Who Is That Masked Man?

I have reading the bin Laden papers, those documents that were taken in the raid that killed Osama….fascinating stuff……there are some that I question are original…..the context is not the same as some of the others……anyway….time for a couple of days away from the stuff……

The weekend and I will write about something that hits dear to my heart…..ART.

Me?  I can screw up stick drawings….but my daughter and granddaughter have all the talent……I have several of their pieces hanging in my living room…..

I like art a lot…..impressionism and abstract are my two faves….I also like art that has social commentary value….and there is where this post is going…..

To me the best social commentary artist is the Graffiti artist, Banksey….if you are unfamiliar with his work let me introduce you to it……

Photo from www.banksy.co.uk

Opposite the French Embassy, Knightsbridge © banksy.co.uk

Banksey travels the world and painting his stuff in some of the most desolate places…..like Gaza….

He has been an enigma for years….but that may be about to be resolved……

Reclusive street artist Banksy has been playing hide-and-seek with British authorities for years, in an effort to conceal his identity. A new study claims to have identified him, using a technique developed in criminology to track down serial offenders.

A group of scientists at Queen Mary University of London explained in their study (in the Journal of Spatial Science), they had used the so-called “Dirichlet process mixture (DPM) model of geographic profiling.” This is a mathematical technique developed by criminologists. Researchers analyzed the spatial patterns of Banksy’s artworks in Bristol and London and matched them up to places where a short list of suspects lived and worked. All the locations, a pub, playing fields and several residential addresses among them, led to a man called Robin Gunningham. The researchers concluded, with a fair degree of certainty, that Mr Gunningham is Banksy.

“Our analysis highlights areas associated with one prominent candidate (e.g., his home), supporting his identification as Banksy. More broadly, these results support previous suggestions that analysis of minor terrorism-related acts (e.g., graffiti) could be used to help locate terrorist bases before more serious incidents occur, and provides a fascinating example of the application of the model to a complex, real-world problem,” they wrote.

Publication of the study, entitled Tagging Banksy, was delayed after Banksy’s lawyers reportedly contacted the university, apparently voicing concerns over how the study would be promoted.

The first report claiming to identify Banksy as Gunningham, an artist originally from Bristol, appeared in 2008 in the Daily Mail. The newspaper said it managed to identify the “guerrilla artist” from an old photograph taken in Jamaica, showing a man kneeling by a spray can.

Banksy made his name as an unconventional, daredevil artist in 2006, when he “smuggled” a life-size replica of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner into California’s Disneyland. He was aiming to raise awareness of the plight of suspects held at the notorious US detention center in Cuba.

“Our analysis highlights areas associated with one prominent candidate (e.g., his home), supporting his identification as Banksy. More broadly, these results support previous suggestions that analysis of minor terrorism-related acts (e.g., graffiti) could be used to help locate terrorist bases before more serious incidents occur, and provides a fascinating example of the application of the model to a complex, real-world problem,” they wrote.

Publication of the study, entitled Tagging Banksy, was delayed after Banksy’s lawyers reportedly contacted the university, apparently voicing concerns over how the study would be promoted.

The first report claiming to identify Banksy as Gunningham, an artist originally from Bristol, appeared in 2008 in the Daily Mail. The newspaper said it managed to identify the “guerrilla artist” from an old photograph taken in Jamaica, showing a man kneeling by a spray can.

In a way it is sad…..I prefer NOT to know who he is……his work should be appreciate as art and not concern one’s self with his identity…..I love his story and his attitude……leave him alone!

Thoughts?

To Boldly Go

The weekend and I will jump off my high political horse and come down to earth for a couple of days….

If you are an old fart like me then you will remember the words “To boldly go where no man has gone”…..or  “space the final frontier”…..or maybe “life here started out there”……that is right the great scifi from days past…..

We are preparing for a trip to Mars…..there is lots of research going on about how to get there and what to do while there and then the trip back….all in all it is said to be a 1 to 1and half year trip, round trip……

Is it possible that the time constraints could be overcome?

Uh-huh…at least so says one scientist……

A century ago, the first transatlantic flight took about 23 days. Soon, we could reach Mars in about as long. The key: perfecting laser technology. NASA scientist Philip Lubin says that by swapping out the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system with one relying on photons would significantly boost our space travel speeds, reports Reuters. Science Alert explains it like this: Particles of light from lasers in Earth’s orbit would reflect off a “large, reflective sail” on a spacecraft and produce a thrust capable of sending it toward a destination at insane speeds. Lubin estimates a 220-pound probe could reach Mars in as little as 72 hours, reports Wired. A bigger, manned spacecraft would take about a month; experts believe the Space Launch System currently in development could take humans to Mars in about five months.

