Zero Per Cent Chance Of Truth

“Investigating fraud in sports — which is a multi-billion-dollar business today — is apparently safer than writing about the weather”

Nothing in life is one sided or one faceted. Nothing has one truth and one “right” side. Everything has multiple sides and facets and is complex. No, profession as a whole is made up of all highly intelligent people. Science does NOT require a certain level of intelligence to excel. An average or below average intelligence with focus, persistence, and hard work can attain a position of expertise in a field of science. Having a position of authority, especial within government does not guarantee wisdom, understanding, or intelligence. The problem arises when persons in those positions of power convince the masses that they are more than what they really are and abuse their positions out of greed and ego based on being more than they are.

One area in which this corruption is most notable is in the field of climatology and the dogma of climate change. First, lets make some things crystal clear:

Climate Protests

* One, climate and weather are not the same thing.

* Two, climate is ALWAYS in change. No “climate denier” denies that, but some climate alarmists do.

* Three, the Earth has been hotter, significantly hotter than now and life lived through it. Some can argue that life, in fact, thrived through it. According, to paleo experts there were times when there were more species of plants and animals than are presently believed to be on Earth today and those were during the “hotter than today” times.

* Four, according to historic evidence from various different sources (written, ice cores, tree rings, ocean core samples, etc.) a cyclonic pattern can be discerned. Matter of fact several different cycles, smaller ones within larger ones, can be identified going back eons. And most of what is being blamed on “post-industrialization CO2 pollutions” could also fit just as nicely, sometimes even more so, into the known cycles.

It seems that a couple things have happened. People have forgotten “that everything that glitters is not gold.” And for all the known wrongs committed by all governments and more all the immoral and illegal acts of members of government, for whatever unknown reason, people will blindly follow these same untrustworthy organizations with these same untrustworthy people blindly in the worst of times.

Add in that the press is no longer a watchdog of government and big business. There is little to no push back or questioning of the science or government policies, nor any accounting of the costs of such policies. The press is no longer even superficially unbiased, they have an agenda and they relentlessly push it to the point of slander and libel of individuals and organizations that they see as “the opposition”.

In the work A Guide to the Climate Apocalypse Our Journey from the Age of Prosperity to the Era of Environmental Grief by  Vítězslav Kremlík you can follow the dramatic change in science and the press over the last 50ish years that has brought us to such heated and politicized attacks. While not the primary focus of the book, Kremlik shows how the climate change movement is not inline with or truly part of environmentalism and the conservation movement, in fact their agenda destroys the environment and thus will increase any impact that humans have on increased pollutions in the air and subsequent warming that may or may not be triggered. Since science truly does not know what continued “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere will create, a second Venus or the next glacial maximum all this “solving the problem” is not fixing anything.

What Kremlik does best in his work is show that when added up there are more experts that disagree with the dogma than support the dogma. He also shows just how political the “science” has gotten. All the layperson has to do is follow the money, or to think about this, if finding “how much man is screwing up the climate” and “how to fix it” is what pays your bills are you going to tell your boss that man isn’t screwing up the climate or that there is no way to “fix it” ? Not if you want to keep your job and your status.

What A Guide to the Climate Apocalypse also shows is how brutal the “Climate Gods” and their advocates are to anyone who even hesitates to fall in line with the adherents. There is a very scary undercurrent of the Climate Dogma and Policy Dictates that has truly questionable intent. Unfortunately, most people do not look into who runs some of the most popular environmental movements such as Greenpeace and WWF. Or even know the foundation missions of the largest funders of NGOs and non-profits.

How can a government funded “NGO” watchdog group independently critique the government policies and actions? How can scientists practice honest science when serving political bodies with political agendas? How can the public trust the policies and actions when all the lines are blurred? And Kremlik shows just how blurred the lines are and how muddy the water is.

This work is very fact based and not softened with nice or funny anecdotes, but it is not a long read. The book is under 300 pages of text with over 50 of references to fact check on your own if you would like. There are some quotes that read very roughly, I do not know if that is due to accuracy of quotes from speaking interactions or bad translations or bad editing, it is not prevalent throughout the book but it does happen several times. Regardless, this is a book that should be read by all.

*Copy Received For Review.

**Cover via Amazon.com

What’s happened with Science!

For years, and everyday in the last year, we have been being told to “Follow The Science!” In this last year the line has been that all the government measures have been ONLY following the science and or experts (read scientists). But, where did all this blind zealot faith in science come from? The foundation of science was not blind faith but ever present skepticism. However, the tower of science has become blind obedience with absolutely NO boat rocking. I have written on this shift previously, so I will try to not repeat myself, at least too much here, since this is more about someone else’s argument against scientism, specifically, material scientism.

via Amazon.com

I have long questioned the absoluteness of DNA, largely because if you do read the reports about the breakthroughs you can see holes so large that jumbo jets can be flown through them. Primary to me is how small the samplings are to “prove” a DNA trait, not to mention that the sample populations cannot be determined to be pure to begin with. Add to this the zealot dogma of science as being all-knowing and scientists as being infallible deities. The cult of science can be likened to Middle Age Catholicism in which neither the Church, nor her ‘holy men’ could be questioned or challenged.

Christopher points out that even in their labs they have tunnel vision, forget looking at the whole world with open eyes. This inability to even allow questions that might have physical, tangible, answers to exist and to crucify any one displaying such blatant impropriety has limited and distorted our understanding and knowledge of all things. Christopher points out that science has become a religion of materialism that only the physical attributes have value and, so much so in fact, that they are the only value.

