Looks like Israel is finally losing its patience with the never-ending halfassed genocides the Gazans keep launching:

Israel Creates ‘No Man’s Land’ in Gaza, Shrinking Strip by 40%

landforpeace

Now, imagine if Hamas had used all that concrete to build land extensions out into the Med, rather than for tunnels. And if instead of lameass rockets, they’d instead built sewer, power, transport infrastructure. Then  not only would they have all kinds of new stuff and places to be, they’d have that 3 km strip of land.

Found this photo on Wikipedia, thought it might be of interest to some. Why? Because it’s cool. Note that at extreme left you can see a few blurs… presumably a penetrator round and sabot.

The full-rez version is HERE.

M1A1

A 1963 Douglas concept for a space station. This one appears to have everything… to the right, the (Douglas-built) S-IV stage; to the left the (Douglas built) S-IVb stage; docked and coming in to dock, the (Douglas designed) ASTRO spaceplane. All mounted to a core space station that appears to be based on the S-II upper stage.

douglas station63

A few nights back, somewhere well after midnight, I was getting ready to go to bed when I heard something outside my bedroom window. It was a semi-regular soft tapping, like when a gentle breeze causes a tree branch to tap against a windowpane. This can be disturbing enough just on its own. But there were two details that made it a bit more unsettling:

1) There was absolutely no wind whatsoever

2) There is nothing even remotely like a tree outside the window. Just a big empty space for 500 feet.

So while I’m sitting there pondering just what it could be, I noticed that Raedthinn and Fingers, who up till this point had been sacked out on my bed, were sitting up and staring at the window, listening to the tapping. Joy. So I grabbed my flashlight and my pistol and went for a walk outside the house. And when I got around to the side of the house with the window tapping… nothing. Nada. Zero.

It was an unpleasant night. Normally when the sun goes down the temperature plummets; at this altitude, the heat in the ground and air radiate away to space nicely. But it was cloudy and the temperature had refused to go down to a friendly level. So in this Brit-killing heat I orbited the house a time or two to see if i could see anything out of the ordinary. It occurred to me that perhaps I was hearing some manifestation of the raccoon army that had been by last year, but there was no sign of them.

I went back up to the front porch to go back into the house. As I neared the door, I heard something substantial shuffling around not far away. It sounded like it was either in the agricultural ditch next to the road out front, or possibly just on the other side of the road in the wheat field. Whenever I turned the flashlight in that direction, the noise stopped, and of course I couldn’t see anything. But when I turned the light off, it started moving again. It *sounded* big and quadrupedal, though stealthy.

I was about to just write it off as a psychological aberration… I was “hearing things.” Then I swept the light across the front window. All four of my cats – Raedthinn, Fingers, Buttons and Speedbump – were lined up in the window, staring intently at *something.* Whatever it was, it wasn’t *me,* and whatever it was, they didn’t like. Raedthinn was down low with his ears back; Fingers was in her “I’m freaking out and about to bolt” pose, Buttons and Speedbump looked confused. They were all staring in the same direction, out towards the whatever-it-was I’d heard. And whatever it was, I never did catch sight of it, though it kept moving.

It *sounded* deer-sized. But a deer could not have been able to hide like that unless it was equipped with a cloaking device, and I’m pretty sure those are few and far between in the deer community. It was probably something akin to a skunk, but one that was making an outsized racket. And on the one hand it was good to get some independent verification that I wasn’t hearing things that weren’t there; on the other hand, it was creepy as hell to have independent verification not only that I wasn’t alone, but that whatever it was that was out there, my cats could all see but I couldn’t… and that they really, really didn’t like what they saw.

I don’t think this video shows what it’s being described as. The claim is that it’s the funeral for a suicide bomber, where they forgot to take his explosive vest off and it blows up during the procession; but at one point you can see what looks like the original dead guy on the ground, seemingly intact. I suspect that a suicide bomber snuck in to blow up the funeral. (Note: a tad graphic) (Notenote: THIS says that it’s a funeral being car bombed in Syria in 2012)

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

If you have been paying attention at all over the last decade and a half (or longer, if you happen to have the misfortune of living in that region of the world), immediately after the blast there comes many, many repetitions of the same tired phrase that thoughtful people have come to associate with very bad things happening. A hint:

ackbar

This has been a public service announcement reminding you that if you hear this phrase… duck.

A lithograph found on eBay presents a rather unlikely design for a Space Shuttle:

ebay 2014-07-19 4

Dating from 1970, the craft shown here in a NASA PR glossy appears to be wholly fanciful.

ebay 2014-07-19 5

I’ve cut the prices on all my cyanotypes by at least 25%, up to 40%. I’ve also gotten rid of the watercolor versions; it’s all vellum paper now (not only is it more historically accurate, it’s also a lot easier to process and ship).

So… take a look.

Cyanotype Blueprints

An early1960′s illustration of the Delta launch vehicle. While the quality here is middlin’ at best, due to being scanned from an old magazine, it’s a safe bet that the original piece of (non-computer-generated) art was a thing of beauty.

delta

Ken Ham. Granted, I suspect most halfway intelligent Christians are as embarrassed to claim Ham as one of their own as I, a human being, am embarrassed to admit that he is, apparently, also a human being. But still, this purveyor of religious idiocy and anti-science gibberish is relevant to the discussion of religion and aliens, due to a blog posting of his a few days ago:

The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!

Translation: The search for facts is anti-my-God. Nobody could possibly have any reason to explore the universe unless they are trying to kill God.

And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth.

Translation: Sucks to be Vulcan. Y’all will get punished for what one of *us* did, 6,000 years ago. Burn!

Gah.

A woman with deadly Ebola virus escapes quarantine, now loose in a city of 1 million

A 32-year-old woman in Freetown, Sierra Leone, tested positive for Ebola and was under quarantine in the hospital when her family forcibly removed her.

Good plan, folks.

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