Thursday, December 31, 2009

Aztec Ruins National Monument

Around 1100 A.D. ancient peoples embarked on an ambitious building project along the Animas River in northwestern New Mexico. Work gangs excavated, filled, and leveled more than two and a half acres of land. Masons laid out sandstone blocks in intricate patterns to form massive stone walls. Wood-workers cut and carried heavy log beams from mountain forests tens of miles away. In less than three decades they built a monumental great house three-stories high, longer than a football field, with perhaps 500-rooms including a ceremonial great kiva over 41-feet in diameter.

Contrary to the name, the Aztecs of central Mexico did not build these structures. Early Anglo settlers, convinced that the ruins were of Aztec origin, misnamed the site. The name persisted. Now we know that the people archeologists call "Anasazi" lived here and in the surrounding region. Their descendants, the Puebloan peoples, live in parts of New Mexico and Arizona today.


D.I. Hang Ten in East Berlin

fine then...

The War Book

In Medieval times, gun manufacturing was something of a covert occupation because artisans with the specialist metalwork and pyrotechnical skills tended to keep the knowledge secret. So the formulae for explosive powders and the like were passed on by word of mouth to trusted apprentices and colleagues rather than being written down.


Silly Killers - Not That Time Again

Fontanelle Cemetery Caves

Mindful of the verse in Ecclesiastes that reminds us that there is "nothing new under the sun," I don't throw the word "unique" around lightly. Yet, the Fontanella cemetery in Naples is more than simply interesting, bizarre and unusual. Maybe there really is nothing quite like this anywhere else in the world. The Fontanelle is a charnel house, a Golgotha, an ossuary, a vast collection of skeletal remains in a cave in the tufaceous hillside in the Sanità section of the city.

"Io ero ciò che tu sei; tu sarai ciò che io sono"


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Trial of Leo Frank

The discovery of the body of a thirteen-year-old girl in the basement of an Atlanta pencil factory where she had gone to collect her pay check shocked the citizens of that crime-ravaged southern city and roused its public officials to find a suspect and secure a conviction. Unfortunately, it now seems, events and the South's anti-Semitism conspired to lead to the conviction of the wrong man, the factory's Jewish superintendent, Leo Frank. The case ultimately drew the attention of the United States Supreme Court and the Governor of Georgia, but neither the Constitution nor a Governor's commutation could spare Frank a violent death at the end of rope strung from a Georgia oak tree....

The body of Leo Frank, hanging from an oak tree on August 16, 1915

Buzzcocks - Boredom. Rare 1980 good quality live Boston

Something to think about....

Religion is not merely the opium of the masses, it's the cyanide.

--Tom Robbins


Edgar Allan Poe

And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona


In densely-wooded plateau country southeast of Flagstaff, the small seasonal stream Walnut Creek has carved a 600 foot deep canyon as it flows east, eventually joining the Little Colorado River en route to the Grand Canyon. The exposed Kaibab limestone that forms the upper third of the canyon walls occurs in various layers of slightly differing hardness, some of which have eroded more rapidly forming shallow alcoves; during the 12th to 13th centuries many were used by the local Sinagua Indians who constructed cave-dwellings along the steep well-protected ledges, high above the canyon floor. Today, the appearance of the canyon and ruins is quite reminiscent of the more well known Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, just on a smaller scale,


Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Bomb Turks - Sucker Punch

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Homeward bound.......

Today I leave the Hopi of Northern Arizona, taking with me a warm place in my heart,and a renewed respect for the Hopi people and thier culture.
I leave you with this......

Message from the Hopi Elders

We have been telling the people that this is the
Eleventh Hour
Now we must go back and tell the people this is the

And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth.

Create your community.
Be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast
It is so great and swift that there are those who will
be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and they
will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination.

The Elders say we must let go of the shore, and
push off and into the river, keep our eyes open, and
our head above the water.

See who is in there with you and Celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing
Least of all ourselves.

For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth
and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over.

Gather yourselves!

Banish the word “struggle” from your attitude and
your vocabulary.

All that you do now must be done in a sacred
And in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for . . .

-The Elders, Hopi Nation, Oraibi, Arizona -

Cardiac Kids - Torchlight

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ruins of the Sierra Ancha Wilderness

Pueblo Canyon

The ruins of the Sierra Anchas present somewhat of a mystery to archeologists. From 500 to 950 AD the region stood at the boundary between three distinct traditions: the Mogollon to the east, the Hohokam to the west, and the Sinagua to the north. Then about 950 AD a new culture—the Salado—appeared, occupying a region almost 100 miles across with the Sierra Anchas near its center. Tree ring dating of timbers used in construction indicates that the Anchan ruins were built and occupied over a relatively short seventy year period, from 1280 to 1350, which would make them Salado in origin. However, certain elements of the architecture, tools and pottery show a strong Mogollon influence as well. Adding to the mystery is the fact that the ruins are constructed in extremely inaccessible locations, raising the possibility that defense against invasion was a strong motivation. It has been suggested that this may have been the remnants of an older or hybrid community that managed to cling to its traditions for some time after the surrounding area was occupied by the Salado. At the present time, archeologists simply refer to the inhabitants as the "Anchan Tradition."

