Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Hobo Nickle of the Depression : a Folk Art

I have two Hobo Nickles that I've acquired over the years. They are descended from an old folk art of carving low denomination coins into art items of higher value. A poor mans way of making what they have more valuable as a barter item. From 1913 to 1940 the American buffalo nickle was the raw material from which these folk art items were made.

Working with all sorts of carving tools. These itenerant artist could turn the Indian and the Buffalo into tiny items of folk art like this:

"The Indian portrait or the obverse side of the nickel was altered and carved into portraits of clowns, women, men, other Indians, friends, loved ones, figurals and self portraits. The buffalo or the reverse side of the nickel were turned into men with backpacks or other animals such as donkeys or elephants. Like the Victorian Era Love Tokens, Hobo Nickels were inscribed with dates, names or other inscriptions.
Hobo nickels, were carved by the homeless during WWI and during the Great Depression. Hobo Nickels were traded for meals, a place to sleep, a ride, or other favors. Some were carved with images of loved ones as mementos. Each Hobo Nickel has a story behind them. These stories speak of a generation of men and women who struggled to survive, yet kept their faith in our Creator, themselves, and the American dream.
They may have been wanderers, but they worked hard for what they needed, helped each other, and honored an unwritten code of honor and respect among hoboes.
Hobo Nickels are still being carved today. Individuals who carved the Hobo Nickels have brought this area of folk art to another level. The images are contemporary and often abstract with modern imaging." Source
I'm going to show numerous versions of the "Hobo Nickle". The Internet has many many sites to tell you about these nickles, old and modern.


Israeli minister warns on peace stalemate

It is the Season for "PEACE ON EARTH, TO MEN OF GOODWILL". Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Cabinet Minister on the Peace Talks:"It's not only that it is impossible to reach an overall agreement, It is simply forbidden."

Of course the West Bank Palestinians who are being walled off from Israel have stalled elections in there area. The Palestinian Gaza Strip isolated from the West Bank and by Israeli slight of hand is control by a separate faction , Hamas t...hat won't negotiate at all with Israel (Hamas that was fostered by Israel to counter the PLO). So if the West Bank and Gaza were ever joined it would mean a Palestinian Civil War. Granted Peace is hard and maybe even not probable. But if officially it is "Forbidden" then let us back away and wait to help the survivors. This is not Post WWII. Israel is steep in a war culture. In fact Israel is counting on its perpetual victim status as are the Palestinians. How about this world's generation stepping away from both sides, walling them both in, and saying you work it out and let us know when your survivors need help.

Oh yes, the world is taking over Jerusalem and holding it in posterity as an Earth Heritage Center. It seems we just can't trust you guys to take care of it.
Merry Christmas and peace on earth to men of good will. (oh I forgot that don't mean nothing to you guys).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

The eclipse started with high clouds.

But soon cleared off.

Using a hand held Sony digital camera DSC-H7 Zeiss 15X lense, you have to hold it Steady.

Laying down on the sidewalked worked well, but it was COLD.

Looks like something from Star Trek doesn't it?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dr. No's Long List of 2011 No-No (Defeated Earmarks)

Senator Tom Coburn, pediatrician to the Senate and nick-named Dr. No by friends and foes alike has compiled an list of all the open amendments for earmarked appropriations that were in the Omnibus appropriations bill killed in the Senate last night.

Here is the document.

6751 lines in a search able Excel format so you can look up you favorite projects, area, state, senator, etc.

Now, Mitch and the boys are saying they will not do these earmarks anymore. Really?
Talk about the proverbial ROCK and the HARD PLACE. So how can they function if they can't provide? Seriously both Dems and Repubs trade favors for votes. The Repubs maybe a little bit more than Dems, but not by much if any. So all these 6800 items, projects, etc. will go unfunded? Remember too that there are hundreds if not thousands of "hidden" earmarks within Agency and Departmental budgets as well.

So the Republican in particular are caught between their Fat Cats who expect a return on their investment and the radical Tea Party types that could knock them out in a primary challenge.
Democrats only have to worry about delivering the bacon however. How is this going to work.

This coming few months will see the Republicans taking the heat for not funding these local projects, as well as taking the heat if they try to fund them. Dang, not fun.

This is going to be like watching a 6000 pound elephant walking a slack wire between two sky scrapers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How To Steal A Dead Man's Voice

"End this war (in Afghanistan)."
Diplomat Richard Holbrooke said this as he went into surgery that ended in his death. Last words in western culture has had a special value. Legally a "dying declaration" is as good as live testimony in court.