We are being feed lines by the experts about everything about us and regarding us is “in the DNA”. The problem is that the research consistently fails to support that absolute and yet science still beats that drum so loudly as to drowned out anyone pointing that out or questioning it. Ironically, we used to consider those that could not understand the things that they could not see for themselves to be ignorant, currently we do not question those that will not attempt to understand anything they cannot see in their petri dishes.

Christopher presents valid arguments against the scientism of today. The work can be a challenging read, especially considering the author’s abusive love of the apostrophes. You will come across sentences that you have to decipher. Here’s your key….if the ‘s blows your mind, drop it and or add in ‘has’, that should make those sentences readable. In spite of the proof errors the information is worth the time.

*Copy Received For Review.

On The Rebound

going for the rebound in basketballIt’s a fact of life that after a break-up we all look for a rebound. It’s human nature. We want hope. We want to know that “we still have it.” That there is still a chance at that fairy tale happy ending, even if we know the originals were dark and rarely with the Disney Happily Ever Afters. We want to feel the things we miss most about being in a relationship.

After my decision to walk away from Windows completely, I checked out a lot of Linux options. As I stated previously, I decided that Zorin and Mint were at the top of my rebound list. If you are still unsure about ditching Windows and making the leap of faith to a Linux distro check out both of these:

Linux Mint OS

and

Zorin OS

When it came to Mint, I loved the clean modern look and the DE (desktop environment) options. I also, liked that they had different options for differing machines/systems and one of the most active support forums of all the distros available. Almost all previous versions of Mint can still be found for download. Also, Mint always has a LTS (long term support) version, as well as beta/developer versions for advanced users. In addition, right out-of-the-box there are lots of ways to personalize everything about Mint. These were the reasons that Mint was on the top of my rebound list.

But, so was Zorin.

The first thing that any long-term Windows user will notice when checking out Zorin’s website is how comfortable it is. You get a very Windows’ish sense about everything and that is intentional. Zorin is the brainchild of two brothers from Ireland. Their whole concept is to create a Linux distro that the ordinary, non-tech Windows user can master as easily and comfortably as Windows.

One of the things that, I think, really sells Zorin are their focused versions. They have a Lite that is very basic and designed for older machines, think Windows XP systems, still hanging on. They have other versions that can be just as easily compared to Windows’ versions. If you are a simple Windows Home user then Zorin Core would be the cross-over for you. However, if you are a hard-core Windows Pro guru you will be impressed with Zorin’s Ultimate version. It comes packed with all the business, entertainment, gaming and content creation programs and apps you need. Zorin also has an extra version that is virtually ignored by all other OS teams, which impressed me greatly. Zorin Education comes pre-loaded with lots of programs and apps for learners of all ages and most interests. Of course their strongest areas are math, science, and programming, but they do have other areas covered or easily added.

For me, the advantage went to Mint, as my tech rebound.

Why, you ask?

The biggest reason, even though I found Zorin much more appealing and their Education version melted my heart, I was not, yet, quite ready to have a Linux relationship on my own. I needed the security of a loving safety net and D at the time was using Mint. So, I went with the safety and security of Mint. After all isn’t that what rebounds are all about?

It was a good choice for me. With blogging, taking classes, running FB groups and other ‘online needs’, I just wanted to get back to focusing on what was important to me, instead of having Windows changing my system when it suited them and creating chaos seemingly for their own entertainment. It was also an easy way for me to dump Windows without excessive stress; since I could always ask D to bail me out or make it work for me. Yes, I can be spoiled by D!

But, like all rebounds, comfort with Mint was a temporary fix for a growth problem. And after catching my breath and regaining my confidence, I knew that I wanted more than the comfort of Mint, especially as that comfort recreated some of the same annoyances that Windows had.

Don’t get me wrong, Mint is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distros available. And for most non-techy and tech savvy users alike it is a great choice and can provide many years of great computing. It just didn’t meet my needs after getting over Windows!

Bright Greens Apocalypse

Bright green lies

Many years ago there was an environmental movement. It began long before anyone knew Al Gore or Gretta and it was full grown before carbon footprint consciousness was trendy or cool. These activists that were screaming about every single creature lost and every blade of grass turned into concrete seemed about as extreme and crazy as anyone could be. Most were considered left over hippies with a new cause. In those long ago days, they were also treated like any extreme fanatical crazy would be treated. They were demeaned, arrested, sued and denounced by their opponents and they were mostly ignored or laughed at by the regular people.

The sad thing is that now we know that they really were onto something. It can be a really hard thing for someone who is busting their ass to pay the bills and maybe get just ahead enough to have some comfort to find the time, energy, and or motivation to give a damn about some disaster to the planet and nature half a world away. It is a challenging thing to understand that what happens in some remote mountain village in Asia or South American can have profound and direct impact on your life and or your way of life. Heck, it is even hard to care about what happens in places like Love Canal, New York or Picher, Oklahoma or any of the other more than 1300 Superfund Toxic Sties in the United States. The problem is that like a cancer in the body, if you do not care about what happens because the cancer is not somewhere important, by the time it spreads to somewhere important it will be too late to stop it. The same holds true with industrial practices that destroy the planet wherever they go. They strip out every usable resource and squeeze every bit of profit and then leave a permanent scar and move on to the next site with resources to strip bare and they will continue to do so as long as there is a profit to be made. No location on the planet is safe from their greed.

