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Topics - scourge

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241
Interzone / Cephalopods
« on: October 16, 2010, 01:54:20 AM »
Quote
Some species live only a year or so; others, like the giant Pacific Octopus may live four years. They are, however, much more serious about courtship rituals than previously thought.

There's a reason that octopuses are known as escape artists; they are extremely intelligent, able to solve problems, and have demonstrated short and long term memory, and an interest in play. Scientists have, for years, tested and studied the abilities of octopuses to successfully navigate mazes, learn visual and vocal cues, and remember solutions to previous problems, and even employ them to solve new, more complicated problems.

http://animalreport.com/2009/03/01/octopus

What we're seeing is another species on the same evolutionary journey that parallels our own. Maybe they will replace us and rule the local group of 30 star systems in our stead, a geological age hence. Evolution, not equality and safety nets, not accessibility for the handicapped, is the foundation of progress.

242
Interzone / American EPA okays ethanol fuel increase
« on: October 15, 2010, 03:14:00 AM »
Many things going on:

  • Corn derived ethanol filler is a big government subsidy for agribusiness
  • Cars 4 years or older will get engine damage
  • Consumers will be forced to buy autos more frequently thanks to damage
  • Last ditch ploy to get economy going but consumers already destroyed by interest-bearing debt
  • Ongoing Middle East wars for easy petrol access are obviously quietly acknowledged failures

Quote
Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration granted a request from ethanol producers to increase concentrations of the corn-based fuel additive in gasoline for vehicles made for 2007 and later. Ethanol makers rose in New York trading.

The Environmental Protection Agency today agreed to let refiners add as much as 15 percent ethanol to a new blend, up from the current 10 percent. A decision on using more ethanol in fuel for vehicles in model years 2001 through 2006 will be made after further testing, the EPA said in a statement.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-13/epa-allows-15-ethanol-in-gasoline-for-newer-cars.html

243
Interzone / Marriage isn’t a casualty of our economy
« on: October 15, 2010, 12:22:30 AM »
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Marriage and long-term relationships face a difficult future not because of the economy, but because we’ve trashed the idea of sex as a means to an end — the family. A culture shift in the 1960s and 1970s allowed people to trivialize sex, but the process started long before, and the “sexual revolution” was more the seams of our formerly great culture bursting.

marriage

We forget the why and then we tear it all down because it didn't serve us all, The Wee Kings. Another defining feature of modernity is the entitlement mentality where the unspoken truism tells us our sense of entitlement is a one way street and giving back to society is for suckers.

244
Interzone / Marginal conveniences and extra profits are worth it
« on: October 15, 2010, 12:08:26 AM »
It's what The People want. Slide show intro to industrial mass agriculture:

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Once you've seen what goes on inside a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) it's tough to accept the trade-off of horrific animal suffering in order to have cheap food.

http://www.treehugger.com/galleries/2010/10/industrial-animal-factories-in-shocking-photos.php?page=1

It's what The People want.

245
Interzone / Fast food never rots
« on: October 14, 2010, 02:39:05 AM »
Feeding kids this confection treat as a replacement for less convenient wholesome foods is child abuse/neglect.

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Vladimir Lenin, King Tut and the McDonald's Happy Meal: What do they all have in common? A shocking resistance to Mother Nature's cycle of decomposition and biodegradability, apparently.

That's the disturbing point brought home by the latest project of New York City-based artist and photographer Sally Davies, who bought a McDonald's Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen to see how well it would hold up over time.

The results? "The only change that I can see is that it has become hard as a rock," Davies told the U.K. Daily Mail.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101012/bs_yblog_upshot/mcdonalds-happy-meal-resists-decomposition-for-six-months

246
Interzone / Murder for compassion
« on: October 11, 2010, 06:55:04 PM »
Her opponents would rather needless prolonged suffering of another go on than make a hard decision that hurts only themselves in the long run. Who's really the sinner and the saint here?

