Daily Archives: July 19, 2015
Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 11:41 AM
NASA may use the huge cavernous craters on the moon’s surface to build colonies inhabited by humans.
The space agency is receiving funds to research the possibility of human colonization after robots are used to build a structure that would be habitable, Popular Science is reporting.
The Shackleton Crater, which is twice as big as Washington, D.C., is the proposed spot for the lunar colony.
NASA would use a rover droid to build solar reflectors to send light to the inside of craters, which would then use solar-powered transformers to make robots and equipment functional as well as make it a place where humans could live.
Science to the rescue. Psychology researchers from the University of Missouri at Columbia have published a study in Addiction Research & Theory attempting to bring the conventional wisdom that there are many distinct ways to be drunk to its logical, scientifically-based conclusion. Their study, which involved 374 undergraduates at a large Midwestern university, drew from literature and pop culture in order to conclude that there are four types of drinkers: the Mary Poppins, the Ernest Hemingway, the Nutty Professor and the Mr. Hyde.
The first and largest group — about 40% — was the Ernest Hemingways. Named for the writer who famously boasted that he could “drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk,” Hemingways do not exhibit any major changes in personality when they transition from sober to drunk, the study contends.
In contrast, Mary Poppins drinkers follow the “practically perfect in every way” description Poppins bestows on herself in the 1964 movie: they are already outgoing types who somehow get sweeter and happier with alcohol.
After that come the Nutty Professors, named for the chemically-altered academic with a second personality immortalized by Eddie Murphy. They, the study says, are natural introverts who shed their inhibitions with special vigor when they drink, showing a flashier and more social side.
And, lastly, there are the Mr. Hydes: the evil-twin drinkers who are, according to the study, “particularly less responsible, less intellectual, and more hostile when under the influence of alcohol.”
The study authors hope to use these categories to tailor future alcoholism interventions to particular personality types. Meanwhile, you can use them to take bets on how many beers in your Nutty Professor friend will have had enough to start flirting with that brunette by the jukebox.
read the study here click on title below
Microsoft’s licensing on the upcoming Windows 10 OS means that most users will find their systems updating on command from Redmond without any option to stop this.
The Licensing Agreement for Windows 10, as found in the latest release candidate build 10240 of Windows 10 Professional, states:
The Software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you.
You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorised sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates.
By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.
Microsoft’s intention is that users will be always up-to-date, not only with security patches, but also with feature updates.
This makes it easier for the company to keep pace with changing technology, and provides developers with a more consistent target for applications.
GREAT FALLS –
Rangers at Yellowstone National Park have temporarily closed Upper Terrace Drive near Mammoth Hot Springs to vehicles due to a new thermal feature that is affecting the road.
A press release from the park says that the new feature became “visibly active” in May near the Upper Terrace parking lot, creating new small terraces adjacent to the drive.
Geologists and rangers monitored the thermal feature and found temperatures up to 152 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rangers noticed additional thermal activity this week adjacent to and under the pavement, which triggered the temporary closure.
Thermal imaging shows heat under the pavement as well.
Park geologist Dr. Hank Heasler said, “We have known this area had heat near the surface based on the fact that it does not hold snow in the winter. We drilled two holes a half-meter (20 inches) deep, both of which now have hot water bubbling at the surface or very near the surface.”
The Barbary slave trade refers to the slave markets that flourished on the Barbary Coast of North Africa, or modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and western Libya, between the 16th and 19th centuries. These markets prospered while the states were nominally under Ottoman suzerainty, but in reality they were mostly autonomous. The North African slave markets traded in European slaves. The European slaves were acquired by Barbary pirates in slave raids on ships and by raids on coastal towns from Italy to Spain, Portugal, France, England, the Netherlands, and as far afield as Iceland. Men, women, and children were captured, to such a devastating extent that vast numbers of sea coast towns were abandoned.
Ohio State University history Professor Robert Davis describes the white slave trade as minimized by most modern historians in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800 (Palgrave Macmillan). Davis estimates that 1 million to 1.25 million white Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa, from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th, by slave traders from Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone (these numbers do not include the European people which were enslaved by Morocco and by other raiders and traders of the Mediterranean Sea coast), and roughly 700 Americans were held captive in this region as slaves between 1785 and 1815. 16th- and 17th-century customs statistics suggest that Istanbul’s additional slave import from the Black Sea may have totaled around 2.5 million from 1450 to 1700. The markets declined after the loss of the Barbary Wars and finally ended in the 1830s, when the region was conquered by France.
Life Under the Lash
Land attacks could be hugely successful, but they were riskier than taking prizes at sea. Ships were therefore the primary source of white slaves. Unlike their victims, corsair vessels had two means of propulsion: galley slaves as well as sails. This meant they could row up to any becalmed sailing ship and attack at will. They carried many different flags, so when they were under sail they could run up whatever ensign was most likely to gull a target.
A good-sized merchantman might yield 20 or so sailors healthy enough to last a few years in the galleys, and passengers were usually good for a ransom. Noblemen and rich merchants were attractive prizes, as were Jews, who could usually scrape up a substantial ransom from co-religionists. High clerics were also valuable because the Vatican would usually pay any price to keep them out of the hands of infidels.
