23 January 2014

Optical Illusion

I love these and can't even come close to creating my own; I use the other hemisphere of my brain, the technical side, whereas this requires the artistic, imaginative side.  Is this an inside corner or an outside corner?


New Words Created by Mensans

You'll have to enlarge this a bit to be able to read it, I'm afraid.

The Wedding Test

A Rant on Human Overpopulation

Fundamentalist religions, especially the Catholic church, are steering us toward total disaster in regard to the environment, global climate change, animal extinctions at alarming and unprecedented rates.  How, you might ask.  Obviously, the more people, the more resources used, the more land and forests destroyed for homes, streets, mines of various types, et bloody cetera. 
We seriously need to reduce our world population to pre-1950 levels, and maybe even more.  Attrition would do it except for the fact that we still have a ridiculously high fertility rate among third-world countries, of which the U.S. is rapidly becoming due to the huge influx of Hispanic immigrants, both legal and illegal.  They are generally from exceptionally poor countries and are superstitious (religious) primarily within the Catholic faith.
Fortunately, many women of said faith are ignoring the tenets of their churches because they want control over their own bodies and the number of children they bear, if any are, in fact, desired.

In other words, these superstitious, controlling institutions seem to be wanting THE END to come in their lifetimes and are doing their best to accelerate the process, presumably to validate their superstitious beliefs..

Many, If not most, of the U.S. environmental groups are afraid to address the immigration issue, except for Zero Population Growth and Negative Population Growth and a few others. 

As to allowing all of these aliens into our country for, presumably, humanitarian reasons, statistics show that we could take in millions of poor immigrants, each year, and it would make not whit of difference to the world overpopulation problem, but would greatly increase all of the problems associated with overpopulation within our own country.

You'll find that many environmentalists, like myself, are atheist or agnostic.  The religious institutions that preach watching over and protecting humankind and our wildlife are seriously deficient in that they are much more concerned with little globs of cells in a woman's body than humans and animals that are already alive and need assistance. 
You'll notice that nearly all of those who speak out against birth control are old, fat, balding white men who do not know, understand or care about the women whose lives they are seeking to control. 

The politicians and other superstitious "leaders" fail to realize - or refuse to admit - that their biggest bugaboo, abortion, would drop to near zero if women, worldwide, were educated in birth control methods.

Rant over for now.

This Post in its original form (I made a few changes for this Posting) made for quite a string of Comments in the forum in which I first posted it.  One person thought that eliminating the incredible waste we create in the U.S. would take care of the problem.  At the same time, he said that we could support ten times the population for ten times longer if we stopped being so wasteful.   He was basically saying that we could, for example, support 70B people for perhaps 500 years as opposed to fifty years.  I asked him for the statistics he was "citing," but he could not or would not supply them.  He did say that if we went vegetarian, we could support our numbers on a quarter of the land (although he said "four times less," which is, to me, a nonsensical phrase) which I think could be an accurate assessment.
The other Comments were generally in agreement with me to one degree or another.  Here's a good one:

The interesting thing about population growth in a "closed system" such as the earth or a petri dish is that there is typically a stationary phase. Growth stops, but it's still too late. This could be a fairly miserable time for many as we fight each other for space, luxury and sustenance. We should not be placated by "zero growth" because the resource burn rate has reached a maximum. Right now we are still in the growth phase, but it is slowing down. When growth stops that may just be an indication our systems are starting to fail as opposed to a real change in behavior.
He accompanied this statement with a graph which I am unable to reproduce here.

Another good Comment:

I spent some time in a village in an extremely poor region of India. Eventually I had to leave...because overpopulation basically meant that no matter how much work I did...things always got worse. Do the math. The math is extremely simple. An elegant and horrid explanation of the obvious.

Everyone has the same small plot of land. There are no other resources or capital to invest or exploit  (we are talking about a very dire place). A family consists of four people. Now...add four more people 10 years later. Their productivity on the land barely increases...yet the mouths to feed doubles. Double the need...half the food for each person. It's math. Every dozen years or so there is a drought or flooding or some other calamity.

Of course...this doesn't apply to places where there are resources, infinite possibilities, modestly good education, more productive farming techniques, chance for economic growth, a chance to get the hell out of wherever they are. But not in some places...where having enough food each day is a constant struggle.

No matter what any YouTube video says...overpopulation is a horrific problem in many places in the world. You just have to do the simple math. Double the population...halve the food and resources for everyone else.
Here's my response to this last Comment:

I'm glad to hear about a first-hand account from someone who's been there.   Most of us have to rely on statistics and accounts such as yours to have even an inkling of what's going on elsewhere in the world.

As for the U.S., most of us can see the costs (in various forms, including taxation and overcrowding) of our own population growth.  It was supposed to level off at about 240 million, but Congress, in their infinite stupidity, raised the limit of legal immigration to, I believe, one million per year when it used to be limited to 200,000, a much more sustainable number.  This does not include all the illegal immigrants we've collected over the past forty years and there are so many here, now, that's it logistically and economically unfeasible to ship them all back to their countries.  Besides, they'd be back within days and the process would begin anew.

Some years back, we fought to have women in third-world countries given a minimal education. That, alone, was enough to educate them about not needing to have a child every two years for their entire childbearing lives.  Many of those newborns died of course, but many also managed, somehow, to survive to have yet more children.

Then some moron president decided to put a gag order on all those groups who depended on federal funding to help these people and they were limited in what they could teach these women and the population kept rising in those areas.  Rather than prevent pregnancies, it raised the number of women desperate for back-alley abortions or ingesting various poisons to induce abortion.  The upshot is that, if one wants to stop abortions, one needs to stop the pregnancies.  Right? 

Well, some (not so well-meaning) people decided that some methods of stopping conception were simply another means of early abortion and did their best to put a stop to that type of information being given to these poor women.  I wonder how many women died in those back allies or later on after having taken various substances to induce abortion.  These ideological (read "idiotic") bans on disseminating information has killed thousands of women and doomed millions to starvation and misery.

Even condoms are a no-no to some church rulers; not sure what their rationale is for that.  Stupidity, perhaps?

My contention is that the earth could do quite nicely with billions fewer of the human virus that is humankind.  Since we have been too slow in tackling the problem that is us, Mother Nature has now taken over the task of curing the Earth of our harmful presence and global climate change is only just the beginning.


Typical Tech Support Conversations Part Two

More Tech Support Comedy:

I cannot edit out the first two lines of this posting, which are the end of an entry in Part One.  Sorry if this has confused anyone.  It certainly confused me when I came back to review it.

Typical Tech Support Conversations Part One

Exasperating Tech Support conversations about typical computer problems:


The Wisdom of Will Rogers

Here are a few quotes from Will Rogers, most of which could be applied to today's world: