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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The New Monopolies: Google, Facebook and Amazon

"...Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising in the U.S. Facebook and its major subsidiaries — Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger — account for 77 percent of mobile social media traffic. Almost $1 of every $2 in online retail sales goes through Amazon. Flush with revenues of tens of billions of dollars, each company has heavily expanded into other industries: Google udominates video (through YouTube), mapping, and personal email; Facebook is building consumer drones and virtual reality sets; Amazon recently bought the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. Digital enthusiasts once predicted that the internet would democratize business and industry; instead, it's enabled a handful of firms to have such dominant market shares that it's almost impossible to compete with them. Our lives are channeled once again through fewer and fewer companies controlled by a few men...." (more)

http://theweek.com/articles/714716/new-monopolies

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cosmic Rays: Particles That Shouldn't Exist

..."A cylindrical water tank with a small solar panel and a skyward-facing antenna sits unobtrusively in the nearly motionless landscape (of Argentina). But hidden within this scene is plenty of drama. At any given moment, millions of projectiles from deep space are raining down, penetrating every object in their path. Each particle then vanishes without a trace—unless it happens to pass through the water tank, where it causes a mi­nute spark visible to scientists thousands of miles away.

The tank is one of 1,600 spaced out at one-mile intervals over 1,100 square miles of land. Collectively they make up a $50 million physics experiment to study bits of atomic shrapnel that blast out from some of the most violent places in the universe. These energetic particles, called (somewhat misleadingly) cosmic rays, tell revealing tales about the exploding stars and black holes that have shaped galaxies and seeded the cosmos with the essential elements of life."

"Traditional telescopes are blind to many of these cataclysms... they have little new to say about the inner core of a quasar, the edge of a stellar shock wave, or clumps of dark matter. Visible light and radio waves do not or cannot escape from such regions. Cosmic rays, which fly straight from the site of the conflagration, can.
To attain a new perspective on the cosmos, astronomers are teaming up with particle physicists to develop clever ways of detecting these wayward particles."

Pierre Auger’s water tanks represent one way to do it; experiments borne by balloon, like the Advanced Thin Ionization Calorimeter, are another. 
The first thing to know about observing the universe with cosmic-ray eyes is that Earth’s atmosphere destroys these particles before they reach the ground. A cosmic ray—usually a proton, but sometimes other particles—will slam into air molecules 50 miles or so above the surface, rapidly shedding energy and giving rise to a shower of billions of electrons, positrons, and muons that rain down onto the terrain below.

That is where the network of water tanks comes in. The scientists chose them as detectors precisely because light moves more slowly in water than it does in air. A particle will come screaming through the atmosphere at close to light speed; as soon as it passes into the water, it finds itself in violation of nature’s speed limit. Whenever electrically charged particles go faster through an insulating material (like water) than the speed of light would allow, they disrupt nearby electrons, causing a flash of light (known as Cherenkov radiation).

Scientists know that a particle shower has occurred when multiple tanks detect flashes at the same time. By combining data on the precise timing of the flashes from all the tanks, physicists reconstruct the collision that took place high in the atmosphere and determine the energy and direction of the original cosmic ray. That’s why they call it a telescope.
In six years it has detected 1.6 million particle showers. 

Recently scientists traced the origin of a few such showers to violent supernovas in the galaxy M82, located 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major".....

The above comes from page one of a double page spread. For more, open page two to be amazed:
http://discovermagazine.com/2010/apr/26-mystery-of-particles-that-shouldnt-exist

Cosmic Rays:
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2009-21

Monday, August 28, 2017

Viking Shipwrecks Face Threat From Woodboring Shipworms

"The Baltic sea's cool, brackish waters have for centuries protected the wrecks from the wormlike mollusks commonly called 'termites of the sea'. But now global warming is making the Baltic Sea more comfortable for the critters. Shipworms, which can obliterate a wreck in ten years, have already attacked about a hundred sunken vessels dating back to the 13th century in Baltic waters off Germany, Denmark, and Sweden."

"Until recently the wood-boring mollusks, which generally require relatively salty waters, were unable to survive in the low-salt Baltic. In warmer water the animals appear to be somehow 'less stressed' by low salinity."

