Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reality check!

June 5, 2017
By Buster Coen

After a weak Memorial Day frame, (click here) the box office was invigorated this past weekend by a big debut from Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman."

Opening to $100.5 million, the DC film had one of the top openings of all time for a superhero origin movie, and the biggest opening ever for a film directed by a woman....

Not a member of the Screen Actor's Guild?

June 20, 2017
By Boede Carmody

Wonder Woman (click here) may have been pivotal in ending World War I, but there's still one fight she's yet to win: the gender pay gap. 

Everyone's favourite sword-wielding Amazonian, Gal Gadot, earned just $400,000 for her role in DC's latest superhero blockbuster....

This was a delightful film for even me. Wonder Woman is viewed growing into her role, not just as a child to adult, but, as a superhero.

Her inner self grows to realize the power within her over the entire film. It is delightful and harnesses the idea strength grows in self-awareness. She achieves her final strength as her favorite human dies (a hero himself) and she is confronted by a half-sibling, Ares, Ares is the God of War in Greek mythology.

Wonder Woman is younger, protected and less aware of the world. Ares uses that to his advantage. In the final scenes of her struggle, she digs deep and finds even greater power given her by her heritage. 

I won't give the ending away, but, it is a fun ride. 

This is a female directed film and I have to wonder what her salary was. I am rather disappointed Gal Gadot can buy a house, but, not a Delorian to take her Back to the Future. Because that is what is needed for Ms. Gadot and her director. They need a trip back to the future with a modern day respect for the talent in this fim. Ms. Gadot needs a guaranteed portion of the movie's revenue as does the director. 

Warner Brothers should be the proud father of the largest grossing film by a female director. It is a historical event to be proud of. The salaries of the women in the film should reflect that event.

And lose this poster. It reminds me of a pregnant image. Yes, I think that is victimizing, especially to the younger girls that will view this film and see this poster. I find it offensive.

Congratulations to Wonder Woman and all it's women that made it a great film.

And then there is this, too.

June 21, 2017
By David Wroe

The RAAF (click here) has halted air operations over Syria amid rising tensions with Russia, after the United States shot down a Syrian regime fighter jet.

Defence said in a statement that operations had ceased temporarily as a "precautionary measure" and a decision on resuming air strikes would be made "in due course". Operations in Iraq will continue.

The move follows Russia's declaration that it may view US planes flying in its own area of operations as targets. Tensions have risen rapidly since the US shot down a Syrian regime jet on Sunday near al-Raqqa, the heartland of the so-called Islamic State. The Syrian fighter had been bombing too close to US-backed fighters.

That triggered the bellicose response from Russia, which supports the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad....

When were last assessed for life insurance. A selfie may be telling.

For the USA, the plutocratic playground, the only health insurance that will actually be affordable is "Medicare for All."

June 20, 2017

By John Collett

..."Smoking (click here) is going to be written on your face," Ricanek says. "Even if you stopped smoking, once it's written, it's there."

The software also estimates their body mass index and how quickly a person is ageing biologically, which can be quite different to their chronological age. 

Ricanek reckons Chronos would enable a customer to buy life insurance online in as little as 10 minutes without the need for a medical examination. 

Advances in life and computing sciences and harnessing the power of cloud computing have facial technology developers, such as Lapetus, claiming face-reading software provides much more accurate lifespan estimates than traditional methods....

In New Zealand it is the shortest day of the year.

Water Vapor Composite (click here for 24 hour loop - thank you)
20 June 2017
1900 UTC (about 3 hours behind NZ)

This is New Zealand's neighborhood. Winds can be strong at times. I think the satellite needs adjustment.

21 June 2017

The shortest day of the year (click here) has arrived, bringing winter's latest assault on the country.

Winds picked up overnight and vast swathes of New Zealand are set to be drenched as a complex low conjures up days of rain, thunderstorms, gales and even snow for the South Island.

This morning MetService put out severe wind and rain alerts covering the upper North Island and southern Westland....             

There is no reason for young Americans to put their lives in danger. They confuse purpose with the freedoms they have at home.

