Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Klown Show Redux


Paddy Chayefsky would have a field day with these klowns running for president. Uninformed, crass and above all else, obsequent to Israel and devoted to war mongering, it truly is a sad moment in US politics to have to listen to these buffoons bloviate about everything save that Rand Paul actually makes sense vis a vis foreign policy.

The mainstream media is complicit in the circusization of the Republican debates.

When voters decide they will no longer be mistreated and summon candidates to their own citizen-powered debates, the dynamics behind the campaigns will shift toward the citizenry.

The mass media, with usual exceptions, have allowed themselves to be pulled down to the level of the political circus. If the Republican Party’s early primary campaigns for the presidential nomination had an elephant and a clown car, Ringling Brothers would be in trouble. It is hard for the Republican presidential candidates to resist temptation, defined by hyping an entertainment circus led by the chief circus barker—Donald Trump of gambling casino fame.

Sixteen candidates, after inexplicably excluding Mark Everson, the former IRS commissioner under George W. Bush and the first to announce, are hurling epithets, war-mongering bravados, and assorted boasts against one another. After their so-called debates, the media emphasize the insults of Trump and others against one-another. Reading the coverage and watching the TV clips, once comes away with the impression that snarls, quips, ripostes, and gaffes, now pass for news.

The operative term for news in this country is Nooze with a CAPITAL N for added emphasis to make sure us rubes are getting a "fair & balanced" view of what is actually going on in this country while we get plied with drugs, beer, cars and never ending financial advice on how to live life large in the good ole USA. :)


Monday, September 28, 2015

Super Moon/Lunar Eclipse :)


Had to do my bit regarding the Super Moon Lunar Eclipse. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Under the cover of Darkness


Check out some insane footage from the ME20F-SH 30K Canon camera that handles ISO up to 4.560.000, a level permitting near total darkness video in full color. Unreal says it all.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Military Welfare State


For a long time, yours truly has considered the military to be America's largest welfare state, a notion supported by an excellent article in Aeon titled Welfare's Last Stand



Read the history behind the military welfare state,  you won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Competency+


The competency of NASA never ceases to amaze, particularly regarding New Horizons
and it's rendezvous with Pluto. Astounding to say the least.

The newest high-resolution images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons are both dazzling and mystifying, revealing a multitude of previously unseen topographic and compositional details.

One image, showing an area on Pluto’s best-mapped hemisphere near the line that separates day from night, captures a vast rippling landscape of strange, aligned linear ridges that has astonished New Horizons team members.

“It’s a unique and perplexing landscape stretching over hundreds of miles,” says William McKinnon, a New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team deputy lead from Washington University in St. Louis. “It looks more like tree bark or dragon scales than geology. This’ll really take time to figure out; maybe it’s some combination of internal tectonic forces and ice sublimation driven by Pluto’s faint sunlight.”

The “snakeskin” image of Pluto’s surface is just one tantalizing piece of data New Horizons sent back in recent days. The spacecraft also captured the highest-resolution color view yet of Pluto – along with detailed spectral maps and other high-resolution images.

The new “extended color” view of Pluto – taken by New Horizons’ wide-angle Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) on July 14 and downlinked to Earth on Sept. 19 – shows the extraordinarily rich color palette of Pluto.

Seen below is the snakeskin image of Planet Pluto. :)


Thursday, September 24, 2015

In 1952 ...




Charles Hugh Smith's take on economics, as stated before in BRT, is thoughtful, practical and wise, characteristics readily on display when discussing the fubar of healthcare and why it has to become either single payer or competitively transparent with emphasis on cash and carry, notions anathema to the powers at be who foisted this horrible system upon the US beginning around 1965.

For starters ...



Pay cash, take charge of your health and question the validity of insurance and government entitlements are Smith's start points for changing the HC system for the better.


Last but not least.




HC will change as the current system, like that of enormous college tuition costs and continued expansion of the incredibly wasteful military/industrial/congressional complex, cannot be sustained as the US cannot afford these and other outrageous expenses (Homeland Security anyone?) that are bankrupting the nation as we speak. People are starting to ask why we have such a crappy system and why it costs so much. In time, people will stop asking and demand change and now. The question to ask is, when will it happen. For yours truly, it can't happen soon enough.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Military Industrial Complex


Great speech by a president slowly becoming recognized as one of the greats. The only thing Ike missed on his commentary was adding the word Congressional into the mix when describing the engine of never ending war, a warning the Republicans, like Carly Fiorina, just don't seem to understand in any way shape or fashion.


In trying to sound like she actually knows something about national security policy there was not a single neocon shibboleth that she didn’t name check, nor any possibility for bolstering Washington’s military might she failed to mention:

Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn’t talk to him at all. We’ve talked way too much to him…….What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I’d probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message…..We could also, to Senator Rubio’s point, give the Egyptians what they’ve asked for……..We could give the Jordanians what they’ve asked for…bombs and materiel. We have not supplied it…We could arm the Kurds.


