Snow at Night
A low light long macro exposure of some snow that fell last night.
I took this ages ago with a weak-ass four or five mpx camera, but I still like it for the memories. I need to take a trip back with the Cannon and Sony cams. Click on the thumb for the larger version, there are tons of better pictures out there – for one thing I had the camera on close up shooting by mistake, but this one’s mine so I like it best.
* note that for some reason I remembered this as “Snohomish” falls, my wife corrected me however when she saw the mistake, she’s the better half of my brain.
Ayn Rand once wrote an essay that compared the crowd and the aftermath of the Apollo 11 Launch in 1969 to that of Woodstock. It was both acerbic and insightful, contrasting how the 1 million souls interested in science and the future at Cape Kennedy left the scene of the historic launch to how the 300,000 music and drug enthusiasts left Woodstock. I will leave it to you to determine what this post-innaugural video of the National Mall is more reminiscent of.
It makes you wonder how these people enthused by Green solutions will perform over the next few years.
IDF Video showing Hamas already moving back into schools to fire rockets at Israel
Meanwhile here’s an Al Arabiya reporter who thinks it’s humorous that Hamas just launched rockets at Israel from under their studio. She has no idea what counterbattery fire is, and is lucky that Israel doesn’t practice US procedures for counterbattery. The IDF knows these terrorists intentionally fire from locations they want the Israelis to shoot back at to create destruction to the people and infrastructure of Gaza for propaganda.
At PBS Bill Moyers has explained, but not really apologized for, his statement that “god soaked violence” is encoded in the Jews and/or the Arabs DNA. He explains by saying he was not being specific or precise enough in his words, and he meant it instead about all of humanity, even though he was talking specifically about the Jews, Hamas, and the conflict in Gaza.
When I wrote my previous post on this I didn’t state so, but I assumed this semi-retraction was coming and that he would either use this route or state that he meant it as a figure of speech, not literally.
Regardless, the retraction is weak tea and he uses it to further his view that responding or trying to stop terror just makes it worse. The “god-soaked violence” statement is contrary to everything classical liberalism stands for, but fits hand in glove with modern liberalism where nobody’s really responsible for their acts — after all it’s coded in our DNA right, or possibly he thinks that it’s god-soaked and thus fated?
I still believe Bill to be the worst sort of racist, those that profess not to be prejudiced while savaging by word and deed the people they are supposedly not prejudiced against; all the while maintaining a tone of high-brow snooty moral superiority. Stating that you are one of the good people does not make you one, even in Bill’s world of truth being a relative thing, an amorphous blob subject to the shaping of anyone’s POV.
So Bill, what part of our DNA is “god soaked violence” encoded in? Can you point to the spot where methylation could turn those genes off?
Below is the statement, the retraction starts at about 2:45 into the video.
“Hail,” said he, “Achilles, we have had no scant of good cheer, neither in the tent of Agamemnon, nor yet here; there has been plenty to eat and drink, but our thought turns upon no such matter. Sir, we are in the face of great disaster, and without your help know not whether we shall save our fleet or lose it. The Trojans and their allies have camped hard by our ships and by the wall; they have lit watchfires
throughout their host and deem that nothing can now prevent them from falling on our fleet. Jove, moreover, has sent his lightnings on their right; Hector, in all his glory, rages like a maniac; confident that
Jove is with him he fears neither god nor man, but is gone raving mad, and prays for the approach of day. He vows that he will hew the high sterns of our ships in pieces, set fire to their hulls, and make
havoc of the Achaeans while they are dazed and smothered in smoke; I much fear that heaven will make good his boasting, and it will prove our lot to perish at Troy far from our home in Argos. Up, then, and
late though it be, save the sons of the Achaeans who faint before the fury of the Trojans. You will repent bitterly hereafter if you do not, for when the harm is done there will be no curing it; consider ere it be too late, and save the Danaans from destruction.
Click on the thumnail for a larger version
Ares V and heavy cargo capability to the moon – will it happen?
In a recent journal, PBS’s Bill Moyers hops once more aboard the cycle of violence diatribe, and in all his furious peddling he lets slip his true feelings regarding Jews and Arabs. Forget the biological idiocy of the statement he makes for a moment and look instead at what he really says, the entirety is quoted below so none may say this is out of context, the slip is highlighted, and I’ve a few footnotes to Bill’s talking head pseudo-objectivism.
But brute force can turn self-defense into state terrorism (1). It’s what the U.S. did in Vietnam, with B-52s and napalm, and again in Iraq, with shock and awe. By killing indiscriminately – the elderly, kids, entire families by destroying schools and hospitals — Israel did exactly what terrorists do and exactly what Hamas wanted. It spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution (2).
