Wednesday 27th of January 2021

banana benders...

futurenana

Which one would bend the banana first?... Way before FUTURAMA — that cartoon about a courier company in 3000 AD written by the fathers of "The Simpsons" — I had written the pilot script for a funny sitcom about a courier company and had started to draw a comic strip I called FUTURON. But FUTURAMA is sometimes about president heads in brine, or whatever, still leading the world to perdition. The one-eyed Leila is the most sane of a mad crew in which the uncle is younger than the grand-grand nephew due to a cryogenic accident. So I relate well to insanity. 

Lucky, the world has broad shoulders despite the psychopath aliens from within trying to muscle their way into our small brains. Through various twists of luck, the planet survives and every morons dances in the streets, in the sewers and below. Yes as our general Brandis said, we have the right to be bigots, imbeciles or politicians... in which to paraphrase Mark Twain "I am repeating myself"...

choosing the best banana for the job...

Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz emerged as the strongest challengers on Wednesday to insurgent front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in a fiery debate that may have marked a new phase in the 2016 race.

With time running short until the first nominating contest in three months, the 10 Republicans in the evening's main debate were anxious to stand out. They frequently talked over each other and the moderators in a debate laced with personal attacks and clashes over tax policy.

In a dominating performance, Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida, swatted away Jeb Bush when the former Florida governor attacked his attendance record in the Senate.

“Just resign and let someone else take the job,” Bush said, in response to a question about an editorial in a Florida newspaper that blasted Rubio for having missed about one-third of his Senate votes this year.

That prompted Rubio to scold Bush for aligning himself with the liberal media. The only reason Bush was making it an issue, Rubio said, was “because we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/29/us-usa-election-idUSKCN0SM2M820151029

looking like a bunch of wilted bananas...

I guess this was inevitable:

The Republican National Committee has pulled out of a planned Feb. 26 debate with NBC News after widespread criticism of this week's CNBC debate from both the party and campaigns. "CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack.

CNBC did screw up, but mostly by failing to keep the toddlers on stage under control and being poorly prepared to deal with brazen lies delivered with a straight face. For what it's worth, I'd also agree that a few of the questions they asked were stupid and/or churlish. Not much more than any other debate, though.

But conservative grievance culture is once again demanding someone's head on a platter. After all, if conservatives look bad on television it's gotta be someone else's fault, right? So it's off with NBC's head.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/10/republicans-very-upset-how-bad-they-looked-wednesday

a climate banana skin...

At first glance, there are just two groups of presidential contenders when it comes to climate change: those who think it's real and urgent, and those who don't. But take a closer look, and the picture blurs. The matrix above depicts subtle differences, at least in the Republican field, in the extent to which the candidates believe the science and want to act on it. Of course, selecting each set of coordinates wasn't an exact science—many of the White House hopefuls have a history of confused and contradictory statements on the issue. But here's a short analysis of the candidates' positions on global warming and an explanation of how we came up with this graph (see there).



The First, the "Do-Nothing Denier" crowd—Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, all Republicans—reject or aggressively downplay the science of man-made climate change, and they don't want to do anything about it. They occupy the bottom-left corner of our matrix because they've called global warming a "hoax" (Trump) or "junk science" and "patently absurd" (Santorum), and have pushed dumb pseudoscience, such as Huckabee's insistence that "a volcano in one blast will contribute more than 100 years of human activity." Santorum gets a little bit of a nudge to the right on our graph for saying during Wednesday's presidential debate that "if we really want to tackle environmental problems, global warming, what we need to do is take those jobs from China and bring them back here to the United States, employ workers in this country"—which does sort of implicitly admit there's a problem.



Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, somewhat surprisingly, is an outlier on the denial side of the matrix. He told the San Francisco Chronicle in September, "There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused." (That comment inspired California Gov. Jerry Brown to send Carson a thumb drive full of climate research.) But Carson moves up in our estimate because of his apparent support for alternative energy. Maybe it was more "thought bubble" than policy, but he said he'd like to see "more than 50 percent" clean energy by 2030. "I don't care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, if you have any thread of decency in you, you want to take care of the environment because you know you have to pass it onto the next generation," he said in a separate interview.

