Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Build for Obselesence

Question, what costs $162M per unit, is years behind schedule and is ..., you guessed it, already obsolete even though the $400 billion dollar F 35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive and inept weapons system ever built, a testimony to government/military incompetence at the highest level.

Can you imagine Apple doing something this stupid? Not

40 years & counting, The A10 Warthog - a military program that will continue until at least 2028.

Any questions?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Data Breaches by the Numbers

AeroMobil 3.0

BRT talked about the AeroMobil in a post titled If it looks good, it will fly well, an elegant approach to the age old dream of a car that flies, a radical yet well thought out project coming ever closer to reality as seen by this latest video about something that does look good and appears to fly very well indeed. OBTY, the site looks pretty damn good as well. :)

Silent Running

Silent Running, a prescient SF movie of the 3rd kind, is particularly relevant as seen in the ongoing 6th Great Dying being perpetrated by us as we move further into the 21st century, something beyond tragic as once a species is gone, it's gone forever, not to mention the negative impact species extinction does to biodiversity, the one essential needed for man to survive on planet earth. To address this critical issue, researchers have found a way to efficiently storehouse invaluable DNA of individual lifeforms before they become extinct, an approach radically different from that of Silent Running but with the same intent.

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) have developed a cost-effective way to save a wide range of threatened species, including rare old ones that may be costly to protect.

Their new technique to help maximise both the species and genetic diversity we save helps resolve the dilemma facing conservation managers worldwide: whether to rescue a larger number of recent and more common species or fewer, unique and older species that may be more costly to preserve.
The technology will help nations such as Australia and New Zealand to protect as much diversity of both species and their genes as possible, says lead researcher Dr Joseph Bennett of CEED and The University of Queensland (UQ).

"The global extinction crisis is getting worse, and conservation funds are seldom enough to stop biodiversity from declining," says Dr Bennett. "This is like a library on fire – and we have to save as much of the precious information as we can.

Click on the little guy below to get more information on what CEED is trying to do.

Addendum: Researchers are also doing the same thing with seeds as seen by the svalbard-global-seed-vault,  one of several being built to save as many of the world's plant species before they too disappear. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Emily Post Etiquette - Eagle Style :)

Bald Eagles are not only magnificent in appearance and stately in demeanor, as seen in this terrific video by Cornell's Lab of Ornithology, but also pretty laid back by allowing crows to partake in the annual fish feast in Homer, Alaska. Enjoy.


Some late fall/early winter random walks in CT. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last Days - Why Wildlife Matters

Why wildlife matters.


Interesting factoids regarding just how much $$ has gone into the never ending war machine since 9/11. 

American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years.

The $1.6 trillion estimate, which comes to $14 million per hour since 9/11, from the Congressional Research Service is up roughly half a trillion dollars from its 2010 estimate, which found that the post-9/11 military operations are second only to World War II in terms of financial cost. 

It gets better.

Last week, a Defense Department official disclosed that since August, U.S. taxpayers have already spent more than $1 billion -- or $8 million a day -- on air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Additionally, the Obama administration announced it is deploying 1,300 troops to Iraq in January.

The question to ask is: How successful have these operations been in improving the lives of the people said operations has impacted relative to the enormous profits accrued by the arms merchants supplying the hardware to do the deed? Something to think about, IMHO, as the infrastructure of the country continues to go down the tubes.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Voodoo Economics

David Stockman found religion in terms of intelligent economic analysis after his stint as Reagan's OMB director whereby Voodoo Economics reigned supreme, policies that did not work due to how the system was gamed, something very different to how Eisenhower ran things, a president who, IMHO, understood what sound economic policy was all about.

 Reaganomics (/reɪɡəˈnɒmɪks/; a portmanteau of Reagan and economics attributed to Paul Harvey)[1] refers to the economic policies promoted by U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s. These policies are commonly associated with supply-side economics, referred to as trickle-down economics by political opponents and free market economics by political advocates.

The four pillars of Reagan's economic policy were to reduce the growth of government spending, reduce the federal income tax and capital gains tax, reduce government regulation, and tighten the money supply in order to reduce inflation.[2]

Stockman's latest missive, The Fracturing Energy Bubble Is the New Housing Crash, rings true regarding Shale Oil, fracking's first cousin, the one trick pony whose rather limited act is in its final phase of existence.

In short, the Fed exported bubble finance to the entire world, but most especially China and the EM. The upshot was an extended era of booming but phony global growth, and a consequent artificially high oil prices at $115 per barrel.

When central bank inflated oil prices were coupled with lunatic junk bond yields in the US shale patch at barely 300 bps over the central bank repressed yield on the US treasury note, the result was the same old bubble thing. Namely, a half trillion dollar flow of high yield bonds and loans to the energy sector, and a wholly artificial explosion of US shale liquids production from 1 million to more than 4 million barrels per day.

