Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Matthew Fuhrmann's "Atomic Assistance"
Page 99 Test, 23 August 2012
Peaceful nuclear assistance increases the likelihood of nuclear proliferation by providing states with dual-use technology and knowledge that collectively reduce the barriers to building the bomb. My analysis of global nuclear commerce supports this argument, showing that higher levels of atomic assistance are statistically associated a greater likelihood of proliferating.
Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, South Africa, and other countries benefited from peaceful nuclear aid before they built nuclear weapons. For example, the individual who headed South Africa’s nuclear explosives program during the 1970s was previously trained by the United States through its “Atoms for Peace” program. The United States also inadvertently augmented Iran’s capacity to build nuclear weapons when it exported the Tehran Research Reactor and small “hot cells” to that country in the 1960s—when Washington and Tehran were allies.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Violence in distant Assam boils over in the rest of the country
The Economist, 25 August 2012
ON JULY 6th, a month after an altercation at a mosque in a region run by (non-Muslim) tribesmen in north-east India, four men on motorcycles shot and killed two Muslims. Six weeks later, some 80 people have been killed in communal bloodletting; the army has been sent into Assam with orders to shoot to kill; tens of thousands of north-easterners in other parts of India have fled homeward in fear of their lives; India has accused Pakistanis of being the origin of doctored video messages designed to stir up religious hatred; and 400,000-500,000 Indians are homeless or displaced within Assam, the largest involuntary movement of people inside the country since independence.
|Refugees fearing further violence (form Economist Slide Show No. 13)|
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Russian roulette and risk-taking behavior: a medical examiner study
Shields LB, Hunsaker JC 3rd, Stewart DM.Am Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, March 2008 (hat tip: MR).
Fatal Russian roulette refers to death following an act of extreme bravado in which the individual spins the cylinder of a revolver loaded with at least one cartridge, aims the muzzle at the head, and pulls the trigger. The majority of victims are men younger than 30 years who, in the presence of others, are under the influence of ethanol or other drugs. This is a 10-year (1993-2002) retrospective review of self-inflicted gunshot wounds of the head, among which we culled and paid special attention to cases of Russian roulette, at the Medical Examiners' Offices in Kentucky. Of the 24 incidents of Russian roulette, the majority of victims were white (79.2%), and all were men between 14 and 47 years with a mean age of 24.8 years. Compared with other cephalic firearm suicides, the subjects engaging in Russian roulette were significantly more likely to have elevated blood levels (> or = 0.1%) of ethanol along with various drugs detected in urine. Although the presumed intent of the risky act is to survive, Russian roulette is deemed to be suicide, which is based on a comprehensive understanding of the inherently deliberate, volitional actions of the decedent.
Of course if you play Russian roulette, and get to use somebody else as the target, they might call you a derivatives trader.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Nassim N. Taleb, NYU- Poly, August 2012 (hat tip: Business Insider via NC)
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Careers in Jazz
Bill Anschell, All About Jazz, 17 June 2012 (hat tip: MR)
Unlike the more highly trained and thoroughly moneyed Career Professionals, Survivalists typically bounce among unskilled jobs, taking them mainly out of desperation as their gigging income falls short. More often than not this sets off a perpetual cycle of gigging, falling into debt, washing dishes or working at a music store to get back ahead, quitting to gig full-time again, then falling back into debt. Few have the wisdom to leave the jazz world altogether; many are trombonists.
Artists in this group are envious of Gig Whores [jazz lounge lizards], who are more successfully able to troll the depths of the music world for scraps. They view Epiphytes [starving artists] with ambivalence, being reluctant to admit that they are separated from them only by a lack of talent.
- Air of desperation
- Bad teeth
- Domino's car-tops
- Pyramid schemes
- Selling cell phones and sunglasses in makeshift mall kiosks
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Obviously, the anatomic location of the wound is critical - a gunshot wound to the central nervous system, even one of low velocity, can be more life threatening than ahigh-velocity wound through the arm. Involvement of vital structures such as the heart, aorta, lung, liver, spleen, and kidneys can quickly lead to hemorrhage, hypoxia, and death. Tissue damage is not, however, limited to the paththe bullet travels through the body. Damage may occurremote from the bullet path if the kinetic energy of thebullet is great enough to produce a shock wave. Cavitary effect is the concept that explains the shock wave produced by a bullet as it passes through an organ or otheranatomical structure.
