Red Alert

Ever wonder how the ingenious Dept of Homeland Security Alert System of colour coded warnings was derived?

Take a look at the linked movie. Click the title. It explains the design team’s philosophy and perhaps explains why the Dept of HS is so effective at stopping terrorists (except white ones) from being able to harm Americans. Damn! It is so effective that even GW got it almost immediately!

Here is the link again:

Baby Trees (donationware)


You can spend a few dollars and fund planting a baby tree in the forests of Indonesia. If you want a good look at the forests of Borneo and the Amazon, check out Microsofts’ super globe and sky examination tool downloadable on www.worldwidetelescope.org – one of the finer Microsoft implementations. Beautiful. Here is a “fair use” clip that shows its LOD (level of detail) of how humans hack into the Amazon rain forest.

WWT has less resolution at this stage than Google Earth; but the upward view of the galaxy is this product’s strength. Yes, the view of this planet is rather good, notwithstanding the ability to use your mouse wheel and once the images resolves, but the a space eye view through one of the world’s great telescopes of some of the largest works of natural art you will see. Nebulae and the huge huge galaxies dotted through space like sand. You see a night sky, and can zoom into The Plaiedes – like in this image clip. In the WWT you see it full screen.

Download WWT and maybe you will understand the world’s climate when you look at the Southern Ocean and its furious cloudscape.

And anyone who plants a baby tree – let me know. It would be fun to watch it grow here! We could have a baby tree forest.

The new Obama

After confirmation of the Democratic nomination the guns train on the opponent – not the rival. John McCain may be a maverick Republican, but he firmly believes in respecting the historical emnity between “The West” and “The Axis of Evil”.

GW Bush has been the “big game player” taking the very foolish and risky path into the Iraqi quagmire. If he had doubled his efforts in Afghanistan now, Al Qaeda may no longer be motivating and enabling young criminals to walk bombs into crowds of innocents or plant incendiaries aimed at US military targets in Iraq.

Or has the cancer spread on a train of its own infamy? Such a belief is frankly, madness. When GW Bush started to try and move against “the enemies of freedom” he did so in order to go to war in Iraq as that was his primary intention. Going to war in Afghanistan seems a pretext by Bush to secure involvement of NATO to reduces the military cost to the USA. He hoped for a coalition force in Iraq but few could take that faith electorially. Except Tony Blair.

Now, the USA is sick of being seen as an invalid invader and this is more than likely to be the meme during November more than the colour of either candidates’ skin. In the end the logic of solving the problems of extraction is a military one, rather than a political one. And so Mr Obama enters the argument with an agressive and just approach constrasts starkly with McCain – stay there at all costs – logic.

During the presidential debate, I would not be suprised to hear more aggressive tactics in Obama’s speaches – the Left will not lose faith as he has already expressly committed to ending the Iraq calamity – and when it comes down to it, even with GW Bush at the helm, the USA has just about survived. There is plenty of reasons that a message of hope is going to work with the democratic voice of Americans – but unless they dispose of the voting machines or audit them – there is no chance that it will be a fair fight.

The new Obama – the gloves can come off for the battle with McCain. Whomever the Democrat candidate is will face an ugly Republican attack. They call it “free speech” and that makes it okay and “constitutional”.

Obama expresses a more detailed and diplomatic approach. He sees the value of winning the war in Afghanistan by not fighting one in Iraq but preventing one from brewing in Pakistan.