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The future is on its way, and it's too hot.

Back in the Before Times, George W. Bush justified not doing anything about emission standards and climate change by suggesting that in the future there would be wonderful technology that would clean everything up at the push of a button; the nicest, shiniest button ever. No one ever asked how much that button would cost, but he implied you could pick it up at a Radio Shack for $4.95, or $4.27 at the Presidents Day Sale.

Here we are in the future, Radio Shack is gone and that button has not been installed.

ABC News, 8/7/18:
The record for the largest wildfire in California history fell on Monday after just eight months as the Mendocino Complex Fire passed the Thomas Fire, from last December, to set the new mark for most acres burned.

Business Insider, 8/7/18:
Earth Overshoot Day , the point in a year at which we use up a year's worth of resources, has been steadily moving forward in time since GFN first started tracking it. In 1970, we "overshot" Earth's resource budget by only 2 days — Overshoot Day fell on December 29, according to HSBC. That date has been pushed up by almost five months since then.

Phys.Org, 8/6/18:
If polar ice continues to melt, forests are slashed and greenhouse gases rise to new highs—as they currently do each year—the Earth will pass a tipping point.

Crossing that threshold "guarantees a climate 4-5 Celsius (7-9 Fahrenheit) higher than pre-industrial times, and sea levels that are 10 to 60 meters (30-200 feet) higher than today," cautioned scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-earth-hothouse-state.html#jCp

Don Rickles, 1926-2017

Don Rickles

1926-2017

Don Rickles died April 6, 2017.

At 90, he was still working. Basically he would have lunch and talk, and AARP would record it (and we can assume tip the waitress).

But he made his reputation long before then, on stage, in movies, and especially on the tv. ...continue reading "Off to The Big Hockey Puck in the Sky"

Black macaque selfie, still copyright-free.
Macaque selfie
I can use this picture because a macaque took it. Look forward to seeing it often.

In August 2014, a court ruled that a human photographer who owned the camera a  black macaque used to take a selfie cannot claim copyright on the picture, using the same logic that says complete strangers don't own the copyright on a the picture you took of them standing in front of the Teddy Roosevelt butter sculpture at the state fair when they handed you their phone to use.

Now a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the monkey doesn't own the photo either. PETA had brought the lawsuit on the monkey's behalf; the judged determined that the law doesn't specify that non-humans can claim photograph ownership, using the same logic that explains why your car doesn't own the copyright on the photo of you driving through a speed trap on the toll road. Also, since there are no monkeys in PETA, he had doubts about their legal standing to represent their client. (Sidenote: Does anyone actually know where the client is these days?)

The photographer insists he will appeal and win, since he intended to take a picture.

In other words: Black macaque selfie, still copyright-free.