Friday, July 31, 2020


Yours truly gets memorized by swifts hunting for insects in a meadow, endlessly flying in ways that seem to defy physics as we know it. Wonderful, never-ending, the common swift does something, save for raising chicks, no other bird does ... it stays in the air without landing, for years.

Read Helen Macdonald's extraordinary article in its entirety. Worthwhile to the max.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Delving into the small/Rev XX

Black Eyed Susan

A noontime snack

Holding Pattern

Strike a pose

In the grip of passion

Starting on a journey

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future ...

Treehugger has a long and interesting take on the distant future. Reminds one of H. G. Wells' The Time Machine as he delves into this topic as well. Enjoy. It's worth a read for sure.

The near ...

The end? 

1010^10^76.66 years: Second (uni)verse, same as the first?

The universe may be in ruins, but given enough time, some futurists think something incredible will happen. It's like an endless string of poker games: Eventually you'll be dealt the exact same hand many times. According to 19th-century mathematician Henri Poincaré, quantum fluctuations in a system with fixed total energy will also re-create similar versions of history over inconceivable time scales. In 1994, physicist Don N. Page estimated the duration of "Poincaré recurrence time," describing it as "the longest finite times that have so far been explicitly calculated by any physicist."

Even if dying black holes leave nothing behind, however — and if quantum quirks don't grant us a cosmic mulligan — many physicists and philosophers still think nothing might actually be something. As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said in 2013 during a debate on the nature of nothingness, "If laws of physics still apply, the laws of physics are not nothing."

In other words, we have nothing to worry about.

Quite a trip, is it not? :)

Friday, July 24, 2020

Channeling Thelma & Louise & ... Bain Capital

We all know how Thelma & Louise turned out. With the repugs in charge, 
America might have its T&L moment as well.

Remember, Mitch, Mitt, Linsey and Hatch are covered. No problem so they can continue to not care until the pitchforks come out. IMHO, these unconscious bastards are playing a very dangerous game.

It gets better.

Mitt channeling his inner Bain days ... Think Dunkin Donuts

As George Carlin so famously said, "They coming for your Social Security Money, They want it bad so they can give to their rich Wall street friends, and they's get it because they one this fucking place."

UFOs ... may be real after-all

Seems the cat's finally out of the bag. Yours truly has thought UFOs were more than just possible and now, with videos like this, this rube may not crazy after-all.

No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public

For over a decade, the program, now tucked inside the Office of Naval Intelligence, has discussed mysterious events in classified briefings.

Despite Pentagon statements that it disbanded a once-covert program to investigate unidentified flying objects, the effort remains underway — renamed and tucked inside the Office of Naval Intelligence, where officials continue to study mystifying encounters between military pilots and unidentified aerial vehicles.

Pentagon officials will not discuss the program, which is not classified but deals with classified matters. Yet it appeared last month in a Senate committee report outlining spending on the nation’s intelligence agencies for the coming year. The report said the program, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, was “to standardize collection and reporting” on sightings of unexplained aerial vehicles, and was to report at least some of its findings to the public every six months.

No crash artifacts have been publicly produced for independent verification. Some retrieved objects, such as unusual metallic fragments, were later identified from laboratory studies as man-made.

Eric W. Davis, an astrophysicist who worked as a subcontractor and then a consultant for the Pentagon U.F.O. program since 2007, said that, in some cases, examination of the materials had so far failed to determine their source and led him to conclude, “We couldn’t make it ourselves.”

Something's afoot - Sherlock Holmes

A possible CF of epic proportions ...

11/3/2020 could be a CF of epic proportions if the predictions from Politico ring true.

Read on to see how this possible CF becomes ever more plausible in the year of our lord 2020.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

4K ... Mars style :)

4K ... Mars style. :)

Appearance is reality, right?

Jesus looked like Fabio, right? ... at least this is how he's depicted even though, in actuality, if he actually existed, would have been brown, short and anything but European in appearance.

Anglo or what ...

Chances are ...

Now that's more like it, right?

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

In the Event of Moon Disaster ...

We, along with BRT and significant others, know a little bit about deep fakes but to see how it really should be done, click as the process to do this at such a high degree is detailed and nuanced to the nth degree. Read the lengthy Scientific American piece to learn why AI could be our final invention without question.

What can former U.S. president Richard Nixon possibly teach us about artificial intelligence today and the future of misinformation online? Nothing. The real Nixon died 26 years ago.

But an AI-generated likeness of him shines new light on a quickly evolving technology with sizable implications, both creative and destructive, for our current digital information ecosystem. Starting in 2019, media artists Francesca Panetta and Halsey Burgund at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology teamed up with two AI companies, Canny AI and Respeecher, to create a posthumous deepfake. The synthetic video shows Nixon giving a speech he never intended to deliver—half a century after the subject it addresses.

This is how they did it.

To compound the felony ...

While the sentiment may be true but Obama saying is not.

Endgame ...

Total distrust is already here.

It hurts to see this picture ...

This picture says it all in terms of the dark future of polar bears due to global warming. This is not right. No species has the right to cause the extinction of others yet we are doing this at a rate both astounding and tragic. To yours truly, it hurts to see this picture because we are seeing the rapid extinction of the largest land predator on earth.

Adding insult to injury is this pix showing this magnificent animal surrounded by our pollution.

Monday, July 20, 2020

No words needed.

No words needed.

Trading Places ...

When looking at this graphic, yours truly thinks Jabberwocky and Alice in Wonderland or Thru the Looking Glass as both the left and the right are batshit crazy with the left taking honors on censorship and brain dead pandering to the begrieved group of the month.

It gets better ...

And this...

The memory hole beckons

11 billion years & counting ...

