Monoliths A Many

The first monolith was discovered in Utah and of course I had to write about it…… it then disappeared and reemerged in Romania I believe……then again elsewhere…..They’ve so far been spotted in Utah, California, the Isle of Wight, Romania and now Australia. The new monolith in Australia sadly puts our theory that aliens are creating an “I’m with stupid” sign pointing right at Monaco to bed.

The newest monolith has a set of coordinates…..

The latest monolith (and yes, we’re still calling it a monolith – we’re not going to be the only news organization calling it a “big metal thing” even though it’s technically not a monolith) comes with a new mystery. There appear to be coordinates written all over it.

The first set of coordinates mark the location for Trump Tower, New York, Yahoo News reports. Who knows at this point, maybe it’s a marketing gimmick from Trump in conjunction with the galactic civilizations he’s supposedly in contact with (according to the former head of Israel’s Space Security Program). 

The other coordinates point to seemingly random locations including Managaha, an uninhabited island  in the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Sphinx in Egypt. If you’re going to write mysterious coordinates on a monolith, may as well put the Sphinx in there while you’re at it.

Though mysterious, we’re pretty sure now that all the monoliths are copycats of the original monolith in Utah, which has appeared on Google Maps since 2016. There’s even footage of one group of copycats taking a monolith out into the middle of nowhere and then “discovering” it.

Did the coordinates say anything about space?

Yes I said space.

An unidentified object hovering in space near the International Space Station was live-streamed on NASA TV on Tuesday. The object appeared to be some 10 meters in length and about 2 meters across, and perhaps 3 km from the ISS. It is in the shape of a silver monolith.

Silver monoliths have been sighted in various places on Earth, since November when a silver monolith appeared in Utah’s Red Rock Desert. As far as we know, this is the first one found in Earth orbit.

Earth orbit is full of debris from defunct satellites and discarded rocket stages. Such objects, however, typically appear to tumble end over end. This object was stable, hanging in space as it appeared to observe the station.

Video of the close encounter may be seen here:

Update 12/12: Men in Black, Twitter remove video.

Late 2020 has seen numerous sightings of mystery silver monoliths. On November 29th, hikers near San Luis Obispo, California discovered a third 10-foot metal monolith almost identical to the two others discovered in Utah and Romania.

In Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001, a Space Odyssey, black monoliths are a theme. But recently, monoliths have appeared outside of science fiction. Monoliths even appear in photos of Mars and one of its moons, Phobos.

(Santa Monica Observer)

Let your imagination run amok!

Enjoy your Saturday….Be well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Russia Or Fu Manchu?

I admit that in my younger days I was a huge Sax Rohmer fan and his arch villain Fu Manchu….I even have been watching an old TV show entitled the “The Adventures Of Dr. Fu Manchu” from 1956….one episode has the evil genius hacking into the NORAD-like defense system…..and I thought about it when I read about the latest hack in the news…..

An alarming development in the massive cyberattack on American government systems: Sources tell Politico that the agencies that maintain America’s nuclear weapons stockpile were compromised in the attack, which is strongly suspected to have been carried out by Russia. The sources say they have found evidence that hackers accessed the networks of the Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The worst damage was done at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), where there is evidence of “highly malicious activity,” the officials say. The hackers are believed to have accessed systems from March onwards by compromising a SolarWinds software patch. More:

