August 30, 2021
Banality Update With the cascading fiascoes and calamities in the news, the status of you humble blogger is of limited concern.With that in mind, there's this.
August 29, 2021
Fingers Crossed While all eyes are on the debacle in the Hindu Kush, another calamity may be forming in the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm is expected to strengthen quite a bit, it is already stronger that Katrina and Rita were when they hit, and unlike them, as I type this is is looking like this storm will make a direct hit, at hight tide.
The National Weather Service alert is grim reading, especially for those who remember the events of 15 years ago today.
In about 18 hours, we will know how bad this is. The Federal Government has sent dumptrucks full of dollars to the city for them to fix the levees, pumps, and other infrastructure that failed, causing the calamity 15 years ago . But there are already reports of pump failure and the levee system seems likely to be overtopped by this storm, so it seems that not all of that money was well spent. Though this has been known for at leas three days, the order to evacuate was given too late and people are now being asked to shelter in place.
This could be very, very bad.
The storm is expected to be between category 2 and 5 when it makes landfall. Katrina hit as a category 1 or 2.
All we can do now is wait and hope that the levees hold.
August 26, 2021
On a Happy Note
Today, the Whitehouse Twitter account issued no mean Tweets.
August 23, 2021
Meanwhile: At the Skynet Symposium Elon Musk, who has for years warned about the trancendental threat that is A.I., has decided to stop worrying and love the anthropomorphic killbots.
To be clear the new TESLABOT is not technically a killbot in that it is not equipped with a keyboard command for terminating peons who offend the users of TESLABOT, but a workaround for that oversight is likely simple. If it comes equipped as advertised with such features as opposable thumbs, it will certainly be equip-able with phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range or other items with similar functionality.
OK in all seriousness, this diagram notes what the "killbots" will kill...
...or in the polite language of the promo, "eliminate".
Those 'dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks' are what most of us call "jobs".
That is the prey of this killbot.
Of course for 200 years, jobs have been eliminated by advancing technology only to unleash by their increase in productivity a need for more jobs. This, new development, if it comes to pass may be more of the same, but there is concern that it might be different as it is not "the machinery" but is designed to move amongst and service "the machinery" and do the scutt work that the machinery couldn't.
Technology is generally double edged, everyone needs to stay on their toes.
Theres a lot to be skeptical about in this announcement and it is does look like, as one commentator pointed out, "Musk as his absolute Muskiest". But as Brian Wang points out, Must does have experience and some infrastructure for producing high tech, semi-autonomous products on a massive scale, so while skepticism is certainly warranted, don't dismiss it out of hand.
Exit quote: "In the long term I do think there needs to be universal basic income,” Musk said. "But not right now because the robot doesn’t work.”
Life's Little Milestone's I put on my shoes and socks ALL BY MYSELF!
August 19, 2021
A Question For My Readers Why does salt have an expiration date?
While We're Up The blogs servers are in Sydney and are getting intermittently arrested for COVID violations. Having caught them between run-ins with the law I'll use this short window to post this, which is a fairly informative overview of the dumpster fire that is current events.
Banality Update A quick update on the recovery.
Unrelated art by XilmO@夕末more...
August 15, 2021
Current Events ...are somewhat less than uplifting, but they can lead to moments of absolute wonderment.
August 13, 2021
That Moment When ...one realizes that the website one is perusing is a bastion of bullshit can be jarring, but it's always best to find out early.
One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us just such a moment from Physics-Astronomy.org
"So much von-Däniken. So very derp."
August 10, 2021
Golly Kill 15,000 people by either utter malice or by violating all common sense and you're OK.
I guess we know where the real power lies.
August 09, 2021
Of all the things...that which I needed least was such a magnificent confirmation of my fogiedom.
August 05, 2021
Having Stroke called ambulace
typing with left hand
thx for reading
Still in hospital.
Will be in rehab for weeks.
Can walk (bàrely)
Can talk (barely).
Cannot use chopsticks.
August 04, 2021
Meanwhile: Over at In-Range TV In-Range TV is a You Tube channel that focuses on firearms equipment reviews, interviews, historical vignettes regarding uses of firearms, and practical applications for firearms owners including tactics and firearms maintenance , from an essentially Libertarian perspective.
Karl Kasarda, the showrunner, is, as we've noted before, generally pretty grounded and reasonable, not at all one of those crazy Big-L-libertarian-boogaloo-boys. He is very safety minded and gives a lot of attention to less discussed firearms/safety/preparedness topics like the importance of always having trauma kits.
With that in mind it will be interesting to see what In-Range sees as practical firearms training for current year.
Here is their most rec....
Kaaaarl... Apocolypses Kiilll people!
