Friday, April 29, 2016

A Missed Chance

Everybody who reads this "wonderful" blog knows that BRT wants Bernie to be president but he won't and possibly the reason why center's on Matt Taibbi's perceptive take as to why. 

Read his post as it rings true to the max. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Delusional Hawk

This terrific graphic from the NY Times article titled How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk says it all in terms of how delusional she is and was regarding foreign policy as seen by the US generated fubars in the Middle East, the Ukraine and relations with China and Russia, in which she played a significant role as Secretary of State and now as the Democratic Presidential candidate. Libya anyone? 

Furthermore ...

The Times story explores Clinton’s close relationship with the military. One of the many military officials Clinton befriended was Army Gen. Buster Hagenbeck, who turned out to be even less hawkish than she is. The general warned Clinton that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would be like “kicking over a bee’s nest.” It’s safe to say Clinton did not heed his warning.

She also befriended former general and CIA Director David Petraeus, infamous for his links to torture and death squads. In 2014, Petraeus insisted Clinton would “make a tremendous President.” A year later, he proposed that the U.S. government use “moderate” members of al-Qaeda to fight ISIS.

No longer needing to moderate her views for election, Clinton did not miss the next opportunity to support a troop surge. In 2009, the Obama administration was debating sending more soldiers into Afghanistan. The president and Vice President Biden were wary of an expansion. Clinton sided “with Gates and the generals,” the Times reports.

“She gave political ballast to their proposals and provided a bullish counterpoint to Biden’s skepticism.” In February, less than a month into office, President Obama announced a troop surge in Afghanistan.

Summing it up BRT style. The US blew 4 trillion dollars on failed projects including the following:
  1. Destroyed Syria, Libya and Iraq, thus turning them into sectarian nightmares and, in the case of Libya, did the deed for the oil and gold in that country. Hillary's emails & "We Saw, We Came, He Died."
  2. Displaced millions  of people from their respective countries. Rampant emigration anyone? 
  3. Needlessly killed thousands of young Americans with thousands more forever physically and mentally damaged. 
  4. Has continued the Bush started Afghan war, a slow motion failure in the making and ... is the longest US war in history. 
  5. Has plunged relations to Russia and China to their lowest levels since the end of the cold war in the 1980s.
  6. Created ISIS, due to the fact American Viceroy Paul Bremer did NOT HIRE THE PEOPLE WE CONQUERED (Saddam's troops) under the worst strategic blunder this nation has ever done, Bush's illegal war with Iraq. And the course, according to General Zinni, that we're on, is taking us over Niagara Falls.
Outside of that, Clinton's position (she supported "W"s fiasco as NY Senator) is pretty stellar, don't you think?

Addendum: Finding common ground.

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has vowed to seek improved relations with Russia and China if he is elected to the White House, saying Washington and Moscow "should seek common ground based on shared interests."

In an April 27 foreign-policy speech, Trump said that while the United States and Russia had "serious differences," he believes it is "absolutely possible" to ease current tensions with Moscow if Washington approaches the relationship "from a position of strength."

"Common sense says this cycle -- this horrible cycle of hostility -- must end, and ideally it will end soon," Trump said as Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, sat in the front row for the candidate's wide-ranging speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

U.S.-Russian ties have plunged to levels of acrimony unseen since the end of the Cold War following Russia's military seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and an ensuing war between Kyiv's forces and Russia-backed separatists that has killed more than 9,100 people.

Both U.S. President Barack Obama's administration and the European Union have slapped several rounds of sanctions on Moscow in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, punitive measures that have angered the Kremlin.

Trump, who described Obama's overall foreign policy as "a complete and total disaster," said Washington and Moscow can find common ground, in part, because Russia "has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism."

Sounds like a plan to me.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Big 6

This wonderful antique art piece of birds, not of a feather, reminds me on how radically differing political viewpoints can come together when grave injustices happen to us all, something BRT has talked about quite often as this blog thinks the US is on the precipice of a revolution given just how bad things are becoming for the middle class & poor. To that end, Robert Reich, a guy yours truly respects a great deal, just posted 6 principles us rubes of different political persuasions want to have happen now, something akin to Nightmare on Elm Street on what would happen to the status quo and the 1/10 of 1%  if the big 6 jumps off, a notion that needs to happen if this nation is to survive as a viable entity as we move further into the 21st century. 

The big 6, items covered in past BRT blurbs, is due for a refresh and R.R's take is succint and to the point. :) Read Reich's post. Excellent without question.

Wes Craven lives. :)

Beware the Ides of March

Even though it's late April, the Ides of March regarding Hillary and the Dems looms large without question.

