Saturday, January 31, 2015

Under moonlight


True day for night :)


The clarity of a cold winter night is simply astounding.


Digital imaging rules. 

Just a little bit



Which means a small dataset, when iterated to the max, can generate enormous returns, something akin to how big data can destroy anonymity using a correspondingly limited data set as per the six degrees example.




End game.


Orwell anyone?

Thought Experiment


Imagine being inside a sphere (or torus) that is perfectly reflecting - just you and a light source. What would it look like? 

In the Sphereverse, the universe is a sphere 40 units in diameter. When there is a floor present, the floor is 2 units down from center.

In this animation you are sitting back 10 units from the center of the sphere. The light source is translating from left to right centered on the x axis. You are not moving, only the light. All the concentric rings are caused by your multiple reflections in the sphere.




Makes one think, right? :)


Flux Lines


SDO never ceases to amaze. Check out the site, it's good for the soul.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Below 32f


As one can easily see by the title, this short clip is a compilation of shots taken in
sub freezing temperatures, something totally normal in the latter part of January in CT. 
Winter is minimalism writ large, a season of beauty & subtle power. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fixing a Hole


BRT's blurb regarding our Infrastructure or the lack of same has now been reiterated by Wired in a post titled It's Time to Fix America's Infrastructure. Here's Where to Start, a primer on how to intelligently spend about 1 Trillion US to get this country back on track again. Nice to be on top of this first but more importantly, isn't it time to do the rebuild instead of extending endless war, with no actual benefit, into infinity with OUR money before it's too late? Sounds viable to me.

The American Society of Civil Engineers says the US needs massive investments in all essential infrastructure, from bridges and airports to dams and railways. According to the society’s most recent infrastructure report card, the US earns a D+ for its infrastructure. It is, in a word, a mess. This is about much more than potholes. This is about keeping the economy, literally and figuratively, moving. Much of the economic boom the United States has experienced over the last 50 years is because the network of highways makes it easy to ship goods. If it continues into a state of disrepair, the long-term hit to our economy could be catastrophic.

"Fixing A Hole"

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go

I'm filling the cracks that ran through the door
And kept my mind from wandering
Where it will go

And it really doesn't matter if
I'm wrong I'm right
Where I belong I'm right
Where I belong
See the people standing there
Who disagree and never win
And wonder why they don't get in my door

I'm painting my room in the colourful way
And when my mind is wandering
There I will go
Ooh ooh ooh ah ah
Hey, hey, hey, hey

And it really doesn't matter if
I'm wrong I'm right
Where I belong I'm right
Where I belong
Silly people run around
They worry me and never ask me
Why they don't get past my door

I'm taking the time for a number of things
That weren't important yesterday
And I still go
Ooh ooh ooh ah ah

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
Stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go oh
Where it will go oh

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Wher it will go (fade out)

The Beatles

The Extraneous 12

A Certain Kind of Progression


Winter walks rule, especially if the walk includes checking out a meandering stream complete with ice, snow and a pretty intense waterfall. Not a bad way to spent the day. Enjoy.



Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Relationship to the max :)


This video show earth's true relationship to our part of the multiverse. :)


Of sadness & awaremess


Have seen Interstellar twice as this work makes one think hard about the contradictory notions of how man fits into a vast reality that extends beyond knowing, something Sagan talks about at length in Contact and Nolan, in different fashion, in Interstellar. 

The first part depicts environment degradation, caused by us, resulting in not only runaway global warming but also in the indirect creation of a blight that's slowing killing all plant life on earth, thus dooming man to extinction, a condition devoutly to be avoided if science, tech and courage has anything to do about it. Science and tech are vilified, the Apollo missions consigned to conspiracy and education shoved to the side as food production, in the form of corn, takes precedence over everything else, a logical choice given to just how desperate man has become in trying to survive in the latter part of the 21st century.

