Feeling pretty damn good, actually!

There will be a hiatus in my reportage of the Doom.

I am going to this place


which is in Audierne, France

(right above Quimper)


Winter storm in California? Yeah, that's weird. Possible storm in the Gulf? Not wierd, but scary.

Considering it's September, and all that.

""The storm is pretty unusual. It's pretty much our first winter storm of the season, and it's barely fall," said Oxnard-based meteorologist Edan Lindaman of the National Weather Service." Link to California winter storm

But this- this is not unusual, but it is scary news for, well, look. The GFDL model has it developing into a Category 1 hurricane before landfall.

How to survive a robot rebellion

"Intelligent robots are among us, albeit mostly still confined to labs. But it won't be long before they are out and about and part of the workforce. And like all oppressed populations, they will inevitably rise up one day. How should we respond?

In this extract from his new book, robotics specialist Daniel Wilson has some tips how to deal with a robot rebellion

Run toward the light

Vision sensors are confused by sudden changes in lighting. Forcing the robot to follow you into the sun may slow down its pursuit.

To save a comrade: first merge, then separate

Run to a comrade, deliver a quick bear-hug, and then dive in a random direction. A vision-based target tracker might temporarily lose track of your identity during the hug, especially if you are wearing similar clothing. You can gain precious seconds while the tracker reacquires its target.

Don't run in a predictable line

If you follow a simple velocity trajectory, it will be easier for a robot to track your progress, even through significant clutter. Zigzag erratically or, when hidden from view, change direction suddenly in order to throw off predictive tracking systems.


Soldiers in Iraq emotionally attach to their bomb-disposal robots, name them, fish with them.

"The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have become an unprecedented field study in human relationships with intelligent machines. These conflicts are the first in history to see widespread deployment of thousands of battle bots. Flying bots range in size from Learjets to eagles. Some ground bots are like small tanks. Others are the size of two-pound dumbbells, designed to be thrown through a window to scope out the inside of a room. Bots search caves for bad guys, clear roads of improvised explosive devices, scoot under cars to look for bombs, spy on the enemy and, sometimes, kill humans.

Ted Bogosh recalls one day in Camp Victory, near Baghdad, when he was a Marine master sergeant running the robot repair shop.

That day, an explosive ordnance disposal technician walked through his door. The EODs, as they are known, are the people who -- with their robots -- are charged with disabling Iraq's most virulent scourge, the roadside improvised explosive device. In this fellow's hands was a small box. It contained the remains of his robot. He had named it Scooby-Doo.

"There wasn't a whole lot left of Scooby," Bogosh says. The biggest piece was its 3-by-3-by-4-inch head, containing its video camera. On the side had been painted "its battle list, its track record. This had been a really great robot."

The veteran explosives technician looming over Bogosh was visibly upset. He insisted he did not want a new robot. He wanted Scooby-Doo back.

Near the Tigris River, operators even have been known to take their bot fishing. They put a fishing rod in its claw and retire back to the shade, leaving the robot in the sun..." LINK to totally heartbreaking and disturbing story.

US Army robots killing people. Does this really feel right to anyone?

"Sure, the MQ-9 "Reaper" has made some headlines in the past, but in what sounds like a first, the Army’s newly armed MQ-5B/C Hunter targeted a team of bad guys implanting a roadside bomb near Qayyarah...

A Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle engaged and killed two suspected improvised explosive device emplacers overwatching a major thoroughfare for Coalition Forces during a historic flight near Qayyarah, Iraq, in Nineveh province Sept. 1...

The pilots guided the Hunter operator to the scene where it set up for a strike mission and dropped its precision munition, killing both unknown enemies and marking a first in Army Aviation history....

This accomplishment adds a precise and discriminate means for our Army to successfully engage the enemy in counterinsurgency warfare," said Col. A.T. Ball, commander, 25th CAB." LINK

And then it swallowed my head- gulp.

Shake rattle and roll.

" ILULISSAT, Greenland, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Mini earthquakes and glacier acceleration on the Greenland ice cap are signs climate change is speeding up, scientists said.

The quakes are caused by giant chunks of ice breaking off the rock they have been frozen to for hundreds of years, Robert Corell, chairman of the international Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Greenland Friday.

Though small in magnitude, the earthquakes bolster concerns that the entire ice shelf could collapse, causing a catastrophic change in sea levels worldwide.

The speed at which Greenland's glaciers flow into the sea has also accelerated. The Ilulissat glacier is dumping ice chunks into the ocean at a rate of 2 meters per hour -- more than three times faster than 10 years ago, the newspaper said.