As a bullet passes through a bodyand transfers its kinetic energy, it produces a shock wave that creates a temporary cavity greater than the bullet’s diameter. The greater the kinetic energy that is transferred the greater the size of the temporary cavity. Velocity is more significant than mass in determining kinetic energy; therefore, cavitary effect is more pronounced in injuries from high-velocity ammunition. The extent of damage depends on whether the transient expansion of tissues and organs exceeds the elasticity of the particular structure through which the bullet passes. Organs such as the liver and spleen, which lack elasticity, are easily lacerated. Organs that are more elastic, such as the stomach and intestines, may only suffer contusions. After the temporary cavity collapses, a permanent cavity wider than the bullet may persist (Figure 9).
The study, for obvious reasons, doesn't address non-common injuries. I suspect if they saw a lot of them, the large low velocity, but erratic but tumbling shot gun slug, like the earlier musket- and mini-balls would do more damage than modern high velocity rounds. Likewise, if they were using bow and arrow fire out there, I suspect that the clean slicing arrows would be about as effective as medium caliber pistol rounds. That is about how effective they appear to be in the frontier accounts I have read in any case.
Friday, August 24, 2012
I have a fair number of titles under the belt, but I cheated and went for some fast reads. Karma has swung around and I have been bogged down in an interesting philosophical novel translated from Russian (Dmitry Bykov - Lost Souls), that also happens to be rather lengthy. It's not bad, but don't these authors know I have reviews to write? LOL-again. It would also be easier if they would stop using those strange accent marks in their names.
Not too surprisingly, a lot of these tales have a more dystopian, rather than straight forward apocalyptic tone. There are apocalyptic foreign language novels, but they seem to rarely be translated.
International is intended to mean non-British, and non-American, because those two countries authors dominate the apocalypse-in-progress/dystopian genres in the English language. Most of the other English language countries do well on a per capita basis, but are buried under the numbers. Foreign language translations are tough. Many worthy novels in the genre are never translated, this is not too surprising as a literary translation can take almost as long to write as a novel.
A few of the novels are British and American in origin. Mostly they were already read, or at least begun, when I started. In a couple cases they were short and free, so I read them anyway. Short and Free are universal, and thus international.
Here is what I have read, or in-part read:
2012 - Alisa Krasnostein and Ben Payne (editors) Australian short story collection
The Decline and Fall of the British Empire (1905) - Elliot E. Mills - British, but the past is a different country and all that. Short and free.
Ashes, Ashes (Ravage) - René Barjavel - Vichy French
Quarter-Life Crises - Evan Murphy - Canadian - Graphic novel set in Toronto
Coming From an Off-Key Time - Bogdan Suceavã - Romanian
Enfold Me - Steven Greenberg - Israel
Vlad - Carlos Fuentes
The Literary Conference - César Aira - Argentinian, but mostly set in Venezuela
The Massive - Brian Wood - Graphic novel serial - American author with international setting
The Loom of Ruin - Sam McPheeter - American author set in the immegrant melting pot of Los Angelos
Fall Out - Gudrun Pausewang - West Germany
Friends and Other Stories of the Apocalypse- A.P. Menzie - American novel - but it was short and free.
La Jetée Ciné Roman - Chris Marker - French - Based on movie of the same name. Was the inspiration for the movie 12 Monkeys.
Memoria - Alex Bobl - Russian - Classic noir fiction in a dystopian future setting
Dog Eat Dog - David Rodgers - British with International setting. Has a RPG game (Yellow Dawn) associated with it.
