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Topics - Vlaara the Brown

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General Discussion / coital cephalalgia
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:04:48 AM »
was having sex, and close to orgasm when I got a headache at the base of my skull that quickly engulfed my skull. felt like my brain was on fire, after about ten minutes of it not getting any better we went to the ER. i told them what happened and the doc said it's probably coital cephalalgia or that my brain was bleeding. after a CT scan they concluded it was most likely coital cephalalgia:

shit was crazy painful.

General Discussion / Bordlerlands
« on: April 13, 2014, 07:46:31 PM »
Reality type show about immigration by Al-Jazeera America.

NYTimes review:

Al Jazeera Series Depicts U.S. Problem
‘Borderland’ Is to Debut on Al Jazeera America


It turns out that there is a reason to watch Al Jazeera America.

Now that CNN is on a cable news Rumspringa, running wild with the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, viewers interested in other news have a place to go.

It’s not fancy. The Qatari-owned Al Jazeera America, which bought Al Gore’s Current TV last year, has a washed-out, bare-bones look to it, without the snazzy backdrops, swirling graphics and amped-up pop music segues common to other news channels. Anchors are a sober, no-nonsense lot, and some of them are familiar, like Ali Velshi, a CNN alumnus, or Ray Suarez, who worked previously at “PBS NewsHour.” (The channel’s ambitious expansion has been scaled back a little, with dozens of layoffs this week.)

The coverage is thorough, solemn, studiously bland and unemotional, and varied. American news — the Nasdaq market plunge, the Masters golf tournament, bus crashes and ominous weather fronts — are mixed in with reports about the crisis in Ukraine, flooding in the Solomon Islands or a measles outbreak in Syria.

Randy Stufflebeam, foreground with beard, and other participants in “Borderland” in Mexico, tracing migrants’ journeys. Credit Al Jazeera America

So, in contrast, “Borderland,” a new documentary series that begins on Sunday, is quite startling. This is a serious four-part look at the illegal-immigration crisis reported in the style and format of “The Amazing Race” or “Big Brother.”

The producers have cast six Americans who match reality-show stereotypes — Alison, a blond Arkansas Republican and former bikini model; Alex, a New York City artist and skateboarder; Lis-Marie, a Nicaraguan-born immigrants’ rights activist from Florida; Randy, a former Marine turned conservative Illinois radio host; Kishana, a fashion blogger from Las Vegas; and Gary, a Washington State potato and asparagus farmer — and thrown them together at the Arizona border with Mexico.

Instead of clashing in a group house or on a deserted island, the six volunteers, ranging in age from their mid-20s to mid-50s, have to confront their own misconceptions while retracing the steps of immigrants who died trying to cross into the United States.

At first, the hammy music and reality-show editing make “Borderland” look a little cheesy, but that wears off. The volunteers pair off into teams and take their assignments to heart. Very quickly, they become emotionally involved with the migrants who died, whose stories they research firsthand, traveling to places like El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, and witnessing drug cartels, human traffickers and other dangers.

The Pima County, Ariz., chief medical examiner, Dr. Gregory Hess, serves as their host, and begins their journey at the morgue, which he calls “ground zero for the immigration debate.”

Randy, who initially calls illegal immigrants “parasites” and “moochers,” begins to soften in Des Moines, interviewing the mother of Maira Zelaya, a refugee from El Salvador who worked illegally as an office cleaner in Iowa for nine years until she was deported in 2009. Desperate to rejoin her family in Iowa, Ms. Zelaya paid a smuggler to guide her to the Arizona border and died in the desert at the age of 39.

Alex, who begins the journey blithely declaring that there should be no borders whatsoever, starts to change in El Salvador, when he sees a dead body on the street, a casualty of a drug cartel quarrel.

Alison, a born-again Christian who has the word “saved” tattooed on her arm and is shown shooting at a firing range, says illegal immigrants should be deported. “We don’t know who these people are,” she says early on. “We don’t know if they’ve murdered somebody, if they’ve raped a child.”

Alison had never traveled outside the United States. In Guatemala, she gains a better understanding of the desperation that drives migrants when she and Lis-Marie meet the family of Omar Lopez, who was 13 when he died, trying to get to his mother and siblings in Phoenix. The family didn’t learn what happened to him for almost two years.

Alison is moved by the kindness of Omar’s relatives and appalled by their living conditions. Invited to stay overnight in the tiny, crumbling wooden shack where Omar was raised, Alison almost loses it, saying, “It’s spooky that it’s his house, and I’m already afraid just being here in general, so putting myself in this open space really freaks me out.”

She pulls herself together, and has little trouble making the arduous route from Guatemala through Mexico and across the same desert where Omar died. But she says the experience has changed her forever.

All six are deeply affected by what they see, and none come away with a workable solution. They all sympathize with the migrants and wish them more humane treatment, but not all of them, at journey’s end, believe that the United States should ease its immigration policies. Mostly, they discover how complicated and painful the issue is.

“Borderland” is exploitative in a good way, using the ignorance of ordinary Americans to enlighten viewers about a problem so intractable that it’s often easier not to look.

General Discussion / Vera Nabokov
« on: April 10, 2014, 02:27:56 AM »

TLDR: devoted spouse deserves just as much credit for Vladimir Nabokov's work as he does. The angle this article takes is that women need "Vera's" as well, devoted partners to assist with not only everyday life but everything else as well. Like the best business partner you ever had.

I'm not in the mood to CP this one, would take lots of formatting and I'm not going to do some garbage CP like some of y'all niggas do. I could use someone like this in my life, although admittedly I spend too much time gaming but even when I don't (like now for instance, all week maybe 5-6 hours of gaming, week before that maybe the same) spend too much time gaming I feel like basic chores, watching my kids (most of which I cannot outsource, my kids need ME not a nanny) etc. takes up so much time. Support and being critical would be nice too, like if she got more on my ass about writing and researching, even reading.

Ofc who knows if I'm brilliant and worth it  :cool:

General Discussion / K-12 Japanese Immersion
« on: April 09, 2014, 12:22:26 AM »
Child: accepted.

