h/t to metiche for finding this for me on Native American Heritage Day.
Archive for November, 2010
When my folks divorced I ended up on a dead-end street with a 40 foot rock wall at the end, in a town with major reputation for violent gangs. The only reason I survived was because I could climb that rock wall and they couldn’t. I was also very good at math and science. I was autistic, but it slowly went away — which seldom happens. People trust you when you have that condition. The black Panthers, who hated white people, trusted me. The Klan-style white power folks trusted me too, maybe because I couldn’t understand what they were about. When we moved to rich Fairfield County, billionaires whose names you have heard of trusted me also.
Later on, I did microwave and X-ray engineering, and did microwave “surveys” taking EMF measurements on isolated mountains so microwave “repeater” towers could be installed. We met the Hillbillies occasionally. They were not at all friendly with outsiders, and did not seem to be playing any music for us!
Electro-magnetic force (EMF) exists along a “frequency spectrum” of “cycles per second” (now called “Hertz”) that pass by a given point at the speed of light. Ultra-low frequency EMF, IIRC, could pass at just one cycle per second, and its “waves” could be many miles long. X-rays (another name for naturally generated gamma rays) lie at the extreme other end, and their wave length can be as small as a hydrogen atom. This spectrum is like this:
ULF = ultra low frequency, very long wave length (miles).
LF = in between, (maybe like the power line frequency, but I forget the naming conventions).
HF = “AM radios”.
VHF = “old TVs, FM radios” (the radio pattern begins to exhibit “directivity”).
UHF = “new TVs, cell phones” (more directivity, but it scatters about).
Microwave = communications, radar (wavelength measured in inches, very directional).
Terra-Hertz = (almost unusable until recently, begins to resemble (infrared) light).
Infrared = invisible “heat waves” (photons begin to act more like particles).
Visible light = red is lowest frequency, then orange, yellow, green, blue, violet (but human eyes can be “tricked” by many combinations).
Ultraviolet range = (gives sunburn)
X-ray = low frequency is “soft”, high is “hard” (the only range that can pass directly through metal, called gamma ray if naturally produced, can interact with atoms, ionize water, produce peroxide, harm DNA and protein, etc.).
Great fun so far, huh?
Some sources are saying that the airport “back-scatter scanners” are using Terra-Hertz EMF, and others are saying they use X-rays. Big difference! The only thing in common is that the beam power (which is not the frequency) must be VERY high! Most of the energy in either case must be lost to absorption, side-scatter, or in the case of X-rays, direct transmission (due to transparency). Remember that Terra-Hertz EMF is used for the “Pain Ray”, so it is largely absorbed by skin, which it can heat up (and it’s NOT just a “Pain Ray” — turn it up just a tad and the skin will cook, and the burns will certainly kill!). And a lot of the energy must be lost in the image receivers. The power level of the beams is claimed to be a big secret! That information would be just about worthless to any adversaries, but it seems necessary to keep it from us!
There is credible speculation that Terra-Hertz EMF can “resonate” with DNA, RNA, and large proteins. DNA and RNA are tightly coiled “ladders” or (more precisely zippers), and they are exactly the same, except that the sugar “backbone” of DNA is stiff and resilient, while the sugar “backbone” of RNA as very flexible — a property that allows it to perform “tricks” that allow the production of very large and complex proteins. To produce these giant proteins, the DNA zipper unzips, allows transcription RNA to replicate it’s code, and the resulting flexible RNA then produces protein according to the prescribed code. Now — the DNA in every cell in your body is a set of coiled zippers that, if “stretched out” would be about 20 feet long (IIRC, this is just what I dimly recall). Anyhow, there is some evidence that Terra-Hertz EMF can unzip segments of DNA and RNA, and perhaps cause giant proteins to “fold” abnormally (which could cause Alzheimer’s disease).
If these scanners are using X-rays — we are just screwed!
Lastly, about this “spy van” that sees through steel auto doors via back-scatter? Only X-rays can do that. And only very hard X-rays, produced by 200+ kilo-volt generators, can penetrate steel. And it depends on back-scatter? If that thing passes by you, you are guaranteed to receive more Roentgens of X-rays than would be needed to detect cracks in the wings of a large jet aircraft! This is totally irresponsible!!!
Really great Tom Waits photo-song-essay
I’ll be back soon with more substantive content. This one, though…oh, wow. just wow.
The weather channel tells me it’s likely to get down to 31 tonight. It likely will, it feels that way.
I’ve lived in Carlsbad for 12 years now. Enough to get a feeling for the weather, though it isn’t all that easy here. We are in the middle of a variety of potential vortexes. We have mountains on the west, the Gulf over to the southeast, the prevailing westerlies and occasionally some much more prevailing easterlies.
It can whip up a thunderstorm in a matter of half an hour, here.
