Saturday, June 30, 2012


by Mona Goldwater

I love that we still use the word "horseplay [1]." You most often see it used on signs at swimming pools.

[1] noun
rough or boisterous play or pranks.


Drawing: Shredding

By Jack Brummet

click to enlarge

Finger of the day: draw by number finger

By Mona Goldwater 

Connect the dots.


Drawing: falling

By Jack Brummet

click to enlarge

Friday, June 29, 2012

Poem: The dragon and the blue turtle

By Jack Brummet

The dragon stays below the surface
Because the time to act is not now

Water pours down from heaven
And fire rises up

From the center of the earth
Earth sucks in lightning

To electrify itself
Like Frankenstein's monster

Let the blue turtle go.
Train your eyes
Like a stalking bobcat.

Leave the knife beneath your cloak—
Let things pass
Because all things must pass

Awareness of danger
Brings good fortune
As you cross the great water.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jalisco congressional hopeful Natalia Juárez's topless ad

By Pablo Fanque, Mexico Editor

Mexican politician Natalia Juárez recently posed topless for an advertisement for her congressional campaign.  That's her, dead center.  Juarez is running on the ticket of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party.

“Dare to join a new, unprejudiced nation-building project!”  Her state, Jalisco (which includes Puerto Vallarta and Guadalejara) is run by the right-wing National Action Party.   Juarez said she isn’t afraid of a stern reaction against her campaign (and its poster). “It’s a risk we have to take,” she said.

Juarez is running for a seat in Jalisco’s 8th District against two of the state’s best known politicians: National Action’s Jorge Salinas Osornio and Leobardo Alcala Padilla of the Institutional Revolutionary Part (PRI)

Poem: Instructions to the sperm and egg

By Jack Brummet

After the merge,
But before exiting the host,

Buff up--
Because on the surface,

They eat
The wounded.


Jack Brummet's poems have appeared in Electrum, Jeopardy, The Croton Review, Pinchpenny, Clown War, Sulphur River Poetry Review, Concerning Poetry, Scape, and Tuna Gas, among other journals and magazines, in anthologies, and on bus placards.

Speaker John Boehner looks like he's going to start crying again

AP Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais 

Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the U.S. Capitol in Washington following the Supreme Court decision this morning on the Affordable Care Act. The Bone looks like he might start boohooing again.


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Alien Lore No. 236 - UFO flyover in the Pacific Northwest (at the Vancouver, B.C. Jazz Festival)

By Jack Brummet, Alien Lore Editor


This short streaming Facebook video was recorded by on June 24, 2012.  It appears to show  some unexpected visitors in a flyover at a Vancouver International Jazz Festival night performance.  "A large, bright fast-moving object and a smaller pulsating orb were both captured with digital night vision by the Vancouver UFO Skywatch (VUFOS) in the northern sky at times when no such objects were predicted by online satellite tracking tables"


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alien Lore No. 235 - "65 percent of Americans say Obama better suited to handle alien invasion than Romney"

By Jack Brummet
Alien Lore Editor

[thanks to Jeff Clinton for the news tip...]

65 percent of Americans say that President Obama is better suited to handle an alien invasion than ExGovernor Mitt Romney.  You can read the story here, on Yahoo.  We have written numerous articles on Presidents and UFOs over the years...a selection of those articles appear below.

Other recent Alien Lore articles on ATIT

Alien Lore No. 217: The night UFOs buzzed the White House
ATIT Reheated - Alien Lore No. 196: The Nation of Islam and UFOs
Alien Lore No. 220 - The Ariel School UFO/Grey sighting in Ruwa, Zimbabwe
Alien Lore No. 232 - The Dyatlov Pass incident
Alien Lore No. 221—Pyramids Transmitting Energy To A Mysterious Space Cloud
Alien Lore No. 210 - The crash artifacts from Roswell have been tested, and appear to be extraterrestrial 
Alien Lore No. 209 - The Greatest Story Ever Denied 
Alien Lore No. 208 - a sketch of two UFOs from Great Britain 
Alien Lore No. 207 - The Greys, Betty and Barney Hill, and Zeta Reticuli 
Alien Lore No. 206 - Conditioning Us For The Visitors 
Alien Lore. No. 205 - NMA.TV hits another one out of the park: "Roswell Aliens, A Plot By Stalin?" 
Alien Lore No. 204: Hitler's deal with The Greys 
Alien Lore No. 203 - UFO lightships around Delaware PA, October, 2010
Alien Lore No. 202 - Dolan & Zabel on UFO Disclosure: "There is going to be blowback beyond belief:" 
Alien Lore No. 201 - Was JFK killed because of his interest in aliens? 