Pretty cool, means his brother will be too almost 100%, 25/yr are accepted.

General Discussion / Katie Couric
« on: April 08, 2014, 04:26:46 AM »
57, I find her attractive.

General Discussion / how to search TZT with google?
« on: April 06, 2014, 03:18:44 PM »
seems to not be working or i suck at this

General Discussion / Climate Change (2 articles)
« on: April 05, 2014, 08:05:37 PM »
Both interesting truthout ones that caught my eye last week or so.


How Climate Change Will Kill Us in the Dumbest Possible Way

When we're not actively engaged in killing each other, watching TV, or occupied in other such entertaining diversions, one of humanity's favorite hobbies is imagining that we live in the end times, with extinction lurking around every corner. I've never been a huge fan of this sort of thing. I tend to hold that, as Copernicus explained, we don't occupy a privileged position at the center of the universe, nor do we occupy a privileged position in time, either at the beginning or end of humanity's lifespan. But lately? Perhaps it's because I don't spend enough time perusing sites featuring cats and their regrettable tattoos, or places that promise to ram a positive mood down my throat, but lately I find that voice of imminent doom to be a lot louder and far more persuasive.

I'm not a betting man, but if I had to choose the horse that our destruction will ride in on, I'd go with climate change (if you want debate the for vs. against of climate change, look elsewhere; that debate involves everyone yelling the same thing over and over. I will treat the notion of climate change as the settled science that it, you know, is). And here's the thing about climate change: while we tend to focus on the big, sexy, Hollywood disasters – the IPCC's latest includes fun things like increased global conflict, health catastrophes, and mass extinction - the climate can kill us in ways that are far more prosaic and even a little boring.

The latest iteration of the National Climate Assessment will be released next month and, for the first time, it includes a lengthy section on risks to infrastructure. A 109-page report on infrastructure impact has already been released and, while it's a bit dry, it makes for some fun bedtime reading. It includes, of course, the familiar bits about rising sea levels inundating coastal roadways – 2,400 miles of roads in the Gulf Coast alone – and cities and the like, but that's 30-odd years out, and long-term thinking has never been a strong point of ours. What should, in theory, be more alarming is what climate change can do to us right now, by breaking our interdependent and antiquated infrastructure.

There are a lot of moving parts that make up the national infrastructure – roads, the electrical grid, communication networks, water management, etc. – but the key point is that they are all interrelated. Poke one component and half a dozen others squeal. Take out the electrical grid and water treatment plants start dumping raw sewage. Throw a hurricane at a major port and, on top of all the bodies floating around, you disrupt shipping hundreds of miles up the river, leaving grain shipments to come within days of rotting on the docks.

All of that, of course, we've "recovered" from. Sure, Hurricane Sandy did $50 billion or so in damage, but that's all being fixed (or will be, when Christie takes some time off from being a gibbering buffoon) and everyone is happy. Why care? Imagine, if you will, a number of climate events occurring in quick succession. A heat wave in the Midwest meets a class-four hurricane in the Gulf while the Southwest, as the Southwest does faithfully each summer, bursts into flame. All predictable events that become ever more frequent as climate change pumps more energy into the system.

The heat wave makes the electrical grid go belly up at the same time Gulf refineries shut down, spiking energy costs. Issues with the electrical grid impact communications in the Southwest, and the wildfires start to get closer and closer to L.A., a vaguely important port city. Electrical failures at a Chicago waste treatment plant release raw sewage into Lake Michigan, and the automated messages that were intended to warn residents that an E. coli cocktail has entered the water supply are never sent due to communication failures. And then a few weeks later, while we're starting to recover, a few dozen tornados land in Oklahoma. All events that, in isolation, would be damaging but not catastrophic. But given the interdependence of the systems, each event is magnified, and each impacts our ability to deal with successive events. Things get worn down and then start to fall down.

Theoretically, it's possible to upgrade the assorted chunks of our infrastructure, to make them less likely to fall over. A comprehensive upgrade - fixing the electrical grid, water and sewage, repairing bridges that are on the verge of collapse, etc. - would run about $272 billion a year. Not cheap, but compared to the $800 billion and change to be spent on defense in 2014, that seems like a fine bargain.

Not that it's likely that such sweeping changes will happen. With Congress populated by clever folk such as Joe Barton, who is inexplicably on the House Committee on Energy, and believes that wind is a finite resource that, if harnessed, will cause winds to slow down and temperatures to rise, this might be a tough sell, especially given the fact that fixing things that are broken is socialism, and Jesus hates socialism.

So here we are, waiting for the world to kill us in a simple, stupid, and utterly predictable way. If our infrastructure collapses because we couldn't be bothered to make the obvious fixes, it will be akin to having your car explode because you couldn't get around to getting the oil changed. But that, alas, is how America rolls. This is the way the world ends: not with fire, nor ice, nor a bang, nor a whimper, but with the sound of a whole bunch of things slowly falling over.

NEXT ARTICLEand another one:

GAIUS PUBLIUS (pretentious fucking name lmao)

The Perp in the Greatest Mass Extinction on Earth? Methane

In the past, when I’ve written about climate and mass extinctions, I generally single out two of them — the one 65 million years ago that ended the dinosaur era, and the one about 250 million years ago that killed off almost everything then alive and made room for the dinosaurs to develop.

The dinosaur-killing extinction is called the “Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event” since it occurred between the Cretaceous Period and the Paleogene Period. The earlier extinction, also called the “Great Dying,” is the “Permian–Triassic (P–Tr) extinction event” and occurred between those two geological periods.

But starting from the first explosion of life on earth, some 540 million years ago, all geological periods are grouped into just three “eras” — the era of Old Life (Paleozoic Era), the era of Middle Life (Mesozoic Era, or the age of dinosaurs), and the era of New Life (Cenozoic Era, or the age of mammals and man).