The second deals with science, tech and the impact of relativity and physics upon the explorers venturing out, via a wormhole, to find a viable place for man to live, which turns out, in first light, to be futile but is not due to the impact of relativity and how it enables man to unlock the secrets of black holes to save humanity from extinction through the manipulation of gravity. In seeing how this is done, one sees, for the first time, just how powerful the interpersonal impact of the twins paradox truly is, which, IMHO, rightfully places Interstellar alongside 2001 as the second greatest SF movie ever made. 



In indirect fashion, this match cut from 2001 mirrors the move from earth
to Endurance in Interstellar. :)





Friday, January 23, 2015

Moving toward the Eocene


Anyone well versed in phase transitions knows that an increase in anomalies pertinent to the transition always precede the transition itself, something happening as we speak regarding global warming, a rapidly accelerating event caused by us rubes and not some volcano located in Iceland. With this in mind, check out NOAA's map showing last December's anomalies, something sure to warm the cockles of your heart but if that doesn't do it, maybe this blurb from NOAA will. 


It gets better.




When it's all said and done, there should be no more questions regarding GW, right?



This is what the world looked like in the early eocene era.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Perils of Pauline


When looking at XL, one cannot reasonably expect said project's technological capabilities will mirror the  Perils of Pauline flicks where the heroine continually faces horrifying situations, like the one seen below, that are always successfully resolved just in the nick of time, something simply not possible whenever an "oil" spill, consisting of the corrosive and polluting tar sands dibit  occurs, as seen not only on the map above but also in Mayflower, AK, when 210,000 gallons of Canadian crude made its presence known to the town on March 29, 2013.





If XL is built, check out how much toxic sludge will be going over the largest aquifer in North America.




Sounds like a rather dubious plan given that:
  1. The XL needs a price point of $65/barrel to make it profitable 
  2. Monies made from the sale & transport of the sludge to China & significant others, go to the oil companies and not to the US as the oil companies desperately need the money to continue to frack and drill for natural gas and shale oil as both enterprises, like the tar sands, need the $65/barrel price point to stay in business and...
  3. The tar sands dibit is, as stated before, the dirties fossil fuel on the planet.

3 space


This looks VERY interesting...


A "simple" matter of degree :)

A Billion Degrees of Separation
Visually rocks without question. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catching a wave


Basic research, the engine that enables man to better understand the reality in which we all live, matters because, in many instances, practical implementation of such work may not reach fruition for many years. See Quantum Mechanics as an example. To this end, scientists are doing some really creative studies into the inner workings of light with implications that stagger the imagination.

Some physical principles have been considered immutable since the time of Isaac Newton: Light always travels in straight lines. No physical object can change its speed unless some outside force acts on it.

Not so fast, says a new generation of physicists: While the underlying physical laws haven't changed, new ways of "tricking" those laws to permit seemingly impossible actions have begun to appear. For example, work that began in 2007 proved that under special conditions, light could be made to move along a curved trajectory—a finding that is already beginning to find some practical applications.

Implications:

Now, in a new variation on the methods used to bend light, physicists at MIT and Israel's Technion have found that subatomic particles can be induced to speed up all by themselves, almost to the speed of light, without the application of any external forces. The same underlying principle could also be used to extend the lifetime of some unstable isotopes, perhaps opening up new avenues of research in basic particle physics.

It turns out, according to further analysis, that this self-acceleration produces effects that are associated with relativity theory: It is a variation on the dilation of time and contraction of space, effects predicted by Albert Einstein to take place when objects move close to the speed of light. An example of this is Einstein's famous twin paradox, in which a twin who travels at high speed in a rocket ages more slowly than another twin who remains on Earth.

Interstellar anyone? :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Public Domain lives


Public Domain, the notion of work given freely to the public after the copyright has expired, almost expired thanks to Sonny Bono, the unlamented late congressional rep who extended copyright, AKA The Micky Mouse Act,, with aid from the Supremes, from 30 years to 70 years after the death of the person creating the work, something that would, in theory, prohibit the special theory of relativity from entering the PD space as Einstein died in 1955, which means said work, written in 1905, could not, in theory, enter the PD until 2025. 


