Saturday, August 30, 2014
an apparition or double of a living person.
"he has a doppelgänger named Donald, his invented twin brother"
Twisted Sifter does it again with 15 pix of doppelgangers. Astounding to say the least.
I’m not a look-alike! is an ongoing project by François Brunelle (featured previously). For the last fourteen years the photographer has been taking black and white portraits of unrelated doppelgängers and he has found and photographed over 230 look-alikes to date. Most people have found him and his project through his website and social media.
You can't make this up. :)
Friday, August 29, 2014
4% of the web comprise the internet us normal rubes are used to, the web accessible via Safari, Explorer, Chrome and Opera, among significant others, to do our usual thing whether it be email trolling, social networking a la Facebook or Google + or buying stuff from Amazon and Apple but the other 96%, the dark side of the web, can only be seen via browsers like Tor, a tool allowing us to see the mysterious and illegal though the mechanism of anonymity and tech, courtesy the US Navy.
Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion routing project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications. Today, it is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by normal people, the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others.
Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.
Seen below is a pretty cool graphic doing the iceberg thing showing just how vast the deep web truly is.
The ‘Surface Web’, also known as the ‘Visible’ or ‘Searchable’ web, while significantly large at over 8 billion pages, only cracks the surface when it comes to the size of the Internet. The ‘Deep Web’, (also known as the ‘Invisible Web’, ‘Deepnet’, ‘DarkNet’, ‘Hidden Web’ and ‘Undernet’) refers to the content on the Internet that is not capable of being indexed by standard search engines, leaving the content ‘hidden’. The Deep Web houses over 96% of the content on the web that is publicly accessible.
- Public information on the Deep Web is currently 400 to 550 times larger than the commonly defined World Wide Web.
- The Deep Web contains 7,500 terabytes of information, compared to 19 terabytes of information in the surface Web.
- The Deep Web contains nearly 550 billion individual documents compared to the 1 billion of the surface Web.
- More than an estimated 200,000 Deep Web sites presently exist. Sixty of the largest Deep Web sites collectively contain about 750 terabytes of information – sufficient by themselves to exceed the size of the surface Web by 40 times.
Looking at the foreign policy fubar from the financial perspective brings up the possible death of the petrodollar with the Ukraine CF being the prime driver of same, courtesy the US, with help from Europe and the Neocons.
Several months ago, when Russia announced the much anticipated "Holy Grail" energy deal with China, some were disappointed that despite this symbolic agreement meant to break the petrodollar's stranglehold on the rest of the world, neither Russia nor China announced payment terms to be in anything but dollars. In doing so they admitted that while both nations are eager to move away from a US Dollar reserve currency, neither is yet able to provide an alternative.
This changed in late June when first Gazprom's CFO announced the gas giant was ready to settle China contracts in Yuan or Rubles, and at the same time the People's Bank of China announced that its Assistant Governor Jin Qi and Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Dmitry Skobelkin held a meeting in which they discussed cooperating on project and trade financing using local currencies. The meeting discussed cooperation in bank card, insurance and financial supervision sectors.
And yet, while both sides declared their operational readiness and eagerness to bypass the dollar entirely, such plans remained purely in the arena of monetary foreplay and the long awaited first shot across the Petrodollar bow was absent.
According to Russia's RIA Novosti, citing business daily Kommersant, Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers. Meaning Russia will export energy to either Europe or China, and receive payment in either Rubles or Yuan, in effect making the two currencies equivalent as far as the Eurasian axis is conerned, but most importantly, transact completely away from the US dollar thus, finally putin'(sic) in action the move for a Petrodollar-free world.
Read the rest of this in depth article from Zerohedge to see just how stupid the US has been regarding FP.
Every once in a while, yours truly stumbles upon a piece whose title captures the essence of finding out about something that's actually pretty interesting while remaining totally irrelevant to the day to day conducting of anyone's life on planet earth. To that end, I give you...
Researchers identify a pheromone in the urine of male tilapia fish that stimulates spawning in females
The social behavior of Mozambique tilapias (Oreochromis mossambicus) native to southern Africa is very complex. The strict hierarchic ranking among males is fought out in so-called courtship arenas. With their mouths, male tilapias make excavations in the sand in the middle of an arena with the aim of attracting females to spawn in these nests. At the same time, they act aggressively to keep other males away. Dominant males have been observed to urinate more often and squirt larger quantities of urine in the water during fights compared to their subordinate rivals. The urine contains pheromones that reduce aggressive behavior in other males. The compounds also lure females to the nest and modify their hormonal status by accelerating oocyte maturation. Thus the pheromones help to synchronize female spawning and external fertilization by the males and so to increase the odds of reproductive success.
Any questions and... Have a great Labor Day weekend. :)
Stupidity Bomb or, ..."W's" Iraq incursion, better known as Shock & Awe, has come full circle in both BRT's Lurching toward catastrophe as well as in an ironic piece posted by Vox, an awesome news site admired by yours truly.
WE'RE BOMBING THE GUNS THAT WE DIDN'T MEAN TO GIVE ISIS BECAUSE WE DIDN'T GIVE GUNS TO THEIR ENEMIES BECAUSE THEN ISIS MIGHT GET GUNS
It gets better
The absurdity runs deep: America is using American military equipment to bomb other pieces of American military equipment halfway around the world. The reason the American military equipment got there in the first place was because, in 2003, the US had to use its military to rebuild the Iraqi army, which it just finished destroying with the American military. The American weapons the US gave the Iraqi army totally failed at making Iraq secure and have become tools of terror used by an offshoot of al-Qaeda to terrorize the Iraqis that the US supposedly liberated a decade ago. And so now the US has to use American weaponry to destroy the American weaponry it gave Iraqis to make Iraqis safer, in order to make Iraqis safer.