The Paleozoic Era lasted over 290 million years. The Mesozoic Era lasted 185 million years. We’re in the Cenozoic Era now, and it’s lasted 65 million years.

Just three major divisions since life first exploded. And guess what divides these eras? The two mass extinctions I mentioned above. Here’s what that looks like in one handy chart:

Mass Extinctions since the Cambrian Period (about 540 million years ago)

So yes, mass extinctions — certainly mass extinctions of this size — matter. As I argued here and here, we may not using our little climate problem just to exit the Holocene (our current 12,000-year geological division). We may be exiting the entire Cenozoic Era. Now that’s a world-historical event.

The Great Dying Was Probably Caused by Atmospheric Methane

So the first part of today’s piece to keep in mind is the major geological divisions. And make no mistake, the Great Dying was a great dying, the mother of all great dyings (my emphasis everywhere):

It is the Earth’s most severe known extinction event, with up to 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species becoming extinct. It is the only known mass extinction of insects. Some 57% of all families and 83% of all genera became extinct. Because so much biodiversity was lost, the recovery of life on Earth took significantly longer than after any other extinction event, possibly up to 10 million years. [Other sources say 30 million years.]

Now the second part of this discussion. People have been puzzled about the cause for a long time, and how it managed to be so … effective. Turns out that researchers at MIT may have found the answer — atmospheric methane. It’s the only explanation that fits the facts, and there’s much evidence to support it. Given the factual data that’s been assembled about the event, all of the other, previously-thought-plausible explanations have to be dismissed. Not one of the others could explain the combination of facts now known.

Let’s look at this from two sources, MIT and a separate write-up of their research. The MIT publication is informative, but the other is more clear for the lay reader. First, from the MIT news office:

Methane-producing microbes may be responsible for the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history.

Evidence left at the crime scene is abundant and global: Fossil remains show that sometime around 252 million years ago, about 90 percent of all species on Earth were suddenly wiped out — by far the largest of this planet’s five known mass extinctions. But pinpointing the culprit has been difficult, and controversial.

Now, a team of MIT researchers may have found enough evidence to convict the guilty parties — but you’ll need a microscope to see the killers.

The perpetrators, this new work suggests, were not asteroids, volcanoes, or raging coal fires, all of which have been implicated previously. Rather, they were a form of microbes — specifically, methane-producing archaea called Methanosarcina — that suddenly bloomed explosively in the oceans, spewing prodigious amounts of methane into the atmosphere and dramatically changing the climate and the chemistry of the oceans.

Volcanoes are not entirely off the hook, according to this new scenario; they have simply been demoted to accessories to the crime. The reason for the sudden, explosive growth of the microbes, new evidence shows, may have been their novel ability to use a rich source of organic carbon, aided by a sudden influx of a nutrient required for their growth: the element nickel, emitted by massive volcanism at just that time.

The new solution to this mystery is published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by MIT professor of geophysics Daniel Rothman, postdoc Gregory Fournier, and five other researchers at MIT and in China.

Now William Costolo at the Guardian Liberty Voice:

The ocean swarm of micro-organisms was the byproduct of volcanic eruptions which threw off the substance nickel. The nickel from the volcanoes provided the metabolic fuel necessary for the bloom to occur. Scientists previously suspected that the volcano eruptions themselves caused the horrific killing, but the MIT researchers determined that the volcanoes alone would not have created enough atmospheric carbon dioxide to cause the mass extinction. The carbon dioxide must have come from another source.

Further research indicated to the scientists that the source of the carbon dioxide was derived from a biological source. The carbon dioxide levels would have receded faster if derived only from the volcanoes. The rich source of nickel available from the volcanos was just the right fuel for the tiny methane producing killing machines to consume the carbon in the ocean floors and proliferate in rapid fashion.

The analysis of genome material provided the necessary clues to the researchers. The Methanosarcina acquired a genetic trait from another microscopic organism which allowed them to quickly produce the poison gas under the right conditions. The vast store of carbon in the oceans together with the volcanic nickel provided the perfect storm of material required for a gigantic methane plume. The tiny organisms followed their genetic programming to reproduce quickly and throw off a massive amount of poison gas.

Except for his use of the term “poison gas” (living things weren’t “poisoned”), this is a clear explanation of the relationship between the massive volcanoes, the nickel, the microbes, and the methane. The killing happened in relatively short order, driven by the massive volcanoes.

The mass kill off, known as the Permian extinction, had its roots in the volcanoes of the Siberian Traps. The lava flows were so large they would have covered a land area larger than the United States. The atmosphere remained poisoned for over 100,000 years. The earth did not regenerate diverse life for another 30,000,000 years. The length of time the atmosphere remained poisoned was a clue to the researchers that the volcanoes alone could not have caused the killing catastrophe.

Why does methane have such a powerful effect? Read on.

Methane Is Far More Powerful Than CO2 at Trapping Heat

Why does methane’s greenhouse effect last so long? Partly because atmospheric methane degrades to CO2 by a fairly simple formula:

CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O

So while methane itself produces its own huge greenhouse gas effects (see below for the relative scale), it then disappears and leaves longer-lived CO2 in its place to do further greenhouse damage. CO2 doesn’t break down; it has to be extracted by some process, such as plant activity, dissolving into the ocean, and so on.

Atmospheric methane in sufficient quantity is a real problem, greenhouse-wise. The combined effect of the methane bomb and the resulting CO2 is what the MIT researchers say accounts for both the scale of the Great Dying and the 30-million-year recovery period. To give a sense of relative effects of these two greenhouse gases:

While more than half of the CO2 emitted is removed from the atmosphere within a century, some fraction (about 20%) of emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere for many thousands of years.

In contrast, methane is more powerful, but shorter lived in the atmosphere:

Methane has an atmospheric lifetime of 12 ± 3 years and a GWP [global warming potential] of 72 over 20 years, 25 over 100 years and 7.6 over 500 years. The decrease in GWP at longer times is because methane is degraded to water and CO2 through chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

In all cases, the GWP number is relative to CO2. That is, CO2 is artifically assigned a GWP of “1″ and the GWP of other greenhouse gases is either a multiple or a fraction of that.