Devils Chasm


The Zeros-Dont Push me around

Homolovi Ruins

In the high grassland of 14th century northern Arizona, an ancient people found a home along the Little Colorado River. These people, the Hisat'sinom (known to archaeologists as the Anasazi), paused in their migrations to till the rich flood plain and sandy slopes before continuing north to join people already living on the mesas, people who are today known as the Hopi.


Yule Horror by H. P. Lovecraft

Happy Winter Solstice!

There is snow on the ground,
And the valleys are cold,
And a midnight profound
Blackly squats o'er the wold;
But a light on the hilltops half-seen hints of feastings un- hallowed and old.

There is death in the clouds,
There is fear in the night,
For the dead in their shrouds
Hail the sin's turning flight.
And chant wild in the woods as they dance round a Yule- altar fungous and white.

To no gale of Earth's kind
Sways the forest of oak,
Where the sick boughs entwined
By mad mistletoes choke,
For these pow'rs are the pow'rs of the dark, from the graves of the lost Druid-folk.


The Long Walk

The Long Walk of the Navajos - When the Navajos tried to take advantage of the military slack caused by the outbreak of the Civil War, the US government sent Colonel Kit Carson to settle the uprising. His mission was to gather the Navajo together and move them to Fort Sumner on the Bosque Redondo Reservation. When the Indians refused to move and hid in the Canyon de Chelly, he began a merciless economic campaign destroying crops and lifestock, burning villages and killing people. By destroying their food supplies, eventually he convinced the Navajos that going to the reservation was the only way to survive. In 1864, the Navajos, among with some other tribes, a total of 8-9,000 people, began their move to Fort Sumner.

Officials called it a reservation, but to the conquered and exiled Navajos it was a wretched prison camp.

- David Roberts, Smithsonian Magazine


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

I follow the scent of the falling rain
And head for the place where it is darkest
I follow the lightening
And draw near to the place that it strikes
-Navajo Chant-

In the fall of 1846 the venerable Navajo warrior Narbona, greatest of his people’s chieftains, looked down upon the small town of Santa Fe, the stronghold of the Mexican settlers he had been fighting his whole long life. He had come to see if the rumors were true—if an army of blue-suited soldiers had swept in from the East and utterly defeated his ancestral enemies. As Narbona gazed down on the battlements and cannons of a mighty fort the invaders had built, he realized his foes had been vanquished—but what did the arrival of these “New Men” portend for the Navajo? Narbona could not have known that “The Army of the West,” in the midst of the longest march in American military history, was merely the vanguard of an inexorable tide fueled by a self-righteous ideology now known as “Manifest Destiny.” For twenty years the Navajo, elusive lords of a huge swath of mountainous desert and pasturelands, would ferociously resist the flood of soldiers and settlers who wished to change their ancient way of life or destroy them. Hampton Sides’s extraordinary book brings the history of the American conquest of the West to ringing life. It is a tale with many heroes and villains, but as is found in the best history, the same person might be both. At the center of it all stands the remarkable figure of Kit Carson—the legendary trapper, scout, and soldier who embodies all the contradictions and ambiguities of the American experience in the West. Brave and clever, beloved by his contemporaries, Carson was an illiterate mountain man who twice married Indian women and understood and respected the tribes better than any other American alive. Yet he was also a cold-blooded killer who willingly followed orders tantamount to massacre. Carson’s almost unimaginable exploits made him a household name when they were written up in pulp novels known as “blood-and-thunders,” but now that name is a bitter curse for contemporary Navajo, who cannot forget his role in the travails of their ancestors.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Wonder of Ice Caves

Where you have lava tubes or limestone passage ways below the ground, occasionally a rare form of cave evolves – the ice cave. Strange, mysterious and often dangerous they are often difficult to get to and so not seen by huge amounts of people


Antler Joe and the Accidents-Dogshit

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Known Universe by AMNH


Council of the Gods


The Parowan Gap

The Parley Pratt Expedition discovered the petroglyphs at Parowan Gap in 1849. The pass is a classic example of a wind gap, an unusual geological landform marking where an ancient river cut a 600-foot-deep notch through the mountain. Native Americans used this ancient gap for thousands of years to provide easy passage through the Red Hills.

Parowan Gap is an amazing calendar place, a naturally occuring gap that tracks the sun and the moon.
solar and lunar events

At the east entrance of the Parowan gap narrows are two small caves. They both contain petroglyphs. Soot on their ceilings, from torches or fires, indicate they were once inhabited by Indians. Carbon dating has shown that the caves were in use from 3000 to 400 BC. The following pictures shows the entrance to the larger of the two caves and the petroglyphs inside.

