The Symbiosis of Stupid


Dumb and DumberEthan Miller/Getty

❝ The Symbiosis of Stupid between Donald Trump, American president, and the Fox News Channel has come to define our era in a way that rivals The Death of Shame. Now that pretty much every organization the president has ever run is under investigation—from the already shuttered Trump Foundation and Trump University, to the Trump campaign, the Trump inaugural committee, the Trump transition, and the Trump Organization—he has begun to sink deeper and deeper into the infotainment vortex. He has correctly identified that maintaining his grip on political power may be the best way to keep himself out of the slammer, as a sitting president cannot, according to current Justice Department doctrine, be indicted.

❝ He has also correctly ascertained that part of his strategy for maintaining that power must be to maximize the diameter of The Bubble. The president must rope as many people as possible into the void of Fox News and talk radio, where he is one of the great presidents ever—many people are saying the best, except maybe Abraham Lincoln—and all opposition to him is based in petty grievances from Liberal Snowflakes in The Fake News Media. He has, for years now, tuned into cable news for between four and eight hours a day. It is his primary source for information. More recently, he has taken to echo-tweeting whatever they say on Fox & Friends or Hannity, spreading The Gospel According to Meatheads to his nearly 60 million followers on the Tweet Machine.

RTFA for detailed analysis of the relationship between the quasi-fascist in the White House and his Goebbels equivalent.

Truck full of hagfish rolls over releasing thousands of slimy sea creatures


Click for a close-up

❝ In a scene straight out of nightmares, a truck full of “slime eels” lost its load Thursday on U.S. 101, causing a five-car crash, dousing sedans with goo and sending sea creatures slithering across vehicles and the highway.

❝ Technically, the fish were not eels, but hagfish, which have a skull but no jaw or spine and they secrete slime when distressed, earning them the nickname “slime eels.”

And distressed they were, emitting gooey stuff that will make you shiver in your sandals — and that covered 101 along with the 7,500 pounds of fish.

Eeoouugh! Looks like a strategy meeting in the Trump White House.

Slime can see

After more than 300 years of looking, scientists have figured out how bacteria “see” their world. And they do it in a remarkably similar way to us.

A team of British and German researchers reveal in the journal eLife how bacterial cells act as the equivalent of a microscopic eyeball or the world’s oldest and smallest camera eye.

“The idea that bacteria can see their world in basically the same way that we do is pretty exciting,” says lead researcher Conrad Mullineaux…

Cyanobacteria are found in huge numbers in water bodies or can form a slippery green film on rocks and pebbles. The species used in the study, Synechocystis, is found naturally in freshwater lakes and rivers…

As <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/e-scs020716.php">Slime can see | EurekAlert! Science News

“>photosynthesis is crucial to the survival of these bacteria, scientists have sought to understand how they sense light. Previous studies have shown that they contain photosensors and that they are able to perceive the position of a light source and move towards it, a phenomenon called phototaxis.

The current study reveals that they are able to do this because the cell body acts like a lens. As light hits the spherical surface, it refracts into a point on the other side of the cell. This triggers movement by the cell away from the focused spot.

Within minutes, the bacteria grow tiny tentacle-like structures called pili that reach out towards the light source. As they attach to the surface that they’re on, they retract and pull the bacteria along…

Synechocystis serves as a spherical lens but the team think that rod-shaped bacteria can also trap light and sense the direction it is coming from using refraction, acting like an optical fibre.

Never stop learning. Never stop looking for something to learn.