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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 43,290

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Environmental Scientist

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Ringside with Dione

Speeding toward pale, icy Dione, Cassini's view is enriched by the tranquil gold and blue hues of Saturn in the distance. The horizontal stripes near the bottom of the image are Saturn's rings. The spacecraft was nearly in the plane of the rings when the images were taken, thinning them by perspective and masking their awesome scale. The thin, curving shadows of the C ring and part of the B ring adorn the northern latitudes visible here, a reminder of the rings' grandeur.

It is notable that Dione, like most of the other icy Saturnian satellites, looks no different in natural color than in monochrome images.


Toon: Chrispie Hug

Are You Part of The Parrot Political Movement?

...I’m not saying these news network are wrong or right, I just want to point out if your beliefs are based solely from these then you didn’t choose your own beliefs. You are a Parrot who randomly spews facts for bird treats, do birds get treats? Is that more of a furry animal type thing? I know dolphins get treats, surely parrots must.

Anyways, throughout social media all I see is copying and pasting. Then some exchanged insults in the comments below it. Then I’m sure both sides feel like they did something for their country. I got 10 likes on that post “Take that Obama!” or “Take that Chris Christie!” or “Die !!!!” For me it’s mosquitoes, die you bastards!! Where’s the dislike button?

What I’ve learned is to ask a direct question and wait for a hilarious response or at least an entertaining one. For example I was debating with a gentleman about the roll out of “Free” Community College. The quotes are there to let you know that I know nothing is free and it will cost taxes to achieve said system, that’s for any conservatives reading this. He said “The government is never the answer.” I hear this repeated all the time, so I knew to ask a direct question. “How would you achieve a low cost or possibly free education system that’s easily accessible across this nation with out the government? Or even a transportation system?” Of course all of this is up for debate and could be done without government technically, but I wanted to know if there was anything behind what he had just repeated to me. Nope just a Parrot.

Another example I recently ran into. A lady said “Waterboarding saved America from multiple terrorist attacks after 9/11/2001″. Great repetition, “What proof do you have validating this statement?” I’m not saying it’s not true, but Americans have died here and overseas sine 9/11/2001. You can debate all day about torture, but there’s no way to know for sure of how effective it is, and again I got no answer. Then I was called a “Libtard” by someone else chiming in. When did asking for proof or any other sources force you to be on one side or another? I noticed Parrots work in groups and like to repeat each other. Thank you news networks for this.

The rest


Bishop who performed exorcism over same-sex marriage to bless Arizona legislature

A bishop who tried to exorcise the Governor of Illinois over his support for same-sex marriage will open the new session of Arizona’s state legislature.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has been selected by the Catholic Church’s Phoenix Diocese to speak at the Mass before the opening of the legislative session.

Equality activists have reacted with shocked at the choice – as Paprocki last year attempted to perform a long-distance exorcism on Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, when he legalised same-sex marriage.

During the exorcism, Paprocki conducted “”prayers of supplication and exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage”.



Legendary Cartoonist Robert Crumb on the Massacre in Paris

Robert Crumb is considered by many to be the single best cartoonist America has ever produced. The creator of counter culture icons like Fritz the Cat, the Keep On Truckin guy and Mr Natural, Mr. Crumb was inducted into the comic book Hall of Fame in 1991, the same year he moved his family to France, where he has resided ever since. Writer Celia Farber reached him at his home in Sauve, France on Friday, January 9, 2015, to talk about the massacre of cartoonists and others in Paris this week.

Celia Farber: Have journalists been calling you today to talk about the assassinations at Charlie Hedbo? Are you willing to talk about it?

Robert Crumb: Liberation wanted me to draw a cartoon, so I did this cartoon for Liberation about it. So far, you are the first American journalist that’s asked me to talk about it. I’ll talk about it, yeah.

No other journalists have called you? Really?

No, you’re the only one. You don’t have journalists over there anymore, what they have is public relations people. That’s what they have over in America now. Two-hundred and fifty thousand people in public relations. And a dwindling number of actual reporters and journalists.