BRT has talked about Clinton's problem from the vantage point she's perfect fodder for Trump while Bernie is not. Read the Nation of Change piece in it's entirety. It's the smart thing to do.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Brought to you by Monsanto

Roundup aka glyphosate in your breakfast anyone? Well, this is what's happening 24/7 in the good ole USA, the province of Monsanto, the purveyor of GMO goodness along with Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world.

Today, the Alliance for Natural Health-USA released the results of food safety testing conducted on an assortment of popular breakfast foods. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing revealed the presence of glyphosate—the most widely used agricultural herbicide—in 10 of the 24 food samples tested.

Analysis revealed the presence of glyphosate in oatmeal, bagels, eggs- including the organic variety, potatoes and even non-GMO soy coffee creamer. 

Glyphosate is an herbicide developed in 1970 by Monsanto, who began developing genetically modified (GMO) crops designed to withstand high doses of Roundup. Today, these seeds account for 94 percent of all soybeans and 89 percent of all corn being produced. The prevalence of these crops means that hundreds of millions of pounds of glyphosate are dumped onto the land every year.

It gets better

One year ago, an agency of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) declared that glyphosate (or Roundup), the world’s most widely used herbicide, probably causes cancer. Then, in the fall, the European Food Safety Agency’s (EFSA) responded with an assessment that disagreed with the WHO’s findings.

In response, 94 scientists came out in support of the IARC’s original findings. This week, the group—which includes scientists from around the world—released their article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health saying:

The most appropriate and scientifically based evaluation of the cancers reported in humans and laboratory animals as well as supportive mechanistic data is that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. On the basis of this conclusion and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to conclude that glyphosate formulations should also be considered likely human carcinogens.

And their endorsement is no small matter. In fact, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reassesses the safety of glyphosate, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to begin testing food for its residue, this volley has important implications.

Countries are waking up to this and ... it's about time.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thinking of Ulysses

Leave it to Twistedswifter to find extraordinary high res pictures of Dublin taken way back when. This particular gem is Sackville Street ca. 1905, shot just one year after Leopold Bloom & company caroused around Dublin on June 16, 1904 in James Joyce's Ulysses, a yearly event forever commemorated as a joyous literary paen forever known as Bloomsday. :)

The journey. :)

To yours truly, who actually read the book twice, the most amazing part is Molly Bloom's Soliloquy, a description of love, lust and remembrance, distilled to a lyric essence by a writer at the absolute top of his game.

Another Notion of Surveillance

Interesting take on surveillance/drone style or ... just another example of why tech has no morality.

"It explores a world where the ‘network’ begins to gain physical autonomy. Drones become protagonists, moving through the city, making decisions about the world and influencing our lives in often opaque yet profound ways," the video's description says.

Kinda like Stasi, 21st century style.

One day in September 1987, the phone rang at the headquarters of the Volkspolizei, East Germany's police force, in the town of Döbeln, not far from Dresden. On the other end of the line was the voice of an unknown man.

"Good evening. I have some information for you. Grab a pen!"
"I'm listening."
"Ms. Marianne Schneider is traveling on Wednesday, Sept. 14, to West Berlin for a visit. She doesn't intend to return."
"And who are you?"
"You would like to remain anonymous?"
"What is the basis for your information?"
"She said so, to her closest friends."

Then, the mysterious caller hung up. And Marianne Schneider* had a problem. Officials immediately revoked her travel permit and began monitoring her phone and mail in addition to questioning her neighbors and friends.

A Tragedy of Our Own Making

The Great Barrier Reef is dying, due to Global Warming, the man made disaster propelled by the use of fossil fuels. The unfolding of this tragedy of our own making is heartbreaking to see while the reef slowly dies, a natural wonder our grandchildren will never see if we don't change our ways before it's too late.

Large sections of the Great Barrier Reef, the Earth’s largest living structure, are dying before our eyes. Sustained high sea temperatures have stressed the corals to the point where they expel the brightly coloured algae that live within their tissues. This process is aptly named bleaching as it removes all pigment and exposes the shocking white calcium skeleton of the reef structures.

The coral can survive in this state for up to a few weeks. Thereafter, if temperatures do not decrease then they will die.

The Great Barrier Reef has experienced bleaching events twice before. The first, in 1998, was bad enough, with 50% of the reef affected. 2002 was even worse with 60% of the reef bleached. Recent aerial surveys of the northern 1000km of the reef evaluated 500 different sections – 95% were bleached.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

VR from a different perspective

The future of cinema is here as seen by the new Lytro Cinema Camera, a 755mb/40K recording beast that will eliminate the green screen as we know it due to it's ability to capture 3D data in realtime with their Light Field imaging system. (Using ray tracing, in part, to capture and manipulate the data in 3D space.)  

