What the so-called candidates for president should say.
Friday, July 22, 2016
As everyone knows, BRT was for Bernie. Intelligent, principled and wise, this guy is the only one qualified to be president as the other two are compromised in ways that truly boggle the mind. With this in mind, there is a way to enable real change to happen, something that must happen if America is to survive as a viable nation as we move further into the 21st century.
DB: To be clear, what you are saying is, a lot of the energy wasted inside these conventions trying to change the platform is really a bit of a distraction from the energy that can come out of all the platforms that people supported Bernie for at the grass roots level…
Palast: You don’t want to waste your bullet. This convention business is, after all, just a show. It’s theater. There’s no convention. There’s no discussion over whose going to get the nomination. That’s done. It’s a show. Trump has made it clear that he wants the Republican show to even be better, so he’s going to speak all night. It’s burlesque, it’s political striptease. America Has No Political Talent is the show. But if we want to go permanent, if we want to really change this nation, which is what the Sanders’ campaign claims to be about… If you want to have a true Medicare for all, possibility; Clinton has talked about opening up Medicare to people 50 and over, which would be tremendous, if she sticks to it. She’s talked about removing the caps so that rich people have to pay into the social security fund with no cap, which Sanders forced her to do. Sanders forced her to come out against the TPP. Sanders forced her to say she’d re-open NAFTA.
She’s not going to be held to these things when she’s president by looking at her old party platform — that’s a giggle! But she will be held accountable if there are 13 million people in a progressive organization, which Sanders would have to front, which would say, “We are going to withhold our support for the Democratic Party, money, people de-registering, we will have nothing to do with you. These are our demands and we’re holding you to these demands.”
Make it happen Bernie, make it happen.
Addendum: Bernie was screwed out of the nomination by the DNC as per new Wikileaks' docs.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Friday, July 08, 2016
A Triple Play :)
That imaging paints a picture of a fairly unique world. HD 131399Ab is thought to be a gas giant, about four times the mass of Jupiter, with water and methane in its atmosphere. And its orbit is astonishing to the researchers. It travels around one of the stars in the system at a distance that’s about twice that of the Sun and Pluto, an incredibly wide orbit that lasts 550 Earth-years. For most of that time, the planet has a routine daytime and nighttime, as the three suns rise and set close together. But as the planet moves throughout the system, there comes a time when one sun rises just as another sets. This leads to a period where HD 131399Ab is bathed in constant sunlight — an interval that lasts 140 years.
As often said, you cannot make this up.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Back in 2015, BRT did a post, Past the point of no return, a short piece on the possibility of the collapse of a large part of the western ice shelf of Antartica, something echoed in spades in a NY Times piece prosaically titled Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly with consequences rather dire to say the least, particularly after the year of our lord 2100.
With ice melting in other regions, too, the total rise of the sea could reach five or six feet by 2100, the researchers found. That is roughly twice the increase reported as a plausible worst-case scenario by a United Nations panel just three years ago, and so high it would likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today.
The situation would grow far worse beyond 2100, the researchers found, with the rise of the sea exceeding a pace of a foot per decade by the middle of the 22nd century. Scientists had documented such rates of increase in the geologic past, when far larger ice sheets were collapsing, but most of them had long assumed it would be impossible to reach rates so extreme with the smaller ice sheets of today.
What the times piece did not discuss was Albedo, a prime driver as to why GW is accelerating beyond anything researchers could have predicted just a few years ago.
When looking at this striking image of an ice berg calving from the King Baudouin Ice Shelf, one readily sees the tremendous difference in the albedo from ice to water whereby the Antarctic, like the Arctic, will gradually become a heat sink due to the continual melting of the sea ice caused by global warming. Calving is a normal event but the decreased albedo on both poles is quietly disconcerting to say the least.
Hate to say this but BRT was on this a year prior to the Times.
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Another stellar image from Cassini. Words not needed here. :)
Pan and moons like it have profound effects on Saturn's rings. The effects can range from clearing gaps, to creating new ringlets, to raising vertical waves that rise above and below the ring plane. All of these effects, produced by gravity, are seen in this image.
