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Friday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.

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    My annual stash of Girl Scout Thin Mints (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:35:11 PM EST
    arrived last night. Ummmm. Breakfast of Champions.

    Mine went right into the freezer as I am of the tribe who likes Thin Mints very chilled.

    I like most sweets chilled (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by McBain on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:43:00 PM EST
    My guilty pleasures include frozen Reese's peanut butter cups.  I'm trying to kick the habit but it's hard.

    Parent
    I tell (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:35:50 PM EST
    all the girl scouts that the first one that hits my house has hit hte motherlode. My husband spends so much money on those things he's probably funding the local troop all by himself.

    Parent
    My dealer (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:43:46 PM EST
    I mean, my coworker already got me 5 boxes - 3 Thin Mint and 2 Tagalongs.

    And I think the evil, I mean cute, little girls will be at the grocery store across the street this weekend.

    Parent

    My Friend Calls Them Snippers... (none / 0) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:31:14 PM EST
    ...because they are always waiting outside stores to get ya and you can't say no.

    Funny thing, everyone here buys them but me, but then I think they feel guilty about it and leave them in the breakroom for the community.  I eat them guilt free.

    Parent

    I just give them a couple bucks to put (none / 0) (#34)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:50:09 PM EST
    in the contribution jar and skip the cookies; it's all profit for them, and I don't go home with calories we don't need.  

    Parent
    The troop (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:31:55 PM EST
    Gets about 10-15% of every box sold, the local council gets about 70%, and the bandits get the rest.

    Parent
    Yep. (none / 0) (#74)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:48:35 PM EST
    That's what I recall.
    Mr. Zorba always considered the whole GS Cookie thing almost a scam, because the local troops didn't get that much, and the Girl Scouts were using the girls to make money.
    Yes, our troop did get some money back, and the local Councils did use the money for some great things, like various Girl Scout Camps and other stuff.
    The individual girls did learn some great things, and made some great friends, and we provided ways for them to give back to their communities.
    But they mainly got......badges.
    When our kids joined 4-H, Mr. Zorba was much more impressed with it.  The kids still made friends, gave back to the community, and learned a lot.
    But no cookies to sell (we did some fund raisers, but the individual clubs got most of the money).
    And the kids got actual money, rather than badges.
    When my kids showed their stuff at the County Fair in the 4-H Building, they received money for the ribbons they won, the higher the ribbon, the more money they got.
    And when the kids had their livestock (which they had taken care of, worked with, and shown) auctioned off, the kids got that money.
    The kids also had to keep detailed track of what they did, how much they spent, and how much they earned.

    Parent
    I prefer (none / 0) (#88)
    by Peter G on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:13:48 PM EST
    Do-Si-Dos - peanut butter filling between two little oatmeal cookies.

    Parent
    It's that time!... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:48:57 PM EST
    I stopped by my moms last night, her co-worker musta got her good because she had thin mints in spades.  I stole a box;)

    Parent
    The Girl Scout cartel, er, organization (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:52:14 PM EST
    has raised the price to $5/box this year, but we were jonesing bad, so we paid up no complaints.

    Parent
    My dealer must have been trying (none / 0) (#14)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:56:07 PM EST
    to undercut the competition. I got my Thin Mints for $4/box.

    Parent
    They were (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:11:22 PM EST
    $4/box here, too.

    Parent
    and some in the South only pay $3.50.

    Parent
    The prices are probably set (none / 0) (#33)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:49:15 PM EST
    By the councils.
    From the dim recesses of my memory, when I was a Girl Scout leader, our troop had to send the money to our local Council.  The troop itself got some of it.  Maybe 10-15% of the price, as I recall.


    Parent
    Evidently the price of the cookies (none / 0) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:30:30 PM EST
    vary by region. Cookie are $4. a box here.

    Some Girl Scout regional councils are increasing prices on their cookies for the first time in a decade, Time reports. In San Diego, Orange County and Greater Los Angeles, a box of Thin Mints will cost you $5, up from $4 a year ago. In parts of the South, prices will rise to $4 a box from $3.50

    This increase will bring more money into local scout troops, about 27% more per box by their estimates. Each council sets prices in its own region (in the New York area, prices are staying at $4.)