Even if you are proactive, unlike the cancer patient above, and go to the doctor and get the tumor removed; but now you have not a life but an existence scheduled around chemo treatments and down days and check-ups and tests and more down days you get a cure that is more damaging and destructive than the original tumor (depending on your priorities and definitions). There is NO perfect solution to ANY problem. That is part of the challenge of life, solving problems the best way possible and then dealing with not only the known or foreseen side effects but more importantly recognizing and understanding and learning from the unintended and unforeseen side effects. And there are ALWAYS unintended and unforeseen side effects. How do we make the best choices and decisions and pick the best solutions to the most daunting problems facing us? Hopefully, we use our minds, our intelligence and creativity, our morals, our sense of fairness and right over wrong, our hearts, our compassion and our humanity. Most importantly, we have to have clear worthy goals and be willing to make hard choices to reach those worthy goals and live with those solutions.

https://alizul2.blogspot.com/2015/03/10-worst-environmental-disasters-caused.html

In the environmental movement this is not what happened. Instead, the movement was usurped by opportunists that could see a whole profitable movement sweep the world. Enter the age of the trendy, shiny, and very cool Bright Greens. They took the 3 R’s of the Green Movement and reduced them to the 1 that would be inline with profit margins and consumerism. Well done Corporate America and Corporate World. The original 3 R’s were to reduce the amount of waste that one created, presumably by reducing the amount of things that one threw out by reducing the amount of consumption and or being aware of the waste from each purchase or product, to reuse or repurpose those things that no longer worked in their original role, but could serve another purpose which would in essence also reduce, and the surviving R, recycle, the R that could be made into profit for the corporate world.

Most people today, consider themselves to be environmentally concerned citizens, but when you strip away all the marketing and trending hashtags, do you know just how you stack up in your roll of Steward Of The Planet? You might think that you are doing your best, buying products that are “organically” grown and packaged in recyclable packaging. Donating to the right causes. Voting for the right candidates. Supporting the right parties. But are you still buying the latest iPhone, every release date and remote working from your favorite coffee shop on your Mac Pro? Going home and still binging Netflix most nights while you order take out Sushi or pho delivered by your Uber Eats, Door Dash guy in his electric Mini, your water from bottles, cause tap water, GROSS! You have sworn off meat cause cow farts are second behind humans for causing CO2 emissions. You’ve gone vegan cause all the pretty people are and science proves we are herd animals so we should be eating plants and fake things.

However, there is a kink in your movement! It is built on a foundation of half-truths with walls of lies surrounding delusions of a Happily Ever After that cannot be. For every scientific study that proves one of the Bright Greens slogans there is at least one that disproves and more that find flaws with it. No this is not an article to bash lifestyles or living choices, but to ask you to make them with your eyes wide open and to engage in preferred behavior understanding all the implications. How do you do that, you ask.

Simple.

Pick up or order the new work Bright Green Lies by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert. I recently received a copy of the book and wow. First, it is a long read, but it is worth it, so stick it out if you really care about Planet Earth. Second, if you read it with an open mind and with the intention of learning and understanding it is full of information, a lot of it stuff that we really truly should know, but we do not think about and some that we might have had some idea about but not the full and complete implications. To keep things balanced, the authors are original, dyed in the wool environmentalists, not the chic, trendy brand influencers of social media. So while a lot of their suggestions for solving the problem might seem out there and or crazy extreme, they, themselves, are aware that most of us cannot be that committed and or dedicated. And in that regard they show their humanness by openly sharing their short comings in reaching the ultimate goals that they layout. That being said, most of us can be more intentional and more aware and make better informed decisions about how we live our lives and how we spend our money and how we focus our lives.

While the book addresses most of the impacts of today’s most common way of life and supports their arguments regarding the pros and cons of all the popular trendy solutions, they also provide references to a multitude of other sources for you to research for yourself. Another words, unlike the politicians and CEOs and even popular activists their stance is not “take our word for it” but go do your own research and make up your own mind. To get your started I have included a couple links in the article that are short reads and barely scratch the surface of existing damage. Or you could continue letting industry lead the way to solving any environmental problems, most of their own making while claiming that they care.

I can honestly say that I will never live up to the goals of the book. However, having hard numbers and even theorized numbers from ‘expert’ solutions spelled out has brought details that I knew superficially into much better focus. The result is that I want to strive to live a much more intentional life and make more intentional choices in every aspect of my life. Most importantly, I want to be able to live with my choices, because I make them as informed as I can be. Will all my choices be perfect, no, they will not, but, it is my goal that they will be the best choices that causes the least negative impact all the way around. And that in my opinion is a very good start.

For your sake, for my sake, for the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of strangers read Bright Green Lies and make up your own mind, based on the research and not the trending hashtags.

*Copy Received For Review.

Windows Walk Away

despair nytimes

All the love that you had for Windows, got you in a downward spiral of betrayal? Are you so spent having your every second watched and followed and sold that you dread logging on? Does the mere thought of going online make you cringe? We all know that Windows is not the only “eyes” watching our every move, but when you have to have/use a Microsoft Account Login to even set up your new laptop, it does put Windows at the top of the Most Dreaded List for most users. In addition, their change in their Terms Of Service (TOS) policy that states they will restrict or freeze your account if they do not like or agree with things that you say online, is about as Orwellian as you can get. So much for free speech!

Of course the best step is to not have a Microsoft Account, however, if you really need one for your work or Skype or gaming, then the next best thing is to limit you dependency to only those required apps and use non-Microsoft services and programs for as much other stuff as possible. Previously, we have discussed the first-step away from Microsoft via the use of Open Source Programs. And I really encourage you to explore any of the Open Source options that you might need to accomplish your same daily grind in a more relaxed and private environment. Yes, there will be a learning curve; but first, anything worth having requires work and second, how many times have you had to relearn your go to Microsoft program because some update changed everything on you?

Somethings that you need to keep in mind, especially if you try out some of these programs while still using Windows….the layouts might be different once you switch to Linux, but you will in almost all cases (I cannot think of any that do not apply) have all the same things, and the big plus is that you can change and modify and tweak your options and layouts and tool bars to suit you personally!
Another thing to keep in mind, is that Linux has some options, such as WINE and Play On Linux, for setting up a virtual space to run Windows programs, however, it might not be easier than learning an open source version or you might be reverting to an older version of a program to have success.