Pan (17 miles or 28 kilometers across), seen in image center, maintains the Encke Gap in which it orbits, but it also helps create and shape the narrow ringlets that appear in the Encke gap. Two faint ringlets are visible in this image, below and to the right of Pan.
Friday, July 01, 2016
What $35 in tech gets you ...
Retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee recently went up against ALPHA, an artificial intelligence developed by a University of Cincinnati doctoral graduate. The contest? A high-fidelity air combat simulator.
In fact, all the other AI’s that the Air Force Research Lab had in their possession also lost to ALPHA…and so did all of the other human experts who tried their skills against ALPHA’s superior algorithms.
Saying that Lee is experienced when it comes to aerial combat is a remarkable understatement. He is an instructor who has trained with thousands of U.S. Air Force pilots. he is also an Air Battle Manager who has been fighting against AI opponents in air combat simulations since the 1980s.
Yet, he was not successful in winning against ALPHA. Not even once. Indeed, not even when the researchers deliberately handicapped ALPHA’s aircraft, impeding it in terms of speed, turning, missile capability, and sensor use.
The age of skynet looms.
Let's think about the F 35 shall we? Click here to get the paper on the AI tech in question.
Brigands, thieves and harassers supreme, the Frigate Bird is also the most efficient flyer, AFAWK, in the entire world.
"First, we found, 'Whoa, 1,500 meters. Wow. Excellent, fantastique,' " says Weimerskirch, who is with the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. "And after 2,000, after 3,000, after 4,000 meters — OK, at this altitude they are in freezing conditions, especially surprising for a tropical bird."
Four thousand meters is more than 12,000 feet, or as high as parts of the Rocky Mountains. "There is no other bird flying so high relative to the sea surface," he says.
It gets better.
"It's the only bird that is known to intentionally enter into a cloud," Weimerskirch says. And not just any cloud — a fluffy, white cumulus cloud. Over the ocean, these clouds tend to form in places where warm air rises from the sea surface. The birds hitch a ride on the updraft, all the way up to the top of the cloud.
Frigatebirds have to find ways to stay aloft because they can't land on the water. Since their feathers aren't waterproof, the birds would drown in short order. They feed by harassing other birds in flight until they regurgitate whatever fish they've eaten and the frigatebird takes it. Or they fly over a fish-feeding frenzy on the ocean surface and scoop up small fish that leap out of the water to escape larger fish.
Have to show one more pix of this magnificent flying machine.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
A wonderful article in Nautilus titled Can a Living Creature Be as Big as a Galaxy? is informative to the max, complete with a terrific set of illustrations, courtesy John Hendrix.
The size of things in our universe runs all the way from the tiny 10-19 meter scale that characterizes quark interactions, to the cosmic horizon 1026 meters away. In these 45 possible orders of magnitude, life, as far as we know it, is confined to a relatively tiny bracket of just over nine orders of magnitude, roughly in the middle of the universal range: Bacteria and viruses can measure less than a micron, or 10-6 meters, and the height of the largest trees reaches roughly 100 meters. The honey fungus that lives under the Blue Mountains in Oregon, and is arguably a single living organism, is about 4 kilometers across. When it comes to known sentient life, the range in scale is even smaller, at about three orders of magnitude.
Addendum: What about on the supersize end of the spectrum? William S. Burroughs, in his novel The Ticket That Exploded, imagined that beneath a planetary surface, lies “a vast mineral consciousness near absolute zero thinking in slow formations of crystal.” The astronomer Fred Hoyle wrote dramatically and convincingly of a sentient hyper-intelligent “Black Cloud,” comparable to Earth-sun distance. His idea presaged the concept of Dyson spheres, massive structures that completely surround a star and capture most of its energy. It is also supported by calculations that my colleague Fred Adams and I are performing, that indicate that the most effective information-processing structures in the current-day galaxy might be catalyzed within the sooty winds ejected by dying red giant stars. For a few tens of thousands of years, dust-shrouded red giants provide enough energy, a large enough entropy gradient, and enough raw material to potentially out-compute the biospheres of a billion Earth-like planets.
Food for thought, eh? :)