mercredi 30 avril 2014

Prayer Rug

I just received a Saint Matthew's Church Prayer Rug.


Wrote'em a letter, I did, in response.

Saint Matthew's Churches

Head money changer

I've read and -comprehended- your book.

There's a section in it where the money-changers such as you

are beaten from their place of worship by your guy.

Reading the book, it's a chronicle of sadism, beginning with

the set up of Adam and Eve in the Garden, when the creator

by definition knew the results of placing the tree and the


A setup like that is sadistic.

Then there's the legend of the Flood, when the creator says

he really screwed up making all those people, so they have to

be drowned. Mass murder, and sadism. Who screwed up?

And any historian can point to the original text of that myth

coming from ancient Sumeria myths, adapted to fit the purposes

of the writers that use it. Gilgamesh's Tablet 11 has the

first (and still mythical) flood.

Then there's the legend of the Exodus... that's all that is


No historian bothers today to find the presence of the Hebrews

in Egypt, as there is none!

It's just chest beating and weren't we great back then, after

the tribe of Hebrews killed off all the other tribes in

Canaan, which the Hebrews had never left. (real history)

Saved the children of Isreal from Pharoah (didn't happen) but

abandoned them to Hitler. Did happen!

More sadism... Your creator "hardens Pharaoh's heart" so the

plagues could be visited on the innocent Eygptians. (Didn't

happen either)

And then there's the zombie in the New Testament. Another

figure of myth, incapable of being placed in the time

the stories say.

And the 4 stories have serious disagreements between them.

Wonderful guy.

Fear him or he'll give you phsically and mentally handicapped

children, many born with cancer. All-loving and sadism don't

go together.

What "sin" can a child commit in the womb to punished so?

What "sin" did the parents commit for the child to be punished


Sadism once again.

I see God furnishes automobiles. What brand gets Heaven's

imprimatur and does the car come with an eternal


Your prayer rug... there's a place for it.

Paul Burke

Looks like this...

I opened the prophesy.. Bad Paul, bad, bad!!!

And didn't return it! Badder Paul!

"My dear child, I have much planned for your bank account. I will direct you to empty it and send the contents to me".



My cataract surgery prevents me from seeing the magic eye in these prints, but I can see where they would be.

Attached Images

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File Type: jpg PrayerRug-page2.jpg (120.8 KB)

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Wisconsin Voter ID

For the third time, Wisconsin's Voter ID law has been found to be unconstitutional. Only this time, Scott and his GOPers got a real smack-down:


The ruling is an overwhelming win for plaintiffs, who argued that the voter ID law suppresses ballot access in the state. And while the decision could be overturned on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the law has also already been blocked by two state court decisions, one of which is still in effect.


U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman found not just that the law disproportionately deters minorities and low-income individuals from voting; but also that purported instances of voter impersonation are so infrequent, if they exist at all, that “no rational person could be worried about it.”


He points out that Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) lawyers could not identify a single instance of known voter impersonation in Wisconsin’s recent past, even though that is the primary justification for the requirement that voters show photo identification.

My highlights.

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Building 12

Building 12 is the biggest clue that 9/11 was an inside job. It was blown up by the CIA with help of the FDNY and the Port Authority and nobody talks about it.

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Sein Fein leader arrested for 1972 IRA killing

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams held over Jean McConville murder


Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has been arrested by Northern Ireland police in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.

He presented himself to police on Wednesday evening and was arrested.

Speaking before his arrest, Mr Adams said he was "innocent of any part" in the murder.

Mrs McConville, a 37-year-old widow and mother-of-10, was abducted from her flat in the Divis area of west Belfast and shot by the IRA.

Her body was recovered from a beach in County Louth in 2003.

Title should read Sinn Fein. Grrr....

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Food, Food Writers, Taco Bell and Chemistry

So, according to Derek Lowe in today's In the Pipeline blog, food writers of a certain level of incompetence are taking on Taco Bell again for using ingredients they can't spell and do not know what they do. Ignorance and scare tactics gaining more readers than accurate information does.:jaw-dropp:jaw-dropp:jaw-dropp:jaw-dropp

Derek and the better of his following of commenters (or which I am occasionally one) take on more stupidity to try to save us all from same.:D:jaw-dropp

Read about it right here:

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"Credible" UFO Groups

I'm curious if anyone could point me toward what passes for credible UFO investigation groups.

Meaning, they genuinely believe that aliens are visiting Earth, but they conduct competent investigations and have no qualms about saying "This is an airplane", "This is an out-of-focus moth", or "This is a hoax, stop wasting our time".

For a work of fiction, I'm looking for a group which, in the wake of an actual alien invasion, could use their reputation to become the core of a legitimate research institute. They would also engage in lobbying, since they still believe that the US government had been concealing alien activity for decades and if they had been more open about it, humanity could have been more prepared for the invasion or might have had allies.

I could just make up a group out of whole cloth, but I prefer the verisimilitude of using actual names.

Metropolis vs. New York City

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Democrats block minimum wage increase

"But no Democratic leaders have endorsed the measure, and the silence coming from their offices this week has highlighted the potential political difficulty in raising the minimum wage — a move that’s anathema to the powerful business lobby — amid sluggish economic times.Concerns about the economy have increased since last Friday, when a jobs report showed an anemic May during which only 69,000 jobs were added. A higher minimum wage could discourage employers from creating more jobs and that, in turn, could hurt President Obama in the election."

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The accuracy of medium-range weather forecasts

Ours, for May, is here. Bear in mind this is coastal SE Greece, and the idea that temps might run easily sub-25°C for the whole of May would normally seem laughable. Do they just make this stuff up? (If it turns out to be accurate we'll be well pleased, btw)

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Illinois -- Will it be three in a row?

Prosecutors probing troubled Quinn grant program

Chicago Tribune


Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has launched a probe of a troubled $55 million anti-violence program Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn put in place in 2010 amid a tough election battle.

A grand jury issued a subpoena seeking documents related to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Program, which funneled money to various community groups in what Quinn billed as an effort to target crime in some of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Republican critics contend the program was a slush fund designed to shore up support for Quinn in heavily Democratic Cook County, while a recent scathing state audit found the initiative was “hastily implemented” and failed to track how taxpayer dollars were spent.


An anti-violence program. You're not for violence are you? You know, like those Illinois Republicans.

Background: The previous governor of Illinois (Democrat) is still in prison. The governor before that (Republican) was released from prison just last year.

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Question about meteors, comet 209P/LINEAR

I have an astronomy question I hope someone here can answer. I’ve been reading news about comet 209P/LINEAR and the possibility of a new significant meteor shower in May, but I don’t quite get why it has never occurred before.

I think I might be realizing something I had not realized before: that the comet debris fields are not like continuous hoops of debris circling the sun (and which we occasionally intersect), but rather they are unevenly distributed and perhaps clump around the comet’s position. Is this right?

