those wonderful flying machines, robots can be wounded, republicans and jim crow lite

Design drawings for a man-powered flying machine with manually controlled wings

Design drawings for a man-powered flying machine with manually controlled wings entitled, “Vélocipède aérien,” proposed by Jean Jacques Bourcart, Paris, August, 1866. There is remarkably very little information about Bourcart and his machine. Though it would probably help if I could read French. The drawing seems very modern, like you might get the flying machine inside a box of cereal and these were the assembly instructions printed on the back.

A sign of things to come, Ohio Man Charged With Shooting Robot

In what is sure to be only the beginning of human vs. robot confrontations, a surveillance robot belonging to the police was recently shot after a six-hour standoff with a 62-year-old heavily inebriated man.

….First, a camera-equipped robot entered the home to locate the man and the guns. A second larger bot was then sent in, but when the owner spotted it, he opened fire with a small caliber pistol damaging it. Shortly afterward, police finally entered the home and used an electronic stun device to subdue him. After being issued a search warrant, authorities found a number of firearms within the residence, including two AK47 rifles and a 75-round ammunition drum, which is illegal in Ohio.

Police did charge him for shooting the robot. You can’t go around shooting robots paid for with tax dollars.

Technical illustration shows elevation and horizontal section of a man-powered flying machine constructed and tested unsuccessfully by Swiss watchmaker Jakob Degen

Technical illustration shows elevation and horizontal section of a man-powered flying machine constructed and tested unsuccessfully by Swiss watchmaker Jakob Degen living in Vienna in the early 1800s. I’m not sure exactly the contortions one would have to perform to make it work, but the flight depended on the pilot using their arms and legs in proper sequence. I really like this drawing. It should be the company logo for a company that creates apps for the iPad or something. The flying machine was called an ornithopter. According to one site, Degen tethered his machine to a hot air balloon and went through the motions of operating the wings, but the craft never flew on its own.

I pretty much cannot stand The Economist. They are generally overrated and their unbiased centrism largely a myth kept alive by two somewhat centrist editorials a year. Though they did not screw this report up completely, Interesting study of ‘tipping points’, how societies change their collective minds

“FOUNDATION”, a novel by Isaac Asimov from the golden age of science fiction, imagines a science called psychohistory which enables its practitioners to predict precisely the behaviour of large groups of people. The inventor of psychohistory, Hari Seldon, uses his discovery to save humanity from an historical dark age.

A fantasy, of course. But the rise of mobile phones and social networks means budding psychohistorians do now have an enormous amount of data that they can search for information which might yield more modest patterns of predictability. And, as several of them told the AAAS meeting, they are doing just that.

They also acknowledge that a small sudden change can throw off data as it starts to mushroom. Though they might eventually be able to factor in calculations for this ‘chaos’ eventually.

For the sunny South. An airship with a

From a 1913 issue of the magazine Punch a satirical and aviation themed look at Jim Crow laws in the South. While full-bore Jim Crow laws are not making a return, we are getting a taste of what they were like. The conservative movement is dying, so it plans to hang on to power by using more restrictive voting laws and gerrymandering.


grass dew drops wallpaper, austerity is a kind of sabotage

grass dew drops wallpaper

grass dew drops wallpaper

“But when I walk through
the Tan something shaft, in the dark, I can touch with
my hands the leaves on the trees, and underneath . . . where
the corn is green. . . . There is a wind in the shaft, not carbon monoxide
they talk about, it smell like the sea, only like as if the sea
had fresh flowers lying about . . . and that is my holiday.” The power of daydreams from the dialogue from the film The Corn Is Green. The dark is the mine shaft where men and children work from dawn till dusk. The full text of the screenplay is on-line here.

How Republicans Are Using Austerity To Drag Down The Economy

If the US continues to make headway on the jobs front, it will do even better on the deficit front, which is why any sensible economist will tell you that deficit reduction per se should never be an object of government policy. In a market economy, employment is the main source of income for most of the population. Economic growth creates jobs. Without paying jobs, individuals are unable to pay taxes.  In capitalist, wage-labor societies, therefore, joblessness creates a long list of other kinds of waste that Congress never talks about—the breakup of families, rising alcoholism and drug addiction, higher crime rates, absolute and relative poverty, damage to social status and self-respect, adverse psychological and physical health effects, stress, suicide, crime and other anti-social behavior.

During WWII, the government’s deficit — which one year reached 25 percent of GDP — raised government’s public debt ratio above 120 percent, much higher than the ratio expected to be achieved by 2015.

When I say economy, I mean the real bread and butter economy that more than half the country depends on. The wealthy are doing very well, and many of them, like the Kochs, are the loudest complainers. If we should slide into a mini-recession because of conservative intransigence on the sequester, the wealthy will still do well. The pundits, those would be the people who are supposed to have especially keen insights should be glad that pundit malpractice is not a capital crime, Pundits Still Getting Sequester and Budget Debates Wrong.

Schoolgirl, 12, has higher IQ than Einstein

Despite her success Neha, a devoted Harry Potter fan and keen swimmer, said she found the Mensa test “quite hard” and did not expect to get in.

She said: “I’m really, really happy because I found the test quite hard and I wasn’t really holding out much hope that I’d be a member of Mensa.

She does seem to be gifted, but she is also a very determined person who enjoys reading and taking an active interests in pursuing knowledge. Being gifted is great, a head start, but a lot of that can be made up with the passionate and determined pursuit of knowledge or skills. IQ tests cannot measure creativity and practical knowledge in areas such as music, art or athletics. Nor are they a guarantee of success in life – financial or otherwise.