The Apocalypticon ~ Cambridge Analytica, nuclear bombers on alert, crypto-warning, space graveyard, big bridge swing


What did Cambridge Analytica really do for Trump’s campaign? News that Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix approached Wikileaks founder Julian Assange last year to exploit Hillary Clinton’s private emails has amplified questions about Cambridge’s role in President Trump’s 2016 campaign. [This was the most cynical manipulation of voters the world has ever seen to date. A Great Leap Forward?]

US Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991. That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway – dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings – could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice… The alert order has not been given, but preparations are under way in anticipation that it might come.

Thinking of investing in crypto-currencies? A hustler knows a hustle. So if you have ever considered sinking money into an initial coin offering – a complicated, barely regulated and booming new form of financial vehicle where startups offer investors stakes in ‘new’ cryptocurrencies rather than traditional stock – it might be a good idea to listen to what one of finance’s most notorious criminals-turned-authors has to say … spoiler alert: it’s just a huge scam.

Torn between iPhone X or iPhone 8? Psychologists have names for this kind of decision, and the hemming and hawing that goes into it. [I always think of the Law of Diminishing Returns, myself, and I let that guide me.] Gizmodo has more on this ‘behavioural economics‘ conundrum, which Apple uses skilfully [or should that be ‘mercilessly’?].

Satellite graveyard is ‘near’ Pitcairn — Whether you launch a satellite into space or an entire space station like the Russian Mir, the Chinese Tiangong-1 or the International Space Station, what goes up must eventually come down – they all re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. The greater the mass of what is in space – Mir weighed 120 tons, the ISS weighs 450 tons and will be decommissioned in a decade – the greater the likelihood that larger parts will not burn up completely during re-entry and crash to earth at high velocity. So there is a need for a place on earth where things falling back from space are least likely to cause damage or human casualties. The Oceanic Pole Of Inaccessibility is one of two such places.

And finally, some good news: 245 friends jumping off a bridge and swinging by a rope is enough to gain you pseudo-fame – at least until 246 people try the same thing. Looks cool, anyway. So thanks, Hortolandia, Brazil …