  • Department says critical defense systems not hit. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes confirmed that the department had been hit by the attack but denied parts of the Politico report. “At this point, the investigation has found that the malware has been isolated to business networks only, and has not impacted the mission essential national security functions of the department, including the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Hynes said in a statement. Hynes said that when vulnerable software was identified, “immediate action was taken to mitigate the risk.”
  • What Politico details: In addition to FERC, it reports the DOE and NNSA have uncovered evidence of hacking in the networks used by the Sandia and Los Alamos national labs and the Office of Secure Transportation at NNSA. Politico explains: “NNSA is responsible for managing the nation’s nuclear weapons, and while it gets the least attention, it takes up the vast majority of DOE’s budget.” Enriched uranium is moved by the Office of Secure Transportation, and the labs handle atomic research tied to both nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
  • “Grave threat” to critical infrastructure. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned that the attack poses a “grave threat” to “critical infrastructure,” Deutsche Welle reports. The agency said the damage will be very difficult to undo. CISA didn’t specify what the critical infrastructure is, but the AP offers this: “Homeland Security, the agency’s parent department, defines such infrastructure as any ‘vital’ assets to the US or its economy, a broad category that could include power plants and financial institutions.”
  • Private sector was also hit. “It’s still early days, but we have already identified 40 victims—more than anyone else has stated so far—and believe that number should rise substantially,” Microsoft president Brad Smith tells the New York Times. “There are more nongovernmental victims than there are governmental victims, with a big focus on IT companies, especially in the security industry.” Microsoft says a “heat map” of the attack shows that 80% of victims are in the US, with others in countries including the UK, Mexico, and Spain—but none in Russia.
  • Biden speaks out. President-elect Joe Biden vowed Thursday that he would make dealing with the attack a top priority from the moment he takes office, the BBC reports. “We need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyberattacks in the first place,” he said. “We will do that by, among other things, imposing substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks, including in coordination with our allies and partners.” President Trump has not commented publicly on the attacks.
  • “Worst hacking case in US history.” A government official speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity says the administration isn’t ready to publicly blame Russia for the cyberattack. “This is looking like it’s the worst hacking case in the history of America,” the official says. “They got into everything.” Experts believe the attackers focused on espionage, not sabotage, and were incredibly successful.
  • Romney: “Stunning” for White House not to respond. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Thursday that the silence and apparent lack of action from the White House was “inexcusable,” the Hill reports. “I think the White House needs to say something aggressive about what happened,” he said. “This is almost as if you had a Russian bomber flying undetected over the country, including over the nation’s capital, and not to respond in a setting like that is really stunning.”

This ‘hack’ is another attack that I am struggling with….it seems when we need a foe the Russian hacks are always available.

Fu Manchu was thwarted…..but looks like the Russians (allegedly) are more sophisticated….

I am waiting for the rest of the story…..and now I have it….

The Trump administration informed Congress of its plans to close the last two US consulates in Russia, leaving the US embassy in Moscow as the only US diplomatic mission in the country.

The State Department sent a letter to congressional leaders on December 10th that said the US is permanently closing its consulate in Vladivostok, and temporarily halting operations at the consulate in Yekaterinburg.

According to the letter, the US is shuttering the consulates due to caps set by Moscow on the number of diplomats allowed in the country. In 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin set new limits on the number of US diplomatic employees in response to US sanctions.

The letter says the move is “in response to ongoing staffing challenges of the US Mission in Russia in the wake of the 2017 Russian-imposed personnel cap on the US Mission and resultant impasse with Russia over diplomatic visas.”

In December 2016, then-President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats for Moscow’s alleged interference in the presidential election, which was never substantiated. Putin chose not to retaliate against Obama’s move.

The news comes at a sensitive time for US-Russia relations. Several US government agencies were targeted in a major cyberattack that many in the US are blaming on Russia, despite a lack of evidence to show Moscow was involved.

But the shuttering of the consulates does not appear to be connected to the cyberattack since the administration informed Congress a few days before the hack was reported.


As to appear not be the gutless wonders they are…Congress is calling for retaliation…..Some senators are calling for retaliation against Russia. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) even likened it to a “virtual invasion.” (chest thumping only)

On a lighter note…..

If I peeked your interest in Fu Manchu….here are the 8 episodes from 1956…..(if interested I believe it was episode 3 or 4 that had the “hack”)

While your are finishing your shopping…..Be Well and Be Safe……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Saturday News

The weekend before Christmas…..(there is a country song in there somewhere)…if you have had enough news about the election and the antics playing out….then IST is the place to be today.

I am all for getting rid of the oil addiction…..and how would we do this?

Alt energy…..those huge windmills that some thinks takes away from the view…..there may be a way around all that criticism…..

Conventional wind turbines have been criticized as ugly, large, and often so noisy they are too obtrusive for backyards.

