Saturday, January 22, 2011
Our pal Aeswiren who always has an excellent command of the facts writes that, even if the Betelgeuse event we talked about yesterday does occur, we will hardly be getting the twin suns of Tatooine
There's lots wrong with this "two suns" stuff.
1/ Betelgeuse is between 430-520 light years away.
2/ At that distance the Super Nova will certainly be very bright, as bright or brighter than the full moon... but it will still be a point source.
A really evil looking glow centered on something you couldn't look at-- a blinding ultra-violet "star". The spectrum for this will be jammed up in the blue white to gamma corner. The contrast with our friendly old yellow sun will be extreme. A genial old gent at the bar, suddenly jostled by a mad, bug eyed, crazed speed freak with just days to live, busily chewing his own tongue off.
Click here for The Velvet Underground
The secret word is Doomed
Posted by Mick at 1/22/2011 08:19:00 AM
Yes, the bastards are killing wolves again.
"After traveling more than 1,000 miles from her Montana home, a female wolf from the Mill Creek pack (known as 314F), met a horrific fate in Colorado -- illegally poisoned by the deadly Compound 1080. Plagued with convulsions, dizziness and unbearable pain, her journey ended in a terrible death on a lonely Colorado road. But sadly, she is not alone. Compound 1080 -- one of the most lethal toxins known to humankind -- and sodium cyanide collectively kill thousands of coyotes every year. And often, these deadly poisons don't reach their intended targets, killing imperiled wildlife -- and even domestic dogs -- instead. EPA is deciding whether to allow the continued use of these deadly chemicals to kill wildlife. Take action now! Urge the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide to prevent the poisoning of wildlife struggling to survive." Click here to help
Posted by Mick at 1/22/2011 08:10:00 AM
Vice magazine currently carries an interview with me about my book Speed-Speed-Speedfreak. Some of it seems a little disjoined. It was conducted back in LA and I think I may have been a little high at the time. It also seems to have annoyed a few people who think you have to be an academic to write about drugs. Click here.
Posted by Mick at 1/22/2011 08:04:00 AM
Friday, January 21, 2011
The idea that a second sun just might show up in the sky in 2012 fills me with a really unpleasant delight. A second sun on top of all the other dire predictions of apocalypse in December of next year – from the Mayans to Terence McKenna – could knock fundamentalists of all kinds clean off their plinths, and the world of humanity might even collapse in an orgy of irrational superstition. (I mean, imagine Sarah Palin running for President and then a second sun shows up. Boggle is hardly the word.) Our pal Wendy sent over the story. The only problem is that this Huffpo report was lifted from news.com.au, and the tabloid writer seemed to be having major problems understanding exactly what he or she was being told.
“Earth could be getting a second sun, at least temporarily. Dr. Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland, outlined the scenario to news.com.au. Betelgeuse, one of the night sky's brightest stars, is losing mass, indicating it is collapsing. It could run out of fuel and go super-nova at any time. When that happens, for at least a few weeks, we'd see a second sun, Carter says. There may also be no night during that timeframe. The Star Wars-esque scenario could happen by 2012, Carter says... or it could take longer. The explosion could also cause a neutron star or result in the formation of a black hole 1300 light years from Earth. But doomsday sayers should be careful about speculation on this one. If the star does go super-nova, Earth will be showered with harmless particles, according to Carter. "They will flood through the Earth and bizarrely enough, even though the supernova we see visually will light up the night sky, 99 per cent of the energy in the supernova is released in these particles that will come through our bodies and through the Earth with absolutely no harm whatsoever." In fact, a neutrino shower could be beneficial to Earth. According to Carter this "star stuff" makes up the universe. "It literally makes things like gold, silver - all the heavy elements - even things like uranium....a star like Betelgeuse is instantly forming for us all sorts of heavy elements and atoms that our own Earth and our own bodies have from long past supernovi."
Click here for Pink Floyd
The secret word is Turmoil
Posted by Mick at 1/21/2011 06:13:00 AM
Thursday, January 20, 2011
“Get ready for the lawsuits, darling.”
And why does she say that? Just see what the Financial Times is reporting, gentle reader…
“Marilyn Monroe’s name and likeness will soon appear on lingerie, curling irons and handbags. On Thursday, the rights to the late film star’s image changed hands, with Authentic Brands Group, which manages the estate of reggae star Bob Marley, and NECA, an entertainment and merchandising company, acquiring the rights from Ms Monroe’s estate. Anna Strasberg, the administrator of the estate, will stay on as a minority partner. Jamie Salter, chief executive of Authentic Brands Group, called Ms Monroe “the most iconic personality in the world”. “Everyone aspires to be Marilyn Monroe,” he said. “Madonna, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, they all do.” Ms Monroe’s name did not appear on Forbes’ list of the top-earning dead celebrities last year, but sources close to the estate say it earned between $4m and $5m in the past year. The terms of the sale were not disclosed. However, people close to the deal said the new owners paid roughly six times annual revenues, which they said was the industry average for intellectual property rights for deceased celebrities, suggesting the price was in the range of $30m. “There’s a few brands that remain iconic and international and you’ve got to have both,” said Michael Sukin, a music industry lawyer who has worked with the estates of dead stars. “Marilyn is one, Bob Marley is another, and Elvis is probably the biggest of all.” Mr Salter said he would be aggressive in marketing Ms Monroe’s image, saying he would focus on merchandise including handbags, shoes and home care products.”