Quote
A pro-abortion UK columnist provoked outrage from advocates of the disabled and horrified her fellow panelists on a BBC television show after she enthusiastically supported the smothering of suffering infants.

Author Virginia Ironside, who has a regular advice column in The Independent newspaper, appeared on the BBC's Sunday Morning Live show to argue that killing unborn disabled children is a possible act of mercy. But the other women on the show quickly reacted in horror after Ironside indicated that she was willing to go much further than simply advocating abortion.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/oct/10100505.html

247
Interzone / Bad Students, Not Bad Schools
« on: October 11, 2010, 05:02:09 AM »
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Bad Students, Not Bad Schools is an Emperor’s new clothes book—it openly speaks the unspeakable: America’s education woes are caused by intellectually mediocre, unmotivated students, not “bad schools,” rotten teachers, faculty curriculum, lack of sufficient funding and similar alleged culprits. Alter the student population and push students harder, even if this means lowering their self-esteem and America’s schools will thrive. If mischief-makers refuse to learn, let them drop out! Politicians and professional educators avoid this awkward reality and prefer instead to squander billions while lurching from one guaranteed-to-fail gimmick after the next.

http://badstudentsnotbadschools.com/

All of us were or are students at some point. We all have been or met the rotten apples and we know these ruin all the apples in the barrel to some extent.

249
Interzone / Social networking is cognitive slavery
« on: October 09, 2010, 01:51:09 AM »
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The companies that have created the most new value in the last decade, are Internet companies like Facebook, Google, etc.  They've created hundreds of billions in market value, driven by billions in financial profits.  Good for them, but bad for us.

Why?  IF these companies represent the most valuable new industry of the early 21st Century, where are the jobs that will provide prosperity for millions today, and potentially tens of millions in the future?  They don't exist.  These companies create few real jobs.

The distressing part is that in reality these companies actually employ hundreds of millions of people, particularly young and otherwise un or underemployed superusers.  People that work for them day in and day out for free: finding, sifting, sorting, connecting, building, etc.

Let's take Facebook as an example.  Currently it's valued at ~$25 billion by the market.   However, it could be argued that ~100,000 superusers out of 500 million part time users, are the reason that Facebook is valuable.  They generate the core network that is the backbone of the tool.  Their devoted use, high levels of connectivity, and loyalty forms the engine that grows Facebook, year in and year out.  They are the materials, labor, and product of Facebook's assembly line.  Yet they aren't paid for their effort.  They aren't generating wealth for themselves or their families. 

How much wealth?  If we awarded 4/5 ths of the value of Facebook (and the same exercise could be done with Google at a couple of million superusers) to its superusers, leaving the tool managers $5 billion in value, each superuser would now be worth $200,000 from their contributions to this tool alone.  But they aren't.  They haven't earned a penny for their effort.

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2010/09/cognitive-slaves.html

Foundation building breakthroughs are now less valuable to our civilization than the aforementioned layer of fat over the bones and muscle. We call some of this fatty tissue social networking enterprises. Should the infrastructure find itself starved of resources or rotting from neglect, such fatty tissue luxury and the wealth invested therein will be first to burn away.

250
Interzone / Immigration won't help world's poor
« on: October 04, 2010, 05:48:20 PM »
There are way too many of you. We can't solve all your problems. Your great numbers can only bring us all to ruin.

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We have always found that Americans are hungry for information that helps them make decisions on an ethical basis. We believe this is a major reason for the wild popularity of this presentation about the international humanitarian perspectives of immigration.