I confess, that I personally do not have any luck with using any of the virtual Windows options on Linux distros. That being said there are lots of users that use them daily. For my part, while there are like maybe 3 programs that there is not true matches to my liking in Open Source offerings, those 3 programs are not important enough to me on an often enough basis for me to put the effort into figuring out how to make them work.

To share, they are OneNote, which I do really miss and really wish that there was a true ‘copy’ version in Linux. Linux does have a couple really good note-taking options, that are not geared towards devs, so do not restrict their ‘pages’ to using markdown, but are instead WYSIWYG UIs. CherryTree is probably the most popular or best known option. However, there is always new code being written and someone wanting something different or better and thus you can always find new stuff. When I was first looking, BasKet was the actual closest Linux version of OneNote that I could find, however, it does not appear that BasKet is being maintained anymore. That is another issue that you need to be aware of, making sure that programs are still being supported. In spite of that, like I said there are always options to try out such as those listed here, one of my go to sources for finding new options for old habits! Furthermore, OneNote does have a browser option, I did consider this, however, I had been using, if memory serves, the last stand alone version of the program, before it went into Office/Cloud only subscription basis, and my old notes would not upload into the browser version, no matter how I tried, as I had back-up of my notebooks in all formats available.

Another program that I really liked was PhotoScape. I used it to make really quick and easy collages. There are versions that do work in some of the ‘Windows on Linux’ programs, however, they were older than the one that used and so not as fast and easy as what I had been using. All that being said, I can, absolutely, use other programs to do the same thing, in most cases with more options and features and versions to create much higher quality output, thus, I am fine without PhotoScape. As, it really was a quick and easy version to throw some images together without any effort.

As we move forward in our journey, I will share my experiences and thoughts on my individual searches for specific replacement programs, what I was looking for, what was more important to me, and how the options stacked up with those goals. Finding all your individual best fits is probably the best and worst thing about making the switch to Linux.
The best, you do have the option to find the program/option that works best for you.
The worst, you have to find that bast option by searching all the available options that Linux has to offer, which is quite literally, on par with searching for the perfect piece of straw in a haystack!

Fear not, it can be done and you are not alone in your journey! If I, just another ordinary her in the world looking for techno utopia can do it, so can you! And to make sure that you can, I am here to help you along the way.

Photo Credit: NY Times

First Step – – Open Source

Open Source Logos

I know that one of the hardest challenges to dumping Windows is the fear of not having what you are used to anymore. The fear of the unknown and the fear of thinking that you are going to lose everything that you have can be paralyzing. But, we are going to help you with that aspect too.

We all have our favorite go-to programs and apps that we do not know what we would do without. I completely understand that. So let’s look at some of the most common types of software and apps that we use daily. But, before we do that, let me introduce you to the 2 broad types of software and apps.

The 2 basic types of software:
1) Closed Source or Proprietary software; think of them as high-end brand names. Microsoft and Apple are the largest, they keep their code ‘secret’, another words it is not readily or openly available to other programmers and coders.
2) Open Source; think of these as the upstart and generic brands. And just like with other industries, if you are willing to take the chance you find out that most of these products are as good as if not better than the big boys. These programs have ‘open’ code, another words the companies and writers using Open Source make their code readily available to everyone.
And as we go on you might be surprised at the number of Open Source companies and products you are already loyal to.

Why might knowing about Open Source companies and products matter for ditching Windows, cause chances are you will find that at least some if not all of your favorite apps can go with you! You might recognize some of the logos in the picture above, but, did you know that all those companies and more are Open Source and can go with you to Linux!?!

Let us briefly list some of the most common Open Source products out there;
Browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi, Yandex, Opera, Pale Moon, and Epic, just to name a few off the top of my head. And for every one that I did name there are a dozen more that I did not.
Office Suites: By far, the top two are Open Office and Libre Office. The former was my first step away from MS Office, however, the later is my long time favorite! Again there are others and some distros are creating their own in-house suites.
Mail Clients: Thunderbird, Mailspring, Claws and Geary are probably the most common but several of the Open Source browsers have their own as well. For example Thunderbird is part of the Firefox services from Mozilla and SeaMonkey has a whole range of products in addition to their browser.
Audio/Video: Most of us have heard of Audacity, and VLC, there is also Blender, OpenShot, Clementine, Audacious, and many others depending on your needs, from listening to mixxing to creating/composing. As with Microsoft and Apple most distros have a music/video/media player included.
Graphics/Publishing: Here we have GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, and Scribus. Plus tons more for specialized needs from artist sketching to scientific publishing and everything in between. There really are too many to mention here, especially since most are niche focused. The ones I have included are standouts in their respective areas. In addition some of the suites and browsers have applications that cover basic needs.

If eBooks are your thing how bout Calibre. Into gaming, you will not lose Discord and Steam has its own Linux OS. Into communicating 20 different ways there is Slack and Franz and Rambox, along with lots of linux versions of common VoIPs such as Skype and Viber and IRCs too.

So as you can see there is absolutely no shortage of cross-over programs and there are a multitude of Linux specific programs that will seriously meet all your needs. As a matter of fact, the sheer volume of Linux options can be downright overwhelming. Not to worry, H and I have sifted through most of them for you already in our own journey. Part of the reason that we are here, to help you transition more easily.

Photo Credit: via linuxrocksonline

 

Where Do I Start?

No-Windows-10

So you are fed up with Windows?!?
Take heart! You are not alone! So many others, including my boyfriend and myself, have been exactly where you are!

