Monday, October 30, 2006

In his way, every bit as steely-eyed a dreamer as a Watts or a Brunner.

I have long suspected that one of the groups of humans who stand a better chance than most of us at outliving the collapse are homeless people. They are already surviving outside the dominant heirarchical structures. They are the least dependent on those structures of any of us. I'll bet they are already the most adept at the sharing of resources and information that is crucial to navigating the collapse. - Living in a Van, Down By the River, found via Ran Prieur.

Well, whaddaya know, I've been saying the same thing since Katrina.

Finally, the best of all worlds is a peaceful primitive society, with a better day-to-day environment than any industrialized class, but enough people dying before child-bearing age to keep the genes up to date. And if you say dead kids do not equal a good environment, you're confusing quality of life with quantity of life. - Ran Prieur, October 29 2006.

He be damn.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Water! huh-yeah/What else is it good for/God only knows/

New Solid Substance made from Hydrogen and Oxygen(!)

If you think we know all there is to know about water, think again. Scientists claim they have created a totally new alloy of hydrogen and oxygen molecules by splitting water.


Mao’s team subjected water to a pressure 170,000 times greater than atmospheric pressure at sea level. Then they bombarded it with X-rays, causing the water molecules to split and reform into a previously unknown crystalline solid made of H2 molecules and 02 molecules.

Brings to mind Masaru Emoto's unproven theories on the nature of water and, even better,

The Superionic Water Experiment from Last Year

To recreate the extreme pressure required to force water into the superionic state, Goncharov’s team used a diamond anvil cell, which squeezes the water between two diamonds, creating a pressure 470,000 times greater than Earth’s atmospheric pressure. The researchers used a laser to heat the water to the intense temperature of 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. At this pressure and temperature, the water went superionic

If superionic water was brought to Earth, it would explode because of the extreme pressure and temperature, but inside a giant ice planet it would be hard as steel and just a bit cooler than the weakest star, Goncharov said.

The article suggests that there may be a shitload more water trapped in gas and ice giants (in super-ionic form, that is) than we ever suspected. Which leads me to wonder, can it turned back?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

CNN tells me US Military spokesman Major General William B. Caldwell says that the US military policy in Iraq "has failed." I've tried ceaselessly to find an exact quote for that but all I got was the "disheartening" quote - quite the understatement, no?

In other news,

Diebold Machines easily hackable. Uh-huh, yeah.

A recent study by Princeton University that claims the panel door protecting the memory card on Diebold's AccuVote-TS voting machine can be opened with a hotel mini-bar key has triggered howls of outrage all over the blogosphere.

Blogosphere? I saw a dude demonstrate it live and direct on CNN TV. What gives?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

U.S. population hits 300 million

This little oh I dunno, milestone?!!, took place (statistically anyway) at 6:46AM Eastern Standard Time (11:46 GMT, fuck willing, I haven't screwed up the time-zone math).

Image stolen from jarodrussell

Friday, October 13, 2006

Antimatter and matter combine in chemical reaction

Mixing antimatter and matter usually has predictably violent consequences – the two annihilate one another in a fierce burst of energy.

But physicists in Geneva have found a new way to make the two combine, at least briefly, into a single substance. This exceptionally unstable stuff, made of protons and antiprotons, is called protonium.

The feat of "antichemistry" actually took place back in 2002, but nobody had realised it until now.

*Now* I've seen everything.

(Image courtesy of, late of the ESA Giotto Spacecraft)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

US population hits 300 million, but is it sustainable?

Apparently, the population of the US is going to pass 300 million sometime this week. Hmm.

You know what? Fuck it. Ran Prieur is right. Not about the hunter-gatherer state being a paradise or even close to one; that's bullshit because you still have humans and other carnivores in it, but about The Crash.

He's right. Get ready.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Meatspace is treading on my posthuman delusions, goddamit. Stop doing that, you *Asshole*.

Google done bought Youtube, yo.

I don't know what the long-term effects of this could be - other than Google becoming an Eeevil Cyberpunk MegacorpTM of course; I mean, that's a given now, innit - but they won't be good. So I'll rate this an Oh Snap out of ten.

Gustatoterrorism in the USizzle, y'all.

In the span of less than three weeks, E-Coli-ridden spinach has spread to include beef, lettuce and now, botulism toxin-infected carrot juice. Ohhh Snap!!
Oh and just for laughs, I completely on a whim found the very first site to report the North Korean nuclear bomb test.
All credit goes to the team at Google News and, of course, Kim Jong Il.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

What with the breaking news that North Korea has successfully tested a nuke (it's Monday there by the way, if anyone cares), I find myself thinking more of Building T2 than of the imminent game of armed musical chairs the nuclear-club is about to play.

T2, you ask? Check it: the DMZ between North and South Korea is essentially a sixteen-inch-wide strip of concrete, lined with scowling young men with guns on their hips/backs -- and ball-bearings in their pants. Among other things, that strip bisects Building T2.

Let us go inside. Therein, we will find a room. In that room, there is a table. On that table, there is a line of studs. Those studs run precisely one table-height above the line of the concrete strip. That room, including the table, is the one point along the entire DMZ where you can cross back and forth between North and South without getting your head blown off.

Ponder with me the ridiculousness of shaved-ape geopolitics. Next to that, yet another tribe with nuclear capability just seems kind of silly.

I suspected they might be bluffing ... but some dude on James Nicoll's LJ unwittingly pointed me to this wonderful earthquake tracking site (medusaheading it by the way) that says otherwise. Click on the orange dot for a tabulated breakdown of everything they know about it. Timeline fits and all that.


Why are we trying so very hard - and collectively at that - to destroy a world that we've gone to so much trouble to learn and study and create? What the fuck is wrong with the human species?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

There's much more behind the link. Go!

The "Hole-in-the-Wall" Experiment - Wherein a bunch of non-English-speaking nigh-illiterate Indian slum kids figure out the Internet from scratch.

To test his ideas, Mitra 13 months ago launched something he calls "the hole in the wall experiment." He took a PC connected to a high-speed data connection and imbedded it in a concrete wall next to NIIT's headquarters in the south end of New Delhi. The wall separates the company's grounds from a garbage-strewn empty lot used by the poor as a public bathroom. Mitra simply left the computer on, connected to the Internet, and allowed any passerby to play with it. He monitored activity on the PC using a remote computer and a video camera mounted in a nearby tree.

What he discovered was that the most avid users of the machine were ghetto kids aged 6 to 12, most of whom have only the most rudimentary education and little knowledge of English. Yet within days, the kids had taught themselves to draw on the computer and to browse the Net. Some of the other things they learned, Mitra says, astonished him.

Wet-concrete brains. We need drugs for this.

via Ran Prieur, who is second only to Russian websites in having the bestest stuff.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Click the Link. Or just Look At The Picture. Grasp my incoherence and RAGE. Share it.

Oh Fuck. Oh fuck. fuckfuckFUCKFUCKGFUUUUUUCK!!!!

Image Hosted by

That's it. I'm moving to some other continent as soon as financially possible.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Overused Science Fiction Tropes Must Die!

Oh, and don't forget the Insta-Medicine Trope, wherein the lesions from a horrible Space!Disease vanish before your very eyes as soon as the Last!Minute!OMG!Cure is administered.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Alright! The DIY Blindsight covers (previously pimped here) are now available for download. Get 'em while they're hot!

A sample for your edification and delight: