What the hell is the deal with teenage girls? They seem to be especially susceptible to falling under the sway of fantasy… be it sparkly emo vampires, Beatle/Beiber celebrities, even online horror tropes like Slender Man, teenfems seem to lose all ability to process data rationally and become rather loud and overly enthusiastic fangirls. Add to that list of “fantasy subjects who drive girls insane” one “religious leader” who keeled over nearly 1400 years ago:

British female jihadis running ISIS ‘brothels’ allowing killers to rape kidnapped Yazidi women

Colorado teen pleads guilty in plan to join ISIS

16-Year-Old French Girl Detained At Airport, Wanted To Fly To Syria And Join ISIS

whaaaat

Yeah, yeah, probably far more western teen *boys* are taking leave of civilization and heading off towards jihad than girls. But while I can see the allure of the caliphate for evil males, what the hell is in it for girls? As can be seen from one of the headlines, some of the girls left the civilized world in order to help torture and terrorize other women and girls. W. T. F.

A 25-year old guy – undoubtedly known to his family as a “gentle giant” – recently decided it would be a jolly good jape to take a machete and chop the head off of an 82-year-old woman. Also two cats.

Nick Salvadore, suspect for beheading of Palmira Silva, is would-be cage-fighter and Muslim convert

Isolated incident, to be sure. The idea of a British Muslim beheading people is too ludicrous to ever occur more than once.

 

And in the “How about NO” department:

British jihadists now want to return home

One thing I don’t get is the idea that the UK and US government should try to prevent home-grown jihadis from venturing off to ISISland. I say let ‘em go. hell, set up a fund to help pay their way. Just don’t let them come back.

Ever.

Cool, but with a potentially unfortunate ending…

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Individually they are interesting. Put them next to each other, and you can imagine some sort of interesting developments…

British ex-boxing champion Anthony Small defends ISIS beheadings

A British convert to Islam posts videos extolling the virtues of chopping off heads because they are “infidels” and warning that Brits should be aware that they are all valid targets of that sort of thing at home. He also posted a video titled “Why Muslims have no sympathy for Lee Rigbys son!”

And then there’s this:

Police ask victims to do ‘DIY’ investigations of some crimes

Where we learn of the widening issue of British police forces who can’t be bothered to even *try* to solve crimes, including not even showing up. Interesting quote: “some offences, such as criminal damage or stolen vehicles, are on the verge of being decriminalised by police forces which had given up investigating them.”

Say, that’s neat. At the same time a death cult is gaining in power and adherents in the UK, the British police are deciding that that whole “crime investigations” thing is just too much trouble. What could possibly go wrong?

Although… one might suggest the possibility of a deeper, more devious plan here. As things currently are in Britain, Islamism/Jihadism can grow and increase in Britain, imposing sharia over an increasing fraction of the land until it eventually either takes over or results in civil war. The current political system permits no opposition. However, by pulling the cops back from enforcing the law, this means that if Brits decide to Do Something About It themselves… who’s to stop them? It might be better to have a civil war of sorts *now* than later after the UK has already lost much of it’s blood and treasure to the forces of dumbth and darkness.

Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls

It seems that there are at least 17 cell phone towers in the CONUS that do not appear to be a part of any recognized network, yet they are functional. Someone built the things, and if you are close to them, your phone will connect through them. And at that point, whoever is operating the towers can not only listen in, they can also upload malware to your smart phone. One especially exciting bit of programming that can be uploaded to your phone can turn it into a spy device: even when you think it’s off, the mike and camera can listen, watch and transmit.

The obvious suspect would be the NSA. But they can tap into the existing network and get everything they want anyway, much more readily than via a few mystery towers. A more disturbing thought is that the towers were paid for and operated by the Chinese or some such foreign entity. Many of the towers are built on or near military bases, just perfect for capturing juicy tidbits.

Might be interesting if it turns out that all of these towers have perfectly mundane and valid back stories… but the publication of this article inspires China to build just such towers.

A map of these “interceptor” towers:

esdmap

I would have expected more in California, Silicon Valley and such. Still, the “southern border” clustering seems odd. Perhaps these are being installed by Mexican drug cartels for some reason?

I should surprise nobody that since I live in a house made of Yule logs and have filled it with paper and books, *fire* is something I’m kinda twitchy about. So while writing the preceding posting, imagine how thrilled I was when the smell of smoke became overpowering. Fortunately it wasn’t my house, but instead the wheat field across the road. It’s that time of year when the farmers are burning their fields; I guess it quickly returns minerals and such to the soil, but you’d kinda think that just plowing the stubble back in might work better. I dunno, the farmers seem happy with the process.

