Friday, July 31, 2015

Remembering Cecil in a good way

Yours truly won't talk about the wanton killing of Cecil the Lion by a unconscious moron but rather about how his kind, and other endangered species, can be saved if we change how we do business on planet earth. To that end, this Saturday, August 1st, a powerful wake up call telling us to do just that will take place via the Empire State building where ... 

The callous murder of Zimbabwe’s beloved Cecil, the lion, has cast the plight of endangered species across the internet.

But this Saturday night, that plight will be cast offline in a new way as well, as digital projection mapper Travis Threlkel and filmmaker/photographer Louie Psihoyos collaborate to project massive images of the world’s most majestic endangered animals onto the face of New York City’s Empire State Building.

“We’re going to try to create something beautiful, not bum people out,” says Threlkel, adding that “hopefully, this is one big domino. If we can tip it, it would be great.”

To yours truly, the Snow Leopard is one prime reason why biodiversity must be maintained, not only for preserving animals as magnificent as these big cats are but also for our survival as everything's connected and we are, as my wife is won't to say, only as strong as our weakest link.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Acceleration 2 Step

The title & subtitle plus blurb says it all regarding GW.

The Wettest Rainforest in the United States Has Gone Up in Flames

When fire can eat a rainforest in a relatively cool climate, you know the Earth is beginning to burn.

The wettest rainforest in the continental United States had gone up in flames and the smoke was so thick, so blanketing, that you could see it miles away. Deep in Washington’s Olympic National Park, the aptly named Paradise Fire, undaunted by the dampness of it all, was eating the forest alive and destroying an ecological Eden. In this season of drought across the West, there have been far bigger blazes but none quite so symbolic or offering quite such grim news. It isn’t the size of the fire (though it is the largest in the park’s history), nor its intensity. It’s something else entirely -- the fact that it shouldn’t have been burning at all. When fire can eat a rainforest in a relatively cool climate, you know the Earth is beginning to burn.

Read the piece in its entirety. Disquieting to say the least.

Eye Candy/NASA style :)

4K video rocks, here's some eye candy courtesy NASA. :)

Here's another. 

Time waster to the max if you ask me. :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace is a treasure. Coming to bloom in early summer, the action doesn't start until its fragrance becomes just right to attract wasps, bumble bees, honey bees and green flies, not to mention ants of all varieties and butterflies of many persuasions.

Factoid: Early Europeans cultivated Queen Anne’s lace, and the Romans ate it as a vegetable. American colonists boiled the taproots, sometimes in wine as a treat. Interestingly, Queen Anne’s lace is high in sugar (second only to the beet among root vegetables) and sometimes it was used among the Irish, Hindus and Jews to sweeten puddings and other foods.

Not bad for a wild carrot that plays well with tomatoes and lettuce and provides a banquet for insects both small and large as seen by an alpha wasp helping itself to a midday snack of nectar. :) Enjoy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

360 & Then Some

Insane says it all. Not a plug but Immersive's pretty stellar tech without question.

Here's yet another.

Mother Nature's Way :)

Yours truly is a natural path. No prescription drugs, a relatively decent diet, (not perfect by any stretch of the imagination) and true distaste for the dysfunctional healthcare system in America where symptoms are treated and not the cause, are prime drivers in my dealing with health issues that, to date, thank god, are pretty damn minor in the grand scheme of things. In support of my "wonderful" approach to health, here is a treasure trove of useful info regarding the natural way to deal with day to day maladies courtesy Pioneer Settler, a terrific site filled with common sense advice on preventative health practices that work without issue. 

Read the article. You will NOT be disappointed. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Flyover & Than Some - Pluto Style :)

NASA's New Horizons rules. :)

Pluto's hazy skies, courtesy NW's nightside shot of our 9th planet. :)

Beyond Control

BRT has talked about secrecy and control and its connect to tech quite often as the subject matter is fascinating, something akin to a moth attracted to a flame, dangerous yet not if one keeps proper distance from the source of the attraction. To that end, 9/11 has given rise to an America we don't know, a Hidden world, growing beyond control.

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation's other findings include:
"No one knows, do one?" - Fats Waller

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Guns, lots and lots of Guns ...

"Guns, lots and lots of guns." - Neo/The Matrix sums up the military might of the established US vs China, the new kid on the block. Without question, Visual Capitalist's graphic depicts the strengths of the two in exquisite detail and precision, two qualities techs like yours truly admires to the max.

Divvying it up

Yours truly loves maps, especially if they illustrate data in ways not seen before, at least by this individual. To that end, How Much does the deed in spades in showing how the world's economy is divided by area. Awesome kind of says it all. With this in mind. Zero Hedge's take on the ponzi scheme writ large by the banks vis a vis the creation of unsustainable debt laid on entities like Greece means pucker up time is fast approaching if their analysis rings true. From this perspective, it looks pretty sound to me. To whit:

If itsy bitsy pie slice – Greece (.33%) – can create this much worldwide economic havoc because of their unpayble level of debt, imagine what will happen when the truth is revealed about France (3.81%), Italy (2.88%), and Spain (1.88%). China’s (13.9%) entire economic model has been built upon debt and the world consuming their output.

The world has run out of money to consume their shit. Japan (6.18%) is in the midst of a demographic and debt death spiral. The U.S. (23.32%) is living on borrowed time and the continued dominance of the USD. How long will it last? We are inhabiting in a world stacked with TNT run by monkeys with matches.

The map explained.

Any questions?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Feedback Loops

Feedback loop

"Simple causal reasoning about a feedback system is difficult because the first system influences the second and second system influences the first, leading to a circular argument. This makes reasoning based upon cause and effect tricky, and it is necessary to analyze the system as a whole." [3] , something that's happening to earth regarding the melting of ice caused by increased CO2 levels trapping in more heat, which, in turn, reduces the all important albedo which, in terms of the feedback loop effect, accelerates the process of turning the arctic and antarctic from a reflective surface to a heat sink, thus accelerating climate change at a rate unforeseen by climatologists, until now.

The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years. The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate. Hansen, who is known for being alarmist and also right, acknowledges that his study implies change far beyond previous consensus estimates. In a conference call with reporters, he said he hoped the new findings would be “substantially more persuasive than anything previously published.” I certainly find them to be.

To come to their findings, the authors used a mixture of paleoclimate records, computer models, and observations of current rates of sea level rise, but “the real world is moving somewhat faster than the model,” Hansen says.

It gets better.

If you truly understand global warming, then you know it's all about the ice. That's what matters. Planet Earth has not always had great ice sheets at the poles, of the sort that currently exist atop Greenland and Antarctica. In other periods, much of that water has instead been in liquid form, in the oceans—and the oceans have been much higher.

How much? According to the National Academy of Sciences, the globe's great ice sheets contain enough frozen water to raise sea levels worldwide by more than 60 meters. That's about 200 feet. And it makes all the sea level rise that we've seen so far due to global warming appear piddly and insignificant.

That's why scientists have long feared a day like this would come. Two new scientific papers, in the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters, report that major glaciers that are part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appear to have become irrevocably destabilized. The whole process may still play out on the scale of centuries, but due to the particular dynamics of this ice sheet, the collapse of these major glaciers now "appears unstoppable," according to NASA (whose researchers are behind one of the two studies).

BRT has talked about the 900 lb GW gorilla in numerous articles including the one titled Albedo , a blurb describing just how powerful a cooling agent ice truly is, something earth is losing 24/7 as we move further into the 21st century.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Short Takes

Quick glimpses into the world of flora & fauna in summertime CT. Enjoy