    Parent
    Our neighbors have three daughters who ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:15:24 PM EST
    ... have been Brownies and Girl Scouts. We're always the first ones who are hit up annually, and like heroin addicts, we fork over the cash in order to achieve temporary bliss. Personally, I prefer the lemon cookies and macaroons. Everyone else in our household likes the mints.

    Parent
    Aloha, Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015). (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:36:20 PM EST
    If Nimoy was a simply "pop culture figure" and "one-hit wonder" as some acerbic critics would insist, then he was one whose popularity and influence transcended several generations of fans for nearly half a century.

    The 83-year-old actor, who became known worldwide as the iconic Mr. Spock of the "Star Trek" TV series (1966-69) and subsequent films, died today Friday at home in Bel Air, CA of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

    Nimoy once admitted to not having given much thought to the character of Mr. Spock when offered the part for the TV series. "It was a job," he once said in a TV interview, "and likely one that I figured wasn't going to last too long." Still, he received three successive Emmy nominations during the show's three-year run, before it was cancelled by NBC in 1969.

    But the show's cult following only grew rather than waned, and it proved so popular in syndication that the entire original cast was resurrected in 1979 as "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." Nimoy stayed with them for five more "Star Trek" films over the next 16 years, before they all retired their roles collectively in 1996 with the release of "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country."

    Nimoy came out of retirement in 2009 to once again reprise the role in the latest reboot of "Star Trek" films, as an elder Spock who through the act of time travel would eventually meet and mentor his younger and more headstrong self, as played by Zachary Quinto. Following the release of "Star Trek Into Darkness" in 2013, he announced that he had COPD and was retiring from the role, once and for all.

    He will be both missed and remembered.

    Nimoy was, by all accounts, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:40:59 PM EST
    a very nice man who always treated Spock and Star Trek fans with kindness and respect. He may not have taken Spock all that seriously, all the time, but he took the fans seriously.

    Parent
    I think you will appreciate ... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:39:24 PM EST
    ... Charles Pierce's personal remembrance of the man in one of his blog posts today.

    Parent
    Can't you just imagine Spock (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 05:09:49 PM EST
    and Mork meeting up in the here after?

    Parent
    Spock would likely become annoyed, ... (none / 0) (#86)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 06:51:31 PM EST
    Very sad (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:38:59 PM EST
    like losing a old friend.  The Galaxy is a less interesting place today.

    Parent
    Nimoy was a very good actor. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:20:53 PM EST
    My favorite non-"Star Trek" role of his was David, the malevolent pop psychiatrist in the 1978 remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," a film which in my opinion is easily the equal of the much-praised original.

    He also played opposite Ingrid Bergman as Gold Meir's estranged husband on the 1982 TV miniseries, "A woman Called Golda," and was quite memorable as an Aushwitz death camp survivor who took a bunch of holocaust denialists to court in the 1991 film "Never Forget."

    And of course, Leonard Nimoy had a camp sensibility, and he wasn't above spoofing his "Star Trek" alter ago, as he did in a voice cameo as a tiny Spock doll who torments Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory."

     Aloha.

    Parent

    I was just looking at his IMDB list (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:36:23 PM EST
    wow.  What a legacy.  Beginning the year I was born.  On Queen For A Day.  My mom loved that show.

    Parent
    'Saw him on stage once (none / 0) (#78)
    by christinep on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 05:10:57 PM EST
    as Sherlock Holmes in the "Seven Percent Solution."  (He fit that role well, also.)

    Parent
    He has gone ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 10:18:02 PM EST
    to where all men, finally, must go.

    Parent
    One of the top 10 sci fi charaters of all time (none / 0) (#9)
    by McBain on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:46:25 PM EST
    in my book. I still cry every time I watch him die at the end of Wrath of Kahn.  

    Parent
    As I walked out the door this AM (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:47:11 PM EST
    my wife and kids were watching the news on ch 5 (KTLA) and they and the newscasters were enjoying video and story of a couple llamas that got loose and went on a light-hearted romp on the streets of Sun City, AZ, for and hour or so this AM. "Llama Drama."