It gets worse. (1) That 20-year methane GWP number is likely low. This site says that the GWP of methane could be 10–40% low when indirect interactions are taken into account. I’ve seen estimates of methane’s 20-yeargreenhouse effect as high as 100 times that of CO2. And (2) that’s the 20-year effect. Methane lasts for 12 years on average. What do you think its effect is in the first 5–10 years, as a global warming accelerator?

Kind of explains the Great Dying, yes? Boom, the methane bomb goes off, and everything changes.

We’re Melting a Methane Bomb in the Arctic

Which brings us to the fourth part of this discussion. So why do we care? Because we’re sitting on a “methane bomb” in the Arctic region — frozen, sequestered methane locked into the permafrost both on land and in the ocean, and climate change (global warming) is releasing it. NOAA (my emphasis):

[Methane hydrates] have also been proposed as major agents of climate change. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, ten times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. But the volume of this gas now in the atmosphere pales next to that currently sequestered in hydrates, estimated at ten thousand billion tons (about 3,000 times the amount of methane as the atmosphere).

Let that sink in. The methane in the permafrost is 3000 times the amount of methane already in the atmosphere. And don’t let that “ten times as effective at trapping heat” fool you. That’s the average over 100 years. Methane only lasts about 12 years before it’s gone. When it starts out, before it breaks down, it’s likely a hundred times more effective than CO2. Or as the NOAA site above puts it:

A methane build-up will greatly enhance the intensified greenhouse effect that is driving global warming, and could cause the temperature to rise even higher, and to rise quickly.

As we reported earlier, this gives a sense of the scale of the methane melt. Coming off the floor of the ocean, methane reverts to a gas and forms “plumes” — literally torch-shaped structures created by water pressure — that rise to the surface. These plumes have been observed and measured for a fair number of years, and their recent growth in size and number is astonishing:

Vast methane ‘plumes’ seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats.

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide [over a 100-year timespan] – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years. …

“Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It’s amazing,” Dr Semiletov said.

“I was most impressed by the sheer scale and the high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them,” he said.

Let’s put that “1000 meters” into something Americans understand. These giant plumes are over half a mile wide. Not a half mile high — a half mile wide. Compared to their earlier observations, the plumes are now 100 times larger in just a few years. And yes, he did say there were likely “thousands of them.”

The Path of Deterioration Will Contain Sudden Collapses as Well as Gradual Declines

Which leads to just two final thoughts, and then I’ll close.

First, just because the effects of climate change have been mostly gradual until now, doesn’t mean that gradual is all we’ll get. As I wrote recently:

But there’s no reason to assume that there won’t be sudden collapses as well, sudden discontinuities, the way a steady dribble of small chunks of ice might fall from a Greenland glacier into the sea, then suddenly a piece the size of Ohio splits and floats away, lost, never to come back. A discontinuity, a break from the gradual.

Discontinuities work in the social sphere as well, in the sphere of confidence and panic. As I’ll show you shortly, the first major (white) American city to end its life forever following a Haiyan-sized hurricane — Miami, for example — will cause a collapse in American confidence in the future that will never return. That loss of confidence and the panic that will result is a collapse as well, a discontinuity, fear the size of Ohio breaking the population from its safe assumptions and presumed security.

The Great Dying was a collapse, the largest in the history of life on the planet, though a slower paced one, since the volcanoes took a million years to fully erupt. Still, a massive methane proliferation caused it, and the initial effects must have been massive, since microbes grow and proliferate very quickly indeed (think “algae bloom”). If we succeed in getting most of the Arctic methane into the air in, say, 50 years, that will cause a collapse as well, and one at the geologic timescale of a nanosecond. Keep those thousands of half-mile wide plumes, rising through the ocean, in mind. A two-degree jump in warming, say, in only a few decades, would have huge consequences for anyone alive at the time — it would collapse the livability of the planet to a fraction of itself.

Second, all of this means that we really really need to take the timeline seriously, assume that we have far less time than we think we have, and act now. There’s a reason I’m being so aggressive lately about the need for a “Zero Carbon” + energy rationing regime (click for a short description) to get us off of all energy sources that produce greenhouse gases.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating the danger. The sudden ice ages discussed in this video occurred within decades of a warming event — yes, glacial ice just decades after a global warming event. That’s a collapse, and that’s sudden.

My ask of you is this. If you write, write this. We can’t allow our “leaders” — leash-holders might be a better term — to lead us to think the unicorn dream of “carbon neutral” will save us. “Carbon neutral” means the carbon car never stops, it just fails to accelerate. That doesn’t mean the climate itself won’t accelerate in its deterioration. Remember, there will be sudden collapses.

If you don’t write, you still have “reach.” Everyone who reads this has some reach. Please use it. People need to be told now, ahead of the inevitable panic that (1) we need to stop, not slow down; and (2) we can stop. We just have to.
I know many of your friends and associates won’t take you seriously … now. But they will, once the freak-out starts for real. Social panic is like a lynch mob. It starts suddenly and burns like a wildfire. Once the panic starts, people will need to have been already told points (1) and (2) above. After all, Lying Pantsuit Lady (i.e., the Exxon / methane industry spokesperson) is already telling your friends that the choice is carbon or no TV. She’s right, of course, but she’s selling the carbon. We should be messaging just as hard, so when they are ready to listen, they’ll have already heard what the answer is.
One last note — I hear people get depressed when they take this stuff seriously. Don’t. There’s a lot of ball game left, no collapse yet, still time on the clock, and lots of ways to mitigate. I’m personally excited by the idea that we can still get positioned for a chance opening, a good opportunity to make a big change.

Remember — winners know not to give up, just in case god has a gift in hand. Play to the whistle. After all, didn’t lowly Auburn beat Alabama, back when earth was cooler?

General Discussion / dropbox the best?
« on: April 01, 2014, 05:26:53 PM »
which storage thing should i use? uploading all my docs today.