The newer generations of Americans value service as a method to learn and ultimately earn a living. That's fine, but, serving in country's where dictators slay relatives is not the place for any American.

Conclusions (click here): PCV are exposed to unique risks, but these risks have become significantly less fatal over the past 20 years when compared to prior Peace Corps data and matched US population data.

There is no perfect world and while serving the USA through initiatives like the Peace Corps, there will always be an element of danger.  In countries like North Korea the USA does not maintain an embassy. Normally, in those countries the Embassy of Sweden comes forward to assist.

Young Americans should never take it upon themselves to bring about a sign of liberation. It is not their place and inevitably they pay for it. Another example is the Rachel Corrie act of bravery. There is almost never any good that comes of it.

Otto Warmbier went to North Korea and was exuberant about the freedom he had back in the states. That enthusiasm is backed in the USA by innumerable freedoms guaranteed by law. A simple act of defiance is never welcome in places that reject freedom. Look at the way journalists are treated, as if spies by countries engaged in free trade with First World countries such as the USA. Even Egypt, prosecuted journalists because of their dedication to freedom.

Otto Warmbier knew when he made that confession it was the worst thing he could do, but, he was desperate to have a small chance the North Koreans would send him home. He gambled with his life and he lost. Never admit to any form of treason of another government. Otto Warmbier was innocent in his enthusiasm and his expression as an American. He meant no malice so much as HOPE for the future of North Korea. That is all it was. It was an expression of hope. He was not a member of a revolution or even close to being a leader of a militia. Otto Warmbier was innocent of the charges placed on him and he should have stood his ground.

The US Secretary of State is the primary contact to engage foreign relations. It is under the protections afforded through the USA government that young Americans should be seeking purposeful adventure to other countries. 

If they can't be safe, please stay home.

Mr. Warmbier's confession opened the door to torture.

June 20, 2017

Cincinnati - A coroner's office in Ohio (click here) is investigating the death of a 22-year-old college student who died shortly after his return to the U.S. after nearly a year and a half in North Korean detention, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman for Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammaraco said the office "accepted the case" of Otto Warmbier, who died Monday in a Cincinnati hospital. Justin Weber told The Associated Press that a news conference is expected later to provide more information.

Wambier's parents did not cite a specific cause of death, but cited "awful, torturous mistreatment" by North Korea. Doctors had described Warmbier's condition as a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" and said he suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause....

The CDC.

These symptoms (click here) all result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin. If untreated, the disease may progress and symptoms may worsen to cause paralysis of certain muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms, legs, and trunk (part of the body from the neck to the pelvis area, also called the torso). People with botulism may not show all of these symptoms at once.

Botulism is not associated with brain destruction. The symptoms are due to the muscles and nerve impulses, not the brain.

The WHO:

...Botulinum toxins (click here) block nerve functions and can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis....

...Inhalation botulism
Inhalation botulism is rare and does not occur naturally, for example it is associated with accidental or intentional events (such as bioterrorism) which result in release of the toxins in aerosols. Inhalation botulism exhibits a similar clinical footprint to foodborne botulism. The median lethal dose for humans has been estimated at 2 nanograms of botulinum toxin per kilogram of bodyweight, which is approximately 3 times greater than in foodborne cases.
Following inhalation of the toxin, symptoms become visible between 1–3 days, with longer onset times for lower levels of intoxication. Symptoms proceed in a similar manner to ingestion of botulinum toxin and culminate in muscular paralysis and respiratory failure.

If exposure to the toxin via aerosol inhalation is suspected, additional exposure to the patient and others must be prevented. The patient's clothing must be removed and stored in plastic bags until it can be washed thoroughly with soap and water. The patient should shower and be decontaminated immediately....

Mr. Warmbier may have been exposed to botulism. It would be helpful if the WHO had statistics on botulism in North Korea. I doubt there are many modern day health statistics, but, there are probably some from the time of Kim Jong-Il. He was a better leader than his son has been. He had some affection for the people of North Korea. He allowed aid to the people so there maybe some understanding as to the health and illness (Morbidity and Mortality - click here) there.

