Friday, August 29, 2014

The Deep Web

4% of the web comprise the internet us normal rubes are used to, the web accessible via Safari, Explorer, Chrome and Opera, among significant others, to do our usual thing whether it be email trolling, social networking a la Facebook or Google + or buying stuff from Amazon and Apple but  the other 96%, the dark side of the web, can only be seen via browsers like Tor, a tool allowing us to see the mysterious and illegal though the mechanism of anonymity and tech, courtesy the US Navy.

Seen below is a pretty cool graphic doing the iceberg thing showing just how vast the deep web truly is.

Interesting to say the least.

A brief follow up

Looking at the foreign policy fubar from the financial perspective brings up the possible death of the petrodollar with the Ukraine CF being the prime driver of same, courtesy the US, with help from Europe and the Neocons.

Several months ago, when Russia announced the much anticipated "Holy Grail" energy deal with China, some were disappointed that despite this symbolic agreement meant to break the petrodollar's stranglehold on the rest of the world, neither Russia nor China announced payment terms to be in anything but dollars. In doing so they admitted that while both nations are eager to move away from a US Dollar reserve currency, neither is yet able to provide an alternative.

This changed in late June when first Gazprom's CFO announced the gas giant was ready to settle China contracts in Yuan or Rubles, and at the same time the People's Bank of China announced that its Assistant Governor Jin Qi and Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Dmitry Skobelkin held a meeting in which they discussed cooperating on project and trade financing using local currencies. The meeting discussed cooperation in bank card, insurance and financial supervision sectors.

And yet, while both sides declared their operational readiness and eagerness to bypass the dollar entirely, such plans remained purely in the arena of monetary foreplay and the long awaited first shot across the Petrodollar bow was absent.

Until now.

According to Russia's RIA Novosti, citing business daily Kommersant, Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers. Meaning Russia will export energy to either Europe or China, and receive payment in either Rubles or Yuan, in effect making the two currencies equivalent as far as the Eurasian axis is conerned, but most importantly, transact completely away from the US dollar thus, finally putin'(sic) in action the move for a Petrodollar-free world.

Read the rest of this in depth article from Zerohedge to see just how stupid the US has been regarding FP.

A potential Jeopardy Question :)

Every once in a while, yours truly stumbles upon a  piece whose title captures the essence of finding out about something that's actually pretty interesting while remaining totally irrelevant to the day to day conducting of anyone's life on planet earth. To that end, I give you...

Researchers identify a pheromone in the urine of male tilapia fish that stimulates spawning in females

The social behavior of Mozambique tilapias (Oreochromis mossambicus) native to southern Africa is very complex. The strict hierarchic ranking among males is fought out in so-called courtship arenas. With their mouths, male tilapias make excavations in the sand in the middle of an arena with the aim of attracting females to spawn in these nests. At the same time, they act aggressively to keep other males away. Dominant males have been observed to urinate more often and squirt larger quantities of urine in the water during fights compared to their subordinate rivals. The urine contains pheromones that reduce aggressive behavior in other males. The compounds also lure females to the nest and modify their hormonal status by accelerating oocyte maturation. Thus the pheromones help to synchronize female spawning and external fertilization by the males and so to increase the odds of reproductive success.

Any questions and... Have a great Labor Day weekend. :)

Stupidity Bomb

Stupidity Bomb or, ..."W's" Iraq incursion, better known as Shock & Awe, has come full circle in both BRT's Lurching toward catastrophe as well as in an ironic piece posted by Vox, an awesome news site admired by yours truly.


It gets better

The absurdity runs deep: America is using American military equipment to bomb other pieces of American military equipment halfway around the world. The reason the American military equipment got there in the first place was because, in 2003, the US had to use its military to rebuild the Iraqi army, which it just finished destroying with the American military. The American weapons the US gave the Iraqi army totally failed at making Iraq secure and have become tools of terror used by an offshoot of al-Qaeda to terrorize the Iraqis that the US supposedly liberated a decade ago. And so now the US has to use American weaponry to destroy the American weaponry it gave Iraqis to make Iraqis safer, in order to make Iraqis safer.

