Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Unfinished Business

Bigfoot, you have my condolences. I know that doesn't help much.
Hang tough. I won't lie & say the pain disappears, but it does recede to a dull ache.
Peace mate.

The Idea Light Bulb Sputters To Life

The latest startling revelation to come via documents leaked to Julian Assange's muckraking website and published by The Guardian is should give pause to every suburban SUV-driver: U.S. officials think Saudi Arabia is overpromising on its capacity to supply oil to a fuel-thirsty world. That sets up a scenario, the documents show, whereby the Saudis could dramatically underdeliver on output by as soon as next year, sending fuel prices soaring.

The cables detail a meeting between a U.S. diplomat and Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration for Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, in November 2007. Husseini told the American official that the Saudis are unlikely to keep to their target oil output of 12.5 million barrels per day output in order to keep prices stable. Husseini also indicated that Saudi producers are likely to hit "peak oil"--the point at which global output hit its high mark--as early as 2012. That means, in essence, that it will be all downhill from there for the enormous Saudi oil industry.

"According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is twofold. First, it is possible that Saudi reserves are not as bountiful as sometimes described, and the timeline for their production not as unrestrained as Aramco and energy optimists would like to portray," one of the cables reads. "While al-Husseini fundamentally contradicts the Aramco company line, he is no doomsday theorist. His pedigree, experience and outlook demand that his predictions be thoughtfully considered."

"Startling revelation."

To who?

Tick tock baby.

Of course, the clock has been ticking for a while now. Maybe this time it will be loud enough to drown out the Super Bowl & Miss Lohan's journey through the penal system & the American Idol "beg rich people for fame" debacle.

I sat through the local Super Bowl build up on Sunday where our local new shows appeared to devote their entire broadcast to things black & gold.
They even had a bit of consumer friendly investigative reporting where they had a crew of local college kids order pizza from all the pizza chains, Dominos, Pizza Hut, etc., and they timed the delivery speed so that all the over-sized football watching meat lumps would know the quickest way to get their Super Bowl snacks.
I suppose there's nothing quite as dangerous as mobs of hungry sports watching pudgeballs.

I spent 32 hours of my weekend with two staff who appear to exist in a self created fantasy land.
One is a 19 year old kid who is furiously trying to prop up his manhood by using his extensive video game victory history to paper over the myriad times jocks kicked his ass in high school.
The other guy is 350 pounds of blubber who spends a good $50 a month on muscle mags while he also feeds his addiction to Zingers & Mountain Dew.
Every time some overweight woman popped on the tube he felt compelled to point out how fat & disgusting he found them. His ideal woman seems to be a sentient Barbie Doll. The downside is that most hot sentient Barbie Dolls don't appear very anxious to date a guy who would have to set his belly on her head if she decided to blow him.
Consequently, he never gets any dates.

Then, on Monday, the Residential Service's director called to inform me that my 19 year job was being eliminated. They were transferring the most violent half wit thug to another facility. My only employment option was to follow him & be his widdle baby sitter.
They held me in such high regard as an employee, they waited till the last minute to tell me & gave me just a few hours to decide. Of course, management knew this change was coming.

Luckily, I'm the only one he doesn't hit. I'm the dumb fucking asshole who everyone else stands behind every time the big fuck head decides to have a tantrum. While I can control him, I don't like him. If it were up to me the little shit would have a shock collar on & every time he tried to pound someone I'd send him to the mat all twitchy & pissing. & I'd smile while I did it.

As you can see, I have nothing left.
No empathy.
No compassion.
I no longer understand why we feel compelled to keep these damaged goods breathing.

For the first time in my life I think I completely understand the meaning of the phrase,
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

We, as a species, have built an entire Yellow Brick Road of good intentions, & it is leading directly to Hell.

Take a deep breath & smell the fucking sulphur.

It's everywhere.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Missed Opportunity

Damn. I'm usually awake in the wee hours of the morning and this looks like it would have passed near my house.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 24, 2008, as western Pennsylvania slept, FAA radar appears to have tracked roughly three dozen unknown targets cruising from south to northeast.

