M Aurelius's blog

Forward Recall Open Thread

I thought this was rather interesting:

Parapsychologists have made outlandish claims about precognition – knowledge of unpredictable future events – for years. But the fringe phenomenon is about to get a mainstream airing: a paper providing evidence for its existence has been accepted for publication by the leading social psychology journal.

The Violent Hominid

A recent research paper makes a compelling case that male human faces are the way they are (comparatively ugly, once could say), because they have evolved to take a punch. In essence the paper determines that the hand structure became capable of making a fist at right about the same time that Australopithecus evolved reinforcements to bone structures in the face, but only for males.


A New Era Begins

As of now, Jay C, M Scott, and Jordan are officially the new moderators. In theory, their term will extend to December 27, 2014.


This is a long time, and from experience I can say that the job can be thankless, which makes it longer. Please then have a heart and give the guys as little work as possible.


It is also a good time for a round of thanks to our former moderators. They did a great job, and for longer than they expected too.


Nation Of California Open Thread

You can thank Bloomberg for the upgrade:

Fewer markets are accepting UN Certified Emissions Reductions, credits created from investment in carbon-reduction programs, as nations from China to California adopt their own standards.

Two Important Space Milestones

We've had two important space milestones these past few days. Though neither represent a breakthrough in the what, both are breakthroughs for the who, and the how.


I am talking about the departure from Earth orbit of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), and the SpaceX's first geosynchronous satellite launch, the SES 8 mission.


MOM being placed in vacuum test chamber.


Both are significant for various reasons.


The B52's Open Thread (Updated)

So Obama presumably approved flying two B52's right through China's newly minted Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) established over the islands it disputes with Japan. Meanwhile, the Japanese government instructed JAL and ANA to fly through the zone without notifying Chinese civil aviation authorities of their flight plans, as they had both started to do.


Snowden Keeps on Giving Open Thread

So while Traveller wondered if Snowden would just ride off into the Russian sunset, Greenwald continues to methodically digest and release information. I had guessed that we have not heard the last of Snowden's information trove, and so it is. This week the following were confirmed:

Internet Of Things Open Thread

Is this the kind of world you want to live in?


For yes or for no, discuss.


I'll get the ball rolling with this: After 20 years in tech, I'm feeling itchy to get myself an old rotary dial phone and throw all the silicon junk away. This crap is not what I had in mind.



Egypt Is Looking Really Bad Open Thread

I don't have any observations that are not obvious. This is a really dangerous situation moving rapidly.


If anybody has anything bright to say about it, please be my guest.


If not, be my guest anyway and write about something else.

Tim DeChristopher And The Law Of The Land

I had this truly awesome diary nearly all written out on Tim DeChristopher. I swear I did. Honest.


But my dog ate it.


OK, I don't have a dog, but, and this is 100% the unvarnished truth, Firefox which is even worse than a hungry dog, crashed, and I lost it.


Mind The Income Gap Open Thread

You know, the income gap that's fraying the social fabric. Yeah, that one. Obama seems to be aware of it now, again, or something.


You plebes know what to do. I'll be traveling to Fiji in my personal 767, but one of my assistant's assistants will be available to help out if needed.


Zombie Apocalypse Open Thread

They are coming...



But, before they run us over, I have a question:

...the Los Angeles Times has reported that Mr. Snowden originally smuggled electronic files out of the National Security Agency in Hawaii using a USB thumb drive.

How can this be true?


The Cat Is Out Of The NSA's Bag, Maybe

As all things related to spook agencies, I disclaim "maybe" because with these guys you never know. The whole thing could just be an exercise, an information gathering op, a setup for something else, or a political op against the administration.


But let's set the tinfoil aside and take the story so far at face value. Why not? It sounds plausible enough.


Tesla: How to Make Conservative Investors Lose Their Shirts

These past few weeks I've been quietly watching Tesla stock go up, and up.


And up.


And in good measure thanks to conservative investors; the kind who watch Fox News, pay attention to Sarah Palin, or believe Mitt Romney, or David Stockman for that matter, or Jim Cramer.


Thumbs Down on Rice Open Thread

I don't like Susan Rice as a candidate for Secretary of State.


Besides being a lightweight, at least 1/3 of her portfolio is invested in fossil fuel companies, including at least $300,000 in TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, the very pipeline the Secretary of State would need to approve.


So thumbs down on Rice from my corner. And the less I say about Obama, the better.

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