    Anyway, the story ended well. In true 'Murica fashion a pickup truck pulled up next to them and a guy standing in the bed of the truck with a lasso threw it over their heads and caught them up quick as you please.

    It was pretty cool to see.

    The kicker was after the story the newscasters cut to a photo of Brian Williams and on the photo he is quoted as saying "So there I was, chasing the llamas."

    Best Llama line (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:33:18 PM EST
    "naturally they caught the black one first"

    Parent
    Ha! (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:39:04 PM EST
    The Llama video (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:50:55 PM EST
    Was pretty entertaining.

    #TherapyLlamas

    Parent

    Speaking of weird (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:09:51 PM EST
     'm sure some of you have seen the "what color is this dress" thing. I first saw it at luch when CNN did a report. It looked blue and black to me (which the dress really is). I though it was interesting so when I got back to the office I looked at

    CNN.com

     Where it looks white and gold to me.

      That buttressed my initial thought  that people were seeing  different colors based on the properties of the monitor they were viewing or the lighting, shadows angle from their vantage.. But, I read that people together in the same room looking at  it on the same monitor at the same time and obviously under the same conditions see it as different colors.

      I'm thinking this might be useful the next time I have an eyewitness identification issue.

    I saw white and gold originally (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:16:59 PM EST
    Then, when I saw the dress on a model on the Today Show website. It clearly was black and blue, and as I scrolled up the page to the picture that's circulating the Internet, it was also black and blue - and then it started changing back to white and good before my very eyes!

    Parent
    Lordy...I read an explanation (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:27:06 PM EST
    here, and it still makes no sense to me.

    I'm going with: it's magic!  I have old eyes!  Thank God we can stop pondering the meaning of life and busy ourselves with whether we're white/gold people or blue/black people!  Or both.  Or neither.

    The psychiatrist would ask, "what color do you want it to be?"

    Okay, that's it.  It's Friday, and my brain needs to stop wrestling with these existential alligators!

    Parent

    Just hire (none / 0) (#27)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:37:17 PM EST
    Elizabeth Loftus as an expert witness.


    Parent
    ah, (none / 0) (#31)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:42:25 PM EST
     although memory and visual  perception both involve the brain they are distinct issues.

      And, her work on the Libby ace was less than impressive. Eliminate all the jargon and it was "busy people might forget stuff."

    Parent

    a summary (none / 0) (#32)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:47:28 PM EST
    Good to know. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:51:48 PM EST
    n/t

    Parent
    To clarify (none / 0) (#40)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:12:08 PM EST
     She testified at a pretrial Daubert hearing where a judge acts as a "gatekeeper" and must determine whether there is a sufficient scientific basis underlying proposed expert testimony and whether that  expert testimony would be "helpful" to the jury. After her performance the judge would not allow Libby to call a memory expert at trial.

      Walton's memorandum opinion

       

    Parent

    It;s big water cooler talk here... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:55:20 PM EST
    but I ain't playin'...I'm confused enough as it is.

    Parent
    Hey, kdog! (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:27:32 PM EST
    Hmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:21:13 PM EST
    Mummified monk in Mongolia 'not dead', say Buddhists

    A mummified monk found preserved in Mongolia last week has been baffling and astounding those who uncovered him.

    Senior Buddhists say the monk, found sitting in the lotus position, is in a deep meditative trance and not dead.

    Forensic examinations are under way on the remains, found wrapped in cattle skins in north-central Mongolia.

    Scientists have yet to determine how the monk is so well preserved, though some think Mongolia's cold weather could be the reason.

    But Dr Barry Kerzin, a physician to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, told the Siberian Times that the monk was in a rare state of meditation called "tukdam".




    The stories he could tell... (none / 0) (#56)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:46:11 PM EST
    As Buddhist beliefs go (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:45:41 PM EST
    It makes perfect sense that he could still be alive.

    And Bill Maher can really put the comedic boots to us.  The jokes are writing themselves.

    Parent

    The House just rejected (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:51:05 PM EST
    stopgap funding for Homekand Security.  About 7 hours to go.   Trying to imagine what would happen if they do nothing and there is some kind of attack tomorrow.  I assume terrorists watch the news too.