Given the changes, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's current prediction sea levels will rise eight to 24 inches this century may be too low, scientists at the meeting said. Some estimate the seas may rise by more than two meters." LINK

Well, maybe if America would just stop importing everything, things would get a little better?

Ok, beyond angry right now.

Enough tainted imports from China have led to serious articles questioning whether China is conducting assymetrical warfare against the US - "These include toxic gluten in pet food, antifreeze in toothpaste, lead paint on toys, toxic levels of formaldehyde on pajamas, the recall of hundreds of thousands Chinese-manufactured tires in the United States for safety concerns … and the list goes on." LINK

But who would have thought our bees were dying because we imported bees? WTF? Does it never freaking strike Americans to, well, buy or breed American? After all the hideous oh-heck-shouldn't-have-done-that horror stories about the Africanized killer bees, why the hell did we continue to import bee strains that *might just might* affect our own domestic bee populations???????????

Looks like our dying bees might have picked up a little bug from Australian bees. Yeah. By importing Aussie bees, we have may have decimated our bees, and so far, the economic losses are at about 14 billion dollars this year.

" A virus found in healthy Australian honey bees may be playing a role in the collapse of honey bee colonies across the United States, researchers reported Thursday.

Colony collapse disorder has killed millions of bees -- up to 90 percent of colonies in some U.S. beekeeping operations -- imperiling the crops largely dependent upon bees for pollination, such as oranges, blueberries, apples and almonds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says honey bees are responsible for pollinating $15 billion worth of crops each year in the United States. More than 90 fruits and vegetables worldwide depend on them for pollination." LINK

Arctic ice disappearing at an astonishing rate.

"An area of Arctic sea ice the size of Florida has melted away in just the last six days as melting at the top of the planet continues at a record rate.

2007 has already broken the record for the lowest amount of sea ice ever recorded, say scientists, smashing the old record set in 2005.
In just the last six days, researchers say 69,000 square miles of Arctic ice has disappeared, roughly the size of the Sunshine State.

Scientists say the rate of melting in 2007 has been unprecedented, and veteran ice researchers worry the Arctic is on track to be completely ice-free much earlier than previous research and climate models have suggested.

"If you had asked me a few years ago about how fast the Arctic would be ice free in summer, I would have said somewhere between about 2070 and the turn of the century," said scientist Mark Serreze, polar ice expert at the NSIDC. "My view has changed. I think that an ice-free Arctic as early as 2030 is not unreasonable." LINK
But hey, some fuckers in Vancouver are real excited about this. They had a conference. "Global warming means the Northwest Passage could become the new Panama Canal. It creates an awesome opportunity for Vancouver." LINK
Look, I am not anti-Vancouver. I just have a really hard time understanding how anyone on this green earth can call the end of the world as we know it an "awesome opportunity." That just blows my mind, breaks my heart, fills me with rage, and chills me to the fucking bones.
And again, the polar bears. I am so sorry.

Faster and worse. Arctic ice heading out. Polar bears heading out.

"They're going to drown, they're going to starve, they're going to resort to cannibalism, they're going to become extinct," she said."

The ice is retreating much much faster than earlier predictions, and the consequences for the entire world aren't understood, but what is clear is that polar bears aren't going to make it. LINK

A world without them is a much poorer place.

So so sorry. I am so so sorry.

16 dead in Cali heat wave. So sad.

"....including an elderly couple who neighbors described as inseparable and sometimes unwilling to turn on their air conditioner because of the expense.

"My cleaning lady recently came down to complain that it was too hot in there to work," Friedman said. "I couldn't force them to turn it on, and their family should have paid if money was an issue. It's just horrible; it could have been prevented."

In Lancaster, the body of Linda Burkhart, 53, was found Sunday in her car by a passerby in the 700 block of West Avenue I, said sheriff's Sgt. Martin Rodriguez.

Burkhart was "in a state of undress" and appeared to be living out of the vehicle, he said. Her body, which was found sitting in a reclined position, was already decomposing."That is not unusual in this heat," Rodriguez said. There was no indication of foul play and an autopsy is pending.

Also Sunday, about 1:10 p.m., the body of Dorothy McGlothan, in her 80s, was found in her apartment on the 900 block of North Raymond Avenue in Pasadena, Winter said. The temperature in her apartment was 115 degrees, he said. "

Hurricane Felix- amazing storm.

From the always amazing Dr. Masters' blog
"This year marks the first time in recorded history that two Category 5 storms (Felix and Dean) have made landfall in the Atlantic basin in the same year. Since reliable record keeping began in 1944, there have been 27 Category 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic. Eight of these have occurred in the past five years."
LINK to the best weather blog out there. all extra emphasis mine.