Apr 212015

So, first we have this:

Toni Morrison: ‘I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman’

Ms. Morrison is apparently an author of some kind (not science fiction, so who cares). According to the article, she thinks that America remains a terribly racist place, and that our racial problems won’t be over until two things happen:

1) “I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back.”


2) “And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’, I will say yes.”

As for #1, the tale of Dillon Taylor comes close to fitting.

I figured #2 would be easy enough to counter. Surely white rapists of black women get convicted on a regular basis. But as it turns out, finding such a conviction is kinda difficult. According to the US FedGuvs Bureau of Justice Statistics:

Table 42. Personal crimes of violence, 2008:
Percent distribution of single-offender victimizations, by type of crime,
race of victim, and perceived race of offender

In short, whites were the victims of rape/sexual assault 117,640 times in 2008, while blacks were the victims 46,580 times. Whites were raped by other whites 74.9% of the time, and by blacks 16.4% of the time, and by other/unknown 8.7% of the time. These percentages kinda-sorta match up with the racial breakdown of US society as a whole. But where it gets interesting… blacks were raped by other blacks 74.8% of the time, by other/unknown 25.2% of the time and by whites 0.0% of the time. Once again: zero reported rapes of black people by white people. Granted, in the 25.2% of the time that’s “unknown” there could well be white rapists, but you’d generally expect that the breakdown of the “unknowns” to be more or less similar to the breakdown of the “knowns.”

What’s the lesson here? It’s pretty simple. For Toni Morrison to finally start feeling good about America… black people would need to start getting raped by white people at vastly higher levels than what’s currently happening.

This might not be what Toni Morrison actually wants. But then again, she’s  a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and if the Peace Prize is anything to go off of, the non-science Nobels are markers of incompetent dumbassery more than anything else.

 Posted by at 10:03 am
Apr 212015

So there I was, typing in another award-worthy blog post when suddenly I couldn’t save it. Opening another window, I found that the blog was unavailable. And that the up-ship.com website as a whole was unavailable, yanked off ye olde interwebs.

Long story short: there were some problems with some of the files in the innards of the blog. And the anti-malware alert went off at the web hosting service, so they shut down the entire website (including aerospaceprojectsreview.com) until I resolved it. This took many hours, but everything *seems* to be back up and running now.

Not really how I wanted to spend the night, but there it is. If anyone encounters anything wonky, let me know.

I need a nap.

 Posted by at 7:32 am
Apr 192015

Wow.  Some people just really, really suck at the “parenting” thing.

When Catholic Homeschooled Kids Get Lonely

The author is the parent of a pair of homeschooled children. Why are the children lonely? Because the parents are driving home the message that the child’s sole purpose in life is to, in essence, be Jesus’ slave, and that any other interest – music, TV, friendship – is not only secondary, it takes time and energy away from the attention that the child is supposed to be devoting to Christ.

The worst of it is the “letter from Jesus” that one or other of the parents left for the daughters to find. This supposed missive from the almighty is a whiny complaint that the child is a disappointment.

Ye gods.

Maybe if you stop and think about this, this will give you an idea as to how I feel watching you give to others all that you were created to give to Me. You were created by my Father for Me. He brought you into this world for one reason, and one reason only: to be My friend.

And yet, Me you have ignored while longing for human friendships instead. You were brought into this world by My Father to love Me. And yet, you have given that love to your toys, your DVDs, your music, the pleasures of this world, and most of all to yourself. But to Me, you have given no love. You were brought into this world by My Father for Me, not for yourself or for man. Why, then, do you cry for man, long for man, and search for man night and day?

Yikes. I gather that “guilt” is a big feature of the Catholic culture, but dayum. This seems like a prescription for a horror show.

 Posted by at 7:53 pm
Apr 022015

Putin: try to take Crimea away and I will give you a nuclear war

You know, I can understand having an 80’s nostalgia. But come on, there are better aspects of that time to focus on. If Putin were to hang up some Debbie Gibson and Tiffany posters and listen to some Flock of Seagulls, maybe he’d get over his Soviet-style nuclear aggression.

In seriousness: there seems to be a whole lot of crazy over yonder.

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Apr 012015

NASA scientist: California has one year of water left

What it *should* say: California has one year of above-ground fresh water in its reservoirs left.



Now, the water shortage in California is actually a Big Deal. The state government today finally got around to passing some water rationing; it’ll be interesting to see just how badly the Californians ignore it and keep watering their lawns.

But assuming that the drought doesn’t magically turn itself around (and there’s good reason to think that wacky weather in the US is being driven in part by economic development in China… something I doubt the Chinese will bank back on in order to help us out), California will have to think long and hard about actually *doing* something about the water shortage. Desalination plants should dot the shoreline. But there are some alternatives to conventional desalination plants: how about offshore wind farms which use the power of the wind to turn turbine blades… which are filled with tubes that suck up ocean water and spray it into the sky at the top of the arc? Sure, the efficiency will be pathetically low… but you’ll increase downwind humidity some. Or pump filtered but non-desalinated water up to various mountaintops, and on the hottest, driest days of the year spray that water up into the wind. The water evaporates and the salt filters down to the ground; locally you’ll salt the earth, but downwind you’ll add not only water vapor and precipitation, but perhaps also increase cloud cover, reflecting sunlight and reducing solar heating, countering Global Warming. I’m unsure of the wind patterns, but if the mountains around Death Valley are appropriate as a location to add water vapor, I’m pretty sure adding *salt* to the ground won’t really cause a problem. Similarly, if you pump seawater to to the Bonneville Salt Flats and try to flood the place, you won’t really cause much harm by adding salt to the salt.

 Posted by at 8:21 pm
Apr 012015

Heart transplant recipient Anthony Stokes dies in police chase, crash

The story reads like a bad sitcom. Two years ago Stokes was denied a heart transplant because of a history of medical non-compliance… i.e., he wasn’t taking his meds, so the doctors figured if he got a new heart he’d screw up the opportunity and wind up wasting the transplant. However, “civil rights” groups got involved, caused a legal ruckus and got the docs to change their ruling. So Stokes got his heart. What did he do with his new lease on life?

  • Carjacked  a car from a mall
  • Shot at an elderly woman in a home burglary
  • Led the police on a high-speed chase through populated areas
  • Hit a pedestrian
  • Crashed the car (which, again, was not his), nearly cutting it in half
  • Died.

Not mentioned in the story: whoever *should* have received the heart that Stokes got, and instead had to wait, or perhaps died.

Stories like this make me yearn for the day – hopefully not *too* far in the future – when simple organs like the heart can be replaced not with donations, but clones. Then the issue won’t be “who is the bet fit for what we have,” but “who can pay.” Had that been the case here, the “civil rights” groups that demanded that Stokes get his heart could have simply passed a hat around and collected the funds to clone him a heart.

UPDATE: I have doubts about the current structural integrity of his organs, for those wondering if they can be harvested for further transplantation:

CBeXUN8UwAAiaDI.jpg large

One good thing about this news item: it led to the funniest Twitter exchange of the day.

 Posted by at 9:33 am