Feb 212017

Here are two more images to haunt your dreams and harrow, yes, your very soul. Two ads from the early 70’s that demonstrate not only tragic notions of what makes good mens fashions, but also incomprehensible notions of how to sell said fashions. I’m guessing that this was a result of the fetish for “machismo” that filled the 70’s… not so much actual masculinity as a theatrical parody of it.

Pictures after the break to protect fragile minds.

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 Posted by at 1:41 am
Feb 172017

Ugh. I feel several points dumber for having watched this. I shudder to imagine how idiotic I’d feel if I paid money to see the full thing.

It is pretty sad that so much time, effort and resources are expended on patently false nonsense. More than a century after the facts become universally available that shoot down the pillars of the argument here, people still trot this rubbish out. Sigh. But then, centuries after communism was shown to be disastrous, people still trot it out. Millenia after the Earth was shown to be spherical, flat Earthers still exist. Astrology. Ghost hunters. Dowsers. It seems that being objectively, provably false just makes some ideas immortal.

Especially sad that it is readily shot down, line by line:




 Posted by at 11:41 pm
Feb 172017

Yay, modern toys! I don’t recall the talking dolls from *my* childhood posing this problem…

German parents told to destroy Cayla dolls over hacking fears

Short form: looks like your standard plastic doll for little girls. Has some electronics in it… electronics that include a Bluetooth device that is hooked up to the internet. It can understand speech and will hold conversations with the child… apparently not unlike Siri or other modern voice recognition systems. On one hand, it is an obvious application of technology that is now several years old. On the other hand, it’s new enough that the basic idea still seems pretty creepy just on its own. But it gets better: apparently the Bluetooth system is not very secure and is readily hackable. This means a few fun possibilities:

  1. It can be turned into a listening device.
  2. Since it can talk, a hacker could use it to tell your children… things.

Imagine *that* one. A young child has a beloved talking toy that suddenly starts telling the child subtle and evil things. “Mommy doesn’t love you anymore.” “You’re too fat.” “Tell Daddy to vote for the Democrat.” “Pour gasoline on the puppy.” “Satan is your friend.” “Allahu ackbar.” “Give your little brother a special hug with the kitchen knife.”

Yeeesh. No wonder the German government is telling parents to simply destroy the thing.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm
Feb 132017

One of President Giant Middle Finger’s campaign promises was to fix up Americas rather decrepit physical infrastructure. If there were any doubts that things are troubled, the dam in Oroville, California, seems to be working overtime to dispel them.

Oroville Dam Spillway Failure: Nearly 190,000 Ordered to Evacuate

This is especially depressing when one considers the tens of trillions that have been squandered over the decades on useless and downright counter-productive social welfare programs. Imagine what we could have done if, say, half of the Medicare expenses had instead been spent on infrastructure. And the space program, so long as I’m dreaming.

This is a dam in California. One wonders if it would be currently having these problems if California and San Francisco and the like had spent there money not on making bums comfortable, but instead putting them to work. A few thousand drugged-up homeless equipped with shovels and notified that “you want lunch, you do work” could have moved a whole lot of earth over the last few decades.

 Posted by at 3:52 pm
Feb 122017

Has China beaten Nasa in building warp-drive technology dubbed the ‘impossible engine’?


OK, the basic claim seems to be that China has built an “EM engine.” Fine, whatever. But the article goes off the rails in a hurry. Firstly, there’s the title of the article: the Em engine is *not*  a warp drive. Then the article claims that an EM engine could send a ship to Mars in a matter of weeks. Ummm… no. The tests that have been done have shown that if there is any net thrust at all (and there’s every reason to suspect that this is actually a matter of experimental error), the levels of thrust are *exceedingly* low. Instead of shoving a ship to Mars in a matter of weeks, a few weeks at full thrust will *maybe* rack up a few meter per second of delta V.

Fake space news, baby.

 Posted by at 6:30 pm
Feb 112017

Apparently the makers of Star Trek: Discovery think that Klingons look like this:


Star Trek: Discovery is supposed to be set about ten years before Kirk took command of the Enterprise, in the “original” timeline. And it has been established that in that timeline, and at that point in time, due to the “Augment” virus introduced in season four of “Enterprise,” the Klingons look like the swarthy humans of the original series. So WTF is going on here? Are we going to get some explanation that these are mutant Klingons who reacted weirdly to the virus? Early experiments in fixing the virus? or is this just the usual “I know TV producers… they love to change things?”

 Posted by at 9:14 pm
Feb 042017

I defy anyone who remembers the seventies to remember them fondly *and* accurately after seeing these mens fashion abominations. I suspect that the combination of stresses – Viet Nam, massive cultural shifts, the constant threat of nuclear annihilation at the hands of the Soviets, hippies – drove the population temporarily insane.

Note: dates are in the filenames. Pics are after the break to protect sensitive eyes from these horrifying visions from the dim, dark past.

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 Posted by at 9:10 pm
Feb 042017

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rockets Prone To Cracks According To Government Watchdogs

Well, crap. Seems the blades of the turbopumps crack more than they should… to the point where NASA has apparently said that they form an unacceptable risk for manned launches. Additionally, it’s reported that neither SpaceX nor Boeing will be able to lunch astronauts into orbit in 2018… meaning the US will need to rely on the good graces of the Russians for that much longer.

 Posted by at 12:11 am