ktothestein

I'm the sanest person I know...

140 notes

portraitsofboston:

     “I used to manage Ravi Shankar, and his daughter Norah Jones is playing here tonight. They told me that the show is sold out, so I thought, If I just hang around, somebody’s going to show up with an extra ticket.     So I was just thinking about my life philosophy: I never really take ‘no’ for an answer, and I trust my luck. I’ve travelled all over the world this way. I have no doubt that I’m going to find a ticket somehow, even though I don’t know how.”

portraitsofboston:

     “I used to manage Ravi Shankar, and his daughter Norah Jones is playing here tonight. They told me that the show is sold out, so I thought, If I just hang around, somebody’s going to show up with an extra ticket.
     So I was just thinking about my life philosophy: I never really take ‘no’ for an answer, and I trust my luck. I’ve travelled all over the world this way. I have no doubt that I’m going to find a ticket somehow, even though I don’t know how.”

44 notes

Israel, as an occupying power, is in direct violation of Article III of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. This convention lays out the minimum standards for the protection of civilians in a conflict that is not international in scope. Article 3(1) states that those who take no active role in hostilities must be treated humanely, without discrimination, regardless of racial, social, religious or economic distinctions. The article prohibits certain acts commonly carried out against noncombatants in regions of armed conflict, including murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture. It prohibits the taking of hostages as well as sentences given without adequate due process of law. Article 3(2) mandates care for the sick and wounded. Israel has not only violated the tenets of Article III but has amply fulfilled the conditions of an aggressor state as defined by Article 51. But for Israel, as for the United States, international law holds little importance. The U.S. ignored the verdict of the international court in Nicaragua v. United States and, along with Israel, does not accept the jurisdiction of the tribunal. It does not matter how many Palestinians are killed or wounded, how many Palestinian homes are demolished, how dire the poverty becomes in Gaza or the West Bank, how many years Gaza is under a blockade or how many settlements go up on Palestinian territory. Israel, with our protection, can act with impunity.
Chris Hedges (via azspot)

(via azspot)

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How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth

Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth. Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” Baker tells NASA. “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.”

A CME double whammy of this potency striking Earth would likely cripple satellite communications and could severely damage the power grid. NASA offers this sobering assessment:

Analysts believe that a direct hit … could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.

we are so very small

(Source: azspot)

7 notes

russann:

"We choose to go to the moon—-and do these other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard."

                                                                             President John Kennedy

Forty-five years ago today was a day of firsts. For the first time, my family went to Pomme de Terre Lake, I rode a mini bike, crashed it and shredded my knee, and I took my first cruise on a pontoon boat.

And, also for the first time, I saw a man step onto the moon. Because my knee was shredded, I couldn’t get into the lake that day. I spent it on a pontoon boat with the adults. Between sips of beer and dips in the water, they talked about what was going to happen that night. I think, if asked, they would have said they were confident that it was going to work. I think, if asked to actually lay down a bet, they would have put the percentages at 51% fail 49% succeed—-I don’t think that, secretly, they would have been that confident. All day, we looked to the sky and wondered where they were. Were they close? How close? Would they crash? Would they get there and not be able to get back to their ship? Would there be an unexpected bacteria that killed them all? What we felt was a mixture of a child’s excitement before Christmas and the dread before a root canal. You’d think of it and feel a thrill in your chest—-butterflies and a sinking feeling both at the same time.

 We almost missed it as we headed home from the lake. It was late. We were on an dark empty road paved with gravel that we had driven on for miles without seeing a house, a light, or another car. We were listening to a radio station that crackled and faded in and out as signals were found and lost and found again. As it became clear that the astronauts were about to step out of the lunar module, the pressure on my dad mounted to FIND SOMEPLACE WITH A TV NOW. At that point, I think we would have stopped at any house we saw and asked to come in and watch their TV with them.

With only minutes to go, we saw the lighted sign of a gas station in the true middle of nowhere Missouri. We pulled off near the pumps and our tires made that ding ding sound that cars always made at gas stations back then. We went into the station and found an older man sitting in the dark with only the black and white of his tiny television flickering in the dust and the stagnant air that smelled of rubber tires and motor oil. He was sitting in the only chair and so we, my mom and dad and brother and I, sat down on the cold dirty floor. And so, surrounded by the mechanics of autos, we watched a man step down onto the moon.

The importance of this moment could not be overstated. Eight years before, at the height of the Cold War, President Kennedy had put the reputation of the United States on the line when he guaranteed that we would reach the moon before the end of the decade and before the Russians. After his death, it became a quest to fulfill his vision. Sitting on the floor of the gas station with my family, I looked at the TV and then looked at the moon, which shone so much brighter there in the emptiness of rural America, and back at the TV. If you were ever going to believe in God or something larger than yourself and mankind, this was the moment. And even, if you were ever going to believe in Mankind, this was the moment.

Today, the magic has been sapped from the space program, but, back then, we lived the magic. When a rocket launched, clunky black and white TVs were wheeled into a few classrooms and all of us crowded into unfamiliar rooms and stood lined up against unfamiliar blackboards to watch. And this went on everywhere; when a launch occurred, the U.S. paused for just those few moments to acknowledge the sheer audacity and awesomeness of the dream. The same for splashdowns and they were true splashdowns as the fiery capsules splashed into the vast ocean with parachutes slowing them down. By the time the shuttle retired, I never even knew it was up there.

Somehow, the poetry of space exploration has been lost, but, for a time, the country, and indeed, the entire world, soared with the poetic magnificence of it all. And I watched a change-history moment in a dirty gas station on a dark road somewhere in Missouri.

(Something that gets lost in memory is the technology required just to get the images back to us that day. For the great story of how that happened (and how it almost didn’t), watch The Dish—-a little known film about those who struggled to get the pictures from the earth to a gas station in Missouri.)

so far behind in reading Russann posts….  great aren’t they?