Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mother Nature Gunning for New York

I find it very interesting that the organism that is Earth, has produced a monstrous storm and aimed it at the source of so much global debt, corruption and mismanaged power.  New York.  Wall Street.  Isn't it strange that this enormous system would aim straight for the heart of the world's largest city, its financial centre and seat of its political power.  32.5 foot waves were measured entering New York harbour, eclipsing the previous record of 6 feet.

Battery Park drowned under 13.88 feet of water.  A crane, and the side of a building, were simply stripped down, in the centre of the city. 

It feels like a case of nature striking at the Empire that has its claws in the Earth like a cancer. 

Hurricane Sandy: Latest Updated Storm Track + Satellite Image

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy - aka Frankenstorm - Satellite Images + Storm Track


Where is Hurricane Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) right now? + 5 Day Storm Track

Hurricane Sandy is on course for a direct hit on New York City.

Hurricane Sandy: where it will land, and how bad will the damage be?  Find out more here.

The beaches look to be specially hard hit. We can expect the major flooding up and down the coast because of the combination of heavy winds, rain, and a full moon. These are the places that are most likely to see evacuations, especially further to the south from Long Island to Virginia.
The width of Sandy will also lead to widespread heavy rainfall.

From CNN.com

Worst case, Sandy could merge with a strong cold front from the west. The double threat could morph into a "superstorm" that could sit over New England for days, making untold trouble for millions of residents. Weather experts said it's a recipe not unlike 1991's "Perfect Storm."

"Expect it to move very slowly," said James Franklin of the National Hurricane Center. "The large size of the system and its slow motion will mean a long-lasting event with two to three days of impacts."

At 8 p.m. ET Friday, forecasters said Sandy was about 400 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, heading north at 7 mph. It was a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 mph. It's possible, the hurricane center says, that Sandy may weaken to a tropical storm. Nonetheless, experts said, it's not to be taken lightly.

Hurricane Sandy 'storm of a lifetime'

Hurricane Sandy hits Jamaica
"Forget about the category with this," said CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano. "When you have trees with leaves on them still, this kind of wind and rain on top of that, you're talking about trees that are going to come down, power lines are going to be out and the coastal flooding situation is going to be huge."

Sandy's death toll in Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba this week was 21 people.

The U.S. target area is hard to predict at this point. Some landfall computer models show the storm striking somewhere between the border separating North Carolina and Virginia north to Connecticut, some of the most densely populated areas of the country. The District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New York have declared states of emergency, while Maine's governor signed a limited emergency declaration.

From News24.com:

 The late-season hybrid storm has been dubbed "Frankenstorm" by some weather watchers because it will combine elements of a tropical cyclone and a winter storm. Forecast models show it will have all of the ingredients to morph into a massive and potentially catastrophic "super storm."

On its current projected track, government forecasters said, Sandy could make landfall on Monday night or Tuesday in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York or southern New England.

In New York City, the global financial hub, officials were considering closing down mass transit before the storm hits.

Coming in the final weeks before the U.S. presidential election on November 6, the storm could throw last-minute campaign travel plans into chaos.

More here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10 Amazing Photographs I wish that I'd taken

IMF's epic plan to conjure away debt and dethrone bankers - The Telegraph

So there is a magic wand after all. A revolutionary paper by the International Monetary Fund claims that one could eliminate the net public debt of the US at a stroke, and by implication do the same for Britain, Germany, Italy, or Japan.

The IMF reports says the conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money. Photo: Reuters
One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined.
The conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money -- roughly 97pc of the money supply -- with state-created money. We return to the historical norm, before Charles II placed control of the money supply in private hands with the English Free Coinage Act of 1666.
Specifically, it means an assault on "fractional reserve banking". If lenders are forced to put up 100pc reserve backing for deposits, they lose the exorbitant privilege of creating money out of thin air.

SHOOT: So why won't it work?  Where would you rather get money from, banks, or the state.  Or put in another way, who would you rather trust, banks, or the state?

Ambrose Evan-s-Pritchard concludes:  Arguably, it would smother freedom and enthrone a Leviathan state. It might be even more irksome in the long run than rule by bankers.

Read the full article here.