Using a stricter definition, if we had not already reviewed them, we could include:
King of the Store Room - Antonio Porta - Italian
China Tidal Wave - Wang Lixiong -Chinese
Tobaccoo Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen - Australian
Malevil - Robert Merle - French
Yellow Cake Spring - Guy Salvidge - Australian
Kingdom of Four Rivers - Guy Salvidge - Australian
Red Queen - Honey Brown - Australian
Not sure how far I wil go. I told a crazy Canadian I would read Oryx and Crake, and I have one or two African novels, that I would need to fill out the continents, and at least one Japanese novel to fill out the Far East. At this point I have more unread, than read. So I will probably cut it short soon, and simply to get them posted before the world actually collapses taking the Internet, and my venue, with it.
Asher Zeiger, Times of Israel, 14 August 2012 (hat tip: NC)
Apparently low on bombers, al-Qaeda is running a (short-term) employment advertisement on its Shumukh al-Islam Internet forum. Under the heading “Area of activity: The planet Earth,” the ad seeks jihadists to carry out suicide attacks.
Applicants must be Muslim, mentally mature, dedicated, able to listen, and utterly committed to completing their mission, the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Tuesday…
No, you wouldn't want to get caught.The job description promises only a “very slight chance of being caught.”
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Lenders hold fire on ailing shipping firms (gated)
Keith Wallis, South China Morning Post, 13 August 2012 (hat tip: NC)
Sanko Line, Korea Line and subsidiaries of Berlian Laju Tanker are among a steady stream of Asian and Western shipping companies that have sought bankruptcy protection in recent months, victims of weak freight rates and hemorrhaging cash reserves. But the expected surge in corporate shipping failures has yet to occur, despite mounting losses and the prospect of lower freight and charter rates this year....
"Banks are better off rescheduling debt with existing operators rather than [taking] over and [selling] the ships," he said. "A lot of banks can't afford to take a hit," especially with the ongoing European debt crisis and new liquidity rules impacting on banks.
So there is an uptick in shipping company bankruptcies, but the last thing the banks need is to be trying to recoup loans with assets that are plunging in value. It will force them to take their losses at a time when European defaults are already stressing their balance sheets.
It is very similar to why you cannot bailout the banks by paying everyone’s mortgage for them. Without the interest payments to cover their existing losses, the banks will be deeply underwater. So they kick the can down the road.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
US Attorneys Refuse to Assure Judge That They Are Not Already Detaining Citizens Under NDAA
Tangerine Bolan, Daily Cloudt, 9 August 2012 (hat tip: NC)
The US government seems determined to have the power to do away with due process and Americans’ right to a trial.
Possibly they cannot tell the judge if they are detaining anyone is because they cannot remember who the detained versus who they ex-judicially blew up with a predator drone.I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the President the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. In May, following a March hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers essentially asserted even more extreme powers – the power to entirely disregard the Judge and the law. Indeed, on Monday, August 6, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that as of this writing has been scarcely reported.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The clap - a.k.a. Gonorrhea - is getting added to the list of super diseases for which we are running out of cures. As this article from the Atlantic notes, the clap can kill you, and if it doesn't kill you, it may very well make you infertile.
Here it Comes: Super Gonorrhea
James Hamblin, The Atlantic, 8 August 2012 (hat tip: NC)
The CDC announced that we're down to our last effective antibiotic.
The list of effective antibiotics has been dwindling as the bacteria became resistant, and now it's down to one. Five years ago, the CDC said fluoroquinolones were no longer effective, but oral cephalosporins were still a common/easy treatment. Now injected ceftriaxone is the only recommended effective drug we have left. And it has to be given along with either azithromycin or doxycycline.
For a disease that 700,000 people in the U.S. get every year, and 64 million worldwide, this is not good news.
Monday, August 20, 2012
The “new agriculture” is typically small-acreage, intensively-managed, organic (in contemporary terms) in that it avoids both chemical use and genetic modification, and uniquely adaptable to such practices as niche-market services, consumer associations (community-sharing) and pick-your-own. One could argue that it won’t supplant present-day large-scale commercial generic-commodity agriculture any time soon. But one should also recognize that, if industry observers are correct in gauging the size of this producer-to-consumer sector at 20% of the total, then, logically, rural land-use planning ought to be moving to recognize this “new normal” and providing for it in statute and regulation.
