“What is it that you contain? The dead. Time. Light patterns of millennia opening in your gut. Every minute, in each of you, a…


“What is it that you contain? The dead. Time. Light patterns of millennia opening in your gut. Every minute, in each of you, a few million potassium atoms succumb to radioactive decay. The energy that powers these tiny atomic events has been locked inside potassium atoms ever since a star-sized bomb exploded nothing into being. Potassium, like uranium and radium, is a long-lived radioactive nuclear waste of the supernova bang that accounts for you. Your first parent was a star.”

— Jeanette Winterson, Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles

Endland is a collection of cut-up dystopian fables set in a fractured half-hallucinated version of England. The Autumn launch is…

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What Does ‘12 Years to Act on Climate Change’ (Now 11 Years) Really Mean?


Excerpt from this InsideClimate News story:

The number began drawing attention in 2018, when the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report describing what it would take to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal of the Paris climate agreement. The report explained that countries would have to cut their anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, such as from power plants and vehicles, to net zero by around 2050. To reach that goal, it said, CO2 emissions would have to start dropping “well before 2030” and be on a path to fall by about 45 percent by around 2030 (12 years away at that time).

Mid-century is actually the more significant target date in the report, but acting now is crucial to being able to meet that goal, said Duke University climate researcher Drew Shindell, a lead author on the mitigation chapter of the IPCC report.

“We need to get the world on a path to net zero CO2 emissions by mid-century,” Shindell said. “That’s a huge transformation, so that if we don’t make a good start on it during the 2020s, we won’t be able to get there at a reasonable cost.”

Basics physics and climate science allow scientists to calculate how much CO2 it takes to raise the global temperature—and how much CO2 can still be emitted before global warming exceeds 1.5°C (2.7°F) compared to pre-industrial times.

Scientists worked backward from that basic knowledge to come up with timelines for what would have to happen to stay under 1.5°C warming, said Scott Denning, who studies the warming atmosphere at Colorado State University.

“They figured out how much extra heat we can stand. They calculated how much CO2 would produce that much heat, then how much total fuel would produce that much CO2. Then they considered ‘glide paths’ for getting emissions to zero before we burn too much carbon to avoid catastrophe,” he said.

“All this work gets summarized as ‘in order to avoid really bad outcomes, we have to be on a realistic glide path toward a carbon-free global economy by 2030.’ And that gets translated to something like 'emissions have to fall by half in a decade,’ and that gets oversimplified to '12 years left.’

What Does ‘12 Years to Act on Climate Change’ (Now 11 Years) Really Mean?

An annoying thing about picking words to use for things is that major uses that came before are often inconsistent. For example,…

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Really pleased to publish ‘Para-Photo-Mancy’ and an accompanying essay in the latest issue of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in…

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I saw a claim that the Amazon Rainforest provides 20% of the world’s oxygen, so I went to go see if that was correct. My initial…

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Adding pink seaweed to cow feed eliminates their methane emissions


One of the major contributors to greenhouse gases is the methane that cows belch up as they break down cellulose, but five years ago, research from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that adding small amounts of a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis to cows’ diets eliminated the gut microbes responsible for methane production and “completely knocks out” cows’ methane emissions.

Asparagopsis grows on the coast of Australia, and cows actually seek it out and eat it without encouragement. Replacing 2% of cows’ feed with Asparagopsis is sufficient to end their methane production.

Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast are trying to ramp up Asparagopsis production to scale to meet a potential global market for it.


“Nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005—with the last five years ranking as the five hottest. Last month was…

NOAA, climate, global warming, climate change, July, hot, 2019

“Nine of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005—with the last five years ranking as the five hottest. Last month was also the 43rd consecutive July and 415th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.”

(via https://www.noaa.gov/news/july-2019-was-hottest-month-on-record-for-planet )

These companies are trying to predict what climate change will do to real estate investments


Excerpt from this story from CNBC:

Investors are turning to a new breed of high-tech start-ups that can measure the risk climate change poses to real estate — from an hour to decades into the future.

And these firms count major corporations and cities as clients. One of them is Jupiter.

“We’re essentially physically modeling what’s happening with the atmosphere and the water or the fire at a very specific level of detail, and typically at the asset level, which is now only possible because computers have gotten so powerful and relatively inexpensive,” said Rich Sorkin, CEO of Jupiter.

Launched barely three years ago, the Silicon Valley-based company already has over $40 million in investor capital from firms including Energize Ventures, Ignition Partners and Data Collective. It also receives funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA for work in cloud computing and satellite observations.

The company’s primary goal is to incorporate climate impact data on flood, fire, heat, drought, cold, wind and hail events into risk modeling for real estate assets. Its clients include the coastal cities of New York and Miami.

“We’re seeing a dramatic expansion in large corporations coming to us, unsolicited, and saying, ‘We need to understand the risk to this office complex or the risk to this hotel, or the risk to this power plant, or refinery, or neighborhood where we have hundreds of millions of dollars of mortgages out,’” Sorkin said.

