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Codeine Velvet Club

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Nico Vega

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DNA Lounge: Wherein a video of police brutality surfaces.

Some security camera footage of Bertrand and Ott's raid on The Room has recently been made public. The first part of this video is narrated by the bartender who was assaulted, the second by another witness.

A summary, from the video's description:

Last June, SFPD's Larry Bertrand and ABC's Michelle Ott came to bust The Room. They arrested 31-year-old bartender Javier who had left his ID at home, even though Mike Quan (the club's owner) offered to show them a copy that he had in his office. This surveillance video shows Bertrand kneeling on Javier's neck and twisting his arm.

They also confiscated most of the stock in the downstairs bar. Bertrand and Ott poured out an estimated 24 to 30 bottles of alcohol that were already open after Ott claimed that there were fruit flies in one of them.

Another segment shows DJ equipment destroyed by SFPD/ABC officers without any reason.


Repo Men review:

Pretty much sucked.
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Theo Jansen vs. Segway

This video shows an amazing device, tragically marred by some irritating editing, and by what is truly one of the douchiest frat-rock soundtracks you'll discover on all of the youtubes.

It's an amazing device, though. Hit mute and start watching at 55 seconds. You can stop the pain at around 3:45.

Previously, previously, previously.

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Today's vocabulary word: "Anthropocene"

6 Ways We're Already Geoengineering Earth

Scientists and policymakers are meeting this week to discuss whether geoengineering to fight climate change can be safe in the future, but make no mistake about it: We're already geoengineering Earth on a massive scale. From diverting a third of Earth's available fresh water to planting and grazing two-fifths of its land surface, humankind has fiddled with the knobs of the Holocene, that 10,000-year period of climate stability that birthed civilization.

The consequences of our interventions into Earth's geophysical processes are yet to be determined, but scientists say they're so fundamental that the Holocene no longer exists. We now live in the Anthropocene, a geological age of mankind's making.

"Homo sapiens has emerged as a force of nature rivaling climatic and geologic forces," wrote Earth scientists Erle Ellis and Navin Ramankutty in a 2008 Frontiers in Ecology paper, which featured their redrawn map of the human-influenced world. "Human forces may now outweigh these across most of Earth's land surface today."


Geologic epochs are distinguished from one another based on geological observations, such as the composition of sediment layers and other tools of paleoclimatology. To justify the identification of a new Anthropocene epoch, it must therefore be demonstrated that evidence of anthropogenic global change is present at such a level that it can be distinguished using geologic indicators despite natural variability in these across the Holocene.

The most commonly cited and readily measured global change associated with humans is the rise of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide and methane, around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, together with the associated rise in global temperatures and sea level caused by this global warming. Other key indicators include massive global increases in soil erosion caused by land clearing and soil tillage for agriculture and massive extinctions of species caused by hunting and the widespread destruction of natural habitats.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein Bertrand gets another love letter from the press!

Hello, I have returned from South By Southwest, and am again incredibly depressed by the stark contrast between a city that actually values music and nightlife, and my own.

There are two great articles in today's Bay Guardian, the first of which is the cover story:

The new War on Fun:
Party people, watch out: undercover cop Larry Betrand has declared war on San Francisco nightlife

The personal War of Fun by Bertrand and Ott seems to have galvanized and united the nightlife and festival community like never before, leading to the creation of a new California Music and Culture Association and prompting threats of a federal lawsuit alleging the ABC-SFPD collaboration is a racketeering scheme designed to harass, disrupt, and extort people engaged in otherwise lawful activity.

The myriad horror stories associated with Bertrand and Ott have also finally begun to draw attention from the Mayor's Office, which has quietly pushed the SFPD to rein in Bertrand and change its policies on raiding parties and seizing property. State Sen. Mark Leno also has gotten involved, brokering a March 12 meeting between club owners and Steve Hardy, director of ABC (which, in addition to cracking down on nightclubs, has recently announced a campaign against fruit-infused liquor). [...]

The question now is what Hardy, Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Police Chief George Gascon -- who has ordered some crackdowns and wants greater authority to discipline problem officers -- is going to do about it. [...]

The list of local nightclub clubs that have been recently targeted by Bertrand and Ott and subjected to ABC sanctions is long. It includes Great American Music Hall, Slim's, DNA Lounge, Mist, Whisper, the Room, Vessel, Azul, Butter, and Club Caliente (which closed down after its mostly Latino customers were scared away by repeated raids).

"Using the now familiar pattern and ruse of ABC authority, these raids have been without warrant and without probable cause, under the pretext of finding liquor violations," attorney Mark Webb wrote in a claim against the city. [...] Webb said such behavior isn't legitimate police work, but unlawful harassment. In fact, this experienced litigator said it's far closer to the shakedowns and extortion rackets familiar to him from the start of his legal career in the late 1970s prosecuting organized crime cases in New York City.

That's why he's threatening to bring a novel lawsuit against the city and ABC under federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, a law designed go after the mob, but which has since been adapted to target entities ranging from the tobacco industry to the Los Angeles Police Department.

And an editorial:

End the nightlife crackdown:
Harassing parties and clubs shouldn't be a priority for a cash-strapped city's police department

Police Chief George Gascon has asked for more authority to crack down on rogue cops, and has vowed to clean up the small handful of bad actors who are giving the department an ugly reputation for violence and abuse. But before San Franciscans are going to trust the chief, he's got to show some evidence that he's serious -- and cleaning up the mess that is Southern Station's crackdown on nightlife would be a great place to start. [...]

It's a pointless waste of law enforcement resources. In a city where a significant number of murders remain unsolved, where merchants complain about street-level crimes that could easily be addressed by foot patrols, and where the chief complains that he lacks the funds to address all the problems he's facing, we can't fathom why stopping nightlife is a top police priority. At the very worst, some participants and promoters might be guilty of holding an event without the proper permits -- but nobody's getting robbed, assaulted, or killed. And the tactics used by the officers are needlessly violent, sometimes brutal. [...]

Mayor Gavin Newsom needs to get involved too, and make a clear public statement that harassing parties and clubs isn't the top priority for a cash-strapped city's police department.

Photos of last week's Hubba Hubba Revue are up, too.


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