Like in the case of the housing bubble, the energy boom was an accident waiting to happen— testimony to another even grander experiment by the madmen running the world’s central banks.  It is now exploding right on schedule. The plunging graphs subsequent to the housing bust are now being re-gifted to the energy patch and all the bloated, unstable chains of finance and real economic activity which flow from it.

The graph above, which shows that every net job created in the US during the last seven years is attributable to the shale states, will be one of the first to morph into a less happy shape.

But there is something else even more significant. The global oil price collapse now unfolding is not putting a single dime into the pockets of American households—-the CNBC talking heads to the contrary notwithstanding.  What is happening is the vast flood of mispriced debt and capital, which flowed into the energy sector owning to the Fed’s lunatic ZIRP and QE policies, is now rapidly deflating.

That will reduce bubble spending and investment, not add to economic growth. It’s the housing bust all over again.

Any questions?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A new kind of inquisition

The Spanish Inquisition, a dark period of human history, has a very mild 2014 successor, in terms of torment and torture, when Spain drove out Google News using, you guessed it, copyright, to make it happen.

The internet is a system of tubes, right?

Here's more: 

Thank god for fair use, at least in this country, otherwise, BRT, and other blogs like it, would cease to exist.

Happy Days are here again

Xmas came early to Wall Street when CT Representative Jim Himes shepherded in the gutting of
Dodd-Frank in the 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill passed by Congress by re enabling WS to use government backed monies to continue ginning the derivatives game for ever greater profits, thus eliminating risk due to the fact WS will get bailed out yet again, by us  rubes, when the market tanks, as it always does, based on the bubble mentality of how the banks, and significant others, manipulate money to game the system, using tech to make it happen.

Betrayal always has consequences as the French found out when they had their violent revolution (1789 - 1799), based on Popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and aristocracy "that" grew during a financial crisis following two expensive wars and years of bad harvests. something our so called leaders are doing, in similar fashion, in 2014.

Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means — to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face.

–  Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice, in 1928

Amendment 28 anyone?

Friday, December 12, 2014

The 1st Law

IMHO, the 1st law of Thermodynamics (The conversation of energy) is the most important 
scientific law articulated by man as it provides the raison d'ete as to how the quantum/relativistic reality, in which we all live, is powered. :)

Boltzmann and Wheeler are right, reality is information writ large. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The eventual successor to Glass

Tech never sleeps as seen by just how fast 3D printing has come along, not only in the first steps to print human organs using patient cells to start the process rolling but also in the first proof of concept to successfully merge electronics to contact lenses using the same tech to make it happen.

Michael McAlpine, the lead researcher, cautioned that the lens is not designed for actual use—for one, it requires an external power supply. Instead, he said the team created the device to demonstrate the ability to "3-D print" electronics into complex shapes and materials.

"This shows that we can use 3-D printing to create complex electronics including semiconductors," said McAlpine, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. "We were able to 3-D print an entire device, in this case an LED." 

The hard contact lens is made of plastic. The researchers used tiny crystals, called quantum dots, to create the LEDs that generated the colored light. Different size dots can be used to generate various colors. 

"We used the quantum dots [also known as nanoparticles] as an ink," McAlpine said. "We were able to generate two different colors, orange and green."

The contact lens is also part of an ongoing effort to use 3-D printing to assemble diverse, and often hard-to-combine, materials into functioning devices. In the recent past, a team of Princeton professors including McAlpine created a bionic ear out of living cells with an embedded antenna that could receive radio signals.

Things, they keep a changin. - Bob Dylan

If you don't love us...

Next kind of says it all, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The CIA Report

No need to show the gruesome pictures of the CIA torture engine or belabor just how truly disgusting and damaging this fubar has been and will be to the nation for the foreseeable future as the real question to ask is: WHO AUTHORISED THE CIA TO COMMIT THESE ATROCITIES?? But we already know who, right? and WHAT CAN BE DONE TO BRING THESE PERPS TO JUSTICE? To yours truly, Attica sounds like a viable destination for the sociopaths who told the CIA to start the ball rolling if you ask me. To whit.

It gets better.

Any questions?


Turning on a dime :)

Had to put this in. Incompetence writ large. Check out the guy coming into the parking lot while this genius performs Bolero with a "Bimmer". Kind of reminds me of Congress and it's allegiance to incompetence at the public's expense. Thank Twisted Sifter for this gem. :)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Language Construct

BRT has often talked about how language describes reality as language is the only construct enabling man to put in quantifiable terms, his interpretation of how reality might function, something most interesting to yours truly as a lay person forever trying to learn how reality actually works. What's even more amazing is how differently languages of the world are constructed, something most eloquently articulated in an Aeon piece titled There is no language instinct.