General Discussion / cops man
« on: March 31, 2014, 12:07:27 AM »
why they do shit like this?

it's an undeniably tough job but god damn I just have a hard time liking these motherfuckers when shit like this happens so much.

(VIDEO of cops shooting a homeless man in the back six times after they caught him "illegally camping")

General Discussion / TURN DOWN FOR WHAT
« on: March 29, 2014, 09:44:25 PM »

General Discussion / ageless
« on: March 20, 2014, 11:20:28 PM »
my son asks you "why did the green guy make him all bloody?"

General Discussion / pro dad moment
« on: March 19, 2014, 11:32:10 PM »
when your 5 year old son insists on watching a scary short with you:

Lights Out - Who's There Film Challenge (2013) on Vimeo

now he insists all the lights in the house stay on.

Spamalot / RE: missed skype calls
« on: March 19, 2014, 03:42:51 PM »
need I remind you good sir, it was you who removed Skype from my startup. Thereby requiring me to remember to sign in, which I always forget.

Plus I'm not convinced bacon and grapefruit mix well even though they both sounded good.

General Discussion / Missing Flight Thread (re-titled)
« on: March 14, 2014, 11:54:58 PM »
but in the meantime I enjoyed Jim Wright's response to the missing jetliner story:

On Saturday, March 8th, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 with 239 passengers and crew onboard disappeared somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

A week later, the fate of the aircraft and the people onboard remains unknown. No wreckage, no debris, no trace of the aircraft or the people have been found.

Weird, man, weird. I mean, it's totally got to be alien space pirates or Langoliers or Dirty Dick Vader, right?

I mean, what else could it be, right?

Folks, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that based on my experience with this sort of thing, we can safely rule out alien abductions and inter-dimensional rifts in the space time continuum. And I have it on good authority that Dick Cheney was home all night, nursing an acid stomach over Obama's reluctance to invade Russia.

Now, I suppose it's just, just, vaguely possible that the missing aircraft is parked on a secret jungle runway in Sumatra or Cambodia (or Bangor, Maine), hidden under camouflage netting, with the passengers and crew secured in an underground prison and its mysterious cargo now in the hands of a heretofore unknown shadowy cabal of international criminals with a really cool and evil acronym for a name. But until the Queen gets a coded message demanding 36 Billion British Pounds in gold bullion to be hand delivered by Sean Connery himself, let's just go ahead and label that Alternate Theory #007.

Most likely, and by "most likely" I mean the probability is approximately 99.999999999999%, the plane and its unfortunate passengers are scattered like confetti across a large portion of the seafloor under the Gulf of Thailand or the Andaman Sea.

Okay, Jim, I hear you ask in that long suffering tone you use when you’re convinced I’ll see reason if you repeat the bit about Obama and his Magic Negro Ray of Evil Chocolate Mojo just one more time, if the plane went into the ocean why can't they find the wreckage? Huh? What about that?

The search and recovery teams haven’t found the (presumed) wreckage of MH370, because the earth is a damned big place.

Nowadays, largely due to advances in air travel and ubiquitous instant on-demand broadband global communication, many people seem to think that we’ve conquered this planet. It appears that we humans inhabit every nook and cranny from the deepest ocean rift to the highest mountaintop and beyond right up into orbit, and there is nowhere left for a single human to hide, let alone some lost place for a large airliner to crash and its location not to be instantly tweeted and instagrammed and Facebooked to every corner of the globe. But it only appears that way.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on your point of view, that is simply not even close to true.

The world and especially the sea are vaster than you can imagine unless you've travelled across it, inch by inch and mile by mile – and maybe not even then.

If the plane fell into the ocean, which is the most likely scenario, even when you know exactly, and I mean exactly, where to look, it is still extremely difficult to find scattered bits of airplane or, to be blunt, scattered bits of people in the water.

And yes, I mean exactly that: scattered bits of people.

A comment in the Malaysian Times, which reposted my Facebook comments without permission, boggled that I would say such a thing, scattered bits of people. But that is how it is. When an airplane hits the water at high speed, it might as well be hitting a slab of concrete. Ditto if it comes apart at altitude, from explosion or structural failure, aerodynamic forces tear the airplane to pieces fairly quickly and what ends up in the water is scattered bits. Bits of plane, bits of cargo, bits of people. Most of which is burned and torn and unrecognizable to the untrained and inexperienced – which is why crowd-sourcing the search and rescue process is likely to be unhelpful.

Over two and a half decades as a navy sailor, I've spent many days searching for lost aircraft and lost human beings in the unforgiving ocean.  Even if you think you know where the bird went down, the winds and the currents can spread the debris across hundreds or even thousands of miles of ocean in fairly short order. No machine, no computer, can search this volume, you have to put human eyeballs on every inch of the search area. You have to inspect every item you come across, every scattered bit no matter how small – and the oceans of the world are full of flotsam, jetsam, debris, junk, trash, crap, bits, and pieces. Often neither the sea nor the weather cooperates, it is incredibly difficult to spot an item the size of a human being in the water, among the swells and the spray, even if you know exactly where to look - and the sea conditions in this part of the world are some of the worst, especially this time of year. And again, to be blunt, after a few days, a human body and a waterlogged tree stump are nearly indistinguishable from each other, all you see is a dark wet lump in the water – if you see anything at all – and to find out which is which you’ve got to put a boat over the side of the ship and go look at it in person.

Yeah, but what about a fuel slick, we should be able to see that, right? That would be huge, impossible to miss, right?

Again, you just don't understand how big the ocean is.

A fuel slick from an airplane this size, assuming the fuel hit the sea in one mass and wasn't vaporized into an aerosol by break-up of the aircraft at 30,000 feet, might cover, what? a square mile? Probably much less.

A standard search area, a rectangle 50 miles wide by 200 miles say, along the airplane's flight path encompasses ten thousand square miles - every inch of which has to be searched by the Mark 1 MOD 0 human eyeball. If you fly over it in an airplane, that’s like looking out the window for an object the size of a man, or smaller, over a distance equal to three and a half trips between San Diego, California and Bangor, Maine.