Minutes after Holbrooke's last words were reported a concerted effort to discount them began in several quarters. He didn't mean it... It was a mistake....He was talking to the Pakistani doctor... He was just getting the last word in... Got to put it in context... Taking it too seriously.

Here is a War that has lasted nine years. Ninety two percent of the combatants fighting us don't know why we are there. Every dollar we spend there we are borrowing from places like China.
So when the number one civilian negotiator about the war in the country says on his death bed, "End this war", the powers that be try to take his voice away.

Stop the war in Afghanistan. I'm not anti-war. I am anti-dumb shit stupidity. The first year of the war was appropriate. Year ten of the war is plain stupid. Damn Stupid! To steal the voice of Richard Holbrooke should be the last straw, an act too much... end it now... Pull OUT just like the President has said we would...NOW!
Bring Our Children Home and Heal Them as best we can.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reading The Exploded: A Prophetic Sign ?

Superstition is a lizard brain thing. Sure it is cultural, organized, & codified but behind that organization is simply an attempt to control the uncontrollable. True superstition is buried deep in the brain's stem. A primordial fear. Shared with the most basic forms of life we avoid things we don't recognize or understand be we a newborn or a PhD. It is innate, basic, coded.
When we grab hold of these fears we tend to to do so with an organized method of some sort. We use religion, folk ways, humor, stories, traditions, something that will encase the phenomena and protect us from it.
We control it by naming it. We control it by categorizing it. We control it by controlling something stronger than it is (i.e. my god is bigger than your god).

So when something unexpected, unusual, unpredictable happens, our medulla oblongata hurries back to its most primitive reaction at the speed of flashing neurons. For that micro second before the frontal lobes catch the errant emotion and suppress it into the pillow of the rational, you know, "That's an Omen!"
I dropped a glass the other day. I've dropped thousands of glasses. I have broken hundreds of glasses. I've shattered dozens of glasses. I have never drop a heavy-thick-glass six inches onto a counter top and have it explode.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Nullabor X-mas

It doesn't feel like Christmas.

I turn on the TV and I hear that the Uber-Rich through their Republican slaves are holding the jobless hostage. We give them a dollar and they give back to the poor a penny. And they have the unmitigated gall to say we need to take their sour deal because it is Christmas.

Our recession was over in 2009. Not really, the recession for the Rich was over then, the depression for the rest of us may not be over for years to come. Merry Christmas?

Our Federal Government has threaten its citizen with criminal prosecution/ and job loss if they read a public open blog called Wiki Leaks. Why? Why turn to a tyrannical anti-constitutional behavior? What is hidden there? Merry Christmas?

Don't know about you guys, but we are not buy many gifts for the family, only three so far an maybe one more. We will give everyone money. They need it for living expenses, medicine, and debt. Unfortunately it won't be enough money to make a difference. Haven't been to a mall this season. I have pointedly left the See's Chocolates in their store. I've heard that the shopping carts and bags aren't very full at the check out counters. I also hear that Nieman Marcus is doing extra well this year. High end stores have pulled out of their slump.

There are a few homes decorated in our neighborhood. Not ours. Not the ones in foreclosure. Not the ones with eldery living in them. Up town in the show homes of Well-to-do-ville the lights are rampant. The mexican gardeners have hung them everywhere. So we can go look if we want to, but don't stop your car, and for gods sake don't get out of your car or you might be arrested for tresspassing on their city streets.

Some of the homes in our neighborhood have beautiful trees in their windows, but not much under them. Our house has no lights, no tree, no candles, no decorations of any kind. Christmas for us just isn't happening here. It just doesn't feel right. It is not bah humbug mind you, it is more like it would be fake of us to celebrate.

Don't dump in here any of that crap about, oh, but it is the birthday of baby Jesus. All that super-duper stuff about his changing the world and bringing peace and goodwill to men. Actually the quote should be "Peace to men of goodwill." The 25th of December was a winter holiday long before Christ was born. YES, I hear the echo of those words from the song, God is not dead nor doth he sleep.
Fine, good, and I know the song... farther along we will know all about it, father along we will understand why.

The trouble is of course we are here, and we are at now, and it is a nullabor X-mas and it just doesn't feel right to pretend otherwise.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cowboy Up America and Make The Sacrifice

The level of hate on the Conservative Right is astounding. Today the U.S. Senate voted not to give families making less than $250,000 an extension of the current tax breaks. That failed. Then they voted against familys making less than a $1,000,000 keeping the current tax rates.
The hate filled comments made by the Right to these news stories on the web are absolutely not American.