Sure it's real, but we shouldn't act on it alone, or at all. That's basically the position of our next Republican outlier, Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard. She appears to accept the science (mainly by avoiding it), but she doesn't want to act on it, positioning herself as anti-regulation: "A single nation acting alone can make no difference at all," she told CNBC, and therefore the United States needs to stop "destroying peoples' livelihoods on the altar of ideology." Fiorina's opposition to climate action is pretty standard for the Republican pack. But her rivals have a more problematic history of tangling with the science.

read more: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/10/ultimate-climate-candidate-matrix

futurama-ish...


If we could somehow give other organisms a humanlike awareness and quickly catch them up on everything we’ve learned to date, there’d be a throw down at the Annual History of All Organisms International Meeting (AHOMIM). The octopuses, snails, and bivalves would contend that they’ve been rocking a mantly way of life for the last 500 million years and that the geological time scale be renamed accordingly: the glorious Age of Molluscs should finally be given its due. The insects (and human entomologists) would argue that it’s the number of species that’s the most important story, so suggest rebranding everything since the Devonian period the Age of Insects.

The scientific story of life on Earth, as told in palaeontology books for children, museum displays, documentaries and even on university courses is always the same. It begins with the creation of the universe, then the Earth, represented more often than not by exploding volcanoes. Microscopic single cells bob in the ocean, dividing and swelling, morphing into things with a noticeable front end and a back end.

Skip forward a couple of billion years, and emblematic fossils, the trilobites, are scuttling around the ocean floor. Chances are that ammonites are floating around too. Then we get to the more familiar beats: the story proper finally starts. The Age of Fishes kicks off in the Devonian, 400 million years ago with fish that look a bit different to today’s fish, but not different enough for us to care. Fish-headed salamanders then triumphantly flop onto a green and verdant land. Then it’s the glorious Age of Reptiles, unanimously depicted by Tyrannosaurus rex locked in eternal conflict with mortal enemy Triceratops. From between the feet of stomping dinosaurs, ratty animals scurry about; cue an asteroid impact and the Age of Mammals begins. The rest you could fill in yourself, rat climbs a tree, becomes a monkey takes a few more steps and is then a man at last!

Sometimes the man is wearing a loincloth and carrying a spear. Occasionally, in popular science reference books, it’s a male palaeontologist that is the climax of evolution. You can tell because he’s carrying a hammer and wearing a cowboy hat. In recent years, it’s smoke-producing factories, rivers of dead fish and people suffering that are the coups de grâce to our journey through time.

The story of life on Earth is familiar enough to often be riffed on. The video to Fatboy Slim’s Right Here Right Now could be given an Attenborough redub and passed off as very 90s educational short. There’s also the 2005 Guinness advert noitulovE (it’s evolution backwards, see?). Both of which, however, commit heinous crimes against palaeontological interpretation in terms of what begat what. I suggest you annoy your friendly neighbourhood palaeontologist by asking them about it.

Is this well-told story, the “objective” telling of evolution of life on Earth, a true telling of geological history? Of course, although it’s often presented as a scientific story, it isn’t an objective history at all, it’s our history. It’s the edited highlights of how our little subspecies came about and there’s little that’s balanced, even, democratic or proportionate about it. It’s the story that is retold within the structure of university courses, textbooks, palaeontologically-themed animated family films and, to a certain extent, areas of palaeontological research that get funded versus research that doesn’t. We’re mammals that are reptiles that are amphibians that are fish that are … meat socky things, so we can’t tell “our” story without mentioning our ancestors-many-times-removed on the way.

If we could somehow give other organisms a humanlike awareness and quickly catch them up on everything we’ve learned to date, there’d be a throw down at the Annual History of All Organisms International Meeting (AHOMIM). The octopuses, snails, and bivalves would contend that they’ve been rocking a mantly way of life for the last 500 million years and that the geological time scale be renamed accordingly: the glorious Age of Molluscs should finally be given its due. The insects (and human entomologists) would argue that it’s the number of species that’s the most important story, so suggest rebranding everything since the Devonian period the Age of Insects.