And then comes the real dubious sting in the tail of the story…
“He also said he was open to using computer animation to insert her image into new films.”
Click here for rare Marilyn videos (before they’re pulled off YouTube?)
The secret word is Violation
Posted by Mick at 1/20/2011 11:03:00 AM
That’s what they claim in this story from MrMR.
“Physicists at the University of Queensland in Australia claim to have discovered time teleportation no flux capacitors involved: Just like quantum physics allows for teleportation in space, they say that the same is possible in time. Time Travel to... the future! Now, hold on to your plutonium-proof underpants. This doesn't mean we are going to the 24-and-a-half century driving Mr. Fusion-powered DeLoreans. Their discovery shows that entangled quantum particles can travel into the future without actually being present during the time between now and the future. Before, we knew that quantum teleportation works in space. Two identical particles at different locations are linked in such a way that, when you change the state of one, the other one instantly changes in exactly the same way, no matter how many miles or light-years are between them. This is a phenomenon that defies our understanding of reality, and it just got even more complex with this discovery. University of Queensland's scientists Jay Olson and Timothy Ralph claim that the quantum entanglement is a fundamental part of the universe, and it works both in space and time, so changing the state of particle today instantly changes the same particle in the future, even while the particle will not exist between those two points.” Confused? Click here for more.
Posted by Mick at 1/20/2011 10:53:00 AM
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
“It is a sight that will have whisky connoisseurs spluttering into their drink – a dram in a can. A Panama-based company believes outdoor drinkers would prefer to crack open a tin rather than lug round a bottle of their favourite tipple. Now bosses at Scottish Spirits – which retains an office in Glasgow – is testing out the novelty on its Caribbean and South American markets. But last night the Scotch Whisky Association said it would try to ban the cans for breaching international labelling rules. A spokesman for the body said: ‘We are concerned that consumers may be confused whether or not the product is real Scotch and we will be investigating the matter further.’ Scottish Spirits launched the tins last week, the first time straight whisky has been sold in a can. Chief executive Manish Panshal said: ‘We are really thrilled with the idea – it’s going to be a part of every lifestyle and occasion.” (Click here for more)
Click here for me
The secret word is Legless
Posted by Mick at 1/19/2011 05:51:00 AM
National Geographic tells is all this interesting scientific stuff, but Doc40 is really running the pic because it’s just too adorable to pass up…
“The golden snub-nosed monkey is one of five related species-remnants of once widespread populations whose ranges were squeezed by climate change after the last ice age. Enduring groups, living in territorial bands that can top 400 animals, are being squeezed again by logging, human settlement, and hunters wanting meat, bones (said to have medicinal properties), and luxurious fur. Many have been pushed into high-altitude isolation, where they leap across branches, traverse icy rivers, and weather long winters at nearly 10,000 feet, shielded by that coveted coat. About 20,000 of the golden variety remain on Earth. Some 4,000 inhabit the mountainous region where Chinese officials set up the Zhouzhi National Nature Reserve to protect the species.”
Posted by Mick at 1/19/2011 05:45:00 AM
Yeah, yeah, give ‘em guns and canned scotch and really see the undergraduate fun begin…
“Arizona Republicans remain adamant that the shooting will not dissuade them from pushing their pro-gun agenda. They want new laws allowing college and university faculty members to be able to carry concealed weapons on campus, an issue that gained attention after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech University. Only Utah has a law allowing concealed weapons on college campuses while 24 states have bans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sen. Jack Harper, a Republican sponsoring the campus-carry measures, said he didn't want to be seen as trying to take advantage of the Tucson tragedy by citing it as reason to support his legislation, but he said it was vital, given the deadly shootings on university campuses and the Arizona Board of Regents' policy banning guns. The board oversees the state's schools. "University professors are tired of feeling like sitting ducks,"
Posted by Mick at 1/19/2011 05:42:00 AM
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The next time you hear War On Drugs jargon about “evil drug kingpins” and even the tired classic “narco-terrorism” cast your mind to this snippet from our pals at Delancey Place.
"Franklin's grandfather Warren Delano had for years skulked around [China's] Pearl River Delta dealing drugs. Delano had run offices in Canton and Hong Kong. During business hours, Chinese criminals would pay him cash and receive an opium chit. At night, Scrambling Crabs - long, sleek, heavily armed crafts - rowed out into the Pearl River Delta to Delano's floating warehouses, where they received their Jesus opium under the cover of darkness. The profits were enormous, and at his death Delano left his daughter Sara a fortune that she lavished on her only son.
