Sep 212016

So, last few days I’ve been impressively ill. Started with I believe some dandy allergic reactions to some really bad air quality… some farms were burned to the ground around here a few days back, filling the house with the smoke of burning fields (fields of burning ragweed and poison ivy, seemingly. The allergies seemed to transition smoothly into a cold or flu, which I am finally starting. to crawl out of. Still feel like garbage.

So, in lieu of standard terribly deep philosophizin’, here’s a metal cover of “Everything is Awesome.”




 Posted by at 6:43 pm
Sep 182016

Story one: terrorist bombs in New York City.

New York explosion leaves dozens injured

One bomb went off in a dumpster. Another one was found unexploded. It’s a pressure-cooker bomb, perhaps similar to the Boston Bombing bombs.

Story two:

Philadelphia gunman left rambling letter, police commissioner says

The shooter shot a whole bunch of people, killing one. Seems in his rambling letter he expressed his hatred of the police. Hmmm. I wonder if there are any current political movements whose anti-police rhetoric these last few years might have inspired this guy.


 Posted by at 12:50 am
Sep 162016

The past week or more, Raedthinn has been acting a little “off.” Picky with his food, verbally  complaining much, sleeping in seclusion. A few days ago I finally noticed something wrong with his top left fang. For lack of a better description, it appeared to have Fang Cancer. So yesterday he went to the vet who declared “really bad tooth decay.” Today I picked him up, sans one fang. So after having lost a fang and a half last year, and one more today, he’s now down  to a fang and a half.

This displeases him.


 Posted by at 10:23 pm
Sep 062016

A politician completely losing control of her lungs during the course of a speech:

This has got to be a nightmare for a politician. As someone with bad lungs myself due to repeated bouts of bronchitis, coughing is for me an ever-present annoyance, something I have to work hard to suppress (such as during interviews on The Space Show). But the bulk of the work I do does not depend on me keeping coughing under control… unlike Hillary here.

So, how will this be spun? The initial spin will be, I’m sure, “It’s nothing, no big deal.” If this continues or worsens, “Look how much she cares, she’s willing to put her own health at risk because she cares so much.”

 Posted by at 11:46 am
Sep 012016

UPDATED: See more at the end.

Sure, “crazy” and “stupid” are obvious. But I’m thinking more along the lines of “vapid.” There’s something about the woman’s voice here that I find to be *really* grating. Not just the insane worldview on display, but just the voice itself, the speaking style that seems… I dunno. Like, omigawd, old-school Valley Girl but with a dash of stoner thrown in, so that her *voice* sound… what? Lazy? How to describe it?

Take a look at the video after the break and despair.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:58 am
Sep 012016

Well, this ain’t good. During propellant loading operations, an explosion occurred at the Falcon 9 launch pad, destroying the rocket and the Amos 6 communications satellite.

Details are fuzzy, but some reports suggest that it was the hydrazine propellant for the *satellite* that was the cause of the explosion rather than the Falcon 9 itself.

Explosion at SpaceX launch pad destroys rocket, satellite

So far, very little to go on. All the videos I’ve seen start well after the explosion; not too many people were filming the rocket at the time, as nothing was scheduled to happen right about then. I’m sure more will come out later. The engineer in me say “probably just one of them things, sometimes mistakes are made or mechanisms fail,” but the more paranoid part of me wonders about:

  1. It was an Israeli satellite. There are people who don’t like the Israelis.
  2. SpaceX’s recent successes have irritated some big-money competitors, who have had to crank out new designs of their own in order to compete. They won’t be saddened to see SpaceX take a hit.

So, which would be worse? Bog-standard engineering/operations failure… or sabotage?

UPDATE: Video of the explosion itself:

Time between visible explosion and audible is about 12 seconds, so the camera is probably about 2.5 miles away.

Here are some craptacular screenshots from the above video:

spacexexplosion 1  spacexexplosion 2 

Note that the explosion seems to originate from just below the payload fairing…

  spacexexplosion 4spacexexplosion 5

The explosion starts up top, and you can see it march down through the booster, bursting the tanks.

spacexexplosion 6

A few seconds in, you can see the payload fairing drop. By this point the booster itself is long gone; it seem like the fairing was actually being supported by the tower. Note that the top of the tower is now bent over.

Since the explosion originated below the payload shroud, my guess is that the *payload* didn’t initially explode. Looks like either the upper stage or the feed lines leading into the payload. In either event, it’s damned odd to have an explosion at the point in the process. A static discharge event? A hydrazine leak onto something catalytic?

 Posted by at 11:20 am