08 Jan

Happy Birthday Prof. Hawking!

in Celebrities, Science & Technology

Click image for his amazing and continuing story.

Stephen Hawking
Created by: OnlinePhD.org

Enhanced by Zemanta

24 Oct

Horses, Bayonets … and COWS?

in Barack Hussein Obama, Elections
Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Excerpt from my latest post at the Foreign Policy Association:

From the Associated Press to the Huffington Post and everything in between, Obama emerged as the clear front-runner in this war of wits. In responding to Romney’s diminished tally of naval ships by noting that “we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama showcased his own experience in this area while simultaneously casting his opponent as uninformed, naïve and generationally disconnected. While it may not have changed any minds, the the only ones not laughing this morning are those powerful representatives of America’s bayonet lobby.

In all likelihood, Romney’s statement probably had less to do with any reasoned analysis or personal stance on nautical dominance than as a dog whistle for a candidate lacking service history to appear pro-military. His choice of anachronisms may have set Obama up for the easy one-two, but in responding to such platitudes with humor, the president revealed a tacit agreement with his opponent’s underlying assumption that military strength is derived from superior hardware. Unfortunately for both candidates, and our national discourse, this is empirically fallacious.

Enhanced by Zemanta


02 Apr

Hours per Week to Earn Living (minimum) Wage: 138

in Capitalism, Economy, Marxism

At least in my native New Jersey, though according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “in no state can a minimum wage worker afford a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market rent, working a standard 40-hour work week.”  Where does your state fall?  Click for larger version:


Cut this in half for all you naysayers who don’t believe minimum wage workers should support families on a full-time income and this is still untenable in the majority of populous states.

But hey, poor people are just lazy.

On a side note, I just finished watching In Time (go Timberlake!) which, albeit not the most stunning cinematic adventure, is spot-on in its portrayal of capitalism's in-built need for stratification.  Raising the minimum wage is well and good, but an incomplete solution when the capitalist aristocracy can simply outsource jobs, raise prices, lobby for looser OSHA regulations, etc. 

Instead of raising bottom-end wages, we might explore doing away with them entirely in favor of maximum-ratio enforcement.  Pay employees whatever you want, so long as they earn no less than, say 25 times what the highest-paid employee earns (indexed to corporate tax rates).  Want to pay a $7 hourly ($14,000 annual) minumum?  Fine, so long as you cap your own salary at $350,000.  Not bad, eh?  Need a boost for that second yacht?  No worries ... pay your line workers $10/hour and you're good to go. 

Indexing wages to prosperity maintains a system of reward vs. risk while playing fair with the production class.  And hey, it comes with the added bonus of delaying class consciousness for another few decades.  That's right -- Maximum Ratio: Keeping you safe from worker revolts since 2012!

Enhanced by Zemanta
01 Apr

Worst April Fool’s Day Evah!

in Funny, Holidays
Iraq Saddam Hussein

Iraq Saddam Hussein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Museum of Hoaxes:

Saddam Hussein and his sons may have been ruthless, power-hungry dictators, but that didn't stop them from trying to give the people of Iraq a good chuckle every April Fool's Day. On April 1, 1998 the Babil newspaper, owned by Hussein's son Uday, informed its readers that President Clinton had decided to lift sanctions against Iraq, only to admit later that it was just joking. One can imagine the knee-slapping guffaws when readers realized how they'd been taken for a ride.

Check out the definitive list.

Enhanced by Zemanta
28 Jan

Star Wars Uncut comes online: 2 hours of Kismet goulash in 15-second bites

in Crowdsourcing, Geek, Sci-Fi, Video

The goal was as simple as it was ambitious; as beautiful as it was grotesque; as awesome as it was … so freakishly awesome!  A crowdsourced version of Star Wars Episode IV (A New Hope) in 15-second blocks, open-sourced and using any creative media you happen to have nearby.  Less than a year later, the results are in.

I, for one, will never wash my eyeballs again!

Enjoy it now before the MPAA tries to shut it down:

11 Jan

Microsoft cashing in on poverty, Patents ‘Avoid Ghetto’ Feature For GPS Devices

in Class Divide, Science & Technology, WTF?!

Image by woody1778a via Flickr


ghet·to (gt)

n. pl. ghet·tos or ghet·toes

1. A usually poor section of a city inhabited primarily by people of the same race, religion, or social background, often because of discrimination.

2. An often walled quarter in a European city to which Jews were restricted beginning in the Middle Ages.

3. Something that resembles the restriction or isolation of a city ghetto: "trapped in ethnic or pink-collar managerial job ghettoes" (Diane Weathers).

Enhanced by Zemanta
06 Jan

Time-Cloaking becomes a reality

in Science & Technology
English: Illustration of how a cloaking device...

Image via Wikipedia

So guess what haters, that time I soiled my drawers in the 2nd grade – never happened!

Physicists from Cornell University have made another step towards turning science fiction into reality when they successfully implemented a time masker, which works by altering the flow of light. This feat is based on a basic principle: humans see things happening around us via the light that reaches our eyes. By speeding up one part of the light and slowing down another part, the physicists were able to make it appear as if an event didn’t happen!

Kudos to the author for the Robert Jordan reference to Balefire!

Enhanced by Zemanta