But it’s much worse than that.

The search area now covers more than two hundred thousand square miles. That’s 200,000 square miles, and more.

That’s like driving the distance from earth to the moon, looking out the windows hoping you don’t miss scattered bits of debris that may be no larger than a pack of cigarettes.

Starting to get the picture?

And yes, a fuel slick is maybe much bigger than the rest of the debris, but we're not talking thick heavy bunker oil, a big black sludgy stain on the surface of the sea.  No, we’re talking about high grade light fuel, like the kind burned in commercial jet turbines. Jet fuel evaporates quickly. Slicks are broken up by wave action and wind. And in heavy seas the sheen of oil on water is nearly impossible to spot. There's a very finite amount of time for finding a fuel slick on the surface of the ocean, assuming that one even exists, that time is past for Flight 370.

Yeah, but how come they don't know exactly where it is? Don't we track all airplanes via radar?

No. And certainly not over the oceans between countries or even over remote territory like northern Canada or the Gobi Desert or undeveloped areas of Africa, Central America, and Mexico.  Hell, if we could track every plane in detail, the US and other countries wouldn’t have so much trouble with airborne drug smugglers, would we?

Commercial Air Traffic Control radar systems don't work the way you think they do, at least not exactly, and not all of the time. What Air Traffic Controllers see on their screens depends on where they are and what their particular job is.  Near an airport, the images are usually very accurate and in real time, but out away from those concentration points things aren’t quite so clear. Why? Money mostly. Ironclad coverage takes money and lots of it. And it’s not practical in a lot of places. It’s damned hard to build and man a radar tower in the middle of the ocean, or the jungle, or the Arctic. Oh, it can be done, and has been. I’ve been stationed in places so remote you wouldn’t even believe they exist, Shemya Island at the far tip of the Aleutian Islands for example, we built radars there and in even more harsh and distant places during the Cold War – but those were military systems and the cost is astronomical.  There are other constraints such as International cooperation, or the lack thereof, and limited and widely mixed technologies, some modern some dating back decades. And so on.

Well, Okay, but you mentioned military radar systems, how come the military wasn’t tracking the plane?

Most military radar isn't concerned with commercial air traffic on standard routes flying at 30,000+ feet. The skies are full of jetliners. Most just appear as a contact on a tracking scope. A blip. Since commercial flights are regular and known and their schedules are public knowledge, those blips are predictable and expected. They’re watched briefly as they trundle along in a straight line across the sky, and are then ignored.

Military people are concerned with threats.

Threats typically move in a ballistic trajectory, or a flat fast powered arc, or much closer to the surface moving in patterns that a trained radar operator recognizes as a suspicious contact.

Military radar records might be helpful in figuring out what happened, but unless Flight 370 was behaving like a threat while passing through somebody's radar envelope, it's unlikely that anybody would notice or bother to identify it. And so those recordings will have to be analyzed, and the hundreds of contacts will have to be sorted out just to determine if MH370 even appeared on their scopes. Also military people charged with defending their airspace don't like showing people from other countries their radar systems, and for damned good reasons, so it's going to take some time to get those records.  It's going to be a while before a complete search those recordings can be done.

Sure, Okay, but what about the ringing phones?

You ever call a cell phone that was turned off? Ever call somebody and it goes straight to voicemail, but you know the phone is active and the other person has call waiting? You ever call somebody, their phone rings and rings and rings and rings and then they finally answer and when you ask, the guy on the other says his phone only rang one time?

Folks, you hear ringtones even when the phone you’re calling isn’t physically ringing because the cellular network doesn’t want you to hang up while it tries to connect the circuit. Minutes equal money, if you hang up, if your call isn’t connected, the phone company is out profit.  So, they send you a ringtone while the systems looks for the phone you want.  If the phone doesn't respond immediately the network doesn't know if the device is active but in an area of weak signal or limited connectivity or heavy congestion, or roaming out of network, or turned off.

Sometimes you get different behavior depending on what cell system you’re using, analog, second generation digital, 3G, LTE, GSM, and so on.

So, some networks send you a ringtone to let you know they’re working.

Some just give you dead air until they connect.

Some do both depending on programming and happenstance.  There's no standard, even in heavily regulated North America, and sure as hell not across the various countries of Asia. This isn't some big conspiracy, it’s no mystery, this is how the various evolving patchwork cell phone systems work. The information is widely available and you can test it yourself.

Claiming that "ringing" cell phones mean the plane is or was still intact just means that you're ignorant of how the technology works.

Yeah, but what if the plane was intact and underwater. The cell signals might penetrate water even if the people were dead or unconscious, so the phones could ring until their batteries wore out. That might account for the ringing after the plane was lost, right?

No. Wrong wrong wrong.

Take some science classes, radio wave physics for starters.

GPS and cell phones operate above the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) portion of the Radio Frequency spectrum, those wavelengths do not, repeat do not, penetrate water. Period. It doesn’t matter what you read, or what some conspiracy goof said on TV, it can’t happen. Physics is physics, it’s not magic, and the principles are very, very well understood.

Now just wait a damned minute, Jim, I hear you protest, don’t they have those giant radio transmitters that can talk to submarines underwater?

Yes. But those operate in a different wavelength. Very Low Frequency (VLF) and Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radio waves can penetrate water to a significant degree, but you'd need a cell phone the size of large refrigerator/freezer and an antenna miles in length to use those frequencies and there is no way around that. Also, those frequencies are slow, it takes hours to send a few characters of text, they cannot be used for voice or cell phone communications. Period.

Yeah, but what about reports that the plane turned before losing contact?

What about reports that the plane’s computers continued to send engine performance data hours after last voice contact with the pilots?

What about reports that the 777 might experience cracks around an antenna mounting?

What about the pilots? What about the fake passports? What about this? What about that?

Look, that's what experts are for.