Obviously this tech is beta, ridiculously expensive with storage requirements beyond the kin of man but 10 years from now, this approach to doing immersive video will be commonplace if tech continues to accelerate at the same rate it has  for the past 30 years. (I'm betting it does.) The video's just a taste of what's coming so enjoy this beta from a company that has something truly special in the way of capturing image data in ways never been done before.

Addendum: Here's a quick take on how CG (Computer Graphics) will integrate with this tech. Interesting to say the least.

Rather than render out a CGI background to convert it into a 2D backdrop, Lytro has written drivers and plugins for many of the well known CGI applications, that allows them to output into the Light Field domain. All the information is there in the CGI programs to do this. Once everything - live action and CGI backgrounds - is in the same conceptual space, the magic can start. CGI artists will have as much control over the Light Field domain Live Action as they do over their CGI models. Which means they can manipulate and blend them perfectly. As a bonus, because of the maximum 300fps frame rate of the Lytro Cinema Camera, it’s possible to derive any lower frame rate from the master recording - even ramping up and down on demand.

It’s hard to even begin to imagine what this will lead to in the future.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

NY State of Mind/Rev II

Another trip to NYC to see, in part, the NY Antiquarian Book Fair, one of the el primo exhibits of its kind in the world, courtesy a good friend of mine who turned me onto it in order for yours truly to see old, rare and precious work of impeccable taste, quality and interest.  Enjoy.

Thanks Tony for sharing this gem with me. :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Break on Through to the Other Side

View this clip to see an absolutely incredible implementation of 2D to 3D reconstructions of DNA using Voxels, in large part, to make it happen. Revolutionary without question with tech being done at the highest level. Enjoy.

In a Berkeley Lab-led study, flexible double-helix DNA segments (purple, with green DNA models) connected to gold nanoparticles (yellow) are revealed from the 3D density maps reconstructed from individual samples using a Berkeley Lab-developed technique called individual-particle electron tomography (IPET). Projections of the structures are shown in the green background grid. (credit: Berkeley Lab)

An international research team working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has captured the first high-resolution 3D images of double-helix DNA segments attached at either end to gold nanoparticles — which could act as building blocks for molecular computer memory and electronic devices (see World’s smallest electronic diode made from single DNA molecule), nanoscale drug-delivery systems, and as markers for biological research and for imaging disease-relevant proteins.

The researchers connected coiled DNA strands between polygon-shaped gold nanoparticles and then reconstructed 3D images, using a cutting-edge electron microscope technique coupled with a protein-staining process and sophisticated software that provided structural details at the scale of about 2 nanometers.

“We had no idea about what the double-strand DNA would look like between the gold nanoparticles,” said Gang “Gary” Ren, a Berkeley Lab scientist who led the research. “This is the first time for directly visualizing an individual double-strand DNA segment in 3D,” he said.

Break on Through to the Other Side says it all.

The Doors version

Rider's on the Storm's better but hey, who's complaining.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Back in 2011

Back in 2011, Bernie talked about Panama and offshore money laundering. Nothing more needs to be said. As stated by others, the more you research Bernie, the more impressive he becomes. Pretty stellar without question.

Unlike most politicians, Bernie Sanders becomes increasingly impressive the more you learn about him. Forget for a moment whether you think the tax dodging strategies popularized by the Panama Papers are ethical or not, it’s important to note that Bernie Sanders publicly warned about an expansion in such behavior all the way back in 2011. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama pushed for legislation that made such controversial strategies easier, under the guise of “free trade” with Panama.

It gets better.

Years before more than a hundred media outlets around the world released stories Sunday exposing a massive network of global tax evasion detailed in the Panama Papers, U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed for a Bush administration-negotiated free trade agreement that watchdogs warned would only make the situation worse.

Soon after taking office in 2009, Obama and his secretary of state — who is currently the Democratic presidential front-runner — began pushing for the passage of stalled free trade agreements (FTAs) with Panama, Colombia and South Korea that opponents said would make it more difficult to crack down on Panama’s very low income tax rate, banking secrecy laws and history of noncooperation with foreign partners.

Even while Obama championed his commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy, he pursued and eventually signed the Panama agreement in 2011. Upon Congress ratifying the pact, Clinton issued a statement lauding the agreement, saying it and other deals with Colombia and South Korea "will make it easier for American companies to sell their products." She added: "The Obama administration is constantly working to deepen our economic engagement throughout the world, and these agreements are an example of that commitment."

Any questions as to why Bernie makes eminent sense?

Friday, April 08, 2016

Motion 2 Step

Motion, subtle & otherwise is the focus of this short clip. Enjoy.