Sep 222017

Kalashnikov statue changed because of German weapon

Woopsie. A statue commemorating Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the AK-47, was unveiled in Moscow this week. Looks like a good statue.  At the base of the stature there’s a sculpted “exploded view” diagram of the AK-47. Well… of the German StG 44, in fact, not the AK-47. They look similar to be sure, but they are not the same. And once that mistake was discovered, they delicately chopped the diagram off with an angle grinder. The link above shows the before and after photos.

This sort of screwup is not as uncommon as you might hope. Sometime circa 1994 I attended the unveiling of a veterans memorial on (or near, I forget exactly) Rock Island Arsenal. It consisted of polished black marble slabs, one for each war on up to the Persian Gulf War. Each slab had “art” laser or chemically etched into the surface; pictures rather than actual sculpture. I had a difficult time not making a scene when I realized that the Persian Gulf War slab showed what was *supposed* to be an AH-64 Apache, but was actually an Agusta A129 Mangusta, an Italian attack helicopter that the US military most assuredly did *not* use in Iraq.

This is also not an AK-47. Or is it? Hmmm…


So where are the statues of Eugene Stoner, Edward Teller and John Moses Browning? I suggest for every statue of Jefferson Davis or Robert E. Lee taken down, they be replaced with prominent American weapons designers.

 Posted by at 11:44 pm
Sep 212017

UC Irvine aims to transform public health with record-breaking $200-million donation

The donation comes with a bit of a hitch: it’s to be used to promote homeopathy.

On Monday, UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman announced that the Samuelis have donated $200 million to launch what he billed as the nation’s first universitywide enterprise to embed integrative health approaches in research, teaching and patient care.

“Integrative health approaches” in this context means “alternative medicine.” You know what we’d call “alternative medicine” if it actually worked? “Medicine.”

I suppose if it’s used to actually do good science on crap like homeopathy and reiki and psychic vampire repellent sprays, sure, fine, whatever. But I suspect that it’ll be used to ram woo into the medical industry *despite* the science.

 Posted by at 11:54 pm
Sep 212017

There is a time and a place for critters. My cats, for instance: their place is “my house” and their time is “all the time, because this is their house too.” But their place is *not,* say, the grocery store or the restaurant. Nor is it appropriate for women to take their genetic mutant fishbait yapdogs into restaurants and the like simply because they want to keep them nearby.

On the other hand: service animals, generally dogs. (NOTE: *real* service dogs, trained and certified) Their place is “pretty much everywhere.” Because they not only do a job, they’ve been *trained.* Cats and dogs, as I’ve said multiple times before, are On Our Team. But service dogs are even more so… they are *professional* members of Team Humanity. They get to go wherever the person who needs them gets to go.

The proper response to a service animal is, almost always, to *ignore* it. Sure, you see a dog and your instinct is to start baby-talking like an idjit and to come over and pet it… but it’s doing a job. Leave it alone. Your petting it will not only distract it, you could well cause a system failure.

There was a time when the only service dog you were likely to see was a seeing eye dog for the blind. But now there are dogs who can detect when their human is about to have an epileptic seizure, or go into sugar shock or something like that. And there are now service dogs trained to aid people with psychological issues, anxiety and PTSD and the like. You coming over and pestering the dog will not only throw it off, you might actually set off the issue that caused the person to need the dog in the first place. I admit, a decade or two ago I thought the idea of a service dog for mental issues was nonsense, but all evidence points to them being fully functional, real and useful. A PTSD service dog is no more nonsense than PTSD is. So if someone has been properly diagnosed with PTSD and the people and organizations who regulate PTSD dogs sign off on that someone having a service dog… I got no problem with that. And neither should anyone else.

But of course, the world is full to overflowing with people who missed out on the whole “rationality” and “empathy” development programs. Take this magnificent example of NSFW insanity:

Note how the dog remains calm throughout, as does the veteran. You know who else remained calm throughout? The womans husband/boyfriend/whatever. The look on his face, though… *priceless.* Ya gotta feel for the guy. How many years of this before *he* needs a therapy dog?


Repeat after me, kids: Leave. The. Dog. Alone.

So, let’s say you’re in a restaurant and you see someone with a service dog, and it is behaving itself. And your first thought is something like “ewww, the hygiene, the hygiene,” and your impulse is to get up and complain. Well, I have a very simple test for you. Look around. Does the restaurant allow *children?* If so:

 Posted by at 6:39 pm
Sep 192017

Feel free to insert your preferred political rant HERE. I’m’a go with “something something anti-science where are Penn & Teller…”

Psychic Vampire Repellent

A spray-able elixir we can all get behind, this protective mist uses a combination of gem healing and deeply aromatic therapeutic oils, reported to banish bad vibes (and shield you from the people who may be causing them). Fans spray generously around their heads to safeguard their auras.

One might be tempted to think this is a gag gift, And for the Newage sucker in your life, it might serve fine in that capacity… but not for no damn thirty bucks. Behold:

“Sonically tuned gem elixers.”