Search and rescue, forensic crash investigation, fault analysis of complex systems, anti-terrorism investigation, air traffic control, all of these things are complicated, they require experience and training and years of education.  Just because you read some stuff on World Net Daily or on Facebook or heard it from the guy in the cubicle next to yours, doesn’t make any of those people experts.

Investigation and analysis takes time, if it was easy and obvious, anybody could do it.

And that's what's taking so long. Maybe the plane turned around, maybe it didn't. Maybe the cabin lost pressure, suddenly or slowly. Maybe the plane exploded at altitude. Maybe it augured in. Maybe maybe maybe. At the moment, nobody knows anything. Period.

Every single person on the planet in this information saturated age should damned well know by now that initial reports are going to be conflicting, contradictory, confused, and just plain wrong.

That confusion is not evidence of some cover up, or even something unusual. This isn’t some big conspiracy, it is unfortunately the nature of the situation. It's perfectly normal and it happens all of the time and it always has and you know it.

Every single human being who lives in the Information Age should understand in their bones that every Joe Shit The Ragman who comes along just might not know what the hell he's talking about, but that doesn't stop him from getting on the TV or the Internet and speculating away. It’s human nature to fill up the unknown with nonsense, and you should be smart enough to recognize that and demand proof and evidence and fact.

Conspiracy theories aren't about the truth, they're about the conspiracy theorist.

Wait for the official word and for the sake of Dread Cthulhu and your sanity, stop listening to TV pundits and World Net Daily. News media has to fill up bandwidth, and they will with whatever drooling idiocity that comes along, but you don’t have to listen to it and you certainly don’t need to go around repeating it.

It's unusual for a plane to vanish nowadays, yes, especially for a large modern aircraft, but that doesn't mean it has to be the plot of a Stephen King novel, or Ian Fleming for that matter.  Ships, planes, people have vanished before. It happens. It used to happen a lot. They fall into the sea or into the remote jungle or the empty desert and are lost for months, sometimes years and even decades.

The world grows ever smaller, but it is still a vast, vast place, there are plenty of dark holes beyond the reach of technology for things to drop into and vanish for a while.

I have no idea what happened to this airplane, but the difference between me and the media is that I’m not afraid to admit it.

Again, that's what experts are for, let them do their jobs. Sooner or later, the plane or its wreckage will be found, eventually we'll know the reason why. Mechanical failure, accident, weather, human error, terrorists, or even time-travelling kidnappers from a dystopian future. Sooner or later, you'll know.

Yes, it's hell on the families who wait for news of the their loved ones, but hysteria, wild speculation by the media, and conspiracy theories from the internet sure as hell aren't helping.

This isn't CSI or an episode of 24, sometimes you don't get answers in 60 minutes with time out for piss breaks and a snack.

Act like a rational adult and deal with it.

Spamalot / Big Sors
« on: March 14, 2014, 04:02:38 PM »
How about searching Facebook and shit?

was trying to find out who this teen is, who's family he belongs to etc.

Alaska ain't that big.

If you're wondering why, trying to decide if it's worth looking for a racial motive or not. The reason being the valley where this occurred is notoriously racist.

General Discussion / ahhh so good
« on: March 12, 2014, 09:37:08 PM »,35505/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:1:Default&recirc=masculinity

President Obama says he can’t wait to take the custom rebuilt drone out for a spin.

WASHINGTON—Taking his time to thoroughly clean a pair of replacement carburetors and install them on a turbocharged Rotax engine as classic rock tracks blared from a nearby transistor radio, sources confirmed that President Barack Obama spent most of Wednesday afternoon in the White House garage continuing his restoration of a vintage military drone.

Pausing every so often to admire his work, the president, dressed in jeans and a grease-stained Champion sweatshirt, explained that he has been tinkering with the 1995 RQ-1 Predator since acquiring it from a military scrapyard two years ago. The commander-in-chief said he considers the salvaged unmanned aerial vehicle a prized find, as the United States only produced 12 of the classic airframes for their inaugural deployment in the Bosnian War.

“Now this baby right here is 1,300 pounds of pure American muscle,” Obama said as he tossed a socket wrench aside and wiped the oil from his hands. “From the single rudder steering to the inverted V-tail at the back, it’s all classic General Atomics engineering. Real beaut, isn’t she?”

“I mean, look at this pretty little antenna dome,” he continued, buffing the drone’s satellite communication housing with a shammy cloth. “They just don’t make UAVs like this anymore.”

After popping the cap off of a fresh Rolling Rock, the 44th president of the United States explained that in an effort to maintain its mid-’90s authenticity, he is rebuilding the craft using mostly original RQ-1 parts ordered either directly from the manufacturer or traded with other collectors online. The head of state added that he has come to prefer the latter, saying that it provides him an opportunity to meet and talk shop with fellow “drone-heads.”

“When I’m done, she’s gonna have all the bells and whistles of the original; I’m talking Moving Target Indicator, APX-100 Friend-Or-Foe transponder, heat sensor, laser designator—the whole enchilada,” Obama said, standing next to a faded poster from the 1994 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. “And, if I can pick one up on the cheap, I’m hoping to put in a top-of-the-line GPS, too.”

“With a set of souped-up avionics like that, you can really open her up once you hit international airspace,” he continued.

The president, who confirmed that he planned on sanding down the tail the next time he has a free weekend, said that after installing custom titanium wing linings, his next project will be to apply a coat of gunmetal gray paint to the vehicle’s body in order to get “that timeless Predator look.”

Obama later mentioned, however, that he hasn’t completely ruled out one day upgrading the paint job to pure white or even MARPAT desert camouflage, which he claimed would “turn a few heads” and make the shell’s classified carbon-Kevlar composite “really pop.”

“Of course some of these mods aren’t exactly regulation,” the sitting president said with a wink, referring to the set of AGM 114-Hellfire missiles his friend, a retired Air Force weapons specialist he would only identify as “Spud,” helped him install last fall. “I also stripped off her Synthetic Aperture Radar to compensate for the added weight, which just means you have to be a little more careful when the weather’s bad.”

