black hole creates galaxy?, autumn colors wallpaper, cbs is librul?

old music poster

Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Rag. In this context rag is short for ragtime jazz. Maybe because of the brouhaha over a recent Newsweek cover I was wondering whether this poster would be an exploitation of chickens or women.

I’m uncertain as to whether galaxies and black holes can have their feelings hurt via an undeserved reputation, for say be cannibalistic. Just is case they do, karma and all, it should be noted that black holes can give birth to galaxies,  Black Hole Caught Zapping Galaxy into Existence?

Which come first, the supermassive black holes that frantically devour matter or the enormous galaxies where they reside? A brand new scenario has emerged from a recent set of outstanding observations of a black hole without a home: black holes may be “building” their own host galaxy. This could be the long-sought missing link to understanding why the masses of black holes are larger in galaxies that contain more stars. ( photos at link)

[   ]…These observations have provided a surprising new take on the system. While no trace of stars is revealed around the black hole, its companion galaxy is extremely rich in bright and very young stars. It is forming stars at a rate equivalent to about 350 Suns per year, one hundred times more than rates for typical galaxies in the local Universe.

Earlier observations had shown that the companion galaxy is, in fact, under fire: the quasar is spewing a jet of highly energetic particles towards its companion, accompanied by a stream of fast-moving gas. The injection of matter and energy into the galaxy indicates that the quasar itself might be inducing the formation of stars and thereby creating its own host galaxy; in such a scenario, galaxies would have evolved from clouds of gas hit by the energetic jets emerging from quasars.

So The Flying Spaghetti Monster did not rest on the seventh day, but continues to produce possible little mud balls circling stars upon which enlightened civilizations may one day produce greasy fast food, toxic land fills and tons of plastic that swirls in its oceans.

autumn wallpaper fall wallpaper

autumn colors wallpaper

Once all the deal making is done to appease the small minded and perennially petty egotists, this will all be moot point, CBS’ Cordes falsely suggests health care bills will not reduce deficits after 10 years

CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes forwarded the Republican suggestion that the House and Senate health care reform bills are a “trillion-dollar scam” because the bills “impos[e] new taxes years before the tax credits would kick in to help Americans buy insurance,” and thus would only reduce the deficit in the first decade after enactment. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that both bills would also reduce the deficit beyond the first 10 years.

First, dear Nancy, I rechecked the journalism 101 basics and its still who, when and where, sometimes how. Not watch me be stand in spokesperson for a point of view devoid of facts.

In the decade after 2019, the gross cost of the coverage expansion would probably exceed 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), but the added revenues and cost savings would probably be greater. Consequently, CBO (Congrssional Budget Office) expects that the bill, if enacted, would reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law — with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range around one-quarter percent of GDP

The CBO is not that different from the accountant down the street. They are not bad at adding up costs, but are frequently iffy in projecting savings. Especially in cases where some interdependent factors like up dating medical data bases and proactive preventative medicine are part of those savings.


banff national park wallpaper, be polite do not mention the gay executions, holidays and your auto-immune system

river wallpaper mountains forests

banff national park wallpaper

Rick Warren Refuses To Condemn Proposed Ugandan Law To Execute Gays

Newsweek tried to get Warren’s reaction to the anti-gay work of Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor who has come to his Saddleback Church multiple times. (Warren has distanced himself from Ssempa in general terms, saying the Ugandan minister does not represent him or his church.) Warren wouldn’t reject the idea:

But Warren won’t go so far as to condemn the legislation itself. A request for a broader reaction to the proposed Ugandan anti-homosexual laws generated this response: “The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.” On Meet the Press this morning, he reiterated this neutral stance in a different context: “As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides.” Warren did say he believed that abortion was “a holocaust.” He knows as well as anyone that in a case of great wrong, taking sides is an important thing to do.

Ssempa has also burned condoms “in the name of Jesus,” helping roll back a highly successful anti-AIDS campaign in Uganda.

Warren who is pro government control of every woman’s uterus, thinks he might be on shaky moral ground for condemning the death sentence for people having sex. Its not just homosexuals, but by discouraging the use of condoms he does not seem to think much of women or heterosexuals either. Its not hard to believe that an evangelical does not understand the importance of societal pressure in effecting change whether its in Utah or Uganda, its impossible.

aqua shades

Families can be wonderful, but they can be stressful too. The same dynamic goes for holidays. Put both together and you get a low level jolt of the flight-or- fight response. The chemicals released when you’re feeling stressed give your autoimmune system a beating, Seeing family for the holidays? Scientists discover how the stress might kill you

“Ever since Hans Seyle’s groundbreaking work on stress, scientists have been trying to understand why stressful situations often exacerbate autoimmune diseases and cause re-emergence of latent infections,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. “In true fight or flight situations, stress can be a lifesaver, but understanding how the neurological response to the stress of everyday events such as seeing your family around the holidays impacts immune responses should provide opportunities for new therapies.”