    They (none / 0) (#90)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:29:46 PM EST
    want a terrorist attack so they can blame Obama for it probably.

    Parent
    Good luck with that (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:34:21 PM EST
    GOP.  with half the republicans in the country saying to anyone who will point a camera at them that what they are doing us dangerous and insane.

    PS
    Senate just passed a one week funding and adjourned the senate until Monday.  Your move Boner.

    Parent

    If anyone is keeping score (none / 0) (#112)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 09:06:51 PM EST
    they just passed a one week extension

    Parent
    Putin critic (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 06:09:59 PM EST
    Boris Nemtsov was shot to death.
    Link.
    Well, this one wasn't poisoned with polonium, like Alexander Litvinenko was.
    Of course, Nemtsov was still in Russia, unlike Litvinenko.

    Putin is the kind of leader the right wing... (none / 0) (#103)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:11:21 PM EST
    can get behind.
    "[H]e makes a decision and he executes it, quickly. And then everybody reacts. That's what you call a leader," Giuliani said.


    Parent
    Ain't that (none / 0) (#105)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:36:00 PM EST
    the truth?  Sadly.  :-(


    Parent
    VFX Secrets Behind 'Birdman' Finally Revealed (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:05:15 PM EST
    LINK

    In order to bridge the moments between individual scenes, VFX were used to extend one shot to get to the next. CG was used in some cases to create CG windows, doorways or backgrounds; in other instances, VFX involved painting things out of a frame. "We were limited in the amount of reframing we could do," Soles said, noting that Lubezki and Inarritu preplanned the framing of the shots. "We had to reconstruct what was missing."
    The pair said Rodeo FX also contributed to the pacing, explaining that it had to slow down or speed up the shots to match the drum beat in the score.
    To create the Birdman character in shots in which he appeared alongside Katon, the actor first was filmed reading the Birdman lines against a green screen. For the shoot, a stunt double was used for Birdman, and then the VFX team replaced the face with a CG version of Keaton's face.
    More "traditional" VFX work also involved creating CG backgrounds such as the reflections in the dressing room mirrors. (Without that, the production crew would have appeared in the reflections). And in the scene during which Keaton gets angry in his dressing room and appears to telekinetically move things like posters and chairs, those objects were all CG creations.

    I know a couple of people at Rodeo.

    I used to work with Chivo. (none / 0) (#98)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:59:06 PM EST
    The IRS scandal (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:22:31 PM EST
    This scandal just isn't going away (none / 0) (#4)
    by McBain on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:40:31 PM EST
    It's obvious the IRS has something to hide but I'm pessimistic we'll ever know exactly what.

    Parent
    It is obvious that he lied. (none / 0) (#76)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 05:06:05 PM EST
    Koskinen testified last year that the IRS lost years worth of Lerner's emails after her laptop's hard drive crashed in June 2011. He said the IRS erased and recycled the device after trying unsuccessfully to recover the data.

    Or was lied to because the info has been found exactly where you would expect it to be.

    Either way the fish rots from the head down.

    Parent

    Oh Scott Walker! (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:44:53 PM EST
    Elect Scott Walker president, (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:54:00 PM EST
    and our ISIS worries are over.  Scott says that if he can handle 100,000 protestors he can defeat ISIS.  Wonder if Scott's strategy would be promise ISIS right to work laws in the new Caliphate?

    Walker's office later clarified for those who may have misinterpreted Walker, that he was not comparing any American citizen to ISIS.  No word on if he was comparing any ISIS to an American protestor.

    Parent

    Head::desk. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:00:47 PM EST
    There's something terribly wrong with this man; I can only hope he's about one more stupid policy position away from becoming irrelevant.

    Parent
    Don't (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 05:35:09 PM EST
    underestimate him, there is something very Nixonian about him. His hippie punching, union busting, moral stances and willingness to suck up to big money pretty much covers all the bases for the Republicans. In many ways he is the perfect modern conservative.

    Parent
    Agree (none / 0) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 05:44:41 PM EST
    starting to think he just might be the last one standing.   The right loves him.  

    That said, he will lose in the general.

    Parent

    At some point, I would hope that ... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:54:36 PM EST
    ... the media would get over their enchantment with Scott Walker and actually take a good, hard look at him.

