Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Deep Diver

In Transit :)


The ISS transiting a spotless sun, how cool is that? :)

Explanation: That's no sunspot. It's the International Space Station (ISS) caught passing in front of the Sun. Sunspots, individually, have a dark central umbra, a lighter surrounding penumbra, and no solar panels. By contrast, the ISS is a complex and multi-spired mechanism, one of the largest and most sophisticated machines ever created by humanity. Also, sunspots occur on the Sun, whereas the ISS orbits the Earth. Transiting the Sun is not very unusual for the ISS, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one's timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare. Strangely, besides that fake spot, in this recent two-image composite, the Sun lacked any real sunspots. The featured picture combines two images -- one capturing the space station transiting the Sun -- and another taken consecutively capturing details of the Sun's surface. Sunspots have been rare on the Sun since the dawn of the current Solar Minimum, a period of low solar activity. For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low.

Stellar without question.

Monday, July 15, 2019

LIghts for Liberty/Redding, CT 07/12/2019




Redding, CT does its share to support Lights for Liberty, a coalition of people, dedicated to human rights and the fundamental principle behind democracy that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The implosion begins ...


Hate to say it but yours truly guessed this would happen a few years ago, thanks to the net and to Amazon, as people, including myself, are lazy and ... if you can get said product cheaper and delivered to you without issue, the need to drive and get said product becomes moot. Additionally, the slow-motion impact of tariffs is beginning to show as per Zerohedge, a site that knows a bit about issues such as this.

Bankrupted Payless ShoeSource closed its remaining stores last week, accounts for 37% of the closing this year.

Coresight estimates closures could hit at least 12,000 stores by the end of 4Q19. The firm already tracked 5,864 closings in 2018, which included all Toys R Us, Kmart and Sears.

The retail apocalypse reared its ugly head in 2017 when a record 8,139 store closures were reported.

In a separate reported, noted by USA Today, UBS said 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products could jeopardize $40 billion of retail sales and puts 12,000 stores at risk of closing.

"The market does not realize how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures," UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in the May report. "We think the potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company's profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility."

It'll take several months for the new round of tariffs to filter through the economy, raise retail prices, force consumers to shop online or not at all, and then lead to a new wave of closings in 1H20. As for the economy, growth rates are indeed declining as an industrial slowdown is spread to other sectors.


The implosion begins.

Entanglement ...


Engtanglement has never been photographed until now. Bell was right all along. :)



Click here for more blurbs on entanglement & quantum theory if you dare. :)

Addendum: One more pix and info from Physorg.





How cool is this? :)

Friday, July 12, 2019

The first salvo ...



Hurricane Barry, the slow-motion GW generated engine of destruction targeting Lousiana, reminds one of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes in terms of the kind of dread people feel when faced with entities possessing this kind of dark power.


The first salvo ...

5 + 1 :)



Amazing pix of 5 frogs hitching a ride on a croc. Awesome without question. 


A side view of these intrepid travelers. : ) Thx Jill for turning me onto this gem. :)
The sequence of pictures is truly stellar.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

fp



A new, tiny full frame still and video camera from Signa comes complete with a very cool promo piece titled, you guessed it, fp. Stellar without question. :)

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Credential Dumping explained ...

Yours truly learned a new term. credential dumping, a precise term describing how hackers grab our data by getting access to our logins and passwords via nefarious means. A truly excellent Wired piece tells one how this game works.



Learning new stuff is awesome without question.

The Caretaker factor ...


Apple was, at times, a trillion dollar company but not now. Outside of the iPad Pros, the iMacs and the new Mac Pro, it seems, to this individual, that Apple has lost some of its mojo as Cook is not a visionary, like Jobs was, in any way shape or fashion.

Design issues ...


Cook/Ive fallout ...




Apple's a  player without issue but cracks are beginning to show on this truly great company being run by a very capable caretaker as Apple moves further into the 21st century. The question to ask here is, is that enough to keep Apple ahead in a world where hardware is becoming a commodity driven by code. Something to consider don't you think?

Friday, July 05, 2019

Dragonfly

Supermodels


Supermodels, a word describing highly paid people to show off designer threads, is a term yours truly thinks patently ridiculous given how the fashion industry is totally dedicated to image and profit based on providing fantasy to us rubes 24/7. With that being said, the advancement of digital representations of said clothe horses parallels what is happening in film and graphics where one cannot tell whether the image is synthetic or the real deal.






It gets "better".

Fable Studio, which bills itself as “the virtual beings company,” created Lucy, a cartoonish character able to read and respond to viewers’ reactions in real time. The company says it makes digital creations “with whom you can build a two-way emotional relationship.”

Xinhua, the Chinese government’s media outlet, introduced a virtual news anchor last year, saying it “can work 24 hours a day.” Coca-Cola and Louis Vuitton have used video game characters in their ads. Soul Machines, a company founded by the Oscar-winning digital animator Mark Sagar, produced computer-generated teachers that respond to human students. Last month, YouPorn got in on the trend with Jedy Vales, an avatar who promotes the site and interacts with its users.