Updates dropping our favorite features!
Options we used all the time, gone!
Programs we relied on daily being dropped!
Or worse, everything is a “Cloud Only” Subscription!
Instead of Opt In you have to find the secret location to Opt Out!
Privacy is now a joke!

You have thought about switching to Mac….but, there isn’t much difference. Apple was the proto-model for cloud only storage, and the price of iAnything is the top end of the retail market!

The only other option you have heard of is the mysterious Linux. But, isn’t that only for computer hackers and tech geeks?
It’s complicated and you have to type commands and such!

What if I told you that is not the case any more, or at least not the whole truth of Linux today!
Today there are lots of different Linux distros for the non-tech savvy user to choose from. Matter of fact, most new to Linux refugees find the number of options to be daunting and overwhelming!

Fear not we are here to help you navigate and understand the options.

First there are two major styles of Linux; debian and arch.

For most of us ordinary users debian will be our choice. But, that being said, do not totally discount arch! (We will surprise you in a future article)
So let’s talk a little bit about debian.

While, Debian is a distro in its own right, it is more commonly a term to lump all the distros that are built on debian together. What that means is that most of the distros that you will consider have taken the debian foundation and built on to it and packaged it with different features and options to focus on differing priorities.

It is basically the same thing that Microsoft did with DOS and Windows. DOS was the structure and Windows was the facade or decoration that you saw, used and interacted with.

In addition, the debian tree has several large branches that split off and have many smaller branches sprouting from their larger branches all the way down to individual leaves or versions of distros.

Feeling overwhelmed yet, trust me, H and I know just how you feel. Being a man, H was less concerned with knowing if he got the perfect distro right off the bat. I on the other hand, read and read and Googled and watched more videos than I had watched movies and TV in the same amount of time and still was not truly sure of my choice.

Solution: “Babe, make a few LiveUSBs and test them out and then go with the one you like. And if you change your mind in the future, switch!” He’s great! And correct!

That is the best advice that you can be given when it comes to wading into the waters of Linux. Don’t worry we are going to give you some help and our opinions and advice about different distros and where to start in future articles, but, it is best with Linux, to create a few LiveUSBs and really test them out, get a feel for them and see if you like them at all.

There were several that upon reading all about them, I LOVED! Then I tried them and guess what….. not so much love all the way to hated it!
That being said, there is a distro for everyone and we will help you find your perfect match!

Photo Credit: via Calibre Computer Solutions

Dear Windows, Good-Bye, Without Love

goodbye microsoft love linux with heart

Hi, my name is Cassi and I am a Windows survivor! In the beginning Windows seemed so perfect. It made my life easier and gave me an easy to use interface so that I could be more productive without having to be a programmer.  And it even still gave me my DOS command window. It allowed me to organize and tweak my OS environment to suit my needs and my skill level. So as we progressed, we settled into a normal regular routine.

Oh, sure we had our ups and downs I mean, all relationships do. I don’t think ours was any worse or more than anyone else’s. I still remember when Mac, the new guy in town showed up. Oh, he was a slick one, turning heads and promising everything Windows had, only newer and cooler and stronger! And I admit that Mac got one of his new friends to try to show me how cool he was; but, while his looks were impressive, I was comfortable with my own Windows, besides, if it ain’t broke why fix it, right.

To make matters worse, how was I to know that my beloved Windows would go through a mid-life crisis with the turning of the century and never come out of it!

First he, decided that he needed a new look and then he needed a new title and couldn’t settle on one…are you 2000 or Me? Do you even know who you are or what you want anymore? Why are you changing? What was wrong with the way we were? I was happy! Oh, sure I changed the desktop and background from time to time, but, I didn’t get all mid-life crisis on you just cause the 1900’s became the 2000’s! Oh, no you had to go and throw it all away! All the hard work and the building up and the years of ups and downs. So I let you have your wild ride for a few years until you stopped supporting my (XP)memories of the way things used to be!

Then you got all security conscious and protective with your Vista! So we did nothing but fight. I begged and pleaded and finally you said you saw the light and gave me 7! I could see the effort (at least I thought it was sincere at the time) and compromised that while it was not my beloved XP, it at least was not Vista. So we created a fragile balance of co-existence until you decided that we need a WHOLE NEW EVERYTHING!

So what do you do…..BOOM here’s 8, slamming through the fragile peace like Johnny through the bathroom door! I cannot find anything! I cannot change much of anything! All my favorite parts are gone and nothing is the way I like it! What happened to the WE in this relationship…..when did it become all about YOU!!! Oh, that’s right way back when you bullied all the hardware makers to ONLY load your OS on their mass produced products and I didn’t balk cause I was happy back then and I trusted you to like me happy! Instead I now have a tyrant telling me that I am happy cause you say so! NO! NO! NO! I am NOT happy!

So I pack my bags and hand you divorce papers and what do you do…..you promise me to make it all right and to do it for FREE! For my loyalty you give me 10! You tell me that you have super improved it for my ease of use and syncing and that EVERYTHING you do, you do for ME and my joy! But, what you have done is built me a golden cage! You track my every move! You watch my every moment! You force updates and installs against my will! With you No doesn’t mean no, it doesn’t even mean wait, stop, think about it, promise me more….it means yes to you. No matter how much I screamed NO! DON’T! STOP! You are killing us! You kept right on……

but, I had heard rumors of a hero in the night….

I dug in my memories for those whispers in the dark. Those breathy comments by the rebels of the web! Linux was the name….but, it seemed so strange and foreign, it looked so alien and complex. What was a girl to do?

