Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

the best science money can buy

No need to worry about your groundwater or those pesky hilltops anymore!
Last week the University of Texas provost announced he would re-examine a report by a UT professor that said fracking was safe for groundwater after the revelation that the professor pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Texas natural gas developer. It's the latest fusillade in the ongoing battle over the basic facts of fracking in America. Texans aren't the only ones having their fracking conversations shaped by industry-funded research. Ohioans got their first taste last week of the latest public-relations campaign by the energy policy wing of the US Chamber of Commerce. It's called "Shale Works for US," and it aims to spend millions on advertising and public events to sell Ohioans on the idea that fracking is a surefire way to yank the state out of recession. The campaign is loaded with rosy employment statistics, which trace to an April report authored by professors at three major Ohio universities and funded by, you guessed it, the natural gas industry. The report paints a bright future for fracking in Ohio as a job-creator. One co-author of the study, Robert Chase, is poised at such a high-traffic crossroads of that state's natural gas universe that his case was recently taken up by the Ohio Ethics Commission, whose chairman called him "more than a passing participant in the operations of the Ohio oil and gas industry," and questioned his potential conflicts of interest. As landowners in a suite of natural gas-rich states like Texas and Ohio struggle to to decipher conflicting reports about the safety of fracking, Chase is a piece in what environmental and academic watchdogs call a growing puzzle of industry-funded fracking research with poor disclosure and dubious objectivity. "It's hard to find someone who's truly independent and doesn't have at least one iron in the fire," said Ohio oil and gas lease attorney Mark F. Okey. "It's a good ol' boys network and they like to take care of their own..."
Because, of course, it's impossible to get a degree in any energy-related discipline, much less a job, unless you have a seal of approval from the folks with the Right Stuff.

Monday, July 30, 2012

with friends like these

...against that old evildoes Bashar al-Assad... You wonder what kind of technological terrors the pragmatists at Langley and the Pentagon are slipping the Righteous du jour under the table. And what the Rooskies are countering Major Kong with now?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

asking silly questions

Where's the outrage? That's a good question, Mr. Blow. Maybe it got dissipated when a Democratic Congress and Presidency embraced the Chuckie Schumer doctrine of expediency at costs for the well being of Wall Street in 2008. Maybe it got dissipated when the Occupy movement yanked the outrage platform from the Tea Party. But when the Administration discovered it could own Occupy, it sent the Justice Department to help the local police forces break them up. Someone sent the Black Bloc. Thinking that "outrage" equals "NSA/ FBI surveillance" takes the wind out of people's sails, alright. Isn't it supposed to?

a place for everyone and everyone in their place

...even if it's just cleaning toilets for their betters who can actually do the math. you would have all the fuss and bother if people didn't know how to cipher like these guys, either, would you?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

an offer they can not refuse

help protect us from whoever we tell you we need protecting from
...The head of the American government's secretive National Security Agency has taken the unprecedented step of asking a convention of computer hackers to join him in an effort to make the internet more secure. In a speech to the 20th annual Def Con gathering in Las Vegas, the four-star general Keith Alexander stressed common ground between US officials and hackers, telling them privacy must be preserved and that they could help by developing new tools. "You're going to have to come in and help us," Alexander told thousands of attendees. The conference founder, Jeff Moss, known in hacking circles as the Dark Tangent, told the conference he had invited Alexander, who rarely gives speeches, because he wanted them to learn about one of the world's "spookiest, least known" organisations. Attendees were respectful and gave modest applause, though several said they were concerned about secret government snooping and the failure of authorities thus far to stop foreign-backed attacks...
And oh by the way the name and credit card numbers of every person in that room are now on record.

eyes wide shut

Why does this surprise people? When you access the internet, you are using a system initially developed by and for the D.o'D. Of course a flood of entrepreneurs came and developed it- but all of those back doors are inherent in the system. It was built that way. And good grief, Microsoft owns Skype. This is not overreaching conspiracy theory people. This is how the Company gets inside information to keeping owning everything. That they also pick up details on who is boffing whom is just an amusing fringe.

Friday, July 27, 2012

background noisemakers

Willard has hit his stride among the Let Them Eat Kippers crowd: ... In Mr. Romney, given his ties to the industry and his tax-cutting promises, they have found a person they can back with enthusiasm. And for all of the news about the Libor scandal, an attendee at the reception said that the controversy was merely “background noise” for those in the ornate ballroom — replete with crystal chandeliers and gold paneling and filigree. According to the campaign, roughly 250 people attended the event, which was expected to bring in at least $2 million. And, in a nod to Britain, Mr. Romney’s guests dined on fish and chips, passed around in paper cones... Pretty low overhead when you're working the Beasts of London.

Monday, July 23, 2012

hot times

Airglow ...when there is so much UV radiation absorbed by air during the day the ozone in the upper atmosphere glows as it goes back to its background energy state.

Top of His Game

This is what's known as having Fiends in High Places. Your eyes would twinkle too if you were responsible for as much pain in the world as this man is, and enjoyed it like he does.