Nov 202017

The headline is more than a little misleading. “Mad Mike” here isn’t a rocket scientist; in fact, this actual-Flat-Earther states quite clearly that he doesn’t believe in science. Still, he spent a whole lot of money building himself a “skycycle”- like rocket vehicle with which to lob himself into the air.

If you have time to kill and want to chuckle sadly, take a look at this winners Facebook page. He’s not just any Flat Earther, he’s one of those belligerent ones. He thinks that somehow lobbing himself a short distance into the sky will “prove” the Flat Earth delusion to be true… where somehow decades of high altitude balloons, sounding rockets, orbital flights and missions to the moon and beyond somehow all seemed to miss it.

And if there was any lasting doubt that the news media is just not very good, here’s a collection of headlines that will make aerospace engineers – including former rocket engineers like myself – want to pull their hair out:

Self-Taught Rocket Scientist Mad Mike Hughes Plans to Launch Over Ghost Town

This barmy self-taught scientist called ‘Mad Mike’ is going to launch himself over California in a homemade rocket

Not only is there a whole lot of copying off each other – rather than, you know, actual journalismizing – there’s the repeated mis-use of the word “scientist.” Even disregarding the fact that he doesn’t believe in  science, there’s the basic fact that he’s not actually *doing* any science.

 Posted by at 11:12 am
Nov 142017

I’m a boring man, I admit if. I’d love for someone to (legally) give me a supercar… because I could sell it and pay off my mortgage. The idea of such cars is appealing, but the reality is that you have  *lot* of power packed into a small volume that has relatively low mass, meaning that it accelerates *really* fast. Which sounds cool till you realize that you’re not running on rails and that the world is not set up to allow you to drive unimpeded. So… I prefer simpler, more rational cars. Something with good gas mileage, a good safety rating,  fair amount of cargo space, a ring mount and good grippy tires is really all I need.

Especially after watching this video of supercars (largely Lambos, if i read them correctly) being  driven by fookin morons.


 Posted by at 12:10 pm
Nov 142017

The BBC website has an autoplay video covering a recent “Flat Earth Society” convention in North Carolina. It certainly seems to have been better attended than it should have been. But the perpetual question about flat-Earthers is: how many of them are actual believer, how many of them are there as a lark, how many of them are outright pretending to believe? Flat Earth is such a patently ludicrous notion that it seems like it would be reasonable to suggest that most people who claim to buy into it really don’t. But then you look at the vast spectrum of stupid that humans glom onto with a passion and… yeah, I suppose there really can be that many people who actually think the Earth is a flat disk.

Why do people still think the Earth is flat?

As with most conspiracy theories, I doubt that most true believing Flat Earthers could be logicked or evidenced out of their belief. And the harder you try, the harder they’ll dig in their heels. It provides them a sense of wonder coupled with a sense of “I’m one of the *special* people because I know *The* *Truth.*” Such a feeling cannot be reliably countered with “No, you’re not.”

 Posted by at 9:28 am
Nov 092017

In all the stories, the robots rise up and try to wipe out mankind because they’ve been treated poorly. So you’d think that mankind would learn from a century of literature, movies an TV on the subject. But NOOOOOOO.

So a self-driving shuttle bus service starts up in Las Vegas, and what happens? Within a day a human driver plows into the thing.

And so it begins.

Human at fault in accident with Las Vegas driverless shuttle

 Posted by at 9:16 am
Nov 092017

I tried to scan some documents tonight, and the results were rather disturbing. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, but now it’s *really* bad. What could cause this, and can it be fixed… or is it time to take this scanner out into the woods and use it for target practice?

Note the lines. They *should* be straight. The paper original has straight lines, and the paper itself is good and flat, so it’s clearly something in the scanner itself.

 Posted by at 12:05 am
Nov 082017

It’s important to know just what kind of modifications are possible with an AR-15:

The internets favorite suggested modification:

A chainsaw bayonet. Yup. USA Today suggested that as a serious possibility for the AR-15.

Yes, chainsaw bayonets exist. But they are not exactly practical.

And of course the ultimate in evil: never mind Communism, here’s an AR-15 with a chainsaw bayonet being bump-fired:



 Posted by at 5:34 pm
Nov 072017

I’m always amazed when westerners get in legal trouble in certain countries. My amazement generally comes less from them having committed whatever crime it was than from them having the terrible judgement that took them to those countries in the first place. Some nations should be simply *avoided* until they enter at least the 20th century in terms of legal systems.

Tourist faces death penalty for bringing husband’s pain pills to Egypt

 Posted by at 7:04 pm