Birds would be understandably miffed. Why exactly does the Age of Reptiles end with the Cretaceous? Was there a vote on that? Fish would be finning out that it’s the blue planet that we live on so perhaps terrestrial life should simply be a footnote in the written history of life on Earth.

If they could be heard over the furore, tadpole shrimps, arguably the oldest surviving animal genus (having changed very little in the last 300 million years), would be staunchly advocating that the Tadpoleshrimpozoic makes the most sense on paper. Can any other group claim such a record of longevity?

Plants would be threatening to “hold their photosynthesis” for a few decades and see who’s who then unless the text books are revised to reflect the contributions of plants to, you know, the biozone as we know it. The bacteria, meanwhile, would sit through the meeting idly doodling; this whole “complex- life fad” will blow over in a few billion years, and until then they act as rather convenient living habitats so it’s win-win in any case.

Is our story the most interesting story that palaeontology tells? Most certainly not, but it is a narrative that’s now stuck so fast that awkward news headlines are written to shoehorn in a reference to dinosaurs. Somewhere right now, a palaeontologist is hating themselves for ending a hopeful grant application with the sentence “… and so this research has implications for human evolution”, knowing full well that it doesn’t.

Our history is but one of millions, if not more, stories of life on Earth and for every other living species there’s an equally twisty-turny ride. You’d be surprised at how many questions in palaeontology remain unanswered and how many more remain unasked. Where do cuttlefish come from? Why haven’t tadpole shrimps “evolved” much? Are jellyfish a kind of coral or are corals a kind of jellyfish? Why is being worm-shaped such a successful shape to be? Why do we only have five senses when many other animals have more? What did spiders do before they made webs? How come dinosaurs, turtles, octopuses, birds and fishes all have beaks but some of their closer relatives don’t? We find dwarf hippos and giant swans in the fossil record so shouldn’t today’s hippos be giant dwarfs and today’s swans dwarf giants?

Palaeontologists are answering these questions and have done so in the past but are now under increased pressure to prove societal impact in competition for research funding. Should we pay attention to the untold stories of the rest of life on Earth or is our story the only one worth rewriting?

Birds would be understandably miffed. Why exactly does the Age of Reptiles end with the Cretaceous? Was there a vote on that? Fish would be finning out that it’s the blue planet that we live on so perhaps terrestrial life should simply be a footnote in the written history of life on Earth.

If they could be heard over the furore, tadpole shrimps, arguably the oldest surviving animal genus (having changed very little in the last 300 million years), would be staunchly advocating that the Tadpoleshrimpozoic makes the most sense on paper. Can any other group claim such a record of longevity?

Plants would be threatening to “hold their photosynthesis” for a few decades and see who’s who then unless the text books are revised to reflect the contributions of plants to, you know, the biozone as we know it. The bacteria, meanwhile, would sit through the meeting idly doodling; this whole “complex- life fad” will blow over in a few billion years, and until then they act as rather convenient living habitats so it’s win-win in any case.

Is our story the most interesting story that palaeontology tells? Most certainly not, but it is a narrative that’s now stuck so fast that awkward news headlines are written to shoehorn in a reference to dinosaurs. Somewhere right now, a palaeontologist is hating themselves for ending a hopeful grant application with the sentence “… and so this research has implications for human evolution”, knowing full well that it doesn’t.

Our history is but one of millions, if not more, stories of life on Earth and for every other living species there’s an equally twisty-turny ride. You’d be surprised at how many questions in palaeontology remain unanswered and how many more remain unasked. Where do cuttlefish come from? Why haven’t tadpole shrimps “evolved” much? Are jellyfish a kind of coral or are corals a kind of jellyfish? Why is being worm-shaped such a successful shape to be? Why do we only have five senses when many other animals have more? What did spiders do before they made webs? How come dinosaurs, turtles, octopuses, birds and fishes all have beaks but some of their closer relatives don’t? We find dwarf hippos and giant swans in the fossil record so shouldn’t today’s hippos be giant dwarfs and today’s swans dwarf giants?