    After all, this is a man who only a few weeks ago looked Iowa conservatives squarely in the eye and claimed with a straight face that he had cleaned up "the culture of corruption" in Milwaukee County as its elected chief executive, even though the facts clearly tell a far different story.

    This guy is a political flim-flam artist.

    Parent

    Donald (none / 0) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:47:22 PM EST
    conservatives never question anything they are told. Either that or they prefer to be lied to. Take your pick I guess. I've never seen such in my entire life. The GOP really isn't a political party anymore. It's an apocalyptic cult.

    Parent
    I believe you. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:48:09 PM EST
    I don't give a crap about CPAC junkies. (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 06:37:32 PM EST
    They aren't at all representative of the American electorate, and can pretend that they're Wendy and Walker's Peter Pan, for all I care. It's our media which I'm concerned about. The GOP presently has three major presidential hopefuls who are either under indictment or under investigation for public corruption, of which Scott Walker is one. Yet they're being presented by most of the media to the general public as though they have clean slates.

    Parent
    To your point (none / 0) (#82)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 06:00:33 PM EST
    i think this is exactly the reason Walker is a player.  He can put a happy corporate smiley face on the Apocolyptic cult without offending it.

    Parent
    To a point (none / 0) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:32:19 PM EST
    very true. If he goes up against Hillary she will not be shy about turning him into mincemeat. And if the GOP thinks they are going to scandal monger into the election Walker is the worst one to put up.

    Parent
    He's downright (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:46:10 PM EST
    creepy.

    Parent
    Stephen Hawking thinks 3 things could destroy us (none / 0) (#15)
    by McBain on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 01:57:12 PM EST
    http://tinyurl.com/pcx2gcj

    Artificial Intelligence
    Human Aggression
    Alien Life

    Interesting but all of these were predicted by sci fi authors years ago.  

    I don't see how anyone who (none / 0) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:00:21 PM EST
    has seen Kubrik's 2001 could not be worried about the dangers from AI. And HAL was pretty primitive by today's standards.

    Parent
    "Open the pod bay doors, HAL." (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:08:49 PM EST
    "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

    LINK.

    Parent

    Transcendence (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:37:32 PM EST
    is a pretty good AI movie.  It makes the point that once computers start making computers they will evolve thousands of times faster than natural evolution.

    interesting and thought provoking if not exactly good movie.

    Parent

    Side note (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:58:40 PM EST
    it was the first directorial effort by a guy named Wally Pfister who has a long list of credits as a cinematographer so it's shot very well.

    Parent
    The thing About Arttificial Intelligence... (none / 0) (#39)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:03:12 PM EST
    ...IMO is when it starts learning, the curve will be almost non-existent, when it happens, it will be over before we know what the hell is going on.

    Funny that Hawkins didn't mention over population, like Easter Island on a Global scale.  That IMO is almost a certainty.

    World Population:
    1804 1 Billion
    1974 4 Billion - 170 years to add 3 Billion
    2012 7 Billion - 38 years to add 3 Billion

    Parent

    Nor disease/virus/infection... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:18:52 PM EST
    mentioned either, I would think that's a big threat...ties in to over-population.  It's Mother Nature's only recourse, aside from our own nature.

    Parent
    She Got More Than One... (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:41:37 PM EST
    ...trick up her sleeve.

    A Super Volcano would wipe out most of the population, directly and indirectly, meaning that the darkened sky would decrease the food supply substantially.

    Yellowstone is over due:

    The volcano erupts with a near-clockwork cycle of every 600,000 years. The last eruption was more than 640,000 years ago...


    Parent
    If I'm not mistaken... (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:55:09 PM EST
    that's one of the popular theories for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

    That would be rough way to go...choking in the dark looking for food, dodging roving bands of cannibals.  Or worse, becoming one!

    Parent

    Dinosaurs Were Wiped Out By... (none / 0) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:59:54 PM EST
    ...a meteor hitting the Yucatan.  But the last time Yellowstone erupted it left ash all over Texas.  But the ash also goes into the atmosphere, like in Iceland, but for a Super Volcano it blocks the sunlight for the entire planet, and basically everything dies and it gets very cold for a couple years.  A nuclear winter.

