4/30/2016

TOO CUTE

TOP TEN 
COOLEST SPECIES 
OF 
PRAYING MANTIS

1. Giant shield mantis
2. Giant Asian mantis
3. Giant African mantis
4. Ghost mantis
5. Jeweled flower mantis
6. Devil mantis
7. Orchid mantis
8. African devil mantis
9. Purple boxer mantis
10. Blue orchid mantis










4/29/2016

Solitude









Having An Attitude Problem



I HAVE AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM... towards ignorant, un-infomed, rude, and people who are prejudice, even if they are joking, especially in a crowd of people where most of them, they do not know. 

 My comments as a result of this attitude, make me sound angry, when actually, I am simply frustrated at their stupidity, careless and reckless behavior, and with their blatant rudeness towards those around them, where their only excuse is that they are oblivious to everything else except for what they are doing or what is on their minds.

Many of these people were raised in homes with appropriate morals and values that we consistently reinforced by their thoughtful parents, relatives, and/or guardians and which they demonstrated at home and most of the time when away from home as well, but which have slipped farther and farther behind their consciousness as time passes them by.

You can see this shitty behavior in:
  • grocery stores
  • shopping malls
  • restaurants
  • retail stores
  • in cars on the highway
  • leaving churches
  • entertainment events
And, those of us who know better, since walk around or avoid the disturbance as if it never happened, tacitly reinforcing the behavior each time we decide that is our best course of action.

There is no one group who can be blamed, because the behavior is across the board and is reflected in the following groups of people:
  • Young males and females
  • Middle aged males and females
  • Older males and females
  • foreign visitors and residents/citizens
  • All geographical locations within US
  • All rural or urban areas
  • Among educated and uneducated people
And, the fact that it is so wide spread among all aspects of our society, leaves me with the impression that it is either reflective or a by product of our current society as it has evolved since the 1950's, or about 65 years ago when it was not this way at all. 

And, I know this for real because I was around 65 years ago, even though I was only about 3 or 4 years old... I could still observe and make mental connections with appropriate and inappropriate behaviors reflective of my parental training.

And, all these years later, I still display appropriate and proper behavior in all aspects of life and when I see something taking that is not properly displayed, it simply pisses me off big time, and my attitude grows bigger than my weight but not bigger than my bank account.

My wife, bless her heart, wants me to walk away from it... but, I have noticed recently that when it happens to her, she does not follow her own advice; however, she does follow it more than I do...

This morning, I was at the gym exercising as I have been doing for the last several months. I go for about an hour (give or take), Monday through Friday, and my arrival time varies between 9:30 am and 10:30 am when it is the least crowded; although, 11:30 am is a pretty good time as well, but that kills the day for me when I go that late. 

So today, I was on this machine where I have to sit in a seat and raise my elbows up as high as I can get them (like a wing flapping duck I suppose) and while I am in the process of doing this, an older gentleman slips in between two machines with me on his immediate right in one machine and someone else to his immediate left in another machine, and asks me if I will stop my exercising so he can talk to his friend.

HELL NO,” I say not looking at him, “you can damn sure wait until I have finished!”

He backed out ever so slowly and waited 60 seconds for me to finish my routine... I got up without looking at him and moved to the next machine on my exercising protocol. The more I thought about that the angrier I got and I did not give a damn how many people heard me say that.

While I was on my last machine, and reflecting a tad on what I had said and how I had said it, I wish that I had said, “Sir... why don't you go out there to the lady sitting behind the desk who is the morning manager for this gym and ask her for permission to interrupt my exercise routine so that you can bullshit with your friend about some bullshit topic?” But, that might have made him mad and we would want that to happen, now would we?

So... yes... I have an ATTITUDE PROBLEM... and, the older I get the worse my attitude gets and the more intolerant that I find myself becoming with these types of people... I mean, who the hell do they think they are in the first place?

TURN THE OTHER CHEEK... you say... well perhaps, years ago I would be willing to do that, but it is not that easy anymore. And yes, I do know that there is quite a bit of strength and power in being submissive... in fact, the dominate person, is only dominate because the submissive gives that person the right to have that power in the first place. So, the submissive is the one who is actually in control.

But, that logic has no influence on me or even over me, because I derive great satisfaction from having the ATTITUDE PROBLEM that I have... it is like I have waited all my life just so I could experience the satisfaction from having this kind of an ATTITUDE PROBLEM. 

Still, I suppose that if the truth be known, and in a moment of weakness, I might, just might mind you, admit that perhaps I maybe should not have phrased it exactly how I phrased it or use the harsh tone that I (no doubt) used when expressing my opinion and answer.

No wonder people in charge feel the need to control the masses the way that they do... it really makes a lot of sense to me now... even though, I would never submit to their control... I can see how others should be forced to do so. Still, I wonder in a reflective way these days, if we, as a society, should spend more time with those among us who have never been exposed to these manners. 