“Markets are just waking up to the need to do this kind of risk assessment,” said Frank Freitas, chief development officer at Four Twenty Seven. “For real estate, what people want to know in addition to the scores and relative exposure, is what is the world going to look like at this location in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. Am I going to have five more days of flooding or 10 more days of high heat? What are the physical, observable outcomes?”

These companies are trying to predict what climate change will do to real estate investments

Ooh, just found these wonderful diagrams of internal time/alphabet/number structures of people with time-space / sequential…

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Question: Is the most effective thing that can happen to decelerate climate change and species extinction, a very severe and…

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I have a list of Really Expensive Things That Have Their Own Twitter Accounts - do you have any suggestions? Note: I haven’t…

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Very pleased and thoroughly intimidated to be one of the 2019 recipients of the @artfund’s New Collecting Awards to build the…

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74 years ago today, the United States detonated an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. There are some pictures of…

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Kilroy Was Here! He’s engraved in stone in the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC – back in a small alcove where…





Kilroy Was Here!

He’s engraved in stone in the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC – back in a small alcove where very few people have seen it. For the WWII generation, this will bring back memories. For younger folks, it’s a bit of trivia that is an intrinsic part of American history and legend.

Anyone born between 1913 to about 1950, is very familiar with Kilroy. No one knew why he was so well known….but everybody seemed to get into it. It was thefad of its time!


          At the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC

So who was Kilroy?

In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program, “Speak to America,” sponsored a nationwide contest to find the real Kilroy….now a larger-than-life legend of just-ended World War II….offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the genuine article.


Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim, but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts, had credible and verifiable evidence of his identity.

“Kilroy” was a 46-year old shipyard worker during World War II (1941-1945) who worked as a quality assurance checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts (a major shipbuilder for the United States Navy for a century until the 1980s).  

His job was to go around and check on the number of rivetscompleted. (Rivets held ships together before the advent of modern welding techniques.) Riveters were on piece work wages….so they got paid by the rivet. He would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk (similar to crayon), so the rivets wouldn’t be counted more than once.


                                     A warship hull with rivets

When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would surreptitiously erase the mark. Later, an off-shift inspector would come through and count the rivets a second time, resulting in double pay for the riveters!

One day Kilroy’s boss called him into his office. The foreman was upset about unusually high wages being “earned” by riveters, and asked him to investigate. It was then he realized what had been going on. 

The tight spaces he had to crawl in to check the rivets didn’t lend themselves to lugging around a paint can and brush, so Kilroy decided to stick with the waxy chalk. He continued to put his check mark on each job he inspected, but added KILROY WAS HERE! in king-sized letters next to the check….and eventually added the sketch of the guy with the long nose peering over the fence….and that became part of the Kilroy message.


   Kilroy’s original shipyard inspection “trademark” during World War II

Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe away his marks.

Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks would have been covered up with paint. With World War II on in full swing, however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn’t time to paint them. As a result, Kilroy’s inspection “trademark” was seen by thousands of servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced.

His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen, because they picked it up and spread it all over the European and the Pacific war zones.


Before war’s end, “Kilroy” had been here, there, and everywhere on the long hauls to Berlin and Tokyo. 

To the troops outbound in those ships, however, he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was that someone named Kilroy had “been there first.” As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti wherever they landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived.


As the World War II wore on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held islands in the Pacific to map the terrain for coming invasions by U.S. troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI’s there). On one occasion, however, they reported seeing enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always “already been” wherever GIs went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable. (It is said to now be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and even scrawled in the dust on the moon by the American astronauts who walked there between 1969 and 1972.


In 1945, as World War II was ending, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Allied leaders Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill at the Potsdam Conference. It’s firstoccupant was Stalin, who emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), “Who is Kilroy?”

To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy brought along officials from the shipyard and some of the riveters. He won the trolley car….which he attached to the Kilroy home and used to provide living quarters for six of the family’s nine children….thereby solving what had become an acute housing crisis for the Kilroys.


                     The new addition to the Kilroy family home.

                                        *          *          *          *

And the tradition continues into the 21st century…


In 2011 outside the now-late-Osama Bin Laden’s hideaway house in Abbottabad, Pakistan….after the  al-Qaida-terrorist was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

                                         *          *          *          *

A personal note….

My Dad’s trademark signature on cards, letters and notes to my sisters and I for the first 50 or so years of our lives (until we lost him to cancer) was to add the image of “Kilroy” at the end. We kids never ceased to get a thrill out of this….even as we evolved into adulthood. 

To this day, the “Kilroy” image brings back a vivid image of my awesome Dad into my head….and my heart!

Dad: this one’s for you!


Somebody put Kilroys all over the welding lab at my school!

