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.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Europa ... with a touch of salt

Seems Europa's oceans may be more like our own based on recent findings regarding sodium chloride, the fancy name for table salt.

A familiar ingredient has been hiding in plain sight on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. Using a visible-light spectral analysis, planetary scientists at Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have discovered that the yellow color visible on portions of the surface of Europa is actually sodium chloride, a compound known on Earth as table salt, which is also the principal component of sea salt.

The discovery suggests that the salty subsurface ocean of Europa may chemically resemble Earth's oceans more than previously thought, challenging decades of supposition about the composition of those waters. The finding was published by Science Advances on June 12

Europa ... with a touch of salt. :)

Weirdo - RIP

Yours truly never knew anything about Weirdo, an underground comix magazine created by the esteemed R. CrumbThe layouts remind me of Upper & Lower Case, a magazine for the ages for graphic designers, which is, IMHO, high praise indeed.

A prodigious purveyor of perverted art and the doyen of underground comix, Robert Dennis Crumb (“R. Crumb” in his signatures) has been illustrating the unhinged imagery lodged in his unconscious for six decades and counting. To his ongoing bewilderment, the controversial and formerly destitute artist’s drawings and cartoons now fetch top dollar at esteemed gallery exhibitions, such as David Zwirner’s recent Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R. Crumb.

Before he was famous, though, Crumb endured all sorts of problems. Though he’d made a splash in 1968 with his Zap Comix series, which helped define the underground comix aesthetic, his early thirties were plagued by disastrous relationships, lawsuits, financial struggles, heavy LSD use, and copyright infringements (including an X-rated film made about his Fritz the Cat character without his permission). But things started looking up as Crumb approached his 40th birthday — thanks, in part, to Weirdo, an independent magazine he launched in 1981 following a flash of insight during a meditation session.

Prodigious talent without a doubt.

Up close & personal :)

Up close & personal, Cassini captures the inner workings of Saturn's rings in imagery both astounding and mysterious to a fault. 

To whit.

Cassini, the little probe that could. RIP.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The AGC - An unsung hero

The AGC: Apollo Guidance Computer is the unsung hero in the race to the moon, a visionary piece of hardware that had to work, always, was something totally new, a compact digital computer designed to enable man to navigate in space with no margin for error. 

The reason for the AGC.

Why it worked ... always.

Read the entire New Atlas piece as its exquisitely detailed and utterly fascinating to the max. Without question, you will learn how really creative people invented new tech on the fly that went to where no man has ever gone before.

Click here to run the AGC simulator. Stellar to a fault.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Dr. John - RIP

Tripped out and so late 60's, Dr John was a lurking presence @ Berklee and Boston 69-70. Intensity +

Writing for Rolling Stone in 1999, Tom Moon declared “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” the closing track from Dr. John’s 1968 album Gris Gris “everything you want in voodoo music.” Fifty-one years ago, who knew they even wanted voodoo music?

Gris-Gris/rev II

& of course, Right Place Wrong Time says it all regarding Dr. J. :)

Working with Allen Toussaint in 1973 meant that Dr. John got the producer’s young and rising house band, the Meters. This is when things got, as Mac would say, desitively funky, and the tight, creeping groove of “Right Place Wrong Time” landed him his first and only Top 10 hit. In a review for Rolling Stone in 1973, Jon Landau opined that the Meters were “the greatest R&B studio band since Booker T. and the MGs” and that furthermore, “genius drummer Joseph ‘Zigaboo’ Modeliste drives the song with more power than we have any right to expect.”

RIO Dr. J. We will miss you big time.

Had to add one more.

Words not needed ...

BRT has written copiously about Alan Turing, a man for the ages as the enormous impact he has had on chaos, computing and AI cannot be denied.

To whit:

Nuff said ...

On the hunt ...

Juno yet again ...

Did you know? ...

This amazing pix from Aeon, obviously, depicts a benign resident in our guts, an entity unfairly cursed for years until now as said "quest" is crucial to our health due to how they work with the bacteria living in our guts 24/7. 

To whit:


It's all about the money ... yet again.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Next Gen ...

Google has always been focused on software, driven by machine learning, and enormous cloud computing capability. Apple has traditionally been about hardware. The death of iTunes highlights the fragmented mess that Apple’s software has become. Google is embedding its Assistant into more and more apps, while Apple’s offerings lack cohesion. If you want practical proof of Google’s strategy paying off, look at the ascendancy of its photography. Google’s A.I. enables inferior hardware to outperform the competition.

Glance over at what Google is trying to do with Stadia, it’s forthcoming game streaming service, and you can see more evidence of an assault on traditional hardware. Maybe there’s a day in the not-too-distant where it really doesn’t matter what device you have in your pocket.

As often said in BRT, It's just a matter of time. :)

G Day yet again. :)

It lines up :)

Black hole secrets are finally being revealed with the latest data stating that the accretion disc lines up with the equator of the black hole.

How they found out.

Intense compute power combined with skilled analysis did the deed.

Sherlock Holmes would be proud. :)

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Pushing the envelope

To Biblical Proportions

BRT has examined climate change for 12+ years with each year showing how CC is inching ever closer to Biblical Proportions as temperates continue to rise at an alarming rate due to not only the increase in fossil fuel emissions but also to the increase of C02 and Methane in the far north driven, in large part, by the conversion of the Arctic from heat reflector to heat sink due to the loss of ice & it's reflective albedo that kept earth cool for millennia. With this being said, the feedback loops that feed off this loss of ice and continued fossil fuel burning promises to amplify the impact of CC in truly terrifying ways if nothing is immediately done to move toward sustainables as man moves further into the 21st century.