But I think it’s going to freeze; there’s a front coming in with maybe precipitation by Monday.
Much will die. The amazing foliage of the reseeded heirloom tomatoes, that hardly got anywhere with fruit…all dead. They are Purple Calabashes, a very old Mexican variety (and that’s where tomatoes are from, how about that?)
That’s what one of them looked like months ago. They’re much more pretty and amazing now. I apologize for not taking another photo. Fail.
Next year I’ll go back to starting early, in pots. I already have purchased my seed; several heirloom varieties.
It was interesting to see all that adaptation, though, because none of it got sick. We have trouble with tomatoes getting sick here, as do other people. People who hybridize and try so hard to get away from those diseases.
Meanwhile, I have all of this lush tomato foliage that doesn’t look remotely ill, in November. Interesting.
The bell peppers will go, too. They can’t handle frost. They’re corporate bred, but they were good for me this year. I grew enough to cover the water bill for months (I love bell peppers).
And much of the ornamental foliage will go, too. Oh well. It was good while it lasted. The butterflies and all. Here’s a photo of my Mina lobata from last year…it reseeded this year, but not anywhere near as lushly.
Meanwhile, I have carrots and broccoli planted. I’ve been moving slow. I need to plant in some beets and spinach now. They handle cold very well, even during mid-winter here.
I expect it will be a warm dry winter, what with the La Nina. Water management will matter. The ground doesn’t freeze here, and the perennials need their roots watered now and then in the winter.
The freeze will help free the pecans from their husks. It’s good that it hasn’t frozen until now, because they need to become detached from their husks and be fully mature, first. Pecans are native to South Texas; it’s a little bit colder here.
Once the hulls start splitting, they’re pretty much good to go, though. A freshly ripened pecan has very white flesh; they are really wonderful.
Also, it’s probably time to do something with the pomegranates. I let them go a long time this year because I harvested them too soon last year. I think I’ll take them all very soon and then juice them all, use some kind of pounding thing with a colander. The pomegranates in the photo below aren’t near ripe; I took that several weeks ago. They are all much redder now, and splitting at times. Like tomatoes, they are sensitive to watering variations.
Today I planted a couple of trees I mail ordered; a Chinkapin oak and a crabapple tree. I put the Chinkapin in a difficult high-heat spot, because they are good at that. The crabapple I put in an easier spot. I saved the best spots for the cherry trees I have coming in next spring. They have shade from both east and west, but sun exposure mid-day.
I know I’m nuts to be planting cherry trees here, what with global warming and all. But I want cherry trees. I need cherry trees. If global warming flips the other way and we get a new ice age, my cherry trees will perhaps do quite well.
Meanwhile, I’ll be dead. But somebody will still, maybe, have some cherry trees.
That’s how my mind works these days. Whatever I do, it should be something that has some potential to leading towards somebody having some cherry trees.
It’s like that.
This is a link to a letter dated April of this year, on UCSF letterhead, signed off by several faculty members. h/t to nyceve at Daily Kos.
We are writing to call your attention to serious concerns about the potential health risks of the recently adopted whole body backscatter X-ray airport security scanners. This is an urgent situation as these X-ray scanners are rapidly being implemented as a primary screening step for all air travel passengers.
Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed.
An important consideration is that a large fraction of the population will be subject to the new X-ray scanners and be at potential risk, as discussed below. This raises a number of ‘red flags’. Can we have an urgent second independent evaluation?
The letter goes on to discuss the nature of this radiation, which is such that it concentrates heavily on the skin and tissue just below it, creates potential hazards for a wide variety of groups, including the elderly, women at genetic risk for skin cancer, children, pregnant women, immunocompromised people, and males for sperm mutagenesis.
Nobody is happy with the alternative, being groped by airline employees (and children are not exempt). Thus there is a certain impetus to downplay the possible hazards of backscatter radiation (which is used in other places as well; I’ve read courthouses, and about people driving around in vans looking inside cars and houses).
Where do you draw the line? This is all craziness and a clear 4th amendment violation, especially when they are doing it to people who aren’t even aware of it, without warrants. We have to push back.
This is exceptionally cool.
A New Orleans group. Rocks. h/t to luckydog on DK.
It’s the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government’s desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an “enhanced pat down” that touches people’s breasts and genitals. You should never have to explain to your children, “Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.”
The goal of National Opt Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change. No naked body scanners, no government-approved groping. We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we’re guilty until proven innocent. This day is needed because many people do not understand what they consent to when choosing to fly.
I personally am not much of a one for traveling on airplanes, to say the least, so I won’t be participating in this protest, but I can at least help to publicize the ideas behind it.