But something's afoot with the introduction of The Public Domain Project from Pond 5, a new site presenting a wealth of free public domain content available for use by anyone from any country in the world. To pay for providing this treasure trove of material to the public, Pond 5, like Getty Images, does the royalty free stock art route to pay the bills, a tradeoff that makes eminent sense to artists like yours truly. Note: There are many other sources of PD content as well beginning with NASA, JPL, The Smithsonian, Wikipedia along with PD works made available from the Library of Congress.

The Tax Man


Paying your fair share of taxes makes sense because when the ultra rich game the system and don't pay their fair share, the country suffers big time, something in stark comparison to how the country was run back in the day.






So the question to ask is, what do we do about it given that the nation's going to hell in a hand basket due to not only income inequality but also to the expansion of the military/industrial/congressional complex fueled by fear, debt creation and never ending war instead of creating an intelligent tax system keyed to a graduated flat tax environment that would again create a fundamentally strong and viable economy by reestablishing the same tax percentages applied to the rich as per WWII. Makes sense, don't you think?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The limits of knowledge


We see and sense so little yet we proclaim just how intelligent and all knowing we are.
E.O. Wilson's  eloquent commentary explains why this is not so.


Read the article, it's good for the soul. :)

Scanning - Another Wicked Problem :)


Anyone versed in scanning will tell you it's a drag. 1: Capture image, 2:  Process said image, 3: Catalog said image, one by one by one ... The end result is definitely worth it but there has to be a better way due to the sheer number of artifacts to be captured and the Smithsonian was the party who did it.





Cataloging said images will still take time but at least the tech used will facilitate the process big time.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quiet Solitude 1/17/15


Quiet solitude 1/17/15



Wonderment


Whether it's a massive school of fish pivoting to avoid predators or, as seen in this incredbile video, starlings moving as one to go from place A to place B, the impact on the viewer remains forever the same, wonderment.

Sci-fi: then & now



 A travelog  through time of sci-fi flicks from 1902 - 2015. Enjoy

Free Speech


xkcd's toon explaining, in 6 panels, what free speech really means resonates when it comes to Charlie Hebdo and it's right to offend everybody without having to worry about someone getting murdered for doing so, something people are beginning to understand as we move further into this already violent new year.  



Any questions?


Moliere, if he was alive, would love the explanation of what this cover means
as per Luz, the artist who drew it.




Moliere - More relevant then ever.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wanderers



Awesome video on the possibility of man exploring the solar system for real.
The depiction of Titan rocks.


Blue Indigo


Starting to get the infrared process down but the real bennies will come with winter snows and spring leaves on trees as both elements reflects infrared like crazy. :) 


Works for me



Random Walk


Yours truly is an incessant walker, particularly in the winter as it's too cold to bike so walking becomes the next best thing, particularly when carrying a camera to see if something of interest can be "shot". Hopefully this is the case for this "gem" depicting a cold but thus far relatively snowless winter as seen from the vantage point of woodlands and the LI sound. Enjoy. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time passages


Had to do another but this time, it's what the tide does with sand. Enjoy. :)


Icelines


The formation of ice on a stream never ceases to amaze as it shows, in wondrous fashion, how time evolves in our little part of the multiverse. Enjoy.

More then a little touch of irony


Seems BRT was right regarding the false premise of the US being the biggest oil producer in the world in lieu of the Saudi Arabian gambit of crashing oil prices in order to crush Russia & Iran (Syria anyone?) but we already knew that, right? 



Additionally ...


Maybe pigs can fly after all. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A different shade of blue


Infrared, the color set just below what we see, is mysterious and beautiful with a look akin to a full moon over a snow covered landscape. Seen above is your truly's first relatively successful infrared pix, with more to come as the process to generate these "gems" is interesting to say the least. :)



Andromeda as seen in the infrared by Hubble.