It gets better ...

End game ...

Note: As often said in BRT, we haven't even talked about environmental degradation, resource depletion and the issue of too many people, let alone the slow reduction of intelligence caused by the injection of more C02 into the atmosphere (415/ppm & climbing) as C02 makes one dumber by depriving us rubes of enough oxygen to remain relatively smart. Ask WWII submariners about this inconvenient fact while perusing this blurb. Yours truly certainly has.

X-Rays to the Max :)

Here's the same pix complete with labels detailing just how amazing the universe truly is. :)

Sunday, June 02, 2019

The man is NOT STUPID ... 2020 looms

The man is NOT STUPID in any way, shape or form. Crass, corrupt and venal, yes but stupid, not a chance, something the Dems just don't seem to understand in any way, shape or fashion.

The digital campaign for Donald Trump is already running at full speed. Same people, same tactics as four years ago, only this time it’s better. Better targeting, better focus on voter segments necessary to win again.

In 2008 and 2012, everyone marveled at how a tiny New York digital outlet called Blue State Digital broke the rules and played a critical role in Barack Obama’s elections. Today, the Democratic party is left in the dust. Blue State, acquired by WPP, is no longer part of the political game and, by and large, the Dems seem already outrun by the Republican digital machine.

Donald Trump started his reelection campaign almost the day he entered the White House. In fact, no candidate in recent US history has raised and spent so much in the first two years of office, as shown in this chart from the Wall Street Journal (numbers exclude money raised and spent by PACs) The digital campaign for Donald Trump is already running at full speed. Same people, same tactics as four years ago, only this time it’s better. Better targeting, better focus on voter segments necessary to win again.

The art of the sell ...

Vision quest ...

2020 looms ...

All-American Despair

Your's truly has talked often about infrastructure or the lack thereof but have never discussed the devastating impact of lack of infrastructure in terms of helping people in need, issues laid bare in a powerful Rolling Stone piece written by Stephen Rodrick titled All-American Despair.

Facts ...

The Centers for Disease Control recorded 47,173 suicides in 2017, and there were an estimated 1.4 million total attempts. Many of society’s plagues strike heavier at women and minorities, but suicide in America is dominated by white men, who account for 70 percent of all cases. Middle-aged men walk the point. Men in the United States average 22 suicides per 100,000 people, with those ages 45 to 64 representing the fastest-growing group, up from 20.8 per 100,000 in 1999 to 30.1 in 2017. The states with the highest rates are Montana, with 28.9 per 100,000 people; Alaska, at 27 per 100,000; and Wyoming, at 26.9 per 100,000 — all roughly double the national rate. New Mexico, Idaho and Utah round out the top six states. All but Alaska fall in the Mountain time zone.

The journey ...

Last summer, I began a 2,000-mile drive through the American West, a place of endless mythology and one unalterable fact: The region has become a self-immolation center for middle-aged American men. The image of the Western man and his bootstraps ethos is still there, but the cliché has a dark turn — when they can no longer help themselves, they end themselves. I found men who sought help and were placed on a 72-hour hold in a hospital ward, and say they were sent home at the end of their stay without any help, collapsing back into the fetal position — the only thing accomplished was everyone in the small town now knew they were ill. I found men on both sides of the Trump divide: One whose anger toward his abusive parents was exacerbated by hours in his basement watching Fox News and Trump while drinking vodka; the other was a Buddhist mortician whose cries for help were met by scorn in a cowboy county that went 70 percent for Trump.

Making it easy ...

I found something else: guns, lots of them. Guns that could be procured in an hour. A house where a wife did a gun sweep and found dozens hidden. I found suicidal men who balked at installing gun locks on their pistols because they were afraid of being caught unarmed when mythical marauders invaded their homes. And I found that the men who survived suicide attempts had one thing in common: They didn’t use guns. Pills can be vomited, ropes can break, but bullets rarely miss.

Read Rodrick's piece in its entirety to see how America has lost her way, something truly tragic without question.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

The need to connect ...

The need to connect, you know, the need to do Facebook or to have one's nose pointed obsessively toward the smartphone is a phenomenon akin to They Live, John Carpenter's unsung masterpiece of subtle alien control and critique of rampant capitalism, but ... this blurb is not about the flick but rather about how the need to connect has created the perfect system of world wide surveillance 24/7 thanks to high tech and digital computation. 

"We're in the midst of the greatest redistribution of power since the Industrial Revolution, and this is happening because technology has provided a new capability," Snowden said.

"It's related to influence that reaches everyone in every place," he said. "It has no regard for borders. Its reach is unlimited, if you will, but its safeguards are not."

Without such defenses, technology is able to affect human behavior.

It gets better ...

Institutions can "monitor and record private activities of people on a scale that's broad enough that we can say it's close to all-powerful," said Snowden. They do this through "new platforms and algorithms," through which "they're able to shift our behavior. In some cases they're able to predict our decisions—and also nudge them—to different outcomes. And they do this by exploiting the human need for belonging."

"We don't sign up for this," he added, dismissing the notion that people know exactly what they are getting into with social media platforms like Facebook.

Endgame ...

"And now," he added, "these institutions, which are both commercial and governmental, have built upon that and... have structuralized that and entrenched it to where it has become now the most effective means of social control in the history of our species."

"Maybe you've heard about it," Snowden said. "This is mass surveillance."

The need to connect rules ...