Painting: Wake-up Call

by Jack Brummet

click to enlarge

Drawing: The Faculty

By Jack Brummet

click to enlarge

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

President Obama's Presidential Library/outhouse appears in Montana

By Pablo Fanque, National Affairs Editor

At least week's Republican convention in Montana, an outhouse labeled Obama Presidential Library was parked outside Missoula’s Hilton Garden Inn.  No one actually claimed responsibility for it, however it did appear in the  Memorial Day parade in Corvallis in Ravalli County.

The outhouse was painted to look as though it had bullet holes in it, and, inside, there was a fake birth certificate for Barack Hussein Obama that was stamped “Bulls**t.”   The outhouse also included the legend 

“For a Good Time call 800-Michelle, Hillary, Pelosi

Keep it classy Montana!

Poem: Orgy In The Pantry

Poem by Jack Brummet

Orgy In The Pantry

 Muffled voices murmur counterpoint music,
And sing-song transactions hum
Through the wood and plaster, doors and walls.

The push and pull of iambic conversation,
And the percussive boom of laughter
Skein a polyrhythmic framework
Over a symphony of voices.

A rustling sound upstairs
Wakes me. I get out of bed
And edge up the stairs.
The sounds pull into focus
And the parts begin to emerge.

I hear heavy breathing, moaning,
A rhythmic thumping, and groans and giggles.

Shuffling to the pantry,
I ease the door open,
Walking between nylons, belts, bras,
T-shirts, striped trousers, a housedress,
Skirts, vests, thongs, shoes and socks,
Camisoles, panties, and sweaters,
A toque, old school garter belt, monocle, and top hat.

I step in and nearly trip over Mr. Peanut,
Lying on his back with a Grand Coulee grin
And Sara Lee in fishnet stockings straddling him,
Rubbing peanut butter on her nether parts.

Snap, Crackle and Pop are on the floor, chained
In various conjugations with the Campbell Soup Twins.

Aunt Jemima and Chef Boy-Ar-Dee
Are in the corner, half undressed,
Staring into each others eyes
And sharing a bottle of wine.

Duncan Hines is against the wall
Watching. . .getting solo kicks ,
Digging the scene at a voyeur remove
Where spectation trumps participation.

Uncle Ben and Speedy Alka Seltzer
Sip mint juleps, watching the Doublemint Twins'
Synchronous Messopotamian strip-tease.

Mr. Clean and Tony The Tiger are oiled up
Like Greeks, grappling on the pine floorboards.

Enveloped in a churning cloud of flour,
Betty Crocker's housedress is hiked up around her hips,
Arms on the Pilsbury Doughboy's shoulders.

The Jolly Green Giant and Mrs. Butterworth
Waltz around the pantry
And Mrs. B's feet never touch the floor.

Captain Crunch, Colonel Sanders,
Bazooka Joe and The Frito Bandido
Sit in a circle, passing a bong
And laughing at the show.

I don't know if I'm dreaming or awake,
If I should go to sleep or wake up,
Quit dreaming I'm awake
Or quit imagining I'm asleep.

I don't know whether to
Spectate, participate, or abrogate.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Model XHZLC 40 Filtering Respirator For Fire Self Rescue

By Jack Brummet, China Travel Editor

I've never seen the The Model XHZLC 40 Filtering Respirator For Fire Self Rescue (or anything similar) in any country I've been to recently--Turkey, Greece, Mexico, England, or India--but my hotel room had two of these on the shelf in the closet.  I resisted the urge to play with it, or wear it around town.  I especially like the cover illustration, where the evacuee is wearing a two button suit and tie.


