Monkey Selfie

monkeyselfie

Who Owns It?
An English photographer named David Slater was on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi taking photos of a crested black macaques. Just like children, the macaques were posing for the camera when one of them  accidentally pressed the shutter button. Intrigued by the sound, the monkey kept pressing it. Voila! A collection of macaque selfless!

The photos were posted on websites and TV shows all over the world. Now here comes the tricky part. One of Wikimedia Commons employees saw the photos and added them to the websites royalty-free image collection.

Because of the popularity of the photos, Slater wanted to copyright the images so he could get paid for their future use. When the photographer contacted Wikimedia to remove the images they refused stating that Slater didn’t take the photos, the monkey did, and only humans can own a copyright.

According the The Telegraph, Mr. Slater now faces and estimated £10,000 legal bill to take the matter to court. Should the matter go to court? No. Will Wikimedia do the right thing by honoring the request of the owner of the photographs? We’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, enjoy the Rolling Stones – Monkey Man:

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A Grand Illusion

moongold

Super Duper Moon
On August 10 we will have the second of three super moons this year. This perigee moon will appear larger than than the other two because it becomes full during the same hour as perigee.

From NASA:
According to Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory, “The ‘Moon Illusion’ is probably what will make people remember this coming set of Full Moons, more than the actual view of the Moon itself,” he says.

The illusion occurs when the Moon is near the horizon.  For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. When the Moon illusion amplifies a perigee Moon, the swollen orb rising in the east at sunset can seem super indeed.

“I guarantee that some folks will think it’s the biggest Moon they’ve ever seen if they catch it rising over a distant horizon, because the media will have told them to pay attention to this particular one,” says Chester.

Enjoy Dennis DeYoung of Styx fame – Grand Illusion:

Summer Down Under

penguin

The Global Warming Party Ship Stuck in Antarctic Ice
Australia’s media-loving climate scientist, Professor Chris Turney, along with 73 others including the crew, 4 journalists, 36 members of the science team and 26 tourists, are sitting on the Russian vessel, the MS Akademik Shokalskiy, stuck in the ice near the South Pole.

Professor Turney’s plan was to re-create the 3 year exploration led by Sir Douglas Mawson in 1911 and to measure changes in ice and climate since that time.

Unfortunately, someone didn’t check the weather reports. The Akademik Shokalskiy is now in a dangerous situation and the attempts by 3 ice breakers and a helicopter to rescue the people on board the vessel have failed. If another helicopter rescue attempt cannot be made because of the high wind and low visibility, the US Coast Guard Polar-class icebreaker, Polar Star, will we directed to the area.

So why was this underfunded and poorly planned expedition attempted anyway? Well, it seems the 38-year-old entrepeneur/scientist wanted to prove global warming is melting the Antarctic ice. It would tie in perfectly with a new book and could be used to promote his carbon business.

News reports failed to mention Turney is a founding Director of Carbonscape, a New Zealand carbon refining company that offers a global solution for mitigating the effects of human-caused climate change.

According to Carbonscape co-founder Nick Gerritsen, the company has the patent on the one-step microwave charcoal technology that turns biomass waste such as sawdust into what is known as activated carbon (AC). Sawdust or corn or sugar cane can be turned into bio oils, which become biochemicals and fuels. There is plenty of money from governments and private corporations looking to fund alternatives to fossil fuels.

If the good professor had checked any of NASA’s weather and climate data he would have known that for the second year in a row the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its annual winter maximum at the end of September and set a new record. Oops.

Update: Chinese helicopter successfully rescues passengers from the Akademik Shokalskiy. Video.

Enjoy Foreigner performing Cold As Ice:

The New Economy

summers

No Dollar Left Behind
We all know that Janet Yellen will be the next Chairperson of the Fed. Larry Summers was Obama’s original pick for the position but he brings too much baggage to the table. Maybe because he would fall asleep in the President’s cabinet meetings (above photo) or maybe, as President of Harvard, he stated that the underrepresentation of female scientists at top universities may be in part due to natural differences between men and women. Who knows. Anyway, Yellen will be promoting “Sleepy” Summers ideas.

Last week at the IMF meeting in Washington, Summers said the Federal Reserve, by keeping interest rates at zero, simply isn’t doing enough to stimulate the economy, so the next step should be to apply “negative interest rates” on all savings accounts. Larry’s talking 2 to 3 percent adjusted for inflation.

In other words, everyone with a savings account, pension fund or IRA will pay interest to the banks for the privilege of allowing them use our money! But wait, it gets better. To make sure we don’t simply take our money out of the banks and hide it under the mattress, Summers wants to eliminate physical money and create a cashless society. That way the Fed will be able to skim take their cut off the top before you have a chance to see it. No saving allowed.

Saving is now considered hoarding and the only way to stimulate the economy is for everyone to spend everything they earn. Savers have to share the wealth. Welcome to Marxism. More at The Daily Reckoning.

