Tag Archives | Science & Technology

Next Jobs Automation Will Kill

liz west (CC BY 2.0)

liz west (CC BY 2.0)

Barb Darrow via Forbes:

Most of us watched as automation displaced factory workers and other laborers; but now many “skilled” workers are getting anxious as the robot overlords come for us.

When automated factories started erasing jobs at manufacturing companies, most of us shrugged: Great, better products cheaper, was the general line of thinking

But as automation keeps creeping up the stack, taking over more of what most would call “skilled” positions, well that’s getting some folks—who consider themselves skilled professionals—nervous.

Take airplane pilots for example. That’s now a dead-end job according to Mary “Missy” Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL) at Duke University (and a former Naval fighter pilot.) She said that “in all honesty” she could not recommend that anyone become a commercial airline pilot going forward, given the current state of the art.

“Commercial pilots today touch the stick for three to seven minutes per flight—and that’s on a tough day,” she told an audience at the MIT CIO Symposium on Wednesday.

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William Mortensen – The Antichrist of American Photography in the House of the Devil

By Adam Parfrey

A few decades ago we spent a good deal of time at Anton LaVey’s “black house” in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

On the walls and on the shelves were a lot of items to look at and consider. One photograph, seen in the kitchen, was a framed and signed photograph of a hunching woman overlapped by a depraved cloaked ghost. The photo was called “Fear,” and it was the work of  William Mortensen (1897 – 1965).

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William Mortensen “Fear” c. 1930’s (also titled “Obsession”) Manipulted Photograph

Anton spoke of Mortensen’s influence in guiding him to understand the mechanics of “Lesser Magic,” or what affects people’s reaction to what they see and absorb.

Mortensen’s photographs like “Fear” are fascinating, but for years I resisted Mortensen’s reductive ideas regarding human behavior. It all seemed too reptilian to me. But there came the time when researcher Larry Lytle approached me about publishing a monograph on William Mortensen.… Read the rest

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The Scent of a Cabbie

Bluury Streets of SF

Tuesday

5:05am:
The sun’s been coming up early. (Ok. And I’ve been “sleeping in.”) Regardless, I do feel the unrelenting compulsion to race in to work, to beat its rise, like a vampire trying to make his casket before turning to ash. Hopefully, mine will be full of coffee grounds. I need a buzz.

5:30am:
I’m finished greasing Tony’s palms back in the Citizen’s Cab office, and I head out to the lot.

Aside: Yeah, I chanced a $5 bribe on Tony for an airport this morning. I don’t actually expect to see one come my way from dispatch. But I gotta check-in now and then, if only to keep Tony on his toes.

5:31am:
I’m in new ‘ol 137 and I’m immediately overcome with a strong wave of fruity… Well, just strong, fruity. I look around hard, but I cannot find the offending Christmas Tree air freshener, however hard I try.

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MORBID ANATOMY MUSEUM: Do The Spirits Return? From Dark Arts to Sleight of Hand

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Morbid Anatomy Museum Opens Third Exhibition Featuring Rarely Seen Artifacts

Related to Early Stage Magic and the Occult

The Morbid Anatomy Museum launches a new exhibition: Do The Spirits Return?: From Dark Arts to Sleight of Hand in Early 20th Century Stage Magic

Brooklyn, NY — On April 11, the Morbid Anatomy Museum launched its third exhibition devoted to the surprising relationships between 19th and early 20th century stage magic and the religion of Spiritualism, the pleasures of horror, the empowerment of women and the role of the devil, as exemplified by the life and work of Howard Thurston (1869-1936). The exhibition features stunning and rarely exhibited original stage props, posters, photographs, artworks, letters, books, and even the fabled “Luxor Mummy,” all drawn from the collection of Brooklyn native Rory Feldman. The show was curated by Morbid Anatomy Museum creative director Joanna Ebenstein and programmer in residence Shannon Taggart.

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NSA’s Big Defenders Cash Big NSA Checks

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

via Lee Fang at The Intercept:

The debate over the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records has reached a critical point after a federal appeals court last week ruled the practice illegal, dramatically raising the stakes for pending Congressional legislation that would fully or partially reinstate the program. An army of pundits promptly took to television screens, with many of them brushing off concerns about the surveillance.

The talking heads have been backstopping the NSA’s mass surveillance more or less continuously since it was revealed. They spoke out to support the agency when NSA contractor Edward Snowden released details of its programs in 2013, and they’ve kept up their advocacy ever since — on television news shows, newspaper op-ed pages, online and at Congressional hearings. But it’s often unclear just how financially cozy these pundits are with the surveillance state they defend, since they’re typically identified with titles that give no clues about their conflicts of interest.

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What if the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster never happened?

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

For people of a certain age, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is one of those events where one remembers where they were and what they were doing, not unlike JFK’s assassination or the morning of September 11, 2001.

It was the worst space program disaster since Apollo 1, resulting in the deaths of all astronauts aboard the Challenger. Or so we have been led to believe.

The official details of the disaster are fairly straight forward, as the Wikipedia entry attests:

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger (OV-099) (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members, which included five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida at 11:38 EST (16:38 UTC).

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Mysterious Anti-electron Clouds Inside Thunderstorm

Daniel Mösch (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Daniel Mösch (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via Fosters.com:

DURHAM — A terrifying few moments flying into the top of an active thunderstorm in a research aircraft has led to an unexpected discovery that could help explain the longstanding mystery of how lightning gets initiated inside a thunderstorm.

University of New Hampshire physicist Joseph Dwyer and lightning science colleagues from the University of California at Santa Cruz and Florida Tech describe the turbulent encounter and discovery in a paper to be published in the Journal of Plasma Physics.

In August 2009, Dwyer and colleagues were aboard a National Center for Atmospheric Research Gulfstream V when it inadvertently flew into the extremely violent thunderstorm—and, it turned out, through a large cloud of positrons, the antimatter opposite of electrons, that should not have been there.

To encounter a cloud of positrons without other associated physical phenomena such as energetic gamma-ray emissions was completely unexpected, thoroughly perplexing and contrary to currently understood physics.

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The Black Knight Satellite — The Truth is Up There

The Heavens abound with no shortage of weirdness, mystery and wonder and despite intense scrutiny there is a dearth of solid, factual information; fantastic speculation isn’t going to stop any time soon and that suits your Humble Narrator just fine.

Who wants to get weird?

Beginning in the mid-fifties (though some reports claim the 1940’s and certain weird rumors assert that Tesla himself discovered something strange back in the latter days of the 19th century) a curious phenomenon manifested itself in the heart and minds of a population’s budding fascination with Unidentified Flying Objects — the discovery of an unknown satellite in Polar Orbit, possibly broadcasting something to unknown agencies allegedly before humans had the technology to accomplish such a feat.

A close up image of the Black Knight. Image: NASA

A close up image of the Black Knight. Image: NASA

Needless to say, with the Cold War raging accusations and suspicious abounded.

According to TIME magazine on Monday, March 07, 1960:

Three weeks ago, headlines announced that the U.S.

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