Famous Lance Words

This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it. Study it. Tweak it. Listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?  As quoted in "Lance Armstrong Ruined My Gym" by Neal Pollack, in Slate (1 July 2005) 

Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is, no one ascends alone. Lance Armstrong (It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)

 Finally, the last thing I’ll say to the people who don’t believe in cycling, the cynics and the sceptics: I'm sorry for you. I’m sorry that you can’t dream big. I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles. But this is one hell of a race. This is a great sporting event and you should stand around and believe it. You should believe in these athletes, and you should believe in these people. I'll be a fan of the Tour de France for as long as I live. And there are no secrets — this is a hard sporting event and hard work wins it. So Vive le Tour forever!  Farewell speech at the Champs-Élysées podium, after winning his seventh Tour de France, quoted in "Paris salutes its American hero" by Caroline Wyatt in BBC News (24 July 2005)

I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsiblity to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. - from It's Not About The Bike (2000)

For most of my life I had operated under a simple schematic of winning and losing, but cancer was teaching me a tolerance for ambiguities. Lance Armstrong (It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)

All their players tested positive... for being assholes. (Referring to the French 2006 FIFA World Cup team during his speech at the ESPY Awards, as quoted in "Armstrong accuses France World Cup team of being 'assholes'") in The Guardian (16 July 2006)

The Denial of Death and the Practice of Dying - By Glenn Hughes

"Man breaks through the bounds of merely cultural heroism; he destroys the character lie that had him perform as a hero in the everyday social scheme of things; and by doing so he opens himself up to infinity, to the possibility of cosmic heroism .... He links his secret inner self, his authentic talent, his deepest feelings of uniqueness ... to the very ground of creation. Out of the ruins of the broken cultural self there remains the mystery of the private, invisible, inner self which yearned for ultimate significance. ...This invisible mystery at the heart of [the] creature now attains cosmic significance by affirming its connection with the invisible mystery at the heart of creation."

Kierkegaard has essentially this same view of human existence, a view that Becker praises in The Denial of Death. Because we are this tension of opposites, says Kierkegaard, in order to be authentically human we need to accept the mystery and responsibility of participation in both of these dimensions of reality that constitute life structured by death. Most people fall short of this authenticity, he declares. They flee its difficulties. And there are two basic ways of doing this. People either (1) immerse themselves in the dimension of things that perish, the things and pleasures of the world, which allows them to evade the awareness of death: the attitude summed up in the advice to "eat, drink, and be merry." Or they (2) cling to some false certainty about immortality, imagining that some kind of immortality is their assured possession, and this too allows them to evade the awareness of death.

Both types of inauthentic existence involve running away from the awareness of death, not allowing the fact of death to penetrate into consciousness, not facing up to the human situation, and not undergoing the crucial moral catharsis. So Kierkegaard, Becker, and Socrates all agree: the denial of death is indeed at the center of human inauthenticity.

... where the problem lies is in the self-comforting delusion that one possesses eternal meaning, and especially in the measures people take to defend their feeling of righteous invulnerability, especially through aggression. Authentic faith, by contrast, affirms enduring meaning in the context of an open if anxious acceptance of mortality. And so one must conclude that there are two opposites to authentic faith. One is the dogmatic clinging to an immortality project; and the other is the equally dogmatic insistence that enduring meaning is an illusion. Both of these are denials of our real human situation, making up two sides of the same counterfeit coin.

Read the rest here.

Kim Kardashian - (tastefully) Nude

Iron Man 3 teaser trailer

Does it make sense to fear death?

From New Scientist:

Fear of death is inappropriate because death is certain. But what is not at all certain is when you are going to die. Perhaps, then, what we should be afraid of is not loss of life per se, but rather the possibility that we will die sooner rather than later.
Consider an analogy. Suppose you're at a party. It's great, and you wish you could stay, but this is taking place in high school, and your mother is going to call and tell you it's time to go home. Now, there's nothing bad about being at home; it's intrinsically neutral. You just wish you could stay at the party.
Suppose you know that the call is going to come at midnight, guaranteed. Then, I think, there isn't anything to be afraid of. But if all you know is that your mother is going to call some time between 11 pm and 1 am, the conditions for appropriate fear have been met. There is something bad, there is a non-negligible chance of it happening, and yet there is also a lack of certainty that it will happen. Now some degree of fear makes sense. Perhaps we have something similar with regard to death. Perhaps it makes sense to be afraid given the unpredictability of death.

As one grows older, the chance of dying within a given period increases. But even here, fear that one will die soon can easily be out of proportion. Even an 80-year-old has a more than 90 per cent chance of living at least another year.
Obviously, fear that death may come soon can make sense among the very sick or the very aged. But for the rest of us, I think, it is typically misplaced. - Shelly kagan, Yale University.

Read more.

SHOOT: It is worth considering that the idea of living forever is actually a lot worse.  Imagine being trapped in a jail cell and living forever.  Or stuck underwater in a shipwreck.  In this and many other sense, living forever would be a punishment.