Well, this is entertainingly bonkers…

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I suggested previously that one of the early symptoms of Ebola seems to be stupid behavior that would risk spreadign the virus. Well, we got another case in the US today… and the evidence suggests that my little theory continues to be valid. Attend:

Dr. Craig Spenser recently (Oct. 17) returned from West Africa, where he treated people with Ebola.

Tuesday he started feeling unwell.

So Wednesday he hopped a New York City taxi and went bowling (you know, exercising in public, sweating, flinging said sweat around, wearing communal shoes…)

And today he came down with a serious fever and was diagnosed with Ebola.

Now, keep in mind that there is probably no cause for alarm. My issue here is with health care professionals who should really be particularly cautious going and behaving like fricken’ MORONS.

If you have worked with live Ebola, how hard is it, really, to stay out of high-population-density areas for three weeks? Sure, sure, the virus isn’t easily transmittable via normal means before the serious symptoms kick in. But prior to that time, you still have the virus floating through your blood. And is it possible that your fluids could get splattered around via non-plaguey means? Like, say, a traffic accident? A mugging? Simply tripping and falling and scraping yourself on concrete?


If you’ve worked with Ebola… take yourself a three-week staycation. How hard is that to accept?

The third October PDF Review has been posted over at the Aerospace Projects Review Blog. This describes wind tunnel testing of the XP-85 “Goblin”, specifically with the trapeze recovery system.

Pages from Stability and Control Characteristics of a 1 10-Scale Model of the McDonnell XP-85 Airplane While Attached to the Trapeze_Page_03


These PDF Reviews are brought to you by the APR Patreon. For as little as 75 cents per month, you can help me dig into the forgotten corners of aerospace history… and get yourself some goodies in the process. Head on over!

Hidden behind the “Spontaneous Jihadi Syndrome” news are reports of fake classes put together at the University of North Carolina over a number of years, involving 3,100 or so students. In short, the purpose of these classes was to make sure that athletes, football and basketball players and the like, got grades adequate to keep playing. The instructors simply rubber-stamped grades regardless of performance.

Well, that’s bad, but there’s one bright spot: it appears from what I’ve seen that the classes offered were not those that would lead someone to post-college positions of importance. They were not engineering courses. not physics. Not medical. Not even business course. They were, instead, run through the “African-American Studies” department. A modest Googling of the news didn’t turn up specifically what these courses were, though a similar incident at Stanford a few years ago had courses such as “Beginning Improvising” and “Social Dances of North America III.

The concept of the “Student Athlete” is one that has long been ready for mockery. Being able to run real fast, throw a ball and beat a drunk cheerleader into unconsciousness are skills largely unrelated to the skills needed to be a scholar; we’ve all known the “Ogre” with the scholarships and the minimal ability to read. The good thing here is that the “education” these yahoos apparently got would not have aided them in obtaining important work. Imagine if Boeing were to hire engineers based on “paper” engineering courses, or if your doctor showed up for classes a grand total of once, only to turn in a hastily scribbled paper. Instead, it appears likely that their degrees would have been horribly… lame. General stuff, dance analysis, the politics of race… these are not the educational tracks that will put anyone anywhere but burger flipepr jobs and talking heads on MSNBC.

Kevin Vickers, Sergeant-At-Arms of Parliament, back on the job today.

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Bravo, sir.

Now something else to consider. Had this happened in the US, with a Surt worshipping Jihadi running the halls of the Capitol Building shooting the join up… what are the chances that the House and Senate would be back in business the next day? Honestly, I don’t know.

Many years back I was given a photocopy of a Soviet journal article describing a Soviet version of the WWII-era “Silverbird.” The Silverbird was the brainchild of Austrian rocket engineer Eugen Sanger and was a concept for a hypersonic rocket powered “spaceplane” capable of dropping bombs halfway around the world. In the years immediately after the war, the report Sanger wrote proved to be influential on policymakers and engineers, especially in the USSR.

