In a saner world

Thank you Russian dashboard cams! The best recorded meteor event of all time happened recently, and should be a wakeup call for us all. This tiny piece of rock - which explodes as you see above - caused fairly extensive damage over the city below mostly due to the pressure wave of the explosion, which blew out windows and knocked down some rickety walls.

And this was just a tiny rock. Here's (possibly) the final impact spot:
Get some learnin' in slick modern inforgraphic form!
Click for big. The takeaway lesson here, friends, is we are in great peril. From a variety of sources. Meteors/asteroids are one of these threats - and something we could do something about, if we had the collective will. And we should - it is INEVITABLE that a large rock will hit the Earth again and send everything into collective turmoil. This has happened many, many times in the past and WILL happen again. Only a question of when. We might be able to see it coming, but we might not. Isn't the entire existence of humanity worth trying to protect? I think so, and so look forward to the day the leading nations of Earth agree to jointly fund a peaceful program of monitoring and engagement of space rocks.

Bonus extra feature: Space mining. We could make it happen right now, if we wanted to. But I guess we (some) don't.
Vladimir's ready to save the world!


Church and State

In order to improve morale during WW2, Stalin brought back a "Stalin'd up!" version of the Orthodox Church which had been hitherto crushed by official Soviet policy. And why not? In 1942 Russia, all things go better with Stalin!
I really dig this style and the medieval shout outs. I'm not sure what book Stalin is selling here, since I don't think the Bible made it back into this brief version of the Church (Khrushchev later crushed it once again). Might be a blank journal so you can record your most patriotic thoughts about how awesome Stalin is.
Stalin cares. House visits for the grieving widows of the war. A Saint, I tells ya!


Pussy Riot

Apparently this "Pussy Riot" is a real thing. Check it.

Like, seriously: Hot chicks protesting HARDCORE. Boobies below the fold:


Choose the next Pope!

So the Pope's resigning, which is kind of weird. Hasn't happened in 600 years. And on the night of the resignation, LIGHTNING! Message from above, y'all. So it's time to choose a new Pope as per ancient tradition: Photoshop. From the good folks at Something Awful, here's some possible candidates.

Space Pope. He's got my vote, if I had one.
Owl Bear Jesus. He controls the Ironic Hipster voting bloc, but few others. Unlikely.

The first AI candidates - times are changing! Number 5 has made a lot of friends with his engaging style, while The Terminator is not a natural politician, to say the least. He does have some influence with the Inquisition wing of the Church.
A dark horse contender from South America, Weedlord Bonerhitler. He might serve as a compromise candidate other groups rally round to support.

Watch out for that white smoke, brahs! Gonna be exciting!


Here I sit

Graffiti from Pompeii. If you don't know about Pompeii, read the Wiki first. Here's how it looks today:
The volcano, Mount Vesuvius, in the background. Not my picture, and for that I am ashamed. The mountain plays a big part in Spartacus's revolt by the way. Anyways, the destruction of Pompeii and the manner of the destruction has been a blessing for humanity, as it gives us our best preserved example of Roman life from the period. Not so awesome for the poor folks who lived there at the time, of course:


Rome in a Gif

Some fun Rome chat! I've been really interested in Rome since I saw the show Spartacus. Lame, I know, but it's an awesome show and I think it gave a good feel for Rome of the day - sensationalized for X rated TV, of course. I've studied Roman history in the past in general classes (I studied Greece in far more detail, cuz of the philosophy, art, and cool science. But the conquering and wars were sweet too.), but never really got a feel for it, and recently I've learned I was sorely mistaken in a great many important details.  And so let's get to Rome chat!

Every would be warlord, strongman, king, dictator, Pope, you name it, since Rome has used Rome as an example, as a template. Here was an Empire that spanned the known world (sorry China - we knew about you and even traded with you but you play no big part in this myth). Look at Washington, D.C. for some evidence.

Fun fact 1! The words "Czar" and "Kaiser" are both derivations of Caesar, and who can argue with Caesar? Veni, Vidi, Vici brahs. In truth, the so called "Barbarian Germans" were not all so bad, and the ones who did finally cause Rome "to Fall" were Roman looking and acting, and in fact desired to rule the Empire, not smash it. The so called "Fall" of Rome is not so much a fall as a fading away, and even then, only in part. Read on!


America the Gif

The growth of America, gif style. Fun stuff - and as we're taught in our excellent public schools, entirely peaceful expansion! Manifest destiny! Go west young man! The truth, of course, is far different than what we were taught. American genocide is more accurate. But hey! I come here not to burden you with a heavy trip. Rather, here's some more fun maps:
We were this close to the Empire of Virginia.

Ever hear of Deseret? I hadn't either, until recently. Mormon Empire - thank your stars, San Diego.
A recurring proposal for the new state of Jefferson, made up from Northern California and Southern Oregon. Never gonna happen, but hippies can dream.


Dots assembled

Here's a map from the 1860's showing the slave population of the south - the darker areas have more slaves. And now:
2008 Presidential election results. Red equals Republican, Blue, Democrat. Just a co-incidence, I'm sure.
Explains a good deal, when you consider the politics of America.This, however?
A map of NFL fans based on Google searches. Witness Steeler Nation! Also, sadly, Cowboys. Smallest real estate - NY Jets.


