Trump, and the Paris accord

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:55 pm
airiefairie: (Default)
[personal profile] airiefairie posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
What On Earth Is Going On With Trump And The Paris Agreement?

Sigh. So many ignorant science denialists in the comments section.

1. The accord allowed each nation to select a target reduction of CO2. The US agreed to 25% below 2005 levels. 195 nations have reduction targets, not just the US.

2. The target date for industrialised nations is 2025; for developing nations it is 2030.

3. That doesn't mean any nation can wait until 2030 to start lowering CO2. If your target is to have $1 million in your retirement by age 65, you cannot wait until you are 65 to start.

4. China is reducing CO2 now. Today. They are moving more rapidly to solar than the rest of us are.

5. No one is being "penalised". The US simply agreed to that 25% reduction.

6, All industrialised nations are paying to help the developing nations, not just the US. All the major EU nations, Canada, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Norway, South Korea, etc. The money goes into a UN climate fund to help developing nations convert to green energy. They have to apply for grants for specific projects. Most people recognise these nations cannot do it by themselves, and the CO2 any nation emits affects our climate. All of us. The list of projects funded is public record.

7. The accord was signed under a treaty the US had already ratified earlier, the UN Framework on Climate Change.

Oh and by the way, a lot of American cities are sticking to the Paris agreement, it is just that poor excuse for a president that doesn't seem to care.

There is more )

Update.

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:12 am
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
Fred has her surgery tomorrow.
Fingers crossed.

She's told the kids she needs to have an operation in hospital and won't be around. Her mum is staying with her in Dulwich. I have the kids over this weekend and from Thursday next. It's all been a bit hectic, and, as with our separation, we've kept the kids in the dark about stuff. Who knew that parenting entailed such subterfuge and moral equivocation? But it seems that some information is best kept on a "need to know" basis, as we protect the kids from stuff they may not need to know if everything works out fine.

Stage 1 (b). Radical surgery and a lymph-node-ectomy, and maybe some radio and chemo. They got it early, thank the gods. Madame of course is caught in the bureaucratic void between private patients and the NHS. They don't talk much to each other. Paperwork isn't shared. Stuff can slip between the cracks. And it's just more hassle when she doesn't need it.

Anyway, I'll know more in the next few days.

Happy feet

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:00 am
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[personal profile] abomvubuso
Beautiful Boulders Beach, Simonstown showing off...


A small punch for man...

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:27 am
kiaa: (soundkitteh)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
One of the most memorable moments for me, tbh. You know, the one where Buzz Aldrin, the legendary astronaut, one of the first two men to land on the Moon, and the second to set foot on its dusty surface, delivered a knock-down punch on an ideological opponent. The guy had been literally thumping a Bible on him, so Buzz decided enough was enough.

Now, I'm not in favor of violence and all that, but I can't deny sights like these can't help but make even the most avowed pacifist snigger with delight. Here's why.

First, the event:



Read more... )

Top ten most influential: Movies 2

Sep. 18th, 2017 04:46 pm
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[personal profile] garote

As a writing exercise, I've chosen the ten books, albums, movies, and games that were most important in defining me as a person, and challenged myself to explain why. With the movies, I'm going chronologically, and this is number 3.

Ghostbusters (1984)

I was eight years old when this movie came out. I already loved all things Halloween, and a mashup of ghosts with sci-fi contraptions and nerdy jokes was perfect for me. The visual effects were great too, and it set the template for what I thought ghosts should be like: Gassy neon light shows, drifting around doing their own thing. If you got in their way they would attack at you. Then if you didn't run away, something awful and mysterious would happen and you'd never be seen again. So basically, ghosts were like elephants. Except they were more colorful, and made less noise going through a wall.

Also, scientists were fun, and could act like total weirdos as long as they got their work done. That weirdness got injected into my own life as pile of catchphrases, like, "Dogs and cats, living together; mass hysteria!" and "There is no [insert random thing here], only Zuul!" and "I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it! LET'S DO IT!" and of course, "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES." And so many others. My friends and I swapped these around endlessly until they were part of our grammar. There were also quotes that I didn't get until much later. I was in my 30's before I really understood, "You've never been out of college. You don't know what it's like out there. I worked in the private sector. They expect results!" And now I find it hilarious that Louis invited all his work clients to a party and called it a "promotional expense."

