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beam me up scottie

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Hometown: The Green Mountain State
Current location: Red state in the bible belt
Member since: Sun Oct 10, 2004, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 57,349

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Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year

Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year
By Christopher Ingraham
March 28 at 7:00 AM

Spiders are quite literally all around us. A recent entomological survey of North Carolina homes turned up spiders in 100 percent of them, including 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms. There's a good chance at least one spider is staring at you right now, sizing you up from a darkened corner of the room, eight eyes glistening in the shadows.

Spiders mostly eat insects, although some of the larger species have been known to snack on lizards, birds and even small mammals. Given their abundance and the voraciousness of their appetites, two European biologists recently wondered: If you were to tally up all the food eaten by the world's entire spider population in a single year, how much would it be?

Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their estimate in the journal the Science of Nature earlier this month, and the number they arrived at is frankly shocking: The world's spiders consume somewhere between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey in any given year. That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all 7 billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year.

Or, for a slightly more disturbing comparison: The total biomass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287 million tons. Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it's still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity.

In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.



Posted by beam me up scottie | Tue Mar 28, 2017, 09:35 PM (31 replies)

Today in science: Great Alaska earthquake

Today in science: Great Alaska earthquake

March 27, 1964. On this date, at 5:36 p.m. local time, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake struck in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska, causing extensive initial damage and a subsequent tsunami. The quake came to be known as Great Alaska Earthquake, or sometimes the Good Friday Earthquake. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), it was the biggest earthquake recorded in North America since modern seismometers came into general use around 1900.

It had been a relatively warm day in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, about 75 miles (120 km) from the quake’s epicenter. Schools had been closed for Good Friday, along with many offices. In Anchorage, dozens of blocks of buildings were leveled or heavily damaged.

The city of Valdez, closest to the epicenter, was completely destroyed.


The earthquake shook the land for nearly four minutes and caused many natural changes. The Latouche Island area, for example, moved to the southeast by nearly 60 feet (nearly 20 meters), according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center (AEIC).



Posted by beam me up scottie | Mon Mar 27, 2017, 09:02 PM (9 replies)

Yep. I remember when we were accused of worshiping Obama.

The right even referred to him as our 'messiah' iirc.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being inspired by and praising our leaders, whether it's Barack, Hillary, Bernie or someone else.

When Hillary tweets encouragement we rejoice, when Obama throws shade on Twitter we thank our lucky stars he's still around, when Bernie puts a media talking head in their place we cheer.

We're all part of the resistance - it's a big movement.
Posted by beam me up scottie | Sun Mar 26, 2017, 07:24 PM (2 replies)

By stating they're willing to work with him on some issues they look like the adults in the room.

Americans hate obstructionism and Schumer is playing the long game here. Obstruct when necessary, hell yes - but publicly stating you're going to refuse to cooperate at all will turn off voters - and we need them to win.

When Trump refuses to back away from right wing extremist positions Schumer can point to his willingness to work with him and say "See? We tried."

So you're absolutely right - context is everything, I don't see anyone capitulating, just a few realists who recognize strategy.

Posted by beam me up scottie | Sun Mar 26, 2017, 02:26 PM (1 replies)

Is that what he's been doing all this time?

Here he is selling books in West Virginia ...oh wait, no - that's Bernie hosting a town hall in West Virginia:

Here he is selling books in Michigan - rats! Sorry, that's Bernie at a health care rally to save the ACA:

Here he is selling books to women in Vermont - wait, no I'm wrong again, that's Bernie at the Women's march:

Here's Bernie selling books to workers in Mississippi - whoops! My bad - that's Bernie standing up for factory workers in Mississippi:

And finally here he is selling books in Topeka. Dammit! Wrong again - he was speaking to Kansas Democrats:

I've been to signings where the author promotes his book and they don't look anything like what Bernie's doing in those videos. He must be doing it wrong.

Posted by beam me up scottie | Sun Mar 26, 2017, 06:42 AM (3 replies)


Excellent interview with the brilliant Daniel Dennett:

A philosopher’s lifelong quest to understand the making of the mind.
By Joshua Rothman

Four billion years ago, Earth was a lifeless place. Nothing struggled, thought, or wanted. Slowly, that changed. Seawater leached chemicals from rocks; near thermal vents, those chemicals jostled and combined. Some hit upon the trick of making copies of themselves that, in turn, made more copies. The replicating chains were caught in oily bubbles, which protected them and made replication easier; eventually, they began to venture out into the open sea. A new level of order had been achieved on Earth. Life had begun.

