Thursday, September 2, 2010


(That galaxies come in very different shapes and sizes is dramatically demonstrated by this striking Hubble image of the Hickson Compact Group 59)

Every Thursday, I post a very large photograph of some corner of space captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and available online from the picture album at HubbleSite, followed by poetry after the jump.


by Kate Barnes

One evening I stopped by the field to watch the hay rake
drawn toward me by two black, tall, ponderous horses
who stepped like conquerors over the fallen oat stalks,
light-shot dust at their heels, long shadows before them.
At the ditch the driver turned back in a wide arc,
the off-horse scrambling, the near-horse pivoting neatly.
The big side-delivery rake came about with a shriek—
its tines were crashing, the iron-bound tongue groaned aloud—
then, Hup, Diamond! Hup, Duke! and they set off west,
trace-deep in dust, going straight into the low sun.

The clangor grew faint, distance and light consumed them;
a fiery chariot rolled away in a cloud of gold
and faded slowly, brightness dying into brightness.
The groaning iron, the prophesying wheels,
the mighty horses with their necks like storms—
all disappeared; nothing was left but a track
of dust that climbed like smoke up the evening wind.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Here's the weekly best of what I've gleaned from I Can Has Cheezburger efforts. There are some really creative folks out there.


Sunday, August 29, 2010


(Cover of the Portland Mercury the week Reagan died.)

During the early 1980s, as Reagan launched our current Hate Society, the back windshield of my Honda Civic was smashed one night and my car ransacked. But the only item taken was my address book in the glovebox -- not my tapedeck nor my case of tapes. not my tools or the stack of games visible in the back hatch, Just my address book.

I of course called the Lesbian Rights Project to report it because they were monitoring the reprisals against us, those of us in the group Lesbians Against Police Violence. I didn't call the cops because it was them, and/or their friends, who were doing this shit. One of my friends in the group had similarly had her house broken into and the only thing stolen was her dayrunner. Another friend had her truck towed despite it being legally parked, and when she got it back two days later, missing from it were her checkbook and journals.

Not long after my break-in, two group members lost their jobs after visits to their boss's office by men in suits, and a third friend, a mechanic in LAPV, had the old Volvo she had lovingly restored firebombed overnight. She quit the group amid tearful apologies, saying she was just too frightened.

It cost me $150 to replace my rear windshield at a time when I was living on $380 a month. After that, for several years I kept my address book in code, combining it with my datebook in a tiny leather clasp that never left my back pocket.

They still want that information about law-abiding citizens just as badly, only now they can buy it from Facebook. You can tell how eagerly FB wants this treasure trove of yours by how persistently they beseech those of us who have NOT given them access to our address files by trotting out the names of our friends who used the FB "Friend Finder" to locate that loser from 20 years ago you don't want to be in touch with anyhow.

Every time someone is gullible and lazy enough to allow FB to "access" your email list elsewhere, make no mistake about it, they are copying your data instantly and selling it. As a researcher, I know what kind of gold it contains, a veritable biography of your existence. My guess is that this revenue is FB's prmary moneymaker, given how assiduously they push it.

All to individually "save you the trouble" of typing in the names of the folks you actually do want to friend.

Do you REALLY believe the police state after eight years of Bush is less dangerous that that of the early 80s?

Pass . It . On .

(Cross-posted at Group News Blog.)