The music was fantastic too. I bought the soundtrack on cassette and played it on the living room stereo, and danced and rolled around on the carpet. My favorites were the "Ghostbusters Main Theme", and then "Dana's Theme" which immediately followed it.

Ah yes, and Sigourney Weaver was in this movie, and I immediately liked her. Not because her character got possessed by a demon and acted all vampy - which I found incomprehensible as an eight-year-old - but because she projected a sort of comfortable maturity. Looking back, I have to say that if she knew what she was doing as an actor - which she probably did - it was very smart to take what was really a "damsel in distress" and "love interest" role and rearrange it to say "I'm perfectly fine on my own and I have my shit together, but circumstances made me reach out to these Ghostbuster guys, and Peter is a goofball but I am allowing myself to be charmed by him because he is being a gentleman at the same time." Some other actress could have taken her scenes and lines, and been flirty and jumpy and clingy, and then just swooned into Peter's arms at the end of the film, but Sigourney chose to deliver something else, and it managed to show how her character might honestly be attracted to someone like Peter in the first place, and vice-versa.

So, take that over to me, the preteen goofball in the audience: Here's a classy lady who might actually want to be your girlfriend some day. Wow!

My crush on her got a huge boost, of course, when I saw Aliens two years later.

So why was this movie so influential to me, aside from the endless quoting? Why is Ghostbusters on this list, when Return Of The Jedi (which came out just the year before) didn't make it? Mostly because of a statement it makes with its characters.

This movie came out in 1984, the same year that "Revenge Of The Nerds" was in theaters. It's hard to understand now, but back in 1984 "nerds" were actually seen as a minority group that needed some kind of "revenge." How the times have changed! Ghostbusters made a different statement to nerds: It's not you versus "jocks". It's not you versus anyone. If you don't feel like you "fit in", don't worry about it. Stick with your friends, feed your obsessions, and try to have fun -- because you can be aggressively weird and still command respect when your weirdness makes you very good at your job.

That was the key idea. Even if I wasn't going to save New York City from an apocalypse, I could still find some way to make my weirder nature useful, whether that took the form of being a hardcore scientist like Egon, an excited collaborator like Ray, a steady hand like Winston, or a goofball like Peter. Like the Ghostbusters, my friends were an ensemble of nerds, and perhaps the future could be bright for us... Or at least better than the confusion and sense of rejection we felt from most other kids our age. This movie whispered to me that perhaps our "revenge" for suffering as nerdy kids could be to thrive as nerdy adults.

Also, when someone asks you, if you're a god, you say YES !!!

Went to Charlie's funeral today...

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:44 pm
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
Lots of folk there. Chaps from the Popes sent messages. Lots of musos, folk from Upland Road, and friends and rellies from all around.

We'd talked about putting a band together last year. Instead I moved out to my flat, and Charlie, who was only fifty-three, found he had Cancer. He fought against it, of course. He is survived by his wife and son. May their grief be short, and their memories everlasting.

Also saw someone else pertinent to my life has died. Pertinent to all of our lives, actually.

www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/18/soviet-officer-who-averted-cold-war-nuclear-disaster-dies-aged-77


Honour to Lt Col Stanislav Petrov, and to his memory, and to his shared humanity.

Sobieski is a Nazi now?

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:31 pm
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[personal profile] dreamville_bg posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
The other day, a bunch of Antifa geniuses decided to prettify a memorial to Jan Sobieski commemorating his victory in the Battle of Vienna (1683) - you know, the one that repelled the Ottoman invasion of Central Europe. These experts of history wrote "No Nazi" on it, probably because they believed Sobieski was a racist Islamophobe. A proto-Nazi, so to speak. He fought the Ottomans, after all.


Because Nazism existed in the 17th century, obviously.

He was such a Nazi, that Sobieski! )

History of Felton

Sep. 17th, 1998 10:18 pm
garote: (conan pc)
[personal profile] garote

From an email archive, transferred across a dozen computers. Written by my friend Jeremy:


I was lately given the assignment to write a brief history of Felton. Many weeks passed and I've produced nothing but fifty pages of notes, so I decided to write up a few brief paragraphs which outlined the history, so I could stuff my notes into it. I was in a very bad mood this morning when I wrote it.

