Thursday, January 19, 2017

SubTropolis


Sub Tropolis is a 55,000,000 square-foot underground business complex located in Kansas City, Missouri. It currently rents space to 55 local, national and international businesses with more than 1,600 employees working at the facility.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, limestone mining left millions of square feet of caves in Kansas City. After mining slowed down, late Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt converted the caves into industrial space for lease.





Paris Brothers specialty foods


United States Postal Service


LightEdge data center

Behold SubTropolis: The Underground City Located In An Excavated Kansas Mine

Kansas City has a massive network of underground caves that houses over 400 businesses, including a paintball facility and a post office
Doing business 100 feet underground

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ice Shove

Some amazing videos of what I believe are all different types of ice shoves.









According to Wikipedia, an ice shove, ice surge, ice heave, ivu, or shoreline ice pileup is a surge of ice from an ocean or large lake onto the shore. Ice shoves are caused by ocean currents, strong winds, or temperature differences pushing ice onto the shore, creating piles up to 12 metres (40 feet) high. Some have described them as 'ice tsunamis', but the phenomenon works like an iceberg. Witnesses have described the shove's sound as being like that of a train or thunder. Ice shoves can damage buildings and plants that are near to the body of water.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

David Lynch's Return of the Jedi

Man, how did I miss this excellent fan film trailer imagining what Return of the Jedi would have been like if it was directed by David Lynch?



Lynch directing a Star Wars film sounds ludicrous but truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Apparently Lucas approached Lynch in 1981 with the prospect of directing the third installment of the franchise.

According to Lynch:
“I went to meet George Lucas, who had offered me the third Star Wars to direct, and I’ve never even really liked science fiction. I like elements of it, but it needs to be combined with other genres. And, obviously, Star Wars was totally George’s thing.”
Lynch turn it down, realizing that he wasn't a good fit for the job. Makes you wonder what the hell was going on with Lucas to consider him in the first place. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Highland Heights Elementary (R.I.P.)

I just came across a video of the demolition of Highland Heights elementary school, which I attended sometime around 1978 to 1982.



I got a little sentimental after seeing the old building come down and started poking around the internet.

The school was built in 1931 on Main and Renshaw Avenue as Dale Elementary (this was actually the third Dale Elementary location). It was renamed Highland Heights Elementary in 1960. The Campbell County School District closed it after building Crossroads Elementary in Cold Spring and the building was torn down in 2012.

Here's some video I found from another sentimental guy of the school just before and during it's demolition.








http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kycampbe/highlandheights.htm

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/campbellcounty/2016/07/22/seniorhousing-comesback-highlandheights/87437046/

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Countries Ranked by Military Strength


I found two indexes which ranked countries by military strength. The Global Firepower index seems to be the one most often used based on the number of times I came across it while searching for articles.

The second index was part of a 2015 report put out by Credit Suisse. It cited as it's sources Global Firepower, SIPRI, and itself.



Countries Ranked by Military Strength: Global Firepower (2014)
From Business Insider 07/10/14







The End of Globalization or a more Multipolar World?: Credit Suisse Research Institute, Sept. 2015



The End of Globalization or a more Multipolar World?: Credit Suisse Research Institute, Sept. 2015
Countries Ranked by Military Strength: Global Firepower





Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ted Chiang

 A technical writer by trade, Chiang has this side gig of writing amazing science fiction short stories. Though Chiang's portfolio is somewhat limited, having published I believe less than twenty stories since first being published in 1990, he has received a great deal of praise for the quality of his work including four Nebula awards, four  Hugo awards, and others. Basically, if you like science fiction, you should check him out.

I recently watched the trailer for Arrival which I immediately recognized as being based on Chiang's short story "Story of your life".



As can be seen from the trailer, the story's central theme revolves around human scientist interacting with newly arrived aliens as they work to break the language barrier between them. Additionally it delves into concepts such as the perception of time, memory, determinism and free will. All of this wrapped into a story that frankly left me in tears at the end. Given that the typical movie goer doesn't like to go more than ten minutes without something exploding, it will be interesting to see if the movie stays true to Chiang's short story and if so, will it still be appealing to the general audience.


Below are a list of links to various Ted Chiang short stories and collections I've discovered online.

Links to ebooks
Stories of your life and others - Links to a site which

Links to individual stories
Story of your life
Tower of Babylon
Division by Zero
Understand
The Evolution of Human Science

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

LO AND BEHOLD: REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD, is a 2016 documentary by director Werner Herzog which chronicles the virtual world and contemplates its implications for humankind.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jesse Ventura's Strange Views on Protest





"I salute Colin Kaepernick. I fully support him...That's why I served my country, so that you have the freedom to protest...I don't have to agree with him, but I'll still respect his right to do it, and everyone should respect that. He shouldn't be booed".

..."When I was governor of Minnesota, the Dems and Repubs tried to nail me. You know what they did? They passed a law requiring the Pledge of Allegiance for all public school children. I immediately vetoed it. You know why? Because government should not mandate patriotism. Governments earn patriotism. You earn that. Who mandated patriotism? The Germans in the 1930's. They mandated patriotism. That's what we want to be? We wanna build walls now and be East Berlin?

This is such a mind-numbingly bad argument it's difficult to respond to, so I'm going to try to reconstruct it in simpler terms. 

P1. Colin Kaepernick should have the freedom to protest. 
P2. Government mandated patriotism can lead to tyranny similar to that found in Nazi Germany. 
C. Individuals shouldn't protest Colin Kaepernick's protest by booing. 

First off, I agree with Ventura that Kaepernick should have the right to protest. Where I disagree is with Ventura's belief that people who disagree with Kaepernick shouldn't express their disapproval with his protest, particularly by booing him. Isn't booing a form of protest? 

According to the Oxford dictionary, protest is defined as "a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something." Booing is defined as something "said to show disapproval or contempt."

I think Ventura is being a bit hypocritical when he criticizes protest when it is directed at protest. He seems to believe that expressing disapproval about a particular protest is equal to attacking the freedom to protest, which of course is ridiculous. 

I have to wonder if he would feel the same way about some of the protest put on by the Westboro Baptist church? Should we all shut up because saying anything against them would disrespect their right to protest?

Ventura's next stupefying move is to make the illogical connection between individuals expressing their disapproval about Kaepernick's protest and the tyranny of Nazi Germany. Strangely, he does this using the example of when the democrats and republicans tried to pass a law in Minnesota requiring school children to say the pledge of allegiance.

This is completely irrelevant to his argument. There is obviously a difference between the government mandating patriotism and individuals of the citizenry expressing their own patriotism. Booing Kaepernick is not a call for government suppression. On the contrary, it is individuals using their freedom of speech to express disapproval. Seems strange that Ventura, a guy that prides himself on his libertarian beliefs, isn't able to make this distinction.