Monday, May 30, 2022

Chaos incarnate

 Climate change is pushing hurricanes to their extremes. In 2018, Hurricane Michael (shown here in this digitally enhanced image) became the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle.

Climate change is pushing hurricanes to their extremes. In 2018, Hurricane Michael (shown here in this digitally enhanced image) became the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle. (Image credit: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images)

The butterfly effect,  an underlying principle of chaos, describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state (meaning that there is sensitive dependence on initial conditions).[3] A metaphor for this behavior is that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.[4]

Chaos is baked into reality due to the fact everything's connected. It's all about initial conditions, entanglement and feedback loops, crucial characteristics of all things related to weather.

We have been warned.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Cretaceous comes alive :)

Put a fork in it. If you want to see the Cretaceous come to life, see Apple Tv's Prehistoric Planet

A simple request, do the Triassic or Devonian next. The armored fish rule. :) Yes, PP's that good.

Triassic top predatiors

All the ancient eras are prime fodder for CG and science done right. 

Had to do another.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Darkness, Darkness ...

Image Credit: The Trace

As a parent, rage and sorrow knows no bounds. Corrupt, self-serving politicians hoovering for money and mouthing platitudes of "We are praying for you." is insulting, condescending and total crap. America's floundering. From the SC on the precipice of gutting Roe to the far-right truncating, in plain sight, citizens' rights, the country's very existence is threatened at a point greater than the civil war as at that time, there was at least a sense of country. Now, there's a sense of madness while the wheels fall off of a once great country known as America.

Why do we tolerate healthcare so expensive, when a $5000 copay is not out of hand for a sizable minority of the populace. Why do we allow gerrymandering and the notion of no term limits for Congress and the SC where corruption increases without limits, while the public languishes in poor health and penniless thanks to our so-called healthcare system. Why do we tolerate no background checks when someone buys a gun, or a requirement that insurance and training are required before buying a gun. You have to insure and register a car so why not guns?

The list goes on and on yet we allow this shit to happen and both parties are in on the con. Nothing is being done and just wait until after the midterms. Jesus, paranoia and the loss of privacy loom thanks to a bastardized SC, ready to enslave 50% of the population even though 70% of the public wants Roe left alone. A fascist theocracy awaits while GW & the 6th great extinction continues 24/7.

Something to think about, right?

There’s a new couple at my little European dog park. They’re from Texas. We? We arrived back after a year in the States — a long, dislocating year. The couple from Texas had a little funny black dog named Jackson. And before I could even commiserate about something unspeakable — the massacre of little kids — they asked me: “How’s the healthcare here?” “Well, you probably won’t get a million dollar medical bill,” I said, half-kidding. The man laughed, and the woman sighed in relief. “I just got one for $5000 before we left!”

America’s collapsing at light speed. The pace has accelerated so far out of control it’s hard to even keep up anymore. The last month in American collapse alone? The repeal of Roe vs Wade. A society of citizen-vigilantes deputized against…women. High school students who — literally — can’t say the word “gay” during their graduation speeches. Then a massacre, at the hands of a fascist. Then another massacre, this time, of little children.

Who can keep up with this horror? This insanity? And so Americans have gone blank. They bear all the hallmark signs of trauma. Dead eyes, blank faces, “blunted affect.” Their society is crashing down around them. And those of us who warned? Well, we were called everything from “alarmists” to “charlatans.” We were the best minds America had. And it betrayed us, I suppose, in the way it often does — from people like James Baldwin to Sarah Kendzior to little old me.

George Carling was right "Nobody seems to care."

Friday, May 27, 2022

A creepy-crawly of the digital kind

A creepy-crawly of the digital kind comes to mind when looking at this tiny bot resting on a penny. The notion of a swarm of these channels the bots in the questionable but interesting redo of the Day the Earth stood Still circa 2008In the film, GORT, a robot comprised of self-replicating nano entities as small as this guy, begins to eliminate all trappings of man before Klaatu saves mankind by activating the sphere, thus stopping the swarm at the expense of electrical activity on Earth, per Klaatu's warning that there will be "a price to the [human] way of life."[6]

Making tiny robots is far from a new idea: nanobots have been popular in science fiction for decades, and researchers around the world have already successfully created microscopically small robots that can navigate inside living creatures, either for exploratory purposes, or for delivering drugs to specific parts of the anatomy.

