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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,022

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Stonehenge: ghostly outlines of missing stones appear

It is a mystery which has intrigued archaeologists for centuries: did the huge Neolithic stones which make up Stonehenge form a complete circle?


Now the puzzle has been answered after the dry summer revealed the faint outline of the missing megaliths.

Usually the ground is watered by stewards, to keep the earth moist and the grass healthy.

But this year, the hose they used was too short to reach the whole site. By chance, the incomplete section of the inner stone circle was left to dry out.

When archaeological features have been buried in the ground for a long time, they affect the rate that grass grows above them, even long after they have disappeared.

more
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/archaeology/11066703/Stonehenge-ghostly-outlines-of-missing-stones-appear.html

Iceland volcano spews lava fountains of up to 100m (Bardarbunga eruption)



Impressive!

Guantánamo is falling apart

Decaying Guantánamo Defies Closing Plans

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — One sweltering afternoon last month, a Boeing C-17 military transport plane arrived at the American naval base here. It had come to take six low-level detainees to new lives in Uruguay after 12 years of imprisonment.

Days before, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had called Uruguay’s president, José Mujica, pressing him to resettle the men. The foreign leader had offered to accept the detainees last January, but by the time the United States was ready for the transfer this summer, Mr. Mujica was worried that it would be politically risky to follow through because of coming elections in his country, according to Obama administration officials.

After four days of frantic negotiations between the two governments as the plane sat on the tarmac, the C-17 flew away without its intended passengers.

Although President Obama pledged last year to revive his efforts to close Guantánamo, his administration has managed to free just one low-level prisoner this year, leaving 79 who are approved for transfer to other countries. It has also not persuaded Congress to lift its ban on moving the remaining 70 higher-level detainees to a prison inside the United States.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/us/politics/decaying-guantanamo-defies-closing-plans.html?_r=0

Danziger's on a roll- "Just one more wafer thin mint"

Toon of the Day: Which Is Worse?

Slowpoke Toon: Tips for College Students

From a childhood hallucination to the halls of theoretical physics.

My Own Personal Nothingness

BY ALAN LIGHTMAN

My most vivid encounter with Nothingness occurred in a remarkable experience I had as a child of 9 years old. It was a Sunday afternoon. I was standing alone in a bedroom of my home in Memphis Tennessee, gazing out the window at the empty street, listening to the faint sound of a train passing a great distance away, and suddenly I felt that I was looking at myself from outside my body. I was somewhere in the cosmos. For a brief few moments, I had the sensation of seeing my entire life, and indeed the life of the entire planet, as a brief flicker in a vast chasm of time, with an infinite span of time before my existence and an infinite span of time afterward. My fleeting sensation included infinite space. Without body or mind, I was somehow floating in the gargantuan stretch of space, far beyond the solar system and even the galaxy, space that stretched on and on and on. I felt myself to be a tiny speck, insignificant in a vast universe that cared nothing about me or any living beings and their little dots of existence, a universe that simply was. And I felt that everything I had experienced in my young life, the joy and the sadness, and everything that I would later experience, meant absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. It was a realization both liberating and terrifying at once. Then, the moment was over, and I was back in my body.

The strange hallucination lasted only a minute or so. I have never experienced it since. Although Nothingness would seem to exclude awareness along with the exclusion of everything else, awareness was part of that childhood experience, but not the usual awareness I would locate within the three pounds of gray matter in my head. It was a different kind of awareness. I am not religious, and I do not believe in the supernatural. I do not think for a minute that my mind actually left my body. But for a few moments I did experience a profound absence of the familiar surroundings and thoughts we create to anchor our lives. It was a kind of Nothingness.



To understand anything, as Aristotle argued, we must understand what it is not, and Nothingness is the ultimate opposition to any thing. To understand matter, said the ancient Greeks, we must understand the “void,” or the absence of matter. Indeed, in the fifth century B.C., Leucippus argued that without the void there could be no motion because there would be no empty spaces for matter to move into. According to Buddhism, to understand our ego we must understand the ego-free state of “emptiness,” called śūnyatā. To understand the civilizing effects of society, we must understand the behavior of human beings removed from society, as William Golding so powerfully explored in his novel Lord of the Flies.

more
http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/my-own-personal-nothingness

The Dubious Sources of Some Supreme Court ‘Facts’

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court received more than 80 friend-of-the-court briefs in the Hobby Lobby case. Most of these filings, also called amicus briefs, were dull and repetitive recitations of familiar legal arguments.

Others stood out. They presented fresh, factual information that put the case in a broader context.

The justices are hungry for such data. Their opinions are increasingly studded with citations to facts they learned from amicus briefs.

But this is a perilous trend, said Allison Orr Larsen, a law professor at the College of William & Mary.

“The court is inundated with 11th-hour, untested, advocacy-motivated claims of factual expertise,” she wrote in an article to be published in The Virginia Law Review.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/us/politics/the-dubious-sources-of-some-supreme-court-facts.html

Monday Toon Roundup 4- The Rest


Putin








The Issue








Football



Monday Toon Roundup 3- Race, Police and the GOP (warning N-word)

Race









Police





GOP




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