The Bible According to Google Earth

Lets talk knowledge

Here’s a cool idea realized: a Sydney, Australia-based art collective called The Glue Society has re-created scenes from the Bible as if captured by Google Earth’s ubiquitous satellites. Says Glue Society’s James Dive: “We like to disorientate audiences a little with all our work. And with this piece we felt technology now allows events which may or may not have happened to be visualized and made to appear dramatically real. As a method of representation satellite photography is so trusted, it has been interesting to mess with that trust.” Let’s see what they created!

Parting of the Red Sea

Noah and That Large Boat of His
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It looks like he and those crazy animals have just come to rest on a mountaintop.

The Garden of Eden
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Looks pretty darn pleasant, actually. (The birds were a nice touch.) Can you spot the happy couple?

The Crucifixion
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Any events — fictional, Biblical…

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Intelligence

Pacific Paratrooper

The Dozier Family in Japan, circa 1920's The Dozier Family in Japan, circa 1920’s

The Japanese altered their pre-war message codes after the Coral Sea (6 May 1942), and a few weeks before the Aleutians and Midway ( June 1942).  The changes were enough to send US Naval Intelligence in Honolulu scrambling.

The Secret Service brought in a well-known Southern Baptist missionary who had recently arrived in Hawaii after being booted out of Japan along with the other undesirable westerners.  Reverend Edwin Burke Dozier, who became part of the Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu, was the son of S.B.C. missionaries from Georgia.  He had been born and raised in Japan – the Nagasaki-Fukuoka area of Kyushu’s west coast.

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Rev. Dozier’s masterful ear for the Japanese language discerned that the enemy was using Japanese baby-talk in the key parts of their altered code.  These were not words found in any dictionary and a person would have had to…

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Union Island, the Grenadines ♥

John's Navy and other Maritime or Military News

Amalia Ștefan originally shared:

Union Island, the Grenadines ♥

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Matthew Braun: ‘Unlike the War Films of Generations Past, ‘American Sniper’ Actually Has to Explain Onscreen That al Qaeda Insurgents Were (and Still Are) Bad’

pundit from another planet

soldiers

What ‘American Sniper’ Tells You About Its Critics

A veteran reviews ‘American Sniper

Matthew Braun writes:  I am not at all surprised that Michael Moore and Seth Rogen don’t like American Sniper . For them, the idea of military sacrifice is absurd. We get an idea of how badly they understand the motivation of the modern American fighting man and woman when they can’t tell the difference between someone like me, with 15 years of experience in law enforcement, military intelligence, and counterterrorism, and a Nazi. No. Seriously.

That movie is “Nation’s Pride,” the faux Nazi propaganda film-within-a-film directed by Eli Roth that plays during the film’s climactic theater scene. Moore, for his part, offered these thoughts:

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Welcome to Baga

Size Forty One

Welcome to Baga
where nightmares live
and dreams go to die
I had heard the men talk in low tones about what they did to Chibok
and how the nation stood still for a day and moved on

Mama never thought they would come
we have soldiers here, she would brag
oh but you see, they did
last night while men slept, they crept in on us 
plundered our lands and set our homes on fire

It burned so beautifully that it reminded me of the fireworks last Christmas 
mama and papa were taken away in that van
perhaps they will be back tomorrow 

my shoes were left behind
the ones mama bought me for school
but my life is worth more
and so I ran through the forest until I came to a temporary place of solace
where a million other children dwelt

Every night since Baga
I wake…

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Humanist photos of life in China from a self-taught street photographer

Reacting to Objects: Mindfulness, Tech and Emotion

Well done!

Museum in a Bottle

There’s been a lot of discussion about mindful looking and unplugging in museums of late. By pure coincidence, I’ve been thinking about looking at objects while traveling over the last 2 months, developing an understanding of how mindfulness and technology work together for me to connect emotionally with museum objects.

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HARD MAP

Space Without the Space

When we think about our solar system, most of our mind’s likely wander to Jupiter’s immensely large storm, or Saturn’s fantastical rings. Perhaps some picture Neptune’s deep blue hue, or its sea of liquid diamond. The point being, these huge objects capture our imagination because they are so far-flung from Earthly sights, like the rolling seas of blue and green and the rocks that crunch beneath our shoes. We kind of look over the fact that the vast majority of planets are composed almost entirely of gas; our solar system included.

This handy graphic by XKCD helps drive this point home:

Credit: XKCD

Here, in a piece called “Space Without the Space,” XKCD’s Randall Munroe stitched together an old school, pirate-like map that shows all of the solid ground in our solar system (excluding speculative estimates solid “ground” we might find deep within the cores of gas-giants). Earth clearly wins hands down, though it’s unclear as to how Munroe incorporated the oceans of Earth in the map. Venus comes in at a close second, which isn’t surprising since it’s very similar to Earth in size. Then we have the other rocky bodies, Mercury and Mars.

