Aug 312015
 

If for some reason you’re looking for an actual animal from the actual fossil record that’ll make you go “huh,” then Atopodentatus should probably do the job for you.

Atopodentatus was a reptile from the Triassic, found in China and described in 2014. On the whole it looked like a more or less standard aquatic reptile, something like a big iguana… but there was something really, really wrong with its head.

atopodentatus_unicus__by_malvit-d75p182

Source

Scary as this beast looked, that funky jawline full of fangs would have been largely harmless to anything much bigger than a bug. It seems this thing was a filter feeder, using that immobile vertical “mouth” in its upper beak as a trap for the worms or shrimp or whatever it likely scraped up from the mud on the ocean floor.

Still: yeeeesh.

 Posted by at 2:11 pm
Aug 192015
 

The smoke from the fires in California is filthying up the northern Utah skies. The scent is faint, but detectable… but the *sight* is obvious in both day and night. Not only is the muck in the air visible across the distances, it’s blisteringly obvious if you shine a flashlight up into the night sky.

WP_20150819_005 WP_20150819_011  WP_20150819_026Dsc_23832015-08-18 pano 1

This gives me and my compromised lungs a bit of an uncomfortableness.

 Posted by at 6:32 pm
Aug 132015
 

Jeb Bush forced to abandon rally early after activists start chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’

He was not “forced” to abandon the rally; he chose to. He surrendered. He could have shouted them down, or mocked them, or waited them out. It will be interesting to see how Trump handles *his* inevitable gaggle of screeching  SJWs attempting to shut him down. If he actually defeats them (which I would imagine would include security hustling them out of the area), he will go far towards earning himself the Republican party candidacy.

 Posted by at 12:02 am
Aug 122015
 

An interesting article about the damage that has been done, is being done and will continue to be done by the politically correct craziness of “trigger warnings” and similar idiocy:

The Coddling of the American Mind

And equally interesting, and far funnier, is the related discussion thread on this on Fark.com.

It was in that Fark thread that I was introduced to this cartoon from nearly a generation ago, that is now disturbingly prescient:

plif

Yikes. Nailed it. Sadly.

The Fark thread includes people barking at each other over whether PC and trigger warnings are good and proper or not. Some included screenshots of relevant items that show that a lot of this has gone way, way too far…

ptsdtriggerptsdtrigger2ptsdtrigger3

Ye gods. How do you expect to get into Valhalla with *that* attitude?

Back to the original article… it ends with a collection of the “cognitive disorders” that are responsible for – and resulting from – the last generation of political correctness.

 

Common Cognitive Disorders

A partial list from Robert L. Leahy, Stephen J. F. Holland, and Lata K. McGinn’s Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders (2012).

1. Mind reading. You assume that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.”

2. Fortune-telling. You predict the future negatively: things will get worse, or there is danger ahead. “I’ll fail that exam,” or “I won’t get the job.”

3. Catastrophizing.You believe that what has happened or will happen will be so awful and unbearable that you won’t be able to stand it. “It would be terrible if I failed.”

4. Labeling. You assign global negative traits to yourself and others. “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.”

5. Discounting positives. You claim that the positive things you or others do are trivial. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.”

6. Negative filtering. You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.”

7. Overgeneralizing. You perceive a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.”

8. Dichotomous thinking. You view events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.”

9. Blaming. You focus on the other person as the source of your negative feelings, and you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”

10. What if? You keep asking a series of questions about “what if” something happens, and you fail to be satisfied with any of the answers. “Yeah, but what if I get anxious?,” or “What if I can’t catch my breath?”

11. Emotional reasoning. You let your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.”

12. Inability to disconfirm. You reject any evidence or arguments that might contradict your negative thoughts. For example, when you have the thought I’m unlovable, you reject as irrelevant any evidence that people like you. Consequently, your thought cannot be refuted. “That’s not the real issue. There are deeper problems. There are other factors.”

 Posted by at 5:42 pm
Aug 102015
 

Checking out tonights TV listings, at 8 PM and 11PM (Mountain Time… go ahead and convert it yerself, ya coastie buggers) on the “American Heroes” channel (287 on DirecTV) is:

Hitler’s Death Ray: Nazi scientists work on  developing a solar mirror that could destroy any city on Earth while situated 5,100 miles in space.

I have the feeling that I’ll wish that I had the capability to record this. VHS doesn’t work anymore, don’t have DVR, so there ya go. I’ve got the urge to yell at something monumentally stupid, and this would seem to have a full hours potential for “Ancient Aliens”-level dumbth coupled with either lazy CGI or potentially surprisingly spiffy CGI.

UPDATE: Well, unshockingly, that was crap. Spent a total of maybe two minutes on the Nazi Space Mirror, providing exactly zero new information. *Claimed* that there were detailed plans, showed zero evidence of it. The rest of the “documentary” was a generic “Nazis had advanced technology and built rockets, blah, blah” schtick. Even threw in Die Glocke to round out the quota of requisite bullshit.

Cripes, the narrator couldn’t even get Eugen Sanger’s name right: repeatedly called him “Sanager.” Bah.

 Posted by at 3:48 pm
Aug 052015
 

Years back I lived kinda near San Francisco. I didn’t visit the city too often, however. Sure, it was a beautiful place full of interesting stuff… but it was loaded to the gills with bums and scumbags and hippies and other associated ruiners-of-civilization. For example:

Three-Story-Tall Lamp Post Collapses Onto Occupied Car, Urine To Blame

In short, dogs, drunks and bums whizzed on this pole often enough to have corroded the base so that it toppled over and whanged a car.

what_a_pisser

 Posted by at 10:54 pm