Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Farming. What's it all About?

Farming is so fun. I love gardening, I grow like beans, radii, tomatoes, carrots, and this and that in a small patch of field ever since I was a little kid.

Classic
I used to play that Harvest Moon on the Super Nintendo back in the day too. It was a fun and relaxing game that really had a "back to the land" sort of feel to it and all that. Like visiting an old era, you know? You grow crops, go fishin', pick weeds, give presents to chicks and get one to marry you and everything. A very simple game. Simple game. Very simple.

In real life, is farming supposed to be a simple and relaxing endeavor? Is it supposed to be as simple as it was in the "good old days"? Is it just a simple relaxing little hobby? I don't know about that.

Maybe you haven't noticed but there's 7+ billion dudes and chicks (oh and some trannies) on this planet and they are all hungry to eat food. Can a simple agrarian "good old days" sort of "as god intended" method of farming succeed in feeding 7+ billion people? No, it can't.

Good Old Days?

Were these good old days of farming in real life as much fun as it was for me to simulate them in Super Nintendo's Harvest Moon? Was it really a close-knit community who shared and lived in a cute little utopia...or was it another case of Nostalgia for an Age which Never Existed?

How far back should we go to get to these Good Old Days anyway? Back to the age of hunting and gathering? No, that's way too far. Maybe back before the invention of the tractor? Back before pasteurization? Back before refrigeration? Back before ammonium nitrate fertilization? Before human altered plant strains? Back before what?

Teosinte to Corn
We can't go back before we bio-engineered hybrid plants because people have been selectively altering plants for thousands of years. No crop is what it looked like 10,000 years ago...humans re-plant the seeds from the best plants (over and over and over)...they never planted the seeds the next season around from the crappy plants. Over a long period of time we'd call this an evolutionary phenomenon and just because it took a long time doesn't mean these crops were not bio-engineered by humans. Corn for example used to look more like grass before the strain was bio-engineered by human selection over time.

Is it a good idea to go back before pasteurization? I know it's a big bad science word and all...but all it means is boiling the pathogens out of a substance and quickly cooling it. We've been boiling things for thousands of years too. The Chinese have been boiling wine almost forever. What's so bad about boiling the crap out of things? It saves countless lives. Milk's shelf-like becomes MONTHS instead of days after you pasteurize it.

Is it smart to go back to the days before refrigeration? People didn't always know that you had to refrigerate things or they'd spoil and go bad. In the case that you did not know...you have to keep milk in a refrigerator, or failing that, a cool wet sack. 110%.

Back before chemical fertilizers? Ammonium nitrate is a very scary couplet of words, I'll admit that. It's almost as scary a couplet of words as dihydrogen monoxide...and those words sound super scary as all heck. Although these words are just methods of writing out molecular structures, that's all. The scary sounding dihydrogen monoxide is just 2-Hydrogen and 1-oxygen. Two hydrogen and one oxygen make WATER. Yes, the stuff we drink, swim in, and shower in every darn day.

What is ammonium nitrate? It is 1 nitrogen nucleus winged by 4 closest packed hydrogen atoms plus 1 nitrogen nucleus winged by 4 closest packed oxygen atoms. It sounds like scary stuff but we've harnessed it for use in many effective ways. The most common effective way we utilize this combination of atoms is in fertilizers...they work well...they really multiply the output of crop yields big time.

Are molecules and serieses or combinations of said molecules really things to be frightened of?


Molecules n' Stuff







The whole milky way galaxy we live in is made up of mainly the following shits:

Known Atoms: 5%
(of which..Hydrogen: 93%, Helium: 6%, Oxygen, Carbon, Iron, etc.: 1%)

"Dark" / ?Unknown? Atoms: 95%
(Energies, atoms, matter, and other shit that we don't know what it is)*

That's it, that 5% of the elements in the universe is the stuff we have figured out how to work with. You can't be scared of these words, they are literally our tools as humans in this galaxy to work with. It's like a carpenter being scared of the word "hammer" or a fisherman being scared of the word "fishin' pole" or a farmer being scared of the word "watering can." These atomic particles are the tools we know how to manipulate and use...we cannot be afraid of these words.


