Apr 202018

What could be funnier than using R. Lee Ermey to redub Darth Vader? Not much.

As this is restricted to lines from “Full Metal Jacket,” it’s not surprising that the funnier ones are first… and that the language is a little colorful at times.



 Posted by at 11:38 pm
Apr 162018

The same YouTuber who put this together also pointed out that “Star Trek” the TV series *must* logically exist in the universe of “The Orville.” Why? Because the crew has been shown watching the sitcom “Seinfeld,” and “Seinfeld” mentioned Star Trek. Also the ships doctors referenced Obi Wan, and if there’s a Star Wars, chances are good there’s a Star Trek.


 Posted by at 8:25 pm
Apr 132018

Proxima Centuri, as has been know for a few years now, has a roughly Earth-sized planet in it’s habitable zone. Yay! But… Proxima is a red dwarf. Worse, it’s a red dwarf with some serious flare activity. Since it is so small and dim, the habitable zone is *real* close to the star, which means that flares can do some serious damage to planeary atmospheres. How bad are Proximas flares? Well…

Proxima Centauri just released a flare so powerful it was visible to the unaided eye

“In March 2016 the Evryscope detected the first-known Proxima superflare. The superflare had a bolometric energy of 10^33.5 erg, ~10× larger than any previously-detected flare from Proxima, and 30×larger than any optically measured Proxima flare. The event briefly increased Proxima’s visible-light emission by a factor of 38× averaged over the Evryscope’s 2-minute cadence, or ~68× at the cadence of the human eye. Although no M-dwarfs are usually visible to the naked-eye, Proxima briefly became a magnitude-6.8 star during this superflare, visible to dark-site naked-eye observers.”


When a flare is 68 times brighter than the rest of the star… that means you have some variability issues. An earth-like world around Proxima is *real* unlikely. Assume that one – let’s say Earth – was suddenly miracled into existence smack in the middle of the habitable zone. You’re going about your day when there is a sudden “BING” sound, and the quality of the sunlight suddenly changes. Not quite as bright, a bit redder (almost like a really powerful incandescent bulb), but just as warm. You look at the sky. It had been a nice bright blue; now its a darker, less happy blue, leaning a bit purplish and gray. You look at the sun and it hits you: “hey, that ain’t right.” It’s the wrong size… visually much bigger. You can almost look at it with just sunglasses. When you do, it looks blotchy.

But you’re not a terribly jittery person. Things looks slightly different, but everything seems to still be functioning, so who cares.

And then SURPRISE FLARE. The sunlight gets ~70 times brighter for a few minutes. Anything flammable flamms. The road melts. You go blind. A portion of the atmosphere says “screw this noise” and blows off into space; there is a  slight but measurable permanent decrease in atmospheric pressure even after all the CO2 from the fires settles out.

 Posted by at 10:43 pm
Apr 132018

Every year or two, some jackhole pops up with a claim that that Earth is about to get either a close pass or an impact by the planet Nibiru.And every time lo and behold… no Nibiru. Mostly this is because Nibiru and it’s threatening orbit are nonsense, invented and propagated by crackpots and charlatans and hoaxers.

And now that thins in the world are getting, seemingly, increasingly nutty and fearful-making… oh, goody, here Nibiru comes again to lower our collective IQ. This time it’s associated with Christian numerology and Rapture-prediction, something that worked out so spectacularly for  Harold Camping.

No, the Rapture Isn’t Coming on April 23 Because of Nibiru (Which Doesn’t Exist)

You’d *think* that such a specific claim, so often made, so often proved false, would eventually disappear. But there’s something about the concept of Nibiru that seems to appeal to whackos.

 Posted by at 6:03 pm
Apr 122018

This music video by Nigel Stanford takes vintage NASA and military footage, does some clever and effective computer tinkerage, and produces something entirely new. And it mostly works really, really well. I think I’d almost like to see this given a full movie treatment. And as this video shows, it need not be all that expensive. Does it make a whole lot of sense? Well… no, not really. But as “2001” showed, a good sci-fi movie doesn’t really need to, so long as it’s compelling.


 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Apr 102018

I’ve never gotten into the Gerry Anderson puppet shows (probably just weren’t shown in my area when I was a kid), but I do know that a lot of people are quite fond of them. And I do *kinda* get it… in the era before computer graphics made filling the screen with spaceships of wildly varying designs easy and cheap, Andersons shows were the only ones that featured a whole bunch of different designs. Other shows like Star trek you had pretty much just the one ship, and that was mostly stock footage used over and over. And it seems to me that the most popular of the Anderson ships would be either the Eagle from “Space: 1999” or the Thunderbird 2 from “Thunderbirds Are Go.” And if you want a bignormous T2, well, crack open your bank account, here it comes.

Thunderbird 2 | 1:144 Scale

This is a model kit, but it’s not one you get all at once.Instead it’s a subscription kit, paid for and shipped a bit at a time. There are two options available, 12 month and 24 month; it’s a little unclear, but I *assume* that with the 12 month option each month you get twice as much stuff as you’d get per month in the 24 month option. And in the end, you get this:

The thing is freakin’ GIGANTIC:

And it’s spendy as heck. For the 12-month option, it’s £79.99 per month, or £959.88 total. .. about $1,400 at current exchange rates.


Seems like a slightly more affordable option would be this 1/350 scale conventional model kit, a steal at forty bucks:


But hey. If’n ya want a gigantic Thunderbird 2, let it never be said I didn’t point one out to you.

 Posted by at 2:52 pm
Apr 092018

I was never much of a fan of Nirvana, even though I was in college when they were at their peak. So imagine my surprise that a recent trailer proved that their tune “Heart Shaped Box” could be reworked into something *epic.* Perhaps it’s no surprise that this was the trailer for season two of the way-better-than-it-has-any-right-to-be “Westworld,” given that season one was filled with some really rather remarkable music, popular songs made into epics or old-timey western player piano tunes.

The trailer:

And to my joy, the complete version:

And what the heck: from Season 1, Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” for player piano…

 Posted by at 2:56 am
Apr 082018

I estimate I’m about halfway through the process of cleaning up the 3D printed parts. Still visible here and there are the stepped layers that result from the printing process, steps that are being laboriously cleaned away. The parts are just taped together here. It’s shown next to a Diamond Select TOS Enterprise. They aren’t the same scale, but they are pretty close to the same size.

 Posted by at 5:33 pm