the illusion that I was safe to begin with. But stepping through it, with complete reverence and heightened to the situation and ready to act, I am forever changed and more alive.

Read the rest

Indonesian government turns impoverished neighborhood into art

Jodipan was a colorless slum until the local government decided to spend about $22,000 on a colorful makeover. Now the area is a tourist destination. Read the rest

Two gay men in Indonesia sentenced to 85 lashes for having sex

A sharia court in Indonesia’s ultra-conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning. Read the rest

American Youtube musician breaks silence over 100-day detention in Jakarta

Ewan writes, "In Septempber of last year, American YouTube musician Kina Grannis embarked on a tour of Asia. As usual, her social media presences detailed the process beautifully (I've interviewed Kina myself and have called her the gold standard among YouTube musicians on more than one occasion). Read the rest

Awesome space photo of a volcano in action: Indonesia's Mount Rinjani, erupting

NOAA just released this awesome NASA image of a volcanic eruption in action. Read the rest

Indonesia's plane crash problem

Another Indonesian passenger jet went down, this time with 54 people on board. Read the rest

Welcome to Sacred Monkey Forest

Mean Monkey in the Monkey Forest
"It felt like one of those horror-movie moments when a party of teenagers are lost in the woods and stumble upon some cute thing and everyone says, 'Aw, isn't that cute.' Then it turns from cute to evil and kills them." Tom Fassbender takes his kids to a monkey park in Bali.

WATCH: Hypnotic drone footage of Mentawai Islands surfing

This mesmerizing drone footage by Paul "The Bird" Borrud is like a 5-minute vacation. Perfect waves. Perfect locale. Perfect song (Mapusa). Below, some stills. Read the rest

Furniture made from recycled boat-wood

All From Boats is a furniture maker that uses lumber recycled from decommissioned wooden boats as raw materials. The individual wooden pieces are each distressed in their own way, and are purchased from sailors on a fair-trade basis. They don't do any direct retail (the minimum wholesale order is $2000), but have a number of retailers around the world, including Tokyu Hands in Shibuya, Tokyo. They also sell raw planking for floors. The boats themselves come from around the Pacific Rim, mainly Bali and Indonesia. I saw a bunch of this stuff in person today and it's absolutely beautiful -- very well made and well designed. Read the rest

NSA authorized Australian wiretapping of US law firms in trade-dispute

A new Snowden leak, "SUSLOC (Special US Liaison Office Canberra) Facilitates Sensitive DSD Reporting on Trade Talks," details how the NSA mentored and oversaw Australian spies, and sanctioned their surveillance a of US law firm representing the nation of Indonesia in a trade dispute with Australia. The NSA and their Australian counterparts have captured the master keys for Telkomsel, the Indonesian carrier, and have total access to its communications. It's more evidence that mass surveillance and Internet wiretaps are about economic espionage more than national security -- and more evidence that the NSA is a lawless organization with no respect for foundational principles like attorney-client privilege. Read the rest

You need a 1.5 ton gamelan, and I know where you can get it

The wonderful Jon Singer has a weird sort of problem, and you are the sort of people who might help him. He is custodian of a traditional Javanese gamelan (~1.5t worth) and it needs a home. From Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

As some of you are aware, the small non-profit research institute that has employed Jon Singer for the past thirteen years is folding its tents, and he’s looking for a new situation. With luck he’ll find something that will make good use of his famously wide-ranging and eccentric talents.

Meanwhile, for reasons too complicated to explain—and yet perfectly Jon Singerish—he is currently spending over $200 a month to store a full-size gamelan, which is to say, a complete set of the instruments played by a traditional Javanese ensemble in both scales. Essentially, we’re talking about a ton and a half of bronze, plus various wooden bits and parts.

Fond though he is of traditional Indonesian music, Jon does not actually foresee having a constant need for this assemblage, and he would like it to find a good home. Interested parties should be prepared to either pick it up in person (Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC) or arrange for its carting and shipping. Inquiries should go to Jon Singer at

As Patrick mentions, Jon also needs a job. He's a pretty amazing dude.

Jon Singer’s problems are not like your problems

(Pictured: Part of Emory University’s gamelan, near-twin to Jon’s. Not pictured: Jon Singer’s friends’ complete lack of surprise upon hearing that his current logistical problem entails having become responsible for the storage of a one-and-a-half-ton set of highly specialized musical instruments.) Read the rest

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