Just the opposite seems to be happening. The so-called “Smart-Growth” doctrine, opposed to traditional low-density suburban development for both residential and commercial land use, now seems to favor smaller lots for residential and commercial use. No more wooded and lawned exurban campuses for business, manufacturing, or research; no more large-lot trophy-house-or-less subdivisions, but very large indeed minimum lot sizes in beyond-the-new-city-wall farmland.
In Oregon, for example, the minimum farm-lot size is 80 to 160 acres, and is described in various studies of Oregon’s land use laws as the smallest presently acceptable to the State Land Conservation and Development Commission. The same regulatory body calls for a minimum residential lot size of 20 acres for areas beyond the adopted Urban Growth Boundaries, “…to help contain Oregon’s growing urban population inside the growth boundaries”. Similar regulations in Illinois and Pennsylvania call for 40 and 50-acre minimum farm-lot sizes. And these lots come with residential prohibitions. In Oregon, for example according to The Cascade Policy Institute, there’s a State regulation “…requiring a piece of property zoned as high-value farmland to generate $80,000 in annual sales before a dwelling can be built for the farmer.”
The posting eventually discusses Vermont within the context of the raw-milk restrictions that were forced through by the big food retailers.
The author posits two reasonable claims for these restrictions, and I will expand on his reasoning. One is to restrict competition. The idea that the small farms are now 20% of the market is extremely unlikely to be accurate. But what they can be is a very large percentage of the high profit margin, value added market. One-percent of a market would be too much for the food retailers, if it is the one-percent where they get 20% of their profits from.
The author also notes that the restrictions on residential lots, requiring enormous lots is likely a set aside project for the wealthy is probably to some degree true, but is more likely true as a seconary result of other concerns.
Recall that landowners are always concerned with maintaining the value of their land. In a society that allows land holdings to be split between many siblings (as we allow) the land can quickly get divided into such tiny parcels that it becomes impossible to farm, or more importantly today, impossible to develope. The 20 acre restrictions are likely in place to keep the rural countryside from becoming a small patchwork of tiny homeowner lots that cannot be sold.
There is some historically viable logic to this from a farming prospective as well. During the homesteading period, when they were giving out lots of land, they eventually came to find that there was a minimum farm size which could be sustained through the ups and downs of bad weather. The farmers of the day could only make limited useage of fossil fuels to replace pasturage for horse feeding oats, and farms of well over 100 acres were needed to give enough diversity of resources to survive through periods of drought.
We noted in a long ago piece
Reflexiones finales, 23 September 2012
As American settlements pushed further west past the 100th meridian, dry farming techniques were promoted that were designed to deal with the dryer climate found in the area.
Unfortunately the lack of accurate information led the Great Plains to be settled too densely in farms that were later found to be too small, undercapitalized and insufficiently diversified to be sustainable. The initial problems were found to occur in Western Kansas when droughts in the 1890s reduced homesteads from a peak of 3,083 to a low point of 907 with only very slow growth into the 20th century. But at the same time farm sizes doubled from 221 acres to 461 by 1900. link4
Sunday, August 19, 2012
I am on an apple and while I used them years ago, I am no longer particularly skilled.
I put in posts to cover while I as gone, but replying to comments will have to wait until I get back early next week.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Demonstrated by an experienced professional. Don't try this at home.
Locked in combat: Mother lion takes on deadly crocodile to give cubs safe swim across river
Kerry McDermott, Daily Mail U.K., 24 July 2012 (hat tip: NC)
Scanning the surface of the water, her amber eyes alight upon a threat to her pride - a deadly crocodile lurking in the river that the family of lions must cross.
The fiercely protective lioness did not hesitate, leaping into the water and grappling with the reptile to allow the rest of the pride to cross the river in safety.
|Lioness diverting crocodile (more photos here photographer Pia Dierickx's website)|
Saturday, August 18, 2012
I will only note the last line on his final conclusions.