In the past, whenever I went out to look for meteors during meteor showers, I was envisioning the debris stream as being like a continuous band around the sun, and the earth’s orbit was momentarily intersecting it. But I guess, at least in many cases, it’s more of a discrete clumpy cloud of debris that is orbiting the sun, and which we pass through?

Is this why we have never seen these forcasted “Camelopardalid” meteors before, because this is the first time our orbit has intersected the debris field?

And does this also mean that the Camelopardalids would not be an annual event, but would only occur every so many years (or centuries), when our orbits sync up again and overlap?

I keep seeing news stories refer to this as the beginning of a “new” meteor shower, which made me think it would be an annual thing, but if I’m right about the rest of this, I’m thinking that’s not what was meant. And similarly, is this why the Leonids seem to jump in number every 33 years, because 33 years is the orbital period of the parent comet?

I hope someone can help me out of my confusion.

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Electriciy from manure

How much electricity can you produce from a small amount of manure?

I've recently been watching some old episodes of "The Good Life", a BBC sitcom about a couple who decide to go self sufficient and live off the land from their home in the suburbs.

I've just watched the episode where they get their power disconnected and start producing enough electricity to run a few lights and a freezer from the methane created from manure provided by their livestock; two pigs, a goat, and a dozen chickens.

I can't help but think that this can't be anywhere near enough manure to do the job.

Can anyone knowledgeable about this tell me if it actually is a realistic setup or just complete... manure?

I found a clip from the episode on YouTube. The explanation of the setup begins around 4:30...

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

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Backup software for a Windows 7 drive

Hi, I'm wanting to install a new system disk and really don't want to start from scratch (I have win7 service pack 1). Can anyone recommend a good backup program? I want to be able to back up the entire drive if possible - there's not a huge amount of data, probably about 15gb. I want to use a partition on my current drive as the backup partition if possible, then install it as a second/storage drive alongside the new one.

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Botched execution in Oklahoma


Sorry, there is already a thread on this.

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Gold from Beer Bottles

They need to "take in" a few more investors to really ramp this puppy up.

Blue Eagle Gold Making Alchemy.

Apparently the trick is to use just the right microwave ovens to do the alchemy. It isn't clear whether the beer bottles should be bud or sam adams.

Oh, and the "doc" helping out predictably is a fan of Tesla and is active in the anti Smart Meter crowd. I think LENR makes an appearance as well.

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mardi 29 avril 2014

Botched Execution, Again


What was supposed to be the first of two executions here Tuesday night was halted when the prisoner, Clayton D. Lockett, began to twitch and gasp after he had already been declared unconscious and called out “man” and “something’s wrong,” according to witnesses.

The administering doctor intervened and discovered that “the line had blown,” said the director of corrections, Robert Patton, meaning that drugs were no longer flowing into his vein.


A doctor started to administer the first drug, a sedative intended to knock the man out, at 6:23. Ten minutes later, the doctor said that Mr. Lockett was unconscious, and started to administer the next two drugs, a paralytic and one intended to make the heart stop.

At that point, witnesses said, things began to go awry. Mr. Lockett’s body moved, his foot shook, and he mumbled, witnesses said.

At 6 :37, he tried to rise and exhaled loudly. At that point, prison officials pulled a curtain in front of the witnesses and the doctor discovered a “vein failure,” Mr. Patton said.


In keeping with the untried drug protocol announced by the Corrections Department this month, Mr. Lockett was first injected with midazolam, a benzodiazepine intended to render the prisoner unconscious and unable to feel pain. This was followed by injections of vecuronium bromide, a paralyzing agent that stops breathing, and then potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

This combination has been used in Florida, but with a much higher dose of midazolam than Oklahoma is planning to use. Without effective sedation, the second two drugs are known to cause agonizing suffocation and pain.

Oklahoma and other states have turned to compounding pharmacies — lightly regulated laboratories that mix up drugs to order. Opponents have raised questions about quality control, especially after the widely reported dying gasps of a convict in Ohio for more than 10 minutes, and an Oklahoma inmate’s utterance, “I feel my whole body burning,” after being injected with compounded drugs.


In March, it appeared that Mr. Lockett and Mr. Warner had won the right to know more about the drugs when an Oklahoma judge ruled that the secrecy law was unconstitutional. But the judge said she did not have the authority to grant the men stays of execution, sending the inmates into a Kafkaesque legal maze.

The state has an unusual court system, sending criminal appeals to a top criminal court and civil matters to its Supreme Court. The Court of Criminal Appeals repeatedly turned back the Supreme Court’s order to rule on a stay, while the attorney general insisted that the executions would go ahead.

Last Monday, the Supreme Court said that to avoid a miscarriage of justice, it would delay the executions until it had time to resolve the secrecy matter.

The next day, Governor Fallin, a Republican, said the Supreme Court had overstepped its powers, and directed officials to carry out both executions on April 29. An outraged legislator, Representative Mike Christian, said he would seek to impeach the justices, who were already under fire from conservative legislators for striking down laws the court deemed unconstitutional.

A constitutional crisis appeared to be brewing. But last Wednesday, the Supreme Court announced a decision on the secrecy issue — overturning the lower court and declaring that the executions could proceed.


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Next Best Thing

What do you guys suppose is the next quantum leap for humanity, like finding that we're not the center of the universe?

I'd say free energy, unlimited, everywhere.

It should already be done!

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Obama's sanctions on Russia

For once the comments section of the article are actually more informative than than the actual article itself.

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Best leg strength-training routine for marathon runners

I'm a distance runner who sometimes runs marathons, and I am looking to alter my strength-training routine to help improve my running for some races that are coming up.

Now it is tricky trying to find the best approach. It's even trickier finding a personal trainer who knows what they are talking about. So many of them are woo-pushers. For one thing, should I do the leg strength-training before, or after a run? Or just don't run at all on strength-training days? And how many strength-training workouts per week are optimal for someone who runs 50 to 60 miles per week?

Based on my readings, I probably shouldn't be doing these leg lift exercises I've been doing for years. To do this exercise, I would lay flat on the floor facing the ceiling and lift my legs which have ankle weights trapped to them, for about 15 reps(alternating legs after reps) for usually about 5 sets. Hardly anyone does this or recommends this(except for physical therapy). Is this a good exercise for runners?

Instead of this I will do more squats.

Another thing I sometimes do is walk around and run a little with a backpack strapped to my back with a 24 lb(11 kg) medicine ball inside for about 20 minutes. Some runners who are much faster than me do this and recommend it. Is this a good idea?

I also do hip exercises using resistance bands, and these feel effective.

Any other proven leg or ab exercises to recommend for a distance runner who doesn't want to go to a gym? I have no dumbbells or barbells, just resistance bands in my home gym, and medicine balls. If possible, cite your sources. And how long should a leg workout be? 20 minutes? 40 minutes? Above all, I don't want to do any more than is necessary for improving performance and preventing injury.