At the approach of pirates, passengers often tore off their fine clothes and tried to dress as poorly as possible in the hope their captors would send to their families for more modest ransoms. This effort would be wasted if the pirates tortured the captain for information about passengers. It was also common to strip men naked, both to examine their clothes for sewn-in valuables and to see if any circumcised Jews were masquerading as gentiles.
If the pirates were short on galley slaves, they might put some of their captives to work immediately, but prisoners usually went below hatches for the journey home. They were packed in, barely able to move in the filth, stench, and vermin, and many died before they reached port.
Bastinado: a common punishment.
Once in North Africa, it was tradition to parade newly-captured Christians through the streets, so people could jeer at them, and children could pelt them with refuse. At the slave market, men were made to jump about to prove they were not lame, and buyers often wanted them stripped naked again to see if they were healthy. This was also to evaluate the sexual value of both men and women; white concubines had a high value, and all the slave capitals had a flourishing homosexual underground. Buyers who hoped to make a quick profit on a fat ransom examined earlobes for signs of piercing, which was an indication of wealth. It was also common to check a captive’s teeth to see if he was likely to survive on a tough slave diet.
The pasha or ruler of the area got a certain percentage of the slave take as a form of income tax. These were almost always men, and became government rather than private property. Unlike private slaves, who usually boarded with their masters, they lived in the bagnos or “baths,” as the pasha’s slave warehouses came to be called. It was common to shave the heads and beards of public slaves as an added humiliation, in a period when head and facial hair were an important part of a man’s identity.
Most of these public slaves spent the rest of their lives as galley slaves, and it is hard to imagine a more miserable existence. Men were chained three, four, or five to an oar, with their ankles chained together as well. Rowers never left their oars, and to the extent that they slept at all, they slept at their benches. Slaves could push past each other to relieve themselves at an opening in the hull, but they were often too exhausted or dispirited to move, and fouled themselves where they sat. They had no protection against the burning Mediterranean sun, and their masters flayed their already-raw backs with the slave driver’s favorite tool of encouragement, a stretched bull’s penis or “bull’s pizzle.” There was practically no hope of escape or rescue; a galley slave’s job was to work himself to death–mainly in raids to capture more wretches like himself–and his master pitched him overboard at the first sign of serious illness.
When the pirate fleet was in port, galley slaves lived in the bagno and did whatever filthy, dangerous, or exhausting work the pasha set them to. This was usually stone-cutting and hauling, harbor-dredging, or heavy construction. The slaves in the Turkish sultan’s fleet did not even have this variety. They were often at sea for months on end, and stayed chained to their oars even in port. Their ships were life-long prisons.
Other slaves on the Barbary Coast had more varied jobs. Often they did household or agricultural work of the kind we associate with American slavery, but those who had skills were often rented out by their owners. Some masters simply turned slaves loose during the day with orders to return with a certain amount of money by evening or be severely beaten. Masters seem to have expected about a 20 percent return on the purchase price. Whatever they did, in Tunis and Tripoli, slaves usually wore an iron ring around an ankle, and were hobbled with a chain that weighed 25 or 30 pounds.
read more from my sources
It’s been painfully obvious for years that common sense and intelligence are vanishing commodities.
Just go out in any public area and take note of the number of people plugged into their electronic gadgets, completely disconnected from the world around them. Go anyplace where groups of people are conversing and listen to the coarse language and locker-room talk.
Watch cable, listen to popular music, browse trendy galleries and cringe at what passes for culture these days. Peruse websites like Media Matters, the Daily Kos and Huffington Post and marvel at how low the national conversation can go.
(I know, glass houses, etc. At least I reserve my cussing for special occasions.)
But it’s a lingering question, just how dumb are we getting?
Dumb enough, apparently, that some of the hottest selling books today are coloring books … for adults.
No, not that kind of “adult.” But actual coloring books full of flowers, cities, pretty pictures and the like intended to make adults spend hours filling in the shapes with colored pens, pencils or even crayons.
A check of Amazon’s Top 20 best sellers this week showed as many as eight adult coloring books.
Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/23739/how-dumb-are-americans-coloring-books-for-adults-on-best-seller-lists/#g3JV4VvAzf711T4h.99
Nature is the ultimate designer; what else can we imagine could design something that is self-replicating, converts the energy of the sun to food, creates oxygen, and can last for hundreds of years? From the incredible ability of the gecko to climb vertical surfaces to the self-cleaning capabilities of the water lily, people have been amazed and inspired by the ingenuity with which nature creates solutions to problems that no amount of artificial engineering ability seems to master.
In fact, the relationship between technology and nature is often seen as one of struggle in a win/lose competition. Small concessions are made to ‘greening’ technology, such as the provision of recycled filament for 3D printers, but looking at the very way in which the world’s systems and creatures work holds clues as to how new technologies such as 3D printing can become even more fundamentally natural.
Recently, a close study of the way in which insect wings are generated has led to valuable insight for the reduction of costs in 3D printing. As part of continuing efforts to develop a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle, the Design and Prototyping Group of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the UK’s University of Sheffield undertook an effort to understand how they could reduce the use of support material when building up the layers for printing curved structures.