To be fair it is also probably true that visiting family and friends can be a stress reducer. After all you are away from the back stabbers and two faced morons at work.

the study of memory Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes, pineapple cactus wallpaper

Memory is difficult to pin down and while the study of it has not been subject to the same whirl wind trends one sees in fashion  its has, as David Bowie might say gone through some Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes, In Anticipation of a Post-Memory Boom Syndrome

Google Books lists 936 books published in the past decade alone with “social memory,” “collective memory,” “cultural memory,” “public memory,” or “popular memory” in the title (and 166 books with titles that refer to memory and narrative).

[  ]…While these terms have persisted, other terms have also been added. “Social memory” surfaced in the late 1980s and has since gained currency (Burke 1989; Connerton 1989, 6-40; Collard 1989; Nerone and Wartella 1989). It was employed in a fruitful collaboration between the anthropologist James Fentress and the medievalist Chris Wickham, who sought to dissociate collective memory from a Jungian notion of “collective unconscious” and to redress what they considered to be an over-emphasis on group identities and a neglect of individual consciousness in the writings of Halbwachs and of his mentor, Émile Durkheim (Fentress and Wickham 1992).

Collective unconscious has always struck me as terrific grist for sci-fi and fantasy writing, but individuals tend to alter memories. They churn them through their own intellectual capabilities – the organic experience is slightly unique. Then individual experience would also tend to shape perceptions. For a certain generation the JFK assassination is frequently cited as an event where everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing, but the meaning and intensity likely varies. A collective experience, but the memories of individuals becomes unique. As that generation passes on it even becomes less and less a collective experience.

If Paul Ricœur’s monumental Time and Narrative (1983) was seminal to the emergence of interest in narrativity, his subsequent tome Memory, History, Forgetting may be another landmark for Memory Studies insofar as it forcefully demonstrates the centrality of forgetting to our understanding of memory (2000, 536-592). Whereas it is self-evident that there can be no remembrance without forgetting and practically all studies acknowledge the inherent selectivity of memory, the study of social/cultural amnesia is still in its infancy. Contemplating the overall neglect of forgetting in psychology, Jens Brockmeier proposed a cultural-psychological approach to narrative as a means of exploring the dialectics of remembering and forgetting (2002). Forgetting is the topic of thought-provoking treatises by David Gross (2000) and Marc Augé (2004), and more recently Paul Connerton has outlined a preliminary classification which allows for more subtle distinctions between “types of forgetting” (Connerton 2008). Aspiring to move beyond these initial steps, a sustained focus on forgetting would require revisiting many of the sources associated with memory and rigorously interrogating gaps, omissions and absences in the narratives. It would also facilitate further debate on the more ethically charged topic of forgiving, which is intrinsically tied to forgetting (Ricœur 2000, 593-658; Margalit 2000, 183-210).

The recent and on going nascent movement of tea baggers, whether or not a phenomenon fueled by astroturf special interests, is also a freakish display of collective denial and selectivity of memory. To acknowledge that they – the tea baggers – were major enablers of the variety of policies and events that lead to the Great Recession – would, if we lived in a more rational culture, bring the tea baggers to a painful epiphany. They would have to accept responsibility and even accept their ideological opponents were and are correct. Should such a thing happen is as likely as an alien spacecraft landing on the White House lawn. The power of denial puts the odds beyond measure, but in the event that they have this astounding personal discovery we would also witness one of the largest ever collective blown fuse.

green nature wallpaper

pineapple cactus wallpaper

Some short takes:

Albert V. Crewe dies at 82; physics professor captured first image of an atom – “In 1970, Crewe used a scanning transmission electron microscope of his own invention at the University of Chicago to capture uranium and thorium atoms.”

James Fallows series on the mainstream press ( that includes you Chris Matthews) who for the most part decided that President Obama’s Asian tour was either a failure or accomplished little. This is the kind of thing that repeated often enough does create a collective memory, one made of unicorn hair and fairy dust, but hey the press is librul and they’re professionals. If nothing else the President accomplished what his all hat no cows predecessor could not do in two terms. Obama got the Chinese to agree to censure Iran – Iran Censured Over Nuclear Program by U.N. Watchdog. I would not say Obama accomplished miracles – neither does Fallows – only that sometimes its actually a subtle mix of results. Some of these professional journalists who are well educated and make six figure salaries are then capable of doing subtle if they chose to.

ridges death valley

autumn light and river wallpaper, a reasoning gene versus a god gene

fall wallpaper autumn wallpaper

autumn light and river wallpaper

The Evolution of the God Gene by Nicholas Wade

IN the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico, the archaeologists Joyce Marcus and Kent Flannery have gained a remarkable insight into the origin of religion.