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Bart Sibrel Finds God... no... really!!

A shill for Jebus?

For mine, the first seven words kill any credibility, if he ever had any...

"Bart Sibrel is an award winning filmmaker"

The only "award" I can recall him getting was on September 9, 2002, when he received a right hook from Buzz Aldrin.


Not sure if this belongs here or in "Religion". Please move if necessary

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I just saw this news item about a company that can detect metals under water and underground.

Here’s a short snippet from a CNN story: (I tried to post a link but I haven't made 15 posts yet... you can find it if you Google "CNN GeoResonance")

> According to an Australian newspaper account, GeoResonance makes use of former Soviet defense technology that has since been demilitarized.

> It analyzes super-weak electromagnetic fields captured by airborne multispectral images.

> "And what we do is we look at the nuclei of an atom, copper or nickel or iron. And so we knew we had the tools to search for the plane," Pope said.

I don’t know how multispectral images are supposed to distinguish between nuclei or how the signals make it through water or soil. I thought that this was the domain of magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear quadrupole resonance or some really high energy particles/photons.

Any ideas of what physics they can be leveraging here? Or is this just some high tech form of dowsing?

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ConsumerPhysics launches SCiO


As a ConsumerPhysics employee, I'm proud to announce the launch of a miniaturized molecular analyzer named SCiO ,through a kickstarter campaign. We've been working on it intensively for the last three years.

Due to restrictions on new members, I can neither publish the URL link for the kickstarter page, nor for our site, but you can google it easily.

Feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer as far as the company's trade secrets allow me.

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FED EX Shooting

I'm not sure what my reply is.

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The Nibiruan Council

Here is some woo for fun.

What do you make of this?


Welcome to the official site of the Nibiruan Council, a multidimensional off-world council whose members are connected to the people of the planet Nibiru and the Nibiruans’ ancient ancestors, the 9D Nibiruans.

The Nibiruans’ mission is to prepare humanity to take their rightful place in the greater galactic community. The Jelaila StarrNibiruans are especially interested in assisting starseeds and walk-ins.

Jelaila Starr is the Nibiruan Councils’ messenger and channel.

The Nibiruan Council (also known as the Greater Nibiruan Council) is comprised of all the council members of the smaller, dimensional Nibiruan councils. It is one of the largest Council in the Galactic Federation of Worlds, and therefore, carries out the duties of the overseeing council of the Earth Grand Experiment for the Galactic Federation of Worlds.

The Nibiruan Council in Lenexa, KS (suburb of Kansas City)


Something happened to Joscelyn Kelley back in 1992 she had a spiritual awakening. Joscelyn became a walk-in Starseed called Jelaila.

Jocylene supposedly left her body and supposedly had a change occur within her. She claims to be a walk-in named Jelaila who took possession of Mrs. Kelley a dozen years ago and then the walk-in Jelaila married fellow Nibiruan ‘walk-in’ Jehowah (Jonathan) Starr. Mrs. Starr claims she became aware of her ‘walk-in’ in December of 1995. In January of 1997 she was ‘trained’ as a galactic messenger and founded The Nibiruan Council, named after the 12th planet of the solar system, she believes is Nibiru.

Source: Nibiruan Council via Google

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"A computer can never do that"


Originally Posted by gumboot (Post 6890706)

And there's the issue. At least with a human driver you can feel like someone is to blame; there was a mistake and something went wrong.

With a computer driving, you'd have death and injuring as a part of a working system. And therein lies the issue.

I mean, how does this car detect other traffic dangers? Can it detect cyclists? Motorcycles? Debris on the road? Pedestrians? Does it detect a tyre blow-out or wobbly steering?

One of the classic examples, for me, is pedestrian crossings in a big city. You'll always, always get people running across after the pedestrian crossing sign has gone read. Every human driver knows not to blast off the moment the light turns green. They can watch the footpath, determine if some idiot is going to run across the front of their car, and act accordingly.

A computer can't do that. It will never be able to do that. Every single time the light went green at a major intersection a pedestrian would get flattened.

The post I quoted above was made in 2011. In retrospect, it is hilarious.

Here is where self-driving cars are now: When A Self-Driving Car Meets An Indecisive Cyclist

While still not perfect (although already significantly better than an average human driver), Google cars already do everything gumboot claimed "computer can never do". And read cyclist's hand signals too.

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When Is Rape Rape?

This is a subject of a debate I had here on campus today during a social justice fair. When is rape rape? According to her it's anytime a woman doesn't specifically say "Yes" to sex with a man, which causes me to question the information she received during a class about women's rights.

My objection is raised because two important facts.

  1. Not all rapists are men.

  2. Not all victims are women.

So here is the scenario I gave her, in these specific words:

You (the woman in question) and I met at a party for a mutual friend, being held because it's their birthday or they're retiring or for whatever reason. We decide to get together at your place at your suggestion and we have consensual sex after you said yes. The day after you have regrets and accuse me of rape. Is it rape or buyers remorse? Did I really do something worth destroying my life, career, and reputation over? When is rape rape?

What is this madness? Do men now need to go around with consent forms just to cover their asses?

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Human Nature and cause for despair....

I listen to the PRI podcast of The World daily. Best world-news show on the radio IMO. A few days ago, they had a segment on the goings on in the South China Sea vis-a-vis China and Japan and others sniping at each other over the ownership of various islands.

A US General, who had been sent over to reassure Japan over our treaty obligations, said that if China were to invade any of these islands, we could rather easily boot them off. We wouldn't even have to use troops, no doubt... Air power alone would suffice.

(Guy sounded just like the line from Strangelove where they are planning to take over the Air Force base.... "My guys can rather easily sweep them aside..."

In response, a member of the Chinese ambassadorial staff said..."The US Marines are no longer a fighting force. They are no more effective than the Marine Band, charging forward with their band instruments...." (paraphrased...)

So...Here we have two highly-placed officials from the concerned countries, sounding for all the world like 8-year old schoolboys yelling "Well, my old man can beat your old man!"

Which brings up.... Years ago I read a book called the Evolution of Consciousness by Robert Ornstein. I recalled that I liked the book, but hadn't read it in many years. I found a copy online for only a few bucks and started reading it yesterday.

Right off the bat, Ornstein says something I've been mulling over and promoting for some time, (maybe I got it from this book and just didn't remember....) that we humans are trying to cope with modern society and modern problems with a brain in no wise different than that of our primitive, hunter-gatherer ancestors.

That strategies and responses and reactions that served our ancestors well tend to be very problematic for us now.

We do have our saints and savants who work tirelessly and intelligently for peace and decency, but alas they get overwhelmed by the guys jumping up and down and screaming and whacking each other with old chunks of bone.

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Family Photo Sharing Service?

