Climate Accord: Trump To Pull Out.

“Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, center right, after appearing to be pushed by Donald Trump, center.” CREDIT for caption/photo: AP/Matt Dunham.

There’s been a great deal of anxiety laden speculation over the Paris Climate Accord, as that represents our last, best hope. It seems it’s a last, best hope that the Tiny Tyrant wants no part of, and plans to withdraw from.  This is not yet formal, and the Tiny Tyrant is subject to doing rapid turnabouts on a whim, but he’s never been secretive about his scorn for the climate accord, or his desire to pull out. The damage he has already done here in uStates is tremendous, it won’t be long before we’re back to 1970s levels of pollution, with smog alerts and steeping in trash and toxicity once again. Naturally, this will lead to a much sicker populace, one which will not be able to take care of themselves, thanks to the Fuck You Care Plan. There’s one other country which is also adamantly against the climate accord. Bet you don’t need three guesses, either. It’s Russia.

President Donald Trump has privately told “confidants” he intends to leave the Paris accord on climate change, “according to three sources with direct knowledge,” Axios reported Saturday.

After persuading voters that America isn’t great anymore, Trump apparently intends to make sure of it — by having this country lead the effort to kill humanity’s last, best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

Quitting a unanimous agreement by 190+ nations after a two-decade negotiating process would make us a rogue nation, a global pariah, like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And, it could make Putin happy, as we’ll see.

While Trump tweeted out Saturday from Italy that “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the G7 meeting, “The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory.” She added, “Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one.”

Axios notes that “Although Trump made it clear during the campaign and in multiple conversations before his overseas trip that he favored withdrawal, he has been known to abruptly change his mind.” They add, however, top political appointees at EPA “were relieved” when Trump refused to join a consensus G7 statement reaffirming “their strong commitment” to the Paris accord.

While the White House’s attack on domestic climate action already undermines the global effort to avert climate catastrophe, we shouldn’t discount the importance of a U.S. withdrawal from Paris — especially if Trump teams with Russian President Vladimir Putin to undermine the whole global negotiating process.

Think Progress has the full story.

Soothing Silicone.

Can you tell I’m not in the mood for politics today? I’m not. I haven’t even checked the news, and I’m not going to check today. If the world explodes this day, I’d rather not know anyroad. Instead of anxiety, depression, and paranoia, have some soothing silicone:

Silicone Annealing – Cruz Culture.

Mixing Silicone for Rubber Moulding – Butser Rubber Ltd. (Yes, that name made me laugh.)

Life on the line: kneading pigment into silicon – Stephen Woolverton.

Cool Stuff Friday.

The Infinite Now from Armand Dijcks on Vimeo.

Over the past months I’ve been working with Australian photographer Ray Collins to bring his amazing oceanscapes to life in the form of cinemagraphs, a blend between photography and video. Each cinemagraph is created from one of Ray’s stills, and sets it in infinite motion, making a unique moment in time last forever.

These cinemagraphs inspired André Heuvelman from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to get together with pianist Jeroen van Vliet to record a very moving custom soundtrack, which I combined with a selection of the cinemagraphs.

You can see the original cinemagraphs at armanddijcks.com/cinemagraphs-waves

Ray’s images can be found at raycollinsphoto.com

André Heuvelman’s music: andreheuvelman.com

Stunning and mesmerizing work by all!

The Canadian Museum of History has unveiled a unique new exhibit that brings the faces of a 4,000-year-old Indigenous family back to life.

The museum revealed the three-dimensional forensic reconstruction of a shíshálh family whose remains were found in an ancient burial site near what is now Sechelt, B.C. The digital images move and blink in the incredibly life-like display.

“To look back on some of our people that existed within our territory 4,000 years ago, and to be in close proximity of their images — it’s a humbling experience,” Chief Warren Paull of the shíshálh Nation told CBC News.

“I see cousins. I see family.”

You can read more about this here. Amazing work.

SHE INSPIRES installation view.