During 15 years of excavation they have uncovered not some monumental temple but evidence of a critical transition in religious behavior. The record begins with a simple dancing floor, the arena for the communal religious dances held by hunter-gatherers in about 7,000 B.C. It moves to the ancestor-cult shrines that appeared after the beginning of corn-based agriculture around 1,500 B.C., and ends in A.D. 30 with the sophisticated, astronomically oriented temples of an early archaic state.

This and other research is pointing to a new perspective on religion, one that seeks to explain why religious behavior has occurred in societies at every stage of development and in every region of the world. Religion has the hallmarks of an evolved behavior, meaning that it exists because it was favored by natural selection. It is universal because it was wired into our neural circuitry before the ancestral human population dispersed from its African homeland.

Wade takes a huge intellectual leap when he jumps from religion being nearly universal to thus hard-wired into the human psyche. The earliest scholars could only document religion as a phenomenon through the use of reason and combining syntax with context. Modern humans could just as well call it a very early beta version of logic and empiricism to explain how the universe worked and how man fit into that universe. Religion was the result of and name given to early man’s speculations about himself and his environment . If religion was one thing there would not have been so many of them. It is no coincidence that early religions had much in common with the environment and geography of  the people indigenous to a particular location – see Egyptians and sun gods and spirits where religion started to be documented. Most all the gods were male and female and acted much like humans except for supernatural powers. Local gods, who of course showed preference for locals  and their physical and social needs came to compete with gods from Egypt’s rulers. Or Norse gods who had light skin and blue eyes and included a god of ice of course, but no god of sand storms. Wade seems to subscribe to the inevitable progress view of history( religion+time= things generally improve) rather than a constant flux of opposing and sometimes interwoven ideas with new information being assimilated and old information discarded or sometimes placed in the back of the closet. The inevitable progress view looks at history’s cross roads and assumes that given an instant replay this or that civilization would have always chosen the same path. There are countless examples, but suppose around 10,000 years ago man, rather than beginning the cultivation of wheat, continued to rely on finding sufficient quantities in the wild. And cultivation did not begin for another 1,000 years, the course of the history we know would have been thrown off by a few degrees or who knows maybe we could have caught up by some leap in technology or maybe we’d all be working in the fields of our overlords. Religion is in many ways simply a way to organize information. A crude first attempt. Imagine if today we tried to use a pinch of every religion or one single best religion to create rocket fuel to launch a satellite. Rocket fuel could never be produced from a belief system. Thus it has limits in its benefits and strict adherence stalls many of the advances we think of we we think about progress. Organized religion may have outlived any practical use, but we keep it because  it appears to offer answers. Answers that science can answer, but the believer cannot understand the science. Sometimes religion fills in the gap or more aptly is used by practitioners to fill in gaps of knowledge. Its been suggested by some – the late Norman Mailer for example – that people need religion to scare them into socially acceptable behavior. Even if there is no one universal god we must have the masses believe in one in order to have a sustainable civilized society. The humanist view – in short – is that on the contrary behavior is normative, people learn their behavior which in turn has real world consequences and will behave accordingly. Steal my bread, society sends you to jail. We might swear on a Bible during the process, but like British barristers and their wigs its a tradition extraneous to the results. The rational mind knows that regardless of what one believes in Cairo, New Delhi or Peoria when your finger flips the switch the power comes on because we know how to manipulate electrons, we know we do not need the intervention of a deity to banish the dark. Religion is the result of man’s wiring in which we yearned for and attempted explanations. Man’s circuitry did not evolve from religion. As our yearnings grew and our civilizations became more complicated justified beliefs became essential. Did man have to go through some crude systems of beliefs that provided some benefits to progress. Progress does seem to consist to a large extent of trial and error.

