It only takes a few brain damaged fools to destroy us. Aim carefully… at your own self-hatred, or whatever twists your humanity to allow you to murder a relative. Explode, with your demonic brown doughnuts, whatever keeps you from having compassion. Worst use of a good beach.
Posted by Anonymous on April 1, 2014
Posted by Anonymous on March 31, 2014
At least 70 people are reported to have died from Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, according to a statement from the West African nation’s health ministry.Officials say there are at least 111 suspected cases of the viral disease, which spreads in the blood and shuts down the immune system, causing high fever, headache and muscle pain. The virus is transmitted by contact with the fluids of infected people or animals.Medecins Sans Frontieres MSF describes Ebola as “one of the world’s most deadly diseases.” It is rare, but it creates panic, because there is no cure and it’s fatal in most cases, according to MSF.”The priority is to isolate suspected cases,” said MSF, which has set up two isolation facilities in the most affected districts, Gueckedou and Macenta, both in southern Guinea.Four of the fatalities from the disease are in Conakry, the capital city, which is on the coast.Genetic analysis of the virus shows that it is closely related to Zaire Ebola virus, which was reported in 2009 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo formerly Zaire, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Senegal’s Interior Ministry decided to close its border with Guinea until further notice to prevent the spread of the disease, according to Senegal’s state news agency.The World Health Organization says that, to date, no confirmed cases of Ebola have been found outside of Guinea, but at least 12 suspected cases are under investigation in neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“Up to 90 percent of those who are infected may die,” said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. “That’s why every outbreak is serious.” Outbreaks tend to be localized because victims of the virus are generally too ill to travel, so the risk of exposure in the United States is extremely unlikely, Jasarevic said. Reaching epidemic levels in northeastern Congo, the Ebola virus has stricken people in the towns of Isiro and Viadana in Orientale province, which borders southern Sudan and northern Uganda.
Its incubation – the time between infection and appearance of symptoms – lasts between two and 21 days. Death can occur within a few days. “The incubation period can be long,” Jasarevic said. “But once you start showing symptoms, it goes very fast.”
Onset of illness may manifest in the form of fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat and weakness. Other early symptoms, such as red eyes and a skin rash, are nonspecific to the virus and can be present in diseases that occur much more commonly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness progresses quickly to diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, impairment of kidney and liver function, and internal and external bleeding, which is why it is also called “hemorrhagic fever.” http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/09/13/ebola-death-toll-climbs-in-congo/
Posted by Anonymous on March 30, 2014
… Just before 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 29th, 2014, the Williams Fire Department along with several other area agencies were dispatched to the Wilbur Hot Springs Lodge for a possible structure fire.
Wilbur Hot Springs owner Dr. Richard Miller, his wife Jolee and daughter Sarana Miller, and friend Bruce Blake were eating breakfast in the dining hall at around 9:45 a.m. when a guest approached them to say he smelled smoke upstairs. All four rushed to the scene, accompanied by a few others, and found one of the west-side rooms on fire. They attempted to battle the blaze with fire extinguishers but the smoke and flames spread rapidly. Within minutes, the entire upstairs was engulfed in flames.
Wilbur Hot Springs main lodge building the day following the devastating fire. (Source: Facebook-Wilbur Hot Springs)
“I was in the building the morning of the fire,” said Shelia Shrum a visitor to the lodge, “I brought an extinguisher to the men on the second floor who were attempting to fight the blaze.”
Following training procedures, staff evacuated the hotel and guided guests to safety a quarter mile from the blaze. Dr. Miller and some staff used fire hoses to try to continue to fight the fire.
One man is believed to have escaped the blaze on the second floor by exiting a window onto a nearby tree.
Approximately 60 guests were at the resort at the time of the fire, everyone evacuated unharmed.
Dr. Miller was determined to save his beloved hotel and was forcibly pulled from the scene by his daughter Sarana, who witnesses said saved his life.
By the time firefighters arrived, the hotel was beyond saving and began to mitigate the damage and secure the buildings surrounding the hotel.
Due to the resorts severe remote location and the difficulty moving fire equipment along muddy, slippery dirt roads, it took fire crews nearly 30 minutes to arrive on scene.
The fire is believed to have started in a bedroom on the second floor, by a malfunctioning gas heater.
“Though that is a theory; however, the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation,” said a Williams Fire Department representative.
When fire crews extinguished the blaze, and the smoke settled, what remained was the charred ground floor and original cement structure of the lodge.
Photo of the Wilbur Springs Lodge after its completion in 1915. (Courtesy Photo)
The concrete hotel structure was built after the fire of 1915 by then-owner J.W. Cuthbert. This was the first known poured concrete building in California.