The tree of life grew, its branches stretching toward complexity. Organisms developed systems, subsystems, and sub-subsystems, layered in ever-deepening regression. They used these systems to anticipate their future and to change it. When they looked within, some found that they had selves—constellations of memories, ideas, and purposes that emerged from the systems inside. They experienced being alive and had thoughts about that experience. They developed language and used it to know themselves; they began to ask how they had been made.

This, to a first approximation, is the secular story of our creation. It has no single author; it’s been written collaboratively by scientists over the past few centuries. If, however, it could be said to belong to any single person, that person might be Daniel Dennett, a seventy-four-year-old philosopher who teaches at Tufts. In the course of forty years, and more than a dozen books, Dennett has endeavored to explain how a soulless world could have given rise to a soulful one. His special focus is the creation of the human mind. Into his own he has crammed nearly every related discipline: evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence. His newest book, “From Bacteria to Bach and Back,” tells us, “There is a winding path leading through a jungle of science and philosophy, from the initial bland assumption that we people are physical objects, obeying the laws of physics, to an understanding of our conscious minds.”

Dennett has walked that path before. In “Consciousness Explained,” a 1991 best-seller, he described consciousness as something like the product of multiple, layered computer programs running on the hardware of the brain. Many readers felt that he had shown how the brain creates the soul. Others thought that he’d missed the point entirely. To them, the book was like a treatise on music that focussed exclusively on the physics of musical instruments. It left untouched the question of how a three-pound lump of neurons could come to possess a point of view, interiority, selfhood, consciousness—qualities that the rest of the material world lacks. These skeptics derided the book as “Consciousness Explained Away.” Nowadays, philosophers are divided into two camps. The physicalists believe, with Dennett, that science can explain consciousness in purely material terms. The dualists believe that science can uncover only half of the picture: it can’t explain what Nabokov called “the marvel of consciousness—that sudden window swinging open on a sunlit landscape amidst the night of non-being.”


Posted by beam me up scottie | Sat Mar 25, 2017, 04:06 PM (13 replies)

Bernie has been calling out Russia's influence in our election since last year.

In fact I actually posted links to those callouts for a poster just a few days ago when they said they hadn't noticed it. I was shocked that someone would be unaware of his criticism since it could easily be accessed by doing a simple search. I wonder if they ever bothered to read my post? Oh well, I added it to my journal for easy reference and will add this post too for people who are Google challenged.

I did another quick search and at the top of the page I found examples I omitted in my previous post:


Sanders: Investigate Trump Ties to Russia
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Wednesday asked the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the relationship between President Donald Trump and the Russian government.

“It is incumbent upon the Congress to take seriously its constitutional responsibilities. The American people must have confidence that governmental decisions reflect their interests, not that of a foreign government. A robust investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee is critical to restoring that confidence,” Sanders wrote in the letter to Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the intelligence panel.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia played an active role in the 2016 election with the goal of electing Trump as president. Additionally, multiple media outlets reported last week that U.S. intelligence services have verified portions of a dossier that alleges that Russian agents hold damaging evidence about Trump’s past personal and business dealings that could possibly make Trump susceptible to blackmail.

There also have been reports that the Trump administration’s contacts with the Russian government are having both a chilling effect in the intelligence community and jeopardizing longstanding relationships with our allies.

“Throughout his campaign, and continuing to today, President Trump has refused to come clean with the American people about the nature and extent of his relationship with Russia,” Sanders wrote/.

“Every day that President Trump and his team dodge these questions, and every time their previous denials are revealed as false, that confidence is further diminished.”


My goodness that was easy. I love the Google.


Bernie will continue to be a thorn in Twitler's side and I applaud his efforts. He never stops fighting for all of us.

Go Bernie!

Posted by beam me up scottie | Thu Mar 23, 2017, 06:41 PM (2 replies)

Poll: What would you wear during the zombie apocalypse?

We are discussing this on Facebook and I think I would raid an outfitter's for close fitting, durable athletic wear made from breathable synthetics. Jeans are heavy which is good for protection but cotton absorbs sweat and doesn't dry very fast. I would also make sure most of my arms and all of my legs were covered so my skin would be protected from scratches and bites.

*Yes I know there are more important things to discuss but we can chew gum and walk at the same time. A pleasant diversion can be cathartic.
Posted by beam me up scottie | Mon Mar 20, 2017, 05:40 PM (71 replies)
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