Friday, November 26, 2021

Fantastic "beests" :)

It's all about the wind is it not? :)

Strandbeest Evolution 2020 provides an overview of the beach animals of the past thirty years. Over time, an evolution has taken place, which is visible in successive generations. Ultimately, I want to release these animals on the beaches, where they will lead a life of their own.

Every spring I go to the beach with a new animal and during the summer I do all kinds of experiments with the wind, sand and water. By autumn I will be a bit wiser when it comes to surviving on the beach. Then I declare the beast extinct and they go to the boneyard.

I associate looking back in history with black and white movies. Looking back in silence. No music.

But the Strandbeest evolution will certainly continue for the next thirty years.

In essence ...

Every year, the artist lets new and ever-more complex “species” loose to see how they weather the challenges of their surroundings. His aim? For these creatures to be completely self-sufficient, continuing to exist without any human support. “My inspiration comes from the theory of evolution, the beach, nature, and life itself. The fact that we came into being out of nothing is a constant source of wonder to me,” Jansen says.

Change is the only constant - The Tao

Water water everywhere

flooded house in Po Valley

This eerie pix of a house surrounded by water says it all regarding global warming.

Unraveling a thread ...

This wonderful NewYorker pix of a Fisher designed maze conjures up Alice in Wonderland as Alice's travails required her to navigate a maze of a different kind. :)

The oldest hedge maze still in existence is, coincidentally, the one with which I am most familiar. As teen-agers, my brother and I lost at least half a dozen French and German exchange students within the clipped evergreen walls of a small yew maze tucked into an odd triangle at the northern edge of the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. The Tudor palace, which lies southwest of central London on the banks of the Thames, was a favorite residence of Henry VIII, who received it as a gift—albeit one offered under some duress—from Cardinal Wolsey, his chief minister. Today, the palace is perhaps best known for its maze, the lone survivor of three or four labyrinths built there around 1690, as part of a substantial redesign that converted what had previously been an orchard into a fashionable new garden called the Hampton Court Wilderness.

At the time, a hedge maze had been an essential element of European formal gardens for centuries. The first evidence of a labyrinth formed from hedges can be found in a record of the removal of one on a royal estate in Paris in 1431. An anonymous courtly poem written in England in the late fourteen-hundreds describes a group of women “disportying” themselves “in crosse aleys” before enjoying a carefree “walke aboute the mase.” In paintings and engravings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, hedge mazes are populated mostly by couples; according to Saward, the maze historian, the air of privacy created by their shady twists and turns made them an ideal location for romantic dalliances. (As Dillamore and I walked past a champagne cork nestled at the base of the hedge, he told me that the maze is a popular spot for marriage proposals.)

But the notion of mazes goes back further in time with the Labyrinth and the 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy T Day and ... pigs fly

MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, speaks to reporters outside federal court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Every family seems to have a crazy uncle. For the repugs, it's Mike Lindell, the pillow guy stating Agent Orange will be reinstated "soon" as Trump was robbed of a second term according to "reliable" sources like QAnon and the millions of Trumpers holding onto the belief that pigs fly and Trump will again be president in the "very near future".

It’s Thanksgiving, and with respect to any relatives who may have colorful takes about vaccine mandates, critical race theory, and the Rittenhouse verdict, the craziest uncle of 2021 is, without a doubt, Mike Lindell.

The pillow baron has for a year now been claiming vociferously that the 2020 election was rigged, that he can prove it, and that it won’t be long before everyone realizes the truth and Donald Trump is reinstated as president of the United States. Lindell most recently trumpeted Thanksgiving as the date Trump will be back in office. He has promoted a 96-hour holiday weekend livestream in which he will unpack “the historic U.S. Supreme Court complaint on the 2020 election” he says will reinstall Trump in the White House. (The livestream got off to a rocky start.)

The sad part of this scenario is the fact millions believe this take to be true.

The idea that Trump will return to office has been spreading throughout the MAGA movement since January. A Politico/Morning Consult poll published in June found that 29 percent of Republicans believe this is actually going to happen by the end of the year. A YouGov poll conducted in early November found that 28 percent of Republicans believed it was either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” Trump would be back in office by the end of the year.

In other words, millions and millions and millions of people have, like Lindell, lost touch with reality to a truly terrifying degree. Many of them are determined to stay out in orbit, perpetually setting and resetting dates Trump will definitely, this time, return to power. It can be a little hard to track all of these deadlines, so here’s a guide to one of the year’s most unhinged conspiracy theory rabbit holes, which doesn’t appear to have a bottom.

It's turtles all the way down.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Ceci n'est pas une pipe

Rene Magritte is a favorite of yours truly as wit and playfulness permeate his work complete with whimsical titles such as Ceci'n'est pas un pipe or The Treachery of Images. :)

Totally agree. :)

Everything happens ...

 It's all probabilistic, right? :)

Factor of 10 ...

 Ocean life could recover by 2050 with the right policies, study finds | E&T  Magazine

Seems there's a factor of 10 regarding all life in terms of size. The smaller the organism, the greater the number and the factor of 10 regarding the numbers of the life forms in question, rules.

Life in the ocean, they discovered, followed a simple mathematical rule: The abundance of an organism is closely linked to its body size. To put it another way, the smaller the organism, the more of them you find in the ocean. Krill are a billion times smaller than tuna, for example, but they are also a billion times more abundant.

What was more surprising was how precisely this rule seemed to play out. When Sheldon and his colleagues organized their plankton samples by orders of magnitude, they found that each size bracket contained exactly the same mass of creatures. In a bucket of seawater, one third of the mass of plankton would be between 1 and 10 micrometers, another third would be between 10 and 100 micrometers, and the final third would be between 100 micrometers and 1 millimeter. Each time they would move up a size group, the number of individuals in that group dropped by a factor of 10. The total mass stayed the same, while the size of the populations changed.

This applies to all life, land or sea but thanks to man, the factor of 10 goes away. 

But now humans seem to have broken this fundamental law of the ocean. In a November paper for the journal Science Advances, Galbraith and his colleagues show that the Sheldon spectrum no longer holds true for larger marine creatures. Thanks to industrial fishing, the total ocean biomass of larger fish and marine mammals is much lower than it should be if the Sheldon spectrum was still in effect. “There was this pattern that all life seems to have been following for reasons that we don’t understand,” says Galbraith. “We have changed that over the last 100 years or even less.”

But if we change how we do business on planet earth, nature recovers.

By 2050, we can turn things around if we have the will and vision to make it happen.

Nature finds a way if we let it.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Exploitation 101

A mine near Kolwezi, Congo. The country produces more than two-thirds of the world’s cobalt, a key ingredient in electric vehicles.

First the Belgians, then the Americans & now the Chinese are taking the wealth from the Democratic Republic of Congo as de facto colonialism is an idea too powerful to ignore when it comes to money and power in the pursuit of raw resources, in this case cobalt, a material key to driving ever forward the development of new technologies in hopes of ameliorating the impact of global warming.

China’s pursuit of Congo’s cobalt wealth is part of a disciplined playbook that has given it an enormous head start over the United States in the race to dominate the electrification of the auto industry, long a key driver of the global economy.

But an investigation by The New York Times revealed a hidden history of the cobalt acquisitions in which the United States essentially surrendered the resources to China, failing to safeguard decades of diplomatic and financial investments in Congo. The sale of the two mines, also flush with copper, highlights the shifting geography and politics of the clean energy revolution, with countries rich in cobalt, lithium and other raw materials needed for batteries suddenly playing the role of oil giants.

The MIC's key to US ineptness regarding China tells volumes if one reads between the lines.

The loss of the mines happened under the watch of President Barack Obama, consumed with Afghanistan and the Islamic State, and President Donald J. Trump, a climate-change skeptic committed to fossil fuels and the electoral forces behind them. More broadly, it had roots in the end of the Cold War, according to previously classified documents and interviews with senior officials in the Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden administrations.

Kisanfu is a new cobalt and copper mine being built by a Chinese conglomerate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kisanfu is a new cobalt and copper mine being built by a Chinese conglomerate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For more than a decade, the vast expanse of untouched land was controlled by an American company. Now a Chinese mining conglomerate has bought it, and is racing to retrieve its buried treasure: millions of tons of cobalt.

At 73, Kyahile Mangi has lived here long enough to predict the path ahead. Once the blasting starts, the walls of mud-brick homes will crack. Chemicals will seep into the river where women do laundry and dishes while worrying about hippo attacks. Soon a manager from the mine will announce that everyone needs to be relocated.

“We know our ground is rich,” said Mr. Mangi, a village chief who also knows residents will share little of the mine’s wealth.

Raison d'été for cobalt ...

The gray metal, typically extracted from copper deposits, has historically been of secondary interest to miners. But demand is set to explode worldwide because it is used in electric-car batteries, helping them run longer without a charge.

Woke is NOT WORKING ...

Maher's right. The dems need to pull their fingers out of their tuchus because their message is NOT WORKING. The 1s Amendment is being abused by both conservatives and liberals alike but the dems using Woke as the right to not offend anybody is patently offensive to many and now, this self righteous take on being socially "sensitive" is creating a potential midterm disaster of biblical proportions. Get real or the repugs are going to take over the country big time, including the presidency in 2024. Think about it, I know I have.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Who's in command here?

The song For What's It's Worth and the film Apocalypse Now ask unanswered questions about a dark reality filled with dread and mystery. Something rather disquieting to think about, right?

There's something happening here

But what it is ain't exactly clear

There's a man with a gun over there

A-telling me I got to beware


I think it's time we stop

Children, what's that sound?

Everybody look what's going down

We are so screwed ...

The system is broken

The system is broken. 

Scamming the realm

Scamming the realm, especially when funding wars, has been a stable of governments for a very long time. 