It should be noted that "the Baltic holds about a hundred thousand well-preserved shipwrecks—and counting. Really nice tall ships with the mast and everything intact are still being discovered. Every time [researchers] go down there with remotely operated vehicles they find new wrecks."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100119-viking-shipwrecks-worms-shipworms-global-warming/

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Nanook of the North": Life in the Actual Arctic Of 1922

"Nanook of the North (also known as Nanook of the North: A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic) is a 1922 American silent documentary film by Robert J. Flaherty, with elements of docudrama, at a time when separating films into documentary and drama did not yet exist."

"In the tradition of what would later be called salvage ethnography, Flaherty captured the struggles of the Inuk man named Nanook and his family in the Canadian Arctic. The film is considered the first feature-length documentary. Some have criticized Flaherty for staging several sequences, but the film is generally viewed as standing "alone in its stark regard for the courage and ingenuity of its heroes."
1 hour 18 minutes
https://youtu.be/uoUafjAH0cg

Note: Given the current climatic condition of the Arctic, such a genuine film would not be possible in this day and age.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Irony: Statue of Liberty Modeled After Arab Woman

"As Americans grapple with Trump's ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, it's a good time to point out a little-known irony. The Statue of Liberty — that symbol of American freedom and diversity that has greeted immigrants for generations — was originally modeled after an Arab woman."

"The statue's designer was enamored with Egyptian pyramids and monumental sculpture. According to historian Edward Berenson, in the 1860s, Bartholdi decided to build a monument to commemorate the opening of Egypt's Suez Canal."

"And that monument was going to be a woman in the southern opening of the canal holding up a torch over her head and that woman was dressed in Arab peasant garb. But when the ruler of Egypt went bankrupt, the colossal Suez sculpture project was jettisoned.
But the artist soon found a way to recycle his design. “A couple of years earlier, Bartholdi and his friends decided they were going to give a gift to the United States that was going to celebrate the centennial of the American Revolution,” Berenson explains. “And then, Bartholdi thought, ‘Ah! I’ve got a great idea! I can reuse this image but change it to fit the American Revolution.’”
Bartholdi changed the woman that was originally dressed in Arab garb into a Greco-Roman goddess of liberty. And the Statue of Liberty, as we know her today, was born."

https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-02-01/statue-liberty-was-modeled-after-arab-woman

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Climate Change: Why Should We Care?

Although I've spent countless hours reading and studying about global warming induced climate change, occasionally it's helpful to go back to the basics and look at an overview. The following is such:

What is climate change?
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24021772

Six graphics that explain climate change:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-5aceb360-8bc3-4741-99f0-2e4f76ca02bb

Articles and short video clips:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34320399

A more detailed overview:
http://harvardmagazine.com/node/2399

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Columbus: An Early Discoverer Of A Climate Change Factor

"There was a rain squall every afternoon when Christopher Columbus anchored at Jamaica in 1494. He remarked that the island's lush carpeting of forests caused these rains, for "he knew from experience that formerly this also occurred in the Canary, Madeira, and Azore Islands, but since the removal of forests that once covered those islands, they do not have so much mist and rain as before." Columbus was claiming to see an impact of living creatures on climate — in two senses. In the first place, humans are living creatures, so anything we do is an effect of life. More directly, Columbus thought the climate change was a result of alterations in the forms of life covering the islands, from forest to grassland. Of course a change in climate itself might bring such ecosystem alterations. But nothing altered a region so quickly and dramatically as human civilization."

https://history.aip.org/climate/biota.htm

Note: Today, we now know very well that Columbus was correct. Indeed, even more so than anyone could likely ever have imagined.

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Deforestation/deforestation_update2.php

Sunday, August 20, 2017

UBER: Another Corporate Scam

"Why Uber Is A Scam - Math Explains"
ScIQ (5 minutes)
https://youtu.be/fgQPj90OrQE

..."Uber is pretty cheap if you’re a passenger. So, how can Uber be so cheap, and yet the drivers make money?"

"Uber takes 20% of the total fare from the driver for older drivers. Newer drivers get 25% taken."

