Aug 13

Aurora Massacre: Jimmy and the Llama (Aug 11, 2012):

At a time when the defense is trying to claim their client is bat-shit crazy, the Denver Post comes out with a story about what James Holmes was like just a short year ago. When he applied to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign neuroscience program they wanted him so badly they waved tuition and fees and offered him a yearly paycheck of $22,660 just to attend their school. Out of 150 qualified applicants yearly they take between 5-15. James Holmes was one of those.

How does James get from point A to point B? How do we get from one of the brightest students in the nation, a guy who’s love of knowledge made him want to study the mind, a student so desired they would offer to pay him cash to attend, to a guy practically drooling on himself in a courtroom seemingly with no idea where he was?

This is a link to his application file at UI. You should read it.(H/T sunshinez)

Back in March of 2011, the University of Illinois had him come up and they interviewed him…

“Those who met you … during your interview visit felt that your personal and professional qualities are truly outstanding and that you will be an excellent match for our program,” said the Illinois acceptance letter from professor J. Lee Beverly.” Denver Post

The Denver Post also references an article put out by the News Gazette which detailed his application history a bit more. Holmes was exceedingly bright, the kind of kid you want your child to be, the kind you wish you were.

“Holmes’ GRE quantitative score was 800 (94th percentile), his verbal score was 710 (98th percentile), and he had an analytical writing score of 4 (45th percentile), according to his UI application. His GPA was 3.94 out of 4.00, according to the application.” News Gazette

Scores don’t tell the whole story, that is true. For a better understanding of the way this young man’s mind works (worked?), you would need to listen to Holmes himself…

“I have always been fascinated by the complexities of long lost thought seemingly arising out of nowhere into a stream of awareness,” he wrote. “… These are the very cognitive processes which enable us to acquire information and retain it. They are at the core of what distinguishes us as people. Due to the seemingly infinite vastness of indefinite knowledge, we must be selective in our pursuits of knowledge. This is why I have chosen to study the primary source of all things, our own minds.” Denver Post

“Rational people act based on incentives for self-fulfillment, including fulfilling needs of self-development and needs of feeling useful and helpful to others. I look forward to fulfilling my quest to advance my knowledge and I plan to use my critical thinking skills by studying the subject I am passionate about, neuroscience.” News Gazette

Does that sound like the guy we saw sitting at the defense table blankly looking around or emoting various quizzical expressions? Does that sound like a “spitter” who needed to be gagged? Continue reading »

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Sep 10

See also:

Solar Storm To Hit Earth With ‘Force Of 100 Million Hydrogen Bombs’


A spectacular Northern Lights display has been photographed over the skies of northern Europe, after Nasa scientists reported a powerful space storm buffeting Earth.

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(Click on image to enlarge!)
Experts said stargazers could expect to see another spectacular display on Thursday night as the solar wind stream continued to hit Earth’s magnetic field Photo: ØYSTEIN LUNDE INGVALDSE/ SPACESTORIES.COM

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A picture taken by the sun observation satellite Solar Dynamics Observatory SDO shows an exceptionally heavy plasma eruption on the surface of the sun Photo: EPA

The stunning auroras, witnessed on Wednesday night, are the first of the season following the area’s light summer nights.

The displays were created from bursts of activity on the Sun earlier this week.

The subsequent magnetic activity, above a sunspot numbered 1105, produced an explosive flare that was recorded by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The flare then sent a stream of charged particles racing towards Earth at 250 miles per second.

After the sunspot rotated away from Earth, the explosive region erupted once more, creating a second solar flare, a fantastic prominence that sent a coronal mass ejection into space.

Nasa said because the Sun had already rotated the flares the flares did not pose any threat to the Earth. Images taken by the space agency show the prominence flaring from the sun.

The auroral lights’ colours were created through a series of reactions between atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The green colours stem from oxygen molecules while the more unusual purple colour is derived from molecular nitrogen.

Experts said stargazers could expect to see another spectacular display on Thursday night as the solar wind stream continued to hit Earth’s magnetic field.

Another series of spectacular auroras were witnessed by photographer by (MUST SEE!) Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen, a Norwegian musician.

Continue reading »

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