But those robots are often designed to swim or simply drift through the liquids already moving through a body’s circulatory system. What the researchers at Northwestern University have accomplished, as detailed in a paper published in the Science Robotics journal yesterday, is building a robot that can be remotely steered without wires or a physical connection and that scampers around on either a set of legs or other, more unorthodox forms of locomotion.

The robot crab the researchers created measures just half a millimeter wide, or roughly 0.02-inches across, and can move at a speed of about half of its body length every second. Unsurprisingly, it’s no speed demon, but like a tick that’s hopped on to your body during a hike in the woods, one of its biggest advantages is that it can move about without being detected, as it is both so small and incredibly lightweight.

Imagine when bots this small are able to fly and swarm, under the control of AI. This is when it gets interesting to the max, right?

Creepy crawlies indeed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Dumb toxic bastards

When Ronnie was elected in 1980, deregulation became the rule of the land with the end result of making modern China by off shoring manufacturing to gin profits for stockholders for the companies that made said stuff. While gutting America with extreme efficiency on the part of government, in collusion with big business, the seeds for creating the insane culture in America today were sown because people who have no jobs and no future is a breeding ground for anger, prejudice and hatred because if there is no money, education falls by the wayside, thus creating the perfect petri dish for creating the far right as the uneducated and marginlized are perfect places to sell the big lie whether it be the us against them mantra or electing people like W and Trump.

It's become an existential issue as to whether the US will survive, not only in terms of the impact of the far right and GW but also in light of the SC getting ready to gut Roe as the blowback on their ruling will end privacy as we know it thanks to states enacting draconian laws against abortion along the lines of 1984. 

You’ve met them. You see them everywhere. The dumb, toxic bastard. Covid’s the pandemic, but they’re like the plague of this age. I keep thinking of that weird scene from some kind of horror-comedy movie that happened in real life: the planeloads of people who took off their masks, whooping and cheering, in mid flight, egged on by airlines — never mind if anyone elderly, sick with cancer, immunocompromised, or someone who just doesn’t want to get sick was trapped on a tin can at 35,000 feet with them. Never mind reality, decency, common sense, civilization, truth, science, facts, logic, thinking, morals. High five me!!!

Dumb. Toxic. Bastards.

The far right is in control. Even when it’s not in power, it has power. Like how a Supreme Court can take away the rights of half the population, by overturning Roe v Wade, even though 70% of America doesn’t want it to. That is how ascendant it is. Think about that. It doesn’t even need to be in power to be able to alter the course of entire nations anymore — because it has redefined society and politics to such a degree that it is now indistinguishable from power. What do I mean by that?

The far right is ascendant because it’s managed to shift everything far to the right. It threw a Molotov cocktail through the Overton Window. What used to be the centre doesn’t exist anymore. Everything is now tilted ultra far right, listing so heavily that way that the whole edifice of human civilization is beginning to topple over. The far right has redefined the basic ideas of democracy to be what it wants — and they have nothing to do with democracy at all, just with having the license to be a dumb, toxic bastard.

Read umair haque's entire article as his take on politics rings true without question. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Rolling art ...

