Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HC 101

Congressman Tom Price, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is more than just an armchair critic of Obamacare.

Not only would Price scrap the Obamacare insurance exchanges and the generous subsidies that make them work, he would roll back the expansion of Medicaid that has benefitted millions of poor families and return the country to a system where private insurers have little incentive to cover high-risk individuals. During the past four years, more than twenty million Americans have obtained health coverage, and the proportion of Americans without it has fallen to a historic low: 8.6 per cent. If Trump’s real goal is to return to a market-based health-insurance system, with all the inequities and gaps in coverage that such a system inevitably entails, Price’s plan presents a possible blueprint for how to get there.

It gets better.

Price will arrive at HHS with a clear blueprint for what comes next. He is the author of the Empowering Patients First Act, one of the most thorough and detailed proposals to repeal and replace Obamacare. He’s the HHS secretary you’d pick if you were dead serious about dismantling the law.

This pick would suggest that Trump is serious about dismantling Obamacare and replacing it with a market-based alternative 

It would replace the law with a plan that does more to benefit the young, healthy, and rich — and disadvantages the sick, old, and poor. Price’s plan provides significantly less help to those with preexisting conditions than other Republican proposals, particularly the replacement plan offered by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).

The biggest cut to the poor in Price’s plan is the full repeal of the Medicaid expansion, a program that currently covers millions of low-income Americans, which Price replaces with, well, nothing.

Endgame. Be young, healthy & wealthy or die, the "choice" is up to you.

Night Time Aerials +

Vincent Lafore is a master photographer as seen by this gem. Go to his site and be amazed. :)

Elmer Gantry circa 2016

Because I love the country, I always hope for success of every president as yours truly's welfare, along with the rest of the populace depends, in part, on said success, something becoming rather illusionry considering the quality of president the US has had over the past 50+ years, starting with Johnson and now, president elect Trump, who is charting, thus far, a path rife with hypocrisy, ignorance and corruption to the max, To this end, let's talk swamp and how the Donald tends to deal with it regarding his selection of incoming Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin along with his take on the banksters residing on WS.

It gets better.

Read both pieces in their entiriety to see why Trump is the real life version of Elmer Gantry to the max.

Glass-Steagall anyone? not a chance, not a chance in hell. 

Monday, November 28, 2016


A short clip showing transition from forest and field to a quick glimpse of a landmark in New Haven. Enjoy

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Great Turkey Escape 2016

The Great Turkey Escape Road Race has become a tradition in Redding where runners of all skill sets do a 5K or 3K to contribute to good causes. It's a lot of fun without question. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Creep Crawlies in more ways than 1. :)

Had to put this bad boy in. Appropriate is it not? Thanks Chuck for the bon bon. :)

Had to add another from Backchannel. :)

Happy T Day from BRT. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Late Fall ... in 3 Takes

Late Fall

Squirrel's Nest :)

Strange Interlude

Being Alone

Being alone is a good thing for yours truly as it gives this rube a chance to think, create (hopefully) and be at "relative" peace while not bothering friends and family about hangups and complaints that tend to ruin the unfortunates listening to such rants. Using this blurb as precursor, a very interesting piece from Big Think bears this notion out without question.

But ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The Endgame for Cassini is nigh, a fact bumming yours truly big time given just how wonderful the Cassini mission has been with even more stellar science to come without question.

There is a Twitter-bot that randomly tweets out “NOOOOOOOO Cassini can’t be ending!” (with varying amounts of “O’s”). @CassiniNooo represents the collective sigh of sadness and consternation felt by those of us who can’t believe the the historic and extensive Cassini mission will be over in just a matter of months.

And next week is the beginning of the end for Cassini.

This graphic illustrates the Cassini spacecraft’s trajectory, or flight path, during the final two phases of its mission. The view is toward Saturn as seen from Earth. The 20 ring-grazing orbits are shown in gray; the 22 grand finale orbits are shown in blue. The final partial orbit is colored orange. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

BRT will put up a few prize pix from Cassini when the time comes to say goodbye.

VR/AR ... Coming Soon

VR without AR is an non starter.

We live in interesting times. - Robert E.

Another ML clip. Factoid, Light Field science is part of the equation here. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Leonard Cohen - 1934 - 2016

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

JFK's Ode to Robert Frost

JFK, a visionary to the max, not only had style but also wisdom and a profound connect to creativity and art, something seen in his wonderful eulogy to Robert Frost, yours truly's favorite poet. As backdrop, here are some quotes from Brain Pickings, a gem of a site that connects to creativity in profound ways. Enjoy.

