Yo my peeps, I just

Yo my peeps, I just got back from today’s protest march. Not as many people as last week, so I hear, but still about 2 blocks’ worth of people. And for some reason I didn’t see the usual suspects there today. It seemed to be all new faces. I did run into a few friends: Duncan, Candace, Jim. I heard my dad would be there, but I didn’t see him. We did two die-ins along Street, which gave me a chance to rest my feet, ho ho ho.
Seriously though, where are all the black and Latino protestors? Seeings a lot of their sons and daughters are dying in Bush’s empire-building slaughter, you’d think they’d be equally represented here, as they are in the general population. The question for us is why they aren’t turning up and how we can get them to. There’s passing references to “the racism of the anti-war movement” on KPFK, but I’ve never heard anyone lay out the case for that. So, what’s up?
It’s a nice sunny day today too, and there’s birds savaging the bird feeder: blue jays and little tits. (That should increase the Google hits).

I like to think that

I like to think that someone out there, possibly in Taiwan, is learning more than they ever thought they’d know about Santa Barbara County politics, after following my series of portraits of the Board of Supervisors. This week I take on Gail Marshall who has been the most controversial of them all–and not intentionally.
I also got to review Laurel Canyon, which stars the lovely Kate Beckinsale. Which reminds me, whatever happened to Whit Stillman? Isn’t he due for a new movie sometime?

This weekend I’m in Los Angeles

This weekend I’m in Los Angeles, hanging out with me friend Scott. I’m currently typing this on the big fancy computer he uses at his very very very big videogame company that will remain nameless.
On the way down here last night I listened to KPFK broadcasting various bits from the protest that was happening at that moment on Sepulveda in Westwood. That was interspersed with people calling in to vent on the war, most of it making sense (being KPFK) but with one guy mentioning the Illuminati (also being KPFK). Unbeknownst to me, there were protests in Santa Barbara on Thursday and Friday, the former being completely chaotic with people crossing the freeway, trying to stop it. I guess all seemed quiet where I was.
Anyroad, today’s a sunny day, and we are off to Hurry Curry to get some Japanese curry for lunch. Then maybe a pop nextdoor to Giant Robot.

The Enchanted World of Sleep – Peretz Lavie

As you can see to the right, I finally finished Peretz Lavie’s The Enchanted World of Sleep. Lavie only gets really technical in a few chapters, but for the most part his look at the science of sleep is a pleasant “lay person” read. What did I learn?
* Before electrodes, scientists used to measure the moment of sleep when a patient would drop a tennis ball from their hand. In my case, it’s a shot glass, but the theory is the same.
* There are 4 stages of sleep, and then REM sleep, and that’s when dreams come. It’s also when we lose all muscle control. When waking up from dreams, people usually go to another stage. However, in very rare cases, people can awake in the no-muscle contol part and feel like they’re paralyzed. I hope this never happens to me–how freaky is that!
* There is no set time to sleep. If you can survive on 6 hours a night, then you need 6 hours of sleep. People who sleep 10 hours per night aren’t necessarily more rested. In fact, they’re probably more sleepy.
* I really wish the test case in their dream research, Mr. R, would publish a book. He could wake up from REM sleep and recount long, short-story like dream narratives. They reprint one in the book and it’s very good.
* Animals don’t have REM sleep, but they do dream, and that stage is called paradoxical sleep (meaning the animal is most at rest, but also most active in the brain.)
* The world record for going without sleep is 264 hours.
The last third of the book is on sleep disorders, namely insomnia, jet lag, sleep walking, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. He also has some good things to say about children and when they “should” go to bed. A majority of parents force their kids to go to sleep at 8 p.m. so the adults can watch TV or whatever, then appear amazed that their children won’t sleep at the chosen time, or that they then wake up at 5 a.m. Thankfully, I was never raised that way…and that’s why I’m writing about this book to an audience of three people at 2:36 a.m.
Anyway, I also finished the MOJO magazine special on the Beatles early years. That might still be hanging around some newsstands. You’d think there wasn’t much left to say about the Beatles, but because the writing staff is so good (Mark Lewishom is on there among other major music journalists) they have some insightful things to say, none of which I can remember right now.
So..now I can get stuck into The Iliad, which seems appropriate in this season of war and suffering.