Wow. I just got back from the Orion nebula. It was an amazing trip which I took with Samsung VR (used to be called Samsung Milk) which is an app available with the Gear VR. Inside Samsung VR are a bunch of cool 3D video worlds which you have the option to either download or to stream. This is turning out to be one of my favorite VR apps!
I wrote a while back about another VR tour inside Samsung VR where you are in a village in Nepal which is really cool.
The Orion one of course is a synthetic world and I think I really like the idea of being able to create purely synthetic worlds, or hybrid synthetic-real ones, in VR.
Android v.6 a.k.a. “Marshmallow” was just released within the past few weeks for my T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy Note 4 phone which I love.
In addition to the official T-Mobile update there is now one popular custom ROM that people are using called Maximum OvrDriVE 6.0.1 MM. Up till now I have been really happy with Jellybean-based TEKXodus HYBRID N4 custom ROM which has a huge following.
Both developers – of Maxiumim OvrDriVE and TEKXodus – are amazing people who contribute immensely to the community and both of these ROMs have good followings and a lot of knowledgeable users willing to help others in the forums.
But I have been eager to switch to Marshmallow and decided to try out OvrDriVE and with the most recent release as of this writing – v.7 – its working great.
Amazingly, Android Pay seems to be working. I was at least able to set cards up on it which previously was not possible with a custom rooted ROM. Someone explained in a forum that OvrDriVE is using what is called “systemless root” which apparently does not trigger apps like Android Pay’s security check.
Crossing my fingers and hoping that Android Pay will work. Today I already put one debit, one credit, and a whole slough of loyalty cards and even my library card into it.
UPDATE: Android Pay is working! Today I conducted my third transaction using it at a local health food store.
In all three instances I temporarily disabled SuperSU prior to using Android Pay. SuperSU is disabled in its settings. One caveat is that when you open SuperSU again to re-enable it, it will claim that the SU binary needs to be updated and ask for user confirmation. Its important to CANCEL the update. Then go back into SuperSU settings and just re-check the enable SuperSU option.
(Note: I’m not even sure that its necessary to disable SuperSU but have been doing it proactively. Will test to see if Android Pay works with it enabled.)
So two major things have happened in the past month or so: Virtual reality via the Samsung/Oculus Gear VR, and now Android Pay. Both of these are amazing achievements and both are going to be even more major in the future.
Its so convenient to be able to ditch your wallet and just use your phone not only to pay, but also to store all your loyalty cards and, as I mentioned before, even my library card was accepted by it. Say goodbye to plastic. Well, almost. Actually a lot of places have yet to accept mobile payments. But the time is coming. The goal is definitely in sight now!
One thing I would like to see happen – I think it really needs to happen – is to be able to have one mobile data plan but be able to switch it between say an ultra-portable device like an armband or watch, and a large, less portable one like a phablet. It seems ridiculous that you pay for a mobile plan – a hefty price – yet if you want to go running with say your smartwatch, you would either need a separate mobile plan for it or else have to do without.
Net neutrality needs to extend to devices. Carriers shouldn’t care from what device your traffic emanates.
The featured chemical compound for this month is one that is used extensively in cosmetic, personal care, and other products. Polydimethylsiloxane is a silicon-based compound that has excellent rheological (flow) properties (1).
In haircare products silicon-based compounds initially got a bad rap as being non-water-soluble and hence accumulating in hair, but in fact depending upon how they are formulated, many silicone-based products are in fact water soluble.
PDMS compounds such as amodimethicone, are effective conditioners when formulated to consist of small particles and be soluble in water or alcohol/act as surfactants (especially for damaged hair), and are even more conditioning to the hair than common Dimethicone and/or Dimethicone copolyols.
It turns out that some silicon-based products may actually be good for hair and are also water soluble, hence not leading to the “build-up” problems mentioned in some places.
Personally I’ve started using some products which contain silicone-based compounds and have found that I still don’t need to use shampoo, in fact I usually just prefer to soak my head under water to cleanse it naturally. There is no buildup or negative side and in fact the conditioning side is probably benefiting my hair a lot.
Watching this excellent Silk Road II episode called The King’s Road which covers the same areas of northern Pakistan that have been methodically bombed by US drones and are now the site of unending tragedy and violence.