Testing 123


John Anderson screencaps from a 2001 Yes performance video

click to enlarge

I love this guy's voice and his vibe. These screen captures are from a 2001 yes performance in Amsterdam.  Jon Anderson always seems like someone it would be nice to spend some time with. . . /jack

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Visiting a redeveloped Hutong and Shichahai Lake in Beijing

By Jack Brummet, China Travel Editor

Hutongs (simplified胡同traditional: 衚衕) are narrow streets or alleys

"most commonly associated with BeijingChina. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods," according to Wikipedia, which also says:  "Following the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, many of the old hutongs of Beijing disappeared, replaced by wide boulevards and high rises. Many residents left the lanes where their families lived for generations for apartment buildings with modern amenities. In Xicheng District, for example, nearly 200 hutongs out of the 820 it held in 1949 have disappeared."However, many of Beijing’s ancient hutongs still stand, and a number of them have been designated protected areas. The older neighborhoods survive today, offering a glimpse of life in the capital city as it has been for generations."Many hutongs, some several hundred years old, in the vicinity of the Bell Tower and Drum Tower and Shichahai Lake are preserved amongst recreated contemporary two- and three-storey versions. This area abounds with tourists, many of which tour the quarter in pedicabs."

Shichahai Lake contains three lakes: Qianhai (前海)Xihai (西海) and Houhai (后海).  I don't know which of these three lakes we strolled around, but it was the one lined with bars and restaurants.  A promenade between the shops and the lake ran all around the lake.  It was a fascinating walk, and we were only subtly hustled by a few women and greeter types, asking if we wanted to go to "a lady bar."

Strolling through the hutongs was fascinating, and I hope to visit others on my next trip to Beijing. . .

The Hutong we visited had some residents along the side alleys, but along the main alleys and streets, the houses had been redeveloped into shops.  This is much preferable to the usual alternative--they are often razed to make way for large, characterless apartment buildings.

Jack with Bill Willis outside a tree-lined alleyway

Kids out for the night, and one of the few cop cars I saw the whole time I was in Beijing

three policemen in the shadows

this unit looked like it was still being lived in--you saw a few outliers along the main streets

Liang Liu, Leon Yao, and Bill Willis



a hostel in the Hutong

 Shichahai Lake contains three lakes - We walked all around this one (it's about a mile around), but I'm not sure which one this is!  The lakes are Qianhai (前海)Xihai (西海) and Houhai (后海).

this was a typical bar around the lake - the music was usually western pop/folk (I heard some Carpenters, Beatles, and Bob Dylan).


Digital art: At Mao's gate


Saturday, June 23, 2012

A racy statue in Beijing's central business district

By Jack Brummet, China Editor

I stumbled onto this interesting sculpture not far from our office in Beijing's CBD. . .


Friday, June 22, 2012

The foul-mouthed baseball players of 1897

By Pablo Fanque, Sports Editor

This letter was found in 2007 in the papers of the baseball historian Al Kermish, who was also a baseball ephemera collector.   The memo contains so many raunchy quotes that the league declared it "unmailable" via the post office, and was thus hand-delivered to the league's twelve ball clubs.  

click to enlarge


In a contest between two leading clubs during the championship season of 1897, the stands being crowded with patrons of the game, a gentleman occupying a seat in the front row near the players' bench, asked one of the visiting players who was going to pitch for them. The player made no reply. He then asked a second time. The gentleman, his wife who sat with him, and others of both sexes, within hearing distance, were outraged upon hearing the player reply in a loud, brutal tone, "Oh, go fuck yourself."

On being remonstrated with by his fellow-players, who told him there were ladies present, he retorted he didn't give a damn, that they had no business there anyhow.

This shocking indecency was brought to the attention of the League at the Philadelphia meeting in November, 1897, and a committee was appointed to report upon this baseball crime, define and suggest for it a remedy.

In response to nearly one hundred communications addressed to umpires, managers and club officials, soliciting definite, positive and personal knowledge of obscene and indecent language upon the ball field, the committee received a deluge of information that was so appalling as to be almost beyond belief, showing conclusively and beyond contradiction that there was urgent need for legislative action on the part of the League.

That such brutal language as "You cock-sucking son of a bitch!" "You prick-eating bastard!" "You cunt-lapping dog!" "Kiss my ass, you son of a bitch!" "A dog must have fucked your mother when she made you!" "I fucked your mother, you sister, your wife!" "I'll make you suck my ass!" "You cock-sucker!" and many other revolting terms are used by a limited number of players to intimidate umpires and opposing players, and are promiscuously used upon the ball field, is vouched for by the almost unanimous assertion of those invited to speak, and who are competent to speak from personal knowledge. Whether it be the language quoted above, or some other indecent and infamous invention of depravity, the League is pledged to remove it from the ball field, whether it necessitates the removal of the offender for a day or for all time. Any indecent or obscene word, sentence, or expression, unfit for print or the human ear, whether mentioned in these instructions or not, is contemplated under the law and within its intent and meaning, and will be dealt with without fear or favor when the fact is established by conclusive proof.