What might be surprising to some is just how similar in size the planets and moons are. Three out of four of the Galilean moons (Callisto, Ganymede and Io) make up a considerable amount of the map. Ganymede, in particular, is the most noteworthy. Believe it or not, it’s actually a bit larger than the inner-most planet from the Sun, Mercury (it’s not that much smaller than Mars, for that matter). It even appears as if all of the dwarf-planets (pictured near the bottom) could fit inside any of the three largest Galilean moons.

A comparison of Mars, Mercury, the Moon and Ganymede (credit: NASA/SolStation)

It’s also neat that he grouped asteroids, comets and other small planetoids together. They make a small, but discernible fraction of our solar system’s rock. I’m not sure which point of view is cooler: the fact that there are so many of these objects scattered throughout our solar system that, together, they are the same size as a small moon, or that objects so numerous (there are billions, perhaps even trillions, of them) could be so small that all of them combined only add up to the size of a small moon. I’ll leave that one up to you guys.

How Planets Form:

Despite just how vastly different they are in size and composition, terrestrial planets and gaseous ones form in a strikingly similar manner (at least we think so).

It’s understood that based on our most current model, our solar system (along with all of the other planetary systems we’ve found circling distant “Suns”) formed following the collapse of a nebular cloud. From there, it’s understood that after a newly born star emerges from its cocoon, an elliptical disk of material, called a protoplanetary disk, encircles the young star.

Artist rendering of a protoplanetary disk (Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA Artwork by Lynette Cook)

The disk is composed of a variety of materials: including ice, water-ice, rock, grains and some heavier elements (iron, nickel, gold, etc), but gas is by far the most prevalent type of material. Within the chaotic, spinning disks, the materials collide and start to coalesce into a planet. After enough of the materials gather, gravity takes over and helps transform the oddly shaped planetesimals into the spherical planets we all know and love.

Gas-Giants v.s. Rocky Bodies:

Of course, the concentration and the quantity of the materials dictate what the planets are made of and the number of them that form, but a different mechanism — one occurring much farther out within the disk — starts to influence the proto-planets. After hundreds of millions of years of slow accretion, all at once, they start accreting gaseous envelopes (like an atmosphere). The growth can be stanched by stellar phenomena (like solar winds), but these effects are diluted over vast distances, thus allowing the more distant planets to keep on growing until they are more gas than rock.

At such distances, the temperatures also drop off, eventually becoming so cold that even gas itself freezes over. The newly acquired mass allows the large bodies to capture the frozen gas and become even more immense, until the planets become full-blown gas-giants.

 See a larger image here.

UNFINISHED

 

For the rest of this week I will not be posting any original content to this blog or any of my blogs. Recently, due to my work schedule and other obligations, I have had very little time to work on the overall construction and the technical aspects of my blog(s). I had planned to complete those aspects of my blogs long ago but other things kept interfering.

So this week I have decided to spend the entire week finishing my originally conceived construction-plans of my blogs to make it easier for my readers and for others to find me and to communicate and work with me.

To that end I will spend the rest of the week finishing my original plans and retooling this site.

As I said, as it stands now I plan to add no more original content this week so as to finally finish my original designs without interruption or any more delays.

However you can still find a great deal of useful content in the various Categories already present on this blog, and on the Categories of all of my other blogs. Just pick the categories that interest you and browse at will. Uncategorized will allow you to find everything.

I will also be sharing useful articles, content, and posts I find on other sites as I run across them and time allows. But most of my time this week will be spent on blog development.

Thank you for being a Reader and Follower of my blogs, I appreciate your patronage and hope you find my blogs enjoyable, entertaining, and most especially, useful.

WHOSE CRYPT?

Still more from Amphipolis…

You know though, from a fictional and gaming point of view, and not just an historical one, finding more than one person in a great tomb is a Godsend of a story idea.

Everything from mistaken identity, to multiple burials over time, to different kinds of burials and relics and remains, to different types of animals and creatures (maybe extinct ones), to even ancient enemies being buried in the same tomb.

The possibilities are manifold… and excellent.

Picture of the two sphinxes found under an apse at the Kasta Tumulus, near ancient Amphipolis in Macedonia, Greece

Two guardian sphinxes sit on a marble lintel at the entrance to the tomb at Amphipolis.

Photograph courtesy of Greek Ministry of Culture

Kristin Romey

National Geographic

Published January 26, 2015

Media reports and the blogosphere are fueling speculation that the remains of a woman found in a massive tomb in northern Greece may belong to Alexander the Great’s mother, Olympias, who was executed when she was about 60 years old.

The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports reported last week that the remains of five individuals have been found in the burial chamber of the elaborate tomb beneath what is known as Kasta Hill in the ancient city of Amphipolis. Archaeologists excavating the site have dated the tomb to the final quarter of the fourth century B.C., around the time of Alexander the Great’s death in 323 B.C. (See “Behind Tomb Connected to Alexander the Great, Intrigue Worthy of ‘Game of Thrones.’”)

But the discovery has failed to settle the issue of whether the monument may have belonged to a family member or close associate of the famous Macedonian conqueror. And many historians are dismissing the rampant hypothesizing as a distracting parlor game. (See “Who’s Buried in Largest Tomb in Northern Greece? New Finds Raise Intrigue.”)

