Over the course of the Apollo program, our astronauts deployed six American flags on the Moon.  For forty-odd years, the flags…

stml:

Over the course of the Apollo program, our astronauts deployed six American flags on the Moon.  For forty-odd years, the flags have been exposed to the full fury of the Moon’s environment – alternating 14 days of searing sunlight and 100° C heat with 14 days of numbing-cold -150° C darkness.  But even more damaging is the intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the pure unfiltered sunlight on the cloth (modal) from which the Apollo flags were made.  Even on Earth, the colors of a cloth flag flown in bright sunlight for many years will eventually fade and need to be replaced.  So it is likely that these symbols of American achievement have been rendered blank, bleached white by the UV radiation of unfiltered sunlight on the lunar surface.  Some of them may even have begun to physically disintegrate under the intense flux.

Faded Flags on the Moon - Airspacemag.com

Exxon Investors Seek Assurance as Climate Shifts, Along With Attitudes

climateadaptation:

Exxon Mobil has been under pressure for over a year to explain its handling of climate change issues in the past. Now the company faces new pressure to explain its future, particularly how it will change in response to a warming world.

At the company’s planned annual meeting on Wednesday in Dallas, shareholders will vote on a resolution to prod Exxon Mobil to disclose the risks of climate change to its business.

Such resolutions have been floated before, and they typically do not pass. But there is a growing chorus of investors, many of them large institutional shareholders, who say they are worried that Exxon Mobil, the largest publicly traded energy company in the world, is not adequately preparing for tighter times if countries start acting on the pledges they made last December as part of the Paris climate change accord.

Exxon Mobil, for example, projects that global demand for oil will keep growing — by just over 13 percent from today, to 109 million barrels of oil a day by 2040.

But the International Energy Agency’s projections include one situation where demand could drop by 22 percent, to 74 million barrels a day by 2040, if measures are put in place to keep global warming at levels that, while still dangerous, could avoid the most devastating consequences.

The shareholder resolution calls for Exxon Mobil to publish an annual assessment of impacts of various climate change policies, including ones that would lead to the steep drops foreseen in the most severe energy agency’s forecast. Another resolution calls for the company to give shareholders a bigger say over governance.

Exxon Mobil previously tried to block the climate change resolution, but the Securities and Exchange Commission ruled in March that shareholders must be allowed to vote.

Sexy.

Exxon Investors Seek Assurance as Climate Shifts, Along With Attitudes

Today’s men’s nerves surround us. Each technological extension gone outside is electrical involves an act of collective…

WSB, cut up, technology, perception

“Today’s men’s nerves surround us. Each technological extension gone outside is electrical involves an act of collective environment. The human nervous environment system itself can be reprogrammed with all its private and social values because it is content. He programs logically as readily as any radio net is swallowed by the new environment. The sensory order.”

William S. Burroughs, picking up a copy of The Nation.

Conspiratorial ideation is the tendency of individuals to believe that events and power relations are secretly manipulated by…

conspiracy, belief, research, organisation

“Conspiratorial ideation is the tendency of individuals to believe that events and power relations are secretly manipulated by certain clandestine groups and organisations. Many of these ostensibly explanatory conjectures are non-falsifiable, lacking in evidence or demonstrably false, yet public acceptance remains high. […] The theory presented here might be useful in counteracting the potentially deleterious consequences of bogus and anti-science narratives, and examining the hypothetical conditions under which sustainable conspiracy might be possible.”

David Robert Grimes, On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs.

For World’s Newest Scrabble Stars, SHORT Tops SHORTER

scrabble, words, games, Nigeria, sport, competition, WSJ

Nigeria is beating the West at its own word game, using a strategy that sounds like Scrabble sacrilege. By relentlessly studying short words, this country of 500 languages has risen to dominate English’s top lexical contest. Last November, for the final of Scrabble’s 32-round World Championship in Australia, Nigeria’s winningest wordsmith, Wellington Jighere, defeated Britain’s Lewis Mackay, in a victory that led morning news broadcasts in his homeland half a world away. It was the crowning achievement for a nation that boasts more top-200 Scrabble players than any other country, including the U.K., Nigeria’s former colonizer and one of the board game’s legacy powers. “In other countries they see it as a game,” said Mr. Jighere, now a borderline celebrity and talent scout for one of the world’s few government-backed national programs. “Nigeria is one of the countries where Scrabble is seen as a sport.”

