Monthly Archives: June 2013

Longbranch

My favorite coffee shop in southern Illinois is Longbranch in Carbondale. Well it used to be, or maybe it still is by default. I don’t know. It’s different. It’s a very different place that I fell in love with back in high school. I know I’ve changed in the past 20 years, but my tastes on coffee shops hasn’t.

Basically, what was once a coffee shop or “coffeehouse” as Longbranch puts it, is now a vegetarian cafe. It’s not like Longbranch is doing a bait and switch, it says “vegetarian cafe” right on their sign.

Back on 1993 or 1994 when my friends first started going to Longbranch, it was dark with candles in the tables, a bookcase of tattered paperbacks and board games, a big long table down the middle and cigarette smoke hung I. The air. I felt so grownup and sophisticated going there, talking politics and music with my friends while being surrounded by college students.

Back then the back room was a vintage clothing store. It was always dark and seemed weird and boring and a bit disturbing and pointless, so I never went in there. I still hold those thoughts about used clothing store.

Years later, the clothing store moved into the building directly behind Longbranch and the back room became the quiet smoke free section with table service for the kitchen that served quesadillas and vegetarian pizzas, and hosted open mic nights on a tiny stage. The was a big difference between the front and back rooms. The front kept its smokey and funky mystique, while the back was bright and more subdued.

Eventually, Illinois passed a law banning smoking in all restaurants &endash; which from a public health perspective is for the best &endash; and that hurt the ambiance for me, I was in the minority for thinking that back then, but I still think it. I’m sure the smoking ban changed the clientele. I know many people stayed away from the Longbranch because the didn’t want to brave the smoke to place their order. (It was a bit strange to have the smoking section in the front, but that’s how they rolled back then.)

I think it was in the early aughts when Longbranch remodeled and expanded rand reoriented the bar and expanded the kitchen. They got rid of the last recliner and couch and brought in little metal cafe tables and chairs. I think that’s around the time they started billing themselves as a cafe too. It’s probably better for business, but it’s just not the same.

It’s just not interesting to watch people eat faking’ bacon BLTs, and waiters asking if anyone meeds something. Maybe it’s because I only come back when school is out and so no one is here (Probably. Hopefully.), but this place has no appeal to me anymore except nostalgia for place that is both here and not here.

Oh well. At least Cafe Pergolessi still exists.

This Message Has Been Approved By Seatac Astronomy

Me thinks Larry Page and the Zuckster have same ghostwriter at the NSA.

Google Facebook
Dear Google users—

You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.

First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.

Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach. Google has worked hard, within the confines of the current laws, to be open about the data requests we receive. We post this information on our Transparency Report whenever possible. We were the first company to do this. And, of course, we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.

Posted by Larry Page, CEO and David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer

I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:

Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday.

When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.

We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.

You don’t need to go in through the back door when you go in through the front.

Japanese Horror Makeup

Japanese horror makeup. I know nothing about this, except that it looks quite freaky. I do like the mouth. The entire effect reminds me of a scene in one of the Nightmare on Elm Streets where souls are struggling to escape from the walls inside a house. (Yeah, it’s just some guys pressing against a white rubber sheet, but j

via ARTE DO MEDO #5 | QUERO MEDO

Stylish Woman at the Protest

I really wish I could find this in high resolution.

I love how stylish she is. It’s such a great juxtaposition of the idea of the “dirty hippie.” As Cory Doctorow said, “[This is b]egging to be made into a Bansky stencil.” In a way, it also reminds me of Tank Man. Specifically how Tank Man is holding bags of groceries. He wasn’t there to protest; but when he found himself there, protest he did.

UPDATE: Sun Jun 2 22:39:57 PDT 2013 Alas, she’s just jumping it. :(

Black Tobacco Barn, Kentucky

A traditional black tobacco barn, Kentucky.

I want a farm, or a ranch. I don’t really care which. It’s all the same to me. Of course I don’t really want to work on a farm. I just want the land and the implements and the supplementary income, and the ability to say I live on a ranch or a farm. Of course, I realize that I don’t really want to do the work. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of time. All I really want is the space and the lack of neighbors.

via savage-america