This article describes a Silverbird modified with sizable ramjet engines mounted to the wingtips. Sadly, I can’t read a single word of Russian, so I can’t make heads or tails of it apart from the illustrations. One notation indicates that this may date from 1947. The vehicle described would seem to be the “Keldysh Bomber.”

I have scanned the article and posted it as a PDF on my Patreon for patrons at the $1.50 level (c’mon… that’s $1.50 a month! Mere pennies a day!).


So while plugging through the Word-to-Kindle process, I absentmindedly turned on the radio just to have some background noise. And by the time I realized that it was “Coast to Coast AM” with Alex Jones as the guest, I was busy working, and it was too much bother to get back up and turn it off. And so I wound up hearing stupid, stupid things. Things that gave me a sad. Thing like claims that the WTC were brought down with directed energy weapons. And that Ebola is a Bilderberger Group plot to take over the world. And that WTC Bldg 7 was intentionally imploded. And other drivel that makes me sad for the species to know that not only are there people so messed up as to dream this nonsense up, but that there’s a vast market of people ready willing and able to believe them.


So a few days ago I released US Bomber Projects #11, US Transport Projects #01 and the 11X17 collection for USBP 07-09. Sales were… well, even more dismal than what I’ve grown accustomed to. So I wandered on over to Amazon to finally start trying to sell these through their system. I guess they don’t sell PDFs, but only Kindle format pubs… but the Amazon conversion process did *horrible* things to USBP #01. When I fed it the native Word document, the text got formatted all over the place, and the images were all replaced with red X’s. When i fed it the PDF version, the images were installed, but chopped up, and the text was still a mess. So I guess I’ll have to utterly repave every issue. Feh.

Anyone have any successful history with this? Specifically, half-image, half-text Amazon publications?


OK, I hammered away at USBP #01 and finally got it into a form that I think works (looks ok on the “Calibre” epub creator/viewer) and I seem to have walked it through the publication process on Amazon. However, it’s “in review,” and that could take 12 hours. So… there it is, I suppose. Assuming it all goes through, the selling price is set at $2.99. That’s a heck of a hit compared to the $4 price for standard PDF versions available directly from me (especially after Amazon takes their chunk), but I guess it’s ok for older issues. So if this works at all, new issues will be released on my website, and wind up on Amazon sometime down the line.

I will of course post a link to this when/if it becomes available. I have high hopes that there’s at least one somebody out there who just can’t wait to be first in line to get on board with this… and who will point out any formatting flaws or other problems that may appear on this first issue.


OK, it has gone through the approval process, and is now available over at Amazon. If anyone wants to be the first to take the plunge, I’d sure like to hear how it works & looks on your e-reader. On looking at the listing I realized that I left a lot out of the description, so I went back and edited that stuff in… but it appears that changes have to go right back into review, so for a number of hours the description is pretty sparse.



Winning an election, Illinois style:

‘Calibration error’ changes GOP votes to Dem in Illinois county

I’ve said it before: never trust an Illinois politician. No politician who has gone through the Illinois machine should be allowed to hold national office. No good will come of that.

Seems there’s more excitement up Ottawa way:

Multiple shooters reported in Canada attack

Apparently at least three separate shooting incidents, including *in* the Canadian National War Memorial on Parliament Hill. One Canadian soldier was apparently intentionally targeted. A gun battle of sorts in the Parliament Building itself. Multiple shooters, at least two, possibly three.

So… let the speculating begin! Who could be behind this?

  • Amish Extremists
  • Wisconsonite Invaders
  • Rampaging Racist Ferguson Cops
  • Justin Beiber
  • Michael Moore
  • Abradolf Lincler

UPDATE: CNN’s current chattering head keeps saying that there’s no evidence that this is Surt Worshipper Terrorism. But she also just said that the FBI is apparently going to a much higher level of readiness, due to “chatter.”

UPDATE 2: Looking more and more like there was just the one shooter. And who was he? He was one “Michael Zihaf Bibeau.” What dow we know about him so far? Guess. Go on, guess.

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