via http://www.wsj.com/articles/for-nigerian-scrabble-stars-short-tops-shorter–1463669734

The 70% drop in Australia Council grants for individual artists is staggering

culture, Australia, arts, funding, austerity, politics, cuts, government-spending, NPEA

Last week, the Australian arts community reacted in horror as news was released of the defunding of around 65 arts companies and organisations. In what is already known as “Black Friday”, the Australia Council released its latest figures for multi-year funding, revealing the bleak result of years of cuts and bungled policy. So far discussion has focused on the crisis facing small-to-medium companies and organisations. But this has obscured where the real damage is happening. The number of Australia Council grants to individual artists and projects has decreased by a staggering 70% since the 2013/14 financial year. According to the Australia Council’s 2013/14 annual report, that year it funded 1,340 individual artists and 2,489 total projects. In contrast, the total for the two funding rounds for 2015/16 was 405 individual artists and 694 projects. This represents a fall of 70% for individual artists, and 72% for overall projects. The number of small-to-medium organisations receiving multi-year funding over the same period fell from 178 to 128, around 28%. The 70% reduction particularly hits artists such as writers and visual artists, who mostly work alone. This intensifies the impact that literature has taken in the cuts. As Writers Victoria said: “It’s impossible to know what Australia’s literary landscape may look like in six or 12 months’ time.” This damage doesn’t even have the bad excuse of “savings”. It is a direct result of the former arts minister George Brandis’s requisition of $105m over four years from the Australia Council budget to finance his unaccountable and secretive National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).

via http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/may/19/the–70-drop-australia-council-grants-artists-funding-cuts

This Man Wants Magic to Be a Branch of Psychology

Gustav-Kuhn, Nautilus, magic, psychology, technique, performance, suggestion

In one of these studies, two of Kuhn’s colleagues at Goldsmiths, Krissy Wilson and Christopher C. French, investigated how encountering magic can influence beliefs about the nature of reality. They had an alleged psychic—really, a magician—bend a key in his hand by pretending to use telekinesis. His apparent power over the key was effected, of course, through sleight-of-hand. But for one group of spectating subjects, the psychic attempts something more daring: He places the key on a table and vocally claims that he’s still bending it from afar. Of course, the key did not continue to bend on the table. Still, 33 percent of the subjects who heard the psychic’s suggestion reported that the key did continue to bend, compared to none in the control group who did not hear the suggestion. This percentage of credulous spectators almost doubled when the psychic’s confederate, posing as a spectator, validated the psychic’s suggestion by falsely claiming to see the key bending.

via http://nautil.us/blog/this-man-wants-magic-to-be-a-branch-of-psychology

Trailer for a new documentary entitled, “Sonic Sea,” produced by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and which will…

noise, oceans, ocean, documentary, sound, sonic sea

video link

rjzimmerman:

Trailer for a new documentary entitled, “Sonic Sea,” produced by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and which will premiere on the Discovery Channel on May 19. Description of the documentary from NRDC:

Beneath the surface of our oceans lies a finely balanced, living world of sound, most of which we never hear topside. But to whales, dolphins, and other marine life, sound is survival, the key to how they navigate, find mates, hunt for food, communicate over vast distances, and protect themselves against predators in waters dark and deep.

Our oceans, though, have become vast junkyards of industrial noise — often louder than a rock concert — from commercial shipping, military sonar, and seismic blasts that test for oil and gas. The seas have become so loud, in places, that these great animals are drowning in noise that threatens their health, their future, and their very lives.

On May 19, the Discovery Channel will premiere an important new NRDC film that documents this shattering underwater peril. Sonic Sea calls on us to turn down the volume before it’s too late.

To the future of marine life worldwide, deafening noise is hardly the only threat. It is compounding the stress ocean life faces a growing litany of environmental ills.