If all that isn’t intriguing enough, Lubin says “photonic propulsion” opens up the possibility of travel outside our solar system, per Space.com. “The human factor of exploring the nearest stars and exoplanets would be a profound voyage for humanity, one whose non-scientific implications would be enormous,” Lubin writes in a study. “There are recent advances that take this from science fiction to science reality,” he adds in a YouTube video. “There is no known reason why we cannot do this.” (NASA says there will be humans on Mars by the 2030s.)

So why not…..Boldly Go?

Now for something extra……

Since early childhood I have been a Formula One fan….especially Ferrari teams……now that is racing!

It is March and next month the F1 season will start…..below is the schedule of races……

THE PROPOSED 2016 F1 CALENDARApril 3 — Australia (Albert Park)April 10 — China (Shanghai)April 24 — Bahrain (Sakhir)May 1 — Russia (Sochi)May 15 — Spain (Barcelona)May 29 — Monaco (Monte Carlo)June 12 — Canada (Montreal)June 26 — Britain (Silverstone)July 3 — Austria (Red Bull Ring)July 17 — Europe (Baku)July 31 — Germany (Hockenheim)August 7 — Hungary (Hungaroring)August 28 — Belgium (Spa)September 4 — Italy (Monza)September 18 — Singapore (Marina Bay)September 25 — Malaysia (Sepang)October 9 — Japan (Suzuka)October 23 — USA (Austin)October 30 — Mexico (Mexico City)November 13 — Brazil (Interlagos)November 27 — Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

This is racing at its finest……

Enjoy your weekend……

Who Knew A Movie Could Be Prophetic?

It is the weekend and I will take the rest of the day to kick back and enjoy the simpler things in life……

We all have that one movie that speaks to us…..Steel Magnolias or Day After Tomorrow…..those sort of movies……mine is a bit different….mine is about a disturbing trend in our politics….

I have commented many times about the stupidity that this country is experiencing and has been experiencing for a couple of decades now…….I have used the movie, “Idiocracy” as an example of what could happen if this trend continues……

Well all my efforts have not been in vain……the creator of the movie has weighed in on this trend also……

Idiocracy, 2016, Donald Trump, Election, Documentary

The man behind the 2006 cult sci-fi film “Idiocracy” is lamenting that his fictional movie appears to have become reality.

“I never expected #idiocracy to become a documentary,” tweeted screenwriter Etan Cohen in an apparent jab at the 2016 presidential race.

Together with “Beavis & Butt-head” creator Mike Judge, Cohen co-wrote the time-travel comedy. The plot revolves around the misadventures of a man who wakes up in a futuristic America only to discover that everyone around him, including lawmakers and government officials, is an idiot.

“I thought the worst thing that would come true was everyone wearing Crocs,” Cohen told his Twitter followers.

“Idiocracy” star Terry Crews, famous for his role as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, also used the satirical film to take a shot at the surreal election cycle.

“All y’all need to stop tripping,” Crews tweeted in character. “Chill the F out, ‘Merica.”

(The Hill)

May I suggest that you, my readers, need to see this film……a look into the future of this country…..

Who knew a work of cinematic fiction could be so damn prophetic?

Kurds To The Rescue

The Kurds!  There has been much in the news for the last 15 years about the Kurds….they are a long time ally of the US…..they are enemies to the Turks…..and they fight against ISIS tooth and nail……and that is as short of a synopsis as I can give without boring you to a coma…..

But the Kurds made news for something different…..they rescued a Swedish girl held by ISIS……

A Swedish girl has been freed from the clutches of the Islamic State in Iraq. Kurdish special forces rescued the 16-year-old Wednesday during a raid near Mosul, report Reuters and the AP. The teen—whom BuzzFeed identifies as Marlin Stivani Nivarlain—was “misled” by an ISIS member in Sweden and first traveled to Syria from the Swedish town of Boras, the Kurdish government says, adding Swedish authorities and family asked for help in rescuing her. Officials say she’ll be “transferred to Swedish authorities to return home once necessary arrangements” are made.

