a cynic


unattributed on facebook

unattributed on facebook


imagine what he would have to say in today’s political climate!

after, say, the presidential election of 2000 where the supreme court halted the counting of votes in florida (which al gore would have won but for the supreme court’s intervention) or the 2004 presidential election, where the key swing state of ohio was clearly in the win column for john kerry according to exit polls but mysteriously swung back to bush after the computers counting the computerized votes crashed shortly after 11 pm on election night…


stephan’s quintet

Astronomy Picture of the Day: 09/21/13 – Stephan’s Quintet

This is an extremely compact galaxy group known as Stephan’s Quintet; it is located about 300 million light-years from Earth and is the first compact galaxy group ever discovered. All five galaxies in Stephan’s Quintet were originally thought to be interacting with each other. Later surveys revealed that one of the galaxies, NGC 7320 (the large galaxy pictured in the furthermost left-hand corner) is actually about seven times closer to Earth than the rest of the group, lying at a distance of only 40 million light-years.

The other galaxies in the quintet (or, is in now a quartet?) are NGCs 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317.

Moving in a clockwise direction from NGC 7320, the first galaxy we come to is NGC 7319, which is a barred spiral galaxy.

The next galaxy seems to have two galactic cores; this is because it is actually two separate galaxies that orbit extremely close to each other. They are NGC 7318b (on the top) and NGC 7318a (on the bottom).

Finally, the furthest member of this cluster is NGC 7317, pictured near the bottom left side of the image.

The interacting galaxies also tend to be warped and distorted because of the gravitational forces exerted on it by the other galaxies. This image spans a distance of about 500,000 light-years. Not pictured here is another galaxy, NGC 7320C, which is located to the top-right of the cluster. NGC 7320C is also about 300 million light-years away and may be a part this cluster. If that is the case, Stephan’s Quintet will remain a quintet in both name an actuality.

References, sources, and further reading can be found here: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/astronomy-picture-of-the-day-092113-stephans-quintet/

class war

facebook friend of mine  mentioned in comments how stupid declaring “war on terror” is. terror is not an enemy, it is a strategy. i responded that the men who declared war on terror were smart, motivated men who acted not without reason. if their behaviors appear “stupid” then it is their purposes that are opaque. by the way, this digression occurred during a discussion of the current apparent attack on the second amendment. if we’re not quite clear of the true, hidden purposes and objectives of the wars on terror and the second amendment, perhaps looking at the real-life effects of the war on drugs might give us some insight into the purposes of the manipulators, because maybe the outcomes of the war on drugs were really the purposes the war was undertaken in the first place… so, what are the outcomes to date of the war on drugs? less drug use? nope. more people in prison, best answer. increased power vested in law enforcement and government. fewer people seeking non-existent (out-sourced or “off-shored”) jobs, increased poverty and therefore increased dependence on the state. the general tendency is toward increasing power of government and decreasing autonomy of individuals. remember when this country was constituted a republic to protect the rights of individual citizens?

“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” has been replaced with existence and dependency on the state at the grudging expense of the wealthy, who are tired of giving the poor “a free ride.”

strong stuff

downloaded from www.snopes.com

downloaded from http://www.snopes.com


these two images are often shown together, purportedly of the same arch in nagasaki, the top one after the atomic bomb and the bottom one after the tsunami of 2011. then some variation of “what the HELL is that arch made of?” captions the photos. not the same arch, but the same japanese spirit and craftsmanship created both arches — but at opposite ends of japan. the top photo is nagasaki after the atomic bomb. the bottom photo is in kozuchi, where the tsunami actually struck… amazing what a little research can reveal. snopes says such arches are “usually made of wood or stone” but doesn’t specify which these are made of… the arches are gates to shinto shrines.