I'm looking for a way to share my pictures of my recent vacation with other family members and have the others share their pictures with me and the rest of the family.

I've done some research and checked out a couple of review sites such as:

But it is difficult to find one that says it does what I primarily want.

Does any one here have any experience or recommendations?

I would much prefer something that I pay for and does not flood users with pop-up, pop-under, pop-over ads.


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More anti science nonsense headed for hawaii

Ok, I've only made it to this page and already I find, when they are actually daring enough to be specific, very fallacious reasoning.

First of all they've shifted the burden of proof to prove a negative. The onus is on the claimant here.

From the site "The FDA, in its response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety in 1998, admitted in court that it had made “no dispositive scientific findings,” whatsoever, about the safety of genetically engineered foods."

I hope I don't have to point out the fallacious reasoning here

From the site"Genetically engineered foods are different from other foods. Genetic engineering allows, for the first time, foreign genes, bacterial and viral vectors, viral promoters and antibiotic marker systems to be engineered into food."

This is a lie. Horizontal Gene Transfer is a part of the natural world and has been since there have been genes to transfer

"These genetic “cassettes” are new to the human diet"

Not necessarily, and the null hypothesis puts the burden of proof on the claimant that there would be an issue anyway

"in 1992 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ruled, without any scientific basis, that genetically engineered foods present no different risks than traditional foods."

Without scientific basis? Shifting the burden of proof again, but in fact this is also a lie. There is no scientific basis which would make them different healthwise than traditional food, furthermore, they need to define "traditional"

I notice they do not provide a citation for the quotes the mined

This site needs to be cleaned up and fact checked by someone with a decent scientific education, and soon, or it will join the ranks of pandering, fear mongering sites causing so much misery in our world

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Chernobyl - capping a catastrophe

“The costs are enormous — the Chernobyl arch alone will end up costing about $1.5 billion, financed largely by the United States and about 30 other nations.”

Great move from Russia, they probably said " you want to stop the radiation we caused then you pay for it.....we'll supply the steel & labour then"

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StopSylvia email: "Be gone!"

I received the following email at StopSylvia, with the subject "Be gone!":


I love novus spiritus.

Sent from my iPad

This was my reply:


Mr. [name]

"Be gone!"? Thanks, but I have no plan on going anywhere.

If you love a religion founded by a totally-discredited "psychic medium" who apparently never had a single meaningfully-correct prediction to her name, that is certainly your right.

Best regards,

Robert S. Lancaster

Founder & webmaster,

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lundi 28 avril 2014

Another outspoken Republican

Ok, I can't edit the URL to be legal under board rules.

I can't figure out how to present it so that the nasty part doesn't show. SO never mind.

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John Kerry - Israel Apartheid state?

On Holocaust memorial day no less.


“There’s no doubt that Israel and the Palestinians have tough issues to work out to get to the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security, but injecting a term like apartheid into the discussion doesn’t advance that goal,” Obama said. “It’s emotionally loaded, historically inaccurate, and it’s not what I believe.” - Obama

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Loss Leader's Essential Proof of Immortality

Just to show whether this can be done, my essential proof of my own immortality.

1. The only thing I know for certain is that I exist.

2. When I do not exist, my knowledge does not exist.

3. My universe is bounded by my knowledge,

4. Thus, my universe and my existence are coextensive.

5. Having the same life as that of my universe, I am immortal from my perspective.

And that's how you do that. Feel free to point out the flaws in my logic.

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Trying to keep the politics out of the science

NSF's Science Board Criticizes Bill to Alter Agency's Programs


April 24, 2014

The National Science Board (NSB) appreciates the historic strong commitment of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and to the research that NSF supports. In the face of global challenges to our Nation's scientific leadership, NSF must maintain an unwavering focus on enabling scientific breakthroughs and on supporting the next generation of scientists. These scientists' discoveries will underpin the health of the United States long into the future, especially with respect to its economic growth, prosperity, and security.

However, we are concerned that elements of the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act do not advance those goals. In fact, some of its provisions and tone suggest that Congress intends to impose constraints that would compromise NSF's ability to fulfill its statutory purpose. Some elements of the bill would also impose significant new burdens on scientists that would not be offset by gains to the nation. Our greatest concern is that the bill's specification of budget allocations to each NSF Directorate would significantly impede NSF's flexibility to deploy its funds to support the best ideas in fulfillment of its mission to "promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes."

The Board agrees that accountability and transparency are foundational to any Federal agency's mission. In the case of NSF's grant-making processes, accountability and transparency can improve both public appreciation of science and the agency's ability to deliver science in the national interest. Toward these ends, NSF management and the National Science Board are implementing new processes that will increase both transparency and accountability. We therefore do not see a need to impose new, more inflexible, legislated requirements on NSF and our science and engineering communities. We are concerned that the proposed new legislative requirements might discourage visionary proposals or transformative science at a time when advancing the decades-long U.S. leadership in science and technology is a top priority.

Since 1950, NSF has delivered enormous value to U.S. taxpayers by relying on rigorous merit review to identify the most promising research ideas across all disciplines. That value is rooted in the passion, integrity, and curiosity of our nation's scientists and engineers who conduct research with high standards of ethical conduct and accountability. Our national competitiveness, defense, and prosperity have always been and will continue to be energized by scientific leadership. Every day our researchers ask breathtaking questions about the world around us, about our genes, our brains, and about society as a whole. They are poised to take the lead in answering many of these questions, even when global collaborations are required. It is critical to our nation's future that U.S. scientists have the freedom and flexibility necessary to pursue those leadership roles effectively.

Generations of scientists, engineers, and public servants have shaped the National Science Foundation into an unsurpassed engine that drives economic competitiveness and national well-being through the progress of science. As stewards of this exceptional agency, which is a role model for the world, the NSB is committed to engage with the Administration and the Congress to ensure scientific progress continues for generations to come.

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NC Churches and Ministers Sue Over Gay Marriage

To be able to perform them, making the case that the ban on SSM violates their first amendment rights to freedom of religion.

Mods, I thought this might fit in multiple forums but I picked this one. Please move it if it's better suited elsewhere.

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The 9/11 mechanism, once and for all, NO PLANES

It seems that what is hanging up a lot of people about 9/11 is anecdotal evidence of people seeing a plane. Honestly, the whole 9/11 movement should put the idea of planes in the trashcan because the expert scientists who have looked at the videos are correct and the video fakery has 100% been proven. This is coupled with the fact that no wreckage was found. The whole idea of the planes from hijacking to crash is completely physically impossible.

However, so many people say that they saw some form of aircraft. Some people said it was a missile, some people said smaller jet, some said large jet but not commercial. And their perception of the color varies greatly. The people on the street who said they saw both planes are complete fakes and you should be able to see them as that. Many people also said there was no plane at all, because they just watched the South Tower explode. Almost nobody has said, "Oh yes, I saw a United Airline's Boeing 767."

There are numerous ways to fake things and make things that are not real appear to be real. Some of these ways could be beyond our current technical knowledge. But they will be figured out soon and we shouldn't get hung up on them. Think of 9/11 as a magic show. Do you leave a magic show and say to your girlfriend, "But I saw that girl getting sawed in half. How could he do that? She must've really been sawed in half." You don't know how that magician caused the illusion, but does that change the fact that it is an illusion?

We in the 9/11 truth movement have to grow up and move on. We have to solve this right now and bring the perpetrators to justice before they do their next magical trick. The exact nature of the airplane illusion is honestly immaterial. It was done and it's obvious that it was. At the very least we should understand that there are explosives already in place in the Towers. We should look at that. As a movement, we have to get our minds off the planes. It's because the fake planes are hiding the perpetrators underneath them.

Sometimes people in the movement worry that the public won't be able to accept no planes. Believe me, the public will accept the truth above all. It is the truth itself that has power. It is up to you and I to discover the truth and therefore the history of the event. Let's drop the planes and find the people who really did it and try them in court for treason.

via JREF Forum

Could Craster breed a clone/twin of himself?

Okay, first off, I'm talking about Game Of Thrones, so ignore the ickyness of the premise, and just go with it.

So, there's a character called Craster who has something of a unique living arrangement. He started off with a wife. His wife got pregnant several times over. He killed the male children, but raised the female children until they were of childbearing age and then proceeded to have children with them, too. Same deal with those children, and the same deal again with their children, and so on.

Now, I know that these percentages aren't exactly exact, but they're close enough for jazz.

So, his first set of daughters would have 50% of his DNA, and 50% of his wife's DNA. His granddaughters would have 50% of his DNA and 50% of his daughter's DNA, meaning they would have 75% of his DNA. And so on and on, with the percentage of his DNA getting larger and larger.

In maths, you could repeat that process indefinitely without reaching 100%. However, DNA is only divisible by so much as there are roughly 3b base pairs. So, assuming Craster was immortal, continued his living arrangements for a very long time, and the excessive inbreeding didn't lead to no offspring who could bear his children, there should theoretically reach a point where his breeding partners had the same DNA as him bar the Y chromosome and, at that point, it should be possible for one of them to have a male child which has identical DNA to him.

That's something that occurred to me today, anyway but, while I know the basics (or, at least, I think I do), I don't know enough about biology to know if this is patently ridiculous - longevity, lack of defects which would make offspring unable to breed, etc. aside. So, leaving aside those kind of practical problems, am I right that it would be possible for him to have a child who is genetically identical to him?

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Internet trolls and the Dark Tetrad

Recently, I was talking with a friend of mine about some exasperation I was feeling about dealing with trollish behavior in certain threads on jref. He mentioned coming across a paper about what was called the "dark tetrad," four traits evident, at a sub-clinical level, among internet trolls. These traits are: sadism, machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism. In other words, internet trolls are characterized by a desire to make other suffer and a joy experienced at the suffering of others (sadism); a strong desire to manipulate others (machiavellianism); a lack of empathy or sympathy with other human beings (psychopathy) and a focus on themselves to the exclusion of others (nrcissism). Here is an article on the subject.

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A bit of radiation for health???


Some Birds Thrive in Chernobyl's Radioactive Glow

25 April 2014 2:00 pm

Alex Kühni/Flickr/Creative Commons; (inset) T.A. Mousseau and A.P. Møller (2011)

Nearly 28 years after the worst nuclear accident in history, several bird species are doing the seemingly impossible: flourishing inside the radioactive Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine. Due to lingering radiation from the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, humans aren’t allowed to live there—but the region has become an accidental ecological testing ground for scientists interested in studying the effects of radiation on wild animals. Ionizing radiation damages living cells by producing free radicals, leading to genetic damage and, eventually, death. An animal’s only hope is to neutralize those free radicals by upping its production of antioxidants. And that’s exactly what most birds in Chernobyl seem to be doing—with even better results than scientists expected. A team of ecologists used nets to capture 152 birds from 16 species inside and around the 2600-square-kilometer exclusion zone. After assessing the birds’ antioxidant levels, amount of DNA damage, and body condition, the researchers were surprised to find that most of the birds, like the hawfinch pictured above, seemed to benefit from the chronic exposure to radiation. Birds found in areas with higher radiation levels had more antioxidants and better overall body condition, the team reports online this week in Functional Ecology


via JREF Forum

Scary word trumps reason

Efforts to zap bacteria in food are slow to catch hold


The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of radiation to wipe out pathogens in dozens of food products, and for decades it has been used in other developed countries without reports of human harm.

But it has barely caught on in the United States. The technology — called irradiation — zaps bacteria out of food and is highly effective, but for many consumers it conjures up frightening images of mutant life forms and phosphorescent food.

Benso, who opened Gateway America 18 months ago, also knows his new venture pits him against the nation’s growing buy-local, back-to-nature movement that shuns industrial food processing.

“Those naysayers better throw out their microwaves, because that is irradiation,” Benso said, standing in his 50,000-square-foot irradiation facility.

Dozens of scientific studies have shown that irradiated food is safe for human consumption, and that no radioactive material has leaked outside any U.S. plant, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The three forms of energy that can be used — gamma rays, electron beams and X-rays — can virtually eliminate bacteria in minutes. All this has prompted the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and dozens of other groups to endorse its use.

Scary words trump reason. The worst part is that there are organizations fighting to keep it that way; only because the word radiation is scary. And by the way, people can die as a result:


Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, blames an “anti-science movement” for the public resistance. He is frustrated with the federal government for endorsing irradiation but then not educating the public as it has with childhood immunizations and water fluoridation.

“Not using irradiation is the single greatest public health failure of the last part of the 20th century in America,” said Osterholm, citing CDC estimates that 1 in 6 people will get food poisoning this year and 3,000 will die. “We could have saved so many lives.”


A steadfast team of consumer advocates has successfully campaigned against its use, first at the nonprofit group Public Citizen and then after founding the nonprofit organization Food and Water Watch.

The Washington-based group claims credit for keeping irradiated food out of the National School Lunch Program and blocking efforts to get rid of the federal requirement that all irradiated food in retail establishments carry a Radura label — a green plant in a circle — indicating it has been irradiated.

via JREF Forum

dimanche 27 avril 2014

Well, have you actually read it?

You don't have to convince me of the power of literacy. In my life I've profited from being literate, and even enjoyed the odd book for recreation. I currently have a reading list that I'm making my way through, albeit slowly, due to other demands of life.

However, I was given a copy of Darwin's Black Box. I don't intend to read it. For that matter, except for the odd quoted passage, I don't ever intend to read Darwin directly! There has been enough reporting on the Dover court case, that I don't really feel the need to come further up to speed. But somebody may ask me, "Well, have you actually read it?" For me, reading either of those wouldn't add much.

