Dec 142017
 

From Fark.com:

Disney buys 21 Century Fox for $52.4 billion, which means they’ll own the ‘Alien’ franchise, which means that the Xenomorphs born from the Queen are now actually Disney Princesses. Let that sink in for a minute

This means that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four can now appear in the Marvel Avengers movies. yeah, I know, big whoop. More importantly, it means that the United States Colonial Marines can now appear in Star Wars movies. And facehuggers can appear in Pixar flicks like”Finding Xeno.”

 Posted by at 12:12 pm
Dec 122017
 

The post earlier today about the whackadoodle anti-engineering article? It was written by, wait for it, the head of Purdue’s School of Engineering Education, something I posted about in April.

Didn’t Purdue used to be a pretty well respected engineering university? While I’d hate to lay the punishment for this insanity at the feet of the graduate, one has to wonder how long it’ll take before engineering firms like Boeing and Lockheed and Exxon and General Electric and Ford see “Purdue graduate” on a resume and remember who Purdue likes to hire, and decides that it’d perhaps be safest to pass on those resumes.

If you get your art wrong, your painting doesn’t sell. If you get your poli-sci wrong, your candidate doesn’t win. You get the *engineering* wrong, people die, coastlines are trashed, contracts are cancelled, companies are sued into oblivion, stockholders bail and tens of thousands can become unemployed. So if an engineering school becomes known as a place where “engineering rigor” is actually frowned upon… how good of an engineer do you think they be?

Something all *good* engineering curricula teach is “risk analysis.” Hiring an SJW-trained engineer? Not worth the risk. You’d be better off hiring an engineer from Taiwan or New Delhi. You know, the Asians with all the white privilege.

 Posted by at 10:02 pm
Dec 112017
 

President Trump signs space policy directive ordering NASA to send humans to the Moon

For whatever a policy directive to NASA is worth…

The article discusses the fact that Mars advocates are worried that a return to the Moon would sidetrack a manned mission to Mars, which the article says is hoped-for for the year 2033. No mention of SpaceX’s rather optimistic plans on getting there by 2024. But the thing about Moon vs. Mars…

Sure, the idea of using the Moon as a launching pad for Mars is silly. Once the Moon is sufficiently industrialized, Lunar surface mass drivers could lob aluminum and LOX to Earth orbit for use in the construction of Mars ships; but that’s a long way off and there’s no good reason why one destination should wait for the other. They are both useful for their own ends. The Moon is a clear destination for industry; mining, processing and power generation (vast PV arrays on the surface beaming power back to Earth could end the usefulness of fossil fuels entirely). Mars is a clear destination for colonization. The one can be State 51, the other State 52. Hawaii/Alaska, Moon/Mars; both good.

 Posted by at 7:25 pm
Dec 112017
 

Why do I say “It’s good that our enemies are evil?” It would be disconcerting if we looked at the Nazis or the Commies or the Jihadis or whatever and said “hmm, they seem like the good guys here.” So, it’s best that when we compare them to us, they come off badly.

And now that we have accepted that they are the bad guys, one thing you *don’t* want out of your enemy is competence. And fortunately, the jihadis seem to have incompetence in spades.

Suspect in Port Authority bombing carried out bungled attack in name of ISIS

This winner, this god among men, tried to use a suicide bomb to kill a bunch of innocent folks… and the bomb didn’t even kill *him.* And it’s not like bomb building is all that hard. We’ve lately had cases of mass shootings by verifiably crazy people; all they needed was a gun, which are not that hard to obtain in gun-free zones like New York. The internet is loaded with instructions on how to make pipe bombs, pressure cooker bombs, twitchy high explosives. Trucks are all over the place, available for the buying, renting or stealing, to be used in running down pedestrians. Molotov cocktails require little more than a bottle, a rag, a flammable fluid and a lighter… and yet this Surt-worshipping CHUD couldn’t even blow *himself* straight to Nastrond.

To which I say… three cheers for the generations of inbreeding which has made these genetic defectives so incompetent at even the most basic of terror tactics.

 Posted by at 5:13 pm
Dec 092017
 

As with every nation, there’s a lot you can look at in Russia and frown or shake your head at. The excess booze on the roads. The invasions and annexations of bits of sovereign neighbors. The continued political dominance of Pooty and continued reverence for the Commie era. But one thing you gotta give the Russian props for is the Beriev Be-200. That is an aircraft of a type the US has not built since the 1950s… a flying boat with jet engines. Hell, I don’t think the US has built a flying boat *at* *all* since the 50’s, apart from itty bitty light planes.

The Be-200 is a *beast* when it comes to doing it’s job. And one of it’s jobs is fighting fires. A jet plane  goes fast; a  flying boat can land on a lake and scoop up water fast. Put the two together and you really have something.