*Note: Dark matter is a pretty wild topic and it's not a good idea to venture into whilst writin' 'bout farming. If it's hard to visualize what they mean by this term....try and think of like a glove that you turn inside out...a right hand glove will now fit on the left hand. Right? The glove is still the same glove but it no longer has the same use as it previously did. It is now the opposite of itself. We know we can turn atoms and energies inside-out (so to speak) but we don't know how to go about turning energy inside-out and identifying dark energy. I think.


"Organic" Movement

I can't even list how many people I know who are serious into this organic business. It's this back to simple times...back to the earth...back to the sun...back to who fucking knows where bull-datum what-have-you. It's an anti-science "back to the land" sort of mentality that seems odd.

A key term in the organic movement seems to be "As God Intended" and has a real amish sort of vibe to it. They think God (an imaginary bozo by the way) doesn't want humans to use all the advancements we have made into agriculture. This God doesn't care that humans have to figure out how to feed 7+ billion dudes n' chick n' trannies...he doesn't seem to care about that pressing issue at all. It seems this God character just doesn't want us to use pasteurization or ammoniun nitrate as fertilizer...and that's about all he/she/it is concerned with.

Look, if there is a "God" jabroni up there in fantasy land like you weasels wonderful people believe...why wouldn't he/she/it want us to feed all humans on earth? Why wouldn't he/she/it want us to harness the tools he/she/it gave us to do that?

This God gave us hydrogen (a full fuck ton of it), some helium, a bit of oxygen, and some other junk...and if you truly believe this "as God intended" business then wouldn't God WANT YOU to understand how to alter molecular structures? Would not He/She/It INTEND for you to harness the molecular tools he intrusted into this galaxy we're in?

Es Tu...God?
I say "he/she/it" to refer to this "God" concept people believe in because it's unclear what this concept is. For all I know it could very well be a Tranny-God up there, wherever the fuck "up there" even is, considering there is no "up" and "down" on this rotating spherical orb flying through the milky way galaxy we're all currently on.

Maybe God is a Tranny or maybe not, whatever, who cares what an imaginary thing is anyway?

God Shmod.


Is it Green or Is it Something Completely Different?

For the rest of the Organoes who don't believe in it for a God Shmod reason...what's their deal? They tend to think of the organic movement as a "green" thing...green meaning a movement which is saving the environment.

I'm not sure green is the right color to invoke to rightly represent organic farming. Does not treating a diseased cow with modern medicine invoke the color of green? No, diseased cows don't make me think of kermit-esque things. Does fertilizing with animal cackie make me think of the color green? No, it makes me think of the color shit.

Free ranging cows pooping all day long...the poop running into the local river....the river getting infested with E-Coli. Wow...that doesn't exactly sound too green to me. No way.

See: http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/ffarms.asp

You want to really have a nitrate overdose? Forget the chemical fertilizers you're so scared of...think about cow shit fermenting in the ground water. Does that sounds "green" to you? Because it sounds like SHIT to me. One hundred thousand square miles of caca ground water sounds like a whole lot of SHIT.

I know a lot of the holistic/naturopathic/homeopathic hippie community is into drinking their pee pee and all that...but not even hippies have a positive policy on shit. Nobody likes shit. Nobody. Gimme a break. It stinks and it smells.

Science/Efficiency Approach

What about trying to maximize land-use in the most organized of fashions to efficiently produce the largest possible amount of output?

If science produces a strain of rice that has 2x the nutrients and energy (kj) of a previous strain of rice...then why wouldn't we want to start planting that one? Why wouldn't we want a strain of rice germ that could give the eater of the rice 2x the nutrients and energy?

If science finds a safe way to stop bugs from eating and killing the crops...why not use it? I recently heard that guy Christopher Evan Welch (RIP) state that cicada bugs can wipe out an entire crop of sesame seeds in French Indochina. Why would we want to lose thousands of square miles of crops to fucking cicada bugs? Why would we want that to happen? Are you people really that scared of pesticide residue? Then wash your vegetables and fruits before consuming them. That's all it takes.