By Order of the Committee.

[UNMAILABLE. Must be forwarded by Express]


Soup dumplings, a/k/a Xiaolongbao, in Beijing last week

By Jack Brummet, China travel and restaurant editor

After our trip to Beijing's Forbidden City last Friday, my friend Liang took me out for soup dumplings in Beijing.  The restaurant was glitzy, on the top floor of a fashionable atrium style mall that sold very high end consumer goods like Coach handbags, diamonds, Brooks Brothers, perfume stores, and all sorts of gear for the disposable income set. 

A bamboo steamer with Shanghai hairy crab soup dumplings (Xiaolongbao)

The dumplings, or, Xiaolongbao, are traditionally filled with pork, but variations include other meats, seafood and vegetarian fillings. The soup-filled kind are created by wrapping solid meat aspic inside the skin alongside the meat filling. Heat from steaming then melts the gelatin-gelled aspic into soup. They are just amazing.  We had a great lunch of a little bit of grilled pork, a plate of sauteed spinach, some soup, and three varieties of Xiaolongbao: vegetable, pork, and Shanghai Hairy Crab a/k/a mittens crab.  They're not actually hairy, but like our local Dungeness crabs, their claws look hairy.  The hairy crab is actually a freshwater crab that only goes into saltwater to breed and later to fetch their young uns.  Soup dumplings have recently become a very hot item in the Seattle area, with a couple of restaurants serving them and people waiting on line for two hours to get in. . .


I think I can reverse engineer these fairly easily.  I think the main trick will be in sealing the dumplings, which are not dropped into boiling water, but steamed in bamboo steamers.  Making the aspic will probably be the only big P.I.T.A.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alien Lore Mo. 234 - The sounds and music we sent into deep space on the Voyager (1977)

By Jack Brummet, NASA and Alien Lore Editor

The picture on the left went into space with our early interstellar craft (The Pioneers). It explains where earth is, what homo sapiens sort of looked like naked (like Barbie and Ken), and other information, like a diagram indicating the location of our sun. 

Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) worked on this "Interstellar Outreach Program" for many years. The gold-plated disk is from the two Voyager craft, launched after the Pioneer.  It 
is a bronze record containing sounds and images of life on earth. Each of the two Voyagers is equipped with a record player of sorts--with a cartridge, even--to play the disk, and recover the images. 

The two circles in the bottom right side of the record show the two lowest states of a hydrogen atom. The vertical lines on the circles show the spin moment of the electron and proton. And (is this cool, or what?) "the transition time from one state to the next provides the fundamental clock reference used in ALL the cover diagrams and the images to be decoded from binaries."  [Ed's note: Obviously, they're not expecting a dork like me to find the record laying around somewhere in the future].

Carl Sagan and a team of other folks designed and selected the Voyager's messages and data. The disk includes a greeting in 55 different languages, from Aramaic to Vietnamese. The record also includes a sampler of non-human Earth sounds such as wind, rain, surf, chimps, sheep, crickets, saws, and trains. It contains photos as well, and maps, diagrams of DNA, vertebrate anatomy charts, chemical and mathematical definitions, and other visual displays. The disk includes Beethoven, a Chuck Berry tune (Johnny B, Goode), Bach and Mozart, a Navajo chant, Indian Ragas, and a Louis Armstrong recording. There are 116 binary images on the record. 

No one know if the aliens who find this will be able to use it, or decode the information. Will they even have hands? Opposable thumbs? Will they even think in any path parallel to ours? Will the disk just look like gibberish to them? Their scientists--if they have science (and we assume they must)--may need to study the disk for a couple of thousand years before they make a breakthrough. 

A book titled Murmurs of the Earth, written by Sagan and colleagues, was reissued in 1992 with a CD-ROM compilation of the Golden Record, and a description of its creation. It's out of print, but you can pick up a copy fairly cheaply. 

Don't hold your breath that any of our cousins in other galaxies will find this and come to visit. The Voyager will not come close to another star for something like 40,000 years. But then again, when you're dealing with our alien cousins Out There, 40,000 years may just be a sneeze in the winds of time. 