Palaeontologists are answering these questions and have done so in the past but are now under increased pressure to prove societal impact in competition for research funding. Should we pay attention to the untold stories of the rest of life on Earth or is our story the only one worth rewriting?

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2015/nov/30/what-if-the-story-of-life-on-earth-isnt-what-you-think-it-is

 

Excellent suppositions but it ain't so. Life on earth is the way it is, mostly because evolution/environment accidental interaction filled some niches in which only the creatures closest to perfection in such conditions can survive. Those species who could not hack it under new environmental conditions brought in by change — such as chemical interaction between atmosphere and bio-surface of the planet, including oxygen and CO2 — became extinct or struggled. Other environmental factors came from space, such as comets and meteorites. 

In Homo sapiens, all this perfection to environmental adaptation became relative, because to old Gus Leonisky, the human species is faulty, yet managed to survive by quick adaptation — and is still evolving according to the environmental factors which eventually became adapted by the human desires to a point.

The need of necessary improvement in order to survive faulty creates the want and the spark which we now call intelligence. Humans "borrowed" bear skins to protect themselves from the cold. It's a single event which could have changed the dynamic of a small group. The "invention" (adoption) of fire became another. The prehensility of the monkey's hand in humans made this adaptation easier. It could take a chimp another 3 million years to become as intelligent as humans but this may not happen because the chimp is a state of "perfection" in its environment. As the environment changes so fast, the chimp does not have the evolutionary capacity and time to catch up.

Most animals have reached their maximum of niche adaptation by being the top specialist survival in a specific environment. Extra change becomes impossible. Evolution in isolation can lead to a shift in the genetic material, which passed a certain point of change cannot remerge with the original template. A new species is created but the changes are slow and can become extinct. 

In human, because of "faulty" gene stability/unstabilty and a variety of survival in various environments, we have developed into a species where individuals are "different". Tall, short, fat, ugly, beautiful, with varied (Gus counts about 8 basics) facial features which combine to create "individualism" within this species. Reactivity to environmental factors are crucial.

For example, I already have mentioned this simple experiment: we grow two plants of the same species from seeds (in pots). One in the shade and one in the sun. Should we then switch the plants, the plant that used to be in the shade will wilt very quickly, though it comes from a species which has chemicals that can cope with the sun rays, BUT NOT ENOUGH.  Its ability to survive in the sun has been compromised. The plant that used to be in the sunlight can survive much longer in the shade, but eventually, depending on the amount of shade, it will wilt as well. Adaptation is needed to the conditions. The water supply in both plant is critical to the experiment: a plat in the sun MAY REQUIRE more water than one in the shade. But extra water won't stop the wilting of the plant used to the shade.

Eventually humans have manipulated the conditions in order to achieve better comfort in survival. We are still working on it — though we CAN MAKE MISTAKES and not foresee that the change will be detrimental. 

Most animals have awareness. They can compute the dangers of the environment, and react to those within the confine of their adapted constraints. A cockroach will try to avoid being hit by a show. the critter will second guess where and when the next hit will come should it survive a first hit. There will be a reactive random/guess in the cockroach brain as to where it should swerve in order to avoid being killed. 

saved by god — for the moment...

Nearly two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, Dr. Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, believes he’s “out of the woods at this point” and is confident that “together we will be victorious” as “God is still in charge.”

“I have several co-morbidities and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill,” the 69-year-old retired pediatric neurosurgeon shared on his Facebook page Friday.

Carson, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said President Trump was following his condition and “cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life.”

Thanks to Trump, “the fabulous White House medical team, and the phenomenal doctors at Walter Reed,” he added, “I do believe I am out of the woods at this point.

 

Read more:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/ben-carson-declares-god-is-still-in-charge-after-surviving-covid-19.html?clickType=link-most-popular

 

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