Where’s Bruce Willis when you really need him

asteroidAs if you don’t have enough to worry about

If you’re of a nervous disposition this video may keep you awake at night. It shows all the asteroids discovered in the last 30 years, and their orbital paths. It starts off in 1980 when we only knew about a sprinkling of them, and flicks through a week or two a second to inexorably add to the number of new findings.

Newly discovered asteroids show briefly as white before turning to green.

The most worrying ones are coloured red and yellow. The red ones cross the Earth’s orbit and the yellow ones come fairly close to your back yard.

It’s clearer if you watch it using the HD setting.

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The pattern of discovery looks like a searchlight pointing away from the sun. That’s the way astronomers have to look. There’s also a pattern of discovery between the Earth and Jupiter, that’s a by-product of the search for Jovian moons.

Don’t lose too much sleep. It’s not as bad as it looks. There’s a lot of empty space out there and we only get clobbered by a real biggie every 500,000 years or so. If you really need something to fret about there are billions of other quite large objects charging around the Kuiper Belt and trillions more farther out in the Oort Cloud.

Most of them are believed to be fairly stable.



If you do want to frighten the kids there’s more about Scott Manley’s video here. Including a high definition download of the 2010 version of the video.

Oil and the Seven Sisters: Part 1

Don’t believe in conspiracy theories?

Maybe, like me, you’ve been living in a dream world. A world where the Western democracies are actually democratic and our politicians aren’t corrupt and where the rich not only understand the trickle down theory, but also practise it.

You’ve been had. Welcome to the 99%.

Secrets of the Seven Sisters: Desert Storms and Fortunes

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Next episode coming soon.

Chickens coming home to roost again

The following is an extensive extract from the Business Insider. I recommend ignoring my extract and reading the full post right here, but if you’re determined not to, go ahead and read my truncated version.

It’s a little technical and although my knowledge of economic theory is improving, I don’t understand all of it. But the implications for all of us are very serious. This is the stuff that John Key and Bill English seem able to gloss over but which continues to make a mockery of their ever-optimistic and perennially wrong economic forecasts. The 95% that I do understand isn’t really debatable. As you’ll find when you read it, there’s an inevitability to what is happening that lends it verisimilitude.

This is just part of the reasons why John Key gave up on catching up with Australia and Bill English made a virtue of our being poorer than our mates across the ever-widening ditch. The ill-informed, self-serving and uninspiring people you put in power don’t get it.

The last paragraph is spine-chilling, provocative, and hopefully will not come to pass.

Not yet.

Over to Raul Ilargi Mendoz…

…and quotes within quotes:
Continue reading “Chickens coming home to roost again”

How the 1% are cleaning out the rest of us: Part 2

Talk about hoisting yourself by your own petard!

Trickle down theory seems to have struck a roadblock
The graphs at the bottom of this post are from the New York Times. They’re self explanatory. What isn’t clear is how the movers and shakers of the world can be so bloody stupid. The figures are for the USA but it all applies here in New Zealand and throughout most of the world.

At the top of the graphic you can see that for the last 30 years wages have pretty much stayed the same relative to inflation for 82% of the workforce. The top 18% however, have creamed it. (The top 1% and even more avaricious 0.1% have really creamed it; we’ll get to them at another time.) As a result, in order to be able to buy all the flash cars, flat screen TVs, the ever more fancy houses, and the iPads  that media advertising bombards we peasants with, we’ve been borrowing up to our ears. Hence the current mess, and a situation where the people doing the lending are almost as deep in it as the borrowers.

Almost, but not quite. In some cases, not at all. (Continued below the graphic).

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how the 1% are screwing the rest of us

Monumental stupidity from the top

What is mind-bogglingly and infuriatingly stupid about all this is that–as you can see from the second graph–it’s all happened before and it was perfectly clear that it was going to happen again. Not only that, it happened in the previous century (the 1800s) as well! More than once!


Here’s how it works–or not

Continue reading “How the 1% are cleaning out the rest of us: Part 2”

What’s $2 worth to you?

Each cow in the European Union is subsidized by $2 a day.Euro

Half the world’s population live on less than $2 a day.

That’s progress?

A complex €55,000,000,000 web of farm subsidies stretches across the European Union stealing the rights of traditional farmers in the poorest countries to sell their produce at a fair price. It comprises over half of the EU’s budget.

The USA is no better, despite their avowal that they’re in favour of fair trade. Yeah, right. Fair to whom?

It’s hypocritical, it’s amoral, and it’s disgusting.

It sucks.

A fine sense of entitlement

This is your money they’re living it up with

Revelations of big spending on the part of government departmental heads come as no great surprise. On the heels of Mr Chris Carter’s squanderlust and his inability to understand why he pissed tax-paying people off with his failure to accept reality, it’s just another reminder of how out of touch with reality many of these people are.

A while back I was a company General Manager. A big part of my job involved working and liaising with government officials and with the representatives of companies we dealt with. Now and again that involved me receiving or providing free meals.

I never, ever claimed expenses for the dinners that I gave. My wife and I regularly hosted people at our house and we put on monthly barbecues at home for my staff. I paid for the food and the beer.

I was paid a salary. I could choose whether or not to entertain. It is not compulsory. It most certainly should not be compulsory for most government departments.

Why the hell does the head of an educational institute need to entertain people at the expense of taxpayers? How can you lay people off and then go and spend several people’s wages on a piss-up?

Many of those tax dollars are paid by hundreds of thousands of Kiwis struggling to get by on New Zealand Super or $14 an hour and by small businesses battling to survive in a world economy wrecked by fellow-travellers of these small-time big spenders.

It’s not on.