Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cooking the planet

We're cooking the planet, thanks to El Nino, the warming weather system that's killing coral reefs in the Pacific at an unprescidented rate. 

Even as recently as early March, Australian coral reef scientists still hoped that the legendary Great Barrier Reef (GBR) would get off lightly in the current El Niño, the climate phenomenon that brings unusually warm water to the equatorial Pacific, stressing and often killing corals. No such luck. On 20 March, the GBR Marine Park Authority in Townsville, Australia, reported that divers were finding extensive coral bleaching—the loss of symbiotic algae—in remote northern areas of the reef. Many sections were already dead.

Subsequent flyover surveys have confirmed an unfolding disaster: “Only four reefs out of 520 [observed] had no bleaching,” says Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, who personally checked the northernmost 1000 kilometers of the 2300-kilometer reef system over 4 days last week. “It was the saddest reef trip of my career.” 

The GBR joins a lengthening list of reefs bleached because of the El Niño that started in late 2014. It is now the longest bleaching event ever, and this El Niño, which helped make 2015 the planet's hottest year on record, “isn’t even close to being over,” says Mark Eakin, a coral reef ecologist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in College Park, Maryland. Even though the El Niño is now weakening, its lingering effects could cause bleaching for another year, he adds.

Tragic does not begin to describe what is happening here as we speak.

Seen below is the temperature gradient in the Pacific circa 2014 - 16.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I rigged it just for you ...

The Dems are just as bad as the Repugs in terms of gaming the system since the beginning of time. As the great George Carlin said, YOU HAVE NO CHOICE but now us chickens are seeing this game played out in broad daylight, especially in terms of the Dems and the rigged game the DNC is playing against Bernie, the only one in this sorry ass election that qualifies to be POTUS without question.

It gets better.

Even though our so-called Network Nooze environment continues to "show" the opposite is true. 

At least the NY Times got it right in terms of the true delegate count between Clinton and Sanders.

With Trump doing a number on the Repugs, it's rather obvious the anger of the public on both sides of the political spectrum has gone critical vis a vis the establishment as this is the ONLY way us rubes actually have a chance to change things before it's too late. At the same time this insane campaign is being waged, it's no wonder the two parties are on life support, a situation I find rather comforting if you ask me.

Addendum. I like Bernie big time and I'm not alone on this by a long shot. :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

QC ... On your Laptop/Tablet & Smart Phone

Quantum Computing, the holy grail of computation, the prime driver for the rise of The Matrix, is almost here if new research moving this tech onto cheap chips rings true.

Pretty stellar without question.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016



Yours truly, as you loyal readers know, shoots pictures and videos with varying degrees of success. With this in mind, two really informative diagrams illustrating F-Stops is something I refer to from time to time in hopes of better understanding the ratio of aperture/F-Stop to shutter speed & lens length, information that aids greatly in getting anything to look good in camera. 

Matthew Cole's take on this somewhat mysterious subject is a really good read, not only regarding F-Stops but also shutter speeds and ISO. enjoy.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Going slow to go fast :)

Hurtling toward 2.0

BRT has waxed "poetic" regarding climate change and global warming and how, if we don't do anything about it, our descendants will reap the whirlwind in terms of how just how much man has soiled this planet over a period of just 500 years. With this in mind, NASA's latest research findings will NOT warm the cockles of your heart. 

Click NASA Climate to see just how dire the situation truly is. The temperature simulation depicted below shows how we are cooking the planet.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Drug Peddling

Surprise, big pharma spends far more money on drug peddling than for research, something not too surprising given just how much money these companies make due to the fact government doesn't regulate or force drug companies to reduce prices by demanding proof of new drugs’ value in comparison to existing ones and sometimes refusing to cover medicines they doubt are worth the cost.

So, while the US spends the most money on drugs that big pharma states, is necessary in order to cover the cost of research for creating such drugs, reality shows that this is simply not the case if the Washington Post's article rings true.

Prescription drugs are a massive market: Americans spent $329.2 billion on prescription drugs in 2013. That works out to about $1,000 per person in the U.S., as John Oliver pointed out in his show on Sunday night.

Oliver also mentioned that nine out of 10 big pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing than on research. León Markovitz of Dadaviz found and graphed those figures from healthcare research firm GlobalData in the graphic (above) The amounts spent on sales and marketing are shown in orange, while the amounts spent on research and development are in blue.