"Lets get that uppity boy out of the White House." I'm not repeating the N***** comments. Nor will I repeat the C*** comments about Nancy Polosi. As for the Senate, it "... is being led by a dried up old Mormon."

It really looks like this will be a very bad Christmas for Democracy.

It is time to do something about theses loud mouth toadies of the wealthiest Republicans; those who do not care about the needs of their less fortunate brothers and sisters and simply want more for themselves and their kind.

Lets' show these privileged Wall Street, Corporate, Oil Soaked blackmailing criminals how it is done in Our America!

Let all the taxes go up to 2000 levels. No, that's not fair, but hell it would solve many many many of our National problems. We can not let those who have no empathy for their fellow Americans win their greedy black mail scheme. It will just be even worse next time. There is not enough for these people. Stop it NOW. If we don't stand up now, we may not have strength to do it next time they bleed us.

Let us All Give Back the Bush tax cuts. All of us. Then dare the Republicans not to do something about it. Worse case, the increase will stand. Then we pay for our Wars, we will pay for Unemployment benefits, we will pay down our deficit, and we will keep the a-holes from cutting the hell out of everything else the less fortunate in America need to SURVIVE.

For me, it would be maybe $5,000 more a year in taxes. OK, do it. Tax me. I want to support my Country. I want to feed those who are hungry. I want those who are sick and wounded healed. I want those who have worked for their Country all their lives to be comfortable, well fed, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That takes money. We all need to Cowboy Up in the American tradition and say, "Here is mine where is yours?

Cowboy Up America! Let all of the tax cuts expire!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

E8-based Theory of Everything: "Our universe is this beautiful shape"

Think of this a sort of an eight dimensional periodic table upon which all the subatomic particles in the universe (Quarks, Glueons, Leptons, etc.) are displayed in their proper place. Then consider that when all of the particles are where they should be that their interactions cause all of the forces of the Universe such a Gravity, Atomic, Strong Electromagnetic, Weak Electromagnetic etc. etc. etc. For all of its complexity, if true, it will a simple explanation of everything.

"On November 6, 2007, Antony Garrett Lisi, an American-born theoretical physicist, published the paper called "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything", describing a new unified field theory that connects the theories of quantum physics and gravitation using the mathematical shape E8. Lisi's inspiration lies in this elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says "I think our universe is this beautiful shape." What makes E8 so exciting is that Nature also seems to have embedded it at the heart of many bits of physics. One interpretation of why we have such a quirky list of fundamental particles is because they all result from different facets of the strange symmetries of E8. Lisi's breakthrough came when he noticed that some of the equations describing E8's structure matched his own. What Lisi had realised was that he could find a way to place the various elementary particles and forces on E8's 248 points. What remained was 20 gaps which he filled with notional particles, for example those that some physicists predict to be associated with gravity. Physicists have long puzzled over why elementary particles appear to belong to families, but this arises naturally from the geometry of E8, he says. So far, all the interactions predicted by the complex geometrical relationships inside E8 match with observations in the real world. The crucial test of Lisi's work will come only when he has made testable predictions. Lisi is now calculating the masses that the 20 new particles should have, in the hope that they may be spotted when the Large Hadron Collider starts up. "The theory is very young, and still in development," he says. "Right now, I'd assign a low (but not tiny) likelyhood to this prediction. For comparison, I think the chances are higher that LHC will see some of these particles than it is that the LHC will see superparticles, extra dimensions, or micro black holes as predicted by string theory. I hope to get more (and different) predictions, with more confidence, out of this E8 Theory over the next year, before the LHC comes online."

Below is a video that introduces the man who envisioned this geometric form.

And to dig deeper here is another site:
Pythagoras was correct.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eldo Is Dead

Eldo was a character. He attend the Church I nominally belong to. Eldo was a small man in his 60s. He was stationed in or around Cu Chi when he was in Vietnam. Eldo was a Tunnel Rat. He was one of those people who crawled into small holes in the ground and crawled about in damp spider filled tunnels dug by the enemy. Sometimes the tunnels led to three story underground hospitals or command centers. Most of the time they led to small rooms or bunkers where the enemy took shelter from our multi-million dollar air strikes above. Many times they led to booby traps, Claymore mines, punji sticks, cobra snakes tied to the beams above, and of course the enemy and their weapons. Eldo probably went in to the tunnels several times with only a knife and a small caliber pistol. Couldn't take a 45 automatic in, made too much noise in the tunnels and would burst your ear drums.