In general, and perhaps for yourself, where does the utility of reading things for oneself, in an unconquerable universe of books, lead to diminishing returns?

via JREF Forum

New IE Zero-Day

Executive Summary

Microsoft is aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, and Internet Explorer 11.

The vulnerability is a remote code execution vulnerability. The vulnerability exists in the way that Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated. The vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer. An attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website.

And there goes many of the XP installs left on the Internet....

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The Chicago Weekend Shooting Tracker

Weekend Shooting Tracker for April 25-27, 2014

Looks like a slow weekend. Only 29 shootings so far.

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Palin: 'Waterboarding Is How We Baptize Terrorists'

I think at this point she's just trolling John McCain for the lulz.


"C'mon! Enemies who would utterly annihilate America, they would obviously have information on plots. They carry out jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them. Can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen," Palin said on Saturday during a speech at the National Rifle Association's "Stand And Fight" rally. "Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."

Nice. It's a helpful reminder of what a bullet we dodged when we elected Obama over a guy who would nominate this horrible woman to take over the country should he die in office.

via JREF Forum

"5 Insane Lessons from My Christian Fundamentalist Childhood"

No, not from MY childhood, from hers.


My name is Hannah Ettinger, and I was raised in the Quiverfull movement. The term is taken from a verse in Proverbs, which says: "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of arrows." We interpreted this to mean: "Blessed is the man who dies with the most kids."

In the Quiverfull movement, children are pretty much metaphorical weapons born to shoot a degenerate modern society in the face. I was one of nine children, and our family was just on the large end of "normal" in size. Really, it was downright small: We didn't need to use all the seats in our 15-passenger van to get to church. I was brought up to be just one more weapon in this terrible faith-based arsenal, but I didn't quite hit the target. Here's what I can tell you about being a weaponized offspring.

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The Smithsonian is closing the dinosaur wing of the Natural History Museum

The Smithsonian is closing down the dinosaur hall for a five year, $48M renovation.

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Donors luncheon

Hi there,

I'm going to my first TAM this year and I'm pretty excited. I'm taking my wife and I've got my brother and his wife coming along too. They're not 'foaming at the mouth' skeptics like I am but I figure once they get a taste of what skepticism is all about they'll jump in with both feet.

Anyways, I've been thinking about this donor's luncheon thing and am tempted to do it. It's a lot of money but I'd love to be able to count having lunch with some of my 'intellectual heroes' as one of my life experiences when I'm old and decrepit.

I'm just not sure what the whole experience is like. The description says 'having lunch in close proximity to Randi and some speakers'. That could mean anything from sitting at a table with them to being somewhere in the same ballroom.

Has anyone been to one of these that can tell me what they thought of it? Whether as a reply this post or as a pm it would be much appreciated.


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Just remember, kids ... (public service announcements)

Don't be a litterbug.

Don't cross the street in the middle of the block.

... And don't be a Chinese spy. :eek:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

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E.T. finally found!

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The latest on climate science -- The jig is up.

Top climate expert's sensational claim of government meddling in crucial UN report

Daily Mail


A top US academic has dramatically revealed how government officials forced him to change a hugely influential scientific report on climate change to suit their own interests.

Harvard professor Robert Stavins electrified the worldwide debate on climate change on Friday by sensationally publishing a letter online in which he spelled out the astonishing interference.

He said the officials, representing ‘all the main countries and regions of the world’ insisted on the changes in a late-night meeting at a Berlin conference centre two weeks ago.

Three quarters of the original version of the document ended up being deleted.


via JREF Forum

UKIP a one trick Pony

I have long thought UKIP would eventually fall apart, its only effective member is Nigel Farage who does a good job of acting as the man of the people, he is far from that, private school educated ex banker failed conservative parliamentary candidate, take him out the equation and you see them for what they are, monomanic obsessives who do not deserve the attention they are getting.

Incidentally some one wrote the same thoughts but far better than I can:


Allow me to sketch you a portrait of a political leader. Even by the lax standards of the powerful, he is England's greatest living hypocrite. He courts popularity by warning that tens of millions from the dole queues of Europe are coming to take British jobs, while employing his German wife as his secretary. He denounces "the political class" for living like princes at the taxpayers' expense while pocketing every taxpayer-funded allowance he can claim for himself, his wife and his colleagues.

He says he represents "ordinary people". But he is a public school-educated former banker, whose policies will help him and his kind. He claims he is the voice of "common sense", while allying with every variety of gay-hater, conspiracy crackpot, racist, chauvinist and pillock. The only sense he and his followers have in common is a fear of anyone who is not like them.

via JREF Forum

I Hate Windows 8.

I'm sure this had to have been brought up elsewhere. But I hate Windows 8. My wife has a laptop with Windows 8 installed... it's full of spamware (mysearchdial) and I just can't bring myself to fix it for her. Just Navigating around that system is a horrible experience... I can never find a program... I'm constantly get sucked back out to this tile screen... I use it a bit... but I just can't get used to it. I remember when facebook used to change up the site... and everyone would hate it, including myself.... for about a week... and then you wouldn't even remember what the old facebook looked like.... This is different... I can't even begin to see potential advantages.... it's horrible..... Why did they do this?

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samedi 26 avril 2014

Mark Gorton (Or "When Wall Street is Paranoid of the 1%")

When even a one-percenter is a conspiracy theorist, does the CT implode?


Mark Gorton does not have a reputation as a crackpot. Quite the opposite. He's been favorably profiled in the New York Times for his business acumen and charitable deeds. His experience as the head of Limewire—which disrupted the music industry and then lost a $100 million lawsuit as a result—was closely followed by the press. And when Michael Lewis's blockbuster new book about high frequency trading was published recently, prominent media outlets turned to Gorton to learn what HFT firms are really like. The Huffington Post even dubbed him "the new face of Wall Street." He is a very respected and very wealthy man.

This week, we were forwarded documents that Gorton was sending out to employees at Tower Research. These documents—embedded at the bottom of this post—are essays by Mark Gorton, laying out his theories on the secret high-level murderous criminal "Cabal" that is responsible for, among other things, the JFK and RFK assassinations, the presidential careers of the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 plot, and the murder of countless witnesses, politicians, and journalists who sought to expose them, including Sen. Paul Wellstone and even Hunter S. Thompson. Everything, according to Gorton, has been an inside job.

"There are nutjobs and fruitloops all the way to the top." - Kari Byron, Mythbusters.

via JREF Forum

ATMs: on the way out or can survive by adapting?

Curious about this as I'm working w/this now.....cold hard cash is becoming obsolete and people can avoid ATM fees by getting money at the grocery store/etc so are they history? Or can they survive by morphing ie permitting additional features like bill paying (perhaps preferable over PCs due to security), spitting out stamps, and/or other features?

