Author Archive | Kowality Jesus

World’s Most Persecuted Religion

Muslims need to listen a little more closely to the words of their prophet [*cough cough*Christians*cough cough*]. Persecution of non-Muslims by Islamic fundamentalists has reached a shrill note in much of Europe, Asia, Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Asian South Pacific, but it seems like that is NOT what Mohammad would want! In a previous article I listed some very surprising quotes of Mohammed from the Hadith that many Muslims (or non-Muslims) would do well to follow carefully today, please feel free to check them out.

In this video, Raymond Ibrahim, a native of Egypt, discusses how Christianity has been virtually exterminated in many Muslim majority countries during the last 50 years, and speculates on the political motivation for why the Western media refuses to report on it.

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Computer Hallucinations: Large Scale Deep Neural Net


Recently, Disinfo ran an article about how Google set up feedback loops to its image recognition software and created some very interesting “dream”-like effects. Yeah, Google. “Dream.” You can view a gallery of their images here.

Some other software engineers, among whom is Jonas Degrave, a Belgian PhD student, who are not nearly as concerned with euphemism, have created an “LSD neural net,” which is similar in concept to Google’s feedback loops. Except they actually made a channel on Twitch that shows the algorithmic permutations in real time video, constantly zooming in like a fractal. Remarkably, the viewers in the video chat can type in two objects, for example “tent + gondola,” and the algorithm randomly choose one entry and morph using images of these objects. It is really quite interesting.

If you’re some kind of freak that actually knows how this stuff works, feel free to check out the write up giving background on how the engineers technically created this piece on Jonas Degrave’s site.… Read the rest

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The Gender Divide on Nuclear Power

According to David Roberts at Vox, women are more likely to oppose nuclear power than men, but why is this?

“In short, the real gap on nuclear power is not between men and women, but between white men and everyone else. And this has far more to do with socialization than with any inherent or biological differences.”

via Vox:

Over at Morning Consult, they’ve done a survey on attitudes toward nuclear power, and according to reporter Davis Burroughs, nuclear reactors “face pronounced unpopularity among an unexpected bloc: women.”

Is it because women know less about nuclear?

Many nuclear advocates, confronted by the gender gap, posit a simple explanation: women know less about nuclear power. After all, the science and engineering fields generally, and the nuclear industry specifically, are dominated by men. Women are socialized at an early age to avoid those fields (though that may be changing).

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Alan Lomax: American Ethnomusicologist

Alan Lomax an ethnomusicologist, much like Bela Bartok, was responsible for the recording and preserving of American folk music in the 20th century, much of which has ceased to exist in a living form. Without the foresight and diligent cataloging performed by Lomax and his colleagues, the Americana not practiced in modernity would have been lost to history.

Alan Lomax was born to a pioneering folklorist, John Lomax, and employed by the Library of Congress from 1937-42 collecting folk music. Unfortunately, due to the dogs of war being unleashed, in 1942 the budget for collecting folk music was cut by Congress. Coincidentally, the FBI also began investigating Lomax off and on from 1942 until 1979 for some flimsy communist allegations. We can tell that Lomax was one of the good guys by a description given of him in an investigation:

An FBI report dated July 23, 1943, describes Lomax as possessing “an erratic, artistic temperament” and a “bohemian attitude.” It says: “He has a tendency to neglect his work over a period of time and then just before a deadline he produces excellent results.” The file quotes one informant who said that “Lomax was a very peculiar individual, that he seemed to be very absent-minded and that he paid practically no attention to his personal appearance.” This same source adds that he suspected Lomax’s peculiarity and poor grooming habits came from associating with the “hillbillies who provided him with folk tunes”.

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Screw-worm Flies: Proof that Government Can Occasionally Work



Have you ever heard of the screw-worm fly? There is a reason for that. It is a nasty bug that lays eggs on the open wounds of animals, even tick bites, and the hatched larvae bore carnivorously into the flesh around the wound. The larvae drop to the ground once done feeding on the living flesh, dig into the earth and pupate, emerging 10 days later as adults to mate and restart the disgusting, parasitic process all over again. Until roughly 1966 they were endemic to all of the southern Unites States, and we have only the broad efforts of concerned scientists, informed citizens, active public officials, and the cooperation of those living north and south of the Mexican border to thank.

It has always been widely regarded that screw-worm flies completely suck, but they especially presented a liability for farming and cattle producers. The initial idea that screw-worm populations could be suppressed by releasing factory-reared specimens with detrimental survival traits was first discussed by Knipling and Bushland in 1937.… Read the rest

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Weird Parallels: Helium Waste and 19th-Century Logging

Waste of invaluable resources

There is plenty of regret to go around about the wholescale waste of the immense virgin forests in pre-20th century America. These forests represented a cheap, high-quality building material to early Americans and a profitable export that only required rudimentary tools and a healthy portion of elbow grease to attain. Unfortunately, the citizens of 19th century America (a few of whom became very rich) did not exhibit the conscientiousness nor collective restraint to prevent from despoiling the vast majority of these invaluable and dignified forests. It simply did not occur to them (until Teddy Roosevelt spearheaded the conservation movement and hippies formed the environmental movement) that this timber resource is exhaustible, and once exhausted practically irreplaceable.

For example, during the early history of my home state of Michigan, it is said that a squirrel could traverse from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan without ever touching the ground.  Yet it took an incredibly small amount of time (mostly 1870-1890) for men with hand-drawn felling saws to systematically evacuate every virgin tree on the entire peninsula.… Read the rest

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American Forests Felled to Meet European Renewable Energy Targets


Visualization by Pitch Interactive. Data: Climate Analysis Indicators Tool 2.0, World Resources Institute; Earth Observatory, NASA; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Forest Legality Alliance; Global Canopy Programme; Global Forest Resources Assessment, 2010; Global Forest Watch; Greenpeace; Hansen et al., Science, 15 November 2013; Natural Resources Canada; United States Department of Agriculture; United States Forest Service; World Wildlife Fund.


So renewable energy is green?  Talk about the opposite.

T. Edward Nickens via Audubon:

It seems to defy common sense that trees from forests in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and other southern states could be cut, trucked to a mill, pulverized and pelletized, shipped to a seaport, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and delivered to a power plant in the Netherlands, all in the name of reducing global warming. Yet that’s what’s happening. And during the past five years, such an unlikely scenario has spawned an entirely new industry.

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Where is Vladimir Putin?

He’s probably dead.

Julia Ioffe writes at The Washington Post:

It’s been more than a week now since anybody’s seen Russian President Vladimir Putin. He had a mundane meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on March 5, and then … nothing. Since then, Putin hasn’t been seen in public, and the Russian blogosphere can talk about nothing else. Their president skipped a number of events—including one with his FSB bigwigs—and the Kazakhs, with whom Putin was supposed to meet this week, said the Russian president was ill. They quickly walked it back after the Kremlin denied it. The Kremlin began fiddling with Putin’s schedule. State television began broadcasting news of meetings planned for the future as if they had already happened in order to show that Putin was alive enough to attend meetings.

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