But, why should we care about them... and their lack of manners when those who have been given manners, eventually forsake their manners?

I HAVE AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM... and, as long as others act the way they do, then I see no reason why I should work on improving my attitude.

4/28/2016

Spying On Workers


Tomorrow's Buildings will look at how technology is making our offices smarter, our homes more affordable and even transforming building sites.

Ask someone what they dislike about working in an office and the list will probably be long.

It is likely to include: workload, the boss, colleagues, uncomfortable chairs, lack of light, no decent food in the canteen and Arctic air-conditioning.

Technology may soon be able to ease the last of these, offering a better working environment by allowing workers to control their heating via a smartphone app.

But does that come at a price? Do the sensors that are increasingly making the office environment smarter also mean that workers are under constant surveillance?

Welcome to the brave new world of the smart office.

Research firm Gartner predicts that commercial buildings will have more than 500 million "connected things" during 2016.

The biggest driver for this is to improve energy efficiency - currently commercial buildings account for 40% of the world's electricity consumption.

By embedding hundreds of sensors in walls, ceilings or even lights, the systems that keep the office running smoothly can be connected and in turn these building management systems (BMS) can be connected to the corporate network and the internet.

At Deloitte's headquarters in Amsterdam, workers can control the lights, heating and blinds via an app, while in London building consultant Arup is experimenting with smart desks - embedding sensors in them and hooking them up to smartphone apps to allow people to control lighting and heating.

Smarter systems offer huge potential energy savings - estimates range between 20% and 50%.

"A staggering amount of energy is wasted on heating empty offices, homes and partially occupied buildings," said Carlo Ratti, who heads up the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Senseable Cities lab.

His team is working on a project that measures the number of people in a building and adjusts heating and lighting accordingly - with a view to turning an empty building "off", just like a computer goes into standby mode when not in use.

He is also working on localized heating and cooling systems, which can provide a precise, personal climate for each occupant using "an array of responsive infrared heating elements that are guided by sophisticated motion tracking".

"Individual thermal 'clouds' follow people through space, ensuring ubiquitous comfort while improving overall energy efficiency," he explained.

I can almost taste it...


Forgotten Co-Founder

Apple has just turned 40 years old - a timely reason to track down a man who helped start the firm and then walked away.

Drive out of Las Vegas for an hour into the Nevada desert. When you reach what feels like the end of civilization, carry on. That's where you'll find Pahrump.

And it's in Pahrump where you'll find the co-founder of the most valuable, perhaps most powerful company, on Earth.


Ronald G Wayne (ABOVE) is 81. When he was 41, he worked at Atari. And it was there he met a young, impressionable Steve Jobs who would regularly turn to Wayne for all manner of advice.

Jobs asked if he should start a business making slot machines. Wayne said no.

Jobs asked if he should go to India to find himself. Wayne said, if you must. Just be careful.

One day, Jobs finally asked the question that changed history: "Could you help me talk some sense into Steve Wozniak?"

"Bring him over to the house," Wayne said. "We'll sit down, and we'll chat."

The charismatic, lovable Wozniak - you can call him Woz - had been working with Jobs on breaking down business computers and making them into something more personal.

The pair frequented the now infamous Homebrew Computer Club, a gathering of enthusiasts who would pick apart circuitry and build it up again in new ways with the same gusto as an imaginative six-year-old faced with a box of Lego.

Woz was the best. A circuit board he built would form the basis of the Apple 1, the company's first computer - and one that sold at an auction in 2015 for $365,000 (£254,300). 

Jobs wanted Woz's brain to be an Apple exclusive. Woz was having none of it.

And so it was to Wayne's flat, in Mountain View, California, to thrash out the details. 

"Jobs thought that I was somewhat more diplomatic than he was," Wayne recalls.

"He very anxious to proceed with Steve Wozniak to get this into production. But Wozniak, being the whimsical character that he was, everything he did was for the pure fun of it. Woz had no concept of business, or the rules of the game."

Over the course of around 45 minutes, Wayne turned things around.

"He bought into it. He understood," he says.

"It was at that moment Steve Jobs said: 'We're going to start a company. It will be the Apple Computer Company.'" 

Wayne typed up the documents there and then, on an IBM typewriter, much to the amusement of Woz, who couldn't quite believe Wayne's talent for reeling off four pages of legalese from memory.

Slicing up the Apple pie was straight-forward: Jobs and Wozniak got 45% each, and Wayne had 10%, and a remit to be the voice of reason in any disputes.

4/27/2016

Hump Day Art

Character building
by
Michael William Lester 


















Freedom, Rights, and Equality


RECENTLY REPORTED on MSN Online:
Los Angeles (AP) — Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged a man who shot and killed his son with premeditated murder, alleging that he committed the crime because his son was gay.