Edward Saatchi, who started Fable, predicted that virtual beings would someday supplant digital home assistants and computer operating systems from companies like Amazon and Google.

“Eventually, it will be clear that the line between a Miquela and an Alexa is actually very slim,” he said.

Virtual influencers come with an advantage for the companies that use them: They are less regulated than their human counterparts. And the people controlling them aren’t required to disclose their presence.

& it's cheaper ...




Any questions & ... It's just a matter of time for Hollywood just as well.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Now for something completely different :)

Waiting for Godot ...

Dumb Shit Foreign Policy ... A case for Impeachment indeed


In Ramification, BRT discussed the background stupidity of the Trump administration regarding Iran, complete with the inept false flag initiative and the possible ensuing blowback leading to economic devastation of the world's economy, the incineration of the Middle East and the specter of WWW III given just how seriously dangerous and foolish this gambit truly is. In this blurb, David Stockman's piece ventures further as to why this is an impeachable offense based on just how dumb and reckless the 3 Stooges of Trump, Bolton and Pompeo are in terms of making America's 60+ year foreign policy fubar even worse then one can ever imagine.







History lesson


End game







A case for impeachment indeed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Biodiversity 101 ...


Biodiversity's rather important for without it, earth dies, including us. With this in mind, consider the plight of honeybees, insects that pollinate approximately 33% of the food we eat, based on what we are doing to our planet as we speak.

While the decline of European honeybees in the United States and beyond has been
well publicized in recent years, the more than 4,000 species of native bees in North
America and Hawaii have been much less documented. Although these native bees
are not as well known as honeybees, they play a vital role in functioning ecosystems and also
provide more than $3 billion dollars in fruit-pollination services each year just in the United
States.

For this first-of-its-kind analysis, the Center for Biological Diversity conducted a systematic
review of the status of all 4,337 North American and Hawaiian native bees. Our key findings:
Time to wake up about caring for the environment don't you think?

Monday, June 24, 2019

A Solar System update :)


Stunning says it all regarding our solar system as envisioned by Tabletop Whale, an amazing science illustration website.

This week’s map shows the orbits of more than 18000 asteroids in the solar system. This includes everything we know of that’s over 10km in diameter - about 10000 asteroids - as well as 8000 randomized objects of unknown size. This map shows each asteroid at its exact position on New Years’ Eve 1999.

Here's another.


This week’s blog post is a topographic map of the planet Mercury - the smallest planet and the one closest to the sun. I wanted to map each of the rocky planets in the same style, so this week’s code tutorial actually also includes code for mapping Mars, Venus, and the Moon.

Although Mercury has very few labeled features, I really liked the IAU naming theme for the planet. Craters on Mercury are named after famous artists - including some of my favorites, Lange (named for Dorothea Lange), Gaudí (Antoni Gaudí i Cornet), and Plath (Sylvia Plath).

Stellar without question. :)

Ramification ...


ram·i·fi·ca·tion
/ˌraməfəˈkāSH(ə)n/
 Learn to pronounce
noun
plural noun: ramifications
a consequence of an action or event, especially when complex or unwelcome.
"any change is bound to have legal ramifications"
synonyms: consequence, result, aftermath, outcome, effect, upshot, issue, sequel; More
a subdivision of a complex structure or process perceived as comparable to a tree's branches.
"an extended family with its ramifications of neighboring in-laws"
FORMAL•TECHNICAL
the action or state of ramifying or being ramified.

Said word is more than appropriate when it comes to Iran and the incredibly stupid and dangerous actions the US is taking against her based on an inept false flag and total ignorance of the fact of international waters regarding Oman, Iran and the Strait of Hormuz.



Iran’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz amount to 12 nautical miles (22 km). Since 1959, Iran recognizes only non-military naval transit.

Since 1972, Oman’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz also amount to 12 nautical miles. At its narrowest, the width of the Strait is 21 nautical miles (39 km). That means, crucially, that half of the Strait of Hormuz is in Iranian territorial waters and the other half in Oman’s. There are no “international waters”.

Regarding the false flag ... As much as 30% of the world’s oil supply transits the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Wily Persian Gulf traders – who know better – are virtually unanimous; if Tehran was really responsible for the Gulf of Oman tanker incident, oil prices would be going through the roof by now. They aren’t.

Even Israel agrees.



It gets better

For the past few days, intelligence circles across Eurasia had been prodding Tehran to consider a quite straightforward scenario. There would be no need to shut down the Strait of Hormuz if Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleimani, the ultimate Pentagon bête noire, explained in detail, on global media, that Washington simply does not have the military capacity to keep the Strait open.

As I previously reported, shutting down the Strait of Hormuz

would destroy the American economy by detonating the $1.2 quadrillion derivatives market; and that would collapse the world banking system, crushing the world’s $80 trillion GDP and causing an unprecedented depression.

Endgame: If the US is totally out of its mind and shuts off the ability of Iran to ship essential oil exports to countries like China ...

And that adds to Tehran now openly saying that Iran may decide to close the Strait of Hormuz publicly – and not by stealth.

