Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The scientists deduced that whatever is driving the movements of the clusters must lie beyond the known universe.
A theory called inflation posits that the universe we see is just a small bubble of space-time that got rapidly expanded after the Big Bang. There could be other parts of the cosmos beyond this bubble that we cannot see.
In these regions, space-time might be very different, and likely doesn't contain stars and galaxies (which only formed because of the particular density pattern of mass in our bubble). It could include giant, massive structures much larger than anything in our own observable universe. These structures are what researchers suspect are tugging on the galaxy clusters, causing the dark flow.
Realize how small you, your religion, and your existence are; live life in harmony with this reality instead of inventing false drama like most of the herd in our "enlightened" society.
"Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." -Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
"We feel like we've lost something personal in our team," Gomez said recently, cutting hair at the Fernandez Barbershop in Jamaica Plain, where many Latino Sox players come to get haircuts. "It's a big community, the Latinos. It makes us feel proud to at least have representation."
"I've always been a Red Sox fan. That's not going to change. I want to be a Red Sox fan," said Javy Fernandez, a 22-year-old Dominican-American who owns a market in Dorchester. "But I get more excited when I see my people - people of my ethnicity - play on my team. It makes you feel like you're playing on the team also."
Jed Hoyer, the Red Sox's assistant general manager, declined to comment specifically on any of the recent moves, but he stressed that all decisions are based on a player's talent, not ethnicity. When making personnel moves, such as not re-signing Pedro in 2004 or trading Manny in July, Hoyer said club officials are only considering one thing: what's best for the team.
So much is wrong with this article.
Apparently they didn't have enough to report on today. A poor population of mostly illegals, only in Massachusetts (a far cry from the Dominican) because of the free benefits offered by the state, latches onto a local team because a few Dominicans happen to be on it. They identify with the team and then with the city, celebrating two World Series victories (read: millionaires dancing around like morons who care nothing for the fans or the city in which they play - sounds kind of like illegal immigrant populations to me, no wonder they love the athletes so much). Suddenly they feel like "part of the team" (uh, sound a bit like a 7-year-old idolizing Mickey Mantle?) and are disappointed when a few of them leave for greener pastures (greener meaning more money). The sad part is they don't realize, or have tricked themselves into believing, that they wouldn't do the same thing. Like there aren't enough Latinos in LA (Manny Ramirez) or New York (Pedro Martinez) that these athletes can defraud into thinking they're part of the Latino community.
The Red Sox are racist because their Latino population is dwindling! Off with their heads!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is Jokela High School Massacre Redux. The media will try to cover this up as just another psycho who pulled a gun at a school, but with incidents like this becoming more common, we can't fool ourselves any longer: school shootings are a message and a warning to modern society; a disruption not unlike a high-profile hack (a la Sarah Palin's email), only with human casualties.
More to come as Corrupt.org reports on this most recent schoool shooting.
Edit 9/23/08, 9:35am EDT:
Corrupt.org post - click here.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The move, he said, would not be necessary in a well-functioning market and is only a temporary step that is part of the actions being taken by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Congress.
A recent wave of the market maneuvers -- where traders seek to profit by selling unowned shares of companies in the anticipation their prices will drop -- has been blamed in part for the demise of venerable investment firm Lehman Brothers and other big companies.
When the financial speculators are fat and happy, short selling is just considered part of the game. Financial speculation works both ways: you're betting on when a company goes bad (short selling) and betting on when you think companies might do well (the more "normal" type of investments: buying stocks, bonds, etc.). At least in the realm of financial speculation, this type of maneuvering makes some kind of sense.
The problem now is that our economists at the Federal Reserve want to keep pumping paper money into the system instead of lowering interest rates. Lower rates might mean more investment here at home (mortgages, etc.) in theory, but with consumer behavior leaning heavily toward savings these days (no matter how much they try to brainwash - er, advertise - us into buying that new plasma TV), they know that lowering the interest rate would accomplish nothing but allowing foreign investors to continue buying up pieces of America. And why wouldn't they? They're pissed enough as it is that they hitched their wagon to our economic star, and now that we've mismanaged ourselves into a recession, the rest of the world is seeing the side effects. So why not buy up that same driving force when/if a rebound occurs?
Our economists and government are more transparent than ever. They call this a "temporary" measure, as if we're about to bounce out of this recession all the better. In five years, we'll still be waiting.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Further to my first Bisphenol-A post, a new study links the dangerous, and widely used, chemical with heart disease and diabetes.
BPA is used to line most canned goods, from soups to soft drinks, to prevent corrosion. It helps make sunglasses and compact discs durable. And it strengthens virtually all transparent, light-weight, hard plastic bottles.