In January of 1961, as John F. Kennedy’s inauguration approached, his would-be Secretary of the Interior suggested that the poet Robert Frost participate in the ceremony as the first inaugural poet. Eighty-six-year-old Frost telegrammed Kennedy with his signature elegance of wit: “If you can bear at your age the honor of being made president of the United States, I ought to be able at my age to bear the honor of taking some part in your inauguration.” He proceeded to deliver a beautiful ode to the dream of including the arts in government, which touched Kennedy deeply.

And this, the single best quote on the proper use of power in JFK's wonderful eulogy to Frost.

Strength takes many forms, and the most obvious forms are not always the most significant. The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.

We take great comfort in our nuclear stockpiles, our gross national product, our scientific and technological achievement, our industrial might — and, up to a point, we are right to do so. But physical power by itself solves no problems and secures no victories. What counts is the way power is used — whether with swagger and contempt, or with prudence, discipline and magnanimity. What counts is the purpose for which power is used — whether for aggrandizement or for liberation. “It is excellent,” Shakespeare said, “to have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.”

I remember JFK's great inaugural back in 1961 like it was yesterday, when this nation was great and noble, not like what we see today, a nation bitter, divided & mean spirited. RIP Mr. President.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Project X

Well, this couldn’t be more timely. Innovative documentary and journalism platform Field of Vision has announced the upcoming release of a brand new short film from Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke that dives deep into the culture of the NSA, with special attention paid to uncovering documents and reports that chronicle how NSA employees operate, along with the purported existence of a top secret surveillance site located in the heart of New York City.

It gets better.

THEY CALLED IT Project X. It was an unusually audacious, highly sensitive assignment: to build a massive skyscraper, capable of withstanding an atomic blast, in the middle of New York City. It would have no windows, 29 floors with three basement levels, and enough food to last 1,500 people two weeks in the event of a catastrophe.

But the building’s primary purpose would not be to protect humans from toxic radiation amid nuclear war. Rather, the fortified skyscraper would safeguard powerful computers, cables, and switchboards. It would house one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the United States — the world’s largest center for processing long-distance phone calls, operated by the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T.

The building was designed by the architectural firm John Carl Warnecke & Associates, whose grand vision was to create a communication nerve center like a “20th century fortress, with spears and arrows replaced by protons and neutrons laying quiet siege to an army of machines within.”

It is not uncommon to keep the public in the dark about a site containing vital telecommunications equipment. But 33 Thomas Street is different: An investigation by The Intercept indicates that the skyscraper is more than a mere nerve center for long-distance phone calls. It also appears to be one of the most important National Security Agency surveillance sites on U.S. soil — a covert monitoring hub that is used to tap into phone calls, faxes, and internet data.

Documents obtained by The Intercept from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden do not explicitly name 33 Thomas Street as a surveillance facility. However — taken together with architectural plans, public records, and interviews with former AT&T employees conducted for this article — they provide compelling evidence that 33 Thomas Street has served as an NSA surveillance site, code-named TITANPOINTE.

33 Thomas Street AKA The Long Lines Building

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Waldo Moment

Black Mirror's take on reality is enlightening, frightening and prescient in looking at tech from a cost perspective, something BRT has done for the past 7 years as There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, thanks to the 3 laws of Thermodynamics. In Mirror, The Waldo Moment strikes home when it comes to combining tech with an uneducated populace to give rise to world dictatorship under a "leader" that doesn't exist. Something akin to the rise of Trump, the now soon to be president who should not exist.

Any questions?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

On language & reality

Just saw Arrival and yes, it's one of the great films, along with 2001 and Interstellar, that examines how humanity deals with the great unknown which, in this case, involves communication with aliens whose connect to existence is utterly different from our own save that both species use language to define how they view reality, something BRT examined in some depth back in 2014.

The part that fascinates your truly are the beautiful logograms, the circular alphabet the heptapods use to communicate their view of time and existence to humanity along with the reason why they showed up, a process no doubt rife with complexity, nuance and the potential for dangerous misunderstanding.

The basis for the language set.

Last but not least the the trailer for Arrival. 


Yours truly is fascinated by mirrors but you, my loyal readers, already know that as reflections garnered from such objects, whether they be natural or artificial, reveal subtle qualities of the reality they reflect, something physics takes very seriously when trying to discover the true nature of reality from the subatomic to the multiverse.

It gets better.

Read the Nautilus piece in it's entirety, worth the time to learn a lot, I know I did.

Curiosity, when properly applied, never kills the cat. - Robert E. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Of Beauty & Evanescence - Rev II :)

The only constant is change, something articulated with great eloquence in Buddhism, The Tao and Zen. To that end, this short clip begins and ends with trees, entities that shows how change happens thru the passage of time. Enjoy.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Of Beauty & Evanescence

3 portraits of a Mandala created and destroyed @ the MTL in an extraordinary ceremony showing why Buddhism and it's connect to existence and art is a profound philosophy to the max. Redding & the library should be proud. Enjoy. :)

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Dems Blew It

Bernie was cheated and now America will pay the price via a Trumpenstein presidency, a fubar of the Dems making that will negatively impact the nation and the world for years. If the Dems had not gamed the system under Shultz and company, Sanders would be POTUS.

To whit

Any questions as to why yours truly is truly angry?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Physics doesn't care

Well, we know for starters, Trump cares not for the environment in selecting Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute
to transition the EPA from the Obama administration to Trump's given that Ebell's views fly in the face of reality regarding climate change and how it's impacting the world.

  1. Carbon dioxide passed the 400 parts per million milestone. Permanently
  2. 2016 is going to be the hottest year on record That comes on the heels of a record hot 2015 and a record hot 2014. The world has warmed about 1°F compared to pre-industrial times
  3. Extreme weather events have become more likely Climate Central’s weather attribution looked at two notable extreme rainfall events this year—Louisiana’s epic rains in August and France’s deluge in May—and found climate change made them more likely.
  4. Sea level rise is making flooding more common The oceans have risen about a foot over the past century as waters have warmed and ice sheets and glaciers have melted.
  5. Arctic sea ice is disappearing. Fast This year saw the second-lowest Arctic sea ice extent on record. The Northwest Passage opened up this summer. As of October, regrowth was so slow that the Arctic was missing a chunk of ice the size of the entire eastern half of the U.S. This is right in line with trends of an increasingly ice-free Arctic.
  6. The Antarctic ice sheet is becoming unstable The massive stores of ice at the bottom of the world are facing a watery future. A crack has formed across a massive ice shelf and scientists have been “struck by how high the loss is” at some glaciers in West Antarctica as warm waters eat them from the bottom up.
  7. The oceans have been record warm—and it’s killing coral The world has had three straight years of unprecedented coral bleaching in all ocean basins due largely to extreme ocean heat. If the planet warms by 1.5°C (2.7°F), coral reefs will likely go extinct. And right now the planet is on its way to passing that threshold unless carbon pollution is seriously curtailed.
  8. Oh, and oceans are also acidifying Carbon pollution is also acidifying oceans and in the process, stressing reefs and shell-forming organisms. It’s likely already started dissolving some of Florida’s reefs, a trend that could continue as carbon pollution keeps rising.

As per Climate Central ... Physics doesn't care.

To see why, click the NASA graphic below to see the change in sea ice from 1984 -2015

Scary says it all, thanks to the loss of Albedo due to global warming.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


Zero Hedge nailed it.

A Black Swan Event

Predicting the future - NOT, is a mantra of BRT but you, my loyal readers already know that thanks to how chaos, quantum theory and entropy show this to be true in spite of what the "pundits" say to the contrary. At the same time, black swan events do exist, they are, in hindsight, eminently foreseeable if one knows where to look, something corresponding to the "surprising" victory of Trump based on two variables.

  1. Seething anger of the middle class against the status quo and
  2. People perceiving Hillary to be eminently untrustworthy, the one trait all politicians try, with varying degrees of success, to avoid like the plague when humping for votes from rubes like you and I.

Type in Sanders Trump in the BRT search box, to see why yours truly thought Trump could win, given just how weak a candidate Hillary truly was.

“Beware the fallacies into which undisciplined thinkers most easily fall – they are the real distorting prisms of human nature.” - Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon

Monday, November 07, 2016

The 3rd Season ... Circa 2016

Fall, the 3rd Season, is one of color, clarity and transition whether it be country or city or all
environs in-between. Enjoy

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Big 12 :)

Seen below are the names of the 12 full moons occurring each year.
  1. January - Wolf Moon
  2. February - Snow Moon
  3. March - Crow Moon
  4. April - Pink Moon
  5. May - Flower Moon
  6. June - Strawberry Moon
  7. July - Buck Moon
  8. August - Sturgeon Moon
  9. Sepember - Harvest Moon
  10. October - Hunter's Moon
  11. November - Beaver Moon
  12. December - Cold Moon
Full moons never disappoint. - Robert E. :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, HC Style This toon sums up this never ending festering election from hell for yours truly with one candidate who shall not be named and the other, someone incapable of telling the truth. All bets are off thanks to the Weiner Schnitzel, the husband from hell who can't keep his privates private.

See if you can read the entire piece without laughing and cringing at the same time. :)