If science can extend the shelf life of dairy products by 12 times as long by pasteurizing and refrigerating them...then what's the big deal? Our milk lasts longer before turning sour and bad. What's wrong with that?

Is it just me? Does the science approach to farming and attempting to feed 7+ billion people sound like a better approach than the olden days approach?

Conclusion

Look, I love Harvest Moon...I found it to be a very relaxing video game. The simple life of gettin' up and watering plants, and combing my animals with a brush, and giving wild berries to girls in town is a very easy going alternate/fake life that is fun to mentally wash-over into from time to time.

That's just a video game though, in reality we cannot feed 7+ billion people on earth by leisurely farming like that kid in that game does. The organic movement thinks we can operate like this "olden days" style...but it is not possible. We cannot go at it all amish and expect results. It won't work, it 100% won't work. Global staple crop output must be maximized at all times to ensure people are being fed.

The "olden days" style wasn't like our depictions of it. You lived for about 31 years back then, more children died in childbirth than survived, the streets were covered in shit, a new war broke out every day, a new murderous disease strain broke out every week, and slavery accounted for almost all human labor. That's the reality of what it was like back then...it wasn't all bells and frills like on Fucking Road to Fucking Avonlea (sorry this is a very Canadian-specific reference). Um, it wasn't all hayfields and longstockings like it was on Little Fucking House on the Little Fucking Prairie!

There's things about the organic movement that seriously scare me. I notice the same people who believe in this......are the same people who believe in magic, and believe in Gods or Allahs or Wiccas or something, and believe in naturopathic medicine, the same people who don't vaccinate their children, and the same people who believe in chem trails and the whackiest of conspiracy theories...

...it's almost like a universal human rejection of science. The one thing that can help us and save us is the thing people hate the most. I think that's what I find odd about it.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ratin' The Energies, Yeah!

Oh Hello, I didn't see you there. Come on in, this is my blog and I write stuff in it. Me? I'm about to rate the energies, would you like to join me? Ok great, let's have a good time!


Terms

We will be using the term TerraWatt-Hours quite a bit in this article so let's cover some ground on that term first.

Most of all of all of all y'all know what a Giga-Watt is because of that movie Back To The Future...

 1.21.....GIGAWATTS!

A Giga-Watt be bigger than a Mega-Watt and a Tera...okay this is already needlessly confusing so I will just refer you to this article called "Orders of Magnitude (Power)"...

MegaWatt = 1 Million Watts
GigaWatt = 1 Billion Watts
TeraWatt = 1 Trillion Watts 

Our unit of measurement for the ranking will refer to all instances of power in TeraWatt-Hours which is the TeraWatt unit over a time variable. It is as simple as Watts x Hours.

For example if you were running a series of devices at 5 TeraWatts for 5 hours then 5x5 would mean you have used 25 TerraWatt Hours.

Warning

Look-it my fellow global g-units, I'm not a scientist or anything and the datum and opinions expressed in this blog article are my understandings of what seems to be the global energy scenario, maybe all the things I read are false...who knows. I, of fairly sound mind at this moment, believe the statistics and opinions expressed in the following text are true...yet, who knows if they are wicked correct or not. I'm just a dude, man...just like you and me. If something written here is of interest to you than by all means conduct your own research and formulate your own opinions on the subject matter.

For example a lot of data comes from the Enerdata website. If these numbers are off in any way than I really can't know any better...I can't go test this shit out myself. You know?

Pre-Rating - Global Stats

How many Tera-Watt hours per year does our human society use? I've looked around at many sources and studies...the following seems to be the case:

Total Yearly Global Energy Use: 20,000 TWh

Fossil Fuel Use: ~71%
Hydro Electric Use: ~16%
Nuclear Use: ~12%
Other Use (Wind, Geo-Thermal, Zombie-Power, Solar, etc.): ~1%

Thems is the stats, the whole stats, and nothing but the stats.