“We have so far an elaborate monument that’s partially damaged and vandalized,” points out Frank L. Holt, a University of Houston professor who has written several books on Alexander the Great. “It contained bones and cremains of persons unknown who may have nothing to do with the original structure or with each other.

“The chronology remains uncertain,” he says. “The royal status of the bodies, and of the building, cannot yet be verified. Why the headlong rush to judgment?’

Women and Men, Old and Young, Buried and Burned

From the 550 pieces of human bone recovered from the burial chamber, researchers have so far identified a woman over 60 years old, two men between the ages of 35 and 45, a newborn infant of unknown gender, and a very small set of cremated remains that most likely belonged to an adult of unknown age and gender.

About a quarter (157) of the remains are intact enough to allow researchers to eventually identify the gender, age, and height of the individuals, while the rest are fragments of vertebrae and other skeletal remains. An unknown number of animal remains, including bones of horses or donkeys, were also found in the chamber.

Complicating interpretation of the remains is the fact that none of the bodies were found in their original burial places, and no significant burial objects have been reported found.

ADAPTIVE CRISPR

Comments? Good, or bad?

Or both?

Bioengineers develop tool for reprogramming genetic code

3 hours ago by Bjorn Carey
Bioengineers develop tool for reprogramming genetic code
Stanford bioengineers have developed a new tool that allows them to preferentially activate or deactivate genes in living cells. Credit: vitstudio/Shutterstock
Biology relies upon the precise activation of specific genes to work properly. If that sequence gets out of whack, or one gene turns on only partially, the outcome can often lead to a disease.

Now, bioengineers at Stanford and other universities have developed a sort of programmable genetic code that allows them to preferentially activate or deactivate genes in living cells. The work is published in the current issue of Cell, and could help usher in a new generation of gene therapies.

The technique is an adaptation of CRISPR, itself a relatively new genetic tool that makes use of a natural defense mechanism that bacteria evolved over millions of years to slice up infectious virus DNA.

Standard CRISPR consists of two components: a short RNA that matches a particular spot in the genome, and a protein called Cas9 that snips the DNA in that location. For the purposes of gene editing, scientists can control where the protein snips the genome, insert a new gene into the cut and patch it back together.

Inserting new , however, is just one way to influence how the genome is expressed. Another involves telling the cell how much or how little to activate a particular gene, thus controlling how much protein a cell produces from that gene and altering its behavior.

It’s this action that Lei Stanley Qi, an assistant professor of bioengineering and of chemical and systems biology at Stanford, and his colleagues aim to manipulate.

Influencing the genome

In the new work, the researchers describe how they have designed the CRISPR molecule to include a second piece of information on the RNA, instructing the molecule to either increase (upregulate) or decrease (downregulate) a target gene’s activity, or turn it on/off entirely.

Additionally, they designed it so that it could affect two different genes at once. In a cell, the order or degree in which are activated can produce different metabolic products.

“It’s like driving a car. You control the wheel to control direction, and the engine to control the speed, and how you balance the two determines how the car moves,” Qi said. “We can do the same thing in the cell by up- or downregulating genes, and produce different outcomes.”

As a proof of principle, the scientists used the technique to take control of a yeast metabolic pathway, turning genes on and off in various orders to produce four different end products. They then tested it on two mammalian genes that are important in cell mobility, and were able to control the cell’s direction and how fast it moved.

 

Future therapies

The ability to control genes is an attractive approach in designing genetic therapies for complex diseases that involve multiple genes, Qi said, and the new system may overcome several of the challenges of existing experimental therapies.

“Our technique allows us to directly control multiple specific and pathways in the genome without expressing new transgenes or uncontrolled behaviors, such as producing too much of a protein, or doing so in the wrong cells,” Qi said. “We could eventually synthesize tens of thousands of RNA molecules to control the genome over a whole organism.”

Next, Qi plans to test the technique in mice and refine the delivery method. Currently the scientists use a virus to insert the molecule into a cell, but he would eventually like to simply inject the molecules into an organism’s blood.

“That is what is so exciting about working at Stanford, because the School of Medicine’s immunology group is just around the corner, and working with them will help us address how to do this without triggering an immune response,” said Qi, who is a member of the interdisciplinary Stanford ChEM-H institute. “I’m optimistic because everything about this system comes naturally from , and should be compatible with any organism.”

Explore further: ‘CRISPR’ science: Newer genome editing tool shows promise in engineering human stem cells

THE RIGHT WAY

The wife and I spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and much of today celebrating and enjoying our wedding anniversary.

It has been a very good marriage and she has been an excellent wife.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BABY!

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THE DARK ARTS

Wyrdwend

THE DARK ARTS – definitely worth the read and the reblog

Having worked a couple of corporate espionage cases myself, from the counter-espionage/defensive side of things, a couple of these articles were useful and fascinating.

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THE DAUFIN AND THE EGG?