It starts at the Khyber pass, a place where there have been many drone strikes and deaths. It covers the Pashtun tribes and even sits in on a jurga which is a community-based tribal court that decides legal matters. There’s an excellent documentary on YouTube about a jurga that was “mistakenly” bombed by drones, about which the US military later lied methodically.
All of this alone is more than justification for the actions of Chelsea Manning to have released the “secret” military videos showing atrocities and war crimes committed by US armed forces, and documents showing they engaged in deliberate deception about what was occurring.
And yes, I believe in supporting your country, but if writing the truth as I am here is going to put me on some government shit-list for speaking the truth, then put me on the shit-list. At least I’m standing up for the victims of heinous crimes and atrocities.
What you see from this video is honest, simple people living their lives like all other human beings in the world, in their own region, with their own systems of stability.
All globalization has done is fuck up the world. Whether it be the invasions and attacks for geopolitical control of resources and raw materials, or the huge mass migrations which are destroying cultures, the destruction of the great middle class of western societies, or the descent of democracies into oligarchies, globalization is a huge catastrophe.
It is for the benefit not just of all the people of the world, but all creatures of Planet Earth to put a stop to globalization.
Was thinking about lethal engagement by law enforcement. I can say anecdotally that yes it is the case that law enforcement officers reach for their firearms in a kind of knee-jerk response which is frequently completely unacceptable and inappropriate for situations. For example once I was driving along a long stretch of highway really late at night and realized that I was not able to stay awake. I considered my life to be in danger because I was fading in and out of consciousness at the wheel, and knew I needed to pull over and rest.
I was also in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but farms. So I did what seemed the most logical thing, pulled my old station wagon off on a small dirt road that was probably part of a farm (it was really dark so I don’t know exactly where the road went but I did discern that there were no houses or anything there, it just seemed like a farm field).
Well, some time later the next thing I know I’m awake in the back seat of the station wagon, a blindingly bright floodlight shining into my car. I start to get up and there’s a cop standing at the window of my car pointing a gun and me, and the asswipe is yelling at me telling me not to move. What a fucking piece of shit.
Another instance was when someone had broken into my car parked along a street near where I was living, close to downtown at the time. And when two police officers arrived and I was reporting the break-in to them, I just instinctively was standing there with my hands in my pockets (it was probably also cold outside), and one of them, this asswipe woman, literally unholsters her gun and has it ready to shoot me and commands me to take my hands out of my pockets.
Yes, I’ve had guns pointed at me by cops for the most absolute bullshit reasons, and I can definitely say that the cops in both cases were absolute asswipes and probably should not have had their jobs.
The bottom line is, there needs to be some kind of rules for dealing with people that does not allow the use of projectile weapons at all in certain close range situations. I can see a projectile weapon being useful if there’s a suspect far away with a firearm. But for close-range encounters with people who probably don’t even have firearms, pulling out a firearm – a projectile weapon – is a totally inappropriate response.
If there is no technology that law enforcement has to either protect themselves or give themselves the ability to stun or disorient a potential threat at short range, then there needs to be. But pulling guns out on unarmed people for bullshit reasons is wrong and its well past the time that this needs to change, given all these killings.
And one other thing: All law enforcement officers, since they are entrusted with carrying weapons, must be required to record full video and audio of all encounters they have.
I say this because, in addition to the above-mentioned incidents involving firearms pointed at me, there have been numerous instances when cops said bullshit things that were extremely unprofessional and/or wrong. They frequently operate with a sense of impunity and basically like asswipes who don’t even give a shit about the actual law. I’ve experienced complete contradictions on issues by cops, where one or more cops said one thing to me about an issue, and then later another or other cops said something completely contradictory.
That is absolute bullshit and if it were any company that had to interact successfully with the public to survive, they would have gone out of business long ago.
Am concerned that people may become polarized when unfortunate events occur and when others react to those events, and then still others react to those others’ reacting. People have the freedom to say and do what they want, but only each individual human being can make the choice to #ResistPolarization in their own soul. So no matter what happens, no matter what you see or hear, remember that your love of your neighbors is the most powerful, world-changing power.
I have been thinking today about what I’ve seen over the past 25 years. I have seen something major destroyed.
25 years ago things were not perfect, but there was still the possibility of a dream. That dream, on occasion, still existed and was able to be experienced. At different moments it was still here, still part of this world.
That dream has been destroyed. Our city has been taken from us. We have been lied to. We have been sold out. Betrayed. Gravely betrayed.
