Sacred Cows, Disposable Humans


The Bulandshahr mob killings show that the Hindutva Supremacist world view, which has complete apathy and indifference toward human life and puts a four-legged animal on a pedestal, is on the ascendance.

mob lynching

“It is a curious people. With them, all life seems to be sacred except human life.”

– Mark Twain on Indians.

A single quote sometimes remains the sole memory of a leader.

Giriraj Kishor, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, can be considered a classic example to demonstrate the thought behind Mark Twain’s quote. Kishor had rather (in)famously said, “Cow is considered more sacred than human beings in the Puranas(Hindu scriptures)”. The occasion was a tragic one when five Dalits — who were carrying dead cows — were lynched by a vigilante mob in front of a police station (Dulina, Jhajjar in Haryana, October 2002) with many senior government officials turning mute spectators.

The spectacle-type killing was…

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One year of flying with the Raven: Ready for the Desktop?


It has been a little over one year now that I’m with the Ravenports project. Time to reflect my involvement, my expectations and hopes.


Ravenports is a universal packaging framework for *nix operating systems. For the user it provides easy access to binary packages of common software for multiple platforms. It has been the long-lasting champion on Repology’s top 10 repositories regarding package freshness (rarely dropping below 96 percent while all other projects keep below 90!).

For the porter it offers a well-designed and elegant means of writing cross-platform buildsheets that allow building the same version of the software with (completely or mostly) the same compile-time configuration on different operating systems or distributions.

And for the developer it means a real-world project that’s written in modern Ada (ravenadm) and C (pkg) – as well as some Perl for support scripts and make. Things feel very optimized and fast. Not…

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The late 2nd– early 3rd Century Roman author Quintus Serenus Sammonicus is particularly notable amongst researchers of ancient magic and medicine for being the first to propose the use of the word ABRACADABRA, and in treatment of tertian fever. The traditional ubiquity of this word in association with modern magic tricks has highlighted this use, though it would not have seemed unusual as a Roman phylactery.

The instructive text reads:

“Rather more deadly is what in Greek words is commonly called hemitritaion. This no one could express in our language, I believe, and neither did parents wish for that. Write on a sheet (of papyrus) the word ABRACADABRA, repeat it rather more often underneath, but omit the last letter, so that more and more individual letters will be missing from the lines, the elements that you remove, which you continually snatch away, while you commit to writing…

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Testing ABRACADABRA: Sammonicus’ Magical Amulet

Talking Suffolk fairies on BBC Radio Suffolk

Francis Young

The ‘black impet’ Tom Tit Tot, from one of Suffolk’s most famous fairytales

Today I spoke to BBC Radio Suffolk’s Amy Nomvula on the Lesley Dolphin Show (listen from 29:30) about Suffolk’s folklore of fairies and my new book on the subject, Suffolk Fairylore. Amy asked me how traditional ideas about fairies differ from modern stereotypes, as well as about the origins of fairylore in Suffolk and the ways in which fairy beliefs have changed over time. I spoke about my inspirations for writing the book, the challenges of gathering folklore about fairies, and the lingering influence of fairy beliefs into the twentieth century.

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Introducing Mirarce eatoni, the wonderful winged messenger.

Letters from Gondwana.

Skeletal reconstruction of Mirarce eatoni showing preserved skeletal elements (white). Illustration: Scott Hartman.

Birds originated from a theropod lineage more than 150 million years ago. By the Early Cretaceous, they diversified, evolving into a number of groups of varying anatomy and ecology. In recent years, several discovered fossils of theropods and early birds have filled the morphological, functional, and temporal gaps along the line to modern birds. Most of these fossils are from the Jehol Biota of northeastern China, dated between approximately 130.7 and 120 million years ago. Among them was the long bony-tailed Jeholornis, only slightly more derived than Archaeopteryx, that lived with Sapeornis, Confuciusornis, and the earliest members of Enantiornithes.

Enantiornithes are the most diverse group of Mesozoic birds. Their remains have been collected on every continent except Antarctica, although their fossil record is particularly poor in North America and limited to the Late Cretaceous. The…

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The Decans of Albumasar

Heaven astrolabe: Traditional, hellenistic & medieval astrology

After some years from the first edition, the Decans of Albumasar comes back in a paper edition with a detailed preface about the use of decans and the story of this book.