Are you an extremist?


As seen above, the US is No. 1 in terms of the size of the prison population vs us "free" rubes.

Do you know what an “extremist” is?  In the wake of the horrible terror attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in France, Barack Obama is speaking very boldly about the need to win the war against “extremists”, and he has announced plans to host a major global summit on “extremism” next month.  And on the surface that sounds great.  But precisely how are we supposed to determine whether someone is an “extremist” or not?  What criteria should we use?  As you will see below, your definition of an “extremist” may be far, far different from the definition that Barack Obama is using.  

It gets better, 72 times better as to what actually constitutes an extremist.

1. Those that talk about “individual liberties”

2. Those that advocate for states’ rights

3. Those that want “to make the world a better place”

4. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule”

5. Those that are interested in “defeating the Communists”

6. Those that believe “that the interests of one’s own nation are separate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations”

7. Anyone that holds a “political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful,or undesirable”

8. Anyone that possesses an “intolerance toward other religions”

9. Those that “take action to fight against the exploitation of the environment and/or animals”

10. “Anti-Gay”

11. “Anti-Immigrant”

12. “Anti-Muslim”

13. “The Patriot Movement”

14. “Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians”

15. Members of the Family Research Council

16. Members of the American Family Association

17. Those that believe that Mexico, Canada and the United States “are secretly planning to merge into a European Union-like entity that will be known as the ‘North American Union’”

18. Members of the American Border Patrol/American Patrol

19. Members of the Federation for American Immigration Reform

20. Members of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition

21. Members of the Christian Action Network

22. Anyone that is “opposed to the New World Order”

23. Anyone that is engaged in “conspiracy theorizing”

24. Anyone that is opposed to Agenda 21

25. Anyone that is concerned about FEMA camps

26. Anyone that “fears impending gun control or weapons confiscations”

27. The militia movement

28. The sovereign citizen movement

29. Those that “don’t think they should have to pay taxes”

30. Anyone that “complains about bias”

31. Anyone that “believes in government conspiracies to the point of paranoia”

32. Anyone that “is frustrated with mainstream ideologies”

33. Anyone that “visits extremist websites/blogs”

34. Anyone that “establishes website/blog to display extremist views”

35. Anyone that “attends rallies for extremist causes”

36. Anyone that “exhibits extreme religious intolerance”

37. Anyone that “is personally connected with a grievance”

38. Anyone that “suddenly acquires weapons”

39. Anyone that “organizes protests inspired by extremist ideology”

40. “Militia or unorganized militia”

41. “General right-wing extremist”

42. Citizens that have “bumper stickers” that are patriotic or anti-U.N.

43. Those that refer to an “Army of God”

44. Those that are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”

45. Those that are “anti-global”

46. Those that are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”

47. Those that are “reverent of individual liberty”

48. Those that “believe in conspiracy theories”

49. Those that have “a belief that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack”

50. Those that possess “a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism”

51. Those that would “impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”

52. Those that would “insert religion into the political sphere”

53. Anyone that would “seek to politicize religion”

54. Those that have “supported political movements for autonomy”

55. Anyone that is “anti-abortion”

56. Anyone that is “anti-Catholic”

57. Anyone that is “anti-nuclear”

58. “Rightwing extremists”

59. “Returning veterans”

60. Those concerned about “illegal immigration”

61. Those that “believe in the right to bear arms”

62. Anyone that is engaged in “ammunition stockpiling”

63. Anyone that exhibits “fear of Communist regimes”

64. “Anti-abortion activists”

65. Those that are against illegal immigration

66. Those that talk about “the New World Order” in a “derogatory” manner

67. Those that have a negative view of the United Nations

68. Those that are opposed “to the collection of federal income taxes”

69. Those that supported former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr

70. Those that display the Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”)

71. Those that believe in “end times” prophecies

72. Evangelical Christians

Do you fit into any of those categories?

Personally, I fit into a couple dozen of them.

Me too.