Sep 152015

A lot of horror movies have villains/monsters that I’d like to think that, were I a character in the movie, I’d have the smarts and guts to realize that I could deal with by either setting ’em on fire, jamming something sharp and pokey into them, filling ’em full of lead, or even just turning on a good flashlight. But Guillermo del Toro’s new movie “Crimson Peak,” which comes out in a month? Were I to see this, I think my reaction would be to tell the proprietor of this fine establishment “I’m’a gonna FO” and the next you see of me is a dot on the horizon, substantially red shifted.


Del Toro *really* needs to do a straight-up Lovecraft movie.

 Posted by at 8:09 pm
Sep 102015

As may have been apparent, I like old-school aerospace blueprints. I’ve gone to considerable effort to develop some skill at reproducing them using the cyanotype method on vellum paper, and, while not a precise match for what would have been made 60 years ago, I still think they’re pretty good. I think they’re great art.

But then I see videos like the one below, and wonder if I’m just being sucked into trendy nonsense…

 Posted by at 11:56 pm
Sep 102015

This is… beautiful:

Lockpickers 3-D Print TSA Master Luggage Keys From Leaked Photos

The Washington Post published a photo showing the TSA’s master keys (the ones that can open *any* “TSA approved” lock that you might use to lock up your checked baggage). Some smart fellers figured out how to turn the photos into CAD models; others 3D printed them and have posted videos showing these 3D printed keys successfully opening TSA locks. The key was printed in crappy plastic, not metal, but it worked anyway.

So… your locks are no good no more.


 Posted by at 3:22 pm
Sep 062015

I’m of two minds on this book:

  1. On one hand, this book is filled with *amazing* images… set photos, diagrams and best of all concept paintings that would make damn fine art to hang on the wall. It’s a treasure trove.
  2. On the other hand… whoever laid out this book needs to have his ass removed.

Quoting from some of the reviews on Amazon:

In what will go down as one of the most horrific decisions in book making history… these amazing and rare photos and illustrations are force fit into pages that have a useable space of about 6 inches wide, and 14 inches tall. This makes presentation of these glorious visuals an impossible task… either the images have to be shrunk to postcard size… or, and this is almost criminal… the image must be split, down the center, across the book spline. OH. MY. GOD. The CENTER of these amazing images… hopelessly lost in the curving folds between adjacent pages.


There ae incredible, beautiful, never before seen wonderful pictures and illustrations, with often interesting notes that fill up the book. VERY SADLY they are almost all cut in half by enlarging them to take up two pages, separated by the books binding. Even the many foldouts have a crease going down otherwise great pictures. This is totally annoying and disappointing and distracting. I guess they wanted the book to look like the Monolith. Instead, it should have looked like a book and given us all these pictures with no “interruptions.”

Basically… WTF were they thinking?

I have high hopes that someone will re-release the imagery in this book in a format that isn’t mind-bogglingly *stupid.*



The people who laid out this book should have used “2001: The Lost Science” as a guide. While not near as much stuff in a book that costs about the same, the format and size of the book is *excellent.*

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Sep 022015

‘Hero’ Cat Saves 3-Year-Old’s Life by Taking a Bullet

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….


 Posted by at 1:33 pm
Aug 282015

Both from the Daily Fail, but still…

The inoffensive everyday phrases used by reporter Alison Parker that earned her a death sentence because Flanagan deemed them ‘racist’


University of Tennessee tells staff and students to stop using ‘he’ and ‘she’ – and switch to ‘xe’, ‘zir’ and ‘xyr’ instead


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.

 Posted by at 5:44 pm
Aug 262015

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.



 Posted by at 1:24 am
Aug 252015

But for how long? Hmmm…

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:

But the *correct* link 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 “” rather than “” 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.

 Posted by at 2:05 pm