What Kathleen Bergen can confirm from the agency’s regional office is that power-point creator Glen Schultze did, in fact, request and receive FAA records. Schultze contends the incident is significant. From his home in Littleton, Colo., he writes, the radar targets are moving “in an operational pattern that is consistent with what can be argued is a coordinated search or survey mission extending over 10,000 square nautical miles of Western Pennsylvania.”

A few words about Schultze. His name may ring a bell as the co-author of the Stephenville UFO incident for the Mutual UFO Network. Schultze’s credentials as a radar analyst go back to the Fifties when he tracked missiles for the Army at White Sands. His assignments have been diverse, from civilian intelligence agencies scarfing up Soviet radar signals bouncing off the moon to accident investigations for the FAA.

Schultze came across the 10/24/08 data by accident. He was actually trying to get skin-paint verification of a 10/23/08 early-morning sighting report in Ohio, but the FAA sent him beacon returns instead. When he renewed his request, he says the agency sent him records for the following day. Schultze received overlapping skin-paint returns from three FAA stations some 100 miles apart. Schultze described the targets as “uncooperative,” meaning they had no transponders, and their signatures were different from “the four or five planes we had over that part of Pennsylvania during that time of night.”

According to the radar station code-named QCF, with which Schultze used to piece together the reconstruction, the targets were tracked from 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. at variable speeds ranging from 7 to 20 mph, and up to 40 mph at the top end. The objects flew at between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, which didn’t pose a traffic hazard for the known planes whose cruising altitudes were roughly 20,000 feet.

Hmmm...they were traveling between 7 mph & 40 mph?
Seems a bit slow for spacecraft.

Maybe they were senior citizen ETs. I bet that any pilot in the area, lucky enough to obtain a visual, would have seen Grandpa & Grandma ET's little turn signals blinking throughout their entire journey.

Personally, I think it was some Ruth Norman's friends stopping by to take her to play intergalactic bingo.

Too bad she's dead.

Or is she?

I smell the beatified effluvium of an Ascended Master. I surely do.
You go girl.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Holy Shit Batman! Did I Really Write This?

Quite frankly, I've had enough.

I've had enough of staring at people's shit caked ass cracks.

& I've had enough of watching giggling loonies gouge bloody craters in their own faces.

& I've had enough of listening to endlessly repeating verbal & behavorial tape loops that pass themselves off as human beings.

It's time for a career change I think.

Thankfully, Yahoo is always there to guide me through the veritable quagmire that is the modern work environment. I've sat spellbound while reading their many "dos & don'ts at an interview" columns. I have also found their long exposes on the downside of "corporate interview sharts" & "between question nose picking" to be particularly helpful.

Therefore, it's probably no surprise that Yahoo is there for me again.

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – In a small laboratory on an upper floor of the basic science building at the Medical University of South Carolina, Vladimir Mironov, M.D., Ph.D., has been working for a decade to grow meat.

A developmental biologist and tissue engineer, Dr. Mironov, 56, is one of only a few scientists worldwide involved in bioengineering "cultured" meat.

It's a product he believes could help solve future global food crises resulting from shrinking amounts of land available for growing meat the old-fashioned way ... on the hoof.

Growth of "in-vitro" or cultured meat is also under way in the Netherlands, Mironov told Reuters in an interview, but in the United States, it is science in search of funding and demand.

The new National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, won't fund it, the National Institutes of Health won't fund it, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration funded it only briefly, Mironov said.

"It's classic disruptive technology," Mironov said. "Bringing any new technology on the market, average, costs $1 billion. We don't even have $1 million."

Director of the Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Center in the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at the medical university, Mironov now primarily conducts research on tissue engineering, or growing, of human organs.

"There's a yuck factor when people find out meat is grown in a lab. They don't like to associate technology with food," said Nicholas Genovese, 32, a visiting scholar in cancer cell biology working under a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals three-year grant to run Dr. Mironov's meat-growing lab.

"But there are a lot of products that we eat today that are considered natural that are produced in a similar manner," Genovese said.

"There's yogurt, which is cultured yeast. You have wine production and beer production. These were not produced in laboratories. Society has accepted these products."

If wine is produced in winery, beer in a brewery and bread in a bakery, where are you going to grow cultured meat?