The protest being encouraged at the website linked at the top of this post suggests that you refuse to be radiated by the backscatter machines (and yes it is radiation, this is not hyperbole), and instead allow yourself to be groped in public by the airport security people. Don’t let them put you in a back room for the procedure, they argue. Keep it out in the open, where everyone can see what is being done to people who refuse to be radiated, who are being considered guilty until proven innocent, before they will be allowed to travel on airplanes.
What next? I think one of the most interesting anti-backscatter arguments has to do with the precedent this sets. If a terrorist blows up a shopping mall, then should we all submit to this sort of horseshit every time we want to go shopping?
The more I read about this, the more disturbing this precedent seems to me. They *can* see anatomical detail, they *do* save the files. This is bound to work to enable pedophilia, and I’d think that would make common ground with the right. What kind of serious pedophile won’t knock him or herself out to get a gig looking at realtime photos of naked kids?
I’ve also read that the photos can be color-reversed, or otherwise manipulated, to make them look like real photos, not X-rays.
Okay, so we now get to photos of naked kids, that *are* being stored somewhere…and, of course nobody ever hacks into computers and steals files. Nope, never. Never happens.
I’ve read comments from guys who say they don’t care who looks at their junk as long as it makes the lines faster. Okay, guys; how about your kids’ junk?
Below is a clip about a pilot who decided to protest this bullshit.And here’s a Young Turks clip, a bit more humorous, that addresses also the fact that there are guys driving around in vans looking into people’s HOUSES with this technology. And yes, they can tell if you are having sex.
EPIC is protesting all of this.
EPIC has filed a lawsuit to suspend the deployment of body scanners at US airports, pending an independent review. Body scanners produce detailed, three-dimensional images of individuals. Security experts have described whole body scanners as the equivalent of “a physically invasive strip-search.” The Transportation Security Administration operates the body scanner devices at airports throughout the United States. On July 2, 2010, EPIC filed a petition for review and motion for an emergency stay, urging the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to suspend the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) full body scanner program. EPIC said that the program is “unlawful, invasive, and ineffective.” EPIC argued that the federal agency has violated the Administrative Procedures Act, the Privacy Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Fourth Amendment. EPIC cited the invasive nature of the devices, the TSA’s disregard of public opinion, and the impact on religious freedom.
Tons of info at this site. Example: (this is on the front page of the EPIC site, so same link)
# EPIC FOIA – Feds Save Thousands of Body Scan Images: In an open government lawsuit against the United States Marshals Service, EPIC has obtained more than one hundred images of undressed individuals entering federal courthouses. The images, which are routinely captured by the federal agency, prove that body scanning devices store and record images of individuals stripped naked. The 100 images are a small sample of more than 35,000 at issue in the EPIC lawsuit. EPIC has pursued a similar FOIA lawsuit against the Dept. of Homeland Security but the DHS refuses to release the images it has obtained. EPIC has also filed suit to stop the deployment of the machines in US airports. For more information, see EPIC Body Scanners, EPIC – EPIC v. DOJ (Marshall Service FOIA), and EPIC Press Release. (Aug. 4, 2010)
Just a poem.
I’m Done With Things
I’m done with things
or else I’m not.
I’m done with things.
But I’m not sure.
I have all of this
Forever, or else it seems so.
How much before I get to be done
with these things?
The confusion isn’t even interesting!
same old same old.
Sometimes I stay awake until dawn
And I suddenly notice that it’s lightening
It’s a surprise.
It’s, kind, of, funny
in a small gentle way
But at the same time, stark.
Here you are, Miep
And here is the light, again
Who will be the winner, this time?
Who will be the winner?
I’ve been getting into hassling the locals. Topix is a weird forum with quirky rules, if any. But it does provide sliced up searchable local access, with a wide variety of disparate forums. They don’t interlink, but you get notified of replies to anything you post on any of their forums, when you log in. And they link to online newspaper articles.
I posted this on the Carlsbad Topix forum just now.
where you are, Carlsbad.
They think you are in California
They think New Mexico is another country.
“Do we need a passport?”
They think you are in
Northern New Mexico.
But you’re not.
You are in Little Texas.
That doesn’t go over well, with some.
Where the heck IS Carlsbad?
Well, it’s down Route 285
It’s a town you go through
maybe sixteen square miles
It’s about 37 miles
south of Artesia
south of Roswell
home of the alien museum.
Carlsbad claims the Cavern
though the Cavern is 20 miles away, and in
a National Park.
It’s kind of like
Roswell claiming the aliens.
Carlsbad is in the middle
of a lot of beautiful desert.
Don’t let it get into town, though.
That’s frowned upon. We grow lawns here.
Like it or not.
Carlsbad has other things, though.
Like churches. Maybe sixty?
And a few bars. Not many. But one has a bowling alley.
And then there is the drive-in
What of the drive-in?
What will happen, now that the owner
met such a mysterious
Well, there will still be
There will always also be mining.
Well, until there isn’t enough left to mine.
Go get yours now.