The Gap

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Unruled / Slag

Aokigahara Forest

The forest floor consists primarily of volcanic rock and is difficult to penetrate with hand tools such as picks or shovels. There are also a variety of unofficial trails that are used semi-regularly for the annual "body hunt" done by local volunteers, who mark their search areas with plastic tape. The plastic tape is never removed, so a great deal of it litters the first kilometer of the forest, past the designated trails leading to tourist attractions such as the Ice Cave and Wind Cave. After the first kilometer into Aokigahara towards Mount Fuji, the forest is in a much more pristine state, with little to no litter and few obvious signs of human contact. On some occasions human remains can be found in the distant reaches of the forest, but these are usually several years old and consist of scattered bones and incomplete skeletons, suggesting the presence of scavenging animals.

It is also a popular place for suicides, reportedly the world's second most popular suicide location after San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Its popularity for suicides is due in some part to the novel Kuroi Jukai , lit. Black Sea of Trees?), which ends with the lovers of the novel committing suicide in the forest. Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides, with approximately 30 counted yearly. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. The high rate of suicide has led officials to place signs in the forest, urging those who have gone there in order to commit suicide to seek help and not kill themselves. The annual search, consisting of a small army of police, volunteers and attendant journalists, began in 1970.


"God" Tales Of Mere Existence

US Bombs-US Bombs

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Union

A very well built documentary about cannabis and drug prohibition. Does the drug prohibition work? Have a look and think for yourself.


The Terrible Old Man by H. P. Lovecraft

It was the design of Angelo Ricci and Joe Czanek and Manuel Silva to call on the Terrible Old Man. This old man dwells all alone in a very ancient house on Water Street near the sea, and is reputed to be both exceedingly rich and exceedingly feeble; which forms a situation very attractive to men of the profession of Messrs. Ricci, Czanek, and Silva, for that profession was nothing less dignified than robbery. more

The Terrible Old Man - by H.P.Lovecraft from Phil Browne on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Minor Threat - Minor Threat

The Hopi Snake Dance

The SNAKE DANCE is performed by the Hopi Indians on their Reservation in the northeastern part of Arizona. It takes place every year, but at alternate places-one year at Walpi and Mishongnavi, the next at Oraibi, Shungopavi, and Hotevilla. It is the closing public exhibition of a nine-days' secret ceremony in the kivas of the Antelope and Snake Clans.


Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dorothea Lange 1895-1965

Dorothea Lange was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. She studied photography at Columbia University and worked at a New York portrait studio until 1918 when she began to travel. Stranded in San Francisco, she continued studio work during the 1920’s. With her husband, the painter Maynard Dixon, she traveled the southwest, photographing Native Americans. She believed that the camera could teach people ”how to see without a camera.”



A Dream of Armageddon H.G. Wells

The existence of past life dreams and premonitory dreams has never been scientifically substantiated, but there have been countless anecdotal reports of both. In 1901, H. G. Wells gave us a new twist on these concepts with a story about a series of continuing, consistent, and vivid "future life" dreams that apparently reveal events taking place hundreds of years hence!

"A Dream of Armageddon" is typical of Wells' fine writing and foresight. Before either of the World Wars or the invention of the airplane, tank, or nuclear weapon, he recognized that new advances in technology would vastly increase the death and destruction wrought by war. He made real and personal the terrible tragedy and suffering that result when we fail to achieve peace. Written a century ago, this is a story for our time.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peyote, The Divine Cactus

Ever since the arrival of the first Europeans in the New World, Peyote has provoked controversy, suppression, and persecution. Condemned by the Spanish conquerors for its "satanic trickery", and attacked more recently by local governments and religious groups, the plant has nevertheless continued to play a major sacramental role among the Indians of Mexico, while its use has spread to the North American tribes in the last hundred years. The persistence and growth of the Peyote cult constitute a fascinating chapter in the history of the New World - and a challenge to the anthropologists and psychologists, botanists and pharmacologists who continue to study the plant and its constituents in connection with human affairs.


Maynard Dixon (1875-1946)

In 1939, Maynard Dixon and his wife Edith Hamlin built a summer home in Mount Carmel, Utah, where Dixon found new friends and became reacquainted with the earth. He lived near the cottonwood trees along an old irrigation ditch and took short hikes to a plateau where he loved the quiet. Dixon spent winter months in Tucson, where the couple also had a home and studio.


Dixon continued to create masterpieces – simple but powerful compositions in which non-essential elements were distilled or eliminated. In November of 1946 Maynard passed away at his winter home in Tucson. In the spring of 1947 his widow Edith brought his ashes to Mt. Carmel where she buried them on a high bluff above the art studio being built on the property. This had been at his request and she felt it a fitting tribute where friends could come to pay respects and view the land that he loved.


Saccharine Trust - A Human Certainty

The Wretched Ones ~ Take Us to your Leader

Southwest Art

Stopped and took a few pictures of this mural on the Navajo Reservation today.
I've seen murals all over the Southwest desert and enjoy the added beauty they bring to an already beautiful landscape. This one is just South of The Gap on US Highway 89 in Northeastern Arizona.