When I was 17 and working at my grandfather's garage as a gofer, I was tasked with washing and changing the oil for a 1957 Mercedes 300SL Roadster owned by a friend of my father's. Silver, svelte and immaculate, I was allowed to take the car out for a spin. Destination, the Mass Turnpike. Needless to say, elegant, precise and above all else, fast, very very fast were the characteristics of the best car I ever drove. During one point of the drive, I looked at the speedometer and noticed yours truly was doing a 100+ though the sensation of speed was around 70. No ticket, thank god, but the experience of driving rolling art remains as vivid today as it did many, many years ago. :)

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Original cost ... The roadster was DM 32,500 in Germany, and $10,950 in the US – 10 percent more expensive than the coupe in Europe, and over 70 percent more in the US.[11]

Monday, May 23, 2022

Into the Night

 The eclipse of 2022 started out with clear skies, complete with a Supermoon. Clouds came in spectacular fashion but ended hopes of capturing the lunar eclipse but not to worry as nature cooperated 24 hours later. Enjoy. :)

Duh ...

Duh comes to mind with the Wired article titled Widely Available AI Could Have Deadly Consequences as AI is already being "guided" to do nasty shit, courtesy the MIC of any country in the world capable of building AI so ... what's the difference when it comes to drugs as the code used to do good is exactly the same code doing bad as it all depends on the entities running, or guiding in this case, the AI in question.

 Twelve monkeysmp.jpg

Sunday, May 22, 2022

A miracle of god ...

Religion is a means of control, especially if it's in lockstep with government, something readily seen by Patriarch Kirill, Putin's spiritual leader giving Putin essential cover by supporting Russia's war with Ukraine.

Today, Kirill stands apart not merely from Francis, but from much of the world. The leader of about 100 million faithful, Kirill, 75, has staked the fortunes of his branch of Orthodox Christianity on a close and mutually beneficial alliance with Mr. Putin, offering him spiritual cover while his church — and possibly he himself — receives vast resources in return from the Kremlin, allowing him to extend his influence in the Orthodox world.

To his critics, the arrangement has made Kirill far more than another apparatchik, oligarch or enabler of Mr. Putin, but an essential part of the nationalist ideology at the heart of the Kremlin’s expansionist designs.

Again, it's all about the money, always has been, always will be. 

A good 1st step

Rewild the world, the key for man to survive on planet earth, is finally happening  ...

As David Attenborough knows, nature recovers if we let her. :)

79 lbs ...

Tech is not designed to be repaired, only replaced though Apple now has a Self-Service policy in place to allow US customers fix broken screens, batteries, and cameras on the latest iPhones using Apple’s own parts and tools for the first time ever. In responding to Sean Hollister's request to replace a battery in his iPhone mini, a 79 lb two package set comes to Sean's door enabling him to do the deed on a svelt device one puts in a pocket to remain connected to the world. The process to replace said battery channels Rube Goldberg to the max.

Step one of opening an iPhone is, basically, using a hefty machine to suck the screen off the top. Here, I wasn’t microwaving a jelly-filled sock to loosen the Apple goop holding my screen down! Apple lets you rent an industrial-grade heat station that looks like a piece of lab equipment, right down to the big red safety dial you twist to release the emergency-off button and the suction-cup-tipped mechanical lifting arm. It looks pretty cool.

Hot pocket! Photo by Thomas Blythe / The Verge

I slip my phone in a perfectly sized “heating pocket” that clamps a ring of copper around the iPhone’s band to evenly distribute the heat and melt the seal around the screen, realize in horror that I’ve invited the “Hot Pockets!” jingle to live in my head rent-free, then spin a dial to raise the arm that separates the iPhone’s screen from its body.

Or, that’s how it’s supposed to work, anyhow. The heating machine threw an error code partway through my first attempt, and Apple’s manual didn’t explain what to do if that happens after you’ve stuck your phone inside. So I wound up heating it twice in a row. And yet, that still wasn’t quite enough for my screen to “immediately” pop up when the suction cup arm began to lift the glass. The manual did cover that situation, making me spin a second hidden knob to put more pressure on the suction cup, but I started freaking out when I saw what looked like cracks spider across the screen. (It turned out it was just suction cup residue.)

The adventure continues to where the guts of the phone are finally revealed to enable replacing the iPhone Mini's battery.

Still photos don’t do it justice — particularly not mine. Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Sean does the deed ...