Percentage Growth in Government Jobs vs. Private Jobs vs. Population Growth; Facts and Consequences
Upcoming generations are highly likely to see a drop in standard of living vs. the baby boomers. This has never happened in US history.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Adrian R. Bell, Chris Brooks, and Tony K. Moore, Bloomberg, 27 July 2012 (hat tip: Big Picture)
Once parliament had dissolved and the public outcry had died down, however, the king’s eldest son, John of Gaunt, acted to reverse the verdicts of the Good Parliament. Latimer and Perrers soon reappeared at the king’s side and Lyons was released from the Tower and recovered his wealth, while the “whistleblower” de la Mare was thrown in jail. The government also sought to appease the wealthy knights and merchants that dominated parliament by imposing a new, regressive form of taxation, a poll tax paid by everyone rather than a tax levied on goods. This effectively passed the burden of royal finance down to the peasantry.
It seemed as though everything had returned to business as normal and Lyons appeared to have gotten away with it. In 1381, however, simmering discontent over continuing suspicions of government corruption and the poll tax contributed to a massive popular uprising, the Peasants’ Revolt, during which leading government ministers, including Simon of Sudbury (the chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury) and Robert Hales (the treasurer) were executed by the rebels. This time, Lyons did not escape; he was singled out, dragged from his house and beheaded in the street.
Well, the story at least started off the same.
In the end the King tricked the peasants into meeting with them, and then executed them. So they didn't come out completely a head: so to speak.
|1381 Peasants Revolt Postard (purchase here)|
Thursday, August 16, 2012
On the humble backgrounds of the Mexican Streets, started by a humble street vendor, she was given her first nudge to greater stature when her son who was released from prison early. The street vender's home has become a mecca for the many believers. The video link by video link to the Fox News report (hat tip: Borderland Beat) gives additional background.Santa Muerte, a skeleton saint , cult has attracted millions of devotees over the past decade. Although condemned by mainstream churches, this folk saint's supernatural powers appeal to millions of Latin Americans and immigrants in the U.S. Devotees believe the Bony Lady (as she is affectionately called) to be the fastest and most effective miracle worker, and as such, her statuettes and paraphernalia now outsell those of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Jude, two other giants of Mexican religiosity. In particular,  Santa Muerte has become the patron saint of drug traffickers, playing an important role as protector of peddlers of crystal meth and marijuana; DEA agents and Mexican police often find her altars in the safe houses of drug smugglers. Yet Saint Death plays other important roles: she is a supernatural healer, love doctor, money-maker, lawyer, and angel of death. She has become without doubt one of the most popular and powerful saints on both the Mexican and American religious landscapes. from the Summary of Devoted to Death Andrew Chestnut Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University
When you start looking you can find her imagery everywhere:
|Sanat Muerta in a traditional look|
|14k Gold Pendant for Sale|
|Everyone needs a bobbleheaded Death to show there driving skills|
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The para-military pocket obsession meets the mall ninja is the best explanation I can think of. Even has out-takes at the end. I am not sure why they don't bring the Jack Daniels: are they too young?
I am going to be out of town a little bit. I have posts scheduled, but may be slow on comments until I get back early next week.
For our quick blurb:
The Pessimist's Guide to History (updated)
Doris Flexner and Stuart Berg Flexner, Harper Collins, NY NY, 2008
1485: Outbreak of English Sweating Sickness
Sweating sickness first appeared in England in 1485 and spread rapidly among the populace. Apparently healthy individuals were struck down and died of the disease overnight. Largely confined to England, seating sickness killed thousand in epidemics that occurred in 1485, 1506, 1517, 1528, and 1551. It seemed more severe among the rich than the poor.
I wolde geue none example or comforte to my countrie men, (whom I wolde to be now, as here tofore they haue bene, comparable in learnyng to men of other countries) to stonde onely in the Englishe tongue, but to leaue the simplicite of thesame, and to procede further in many and diuerse knoweleges bothe in tongues and sciences at home and in vniuersities, to the adournyng of the common welthe, better seruice of their kyng, & great pleasure and commodite of their owne selues, to what kinde of life so euer they shold applie them. Therfore whatsoeuer sence that tyme I minded to write, I wrate y^e same either in greke or latine.