"Then you have to deduct tax: 
Uber doesn’t withold taxes for you. The drivers are responsible for keeping this money aside to pay the tax department.
"Now factor in depreciation of the car. A car is an asset like anything else, and will eventually wear out and you’ll have to buy a new one. Every mile you drive decreases the value of your car and brings you that much closer to needing a new one. This is a big problem if you drive for a living, you’re going to need to buy a new car every two or three years and the cost of a new car is significant."

"The IRS estimates vehicle cost to drive a vehicle for work at $0.54 a mile .
Broken down into:
Fuel costs @ an average of 12c per mile.
Depreciation at $0.24c per mile. 
Repairs, tyres, & maintainence at 9c per mile.
Insurance, licence, registration, finance, fees - average out to around 9c per mile (though these will mostly exist even if you don't drive).
So with 54c depreciation, repairs, and fuel accounted for, we’re down to almost nothing per mile that actually goes into your hands of drivers. 
"Given that Uber also asks its drivers to buy things like bottles of water, gum, and chargers for it’s passengers, we can say for certain that driving for Uber pays well below minimum wage or even worse, costing drivers money."

"So given the math is so bad, why does anyone drive for Uber?
Here’s an example of a post an Uber driver posted - he was $400 behind on the rent, and needed to make up some quick cash. In a way, Uber is kind of like a loans scheme.  
"Now for some people in desperate circumstances, what Uber’s offering might be an acceptable deal. But for most people, driving for Uber is a waste of time. 
"This number is supported by 'Not Cool Uber', who have tracked hourly earnings to be around $2.89 and, after vehicle fees are taken into account, $0."

"Now – I’m not against car pooling. We all need transport, and I know I am a frequent user of Uber & Lyft.  But I think that Uber is going about it in an unethical way, which makes me unethical for supporting them as a customer."

"Uber could easily fix this situation : by reducing their commission, by making rates more reasonable, by giving riders the option to Tip their drivers, or just by being transparent. But that would mean admitting that they’ve generated significant revenue from effectively exploiting their drivers. So the truth is, Uber benefits from maintaining this status quo. Uber is currently reported to be making $10 billion in revenue per year  - and that money has to come from someone."

Read more:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/67010/16-things-you-might-not-know-about-uber-and-its-drivers

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ocean Acidification: The 'Other' Global Carbon Problem

What is "ocean acidification":
https://wiki.kidzsearch.com/wiki/Ocean_acidification

The following 8 year old groundbreaking video documentary explores the startling phenomenon of ocean acidification, which will challenge marine life on a scale not seen for tens of millions of years since during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. Called the "other carbon problem", ocean acidification is now understood to actually be more dire than presented here. 
Note: A hundred years ago, the oceans seemed invulnerable to harm from us. A hundred years from now, the oceans will be dying. All because of our 'unrelenting' use of the fossil fuels of coal and oil. The solution is our transitioning ASAP to the use of renewable energy sources.

"Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification"
Full 21 minute video:
https://youtu.be/5cqCvcX7buo
Short 3 minute version:
https://youtu.be/aG3n1fAa7vk

Short explanation of ocean acidification:
"Demystifying ocean acidification and biodiversity impacts"
12 minute video:
https://youtu.be/GL7qJYKzcsk

Carbonic Acid dissolves calcium carbonate:
https://www.tes.com/sites/default/files/images/news_articles_migrated/3704.Ocean-acidification.jpg

https://lygsbtd.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/ocean-acidification.gif

Ocean acidification endangers Phytoplankton that is both an oxygen producer and a part of the oceanic food web:
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/phyto.html

The two main classes of phytoplankton are dinoflagellates and diatoms. Dinoflagellates use a whip-like tail, or flagella, to move through the water and their bodies are covered with complex shells. Diatoms, also, have shells...



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How Can A Gallon Of Gasoline Produce 20 Lbs. Of CO2?