“These old Predators are highly temperamental, so you’ve got to know how to treat ’em right,” he continued, adding that he wouldn’t dream of running one with anything less than a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and Syntroleum jet fuel. “Normally people can only get these things to do about 135 at a max altitude of 25,000 feet, but with a little TLC I’ll bet I can juice her up to at least a buck fifty-five, buck sixty.”

Obama boasted that the finished work would harken back to the “glory days” of drones, when he says American ingenuity dominated the skies over the Balkans. Noting that back in that era Predators were the drone of choice for Operation Nomad Vigil, the nation’s chief executive reflected on the machines’ superior handling and reconnaissance capabilities, lamenting that today’s newer models with their “flashy AN/AAS-52 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems” seem only to be focused on precision strikes against high-value terrorist targets.

The two-term president told reporters he does not intend on selling the drone once it is finished, acknowledging that in addition to its sentimental value, he likes the idea of taking it out for a spin on the occasional Sunday morning or showing it off to some of his older NATO buddies who remember the vintage UAVs from back in their earlier peacekeeping days.

“Michelle sometimes tells me I’m spending too much time and money on this thing,” Obama said. “But I’ve told her that this has always been my passion, that this is what I love to do. At the end of each day, all I’m thinking about is getting in this garage, sliding onto my mechanic’s dolly, and getting to work bringing this baby back to deployment condition.”

“What can I say?” the president added. “I just really connect with these machines.”

According to sources, after testing and recalibrating the propeller, the president spent another hour cleaning up the scraps of metal and foam shavings from his worksite. Observers say Obama then stood in the doorway staring reverently at the drone for several moments before turning off the light and slowly heading inside.

General Discussion / Iditarod video
« on: March 08, 2014, 04:11:48 PM »
tough year for the Iditarod here is a cool little video of Jeff King and his dogs running (notice the lack of snow cover in many places, been a strange winter):

General Discussion / Good at FPS games? (Rust)
« on: February 28, 2014, 09:24:08 PM »
Come play Rust on Cali Dreams server with us. The game itself isn't that great (alpha) but the retarded community makes it fun. We play on Cali Dreams server:

Been down for like 36 hours total and you can expect at least one DDOS attack a week bc the admin is active and bans hackers who then DDOS the fuck out of us. Has a good stable community of regulars though.

Me, 2 of my RL buddies (Acreal and Nishi from TZ) and Ssalam. Czer might still, Kacer is on it right now and Arogarn. I'm sucky at FPS style games but I'm enjoying myself anyhow. Qugyuk on Steam.

Spamalot / happy birthday to the 2nd most unpopular guy
« on: February 27, 2014, 04:05:18 PM »
well, you are down there anyhow, but you know I love you Ssalam. Happy Birthday brother, I tried skyping but I guess your RL friends are more important.

General Discussion / looks like it's garnering mad haters
« on: February 24, 2014, 02:10:23 AM »
but I got to give the US Department of Health and Human Services credit for this:

I believe it even passes the criteria for a doge meme. This was posted to their FaceBook.

General Discussion / Just watched a Phish video
« on: February 23, 2014, 08:35:50 AM »
BC I remembered this girl and her friend I hooked up with one night, the one girl her boobs were enormous and taut like a drum. They were Phish fans

known a couple of those, was trying to see if I could get it.

I couldn't

I can see how people could like it but I just could not.

General Discussion / Just watched a Phish video
« on: February 23, 2014, 08:32:06 AM »
BC I remembered this girl and her friend I hooked up with one night, the one girl her boobs were enormous and taut like a drum. They were Phish fans

known a couple of those, was trying to see if I could get it.

I couldn't

I can see how people could like it but I just could not.

General Discussion / TZT brain trust
« on: February 23, 2014, 03:45:44 AM »

Spamalot / This is why I drink
« on: February 20, 2014, 02:01:51 PM »
This is why I drink

John Legend - All of Me

could a song be more terrible?

Spamalot / Are you ready to heal?
« on: February 20, 2014, 03:22:26 AM »
I got to a traditional healer (who also happens to be western educated) and we talked a lot about my drinking, strategies for abstaining (I am) and she laid out a plan for therapy that she estimates will take me 3-4 months (given my openness) but asked me

"are you ready to heal?"

Funny she asked me that question because I'm not sure I am. I'm not sure I'm ready to talk through and let go a lot of this stuff. Alaska is a small state, she knows who I am and knows me, and she said she knows I am a strong person and I am. I can go on but sometimes I feel like this shit is starting to take it's toll. Most of my drinking is pleasure drinking, with maybe monthly occurrences of problem drinking. Regardless I am addicted.

I'm quitting drinking with the help of baclofen (thx mark  :smitten:) and it's working but I'm depressed, moody, angry and generally not fucking happy about it. I am happy about it but, you know?

I'm not sure I'm ready to heal from anything I haven't already, I've made so much fucking progress on my own but I think a lot of the familial and personal shit I can't let go of, like my sister. I might not be ready

Anyhow this belongs in the sharing forum probably but I trust you guys and a few of my good pals don't have access so I share it in Spamalot.

General Discussion / SO AMUSING
« on: February 17, 2014, 11:43:20 PM »
Dad Films & Can't Stop Laughing At Kids Slipping On Ice! (Video)

Spamalot / The title of this thread is "I hope your face is OK...."
« on: February 17, 2014, 06:06:23 PM »
Or happy birthday Lux

General Discussion / buhbuh
« on: February 16, 2014, 03:47:15 PM »
How to Light the Pilot Light on a Gas Furnace

General Discussion / Vlad the Astrophysicist
« on: February 13, 2014, 12:54:35 PM »
I enjoyed this song, heard it on the radio this morning. Reminded me of meeting a Bangladeshi Astrophysicist and drinking with him.

Peter Mulvey Performs "Vlad the Astrophysicist"

General Discussion / Camel solves Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture
« on: February 11, 2014, 03:49:43 PM »
but what is a camel going to do with a million bucks, she's a camel

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