So just another fun little think to look forward to in a spic-n-span post-apocalyptic spic-n-span world . A rat turd disease with wings. If it were fiction, it would turn us to zombies.Although human infection principally occurs via inhalation of contaminated rodent excreta, our results with Andes virus show the first direct genetic evidence of person-to-person transmission of a hantavirus.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
|Nok Terracotta at Louvre|
|Nok Terracotta (from Wikipedia)|
Roger Atwood, Archaeology, July/August 2011
Little is understood about how Nok society ended. Sometime after A.D. 200, the once-thriving Nok population declined, as attested to by a sharp drop in the volume of pottery and terracotta in soil layers corresponding to those years. Overexploitation of natural resources and a heavy reliance on charcoal may have played a role, says Breunig.
Even more puzzling is Nok’s legacy to later cultures. Art historians have long seen Nok as an isolated phenomenon, a splendid relic cut off from the sequence of African art over the next two millennia. Later civilizations in southern Nigeria had advanced metalworking skills and a tradition of naturalistic portraiture, and art historians are looking more closely at what they might owe to Nok. The most celebrated of these later cultures was Ife (pronounced EE-feh), whose people in southwestern Nigeria turned bronze into stunning portrait heads around A.D. 1300.
Monday, August 13, 2012
So when I saw that they were featured in Nature Magazine, I thought I would make a point in mentioning it.
Human Cycles: History as science
Laura Spinney, Nature, 1 August 2012 (hat tip: NC)
Sometimes, history really does seem to repeat itself. After the US Civil War, for example, a wave of urban violence fuelled by ethnic and class resentment swept across the country, peaking in about 1870. Internal strife spiked again in around 1920, when race riots, workers' strikes and a surge of anti-Communist feeling led many people to think that revolution was imminent. And in around 1970, unrest crested once more, with violent student demonstrations, political assassinations, riots and terrorism (see 'Cycles of violence').
To Peter Turchin, who studies population dynamics at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, the appearance of three peaks of political instability at roughly 50-year intervals is not a coincidence. For the past 15 years, Turchin has been taking the mathematical techniques that once allowed him to track predator–prey cycles in forest ecosystems, and applying them to human history. He has analysed historical records on economic activity, demographic trends and outbursts of violence in the United States, and has come to the conclusion that a new wave of internal strife is already on its way1. The peak should occur in about 2020, he says, and will probably be at least as high as the one in around 1970. “I hope it won't be as bad as 1870,” he adds.
Turchin's approach — which he calls cliodynamics after Clio, the ancient Greek muse of history — is part of a groundswell of efforts to apply scientific methods to history by identifying and modelling the broad social forces that Turchin and his colleagues say shape all human societies. It is an attempt to show that “history is not 'just one damn thing after another'”, says Turchin, paraphrasing a saying often attributed to the late British historian Arnold Toynbee.
This is only the introduction.
What is interesting is that at the very end of the article, Herbert Gintis, notes that the revolutions of the 1960s that-
secure civil rights for women and black people. Elites have been known to give power back to the majority, he says, but only under duress, to help restore order after a period of turmoil. “I'm not afraid of uprisings,” he says. “That's why we are where we are.”
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Fark asked the question:
In New York "A turf war has exploded this summer, leaving a trail of sabotaged trucks, bloody noses and even death threats" Is it over
A)Mob-controlled garbage pick-up?
B) Gang territory?
C) Ice cream trucks?
The answer is: C
New York's Ice Cream Truck Turf Wars Get Ugly
Jen Doll, Atlantic Wire, July 2012
A turf war between Mister Softee trucks and rival ice-cream and frozen-yogurt peddlers has exploded this summer, leaving a trail of sabotaged trucks, bloody noses and even death threats.
“It got ugly fast,” said a 21-year-old Yogo frozen-yogurt driver of a recent run he had with a fuming team of Mister Softee men on Madison Avenue.
|Author of piece, Jen Doll, holding a purchase. Oddly enough, the picture is not from the story, its from here.|
Saturday, August 11, 2012
When a nuclear weapons facility can’t stop infiltration by an octogenarian nun, it’s time to reassess its security standards…
“The Department of Energy has repeatedly claimed that security at the site, which houses 300 to 400 metric tons of bomb-grade uranium, is robust enough to defend against more than a dozen heavily-armed terrorists with inside knowledge of security procedures” Peter Stockton, a nuclear security expert at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), ironically observed.
