Tag Archives | cool people
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.
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
The first American nuclear reactor of the 21st century, Watts-Barr will soon begin operating west of Knoxville in Tennessee. This reactor will almost continuously generate 1,150 megawatts of electricity for the next 60 years at $0.06/kWhr, with near-zero carbon emissions (over the same period a coal plant would release 500 million tons of CO2, for reference the US releases 6,526 million metric tons CO2 annually). With this happy marriage of steadily satisfying consumer demand yet generating very little CO2, one would imagine that greenies everywhere like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and thousands of other environmental groups would be out in the streets rejoicing and calling for more nuclear plants! However, it seems that environmental groups roundly and universally decry the vast potential of nuclear technology. But why?
We in the pro-nuclear community have yet to collate and diagnose the almost-dogmatic hatred of nuclear power in the environmental movement, but it seems to stem from several uninformed but understandable complaints:
1) People seem to widely conflate ‘nuclear power’ with ‘nuclear weapons,’ however the danger of a nuclear explosion occurring at a power plant is the same danger as a 1988 Ford Pinto going 250 mph, that is, not any danger at all.… Read the rest
I recently came across an interesting and novel phenomenon via a remarkable fact I read on Kickassfacts.com. It seems organ recipients sometimes have living memories or peculiar affinities which somehow carried over along from their donor. Can the ‘Ship of Theseus’ that arrives with new oars, planks, and sail be considered the same ship that left port?
Ethically, very few religions around the world actually have a problem with organ harvesting and transplantation. With reference to harvesting from the brain-dead, Pius XII said that knowledge of when death occurs is the domain of medical science. However some Judaic authorities take issue with harvesting the organs of a brain-dead individual because anything that will stop the heart beating causes death. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses have changed their stance since the 1980s, excluding the acceptance of an organ from their definition of cannibalism (which includes accepting blood transfusions).
However, no religions to my knowledge presently acknowledge the idea that a person may somehow be incarnate after their death when another person has accepted that person’s organ.… Read the rest
In a Sept 2014 talk at the Economic Club of Canada, Hugh MacDiarmid coolly lays out the groundwork of a new energy future, without the pie-in-the-sky wishes of fusion, the intermittent inadequacy of solar and wind, or the non-renewable carbon emissions of coal, oil, and gas.
Canadian company Terrestrial Energy is on track to make the first commercially viable molten salt nuclear reactor by early next decade, at first supplementing coal but ultimately supplanting it for electricity production. The molten salt reactor (MSR) is a type of Generation 4 reactor with roots in the 1950s at Oak Ridge National Lab and has manifold advantages over existing reactors. The MSR uses a liquid salt loop to contain its fissile material such as uranium, thorium, or plutonium oxides. Since the reaction occurs in liquid fuel, it is literally impossible to melt down, and since it reacts at atmospheric pressure there is no need for a massive reinforced containment vessel.… Read the rest
This video by a YouTube channel called “‘Believe’ A Paranormal Experience” follows two young men on a pilgrimage/road-trip across country to visit paranormal places. Their last stop requires venturing into a storm drain known as “Satan’s Hollow” which allegedly hosts/hosted devil worshipers and demonic rituals. The radio device they use to communicate with the netherworld at the end is a nice touch.
Our reaction to the crisis in Fukushima Daiichi has been and continues to be generally irrational. Contrary to the assertions of some recent sensationalistic articles, there is no evident increase in thyroid health problems in Japanese children living in and around the Prefectures of Fukushima, and it is unlikely that there ever will be (UN Report; Nuclear News; J. of Am. Phys. and Surg.; CBCnews; Hiroshima Syndrome; National Geographic; Asahi Shimbun). This is because the only cause of thyroid risk during a nuclear disaster, iodine-131 which has a half-life of 8 days, was allowed to decay during evacuation and with restrictions on food and milk from the area. After 80–90 days had passed, released radioactive iodine-131 decays to less than 0.1% of its initial quantity, and therefore the danger is essentially over. … Read the rest
Almost everybody today agrees that it would be really smart (if not vitally essential) that we reduce the amount of fossil carbon we release from giant, tupperware-geological structures deep inside the earth. But how would we accomplish freeing ourselves from coal, petroleum, and gas while maintaining a dependable flow of electricity?
Mainstream environmentalists currently advocate for generating energy from wind turbines and solar arrays, whose energy comes more-or-less directly from the sun. With solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, and wind turbines we can produce electricity without generating any carbon dioxide (once these devices have been manufactured and placed on a field or ocean somewhere). Unfortunately, one issue with these technologies is that the energy is intermittent. With the wind dying down and the Sun being obscured by clouds or the night, these devices only actually generate electricity a small minority of the time, let’s say generously 30% of the time.… Read the rest
Citing birth rate statistics in Italy and the United States, Pope Francis stated on June 2nd that couples who forgo child rearing to own pets are dooming themselves to an old age of loneliness. [I know I’ve wanted to scream out the window at couples walking dogs “make babies, you losers!”]
Indeed birth rates across the Western world have fallen steadily over the past few hundred years , but especially in recent times, to far below replacement levels. In the USA they have been falling more and more slowly since the “end” of the financial crisis, but remain relatively abysmal.
… Read the rest
“It might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or not? Have you seen it?” Stated the pontificate, ““You can go explore the world, go on vacation, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be carefree,”
“Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness ”
Francis said without qualification that Jesus Christ would not approve of childless marriages.