Shehada Issa, 69, said he shot his son in self-defense after he discovered his wife's dead body in their house.

The district attorney's office said Friday that Issa had allegedly threatened to kill his 29-year-old son, Amir, in the past because he was gay.

"The murder was committed because of the victim's sexual orientation and because of the defendant's perception of that status and the victims' association with a person and a group of that status," prosecutors said in a statement.

I had to read this twice or maybe more times this morning because I just could not believe what I was reading, nor did I think something as idiotically stupid as this could ever happen in this country... but, I was wrong... it can and does all the time...

WE KILL PEOPLE FOR BEING DIFFERENT...

One would expect that to happen in Russia or China or Korea or several of the countries in the Middle East, possible Africa and South America too, but not here in the US of A.

And, parents killing children no less... how crazy is that... I mean we as parents or as children oftentimes disagree with the other party but never to the point of killing them. Why would we allow someone who had that kind of a mental outlook to get married in the first place? Are we not (as a mature and responsible people and government) supposed to protect all our citizens? And yet, something like this happens right here in our own backyard.

AMERICANS both white and black and in between do not like people (male or female) who are different than their expectations or the norm... yet, we consider ourselves a group of people who honor freedoms, civil and human rights, and equality. It appears that the writing is on the wall and our own Native Americans were right when they said: “White man speaks with forked tongue(s).”

Many of us laugh at a statement like that and blow it off saying it may have pertained to some once upon a time but not to everybody and it certainly does not apply to any of us now... BUT, that would be wrong and incorrect!!!

LGBT is something we tolerate and not because we want to but because the law(s) say that we have to and in some States we are passing laws so that we do not have to respect their lifestyles... yet, we want their votes during an election and we want their taxes to help pay for all our entitlements, and we take their money when they buy tickets at sporting events or musical concerts... but, hell no we don't want them to eat in our restaurants or live next door to us, and God forbid if they are one of our children, or a relative, or a spouse.

Those AMERICANS are no better and worth no more than the cost of whatever it would take to blow all their asses to hell... if, in fact, hell really exists. And, it is not just Americans but all people all over our entire frigging world, who perceive for one reason or another that they are better than someone else and for whatever reason... we all are born and we all die the same.

What I think is rather ironical, is that I have talked with several people who are either on active duty in the military or in the military reserves and have been sent over to the Middle East to fight for Democracy and Freedom and they are completely aware of why they are there and why they are killing the enemy (and I only talk to those who have killed for the USA) and they tell me when they return home that they are leaving the military because of the LGBT policies even though they fought beside them over there.

They also tell me if they were in a hiring position that they would never hire any of them, nor would they ever want to work around them... that is, once they knew that they were in the LGBT group. But, as long as they did not know, I guess it would be ok with them... even though, I intentionally never asked them that question.

Are we any different from those Islamic Terrorists who want to kill Christians because they are Christians?

I realize that having a Democracy which provides all the freedoms that our Democracy provides means that no everyone is going to think like everyone else, and that it is also part of their freedoms to voice their opinions about those who are not like them.

But, FREEDOM does not give us the right to not accept someone for whatever reason does it? OR, maybe that is the real issue here because we think that Freedom does provide us with that right.

Whatever is going on in this country of ours, it is fundamentally changing and forever changing our country as it once was... and, it is not just our attitudes that are changing, but our values, morals, ethics, economics, education, business practices, and availability of jobs.

  • as some move out, others move in...
  • as high paying jobs move out, low paying jobs move in...
  • as the wealthy get wealthier the poor get poorer...
  • as we fight other country's wars, those countries not fighting get stronger...
  • as we become more internally divided, it becomes easier to penetrate our boarders...

Don't cha think its rather humorous that many of our leaders do not see this happening and even more funny that our mainstream media does not see this either? Or, maybe they do and just do not want us to know it yet.

Whatever the case may or may not be, the LGBT movement has changed this country and my question to you is: Is it for the better or for the worse?

4/26/2016

Super Fast Computing


Superfast quantum computers could transform the world of finance, advocates say.

In a world where how fast you can assimilate and analyze data then act on it, makes the difference between profit and loss, computing speed is key.

This is why banks, insurance firms, and hedge funds invest millions on technology to give them an edge when trading, and to offset human error. 

Quantum computers, that owe more to quantum mechanics than electronics, promise to be exponentially more powerful than traditional computers, holding out the tantalizing prospect of near-perfect trading strategies and highly accurate forecasting and risk assessments.

"Financial services is a data-rich environment," says Kevin Hanley, director of design at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). "Time is money and the ability to process data fast could have a huge potential benefit for our customers." 

Classical computing relies on binary digits or bits - ones and zeros representing on/off, true/false states.