Everything is Information

Think about it, really. Stop whatever it is you're doing (when you read the end of this paragraph), and think of this: Everything you see, touch, hear, know, think, remember, feel, is but some form of information. But more! Everything that is or could ever be - every atom, every molecular gas cloud, every star, every planet and person and even dog that has ever or will ever live is but a collection of information - ones and zeroes. Dots and dashes. Numbers on scales. Literally. Consider vision - an important human sense. Witness above how the human eye gathers light. Once focused, it strikes a collection of differentiated cells of the optic nerve, and that nerve transmits data to the brain. The data? Lightwave frequencies. The brain takes this data and transforms it into red, or green, or blue, or some combination thereof, and that in turn is what we see. And remember. It's a wicked cool trick!
Colors exist because the material through which light passes and strikes differs. Water is different than stone, a tree different than a car. Low different than high, hot different than cold, and so on. These differences give birth to all color, as the light is reflected, refracted, blocked, twisted, or otherwise changed in different ways based on the conditions. Above you see the spectrum in part, based on the density, temperature, and speed of the water, coupled with the differing angles of light. Below,
an amalgamation of movie poster colors by year - oldest at the top. Notice the color shift! And consider it - you see this shift through a screen over the internet, clearly nothing but data which comes alive with meaning in your mind. Hence!
False color astronomy. Defined as the addition of color where there was no color in the original image. This is an X-Ray shot, after all, and alas! We humans cannot see in X-Ray. The original image is greyscale, but in that scale is revealed the different frequencies of X-Rays, and if you follow the following logic: Low end of frequency equals red and high end equals blue than here you are - false color, but real in its way. It represents something very real and meaningful - especially meaningful to us, viewers of color, as we can tease meaning out of an image in color that we cannot in grey. For the best example:
The CMB: Cosmic Microwave Background. These globes represent the temperature of the UNIVERSE at approximately 300 million years old, which is a trifling number when you consider the estimated age of the Universe (14Billlion give or take). It is near this point that light first escaped the cosmic creation soup and traveled freely across space. And thus the map - different areas of hot and cold. Where the differences are like miniscule but enough over time to shape the infinity of galaxies that make up our ever expanding reality - red areas represent places of higher density and thus matter was attracted and here was built, everything. Blue less dense areas, now representing interstellar space, and it is vast and only getting ever vaster.
Once again, but numbers, which we translate into colors, shapes, texture, form. We are the creators of everything, since everything is but a bunch of numbers and long ass formulas n' shit. Consider in closing this image - our star, "The Sun"! In neutrinos, captured by a "telescope" buried deep under a mountain. You see, neutrinos don't care about our matter so much, and pass right through. Right now there are trillions upon trillions - seriously! - streaming right through you. Yet we found a way to measure them, and so here's the sun in False Color, neutrino style. Pretty dang sweet, science. Also too, eyes!
Finally, yay art! Previous post photo setup - not my picture, but alas I don't know who to credit. Whoever you are, rock on!

It's awesome what people can make out of all this information.


A Wizard Did It

The Wizards of ancient alchemy might be scoffed at today, but they were scientists of their times. Limited, mostly wrong, yet engaging in trial and error, documentation, additive/subtractive experiments, accumulated knowledge of compounds and elements, etc. To wit - turning lead to gold. Ironically, this is possible! Simply remove two protons from lead and voila! Gold. Not that any wizard of yore did that. But what if? What if a Wizard so grand and wonderful created, everything?
The Multiverse! With each bubble a pod budded off a black hole in some other dimension - a for real theory! Not proven, but it's discussed. It's infinity upon infinity and near impossible to conceive of in the slightest. But do! Consider each of these candy universes filled with
multicolored kayaks spinning madly, and in each kayak
a brightly dressed Indian woman, and hidden among these Indian women
is another wizard, but this one way less cool than the First Wizard. 

Huh? What if, man?


Achtung Intertube

The Office of Defense Health and Welfare has an important message.
Insanity can strike anyone, anywhere. Also, art can arise any where, any way.
Yeah, man.


Cat Drugs

An artistic representation of the Internet. Factually accurate, in fact, except for the lady, since, as all nerds of the Internet know, there are very few ladies on the Internet, and approximately 50% of them are pervy old men also too.

But yes, cat drugs.



Look! I did a Photoshop! It's terrible! But you get my drift - that's Paula Broadwell seated, and look at that face! Pure love/lust/look at them stars! Patraeus is looking at his wife's ass apparently, or spots thereabout. She's looking at my sidebar and wondering why it's so blank. The bow tie dude in the back's all "wha?"

Love/lust is a hell of a thing, right? Who can deny it when the feelings and circumstances arise? And lo, mighty careers are felled. Didya know Fox News Generalissimo Roger Ailes tried to get Patraeus to run for President in 2012? True story - fair and balanced.

Which makes the Wingnut's fever over Obama even the more amusing, since he's apparently the perfect Husband/Father. Suck it, Wingtards.