Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Brave New World/84


Huxley was prescient about what is happening today in America, circa 2015, when he wrote this bit of incendiary and accurate prose in Brave New World Revisited circa 1958. Food for thought, don't you think?


The original, written in 1931.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An Existential Question


The modern version of Sisyphus is the filling out of endless forms, where bureaucracy reigns supreme, where stupidity and inefficiency is compounded by the inept application of tech as seen in areas such as health care, taxes and the military, topics covered with biting humor and insight by David Graeber in his new book titled The Utopia of Rules. Click here to read an excerpt.





As proof , check out the metastasizing US Tax Code, a document set that doubles every 24 years.

I rest my case.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Reality check :)


In spite of a functionally illiterate congress constantly downgrading the importance of science, science has had a very good week, with possible new takes on reality akin to science fiction of the 3rd kind.




Better yet, here's the backgrounder on how to build a black hole. :)


Stone Soup


How did life begin on earth 4+ billion years ago, a mystery that has plagued scientists and philosophers for thousands of years, a mystery that may finally be solved if recent research findings prove to be true.




Stone soup rules. :)


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Peanuts


I'll bet almost everyone reading this post has dealt with packing peanuts, you know, the white, seemingly lighter then air chaff that flies all over the place when 1. you unpack the thing you ordered and 2, said peanuts fly all over the place when you try to put them in the trash because they cannot be recycled, until now.





Sounds like a plan to me. Now all we need are recycling centers that will bag up the peanuts and ship them off to become part of better and cheaper batteries while helping to protect the environment. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

30%+


30% +of all arable land is used to feed or house these guys, along with pigs, chickens and  turkeys, an astounding percentage of earth's resources to say the least, but that's not all.

When emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 percent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure. 

And it accounts for respectively 37 percent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 percent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.

Livestock now use 30 percent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 percent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock, the report notes. As forests are cleared to create new pastures, it is a major driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America where, for example, some 70 percent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing. 

But there is another way.


Entomophagy, a viable alternative for the following reasons.






Two billion people live on insects without issue, something to consider don't you think?

The Anthropocene


BRT's Something to Consider, a riff on man's 21st century version of The Great Dying, has now been codified by Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen as The Anthropocene Epoch: How We Became Nature, a frightening scenario whose impact is becoming ever more apparent as we move further into the future.





As per WTFU, the message is becoming ever more clear, we must change or go the way of the dodo when earth recovers from our transgressions to once again, become a viable place for a new civilization to rise, wise enough to work in concert with nature and not destroy it, something radically different from the approach man has taken for the past 5000 years.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Circadian rhythms & then some


Man's a diurnal creature, a being who, way back when, worked by day and slept by night, something not being done now as we move further into the age of never ending light, where the notion of adhering to circadian rhythms has gone the way of the dodo with potentially catastrophic results if the findings of one researcher proves to be true.



Where it gets interesting



Maybe this is why the world seems to be so chaotic, so crazed, so over stressed and so amped. Makes sense to me as yours truly now goes to bed earlier, with no light, no sound, just darkness, similar to how man did it back in the day.



Darkness, Darkness
Be my pillow
Take my hand
And let me sleep
In the coolness of your shadow
In the silence of your deep

Darkness, Darkness
Hide my yearning
For the things I cannot be
Keep my mind from constant turning
Toward the things I cannot see now
Things I cannot see now
Things I cannot see

Darkness, darkness,
Long and lonesome,
Ease the day that brings me pain.
I have felt the edge of sadness,
I have known the depth of fear.
Darkness, darkness, be my blanket,
Cover me with the endless night,
Take away, take away the pain of knowing,
Fill the emptiness of right now,
Emptiness of right now, now, now
Emptiness of ri-ight now.

Darkness, darkness, be my pillow,
Take my hand, and let me sleep.
In the coolness of your shadow,
In the silence, the silence of your deep.
Darkness, darkness, be my blanket,
Cover me with the endless night,
Take away, take away the pain of knowing
Fill the emptiness of right now,
Emptiness of right now now now
Emptiness of right....
Oh yeah Oh yeah
Emptiness, emptiness
Oh yeah  - Jesse Colin Young, The Youngbloods

A really big deal


BRT has waxed enthusiastic about Graphene since 2008 as this material has the potential to change how man conducts business on planet earth due to the unique characteristics of a one atom thick sheet of carbon, the same exact thing as pencil lead save for the form factor just described. Because of this, the difficulty of getting enough graphene to do something serious has been problematic until now.



It gets better.




Tech, like money, never sleeps. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Highs & Lows of Planet Earth


Orders of magnitude?


Carbon 3D's approach to 3D printing could be a game changer without question.

A tiny wonder


On a walk on the beach, yours truly chanced upon this little bit of wonder, an impossibly thin strand of ice extending into space, unencumbered by gravity or the wind, unnoticed by all as the day was the first true harbinger of spring in NE, something us rubes have been pining for from way back when.

Enjoy.

Why are barns red?


Yours truly loves factoids, you know, the kind that illuminate just how wonderful and rich the reality in which we all live truly is. In this light, here is a enlightening explanation of why barns are always red. :)








Any questions? :)