The biggest spender, Johnson & Johnson, shelled out $17.5 billion on sales and marketing in 2013, compared with $8.2 billion for R&D. In the top 10, only Roche spent more on R&D than on sales and marketing.

Thanks Henry, I needed that. :)

Addendum: Here's a price comparison of what the US pays vs countries in Europe.

The Dispersed Public

Bernie is the start point for a revolution. Win or lose, his impact on politics will be profound, something the establishment fears without question. Obviously, yours truly wants him to win but more importantly, the more one reads about his record and approach to running and governing, the more one comes away with the fact that something's afoot, in a good way. :)

Maybe real change can happen before it's too late.  One can only hope.

Happy Spring everyone. :)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Speed Trip

Totally nuts, this shows how fast drone tech has evolved and, when placed in the hands who know how to drive it, the end result is truly astounding. PS, a 14 year old won the race. Reminds me of Ender's Game without question.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Easy Pickings

Casper lives :)

When "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread"

An excellent analysis of our military, penned by Dimitri Orlov, is a good read, something along the lines of what BRT has written about regarding fubars like the F 35 and digital weapon systems that go rogue at the most inappropriate times. Asymetrical warfare kind of says it all here.

Read the entire piece, you will be stunned at just how stupid the US can be regarding weapons procurement. IMHO, this fits right in with "W's illegal Iraq war and Hillary's excellent adventures in Syria and Libya if you know what I mean.

The Tully Monster :)

The Jabberwocky has nothing on this little guy, a denizen of the Carbonifrous age dating back 300 million plus years. :)

The Jabberwocky

Science and fantasy, what a great combination. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Regarding Inequality ...

Nobel Lauriate Joseph E. Stieglitz talks in commonsnse ways in all things relating to economics. Precise, direct and spot on, he walks the walk and talks the talk when describing how humanity relates to economics in a very open-ended and nuanced way, something not often heard in this age of mindless bloviation and endless prevarication. To whit:

Check out Evonomics, is a new site that gives new meaning to finance, economics and the human condition. :)

Joseph E. Stieglitz

Dronesville :)

A very good friend of mine turned me onto this gem. Awesome!!! :)

So True :)

Great pix by Nik Levantis.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Saturday, March 12, 2016

In Transit

In Transit, a journey from woods to sea and back again as the weather transitions
from winter to spring is the focus of this short clip. Enjoy.

In the Name Of ...

Edwin Snowden was right, the push toward surveillance 24/7 is a knife pointed at our right to privacy and civil rights and for good reason.

It gets better.

In conclusion, this means ...

The death of every empire, in this writer's opinion, centers on three factors;
  1. Over reliance on military & security.
  2. The abandoment of infrastructure maintenance through sound economic planning and ...
  3. The betrayal of the empire's citizens by incompetent, corrupt politicians who serve the power elite at the expense of the empire itself.
 They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
 deserve neither liberty nor safety. Ben Franklin

Addendum: 1. Executive Order 12333 2. An analysis of same 3.  The PDF version

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch is a guilty pleasure. His The Garden of Earthly Delights is a treasure trove of beauty, lust and the never ending pain of endless damnation, captured on a triptych of endless fascination. The Bosch interactive exploration of this master work includes background sound effects perfectly attuned to this ageless masterpiece delineating the foibles of mankind in exquisite detail with a bit of the surreal thrown in for good measure, a concept Salvdore Dali explored with great success 450 years after Bosch finished the garden.

The Dream - Salvdore Dali

Not Even

Not Even describes the skill set of Bryn Atkinson on a mt bike and a trail that defies description. :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Just a matter of time

It won the first of 5 games against one of the best Go players in the world.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — After an extraordinarily close contest, Google’s artificially intelligent Go-playing computer system has beaten Lee Sedol, one of the world’s top players, in the first game of their historic five-game match at Seoul’s Four Seasons hotel. Known as AlphaGo, this Google creation not only proved it can compete with the game’s best, but also showed off its remarkable ability to learn the game on its own.

As often stated in BRT regarding strong AI, It's just a matter of time.

Addendum: Deep Mind goes 3-0 thus winning the best of 5 match.

22 pts.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

To Scale ... For a Change :)

Often overlooked, here's an entertaining video showing our SS to scale. :)

Weather Watch :)

Excellent advice from Pioneer Settler forecasting the weather. Good info for sure. :)

Seen below is the infographic laying out PS tips, graphic style.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Wednesday, March 02, 2016