I decided it couldn’t hurt to look, right? I mean I was in a broken relationship with NO hope, the worst place I could be, so what did I have to lose? Besides, I had always had that part of me that walked on the darkside; just cause I had been a longtime Windows OS girl didn’t mean that I was a total Microsoft mistress. No, in fact, I had always loved those Open Source guys! They knew how to give a girl what she wanted and more and usually always for FREE!

So I took a walk down Linux lane looking for my new beau and what did I find??? I found more options than I could count and more looks and styles than a 5th Ave Fashion Week! WOW! What had I been missing? How do you pick? How do you choose? I was dizzy from all the options; but, I was determined cause once a girl looses hope in her guy…..she has no option but to find a new hero! So I read and read and read some more….

I read and watched more reviews and compares and contrasts than there are sports teams in the US! And slowly and surely I weeded out the ones too techy for me and the ones too Mac’y for me. I listed all my must haves and then the extras that would melt my heart…..so my short list came down to finally 2 ……. Mint and Zorin……and I will give each their due coming up……. see who wins my heart and who gets my system for keeps or at least for right now!

It’s all about chemistry!

periodic table linux

Too much of anything can make you sick, even the good can be a curse.  Switching to Linux was supposed to be an easy thing to do. If you feel like you’re being stuck in a bad marriage with either Windows or MacOS, than you know it’s time to leave things behind and move on.

Before you decide to move on and what to do next, much like with any relationship, you ask yourself hundreds of questions but here’s what you know for sure:

  • You are tired of being controlled by what you can and can’t do.
  • You are tired of being spied on and having your every step followed and analyzed.
  • You are tired of spicing up relationship (upgrades) which do nothing except create burden on you (your system), lagging, slowing you down and showing no progress.
  • You are constantly forced to accept new rules in the relationship which only favor the aggressor (Updated polices) and leave you no room to breathe.
  • You want your system to reflect your habits and lifestyle and to be able to adjust it to your liking, not to spend a lifetime of being in the same house without being able to even repaint the wall.

So, if you answered YES to all of the above then it really is time to move on. Yes, it can be scary, but just a bit, because you are about to land in an ocean filled with all sorts of fish. They are still a fish, but different kinds, some are fancy, some are robust, some are functional and organized and some are simply byproduct spin-offs of the major species of fish.

If you really want to look up genealogy of Linux species, I suggest you start with graphic representation on Wikipedia, which traces back to it’s origin. However be ready to get confused and scroll and scroll. Still, by then nothing will be clear to you and you may feel like you regret your decision to leave the aggressor; but don’t! Because that’s exactly what happens when you enter the dating ring after being absent for so long. There’s still hope. Big one, at that.

First you need to decide what you want and what you expect from a new relationship, are you looking for a fancy, robust, functional, sleek, average, simple, complex, brain-challenging, just watching movies and play music and or do basic office/home work, accounting, media production. You will feel like a kid in a candy store. You get to pick, experiment, learn, and test the waters until you find what works for you.

Much like I did, you may have read countless articles on the web which distro is right for you, writing down comparisons, getting stuck with stats and numbers, lack of support, big community, abundance of apps in the store etc…

By now you have probably asked yourself a question all of us who transitioned from Windows/MacOS to Linux already have – How do I pick (the) one? Well, my answer to that is above – you date! You become a distro-hopper (or worse distro-whore) until you find what works for you best.

You may start by narrowing down your likes and dislikes and look for options. Within that range you can download several LiveUSBs; test them out and see how it works for you. I know this is not a moral thing to do, but if in any way you depend on one of the “bad guys” you can cheat for a bit and have “dual-boot” until you decide to boot the other one for good.

I kicked it off with Linux Mint and Deepin, my girlfriend ventured out with different distros. Unfortunately due to the nature of my business and government regulations, I kind of had to go back to my ex-bad-guy for business purposes, but I still have a “side chick” and that’s not going to change until I find a more permanent solution. And I am so looking forward to it.

Until next time,

$sudo-apt-install-happiness

Book Review – Thinking Like a Geographer By Rebecca M. Burley

Thinking Like A Geographer Cover BurleyWell, this work was not at all what I was expecting or hoping for. What was I expecting/hoping for? More of a conceptual methodology of the thinking skills that are needed or are useful in the study of Geography that can be applied not just within lessons focused on geography, but also other areas to increase the students analysis skills and critical thinking.

What this book is … basically it is a complete package lesson plan for geography/social studies for the elementary level. While the book states Grade 2, I would say that it could be applied up to Grade 5 depending on the social and academic level of the students. I also feel that some of the exercises would not be emotionally and thus in turn not intellectually relevant to 7/8YOs and might be better suited for older students.

As a complete lesson plan package, the book is sufficient to provide basically a whole geography component of the class curriculum for the year. The teacher is provided with the worksheets, project assignments and lecture content. Included are even examples of appropriate ‘right answers’ from the students to questions presented within the lectures.

*Copy Received For Review.

Newly Discovered Recent Impact Crater In Greenland

Map with insert Greenland
Map via Gizmodo Australia
University of Kansas

About 10 years ago a group of researchers from various fields proposed a theory. This theory set out to explain the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) episode of our current interglacial period. Their theory proposed a huge impact event as the trigger for the YD episode. Their comprehensive claims included a 4km wide impact object, massive continent wide wild fires across the Northern Hemisphere, and extensive global flooding. Of course their evidence was ruthlessly debunked by their critics, most of which was valid due to the extravagance of their claims. (4)

Before and since the question of what caused the Younger Dryas episode has remained largely unanswered. Since the end of the last Ice Age (~3 – 2.5 million YAG) climatologists have concluded that the Earth has experienced approximately 25 brief cooling periods or cycles, referred to as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events. One argument of critics against any impact triggering theory is that they consider the Younger Dryas as nothing more than another one of the D-O cycles. This is in spite of the fact that known and accepted data singles out the Younger Drays as the most significant climate period in recent history, up to our own time. The Younger Dryas returned climate to almost ice age norms, with average global temps dropping 8ᵒC. The extreme of the Younger Dryas from climatological norms implies that there is more to the story than just another D-O cyclonic event.

