The Truth About Extinction Rebellion

Give Paul Joseph Watson 15 minutes of your time.

addendum: Stuart Basden, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, writes in Medium that ER is not about climate, it is about crashing European society and skewering the idea that ” heterosexuality is ‘normal’ and that other expressions of sexuality are deviant .” Think about that as you see ER activists super-gluing themselves to trains, streets, and anything else that might cause maximum disruption. *see below re: “some may die in the process.” I guess for the greater good or something.

krazy kyakers

Ottawa has the good fortune of being near lots of water, mostly in the form of two rivers, the Ottawa and the Rideau.  The Rideau drains into the Ottawa.  Historically, the Rideau Canal was built to accommodate trade between Ottawa and as far as Kingston.

To facilitate boat traffic, a number of locks were installed.  In addition to the locks, dams were built, typically next to the lock, to manage the flow of water.  Near to where I live is a lock/dam called Hogs Back.  The dam side flows over a series of rocks, that are typically quite nice to look at, but with the spring melt, become a raging rapid.

So, this spring (2014), I brought my video camera down to Hogs Back to capture the wild torrents, much more wild than in other years, crazy huge flows.  After a bit of filming, a fellow asks if I am there to video the kayakers.  “Huh?”, I said.  He tells me three kayakers are suiting up getting ready to run the Hogs Back rapids.

So, I stick around and capture the following video.  Amazing stuff.  For 20 seconds in the rapids, it must have been invigorating, not to mention very cold.

For comparison, here are some pix of the flow in June,  Very pretty, but not nearly as dangerous. Note when the initial kayaker goes over the first flow, that is the same point as the first picture below.  Pretty amazing.

hogsBack_01
hogsBack_02
hogsBack_03

 

Sound engineer humor

One of my favorite sites is gearslutz.com, where people, mostly sound engineer types, talk about … gear.  Most of the time, the conversations are about experiences with specific pieces of recording equipment or techniques.  Some can be offbeat and really amusing, like this one — He Is…the Most Interesting Gear Slut!

Basically, assembling all the collected wisdom, knowledge and opinion about gear, talent and luck, and packaging it as hyperbole.  Here are some samples:

  • He mixed the entire Hotel California record in one day on headphones in a room AT Hotel California and then left without checking out
  • Word clocks sync to him
  • He records a whole band perfectly with one mic, in one take, on one track, on tape — and mixes it to surround sound … telepathically
  • He pronounces Moog correctly
  • He’s so forward thinking that the last time he played guitar was tomorrow
  • He can tune a piano and tuna fish
  • He’s won Grammy’s for songs he almost worked on
  • He once wrote a concerto for dog whistle
  • He thought he’d made a mistake once, but he was mistaken
  • He can hear, pan, eq and add effects to the sound of one hand clapping
  • At a lecture, he once uttered, “just do it” and walked off the stage.  Nike tried to sue him for using the catch phrase, but ended up being sued themselves by him as he had already developed that exact shoe style for a song intro that required someone running into a house.  The album was “Nike Runner” and the title song was “Just Do It”.  He did however let Nike keep making the shoe pump that he had invented for the compression effect on that intro. It eliminated sock issues by compressing foot sweat.

… well, *I* think they are really funny. 😎

The house always wins, but how much?

“I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol, and wild women.  The other half I wasted.” – WC Fields

Here is a visualization prepared by data scientist Seth Kadish.  The chart presents the house odds in gambling in Las Vegas casinos, the percent of wagered money won by the house against the total revenues for the week.  For example, if $100 is wagered on blackjack, the house will take 11%, or $11.  The data comes from reports published by the Nevada Gaming Control Board .

gamblingYou should already know that the house always wins, or more precisely, the odds favor the house.  If it doesn’t, they unilaterally convict you of card counting and ban you from ever playing in the casino again.

The chart is hard to read here, so if you want to see the detail, go to Seth’s site.  The pithy summary is:

  • sports parlay cards are the worst odds for the player, with the house taking nearly 40% of the amount of money wagered (upper left quadrant)
  • 3-card poker is the worst card game, at about 33%
  • roulette is about 18%
  • craps is about 14%
  • blackjack is about 11%
  • your best odds is the $100 slot, at about 4%

This is not to condemn gambling, but it *is* a money pit.  Thanks for playing.

Sun Traces Huge Figure-8 Patterns in Sky

Here is an intriguing time-lapsed photo of the sun’s position in the sky over Wroclaw, Poland, taken three-times a day throughout one year:

sunFig8_sm

Maciej Zapiór, a solar physicist at the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma, Majorca, and colleague Lukasz Fajfrowski built a pinhole camera and set it to make 1-minute-long exposures onto a single piece of photographic paper at 10:30, 12:00 and 13:30 each day from 1 March 2013 to 1 March 2014.  The resulting image shows how the position of the sun in the sky changes throughout the year.  In the summer it is higher, in the winter lower.  Its position also shifts horizontally, tracing a figure-of-eight path called an analemma.

see original article on New Scientist

Known and Unknown

These definitions seem to be attributed to Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of Defense.  The attribution is usually derogatory, e.g. “Rumspeak”.  But I think its great …

Known knowns – things we know we know

Known unknowns – things we know we don’t know

Unknown unknowns – things we don’t know we don’t know

Rumsfeld would add another relevant, telling category later: the unknown known, the kind of thing you think you know, based on information that seems solid but which in reality isn’t very solid at all. It’s the thing you think you know but that you actually do not.

Here is a video of Rumsfeld describing his uncertainty principle.

Surf’s Up! Wind Shear turns Clouds into Waves

Here is a photo of an unusual cloud formation shot in Birmingham, Alabama. Called a Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, the formation is caused when the wind is moving at different speeds at different altitudes, creating a shearing effect and resulting in clouds shaped like slow-moving waves across the horizon.

And who’d a thunk it, but there is a website for the Cloud Appreciation Society, which has user contributed photos of clouds from around the world and beyond.

The World’s Lightest Material

Here is a piece of metal sitting on a dandelion. It’s the world’s lightest material, developed by a team of researchers from the University of California at Irvine.  It comprises 99.99% air and is one hundred times lighter than Styrofoam.

A face only a Hagfish can love

Weird but amazing animal. Hagfish are partway between fish and worms, with a spinal cord but no backbone. They have changed little in at least 300 million years. Hagfish largely scavenge, but have recently been found to hunt as well. When they come across a big carcass, they burrow into it and then eat it from the inside. Uniquely for a vertebrate, in addition to having a gut, they can absorb nutrients through their skin and gills. But feeding inside a decaying corpse, there will be little oxygen in the water and lots of toxic ammonia from the rotting flesh. The hagfish can cope with these adverse conditions, no problem. For hunting and defense, hagfish release a slime that gums up the gills of its predetor or victim, which suffocates it.