The original meme

Здесь был Килрой  — рисунок-граффити, пользовавшийся огромной популярностью в англоязычных странах Запада в период с начала 1940-х по конец 1950-х годов. Чаще всего его связывают с деятельностью инспектора бостонской верфи Джеймса Килроя, который якобы ставил на проверенных им кораблях такую надпись.

Ongoing attempt at producing GAN imagery without using the generator; Usually when people make art using GANs they throw out the…

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The experiences of the Umbrella Movement and recent clashes with police have taught protesters what equipment they need at the…

sign language, Hong Kong, protest, communication, be water, 2019

The experiences of the Umbrella Movement and recent clashes with police have taught protesters what equipment they need at the front lines. To ensure new supplies can reach the front lines quickly, Hong Kong’s protesters have developed a unique system of hand signals, to send messages through the crowd about what equipment is required. 

A sign is passed onwards through the crowd back to the supply depots where goods have been transported near to the protest site, and the requested items are then passed through the crowd along a human chain back to where they are needed. These human supply chains have stretched as far as a kilometre in length, and are an impressive sight to behold. 

(via https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2019/08/be-water-seven-tactics-are-winning-hong-kongs-democracy-revolution )

Acting On, Without ‘Believing In,’ Climate Change


Excerpt on this EcoWatch story:

Some think people must “believe” in climate change in order to care about the issue, but this study suggests that people can work toward climate adaptations without necessarily “believing in” climate change or seeing the issue through a climate change frame.

“Many people think that belief in climate change is a necessary precursor to action on climate change, that only by understanding the enormous scale of climate change will people develop the sense of urgency to craft solutions quickly and the commitment to carry them through,” Orlove said.

But he and his colleagues found the community frame can also be a way to encourage people who “don’t believe in climate change” to work toward solutions. Orlove found people were inspired to participate in projects to help the community adapt to climate change when they believed these projects would help strengthen their community and advance it.

He also notes the language used in messaging is crucial, and he believes people may feel more connected to the concept of resilience rather than adaptation. “Resilience speaks more directly to the deeply-felt wish that communities will continue to thrive and flourish,” Orlove said. Being aware of language and messaging and what local communities want and need is crucial to successful climate communication.

Acting On, Without ‘Believing In,’ Climate Change

The desert libraries of Timbuktu are well known, and have been the subject of global concern. Almost all the manuscripts have…

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“Can machines think?” Surprised to read that #Turing considered telepathy (for which he claimed the evidence was “overwhelming”)…

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The top image is a fictitious weather report imagining what the weather would be like in 2050 for a 2014 French TV documentary…

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I recently had the opportunity to visit an Arctic research station. One day we traveled four hours by speedboat to a stretch of…

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Pynchon on the secularisation of Sloth, as a sin no longer against God but “against a particular sort of time, uniform, one-way,…

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I’m so obsessed with mine and @MelanieKKing & @SapphireGoss’s collaboration on micro/macro constellations and flipping the sky…

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Wonder how different society would be if we used more natural metaphors instead of mechanical ones. Germinating, branching,…

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the area 51 thing but someone makes an event called “Don’t Go To Work, They Can’t Fire All of Us” and then we trick everyone…

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Megadroughts to plague the Southwest as climate warms, study says


Excerpt from this USA Today story:

Megadroughts – defined as intense droughts that last for decades or longer – once plagued the Desert Southwest. In fact, from the 9th to the 15th centuries, at least a dozen medieval megadroughts occurred across the region, scientists said.

Now, a study suggests that because of the drying influence of climate change, megadroughts could return to the region.

Megadroughts are defined more by their duration than their severity. They are extreme dry spells that can last for a decade or longer, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

They’ve parched the West, including present-day California, long before Europeans settled the region in the 1800s.

How do scientists know how wet or dry it was centuries ago? Though no weather records exist before the late 1800s, scientists can examine paleoclimatic “proxy data,” such as tree rings and lake sediment, to find out how much – or little – rain fell hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

If scientists can understand why megadroughts happened in the past, it can help better predict whether, how and where they might happen in the future, the new study said.

“In our paper, we present the first comprehensive theory for what caused historical megadroughts, which happened during the medieval period but not after about the year 1600,” said study lead author Nathan Stieger of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “We find that they were caused by severe and frequent La Niñas, a warm Atlantic Ocean, and a net increase in energy from the sun.”

The study also suggests an increasing risk of future megadroughts in the American Southwest because of climate change.

Megadroughts to plague the Southwest as climate warms, study says

Tens of millions people in the Western Europe are experiencing the heat of the #climatecrisis as temperature records are being…

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Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of Operation Moon Bounce. In 1954, James Trexler spoke into a microphone at our Stump Neck…


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RT @judeswae@toot.thoughtworks.com If it’s made with Public Money, it should be Public Code. https://t.co/05VRX2j03N A campaign…

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Wikipedia has a list of gods of time. Damn. 30 years ago this would have been many tedious trips to the library, and if you…

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