Read David Stockman's piece, interesting to say the least in terms of facts not mattering one bit when one panders to one's base with the vim and vigor of a Carly.

Yogi


What a sad day, Yogi Berra died today. What a bummer. Amazing catcher, even more, a kind and amazing man who stayed true to his roots. Yours truly will miss him and his zen comments that always had a bit of the Bronx in them as per this classic.

When you come to a fork in the road, TAKE IT!

Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankee championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.


In 1949, early in Berra’s Yankee career, his manager assessed him this way in an interview in The Sporting News: “Mr. Berra,” Casey Stengel said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”

It ain't over until it's over. :)


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Open Tree of Life


Words cannot describe this site. Go to it to learn about life on planet earth. Stunning.


Monday, September 21, 2015

For the love of $


Outside of the amazing tech that has changed medical for the better, as seen by this awesome image of Homer, along with good docs and hc practitioners doing the right thing for their patients, the HC environment in the US is predicated on $, something egregiously exemplified by a rather large price increase of a drug called Daraprim.



It gets better.



Single payer anyone?

From Vietnam to China/timelapse style


Timelapse to the max. Worth seeing without question.

Genius is ...


Richard Feynman was a very cool guy. Musician, painter, Nobel Laureate and teacher, he was genius incarnate, NOT in IQ (125) but in being able to make connections, something yours truly has talked about for years. This connectedness & vision, along with the ability to see deep relationships among differing aspects of reality, permeate the work of all true creatives, whether they be farmers, architects, physicists or artists (etc., etc) as the discipline in question shapes the kind of output produced. As stated before in BRT, intelligence, is a prerequisite of vision, vision is not a prerequisite of intelligence as vision is an extremely rare commodity, something Feynman had in great abundance. :)

In 1959, Feynman's  stunning Plenty of Room  at the Bottom lecture described the potential of miniaturization and nanotech 20+ years before the notion, let alone the possibility of nanotech, was even envisioned until writers such as K. Eric Drexler came along to explain how this tech could work, something that is finally happening today thanks, in large part, to the personal computer revolution that began back in the early 80's.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Whales win!


Whales win regarding Navy sonar. Stellar without question. Let's hope this applies to the Arctic as well.





Without question, this is a step in the right direction regarding the world's oceans. 



Mirroring the human eye


Mirroring the human eye regarding light levels and contrast has been the holy grail of camera tech for years. Seems MIT has come up with a viable solution dealing with this issue. Interesting to say the least. 


Unbounded, as per MIT, says it all. :)

Click here to get the tech paper on this remarkable work.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Can you keep a secret?


On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef at 12:04 a.m.[1] local time and spilled 11 to 38 million US gallons (260,000 to 900,000 bbl; 42,000 to 144,000 m3) of crude oil[2][3] over the next few days. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters.[4] The Valdez spill was the largest in US waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in terms of volume released.[5] However, Prince William Sound's remote location, accessible only by helicopter, plane, or boat, made government and industry response efforts difficult and severely taxed existing plans for response. The region is a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals and seabirds. The oil, originally extracted at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, eventually covered 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline,[6] and 11,000 square miles (28,000 km2) of ocean.[7]

It gets better.

At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.

It was July 1977 when Exxon's leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis.

A year later, Black, a top technical expert in Exxon's Research & Engineering division, took an updated version of his presentation to a broader audience. He warned Exxon scientists and managers that independent researchers estimated a doubling of the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit), and as much as 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) at the poles.  Rainfall might get heavier in some regions, and other places might turn to desert.

End result.

Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth. Exxon's ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company's understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business.

Then, toward the end of the 1980s, Exxon curtailed its carbon dioxide research. In the decades that followed, Exxon worked instead at the forefront of climate denial. It put its muscle behind efforts to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions. It helped to erect a vast edifice of misinformation that stands to this day.

As often stated in BRT, it's all about the money so the question to ask again is .... Barak, why did you let Shell go up to the Arctic to drill for oil?


Just the beginning - Rev 2


The influx of refugees, as stated before in BRT, is just starting to ramp up, with dire implications for the cultural and economic future of Europe. This crisis, along with others like environmental degradation, resource depletion and continued fossil fuel use, in concert with never ending war, are prime drivers to a possible dark age as we move further into the 21st century. From this purview, one has to ask if other civilizations living on rocky planets, go through the same process and .... do they survive in using tech and political enlightenment to move to a sustainable way of conducting business on their planets before it's too late. One never knows but to yours truly, the success rate for us is razor thin given just how fractured a state mankind is at this point in time.