Women’s history has long been marginalized in mainstream education, relegated to its own niche of study and overlooked in favor of male-dominated historical narratives. SHE INSPIRES, a group exhibition at The Untitled Space, highlights these lesser told histories through the work of over 60 contemporary artists. Each piece in the show is an homage to an important woman. Curator, Indira Cesarine, tells Creators, “SHE INSPIRES aims to honor and celebrate women who have impacted our culture and tell their stories which should be rightfully included not just as ‘women’s history,’ but everyone’s history.”

[…]

SHE INSPIRES is on display at The Untitled Space in Soho through May 20th. Click here for accompanying events and more information.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

The Slow Mo Guys take on mousetraps on a trampoline.

Zuul crurivastator.

Zuul crurivastator, a newly discovered species of armoured dinosaur named after a creature from Ghostbusters, is shown at the Royal Ontario Museum. (Andrew Francis Wallace).

“It has this very short, broad snout, and then it has these two sets of horns that project backwards from the eye; one above the eye and one a little bit further down. And that’s exactly what we see in the skull of this dinosaur.”

Research on the new species, led by Arbour, was published in the May issue of the Royal Society OpenScience journal.

Zuul, the dinosaur, is about 75 million years old. Its body was found in a river deposit in Montana’s Judith River Formation and spanned about six metres long.

The dinosaur’s skeleton was found almost entirely intact, according to Evans, noting it was “remarkably preserved” under 10 metres of rock.

“This is a dinosaur that would not have been exposed for paleontologists to find for probably hundreds of years, maybe thousands of years,” he said. “The fossil was never exposed to modern erosion or plant roots . . . so that means we have a level of preservation that is jaw-dropping.”

The skeleton had to be broken up into several pieces in order to be removed. Zuul likely weighed about 5,500 pounds, equivalent to the size of a white rhinoceros.

“This is very rare, to find a complete articulated skeleton, especially for this group of dinosaurs,” Arbour said. “They’re just not as common.”

Its species name, crurivastator, means “destroyer of shins,” a reference to a large knob of bone at the tip of its tail, which may have been used to strike the legs of predatory dinosaurs in defence, or for battle during contests for mates.

Researchers have preserved the large, sharp bony spikes that formed in Zuul’s skin over its tail and likely the entirety of its body, forming its armour. They also managed to maintain very rare keratin sheaths — the same material which forms finger nails, bird beaks and the top of turtle shells — and soft tissues such as its scales.

While the dinosaur’s colour is unknown, Evans said they believe it may have been brightly coloured due to its outer keratin layer.

Full story here.

It’s – It’s A Cookbook!

Loud-mouthed Loon Dave Daubenmire has a warning for Christians, but why not let everyone in on the secret? Aliens! It’s Aliens, people, start your screaming now!

Religious Right activist “Coach” Dave Daubenmire issued a rather cryptic warning on his “Pass The Salt Live” webcast this morning when he suggested that efforts are underway to deceive Christians into welcoming “extra-dimensional beings” who will soon appear as rescuers of the world.

Citing an article listed on the website of apocalyptic End Times activist Steve Quayle, Daubenmire warned that some unnamed “they” are “setting us up for the appearance of these, I believe, extra-dimensional beings that are going to come as our rescuers, the ones who are going to rescue the world and the very elect themselves, if it was possible, will be deceived.”

Yeah, okay, someone has watched The Twilight Zone a bit too much. Is the ‘extra-dimensional’ bit necessary? Seems to me if you want to sell aliens coming here with a “ooh, we’ll rescue you” con going, it would be in their interest to look like the peacemaker on Famous Fantastic Mysteries, complete with white doves, a symbol christians can be relied upon to fall for, with oohs and aahs.

Daubenmire then cited another article about the “imminent return” of the “cloudeaters,” whom he asserted were an ancient race of giants, as he marveled that “this stuff is now falling into the mainstream thought, mainstream media, mainstream science” but Christians are not paying attention.