Official: Russia offers to help fight wildfires by stationing aircraft in Santa Maria

This sort of thing would be *fantastic* on many levels, from the purely practical to the diplomatic. And California? Imagine what that state could do if they stopped throwing money at hare-brained schemes for high speed rail lines and instead spend their billions on procuring planes like this. Hell, for the amount California has blown on phantom bullet trains from LA to SF or LV, they could fund the development of an all-American flying boat of this kind, capable not only of water bombing but, say, flying passengers from LA to SF.

Along with new firefighting aircraft, California would be well advised to start planning for a more burny future as the climate changes. This means not only a drier climate meaning more fires, but also less water coming in from the Sierras and the Colorado River. Fortunately, California has a backup source of water: the Pacific Friggen’ Ocean. With a few terawatts of new powerplants – preferably in the form of thorium reactors, but latest-gen uranium reactors are good too – connected to new desalination plants, California could easily supply itself with all the water it needs for its people and agriculture. By doing so it would reduce the need to tap resources like the Colorado, allowing that water to be used for better things elsewhere.

California could demonstrate its forward-thinkingness by creating such a power and desalination surplus that it could actually pump billions of gallons of water annually up into the hills and mountains, creating reservoirs for use in fighting fires.

Interesting to note: the official Be-200 promotional vids I found on YouTube all look and sound like the sort of promotional videos I saw American aerospace firms crank out in the 80’s. The video quality is undoubtedly better, but otherwise… man, 80’s flashback.

 Posted by at 6:49 pm
Dec 082017
 

Boeing CEO Says Boeing Will Beat SpaceX to Mars

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg: “Eventually we’re going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket.”

 

 

One of the worst things to happen to the space race was when the Soviets conceded. If we can get American aerospace companies competing against each other… we can get this train moving again. Its a pity there’s been so much consolidation among US aerospace companies… a perfect future would have involved things like Ceres being acquired by Grumman, Phobos by Republic Aviation, Pluto by General Atomic, with Mars divvied up by Boeing, Lockheed and Walmart, with Europa in contention between Northrop and McDonalds, Ganymede being fought over between Chrysler and Ford.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:27 am
Dec 072017
 

After the depressing grrr-worthy video a few days ago, here’s kinda the polar opposite:

Man rescues rabbit from wildfire on side of Calif. highway

I’m not sure how wise it is to put your life at risk to rescue a wild rabbit from a raging fire, but compare the bravery and *care* to that of the scumbags who go out of their way to harm animals for fun. How much of this is down to simple genetics? How much to upbringing… home life and larger culture?

The guy has apparently been found by the press but didn’t want to be interviewed. Would be interesting to find out what happened with the rabbit. You wouldn’t think the bunny would be too tolerant of being captured and held by a giant monster… the feller probably got bit for his troubles.

 Posted by at 9:45 pm
Dec 072017
 

Democrat Representative John Conyers Jr. has resigned for multiple allegations of sexual harassment, coupled with using taxpayer funds to pay settlements to keep things quiet. He has endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him (fortunately for the people of his district, the transition should be a smooth one since his son was arrested earlier this year for domestic abuse, including stabbing his girlfriend). Democrat Senator Al Franken  has announced that he’ll soon resign for having assaulted some women a whole back. And now Republican Representative Trent Franks has resigned because… well, it’s a little unclear: “after two former staff members complained about discussions he had with them about efforts to find a surrogate mother.” The topic in and of itself doesn’t seem like it should be troubling, but maybe he suggested to his staffers that *they* be the surrogates. That’s all I can think of. If his given reason is accurate, it seems like he’s quitting because he *said* something inappropriate, while Franken and Conyers *did* something inappropriate. So at least at this very basic level there’s a disparity between the Reps and Dems. Of course, there’s also Roy Moore; while not in the Senate, he *may* soon be, and there is a lot of thinking that if he wins the election, the Senate may refuse to let him in, or may immediately begin proceedings to eject him.

I fully endorse the resignation of any and every member of the House and Senate. Especially anyone who has been there more than one term. Serving in Congress shouldn’t be a friggen’ career, but rather something that people do for a little while then go *back* to the private sector.

 

 Posted by at 5:50 pm
Dec 062017
 

House OKs GOP bill expanding gun owners’ rights

Marriage licenses and drivers licenses are issued by individual states, but recognized by all. Marriages and driving are *not* explicitly called out as rights in the Constitution… but bearing arms is. And perversely, up until now states have often *not* recognized the concealed carry licenses issued by other states. This may be about to change, at long friggen’ last.

But some politicians never let an opportunity to slander millions of law abiding citizens pass by unremarked. Example: Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., called the bill an attempt to “allow dangerous criminals to walk around with hidden guns anywhere and at any time.” I wonder if it might be possible to sue her for slandering law abiding concealed carry license holders, who she has just said are “dangerous criminals.”

 Posted by at 10:41 pm