Monday, December 09, 2019

A CF of historic proportions ...

Two trillion (and counting), the Afghan initiative has been a CF of historic proportions. With this in mind, please read the NYTimes post and weep but note that this fubar, on top of W's excellent adventure in Iraq, Hillary's and Obama's Lybian soiree and Obama's and Trump's intervention in Syria, has cost the US a cool 8+ trillion (and counting) while leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake since 9/11/2001. 

Sunday, December 08, 2019

In the land of the blind ... :)



Portraits of a different kind ...





Yours truly often imagines just how dangerous and wonderous this world must have been as dinos ruled earth for over 250 million years, a length of time dwarfing the age of mammals without issue.  


The reason for this blurb centers on the superb piece in the NY Review of Books titled What Were Dinosaurs For? as said piece delves, in-depth, into the uneasy relationship of science vs. theology, issues Mark Twain described in incendiary fashion in his work titled Letters from the Earth.



In reading Twain, Waiting for Godot comes to mind as Godot never shows up ...


Endgame:


To yours truly, it's probabilities. We live in a quantum universe where there are no certitudes, just probabilities. This is why Camus' Myth of Sysiphus rings forever true for yours truly.

Read What are Dinosaurs For? as it is truly extraordinary in every sense of the word. :)

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Parker is stellar :)



The Parker Solar Probe is earning its pay in spades as new discoveries keep coming in as Parker continues it's ever closer orbits around the sun.

Cosmic dust, the remnants of epic crashes from which planets, stars, comets and asteroids were born after the Big Bang, is floating all over our solar system. It gets everywhere like glitter. Suspected for years by scientists, the dust-free zone is thought to be a region relatively close to the Sun where the dust would be roasted by extreme solar temperatures, which would eventually morph it into a gas and leave behind a clearer piece of sky. WISPR found that space dust in the proximity of the Sun starts to thin out at about 7 million miles away. As the probe approached, it saw even less dust at 4 million miles.

It gets better.

Parker imaged the corona during its first two ten-day perihelion passes, the perihelion being the point in its orbit closest to the sun. It had quite a view. While it could see things telescopes and satellites can see from further out in space and even from Earth, it was able to see the decrease in F-coronal light intensity that Howard and Vourlidas mentioned, which is indicative of a dust-free zone. If there are multiple dust-free or minimal-dust zones around the sun, then that means one thing—rings of dust in between.




There's more ...

Among the findings are new understandings of how the Sun's constant outflow of solar wind behaves. Seen near Earth, the solar wind plasma appears to be a relatively uniform flow – one that can interact with our planet's natural magnetic field and cause space weather effects that interfere with technology. Instead of that flow, near the Sun, Parker's observations reveal a dynamic and highly structured system, similar to that of an estuary that serves as a transition zone as a river flows into the ocean. For the first time, scientists are able to study the solar wind from its source, the Sun's corona, similar to how one might observe the stream that serves as the source of a river. This provides a much different perspective as compared to studying the solar wind were its flow impacts Earth.

How cool is that?

Friday, December 06, 2019

Of waves & power ...



Nature's raw power, relentless and without morality, simply makes one stop and be amazed, something seen in spades with Chris Bryan's extraordinary video titled Mocean ...

“MOCEAN” is an incredible short film by Chris Bryan that captures the raw power and beauty of waves. All images where shot using a Phantom Flex 4K camera with Leica Summilux lenses and Bryan’s custom underwater housings.

To whit ...

I love filming in the ocean more than anything, it’s not just a job, it’s a passion. And sometimes it’s nice just to document waves without surfers riding them. The feeling of jumping off the rocks in the dark by myself just to capture the very first rays of light hitting the ocean without another soul in sight is unexplainable, it’s one of the most amazing feelings ever, it’s like my own personal therapy.

And to realize that you’re the only person on this planet that got to witness these rare moments of absolute beauty as they happen is a really special feeling.

Yes indeed.

War is a Racket/Rev XX ...


War is a Racket, a no BS essay detailing the raison d'ete for war, written by Major General Smedly Butler, the only two time Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, comes to mind here as he's right, the end product of this dreadful enterprise are the dead and wounded while the weapons makers and  banks who finance this racket, profit, no matter what the cost may be.  With this being said, cluster bombs, manufactured by the millions, show, in no uncertain terms, why war is the vilest enterprise of all.


WTF??? Read the rest of the NYTimes piece to see why Buttler's essay rings true.



Thursday, December 05, 2019

Wired to the max ...



Wired to the max ...

Skynet looms ...


BRT has posted many blurbs about autonomous weapons,  an AI-driven tech becoming commonplace given just how little money it takes to build lethal hardware not imagined just one year ago.



Ask the Houthis how effective this tech was against the Saudi oil refineries.



Skynet looms ...




End game: We have already lost control because we don't know how the AI driving the tech works.

Interesting is it not?



The Terminator doing backflips et al ...

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Of Ice & Snow


Dividing Line


Snowbound


Channel Crossing :)


Of ice & snow


Channeling Stuben


'Tis the season