Friday, January 2, 2009

"Everybody has their Jews..."

Brian Eno nails it:

Gaza is now an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regularly...and, surprise, surprise - they turn hostile.

Animal Farm Friday - Strange Locomotion

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Equal Opportunity Douchebags

I can't decide if the GOP's Norm Coleman is the foil to the Democrat's Rod Blagojevich. Do they cancel each other out in terms of douchebaggery? Are they both equally huge drags on their respective parties? Tough questions to answer.

When stupid meets smart

Here's a great example of why stupid people should keep their mouths shut unless they are asking questions with the intention of learning. But like most stupid people, instead of knowing that he is stupid, Joe Scarborough gets on his soapbox and professes his ignorance ever more loudly, all the while attempting - and failing - to demonstrate that Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski doesn't know what he's talking about with regards to the Middle East Peace Agreements, even though Dr. Brzezinski knows volumes about Middle East negotiations, given that he brokered the Camp David Accords.

Money quote: "You have a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on [with the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations], that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you."

The Sky in Motion

This site - The Sky in Motion - has a collection of some of the most stunning videos created by assembling thousands of high resolution time lapse photographs. (Click on "Playlist" on the left for the whole collection.)

Just amazing! What I wouldn't give to be able to see the world like this with my own eyes.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clean Nukes?

Strange (or is it?) that the Corporate-Run Media isn't picking up on the story of Thorium, a safer nuclear fuel.

The short story of Thorium is that it was explored along side Uranium as a fuel for nuclear bombs, but wasn't as efficient for making weapons-grade Plutonium. But proponents of Thorium back in the Cold War days were focused more on energy, but the rest of the world was focused on bombs. So Thorium got deep-sixed. But there are tons of this stuff in cold storage, and some smart scientists are making the case to bring this stuff back out and use it for safe nuclear energy.
Enter Thorium. Half a century ago, a different kind of nuclear reactor was invented, one that burns Thorium - an inexhaustible supply of fuel, and much cheaper than the enriched-uranium fuel used by current reactors. It can even use the nuclear waste from other reactors as fuel! The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, or LFTR for short, operates at low pressures, so it could never explode like the reactor at Chernobyl, and its liquid-fuel design makes it physical impossible to overheat, like the reactor at Three Mile Island.

If you have an hour to spare, watch this video from Google Tech Talks.

Twilight for the US?

It has been predicted.

[Igor Panarin]

Could not have said it better

It's no secret that I think David Gregory, the replacement for Tim Russert on MTP, is a complete tool. However, I haven't had the time, nor the inclination, to waste on explaining just why. But thanks to the inimitable Glenn Greenwald, I don't have to. Glenn sums up quite well exactly why Gregory is ridiculous and pathetic.

Several months before he was named as moderator of Meet the Press, David Gregory went on MSNBC
to categorically reject Scott McClellan's accusations that the American
media failed to scrutinize the Bush administration's pre-war
claims.  Gregory vigorously praised the job which he and his "journalistic" colleagues did in the run-up to the Iraq War -- the period which Salon's Gary Kamiya called
"one of the greatest collapses in the history of the American media." 
Proclaimed Gregory, with a straight face:  "Questions were asked. I
think we pushed.  I think we prodded.  I think we challenged
the President.  Not only those of us in the White House Press Corps did
that, but others in the media landscape did that."  Most revealingly of
all, Gregory said:

I think there are a lot of
critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up and say this is
bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn't do
our job.  I respectfully disagree.  It's not our role.

Perish the thought that a reporter should point out when government
officials are making "bogus" claims and are lying a country into a war.

Thanks, Glenn.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Star Farming

man-made sun: National Ignition Facility (NIF), California

While it has seemed an impossible goal for nearly 100 years, scientists now
believe that they are on brink of cracking one of the biggest problems in
physics by harnessing the power of nuclear fusion, the reaction that burns
at the heart of the sun.

In the spring, a team will begin attempts to ignite a tiny man-made star
inside a laboratory and trigger a thermonuclear reaction.

Its goal is to generate temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius
and pressures billions of times higher than those found anywhere else on
earth, from a speck of fuel little bigger than a pinhead. If successful, the
experiment will mark the first step towards building a practical nuclear
fusion power station and a source of almost limitless energy.


Pale Blue Dot

"That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
-Carl Sagan

Be humbled.

Animal Farm Friday - Belated but worth it

Sounding the alarm in the cutest damn way possible!

Plagiarized Messiah

All those Bomb-bomb-bomb Iran, Bible-thumpin' neo-cons might be a bit disappointed to learn that those Persians had their own Jesus 600 years earlier. You could almost say that the Christians plagiarized the Persians, and took all of the stories of Mithras and applied them to Jesus.

The Christian Father Manes, founder of the heretical sect known as Manicheans, believed that Christ and Mithra were one. His teaching, according to Mosheim, was as follows: "Christ is that glorious intelligence which the Persians called Mithras ... His residence is in the sun" (Ecclesiastical History, 3rd century, Part 2, ch. 5).