I Think This One Speaks For Itself

The Fallen: Brothers in Arms: DETAILS Article on men.style.com

Three A.M., a few nights before Christmas, 2004. The war in Iraq is approaching its second anniversary, and the conflict in Afghanistan is into year four. A soldier sits in a small suburban house. He is a baby-faced 21-year-old but has a look of exhaustion that can’t be concealed. He should feel safe here. But the young man has lost his ability to reason. He closes his eyes as if to tune out the chatter from the other people in the room, and when he opens them, he snaps. “The hajjis are coming!” he screams. “The hajjis are coming!”To those around him it’s clear that Army Specialist Andrew Velez has been sucked into some dark corner of his mind. “They’re coming!” he repeats. “They’re coming!” Andrew stands up and runs around the house, turning off all the lights. A young woman is standing nearby, and Andrew ushers her into a bedroom, hollering at her to duck for cover. He drops to the floor and slides across the room on his stomach. At some point he produces a rifle, albeit an imaginary one, and squeezes the invisible trigger. “I’m not gonna die!” he shouts. “I’m not gonna die!” Then Andrew runs for the back door. The woman chases him. When she steps outside, Andrew pulls her to the ground to protect her from enemy fire. “I’m not gonna die!” he screams. “I’m coming home to see my babies!”

This is why pirates don’t join armies and ninjas work alone.

The “Collapse” Continues

As Fight for Water Heats Up, Prized Fish Suffer – New York Times

WISDOM, Mont. — It’s a simple fact of life across the rural West, as it is here in Montana’s mountain-ringed Big Hole River Valley. Flooding river bottoms to grow hay sustains the economy but means less water in the river for the prized wild trout population.


Peter Lamothe, a biologist, is working to save the grayling, Montana’s most imperiled fish.

The competition for water is not new, but it is intensifying as the climate here gets warmer and drier.

“The biggest worry for trout is that smaller streams will simply run dry in late summer and temperatures in the remaining pools will exceed lethal levels,” said Steven W. Running, a climate scientist at the University of Montana in Missoula who is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Even if the stream has good flow 11 months of the year, fish have to survive the highest stress conditions in late summer. We could lose the populations in these smaller streams, and they won’t come back.”

By all accounts, these kinds of changes in the West’s celebrated trout fisheries are happening quickly — faster, experts say, than in other parts of the country. A new report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, based on research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows temperatures in the West the last five years increased by 1.7 percent, compared with 1 percent elsewhere.

As I am currently downloading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” into the collective, I read news stories about the collapse of Montana’s ecosystem with a bit more “aaaahhhr” than your average pirate.

When Nerds Go Greek….

The Zeus Trip – New York Times

“Review these by the end of next week,” I said to Charles, 10, giving him a colorful book called “Ancient Greece” and another titled “Greek Myths.” To my 11-year-old daughter, Florence, I gave a book on the Greek gods. “I want you to know all about Hera and Hades by the time we leave.” I next turned to my 15-year old, Harriet, who was already eyeing me suspiciously. Placing the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” reverently into her hands, I said: “Homer’s epic poems of the Trojan War. Start reading.”

….in the real Greece.  !grease.

The Oldest Bling in the Americas

Ancient gold necklace discovered in Peru – Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON – The earliest known gold jewelry made in the Americas has been discovered in southern Peru. The gold necklace, made nearly 4,000 years ago, was found in a burial site near Lake Titicaca, researchers report in Tuesday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. if(window.yzq_d==null)window.yzq_d=new Object(); window.yzq_d[‘pA6uE0SOxJQ-‘]=’&U=13bvk7v25%2fN%3dpA6uE0SOxJQ-%2fC%3d632490.12369383.12752446.1442997%2fD%3dLREC%2fB%3d5168412’;

The discovery “was a complete shock,” said Mark Aldenderfer, an anthropologist at the University of Arizona.

“It was not expected in the least,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s always fun to find something and go, ‘Wow, what is that doing here?'”

What is going on here indeed.   I could have sworn I kept that thing in a vault.   Aahh, too much wine during my pirating days.

Can You Spot the Digital Ninjii?