August 1, 1986  / 35(30);490-1 Botulism antitoxin for patients (click here) with signs and symptoms of human foodborne or wound botulism is released to physicians by CDC from its quarantine stations located throughout the United States. Any health-care provider requesting botulism antitoxin should first contact his/her state health department. A list of daytime and 24-hour telephone numbers (if available) is published to assist those seeking botulism antitoxin (Table 2). If the state health department is unreachable during nights or on weekends, CDC may be called at (404) 329-2888 (24-hour number)

When botulism is suspected, a careful food history, especially for home-canned vegetables or fruits, should be sought, and the suspected food items, saved. Stool and serum should be obtained from patients with possible botulism and refrigerated. Electromyography should be done using repetitive stimulation at 40 Hz or greater. When indicated, cerebrospinal fluid should be examined for white blood cells and protein, and a Tensilon challenge test should be done. The patient's vital capacity should be monitored. The results of these tests are helpful in evaluating the need for botulism antitoxin. Reported by Enteric Diseases Br, Div of Bacterial Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

I am looking forward to the coroner's findings.

More brinkmanship from Russia.

Russia doesn't care to have a USA reconnaissance plane flying. The only other country that has this particular type of aircraft is the UK and that is because the USA authorized the sale of a few to the UK, a NATO ally.

In the picture below the Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane is landing on an aircraft carrier. It is easy to state this is a highly versatile engineered flying machine.

The jet keeps the USA safe and there is no doubt about it. The plane does not fly unmanned either. The crew is aware of potential dangers as occurred with the Russian fighter jet today. The RC-135 is not armed as a combat jet.

And so it begins:

June 20, 2017
By Dan Lamothe

A Russian fighter jet (click here) came “within several feet” of an Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea and lingered by the side of the U.S. plane for several minutes on Monday, U.S. military officials said.

The incident comes amid increased tensions between Russia and the United States following the shoot-down Sunday of a Syrian fighter jet by a U.S. Navy Super Hornet after the Syrians bombed U.S.-backed fighters in northern Syria. Russia, which is aligned with the Syrian government and is carrying out military operations in Syria alongside it, condemned the incident and said Monday that it would track U.S. aircraft over Syria.

The Russian Su-27 maneuvered its wingtip within a few feet of the larger, slower RC-135 for several minutes, said Meghan Henderson, a spokeswoman for U.S. European Command. The Pentagon considered the incident, known as an “intercept,” unsafe because of the “high rate of closure speed” and the “poor control of the aircraft” that the Russian pilot had, Henderson said....

Plane history and variant details:

     The RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft was developed by Boeing in the early 60’s from C-135 Stratolifter. It is a major variant of the C-135. This reconnaissance aircraft was adopted by the US Air Force in 1962 as the RC-135. It is referred by the Boeing company as the Model 739. Although the Boeing RC-135 has been in the service for over half a century, its operators plan to keep it employed for a few decades more. This aircraft remains among the USAF's most important strategic reconnaissance assets. The United Kingdom, which is the only country outside the US that uses the RC-135, plans to use these aircraft until 2045.

     The US Air Force has been using this aircraft since 1962 and since, it was used in every of their military operations, starting from the Vietnam War. A total of 32 airframes of this type of aircraft were built. Currently 22 units are still in the US Air Force inventory. These are either RC-135S, RC-135U, RC-135V, or RC-135W variant. All of these reconnaissance aircraft are assigned to Air Combat Command, and often operate from US bases or using various forward deployment locations worldwide. The Royal Air Force operates a small number of these aircraft. Recently one of them flew missions against the Islamic State.

     This aircraft gathers electronic and signal intelligence worldwide. It can operate at a theatre, or  country level. This reconnaissance plane has near real-time on scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities...

...RRC-135S Cobra Ball (click here) is a measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) collection aircraft. It was designed to observe and track ballistic missile flights and monitor their signals at long range.This aircraft was fitted with special electro-optical instruments. Two RC-135S aircraft were converted from C-135B transports in 1969. These can be identified by a black engines and right wing. One aircraft was lost in 1981, however another was converted in 1983. The third aircraft was converted from the RC-135X in the late 1990s. So currently three of these aircraft are in service. There is one more TC-135S training aircraft, that was modified from the EC-135B. This trainer does not carry any mission equipment....