    Parent
    Scientists have postulated that ... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:39:06 PM EST
    ... the massive and explosive eruption of Mt. Tambora in the Netherlands East Indies (present-day Indonesia) in late 1815 pumped enough volcanic ash into the atmosphere that the earth's entire northern hemisphere experienced a very sharp short-term cooling trend the following year, which was why people who experienced it called 1816 "The Year Without Summer."

    Speaking from personal experience, our relatively close proximity to Kilauea, which has been erupting nonstop for over thirty years now, has occasional had a significant adverse impact upon our own local atmospherics. Prolonged exposure to sulfur dioxide isn't good for living things. Whenever Kilauea's plumes veer over Oahu, my eyes develop a distinct burning sensation.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Malthus (none / 0) (#46)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:28:09 PM EST
    hypothesized in the 18th century that population growth was unsustainable because growth in the production of  food and  natural resources could not keep pace.

      Yet, our world of 7 billion is better fed, clothed, warmed, etc than was the world of less than 1 billion in which he lived.

    Parent

    Well, some of us are, for sure. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:43:06 PM EST
    But there are countless others who might beg to differ.

    Parent
    Of course there are STILL (none / 0) (#58)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:47:43 PM EST
      extremely poor people. They existed then as well and the underfed were a higher proportion of the population. It wasn't primarily a third world problem then either, Europe and the British Isles suffered through many famines.

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    Right Because We Have Been Able... (none / 0) (#68)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:15:18 PM EST
    ...to grow the food supply faster than the population growth.  The crops grown back then were nothing compared to the genetically altered super crops of today.  Same with preservation and indoor growing.  And we use much more of the plants that in yester year.

    That will keep happening, the problem is natural resources.  Things like freshwater, air, timber, and iron, more or less, finite.  At some point technology will stop outpacing population, which of course will decrease the population rate.

    I am not making any prediction when that will occur, but it will happen.  Definitely not in my lifetime.  And if current affairs are any indication, no one is truly interested in ensuring the planet and it's resources are used wisely and moderately.

    Parent

    Probably (none / 0) (#70)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:18:33 PM EST
    .. unless of course  one of the likely or at least possible causes of "destruction" occurs first.

      Predicting the future is very much "science fiction" not science.

    Parent

    If I was predicting (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:24:51 PM EST
    i would bet on a virus or plague of some kind.  Which would be the earths own way of dealing with the problem.  

    Of course there are those who say humans are not mammals but in fact themselves a virus.  

    Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.


    Parent
    They say (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:20:32 PM EST
    We are able to grow (none / 0) (#110)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:56:34 PM EST
    our food supply faster now. For the time being.
    One of the other things that we should be worrying about, besides the things you mention, Scott, is our increasing reliance on monoculture.
    When we find a crop that produces well, this crop is cultivated to the exclusion of other cultivars.
    The problem with this is, if a virus or fungus or anything else develops that devastates that crop, we are screwed.  That cultivar will be devastated, and we had better be ready to replace it with other cultivars that are immune to whatever killed off that monoculture crop.
    Oh and, by the way, we had better be concerned in this country with the honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder.
    This is not just important because we might not have as much honey, but because:

    Bee pollination is responsible for more than $15 billion in increased crop value each year. About one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. Commercial production of many specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables depend on pollination by honey bees. These are the foods that give our diet diversity, flavor, and nutrition.

    Honey bees are not native to the New World; they came from Europe with the first settlers. There are native pollinators in the United States, but honey bees are more prolific and easier to manage on a commercial level for pollination of a wide variety of crops. Almonds, for example, are completely dependent on honey bees for pollination. In California, the almond industry requires the use of 1.4 million colonies of honey bees, approximately 60 percent of all managed honey bee colonies in the United States


    Link.
    And to learn more about monoculture, see this.

    Parent
    Just saw this (none / 0) (#111)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 09:03:14 PM EST
    LINK

    Even as they try to help the bees, people may inadvertently poison them by planting pesticide-laden plants purchased from big-box garden centers, suggests a new report.
    More than half of ostensibly bee-friendly plants sampled at 18 Home Depot, Lowe's and Walmart garden centers in the U.S. and Canada contained high levels of neonicotinoids, which are considered highly toxic to bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators.