There was something beautiful about that dream. There was a beautiful, noble vision. Our city still belonged to us, its builders, even though it was starting to slip away.
And now away it has slipped. So far, beyond the point of return. That’s why I deliberately, yet very sadly use the word destruction.
We have had our city, our precious place, the place of our dreams, destroyed, taken from us. By greedy, disgusting, lying people. It has reached a point today that is so bad, so appalling, that its unbelievable. The extent to which the world is collapsing and its people have been betrayed is shocking and astounding.
Despite the unimaginably vast exploitation of resources like never before in human history, the world is getting worse. We are worse off, not better.
The huge invasion of swarms of illegals started sometime between now and 25 years ago. A decade ago it was already very noticeable. Now it is just shocking and beyond the level of outrage. Politicians don’t even care about trying to conceal the abject betrayal of the citizens of their own countries. What is occurring in the centers of culture around the world is outrageous. London. New York. Berlin. Paris. Stockholm. Brussels. San Francisco.
This is the destruction of civilization, being perpetrated by a global oligarchy which controls the reins of power, and controls Big Media around the globe. It is armed with vast resources to further its agenda by every means possible, overt and covert.
Our planet is facing unprecedented cultural and ecological catastrophe. Their interlinking is not coincidental. Its time to wake up and take a stand.
They kill and maim indiscriminately for their global economy. They rape and enslave the world. They want to turn the world into one big Walmart staffed by millions of uneducated, disempowered, obedient slaves to keep “the economy” strong. And they lie and claim that its for humanitarian reasons.
They control Congress. They control the White House. And they control Big Media.
Walking to see the fireworks last night and gleefully telling many people I encountered on the way about Juno’s successful orbital insertion which had just occurred, I remarked to one person how extraordinary it is to be able to navigate a spacecraft to such a distant location. I mentioned the Huygens probe which actually landed on and sent back pictures of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and he seemed to not remember it. He kept referring to the more recent ESE Philae lander which landed on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and indeed was an amazing achievement.
But I distinctly remember when Huygens successfully traversed through the atmosphere of Titan and sent back the first ever image from the surface of a moon orbiting another planet.
Last night I was telling my Mom about the upcoming NASA TV live broadcast of the Juno orbital insertion and tried to find a station on her cable TV service that carried NASA TV. As I browsed through the dozens – no hundreds – of channel listings, seeing the copious amounts of drivel and bullshit, it was really sad to me that such a monumental human achievement as the Juno mission is relegated to virtually nothing.
Part of being healthy – in fact I would argue the most essential part – is in knowing what to seek and what to avoid. I have a theory that all diseases are ultimately diseases of taste or, more generally, discretion or preference. In other words, its not that diseases can’t be prevented and cured, its that people willingly choose to engage in activities that cause and promote disease, rather than activities which prevent and stop disease.
Its not like any of the knowledge on how to do so is particularly complicated either. I think its generally clear to any person with a mind what is healthy and what is not. But people continue to eat harmful things. They continue to engage in activities which are harmful and to not engage in ones that are healthy.
So what can you say or do? Do you just repeat over and over the same messages about what is good and bad to people? Or maybe its better just to step back and let them injure themselves which might actually, in the long term, result in less severe consequences than if they were allowed to proceed under delusion?
As for great scientific achievements, I’m all too aware of the dangers of scientific triumphalism and certain kinds of self-righteousness, bigotry, and bias which can arise from believing in science as being superior. But I do not allow such awareness to detract from the fact that human beings are capable of accomplishing these great achievements of which we should all be proud.
Its also useful to remember that every one of us is just a traveler through this world. We are only here for a time. I witness frequently people who are so passionate about, so caught up in various agendas that I’m afraid they may sometimes forget this fact. I also believe its important to advocate for what you believe is right. No doubt. But, beyond it all, its even more important to not forget that this world is not you. You are only passing through it. So, during the time you are here, at least don’t forget every now and then to smile and try to make happy the other souls who are here with you, no matter how passionate you feel about anything.
In a way the Juno mission and the 4th of July are similar, they are times when we can just be happy that we humans can come together happily and accomplish amazing achievements, whether such an achievement is putting a spacecraft into orbit around a planet over a billion miles away or just enjoying the community of people coming together on a warm Summer night to watch fireworks together.