Read more at http://observer.com/2015/01/legendary-cartoonist-robert-crumb-on-the-massacre-in-paris/

Sunday's Non Sequitur- Bored

Sunday's Doonesbury- Torture Tips

Gotham from Above

More amazing images and the story here:


The Strange Inevitability of Evolution


Is the natural world creative? Just take a look around it. Look at the brilliant plumage of tropical birds, the diverse pattern and shape of leaves, the cunning stratagems of microbes, the dazzling profusion of climbing, crawling, flying, swimming things. Look at the “grandeur” of life, the “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful,” as Darwin put it. Isn’t that enough to persuade you?

Ah, but isn’t all this wonder simply the product of the blind fumbling of Darwinian evolution, that mindless machine which takes random variation and sieves it by natural selection? Well, not quite. You don’t have to be a benighted creationist, nor even a believer in divine providence, to argue that Darwin’s astonishing theory doesn’t fully explain why nature is so marvelously, endlessly inventive. “Darwin’s theory surely is the most important intellectual achievement of his time, perhaps of all time,” says evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner of the University of Zurich. “But the biggest mystery about evolution eluded his theory. And he couldn’t even get close to solving it.”

What Wagner is talking about is how evolution innovates: as he puts it, “how the living world creates.” Natural selection supplies an incredibly powerful way of pruning variation into effective solutions to the challenges of the environment. But it can’t explain where all that variation came from. As the biologist Hugo de Vries wrote in 1905, “natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.” Over the past several years, Wagner and a handful of others have been starting to understand the origins of evolutionary innovation. Thanks to their findings so far, we can now see not only how Darwinian evolution works but why it works: what makes it possible.

A popular misconception is that all it takes for evolution to do something new is a random mutation of a gene—a mistake made as the gene is copied from one generation to the next, say. Most such mutations make things worse—the trait encoded by the gene is less effective for survival—and some are simply fatal. But once in a blue moon (the argument goes) a mutation will enhance the trait, and the greater survival prospects of the lucky recipient will spread that beneficial mutation through the population.



Brain Damage Saved His Music


Five years ago, when neurosurgeon Marcelo Galarza saw images from jazz guitarist Pat Martino’s cerebral MRI, he was astonished. “I couldn’t believe how much of his left temporal lobe had been removed,” he said. Martino had brain surgery in 1980 to remove a tangle of malformed veins and arteries. At the time he was one of the most celebrated guitarists in jazz. Yet few people knew that Martino suffered epileptic seizures, crushing headaches, and depression. Locked in psychiatric wards, he withstood debilitating electroshock therapy.

It wasn’t until 2007 that Martino had an MRI and not until recently that neuroscientists published their analyses of the images. Galarza’s astonishment, like that of medical scientists and music fans, arises from the fact that Martino recovered from surgery with a significant portion of his brain and memory gone, but his guitar skills intact. In a 2014 report in World Neurosurgery, Galarza, of the University Hospital in Murcia, Spain, and colleagues from Europe and the United States, wrote, “To our knowledge, this case study represents the first clinical observation of a patient who exhibited complete recovery from a profound amnesia and regained his previous virtuoso status.”1

Martino is now 70 and has released over 30 albums. He continues to tour around the world and according to many jazz critics and musicians he plays with more felicity and creativity than ever. And in Martino’s case that is really saying something. Since he was a teenager, the guitarist has been known for fleet fingers and surprising improvisations. Grammy Award-winning guitarist George Benson told an interviewer that he saw himself as the young phenom around New York City in the 1960s until he saw Martino play one night in Harlem. “I was flabbergasted, man!” Over the years, Benson said, Martino “stayed on my mind because I knew that there was another standard out there that all guitar players had to recognize, and he was setting it. He showed us that there was much more to the guitar than we were hearing.”

Martino has also put on a show for neuroscientists. His case demonstrates neuroplasticity, the brain’s remarkable ability, during development and learning, to “optimize the functioning of cerebral networks,” wrote Hugues Duffau, a professor and neurosurgeon at Hôpital Gui de Chauliac at Montpellier University Medical Center in France, who studied Martino’s case. The guitarist’s recovery epitomizes the ability of the brain to improvise—to compensate for malformations or injuries by wiring new connections among brain regions that restore motor, intellectual, and emotional functions. For an encore, say neuroscientists, Martino’s story is about music and how it helped shape his brain in ways that revived his life.


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