Oh, yes, cloudeaters, giants who have this amazing technology, and they are gonna come back from … somewhere. Let’s take a look at the synopsis of Unearthing the Lost World of the Cloudeaters: Compelling Evidence of the Incursion of Giants, Their Extraordinary Technology, and Imminent Return:

UNEARTHING THE LOST WORLD OF THE CLOUDEATERS is a book unlike any other, one that demands the Smithsonian to open its hidden warehouses so the history of ancient America can be rewritten! As chronicled by Dr. Thomas R. Horn, radio legend Stephen Quayle, and two teams of investigators and film crews (following a secret conference with leaders of the Ute Nation, Zuni, and Hopi tribes) the most compelling evidence is finally unveiled involving pre-Columbian, dragon/giant-worshiping interlopers who traversed the Atlantic Ocean and secret Anasazi routes to corrupt the earliest Americans with portal-opening sorcery, human sacrifices, ritual cannibalism, and technology of the fallen ones. NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, IN UNEARTHING THE LOST WORLD OF THE CLOUDEATERS: DISCLOSED! The truth behind the great Smithsonian cover up REVEALED! The pre-Flood architecture of the Giant Kings DECIPHERED! Pre-Flood angel civilizations and the remnants of Watchers UNCOVERED! The secret of the Anasazi and why they disappeared overnight UNVEILED! Ancient hidden stargates that medicine-men still use to see the future CONFESSED! The sacred mountains where the giant bones are kept EXPOSED! What tribal elders confessed about returning giants UNMASKED! Giant, cannibalistic gods that demanded human sacrifice DISCOVERED! Children of Cloudeaters, six-fingered, six-toed mutants UNWRAPPED! Shapeshifters, Skinwalkers, and other sky people UNEARTHED! Where the gates will open when the Cloudeaters return Learn the secrets to America’s earliest history and the truth about the giants in its past and future as you travel with Dr. Thomas R. Horn and Stephen Quayle into the most groundbreaking, history-altering investigation primed to challenge predominant, institutional dogma and scientific orthodoxy.

Well, that has crackpot written all over it. I can easily assert that the “leaders” of the Ute, Zuni, and Hopi nations had nothing to do with this, unless they were indulging in a joke. Joking about may well have happened, but I don’t expect someone like Mr. Quayle can easily discern humour. There’s just an astonishing amount of “every story we could think of” in that conspiratorial and paranoia spiced stew. So, according to Coach Dave, this “stuff” is now falling into mainstream thought, media, and science. I gotta say, that’s news to me. I’d think if scientists were going to raise the alarm about giants and mutants, they had the best opportunity ever at all the Marches for Science, but I didn’t see any signs warning people about the imminent return of cloudeaters or anything else. Haven’t seen anything on various blogs kept by scientists, either. Of course, if giant cephalopods are involved at all, PZ may well keep quiet about this one. Well, let’s see how Coach Dave finishes up:

“The MK Ultras, the satanically ritually abused children,” he said, “all that kind of stuff, it is right before our face.”

Oh, are people still going on about that nonsense? Is it too much to ask you christians on the lunatic fringe to pick one and go with it? You started with aliens, just stay with it. As for the satanist silliness, please, please, get it through your dense heads: Lucifer is a key player in the christian mythos. The whole thing falls apart without him. Anyone who is actually serious about satanism is also a christian, they just prefer a different perspective. All that “stuff” might be right in front of your face, Coach Dave, but it sure as hell isn’t in front of mine. No MK Ultra moles, no satanic children, no dragon/giant worshipping interlopers, no giants, none of it. A person might be tempted to think you’re doing a bit of mind altering acid yourself. So, anyone seen anything suspicious lately?

Via RWW.

Climate Change, Now A Witch Hunt!

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has come to Exxon’s defense — again. AP Photo/Eric Gay, File.

Climate change, why it’s a witch hunt, it is, for real and true! What this is actually about is protecting Exxon, with republicans going full court testerical over the issue, claiming the usual excuse, freeze peach.

Citing Exxon Mobil’s right to “free speech,” 11 state attorneys general — all Republicans — filed in court this week to stop an investigation into the oil and gas giant’s decades-long history of climate denial.

The attorneys general — from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin — filed a brief to support Exxon’s request to stop the so-called “Exxon Knew” investigation, arguing that there is a “public policy debate” over climate change and that the investigation is an “unconstitutional abuse” of power.

“The Constitution was written to protect citizens from government witch-hunts such as this one, where officials use their authority and the threat of criminal prosecution to try and suppress speech on a viewpoint they disagree with,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

This isn’t the first time Texas has intervened in the investigation on behalf of the state’s largest company. Paxton and his counterpart from Arkansas filed on behalf of Exxon in May of last year when it challenged a Virgin Islands subpoena. Paxton has said the investigations are “ridiculous.”