Sorry not much info right now about the girl or the operation……

But I want to address the girl……she went under false pretenses to Iraq to be with ISIS and now she is going home after her rescue…..

May I suggest that she be held for observation……she very well could be a ticking time bomb……ever hear of the Stockholm Syndrome?

In case your memory is a bit fuzzy…….

Stockholm syndrome is considered a complex reaction to a frightening situation, and experts do not agree completely on all of its characteristic features or on the factors that make some people more susceptible than others to developing it. One reason for the disagreement is that it would be unethical to test theories about the syndrome by experimenting on human beings. The data for understanding the syndrome are derived from actual hostage situations since 1973 that differ considerably from one another in terms of location, number of people involved, and time frame. Another source of disagreement concerns the extent to which the syndrome can be used to explain other historical phenomena or more commonplace types of abusive relationships. Many researchers believe that Stockholm syndrome helps to explain certain behaviors of survivors of World War II concentration camps; members of religious cults; battered wives; incest survivors; and physically or emotionally abused children as well as persons taken hostage by criminals or terrorists.
Most experts, however, agree that Stockholm syndrome has three central characteristics:
  • The hostages have negative feelings about the police or other authorities.
  • The hostages have positive feelings toward their captor(s).
  • The captors develop positive feelings toward the hostages.

Just saying that she needs extensive observation in case she has been turned and at the appropriate time becomes a weapon…..a weapon for terrorism.

An 8 Year Atta Boy!

I have been doing this gig for almost 10 years now……..about 2 years on Blogger…I left because I like the format and the extras I got with WordPress……and 8 years here…….

I got this message from WP today……

 

8 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
I can say that the best thing I had done for my blog was switching to WP……over at the other site I was getting plenty of hits but it was hollow I seldom got any comments…..I appreciate the comments and the exchanges through them….I much prefer quality over quantity…
I would like to thank everyone who visits IST for a great 8 years and hopefully we will have many more together…..

 

 

Go North Young Person

Saddle up the Palomino……

My daughter is a liberal….she is always going on about this issue….like abortion and women’s health, our GOP governor or education……she is appalled at the tone of the election process this year…..she has even said, in jest, that if Cruz or Trump wins the election that she will move to Canada…..we both get a good chuckle…..

But then I read this piece and had to send it to her…….

In a common election-year lament, more than a few people on Twitter have suggested they’ll move to Canada if Donald Trump becomes the next US president. Rob Calabrese has the perfect location in mind. On Monday, the Nova Scotia radio DJ set up a tongue-in-cheek website titled Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins to showcase Cape Breton Island’s charms and poke fun at Trump in the process, reports the National Post. “We’re living on an island where the population is decreasing. As a joke, we thought of it to maybe get the word out there that, ‘Hey, you should come here!'” Calabrese tells the Huffington Post. Among gorgeous photos of life on the island, home to 150,000, Calabrese spells out some of Cape Breton’s perks: “Women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only ‘walls’ are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.”

There’s also free healthcare and “nobody has a hand gun,” the site states. By Wednesday, it had received 35,000 unique visitors and Calabrese says he’s been overwhelmed by hundreds of inquiries. “I’m in disbelief,” he says. “It’s been taken seriously by some people, which is great and not intended, but I’m going to help them out as best I can,” he adds, per the CBC. One email posted to Calabrese’s Facebook page reads: “I’m actually looking for a change of climate—environmental, cultural, political—for a while now. I know this is a bit of a lark, but seriously I can’t deal with Trump.” “I know I wouldn’t want to live in a country where he’s leader,” Calabrese tells CTV News. “There are millions of people on this continent who, if they knew about the lifestyle here on Cape Breton, they would think, ‘This is for me.'” (Watch Johnny Depp mock Trump here.)

She was amused…..then pensive……

Money Well Spent….(Sarcasm)

I enjoy writing about the money that is wasted on the defense contracts and the F-35 is one of the biggest wastes of all times……this plane was never wanted by any in the military but to satisfy the special interests it was foisted upon our troops……I have been railing against this lump of expensive metal since it started its trials…….

This worthless lump of metal is to replace the A-10 Warthog, a stupid idea that NO one in the military signs on to, but do not take my word of how useless this piece of crap is……check out the list of things that are wrong with this “brick”…….

The Pentagon’s top testing official has weighed and measured the F-35 and found it wanting.

Source: The F-35’s Terrifying Bug List – Defense One