Eldo came back to the states with "issues". I ran into him late in his life. He self medicated with booze and other substance. Sometimes he came to Church under the influence of spirits that were not so holy. The congregation cut him a lot of slack and took pretty good care of him. I didn't know him well, but I understood him.

Eldo like to fight. Got into bar fights on a regular basis, from the looks of him some days, he apparently lost most of the time. He needed those demons in him beaten out on occasion I guess. Sort of a self punishment, or maybe even a way of testing whether he was alive that day or not.

Most men with heavy duty issues like Eldo killed themselves within the first five years after returning from Nam. Most people are not aware of that heavy suicide/accident rate. During that period of history Vietnam Veterans only made good news copy when they robbed a bank or something. Eldo danced between life and death for forty years or so. That's a pretty good run actually, forty years. He lived longer that the median life span of his In-Country-Nam Veteran buddies. That median span is now known to be about 56 years (regular types live 73.5 years on the average). Two-thirds of us are dead already. Only about 850,000 or so left. About 350 or so die every week. This week Eldo was one of them.

Eldo was found dead. No official word from the medical examiner yet. Most bets are on an overdose. Accidental? Doesn't matter much, he is gone.

Yes, I'll go to his funeral, that is if it is anywhere nearby. A warrior needs all the support they can get, even in death.

Eldo my boy, got two things to say to you. First, thanks for your service. Secondly, and most important, Welcome Home.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good Morning A37 Whom Ever You Are

Good morning A37 and Private Caller, and H272, Service Call, and/or Unknown Name.
No I do not answer my phone when computers call me. I figure a machine answering a machine is quite adequate. However my answering system is beginning to think you guys don't appreciate her good work because you terminate your connection before she finishes her hello spiel. She is getting paranoid that maybe you don't really love her. You would think that if you are calling her before 9 a.m. that you might at least let her finish her intro.

As for myself, who the hell are you and why are you bothering me. I don't need help with my credit cards, I do not want to change my phone service, I will not donate to the Smokey The Bear Mountain Legionnaires of New Mexico. No I don't know where Jerry Bear lives. Indeed, I've never heard of Jerry Bear.
At least the robo-callers had the decency to go ahead and leave their message. I used to think computers could count. A37 you have called me every morning for two years. ( I just check out the call log). I have forgotten who you really are but I don't ever plan to pick up the phone, not even if you change your name to 3A7, or 37A.

I hear a rumor that cell phone don't get harassed by your shit. Maybe that is what I should do. Or maybe, maybe, I'll just resign from the telephone grid. I don't really need you anymore. I personally get maybe one call every two or three weeks. How shall I go, Cell or Null?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Recycled story: Thank You For You Service

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thank You For Your Service : A little Story

Up and until about four years ago I never had these words said to me: "Thank You For Your Service".I'm a Vietnam Veteran, a Regular Army Volunteer that served four years on duty and one tour in Nam. I had some strange but minor things happen to me when I returned from Vietnam. No body shouted Baby-Killer directly to my face however. The shunning was low key and was mainly compose of avoidance, avoidance of acknowledging my service, avoidance of recognizing any sacrifice I had made, in fact just plain avoiding me.But four years ago a young man, not yet even born yet when I was in Nam, said to me, "Thank you for your service." It was like a lightning strike. It pierced my soul. I was extremely surprised at my emotional reaction to what he said.Since then, I have had three other young people say that to me when they somehow learn that I served in Vietnam.

Among ourselves, we Viet Nam Veterans, after we ascertain that someone has truly been to Nam, we have been saying, "Welcome Home". I guess that is some sort of secret code among us. Yes, even though nobody else gives a shit that you made it back, your brothers in arms do. Now the U.S. Government has tried several times to do something, albeit way to late, to say to the Nam Vets, "welcome home and thank you." It was always too little, too late, and half hearted and organized by some Nam Vets themselves. It just never took you know.It probably didn't help none that America when it finally elected people from the Vetnam era, elected mainly draft dodgers and Jodys to the Presidency while publicly pissing on the grunts who fought over there. ( Well how about McCain you say? McCain was an incompetent third generation Naval Beggar's Brat who got his rewards and honors at the expense of others. )

So after all that prep here is my little story.

A few weeks ago I was at a small family museum along Route 66 celebrating the Mother Road.The guy showing me around was about my age. A gruff dude, impatient to run me through the cases and trophies of the The Road so he could get back to a game on TV.