Diagram of Current Hiawatha Crater
The Ice Layers over the suspected impact crater.
Graphic: C. Bikel/Science via science.sciencemag.org

Fast-forward to 3 years ago, when researchers from University of Copenhagen noticed an anomaly about 19 miles wide and 1000ft deep on images from NASA’s Operation Icebridge. (1) They wondered if it might be a 31km wide crater, that could have been created when an iron object up to 1.5km wide slammed into Greenland within recent history, geologically speaking.(4) The last 3 years have been spent seeking the cause of the anomaly. This was done using a more specialized German research plane equipped with special radar, as well as, putting boots on the ground to make field observations and collect runoff samples.(1)

So what did their 3 years of subsequent research yield?

The ice is perfectly layered over the past 11,700 years, then it becomes disturbed during a range consistent with the Younger Dryas period. The collected samples contained “shocked quartz” and ‘glass’ that was forged at temps higher than those found in volcanic activity.(4) The collected “shocked quartz” samples’ profiles identified an enrichment of rhodium and palladium along with a depletion of platinum, usually associated with impacts of unique iron objects. The signatures are similar to the iron meteorite fragments previously recovered from various locations in the region, collectively known as the Cape York fragments, which are dated to 10,000 YAG.(2)

The Cape York fragments include “Agpalilik” (Inuit for “the man”) a 20 ton piece of iron meteorite on display in the courtyard of the National Museum of Natural History in Copenhagen. The American Natural History Museum states their “Ahnighto” fragment, which is 34 tons, and also part of the Cape York impact, struck Earth approximately 10,000 YAG. Their display information goes on to state that the piece was either a break away part of a larger object or part of a collection of multiple objects impacting simultaneously.

Ahnighito Meteorite Fragment Amer Nat His Mus
“Ahnighto” fragment via ANHM website.

In addition, the German research plane, collected images from their specialized radar that can penetrate ice sheets and map the terrain beneath. The images were studied and revealed the probable existence of a circular formation with 1000ft rim and central upwellings in the floor suggesting the anomaly being the result of an impact event.(1)

From the above data, the logical theory suggests that a significant object between 1/2 and 1 mile across impacted Greenland within the last 100,00 years  releasing 700megatons of energy and creating the Hiawatha crater. (1,4)

“The impact would have been a spectacle for anyone within 500 kilometers. A white fireball four times larger and three times brighter than the Sun would have streaked across the sky. If the object struck an ice sheet, it would have tunneled through to the bedrock, vaporizing water and stone alike in a flash. The resulting explosion packed the energy of 700 1-megaton nuclear warheads, and even an observer hundreds of kilometers away would have experienced a buffeting shock wave, a monstrous thunder-clap, and hurricane-force winds. Later, rock debris might have rained down on North America and Europe, and the released steam, a greenhouse gas, could have locally warmed Greenland, melting even more ice.” (4)

Due to the nature of glacial ice the logical conclusion would be that the impact would have to date closer to 12,000 YAG than to the 3million year mark. “The crater is exceptionally well-preserved, and that is surprising, because glacier ice is an incredibly efficient erosive agent that would have quickly removed traces of the impact,” Kurt H Kjær (1)

In addition, in an attempt to disprove the YD Impact Theory, mentioned in the first paragraph, which is connected to the new research out of the University of Copenhagen, that this article focuses on, there was a study of ice core samples in 2013 that did not succeed. This study actually gives indirect supporting evidence to the new research being an impact crater. The 2013 study revealed a similar platinum spike as the crater samples. That being said, ‘significant’ multiple samples have been lacking.(4)

Crater diameter Paris
Paris fits inside the crater. NASA imaging
via Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Consideration should be given to Brandon Johnson, Brown University, who leads research using iSALE model to study the impact event on icy moons and objects. The iSALE model suggests that an impact occurring when the ice is 1.5 ~ 2km thick would significantly inhibit the typical debris eruption showers seen in wholly terrestrial impacts.(4) Thus it could be supposed that the lack of ‘significant’ multiple supporting or confirming ice core samples could be the result of a smaller debris field that while being ice could be vaporized and melted into flash run off carrying the evidence with it into other areas and or dispersing it in unnoticeable remnants in unrelated or non-local areas.

Retired geophysicist, Allen West, explains that an ice sheet impact could result in significant (immediate) climate issues. These could include increased rainfall due to vaporization and change in ocean temps due to disturbance discharge in the forms of ice cleavage and runoff.(3) In addition, Dr. Mathieu Morlighem (UC-Irvine) explains that impact craters could be hidden under current ice sheets. This possibility would make locating and dating challenging, not to mention that the erosive actions of glacial movement would erase their presence before their discoveries as well.(2)

The new research has many critics, such as Ludovic Ferriere (Natural History Museum in Vienna) who told National Geographic, it could just be a natural depression and he would want ultimate proof in the form of crater floor sediment samples.(1) Similarly, J. Severinghaus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, cites lack of supporting evidence in other ice core samples dating to 100,000YAG for doubting the research conclusions stating, “You really ought to see something.”(4) However, just because you do not see something you think you ought to see, does not mean that it does not exist.

