Brian May Asteroid Day


Tomorrow is International Asteroid Day. Stream live at https://www.youtube.com/asteroidday

notestoponder

On June 30, 1908 an asteroid exploded over Tunguska, Siberia releasing energy of 100 tons TNT – the force flattened 800 square miles of Russian wilderness. Last year astrophysicist Dr. Brian May, Apollo 9 astronaut Ricky Schweickart and astronaut Dr. Ed Lu co-founded Asteroid Day to coincide with the anniversary of the Tunguska event. June 30, 2016 was the second official Asteroid Day.

Hold onto your hat – astrophysicist Dr. Brian May is Brian May, guitarist and songwriter for rock band Queen (he wrote We Will Rock You ). Brian May, ranked 26th of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2011, is an astrophysicist.

With a degree in physics from Imperial College London, 1974 found May working on his thesis ( the study of reflected light from interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in our solar system ). Academic pursuits ended with the…

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Got Me Good


Emin Agalarov is a Russian pop star. His father is Aras Agalarov, a rich developer who worked with Donald Trump to host the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia. By all accounts, Trump enjoyed Agalarov hospitality, going so far as to make a cameo appearance in an Emin music video. Shortly after Trump returned to America, Emin’s sister appeared at Trump Tower in New York – “bearing a gift for Trump”, a sealed letter from Putin. On November 11, 2013 Trump tweeted –

“I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next. EMIN was WOW!”

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In June 2016 Emin’s publicist Rob Goldstone contacted Donald Trump Jr. with a message from Aras Agalarov – “The “crown prosecutor of Russia” had some information that could “incriminate” Hillary Clinton, Goldstone wrote in an email. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin,” Goldstone continued.”. Donald Trump Jr. replied, “If it’s what you say I love it”, then called Emin to set up a meeting at Trump Tower a few days later.

From https://www.vox.com/2018/6/26/17506586/emin-agalarov-music-video-trump-russia

When Don Jr.’s meeting became known last summer (confirmed in emails he himself released), it seemed to quite clearly show Trump’s team willing to accept campaign help from the Russian government. However, all parties involved claimed, and continue to claim, that the meeting ended up being a dud and let nowhere.

Emin didn’t seem particularly bothered by the development. Documents later released by the Senate Judiciary Committee show Goldstone texting Emin in a panic, worrying about his own reputation being destroyed because he was being painted as “some mysterious link to Putin.” Emin responded: “That should give you mega PR,” with a wide-eyed, eyebrows-raised emoji face.

Fast forward, a year later and half a world away Russian pop star Emin releases a video satirizing Trump, Ivanka, Stormy Daniels and Hillary Clinton. In “Got Me Good”, Emin places himself front and center in a musical parody of American politics. Between clips of Emin briefcase and envelope exchanges with Donald, Ivanka, Hillary and Stormy Daniels impersonators, Emin sings “you got me so good, you really got me so good”. WTF!!!

From Vox –

“The video shows Emin shadily meeting and hanging out with impersonators of Trump, Ivanka, Stormy Daniels, and Hillary Clinton — all as he’s being surveilled by a shadowy figure.

It sets some scenes, with Emin and Trump, at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. “I wish you at least would be honest, I wish that you told me the truth,” Emin croons as footage of him and Trump plays. (Despite the video, the lyrics generally sound like they refer more to a romantic relationship.)

At one point, the video shows a shows a shadowy figure at a computer terminal watching a video of Trump partying in a hotel room with several bikini-clad women and Emin himself. The figure then erases Trump from the video, in what’s clearly a reference to the “pee tape” rumor. Is Emin alluding that he knows something?”

Sincerest apologies – I’m out of words.

 

Ponder The Preciousness Of Time


On June 15, Stephen Hawking’s ashes were interred at Westminster Abby between those of Darwin and Newton. During the ceremony 1,000 attendees chosen by ballot learned Hawking’s voice will be sent into space by the European Space Agency.

“The broadcast will be beamed towards the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star,” his daughter, Lucy Hawking, said.

“It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet.”

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Ponder the preciousness of time, a tribute to Stephen Hawking….

 

A few words about immigrants — not the ones on the U.S. border


Life Unscripted

I found this article in my CNN feed from the New Yorker on June 21.  I reprint it here because it speaks to a real and growing problem:  immigrants.  The recent horrible situation with children at the U.S. border is bad, but I’m afraid it’s but the tip of the iceberg and even more troubling is the fact that not many people — around the world — seem to care.  Please take time to read it and consider for yourself…

Dr. Ruth, Dr. kissinger, and Trump’s Cruelty to Families

By George Packer    June 12, 2018

In the fall of 2015, Dr. Ruth told the story of the Evian Conference, in 1938, where countries from around the world debated the plight of Germany’s Jews.Photograph by Gian Marco Castelberg / Redux

Jose, a five-year-old Honduran boy, was taken away from his father by immigration officials last month, after the two of them…

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Pondering Foie Gras


Recently work asked me to layer dry spiced cherry, pistachio, foie gras and a single fava bean flower on toasted brioche crisps.”Do you know where Foie Gras comes from?” blithered a rotund woman between exuberant returns to the appetizer platter.”Try it” she cooed to her friends. “Melts in your mouth. very expensive, did I tell you they force feed geese” punctuated goose liver bliss. Despite or because of her now brashly annoying commentary, foie gras appetizers languished in gastronomic oblivion long after guests were seated at the dinner table.

Alone in the kitchen, “fair enough” preceded popping a foie gras appie in my mouth. Pretty sure my toes curled in delight, absolutely certain I didn’t wait for the goose liver swaddling my tongue to dissipate before consuming another bite of perfection. Flickers of ethical doubt were no match for mystical properties of foie gras.

At home, foie gras research started with a history lesson (who knew the practice of force feeding ducks and geese to produce fat laden liver dates back to ancient Egypt ), meandered through pages alternating praise and condemnation, came to a screeching halt at a site promising definitive vegan foie gras replication.

Best Vegan Foie Gras

This image from https://fullofplants.com/the-best-vegan-foie-gras/ is said to show finished product with optional “grease coating” made from refined coconut oil and turmeric powder.

What the hell vegan recipe man, why foie gras? How many vegans seek deliverance from foie gras fantasies? Dream of satisfying foie gras voids thrust upon them by lifestyle choices? The answer was right in front of me – foie gras recipe man wrote –

“I’m not going to go into details, you know how foie gras is made, the ducks are force-fed with a metal tube that is inserted into their mouths and then killed. If you have never seen how the ducks are treated, make a quick search on Google images, I guarantee you will feel disgusted or might even shed a tear. It really pisses me off that some people have no problem inflicting such treatment to animals. I did eat foie gras in the past, and I really liked it but I was not aware (or maybe didn’t want to know) of what was really going on.” “Making foie gras vegan is quite a challenge, the real one has a silky and soft texture with a buttery and subtle taste. This vegan foie gras has that rich and creamy texture that melts in your mouth just like real foie gras. This recipe is the result of over 10 trials, testing with tofu, flavorings, herbs, agar-agar, mushrooms, chestnuts, and many other ingredients until achieving what I believe is the most accurate vegan foie gras.”

I get it – irony of lifestyle exuberance was lost on vegan foie gras recipe man. His self declared admission of tireless vegan experimentation to recreate foie gras majesty, plucked at my heart strings. Foie gras is a powerful master, an indiscriminate culinary demon capable of compelling fervent lifestyle opponents to fixate on replicating its glory.

Hot Dog Water


It’s street festival season in Vancouver. Yesterday, 17 blocks of Main Street welcomed thousands to annual Car Free Day celebrations. Hundreds of vendors marked twelve feet of curbside real estate with colourful tents. Block after block of inexpensive dresses made in India, food trucks, jewellery, yoga classes, political action groups, straw hats and local crafts. Lavender Kombucha in one hand, bacon raspberry chipotle jam sandwich in the other ( don’t judge me 🙂 ), an eager young man in a hot dog costume drew my eyes to the “Hot Dog Water” tent.

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Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans, mustered his inner Gwyneth Paltrow to proclaim –

“We’ve created a recipe, having a lot of people put a lot of effort into research and a lot of people with backgrounds in science really creating the best version of Hot Dog Water that we could,” “So the protein of the Hot Dog Water helps your body uptake the water content, and the sodium and all the things you’d need post-workout.”

A sign breaks down the “health benefits” of Hot Dog Water.

Scores of festival goers lined up for free samples of chilled hot dog water. Move over Gatorade, there’s a new boss in town. Hot dog water is the future of weight loss, vitality and brain function. Still skeptical? Rest assured proof is in the cost – one bottle of hot dog water sells for $37.99,  two for the Father’s Day special of $75.

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Bevans won’t say how much hot dog water he sold, but cheerfully points to a statement clearly displayed at the booth –

“Hot Dog Water in its absurdity hopes to encourage critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it can play in our purchasing choices.”

From Global News –

Bevans, a tour operator by trade, is also an artist, and said the Hot Dog Water concept was actually dreamed up as a commentary on what he called the “snake oil salesmen” of health marketing.

“It’s really sort of a commentary on product marketing, and especially sort of health-quackery product marketing,” he said.

“From the responses, I think people will actually go away and reconsider some of these other $80 bottles of water that will come out that are ‘raw’ or ‘smart waters,’ or anything that doesn’t have any substantial scientific backing but just a lot of pretty impressive marketing.”

Vancouver festivalgoers invited to enjoy a cool glass of… hot dog water?

Kudos to you Douglas Bevans – well played.

 

Insect Digesting Proof of Evolution


Regardless of determination to dismiss, avoid or walk away from slippery slopes leading to fundamentalist Christian jibber-jabber, every so often it pays to have an arsenal of politely dispatched counterpoints up your sleeve.Scientific proof of insect digesting genomes lingering in the soup of our current gene pool serves the purpose nicely.

Ancient mammal ancestors of all animal species, including humans, were insect eaters. 66 million years ago small insect digesting mammals darted between dinosaur toes. Able to escape asteroid induced dinosaur apocalypse by burrowing underground, formerly inconsequential bug eaters gave rise to life as we know it. Fickle as evolution may be, it saw no reason to deny humans chitinases markers, genetic enzymes capable of breaking down chitin, the hard outer shells of ingested insects.

Research published by Christopher Emerling of UC Berkeley in the journal Science Advances, based analysis of 107 different animal species genomes to conclude –

“One of the coolest things is, if you look at humans, at Fido your dog, Whiskers your cat, your horse, your cow; pick any animal, generally speaking, they have remnants in their genomes of a time when mammals were small, probably insectivorous and running around when dinosaurs were still roaming Earth,” said postdoctoral fellow Christopher Emerling. “It is a signature in your genome that says, once upon a time you were not the dominant group of organisms on Earth. By looking at our genomes, we are looking at this ancestral past and a lifestyle that we don’t even live with anymore.”

Evolution is why millions of people around the world digest insects. God unleashed a plague of locusts to punish humanity, evolution shrugged and sat down at the dinner table.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-05-inherited-bug-eating-ancestors.html#jCp

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A spectral tarsier (Tarsius tarsier) feeding on a grasshopper in Tangkoko National Park, Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tarsiers have five chitinase genes to digest the high amount of chitin in their insectivorous diet, which likely …more

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-05-inherited-bug-eating-ancestors.html#jCp