Sonically tuned gem elixers.

Reiki charged crystals.

Seriously, somebody’s raking in the cash and laughing their keisters off. *At* *best* this would be…. what? Water that was poured over a rock? Has some sand or sand powder in it? Or is the photo accurate, and the spritz bottle actually has some aquarium pebbles in the bottom of it?


But wait! There’s more!

Chill Child – Kid Calming Mist

For getting the kiddos to chill, this aromatherapy mist is incredible: in addition to uplifting rosewater, cleansing sea salt, and therapeutic-grade oils of lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and geranium, it also contains a blend of sonically tuned gem elixirs (amethyst, jade, selenite, and rose quartz) and tiny, Reiki-charged crystals. It also smells incredible—misted into the air, this magic elixir can instantly soothe virtually anyone’s energy. To use, shake gently, then spray into the air around your wild child’s aura to restore peace to the environment (avoid spraying near the eyes, and do not ingest or inhale).

Honetly. Why don’t *I* ever think of things like this? Can you imagine a better way to get idiot newagers to throw money at you than to fill small spray bottles with municipal tap water and a spoon full of colored pebbles? I sure can’t… and sadly, I didn’t.

But, maybe this gives me a very bad idea: homeopathic nuclear bombs. I just need to find a sample of muromontite (a naturally occurring mixture of uranium and beryllium which results in trace amounts of plutonium) and then put that sample in a gallon of water, then mix that gallon of water with another thousand gallons or so, then pour it out into two-liter bottles and slap an “all natural H-Bomb” sticker on the side and sell to the Norks. I wonder if that’s the sort of thing the FBI and NSA would allow to happen, or if they’d shut it down because they, too, have been infected with newage and think that maybe it would actually work?

Or how about this: take the idea of a spray bottle with some shiny rocks in it, slap a label yammering on about all the psychic benefits… but instead of “psychic vampire repellent” or the like, say it’s “Nazi repellent.” It’d probably sell like hotcakes on many a college campus, and chances are really good that you could claims that it works successfully, because what are the chances that anyone’s going to actually run into an actual Nazi these days?

Alternative: call it “authoritarian fascist repellent,” and fill it full of cadaverine and sell it to campus cause-heads, with instructions that say to spray it on *themselves.* If they complain that it makes them stink and they don’t like it, point out that apparently it’s working correctly.

 Posted by at 5:55 pm
Sep 182017

When your movement takes up the challenge of trashing libraries, you’ve lost the argument.

Protests over Stockley verdict leave behind property damage


Businesses in Central West End clean up after protests

The St. Louis Public Library’s Schlafly Branch had a number of windows smashed and books tossed. Not clear how much damage was done, but intentionally damaging a library is not exactly an action that has a history of glory.

 Posted by at 12:41 am
Sep 172017

The second episode of “The Orville” was supposed to begin 35 minutes ago. My DVR dutifully began recording. My TV, however, shows that Fox is not showing “The Orville,” but instead a game of sportsball, which doesn;t look like it’s going to wrap up anytime soon. A check of the schedule shows that Fox isn’t going to re-run this episode of “The Orville” anytime soon, so anyone who planned on watching the episode later after having DVR’d it is SOL.

Yeah, this sort of thing will really help bolster those ratings.

 Posted by at 6:39 pm
Sep 162017

Venezuela’s dreams are dying

Some basics:

Socialism: the state controls the means of production.

Communism: the state owns everything.

Nanny/welfare state: could be free market capitalist, fascist, socialist, communist.

Venezuela has been pursuing socialism since Chavez; the state nationalized not only Venezuelan oil companies but *foreign* oil companies (and people act surprised when foreign investment dried up). The state has put price controls on things like food and toilet paper… prices *below* the cost of production (and people act surprised when people stopped making and selling those things). The state decided to create a massive welfare state to raise the standard of living of the truly, shockingly poor… by nationalizing everything, confiscating wealth and making enemies of businesspeople and people act surprised that the wealthy and skilled of the Venezuela have been leaving the country in droves).





 Posted by at 11:29 pm
Sep 142017

The post-war German “Hoffman” looks like it was wrong on every level. I gather that  in various countries and at various times there have been laws that have provided advantages to three-wheeled vehicles… easier registration, lower legal hurdles to ownership and operation, etc. But three wheeled “cars” have all seemed to be just terrible, terrible designs.


 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Sep 112017

Take a read:

Memorials of Grief

The World Trade Center memorial is a freakin’ hole in the ground. It is used as a place to grieve, of course, just as the Vietnam War Memorial is. But when the people who were directly affected by those events are no longer there to grieve, they won’t be places of grief anymore. They’ll simply be holes in the ground.
There is greatness in our history. There is darkness in our history. But it seems like in the last forty or fifty years we’ve stopped celebrating the greatness and have learned to wallow in the darkness.
These old trailers seem relevant somehow…

 Posted by at 7:02 pm