Wyrdwend

In my Other Worldnovels the Sidhs use a code word (or the Samarl and his allies do in any case) to describe a being they believe to have existed for a very long period of time using a most unusual method of life extension. (Or possibly it periodically dies and is reborn again.) The Samarl and his allies believe this being to be evil and an enemy.

The word used to describe this being among themselves (so no one else will understand who they are really talking about) is Daufin. The Daufin is typically also identified or represented by a code symbol, as well as a drawing of a mythical beast (which actually exists and is controlled by the code-named Daufin, though few believe it actually exists anymore), and by a code phrase.

The term Daufin is not to be confused with the French term Dauphin though I readily…

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NOT YET…

Wyrdwend

“I’m such a mess,” she said suddenly, burying her head in my chest. “I don’t even see how you put up with me.”

There wasn’t necessarily a good response so I asked her, “What do you mean?”

“I mean you deserve much better.”

She was probably right but that wasn’t gonna get us anywhere. Not being able to do much else I took her by the shoulders and pushed her away to look at her.

Her eyes were welling up with tears and it suddenly struck me that she might actually mean it this time. There was no way to be sure, but she at least looked and sounded genuine. I smiled at her.

“Woman, I think we both know that deep down inside, where you actually are, there’s no real problem in you. Trouble is that you’re not really any kind of solution yet either. So the question is…

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THE WORLD ITSELF COULD NOT CONTAIN

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tibe′ri-as; and he revealed himself in this way.  Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathan′a-el of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zeb′edee, and two others of his disciples were together.  Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.”  He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish.  That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea.  But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.  Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

THE WATCHES OF THE NIGHT

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

THE FIVE PRINCIPLES

Over the past four to five days I have discovered (both through experimentation and by healing animal patients) some very important medical principles which make the successful treatment of certain kinds of injuries and diseases much easier and much more effective. Also these principles make it far less likely that any form of treatment will in any way promote infection, interfere with the healing process, produce malignant counter or side effects, cause relapse, slow recovery, or prevent full recovery. Methods of the application of these principles vary according to the specific conditions surrounding the patient (age, general state of health, weight, etc.) and the individual nature of the case itself but the principles are valid in and of themselves.

I say discover, actually I have rediscovered (for I knew most of these principles already but either did not practice them fully or in the necessary manner or did not until recently realize their true import) or refined the principles I’m going to name, and I’m also sure the ancients and many medieval doctors knew them as well.

Additionally I should add the caveat that some of these principals are really for medical applications devoid of access to modern medical facilities and sometimes due to the fact of the lack of proper medicines – either because the patient and doctor/medic are isolated and cannot reach such facilities, because such facilities are not available in a given area, or because the patient lies on the borderline between being able to treat themselves or at home and needing to be hospitalized, but the injury or illness has not quite yet progressed to the point of an emergency hospitalization.

All of these Principles are going into my Book of Medicine as currently defined below, however as I improve upon my techniques and make further discoveries I will refine these definitions as necessary. Also I have a couple of ideas regarding inventions to best apply some of these principles but I’ll discuss those inventions at a later date after I’ve had a chance to work upon them.
1 THE PRINCIPLE OF HIBERNATION – The patient should be encouraged to or force himself to go into a state of self-induced hibernation or a coma-like state (even if this state must persist for many hours or even days or weeks) until the patent has reached the state that a sufficient point of verifiable recovery has been achieved or there are definite signs of self-sustaining improvement. The only treatment that should be administered or self-administered during this hibernation state should be small amounts of water with nutrients and electrolytes (liquid metaergogenics).

2 THE PRINCIPLE OF REVERSE APPLICATION – If the patient is unable or unwilling to eat then all necessary and beneficial nutrients and electrolytes should be introduced through liquids and via liquid consumption. If the patient is unwilling to drink then all necessary and beneficial nutrients and electrolytes should be introduced through whatever food is consumed and the food should be soaked in beneficial liquids and water and moisturized or reduced to a semi-liquid paste. These two principles are especially good and useful in cases where it is not possible to administer an IV .

3 THE PRINCIPLE OF APPLIED STASIS OR NON-INTERFERENCE – There are times when a patient has received a severe, traumatic, or at least serious injury or illness, and aside from keeping the patient warm and clean no attempt should be made to treat the patient at all other than the periodic administering of small amounts of food and/or drink (see principle of Reverse Application and the principle of Fasting) and instead they should encouraged to rest and to sleep (see principle of Hibernation). Only after a patient shows signs of the recovery of strength and of a tendency to recover should the patient be treated in a more normal manner to speed recovery.

4 THE PRINCIPLE OF FASTING – In certain situations the patient should not be fed at all but should undergo a period of fasting to best facilitate healing. Break the fast when signs of recovery become obvious or if the patient shows signs of weakness or harmful weight loss. Liquid intake should be maintained as normal or increased as necessary.

5. THE PRINCIPLE OF WOUND HOMEOSTASIS – Sometimes a wound (or even a state of illness) is too moist and must be drained, dried, and caused to remain dry (in a general sense, all biological health depends to some degree upon moisture) so as the suppress or prevent serious forms of infection (gangrene, etc.). Sometimes a wound (or even a state of illness) is too dry and requires the introduction of sterile yet beneficial forms of moisture and nutrients introduced through the medium of that moisture. Each particular case will vary according to the circumstances but if there are indications that the injury, wound, or disease state is too moist, then drying methods must be employed, and if there are indications that the injury, wound, or disease state is too dry then moisture must be applied. Then intent is to reach a state of patient homeostasis in which the patient can achieve and remain in an ongoing condition of optimal healing and recovery.

6. THE PRINCIPLE OF SHADOW (OR UNFELT OR UNKNOWN) TREATMENT APPLICATION – I will discuss this principle later after I have had more time to experiment. Initial indications show it to be very effective but the initial methods of application could be much improved I think. This is a new principle to me.

Ancient Music – Musical Excerpt

Penn Station History and Map (1910) YouTube Video

New York City Historical Blog

Just wanted to make a quick post displaying one of our newly uploaded videos featuring a vintage map of the area surrounding New York City’s Penn Station. The map is a birds-eye perspective map in which you get to see the building architecture, people walking down the street, changes in elevation etc. Check out this video and tell us what you think! If you enjoy this video please subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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Article: US and UK plan cyber ‘war games’ to test resilience

The Oldest Copy of the Gospel of Mark Extracted from Ancient Mummy Mask- Set to Be Published

A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published.

At present, the oldest surviving copies of the gospel texts date to the second century (the years 101 to 200).

Until now, the oldest surviving copy of a gospel is generally accepted to be the Rylands Library Papyrus P52, also known as the St John’s fragment, a fragment from a papyrus codex, measuring only 3.5 by 2.5 inches (8.9 by 6 cm) at its widest; and conserved with the Rylands Papyri at the John Rylands University Library Manchester, UK.

 Rylands Library Papyrus P52

Although it is generally accepted as the earliest extant record of a canonical New Testament text, the dating of the papyrus, which has been placed between 117 AD…

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Inventing Basics: Prototypes

ideaworth

An idea is the beginning of an invention; a prototype is the beginning of a product

Prototypes are critical to success. Some inventors focus excessively on the initial idea and invention and too little on creating and refining prototypes.

The first prototype can be crude. It is more important to get started with prototyping than to attempt to create a finished product too soon. Each prototype teaches the inventor something of value that will help in shaping the next prototype.

Perhaps the first prototype will be too large. Very often, the first prototype is too gadgety or complicated and must be simplified. Simple is almost always better.

It is important to get several prototypes done prior to filing a patent. Otherwise a critical epiphany that could shape a better product may not be captured in the patent. Typically, the biggest design changes and refinements occur with the first…

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What’s in a name: from vagabond to digital nomad

biorambler

The labels we self-impose define us to others, but also to ourselves. Before I was a scientist, a biologist, a student, an expat, a bit of a nut and a total geek. I was a rock-climber, a forest cat-owner, a La Pavoni coffee-drinker… I could go on, but suddenly the tune to Ben Harper’s Joker is drowning out my thoughts…

Two and a half weeks ago that all changed: now uprooted and free as a bird – what am I? Right now, I’m a smoothie-drinker, sitting in a cafe in Cambodia, charging up my laptop while I blog and design letterhead.

In a greater sense, a number of new words now apply to me, none of them necessarily flattering: unemployed, unattached, pushing-30, searching, wandering. As a life-long overachiever I’m not accustomed to describing myself this way, so I looked for some euphemism that I could decorate with a positive spin.

At first…

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SpaceX raises $1 billion from Google, Fidelity

Gigaom

SpaceX has raised a $1 billion financing round from Google and Fidelity, which now own just under 10 percent of the ambitious space startup.

The investment comes days after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced plans to build a fleet of small satellites that would bring internet to underserved regions of the world. While the satellites cost far less to produce than their larger, traditional cousins currently favored by telecommunications companies, SpaceX will still need hundreds of millions of dollars to produce 700 of them.

My colleague Kevin Fitchard recently outlined how Musk believes these satellites can create a stronger, faster internet network by bouncing data around the globe much more quickly than if it had to travel by cable. He writes:

Though any traffic would have to got through the Earth’s atmosphere twice, once that data stream is 750 miles up, it would make only a few satellite hops across a near…

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U.S. Air Force Doubles Drone Pilot Incentive Pay to Keep Them From Quitting Altogether

DARPA’s updated ATLAS robot runs on battery, is even more badass

Gigaom

Those disappointed by the glacial pace of the competitors in last year’s DARPA Robotics Challenge trials will appreciate the newly updated ATLAS robot DARPA debuted today. ATLAS is the generic robot body used by teams that concentrate on software, and therefore has a very strong presence in the competition.

The most obvious change in the ATLAS robot, which was built and now updated by Google-owned Boston Dynamics (which pulled its own robot from the competition), is it now has a shiny white chest plate that makes it look like a cross between a Stormtrooper and the Terminator. But the biggest upgrade is its power now comes from batteries instead of a tethered cable, which will allow it to move more freely in the competition.

