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.

Just in Britain though. Gah.

The trailer put together for this re-release is pretty spiffy:

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Goliath Encounter: Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest

Photo at the link. Knock yourself out.

But wait! There’s more!

The sound of little hooves in the night

The “hooves” in this instance are the claws of the puppy-spider in question clicking on rocks and stuff as it goes stomping around.


On the one hand, there is a good, rational case to be made for not freaking out, for not panicking, for maintaining a rational outlook. On the other hand, there is a good case to be made for caution. But Ebola seems to make people ignore both of these. And it seems to be making people *stupid.* For example:

Thomas Duncan*knew* he had been in contact with Ebola, yet thought it’d be a good idea to fly halfway across the planet.

Nurse Amber Vinson, who worked with known Ebola victim Thomas Duncan, decided to hop *two* jetliners and fly across the country.

A worker at the same hospital who “may have” handled Ebola samples thought it’d be a good idea to hop on board a *cruise* *ship* and has now been quarantined in the Caribbean.

It’s almost as if one of the symptoms of Ebola is an unaccountable urge to travel and spread the virus.

But at least now President Obama has selected an “Ebola Czar” to deal with the issue. Who? One “Ron Klain,” someone not immediately familiar. So who is this guy? What are his medical credentials? Well, fortunately he has a Wikipedia page:

Ronald A. “Ron” Klain is an American lawyer and political operative best known for serving as Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents – Al Gore (1995–1999) and Joseph Biden (2009–2011).[1][2] He is an influential Democratic Party insider. Earlier in his career, he was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Byron White during the Court’s 1987 and 1988 Terms and worked on Capitol Hill, where he was Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination. He was portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the HBO film Recount depicting the tumult of the 2000 presidential election.



State rep defends ‘Machine Gun Social’

Ummm… okay, so we’ve got a Republican Ohio state rep who’s going to have a public campaign fundraiser – called a “Machine Gun Social” – where there will be a few fully automatic weapons available for the public to shoot. As far as campaign fundraisers go, that sounds like a hoot (caveat: there will be only one gun at a time and it will be mechanically locked so it can’t shoot anywhere but downrange). Who could have a problem with that? Why… the Republican’s Democrat opponent, who opines:

“It’s hard to imagine the words “machine gun” and “social” in the same sentence. It’s an oxymoron. It doesn’t jive. It causes cognitive dissonance. … In my opinion, there is nothing social about machine guns, ever. They are weapons. The reason they exist is to kill people.



South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply To Victims Of Domestic Violence

No commentary necessary.

Well, crap. My plans, developed yesterday after my car died and got left at the shop, was that I’d spend this weekend working on CAD drafting and modeling. But a small issue has arisen what stomped on those plans.

Starting a few weeks ago, I developed a recurring pain in my right shoulder. Some days it was there, some days not. At it’s worst, it would prevent me from raising the arm very far, but that mostly inconvenienced thing like raising items over my head. Didn’t interfere with the computer or driving. Yesterday it was fine.

This morning I awoke to agony. I have been unable to raise the arm at all, except for straight out to the side (which is not terribly useful for most common applications). The right hand and elbow function, but the shoulder? It hurts hanging straight down; it screams in any other position. The end result is that I can position this little netbook so I can type and post my gibberish, but proper manipulation of a mouse has proved impossible so far, stymieing my plans to get some damned work done.

Like as not, tomorrow (Sunday) my shoulder will be more or less fine. But it’s also possible that the pain will be worse, and then there’s Monday when I still won’t have my car.

A few years back I had tennis elbow; this feels much like that, except on a grander scale. Choking down as much aspirin and ibuprofin as I feel comfortable with has not noticeably knocked down the pain, nor slathering on stuff like Ben Gay or Voltaren. The tennis elbow took more than a year to fade away, but there was one treatment that resulted in pretty substantial pain reduction: jamming a big-ass needle into the joint and pumping it full of steroids. If the same sort of issue is the problem here… I shudder to imagine what sort of icepick of a hypodermic would be called for. Bleah.

Here’s a tip: there may not be any good places to make jokes about having Ebola… but on board an airliner? Just about the *worst* possible place. Not only will you inconvenience, annoy and in some cases panic the other passengers, you will make the stewardess get on the PA system and call you an idiot.

At least the bulk of the passengers seen here seem to be taking it well. That seems to be one of the features of the Ebola outbreak… the authorities and the media are freaking the hell out, but the general populace? Meh.

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Yes, yes, freedom of speech. But airplanes have *long* been places of limited humor. Joking about hijackings or bombs, for instance, would get your kiester in a sling decades ago.

I have been giving vague consideration to flying back home a few months from now. But considering the state of my lungs, the crappy recycled quality of the air and the presence of coughing, hacking strangers in close proximity, I’d probably only do so wearing a dust mask or some such. But now I wonder: if I did so, would I cause a passenger, crew or official freakout? Or, perhaps, would I be just one of a number of passengers so equipped?

You know how when things are obviously turning to gaFrom the rbage you can rely on government officials to downplay the situation? How the Department of Defense is all about the “we can defend the US, full stop” certainty? Yeah…

From the website:

Kelly: Southcom Keeps Watch on Ebola Situation

The potential spread of Ebola into Central and Southern America is a real possibility, the commander of U.S. Southern Command told an audience at the National Defense University here yesterday.

“By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly said. “That’s horrific. And there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”

“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”


In 1972 the Holland America cruise ship S.S. Statendam set sail for a spot off the coast of Florida where the passengers got to watch the launch of Apollo 17. Also held on board was the 4th Conference on Planetology and Space Mission Planning. This conference, as described at , was a complete disaster. It was a sad, sad tale of lost opportunities and odd choices. It has also largely faded from memory.

I have a photocopy of the brochure selling the cruise and conference, and have scanned it in as a PDF. The quality is not spectacular, but it’s nevertheless an interesting bit of aerospace history. I’ve posted the PDF for $5 APR Patreon patrons over HYAR.

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