Wednesday, August 29, 2018


From beaches to ponds, woods and night, Summer/2018 shows nature at small scale. Enjoy.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ancient Scotland

Ancient Scotland from John Duncan on Vimeo.

Seriously great cinematography without question and ... the music works without question as well. :)

Friday, August 17, 2018

A Faustian bargain

BRT has waxed poetic about the perils and foolishness of fracking, a short term solution to a long term problem with emphasis given to its destruction of precious aquifers in order to generate fossil fuel energy no matter what the cost may be.

An alarming new study reveals fracking is quite simply destroying America’s water supply.

That means we are losing potable water forever in many semi-arid regions of the country, while simultaneously producing more carbon pollution that in turn is driving ever-worsening droughts in those same regions, as fracking expert Anthony Ingraffea, a professor at Cornell University, explained to ThinkProgress.

The game-changing study from Duke University found that “from 2011 to 2016, the water use per well increased up to 770 percent.” In addition, the toxic wastewater produced in the first year of production jumped up to 1440 percent.

End result ...

Yes indeed.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Circadian Rhythms

It's all about the 24 hr cycle that every living thing on planet earth obeys with summer being the best way to see how it all works out. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Summer 2018

Butterfly 1 :)

Clematis on edge

DK 2

Orange Frilly

Monarch having a snack

Sherwood Silhouette

Tan Dragonfly

Tiny Daisy

“War does not determine who is right — only who is left.” ― Anonymous

Autonomous bots are becoming an ominous reality as there is too much money to be made by building and selling this hardware to interested parties as seen by this piece in New Atlas titled Kalashnikov’s new autonomous weapons and the “Terminator conundrum”

Earlier this month, the Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Group made a low-key announcement with frightening implications. The company revealed it had developed a range of combat robots that are fully automated and used artificial intelligence to identify targets and make independent decisions. The revelation rekindled the simmering, and controversial, debate over autonomous weaponry and asked the question, at what point do we hand control of lethal weapons over to artificial intelligence?


Something to consider don't you think?

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Paleoartistic restoration of the head of Razanandrongobe sakalavae. Unlike extant crocodilians, this terrestrial predator had a deep skull. Credit: Fabio Manucci.

One can only imagine just how scary Jurassic Madagascar's Razanandrongobe sakalavae must have been when hunting as seen by the Razana reconstructions seen above and below of a heretofore unknown apex predator able to move at tremendous speed as  its legs were positioned straight and erect under their bodies, allowing them to gallop and sprint after prey in a decidedly athletic, uncrocodile-like manner. Notosuchians like Razana also had elevated skulls, making them look more Velociraptor and less pancake-headed swamp monster. Notosuchians were fierce predators that ranged all over Gondwana during the last half of the Mesozoic Era, but the new findings demonstrate that none of these souped-up crocs were quite as formidable as the monster from Madagascar.

Factoids ...

Seems the age of dinosaurs was dangerville to the max without question. Click here to get scientific information further detailing why Razana was so fearsome a predator.


Friday, August 10, 2018

As needs warrant ...

Like reality, tech knows no morality save for the person using said tech, something BRT has discussed for years as the same tool used to cure cancer can also be used to create credit default swaps or, in this case, AI used to both defeat malware or create it as needs warrant.

Seen below is a diagram showing how IBM's DeepLocker does the deed. 

Here is The Hacker News' take on AI doing the right thing for us rubes.

Interesting is it not?

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Baby, it's hot outside

Words not needed here. We know it's getting hotter, unfortunately, it's just the beginning ...

Deadly heat waves will become more frequent and occur in more places on the planet in coming decades, according to a study published last summer in the journal Nature Climate Change. Extreme heat waves are frequently cited as one of the most direct effects of man-made climate change.

Remarkably, scientists can now work out in just a matter of days how much human-induced climate change has had to do with a particular weather event, using a combination of observation, historical data and current information from weather stations.

2018 is on pace to be the 4th-hottest year on record

"The European heat wave was at least twice as likely to happen because of human intervention. Based on findings in Ireland it was double -- and we know that with very high confidence -- and based on data from all other weather stations it was more than double," said Karsten Haustein from the World Weather Attribution Project, part of Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute.

Baby, it's hot outside.

Sea level rise hit a new high – about 3 inches (7.7 cm) higher than the 1993 average. Global sea level is rising at an average rate of 1.2 inches (3.1 cm) per decade.

But we never learn, do we?

Spending on oil and gas increased last year, pushing up the share of fossil fuels in energy supply investment for the first time since 2014, according to the International Energy Agency. Investment in renewable energy dropped 7%, while demand for coal rose, largely to keep Asia's furnaces burning as the region rapidly develops.

Any questions?

Addendum: Had to add this from the NYTimes Magazine titled Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change. Anger and sadness comes to mind in reading this as something really significant could have done but wasn't, thanks to the fossil fuel cartel and significant others.

Schizophrenia ...

Robert Mueller, James Clapper & John Brennan - defenders of the Deep State

Why is the the notion of A Deep State such a mystery? Countries have had deep states since the beginning of time whether it be in ancient Egypt, China or Greece or in modern day Turkey, England or France as the power elite of said cultures or countries ran or run things without question as they have the one great prerequisite needed (money) to control said entity in question, as seen, yet again, with George Carlin's amazing riff, The Real Owners of the Country.


 With George's take in mind, here's a partial list detailing the Death of Empire when the deep state begins to go off the rails, something becoming rather obvious when one looks at the current state of affairs in the good ole USA. Note: No discussion of the existential gorilla known as climate change is factored into this list as this impacts the world, not just America.
  1. Environmental degradation
  2. Resource depletion
  3. Infrastructure degradation
  4. Over reliance on military (diplomatic/financial)
  5. Election of corrupt and inept politicians
  6. Financial inequality
  7. Death of civil liberties
  8. The politicization of all things related to governance
  9. Unbridled greed with total emphasis on short term gain
  10. Demonization of science and fact aka lack of critical thinking
  11. Fake news of all stripes
A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available, i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets, and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on.

But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic.

Meanwhile, diverting the national income into a few power centers is also destabilizing, as Central Planning and Market Manipulation (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve) are intrinsically unstable as price can no longer be discovered by unfettered markets. As a result, imbalances grow until some seemingly tiny incident or disruption triggers a cascading collapse, a.k.a. a phase shift or system re-set.

As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security.

Schizophrenia indeed.

Friday, August 03, 2018

FYI & then some :)

R. Crumb, prescient to a fault. Thanks John for cluing me on this classic.

A great artist without question. Moliere would appreciate Crumb in a heart beat.

Had to add one more. :)

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Soft Power ...

The New Silk Road, China's 1+ trillion dollar venture, promises to link a myriad of countries together via high speed rail and roads, is an endeavor that promises, if it succeeds, to transform China into a super power of enormous proportions. With this being said, there are caveats to this grand enterprise according to an excellent Bloomberg article titled China’s Empire of Money is Reshaping Global World Trade Money.
To whit.

What emerges is a picture of mostly poor nations—laggards during the past half-century of global growth—that jumped at the promise of Chinese-financed projects they hoped would help them catch up. And yet as some high-profile ones falter and the cost of their Chinese funding rises, would-be beneficiaries from Hambantota, Sri Lanka, to Piraeus, Greece, are questioning the long-term price. In Malaysia, one of the biggest recipients of Chinese investment in Southeast Asia, newly installed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is pushing back. Expressing concerns about loan conditions and the use of Chinese labor that limit benefits to the local economy, he’s put billions of dollars of Chinese-­funded rail and pipeline projects on hold.

Xi intends a century-long enterprise. China has already outspent the post-World War II U.S. Marshall Plan, measured in today’s dollars. Within a decade, according to Morgan Stanley estimates, China and its local partners will spend as much as $1.3 trillion on railways, roads, ports, and power grids. “Economic clout is diplomacy by other means,” says Nad├Ęge Rolland, Washington-based senior fellow for political and security affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research. “It’s not for today. It’s for mid-21st century China.”

Latin America, venture No. 2.

The percentage of Latin America’s imports from the United States fell from 50 percent of the region’s total imports in 2000 to 33 percent in 2016, while China’s share rose from 3 percent to 18 percent in the same period, according to Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) figures. Latin Americans are increasingly buying more China-made laptops and cars that used to be imported from the United States.

If the United States were to regain the market share in Latin American imports that it had in 2000, it could be exporting around $788 billion a year to the region and would be creating about 1 million additional U.S. jobs, the IADB says.

But while Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Latin America a week after Trump’s inauguration in what was his third visit there in three years, Trump has shown very little interest in the region.

Trump has not only failed to visit Latin America, but has vowed to build a wall on the U.S. southern border and is threatening to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Building a wall is a really good idea, right?