Pre-Amble
  
We shall be looking mainly at three things. Does this energy have the shutzpah to power a lot of stuff? Does this energy cause a lot of filthy pollution? Is this a renewable energy that will last humans a long time? These are undoubtedly the burning questions we will ask about these energies.



Ratings

1) Fossil Fuels

Renewable: Nope
Pollution: High!!! 
Potential: No Future

Energy by fossil fuels is the act of burning shit like coal, oil, or gas to create energy to power our devices and lights.
   
Almost the entire energy infrastructure of the globe is currently designed to use fossil fuels. Basically, Europe industrialized first and used fossil fuels to power their industries and vehicles, soon after the Americas followed suit and industrialized under the same template. 

After World War 1, other countries wanted to get in on the whole industrialization phenomenon and Russia basically asked the USA, "hey bro, how do we do this?" and the American engineers sent them a detailed report on how they did it and next thing you know Russia is using this fossil fuel template. 

Fast forward to only recently and hugely populated countries like China and India are on the phone with the same American engineers and ask, "hey bro...how do we get in on this shit?" and the engineers give China and India the template and lo and behold right now they are burning more fossil fuels than any other country in human history.

Very few countries didn't ask the Americans for their template when they wished to industrialize. Brazil may be the best example of one that did not, Norway is another a great example, the Quebec region of Canada, and the Las Vegas region of the United States didn't go the fossil fuel route either. Other than those regions...it seems all countries used the fossil fuel template to industrialize.

The fact that fossil fuels is the most used energy source is not because it is the most efficient, it is because everyone used the same template to industrialize (minus the exceptions noted above).

Brazil is the biggest exemption to this and if you're wondering why that is...it's actually an interesting history as to why. Brazil in the 1940s wished to industrialize, yet they didn't want to go the route the Americans chose and the Russians emulated...they wished to see if there were any alternatives. They called different engineers and were especially interested in the report of one man.

I seem to mention the following person a lot in this blog, I regard this man as sort of an inspirational figure I guess, the report Brazil's lead scientists were most interested in was the report of R. Buckminster Fuller who wrote them "A Compendium of Certain Engineering Principles Pertinent to Brazil's Control of Impending Acceleration in its Industrialization (1943)." Within the report (which has the coolest title for a report I've probably ever seen) Bucky told them Hydro Power and sugar fuel would be an interesting alternative to the fossil fuel template.

Brazil in the 1940s was under rule of dictator GetĂșlio Vargas who was one of those 1940s era proud dictator guys. Dictators think they're cool but in reality they just ruin everything for everyone else. Brazil didn't do much of anything under his rule let alone industrialize. It wasn't until the seventies that a new more intelligent and far less dictatorly Brazilian government re-perused Bucky's Compendium of Prognostications and phoned him up and flew him down to finalize implementation of this alternate industrialization template. People today wonder why Brazil is all Hydro power and is the world leader in vehicles powered by bio-fuels...but it's not lost to the history books as to why it is this way today. It was literally thanks to a Compendium of Prognostications made in 1943.

Fossil Fuels, as we all know, will eventually run out. For nature to replenish the petroleum deposits would mean it would need to re-pressurize, re-compress, and re-heat algae, vegetables and other junk until they re-fossilize and become the molecular form known as oil. Many are saying we've already hit the no-man's-land of "peak supply" but we're still just devising more obtrusive and destructive ways of reaching the hard-to-reach deposits which remain (bitumen/tar-sands for example).

It's also the most polluting form of energy. Coal burning gives off more air pollution than any other form by far, even mining the darned coal is a dangerous and dirty process that leaves workers with crippled lungs. Plus, coal gives off more radiation than nuclear plants during its burning process. 

The most damaging thing science seems to be saying about this process is the Co2 emissions are causing havoc to the global system. 

All in all, economically speaking all the infrastructure is set in place to use this form of energy but it is a limited supply and it is by far the most polluting form of energy.

