Sep 242016

Taken at face value, these stories are stupid. But: the apologists for one religion in the world today have proven adept at convincing masses of non-thinkers that any criticism of the religion (it’s history, tenets, beliefs or current practices) is “racism.” Well… if that’s acceptable for *one* religion, it’s acceptable for *all* religions. Don’t like my carrying a sword, spear, pistol or shotgun wherever I choose to travel? Not only are you trampling my religious rights… YOU’RE A RACIST. If this catches on, this could end up being endlessly entertaining.

Rep. Dave Brat: Removing Mandatory Bible Readings from Public Schools is “Institutional Racism”

Italian School’s Headmaster Cancels Traditional Catholic Mass; Politician Calls It “Reverse Racism”

 Posted by at 11:28 pm
Sep 242016

Please to enjoy some animation:

“Anvil,” a music video for Lorn. Dystopian future where people get uploaded and then… that’s it, I guess.


“Planet Unknown.” A Chinese film about two rovers on an alien world. Remarkable animation, really.

And what the heck. This one isn’t animation, more just a regular old-school music video. But if you thought that Lorn’s “Anvil” up there was a light-hearted romp, you’ll definitely get a kick out of Lorn’s “Acid Rain,” which is all kinds of unicorns-farting-rainbows cheerfulness.

 Posted by at 3:21 pm
Sep 242016

SpaceXplosion Update: Preliminary Review Suggests “Large Breach in Cryogenic Helium System”

Not a whole lot of data is presented in the article, but they do say that important areas of the launch site – the LOX farm, the fuel farm, the Falcon Support building – were largely unaffected by the catastrophe.

Purest speculation: a helium tank popping would of course be terribly bad, but it would not seem to cause a big sudden fireball. But a high pressure tank cutting loose, even when filled with an inert gas like helium, could easily trash tanks and lines containing LOX and kerosene, mixing the two. Again, though, simply breachignt he fuel and oxidizer in this case wouldn;t *necessarily* lead to combustion.

Some extreme handwaving, though… they were apparently using supercooled LOX. By using liquid oxygen at a temperature well below what they’d need to to keep it liquid, the exterior of the tank could in principle get cold enough to chill liquid oxygen out of the *air.* So, *maybe,* the tank would have liquid oxygen condensation on the outside, where it might mix with carbon fiber components, or cork insulation or some other carbon or hydrocarbon structure. The *possibility*exists that the oxygen could seep into those components. And anyone who has ever soaked a charcoal briquet in LOX and then shocked it (by, say, hitting it with a hammer, dropping it from a great height or popping a high pressure tank of helium next to it) knows that such a mixture of carbon and LOX is quite unstable and will detonate.

 Posted by at 1:42 pm
Sep 242016

While about 7 years old (dates from the early days of the Obama Presidency), this extremely nerdy video from Bill Whittle makes some good points about Kirk & Spock and what makes a good leader. Plus, they got Maurice Lamarche to do a Shatner-tastic Kirk impression.

Basically, “the smartest guy in the room” is probably not the guy who’d make the best *leader.*


 Posted by at 8:46 am
Sep 212016

So, last few days I’ve been impressively ill. Started with I believe some dandy allergic reactions to some really bad air quality… some farms were burned to the ground around here a few days back, filling the house with the smoke of burning fields (fields of burning ragweed and poison ivy, seemingly. The allergies seemed to transition smoothly into a cold or flu, which I am finally starting. to crawl out of. Still feel like garbage.

So, in lieu of standard terribly deep philosophizin’, here’s a metal cover of “Everything is Awesome.”




 Posted by at 6:43 pm
Sep 202016

After a couple days of wacky jihadists making news outside of Utah, someone decided that Utah needed to get in on that action. However, this here is what I think is a “fake Muslim,” an outright whackjob.

Empty bomb threat detailed in letter to media leads to school’s lockdown, former Utah State Eastern coach’s arrest

Meanwhile, Craig remained in front of the school. He told emergency dispatchers that he had placed explosives in the car near the school, so police did not approach him directly. Instead, they spoke on the phone and sent a robot with a microphone near the spot where Craig was lying on the ground, behind his car, Cannon said. Craig moved closer to the microphone, got out a book and read aloud a speech about perceived “social injustices” similar to those he described in the email he sent to The Salt Lake Tribune and other media. In that message, he identifies himself as Christopher Craig and as “the radical Islamic jihadist Muhammad Allah Al-Khidr,” saying he would “call 911 with a threat of an explosive” at the school. The email describes a promised bomb threat and a hunger strike he plans to conduct in jail.

“Racism is the reason for my hunger strike,” the email reads, “to take this conversation deeper, to the truth, core and roots.” He describes black men as “the most racist, bigoted group of homo sapien primates” and titles the message “In honor of Skylar Dore” — an allusion to a white Louisiana police chief who was fired after a profanity-laced Facebook post about the death of white police officers in Baton Rouge.

Feller seems to be schizo. It’s claimed that he was wearing Arabic-style clothing, but if you watch the video it sure looks like it was a cheap parody of Arabic clothing, like a bad Halloween costume.

 Posted by at 1:26 am
Sep 192016

There was a time when American auto manufacturers had important aerospace divisions. Chrysler, for example, was responsible for rockets such as the Redstone, Jupiter and the Saturn I and Ib first stage.

In late 1956, Lovell Lawrence Jr, an assistant chief engineer at the missiles division of Chrysler, publicized a concept for a nuclear-powered “flying saucer.” It seems to have been *partially* a reasonably rational concept for a long duration spacecraft for missions to Mars. It would spin like a frisbee to generate artificial gravity, though the relatively small radius would be likely to produce some harsh Coriolis effects. The saucer would be about 50 feet in diameter and only 6 feet thick.

Where the design goes a bit off the rails is that the performance expected of the craft was insanely impressive. It was a single-stage-to-solar-orbit craft, capable of taking off horizontally from a runway using nuclear-powered jet engines (note: “jet” in this case might mean “rocket.”) The craft would be capable of going from the Earth to Mars in 9 to 12 weeks.

Being that close to an atomic reactor (with a light enough shield to allow the thing to take off) would be a death sentence long before the craft would get to Mars.

After years of trying to research this concept, all I’ve managed to scrape up are three things from Ye Olde internet: two newspaper articles and one cover story from a UFO “fanzine.” I have tried over some years to obtain a copy of the “Saucer News” from August-September 1957 from sites like ebay, but without success. It seems like an original printing, or at least a decent scan, would provide a reasonably good version of the Chrysler saucer art. Anybody has more on this, I’m interested.

saucernews25-1957-aug-sep chrysler-saucer-2 chrysler-saucer-1

 Posted by at 11:29 pm