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Why not? Let sunshine warm up 700-mile border solar panels and families in neighborly US and Mexico

Instead Of building another costly Berlin Wall
(which has been pulled down anyway),
"Let’s Build a Border Of Solar Panels"!
(What a brilliant idea, so constructive in every measure!!)
It would attract investment, create jobs and neighborly neighbors
(How wise, and no waste – imagine a gigantic smile on Earth!).

(quote)
Dec 19, 2016
Instead of another Berlin Wall, Instead Of Trump’s Wall, Let’s Build A Border Of Solar Panels President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Mexico to build a wall between our countries. There is indeed a way that Mexico could create a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, one constructed exclusively on the Mexican side, with substantial benefits for both countries and the planet: a solar border.

Sunlight in the northern deserts of Mexico is more intense than in the U.S. Southwest because of the lower latitude and more favorable cloud patterns. And construction and maintenance costs for solar plants in Mexico are substantially lower. Thus, building a long series of such plants all along the Mexican side of the border could power cities on both sides faster and more cheaply than similar arrays built north of the border.  read more »

Again and Again. Volunteers risk own lives standing between ocean mammals and Japanese whaling fleet

(quote)

09 March 2017
Once again, our ships are all that stands between the whales and the Japanese whaling fleet.
Whale rescue ships at sea for 93 days (Ocean Warrior) and 90 days (the Steve Irwin)
Keeping Japanese whale butcher fleet (in the name of "research") on the move - whenever we got near the harpoon vessels or found discarded whale blubber in the sea that indicated we were close to where recent kills occurred (and therefore near the fleet), the factory ship simply took off full speed in the opposite direction. The Steve Irwin was shadowed by the Yushin Maru 3, thus taking one of the harpoon vessels out of action for 36 days. This year has taught us that we need to do more if we’re going to stop the whale poachers next season. We are a grassroots NGO fighting a war against the Japanese-government funded whaling fleet.

We rely on donations and volunteers, while they spend millions to sustain this slaughter for the non-existent demand for whale meat over a decade.

Antarctic waters, Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary -
On December 3rd Sea Shepherd embarked on its 11th Antarctic whale defense campaign.
Once again, our ships are all that stands between the whales and the Japanese whaling fleet. Ocean mammals need help to be defended.

(unquote)

Photo courtesy Sea Shepherd Global / Simon Ager , Glenn Lockitch

Outbluffed: Machine beats humans first time in poker, the last remaining game where humans had managed to maintain upper hand

(quote)

1 February, 2017
Artificial intelligence has made history by beating humans in poker for the first time, the last remaining game in which humans had managed to maintain the upper hand.

Libratus, an AI built by Carnegie Mellon University racked up over $1.7 million worth of chips against four of the top professional poker players in the world in a 20-day marathon poker tournament that ended on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

While machines have beaten humans over the last two decade in chess, checkers, and most recently in the ancient game of Go, Libratus' victory is significant because poker is an imperfect information game - similar to the real world where not all problems are laid out and the difficulty in figuring out human behaviour is one of the main reasons why it was considered immune to machines.

One of the main reasons for Libratus' victory was the machine's ability outbluff humans.
"The computer can't win at poker if it can't bluff," said Frank Pfenning, head of the Computer Science Department at CMU.

"Developing an AI that can do that successfully is a tremendous step forward scientifically and has numerous applications. Imagine that your smartphone will someday be able to negotiate the best price on a new car for you. That's just the beginning."

Dong Kim, one of the four top poker players who participated in the tournament echoed the statement. The 28-year old, originally from Seattle, had also participated in a similar poker tournament with another AI machine built by CMU in 2015 named Claudico.

"It was about half way through the challenge (with Libratus when) I knew we wouldn't come back," said Kim.  read more »

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wishes all a very happy and healthy Lunar New Year, 2017 Year of Rooster

(quote)

27 January, 2017
"As the lanterns are lit and the dumplings are served, let me wish you and your family, wherever you are, a very happy and healthy New Year,” she said, before concluding her message in Chinese: "Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year)"
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday sent her wishes through the government’s website and her own Weibo account to those who celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year worldwide, pledging to further strengthen China-UK relations.

May said the Year of the Rooster is set to be particularly important for the relationship between Britain and China, because the starting point for bilateral relations is stronger than ever before.