According to DARPA:

Atlas will now carry an onboard 3.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, with the potential for one hour of “mixed mission” operation that includes walking…

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Al Qaeda official who claimed responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attack calls for ‘lone wolf’ terror in Canada

‘Tumbling End Over End’: Gemini VIII, 1966

pundit from another planet

Gemini-V11-closeup-splashdowngemini-v11Dave Scott (left) and Neil Armstrong breathe the fresh air of Earth as the hatches of Gemini VIII are opened after splashdown. Photo Credit: NASA

[Also see – ‘A Finite Number of Heartbeats’: The Trauma of Gemini VIII (Part 1)]

Ben Evans writes: Gemini VIII astronauts Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott accomplished a key goal in America’s bid to land a man on the Moon by successfully rendezvousing and docking with an unmanned Agena target vehicle in Earth orbit. As noted in part 1 AmericaSpace article, it was the first time that a manned vehicle had achieved physical contact with another target in space. However, the situation aboard Gemini VIII was far from perfect. A distinct lack of available gemini-8-launch-377x800tracking stations across the flight path had already resulted in decidedly “spotty” communications with the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) in Houston, Texas.

“We have serious problems here. We’re tumbling, end over…

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HOUSES OF THE HOLY

My favorite album by Led Zeppelin and one of my favorite songs by Led Zeppelin. Kashmir being my very favorite song by them.

Hear an Unreleased Early Mix of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Houses of the Holy’

Version from ‘Physical Graffiti’ reissue highlights John Bonham’s drum fills and Robert Plant’s harmonies

By | January 20, 2015

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin’s reissue of ‘Physical Graffiti’ includes an alternate take of “Houses of the Holy.” Ian Dickinson/Redferns/Getty

Next month, Led Zeppelin will reissue their sixth album, the 1975 double LP Physical Graffiti, with a disc’s worth of unreleased versions of the record’s songs. Among these is a rough mix of the funky hard-rock radio staple “Houses of the Holy.”

Slightly shorter than the version that appeared on the original album, the rough mix places guitarist and producer Jimmy Page‘s iconic riff in the right speaker and reduces some of the high end. The bass is more prominent, John Bonham’s percussion sounds looser in the verses and the overdubbed stabbing guitar line toward the end of the song is more prominent. On top of that, Robert Plant’s harmonies on the line “Let the music be your master” are even more present.

“‘Houses of the Holy’ is unlike anything that anyone was doing,” guitarist and producer Jimmy Page tells Rolling Stone. “It’s just something that’s totally of its own. I think the lyrics are brilliant on it.”

The rest of the reissue includes rough mixes of “Trampled Under Foot” (titled “Brandy & Coke”) and “In My Time of Dying,” an early version of “Sick Again,” a Sunset Sound mix of “Boogie With Stu” and a rough orchestra mix of “Kashmir” that’s titled “Driving Through Kashmir.” It also contains what the band has billed as a “strikingly different” take on “In the Light.”

As with last year’s reissues, the new edition of Physical Graffiti, which Page personally remastered, will be available in a variety of formats, including standard CD, vinyl and digital releases. A super deluxe version will contain CDs, vinyl and links to high-def audio, as well as a hard-bound, 96-page book containing rare and previously uncirculated photos and memorabilia.

The reissue will arrive on February 24th and is available for preorder on LedZeppelin.com.

IS HEAVEN PROGRESSIVE?

Is Heaven static (is everything to be done or enjoyed predetermined or fixed by God), or is it progressive (is it open to being added to and improved upon, etc.)?

(I am not speaking of progressive in the political sense of course, but in the sense of actual and real progress.)

For instance as more and more human souls are added to Heaven (and God only knows what other kinds of creatures and beings) does Heaven expand, and does God allow or even encourage those dwelling there to explore, to discover, to conduct scientific experiments, to create, to do art, to invent and design things, and so forth given the parameters under which Heaven operates? (Which I assume will involve different technologies and physics and biological and operating principles, if those are even the proper terms, than in our world.)

I cannot say for certain but it seems to me, and this is something I have long pondered, that if this world, as imperfect as it is, is open to invention and creation (or at least sub-creation) and experimentation and discovery and exploration and expansion and progress then I can only imagine how open to good and noble progress Heaven will and ought to be.

TO CONQUER, NOT TO SUBSIDIZE from HUMAN EFFORT

If I had a weakness (and I have weaknesses) I would not say to myself, “Let me indulge this weakness of mine,” but rather I would say, “Let me find the way to conquer this weakness.”

And if I knew another man who had a weakness I would not say to him, “Let us gather together and commiserate upon your weakness, in order to advance, indulge, or subsidize it,” but rather I would say, “Let us analyze and reflect upon your weakness, and then discover the method by which it may be conquered and brought under your control so that you no longer suffer this problem.

Human weakness is a part of human nature, but the willful indulgence of human weakness is an unnatural and corrupting choice of self-degeneration.