Hardly had Israeli tank fire killed and injured scores at a UN school in Gaza than a senior Hamas leader went on television to announce, “The Zionists have legitimized the killing of their children by killing our children.” (3) Already attacks on Jews in Europe are escalating — a burning car crashes into a synagogue in Southern France, a fiery object is hurled through a window in Sweden, venomous anti-Semitic graffiti appears across the continent, and arsonists strike in London. (4)
What we are seeing in Gaza is the latest battle in the oldest family quarrel on record (5) . Open your Bible: the sons of the patriarch Abraham become Arab and Jew. Go to the Book of Deuteronomy. When the ancient Israelites entered Canaan their leaders urged violence against its inhabitants. The very Moses who had brought down the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” now proclaimed, “You must destroy completely all the places where the nations have served their gods. You must tear down their altars, smash their pillars, cut down their sacred poles, set fire to the carved images of their gods, and wipe out their name from that place.”
So God-soaked violence became genetically coded. (6) A radical stream of Islam now seeks to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth. Israel misses no opportunity to humiliate the Palestinians with checkpoints, concrete walls, routine insults, and the onslaught in Gaza. As if boasting of their might, Israel defense forces even put up video of the explosions on YouTube for all the world to see. A Norwegian doctor there tells CBS, “It’s like Dante’s Inferno. They are bombing one and a half million people in a cage.”
Jumping to the racist comment near the end, you can see where Bill says “God soaked violence became genetically coded” at footnote 6. Disregard the blazing ignorance of evolutionary biology for the moment, instead you have to wonder if Bill is racist against Jews, or Jews and Arabs both since he is saying that either or both have “violence genetically coded”.
Going back to the top:
(1) The state terrorism line is exactly the same as used by Darul Uloom, the premier Deoband Wahabbist madrassa in India, in their recent “anti terrorism” fatwa which basically implies that most terrorism comes from the state enforcing laws against militant Islam. Bill seems in high accord with those fundamentalist terror apologists, and it’s somewhat disheartening to hear our public tax dollars used to preach Wahhabist Mullah talking points.
(2) The military in Iraq and in Gaza has shown remarkable restraint, if you look at cause for casualties in Iraq you will find the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths in the terrorist column. To equate the old style war of Viet Nam with modern war is either insipid or ignorant.
(3) The Israelis took fire from the area of the UN compound and fired back. What were the terrorists doing at the UN compound?
(4) By Bill’s logic terror anywhere against innocents is justified by any act of state preservation, is it ok to burn Armenian churches in San Francisco because of the Nagorno/Karbakh contretemps? Again Bill echoes the reasoning of the 9/11 troofers, Hamid Gul, and the Ron Paul camp when they say we caused 9/11.
(5) The oldest family quarrel? Bill’s never heard of the Veddic/Dravidian wars (google “Tamil Tigers”,) nor the animosity betwixt the Greeks / Turks/ and Persians, and before that the Parthians? If we came out of Africa, what about those ancient tribal conflicts?
There’s much more that could be said, in particular about the Norwegian doctor Bill quotes, but you probably already know that.
Every now and again my innate optimism deserts me and I find it best to crawl into a hole in those periods and read a smorgasboard of books, generally shutting out most of the normal worldly inputs. Such has been my life the past two weeks, and in these periods the books around the house pile up atop each other, half-splined to a particular passage or just to where I left off last. It’s a search for a new view, a different prism, a fresh wind amongst the chaos of life – and what’s driven me most of my existence is the unknown; that vast gulf of all the things we do not know. It’s thrilling when I find something new we do not know.
Sometimes I forget that yawning gulf or misplace it, I lose my immense sense of wonder. Is it under the stairs, or did I leave it in the fridge behind the mayonaise the last time I made lunch? These periods of Felicitus absentium usually get displaced by something found in a book, but today the thanks goes to Allahpundit at Hot Air for a pointer to an article at New Scientist.
The thought of the cosmos as a quantum holgram projected from a thin veneer of quanta atmosphere around a massive black hole at the center of the universe like a giant planetarium projector is just astounding, and I will follow this with interest. The interference at GEO600 is also interesting, is it from the index of refraction of the thin layer of glass in the mirror, or defects in the mirror? Is it trace atmosphere in the tunnel? Is it something as yet unknown but only speculated upon? Regardless it’s truly amazing how finely we can now slice time, which leads to many new technological possibilities. (e.g. How much data we can pack on a DVD is a function of how finely we are able to accurately slice time…)
Update: Reading further it appears that they have the issue of refraction well covered with nano-structured diffraction gates.