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Article on ‘New Historians’ and the Mis-representation of Israel April 30, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Judaism/Israel.
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An article in Middle East Forum regarding the misrepresentations, by Morris, of Zionism and Zionists’ attitudes towards the relocation of Palestinians during the migration of Jews to Israel before, during, and after its foundation. Lots of very interesting quotes, showing how Morris selectively edits statements by Herzl, Ben-Gurion, and others, basically completely changing the intent of these people. Rather than pro-relocation, as Morris would have us believe, they are ambivalent, at best, and mostly dead set against it.

One piece of the article, in particular, about Hertzl, really took me back:

Most importantly, Herzl’s diary entry makes no mention of either Arabs or Palestine, and for good reason. A careful reading of Herzl’s diary entries for June 1895 reveals that, at the time, he did not consider Palestine to be the future site of Jewish resettlement but rather South America.[19] “I am assuming that we shall go to Argentina,” Herzl recorded in his diary on June 13. In his view, South America “would have a lot in its favor on account of its distance from militarized and seedy Europe … If we are in South America, the establishment of our State will not come to Europe’s notice for a considerable period of time.”[20] Indeed, Herzl’s diary entries during the same month illustrate that he conceived all political and diplomatic activities for the creation of the future Jewish state, including the question of the land and its settlement, in the Latin American context. “Should we go to South America,” Herzl wrote on June 9, “our first state treaties will have to be with South American republics. We shall grant them loans in return for territorial privileges and guarantees.” Four days later he wrote, “Through us and with us, an unprecedented commercial prosperity will come to South America.”[21]

Wow. I had no idea that the original Zionists (well, at least Herzl) didn’t look upon Palestine as their target, but South America. Shows how much I know about the Zionist movement. I get most of my ‘knowledge’ from the MSM, as does most everyone else. Wonder what else has been distorted. No, I don’t really wonder. I know….

Winds of Change Thread on AI, etc. April 26, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics.
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Interesting commentary. One question that I have about a quote from Celebrim:

In science fiction, S1+ intelligences almost invariably 'uplift' themselves into some sort of godlike being a short time after they are created. I think that this narrative of the superbeing is based on our poor understanding of the limitations of intelligence. It's not at all clear to me that all problems are ammendable to computation. It's not at all clear to me that all problems are solvable. In fact, in computer science you learn that some problems are provably unsolvable.

Is he talking about NP problems?  If so, I'm curious about the characterization of them as "provably unsolvable."  In my readings and schooling, I don't recall ever coming across an accounting of NP problems as provably unsolvable.  Just currently unsolvable.  And, in fact, there is a lot of  money riding on finding a solution to any NP problem, as they are very related, and a solution to one would provide a solution to them all.

Just a point of curiousity.  If I get the time, I'm going to explore Celebrim's writings a little more, to see if there is some clarification to his claim.

A Supposed ‘Take Down’ of Time’s Global Warming Warning April 26, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Math/Science, Politics (Ghahh!).
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Here's a PDF article that attacks the Time cover story released at the beginning of this month.  Something to read in my 'off hours'.

Different Type of Hybrid Engine April 25, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Math/Science.
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The Boston Globe has an article about a different type of hybrid engine:

The results of the years of work on his ideas were shown on screens above the company’s stand: a computer image of an odd-looking engine, its pistons moving in an old-timey stutter step, with an air tank on the side.
It’s the model for the Scuderi air-hybrid engine, an invention the Scuderis say breaks longstanding barriers to generating more power with less fuel. By their reckoning, a Scuderi engine could power a hybrid vehicle that doubles the fuel economy of a typical vehicle for a fraction of the cost of today’s gasoline-electric systems.
”We’re basically preserving technology that’s been around for a century, but we’ve tweaked it a bit and made it better,” Sal Scuderi said.
They won’t have a working prototype until next year, but the Scuderis have:

  • Verified their unique engine ideas with outside experts.
  • Raised $8 million to fund the company.
  • Patented their designs in 45 countries.

The moves put them several steps ahead of the parade of engine inventors who have made pilgrimages to Detroit over the years to tout engineering breakthroughs.

Study on Depleted Uranium April 24, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Math/Science, WoT.
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I need to read this. Others claim that it is a slam-dunk debunking of the claims that DU causes massive problems to those who are exposed.  I want to read it myself so that I can learn the details.  I’ve heard many different ‘experts’ claim many different positions on DU.

The paper was written by the IAEA and looks at exposure in Kosovo. 

Steve Jobs Introducing iPod April 19, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Apple/AAPL.
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Here’s a video of Steve Jobs introducing the original iPod.  Pretty cool look back at the creation of an icon.

