Monday, January 28, 2008

God's Equation - A better review

A week or so ago I wrote a rather lame review of the new Pagan's Mind album "God's Equation". I can only excuse myself by saying I was tired and it had been a long day and I really wanted to write a review of the album because it is great and ... and ... and ... and ...

Well, enough excuses. I'm actually listening to the album as I write this because I've not stopped listening to it since I wrote that lame review. Well, not literally, but on my iPod and in my car that is the only album I've listened to.

So how do I start, well, maybe the beginning would be a good idea. The album starts with a great almost acoustic instrumental that starts tuneful and melodious and moves into a brilliant drum piece that takes us gently to the next song which starts loud and fast.

Sorry I just got distracted by the absolutely brilliant solo in the middle of Painted Skies - it sounds like distorted keyboards and guitar playing an atonal improv that is just amazing. Anyway, forgive the commercial break. Back to our regular programme:

The next song after "The Conception" is "God's Equation" itself. Philosophical lyrics, melodic tune and loud metal rhythms. Then comes a song that is one of those "anthem" type songs, "United Alliance" - every time I listen to it I can't help but sing along (something you don't want to be anywhere near when it happens). That is followed by "Atomic Firelight", which is as close to math metal as I've ever heard Pagan's Mind come - great complex rhythms, several different rhythms going at once but all harmonics of each other.

Next is a brilliant cover of David Bowie's "Hallo Spaceboy." The vocalist even sounds like Bowie on this song. Of course, this version is a bit louder than the original, but I thing David would approve.

Next comes "Evolution Exceed" and more philosophic metal, with great lyrics, complex music and wondrous rhythms.

As if that wasn't enough "Alien Kamikaze" is next. This one sounds like the band is just having a great time playing an incredibly fast and furious and fun song. If you don't move with this one then you ain't got no soul.

"Painted Skies" I talked about earlier - wow! Great melody and that wild solo in the middle is just out of this world.

"Spirit Starcruiser" once more takes us into the realms of spirituality and philosophy with deep lyrics a blasting metal rhythms and rockin' melodies.

"Farewell" returns to the theme of "The Conception" but this time with a beautiful guitar melody.

On the version of the CD I have there is another song, "Osiris Triumphant Return" which seems to be a sequel to the song "Through Osiris' Eyes" from the album "Celestial Entrance", and is indeed "Triumphant"!

Well, as "Osiris Triumphant Return" caresses my ears, I'll end my review and just say this: Get the album!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth."

That quote is attributed to one of the most evil men who ever lived, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister of the Third Reich. Unfortunately there is more truth in that statement than we would like there to be. Goebbels used that principle to run his black propaganda campaign against Jews and he succeeded in the most horrific way imaginable.

Today that method is still used to carry out "character assassination" of people and groups who the attacker doesn't like or sees as a threat. Unfortunately the main-stream media could be viewed as parrots who happily repeat whatever they hear without any thought of determining the truth or accuracy of what they so obligingly repeat. This means that a character assassin has an easy time of it in this society.

So next time you see something reported about a person or group, think twice before you accept it as fact. And, if you are feeling curious, do some research into the person or group being attacked and you will probably find that they have stood up against a vested interest and cost that vested interest a barrel load of money. At that point you can take the bad stuff you heard and throw it where it belongs - in the garbage.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Album Review: God's Equation by Pagan's Mind

The latest album by Norwegian band Pagan's Mind is without doubt their best so far. Once again their technical expertise and song writing skills have expanded and the result is a superb musical extravaganza!

One of the things I really like about this band is that they can play a quiet piece and then jump into something that rips your head off :). The percussion is superb with complex rhythms and speeds covering the entire spectrum.

"Hallo Spaceboy" is a cover of a David Bowie song and is a great version of this classic. At several places in the song vocalist Nils Rue actually sounds like a metal version of Bowie.

You can here several songs by the band on their MySpace site: Pagan's Mind on MySpace

You can buy the album here: God's Equation by Pagan's Mind

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More on Drug Companies Hiding Negative Findings

This from the New York Times: Researchers Find a Bias Toward Upbeat Findings on Antidepressants

The makers of antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil never published the results of about a third of the drug trials that they conducted to win government approval, misleading doctors and consumers about the drugs’ true effectiveness, a new analysis has found.