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Handedness and life expectancy -- do lefties die younger?

So this morning my wife was watching something on TV and something about handedness came up. I casually mentioned to her that left-handed people don't live as long as right-handed people. Have you heard this (supposed) fact? Then I immediately had a moment of doubt, and did a little Googling to confirm whether or not what I had just told her was indeed true.

According to this article, it is a myth, but I'm not 100% convinced by their arguments. There were studies done that found this result. They criticize the methods, but they do not try to do another study to get better results, and I'm not even sure their critique is completely correct.

Is there any good research on this question?

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Cold Laser Therapy for Cats?

My son is thinking of adopting a kitten that had a baby gate fall on it, injuring its back. Its walking again and able to climb in and out of its litter box. The adoption agency said it has been getting cold laser therapy for the injury. My brief research seems to imply its bunk. But my son would like to know before he goes any further with the adoption if this is something real and will have to continue with after he gets the kitten.

Prepare to squee...

via JREF Forum

Liberty, human rights are godless and faithless ideologies

Liberty, human rights are godless and faithless ideologies, says Isma chief

The Malay Mail


CYBERJAYA, April 26 ― Equality, liberty and human rights are “godless” and “faithless” ideologies created by atheists to destroy Islam, hardline Islamic group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) said today.

Since Malaysia’s general elections in 2013, the non-governmental organisation has been growing in popularity, striking a chord with more conservative Malay Muslims who support its push for Malaysia to become an Islamic state.

ISMA’s uncompromising views and bald statements have been criticised mainly by Malaysia’s non Muslim minority and rights groups. Some have likened ISMA to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Speaking at ISMA’ s convention for Muslim women, its president Zaid Abdul Rahman also said civil society groups are proxies of a Zionist-Christian agenda that seeks to confuse Muslims with ideologies which are unIslamic.

“Islam is Islam. Ideologies are not part of Islam and all these ideologies are from the west..liberalism, liberty, equity and human rights are all agenda of the atheist. ...

But be clear about one thing ...


... Despite accusations to the contrary, Zaid claimed that ISMA promotes moderation and its version of Islam is universally suitable.

“We Isma promote moderation and I believe our model is timeless”.

Presumably in this context "moderate" means not in a hurry to blow stuff up.

They are all right then.

via JREF Forum

The terror of the Black Death

I found this witness statement from the height of the Black Death:

They died by the hundreds, both day and night, and all were thrown in ... ditches and covered with earth. And as soon as those ditches were filled, more were dug. And I, Agnolo di Tura ... buried my five children with my own hands ... And so many died that all believed it was the end of the world.

—The Plague in Siena: An Italian Chronicle

How terrifying must the Black Death have been for those experiencing it? It surely must have seemed like God has inflicted the apocalypse on humanity. Was there any understanding of the science behind the plague at the time or were people helpless in this horrific pandemic?

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Species by Continent

I'm hoping to learn something about this interesting subject , ie, how many species of animals and plants (trees specifically) are found in America that are common to Europe and/or Australia? What do having common species mean as to Continental splits? I know the northern realms of America have a version of the Eurasian Reindeer for example.

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The screw nature of electromagnetism

Take a look at Minkowski’s Space and Time dating from 1908. Towards the back is this:

"In the description of the field caused by the electron itself, then it will appear that the division of the field into electric and magnetic forces is a relative one with respect to the time-axis assumed; the two forces considered together can most vividly be described by a certain analogy to the force-screw in mechanics; the analogy is, however, imperfect".

Note how he said the field, and referred to electric and magnetic forces. The electron doesn't have an electric field or a magnetic field, it has an electromagnetic field. See Wikipedia and note this:

"Over time, it was realized that the electric and magnetic fields are better thought of as two parts of a greater whole - the electromagnetic field".

Also note the word screw. If you have a pump-action screwdriver you’ll appreciate that linear force is converted into rotational force. That’s like an electric motor: current flows along the wire, and the motor turns. When you use an ordinary screwdriver, rotational force is converted into linear force, and the screw is driven into the wood. That’s like a dynamo: turn the rotor, and current flows along the wire. We even have the right-hand rule which applies not just to electromagnetism, but to screw threads.

But you don’t usually hear about this "screw nature of electromagnetism". Instead you tend to read about the electric field E and the magnetic field B as if they’re separate fields rather than “two parts of a greater whole”. In John Jackson’s authoritative textbook Classical Electrodynamics you have to wait until section 11.10 before he says "one should properly speak of the electromagnetic field Fμv rather than E or B separately". By and large, physicists who are taught about electromagnetism think of E and B as fields rather than forces, and have no real concept of the Fμv electromagnetic field. They don't know how to visualize it. They can visualize the E and B easily enough. There's plenty of depictions out there. E is usually drawn with radial lines of force, and B is usually drawn with concentric lines. There's no problem visualizing them. But there's nothing that lets you visualize the "greater whole". However I think there is a way. A simple way. You just combine the radial and concentric lines. Like this:

Once you do this, you immediately appreciate the screw nature of electromagnetism in a visceral way. Other things start falling into place too. You read about the frame-dragging of gravitomagnetism and spot things like "there is a space-time vortex around Earth" and "if space is twisted". You appreciate why gravitomagnetism is an analogy of electromagnetism. You follow the lead back to Maxwell and you spot this: "a motion of translation along an axis cannot produce a rotation about that axis unless it meets with some special mechanism, like that of a screw". And you spot Maxwell’s page title too, which is "The Theory of Molecular Vortices". You appreciate Faraday all the more, and you realise why spinors are called spinors. You read about Dirac’s belt and you start to see things that were never in your textbooks. You can create an electron along with a positron in pair production. Out of light. And you can diffract the electron, because it has a wave nature. Like it’s light trapped by its own displacement current such that what was an electromagnetic field-variation now looks like a standing field. Like it's an optical vortex.

It fits. Especially since counter-rotating vortices attract, and co-rotating vortices repel. A cyclone is a vortex. If you could set down two cyclones next to one another they’d move linearly apart. If you could set down a cyclone near to an anticyclone, they’d move together. And if you could hurl the cyclone past the anticyclone, they’d swirl around one another too, like electrons and positrons do in positronium. They're dynamical spinors in frame-dragged space, and E and B denote the linear and rotational forces between them. The forces that result from electromagnetic field interactions, where it takes two to tango. Hence when you look at Wikipedia again, now you notice this:

"The electric field is a vector field. The field vector at a given point is defined as the force vector per unit charge that would be exerted on a stationary test charge at that point".