"It seems impossible that a gallon of gasoline, which weighs about 6.3 pounds, could produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned. However, most of the weight of the CO2 doesn't come from the gasoline itself, but the oxygen in the air. When gasoline burns, the carbon and hydrogen separate. The hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water (H2O), and carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

A carbon atom has a weight of 12, and each oxygen atom has a weight of 16, giving each single molecule of CO2 an atomic weight of 44 (12 from carbon and 32 from oxygen).
Therefore, to calculate the amount of CO2 produced from a gallon of gasoline, the weight of the carbon in the gasoline is multiplied by 44/12 or 3.7.
Since gasoline is about 87% carbon and 13% hydrogen by weight, the carbon in a gallon of gasoline weighs 5.5 pounds (6.3 lbs. x .87).
We can then multiply the weight of the carbon (5.5 pounds) by 3.7, which equals 20 pounds of CO2!"
https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/contentIncludes/co2_inc.htm


On average, a person's contribution of carbon dioxide waste to the atmosphere is forty times greater than their production of solid trash to landfills when measured as mass.
https://skepticalscience.com/behind_the_Lines_CO2_shotput.html

195+ Global Warming & Climate Change Myths
https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

Symbiotic Anger Thought Germs Spread Via Internet

You know that ideas can spread and mutate. But what makes memes spread faster? Anger. Here's a video, "This Video Will Make You Angry", that explores how "angry thought germs" can spread, and reinforce opposing viewpoints.
"This Video Will Make You Angry"
(7 minutes)
https://youtu.be/rE3j_RHkqJc
Script of the above video-
http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/this-video-will-make-you-angry
Article about the above video:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/this-video-will-save-you-from-wasting-so-much-time-argu-1690568642

Where Memes Really Come From-
"The most fundamental unit of cultural meaning, is called a "meme." Like a gene, a meme wants to spread and evolve, but it does so at a much faster rate than genes. An idea can mutate an entire culture in less than a generation..."
http://io9.gizmodo.com/5978399/where-memes-really-come-from





Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Doctor As A Placebo Or Nocebo

One's deep seated emotional, mental and soulful state of awareness determines a great deal. Especially the manifestations of physical health.

"This Video Will Hurt": Nocebos
CGP Grey (7 minutes)-
https://youtu.be/O2hO4_UEe-4

Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves? Do things that make you smile. (19 minutes)
TEDx Talks 
https://youtu.be/LWQfe__fNbs

The shocking truth about your health & a wellness model
TEDx Talks (18 minutes)
https://youtu.be/7tu9nJmr4Xs

Loneliness: The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren't Talking About (19 min.)
TEDx Talks 
https://youtu.be/s2hLhWSlOl0

Lissa Rankin: "Mind over matter", Playlist-
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2tn9rHAzzyFQXAwXZtoRaNzmmbRNnSCI

Best of all:
On a related topic, Near Death Experiences, and miraculous healings:
"Dying to be me! Anita Moorjani"
TEDx Talks (18 minutes)-
https://youtu.be/rhcJNJbRJ6U

Saturday, August 12, 2017

2175: Past the Point of No Return

David Vance stood alone on a high cliff overlooking the ocean. As he looked down, he was startled to realize that because his vantage point was so very high that he could not immediately discern that the sea level was higher than when he was a kid. He'd been coming to this spot all of his life whenever he'd suffered a personal setback. Looking out across the undulating surface of Poseidon's domain reassured him that life, though changed, would go on.

This time, what brought him to this overlook of the sea was loneliness. His wife, Miko , had returned to her homeland to help her parents pack up their belongings and move them into contract housing that the government was providing for citizens displaced by encroaching tide lines. She had said that she would stay there only as long as they needed her to adapt to their new situation. But, they both knew that no matter how intelligent and diligent she was, there were too many ever cascading factors that would ever allow Miko's return.

He'd applied for an admissions visa for his in-laws; but, there were simply too many 'climate refugees'. Regional conflicts had been raging ever since he'd been born, and he knew that Miko would likely be prevented from returning due to intense hostility from his countrymen. Vigilantes patrolled the edges of all border entry points and made it too dangerous for Miko to return safely even if she'd tried.

So, he stood staring at what lay out beyond the horizon, not seeing the seals riding the waves beneath his vantage point nor hearing the gulls calling out to one another as they rode the wind. Nor did he notice the spot where he used to play under his parents' watchful eyes when they came on a family outing. That broad beach was gone -- submerged beneath the breakers.

Indeed, there were fewer and fewer family outings anywhere. Most of his generation had stopped having children due to the uncertainty that the future held. And competition for resources was making people do things that had been unthinkable before. Before the series of mini-wars, droughts, starvations and plagues that had begun decimating all populations everywhere. 

David reflected briefly on all of this, and then realized that the setting sun was warning him that darkness was approaching. So, he unslung his rifle, shouldered his gear and headed north. He wouldn't be coming back this way. No one would.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/us/resettling-the-first-american-climate-refugees.html

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Why The Moon Does Not Actively Rotate

Rotate means 'to move' or 'cause to move' in a circle around an axis (or spin as if on an axis).

When the moon first formed, it had a rate of rotation (spin) different than what we observe today. But, as one side became heavier than the other side, the side with the greater mass and gravitational attraction became  "tidally locked" with its primary (Earth). Though the moon does rotate, it does not "spin" on its axis.

https://samslair.blogspot.com/2015/01/moon-why-same-side-always-faces-earth.html?m=1

Why we always see the same side of the moon?
http://discovermagazine.com/2014/dec/2-ask-discover

I say that there is 'active rotation' of most moons around planets and 'passive rotation' of others. Those that had energetically retained their inertia spinning motion from the early formation of the solar system are actively rotating. But our moon formed into a spherical lump by a different process and never had proper rotational motion embued in it. Others' spinning motions were disrupted by outside forces such as collisions.


At the 46 second mark in the first minute of the following video, note the swirling,spinning, rotational motion of the nebular cloud as it flattens itself into a spinning disc. Also, note the spinning mini-swirls that form into planets away from the sun. It is this active spinning that we see the rotation of planetary bodies today.

The Nebular Theory of Solar System Formation (3 minutes)
https://youtu.be/PL3YNQK960Y

Real solar system forming right now:
https://samslair.blogspot.com/2014/11/hl-tauri-planets-early-stage-formation.html?m=1

Image of a solar system in early stage of formation:
http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2014-11-20-HLTauRings.jpg

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Facebook: Corporate Thievery Based On Advertising

Two years ago, "Facebook announced 8 billion video views per day. This number is made out of lies, cheating and worst of all: theft. All of this is wildly known; but the media giant Facebook is pretending everything is fine, while damaging independent creators in the process. How does this work?"
How Facebook Is Stealing Billions Of Views (5 minutes)
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell 

https://youtu.be/t7tA3NNKF0Q


"Facebook says it’s now streaming more video than YouTube. To be able to make that claim, all they had to do was cheat, lie, and steal."
Hank Green Article (Note: The original article is blocked. So, I've substituted another article about the original.)

My Comment: I personally don't do Facebook. I do understand it's attraction and utility for others though. However, the above highlights the dark side of Facebook corporate greed. Its users need to realize that they share responsibility for participating in this outrageous and  scammy behavior that is not readily apparent to the uninitiated!

Other Facebook Problems:

Facebook Fraud / Fake Likes
Veritasium (9 minutes)
https://youtu.be/oVfHeWTKjag

The Problem With Facebook / Isolating you with self affirming views while you're being scammed... Facebook users are now all advertisers.
2veritasium (7 minutes)
https://youtu.be/l9ZqXlHl65g

Monday, August 7, 2017

Trianon Coffee Shop & Comics from the Austin American Statesman


As I sat in my comfortable chair at the Trianon Coffee Shop earlier today reading the Austin American Statesman thoughtfully provided by the owners for their customers, I lamented that this daily pleasure would be ending in December due to their lease renewal not being accepted because the new owners of the shopping center want a coffee shop equivalent of Trader Joe's in this location instead. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, since Global Retails Investors is owned and financed by the 'California' Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). Need I say more?


At any rate, since I'll miss getting to read the newspaper each day, I decided to keep up with the comics from the paper via the internet.
 So, why not share this with you:

COMICS

All COMICS:

Comics Kingdom:

Frank and Ernest + All Comics;

Baby Blues

Baldo

B.C.

Blondie

Born Loser

Buckles

Candorville

Dilbert 

Dustin

Frazz

Garfield

Hagar the Horrible

Hi andLois

Jump Start

Luann

Mother Goose and Grimm

Mutts

Non Sequitur

One Big Happy

Peanuts

Phoebe and Her Unicorn 

Pickles

Pooch Cafe

Prickly City

Red and River

Rose Is Rose

Sally Forth

The Born Loser

The Lockhorns

The Other Coast

Wizard of Id

Ziggy

Zits

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Love vs Fear & Freedom of Choice

Love is the attractor; 
Fear is the repeller.

Love brings us together; 
Fear tears us apart.

Love is about commonality;
Fear is all about differences.

Love is a motivator;
Fear is a debilitator.

Love accepts;
Fear rejects.

Without love there is no compassion, no peace, no real way to communicate with one another. When fear takes over, we all lose. Why? Because we quit trying. We cease even wanting resolution. 

Perhaps we need fear in order to appreciate love and all that love has to offer. The choice between love and fear, however, is ours to make. The choice is between good and evil. Evil is live spelled backwards. It shows you that you're going to and facing the wrong direction. The negative feedback that this generates should tell you to turn around and face the Light. May Light and Love restore the Plan on Earth! Amen!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Trianon Coffee Shop Being Ousted By California Pension Fund

"In Austin's West Lake Hills, the coffee shop, The Trianon, is closing at the end of the year because it wasn't given the chance to renew their lease by the West Woods Shopping Center new owners, according to Trianon co-owner Michael Sexton. This was "because they want a bright, new coffee shop to enhance their image," he wrote in an email newsletter. Taking its place is another location of milk-slinging Summer Moon Coffee Bar..."

My Comment: To me, this is a very sad piece of news. I've been going regularly to The Trianon since 1989. I used to watch them roast their coffee beans until they moved the roasters off site because of complaints about the coffee bean aroma in the area.
       I drink drip coffee black. And that is a good measure of good coffee beans. Not so when milk and sweeteners are added. The Trianon knows how to make "good" coffee. They brew it using a wide variety of different kinds of coffee beans, and they always have at least one organic coffee at the ready. I could go in every day, and at the end of six weeks I still wouldn't have tried them all. 
          As the years have gone by, as I've traveled around Austin, I've tried other new venues. All are better than Starbucks, but none better than The Trianon (except one that's on the opposite side of town called the Cherrywood Coffeehouse -- though they only just serve their one house coffee, not the variety that The Trianon does). They all rely heavily on their coffee-based drink trade. Even those who buy 'coffee black' all too often add milk and sweeteners. That means that they don't really know what the coffee itself tastes like.
Note: The underhanded way that The Trianon is being ousted leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I won't be doing business at this shopping center anymore. I can go across the street to the other shopping center to eat out, get my hair cut, buy pet supplies, etcetera. For my coffee, the other shopping center has Seattle's Best coffee at MacDonalds.Why heck! The Trianon was the main reason I frequented their shopping center in the first place. Now, this ouster will be the reason I won't.
Furthermore, I predict that the Summer Moon's lease will become increasingly more expensive during the next few years [especially since Global Retail Investors (aka California Public Employees' Retirement System CalPERS) paid far too much for this particular retail real estate] and that they'll have to support their Westlake location with their other coffee bars. Note: The Trianon's clientele is rather unique in many ways. Their stalwart patronage over the years has been more than just about the coffee. It has, also,  been the good wholesome homey vibes atmosphere. Not hippie and not yuppie. Just real people. 

Trianon-The Coffee Place to close at the end of 2017
https://communityimpact.com/austin/lake-travis-westlake/business/2017/08/02/trianon-coffee-place-close-end-2017/

Summer Moon Coffee Bar to Open in West Lake Hills in 2018:
https://communityimpact.com/austin/lake-travis-westlake/business/2017/08/03/summer-moon-coffee-bar-open-west-woods-shopping-center-2018/

Prime retail center near Westlake sells to giant conglomerate:
https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/real-estate/2016/02/prime-retail-center-near-westlake-sells-to-giant.amp.html

Higher Rents for Retail in Austin Ahead:
https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/real-estate/2016/01/higher-rents-in-store-retail-real-estate.html

Last summer, The Trianon invested heavily in remodeling. Unbeknownst, at the same time, the shopping center owners were negotiating with Summer Moon to take over the newly remodeled space and without saying a word. The Trianon's heavy investment is down the crapper.

Currently, The Trianon is hard to get to because the shopping center owners are revamping the front of all the stores. It'll likely be a couple of months before that's finished. Just in time to shoo us away in December.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Educating Self Via YouTube....