August 03, 2021
Meanwhile: Perusing the news, it seems that that the only news happening in the world is that there's this disease called COVID-19 and there are disagreements about masks.
However, some digging revealed a few things:
China and India are backing down from their staring match on the roof of the world...which frees up an AWFUL lot of Chicom troops for something...
...and China and the Cuban gov't are getting along swimmingly.
Meanwhile, regarding the COVID thing: Australia is getting back to its historical roots. (Reminder: Australia started out as a prison colony.)
We actually have some-on-the-scene-perspective from One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Super Secret Sources in Sydney.
So, to clarify a bit:
Our government, which collectively has an IQ in the low single digits, thought itwould be a good idea to use the army to assist in contact tracing.
Which sends the worst possible signal to anyone skeptical about the lockdownin the first place. Not an enforcement issue, but still abject idiocy.
That still leaves the police fining people for being outside without an Outside License,and arresting protesters for not going along with the insanity.
Taipans, Funnel Spiders, Yowies and Fascists. Good grief. Australia has a random encounter table like Skull Island.
Meanwhile, in space:
Two asteroids have come to the attention of codes compliance due to their unauthorized color schemes.
Lastly, there is another story running around the internet that involves the words "Chris" and "Chan".
This 8 second clip is all I'll say on that.
August 01, 2021
Just in Time For the Sunday Comics... James Lileks has made an awesome and unexpected discovery.
More on the Freedom Phone Following up on the earlier post on the topic, here Tim Pool interviews Eric Finman the man behind the Freedom Phone. The two of them and the engineers discuss it, mesh networking, the Fediverse, and concerns being voiced about the Phone. Eric Fineman is not an experienced public speaker but he does a creditable job of allaying many of the fears about this device....
"It's just a group of people." Is gonna be in some PR handbook someday.
...right up until shortly after 09:32 when he cuts his wrists lengthwise, douses himself in gasoline, does a Naruto Run through a campfire, grabs a Tiki torch, and shouts "Tekalili!" before proceeding with what is otherwise an interesting discussion.
From the latest episode of My Hero Academia, which is, frankly, one of the best superhero shows ever.
Well, perhaps not, but damn this story is good, and going in directions I'd never imagined.
If you want to discuss it, spoiler tags are [ spoiler ] Spoiler goes here [ /spoiler ] but with no spaces between brackets and text.
Meanwhile: On Europa One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us a bit of unexpected news about Jupiter's icy moon Europa.
It seems that NASA has been doing studies of the information gleaned from the various probes that have visited Jupiter and in the process of simulating the environment of Jupiter's moon Europa they have concluded that this is what it looks like on its night side.
You see, the Van Allen belts of Jupiter (In which Europa resides) are so strong that the moon literally glows with Cherenkov radiation and the phosphorescence of certain salts in the sea ice.
The NASA/JPL article linked note that this phenomena has a lot of potential for analyzing the composition of Europa's ice and its subsurface ocean, via spectroscopy. However, there would seem to be other potential implications of this discovery.
Currently, any life on Europa is assumed to be based on relatively inefficient chemosynthesis and to be dependent on discharges from equally hypothetical volcanic vents.
Cherenkov radiation is blue light, meaning it's pretty high energy visible light.
Water is an excellent ionizing radiation shield.
NASA says the sea ice is literally glowing blue, and seems to imply that this light is visible to the naked eye..
So, if the sea-ice over the ocean is, in fact, glowing in blue light, then this light could represent another potential source of energy beyond the hypothesized volcanic vents. As happens on Earth, this would only be complimented by any black smokers spewing nutrients.
Using the vast depth and breadth of biological and radiological knowledge that comes with a History degree, I find myself asking, "Can you grow plants with Cherenkov radiation?" It seems likely, given that blue light is pretty high in energy, and that they make blue grow lights.
The ice and water should protect against the hard radiation that ultimately causing the light, so in theory there might well be a very habitable region in Europa's ocean, one where actual photosynthesis, could potentially take place. Photosynthesis is vastly more efficient than the chemosynthesis that has been postulated as making life on Europa plausible, and (rather more so than chemosynthesis) might even support multicellular life.
Additionally, life or no life, Europa's oceans might be well lit...in an eerie blue glow (dependent, of course upon the thickness of the ice and brightness of the glow).
There are a whole bunch of variables that need to be looked at regarding this, and I'm sure SOMEBODY knows if Cherenkov radiation is devoid of anything that plants need, but I'll be damned if I can find any info in the matter at the moment.
Photosynthesis aside, there is a model put forth by a Richard Greenberg (presumably, his degrees are not in history) that Europa's ocean may be as oxygenated as earth's if not more so, due to the creation of Oxygen and Peroxides created by the radiation bombardment of the icy surface.
Europa's just looking better and better for life.
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