Some of us have known this for a long time but it is good to see it finally validated by "authority". Perhaps some lives will now be saved by people deciding not to take these drugs. What would be even better is if some legal action were taken against these drug companies for the damage they have done to people over the years because of the lies they've told.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pharmaceutical Companies Are Hiding Negative Studies of Antidepressants

A report just published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that nearly a third of antidepressant drug studies are never published in the medical literature and nearly all these unpublished studies happen to show that the drug being tested did not work.

The researchers say it in the most polite and unaccusative way, but the obvious interpretation is that if a drug study comes up negative then the drug companies hide it.

The report found that the few negative studies that were published were rewritten to present the study as if it were successful. In the words of the researchers, "Not only were positive results more likely to be published, but studies that were not positive, in our opinion, were often published in a way that conveyed a positive outcome."

As I said the researchers were very polite, but not me. As far as I'm concerned Big Pharma is hiding the negative results because they think it will hurt their profits. They don't care that their drugs harm people, they only care if something harms their profits.

Read about the study here: Data on Antidepressants Often Shelved

Monday, January 14, 2008

News Host Experiences The Truth about Drugs

CNN News Headlines host, Glenn Beck, experienced first hand the truth about drugs when he went to an emergency room in great pain.

What was expected to be an outpatient procedure put Beck in the hospital for five days, with doctors offering a medicine cabinet's worth of drugs to ease his pain. The drugs made him hallucinate and briefly suicidal, Beck said. "By Saturday night if they had come into my room with a handgun and said, `OK, we can give you some more medication or take this gun and blow your head off' ... I would have honestly taken the handgun at that point and ended it." (read the article)

The suicide inducing effects of certain medical drugs has been well documented, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise, but unfortunately few people know that some drugs, especially psychiatric drugs such as antidepressants, cause a condition called "suicidal ideation," a state in which the person on the drug fixates on thoughts of suicide and may actually commit suicide.

Pharmaceutical companies are forced to publish the side effects of their drugs, so next time you see an ad for a drug in a magazine or newspaper go find the list of side-effects. If you look hard enough and use a magnifying glass, you'll see them. Of course, at that point you have to wade through the carefully worded medical-speak that is used to hide the horrendous side effects these drugs have.

For more information check this page: Side Effects of Psychiatric Drugs

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Psychiatry and Political Control

Here is a video from John Breeding, Ph.D that explains how Psychiatry is political, how it is used to control the population and where the big money of the Pharmaceutical Industry fits in.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Computers versus Paper

We often hear about the dangers of using electronic voting machines due to the possibility of someone hacking the machines. But what about the possibilities of bugs messing up the vote?

Here is an example of a bug that caused voting machines to crash and potentially lose votes: Voting Machine Bugs.

Having worked in the computer industry for over 20 years I am very leery of allowing computerized voting machines. I've seen "perfect" software put into production, only to find out later that some missed requirement or bug that was missed during testing appears during actual use and causes havoc.

Out voting process is too precious to endanger it with electronic voting.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Drug Money – The Bribing of Politicians

In looking for a web site on the Say No to Drugs campaign I found another site that is not connected to the campaign but contains a lot of data on how much money drug companies are paying to US politicians. To describe the amounts of money paid by Big Pharma to our elected representatives as "obscene" is an understatement. I had no idea of the vast sums changing hands until I read the first page of this web site: Politicians Who Got The Most Pharmaceutical Company Contributions In Year 2000 – scroll down a bit to see the list. The amounts make one wonder just who our representatives are actually representing.

What is more scary is the even larger amounts these companies pay to lobbyists. Between 1997 and 2000 the pharmaceutical industry paid over $336 million to lobbyists to help them persuade politicians to push their drugs on us.

You have to ask the question: "If the drugs provided by these corporations are truly beneficial, then why do they have to spend so much money persuading politicians to make laws to force us to take them?" If I had a disease and it was cured by some medical drug, I'd have no objection to taking it. You don't have to pass a law to persuade someone to do something that's going to save his or her life. But when the drugs don't really work or simply hide the symptoms and require the patient to continue taking them for the rest of his or her life, then it is no wonder Big Pharma has to get help from the politicians on its payroll.