Yes, it makes sense, but you don’t hear much about the screw nature of electromagnetism. Or the geometry of electromagnetic systems. It ties in with topological quantum field theory, but not the Standard Model. People say the electron is a fundamental particle, and some even say it's a point particle, even though the electron is supposed to be a field excitation. Even though it's quantum field theory, not quantum point particle theory. For myself I think this needs to go into the Standard Model, and work is required "within the Standard Model", not "beyond the Standard Model". But it isn't easy persuading the sort of people who say the electron is surrounded by a cloud of photons popping in and out of existence. Spontaneously. Like worms from mud. As if hydrogen atoms twinkle, and magnets shine. So whilst we'll get there one day, it will be a while yet. And meanwhile, just like Max Planck said, science advances one funeral at a time.

via JREF Forum

Donald Sterling, Owner of the Clippers, is Racist


-- "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?" (3:30)

-- "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games." (5:15)

-- "I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people." (7:45)

-- "...Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games." (9:13)

Read more:

I love living in a post-racial society, don't you?

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Looking for a way to record the output of a video player

I do databending, which is where you take files and edit them in software that wasn't intended for that purpose. I mostly edit pictures as sound files, but I also sometimes use a hex editor or word processor. I've played around with video a bit before but have just started to want to have more than just a token stab at it.

The problem with video, though, is that it's inherently fragile, and each player decodes the data in a different way. So the first thing is that by databending a video file, you're purposely breaking it. The second is that playing back the glitched file in various different video players yields massively different results.

This means that while it's possible to create glitches which are interesting, it's difficult to put them in a context whereby you can actually do anything with them beyond playing the original glitched file in a specific video player. VLC has a convert/save function that I thought was going to be useful to me, as the particular glitch that inspired this thread occurred in VLC but, unfortunately, the file in question is too broken and, at a certain point during the conversion is causes VLC to crash. I wasn't 100% sure that the conversion process in VLC would end up with a file that displays identical results to playing it, but I'm definitely certain that converting it using different software would, if successful, end up with something completely different.

So what I'm looking for is a way to actually output what I can see on the screen when I play certain files in certain media players. I've tried software with which you can record your desktop before, but have always found it too CPU/memory intensive and so therefore the one thing it doesn't successfully record is video.

Does anyone have any suggestions either for software that records your desktop which could record video, or for any other way to record the output of a video player?

via JREF Forum

Charity scams

When should this sort of thing be considered outright illegal, and fraud?

America's worst charities


Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families.

Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.

Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity's operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.

In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms.

No charity in the nation has siphoned more money away from the needy over a longer period of time.

"Kids Wish Network", that sounds a lot like the Make a Wish Foundation. I bet they are counting on people confusing the two.

Seems like fraud that ought to be illegal to me.

via JREF Forum

Religion, it just gets worse and worse

Brain dead Sri Lanka, arrests and jails a woman for having a Buddha tattoo on her upper arm.

What happened to a modern world moving forward?

via JREF Forum

Incredibly Stupid Phone Promotion: Smash Your Current Phone!

Remember that viral video of the guys smashing his phone and the battery spraying chemicals everywhere (audio heard at the end is the best)? Apparently these guys saw it and thought it was a great idea. I get they want to generate attention, and that phone smashing gets lots of hits, but this is just stupid.


OnePlus announced its first Android handset this week, the One, but the phone won’t be available to consumers next month. However, 100 lucky winners of the company’s Smash promotion will have the opportunity to smash their old handset and receive a 16GB One Plus One handset for just $1. The company on Friday announced the official launch of the contest, saying that interested buyers can apply on the company’s special Smash page to be selected. Lucky winners will also receive three invites, which they can give to friends interested in buying the phone.

Aside from people jumping the gun and misunderstanding the contest, partly because they rolled out the contest rules in the same manner they've rolled out this phone (very slowly), it is just wasteful. Sell your phone and someone else can use it, and you will get probably just as much money (only recent flagship phones apply).

Otherwise the phone has incredible stats at a dirt cheap price.


First, the list of phones on here is limited to mostly high-end phones that you could sell and actually make a buck or two from. For example, Verizon’s low-ball trade-in site will give you $300 for an iPhone 5c. Most of the Android phones are closing in on $150-$200, through there as well. If you sold it yourself on a site like Swappa, you could fetch anywhere from $250-$400 for a 2-year old Galaxy Note 2. Sell your phone, then just buy a OnePlus One whenever (if) it is ever available.

Second, wasn’t it just Earth Day on Tuesday? Not exactly the best timing here. And I know they are only asking 100 people to smash their phones, but those phones have chemicals galore in them, especially in the battery. Remember this video? Also, glass? Sharp objects? If you really don’t want your phone, donate it to a good cause.

Third, since you can only smash really good phones in order to receive your new OnePlus One, I’m wondering if it’s really worth it. You would be destroying a perfectly good phone from a manufacturer you trust, for a phone from a manufacturer you know nothing about. We don’t know when updates will ever rollout to the OnePlus One, if anything they have done with the phone is any good in real life use, or if this company will even be around in two years.


via JREF Forum

vendredi 25 avril 2014

Petition: Competitive Bidding - Military Satellite Launches

I’ve created a White House petition requesting competitive bidding for the launches of military satellites. Recently only the United Launch Alliance was considered by the Air Force for a new long term contract. SpaceX is apparently not in the clique, despite ULA using Russian engines.

There is a requirement of 150 signatures before the petition is publicly viewable on the open petitions page. Until then only those who know a URL can sign.

Short URL:

Long URL:

The requirement for a White House response is 100,000 signatures by May 25th. Please consider signing, and then making others aware through email or social media.

via JREF Forum

Google+ is dead, Thank God

I have always hated Google+. Google+ treats users with contempt.

Big companies have always fantasized about locking their customers into walled gardens. They keep failing. But walled gardens are incredibly profitable, so they keep trying.

Dumb users want to stay in a walled garden. Dumb users don't know where to go, so they want everything in one place. But users don't stay dumb forever.

Eventually users figure out more than one way to do things. And then they start making choices. When people want to contact me, they can call me, text me, email me, or even knock on my door. Each of these choices has a different function. Why go through Google for every one of them?

Just when Google started trying to bundle everything together like Facebook, Facebook found their own users were unbundling themselves into WhatsApp and Twitter and Instagram. Google was fighting yesterday's war.

I'm not a dumb user, but there are a lot of them. And if Google+ succeeded the market would be catering to them and not me. So today, score one for the smart users.

via JREF Forum

Does Russia plan to start WW3?

The Ukrainians say they do. How would a war with Russia in Europe go? Americas at its weakest and Putin might feel this would be a good time to start such a war.

via JREF Forum

Consciousness from different substrates

If one had a limitless number of light switches, wire, and rheostats (and an electric current to run through it all), would it be possible to wire it up in such a way that the system would be conscious, and could be called a "mind"?

ETA: forgot to add there's no shortage of volunteers to flip the switches and turn the rheostats

via JREF Forum

Chinese firm 3-D prints 10 houses in 24 hours

I thought this was interesting.

via JREF Forum