It keeps going: the US is intervening on behalf of Iraqi Kurds, our ally, because their military has old Russian-made weapons, whereas ISIS, which is America's enemy, has higher-quality American weapons. "[Kurdish forces] are literally outgunned by an ISIS that is fighting with hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military equipment seized from the Iraqi Army who abandoned it," Ali Khedery, a former American official in Iraq, told the New York Times.
When looking at this, one sees the utter failure of US foreign policy on all fronts from the Ukraine fubar to Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, along with abject obedience to Israel, an initiative that has not only killed at least a million people and forced evacuation of millions more but also has cost trillions of dollars to implement while supporting a mission that has been an absolute disaster to the long term well being of America. The question to ask now is, how do we take back America from corrupt and inept politicians who kowtow to monied interests in order to remain in office to the detriment of a once great nation that actually stood for something of value back in the day.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Bot swarms, the stuff of Sci Fi, is no longer fiction as seen in this short clip showing how 1000 bots execute group behavior in similar fashion to any organism capable of acting as a group entity doing a specific task. Very cool tech without question.
Ants, schooling fish and flocking birds all have something in common – they can achieve things by working together that they could never do on their own. With that in mind, researchers are now looking into ways of allowing "swarms" of communicating robots to accomplish tasks that are difficult or even impossible for single robots. Harvard University recently performed an unprecedented demonstration of that behavior, in which a batch of over 1,000 tiny Kilobots arranged themselves into a variety of pre-assigned two-dimensional shapes.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Fukushima, the disaster that keeps on giving, no longer rates news coverage by the mainline press because radiation is silent and invisible, something to be ignored until the inevitable impact of same makes it's ugly face known to all things relating to life on planet earth.
Wall St. Journal, Aug 7, 2014 (emphasis added): [Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority] said [Tepco] needs to get its priorities straight when it comes to work to decommission [...] Fukushima Daiichi [...] “The biggest risk is the trench water. Until that matter is addressed, it will be difficult to proceed with other decommissioning work,” [Tanaka] said on Wednesday at his weekly news conference. “It appears that they are getting off track,” he told reporters. Tepco has been trying to remove some 11,000 metric tons of water that contains dangerous radioactive materials such as uranium and plutonium from a trench that runs from the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s No.2 reactor building. […] “What if another tsunami hits the plant and the highly contaminated water in the trench is discharged… ?” Mr. Tanaka asked reporters.
American Genetic Association, Aug 14, 2014: [S]tudies are now beginning to reveal serious biological effects of the Fukushima radiation [...] A series of articles summarizing these studies has now been published in the Journal of Heredity. These describe widespread impacts, ranging from population declines to genetic damage [...] Common to all of the published studies is the hypothesis that chronic (low-dose) exposure to ionizing radiation results in genetic damage and increased mutation rates [...] Hayashi et al. 2014 [...] documented the effects of radiation on rice [...] After three days, a number of effects were observed [...] Taira et al. 2014 [...] examined the response of the pale grass blue butterfly [...] They found size reduction, slowed growth, high mortality and morphological abnormality
Friday, August 15, 2014
The cops are armed, armed with military grade tech, you know, choppers, assault rifles, grenade launchers and armored vehicles, complete with personal body armor for the cops who will run the vehicle in question. Next may come gatling or 50 cal machine guns, M1 tanks and drones, lots and lots of drones, some of which may be equipped with weapons like laser guided bombs & missles, like those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, courtesy the arms merchants and government because military surplus gear makes money, right? Homeland Security, the prime driver of all things related to arming cops to the teeth, makes it rather foreboding does it not?
FERGUSON, Mo. — For four nights in a row, they streamed onto West Florissant Avenue wearing camouflage, black helmets and vests with “POLICE” stamped on the back. They carried objects that doubled as warnings: assault rifles and ammunition, slender black nightsticks and gas masks.
They were not just one police force but many, hailing from communities throughout north St. Louis County and loosely coordinated by the county police.
Amerika with a K seems apt if you ask me.
Addendum - from Cato Liberty
Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards? (“ ‘This my property!’ he shouted, prompting police to fire a tear gas canister directly at his face.”) Why would someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual war zone”?
The great cathedral builders would relate to this gem without issue. As seen in Twisted Sifter, artist Eric Standley takes tech to another level with work like this.
Eric Standley (featured previously) is an artist and educator (associate professor of studio art at Virginia Tech) whose ongoing series of 3D laser cut paper art is found at the intersection of art, tech, history and mathematics.
Standley’s stacked paper sculptures can take up to six months to plan. Many of his artworks involve more than 100 sheets of stacked paper, every layer a meticulously drawn vector design. The ‘paper architect’ must account for structural elements, overlaps, curves and unsupported arches.
Once satisfied with his design, Standley uploads his complex vector drawings to a laser-cutting machine. The cutting process itself can take up to 60 hours to complete.
Below is a gallery of Standley’s newest artworks since we last featured him on the Sifter. For more, be sure to visit his official website at eric-standley.com.
Exquisite says it all. Seen below is another gem.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Amazing pix of one of the good guys, a bluebottle fly larva that's exceedingly precise at what it does.
A coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of a maggot or the larva of a bluebottle fly (Protophormia sp.) with tiny teeth-like fangs extending from its mouth. The maggots of this fly are used medicinally to clean wounds. The maggots are sterilised and placed in the wound, where they feed on dead tissue and leave healthy tissue untouched. Their saliva contains anti- bacterial chemicals which maintain sterility in the area. Maggots are used on ulcers and deep wounds away from organs or body cavities, most often being used to treat diabetic ulcers on the feet.
Leeches are another one but one does not need to see that critter up close, for now. :)