Iran’s indirect, asymmetric warfare response to any US adventure will be very painful. Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran once again reconfirmed, “even a limited strike will be met by a major and disproportionate response.” And that means gloves off, big time; anything from really blowing up tankers to, in Marandi’s words, “Saudi and UAE oil facilities in flames”.

Hezbollah will launch tens of thousands of missiles against Israel. As

Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hasan Nasrallah has been stressing in his speeches, “war on Iran will not remain within that country’s borders, rather it will mean that the entire [Middle East] region will be set ablaze. All of the American forces and interests in the region will be wiped out, and with them the conspirators, first among them Israel and the Saudi ruling family.”

Remember, Iran is not Arab, its Persian and the location of the country is perfect in terms of defense vis a vis the US. Maybe the idiots in the WH should WTF up and realize this is folly of the most pernicious kind.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Creativity 101


Centerline

Creativity 101:
  1. The Act of Creation - Arthur Koestler: The creative act is the joining together of two or more seemingly dissimilar ideas that generate a heretofore unexpected result. i.e. Chemistry - H20 consists of 2 Hydrogen + 1 Oxygen atoms, both explosive yet, when combined, becomes water.
    The joke: Henny Youngman - Take my wife, Please. :)
  2. Creativity starts with the asking of a question: Why is this the way it is?
    Question everything - Einstein
  3. The ability to see relationships is key because everything is connected as reality is a Quantum space and entanglement stitches it together.
  4. Play is indispensable. What if ... is the real deal here. A sense of wonderment is essential. :)
  5. Creativity takes courage as new ideas disrupt the "natural" order of things.
  6. Creativity is problem-solving. It matters not the discipline used save that said discipline shapes how the creative act is produced.
  7. The act itself is ineffable and cannot be explained. Like quantum, creativity just happens. It cannot be forced, only acted upon when the idea shows up. The finished act is anything but as it can be explained after the fact without issue.
  8. Practice makes better. Beginners mind and intuition are key.
  9. The size of the problem solved dictates the significance of the creative act. i.e. Mixing anchovies with pineapples on a pizza is a creative act. The size or importance of the problem solved, not so much while Einstein's Theory of relativity proving that Newton was wrong at a universal scale, is.
  10. Creativity, like tech and existence, has no morality. It simply is.
  11. Stay hungry, stay foolish - Stewart Brand/Whole Earth Catalog. :)

Backlight

MAD



MAD/Mutually Assured Destruction, the policy the US and USSR implements to prevent nuclear war, has worked for almost 70 years, something rather amazing given just how easy it is to have an accident or a misread as to what each country will do in a crisis when it comes to tech as fragile and powerful as nukes truly are. With this in mind, it's no wonder posturing, quasi lying and deception become part of the game where there is no winner if missiles are launched to bring about Armageddon, military style.



IN A MAZE of tunnels 900 feet beneath the Nevada desert, US nuclear weapons scientists have since the 1990s been intermittently agitating flecks of plutonium with chemical high explosives, carefully trying to push them to the brink of a chain reaction capable of yielding nuclear force.

IN A SEPARATE network of underground tunnels about 4,800 miles away, in the northern Russian archipelago of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Circle, Russia conducts its own such experiments, meant to model the key chemical and physical actions that occur in the run-up to a full-blown nuclear explosion, without actually causing one.

Experiments at the two sites are used by both nations to help ensure their nuclear arsenals remain viable but conducted under a blanket of secrecy. And so they’ve given rise to suspicions—and accusations—that they violate a 1996 global treaty designed to stymie nuclear weapons innovations by barring any nuclear explosions.



MAD indeed.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Water Wars ...




Water wars, similar in terms of inevitability with nations desiring ever more powerful weapons, become a given due to just how intense the impact of climate change will be on planet earth as man moves further into the 21st century.


Factor in the issue of too many people and the scenario for chaos becomes even direr.



Don't say we haven't been warned.

It's inevitable ...


It's inevitable ... aptly describes the endless pursuit of ever more powerful weapons by every nation on planet earth, a concept particularly apropos to hypersonic weapons, a tech that cannot be stopped, based on large part as to just how fast this hardware can go in delivering death, in minutes, to anyone unfortunate enough to be in its path.


Cheap to deploy is an added bonus to defense contractors of almost any size




With a little bit of luck, these weapons might prove to be more successful than Lockheed's F 35, the jet that just can't cut in in ways that truly boggle the mind.




This is understandable as the US no longer makes anything and lacks the infrastructure to train people on how to make things. Makes sense doesn't it?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Minority Report - coming soon ...

"Stewards" of the planet



BRT has talked often about the Anthropocene, the 6th great extinction event being caused by us 24/7.  With this sad fact in mind, NPR's Anthropocene Project details, via powerful photography and editorial, how this slow-motion disaster is occurring as we speak. Note that the climate change part of the equation is not being discussed, only environmental degradation, driven by pollution, resource depletion, greed and, of course, fossil fuel production.





The spiral patterns remind one of this little guy does it not?


Earth will recover ... once we are gone or finally wake up as to what it really means to be stewards of the planet, take your pick. One can only hope.