Final Grade: D-



2) Nuclear Power

Renewable: No (but has a long long long life)
Pollution: Low (well, unless there's an accident then fuck)
Potential: Good

Nuclear power if done right can be great. Yet, like fossil fuels it is not renewable, because you have to mine Uranium in order to amass fissile material to use in the plant. Uranium mines are all over the world and surprisingly they are not as dangerous to the workers as coal mines but they're still not a fun place to work. Miners in Mali for Areva are paid about a buck an hour to haul uranium out of the mines.

The workaround to this limited supply of uranium seems to be to use thorium (u-233) fuel cells with the uranium which according to nuke experts will give nuke energy the life span to energize our human lives for thousand of years.

Sounds great, at least a whole lot better than using loser-ass fossil fuels that's for fucking sure. Is there any downside to nuke energy? Yeah, there is.

Chernobyl and Fukushima spring to everyone's minds when you talk about this nuclear power. Everything's chill down at the nuke plant and then all of a sudden outta nowhere it's all NEVER MIND NEAR FUTURE EXPLOSION FUCK YOU ALL RIGHT NOW !!! 

An accident in the plant will let loose radiation into an entire region. Now before people get too scared about nuke energy, you have to understand that nuclear radiation isn't as bad as many people think it is. A good chart to consult is the following,


Radiation in the background is always there, all you naturalists who think you can get away from it are lying to yourselves. The fucking sun heats our planet through fucking radiation, if you don't like radiation then you'll have to hate the damn sun too.

That being said, being exposed to the "red" amounts in the above linked-to chart could be lethal, and being exposed for a long enough amount of time to "green" amounts will increase your risk of developing cancer.

The other fucked up thing about nuke energy is the by-product which has to buried. Honestly, nuke waste isn't as huge a deal as people make it out to be (although I probably wouldn't want that shit buried in my backyard)...nuke waste if handled properly won't harm nobody (probably). The bad thing is that this shit can be used to make nuclear bombs...therefore...if you want third world countries to industrialize and you give them reactors and uranium to complete that task...those countries will also develop a nuclear arsenal capable of blowing up the fucking planet. India and Pakistan threaten to blow each other up every damn day almost. Is it really a great idea to help say a third world country like Afghanistan industrialize by giving those psycho drug dealers reactors and nuclear weapons? You think the Taliban with nukes is going to be a good idea? No fucking way, dude.

The other shit thing about nuke energy is you need to cool the reactors so they don't overheat (and then overload and meltdown)...meaning they need to run in-house water cooling to preform the cooling process...and this process eats up almost 66% of the power a nuke plant creates! A fully functioning nuke plant loses 2/3 of the power it generates to cooling itself down...only 1/3 of the power generated by nuke plants is used by humans.

That thorium shit does indeed sound super-duper cool but they currently have no reactors (other than the outdated Candu) which has ever even run a test with thorium (u-233). Yes thorium would give nuke energy the ability to run for thousand of years but at this moment none of the world's current models are designed to use this material properly.

Final Grade: C-



3) Other

Renewable: Yeah
Pollution: Very Low
Potential: Good....but way down the line.

Here we be talking about Wind, Solar, Vermin Supreme's proposed zombie treadmill power plants, geo-thermal, and maybe even that kooky Tesla energy/death ray Magnifying Transmitter thingy-ma-bob that people love to talk about (maybe I'll just skip that one).

Does wind suck? Yes. Only hippies can dig that windmill shit...those towers generate shit and are a waste of space at their current tech level. Ask Germany, they'll tell you how much Wind sucks ass, balls, weiners, and vaginas.

Solar? Solar has good promise. I dig this shit. Right now the panels use too much land and generate very little but every single day science is designing panels that are more efficient and capture more and more energy. My computer that I'm using right now has been running the Harvard Clean Energy program on BOINC for a long time and apparently these calculations are saving scientists decades of time and really getting some good momentum going in the field. Haha, I like their screen saver too when my computer runs that program. It's cute. Solar's got some GREAT potential, g. Serious. Serious.