Quantum computing, on the other hand, features qubits, which can be both 0 or 1 at the same time - a state known as superposition. It all goes back to Schrodinger's cat, but that's another story....

Subatomic particles such as electrons, photons or ions can be made to behave in this mysterious way.

And because of this flexibility, qubits can do a lot more - a quantum computer could theoretically carry out trillions of calculations per second.

But these computers aren't easy to build or operate. Quantum processors from one of the leading manufacturers in this field - D-Wave - need to be cooled to just above absolute zero (-273.15C). They also need to be free from any electromagnetic interference.

This makes them bulky and costly; D-Wave's computers cost about $10m-15m.

Ironically they're also a bit limited in the kinds of calculations they can currently do, and many observers are still sceptical about how fast they really are.

So it's fair to say we're still at the very early stages of quantum computing.

Goldman Sachs, RBS, Guggenheim Partners and Commonwealth Bank of Australia have all invested in quantum computing, with the aim of stealing a march on their competitors.

"This is interesting to the financial world because if you can find an algorithmic advantage to solve a problem, that can give you a great competitive advantage," says Colin Williams, director of business development for D-Wave.

It's mod man...


Computer Generates Paintings


A team of technologists working with Microsoft and others have produced a 3D-printed painting in the style of Dutch master Rembrandt.

The portrait was created after existing works by the artist were analyzed by a computer.

A new work was then designed to look as much like a Rembrandt as possible - while remaining an original portrait.

It was then 3D-printed to give it the same texture as an oil painting.

"We really wanted to understand what makes a face look like a Rembrandt," Emmanuel Flores, director of technology for the project, told the BBC.

After they had been digitally tagged by humans, data on Rembrandt's paintings was gathered by computers which discovered patterns in how the Dutch master would, for example, characteristically shape a subject's eyes in his portraits.

Then, machine-learning algorithms were developed which could output a new portrait mirroring Rembrandt's style.

To limit the many possible results to a specific type of individual, the computer was asked to produce a portrait of a Caucasian male between the ages of 30 and 40, with facial hair, wearing black clothes with a white collar and a hat, facing to the right.

"We found that with certain variations in the algorithm, for example, the hair might be distributed in different ways," explained Mr Flores.

But humans didn't decide the final look and feel of the final portrait - they simply chose algorithms based on their efficiency and let the computer come up with the finished result.

Finally, a 3D texture for the painting was applied based on the height and depth of paint applied to Rembrandt's works.

As this was 3D-printed, artists' brushstrokes themselves could be mimicked in the final product.

"Our goal was to make a machine that works like Rembrandt," said Mr Flores. "We will understand better what makes a masterpiece a masterpiece."

However, he added, "I don't think we can substitute Rembrandt - Rembrandt is unique."

The two-year project, entitled "The Next Rembrandt", was a collaboration between Microsoft, financial firm ING, Delft University of Technology and two Dutch art museums - Mauritshuis and Rembrandthuis.

A public exhibition of the portrait is planned and details of the display will be released at a later date.

4/25/2016

Predicting Bird Patterns

Populations of the most common bird species in Europe and the US are being altered by climate change, according to an international study. 

For the first time researchers showed climate to be having a similar, significant impact on bird populations in large, distant areas of the world. 

Their study used population-predicting models and three decades of field data, gathered by bird-watching volunteers. 

The findings are published in the journal Science.
Led by Durham University scientists, the team developed models that related each species' habitat to long-term climate patterns. 

Using annual climate records - from 1980 to 2010 - these models were able to predict where a species had experienced an improvement or a decline in suitable climate. 

"We then had this amazing data set collected by thousands of volunteers over decades - where people have gone out and counted birds across different countries in Europe and the United States," explained lead researcher Dr Stephen Willis. 

"We can use that to see to what extent our predictions match what people are finding on the ground." 

The outlook is different for each species. Increasing temperatures in the UK, for example, allow some species to expand their range and increase their population, while the same temperature patterns have made the UK a less suitable habitat for others.

But the overall trends, this study shows, are strikingly similar in the US and Europe; populations are increasing in species predicted to benefit from climate change and decreasing in those predicted to be negatively affected. 

"One important thing is that we're looking at the most common birds," said Dr Willis. "These birds are doing a lot of good in the countryside - eating crop pests and helping our ecosystems work. 

"So we need to understand how they'll respond."

The research shows how the climate is gradually remapping the avian habitat across two continents. 

In Europe, for example, birds such as the wren have been increasing in northern areas as winters become milder, but declining in some southern countries. 

The American robin has declined in some southern states, but increased further north.

"This is really the first time anyone's ever looked at changes in climate across two really extensive parts of the world," said Dr Willis.

"So we're getting an idea that [the impacts of] climate change on wildlife are more far-reaching than individual countries."

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