    Parent
    Scary to think that Hawkings (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:26:34 PM EST
    most enduring legacy might be warning us about sending aliens a map to find us.   I saw him talk about this once.  When you are lost in a dark forest it may not be the best idea to call out.  Good point.

    Parent
    On a semi related note (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:41:27 PM EST
    i was watching some DVRed science channel show recently and they were explaining how much space is in space.  It used the example of the sun being the size of a grain of sand.  The closest next grain of sand, Alpha Centauri, would be over 5 miles away.

    Still trying to get my head around that.


    Parent

    I believe It's 2 Light Years... (none / 0) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:55:11 PM EST
    ...which means if we could travel at the speed of light, we would still have to figure out how to support life in space for two years w/o supplies just to reach the nearest star.

    To scale that, it takes the sun's light 9 mins to hit Earth.

    The Milky Way I believe is 100k light years across.

    Voyager I will hit the Ort Cloud in 300 years, but it will take another 30,000 to clear it.  the Ort Cloud is basically the edge of our solar system and it will take ~ 30,000 years for a man made object to get there.

    The energy to travel long distances, even by bending space/time is so great that IMO we will never see another life form that is bigger than a microbe found on a meteor.

    I think science fiction distorts perceptions about space travel and more importantly, the dangers found outside Earths cosmic shield.

    Parent

    On the other hand (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:59:16 PM EST
    when some primitive tribes were first contacted by outsiders they did not think they pooped because with the things covering their bodies there would be no way they could.

    Just sayin.

    Parent

    Didn't sound right (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:15:34 PM EST
    its 4.37 light years.  1.34 parsecs.

    WIKI

    Parent

    Most sci fi films/TV shows have (none / 0) (#85)
    by McBain on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 06:51:00 PM EST
    artificial gravity, suspended hybernation, life like robots, faster than light travel.... without really explaining how that stuff  works.  

    I just watched one of my favorites.... the first Alien.  It's funny to see the computer room in that film.  A bunch of flashing lights that don't really have a purpose.  Back in 1979 that's what we thought the future would look like.  Ridley Scott, H.R. Giger and Moebius combined their skills to create a great looking film even if it didn't always make sense.  

    Also, why would a mining ship have a self destruct option? I can understand military vessels having that but not something that digs for minerals.  It did, however, make for a cool countdown sequence.

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    I was not aware Giger (none / 0) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:38:48 PM EST
    had died until the Oscars.

    Parent
    I didn't know until right now (none / 0) (#104)
    by McBain on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:31:51 PM EST
    Have you seen the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune?  Giger did some really cool work for a crazy film that was never made.  

    Parent
    Have not but I will (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:37:31 PM EST
    I forgot about his sculpture/3D work (none / 0) (#109)
    by McBain on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:50:08 PM EST
    very cool

    Parent
    Reminds me of a joke... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:51:22 PM EST
    A child molester and a little girl are taking a walk in the woods.  Night falls and the little girl says "Mister, I'm scared."

    The child molester says "You're scared?  I'm the one that has to walk back alone!"

    Parent

    Pfffft (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 03:56:12 PM EST
    other than me you are probably the only person here who would tell that joke.

    Parent
    It's how I made my first new friend... (none / 0) (#67)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:00:09 PM EST
    when I moved to Tallahassee and didn't know a soul but my girlfriend.

    I'm standing on line to register for class, the guy behind me on line just blurts it out.  I was the only one that chuckled, and a great friendship was born.

    Later that day, he sorted me out with his bush doctor, and a great friendship was cemented.  

    He was a character.

    Parent

    Eyewitness News, ala Bill O'Reilly (none / 0) (#73)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 04:36:26 PM EST
    I saw Jeb Bush's appearance before CPAC.  You can too.
    Bush's appearance was not entirely satisfactory to all Republicans in attendance at this winger meeting.  Jeb stuck to his guns which, in a sense,  pleased second amendmenters, but his immigration policies did not thrill many.