When we came to a display case with his fathers WWII dress uniform in it he talked about him and how he had fought on the beach on D-Day. Then he mentioned that when he got back from Nam he could fit into his Dad's uniform himself.Well that statement, elicited the testing questions from me and him to see if truly we had been in Nam. Then came a quick exchange of a few lies and war stories. At the end he said, "Welcome Home", and I said to him, "Yes and Welcome home to you too, and by the way , thank you for your service." Dang it we were shaking hands at the time, his grip tightened and his eyes began to tear up. "In all my life," he said, "No one has ever thanked me for my service."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How To Be Alone And Have Solitude By Yourself

I once wrote, " I live alone with my wife and family." It was true, I did. They had a bare hint of what had been a who and what I was even then. I wasn't hiding, but I wasn't there. That seems as though it should be sad. Sometimes it was. Christmas was lonely. My birthday was lonely. Other times not so much. Being alone was the way I was raised as a child. Out on the prairies, walking the fields, doing my things, exploring the world. My father told me once after my return from Africa that I had been gone since I learned to walk.

Sometimes you are alone because of betrayal. You are alone because you are unpopular or standing for an unpopular thing. Often, you are alone because you prefer it. Many times, because you are shy, you will be alone. Sometimes you are alone because you are depressed and withdrawn. That's the bad alone. That alone you need to find someone to help you with.

Solitude requires you be alone. You can have solitude if you have cats, even with three cats in your lap you are still alone. You can't be alone if you have a dog. Dogs do not allow solitude.

There is a skill to being alone:

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Dream, New Country, New Way Of Life!

The America of your parents is over. It is gone. It will never return. What we are fighting for now is what will the New America look like. Glenn Beck, Fox News, the Koch boys etc. are leaning towards Nativism and Fascism. The "Progressives" more towards the successful socialist models of Europe that we helped build after WWII.
Right now we are slipping into the Banana Republic mode, demonizing our opponents, arresting and jailing people for their credit card debt, preventing people from voting, and telling our poor to shut up and stay hidden out of the way.
What next?

"Americans have lived beyond their means for decades. It was a culture long defined by a mantra of entitlement, one that promised opportunities for all while ignoring the risks. Relentless and seemingly unstoppable upward mobility was the secular religion of the United States. Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, established the so-called ownership society, while Congress and the White House helped free it of the constraints of laws and regulations.
The dream was the country's driving force. It made Florida, Hollywood and the riches of Goldman Sachs possible, and it attracted millions of immigrants. Now, however, Americans are discovering that there are many directions that life can take, and at least one of them points downward. The conviction that stocks have always made everyone richer has become as much of a chimera in the United States as the belief that everyone has the right to own his own home, and then a bigger home, a second car and maybe even a yacht. But at some point, everything comes to an end."

A Super Power In Decline
SPIEGLE On Line International

Read the whole six part article. It is from the German perspective, but you will recognize everything discussed.

American Exceptialism, like any good ism is dead. It doesn't matter that it was a myth, it was our myth. Justice of the Idealistic in America died the day our SCOTUS violated the Constitution they were sworn to uphold and elected George W. Bush with 5 votes. Education and intellectualism are things to be scorned. Common sense based in ignorance is finding simple answers for complex problems.

So do we swing our dreams towards the Wiemar Republic model of the 1920s or towards something more socialistic? No we can't go back, we can't calm down and be reasonable, we can't just let a minority decide. The pessimist in me says buy some guns, the optimist say move to a place where the people are like you, the pragmatist says buy the guns, fill the Cuba Cabinet, and hunker down and see what happens.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another Damn Paradigm Shift or Downshift :RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

I have spent my adult life flowing in and out of the academic education world. It has been sort a warp and weft weaving of all sorts of worlds into this life but education makes up the bulk of the "tapestry". I have watch education stumble through paradigm shift after paradigm shift, reformations, and multiple revolutions. K-12 and higher education both have tried this that those and them and we always seem to come back to the 19th century models. Why?

One reason is simple demographics. The children are always saddled with their grandparents' systems and institutions. Up until the last 100 years that hasn't been any real problem. The technological and informational sectors of society varied little between the child and grandparent.

That's over now. Indeed a child's world doesn't even partially resemble that of their parents except in those static areas like government, religion, and education that are totally dominated by the past. Meanwhile economics, commerce, technology, etc. are six eight ten step ahead of those static systems. It is a complete mismatch, and is becoming a danger to the continuity of our culture.

