August 17th, 2017
Anyone impressed with the Nazca Lines or the Paracas Candelabra should learn about the Sajama Lines in Bolivia. They, too, are a collection of lines etched into the ground, but they dwarf other geoglyphs in sheer scope. Sajama has thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of different lines that range from 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in width and can be up to 18 kilometers (11 mi) in length. The lines cover an area of almost 7,500 square meters (70,000 sq ft)—roughly 15 times larger than the famous Nazca Lines. Despite their giant scale, very little research has been done regarding the Sajama Lines. The true size of the network had been very difficult to gauge until recently, when satellite imagery became available. The lines are astonishingly straight despite their length, natural obstacles, and the area’s rugged topography. No records detail the lines’ construction, but they are most likely prehistoric, built over countless generations.
Their purpose remains a mystery. They may have guided pilgrims, they may have marked burial towers, or they may have had some sort of astronomical significance.
Kemo D. 7
If the human is to ever have a culture that offers equal opportunity for life satisfaction to each, the infrastructure of that society must be uniform. Certain groups of people must not be singled out for unique treatment. Others should not get particular favors. And others should not be deprived of equal opportunity. Uniformity and equality become required parameters for any universal function. This can only be obtained by adopting widespread standards. Those standards become a part of the infrastructure that every person can depend on. These can't be established subjectively, where the plight of each and every social group has separate planning. And those standards must be developed objectively (without subjective reference). How can this be done?
Admittedly, it is an extremely difficult task in a culture which caters to the individual. But then the cultural infrastructure should not be fashioned for the individual, it should be fashioned for the welfare and advancement of the species. It should not specify what fits the individual, but what will be the best for the welfare and advancement of the species. Modern people will object strongly to such an idea, in fear of losing personal freedom. This should not be. A cultural infrastructure only contains those social functions which must be uniform, such as the basic requirements for justice, education and governance and minimum living standards.
Individual freedoms which do not conflict with species welfare would still be optional. This then is the objective approach. To group all mankind into one tribe. To ignore current ethnic and racial divisions. To establish goals, procedures, processes and timetables for the species, leaving open the individual freedoms required for personal satisfaction. Then build the necessary cultural functions to meet these objectives. And, finally, vow to be patient, caring and forgiving during the transition.
So it takes 500 years. These are species matters, and the species, we hope, is immortal...
Kemo D. 7
A new study by an international team of astronomers reveals that four Earth-sized planets orbit the nearest sun-like star, tau Ceti, which is about 12 light years away and visible to the naked eye. These planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass, making them among the smallest planets ever detected around nearby sun-like stars. Two of them are super-Earths located in the habitable zone of the star, meaning they could support liquid surface water. The planets were detected by observing the wobbles in the movement of tau Ceti.
This required techniques sensitive enough to detect variations in the movement of the star as small as 30 centimeters per second. "We are now finally crossing a threshold where, through very sophisticated modeling of large combined data sets from multiple independent observers, we can disentangle the noise due to stellar surface activity from the very tiny signals generated by the gravitational tugs from Earth-sized orbiting planets," said coauthor Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.
According to lead author Fabo Feng of the University of Hertfordshire, UK, the researchers are getting tantalizingly close to the 10-centimeter-per-second limit required for detecting Earth analogs. "Our detection of such weak wobbles is a milestone in the search for Earth analogs and the understanding of the Earth's habitability through comparison with these analogs," Feng said. "We have introduced new methods to remove the noise in the data in order to reveal the weak planetary signals."
The outer two planets around tau Ceti are likely to be candidate habitable worlds.
Kemo D. 7
On the eve of BioShock's 10th anniversary, let's take a look back at my favorite game of all time. BioShock's gripping metaphysical plot, over-the-top art deco levels and motley cast of hauntingly broken personas intermingle to furnish an experience so riveting and simultaneously disturbing that it fueled (at the time perfectly reasonable) conversations about games as more than dopamine-fueled diversions. Studio Irrational Games' 2007 first-person shooter takes the player on an imaginative journey through the fictional undersea city of Rapture, built by fanatical industrialist Andrew Ryan (whose name references Atlas Shrugged novelist and self-described objectivist Ayn Rand). The game set new standards for video games on so many levels, from its horrifying forms of self-augmentation, to its ecology of intersectional enemy behaviors and its sublime ways of channeling what amounted to a withering deconstruction of extremist modes of thought.
Personally, this is the greatest game of all time. I have a platinum trophy for each of the three BioShock games. It was an unforgettable journey and I highly recommend this game to everyone!
Kemo D. 7
An extremely rare white humpback whale has been spotted off the Australian coast as he undertake his annual migration. The albino is believed to be Migaloo, the world's most famous all-white humpback who has built up a loyal following since first being sighted in 1991. Tourists visiting the Great Barrier Reef were treated to the site of the whale surfacing off the coast of Cairns, in the northeast of the country.