Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, in one instance, is yours truly's favorite holiday as it marks the beginning of summer, the favorite season of this old rube. In the other instance, Memorial Day is a paean to the dead who gave their lives, in many instances, for unworthy causes promoted by our so-called leaders of this once great nation. To this end, an extraordinary Guardian article commemorating this day is a must read to learn why no-cost war is but a dream foisted upon us by those who will never fight in one.

Jack Satan’s the greatest of gods
And Hell is the best of abodes.
’Tis reached through the Valley of Clods
By seventy beautiful roads.

Ambrose Bierce, from A Sole Survivor

I won't talk about the 2016 bloviators running for president who fantasize about this no cost option as none of these clowns has ever faced someone wanting to kill them, especially ones who rightfully consider us to be invaders and destroyers of the first kind, (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria) who state,  in self righteous manner, that, "we are exceptional and we're here to help you whether you like it or not." while spending 4 trillion dollars that garnered us nothing but lost and shattered lives of our young, the displacement of millions, the creation of ISIS and an immigration nightmare of historic proportions aimed at the heart of Europe. On top of this is the very real possibility of needless war with Russia, thanks to neocon ideology in concert with their intimate connection to the ever growing Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex system that Ike warned us about way back when. In conclusion, maybe these fools (Hillary and The Donald) might heed the wise advice of Ben Fountain before starting another adventure doomed to failure as the ones listed here.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Just North America

Biodiversity, essential for life on on earth, is under existential threat due to climate change, environmental degradation/habitat loss and extensive use of herbicides and pesticides. 

This report is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States, and Mexico. 

In Crisis: Oceans and Tropical Forests

More than half of species from oceans and tropical forests are on the Watch List because of small and declining populations, small ranges, and severe threats to their habitats.

Note: This is just for North America and limited to birds but ... since birds occupy the same environment as other lifeforms like insects, mammals, reptiles, etc., etc.,  and the three variables stated in the document still apply to said environment, it stands to reason roughly the same breakdown of biodiversity vis a via other lifeforms would apply, don't you think? Don't you also think we're headed for a crisis as a species? Sounds reasonable to me without issue.

Click here to download the report.


Panspermia, the notion that life came from outside earth, just got major league reinforcement from Rosetta, the European spacecraft orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov-Geranismenko.

Ingredients regarded as crucial for the origin of life on Earth have been discovered at the comet that ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has been probing for almost two years.

They include the amino acid glycine, which is commonly found in proteins, and phosphorus, a key component of DNA and cell membranes.

Scientists have long debated the important possibility that water and organic molecules were brought by asteroids and comets to the young Earth after it cooled following its formation, providing some of the key building blocks for the emergence of life.

While some comets and asteroids are already known to have water with a composition like that of Earth’s oceans, Rosetta found a significant difference at its comet – fuelling the debate on their role in the origin of Earth’s water.

But new results reveal that comets nevertheless had the potential to deliver ingredients critical to establish life as we know it.

Interesting to say the least. :)

Friday, May 27, 2016

I dunno about this.

Sensory overload to the max. Augmented reality anyone? I dunno about this. Later

Idiocracy - circa 2016

Yours truly has watched this flick a few times, marveling at how crass and stupid the human race can be. Said film takes place in 2505 but, thanks to the advance of tech and the demise of intelligent thought today, Idiocracy reigns supreme in 2016, thanks, in part, to the amazing presidential campaign from hell. :)

Any questions?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Let them eat cake

Hubris, condescension and self appointed entitlement says it all regarding Clinton's arrogant response to the State Department's self depreciating account of how she blatantly disregarded security protocols when she decided to install an unsecured private email server to handle personal and S.O.S. confidential documents, 22 of which were top secret or above, thus becoming personally responsible for the proper handling of said documents NO intelligent person (or techie) would ever do as stated in BRT

It gets better.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Past as Prelude

As my loyal readers know, Network is one of the all time favorites of yours truly, a film worthy, IMHO, of belonging in the same league as Strangelove, Godfather I and Citizen Kane as great cinema forcing one to think differently about reality after seeing the work in question. Well, it seems Chayefsky wanted to have an ending even more prescient then the one in the film as his take on the news was prescient to a fault.