Think Progress has the full story.

Also see:

The Earth just passed another carbon threshold.

Climate change will fuel terrorism, report warns.

Dow Chemical gave $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, now wants pesticide risk study buried.

Naked Mole Rats: Surviving Oxygen Deprivation.

Rats, ever extraordinary!

Deprived of oxygen, naked mole-rats can survive by metabolizing fructose just as plants do, researchers report this week in the journal Science.

Understanding how the animals do this could lead to treatments for patients suffering crises of oxygen deprivation, as in heart attacks and strokes.

“This is just the latest remarkable discovery about the naked mole-rat — a cold-blooded mammal that lives decades longer than other rodents, rarely gets cancer, and doesn’t feel many types of pain,” says Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led an international team of researchers from UIC, the Max Delbrück Institute in Berlin and the University of Pretoria in South Africa on the study.

In humans, laboratory mice, and all other known mammals, when brain cells are starved of oxygen they run out of energy and begin to die.

But naked mole-rats have a backup: their brain cells start burning fructose, which produces energy anaerobically through a metabolic pathway that is only used by plants – or so scientists thought.

The full story is here.

Cool Stuff Friday: Octobot!

Harvard University Octobot.

Researchers at Harvard University have designed a soft 3D-printed robot that can move on its own, powered by a chemical reaction, instead of electricity or batteries.

Shaped like a cartoon octopus, the Octobot contains no electronics or other hard parts, relying instead on a silicone body that houses a fluid-filled circuit.

Previously, soft-bodied robots had needed to rely on rigid components for power. But the Octobot uses hydrogen peroxide as fuel.

The liquid flows around a network of pre-printed hollows in the robot’s body, and creates a reaction as it passes over platinum embedded inside. This produces gas that inflates and moves the arms, to propel the robot through water.

You can read and watch more here. Do I need to say I want one? I want one.

No-To-Scale Studio.

Malaysian design office No-To-Scale Studio has issued a satirical proposal to President Trump, suggesting a radical means of representing the US-Mexico border: a 1,954 mile-long dining table.

Citing “logistical, financial and nationality” limitations, the studio’s design claims to be cost-effective in taking a domestic item and scaling it to massive proportions.

While the proposed slab of “continuous polished marble” may prove costly, diners will bring their own chairs in order to participate.

You can see and read more here.

Neri Oxman, Lazarus Mask.

Neri Oxman and the MIT Mediated Matter group have unveiled their latest collection of 3D-printed death masks, designed to contain the wearer’s last breath.

The Lazarus masks, described by Oxman as “air urns”, are modelled on the facial features of the deceased individual.

Each 3D-printed structure encompasses colourful swirling patterns that have been informed by the physical flow of air emitted from their last breath.

“Traditionally made of a single material, such as wax or plaster, the death mask originated as a means of capturing a person’s visage, keeping the deceased alive through memory,” said the team.

You can read and see more here.

Fucking Magnets, Right? Right!

Magnetic Putty Magic (Extended Cut) | Shanks FX | PBS Digital Studios from Joey Shanks on Vimeo.

I have got to get some of this stuff. What a cool toy. And if that’s not enough, let’s visit some more wonderfully psychedelic ferrofluid art:

I recommend watching that full screen.

The combination of microscopes and magnetic ferrofluid produces results that indistinguishable from magic—and stunning CGI—in this new short from chemist-turned macro photographer Linden Gledhill and Concept Zero founder Nikola Ilic. The only added ingredient Ferrofluid Magnified needs is a big bowl of something psychoactive, and you’re off to never neverland.

Gledhill is known for his stunning, pearlescent images of objects that are unexpectedly beautiful under a microscope, such as DNA and butterfly wings. He mixed ferrofluids, which are full of nanoscopic magnets, with solvents, gels, paints, flowers, and LED lighting for added trippiness. Prints on canvas from the film, which will fund the duo’s next collaboration, are available here.

You can see and read more about magnetic putty here, and about the ferrofluid art here.