It keeps going: the US is intervening on behalf of Iraqi Kurds, our ally, because their military has old Russian-made weapons, whereas ISIS, which is America's enemy, has higher-quality American weapons. "[Kurdish forces] are literally outgunned by an ISIS that is fighting with hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military equipment seized from the Iraqi Army who abandoned it," Ali Khedery, a former American official in Iraq, told the New York Times.

When looking at this, one sees the utter failure of US foreign policy on all fronts from the Ukraine fubar to Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, along with abject obedience to Israel, an initiative that has not only killed at least a million people and forced evacuation of millions more but also has cost trillions of dollars to implement while supporting a mission that has been an absolute disaster to the long term well being of America. The question to ask now is, how do we take back America from corrupt and inept politicians who kowtow to monied interests in order to remain in office to the detriment of a once great nation that actually stood for something of value back in the day.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Photobomb :)


The disaster that keeps on giving

Fukushima, the disaster that keeps on giving, no longer rates news coverage by the mainline press because radiation is silent and  invisible, something to be ignored until the inevitable impact of same makes it's ugly face known to all things relating to life on planet earth.

Wall St. Journal, Aug 7, 2014 (emphasis added): [Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority] said [Tepco] needs to get its priorities straight when it comes to work to decommission [...] Fukushima Daiichi [...] “The biggest risk is the trench water. Until that matter is addressed, it will be difficult to proceed with other decommissioning work,” [Tanaka] said on Wednesday at his weekly news conference. “It appears that they are getting off track,” he told reporters. Tepco has been trying to remove some 11,000 metric tons of water that contains dangerous radioactive materials such as uranium and plutonium from a trench that runs from the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s No.2 reactor building. […] “What if another tsunami hits the plant and the highly contaminated water in the trench is discharged… ?” Mr. Tanaka asked reporters.

And this

American Genetic Association, Aug 14, 2014: [S]tudies are now beginning to reveal serious biological effects of the Fukushima radiation [...] A series of articles summarizing these studies has now been published in the Journal of Heredity. These describe widespread impacts, ranging from population declines to genetic damage [...] Common to all of the published studies is the hypothesis that chronic (low-dose) exposure to ionizing radiation results in genetic damage and increased mutation rates [...] Hayashi et al. 2014 [...] documented the effects of radiation on rice [...] After three days, a number of effects were observed [...] Taira et al. 2014 [...] examined the response of the pale grass blue butterfly [...] They found size reduction, slowed growth, high mortality and morphological abnormality 

Any questions?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Armed to the Teeth

The cops are armed, armed with military grade tech, you know, choppers, assault rifles, grenade launchers and armored vehicles, complete with personal body armor for the cops who will run the vehicle in question. Next may come gatling or 50 cal machine guns, M1 tanks and drones, lots and lots of drones, some of which may be equipped with weapons like laser guided bombs & missles, like those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, courtesy the arms merchants and government because military surplus gear makes money, right? Homeland Security, the prime driver of all things related to arming cops to the teeth, makes it rather foreboding does it not?

Amerika with a K seems apt if you ask me.

Addendum - from Cato Liberty

Any questions?

Of Cathedrals & Tech

The great cathedral builders would relate to this gem without issue. As seen in Twisted Sifter, artist Eric Standley takes tech to another level with work like this. 

Exquisite says it all. Seen below is another gem.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Freedom of the Press

This map, courtesy Reporters Without Borders, depicts the level of freedom the 4th estate has in the world. Needless to say, the lighter the color, the freer the press.

Smooth Running

Microsoft has some very cool tech as seen by their many contributions to Siggraph, the place to go to see the latest and greatest in CG, a conference yours truly has gone to on numerous occasions (the parties rock). :) To whit:

We present a method for converting first-person videos, for example, captured with a helmet camera during activities such as rock climbing or bicycling, into hyper-lapse videos, i.e., time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera. 

