Syria could be the next domino to fall

Activists published photos purportedly showing a mass protest in the city of Hama. Image courtesy BBC

Tens of thousands of protestors reportedly took to the streets a big number and larger problem for a small nation like Syria. The number of protestors arrested or killed is hard to say, this is a tightly controlled, closed country. But it may not be for long: [Read more...]

Major sites consider going dark in opposition to new Internet legislation

You may not have heard much about the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA over the last few weeks. Holidays can be like social Trojan horses when it comes to unpopular new laws. But the netroots has heard of it — we’re against it — and now the Internet giants of our era are considering a dramatic move to bring the ill-conceived idea into the harsh scrutiny of the soon to be very pissed-off public eye: [Read more...]

How big is Saturn?

 

 Answer: Pretty fucking big! I saw this on Phil’s site and of course had to swipe it immediately. What you’re seeing is an outline of the lower 48 states superimposed to scale on Saturn. The thin line bisecting the outline is the rings seen edge on, the banded items below the outline on Saturn’s surface are the shadows cast by dozens of major rings and hundreds of minor ones. You can’t even see the poles or the rounded limb of Saturn in this image, the planet is simply too large. Click image to embiggen and enlighten.

Ghost story

I wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t happened to me. The other night I had a little ghostly experience, on Christmas Eve in fact, apologies to Dickens and his spiritual cadres. Now, before anyone thinks I’m losing my marbles, I think I can explain what happened. But I’ll tell you this, it was terrifying. [Read more...]

All I want for Christmas is more of this

There was a time when the GOP effectively hid their fealty for the robber-barons behind a facade of Jesus swaddled in small government patriotism. It worked for years. But alas, by 2008 those policies disintegrated, epic fail across the board, leaving foreign policy in paralyzed shambles and the national economy in tatters. From that point on the mask was off, the political hounds and media minions were unleashed to spread naked zombie lies and hatred, the real money behind this bizarre shit exposed:  a tiny sliver of zillionaire wackos obsessed with getting every last dime they can beg, borrow, or steal and exploit a populace not just devastated by those same ideas but who bailed the wealthy out of their own sinking ship. So, seeing them get their clocks cleaned was a nice holiday surprise: [Read more...]

Happy Winter Solstice and pass the solar paint please!

The journey of the sun at the same time of day over the course of a year. The figure-eight pattern is called an Analemma

Today, December 22, 2011, is the first official day of Winter and by definition the shortest day of the year — even though it’s not the earliest sunset or latest sunrise — in the northern hemisphere. Perhaps we should mark the occasion, as our distant ancestors did, with some sort of recognition and related social ceremony, celebrating and welcoming the sun as it moves back to beckon plants and animals into the light of quickening Spring? Oh, wait, yeah, Christmas and all … well, anyway, some researchers at Notre Dame are still thinking of the hot summer sun and all the free energy, about 4 trillion terrawatts to be precise, and ways to make it easier for consumers to get at it. One solution, solar-cell paint! [Read more...]

Republicans about to cave?

Are Republicans about to cave on the extension for the middle class tax cut and unemployment? That’s the word from our highy credible sources on capital hill right now:

(TheNote) — My prediction: House Republicans will soon – probably within 24 hours – cave in and accept the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut passed last week by the Senate. I base this on conversations with House Republicans who know they are losing the public relations battle and losing it badly. They know they are taking the blame for a stand-off that threatens to raise taxes on 160 million Americans. And they cannot let that happen.