The property changed hands several times and was purchased in disrepair in 1972 by Dr. Miller, a psychologist who was seeking a place to create a therapeutic environment for people to heal themselves through exposure to nature and soaking in the sulfur and lithium-rich hot springs waters.
Fire agencies that responded and provided mutual aid included: Williams, Maxwell, Sacramento River Fire (Colusa), Capay Valley Fire, and North Shore Fire Departments.
The hotel was a complete loss and was not insured.
There has been an outpouring of community support worldwide in response to the fire. Community members may make contributions to a fund for rebuilding and staffing. There will also be ways for people to volunteer for the clean-up and rebuilding effort. …
A fire raged through the historic lodge at Wilbur Hot Springs on Saturday, destroying much of the funky retreat in rugged Colusa County that’s provided solace for legions of harried and achy Bay Area residents.
The fire, reported around 10 a.m., ravaged the two-story lodge, a rustic wooden structure built in 1863 and remodeled in the 1970s. The fire apparently started in the kitchen and quickly engulfed the second floor.
“It’s still standing, but there’s definitely some work to be done,” said Kent Boes, a firefighter with the Williams Fire Protection Authority, a volunteer crew that helped douse the flames.
The facility’s owners could not be reached for comment, but the website says the retreat is closed, staff is not taking reservations and the phones are down.
Firefighters evacuated about 60 people from the retreat. No one was injured, Boes said.
Fans of Wilbur’s quiet isolation and age-old healing baths were devastated by the news.
“It had an intangible peacefulness about it,” said Ray Yokoi, a yoga instructor from Oakland who frequented Wilbur. “People were very respectful, and the staff was attentive. It had a Zen-like feel, but without a bunch of Buddha statues.”
For centuries, American Indians attributed healing powers to the bubbling, scalding springs along Sulphur Creek.
In the mid-1800s, settlers built a hotel and resort at Wilbur, capitalizing on the hot-springs rage that captivated wealthy pleasure-seekers in San Francisco and beyond.
But local residents, as well, loved Wilbur.
Billijean Durst, secretary of the Colusa County Historical Society, remembers picnics and overnights there as a kid.
“My parents went there, too. And their parents before them,” she said. “People said if you took the hot baths, it’d be good for arthritis. … Plus it was nice to get away from the valley sometimes.”
Wilbur Hot Springs is about 2 1/2 hours north of San Francisco, 22 miles west of Williams, in the oak-filled foothills of the Coast Range. The retreat includes a bevy of clothing-optional hot baths, cool springs and saunas, flanked by decks offering mountain views.
Richard Miller, a San Francisco psychologist, bought Wilbur in the 1970s and transformed it into a therapeutic retreat for those interested in Gestalt and other consciousness- raising techniques.
The lodge included a wraparound porch, about 20 guest rooms, several shared bathrooms and a communal kitchen. The dining room was filled with simple wooden furniture and old black-and-white photos, creating a cozy feel, Yokoi said.
“You’d end up sharing food and conversations with people,” he said. “It was a comfortable setting, but also very natural.”
The property also includes a 1,560-acre nature preserve, as well as numerous outbuildings, all of which were spared in the fire, Boes said.
Wilbur had a fire scare in August 2012 when the Walker Fire roared through the Coast Range, narrowly missing the retreat, thanks to firefighters’ efforts.
Several of the Williams volunteer firefighting crew spent Saturday night at Wilbur to make sure the flames did not reignite.
“We saw a few glows and got them out,” Boes said. “The staff were so appreciative. They invited us back to use the hot springs some day. I plan on it.”
The new message says, “We are not currently taking reservations; the hotel is temporarily closed and the phones are down.”
I don’t have any information beyond this, but the hotel let a few people know that they will not be open to guests in the near future. The main hotel phone number doesn’t have anything about any problems. The web site says, “We are not currently taking reservations; the hotel is temporarily closed.”
I hope all the staff and guests are safe. The nature preserve surrounding Wilbur Hot Springs is a truly beautiful place to hike.
Post a comment if you have any info.
Updated comment 3/31:
Very glad no one was hurt! What a horrible loss. That picture really makes my hear sink.
The last time I was there was the day some new gas heaters were put in. A wall behind the newest heater in the entryway near the kitchen was hot and I made a big deal about fire potential to the staff at the time. I went to the front desk and told them I wanted my concern put in writing.
Posted by Anonymous on March 26, 2014
After years of almost daily blogging, I’ve decided to slow down a bit. Lately I’ve become exited about Open Courseware and the availability of entire training programs free on line as a supplement to paid courses and direct experience. What this means is I’m spending my free time learning in my field instead of reading and blogging strange news from around the world. I’ll still be surfing the apocalypse and posting anything dramatic, so subscribe and you won’t miss it when I tell you the aliens are here, for real. ;-) *
Footnote: *If life was seeded on earth by comets then WE are originally alien to this world. Might this explain a few of our attitudes? Hmm…
Posted by Anonymous on March 23, 2014
A new gully has appeared on a sloped crater wall on Mars. The channel, which was absent from images in November 2010 but showed up in a May 2013 photo, does not appear to have been formed by water. Exactly what caused this Red Planet rivulet remains a mystery.