In the meantime enjoy a blast from the past.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising:

Politics: The 51st State

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If at First You Don’t Secede
Colorado is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From the Rocky Mountains to the wide open Great Plains. From the beginning, people moved there to enjoy nature and be left alone, which is easy to do since the entire state has fewer people than the City of Los Angeles.

So why do the folks in the northern part of the state want to secede? Simple. A millionairess named Pat Stryker who bought herself some slimy politicians to do her bidding with the current administration. If you want a shot at lucrative government contracts and loans, you apply plenty of grease to the palms of strategically placed politicians. Stryker made contributions to her politicians of choice through a tax exempt 527 organization which has no limit on funds used for campaigns. See: How the Dems won Colorado.

In one election Colorado went from a conservative state to a big government, lefty state. When you only have a little more than 5 million people, and the majority live in Denver and the hippie-haven of Boulder, it doesn’t take a lot of money. Unions can always be bought off. Always. Hippies will always vote as far left as possible because the farther left the politician, the more free stuff they get courtesy of the taxpayers. The ranchers in the north have no need for union employees or hippies.

Anyway, the spending scheme paid off big time for Pat. She got $400 million for her now failed “green energy” firm, Abound Solar, that cost the taxpayers $70 million. Funny how so many solar companies that got millions from the Federal government are now defunct.

The folks up north, who just want to be left alone, don’t like being forced to pay for hippies, illegals, failed solar energy companies, or any other corrupt schemes. The only way they can do it at this time is to secede. Will they be able to do it? Dunno. They’ll need a few more folks to balance the next vote.

The only problem I see is if we do get a 51st state, where do we put the extra star on the flag?

Enjoy the one and only Tina Turner – River Deep Mountain High:

Big Data

yoda

Yottabytes
Since Edward Snowden revealed details of the massive surveillance program the NSA uses to spy on pretty much everyone in the world who uses a computer or phone, the NSA data centers has been in the news.

Much of the information attributed to leaks by Snowden were already public knowledge. In fact, prior to its recent opening, the Pentagon proudly released information on the Utah data center. The agency boasted the fastest Cray computers in the world that could handle mind-boggling amounts of data, and a facility that covers a million square feet of space. As any tech will tell you, you can never have enough storage, and the NSA has more storage than anyone in the world. We’re talking yottabytes – a number so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.

The 5 Eyes
A lot of storage is needed to handle the staggering amounts of data being funneled into the NSA from their data centers all over the world.

The Five Eyes, comprised of five English-speaking countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US, all share information on defense, science, technology, and national security. Originally set up as The Technical Cooperation Program to share signal intelligence during the cold war, the dark government agencies working together no longer have to ask for your personal information, they just take it.

Enjoy Rockwell from 1984 – Somebody’s Watching Me:

Syria

oil

Who Controls the Terrorists
“If you tell me… that we misused or got corrupted with $50 billion, I’ll tell you, “Yes.” … But, more important, more important — who are you to tell me this? … What I’m trying to tell you is, so what? We did not invent corruption, nor did those dissidents, who are so genius, discover it. This happened since Adam and Eve. … I mean, this is human nature.”
– Bandar bin Sultan

Presidents, Prime Ministers and Royalty all seem to kowtow and bow to the Saudi Royal family. Less than a century ago the Arabian Peninsula was populated by nomadic tribes controlled by families. What changed things? World Wars I and II and the discovery of oil.

Prior to the petroleum business, the main source of income on the Arabian Peninsula came from tolls paid by pilgrims traveling between holy cities. During WWI Britain was fighting the Ottomans and with the help of the Sharif of Mecca, created a united Arab state. In 1926 the head of one of the Arab families,  Ibn Saud, declared himself the King. The rest, as they say, is history.

With untold oil-wealth the Saud family has become very corrupt. Today we have Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, bon vivante, man about town, ewok look-a-like and bestie to the Bush clan threatening heads of state who do what Saudi Arabia wants.

In 2008 Bandar threatened PM Tony Blair and the British government with a UK terrorist attack if they didn’t shut down an investigation into alleged multi-billion dollar illegal arms deals made between  British Aerospace Systems and Saudi Arabia. Read more here.

Now Bandar has made President Putin an offer he thought couldn’t be refused. Saudi Arabia wants the Syrian government toppled so it can run its gas pipeline through the country and  Russia’s support of Syria puts a damper on those plans. Just like Al Capone, Bandar offered Putin a deal he thought couldn’t be refused – if Russia will back down on its support of Syria the Saudis will “allow” Russia to control its own oil and gas pipeline and Putin can be guaranteed that Chechen terrorists won’t threaten the security of the Olympic games in Sochi. Whoa! Read more here.

Thank goodness there is one hard-assed leader that will stand up to this thug’s threats. Putin told him to pound sand. Way to go Vlad!

As for Obama, he is still using George Orwell’s language of “newspeak” on the American people. Yesterday when he addressed the country (and the world) on Syria he called our nation a Constitutional “Democracy”. The U.S. is a Constitutional “Republic”. Unlike a democracy, in a constitutional republic, citizens are not governed by the majority of the people but by the rule of law. We’re listening, Obama.

Enjoy David Bowie – This is Not America: