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January 2019

Sonic Cannons Shatter Famed Aussie Whale Nursery

in The Life Slant by

*It’s incomprehensible that seismic surveys are allowed to destroy a magnificent and vital slice of a renowned southern hemisphere marine nursery for more climate destroying fossil fuels.

On Monday, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety & Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) gave the green light for an oil and gas contractor to sonically bombard the seabed for petroleum reserves across almost 12,000 square miles of the Great Australian Bight.

Marine Nurseries - Pygmy blue whale
Pygmy blue whales are a smaller and darker subspecies of the Southern Ocean blue whales with a different shaped blowhole. Image credit: Plos One

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Trump – An American Hero

in The Political Slant by

*That today’s Democratic Party has the political gall to viciously fight over a few billion dollars that’re earmarked for strengthening and securing US borders, after having given rubber stamp approval to hand over tens and tens of billions of USD to the world’s number one state sponsor of murderous, destructive, terrorist acts, is ghastly.

It should deeply upset and alarm any sensible person of any political belief set that Iran, Iran, was held on high under Obama, with aid given to them, terrorists and oppressors hellbent on bloodshed, as the US House of Congress sat complicit with and ignorant of the wrongfulness, implications and consequences of such aid to such people (the “Iran Deal” was very obviously a treacherous, and potentially traitorous, sham).

Image Credit: aim.org

It should also grieve any sensible person that leading Democrats wish only to play out-and-out, highly disruptive politics on the all important issue of the safety of the American citizenry.  Hell, if just one American woman is brutally raped by someone who illegally entered our country then it’s a public safety issue.  Evidently, the Democrats just don’t care, as they hide behind the frivolous notion that tightening border security is somehow not in alignment with American values.  They are all full of spit (please switch out the p for an h if desired). Keep Reading

Starving Orcas, Humans Next

in The Life Slant by

*Oceans occupy more than 95 percent of all living space on Earth. Oceans drive Earth’s climate. Oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of all fossil fuel combustion heat. The oceanic heat is now equivalent to detonating three Hiroshima-style bombs every second for 75 straight years. That heat is wreaking death upon all life on Earth.

This week, scientists announced that worst-case scenario climate model predictions underestimated oceanic heat by a whopping 40 percent.

Houston, we have a problem. Keep Reading

CRISPR – New Gene Altering Technology

in The Tech Slant by
CRISPR - Gene Altering Technology

*A new technology that will change the world has emerged, called CRISPR, an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat. While the mechanics of this technology are an essay all by itself, suffice to say that it is a technique that alters genes, the formula for life in DNA. Discovered by a food company that was studying a bacterium called Streptococcus thermophiles, it turns out that CRISPR has the ability to alter the genetic makeup of whatever DNA where ever it is applied. Even if CRISPR turns out unable to genetically alter human beings, it is one step closer to our ability to do so.

The backlash against GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) still rages, while disease-resistant plants that could keep populations healthy are ignored. Golden rice, which would prevent blindness in children in Third World countries, was shunned for quite some time, all due to unjustified fear of GMOs. (I wrote a very sad research paper on that topic.) CRISPR is (from my admittedly shallow understanding) another method of altering DNA to resist diseases, among other things. The question before us is whether we should use CRISPR to alter our genetic makeup, and, more importantly, to alter the DNA of our offspring to make them healthier.

If the genetic investigation indicates that your child will be autistic, and you had the ability to stop it, would you do it?”

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Empty the Tanks – 16 Months, 3 Deaths

in The Life Slant by

*On December 30, 2018, the third imprisoned Atlantic bottlenose dolphin died in just over one year since Dolphinaris Arizona filled its tanks.

Empty the Tanks - Dolphin Dies in Arizona
10-year-old Kloe died last week at Dolphinaris from a painful long-term chronic illness caused by the Sarcocystis parasite. Image credit: ABC

Now there are just five remaining inmates housed at this wretched facility located near Scottsdale. 400 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, these masterpiece bottlenose dolphins are forced to swim in bathtubs, performing asinine tricks until they perish. It’s cruel and inhumane.

What horrible crimes did these exquisite mammals commit to merit such a heinous lifetime of punishment? Keep Reading

The Golden Age of Linux

in The Tech Slant by
*“Do you wanna run up to Egghead with me?  The new version of Netscape is out and I want to get it before they run out again.”

Egghead – for the uninitiated – was a brick and mortar retail store in your town that sold software released on floppy disks or CDs and packaged in colorful shrink-wrapped boxes.  Netscape was the first widely-used web browser; in 1996 it cost $49 and had to be installed separately.

The biggest difference between then and now is that we don’t buy or own software anymore; like beer, we only rent it.  Fortunately beer doesn’t prompt us to log into our mountain fresh account by tapping a secret code on the can before being enabled to enjoy the product we’ve paid good money for, or force us to wait while the beer is infused with updated hops, or require us to agree to ‘terms’ so one-sided as to actually be jocular – except that it is not funny.

The days of spacing out and alternating software purchases to help stay within a budget have gone the way of the floppy disk.  Monthly and/or yearly subscription fees for specialty software used for image editing, audio/video creation, publishing and developing can quickly add up to hundreds every year.  Once MS moves its Windows operating system to a subscription plan the average household can be looking at annual fees of between five hundred and a thousand dollars per year just to check email! Keep Reading

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