In a "carnery," if Mironov has his way. That is the name he has given future production facilities.

He envisions football field-sized buildings filled with large bioreactors, or bioreactors the size of a coffee machine in grocery stores, to manufacture what he calls "charlem" -- "Charleston engineered meat."

"It will be functional, natural, designed food," Mironov said. "How do you want it to taste? You want a little bit of fat, you want pork, you want lamb? We design exactly what you want. We can design texture.

"I believe we can do it without genes. But there is no evidence that if you add genes the quality of food will somehow suffer. Genetically modified food is already normal practice and nobody dies."

Dr. Mironov has taken myoblasts -- embryonic cells that develop into muscle tissue -- from turkey and bathed them in a nutrient bath of bovine serum on a scaffold made of chitosan (a common polymer found in nature) to grow animal skeletal muscle tissue. But how do you get that juicy, meaty quality?

Genovese said scientists want to add fat. And adding a vascular system so that interior cells can receive oxygen will enable the growth of steak, say, instead of just thin strips of muscle tissue.

Cultured meat could eventually become cheaper than what Genovese called the heavily subsidized production of farm meat, he said, and if the public accepts cultured meat, the future holds benefits.

"Thirty percent of the earth's land surface area is associated with producing animal protein on farms," Genovese said.

"Animals require between 3 and 8 pounds of nutrient to make 1 pound of meat. It's fairly inefficient. Animals consume food and produce waste. Cultured meat doesn't have a digestive system.

"Further out, if we have interplanetary exploration, people will need to produce food in space and you can't take a cow with you.

"We have to look to these ideas in order to progress. Otherwise, we stay static. I mean, 15 years ago who could have imagined the iPhone?"

Now, I know what you're thinking.

Okay, you're probably thinking: EEEEEAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!


I understand. But, over & above that, you're probably wondering how huge vats of artificial meat ties in with a career change for ol' Dick.

Well, let me tell you...

Now, I know the idea of vats of meat probably sound just a little too Soylent Green for most folks. But, given the nature of those puck shaped turds McDonalds sells by the truckload, would this really be all that bad? As Americans we accept a fairly large amount of plasticity in our food. In fact, we demand it. Why else would such an affluent country like ours continually chow down on fast food that has less nutritional value & visual appeal than a bowl of gruel?

Is it really all that important that our meat comes from an actual breathing animal? It's not like the average American meat eater actually slaughters his/her dinner. The majority of American carnivores toddle down to their local grocery store and buy a shrink wrapped hunk of something that bears absolutely no resemblance to an animal. Would it really make that much of a difference if their hunk of flesh is squirted out of a "meat dispenser?"

After all, what really matters is the taste. Since artificial flavoring is a quite exact science where anything can be made to taste like anything else, even to the point where "feces can be given the consistency & flavor of apple sauce," ensuring that bioreactor meat tastes at least as good as your average Big Mac shouldn't be a very large hurdle to overcome.

Which brings me to the career change part. I am envisioning a whole line of "flavored meats" to appeal to that "edgy" demographic that loves to be shocking even as it's co-opted by corporate America.
I want to be the fucking Ben & Jerry's of flavored meats.

I chose Ben & Jerry's as my business model primarily for their association with odd flavors, but I'm also attracted to their all inclusive hippy style ethos.
This hippy love thing will, I think, aid me in opening up what has been a traditionally shunned & imprisoned demographic group; namely cannibals. Imagine how easily we could reel those misunderstood guys & gals back into the human family & give them a great big warm hug of all-inclusive acceptance to go with their over-sized & steaming slab of freshly squirted long pig.
I'm quite proud to say that I think the days of the canniphobe are numbered.

The whole problem is funding. If I were your average run of the mill blogger, over obsessed with my own self importance & completely enamored of my own typed tweedlings, I would install a PayPal link & make a running attempt at wheedling "donations" from all of you.

As it stands, I have a better idea. As you know, I work at a facility that makes sure nature's little accidents get to live a nice long life in a creepy & dysfunctional adult daycare environment. While they may not learn the theory of relativity or, for that matter, how to remember to swallow their own spittle, they do learn, through the application of many different laxatives & enemas, how to shit in quantity.

Which brings me to this article & my envisioned funding source.