No True Man willingly indulges his own faults and weaknesses. Every man should seek to conquer and eliminate his own such faults and weaknesses.

The trouble with modern man therefore is not that he is by nature  weaker than any other type of man to ever walk upon the face of the Earth, but rather that by unnatural and unwise choice he chooses to be so.

DEEP BACKGROUND

Fascinating study linking genetic variation to language and linguistic variation.

Probing the deep history of human genes and language

2 hours ago by David Orenstein
Probing the deep history of human genes and language
Diversity of differences. Researchers analyzed distinct sounds — phonemes — in more than 2,000 languages around the world alongside genetic markers from more than 200 populations to uncover geographic patterns of how languages differ.
Brown University evolutionary biologist Sohini Ramachandran has joined with colleagues in publishing a sweeping analysis of genetic and linguistic patterns across the world’s populations. Among the findings is that geographic distance predicts differentiation in both language and genes.

Producing new insights into the evolution and development of around the globe is no easy task, but scientists can draw on multiple sources of data to do it. In a new study, Sohini Ramachandran and colleagues at Stanford University and University of Manitoba analyzed troves of data on genetics and distinct sounds in —phonemes—to discern important patterns.

Among the findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is that genes and languages both vary more as geographic distance increases. The analysis showed there are distinct geographic patterns, or axes, of the greatest differences. The data also reflect how languages and genes evolve differently, for instance among isolated populations.

Ramachandran, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, discussed these and other insights with writer David Orenstein.

Why are language and genes sometimes combined in studies of populations?

Fields that study the human past, especially ancient human history, have to draw on multiple disciplines and lines of evidence in order to confirm and calibrate observed signatures in data, since we can’t truly know all events in human history. Because language is inherited ‘vertically’ [from parents to children] like genes, and also changes ‘horizontally’ based on contact among populations, many researchers in genetics interpret analyses of DNA from different populations in the context of the languages the study populations speak.

This kind of interdisciplinary work is what initially drew me to studying .

In this study what did you find was similar between languages and genes and what was different?

We saw that axes of differentiation in both our linguistic and genetic dataset corresponded, meaning that differences in both datasets of very different types of markers were geographically distributed quite similarly.

One very interesting contrast we saw between languages and genes had to do with isolated populations: an isolated population loses genetic diversity rapidly, as individuals marry within the ; in contrast, we saw a range of variation in linguistic markers for languages that are geographically isolated (have few neighboring languages). Some languages that are isolated lose complexity and others gain complexity and innovate new sounds. This makes me wonder whether contact among populations homogenizes their languages in some way so people can understand each other.

We found that linguistic markers do not hold signatures of the human expansion out of Africa, which is not surprising due to the rate at which languages changes and can be influenced by neighboring languages.

Tell us more about that difference between what genes and languages showed regarding human origins in Africa?

To be precise, genes tell us that the people living today with the most currently live in Southern Africa (like the San bushmen) and that modern humans emerged in Africa, but we don’t know where the geographic origin of our species was precisely based on genetic data. The language analysis did not reveal this African origin because language changes in a complex way, much differently from genes where we have a good sense of the mutation process. In my conversations with different linguists, including those at Brown who generously listened to me present our ideas multiple times, the rate at which language mutates, and which linguistic markers are more likely to change than others, seems to be an open question.

You found geographic axes, or directions, of difference in language and genetics. What might they tell us about human evolution and history?

These axes, which look for directions along which a dataset is most differentiated, tell us about axes along which humans likely did not migrate a great deal. For example, migration north/south in Africa would mean moving across climate regimes; we also know populations are quite different across latitudes in Europe and we see that for both our language datasets and genetic datasets.

What do your findings tell us about how we can use genes and language, either together or separately, for population studies?

We learn more from using both data types together and analyzing them using similar methods than we would have learned from either type alone. One signal we saw loud and clear in this study is how much geographic distance affected our ancestors’ and languages; geographic distance predicts differentiation in both data types, underscoring that there are still deep signatures of ancient migrations in our genomes and cultures today.

Explore further: Oceans apart: Study reveals insights into the evolution of languages

More information: “A comparison of worldwide phonemic and genetic variation in human populations,” by Nicole Creanza et al. PNAS, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1424033112

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-probing-deep-history-human-genes.html#jCp

QUANTUM CAT

I guess when the Cheshire Cat grins there really is nothing there… or, maybe, there’s everything all at once.

Scientists tame Schrodinger’s cat for a new type of quantum computer

1 hour ago
Scientists tame Schrӧdinger’s cat for a new type of quantum computer
Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Seb Weidt, PhD students Kim Lake and Joe Randall at work on the experiment creating ‘entanglement’ using microwave radiation.
Physicists at the University of Sussex have tamed one of the most counterintuitive phenomena of modern science in their quest to develop a new generation of machines capable of revolutionizing the way we can solve many problems in modern science.

The strange and mysterious nature of is often illustrated by a thought experiment, known as Schrӧdinger’s Cat, in which a cat is theoretically both dead and alive simultaneously.