    Laura Ingraham, the conservative talk show host, did not exactly provide the warm-up comments for Jeb, snidely suggesting that Bush's wife, Columba, would attract women voters since Jeb permits her to take loans out for large jewelry purchases and, of course, reminded  anyone who would listen of Mrs. Bush's Customs avoidance on return from her Paris shopping spree.

    Punting does seem to be in vogue these days with Republicans: when Sean Hannity asked Jeb whether Republicans should blink in the current standoff in Congress that threatens a government shutdown, Bush said "Look, I don't know, I'm not an expert in the ways of Washington."

    And speaking of O'Really, ... (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:17:51 PM EST
    "I don't have much respect for Bill, having worked for him during that time. He was a real jackass."
    - Neil Antin, former reporter, "First Edition"

    ... apparently his former colleagues at "First Edition" don't have very fond memories of him, either, and six of them are now questioning his veracity regarding his claims about what happened at the 1992 L.A. riots, which he related earlier this week to talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

    please join us again next time, boys and girls, as Bill O'Reilly tells us how he strongly cautioned NASA engineers against launching the space shuttle Challenger in freezing temperatures, and explains how personally urged Richard Nixon to come clean during the Watergate scandal.

    :-)

    Parent

    Already (none / 0) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:34:54 PM EST
    this guy is swirling the drain. I guess he's been out of politics too long.

    Parent
    Avijit Roy hacked to death (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 05:20:11 PM EST
    leaving a book festival

    A prominent writer with a known disdain for religion was hacked to death on the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh on Thursday. Avijit Roy was leaving a large, national book fair with his wife when the two were attacked by assailants wielding machetes. His wife, a blogger, suffered a blow to the head and is in critical condition.


    The new normal... (none / 0) (#96)
    by lentinel on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:46:32 PM EST
    I wrote, a few weeks ago, about how I felt about television shows that normalize torture in the public mind.

    I consistently see torture being portrayed as an effective means of getting good information. Cheney must feel vindicated.

    This evening, I watched the first episode of the new season of, "House of Cards".

    This little gem sets out, in my opinion, to portray the normalization of killing civilians, including children, in the pursuit of a suspected terrorist.

    Kevin Spacey, playing the president, emotes a wee bit of concern, knowing that the collateral damage will include the innocent, children among them, then gives the go-ahead.
    And they are all incinerated in an instant as he and his team watch on a large screen tv.

    He looks slightly grave. But it is all in a days work. Tough choices. And then walks away, arm in arm with his wife talking about her political future.

    I am curious about the narrative of these epics - and how they are conditioning us to the horror story brought to majestic heights by the Bush administration, and now portrayed as the new normal.

    Is there no other way?

    To put it bluntly, it is the ethic of ISIS executed by white men in well tailored suits.

    That character committed murder (none / 0) (#97)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:58:46 PM EST
    to become president.  I think your imagining him being some kind of role model might be misguided.

    Parent
    I watched (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 07:59:53 PM EST
    one episode of that show and Spacey was so evil that I couldn't watch it anymore. Maybe it might have the reverse effect of what you are thinking it might. Maybe people will see how evil doing those things is.

    Parent
    Ya think (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:04:52 PM EST
    the main point of the series is how evil the Spacey character is.

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#102)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:08:49 PM EST
    I guess I'm glad that I never watched more than one episode. LOL.

    Parent
    Maybe, (none / 0) (#101)
    by lentinel on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:07:02 PM EST
    but you can be sure that if the same kind of killing were being depicted as being done by dark men with beards, it would be portrayed as something less than civil.

    Parent
    MOblue (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 08:43:25 PM EST
    interested in your take on the Tom Schweich story.

    Apparrrent suicide of a candidate for governor  

    Strange and unexpected (none / 0) (#113)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 10:02:54 PM EST
    Don't know anything other than what is being reported.

    CLAYTON, Mo. (KSDK) - New details are coming out about the days leading up to Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich's apparent suicide Tuesday.

    In the minutes before Schweich allegedly shot himself, he made a couple of calls to reporters. One of them was to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger. Messenger says the call was requesting a reporter to come to Schweich's house. Schweich reportedly wanted to talk about allegations of a whisper campaign regarding Schweich's religion.

    Calls wanting to set an in house interview right before death seems a little strange.

    Parent