The Port of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark has one of the largest passenger terminals in the Baltic Sea, handling more than 1.6 million passengers annually. A cruise ship with an approximate length of 1000 feet (305 meters) is seen at one of its docks. The facility also contains one of the region’s busiest cargo terminals, which moves more than 18 million tonnes of cargo each year.
“Is it a social club? Is it an entertainment? Is it a secret society? Is it a pyramid scheme, a Ponzi scheme, a cult? Is it a game?” he said. “If you believe it is a game, then it is a game with very high stakes.”
So the fact is that our experience of the world will increasingly come to reflect our experience of our computers and of the internet itself (not surprisingly, as it’ll be infused with both). Just as any user feels their computer to be a fairly unpredictable device full of programs they’ve never installed doing unknown things to which they’ve never agreed to benefit companies they’ve never heard of, inefficiently at best and actively malignant at worst (but how would you now?), cars, street lights, and even buildings will behave in the same vaguely suspicious way. Is your self-driving car deliberately slowing down to give priority to the higher-priced models? Is your green A/C really less efficient with a thermostat from a different company, or it’s just not trying as hard? And your tv is supposed to only use its camera to follow your gestural commands, but it’s a bit suspicious how it always offers Disney downloads when your children are sitting in front of it.
Eclipsed in Southern Skies via NASA http://ift.tt/1hcunj1
EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) and Outermost Regions (OMR)
escapism by Benoît Debuisser (via http://flic.kr/p/yvJsko )
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This is the third in a series of articles published by InsideClimate News disclosing that ExxonMobil was conducting an extensive internal research project internally to analyze the effect of carbon emissions on atmospheric CO2, global warming and climate change. It’s clear from the material described and presented in the article that ExxonMobil, within its science group and at the highest management levels, was aware of the risk of climate change from carbon emissions. Notwithstanding that knowledge, ExxonMobil decided to protect its business model and go down the denial path.
What’s amazing is how accurate the ExxonMobil scientists were in their projections of the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere and the effect those levels of concentration would have on global warming.
Here’s an example of an internal memorandum. An explanation of this memo, including more on its contents, the context in which it was written and delivered and the identities of the author and addressee, are included in the article.
A timeline of ExxonMobil’s research and external outreach efforts on the climate change issue. If the text is too tiny or blurred, a better copy, which you can enlarge, is included in the article.
The above was posted by the indefatigable rjzimmerman, and the story got a lot of play last week. It should be made clear that ExxonMobil has always held the position that carbon emissions contributes to climate change. They’ve not deviated from this. What the company advocates for is a slow down in policy actions. So, for example, in 2002, Exxon took out this full page ad acknowledging humans are affecting climate; but the company makes it clear that aggressive policies to curtail carbon emissions could harm economies in unforeseen ways - after all, economies require intense amounts of fossil fuels to function. Exxon advocated for a more methodological route, and in doing so made the critical error of funding hacks in order to obfuscate the efficacy of climate policy regimes, such as the unprecedented Kyoto Protocol schemes.
I agree that Exxon should be condemned, even sued, for funding organizations that intentionally clouded the science or created false debates. It’ll be difficult to show that nefarious behavior was illegal, unfortunately.
On the other hand, Exxon has - consistently- acknowledged anthropocentric climate change. In fact most, if not all, oil and gas companies publicly share their climate and emissions research right on their websites.
I published a list of oil company’s climate change websites two years ago, here: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/post/47456183104/why-dont-oil-companies-hire-climate-deniers.
Oil companies disagree with some of the untested policy tactics advocated by policy makers and environmental groups; the companies openly want clarity on the affects of such policies on economies. These are fair questions! Exxon really fucked up by repackaging these questions by hiring hacks and goons.
Ironically - and virtually unreported - Exxon arguably has funded more research for lowering emissions than they have funded anti-policy groups. See, for one example, “Exxon and others Give $225 Million to Standford to Research Lowering Emissions” NYTimes, November 2002:
Four big international companies, including the oil giant Exxon Mobil, said yesterday that they would give Stanford University $225 million over 10 years for research on ways to meet growing energy needs without worsening global warming.