History of a Useless Hole in the Wall

Named After A Second-Rate Lawyer

Um. Might as well begin at the beginning.

The Portola expedition, and stuff, in 1769. They found a parrot in a valley and called it the Pajaro. Then, uh, they travelled some more.

And they crossed the river on St. Lawrence day that year, which happened to be October 17th. So they named the river the San Lorenzo. Coincidentally, this was the same day that the Loma Prieta Earthquake would strike the area, oh, let's see, 100, 200, ... Um, 89 minus 69 ... 220 years later.

So then. A bunch of crap happened in between 1769 and 1843, the upshot of which was the following: a bastard named Isaac Graham moved his sawmill to the Zayante area, at the intersection of the San Lorenzo and something else I can't remember now, because I'm not really interested in this subject.

Anyway, at some point after this, a jerk named Edward Stanly put his head together with Graham's and they set up a town plan. Stanly decided on some absurd whim to name it after his stupid lawyer, Mr. Felton, who was never much use to him otherwise.

This asshole had been all through the senate and congress and all that. He really got around like a good frickin' citizen. Who cares? I rhetorically ask. Not me. This guy, at least, was a good parent, we can surmise this from the evidence of Katharine Felton, the feminist and social worker. That's more than we can say for most second-rate lawyers.

Well, a lot of shit went down in this new town. There were lime kilns, and a railroad, and plenty logging. Mostly they fucked themselves over by the end of World War One in 1918 due to overlogging. Serve the stupid greedy fuckers right! After a period of decline, during which the town capitalized on its natural beauties to lure tourists, the town became a dump of sorts for people who had better-paying jobs in overcrowded, inhuman, smoggy,crappy, crime-ridden, disgusting San Jose, only a half hour's drive away!

Also the usual suspects cropped up: businesses and institutions like schools, a library, a coupla grocery stores and an office supply store which marked everything up by a couple thousand percent just because the people couldn't get their paper anywhere else. You know. Places which thrive everywhere people clot like tainted blood.

And that's the history of this stupid town. The End.

Lacuna Coil: Delirium

Sep. 15th, 2017 06:00 pm
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[personal profile] abomvubuso


Lessons unlearned

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:49 pm
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[personal profile] abomvubuso posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Failed companies, billions worth of lost investments and savings, millions of personal dramas... For many people, the mechanism that translates little digits jumping on the laptop screens of some costumed gentlemen sitting in their Manhattan offices, into a Greek docker losing their job, remains a complete mystery. But as all-encompassing as it may've been, the crisis never really reached to the core of the system. It didn't change the way the markets function, and neither did it prompt us to cleanse the financial system of the piled systematic problems, or to uproot the errors that have led to them.


Read more... )

A win for the white beasts

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:34 am
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[personal profile] airiefairie
Snow Leopards No Longer Considered “Endangered"

It is now thought that there are at least 4,000 adult snow leopards still prowling the peaks of the Himalayas, meaning that the felines no longer meet the criteria set by the IUCN for “endangered status”. While this is clearly good news, the conservationists involved have warned that this does not mean that the cats are doing well or face no threats. They are still declining, just not as rapidly as we once thought.
garote: (Default)
[personal profile] garote

This is a classic "dynamic programming" problem that job applicants in the software industry are sometimes given. The problem is this:

Given a staircase with n steps, how many different ways can you climb it, assuming that your stride is large enough to take steps 1, 2, or 3 at a time?

The solution that people pursue most easily is the recursive solution, looking something like this:

var steps = 14;
var solution = possibilities(steps, 1) +
			possibilities(steps, 2) + possibilities(steps, 3);

function possibilities(remaining, thisStride) {
	remaining -= thisStride;
	if (remaining < 0) { return 0; }
	if (remaining == 0) { return 1; }
	return possibilities(remaining, 1) +
		possibilities(remaining, 2) + possibilities(remaining, 3);
}

(This is JavaScript by the way.)