Vermin Supreme's Zombie Power? I dunno 'bout this one. It's tough to pull off. For starters, you'd have to really delve deep into the voudoun to figure out how to zombify a dude or chick's brain. I'm talking some real Baron Samedi shit to totally zombify someone's damned brain. Even if you could learn the voudoun skills necessary to zombify a mass of humans...you'd have to constantly feed them brains in order for them to have energy to run the treadmills that run the turbines of the Zombie Power Plant. All in all, the brains you'd have to harvest would make this energy template a difficult option. Thumbs down on this.

The rest? I dunno, who cares...Solar is the one with the most potential but as of right now these methods simply are not tangible options. In 100 years? Yes.

Final Score: C (mostly due to solar's potential in the future)


4) Hydro

 
Renewable: Yeah
Pollution: Pretty low, yo.
Potential: Great

We talked a bit in the fossil fuels section about Brazil, Nevada , Quebec, and Norway all going Hydro and loving it. It is a very low polluting and 100% renewable energy. You make a big dam, you let it loose and the water turns turbines and boom you got a bunch of Tera-Watts going. It's pretty cool.

People say there's no potential here, that we've capped out, and there's no more room for large scale dams. Reports I've seen from various sources, including the World Bank, suggest this is not the case at all.

Theoretically if all the possible dam locations were built all over world (which is expensive but 110% do-able and feasible) Hydro power could generate over 40,000 TerraWatt hours of yearly energy production. In the start of this article we clearly saw that the world currently needs 20,000 Terrawatt hours of energy per year. Meaning, if we maximized the hydro electric output globally we could generate TWICE the amount of power we currently use.

Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Australia, Europe, Russia, and everywhere else could dam their basins and produce double the energy output needed to run earth. Seriously. The World Bank knows this too. The reasons they state for not giving loans to countries to do this is apparently it is not "economically feasible" enough to do so.

Look, these TerraWatt energy numbers are REAL numbers that represent the energy we could produce, it's not fake fictitious gimmick numbers like currency. Currencies DON'T EXIST... they are just numbers for a fun game humans play. Apparently in today's mixed-up world, pretend numbers are more important than actual numbers. Dollars, Pounds, Rupees, Pesos, Bottle Caps, Feathers, and all these non-existent pretend numbers are taken more seriously than terrawatt-hours (which actually do fucking exist).

We all know we can literally have a low-polluting, renewable, global energy source which will output double the input we currently need/use. The reason we're not doing this is because it is not "economically feasible" for us to do it. Dang.

You know something, with the advancing technology into agriculture, energy, and medicine...we are actually dismantling supply-and-demand. We are ripping apart the mentality that there's a scarce number of resources on earth and only the privileged can have them. We will create more food than we can ever need forever, there will come a time when we will create more energy than we will ever need forever...and yet, we are still trying to apply these jabroni-ass economic principles such as "supply-and-demand" to resources that are becoming infinite. How can supply exist on an infinite renewable resource? It simply can not.

We are advancing toward a future where every single last human of the 7+ billion humans on earth can and will live like a "millionaire" with access to all the food, water, energy, and data being made available to all 7+ billion humans on earth.

Can a globally renewable and low polluting world grid of power be achieved using hydro dams?  From what I've read it seems to be the case, the problem will be implementing it.

Implementing hydro dams is not fun at all and it is costly...but the end result (if done right) will be amazing. Building the dams is very dangerous though. For example, before China built the 3-Gorges Dam they tried a previous attempt where they cut too many corners and flooded an entire region (who knows, with their terrible history of human rights maybe they fucking did it on purpose).

Due to the land-use and possible mishaps whilst building the dams, Hydro cannot be given a perfect score...but it will be the best score of all the entries.

Final Grade: B+


Huh-huh-uh-huh-huh-huh.


Post Rating Assessment

Well, I think with all the data we have, Hydro seems to be a very good option at this juncture of humanistic time. I gave it the bestest rating...I like Hydro. I live in one of those areas mentioned that use it, I am currently running this here computer-box unit out of Quebec in jolly old Canada. So yeah, I dig it. Hydro power is cool.