The Delanos were not alone. Many of New England's great families made their fortunes dealing drugs in China. The Cabot family of Boston endowed Harvard with opium money, while Yale's famous Skull and Bones society was funded by the biggest American opium dealers of them all - the Russell family. The most famous landmark on the Columbia University campus is the Low Memorial Library, which honors Abiel Low, a New York boy who made it big in the Pearl River Delta and bankrolled the first cable across the Atlantic. Princeton University's first big benefactor, John Green, sold opium in the Pearl River Delta with Warren Delano.
The list goes on and on: Boston's John Murray Forbes's opium profits financed the career of transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson and bankrolled the Bell Telephone Company. Thomas Perkins founded America's first commercial railroad and funded the Boston Athenaeum. These wealthy and powerful drug-dealing families combined to create dynasties." James Bradley – The Imperial Cruise (Back Bay)
Click here for Elvis
The secret word is Pipe
Posted by Mick at 1/18/2011 11:31:00 AM
This story came from io9. What next we ask? T-Rex and raptors?
"Dr. Akira Iritani has announced that he is going to produce a living woolly mammoth baby by 2016. Although past efforts to clone mammoth tissue have failed due to the degradation of what small amount of tissue we have. Most of it has been frozen and partially decayed, leaving nothing suitable for cloning. Dr. Iritani is hopeful, though, due to a relatively new technique he hopes to use. It is based on a technique that successfully cloned a mouse from tissue that had been frozen for sixteen years. That pales in comparison to the thousands of years that mammoth DNA has been frozen, but it does give a glimmer of hope. For the cloning to go forward, Dr. Iritani will need a number of relatively hard-to-get things. First and foremost, he'll need a piece of frozen mammoth tissue at least three centimeters square from a Russian lab. He'll need the ova of an African elephant to inject the tissue into, and the elephant itself to carry the little mammoth baby to maturity. He'll also need a great deal of research done. The mammoth isn't around anymore for a reason, and if that reason includes environmental reasons, it will be a challenge to keep a baby mammoth alive. There will also be plenty of debate about whether or not to display it, keep it in a private facility, or even figure out how to breed it. Most of all, he'll need to keep to a tight schedule. The rate of successful cloning of mundane animals like cattle is only 30 percent, and the mammoth will have a gestation period of over a year and a half. That means Dr. Iritani will have only a little over two years to unfreeze the DNA, fertilize the egg, and knock up an elephant. The clock is ticking.
Click here for Toy Dolls (do yourself a favor, watch these maniacs)
Posted by Mick at 1/18/2011 11:23:00 AM
Monday, January 17, 2011
Our pal Faux Smoke sent over this piece of weird which has a definite air of fucked-upness about it. One wonders when the paramecia might turn on us.
"Scientists have remade Pac-Man using paramecia—microorganisms that you can control with a real joystick while a digital microscope relays images to a computer screen. They call it "Pac-Mecium" and it is not the only game they are playing. The user control the paramecium by just moving the joystick, which is connected to a controller that "controls the polarity of a mild electrical field applied across the fluid chamber, which influences the direction the paramecia move." I wonder how they make Pac-Mecium turn into super-Pac-Mecium. And who is chasing the poor Pac-Mecium, anyway? Evil amoebas?" (Click here for more)
Click here for Dave Berry
The secret word is Unwise
Posted by Mick at 1/17/2011 01:05:00 PM
The wonderful Wendy who gave us yesterday’s item on UFO hunting also sent this…
“The researcher, Dr. Sidney Cohen, was dosing volunteers at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Los Angeles. Aldous Huxley, who first tried mescaline in 1953 and wrote about it in his seminal book, The Doors of Perception, got Gerald Heard interested in the spiritual potential of psychedelic drugs.” (Click here for more)
Click here for the video
Posted by Mick at 1/17/2011 12:59:00 PM
Sunday, January 16, 2011
No, I’m not fasting, losing weight, or starving for my art (although that might come). It’s just one of those Sunday mornings when it seems staying in bed might well be the best policy. Although I know I’ll be up before sunset. If I don’t see the light of day, I start to feel like a degenerate and we can’t have that, can we?
Click here for Dolly Parton
The secret word is Fretful
Susannah York – RIP
Susannah York – RIP
Posted by Mick at 1/16/2011 06:54:00 AM
Our pal Wendy sent us over this source of amusement for a slow Sunday in mid-January.
“Thanks to technology like Google Maps, we can all achieve a clear birds-eye-view of the secret facility conveniently linked with user-submitted telephoto images supplying a ground level perspective. Now anyone with a smart phone can be treated to an unobstructed view into the secret military installation that — officially — doesn't even exist. The base at Groom Lake, sometimes referred to as "The Dreamland Resort," has been used by the Air Force since WWII as a testing ground for all kinds of experimental aircraft. However, the government only tacitly acknowledges the facility's very existence. The airspace over the area is restricted and the perimeter is littered with signs warning that "photography is prohibited" and the "use of deadly force is authorized." Theories range from reverse engineering of the crashed UFO at Roswell to the setting of actual intergalactic sit-downs with visiting extraterrestrials. The conspiracy factory has been further energized by local reports of unusual phenomenon spotted in the skies over the area.” (Click here for more)
Posted by Mick at 1/16/2011 06:42:00 AM