But, there is another way to find the answer, that runs in linear time -- that is, for a given value of n, the program takes around n iterations to find the answer. It involves keeping track of the last several values calculated in the loop, and it looks something like this:

var steps = 14;
var solution = stepCombinations(steps);

function stepCombinations(g) {
	var pattern = [-1,0,0,1];
	if (g < 1) { return 0; }
	var iter = 0;
	var total = 0;
	while (iter < g) {
		total = (total * 2) - (pattern[iter % 4]);
		pattern[iter % 4] = total;
		iter++;
	}
	return total;
}

The ten dollar question is: Why does this second method work?

WTF, Boks?

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:00 am
abomvubuso: (Pffft... oh noes!)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
The All Blacks have just scored their biggest win over the Springboks, winning 57-0 in Albany.

Rhule was a quota selection very obviously. Missed 99% of tackles and did almost fokol.

Jantjies always kicking deep off kick off??

Line outs? Wtf.

Backline- what backline?

Need a new coach please and thank you.

Not only that, we need to start working from scratch.

White giraffes

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:00 am
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[personal profile] nairiporter
Watch Rare White Giraffes Spotted in Kenya
http://allafrica.com/view/group/main/main/id/00055349.html

The unique giraffes suffer from a genetic condition called leucism, which prevents pigmentation in skin cells and results in a white, pale colour. The rangers got the information from a villager who claimed to have sighted a pair of rare white giraffes, a mother and its child.

Talk about stupid walls...

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:13 am
luzribeiro: (Chococat)
[personal profile] luzribeiro
Not sure if true, but if is, then WOW.

These Plans For A High-Tech UK Border Wall Might Even Be Dumber Than Trump's

Talk about stupid walls...

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:11 am
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[personal profile] luzribeiro posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Not sure if true, but if is, then WOW.

These Plans For A High-Tech UK Border Wall Might Even Be Dumber Than Trump's



"Plans formulated by a think tank for a high-tech border between the UK and Ireland have been met with derision, because essentially the plan is to have drones and airships patrol the border like we're living in a steampunk dystopian future. ... A proposed solution from the Legatum Institute is to deploy drones, airships, and hot air balloons to patrol the border at all times. They say that "persistent surveillance of the border region" could be achieved through a combination of these unmanned arial vehicles and aerostats (airships or hot air balloons)."

I don't know, maybe the "think" part in think-tank is not too appropriate in this case.
abomvubuso: (Sakura & Naruto)
[personal profile] abomvubuso

 

Siúil, siúil, siúil a rúin
Siúil go sochair agus siúil go ciúin
Siúil go doras agus ealaigh liom
Is go dtí tú mo mhuirnín slán





Exactly twelve years of family life, and eighteen years of love... ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Cassini: the Grand Finale

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:47 am
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics

20 years after NASA launched the Cassini probe toward Saturn, and 305 years after the death of its namesake, the bus-sized gadget is having the last moments of its mission. In a plunge into the atmosphere of the 5th planet, it will send a last batch of images, and will be no more. Just after 6:32 a.m. ET, Cassini will turn into a meteor, and burst to pieces.

Links for watching live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwMDvPCGeE0
http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv

Meet the failures club

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:03 pm
mahnmut: (Default)
[personal profile] mahnmut posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/media/images/79162000/gif/_79162185_growth_rate_624.gif

BRICS. These countries were supposed to be the future economic superpowers that would eventually overcome the clumsy Western economies. But China is now pursuing goals of its own, Russia is pressed against the wall, Brazil and South Africa are lagging behind... What happened?

The BRICS meeting in China was a good chance for the host country to demonstrate their prowess right before the 19th congress of their Communist Party. To show off both to the world and at home. The sensitive topics were to be ignored for a while, lest any unrest be caused before the umpteenth re-grouping of the ruling elite. Only topics where relative consensus exists are to be touched, like free trade, climate change, and protection from cyber terrorism. Oh, and the challenges to the digitalized economy, a subject that's of particular importance for the Indian chairmanship of BRICS. Except, the big summit and the demonstrations of like-mindedness can't conceal the fact that China has long abandoned the main purpose of BRICS. With their New Silk Road initiative, they've shown they pursue their own goals and they want to increase their domination of the Asian continent.

Read more... )

The consequences of stupidity

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:30 pm
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[personal profile] fridi
A few days ago Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN provided a glimpse into Trump's plans for his policy towards Iran. Sure, the details are yet to be forged out, but the international community got the idea.

And things ain't looking good at all...

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