....is practical if you exercise common sense.

For example:
"How a single-celled organism almost wiped out life on Earth" (4 minutes)
TED-ED Talk
https://youtu.be/dO2xx-aeZ4w

The Trouble With Trilobites
PBS Eons (7 minutes)
https://youtu.be/Aji2VnQFUCs

"We Are All Related" (6 min.)
by Vsauce
https://youtu.be/BhtgINeaJWg

"Empty Space Is Not Empty"
by Veritasium (5 minutes)
https://youtu.be/J3xLuZNKhlY

What If Only 100 People Existed on Earth? 
by RealLifeLore (7 minutes)
https://youtu.be/UbffuGZHeR0

Why Nature Loves Hexagons 
by It's Okay To Be Smart (Six minutes)
https://youtu.be/Pypd_yKGYpA

The Animated History of Ukraine (6 minutes)
by Suibhne
https://youtu.be/9aiPkqfv0Yg

When you find a YouTube channel you like and can trust, use the YouTube  search function and type in their name for their other videos. Or, search their name on your 'web search engine' for their home page and further information. 
To find a wider variety, search using "educational youtube channels" as search parameter.

Sometimes a YouTube channel has only one video. For example:
The OBSERVER EFFECT of QUANTUM PHYSICS says: "Your THOUGHTS affect REALITY"
https://youtu.be/Bq69-MI9TA0

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Global Warming: Are We Doomed?

Ancients stood on shore and watched the tall masts of ships appear and disappear over the horizon. They observed the shape of the moon. They, also, observed lunar and solar eclipses. The educated people who were astute knew that the Earth was curved, hence round. This, combined with other observations, enabled them to then calculate the size of the Earth. The average man could have understood that the planet was round if it'd been explained properly, though he'd not have necessarily understood the geometry used to determine its size. The rigid minded person would not have been willing to comprehend these inferences.

Today, we see ancient glaciers in Greenland melting away and ice shelves calving huge icebergs as ocean levels rise.  World temperatures are slowly and steadily increasing as weather patterns shift. We observe increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere and the acidification of the oceans. We find that methane hydrate is gassing out from ever deeper depths of the ocean as well as from the melting tundra. The inference that increasing levels of greenhouse gases being released can only amplify the temperatures now and in the future is hard to ignore.

So, are we doomed? That depends on the level of recalcitrance of our human condition. Or, to use a biblical reference, the degree of our being "stiff necked".
http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/stiff-necked/

Evangelicals should note that though God promised us that he would not destroy mankind again, He did not indicate that He would stop us from destroying ourselves.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Eve's Edenic Gift: Free Will

The fundamentalists' failure to comprehend who wrote the Bible reflects a general inability to appreciate the great and wonderful depth of spirituality that the Bible truly offers. Whether 'tis the Psalms, Proverbs or Parables of Jesus, higher order thinking skills and learnedness are required to appreciate what God breathed into biblical texts.
Note: Not all that the 'Council of Nicea' choose to include in what we call the Bible is genuine, and not all that was genuinely Spiritual was included.

Question: Since Adam and Eve were freely enjoying sex under God's purview before eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, why would such be considered part of the Original Sin?
Answer: Because, in truth, the "original sin" was choosing to partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (it was not that of having sex-- that notion was tacked on later by theologians). When mankind took on the responsibility of Freedom of Choice, which is what separates the Human Kingdom from the Animal Kingdom, it was the step forward which separated us from our evolutionary past. Though Edenic nostalgia may long for the days of the proverbial Garden of Eden, such an Age of Innocence was metaphorical.

We are now self-aware and struggling to become more fully conscious:
"As spiritual beings evolve, they are allowed to participate in making decisions, that is to say, they acquire some autonomy. Once a certain point is reached, when spiritual beings are mature enough, they will acquire their own free will, which is the capacity to decide their own destiny for themselves. In other words, they acquire their independence and make their own decisions regarding their evolution."
page 41 of:
http://www.uv.es/vguillem/Thespirituallaws.pdf

Humor:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/4b/8a/e9/4b8ae9904d30adc33db42a204858b552.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/22/18/54/221854e6d39dcba41977117e22b33be3--free-will-free-range.jpg