Sounds included on the Voyager record:

  • Music of The Spheres (WTF is this!?)
  • Volcanoes, Earthquake, Thunder
  • Mud Pots
  • Wind, Rain, Surf
  • Crickets, Frogs
  • Birds, Hyena, Elephant
  • Chimpanzee
  • Wild Dog
  • Footsteps, Heartbeat, Laughter
  • Fire, Speech
  • The First Tools
  • Tame Dog
  • Herding Sheep, Blacksmith, Sawing
  • Tractor, Riveter
  • Morse Code, Ships
  • Horse and Cart
  • Train
  • Tractor, Bus, Auto
  • F-111 Flyby, Saturn 5 Lift-off
  • Kiss, Mother and Child
  • Life Signs, Pulsar


  • Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40
  • Java, court gamelan, "Kinds of Flowers," recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43
  • Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08
  • Zaire, Pygmy girls' initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56
  • Australia, Aborigine songs, "Morning Star" and "Devil Bird," recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26
  • Mexico, "El Cascabel," performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14
  • "Johnny B. Goode," written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38
  • New Guinea, men's house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20
  • Japan, shakuhachi, "Cranes in Their Nest," performed by Coro Yamaguchi. 4:51
  • Bach, "Gavotte en rondeaux" from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55
  • Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55
  • Georgian S.S.R., chorus, "Tchakrulo," collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18
  • Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52
  • "Melancholy Blues," performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05
  • Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30
  • Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35
  • Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48
  • Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20
  • Bulgaria, "Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin," sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59
  • Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57
  • Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, "The Fairie Round," performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. 1:17
  • Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12
  • Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38
  • China, ch'in, "Flowing Streams," performed by Kuan P'ing-hu. 7:37
  • India, raga, "Jaat Kahan Ho," sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30
  • "Dark Was the Night," written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15
  • Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet 6:37


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photos and notes from Beijing's Forbidden City

By Jack Brummet, China Travel Editor 

The Forbidden City紫禁城, literally translated by most as The Purple Forbidden City,  was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located smack dab in the middle of Beijing, and now houses the Palace Museum, who run the place. For almost 500 years, it was the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of China's government. Mao Zedong later lived just on the edge of the city.  The site includes an amazing 780 buildings on about eight million square feet (or, 178 acres!).  According to The Wikipedia, in the fifteen years in the Ming period when then city was under construction, it employed one million workers.  I saw a fraction of it in three hours.  I look forward to going back later this year to explore it further. 

Roof guardians - many of the buildings have these wonderful gargoyle sentries

This painting, from the Ming Dynasty period (mid-1400's) depicts the completed Forbidden City looking just about like it does today.

At the gate to the forbidden city.  In this photo, I am facing Tiananmen Square, just across the way.  Next to the Great Wall, I think this entrance, with the picture of Mao Zedong (who in my youth was still known as Mao Tse Tung), is probably the most photographed image in all of China.

a plan of the Forbidden City from Airphoto International - it only shows the largest structures

There are wonderful images of dragons all around the Forbidden City.

A lion that was carved almost six hundred years ago guards the entrance.  I wonder if these have been restored?  You would think the air pollution in Beijing would make short work of them, but they look like they could have been carved this year.  In Seattle, we have two ancient Egyptian sculptures of camels outside our Asian art museum on Capitol Hill.  About 20 years ago, they brought them inside and put copies outside.  They did the same thing in Florence with massive statue of David.  These lions are tough!

Yeah, I was bad about writing down the names of buildings.  I can only name a few of them.

It's virtually impossible to take a photo without someone (or hundreds) of tourists in it

Most of the interiors are closed off, but you can see in to the throne and sitting rooms

Many of the buildings have these vast bronze cauldrons (some covered in gold leaf) out front.  They were the Ming equivalent of fire hydrants.  They were always kept filled with water in case of fire; in the winter, they would keep fires lit beneath them to keep the water from freezing.  When a fire broke out, presumably some sort of bucket brigade sprung into action.  I'm not sure how effective these were--many  buildings, mostly built in the early 15th century eventually burned down and were reconstructed.

Just when you think you are at the end of the city, you stumble upon a new row of buildings.

This is a 200 ton sculpture that was quarried and carved far away from Beijing.  It was brought to the Forbidden City (presumably by slaves).  We know it was transported on the road in the winter.  They would pour water on the road, and drag the sculpture fifty feet and begin the water/freeze/drag procedure once again.  I wonder how many slaves it took to push 200 tons of rock across the iced roads?

This was just amazing.  It is not sculpted or carved.  It is a pile of gigantic, fantastically shaped rocks that they built a hill from and then topped it with a pagoda.  The Emperor would come here with his wife on special occasions and climb up the hill into the pagoda.