Exxon Mobil, whose pledge of $100 million makes it the biggest of the four contributors, issued a statement saying new techniques for producing energy while reducing emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases were “vital to meeting energy needs in the industrialized and developing world.”
Many scientists and environment experts said the Stanford project was likely to be a valuable new assault on a serious environmental problem. NYTimes.
Manuscrit Gérard de Nerval (via Manuscrits d’écrivains)
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Enter the mighty mealworm. The tiny worm, which is the larvae form of the darkling beetle, can subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene, according to two companion studies co-authored by Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford. Microorganisms in the worms’ guts biodegrade the plastic in the process – a surprising and hopeful finding.
honeycomb weathering on basalt by nervous system (via http://flic.kr/p/ygnMPG )
The striking image here shows the Hale Crater on Mars. This morning NASA scientists made the remarkable announcement that they have discovered definitive signs of liquid water in the crater. By analyzing data from surface samples, researchers found various salts that contained traces of water molecules - a sure sign of flowing h2o. And while the source of the water is still unknown, this discovery offers great excitement that Mars could support life - including human life - in the future.
The focus of Daily Overview has always been on Earth, but this exciting event inspired me to look outwards for a moment, rather than back at ourselves. Beyond changing the way we see our planet, I believe an inquisitive gaze into the greater universe that surrounds us can do wonders for our yearning to explore and to help us find the perspective that we need.
FOR the past six years, Volkswagen has been advertising a lie: “top-notch clean diesel” cars — fuel efficient, powerful and compliant with emissions standards for pollutants. It turns out the cars weren’t so clean. They were cheating.
The vehicles used software that cleverly put a lid on emissions during testing, but only then. The rest of the time, the cars spewed up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide emissions. The federal government even paid up to $51 million in tax subsidies to some car owners on the false assumption of environmental friendliness.
In a world where more and more objects are run by software, we need to have better ways to catch such cheaters. As the Volkswagen case demonstrates, a smart object can lie and cheat. It can tell when it’s being tested, and it can beat the test. […]
This isn’t the first instance of a car company caught cheating by using a “defeat device” on emissions tests. In 1998, Ford was fined $7.8 million for using defeat devices that allowed its Econoline vans to reduce emissions to pass testing, and then to exceed pollution limits when driving at highway speeds. The same year, Honda paid $17.1 million in fines for deliberately disabling a “misfire” device that warned about excess emissions. In 1995, General Motors paid $11 million in fines for the “defeat devices” on some of its Cadillac cars, which secretly overrode the emissions control system at times. The largest penalty for defeat devices to date was an $83.4 million fine in 1998 on Caterpillar, Volvo, Renault and other manufacturers.
Computational devices that are vulnerable to cheating are not limited to cars. Consider, for example, voting machines. Just a few months ago, the Virginia State Board of Elections finally decertified the use of a touch-screen voting machine called “AVS WinVote.” It turned out that the password was hard-wired to “admin” — a default password so common that it would be among the first three terms any hacker would try. There were no controls on changes that could be made to the database tallying the votes. If the software fraudulently altered election results, there would be virtually no way of detecting the fraud since everything, including the evidence of the tampering, could be erased.
LRO and the September 27-28, 2015 Lunar Eclipse. http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=4356
Image from a simulation of two black holes merging and the resulting emission of gravitational radiation, published by NASA in 2012.
*It’s not that they didn’t know what would happen to the rest of us; they just wanted the money and power.
Cooling Tower IM (Be) by Martino Zegwaard ~ NL (via http://flic.kr/p/z8YbLM )
black•old•sun by Benoît Debuisser (via http://flic.kr/p/z8Aakm )
Kantate72.com Wols! by wolfgang7268 (via https://instagram.com/p/8GXq8jiTLXvlAaCBxGFfzUfyWjftEVnercEnM0/)
Mario Bellusi - Modern Traffic, 1930
Frank Relle, Telemachus.