When you think about it, 6 mega corporations run news in this country with the obstensive purpose to sell ads. The best way to do it is be sensationalist, sleazy, patriotic and fear mongering, characteristics The Donald leveraged to the max when beginning his successful run to get the GOP nomination. Also consider the fact the big 6 are connected directly or indirectly with the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex, the money and power engine that keeps on giving thus helping the big 6 in transforming news into NOOZE, the "reality" show that misinforms 24/7 to keep us rubes quiet and in the dark along the lines of They Live sans the B&W sunglasses.

This infographic created by Jason at Frugal Dad shows that almost all media comes 
from the same six sources.

That's consolidated from 50 companies back in 1983.

NOTE: This infographic is from last year and is missing some key transactions. GE does not own NBC (or Comcast or any media) anymore. So that 6th company is now Comcast. And Time Warner doesn't own AOL, so Huffington Post isn't affiliated with them.

But the fact that a few companies own everything demonstrates "the illusion of choice," Frugal Dad says. While some big sites, like Digg and Reddit aren't owned by any of the corporations, Time Warner owns news sites read by millions of Americans every year.

Up close & personal

Monday, May 23, 2016

Deep Time

A Sense of Scale depicts the smallest to the largest entities in our part of the multiverse. Here, an infographic does the deed regarding deep time and how it applies to earth. :)

Just Words :)

Just did a post in Medium, a pretty interesting publishing site. No graphics, just words. :)

A Sense of Scale

A must see. "Nuff Said. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

For the love of B&W

Like radio, B&W will never die. Channeling William Turner

Zen Space

Riders on the Storm

Monday, May 16, 2016

On Reaching 1900

Reaching 1900 blurbs feels pretty significant to yours truly. Waxing poetic about it is not in the cards but waxing poetic about infrastructure or the lack thereof is because the US is falling apart while the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex continues to run amuck on ill advised military adventures driven by ideology and money and not pragmatic reality, issues BRT has discussed in depth as long as this "wonderful" blog has existed. What's even more amazing is how politicos view this lack of infrastructure funding as a mysterious process even though the raison d'ete is as obvious as the nose on one's face. The pix above is China's rather futuristic version of the subway, something rather unlike the ones seen in this country.

It’s the problem that no one has been able to solve.

For years, there has been widespread agreement in Washington that the nation is facing an infrastructure crisis, with dangerously congested roads and deficient bridges threatening public safety and trade. 

Time and time again, lawmakers in both parties have expressed agreement that something should be done.

Yet congressional attempts to revitalize the country’s transportation infrastructure — which now ranks 11th in the world after slipping from no. 1, according to the World Economic Forum — have gone nowhere. 

Members of Congress, local legislators, former Cabinet members and experts alike say the impasse largely boils down to one thing. 

“It’s politics,” said Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Funding shortfalls ahead

By 2025, the country’s total infrastructure investment needs will total $3.3 trillion, but planned investments are only $1.8 trillion, leaving a $1.4 trillion gap. 

That shortfall is projected to grow to $5.1 trillion by 2040 if investment rates continue on the current trajectory, according to the latest report from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Homer actually has the answer. :)

For the first time ever, after some 26 years on the air, The Simpsons hit a new milestone for an animated series by going live on Sunday night. For three minutes, Homer Simpson—voiced by Dan Castellaneta—fielded phone calls from fans during both the East and West Coast broadcasts and offered his opinion on the U.S. presidential candidates. Well, kind of.

Ending the episode, titled “Simprovised,” Homer’s live segment on the West Coast feed saw him wade into the political storm surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential run (something, by the way, that was predicted by The Simpsons in 2000). Asked by a caller if he would move from Springfield to Canada if Trump is elected, Homer responded: “Well, there are a lot of people who want me to move out of Springfield already. But I don’t think Canada will welcome me.”

He then added: “But you know what? That’s why I’m for Bernie Sanders. I love his chicken. But out of respect we should refer to him as The Colonel.”

Gotta love it. :)

Addendum: Check out Five Infrastructure Emergencies from  The Hill. The mystery remains intact as to why there's not enough money to fix things but reality, like rust never sleeps in spite of the BS given to us by our so-called leaders.