But the analysis of coins from 250 BCE to 350 BCE showed declining percentages of silver. According to Wiescher, the Roman mints gradually debased the denarius, deliberately, to increase their profits and make it easier to finance ongoing wars in the empire. The mints relied on certain metallurgical techniques to hide the lower percentages of silver to keep inflation at bay. By 295 CE, the silver content was just about 5 percent.

Seems Ben was also vigilant in trying to preserve the viability of currency using inkss and art to do the deed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Weaponizing Ignorance


Judge Royce Lambert said Jacob Chansley's role as a leader among those who went into the Senate chamber and disrupted the electoral vote tally compelled a serious prison sentence. | Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Weaponizing ignorance, a term "accidentally" coined by this rube, has been around since the beginning of time as this age old approach to gain or maintain power works, especially when using the us against them stratagem, often without proof, as man is tribal without question. The art of lying also applies as seen by Ramses altering history with the Hittites or Hitler demonizing the jews. 

His battered troops withdrew from Kadesh, but Ramses wasn’t about to let a little truth tarnish his perceived triumph. On temple walls across Egypt, he ordered the creation of murals depicting him single-handedly defeating the aggressors. In reality, after years of negotiation, Ramses II eventually signed a peace treaty with the Hittites. It was the earliest peace accord whose text has survived.

By using simplistic slogans and monosyllabic words, somebody like a Goebbels can get the public riled up, especially when the people in question are ignorant as it doesn't take much to take advantage of those who lack the education needed for critical thinking, something George Carlin talked about with power and eloquence in his great The Real Owners of the Country riff showing why the weaponizing of ignorance rings true. 

In George Orwell's masterful Politics and the English Language, the manipulation of language to defend the indefensible looms large whereas, in this case, passive and polysyllabic text is used to confuse and bamboozle the public in order to remain in power. 

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements

When one burns books, the weaponization of ignorance becomes personal as seen by what the Nazis did in Germany in 1933 and ... in the US in 2021.  Think school boards and some politicos, right?

Weaponization of ignorance also sums up entries like QAnon, a far right conspiracy movement promoting theories lacking in substance and common sense, some of which were used as rallying cries in the Jan 6th debacle where several people were killed or injured by an incensed mob of Trumpers over the big lie that the reelection of Agent Orange was stolen by Joe Biden & company. 

Since Election Day of last year, the GOP has been in sustained panic. Trump lost handily at the polls in an election that saw him compete for bombast but not technocratic accomplishments. Trump banked on the false belief that loud superseded competent and came up short. In defeat, he decided to claim the election was stolen. Trump tried—with zero success or credibility—to argue the whole affair was rigged and should be set aside. Having exhausted even his most ardent allies, he then urged a mob on Jan. 6 to descend on the U.S. Capitol to force Congress to discard the results. Despite some harrowing hours, that attempt failed too, Congress rejected Trump’s antics and Biden was confirmed the winner.

As for QAnon ...

The return of JFK Jr., like most of what the QAnon conspiracy predicts, is totally bogus. 

The belief that he's still alive and acting as a secret confidant for Trump started in 2018, according to a QAnon expert who uses the pseudonym Travis View. Like much of what the Q followers believe, it began with a post on the anonymous image-board 4Chan. A person calling themselves "R" posted a picture from 1996 of JFK Jr. with Trump. After that, QAnon believers not only thought JFK Jr. was miraculously still alive, they also claimed he'd be Trump's running mate. There are even some people in the movement claiming they themselves are JFK Jr.

Weaponizing ignorance indeed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Sunday, November 14, 2021


Here's looking @ you kid

Puff the Magic Dragon

A little bit here, a little bit there

Up, Up & Away

Ted's excellent adventure

Red vs Blue

Channeling Aeolis

One does not experience days like this, particularly regarding the usually calm waters of Long Island Sound except for 11/13/21 when Aeolis, the god of the winds decided to show up on a warm sunny day for the ages. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Omega Point ...

Event Horizon

Learn to pronounce
noun: catastrophe; plural noun: catastrophes
an event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.

This pix of the setting sun indirectly relates to climate change and what it means for humanity as the cumulative effects of global warming are largely ignored by the press and politicians because the scenario envisioned is disheartening to say the least. From environmental degradation to the collapse of biodiversity, this uncharted territory of change portends a unimagined dark future thought not possible until now. The recent COP26 conference does not begin to address the hellscape that's coming as the monies and technological efforts to ameliorate this slow motion catastrophe is simply not being addressed at the levels needed to make a difference due to the fact GW's a wicked problem of incredible complexity and ... man does not change until a monumental catastrophe of Biblical porportions occurs.

To whit ...

The Omega Point ... 

Man's continued existence?

We're a crowd, a swarm. We think in groups, travel in armies. Armies carry the gene for self-destruction. One bomb is never enough, the blur of technology. This is where the oracles plot their wars. Because now comes the introversion. Father Teilhard knew this, the omega point, a leap out of our biology. Ask yourself this question: Do we have to be humans forever? Don DeLillo, Point Omega 1?

“The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.” - Einstein

To be continued ...

The Hunter's Moon