One day in 2008, Ruth, a Long Island teacher, walked into her doctor's office with a container of a relative's feces, lay down, and had her doctor pump the stool inside her. Ruth had been suffering for nearly two years with an intestinal infection called Clostridium difficile, which caused her to suffer from excruciating diarrhea. She had lost 20 pounds. Her hair was falling out. Friends asked if she had cancer.

Then she met Lawrence Brandt, a gastroenterologist at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx who believed he had developed a procedure to cure people of recurrent c. diff infections: fecal transplant. Brandt has been inserting feces into his patients for a decade now and claims to be solving their problems nearly 100 percent of the time. If his method really works—and he's not the only doctor who believes that it does—then we may have found a viable, if weird, solution to a serious problem. C. diff infects 250,000 Americans each year and killed more than 20,000 from 1999 to 2004. (Researchers estimate that 13 out of every 1,000 patients admitted to a hospital will pick up the bug.) Antibiotics will always be the first response to such infections, but when those fail, a fecal transplant could be the next step. For Ruth, at least, the procedure was a godsend. "I'm cured," she said. "Period. End of story. Cured."

My God, is medical science great or what. Just imagine the number of c. diff sufferers I could help, at a nominally steep fee of course, gain their freedom from bondage while allowing a large group of amateur pants shitters to gain a modicum of professionalism, self respect & self sufficiency.

There is one small drawback though.

Doctors recommend that the fecal donor be someone close to the patient—a family member, perhaps, or a spouse. Scientists reason that when people live in close quarters, they are exposed to similar bacteria—good and bad—and are likely to have had a similar set of bacteria living in their guts before anyone got sick.

Luckily, there is a good old fashioned DIY ethos involved with some sufferers who may not want anyone's hands on their buttocks other than their own.

And then there's the do-it-yourself crowd. All you need is a bottle of saline, a 2-quart enema bag, and one standard kitchen blender. Mike Silverman, a University of Toronto physician who wrote up a guide to homespun fecal transplants for the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, says it's entirely safe to do the procedure this way, provided that a doctor gets involved at some point to screen the donor sample.

I'm hoping that the DIY-ers & their whole "fuck the experts" attitude will be an aid in convincing them that any poo will do.

I would really like some feedback on this. In the meantime, I'm going to start harvesting feces. I sure hope my wife doesn't mind shit filled jars cluttering up our refrigerator. Luckily, she's the understanding type.

Happy Deathday Sid

Since Sid was such an avid junkie, I'm sure he'd appreciate this :

Space so full of junk that a satellite collision could destroy communications on Earth

The volume of abandoned rockets, shattered satellites and missile shrapnel in the Earth’s orbit is reaching a “tipping point” and is now threatening the $250 billion (£174bn) space services industry, scientists said.

A single collision between two satellites or large pieces of “space junk” could send thousands of pieces of debris spinning into orbit, each capable of destroying further satellites.

Global positioning systems, international phone connections, television signals and weather forecasts are among the services which are at risk of crashing to a halt.

This “chain reaction” could leave some orbits so cluttered with debris that they become unusable for commercial or military satellites, the US Defense Department's interim Space Posture Review warned last year.

There are also fears that large pieces of debris could threaten the lives of astronauts in space shuttles or at the International Space Station.

The report, which was sent to Congress in March and not publicly released, said space is "increasingly congested and contested" and warned the situation is set to worsen.

Bharath Gopalaswamy, an Indian rocket scientist researching space debris at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, estimates that there are now more than 370,000 pieces of junk compared with 1,100 satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO), between 490 and 620 miles above the planet.

The February 2009 crash between a defunct Russian Cosmos satellite and an Iridium Communications Inc. satellite left around 1,500 pieces of junk whizzing around the earth at 4.8 miles a second.

A Chinese missile test destroyed a satellite in January 2007, leaving 150,000 pieces of debris in the atmosphere, according to Dr Gopalaswamy.

The space junk, dubbed “an orbiting rubbish dump”, also comprises nuts, bolts, gloves and other debris from space missions.

"This is almost the tipping point," Dr Gopalaswamy said. "No satellite can be reliably shielded against this kind of destructive force."