Incredible Underwater "Crop Circles" off the Coast of Japan... Explained

Mysterious Underwater Crop Circles Discovered Off the Coast of Japan nature Japan fish
Mysterious Underwater Crop Circles Discovered Off the Coast of Japan nature Japan fish
Mysterious Underwater Crop Circles Discovered Off the Coast of Japan nature Japan fish
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration less than five percentof the world’s oceans have been explored, meaning that 95% of what lies deep underwater on Earth has yet to be seen by human eyes.
One person who has dedicated his life to uncovering the mysteries of the deep is Japanese photographer Yoji Ookata who obtained his scuba license at the age of 21 and has since spent the last 50 years exploring and documenting his discoveries off the coast of Japan. Recently while on a dive near Amami Oshima at the southern tip of the country, Ookata spotted something he had never encountered before: rippling geometric sand patterns nearly six feet in diameter almost 80 feet below sea level. He soon returned with colleagues and a television crew from the nature program NHK to document the origins what he dubbed the “mystery circle.”
Here is what they found.
Mysterious Underwater Crop Circles Discovered Off the Coast of Japan nature Japan fish
Mysterious Underwater Crop Circles Discovered Off the Coast of Japan nature Japan fish
Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing.
To learn more about the circles check out the full scoop over on Spoon and Tamago, and you can see two high resolution desktop photos courtesy of NHK here. If we’re still making discoveries this significant in 2012, it really makes you wonder what else is down there. Just 95% more to go.

The Subaru XV (ever heard of it?) The Top Selling Car... In Switzerland

From Autoblog - pretty funny and interesting - especially considering I like Subaru but will never be buying this cute ute / impreza outback. The Swiss, as usual, go their own direction.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
Posted Sep 19th 2012 5:29PM

Seems that the Swiss Family Robinson has stopped throwing its francs at the Volkswagen Golf, and is instead pelting the Subaru XV Crosstrek with its hard-earned geld. According to the Australian blog Best Selling Cars, the Volkswagen Golf has likely been the number one seller in Switzerland every single month since the hatch was first launched in 1974, except for when the Mercedes-Benz W123 sedan briefly deposed it in 1980.

In August, however, the Golf's dictatorship of the number one spot wasn't toppled by the Skoda Octavia, "the usual number two" that remained there ahead of the Golf, but by the XV, which ascended to the peak after having been Switzerland's fourth best selling car in July. The XV notched 722 sales and 3.2-percent share, ahead of the Octavia with 661 sales and the Golf, at number three, with 625 units sold.

True, the XV is the new hotness while the MkVI Golf plays its endgame. But the Subaru isn't exactly coming from nowhere from the standpoint of small-market popularity: it was the ninth best selling vehicle in Norwayin July. Along with that fourth-place in Switzerland, they were the top sales rankings for the XV anywhere in the world. So take that.

Dodge To Build Armageddon Truck

The Dodge Ram Long Hauler looks like it is going to get built.

2011 Ram Long-Hauler Concept - front three-quarter view

Response to the concept has been hugely popular... befitting the size of this damn thing.

Basically, it is the biggest cab attached to the biggest bed with the biggest engine Ram has to offer (a huge diesel). And to top it off is a 170 gallon fuel tank, just in case, you know, the Middle East blows up.

Obviously, this is the right truck for the end of days - perhaps they should offer it before December 2012?

A Lot Of Kindling

Google and Amazon are now locked in a hardware battle. Soon Microsoft will enter the fray, also peddling its own hard goods.

Pretty amazing really.

Yes - they are three of the biggest "hardware" companies in terms of the server market, but they have never ever before been "hardware" companies in any traditional sense of the word.

But now, with dueling 7' and larger tablets - these companies are taking each other on.

All want to dethrone Apple and be the go to source for your content. All want to offer customers a seamless integrated experience.
Kindle Fire HD 4G
At the same time... every tablet looks identical...

From my perspective? This is awesome. These companies are throwing huge money behind getting me cheaper tablets with better specs. The maturation of this market has been mindblowing. What was a good tablet only two years ago is now is now totally out of date. At the same time, what was a good laptop two years ago is now... a good laptop. Intel pushing out new chips and the upcoming release of Win8 might change that a bit - but honestly it looks to me as though Win8 without a touchscreen will be a lot like Win7... which I liked less than XP Pro SP3. So... my desktop and netbook will still be running XP Pro for the foreseeable future.

But the big news here? Software is only as good as the hardware which delivers it - and the big software and content players have to compete in hardware to make sure their customers get the best service from their ecosystem.

It's a great time to be a consumer. As someone who currently owns more tablets, computers and phones than any one human can possibly use, I'm loving it.

Global Riots Coming? Math Says Yes

Global riots are pretty tightly linked to food prices. Which is really interesting and not at all surprising all at the same time.