Europe Refugee Crisis: Croatia's President Calls For Further EU Help As Tensions With Neighbors Worsen

Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic called for more help from the European Union in dealing with a massive influx of refugees Saturday. In an interview with the Associated Press, she said that the country of 4.2 million could only do so much to assist the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and chaos in the Middle East and Africa.

Thousands of them streamed into Croatia Thursday after they were forcibly pushed back from Hungary’s borders, and the country shut its borders after over 20,000 entered this week, saying it could not handle more.

"We need to stop the flow, we need to get reassurances from European Union what happens to these people who are already in Croatia, and those who still want to transit through Croatia further," she said, according to the Associated Press.

The migrants are trying to transit through nations like Croatia in the hopes of reaching the Schengen Zone, from where they can go to wealthy west European nations like Germany.

Manufactured crisis, courtesy US foreign policy and resource depletion in the desert nations of North Africa, are the two reasons why Europe is in the cross hairs of something never thought possible prior to 2001.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Meltdown


BRT has talked copiously about global warming for years with connects to James Hansen's work and to numerous NOAA and NASA articles citing specific facts as to why burning fossil fuels is detrimental to one's health, including the planet's. On the heels of of all this verbiage comes a blurb from the NY Times reinforcing James Hansen's emphatic wakeup call to the Shells of the world to leave it in the ground before it's to late.




Click here to get the consise article detailing the "doomsday" scenario from Science Advances.

Well Barack, why in hell did you give Shell the permit to drill in the Arctic?

Last but not least, the NY Times piece also factored in Greenland, along with significant other ice environs as the Arctic, as per the Antarctic, is doing the same meltdown dance as we speak.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

360 & then some


VR & flicks, the merge is now real as seen by Dirrogate, a sign of things to come. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

I'm Sorry ...


I am far more liberal than Michael Ramirez but every once in awhile, a true gem is created by this really talented cartoonist and this is one of them. Pulling teeth out of a chicken or sucking a very sour lemon comes to mind in watching Hillary say she's sorry in acknowledging that her grievously self inflicted wound vis a vis an easily avoidable email fubar required at least some expression of remorse, even if forced or faked, if she wants to become president of the United States of America. :)

Complexity +


Pluto's complexity shows, in spades, why assumptions can be dangerous to the max as researchers never imagined just how amazing Pluto truly is.

This synthetic perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest high-resolution images to be downlinked from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, shows what you would see if you were approximately 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) above Pluto’s equatorial area, looking northeast over the dark, cratered, informally named Cthulhu Regio toward the bright, smooth, expanse of icy plains informally called Sputnik Planum. The entire expanse of terrain seen in this image is 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) across. The images were taken as New Horizons flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers). 

It gets better.

New close-up images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reveal a bewildering variety of surface features that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity.

“Pluto is showing us a diversity of landforms and complexity of processes that rival anything we’ve seen in the solar system,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado. “If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top — but that’s what is actually there.”

Who would have "thunk" it. :) Seen below is Pluto's system courtesy New Horizons.




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Collaboration 2 Step


The Best coverage worldwide, complete with evocative graphics, touts AT&T's end to end connectivity to us 24/7 but lost in the shadows, the tagline inadvertently points to something all together different, AT&T's deep connect to it's erstwhile partner, the NSA, a fact not known to the public at large, until now.





It gets better.

The documents also show that another program, code-named Stormbrew, has included Verizon and the former MCI, which Verizon purchased in 2006. One describes a Stormbrew cable landing that is identifiable as one that Verizon operates. Another names a contact person whose LinkedIn profile says he is a longtime Verizon employee with a top-secret clearance.

Seen below is a diagram showing a small part of just how sophisticated the network data flow from AT&T to the NSA truly was, something not denied by either party thanks to the accuracy of the data collected when Edwin Snowden blew the whistle on these guys.
The question to ask now is, is the connect still on? Only FISA knows, for sure.

Seen below is the art used to support the Best tagline. If nothing else, it's creative as hell.



Wednesday, September 09, 2015

It's God's Way

Speaking of god, let's talk about Kim Davis and her refusal to grant marriage licenses to Gays, something that has, thank god, become legal, which means Kim, by law, has to do the drill. Because she's devout, she will not do said drill so, she was jailed for not following the letter of the law. A few days later, she was released and ...

CNN correspondent Martin Savidge, who was at the jail, explained following the order that her attorney, Harry Mihet, said that the judge had ordered the release because her office had satisfied the court by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while she was behind bars.

“The problem here is that the attorney says she has not changed her mind, that Kim Davis is adamant that as long as her name appears on those marriage licenses, she objects and she will attempt to stop those licenses from being distributed," Savidge reported. “Which means if she goes back on the job as is expected, she will bring the process to a halt. That’s what her attorneys believe."