While stupidity in poltics and governance continues to run amuck, there is an oasis of intelligence and innovation like SDSS, NASA and the Planck Institute.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) released today a comprehensive analysis of the largest three-dimensional map of the universe ever created, filling in the most significant gaps in our possible exploration of its history.

"We know both the ancient history of the universe and its recent expansion history fairly well, but there's a troublesome gap in the middle 11 billion years," says cosmologist Kyle Dawson of the University of Utah, who leads the team announcing today's results. "For five years, we have worked to fill in that gap, and we are using that information to provide some of the most substantial advances in cosmology in the last decade."

The new results come from the extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), an international collaboration of more than 100 astrophysicists that is one of the SDSS's component surveys. At the heart of the new results are detailed measurements of more than two million galaxies and quasars covering 11 billion years of cosmic time.

The SDSS map is shown as a rainbow of colors, located within the observable Universe (the outer sphere, showing fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background).

We are located at the center of this map. The inset for each color-coded section of the map includes an image of a typical galaxy or quasar from that section, and also the signal of the pattern that the eBOSS team measures there. As we look out in distance, we look back in time. So, the location of these signals reveals the expansion rate of the Universe at different times in cosmic history. Image credit: Anand Raichoor (EPFL), Ashley Ross (Ohio State University) and the SDSS Collaboration 

Any questions? :)

A communication construct for the ages :)

Being nearly deaf, this video resonates, not only for BLM but also for just how important American Sign Language truly is as a communication construct yours truly needs to learn in the near future. Check out Unspeakable, a great resource for sure.

There's a lot to learn here without question.

Awesome to a fault.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

We're all suspects ...

The invasion of our privacy knows no bounds after the Patriot Act was enacted prior to the creation of The Department of Homeland Security, yet another boondoggle of government created by W after 9/11. 

Our rights have been systematically violated by W, Obama and now Trump and nothing will change when Trump hopefully gets ousted from office because surveillance 24/7 ensures government control no matter who occupies the White House.

The state of Nooze in America ...

Yes they will. :)

Quantel, ahead of its time, for a time ...

Computer graphics circa 1986 works, especially the guy with the cigar. Awesome.

Quantel’s intuitive pen-driven interface was (and arguably, still is) the best-in-class and what the Paintbox offered would have been impossible to achieve without dedicated hardware. That hardware was, however, expensive and cumbersome. A Quantel engineer recounted how a platter from the massive 14” Winchester hard drive (which held an impressive 70MB of data!) once came loose from its housing, flew across the room and penetrated the wall of the edit suite. 

Although aimed very much at the TV and commercials industry, Quantel were keen to let artists have a go. Here is what happened in 1985 when they let David Hockney loose on it:

Perhaps the definitive Paintbox video of 1986 was the promo for Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing’, from the album ‘Brothers In Arms’. Defining the era in many ways, it became one of the most played videos on MTV (launched in the UK  in 1987) and the album the first to sell over a million copies on CD.

Alas, Quantel died even though they were ahead of everyone else in both stills and compositing. Custom hardware combined with outrageous prices created a recipe for disaster in the world of CG.

Quantel carried on with innovative editing systems into the 21st century, but now there was a lot of competition around. The iQ online editing and compositing system introduced in 2000, still using Quantel’s pen-driven interface, led the pack in many ways – it could take any format thrown at it without conversion and handle 4k before anyone was using it – but it was expensive and had a reputation for being very unreliable. Quantel reached their peak with the Pablo – a colour correcting tool which James Cameron used to post-produce the 3D Avatar in 2009. The Pablo was followed by the Pablo Rio, a complete colour correcting and finishing system.

Sadly, Quantel was to go the way of all high-end systems based on proprietary hardware and the company began to contract from 2005 onwards.

Remember, the ultimate luxury becomes the ultimate commodity in the world of CG.

Habitat destruction 101

This pix of a Monarch visiting a wildflower in the Paine Property was shot three years ago when the Aspetuck Land Trust had the field cut in LATE FALL, a practice Huntington State Park has done for years to prevent tree seedlings taking root as they always tend to do. Paine did the late fall cut for years as well until last year and again in 2020 with the end result being: no butterflies, no wildflowers, no swifts, no dragonflies, no nothing, a now-dead space akin to a parking lot at a shopping mall near you save that it's tan, not black, an unintended act of habitat destruction at small scale. 

Easy remedy, cut in the late fall as before if you want this kind of scene to return as nature bounces back if you let her. :)

Nature never disappoints. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Silence is golden

Yours truly is deaf. Powerful hearing aids make it somewhat possible to hear but deafness, combined with tinnitus makes conversation difficult at best, particularly over a smartphone. At the same time, loud noise makes yours truly crazy as it physically hurts and adds stress, especially when wearing said hearing aids.

45 years ago, Great Sand Dunes National park was a destination for the ages for my wife and I as it was silent (I could hear then) and it was wonderful. Silence is golden as it preserves not only sanity but also enables animals of planet earth to conduct business, something becoming ever more difficult, especially for denizens living in the sea. 

Truer words never spoken.

Blackout :)

Going ultra black in the abyss pays off, not only in terms of avoiding predators but also to remain hidden when presenting bioluminescent lures to attract prey within striking distance. Vantablack's living rival rules.

Vantablack in action ...

Have to show a closeup. :)

Friday, July 17, 2020

Statistically impossible ...

Sit on it ...

Like a hulking monster in a cheesy horror movie of the late 50's, Trump looms over 11/3/2020 like a disheveled Frankenstein, ready to do whatever it takes to stay in office in order to not go to jail, courtesy the Southern District of New York.

It gets "better."

The camel's nose is in the tent yet again.