Currently, we are on the fence between "god these prices suck" and "whoever is in charge needs to pay, right now". With the way the weather is going (climate change believers, deniers, skeptics, rabid supporters, insane internet comment leavers--holy crap there are a lot of you, or a few crazy busy ones out there--, and Santa Claus all have to agree that the global weather has been pretty screwed up recently, and looks like it will be getting more so) it seems like 2013 will be the year to watch, with food prices spiking and the world not ending and all.

We Are Now One Year Away From Global Riots, Complex Systems Theorists Say

Posted by Brian_Merchant on Monday, Sep 10, 2012
  • Climate-riots_large
What’s the number one reason we riot? The plausible, justifiable motivations of trampled-upon humanfolk to fight back are many—poverty, oppression, disenfranchisement, etc—but the big one is more primal than any of the above. It’s hunger, plain and simple. If there’s a single factor that reliably sparks social unrest, it’s food becoming too scarce or too expensive. So argues a group of complex systems theorists in Cambridge, and it makes sense.
In a 2011 paper, researchers at the Complex Systems Institute unveiled a model that accurately explained why the waves of unrest that swept the world in 2008 and 2011 crashed when they did. The number one determinant was soaring food prices. Their model identified a precise threshold for global food prices that, if breached, would lead to worldwide unrest.
The MIT Technology Review explains how CSI’s model works: “The evidence comes from two sources. The first is data gathered by the United Nations that plots the price of food against time, the so-called food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. The second is the date of riots around the world, whatever their cause.” Plot the data, and it looks like this:
Pretty simple. Black dots are the food prices, red lines are the riots. In other words, whenever the UN’s food price index, which measures the monthly change in the price of a basket of food commodities, climbs above 210, the conditions ripen for social unrest around the world. CSI doesn’t claim that any breach of 210 immediately leads to riots, obviously; just that the probability that riots will erupt grows much greater. For billions of people around the world, food comprises up to 80% of routine expenses (for rich-world people like you and I, it’s like 15%). When prices jump, people can’t afford anything else; or even food itself. And if you can’t eat—or worse, your family can’t eat—you fight.
But how accurate is the model? An anecdote the researchers outline in the report offers us an idea. They write that “on December 13, 2010, we submitted a government report analyzing the repercussions of the global financial crises, and directly identifying the risk of social unrest and political instability due to food prices.” Four days later, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest food prices in Tunisia. And we all know what happened after that.
Today, the food price index is hovering around 213, where it has stayed for months—just beyond the tip of the identified threshold. Low corn yield in the U.S., the world’s most important producer, has helped keep prices high.
“Recent droughts in the mid-western United States threaten to cause global catastrophe,” Yaneer Bar-Yam, one of the authors of the report, recently told Al Jazeera. “When people are unable to feed themselves and their families, widespread social disruption occurs. We are on the verge of another crisis, the third in five years, and likely to be the worst yet, capable of causing new food riots and turmoil on a par with the Arab Spring.”
Yet the cost of food hasn’t quite yet risen to the catastrophic levels reached last year. Around the time of the riots cum-revolutions, we saw the food price index soar through 220 points and even push 240. This year, we’ve pretty consistently hovered in the 210-216 range—right along the cusp of danger. But CSI expects a perilous trend in rising food prices to continue. Even before the extreme weather scrambled food prices this year, their 2011 report predicted that the next great breach would occur in August 2013, and that the risk of more worldwide rioting would follow. So, if trends hold, these complex systems theorists say we’re less than one year and counting from a fireball of global unrest.
But the reality is that such predictions are now all but impossible to make. In a world well-warmed by climate change, unpredictable, extreme weather events like the drought that has consumed 60% of the United States and the record heat that has killed its cattle are now the norm. Just two years ago, heat waves in Russia crippled its grain yield and dealt a devastating blow to global food markets—the true, unheralded father of the Arab Spring was global warming, some say.
And it’s only going to get worse and worse and worse. Because of climate change-exacerbated disasters like these, “the average price of staple foods such as maize could more than double in the next 20 years compared with 2010 trend prices,” a new report from Oxfam reveals. That report details how the poor will be even more vulnerable to climate change-induced food price shocks than previously thought. After all, we’ve “loaded the climate dice,” as NASA’s James Hansen likes to say, and the chances of such disasters rolling out are greater than ever.
This all goes to say that as long as climate change continues to advance—it seems that nothing can stop that now—and we maintain a global food system perennially subject to volatile price spikes and exploitation from speculators, without reform, our world will be an increasingly restive one. Hunger is coming, and so are the riots.

Question of the day...

This is pretty hilarious.. think about it for a minute. I would go with the 100 duck sized horses: there are a lot of them, but a horse sized duck would be hard to take down.