Below is a 12 minute version of a lecture that exposes some of this. It is entertaining and informative and worth your investment of time. My next post will give you an opportunity to watch the long version.

Sir Ken Robinson - Changing Paradigms

Here we have the longer version for your edification.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Two Passenger City Car: We Need It Now!

It was on NBC's Today Show in Spring 2009 and was given what might be call a cold reception.

The P.U.M.A., a Segway/GM experimental prototype, zipped up and down the street, turned 360 degrees on its own radius, parked in 1/3rd the space. It would go 35 miles on a single plug in charge at home and would run at up to 35 mph.

"Take two companies whose products are sort of a joke, slap them together, and here's the result: The P.U.M.A., a sort of giant, two-person Segway that is designed for commuters, with a 35-mile range from its lithium-ion batteries."

Yes it was not well received.

"GM and Segway's joint venture is probably best described as a rickshaw without all the charm. The self-balancing Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project (P.U.M.A.)... No word on when or if this'll actually go into production but it's expected to be priced at just 25% that of a regular automobile. "
That was then.

This is now.
GM Unveils EN-V Concept: A Vision for Future Urban Mobility

"EN-V’s platform has evolved from the platform of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype that was developed by Segway and debuted in April 2009. Segway has worked collaboratively with GM to develop and deliver multiple copies of the drivetrain platform that seamlessly connect to and power the various EN-Vs.
EN-V is propelled by electric motors in each of its two driving-mode wheels. Dynamic stabilization technology empowers EN-V, giving it the unique ability to carry two passengers and light cargo in a footprint that’s about a third of a traditional vehicle. It can literally “turn on a dime” within its own operating envelope. In addition, everything in EN-V is drive-by-wire, supporting its ability to operate autonomously or under manual control. The motors not only provide power for acceleration, but also bring the vehicle to a stop.
Power for the motors is provided by lithium-ion batteries that produce zero emissions. Recharging can occur from a conventional wall outlet using standard household power, allowing EN-V to travel at least 40 kilometers on a single charge. EN-V can also improve the efficiency of the public electric infrastructure since the vehicle can communicate with the electric grid to determine the best time to recharge based on overall usage.
By combining the Global Positioning System (GPS) with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V concept can be driven both manually and autonomously. "

"General Motors and its strategic partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), share a common vision for addressing the need for personal mobility through a radical change in personal urban transportation."
Producing the car alone is not enough, a system supporting the use of this type vehicle must accompany it. How long do we have to wait?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Crow's Funeral

"The sound of many crows calling at once filled the air. I peeked out the window, and everywhere I could see, crows, maybe a couple hundred of them. They were on the sidewalk. They were on the power lines. They were on the logs that served as stops for parked cars, and they were in the trees. Almost hidden against one of the logs, I saw a dead crow. There were a few crows standing near the body. The noise continued for about a minute or so, when suddenly, an unseen conductor waved his baton, and the cawing stopped. The silence was equally as loud.There was a pause.Then, the invisible conductor again waved his baton, and there was a great and noisy flurry of feathers, as the crows took off and flew in all directions. Soon they were gone, leaving their lifeless kin to the elements. I continued my watch in silent awe, feeling that I had just witnessed something few have seen. "

"In the various articles and books I have read about the corvids and their behavior, the authors cannot agree as to whether the Crow Funeral is fact or legend. Based on what I observed, and barring evidence to the contrary, I believe that I indeed observed the crow's version of what we would call, a funeral." ---Carl Cook

Saturday, October 30, 2010


The John Spruce Society, a radical middle of the road organization, is providing you with full size protest posters that demonstrate disdain for the far left and far right and their radical politics.

Take the digital information to Kinko's or what ever they call that now and they can print them full size for you.

These posters are made available by The Chamomile Tea Party:
"Tired of the rancor between the political left and right, I formed the Chamomile Tea Party, a calming force in American political discourse. When party politics, character assassination, and rhetoric take precedence over the good of the country it's time to say enough is enough. These are the first of our posters calling for change in our country. They are based on old propaganda posters from World War II, appropriated for the present political climate. Feel free to download the larger copies and pass them around. "
There are a total of 15 posters available.

Jesters Hold Irony Rally On D.C. Mall

Stewart & Colbert held a rally today.
I know people who drove straight through to D.C. attended the Rally and will be back home on Sunday. How many were there? A whole big bunch.
Pictures from the mall.