The Tower of Babel does exist after all. :)

Life on the edge

Schrodinger's Cat, forever residing in the nether world of being either alive or dead, is the glamor puss of quantum mechanics, the star participient in a theory most mystifying when it comes to trying to learn how reality works, is now being applied to the innermost sanction of life, the process that may operate at the edge of the quantum/classical realm, thanks to entanglement, the possible prime driver of reality itself.

And here's a short piece from Scientific American showing how wormholes and entanglement are intrinsically connected.

J. B. S. Haldane: 
"The universe is not only stranger than we imagine; but stranger than we CAN imagine." :)

Addendum: Check out Aeon Magazine and Decrypted Matrix, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, December 05, 2014

This sentence is false

An "A Ha" moment is serendipity writ large whenever an idea, coming out of the blue, solves a wicked problem in elegant fashion, something Google did by rethinking CAPTCHA and turning it into an concise one click solution to thwart bots and spammers by simply enabling one to click the checkbox I am not a Robot, instead of trying to figure out nonsensical words displayed in often confusing and ugly ways. To yours truly, this is akin to This sentence is false, a logic bomb conundrum Kurt Godel used to great advantage when coming up with his revolutionary Incompleteness Theorem. ReCaptcha, a very cool approach to a noisome problem, will change the net for the better. :)

Kurt Godel

Thursday, December 04, 2014

On Reaching 1400

1400, who could have "thunk" it in terms of the number of posts coming from BRT, something yours truly could have never imagined five+ years ago when BRT was created back in the day. :) So, what has transpired since 2008/9? Well quite a bit, some bad, some good and some in between. To whit.
  • 2008 - 2014: Liar's Loans and the WS swindle, which continues unabated today, thanks to the gutless justice department 's failure to jail the bastards who stole our money.
  • 2009 - Shock & Awe, the worst strategic move the US have ever done, created ISIS,. destroyed a nation and unleashed the hounds of hell all over the middle east thanks to the ineptness of W and the minions who worked for him. Addendum: You hire the people you defeated or blowback to the nth degree is guaranteed.
  • 2009 - 2014 - Nation destroying started with Iraq and continued on with Libya and Afghanistan under Obama, the yes we can president, who channels "W" in more ways than one can imagine.
  • 2010 - Citizen's United, the amazingly incomprehensible ruling passed by the Supremes, has magically transformed companies like Apple into personhood, thus enabling said companies to create super PACs to provide unlimited funding to never ending campaigns by our esteemed politicians because campaigning for office is eminently easier than actually governing as seen by the do nothing congress that has forgotten what the public weal is all about.
  • 2009 - 2014 - The Supremes, as ideological hacks, began establishing their dubious place in history with Citizens United and finished the job with Greece NY, McCutcheon and Hobby Lobby. Next up, Obama care. Addendum: The corporate veil is now gone thanks to Hobby Lobby.
  • 2012 - 2014 - The NSA, FBI, CIA & the IRS, among significant others, know where we live 24/7 thanks to the creation of Homeland Security and its rump court FISA, the worst two things Bush did in compromising  our civil rights in America.
  • 2002 - 2008 - Torture incorporated, courtesy the CIA with authorization coming from the Bush administration will be forever a stain on America's soul and an egregious violation of the Geneva Accords.
  • 1900 - 2014 - Overshoot, the continued plundering of earth's resources, is moving toward the point of no return (June) as accelerating fossil fuel production, environmental degradation and ever increasing numbers of people is creating a situation that could end civilization as
    we know it.
  • 1900 - 2014 - GW is real, just look at the stats to see why.
  • 2010 - 2014 - Solar is taking off. The best is yet to come though the fossil fuel boys are trying their best to prevent it. Ditto wind and maybe...viable fusion if the gods permit it.
  • 2010 - 2014 - The rise of super AI, potentially the most dangerous thing man has ever done, will happen, whether we like it or not.
  • 2014 - Quantum computing is coming, a tech that could change everything given just how powerful this tech truly is.
  • 2011-2014 - Obamacare, a small step toward Single Payer, is working, something the Supremes may undo, which could create blowback along the lines of a revolution given just how many people have signed on in the last 2 years.
  • 2013 - 2014 Inept US foreign policy, driven by the NeoCons, strikes again as the demonization of Russia could pave the way to WW III if the NeoCons continue to do "Stupid Shit".
  • 1968 - 2014 - Healthcare, the FUBAR that keeps on giving, continues on, thanks to government regulatory incompetence, IT & insurance collusion and corporate greed in the guise of big pharma and significant others, who want the system to remain as dysfunctional as it is because of just how much money is being made by the powers at be.
  • 1960 - 2014 - The military/Industrial & Congressional complex is alive and well, complete with never ending war because the monies made by all parties involved in the war machine make more money than god. Doublethink applies here without question.
  • 2010 - 2014 - GMOs, another dangerous tech without question. Black swan anyone?
  • 2012-2014 - AL - Artificial Life, another black swan anyone?
  • Beginning of Time to the Infinite Future - Hugh Everett's Many Worlds theory is becoming an increasingly viable way to explain how reality actually works as seen by research that's slowly beginning to prove the existence of the multiverse.
  • 2013 - Wormhole creation, as a natural part of entanglement, is no longer considered wild conjecture but rapidly is approaching science fact if recent findings on this most interesting of topics prove to be true.
  • 2009 - 2014 - The acceleration of tech truly astounds as we touch the fabric of reality every day with ever increasingly powerful and fine grained tools.
  • 2009 - 2014 - Stem cell research, science that can change everything regarding immortality.
  • 1980 - 2014 - The education hustle whereby college students become wage slaves thanks to CC and institutional buy in, thus creating higher educational debt greater than the debt held by all CC holders in the US.
  • The beat goes on as the science/tech equation vis a vis civilization is never ending, a fact that keeps BRT going as the grist in the mill is just too interesting to let go. :)
  • Addendum: To my loyal readers, thank you so much for your feedback on BRT because without question, your comments warm the cockles of this writer's heart to the max. :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Interesting Stats

GW, the 900lb gorilla in the closet, continues to generate rather interesting stats showing why climate change will soon become the greatest challenge to the survivability of mankind, a notion deemed not acceptable to the millions of GW deniers who insist that climate change is nothing but a nefarious conspiracy peddled by inept scientist and the liberal media that supports them.

The numbers are stark. Carbon dioxide emissions: up 60 percent. Global temperature: up six-tenths of a degree. Population: up 1.7 billion people. Sea level: up 3 inches. U.S. extreme weather: up 30 percent. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica: down 4.9 trillion tons of ice.
"Simply put, we are rapidly remaking the planet and beginning to suffer the consequences," says Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

The world's oceans have risen by about 3 inches since 1992 and gotten a tad more acidic—by about half a percent—thanks to chemical reactions caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide, scientists at NOAA and the University of Colorado say.

Every year sea ice cover shrinks to a yearly minimum size in the Arctic in September—a measurement that is considered a key climate change indicator. From 1983 to 1992, the lowest it got on average was 2.62 million square miles. Now the 10-year average is down to 1.83 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

That loss—an average 790,000 square miles since 1992—overshadows the slight gain in sea ice in Antarctica, which has seen an average gain of 110,000 square miles of sea ice over the past 22 years.

Read the Physorg article to get the whole picture of why injecting more energy into any system makes it wilder.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

On a Wing but Not a Prayer :)

The Dutch have a pragmatic and innovative approach to life, something readily seen in the TU Delft Ambulance drone, a quick way to deliver cardiac resuscitation within timeframes nearly impossible to achieve using the traditional means of getting hardware to site whether it be by car, ambulance or helicopter. Pretty awesome application of tech without question.

Now all that's needed is to link it to an HC system able to take this data in real time and send it to appropriate parties as needs warrant, something a near impossibility given just how inept the US HC system truly is.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

On the Notion of Rainbows

BRT has talked often about how language defines our notion of reality based on how said language is constructed, whether it be pictographic like Chinese and Japanese or modular like English or Russian. To that end, a good friend of mine posted an awesome link showing how English differs from Chinese when it comes to color, a most important aspect of describing reality without question.

Here's a fascinating visualization (seen above) created by Muyueh Lee that shows the differences between how the English language and Chinese language each describe colors. On the left, you can see the number of English names for color hues (there's a lot!) and on the right, the number of Chinese names (there's a little!).

Shown below is a dataset depicting specific breakdowns of color descriptions.

This is English

This is Chinese

Interesting, eh?

To see how this works in interactive 3D, Muyueh Lee's amazing site is the place to go as the interrelational aspects of just how deep this finding goes is truly astounding.

To yours truly, the notion that language describes our take on reality rings true as shown by Lee's incredibly creative and innovative research.

PS. Thanks Mark for turning me onto this. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reflection 2 Step

It's amazing how seemingly transparent glass acts like a mirror when the angle, background and lighting is just right as seen here in a shot taken during my time in Chicago, an awesome place to drink beer, talk with people and walk the streets in relaxed fashion. Enjoy.

In Other Words

Who knows, speaking in tongues may have inspired "Spoken Singing", 
a musical technique pioneered by Arnold Schoenberg and significant others back in the 1910s. 
"One never knows, do one?" - Fat Waller :)

Chicago 2014

Had to put this pix up. Carl Sandburg was right, Chicago is the city with Big Shoulders. :)