A “hero” is someone who knows there are dire risks and yet does what needs doing. In this case… the cat was asleep, the kid was asleep, a bullet came in the window, hit the cat and missed the kid. The claim is that had the cat not diverted the bullet, it would’ve hit the kid. The cat was more “innocent bystander” than “active hero,” but even so… You Do Not Shoot Cats.
Fortunately the cat survived, though it was of course injured. If’n ya wanna help, the family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for the vet bills (note: the bills have apparently been paid in full, so….
So, what links these two? Both are cases of people who are defined by their ability to be offended by the inoffensive. Both are cases of people who think that the imagined slights they wrap their lives around are so serious that they feel the need to take it out on others. Both are likely pointers towards the society of tomorrow where wholly *insane* people control the very words people use.
Proof that even the mighty M-1 Abrams main battle tank can be converted into scrap metal by a small anti-tank missile if it gets hit just right. This is reportedly a Saudi M-1 taken out by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Note that just after the strike, the videographer utters the phrase the world has come to associate with things blowing up.
Also: it looks like all the images I’ve posted since 2008 are here, but the links are screwed up. The image below of the cat? Seems to be fine.
Take, for example, the “factory floor” photo from This Recent Post. The image is no longer visible in the post, and if you click on the link you get a 404 Error. That’s because the link is *wrong.* The link you get is:
Yay! The Saturn V blueprint is back! Again, since the blog-mutilation, the file was still there, but the image being called for was “http://up-ship.com/blog/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/headersat1.jpg” rather than “http://up-ship.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/headersat1.jpg.” Note the spurious additional “/blog” term that was added to the callout. Damned if I know how or why. Note that poor Buttons has been removed from the Tip Jar. Frrrmph.
This seems to be a joint venture between the Chinese and TerraPower, a Bellevue, Washington company. While it’s good to see an American company building a new reactor, two things come to mind:
1) It would be better if the development was being done here in the US, for the benefit of the American electrical grid, American construction workers, American nuclear engineers and the American economy
2) This would be the same China that’s trying to gobble up the South China Sea *and* recently gave the world this (note: filmed by an American millenial, with the sort of limited vocabulary we’ve come to expect from American millenials educated in the Department of Educations best style… so, y’know, NSFW):
A Russian tabloid has been flacking an audio recording that purports to a conversation between CIA operatives discussing bringing down the MH17 777 and blaming it on the Russians. Give it a listen. Reportedly a lot of Russians think this is pretty convincing. But people who are well versed in English… well, I’ve heard better line-reading by talentless airheads in bikinis pretending to be quantum physicists on Syfy/Asylum movies. The main speaker sounds like someone *attempting* an American accent. Another feller can’t decide if he’s English or Australian.
Someone clearly half-assed this piece of “evidence.” A lot of people seem to think that the Russian FSB (successor to the KGB) created this in order to try to shift blame of the downing of the jetliner to the US; but it is so laughably bad that it seems more likely that:
1) The tabloid pushing it created it – hardly a new event in the history of yellow journalism
2) The FSB actually *did* create it, but made it intentionally crappy in order to make people think the *CIA* created it in order to smear the Russians. Less likely, but maybe…
With the recent explosion in China, it’s worth reflecting on vaguely similar explosions in the US.
Most famous is perhaps the PEPCON explosion in Henderson, Nevada, in 1988. This was a fire at an ammonium perchlorate production facility; the AP – a solid salt that is used as an oxidizer in solid rocket motors from ICBMs to the Shuttle boosters – was stored rather densely packed in barrels made from plastic and aluminum – which are used as rocket *fuel.* Added excitement came from the fact that this rocket propellant manufacturing plant was built directly on top of a 16-inch high-pressure natural gas pipeline feeding into Las Vegas. The yield of the explosions has been estimated in the area of one kiloton. When PEPCON blew up, it took out the plants ability to produce ammonium perchlorate. This was bad, due to the strategic value of the stuff; fortunately, there were at the time two major manufacturers of AP at the time, the other being Kerr-McGee. But due to what can only be considered bad planning, the Kerr-McGee plant was only 1.5 miles from the PEPCON plant and also received some damage.
Another exciting blast was a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. While nowhere near as energetic as the PEPCON blast, this one had the benefit of happening in 2013, well into the era of cell phone video cameras. Also well into the era of people not having a whole hell of a lot of common sense.
Of course, these all pale compared to the Texas City explosion of 1947, where 2,100,000 kilos of ammonium nitrate fertilizer detonated on the cargo ship SS Grandcamp. One of the ships damaged in the blast was the SS High Flyer, which had an additional 872,000 kilos of ammonium nitrate; after 15 hours of onboard fires, this, too, detonated, tossing the ships propeller a mile inland. Some 580+ people were killed at Texas City.
Of course, not every explosion is unintentional. Back when the US had a spine and was developing and testing nukes, the military would from time to time set of monumental chemical explosions in order to do some calibration testing and the like. One such as the “Sailor Hat” test in 1965, where 500 tons of high explosives were detonated on the shore of Kaho’olawe Island, Hawaii, trashing several nearby ships.