Oh, Those Chemical Weapons April 17, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in WoT.
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Here's an article in The American Thinker from a couple of years ago that asks questions I've been wondering about myself.  I don't have time to go into great detail (maybe later, after I've had a chance to digest the nuggets), but the author is asking about how the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) could possibly ignore all of the pesticides that have been found, interestingly enough, around several Iraqi military bases.  Money quote:

Another find occurred around the northern Iraqi town of Bai’ji, where elements of the 4th Infantry Division (Mech) discovered 55-gallon drums of a substance that mass spectrometer testing confirmed was cyclosarin and an unspecified blister agent.  A mobile laboratory was also found nearby that could have been used to mix chemicals at the site.  And only yards away, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, as well as gas masks were found.  Of course, later tests by the experts revealed that these were only the ubiquitous pesticides that everybody was turning up. It seems that Iraqi soldiers were obsessed with keeping their ammo dumps insect-free, according to the reading of the evidence now enshrined by the conventional wisdom that “no WMD stockpiles have been discovered.”

I honestly don't know what to say.  This has been bugging the crap out of me ever since the war started.  How the ISG could be ignoring such obvious evidence is really beyond me, except that either someone was bought off, or there is some major ass-covering going on.  I know why the press has been ignoring it, but why the ISG?

Digital Cameras: CMOS vs. CCD April 15, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Family, Video/Photography.
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Okay. So I’m doing some research, trying to figure out this whole CMOS vs CCD thingy. Our old Canon digital camera bit the dust, and I’m looking at buying a new one, along with a digital camcorder, so that we can have all the right stuff for our trip to Hawaii in November. I’ve been googling, and hitting the Canon site for information, and I came across this article in PC World. Fabulous timing!

Final (?) Thoughts on the ‘Mobile Bio Labs’ April 15, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Politics (Ghahh!), WoT.
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I’ve been ruminating over the discussion about the mobile labs. I have my own entry below. While I tend to lean towards the Duelfer conclusion that they were meant for hydrogen production, I still have some questions that haven’t been completely answered, at least to my satisfaction. Maybe there are answers out there, but I haven’t seen them.

1) We know that Hussein was real big on ‘dual-use’ components and equipment. We have many records of him purchasing various pieces of equipment that had both legitimate industrial application, as well as application towards ends that violated his agreements with the U.N./U.S. The trucks that we found were (and still are, to me) somewhat suspicious in that regard. Why did he have them built in such an odd fashion? They, by all appearances, are not ideally suited towards the manufacturing of hydrogen in the field. The equipment being used, the way it was constructed, the cost of manufacturing this equipment, none of it lends itself towards a clean, cost-effective means of manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons, or artillary equipment, as has been claimed.

2) Why build it in the first place? They certainly could have purchased this equipment much cheaper.

3) Why weren’t these trucks declared to the weapons inspectors? There were 6 other categories of trucks declared to the inspectors over the years. Why not these? Did the Iraqis simply forget? Color me sceptical.

4) Especially questionable to me: why was the equipment scoured with a highly corrosive, toxic cleanser? There is nothing about the manufacturing of hydrogen in the field that requires solvents that are only used to clean equipment that has been exposed to either dangerous chemicals, or dangerous biological agents.

5) The Duelfer Report states pretty unequivocally that the trucks could really only be used for hydrogen manufacturing in the field. However, it has been argued elsewhere (no links, sorry; I’ll dig around and update this, if I get the chance. I know that the CIA page has an example of possible configurations.) that all of the objections raised in the Report are answered if you employ multiple trucks for the operation. Cleansing of the system, pumping the manufactured agents, etc. Every objection is answered. Now, it is up to reasonable people to reach their own conclusions regarding how realistic these counter-arguments are, but that’s part of my point. I think reasonable people can reach their own conclusions. I don’t think this is as cut-and-dry as the Duelfer Report would have us believe. Given Hussein’s known perfidy, I think it is more than reasonable to reach conclusions different than the Report does.

These are questions that I think need to be answered before I can really put this to rest in my mind. I’m going to re-read the Duelfer Report and see if anything new jumps out as answers. I’ll post if anything new comes up. If anybody’s reading this, comments are more than welcome. I only ask that it be reasonable. I’ll nuke partisan sniping in a heartbeat! On both sides….

Update: I need to clarify the last paragraph above: I’ve only read the sections on the analysis of the mobile lab, and parts of another section. Those sections will be my primary focus. I do need to take the time to read the entire report. I’ve glanced at sections in the past, and read some summaries. That’s clearly not enough. I need to read the whole thing. In all of my spare time…!

Deleted April 13, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Family.
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2006-01-16: I’m deleting the pictures of the twins. For the past month, I’ve consistently been getting search engine hits on ‘cute kids’, which is just a little bit too weird for me. So, post and pictures are gone.

For you freaks who are trolling for kiddie pr0n bait: Bite Me.