Researchers led by Iain A. Lang of Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England, analyzed urine levels of BPA among 1,455 American adults, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004. Higher levels of BPA in urine were associated with the form of chest pain called angina, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and type 2 diabetes.
Feel free to digg and comment on a similar article here.
This is extremely disconcerting, but hardly surprising. Our government and the corporations that have bought it up piece by piece are not concerned with your health. They decided that Canada was jumping the gun when trying to ban BPA earlier in the year, when even they didn't know the facts.
How does this chemical even get past our FDA? Because our FDA isn't made up of an army of altruistic scientists looking out for the health of Americans, sadly enough. Maybe our tax dollars should go toward creating such an organization though, instead of, I don't know, benefits for people who don't belong here and a broken welfare system
Full article on Boston.com here: [+]
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Here's some tips from the article, at ecostreet.com on how we can make our lives better with a few little tricks - not painful at all:
Healthy teeth healthy rivers: Remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth-a running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to do this, we could save 180 mega litres a day-enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes.
Fill up those dishwashers: Hand-washing dishes typically uses about 63 litres per session; if those dishes are rinsed off under a running tap the total water used averages 150 litres-in comparison, a modern dishwasher can use as little as 15 litres of water per cycle. But make sure you fill the dishwasher or you’ll be wasting even more than if you were to wash up by hand. And if you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, look for the energy efficiency ‘A’ rated machines since these usually waste the least amount of water. If you take a closer look at the energy label, it actually does tell you how much water the machine uses.
Be sprinkler savvy: We all love our gardens, but sprinklers can use as much as 1,000 litres of water per hour-that’s more than a family of four can use in a whole day. Using your sprinkler early in the morning or late in the evening will mean less water will evaporate from your garden and more will get to the roots, where you actually want it to go.
Interestingly enough, this article was listed under the "sustainable lifestyle" section of the website. Which is exactly why I'm calling "BS" here.
Our lives are not sustainable. Using a machine which is supposedly efficient (how about the oil it uses to heat up the water, same as your tap? how about the electricity it uses to run?) doesn't change anything. Neither does using a hose instead of in-ground sprinkler systems to water the palatial estates we feel the need to maintain in our society, complete with unnaturally-shiny green grass. Want some tips on how to save water? Here's some of mine:
- Use mulch on your lawn instead of grass. No need to water it, no worries about it becoming ugly, because it already is.
- Re-use glasses and plates, or just rinse them off with a quick squirt of the hose attachment, instead of dropping every water glass and bread-crumb littered plate into the dishwasher to "fix".
- Buy an outhouse and don't use your toilet anymore. The new Port-A-Potty models are spectacular, I hear
- Don't shower three times a day
Of course, most people can't imagine a lifestyle without skyscrapers, indoor plumbing, and vast supermarkets (which is a huge waste of water and electricity; anything you do in your home to waste water pales in comparison to today's megamarts/malls/shops). This lack of imagination and lack of living in conjunction with nature instead of shutting it out from our lives is exactly the reason we feel modern guilt wrapping around our necks like a noose, thinking we can loosen it up a bit by making painless tweaks here and there. "I fixed the faucet; that's one more kid in China that gets clean water today". Well, not really, Mr. Gore. All you did was what any responsible adult should do in one's home; your water comes from a local reservoir, and those reservoirs get drained more and more each year by people who can't even be bothered to reschedule their automated in-ground sprinkler systems during a rainstorm.
Token gestures don't help. Changing our lifestyle and community setup would, but unfortunately, most people can't be bothered with such mundane things - they're too busy figuring out how many liters of water they can save by buying that new toilet at Home Depot.Original article:
Feel free to digg and comment here:
Monday, September 08, 2008
A perfect example of this is professional sports. The most recent story which is provoking reaction across the web is that Tom Brady may be out for the entire NFL season after the New England Patriots quarterback suffered a significant knee injury during yesterday's 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brady hasn't missed a start since taking over for Drew Bledsoe in Game 2 of the 2001 NFL Season. After the Spygate fiasco last year, I shared my thoughts on the NFL, the media, and 99.9% of the fans in the league who love the idea of parity because it mirrors what they want in their own lives: forced equality so no one is overly successful, which would highlight the shortcomings of certain individuals.
To recap, the Patriots' coach was caught taping defensive signals from a sideline, which is a violation of NFL rules. The media cried "cheaters!" even before most Patriots' fans realized what was going on. The hype ensued, and for the rest of the season, the Patriots' had a chip on their shoulder - winning every game, some by large margins, before eventually losing in the Super Bowl - due to the fact that everyone wanted to jump on the back of a championship team and bring them down to everyone else's level.