Wade then gets a little into group selection and acknowledges it’s still being sorted out. Edward O. Wilson tends to see some room for it in evolution – groups can provide individuals with benefits such as food and protection of which the individual is not capable. So learning the group rules, which would include their religion, would benefit the chances of  promulgating of one’s genes. Again we’re labeling beneficial group behavior, a learned behavior, religion. The only fairly common threads communities of people shared for centuries in the particulars were behaviors, not gods. Maybe this is a semantic argument, but it seems on my reading that Wade wants to put the cart just slightly ahead of the horse. Rather then a “god gene” it seems more likely that we had a gene for inventing ways to make sense of the world.

autumn anniversaries, black and white reflections, galaxies and cannibalism

black and white wallpaper

black and white tree water reflections

November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, KENNEDY IS KILLED BY SNIPER AS HE RIDES IN CAR IN DALLAS; JOHNSON SWORN IN ON PLANE

The killer fired the rifle from a building just off the motorcade route. Mr. Kennedy, Governor Connally and Mr. Johnson had just received an enthusiastic welcome from a large crowd in downtown Dallas.

Mr. Kennedy apparently was hit by the first of what witnesses believed were three shots. He was driven at high speed to Dallas’s Parkland Hospital. There, in an emergency operating room, with only physicians and nurses in attendance, he died without regaining consciousness.

Not to view Kennedy through the hazy lens of political idolatry, Kennedy himself was a very pragmatic liberal, but if he had lived out his presidency obviously our history would have been different. At the time of his assassination the U.S. had 15,000 militarily advisers in Vietnam, but as much as Kennedy hated the communist he knew that South Vietnam’s leader Ngo Dinh Diem ( a Catholic) ran the country as a repressive despot. Kennedy at least saw the moral dilemma in starker terms then a typical far right cold warrior. Kennedy was anti-communist because he was committed to democracy, but the territory he was trying to help from falling to communism was doing so only to protect its own brand of totalitarianism. Diem was killed in coup shortly before Kennedy’s death. Thus Nam became a bloody dilemma that speaks well in 20/20 hindsight for non-intervention or at least not committing U.S. power and resources to defending one kind of evil against another. Yet that experience and time held no lessons for Ronnie Reagan who preferred to use U.S. power to assist right-wing thugs and death squads in  Nicaragua rather than use that power to solve some deep historical injustices in Nicaragua. The 25th of this month is the anniversary of the Iran-Contra scandal or what conservatives do for fun. Is there something in the autumn air we should know more about.

Some good things do happen in the fall. Though the arguments they had in the recording sessions became legend and were harbingers of their eventual break up, The Beatles released The White Album in November of 1968. “Dear Prudence” thank you for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Blackbird” and “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?”.

shiny objects

ESO 44/09 – Photo Release

A new technique using near-infrared images, obtained with ESO’s 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT), allows astronomers to see through the opaque dust lanes of the giant cannibal galaxy Centaurus A, unveiling its “last meal” in unprecedented detail — a smaller spiral galaxy, currently twisted and warped. This amazing image also shows thousands of star clusters, strewn like glittering gems, churning inside Centaurus A.

Are galaxies made of meat and is Zeus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Allah, Kali, Jehovah or whatever a cannibal? Sarah Palin endorses cannibalism

“If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore: If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”

While the cannibalistic galaxies reminded me of Palin’s strange logic, Palin’s logic reminded Mark Kleiman of Flanders & Swann’s “The Reluctant Cannibal,”

…a father addressing his son who has refused a dish of Roast Leg of Insurance Salesman on the silly grounds that “Eating people is wrong”:

But people have always eaten people.
What else is there to eat?
If the Juju had meant us
not to eat people
He wouldn’t have made ‘em of meat!

I’m not sure whether to be pleased that even Sarah Palin knows Flanders & Swann or horrified that she doesn’t see that her argument points toward cannibalism.

nano tech may be turning an corner, city track autumn

winter not so gray

Nano tech news has been frustrating for its distant promises. I had started to think they should call it someday technology or pie-in-the-sky technology. A name change won’t be necessary, nano-science is making actual progress, Medibots: The world’s smallest surgeons

While nanobots that swim through the blood are still in the realm of fantasy, several groups are developing devices a few millimetres in size. The first generation of “mini-medibots” may infiltrate our bodies through our ears, eyes and lungs, to deliver drugs, take tissue samples or install medical devices.

*Keyhole surgery with the da Vinci system –  This system lets a computer guided by a doctor to make precise – trembling hands free – surgery

* Swallowing a small camera capsule  for an endoscopy rather then insert a tube through the rectum or mouth. propelling the capsule camera is not too much of a problem with the stomachs natural contractions providing propulsion.

*Propulsion and guidance of nano devices dies remain a problem. Nano wires attached to the device might be used to guide little repair bots for surgery on major organs.

* The HeartLander robot – used for heart surgery. In most heart surgeries the heart is stopped and the patient hooked up to a heart-lung machine. In other words the real operation hasn’t even started yet and the body is already under considerable stress. Using keyhole incisions  and the 20-millimetre-long HeartLande the surgeon guides it with, yes, a video like joy stick to guide the caterpillar like device  can inject stem cells or be used to deliver gene therapies directly into the heart.