The Decans of Albumasar is a must-read book for astrologers and occultists. It offers the original images of 36 decans, copied in Picatrix, in De Philosophia Occulta, and in tons of other ancient or modern books.

In addition the book gives the properties and the meaning of the fixed stars arising with each decan, with quotes from other significant texts on fixed stars and beibenie.


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Would you believe that the 27th October is National Black Cat Appreciation Day? This year it’s on a Saturday – sorry, #Caturday – and it’s right before Halloween. Whilst you’re reading this, I’m in Whitby for the Goth Weekend. It’s like the dark side of every moon just aligned! Please enjoy some carefully curated content […]

via National Black Cat Day: Goth Holiday! — The Blogging Goth

National Black Cat Day: Goth Holiday! — The Blogging Goth

“All the world will be affected, not just Syria”: Interview with a Syrian Australian artist


Miream art Artwork by Miream Salameh.

Ani White interviews Miream Salameh, a Syrian artist living in Melbourne.

First of all, can you tell us why you were forced to seek refuge and how this happened?

At the beginning of the revolution, I worked with a group of my friends to create a magazine against the tyrannical regime that ruled Syria for fifty years. This regime is represented by the Assad family, which seized power in a military coup by Hafez al-Assad.

Our aim in founding this magazine was to present our ideas, the goals and principles of our revolution and our dream of building a new free, civil and democratic Syria. All of us should be equal under the law that achieves equality and justice for all. The aim was also to document the crimes of the Assad regime and its violations of international law – which is still under the eyes…

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Picatrix Pre-Orders Now Available!

The Modern Hermeticist

I’m very pleased to announce that our translation of “Picatrix: A Medieval Treatise on Astral Magic” – part of Penn State University Press’ ‘Magic In History’ series – is finally available for pre-order here (Release Date: February 8, 2019)


“So What’s So Special About Your Translation Anyhow?”

We’ve been getting a lot of [completely reasonable] questions regarding our new translation of Picatrix, specifically with respect to how it differs from the English translation which was published some years ago by John Michael Greer and Christopher Warnock, so we’ve put together a list of differences for those who are curious.

Firstly, it must be stated that our version was independently translated, which is to say, it was first translated directly from David Pingree’s 1986 Latin edition without reference to (or “cross-contamination” from) any other modern language translation until well after the first draft was finished by hand…

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What is Socialist Feminism? A Class Series From Analyzing Oppression to Theorizing Liberation and Organizing Starting Saturday November 17, 2018, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Art Share L.A., 801 E. 4th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013 This seven-part class series will critically examine four of the main socialist feminist theories of gender oppression: Social Reproduction, Alienation, Intersectionality, Gender…

via What is Socialist Feminism?  A Class Series From Analyzing Oppression to Theorizing Liberation and Organizing — Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

What is Socialist Feminism?  A Class Series From Analyzing Oppression to Theorizing Liberation and Organizing — Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

Developing a Marxist approach to global agriculture: A primer on the role of animals in maintaining soil health

Oakland Socialist

by David Walters

All progress in capitalist agriculture is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the worker, but of robbing the soil…. Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the techniques and the degree of combination of the social process of production by simultaneously undermining the original sources of all wealth—the soil and the worker.”

Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter on “Machinery and Large-Scale Industry”

Issues and terms covered in this essay, in part:

  • adaptive multi-paddock grazing

  • mob-grazing

  • intensive rotational grazing

  • holistic management

  • regenerative/restorative agriculture

  • no till farming

  • cover cropping

  • agro-ecology

These are all terms that are overlapping concepts dealing with
mimicking nature to restore the land, grow food and ending the negative effects of climate change due to factory farming  [technically called “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs].

Story at-a-glance

  • Adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing is a certain type of rotational grass fed farming that allows…

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Maximilian and the Mathematici–astrology as political propaganda

The Renaissance Mathematicus

For a long time most historians of science tried their best to ignore the history of astrology, basically sweeping it under the carpet where and when it poked its nose into their area of study. More recently this began to change with more and more historians acknowledging that astrology played a role in a large part of human history, although  most of them still treated it as some sort of largely irrelevant side issue that one could mention in passing, if necessary, and then safely ignore. However in large phases of European history astrology permeated all levels of society and was just as much a central factor of life as religion or politics. This was certainly very much the case in the Renaissance. A number of historians have begun to examine in depth the role that astrology played and present their findings in books and articles; one such book is

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Left Fascism on Syria on the Airwaves, Part II

Notes toward an International Libertarian Eco-Socialism

Assad Nazi (no)

This is an addendum or appendix to “KPFK’s ‘Indy Media on Air’ Brings Fascism to the Airwaves,” first published on April 23, 2018. It refers to an interview held by “Revolutionary Left [sic] Radio” with Rania Khalek in April about “Syria and U.S. [but not Russian] Imperialism.”