Nuke would be decent for a coupla thousand years but with all the radiation and the possibility that kooky nations would build bombs and bomb the shit out of fucking people...I don't like it as much.

Oil? Fuck oil.

Coal? No way, Jose. Yeah right.

Solar got the jack to be a highly touted rookie prospect, no doubt. I hope we can further improve the efficiency of those super-slick lookin' mirror panels. They look friggin' cool too those mirrors.

Anyways...later, eh.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Couple of Alternate Hypotheses to "The Land Bridge" Theory

I was watching that great great show "Cosmos" starring Neil Degrasse Tyson the other day and it was cool as usual. That show is pretty good, it really is. I've been into rationality since a young age and I've always kind of felt like people think I'm weird or something because of it. Even teachers in school giving me Fs just because I can't deal with bullshit religion. People think "oh he doesn't believe in god what a heathen...he's goin' to hell!" No, I don't think so, pal. There's no such thing as "hell." People think if you don't believe in some religion that you will be depressed, wrong again, the stuff I believe in actually makes me way more happy than any religion could because the stuff I'm into makes sense and can actually benefit humanity. I'm happy a show like Cosmos is back and showing that the things rational people think about are very uplifting and interesting.

Cosmos is getting good ratings it looks like: (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-foxs-cosmos-pulls-687189)

People are interested in this and I hope parents watch this show with their kids so the next generation can get started on the right foot and have a basic understanding of how things operate in this cute little Scenario called Universe we got going on here. Kids will dig it because the special effects are done very well and the visuals will really catch a younger audience's attention.

I also really dig that it has a comedic slant to it, it's lead in is Fox's cartoon shows and the producer of the new Cosmos is Seth Macfarlane who is a funny guy. I think comedy and humor is the most important thing humans have and explaining anything difficult is always more enjoyable to the audience if it's done in a light-hearted and humorous way.

Ok, so the show rules, that's for sure, but I do have to make one small critique of one small statement made in the last episode regarding "land bridges."

Land Bridges

In Episode 9, Neil presents the theory of land bridges explaining why certain species of flora and fauna appear on both sides of the ocean (i.e. on Brazil and similarly on Africa)...stating that land bridges were suggested to be the reason, these bridges being land masses that are now under the ocean and cease to be visible.

In the next segment he promptly refutes this theory and we are treated to a nice animation of one Marie Tharp and her work into researching tectonic plates. The real reason as to why certain flora and fauna appear on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean is explained that it was due to those land masses being one singular unit in the past. Yes, before the moving of the tectonic plates, both those land masses were connected. The continents look like puzzle pieces for a reason, it is because they used to be one singular land mass before breaking up.

A few segments down the line, we are given another land bridge theory, very quickly stating that the aboriginal populations of the Americas came to be here by crossing a land bridge that is now under water/ice (usually referred to as the Bering Strait bridge).

It seemed odd that the first theory of land bridges was quickly debunked and falsified on the show yet the second land bridge explanation was just sort of a quick aside/throw-a-way statement with no follow-up.

I would like to offer two alternate theories as to how the Native Americans came to the Americas for the sake of argument.

Theory 1: Ocean-Faring

It always strikes me odd and even offensive when people say things like "Columbus Discovered America!" because it doesn't make much sense. If he discovered it then why were there people already fucking there?

I sometimes feel that this mind set that people tend to believe that Europeans were this advanced culture and everyone else was savage and retarded is maybe the most ridiculous thing ever. The Land-Bridge theory of how the Natives got to the Americas strikes me as being part of this backward mindset as well. It seems like people came up with this theory whilst thinking along the lines of "Well, how did a bunch of savages get here? They are too stupid to use boats so I guess they must have walked."

If you know anything about Maritime and Sea-Faring history then you probably know that small wooden vessels, wind-powered vessels, man-powered vessels, and even deep-bellied cargo ships were being used way before the "exploration age" of the Europeans. Deep-bellied vessels which were able to hold cargo were being used way back in B.C. times by many different cultures around the world (from Africa, to Arabia, to Asia, etc.).