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I’m working all the angles. Took this selfie while investigating an area rich with hydrated minerals. Check it out: http://go.nasa.gov/1MxXYQm
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“Again. Consciousness, in anything like the present acceptation of the term, having been once a new thing—a thing, as far as we can see, subsequent even to an individual centre of action and to a reproductive system (which we see existing in plants without apparent consciousness)—why may not there arise some new phase of mind which shall be as different from all present known phases, as the mind of animals is from that of vegetables?”
–Samuel Butler, Erewhon. 1872
“A sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns full emissions controls on only during the test,” the EPA said in a statement. “The effectiveness of these vehicles’ pollution emissions control devices is greatly reduced during all normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard.”
“One key reason why air pollution kills 400,000 citizens annually is that carmakers cheat the tests for diesel cars, causing many times more pollution on the road,” said Greg Archer, the clean vehicles manager for Transport and Environment. “The development of a new real-world driving emission test is an important step forward to tackling urban air pollution. EU states should now support the Commission’s proposals and ignore the whinging from carmakers that the rules are too tough.”
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Ospedale R ~ Hallway panorama (It) by Martino Zegwaard ~ NL (via http://flic.kr/p/ywkUHF )
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*Hurry up, scientists, it may already be too late
A few years ago in a lab in Panama, Klaus Winter tried to conjure the future. A plant physiologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, he planted seedlings of 10 tropical tree species in small, geodesic greenhouses.
la moisson des Ogres - II by 7erence (via http://flic.kr/p/ysGFy5 )
What created this unusual hole in Mars? The hole was discovered by chance on images of the dusty slopes of Mars’ Pavonis Mons volcano taken by the HiRISE instrument aboard the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently circling Mars.
The hole appears to be an opening to an underground cavern, partly illuminated on the image right. Analysis of this and follow-up images revealed the opening to be about 35 meters across, while the interior shadow angle indicates that the underlying cavern is roughly 20 meters deep.
Why there is a circular crater surrounding this hole remains a topic of speculation, as is the full extent of the underlying cavern. Holes such as this are of particular interest because their interior caves are relatively protected from the harsh surface of Mars, making them relatively good candidates to contain Martian life.
These pits are therefore prime targets for possible future spacecraft, robots, and even human interplanetary explorers.
Atlas Obscura on the trail of the Dharma Initiative! Full story here http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-wreck-of-air-aruba-p4-ysa. Photo by @lukejspencer #abandoned #abandonedplaces #lost #planecrashes #dharmainitiative by atlasobscura (via https://instagram.com/p/7vA9cmKfeT/)
Mohamed Abdi Hassan is seen as the leader of a group of pirates responsible for hi-jacking countless vessels off the coast of Somalia. Belgian prosecutors are taking him to court for the hi-jacking of the Pompei, a vessel operated by the Belgian dredging company Jan De Nul. The crew of the vessel was only released after a ransom of two million euros was paid. Abdi Hassan was enticed to come to Belgium in 2013 after he was convinced that a film was to be made about his life as a pirate. The chief defendant was also active in Somali politics and when he was detained a high-ranking Somali official who was accompanying him was also arrested. Both men now face charges in Bruges.
improvised protection against fallout by monkeyinfez (via http://flic.kr/p/yJZ6Ai )
“The post-photographic is not a style, not a tendency or artistic movement. It’s a kind of attitude towards photography. How are people using photographs, cellphones, how do they react to this cascade of pictures on the internet?” Or, put another way, Robert Pellegrinuzzi’s cloud-like sculpture of 250 000 photos asks: “Do we, in fact, produce images, or do images produce us?”
the foregone conclusion by jonathancastellino (via http://flic.kr/p/yq9Qa9 )
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Sixteenth of September, René Magritte
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