According to a new study published this week in Physical Review A, Sussex physicists have now managed to create a special type of “Schrӧdinger’s” cat using new technology based on trapped ions (charged atoms) and radiation.

Like the cat, the researchers made these ions exist in two states simultaneously by creating ‘entanglement’, an effect that challenges the very fabric of reality itself.

Trapped ions are leading the race towards constructing a new type of computer able to solve certain problems with unprecedented speeds by taking its power from a theory called ‘‘.

Traditionally, lasers have been used to drive such quantum processes. But millions of stable beams would have to be carefully aligned in order to be able to work with the very large number of required to encode a useful amount of data.

It would be much easier to build a quantum computer that uses microwave radiation instead of lasers for all quantum operations because, just like in a standard kitchen microwave, the radiation is easily broadcast over a large area using well-developed and inherently stable technology.

The Sussex researchers’ ability to create and fully control a Schrӧdinger’s cat ion using instead of lasers constitutes a significant step towards the realisation of a large scale microwave quantum computer.

Dr Winfried Hensinger, who leads the Sussex team, says: “While constructing a large scale quantum computer is still a significant challenge, this achievement demonstrates that we are moving beyond basic science towards realizing new step-changing technologies that have the potential to change our lives.”

Dr Hensinger’s team, consisting of postdoctoral fellows Dr Seb Weidt and Dr Simon Webster, along with PhD students Kim Lake, Joe Randall and Eamon Standing, worked for over two years to develop this microwave based technology that is capable of significantly simplifying the engineering required to build an actual quantum computer.

Dr Seb Weidt says: “This achievement opens up a whole range of opportunities to realize new quantum technologies.”

Explore further: Physicists create lightning in the race to develop quantum technology microchip

More information: ‘Generation of spin-motion entanglement in a trapped ion using long-wavelength radiation ‘, by K. Lake, S. Weidt, J. Randall, E. D. Standing, S. C. Webster, and W. K. Hensinger, is published  in Physical Review A [Phys. Rev. A 91, 012319 (2015)]. journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/… 3/PhysRevA.91.01

STRIPPING AWAY COMPLEXITY IN DESIGN

Being an inventor myself I completely agree with the concept of “stripping away complexity” in order to produce light, flexible designs for most commercial and market applications.

Of course once  the hoverbike becomes numerous in models and well-received or popular in usage additional complexities will be added back in, covering everything from entertainment, to pilot protections and security, to sensoring capabilities, to GPS navigation systems, to flight control automation and computerization, to running and warning lights, to communications . Just has occurred with cars and motorcycles. But for now, in the developmental and popularization phase, simplicity is the key to superior development.

By the way, back when I was in CAP this was already a Squadron and even a Wing project and I’ve seen several Air Force designs for basically the same kind of craft.

But I like this commercial/private model.

WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN…

So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Gol′gotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’”

Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the scripture,
“They parted my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did this.

OUT OF THE FIRE

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire.

WHEN NIGHT IS NO MORE – a modern poem

Wyrdwend

WHEN NIGHT IS NO MORE

When night is no more
I shall miss her winsome ways
The dark that settled on my heart
When she arose with mantled moon

When night is no more
I shall miss her distant stars
Harbingers of other worlds
That flourished in the vaulted veil

When night is no more
I shall miss her quiet sighs
The canopy and blackened sky
That no thought could penetrate

When night is no more
I shall sing of when she was
A lonely thing, yet beautiful
Ancient in her closing eve

When night is no more
I shall remember her
Not in her desperate closeness
But in her accrescent absence

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THE MAN WHO WENT IN ALONE – a story that wasn’t

Wyrdwend

from THE MAN WHO WENT IN ALONE

“I once heard a fable. Wanna hear it?”

I was pretty sure I already knew it, but nodded anyway.

“It’s about the man. You know, the man who went in alone.”

“Sure,” I said.

“Stop me if you’ve heard it already,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure I won’t,” I replied.

“Yeah, well it goes like this. The man who went in alone never came out the other side. The man who came out the other side never found the way back in, but that’s okay, there never was another side, and alone was all there was.”

He waited on me to say something, but there was nothing to say. I already knew that fable. The one that couldn’t be.

“Okay then,” he said. “You go in alone.”

So I did. And he was right.

I never came out again.

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THE EARTH AND MAN

Wyrdwend

THE EARTH AND MAN

The Earth is plowed
The Earth is sown
The Earth she swells
The Earth is grown,

The Earth below
The humble Earth
The Earth she knows
There is no dearth,

But for now…

The Earth is dark
With blood she’s stained
The Earth she moans
In endless pain,

We think we must
We think we shall
In constant lust
Our sins allow,

Yet…

The Earth she wants
A Man grown True
To care for her
As men should do,

The Earth desires
To grow Great
The Man should help
Her Procreate,

All that’s Good, and
All that’s Best
That is his Duty, and
His Test,

So…

The Earth is plowed
The Earth is sown
Her great renown
The better known,

When Man is Just
When Man is Strong
And escorts her
From every wrong,

Thus…

When all men steward
Their own Earth
With time and patience

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