The winding gully seems to have poured out from an existing ribbon channel in a crater in Mars’ Terra Sirenum region. The leading hypothesis on how the gully formed is that debris flowed downslope from an alcove and eroded a new channel. Though it looks water-carved, the gully is much more likely to have been formed when carbon dioxide frost accumulated on the slope and grew heavy enough to avalanche down and drag material down with it.
Because the pair of images, taken by the orbiting HiRISE camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, were taken more than a year apart, scientists don’t know in exactly which season the new gully formed. Similar activity has been seen to occur during the Martian winter at temperatures too cold for water, which is why researchers think carbon dioxide is a likelier cause. While the formation of these gullies on Mars is well documented, scientists have yet to work out exactly how they work.
It looks like the gully was ready to cave in before. How big is it? Has NASA made the connection with the spice yet? ;-)
There are so many mysteries left to uncover. For example, why this wacky WordPress updated app for the iPhone demands a “greater than” sign at the end of whatever I decide to type here.
Posted by Anonymous on March 21, 2014
Police in LA have attempted to justify an Automatic License Plate Reader surveillance program by claiming that every single car in the city is part of a criminal investigation.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently acquired documents under the Freedom Of Information Act that show the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department in LA argued that “All [license plate] data is investigatory.” The law enforcement departments also stated that the fact that the data will likely never be connected to any specific crime is insignificant.
The claims were made by police in briefs filed in response to a lawsuit brought by EFF and the ACLU seeking a week’s worth of the License Plate Reader data. The rights groups have taken issue with the surveillance program because the cameras used automatically and indiscriminately photograph all license plates, without any reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.
EFF states that the response from law enforcement is “completely counter to our criminal justice system.”
“We assume law enforcement will not conduct an investigation unless there are some indicia of criminal activity.” the group states. “In fact, the Fourth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution exactly to prevent law enforcement from conducting mass, suspicionless investigations under “general warrants” that targeted no specific person or place and never expired.”
This video from Vigilant Solutions, a private license plate tracking specialist company, shows how its system builds a comprehensive dossier on a person simply by capturing or inputting a license plate. Police have access to the databases, as do government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.
The License reader program, which records the time, date and location of registered vehicles (and therefore their drivers) operates “without an officer targeting a specific vehicle and without any level of criminal suspicion.” the group urges.
“Taken to an extreme, the agencies’ arguments would allow law enforcement to conduct around-the-clock surveillance on every aspect of our lives and store those records indefinitely on the off-chance they may aid in solving a crime at some previously undetermined date in the future.” EFF also warns.
While both law enforcement agencies do admit that there are substantial privacy concerns with the surveillance program, they have done so only as a way of justifying keeping secret all the data garnered from it, EFF argues.
A hearing on the case has been scheduled for next month.
Last month, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Homeland Security revealed via a Federal Business Opportunities solicitation that it was set to activate a national license plate tracking system that will be shared with law enforcement. When privacy advocates balked at the plan, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson immediately ordered its cancellation, according to The Post.
However, as noted this week by Dan Froomkin of The Intercept, it was not the overall program that was “cancelled”, it was only the solicitation for services, pertaining to data retention by a private vendor, that was scrapped.
“…the Post had gotten it all wrong.” Froomkin writes. “DHS wasn’t planning to create a national license-plate tracking database – because several already exist, owned by different private companies, and extensively used by law enforcement agencies including DHS for years.”
“And far from going away, the databases are growing at a furious pace due to rapidly improving technology and ample federal grant money for more cameras and more computers.” Froomkin adds.
“So rather than being the tale of an averted threat, the bulk license-plate tracking saga is actually a story about yet another previously unimaginable loss of privacy in the modern information age.” the writer concludes.
The following video from 8 years ago in 2006 shows that police have been using license plate surveillance for close to a decade.
There is already ample evidence proving that the license plate readers have previously been used by cops to target innocent Americans. In one case, police used the system to track political activists by having their vehicles added to a “hotlist” following attendance at protests. It is not hard to imagine how the system could be further used to target other thought criminals, as this ACLU video highlights:
Rights groups continue to warn that Automatic License Plate Reader programs are just another form of mass surveillance that have been quietly implemented in the US and in many other countries around the world, as we sleepwalk into a Panopticon prison society.
Hey, lets all get our home address, birth date, sexual preference, religious affiliation, social security number, email addresses and phone numbers stamped on our foreheads too.
Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2014
Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. “Your rights matter,” he says, “because you never know when you’re going to need them.” Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee. >
Time for change. I find it interesting that Snowden can appear virtually at this event without being traced to his location by the NSA.
If you are in the camp that thinks Snowden is a traitor, be aware that the inventor of the Web disagrees with you.
Posted by Anonymous on March 18, 2014
A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”
The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature DYnamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.
It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:
“The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”
By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.
These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity”; and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” These social phenomena have played “a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,” in all such cases over “the last five thousand years.”
Currently, high levels of economic stratification are linked directly to overconsumption of resources, with “Elites” based largely in industrialised countries responsible for both:
“… accumulated surplus is not evenly distributed throughout society, but rather has been controlled by an elite. The mass of the population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it by elites, usually at or just above subsistence levels.”
The study challenges those who argue that technology will resolve these challenges by increasing efficiency:
“Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use.”
Productivity increases in agriculture and industry over the last two centuries has come from “increased (rather than decreased) resource throughput,” despite dramatic efficiency gains over the same period.
Modelling a range of different scenarios, Motesharri and his colleagues conclude that under conditions “closely reflecting the reality of the world today… we find that collapse is difficult to avoid.” In the first of these scenarios, civilisation:
“…. appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of Nature.”
Another scenario focuses on the role of continued resource exploitation, finding that “with a larger depletion rate, the decline of the Commoners occurs faster, while the Elites are still thriving, but eventually the Commoners collapse completely, followed by the Elites.”
In both scenarios, Elite wealth monopolies mean that they are buffered from the most “detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners”, allowing them to “continue ‘business as usual’ despite the impending catastrophe.” The same mechanism, they argue, could explain how “historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases).”
Applying this lesson to our contemporary predicament, the study warns that:
“While some members of society might raise the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory ‘so far’ in support of doing nothing.”
However, the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more stable civilisation.
The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth:
“Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.”
The NASA-funded HANDY model offers a highly credible wake-up call to governments, corporations and business – and consumers – to recognise that ‘business as usual’ cannot be sustained, and that policy and structural changes are required immediately.
… a number of other more empirically-focused studies – by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance – have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a ‘perfect storm’ within about fifteen years. But these ‘business as usual’ forecasts could be very conservative.
Continuity of Government, if the elites want it, is not going to be had by digging underground cities, stockpiling food, gas and water and waiting out the storm. The current fragile pyramid will not be maintained by the persecution of whistleblowers. Instead, the way to fix things is to get everyone to understand that we all fail if we don’t pull together. Teamwork or die.
Posted by Anonymous on March 17, 2014
During a 7 mile hike around Mt. Diablo today, I was asked why, if atoms are 99.9% empty space, things seem solid.
The best answer I could give is that there are two classes of all particles, bosons which can move through each other and fermions which can’t, due to the Pauli Exclusion Principle.
Fermions are the constituents of matter: electrons, protons, neutrons; while bosons are particles that transmit interactions (force carriers), or the constituents of radiation: Photons, the force carriers of the electromagnetic field, W and Z bosons, the force carriers that mediate the weak force and gluons the force carriers underlying the strong force.
This is not an answer, of course. It merely says that we have observed and named minute details of reality.
You might say that it would require infinite energy for two fermions to be in the same place at the same time. Why? Because that’s the nature of fermions.
Clear as mud?
Oh, and if the universe winks out, it will be at the speed of light. You probably won’t feel a thing.
Posted by Anonymous on March 17, 2014
Once more life imitates art, and a startup called BiteLabs is looking for support to create meat products from celebrity body parts, aiming to take cells from willing celebs and using them to grow protein into test-tube meat.
LATimes.com spoke with a representative of the organization: “At the moment, our primary goal is to provoke discussion and debate around topics of bioethics and celebrity culture.” …
Los Angeles Times’ “Daily Dish” reports on the newest and ’coolest’ way to devour ourselves:
[...]Here’s how it will work, according to the BiteLabs website. A sample of tissue containing myosatellite cells (the type of cells that help repair and regrow damaged muscle) will be taken from a person during a biopsy. Those cells are multiplied in a lab using a medium that acts as an artificial blood to grow muscle.
Once the cells are mature enough, they will be ground and mixed with different kinds of meat, spices, fats and oils for flavor using one of the company’s “time-honored recipes for the creation of fine cured meats.” It will then be stuffed into casings, seasoned again then dry aged and cured before packaging for distribution.
The company outlines how this type of test-tube meat would eliminate environmental and ethical concerns associated with livestock production, claiming its celebrity meat production would require less than 1% of the land used in traditional farming. The site also notes, the lab meats will not be affected by growth hormones or come into contact with any pesticides or chemicals.
And as far as the celebrity angle, BiteLabs is hoping they can use celebrities to warm people up to the idea of consuming the meat. …