“It looks like the Boy Scouts could have done a better job” securing the site, he added.
Megan Fox, Nun (from here)
We don't see a lot of Ms. Fox, in the picture, but I thought there might be a little resemblance between the Megans, so I looked for a comparison picture of Megan Fox, preferably holding up a banner or sign. I couldn't find any with her holding up a sign, but I did find one with her on the sign. She is up on the side of a building, so picture her a little older, and pouring out blood from a decanter - yes? -no?
|Megan Fox as a billboard (from here)|
Friday, August 10, 2012
What caught my eye, was a side discussion about how the wind-power industry has been faring.
The key here is not arguing what the potential of wind power, or other renewable sources, but what is actually happening. Note, even if you want to have the economic where withal in the right place and the right time to make that happen. We may be the greatest county in the world and all that, but we don't seem to be building many windmills.
U.S Faces Uphill Battle in Retraining the Jobless
Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, Wall Street Journal, 31 July 2012
Through one Recovery Act program, Congress allocated $500 million to states to train workers for jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"We put an emphasis on green energy in the Recovery Act," says the Labor Department's Ms. Oates. "We let people apply for what that meant in their areas—some wind, some solar, some energy efficiency, some natural gas"...
Greg Matlock, 39, who lost his job as manager of a wood pellet and gas stove manufacturer near Spokane, Wash., turned to wind energy, he says, because the government predicted a booming market. He attended a six-month program at a technical school, learning electrical skills, hydraulics, computer programming and federal safety regulations. In late 2010, he received a certificate in wind energy.
The wind industry has lost 10,000 jobs since 2009, according to the American Wind Energy Association, because of uncertainty over federal subsidies and other factors. Mr. Matlock says he was offered a wind job that paid less than his previous $55,000 salary, and it was in Colorado. He took a job closer to home earning more money, $80,000, as a manager of a plant that makes newsprint.
A federally funded green-energy training program aimed to land some 80,000 workers in such jobs. Through the end of March, 25,212 trainees had landed new jobs, including more than 14,500 unemployed people, the Labor Department says.
After Joseph Quiroz, 38, lost his job at a cement factory near San Bernardino, Calif., in 2010, he went to a job fair where he picked up a flier raving about the demand for "building analysts"—people who inspect homes and businesses for energy efficiency.
California in 2011 launched a program, with the help of federal funding, to subsidize energy-efficiency upgrades for homes. The state aimed to get homeowners to retrofit 130,000 homes by the end of 2012, which would require thousands of new contractors and building analysts.
Mr. Quiroz was put on a waiting list for several months before a spot opened up for a three-week course at a community college—paid for with federal funds. By the time he was certified last year, the market was glutted with nearly 3,000 analysts. Homeowners, meanwhile, are on track to retrofit less than 10,000 homes by the end of this year, state officials say, a fraction of the 130,000 originally expected.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
She's electric: Japanese robot bar tempts customers with giant, scantily clad dancing robots - controlled by REAL women,, Rob Waugh, The Guardian (U.K), 24, July 2012 (hat tip MR MR)
The 'Robot Restaurant' offers 'cabaret dances' from giant robots - looking like plastic women, but with robotic lower halves.
The £83 million restaurant will let customers operate the 'fem-bots' - but staff will also 'steer' the performers as they dance for visitors.
The new restaurant advertised that it cost 10 billion yen - £83 million -to open
The robots operated by real women dressed in military and other outfits will perform 'cabaret' dances for its customers.
The robots are themed after the character Valkyrie in the game Soul Calibur.
The "military" outfits are regulation military bikinis, or undergarments. For myself, the young real women are more interesting than the robots, but than I am neither Japanese, nor have I played the game in question. I think the "Valkyrie" is actually a type of sword/weapon, and it is the fetching young women who wield this weapon that are being portrayed. So possibly (?) there is some sort of heroic element to all of this.
|Young ladies controlling the giant robot (more pictures here)|