Then J. Melosh, Purdue Univeristy, doubts that if the crater is an impact event, that it could be from the 12,000~100,000YAG time range based solely on a statistical belief that large impacts ONLY occur every few millions of years. Melosh goes on to imply that Science‘s reporting on this is reckless, “You’re aware you’re going to set off a firestorm?”(4)

66million YAG an object hit Earth creating the 200km Chicxulub crater; then 35.5million YAG another object struck the Chesapeake Bay area leaving a 85km scar; now there is evidence suggesting that between 100,000 and 12,000YAG a smaller, but still significant object struck Greenland giving us the 31km Hiawatha crater. Based on these stated examples and taking into account the hypothesis that as the Universe has aged the chaos regarding debris impact risks has lessened, the possibility of the accuracy of the Hiawatha impact theory increases to probability.

Once again we see the same problem occurring; when someone makes up their mind that something completely is or isn’t it is virtually impossible to change their opinion, not matter the truth. This trait is especially detrimental to science! The reality is that some even when provided with a preponderance of evidence, in some cases the very evidence that they demanded needed as proof, they will still deny the logical conclusion and demand even more proof. Fulfilling their demands is of course futile as their demands will only become absurd. The tragedy is when these obtuse individuals hold positions of respect and authority (ex. tenure) on such level as to suppress new information from being openly and intelligently discussed and analyzed and judged on its own factual merit alone.

If the Hiawatha impact crater can be accepted by the science community, it would be one of the 25 largest impacts known.(1)

References:

1. @jasondaley608, F. and Daley, J. (2018). Massive Impact Crater Found Under Greenland’s Ice. [online] Smithsonian. Available at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/massive-impact-crater-found-under-greenlands-ice-180970829/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
2. Amos, J. (2018). Greenland ice hides huge ‘impact crater’. [online] BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46181450 [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
3. Groves, A. (2018). Impact crater beneath Greenland could help explain Ice Age. [online] Astronomy.com. Available at: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/11/massive-impact-crater-beneath-greenland-could-explain-ice-age-climate-swing [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
4. Voosen, P. (2018). Massive crater under Greenland’s ice points to climate-altering impact in the time of humans. [online] Science | AAAS. Available at: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/massive-crater-under-greenland-s-ice-points-climate-altering-impact-time-humans [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
5. YouTube. (2018). Younger Dryas Impact Crater Discovered in Greenland? | Ancient Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvkD-sQe-nc [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
6. Kjær, K., Larsen, N., Binder, T., Bjørk, A., Eisen, O., Fahnestock, M., Funder, S., Garde, A., Haack, H., Helm, V., Houmark-Nielsen, M., Kjeldsen, K., Khan, S., Machguth, H., McDonald, I., Morlighem, M., Mouginot, J., Paden, J., Waight, T., Weikusat, C., Willerslev, E. and MacGregor, J. (2018). A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland. [online] Science Advances. Available at: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/11/eaar8173/tab-pdf [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
7. Johnson, B., Silber, E., Bjonnes, E., Kjaer, K., Wiggins, S., MacGregor, J. and Larsen, N. (2018). Formation of terrestrial craters on thick ice sheets. [online] AGU – AGU Fall Meeting 2018. Available at: https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm18/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/448365 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].
8. Lpi.usra.edu. (1963). The Meteoritical Bulletin No 28.. [online] Available at: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/docs/mb28.pdf [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].
9. En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Cape York meteorite. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_York_meteorite [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].

Little Steps Are Still Steps

So this past week, an article appeared in The Guardian making a move away from the completely liner thinking dogma that has imprisoned paleoanthropologists and others in the human evolution field for decades.

Out Of Africa Basic Map
via arstechnica.com

In the past, the theory, stated as fact, was that ALL modern humans evolved from one family group with one mitochondrial Eve. And that most of this evolution has occurred in the last 250,000 to 500,000 YAG, after millions of years basically remaining intelligent apes.

The map is from an article in late 2016 that still promotes that while some of the migration details of other maps are “inaccurate” that this map is the least inaccurate one to date. Even if more than 15 years ago I would have argued that this model is wrong and lacking, without all the research, reading, and study that I have done in the ensuing years up to the present, I cannot grasp how supposedly intelligent students in the various related fields do not use their own logic and reason with rational thought and question all of it. Thus the result from all of this self-study of the question “What and or where are man’s origins?” instead of becoming more certain of the official dogma, I have become certain of one glaring fact – – We Do Not Have A Clue!

human origins tree 1
via PBS NOVA

The first argument the dogma propagandists throw at the rebellious divergent is all the oldest hominid specimens have been found in Africa, East Africa specifically, thus there is no doubt about the origins of homo sapiens sapiens, of course the reality is that academia has focused their search exclusively to East Africa, thus basically eliminating finds in other areas. In light of this dogged determination to stick to their story, there are still finds accidentally stumbled upon in other parts of the world, such as homo floresiensis and homo gigantopithecus, which while labeled as an ape member of the primate family, some researchers claim some possible familiar human behavior and even some possible interbreeding with homo erectus.

Other bumps in the official dogmatic linear evolution process that originally had offshoots of our evolution process just dying off, cause they were not as adaptable, intelligent or modern as we are, are being proven incorrect. It has been proven that while geneticists label the majority of human genome as junk DNA (translate as they don’t have a clue), in the parts that they have figured out, they have admitted that significant groups of the modern population have at least 3% Neanderthal DNA (Homo neanderthalensis) and that others also have at least as much Denisovan DNA (Homo sapiens denisova) within their gene pools.

Thus, while there is still a very long way to go in the halls of academia before even seeing the truth on the horizon, the step forward that now allows modern humans to have originated in multiple places in Africa is a step closer to greater knowledge and understanding of our past and our history. With new knowledge, new finds, and the possible acceptance of accessing existing finds with more interest and less hostility, we might once again be moving forward in our search for the origins of our species.