*ViRob – 1 millimetre in diameter and 5 millimetres long. a magenetic field makes the legs move inside the body where it can deliver drugs to hard to reach spots and take small tissue samples for testing. The goal is to be able to operate Virob inside blood vessels, but thus far it cannot handle the turbulence.

*Ophthalmic robot – is being developed for delicate surgery – sometimes on blood vessels so small they’re difficult to impossible to see without magnification. You can imagine how difficult operating on such vessels would be.

wallpaper autumn

city tracks autumn

Good times. We no longer have to bother with law schools, trials, lawyers, evidence, witnesses, procedural rules or any other nuances of a judicial system. Try people by media with insinuations, doctored video and sweeping condemnations – then bring the rope, Andrew Breitbart Trying To Blackmail The Obama Administration With ACORN And Other Videos

Buffalo Bill’s
by: e.e. cummings

Buffalo Bill’s
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

cummings fist shaking at death. having never spoken with death i do not know for sure, but indirect evidence suggests it is not, sadly, moved by cynicism.

in a bout of rationalism two conservatives speak up for justice, nature’s victorian colors

provocative curves

If you fellow this link to some Google results you’ll find quit a few fringe conservative sites condemning Attorney general Eric Holder for OMG prosecuting terrorists in U.S. Both from the tone and substance you’d think Holder was going to throw a basket of puppies into a river. The links are accurate in that they give a good general picture that are steering the course of conservatism and have done so for the last fifty years. Yet just as the otherwise rational Sir Artur Conan Doyle believed in fairies, occasionally ( and I would not hold my breath between intervals) a conservative or two will actually have a rational view of an issue. A Conservative Pennsylvania Judge John E. Jones in a ruling on teaching Evolution in public schools found intelligent design “thinly veiled creationism” that is “breathtaking in its inanity.”  Conservative Jim Comey who was a deputy attorney general and U.S. attorney in Manhattan during the Bush administration and Conservative Jack Goldsmith who work’s on the uber right Hoover Institutes Task Force on National Security and Law co-authored this column in the WaPo, Holder’s reasonable decision

In deciding to use federal court, the attorney general probably considered the record of the military commission system that was established in November 2001. This system secured three convictions in eight years. The only person who had a full commission trial, Osama bin Laden’s driver, received five additional months in prison, resulting in a sentence that was shorter than he probably would have received from a federal judge.

One reason commissions have not worked well is that changes in constitutional, international and military laws since they were last used, during World War II, have produced great uncertainty about the commissions’ validity. This uncertainty has led to many legal challenges that will continue indefinitely — hardly an ideal situation for the trial of the century.

By contrast, there is no question about the legitimacy of U.S. federal courts to incapacitate terrorists. Many of Holder’s critics appear to have forgotten that the Bush administration used civilian courts to put away dozens of terrorists, including “shoe bomber” Richard Reid; al-Qaeda agent Jose Padilla; “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh; the Lackawanna Six; and Zacarias Moussaoui, who was prosecuted for the same conspiracy for which Mohammed is likely to be charged. Many of these terrorists are locked in a supermax prison in Colorado, never to be seen again. (emphasis mine)

Legal opinions yes, but the efficient and successive prosecution of multiple terrorists is our courts is a fact. We cannot read minds, but the rabid right bloggers at the links above pretend to by capturing a moment in which Lindsay Graham ( a lawyer, but no expert on terror prosecutions) supposedly embarrasses Attorney General Holder, when in typical feigned conservative incredulity Graham is shocked that any terrorist might be read their Miranda rights ( Ironically Graham uses Osama Bin Laden as his example – still free after eight years of Bush’s “war on terror”.) You know the same Miranda rights read to the 145 terrorists that have been convicted in civilian courts. As long as we’re indulging in the fine art of mind reading, what I see is Lindsay Graham passing off ignorant outrage as knowledge. Then A.G. Holder at a loss for words that an experienced lawyer and U.S. senator would put on a little drama queen show that exposed the Senator’s childish fears, contempt for justice and America’s traditional values. That said I would agree with Glenn Greenwald, up to a point, that the DOJ is undermining its own argument about civilian trials for some detainees when it advocates military commissions for others. Glenn suspects the DOJ is choosing what route it takes depending on where they are likely to get the desired results. Maybe some of us are too hung up on principles and consistency, but as both the conservatives writing at WaPo and Glenn notes civilian trials have an established history of putting terrorists in prison where they belong. More here, David Frakt on Material Support Charges and Military Commissions

nature’s victorian colors