Recalling the historic state visit of President Xi Jinping in October 2015, she said the two countries are seeing an increasing development of their relations. "We receive more Chinese investment than any other major European country. We’ve got around 150,000 Chinese students studying here and the number of Chinese tourists visiting has doubled in five years," May said.  read more »

Tourists Flee 'Nightmare' Paris - rising violence and roaming wolves - news in photos: 18 Jan 2017

(quote)

18 Jan 2017
Tourists Flee 'Nightmare' Paris Amidst Rising Theft, Assaults... Paris' regional tourism office last year reported a slump in visitor numbers to the city. Rising violence and aggression account for the drop. President of the Chinese Association of Travel Agencies in France, Jean-François Zhou, said "increasingly violent” thefts and assaults are turning France into "one of the worst destinations for foreign tourists." In 2016, there were 1.6 million Chinese tourists compared to 2.2 million in 2015. The number of Japanese tourists dropped 39 percent and Koreans 27 per cent."

18 Jan 2017
A lone wolf was spotted prowling just 200 miles from Paris - when an expert was quick to point out that they can cover 300 miles in a DAY on foot. French told not to fear wolves roaming Paris streets as 'they only eat four-legged animals.'
Parisians are frightened that the endangered beasts are now within howling distance of the capital and can't be stopped.

Only lone wolves have been spotted so far wandering its streets. Experts and eyewitnesses claim they are freely roaming French 'departments' (an administrative district) of Yvelines and Essone in Île-de-France - which overlaps with the Paris metropolitan area in the south and west - at night.

Warnings were first made last year when a lone wolf was spotted prowling just 200 miles from Paris - when an expert was quick to point out that they can cover 300 miles in a DAY on foot.

(unquote)  read more »

Good Heavens! And Good luck to brave Flight 666, at 13 o'clock on Friday 13th with a 13yo aircraft to HEL

(quote)

January 13, 2017
Finnair flight 666, at 13 o'clock on Friday the 13th with a 13 year old aircraft

Finnair Flight 666 took off from Copenhagen, Denmark on Friday the 13th bound for HEL.
Helsinki, Finland, that is.
HEL is Helsinki’s airport code.
This according to air traffic site FlightRadar24.com.

Finnair flight 666, at 13 o'clock on Friday the 13th with a 13 year old aircraft, has landed safely in HEL https://t.co/0kWfkcARmO pic.twitter.com/OPvpyyq4F4
- Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) January 13, 2017

It departed Copenhagen at approximately 1:07 p.m. local time, touching down again at 3:41 p.m.

May 13, 2016
Who wants to get Flight 666 to HEL on Friday 13?

Can it get worse?
Flight 666 to HEL on Friday
— Mike (@FR24mike) May 13, 2016

How’s that for an ominous journey?
Maybe they should have driven – and taken the highway to HEL instead.
… Sorry.
H/T @FR24Mike

How’s that for an ominous journey?
But luckily for everyone, despite being very ominously named the plane landed safely in Finland after all.

(unquote)

Photo courtesy @FR24mike and TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP / Getty Images

Yahoo, no more: sold. Mayer's gain: "$365 million, 5 years at Yahoo". Who said in 2012 "Fool's bargain"?

If someone's gain at anyone's loss: who is the fool if there's a fool's bargain?
July 07, 2012: "Mayer was making a fool's bargain
to choose Yahoo over Google as the ambitious executive
shocked the tech world by leaving Google to become Yahoo’s new CEO"
Dec 14, 2015: "If she stays on board for another year and a half,
Mayer will make $365 million for 5 years of work at Yahoo"
"The vast majority of her pay isn't tied to Yahoo's performance as a company"
Jan 10, 2017: Yahoo is sold to Verizon.
"Yahoo's board voted to alter its change-in-control provision
to include the sale of a major business unit as well; and with that,
Mayer's $123 million payday was created."
"Without that vote, Mayer would have walked away with "only" around $14 million."

(quote)

Dec 14, 2015
If she stays on board for another year and a half, Marissa Mayer will make $365 million for five years of work at Yahoo.
The vast majority of her pay isn't tied to Yahoo's performance as a company
- it's tied to Yahoo's stock price.

Jan 10, 2017  read more »

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