Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Tidal change in England

Larung Gar, inTibet/China

Located in the remote, mountainous area of china’s garze tibetan autonomous prefecture, Larung Gar is the largest buddhist settlement in the world, with 40,000 monks and nuns drawn to its Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute for study.
Living like ants in tightly packed wooden huts spreading over and up the hilly terrain, conditions for the village residents are basic, with the segregated monks and nuns sharing communal toilets, and huts left unheated throughout the harsh winter months.  
Established by an influential lama of the Nyingma tradition some thirty years ago in a then uninhabited valley, the settlement quickly grew, attracting a mix a students from China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. 
The settlement welcomes everyone, including the Tibetan buddhist nomads seen in several photos, with the monks and nuns living off donations and revenue from a guest house built for those who make the twenty hour coach ride from Chengdu. 


Squid Attack

Coming at you fast, Captain Nemo!


Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble at Hawaii's Halema'uma'u Caldera

Here we have two areas of spattering, caused in turn by large bursting gas bubbles, which come to the surface and pop.   They're Pele's burps.

Interestingly, the surface crust tends to flow into the spattering area, where it sinks. This migration can produce rips and tears of the lava lake crust as it approaches the chaotic spattering zone.

US military releases video of the North Korean staff sergeant making his break for freedom

He got shot at close range.  Should have run as soon as the jeep he was in got stuck.

Wow, so smooth he didn't even tag the propellers on the ground.

This kind of news makes me want to ditch my electronics.

Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled.

Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card?
Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they’re connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed.
Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

But I won't ditch my electronics.  Perhaps the best defense to this type of crapola is to overwhelm them with info, too much to properly analyze. 

Why would they want this?  Such personal data, ranging from users’ political views to their purchase histories to their locations, are foundational to the business successes of companies like Facebook and Alphabet, built on targeted advertising and personalization and together valued at over $1.2 trillion by investors.  This is also why I'm super suspicious of the new iPhone's face recognition app.  I simply don't believe that Apple wouldn't have a way to collect that info and sell it if the money were there.  If the government wanted to track you, and they subpoenaed the info, what could Apple do, practically speaking, to stop them.   Can't fight the Man.

Thus, if your political views, for example, made you a suspicious person to some bureaucrat like Lois Lerner, what's to stop the government from using this kind of data, either from cell phone towers, or face recognition, to know where you go and thus what you are up to?

Related:  Even while the FCC was more strictly regulating, a few powerful companies took control of what we see and don't on the Internet.

Tech security wallet

Freckles, they are good.

Closer, little birdie, come closer..

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A giant sink in an Icelandic glacier suggests that a volcano is awakening deep beneath the ice.

The divot from far away

According to the Iceland Met Office this caldera shows increased activity in Öræfajökull which is located in Vatnajökull, Iceland's largest glacier. 
A great sulphuric stench has eminated from the river Kvíá last week.  
Increased seismic activity has occured in the area in recent months, activity which has subsided in recent days. The volcano hasn't erupted since 1727. There are still no signs of an imminent eruption states an announcement from the Met Office. However, the safety code has been put up to yellow. 

The divot closer

Below, you can just make out a tiny little airplane right center of the divot, to appreciate the tremendous scale of the beast below.

A good tool for urban wet work.

Ent's Eye

No Christmas tree is complete without bacon

Nice catch, Whiskers.

Multiple levels of foolishness

People living in Barrow, Alaska say goodbye to the sun today, until January 22nd.

Well, looks like it's hatchet time, turkeys!

The moment little Bobby realized the true power of the Force.

Looks like a significant load out under those wings


Carrot harvester

Gotta have real loose, loamy soil for this to work.


Blanket Of The Sun - Nez Perce 1908

Cabin Porn

Power Wagon in action

Monday, November 20, 2017

Pals Forever

Pensive freckles are good

Snow boots are good boots.

Dad and Lad

Seven, Six..."wait, wait, I'm coming...Five, Four....Hold up!!...

Fun. The Organgrinder Gun.

This is happening in Calgary, but the story is the same in California

“It’s death by a thousand paper cuts,” complains Morgan, whose restaurant changed fine dining in Calgary.
“Economics 101 says during hard economic times governments shouldn’t raise taxes. But no, every level of government  — the city, the province and the feds — have hiked our taxes and other things,” adds Morgan.
“Beer taxes, liquor taxes, the carbon tax, business taxes, for the privilege of operating a business in this city, the hike in the minimum wage we could handle, but then Rachel Notley mandates that on Jan. 1, holiday pay is going up by 25 per cent,” explains Morgan. 
Restaurant owners are also hit with new rules that forbid employers or employees to bank hours for a day off in lieu. Now if a waiter works overtime, they must be paid, time-and-a-half, rather than get extra time off later.
“It’s nickel and dime, nickel and dime at the very worst of times,” says Morgan, who is sad for his staff who have yet to find work. “These people in power are bozos, they have no clue what’s going on out here and the pain they’re causing. They just keep on socking it to us.”
As a small business man here in the Golden State, I can tell you that nickel and diming the productive members of society.   When we can't write off our very high state income taxes, it's going to be a killer.  The idiot state also just raised the gas tax 11 cents a gallon.  Everything here is taxed, then when you need the government's approval for something, there's fees, inspections, hassles, and threats.  
Characteristically, someone productive wants to build something that will enhance business.  To do that requires a huge fee up front to the state agency from whom you need approval, and that fee is non refundable if the state 'crats decide not to approve you.  This gives them enormous leverage, so instead of a clean approval in return for your money, they want you to add this, or pay for that, before you get the OK.  The expensive additions can seem endless, and the deeper in you go, the harder it is to back out and lose all you've invested.    One guy I know of had to pay thousands to develop a Swainson's hawk nesting area that was something like twenty miles from the project he was trying to get going.  
These government types are indeed bozos, clowns, locusts, hateful bastards.
Joseph Smith once said that a country has a lot of ruin in it, meaning that a lot can go badly wrong before true disaster hits, and California has a lot more ruin in it than Calgary, Canada, but the cushion isn't limitless.  
I feel for the folk trying to make a buck through hard work, risk taking and imaginative marketing there, but it's bad all over when the bureaucrats get the regulatory power to loot your bank account whenever they can.  
TFRP  (Tar, Feathers, Rope, Pole)

Annoy a liberal with bullet push pins.

Serious Deterrence