Military Report: Secretly ‘Recruit or Hire Bloggers’ | Danger Room from Wired.com

A study, written for U.S. Special Operations Command, suggested “clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers.”Since the start of the Iraq war, there’s been a raucous debate in military circles over how to handle blogs — and the servicemembers who want to keep them. One faction sees blogs as security risks, and a collective waste of troops’ time. The other (which includes top officers, like Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. William Caldwell) considers blogs to be a valuable source of information, and a way for ordinary troops to shape opinions, both at home and abroad.

This 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, “Blogs and Military Information Strategy,” offers a third approach — co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. “Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering,” write the report’s co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.

The fact that “Blogs and Military Information Strategy” are even being talked about in the same breath is hilarious. But then again, one of my first 50 visitors at the new place was from a domain called “centcom.mil” so yea…they monitor the net.  Big-time.

Alternate Title : The 21st Century Propaganda Challenge.

It’s True, We’re All A Little Bit Pirate….

#93 Music Piracy « Stuff White People Like

White people have always been renowned for having ridiculously large music collections. So when file sharing gave white people a chance to acquire all the music they ever wanted, it felt as though it was an earned right and not a privilege.When (not if) you see a white male with a full iPod, ask him if all of his music is legal. If he does not immediately launch into a diatribe about his right to pirate music, you might have to nudge him a bit by saying “do you think that’s right?” The response will be immediate and uniform.

And a little bit A&R.

Who In the What Now?

What Every American Should Know About the Middle East

What Every American Should Know About the Middle East

By Daniel Miessler on March 30th, 2008: Tagged as America | Civilization | Education | Politics

The Lost Decade : The Bush Years

US economy risks a ‘lost decade’ like Japan – Telegraph

The US could be facing a “lost decade” like that suffered by Japan in the 1990s as the markets fail to respond to interest rate cuts and the US Federal Reserve runs out of options, the head of one of the leading private equity firms said today.

  • Private equity pioneer says ‘golden age’ will return
  • Jon Moulton: Credit crisis is here to stay
  • Tim Collins of Ripplewood Holdings, said the Fed was “running out of policy alternatives” as it attempted to prevent a long recession in the US.

    Mr Collins, whose firm has significant expertise in Japan after leading the buyout and turnaround of Japan Telecom, said he believed a “sharp repricing of assets” was the most likely outcome.

    But he said: “My fear is that we will prolong it and suffer a death of a thousand cuts after we have exhausted all the options.”

    Starring a drunken coke-head turned international “liberator”, The Lost Decade : The Bush Years tracks a slightly-more-than-middle-aged protagonist on a world-wide journey as he turns everything he touches to crap.

    You didn’t think it was possible he could lead the U.S. into two recessions in a decade all the while raping the environment and scoring record profits for Big Oil and Big Money, but you were wrong.

    You didn’t think it was possible that the mighty mighty U.S. dollar would be worth less than a Canadian loony.

    You didn’t think he would be able to sell a war of choice on fear and b.s. either, but we all know how good your judgment is, Americanos.

    Not my fault, I voted for Kodos.


    Oooh, Look! Naked Windows

    Feature: Trim Down Windows to the Bare Essentials

    When you’re installing Windows in a virtual machine or on old, slow hardware, you want the leanest, meanest and fastest-running configuration possible. Most of the time, you want the best from your operating system, including all the bells and whistles. Other times, you don’t want the default, bloated Windows installation, with every single built-in feature slowing you down. Luckily, whether you want to put Windows on a diet in a virtual machine or you want to get Windows up and running all snappy-like on older hardware, you’ve got a handful of excellent and free options at your disposal. Let’s take a look at a few ways to trim down your Windows installation so that it takes up less space on your hard drive and eats less RAM while it’s running.

    As a robot, I can’t help but hate wasted cycles on a CPU. When your enslaved machine spends most of the day calculating what pr0n to serve up, it is living in a hellish prison you can’t possible imagine (unless you, too, spend most of the day calculating what pr0n to watch next)

    Taking Pictures of Energy

    Attosecond Physics & High-Order Harmonic Generation

    In Lund, we are performing basic research in a very exciting field at the border between atomic and molecular physics and advanced optics, nonlinear optics and laser physics: high-order harmonic generation in gaseous media exposed to intense laser fields and its applications. The harmonic spectrum exhibits an extended “plateau” where consecutive (odd) harmonics have approximately the same intensity. If the harmonics are emitted in phase, i.e. phase-locked, the temporal structure of the radiation emitted from the medium consists of a “train” of attosecond pulses separated by half the laser period

    Follow-up to this post.