Jon Ossoff is a good and decent man.

He should be judged by voters on his character, his history, his values that he reflects in his desire to be the USA House Representative for Georgia's 6th district and the best outcomes of the citizens of this district.

June 19, 2017
By John Kruzel

An attack ad (click here) released on the eve of Georgia’s special House election claims Democrat Jon Ossoff has the support of "unhinged leftists" who celebrated the shooting of Republican lawmakers.

The video, from a group calling itself Principled PAC, opens with the sound of gunfire over footage of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., being wheeled on a stretcher. Scalise was critically wounded in the June 14 attack on a GOP congressional baseball practice that left five others with gunshot wounds and the shooter dead.

"The unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans," states the ad, which was viewed more than 86,000 times on YouTube since June 18. "When will it stop? It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday, because the same unhinged leftists cheering last week's shooting are all backing Jon Ossoff."...

U.S. House of Representative Scalise is in a hospital fighting for his life and the only question I have at the moment is the condition of his mentation. Was he impaired from lack of oxygen due to low blood volume at the scene of the shooting. From what is told in the attack ad there is a very bloody scene which I had not viewed in the news media. If he lost too much blood his brain may have been starved for oxygen for a longer period of time than is sustainable for a complete recovery.

I don't care to view the attack ad either. I do not believe violence should be part of an election in the manner this attack ad uses the visual impact. It is immoral and wrong. 

Rep. Scalise is a self proclaimed "White Supremacist." Does anyone stop to realize the deaths that have taken place in this country in the name of White Supremacy, including judges and prison wardens? Yet, Scalise persists in his staunch beliefs that are now reflected by high ranking officials inside the White House with access to the Oval Office.

Does anyone remember the wreath laid in Israel in remembrance of the Jewish people that perished during the Holocaust? "In Remembrance from Donald J. Trump President United States of America." The wreath in the video below is the one I am referencing. The ribbon is odd enough, but, if President Trump found it necessary to personalize the message one has to wonder why. In his capacity of President of the USA on an official trip he represents all the people of the USA. Yet, in this particular instance he personalized the message. It was his choice as a person to lay this wreath and remove the message of it from the people in general. Is there a segment of American society that objects to the Jewish race? Is there a member of that segment of the American society that is in a high ranking place in the Oval Office and White House?

18 December 2016

A white supremacist website (click here) has endangered the people's lives by postign contact details and photos of Jewish residents in a small Montana town - where the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer lives - and has urged readers to "take action"....

Now, you will excuse me, but, this is a direct threat to the Jewish people of Whitefish, Montana. A direct threat. These guys aren't messing around. Then I read today there was a Republican website that published it's voter bank. What does that mean? Favoritism in the American society and rejection of others even in their place of work?

When an American travels abroad to attend White Supremacist conventions it means that American is involved with the global movement of hate based in the philosophy of these ORGANIZATIONS. This isn't a man or a group of riflemen, these are highly organized and powerful organizations that profess hate.

Make no mistake about it, white supremacist organizations hate and want DEAD the Jewish and the Black race. Scalise is one of these people. In professing hate and representing it at a high ranking level of the Republican Party will result in certain dangers to one's well being and life. No one asked to have Steve Scalise assaulted by a military style gun that day at the baseball diamond. But, it happened. The party affiliation is not the issue here. US Senator Bernie Sanders has denounced violence and he accepts the idea Americans have the right to keep guns.

The attack ad is wrong and immoral. It exploits, as if a sympathetic figure, the injuries of a white supremacist congressman. People have strong feelings about the ISSUE OF DEATH. I cannot stand in sympathy of Mr. Scalise. I wish him no harm and never did, but, his life has spoken for itself and I care not to see him in any other light except as a man that supports the DEATHS of other races. I cannot make that turn and I won't. He is a dangerous man and he is not a sympathetic figure.