But I wasn’t done yet. The single most frustrating part of this process, after using Apple’s genuine parts and Apple’s genuine tools, was that my iPhone didn’t recognize the genuine battery as genuine. “Unknown Part,” flashed a warning. Apparently, that’s the case for almost all of these parts: you’re expected to dial up Apple’s third-party logistics company after the repair so they can validate the part for you. That’s a process that involves having an entirely separate computer and a Wi-Fi connection since you have to reboot your iPhone into diagnostics mode and give the company remote control. Which, of course, defeats a bunch of the reasons you’d repair your own device at home!

And, if I’m telling you the truth, the second most frustrating part didn’t occur during the repair either. If it were just me, I’d have aborted the entire process before Apple ever shipped 79 pounds of equipment to my home.

I rest my case. 

Addendum ...

Yeah, none of that surprised me. What surprised me was the price tag.

  • $69 for a new battery — the same price the Apple Store charges for a battery replacement, except here I get to do all the work and assume all the risk.
  • $49 to rent Apple’s tools for a week, more than wiping out any refund I might get for returning the old used part.
  • A $1,200 credit card hold for the toolkit, which I would forfeit if the tools weren’t returned within seven days of delivery.

Read Sean's article in its entirety to see how designed to be replaced
is the mantra of digital tech circa 2022. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Gilead beckons ...

The Handmaid's Tale for real looms, thanks to the worst SC in history, a catastrophe similar, in indirect fashion to GW, as we did it to ourselves. As Margaret Atwood so eloquently states, What kind of country do you want to live in? says it all in terms of what it will mean for 50% of the population in America.

Read Emily Cooke's powerful piece in its entirety to see why this decision will adversely impact America in ways most devastating to the welfare of the country as we move further into the 21st century.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Wise Guys & then some

Now that GW's going full tilt while Lake Mead goes dry, secrets of the body kind are showing up as the water drains away in the year of our lord 2022.

And it's not just humans ...

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Carry Me Home

It doesn't get any better than this. :)

But these days, Staples’ strongest memory of her dear friend Levon Helm is from the last time the two ever performed together. Back in June of 2011, Mavis Staples and her band arrived at Helm’s Woodstock home for a very special edition of Helm’s regular Midnight Ramble concerts, the series of shows Helm began holding at his barn-turned-performance-space in 2004. The two friends spent five or so days together, goofing around, rehashing old memories, and putting together the freewheeling set list for their Saturday night concert. 

Eleven years later, and almost a decade after Helm’s death in 2012, that show is finally being released as a live album, Carry Me Home — out May 20 — which marks the last-ever recording of a full set from the two musical legends.



 crystal ball photography

Photo by jasper benning on Unsplash

Ah, magic, from conjuring up the dead to disappearing rabbits, magic has been around since the beginning of time, both as a source of entertainment as well as a source of illicit profit, especially when it comes to card games connected to gambling. This sleight of hand also applies to religion as religion is also a way to make money and gain power, something done since the beginning of time.

Americans are fascinated by magic. TV shows like “WandaVision” and “The Witcher,” books like the Harry Potter series, plus comics, movies and games about people with powers that can’t be explained by God, science or technology, have all been wildly popular for years. Modern pop culture is a testament to how enchanted people are by the thought of gaining special control over an uncertain world.

“Magic” is often defined in the West as evil or separate from “civilized” religions like Christianity and also from the scientific observation and study of the world. But the irony is that magic was integral to the development of Christianity and other religions – and it informed the evolution of the sciences, too.

Celsus argued that the miracles of Jesus were no different from the magic performed by marketplace sorcerers. Origen agreed the two shared superficial similarities, but claimed they were fundamentally different because magicians cavorted with demons while Jesus’ wonders led to moral reformation. Like the story of Simon the magician, Origen’s disagreement with Celsus was a means of teaching his audience how to tell the difference between morally suspect magicians who sought personal gain and miracle workers who acted for the benefit of others.

Awesome movie, the card sharp scene, a classic to the max. :)