In parallel, Breht Ó Séaghdha’s interview with Assadist “journalist” Rania Khalek on “Revolutionary Left Radio” presents much the same conclusion [that is, Vanessa “Beeley and [Chris] Burnett’s affinities for the authoritarian-militarist campaign that the Assad Regime is currently engaged in to reconquer the country”]: that what would be best for the “ordinary working people of Syria” would be for them to submit to the fascist State that has been murdering them en masse for seven years (54:12-45). Unlike Beeley, Khalek, a Russia Today regular who has visited Syria “several times” in the past two years, acknowledges the March 2011 uprising against Assad, but…

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This month, having advanced in much of Syria thanks to Russian airpower, the Assad regime has been trying to consolidate its authority by notifyng relatives of detainees who were killed years ago. One of the thousands of detainees is Yahya al-Sharbaji. Last week, Sharbaji’s next of kin were finally given the news as they went…

via How the Assad Regime Killed the “Man With the Roses”: The Death of Activist Yahya al-Sharbaji — EA WorldView

How the Assad Regime Killed the “Man With the Roses”: The Death of Activist Yahya al-Sharbaji — EA WorldView

I wrote the following for Megaphone News on Global Voices (link soon). You can watch the Megaphone video (Arabic with English subtitles) it was based on above. If the video doesn’t appear in your browser, click here. In recent months, the Lebanese government, and in particular its foreign minister and head of the Free Patriotic…

via Why Syrian refugees in Lebanon fear going back to an Assad-controlled Syria — Hummus For Thought

Why Syrian refugees in Lebanon fear going back to an Assad-controlled Syria — Hummus For Thought

The Science Fiction of Empire: the Best of All Possible Worlds?

Imperial & Global Forum

Dr Tris Kerslake, author of the book Science Fiction and Empire (2010), provides the final post of our multi-week roundtable on science fiction and imperial history, co-edited by Marc-William Palen and Rachel Herrmann. You can read our call for posts here, and the other posts in the series here, here, here, here, herehere, here, and here. Thanks to all of our participants for writing and we’re still looking forward to hearing what you think!

Tris Kerslake
Central Queensland University

It has been a pleasure and an academic delight to be involved in this series of essays focused at the interconnection of Science Fiction (SF) and imperialism. Long considered the sandbox of neo-empire, these particular thought-experiments of SF cast their shadows both backwards and forwards.

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A number of people have asked for more info on the micronutrient ratios that we include in the Nutrient Optimiser reports. But it has been hard to find a reliable go-to resource to recommend on the topic. So I thought it would be worth putting something together on the pros and cons of micronutrient ratios…

via micronutrient ratios and why they are important — Optimising Nutrition

micronutrient ratios and why they are important — Optimising Nutrition

Below are links to videotapes of three New York Left Forum panels (June 9, 2018) on “Syria and the Left” as well as two interviews conducted by Stanley Heller, administrator of Promoting Enduring Peace, and host of the TV program The Struggle. The first interview is with Robert Cuffy, supporter of the Socialist Workers’ Alliance of…

via At New York Left Forum: Socialists Supporting Syrian Revolutionaries Challenge Socialists Supporting Assad — Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

At New York Left Forum: Socialists Supporting Syrian Revolutionaries Challenge Socialists Supporting Assad — Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

The comet huntress

The Renaissance Mathematicus

If people ask what sort of historian I am, if I am being somewhat formal I answer a narrative historian of the contextual history of science. That’s quite a mouthful and if I have to explain it I say, I’m a storyteller. I tell stories from the history of science, not anecdotes but factually based stories. For me the most important aspect of those stories is that the scientific elements are embedded in the social, political, cultural, religious, intellectual and economic contexts of their time. Science for all of its supposed objectivity does not live outside of human culture but is an integral part of it. If I was asked to give an example of how my approach to the history of science works in practice I might well point people towards Emily Winterburn’s The Quiet Revolution of Caroline Herschel.[1]

Caroline Herschel001

In this book Emily Winterburn has delivered up…

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