Works for me. :)

Had to put in the tech version as the research MS has done on this is incredible.

The precursor to this is Photosynth, awesome tech that brings 3D to 2D photos.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Great Whites - up close & natural

Looking at Great Whites from a cage after baiting them to come to the cage is artifical to the max as the behavior of same has been altered by chumming the water to get them close enough to photograph. With the Woods Hole SharkCam, the first real glimpse into how Great Whites conduct their lives can be done without question. :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Water water everywhere...

BRT has long believed GW is real, now, researchers further substantiate this fact not only by tracking increased CO2 levels detected in the air and oceans but also by tracking increased levels of water vapor in the atmosphere, another prime driver of GW, produced only by us and not Earth, the planet we all call home. :)

Click here to get the full report.

Something is different this time.

12 Monkeys comes to mind when reading about Ebola as this amazing film gives you the willies, you know, the creeping feeling of dread one gets regarding a possibly catastrophic event happening, something totally out of anyone's control, something truly frightening like an Ebola type virus getting out into the wild, able to kill with horrific efficiency. Yours truly is certainly not panicking as of yet but keeping a watchful eye on this rapidly evolving situation is not such a bad idea. Seen below is the life cycle of this most dangerous of diseases.

Something different applies here as well.

"If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socio-economic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries," she said, as the WHO formally launched a $100 million response plan that includes deploying hundreds more health care workers.

Click here to get the CDC's take on Ebola.

The Internet Must Go

Informative and witty, this tells why NN is vital to the National Interest.

Friday, August 01, 2014

The baying of hounds

Condemning Putin without hard evidence regarding MH-17 is dangerous at best because Russia "ain't" Iraq, Libya, Iran or Syria. It's a nation armed to the teeth with nukes and the ability to deliver them with great efficiency to anywhere in the world without issue. In BRT, the mantra yours truly tries to abide by as best as possible is: vetting. How good is the content yours truly is quoting? Is it kosher, is it viable, can it stand up to scrutiny, something "W" violated to the max when gaining hard US intel in order to sell an illegal war to America. The same thing is now happening in the Ukraine where no hard evidence as to exactly what happened to MH-17 has been released, only conjecture, hearsay and invective. 

To whit

Notice the word REPORTED, not fact but hearsay.

It's gets better.

But two questions, one...

and 2, what if it wasn't a missile? Conjecture perhaps but not without merit

The picture

In conclusion...

Isn't it time to find out what really happened to Malaysian Flight MH17 before it's too late. Before the hounds of hell are unleashed as they were in 1914. Something to consider if you ask me.

Addendum: A shelved BBC video showing a reporter interviewing villagers who saw a jet approach MH17. Interesting to say the least.

Click here to read the transcript. Maybe the politicos of the US should look at this before rushing to judgment. Sounds like a viable plan to me.

And one last link from Zerohedge describing Russia's take on the MH17 tragedy. Worth reading without question.

Addendum II: Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts

Contrary to the Obama administration’s public claims blaming eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, some U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame, according to a source briefed on these findings.

This judgment – at odds with what President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have expressed publicly – is based largely on the absence of U.S. government evidence that Russia supplied the rebels with a Buk anti-aircraft missile system that would be needed to hit a civilian jetliner flying at 33,000 feet, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The baying of hounds indeed.

Reaping the Whirlwind

Reaping the whirlwind applies here thanks to the feckless Hobby Lobby decision, courtesy the SC. Seems satanists are demanding the same rights as fundamental christians but this time, on a woman's right to choose along with the unrestricted worship of Satan.

Hobby Lobby's a Pyrrhic victory without question. Corporations as people and the shattering of the corporate veil, will keep this version of the supremes up to their eyeballs in a CF of their own making, something akin to what our esteemed congress is doing in terms of inept governance.

It's not the Flying Spaghetti Monster but, as per all religions, the belief system's the same.