But French firm New Wind wants to change that with the ‘Wind Tree,’ a 26-foot-tall tree fitted with 63 tiny blades that can generate electricity.

Called aeroleaves, the tree’s leaf-like blades—essentially micro wind turbines—work at speeds as low as 4.5 miles per hour (mph), regardless of the wind’s direction. They are also silent, so they could theoretically be installed along buildings, streets, or even in people’s backyards.

Each tree ranges from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on the model, and it can generate approximately 3,500 Kilowatt hours (kWh) to 13,500 kWh annually. New Wind breaks this down as the ability to power 15 street lamps, 83 percent of the electrical consumption of a typical family household, or one electrical car for 10,168 miles in a year.

There is more on the alt energy front…..this is a way to generate energy with wave action….

Surely my readers have heard or read some of the more outrageous theories out there….you know kinda like the “Hollow Earth” meme

Owen Egerton, director of horror movies such as Mercy Black and Blood Fest, is also a talented novelist. In his recent book Hollow, a religious studies professor who is mourning the loss of his son becomes fixated on the idea that the center of the Earth is inhabited by an advanced civilization.

Hollow is the intersection of two obsessions, one being the Book of Job and the other being Hollow Earth Theory,” Egerton says in Episode 444 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “Who knew that those two intersected? But I think they were meant to be.”

The idea of a Hollow Earth may sound ridiculous, but the theory was once taken seriously by scientists and politicians, and even today it still has a few diehard adherents. “Almost every book event I did for Hollow, there would be one or two people at the back of the room, and they’d be really excited that I’d written this book, and I think really disappointed when I started saying the Earth is not hollow,” Egerton says.

The Hollow Earth Theory Isn’t So Funny Anymore

Can we have too many women in leadership rolls?

Apparently the City of Paris says you can and has been fined…..

Paris has been fined nearly $110,000, but the mayor says she’s happy to pay the penalty: It was issued because the city of lights appointed too many women to senior government positions in 2018. Specifically, 11 females and five males. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Tuesday that she will personally deliver the check to the Ministry of Public Service, along with the other women in her government, NPR reports. A rule in the city requires that at least 40% of government positions be appointed to each gender, though a waiver (which became law too late to apply in this case) voids the fine if the new hires don’t cause an overall gender imbalance.

Hidalgo says more must still be done to resolve the imbalance that does exist—in favor of men: “Yes, we must promote women with determination and vigor, because the delay everywhere in France is still very great,” she told the Paris Council. “So yes, to promote and one day achieve parity, we must speed up the tempo and ensure that in the nominations there are more women than men.” Currently, women hold 47% of senior positions in the city, and are paid 6% less than their male counterparts, which is likely why Hidalgo said, per the Guardian, the fine is “absurd, unfair, irresponsible, and dangerous.”

The holidays and a mere days away….time for a little holiday cheer….and our friends in Alabama have an idea….

This is for my loyal read Kim over at By Hook Or By Book

Sheriff’s officials say they’ve busted an illegal winery that was operating at a municipal sewage plant in a small Alabama town. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it received an anonymous tip about an alcohol operation at a municipal building in the town of Rainsville on Thursday. Investigators then uncovered what’s described as a large illegal winery inside the Rainsville Waste Water Treatment Plant, the AP reports. Photos released by investigators (in the gallery with this story) show glass containers, buckets, a fermenting rack, and other equipment used by people who make wine at home.

It’s legal to make limited amounts of wine at home in Alabama, but it’s illegal to have more than 15 gallons of homemade wine or beer at a time. Police photos show multiple fermenting vessels filled with what appears to be more than 100 gallons of white and red liquid. The agency said that officers seized a lot of illegal alcohol and that arrests are expected. The town of about 5,100 people is 100 miles northeast of Birmingham. “I want to thank the mayor for his cooperation and willingness to allow law enforcement to do our job and shut something like this down,” Sheriff Nick Welden said in a statement. “This is definitely one of the biggest operations we’ve seen in our county and possibly our state.”

Now aren’t you glad you stopped by on this Saturday?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”