Few things to highlight here, as I did in my original post:
- Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson admitted to sending personnel in to opposing head coach's hotel rooms the day they checked out to search through trash barrels for playbooks or play sheets
- Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher defended Belichick, as did the entire Steelers organization
- Former New York Jets coach Herm Edwards didn't believe there was a big fuss to be made over a tape of a defensive signal
- St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz had said he wasn't really interested in whether or not a Patriots' tape of a walkthrough of their practice before Super Bowl XXXVI existed, only that if it did, it would be a "bit disappointing"
Seeing a trend yet? NFL coaches live in their offices and study for hours, trying every which way they can to get an edge over other teams. Because Bill Belichick doesn't like the media very much and is generally not very personable as a football coach, people wanted to bring him down because of his success. As a result, the herd saw an opportunity to pounce once they were caught breaking a taping rule, and suddenly the floodgates opened. The media even found an idiot golf pro in Hawaii willing to make up stories so he could get his fifteen minutes of fame.
Fast forward to May of 2008. Finally, the Patriots are cleared of charges that they taped a Super Bowl practice walk through, and we can finally move on - right? Wrong. Still, bitterness exists from the crowd, and still, they insist on labeling the organization "cheaters" so they have something to feel good about when the Patriots come into town and roll over their team.
Now it's Game 1 of the NFL season. Brady drops back to pass and goes down with a knee injury. All the bitter fans from the rest of the country love that Brady is likely out for the season because they can start shouting about "karma", "just desserts", and the like.
So why have I decided I'm done with professional sports? Everything sports-related is hyped and melodramatized to a ridiculous degree, giving fodder to the herd that wants everyone down at their level. Television coverage, internet coverage; it all focuses on the individual when the Patriots were always about team. They weren't a media-friendly organization and likely won't be one in the future. Yet they set a shining example of what an NFL team should do, with a misstep along the way being blown way out of proportion and being the unfortunate cross to bear for the rest of Belichick's tenure as head coach.
The last year or so of following professional sports has taught me a lot about the modern day fanbase and media. Instead of looking toward the fans as an excuse for following the sport, now I find most of them even more reprehensible than the billionaire owners who insist on public funds for infrastructure to keep teams in certain cities, and moreso than players who make way too much money and are in it for themselves instead of the team. I should have learned that lesson a long time ago, but when you're brought up following sports in New England or New York, it can be tough to separate sports from one's life. I'm just about there.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
In typical, disgusting fashion, she has no problem discussing the most personal relationships, including a failed (surprised?) marriage and an abortion. We really need to hear about her experiences with the hook of death? Hm, wonder why there weren't any pictures of THAT on her homepage?
Story about Stephanie Klein's blog can be found here.
"IT'S addictive," Meredith Balossini said. "There's compassion. There's want. There's misery."
Ms. Balossini, 28, an executive secretary from Prospect Park, N.J., wasn't describing a hot summer beach read but a blog about the trysts, triumphs and heartaches of a young New York City woman named Stephanie Klein.
Stephanie Klein's Web site is illustrated with photos of her, her friends, her dog and newspaper mentions of her publication deal.
Since Jan. 20, 2004, Ms. Klein, a 29-year-old art director with freckles and long red curls like Botticelli's Venus, has been blogging about the intimate details of her life, from her affinity for rainy days and grilled cheese sandwiches to her sexual escapades, including one that involved a stranger and a can of Pam cooking spray.
Today the blog has an international readership with fans who recognize Ms. Klein when they see her gallivanting around Manhattan and the Hamptons, and who find parallels to their own lives in her candid, freewheeling stories.
According to Technorati, which ranks blogs based on "net attention," or the number of people who are linking to them, Ms. Klein's blog has a rank of 2,132, meaning that of the world's more than 13 million blogs, there are only 2,000 or so with more inbound links than hers.
"That would put her in the top 1 percent of all bloggers," said David L. Sifry, the founder and chief executive officer of Technorati.
Ms. Klein's blog is a voyeur's playground, with many photos of Ms. Klein, her friends and the swanky places they go. But the allure is muted by accounts of Ms. Klein's childhood summers at fat camp, the husband she says cheated on her when she was pregnant, her subsequent abortion and her ongoing quest for love. Nothing, it seems, is too private not to share with readers.
Modern people really are that sick and neurotic that they feel the need to trace the steps of a woman who lives a fantasy life, ignoring any of the world's problems and making a profession out of getting laid, drinking a lot, and whining about her personal drama on a popular blog. This is exactly why we need strong leaders to tell us what to do instead of what we jokingly call "democracy", which is really just the most effective form of totalitarianism ever created.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Yeah, high-fructose corn syrup comes from natural products. So does cocaine.