Anyway, the wind was just right so that he smoke was blowing straight into my front windows. Joy.

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Obviously, I grabbed the camera and started taking pictures. Had I been smarter I would have turned the smartphone video camera on and caught the dust devil that blew through. As it was, I only took a few inadequate photos of the mini-tornado; it went through the fire making a very, very brief firenado, but of course I didn’t catch that. All I caught was the smokenado/ashnado:

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And one last shot as I was ducking out of the way… the ashnado shot across the road and plowed right into the deck where I would’ve been standing had I decided “nope.”

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I took a bunch of telephoto shots as the trail of fire – created by dragging a propane flame throwing behind a four-wheeler ATV through the field – moved off into the distance. Most were better in theory than execution, but with a little cropping and fade correction, they’re kinda interesting:

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MISSING LIBYAN JETLINERS RAISE FEARS OF SUICIDE AIRLINER ATTACKS ON 9/11

It seems that jihadis in Libya strolled off with eleven commercial jetliners in late August. Now, what would those folks want with aircraft such as that, I wonder? I bet it’s to deliver candy and stuffed toys and antibiotics to poor underprivileged kids. Yup. That’s gotta be it.

Seems to probably be a mix of Airbuses.

Derek Grant jailed for killing son’s mugger in Greenock

OK. If I’m understanding this story correctly, there are four people of interest here: Father, Son, Mugger, Judge

And it went like this:

A) Mugger steals Son’s phone

B) Father confronts Mugger

C) Mugger stabs Father in the eye

D) Father stabs Mugger to death

E) Judge thanks Father for improving society sentences Father to six years in jail

Britain… y’all gots issues.

OK, this ain’t a fashion blog. For the most part… really, who gives a damn? Does it even matter if your socks match? I don’t see what practical difference it makes. Still… words mean things, and when companies like The Gap decide to just redefine words willy-nilly, it can be confusing, to say the least. I saw this while surfing CNN to check up on the latest on Will Hayden, “star” of the reality show “Sons of Guns” who has gotten himself arrested – and his show promptly cancelled - for allegedly repeatedly raping a child. Dude. No. Just… no.

Is this model ‘curvy’? Gap sure thinks so

071714_WOM_falldenim_sort_US_curvy

“Curvy?” Well, I suppose insofar as any line that diverges from absolutely mathematically straight is by definition curved, this model and her pants are “curved,” but really… no. And worse: they’re seventy bucks. I would lay good odds that the jean I buy have *way* more material in them than these, require roughly the same amount of manufacturing processing, cost more to ship due to added weight, and might even be somewhat more rugged, yet they cost only a fraction of the $69.95 Gap wants for these “curvy” narrow denim tubes.

Now, all that said, and because I’m assuming I know my audience and what “curvy” actually looks like… here’s a topless photo of Christina Hendricks:

christinahendricks

And here’s a photo of Kat Dennings without pants:

katdennings

And because why not, here’s Chemistry Cat:

chemcat2014-08-27

 

Years ago when I worked at ATK on the Ares I and Ares V booster programs, I put forward an idea. It was a simple and, I thought, fairly obvious notion, based on a few facts:

1) Weight growth is generally to be avoided in space launch. However, if the weight gained is on a booster stage rather than an upper stage, the performance penalty is much reduced.

2) Not every flight would make full use of a launch vehicles potential. Given that propellant is essentially free, compared to the rest of the costs involved, it makes sense where possible to carry extra payloads if you can.

3) A secondary payload on the booster stage is, these days, of minimal interest, but would also be minimally payload-impacting

So here was my idea: on launches of the Ares V booster that did not make full use of the launch vehicles potential, carry “parasite” payloads on the solid rocket boosters. The payloads I had in mine? Paying passengers. The idea would be to put a capsule, or perhaps something akin to Space Ship One (fat fuselage with just enough wing to fly and land), on the nose of the booster. Just after booster separation, the capsules would themselves separate from the boosters.

Since they would be very distinctly sub-orbital, heating issues would be relatively trivial. Since the flight duration would be only a few minutes, onboard life support would also be minimal. As a result, the capsules could be spacious, relatively lightweight, and equipped with *big* windows.

If each booster carried a capsule, and each capsule seated ten passengers, and each passenger paid, say, $100,000, then each flight would generate an extra $2 million. Not much considering the probably $1Billion price tag of each launch, but hey… why not? Some launches could charge more, such as historically important flights to the Moon or Mars or such. How much would *you* have paid to hitch a ride alongside Apollo 11, for example?

And what would the passengers have seen? Lessee:

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Needless to say, they didn’t think much of my idea. Grrr.

(Is this post a repeat? Maybe. Seems like I’ve yammered about this before. oh well.)

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