So ... lets think about this. Imagine what it would be like if the Kim Davis' of the world had their way, courtesy the SC's rulings on Greece NY and Hobby Lobby, whereby the "freedom" of religion scenario would permit all kinds of prejudices to issue forth from elimination of gay marriage to the striking down of women's rights and god knows what else, with enforcement being provided for by administering biblical punishments like stoning or crucifixion in order to not infringe upon one's religious beliefs like those of the Kim Davis' of the world. Sounds like ISIS anyone?

Without question, the Founding Fathers, as imperfect as they were, would have reacted with supreme distaste as they knew, as products of the Age of Reason, that separation of church and state was essential to preclude the kinds of excesses religion dominated governances tend to generate as seen by Europe, beginning with Ferland & Isabella using the Jesuits and the Inquisition to keep their subjects in line while Columbus made his way to the Americas with and end result of 250,000+ indians enslaved or killed using god (and mammon) as the path to their "enlightenment" in order to enrich the coffers of Spain.


Think about it, kind of scary isn't it?

Addendum: Without question, this tweet refutes the logic space of the Kim Davis' of the world.


In Transit


A short clip showing the transition from woodland to farm with some extras thrown in for added spice. :)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Lethal Injection of the good kind


This short clip shows how pattern recognition software, combined with an undersea robot equipped with a lethal injection system, works in eradicating the Crown of Thorns starfish, a giant plaque victimizing the Great Barrier Reef 24/7.





Pretty cool tech without question.

Seen below is nature's way of dealing with the problem with a Giant Triton doing a number on the COT in real time. Pretty awesome without question.


MENA


MENA, aka Middle East/North Africa, the tinderbox beginning to explode, is heading for Europe with skirmishes as prologue as people try to escape an untenable situation no matter what the cost may be.




When factoring in the issues of climate change, environmental degradation and resource depletion, aka Overshoot, the real possibility of an Elysium looms unless the world does a total reboot before it's too late.



Sunday, September 06, 2015

The absurdity of NO


Brian McFadden's spot on regarding the sorry state of the nation thanks, in large part, to the supremes and their rulings against the Founding Fathers' insistence on the separation of church and state via the 1st Amendment, thanks to Hobby Lobby & Greece NY .

Free at last


Robert Parry is one of the few reporters who get it. Do due diligence to get the facts regarding any given story before publishing it, something the NY Times has forgotten at times since Punch Sulzberger left the scene as scion of America's most important newspaper. To that end, Deflategate dominated the football scene to such an extent that even BRT posted blurbs about it, citing Robert Parry's excellent take on why the case was shaky at best when the story broke 7 months ago. As stated in BRT, it matters not what team or quarterback was "possibly" aware about the "possible crime" of people deflating footballs, what matters is the validity of the case, something completely annihilated by science (the ideal gas law) and a judge who gets it when Judge Richard Berman set Brady free from a NFL kangaroo number the NY Times accepted as gospel prior to the ruling and facts of the case given out on Thursday.

It’s been my experience from nearly four decades in Washington journalism that it’s increasingly rare when a powerful institution protects an individual from unfair and abusive treatment by another powerful institution. The U.S. District Court decision throwing out the National Football League’s kangaroo case against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was one of those exceptions.

I realize that some readers feel that I should not have “wasted” time examining the scientifically flimsy case known as Deflategate or observing how the NFL’s supposedly “independent” investigation slanted what little evidence it had to support the league’s initial rush to judgment and harsh punishment of Brady. One reader joked it was just a case about men and their balls.

And I initially had no intention of writing about this topic. But I noted a disturbing haste in the conclusions about Brady’s guilt and I then read the Wells report last spring out of curiosity. What I found in it was what I had seen in so many other bogus investigations that start with a conclusion and make the “facts” fit.

My annoyance also didn’t stop with the NFL. It extended to the news media, where – from The New York Times to ESPN – the NFL’s case was accepted as unassailable and Brady was casually denounced as a cheater and a perjurer. Considering how much ink and time were devoted to this overblown Deflategate “scandal,” there was almost no serious examination of the actual evidence.

The question to ask here is, would the Pentagon Papers be published today by the NY Times? Somehow, I rather doubt it.

Click here to read the ruling, courtesy the NY Times. :)



Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Deep State


Seen above is an excellent chart from oftwominds.com, detailing the power elite who runs America aka The Deep State, a term originating from Turkey describing a government within a government linking private to public with its sole aim to remain in power... forever. To whit:


In essence, this is very old news as this kind of thing has been going on since the beginning of time where those in power will do everything in their power to remain in power .... forever.

Origins:







Any questions?


Summer 2015 - Of Land & Sea


The Summer of 2015, weatherwise, has been stellar for the Northeast though drought is becoming severe thanks to the strong El Nino happening out west. Enjoy as we move toward fall, the season of harvest & the turning of leaves from green to all shades connected to yellows and reds. :)