South East Asia is the major concern for this theory, although any sea-faring culture could have made it to North America, South East Asians are by far the likely culture to have done so. It is a theory I first came across in Critical Path and it seems to check out.

Does the current physiognomy of Native Americans look similar to Africans? No. Europeans? No, not really. What about South East Asians? I'd say it's much closer than anything else.

It's like a chain those islands...it goes Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua, Solomon Islands, Vanatu, Fiji, Samoa, Rapa Nui/Easter Island (the one with the Face Statues).....then next thing you know, boom, your island hopping adventure has landed you in South America.

MoAi

Carbon dating places the construction of the Moai statues on Rapa Nui island at around 1200 A.D., that's quite a few centuries ahead of Colombus. Rapa Nui is dead smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean...how could people have been there building Moais in 1200? This island is only accessible by ship...there's is no other option of getting to Rapa Nui.

Are you with me? Obviously if island hoppers in their vessels from South East Asia were able to get to Rapa Nui (which is way out in the Pacific) then obviously they could get to the South American landmass. It's literally that simple.

The whole "Land Bridge" theory, I really believe, is for Euro-descended peoples to pretend other cultures didn't have technology. Obviously someone took a boat to Rapa Nui because there's no other way to access it. Island hopping down East Asia and over the Pacific is BY FAR the most likely means that they accessed South America.

Theory 2: Boats n' Snow

That covers the South pretty good. It's pretty obvious and the proof of the Moais does tend to show that white Europeans were not the first people to construct deep-bellied ocean-faring vessels. Yet, what about the North? Does the Bering Strait land bridge still hold up in explaining Inuit migrations?

I don't think it applies in this case either.

Episode 9 of Cosmos claimed that the migration took place whilst the ice was melted and a land bridge exposed itself. Is that the only way those Inuits could have managed to migrate to North America, by patiently waiting millions of years for an ice age to end and then politely walking over the exposed land bridge and settling down in northern North America.

I don't know about that, it's another cop out to say that Inuits were a backward people who couldn't do anything other than walk around like bozo-clowns all day. We're talking about people who adapted to live in the coldest climate on friggin' earth, you need some insight into tech and survival to do that.

They wore the skins of the animals they hunted to stay warm, they fished seals and whales out of the water (yes big huge whales), they built convex heat-trapping ice-block domes which kept them warm at night (the interior of a well built igloo is actually hot thanks to the body warmth of the people inside it).

You're telling me that people who could manipulate snow and ice to STAY WARM (that's pretty hard to do), people who could hunt fucking whales, people who made snow-shoes to walk great distances in snow and ice, people who tamed fucking wolves to pull their sleds for them (bad-ass)....are the same people who waited politely for nature to gradually melt the Arctic so they could politely cross some fabled "land bridge"?

I don't know about that, I think the Inuits just crossed the Arctic with wolves and kayaks when it was cold as fuck and barely even gave two or three cares about it.

It is perfectly 100% plausible that they crossed the strait using seal-skin re-enforced Kayaks. Researchers claim the oldest kayak known to them is over 4000 years old meaning these bad-ass Inuits were kayaking over small bodies of water for a good four thousand years.

Conclusion

I love the new Cosmos show it is 100% bad as can but I did take a small umbrage with one small statement made on it in the May 4th airing.

I do believe that this Land Bridge explanation of how Natives got to the Americas is a cop out by historians to try and portray the people in the Americas who were present prior to Euro-peoples as stupid savages who's only skill and technology they possessed was the ability to walk. That is totally not true in the least.

People who arrived in South America obviously had ocean-faring vessels prior to the European "age of exploration" and were by no means the savages many historians claim them to be.

The same is true for the Inuk people of the North, they obviously had to be pretty intelligent to devise a means to adapt to the harshest and coldest climate on earth. I'm sure they had little trouble kayaking and wolf-sledding over the Arctic...they are obviously bad ass people.