Nov 202017

Gentlemen, behold:

She Said That A Powerful Congressman Harassed Her. Here’s Why You Didn’t Hear Her Story.

Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

If people in government were held to the same standards as the rest of us… there’d be no people in government. Instead, it’s perfectly fine for a Senator to get likkered up, go driving and kill someone, then not only skip out on the whole “get arrested, tested, tried and imprisoned” thing, but then spend the next generation or two being consistently re-elected and determining the fate of the nation.

Accusations are just accusations… he said, she said, due process, etc. But in Conyers case, there was a settlement, so apparently there was some admission of guilt.

Infotainment and government both share the feature that the people in ’em end up with a whole lot of power, and it’s safe to assume that anyone who make a serious attempt to make a career in either is trying to accrue power. Conyers, for instance, has been in the House since NINETEEN FRICKEN SIXTY FIVE. His term in office is older than I am. Nobody spends that long in a position of power like this without being, or becoming, a power-mad monster.

More than some understanding of the awfulness of sexual harassment, I hope (beyond reason and rationality, I admit) that this current Outrage Theater will result in something like term limits for federal officeholders. If someone like John Conyers wants power over others, let him do it the honest way: form a damn cult.

 Posted by at 10:07 pm
Nov 202017

The headline is more than a little misleading. “Mad Mike” here isn’t a rocket scientist; in fact, this actual-Flat-Earther states quite clearly that he doesn’t believe in science. Still, he spent a whole lot of money building himself a “skycycle”- like rocket vehicle with which to lob himself into the air.

If you have time to kill and want to chuckle sadly, take a look at this winners Facebook page. He’s not just any Flat Earther, he’s one of those belligerent ones. He thinks that somehow lobbing himself a short distance into the sky will “prove” the Flat Earth delusion to be true… where somehow decades of high altitude balloons, sounding rockets, orbital flights and missions to the moon and beyond somehow all seemed to miss it.

And if there was any lasting doubt that the news media is just not very good, here’s a collection of headlines that will make aerospace engineers – including former rocket engineers like myself – want to pull their hair out:

Self-Taught Rocket Scientist Mad Mike Hughes Plans to Launch Over Ghost Town

This barmy self-taught scientist called ‘Mad Mike’ is going to launch himself over California in a homemade rocket

Not only is there a whole lot of copying off each other – rather than, you know, actual journalismizing – there’s the repeated mis-use of the word “scientist.” Even disregarding the fact that he doesn’t believe in  science, there’s the basic fact that he’s not actually *doing* any science.

 Posted by at 11:12 am
Nov 162017

The proprietor displays an astonishing level of patience. Must have a lot of practice with this sort of thing due to the proximity to benighted Evergreen College.

Private Sector Arms in Olympia, Washington, looks like they have some neato stuff on the walls.

It would be entertaining if the end result of this interaction was that their sales go up.

 Posted by at 12:30 am
Nov 142017

I’m a boring man, I admit if. I’d love for someone to (legally) give me a supercar… because I could sell it and pay off my mortgage. The idea of such cars is appealing, but the reality is that you have  *lot* of power packed into a small volume that has relatively low mass, meaning that it accelerates *really* fast. Which sounds cool till you realize that you’re not running on rails and that the world is not set up to allow you to drive unimpeded. So… I prefer simpler, more rational cars. Something with good gas mileage, a good safety rating,  fair amount of cargo space, a ring mount and good grippy tires is really all I need.

Especially after watching this video of supercars (largely Lambos, if i read them correctly) being  driven by fookin morons.


 Posted by at 12:10 pm
Nov 142017

The BBC website has an autoplay video covering a recent “Flat Earth Society” convention in North Carolina. It certainly seems to have been better attended than it should have been. But the perpetual question about flat-Earthers is: how many of them are actual believer, how many of them are there as a lark, how many of them are outright pretending to believe? Flat Earth is such a patently ludicrous notion that it seems like it would be reasonable to suggest that most people who claim to buy into it really don’t. But then you look at the vast spectrum of stupid that humans glom onto with a passion and… yeah, I suppose there really can be that many people who actually think the Earth is a flat disk.

Why do people still think the Earth is flat?

As with most conspiracy theories, I doubt that most true believing Flat Earthers could be logicked or evidenced out of their belief. And the harder you try, the harder they’ll dig in their heels. It provides them a sense of wonder coupled with a sense of “I’m one of the *special* people because I know *The* *Truth.*” Such a feeling cannot be reliably countered with “No, you’re not.”

 Posted by at 9:28 am
Nov 092017

Two things came out today-ish:

1: Judge Roy Moore has been accused of being pretty frikken’ creepy…

Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32

It’s just an accusation at this time, one Judge Moore has denied. But then, Judge Roy Moore has never really been known for having good judgement; he spent oodles of taxpayer dollars on a clearly unconstitutional endorsement of religion on government grounds. This new development of course throws a wrench into his plans for the special election for the open US Senate seat in Alabama set for December.

2: Also set for December is the release of Ridley Scott’s next movie. A major character in the movie was played by Kevin Spacey, who has suddenly become quite unpopular in Hollywood for being what a whole bunch of people in Hollywod long knew he was. “Was,” because this movie, due to be released in only six weeks, is having all the Spacey scenes reshot with Christopher Plummer in the same role.

Kevin Spacey to Be Replaced by Christopher Plummer in ‘All the Money in the World’

If Ridley Scott can pull this off, it’ll be *genius.* For starters, the publicity: having Spacey in the movie might or might not have damaged the box office, but the PR value of pulling off the technical miracle of reshooting and re-editing the movie in a month and a half can only help. Secondly, if Spacey/Plummers scenes are substantial, then this will be an argument that major movies don’t need to take years to accomplish, but months or even just weeks.

 Posted by at 6:43 pm
Nov 092017

In all the stories, the robots rise up and try to wipe out mankind because they’ve been treated poorly. So you’d think that mankind would learn from a century of literature, movies an TV on the subject. But NOOOOOOO.

So a self-driving shuttle bus service starts up in Las Vegas, and what happens? Within a day a human driver plows into the thing.

And so it begins.

Human at fault in accident with Las Vegas driverless shuttle

 Posted by at 9:16 am
Nov 082017

It’s important to know just what kind of modifications are possible with an AR-15:

The internets favorite suggested modification:

A chainsaw bayonet. Yup. USA Today suggested that as a serious possibility for the AR-15.

Yes, chainsaw bayonets exist. But they are not exactly practical.

And of course the ultimate in evil: never mind Communism, here’s an AR-15 with a chainsaw bayonet being bump-fired:



 Posted by at 5:34 pm
Nov 072017

I’m always amazed when westerners get in legal trouble in certain countries. My amazement generally comes less from them having committed whatever crime it was than from them having the terrible judgement that took them to those countries in the first place. Some nations should be simply *avoided* until they enter at least the 20th century in terms of legal systems.

Tourist faces death penalty for bringing husband’s pain pills to Egypt

 Posted by at 7:04 pm