What they fail to mention is that corn syrup is used as a preservative for foods that would otherwise spoil easily. So you end up loading food that's already no good for you, with sugar (which is what corn syrup is), as well as bleached, ultra-processed white flour - the discovery of which allowed for foods to keep more easily on a shelf - see Hostess products. If people just ate locally grown food and lived a more organic lifestyle, we'd realize we don't need corn syrup for any reason. What was that lady pouring in the video anyway? Teach your kids to drink water and 100% natural juice.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The aid, along with Cheney's visit, is sure to increase tensions with Russia, whose leaders have accused the United States of stoking the conflict with Georgia over its two separatist regions by providing weapons and training to the Georgians."
More tribute money going to one of our would-be colonies. We're looking at Cold War II turning into WWIII.
In terms of how this relates to our election, I saw a great glimpse of the future in this casual toss of $1billion toward a country no one in the States should even care remotely about: Obama wants benefits for all (but you're going to pay for them as he'll raise taxes to socialistic levels (oops, they're already there) in order to fund an inefficient, centralized government operation of rights-for-all, even illegals). McCain doesn't really have much in the way of foreign policy experience (he admitted as much) but he's going to act tough - by continuing to give our tax money away to countries like Georgia which stand their ground against budding superpowers like China or Russia. "Here you go, take a billion of our pesos, or better yet, let us install a missile deflector shield so you can really cozy up to Russia".
The two options we have for President this year couldn't have been worse.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Most television is rehashed garbage. Once in a while, a show comes along and makes an impact, be it The Sopranos and the misunderstood David Chase, the dark-humor specialty of Seinfeld, the fun jabs at modern society in Family Guy, or the mystery of Lost. The Shield is character-driven with an anti-hero as its main character, like The Sopranos, and has retained its quality over seven seasons. They could have ended this show after three seasons; they could have extended it to ten seasons. Either way, the producers did the right thing by ending it now, only a season or so removed from the death of a major character.
The Shield has been criticized for putting its anti-hero protagonist - Michael Chiklis' Vic Mackey - on a pedestal. In reality, the main character is morally flawed, and the show reflects the gritty reality of what an effective police detective needs to do in a place like the rough, inner city neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Of course, as the seasons have worn on, reflection on the characters and questioning whether or not their flaws are justified is more thoroughly explored.
Does being flawed and having to resort to the rule of the street to be effective, excuse the fact that sometimes Vic will do what he needs to do in his own self interest? That's what the show asks constantly, and we see that time and time again, Vic has learned a thing or two from the streets: he can wiggle out of almost any jam. He always has a way out, a trap door, a way to circumvent the rules to deliver the results craved by the public and the politicians. This is partly due to the fact that he's lucky, and partly due to the fact that he's intelligent enough to be a few moves ahead of the people above him in the chain of command - and will lie to their faces if needed. The show asks the viewer to determine if the ends justify the means, and Mackey certainly delivers results. Even Vic's most hated rival, CCH Pounder's Detective Claudette Wyms, now Chief at the Barn, says she needs someone "with a little Vic - the right kind" when Vic's replacement-to-be, Kevin Hiatt, messes up one too many times in his audition for the top spot of Vic's Strike Team.
The Shield's creator, Shawn Ryan, has done a great job extending The Shield: Mach II (Seasons 4-7) with Shakespearian themes of broken bonds and betrayal, focusing inward on the team itself and the surrounding environment instead of cheer leading about how the team can wiggle out of any jam. Surprisingly, Season 3 ended with the team breaking up, a chance not many shows would have taken, but one can conclude in looking back at all that has followed, that the producers and writers have wanted to tell a story and they aren't nearly as concerned with ratings as they are with getting their story across. In that sense, The Shield is a rare treat in a world of spit-shined, low-level entertainment.
Seasons 1-4 saw a building up, a climax, and the eventual decay of The Strike Team. Seasons 5-6 focused on The Strike Team paying for its past transgressions, to the point that one of the team's four core members has killed another on the team, the other two members know it, but no one can do anything about it through legal means because of all the dirt they have on each other. Season 7 will see how the final act plays out: have these men become so accustomed to betrayal that they will keep a decaying organism (The Strike Team) alive, even though they'll be watching their own backs more than each other's (Shane's view)? Will they decide to go their separate ways peacefully and just forget everything, leaving it all behind (Ronnie's view)? Or will Vic settle the score of Shane killing Lem, hauling Ronnie along for the ride, preserving the idea that Vic is king of Farmington and no one messes with him? It will be an interesting end to a well written and well executed series.