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Not surprising that it is simple to understand: I developed the presentation after being invited to talk to my son's 7th grade class about immigration. I looked for a way to easily communicate proportionality in a visual way. I have found that when most people watched our original video of this presentation that the scales fell from their eyes and they saw the moral balance so much more clearly.

http://www.numbersusa.com/content/nusablog/beckr/september-30-2010/new-gumballs-video-immigration-wont-help-worlds-poor-tends-hurt-the

06:08 Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs - Updated 2010
16:54 Immigration Gumballs 1996

251
Interzone / Al Qaeda musters its own surge in Iraq
« on: October 03, 2010, 01:56:45 AM »
So, there are about a billion muslims. If even one percent decide to take up arms to fight the internationalists, that's ten million fighters. It's a safe assumption by now that freedom to have a fast food joint serving halal burgers or low low prices at the supermart isn't really a treasured value for these people.

Quote
But even as officials in the United States and Iraq made public pronouncements that reveled in Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia’s demise, the Sunni insurgent group vowed “dark days colored in blood.”

This summer, as if to make good on its pledge, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia embarked on a wave of terror that managed to shake even an Iraqi public inured to violence: during the past two months, Iraq has witnessed some of its highest casualty tolls in more than two years, according to the government.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/world/middleeast/28qaeda.html

252
Interzone / 1 in 5 plant species to go extinct
« on: October 01, 2010, 05:54:43 PM »
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according to new global analysis by The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London's Natural History Museum and the IUCN shows that one in five of the world's plant species are threatened with extinction--in other words, about 76,000 of the world's estimated 380,000 species of plants have difficult times ahead.

Quote
The most threatening process is man-induced habitat loss, mostly the conversion of natural habitats for agriculture or livestock use.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/09/20-percent-world-plant-species-threatened-extinction.php

Educating people HAS FAILED. For forty years the West has instructed people worldwide about taking care of the planet we are all stuck on, the planet that makes all our lives possible. The result? 84% of the people tune out, and 16% are semi-coherent in that they elect the socially polite green consumerism and self sterilization option, assuring they will be the very last eco-conscious generation, pecking away at keyboards under the x-ray emissions of their mercury light bulbs as their eyeball lenses calcify into cataracts from the unseen high frequency rays.

253
Interzone / Some blue eyed dude stashed weed for 27 centuries
« on: September 29, 2010, 02:26:41 AM »
In a simpler age, the plant was sacred, having significance in rites. Thankfully it is contraband now because people only know how to use it to escape their own selves for a while, adrift like flotsam in modern life. How much has been lost to us.

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Scientists have discovered two pounds of a dried plant that turned out to be the oldest marijuana in the world. Inside one of the Yanghai Tombs excavated in the Gobi Desert, a team of researchers found the cannabis packed into a wooden bowl resting inside a 2,700-year-old grave. It was placed near the head of a blue-eyed, 45-year-old shaman among other objects like bridles and a harp to be used in afterlife.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2008/12/08/the-world%2525E2%252580%252599s-oldest-stash-scientists-find-2700-year-old-pot/

254
Interzone / Malware: weapon of mass destruction
« on: September 27, 2010, 03:28:34 AM »
Keyboard is now mightier than the sword:

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Cyber security experts say they have identified the world's first known cyber super weapon designed specifically to destroy a real-world target – a factory, a refinery, or just maybe a nuclear power plant.

The cyber worm, called Stuxnet, has been the object of intense study since its detection in June. As more has become known about it, alarm about its capabilities and purpose have grown. Some top cyber security experts now say Stuxnet's arrival heralds something blindingly new: a cyber weapon created to cross from the digital realm to the physical world – to destroy something.

yahoo

255
Interzone / Precognition
« on: September 23, 2010, 12:55:17 AM »
My on-the-fly definition: expecting specific information well in advance of its external manifestation without any known harbinger that is logically related to the information in question.

My hypothesis: some people may mull over enough distinct subjects or objects with enough thousands of unique iterations that within a few days, a given subject or object does indeed manifest in external information sources. The person recalls their own thoughts on the subject or object in question. When the information appears to be a highly improbable occurance given the existing context, they may dismiss the event as having beaten the odds. When they recall several such events, they may suspect they are gifted with uncontrolled extrasensory precognition, similar to a clairvoyant having an accurate vision of something they have never really witnessed in person.

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