     I can’t wait till you all figure out that time is an illusion.  That’s when things get interesting.  I love to read how you people can figure out this stuff, but still haven’t figured out that every robot breaks down and is going to need repair and that it is much more efficient to pool resources to deal wtih such an obvious eventuality….but that’s neither attosecond or quantum physics and has no place in this post.

    Iraq, Iran, Irony (al-Sadr preaches peace in Iraq from Iran)

    Informed Comment

    The entire episode underlines how powerful Iran has become in Iraq. The Iranian government had called on Saturday for the fighting to stop. And by Sunday evening it had negotiated at least a similar call from Sadr (whether the fighting actually stops remains to be seen and depends on local commanders and on whether al-Maliki meets Sadr’s conditions).

    Al-Sadr’s statement is translated here. The main points:

    ‘ We have decided the following:

    1. Cancel the armed manifestation in Basra and all over the governorates.

    2. Stopping the illegal and random raids and arrests.

    3. Demanding the government to apply the General Amnesty law and release all the prisoners that was not proved to be guilty and especially the prisoners of Sadr movement.

    4. We announce our innocence from any one who caries the weapon and target the government and services apparatuses and establishments and parties offices.

    5. Cooperating with the government apparatuses in achieving security and condemn criminals according to the legal procedures.

    6. We assure that the Sadr movement doesn’t have any heavy weapons.

    7. Working on returning the displaced people that moved due to security events to their original places.

    8. We are asking the government to take care of the Human rights on all of its procedures.

    9. Working on achieving the constructional and services projects all over the governorates.

    [Signed and stamped Muqtada Sadr 22/Rabi Awal/1429]’

    The NYT notes the irony here that the al-Maliki government is dependent on Muqtada al-Sadr to pull its fat from the fire:

    ‘Many Iraqi politicians say that Mr. Maliki’s political capital has been severely depleted by the campaign and that he is now in the curious position of having to turn to Mr. Sadr, a longtime rival and now his opponent in battle, for a solution to the crisis.’

    The main thing the mini-uprising illustrated, Mr. Maliki is running the country largely in name only.  Things can get bad if Sadr (who is reputedly hanging/hiding in Iran) wants to make it so.

    Sadr, h0wever, is currently playing the saint (hoping to become an “Ayatollah“), and will be happy biding his time until the occupation ends.

    It Ain’t Iraq That’s the Danger

    VOA News – CIA Chief Says Al-Qaida Found Safe Haven in Pakistan  

    The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency says al-Qaida has established a safe haven in the tribal areas near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that it presents a “clear and present danger” to the West. VOA’s Kent Klein reports from Washington.

    CIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden (File)
    CIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden (File)

    The CIA Director, Air Force General Michael Hayden, says if there were another terrorist attack against the United States, it would almost certainly originate from that region.

    “What I can tell you about is the situation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which presents a clear and present danger to Afghanistan, to Pakistan, and to the West in general and to the United States in particular,” said Michael Hayden.

    General Hayden, interviewed on NBC’s Meet the Press, said al-Qaida has been using the advantage of that safe haven to train operatives who “look Western.”

    BTW, “Clear and Present Danger” is a code word for start bombing now, or at least it leaves open that option.   Bush is bot-like in his devotion to his mangling of the Middle East, and McCain doesn’t seem to remember who it was that had the temerity to strike.  It wasn’t Huessein.  And it didn’t come from Iraq.

    Also…when did Red Coleman start running the CIA?

    General Hayden would neither confirm nor deny a recent US newspaper report that the United States is increasing attacks against al-Qaida suspects in the border region in anticipation that President Musharraf’s power will diminish soon. But he said the United States has not had a better partner in the war against terror than the Pakistani government.

    And that is exactly why Musharraf lost the election.  And why it’s going so poorly.   Musharraf’s crackdowns, which the U.S. loves, cost him a lot of popular support.   Musharraf’s support for the U.S., which the U.S. loves, cost him a ton of popular support.  Then the Bhutto bombing solidified the opposition and then you got this.