Aug 282016

I have yammered on in the past about how in Britain is had not been a crime for someone to steal your home via squatting. This changed, I believe, a few years ago. I don’t know how enthusiastically the British police may be enforcing that particular law, but Utah police? They’re on it:

Swat team sent in to arrest alleged squatters

In this case, the house they were squatting in was privately owned, but *not* occupied when the two squatters moved in. Nevertheless, the police decided to remove them and charge them with a number of offenses including burglary, a felony.

Now, I’d prefer to not have SWAT cops stomping around my place making a mess. But I’d gladly deal with the disruption, the kicked-over stuff, the bullet holes and the chalk body outlines on the floor if that meant evicting a Britain-style home invader/squatter.


PS: In  bad mood tonight. On my evening walk I came across evidence of someone killing cats, at least two. Not cats I knew, but… not the way to get on my good side. Not sure what to do about it.

 Posted by at 12:42 am
Aug 272016

Enough that a truckload of ’em can do this to a nearby house:

The woman who lived in that house was missing for two days. She was finally pronounced dead when official examined “dental pieces,” which I assume means “assorted and scattered teeth.”

Truckload Of Airbag Parts Explodes En Route To Takata Plant, Killing Woman Inside Her Home

Somebody’s in trouble, I think…

 Posted by at 4:14 pm
Aug 242016

Telegraph pole? Who the hell still uses the telegraph?

Airlander 10, the world’s largest aircraft, crashes into telegraph pole on test flight

Looks like they crashed the *cockpit* into the telegraph pole. All kinds of possible reasons why that might have happened, but one part of an aircraft you really don’t want trashed in flight is the cockpit.

UPDATE: that headline? She is wrong. The Airlander 10 didn’t hit a telegraph pole… it hit the friggen *Earth.*

Go home, blimp. You’re drunk.

 Posted by at 10:36 am
Aug 242016

A NASA-Langley film from decades ago, a collection of quick clips from wind tunnel tests. These show models designed to bend and flex somewhat like their larger real-world kin, and then they are massively overstressed to the point of failure. If doing a spit-take was a real thing rather than a Hollywood trope, I woulda spit-took at about 1:20, when a Boeing 2707-100 supersonic transport model is shown being turned into a damn porpoise in the wind tunnel (instead, I just blurted out “holy shee-it” and laughed for a while). About 15 seconds later it (or a model similar to it) is turned into so much confetti. I assume the wind tunnel had some sort of shrapnel-filter to keep the junk from being sucked into the blades…




 Posted by at 2:17 am
Aug 202016

An autistic Native American kid was spat on, yelled at and struck because of the political message of his shirt. Under other circumstances, this would be a clear case of a “hate crime.” Will that be the case here? Let’s watch!

Oklahoma Native American Says He Was Attacked Over Redskins Shirt

The actual narrative of events, who threw the first punch, differs between the two people involved. But given that the other guy is the Executive Director of the White House Initiative of American Indian and Alaska Native Education, you’d at least *think* that one of them would have had the maturity to not get in a fight over a shirt. but then… it’s *this* White House.

Just wait till the *next* administration. Hoo boy.

 Posted by at 1:14 pm
Aug 202016

A collected edition of the extended versions of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on Blu-Ray certainly sounds like a reasonable idea. This October, just such a collection will be released. Some of the official description:

– The Limited Collector’s Edition includes 30 discs featuring all six Middle-earth films in their extended edition forms, housed in six stunning faux leather books and a collectible Hobbit-style wood shelf. The one-of-a-kind wood shelf is crafted from solid wood with design selected by Peter Jackson.
– In addition to the extended edition release of every film, the collection also includes all previously released bonus content from both the theatrical and extended editions.
– Exclusive premiums designed for the collection include: · Spectacular 100-page sketch-style book with replica The Red Book of Westmarch, filled with original film sketches and new artwork · Original reproductions of exquisite watercolor paintings by acclaimed conceptual artists Alan Lee and John Howe, framable and wall-ready

So… as far as the actual movies and extras, it’s nothing new, same stuff as already released. But it comes with some kinda spiffy physical extras. So that’s cool. But there is one minor problem:


Ummm. How about no.

Apparently Peter Jackson wanted to create a bunch of new documentaries for this collected edition, but the studio shot that idea down. If you can explain why this is actually worth $800, congrats… you’re doing better than me.


 Posted by at 12:42 am
Aug 192016

I know you’ll all be stunned, but the State Department has essentially admitted that that $400 million cash payment to the mullahs in Iran was actually a ransom payment:

State Dept.: $400M to Iran was contingent on US prisoners’ release

Let me think: did the current Administration say something that indicated that it *wasn’t* a ransom payment? Hmmm…

Groovy. Expect to see Americans get kidnapped around the world at an accelerated pace now that scumbags across the globe know that the US government will pay up to $100 *million* per hostage.

 Posted by at 12:02 am
Aug 182016

Now that it should be clear to everyone that decades of diligent effort by anti-nuclear activists have resulted in the proliferation of carbon-burning powerplants and thus rampagingly successful global warming, fire season in the southwestern US is going to become an increasingly interesting time. This seems to have been true out here in Utah this year. It’s also true in southern California where they not only have many, many acres of nicely flammable scrublands, but they’ve also parked a whole lot of stuff and people in those places.

One place that’s currently on fire is San Bernadino county; the “Blue Cut Fire” has presented the world with this fairly amazing bit of helicopter footage:

Facebook videos don’t seem to automatically integrate into the blog, so here’s a differently edited, lesser version of the footage (the Facebook video is better and longer):


So unless climate changes in a direction that results in consistently *more* rain in this quarter of the continent, I expect we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing… at least until everything burnable has been burnt. About the only alternative is to steamroll the anti-science Left and start cranking out the terawatt breeder reactors, hooking them up to massive desal plants and monstrous pumping stations and creating a vast irrigation system across the western half of CONUS. Which is worth doing anyways.

 Posted by at 7:21 am
Aug 162016

Stabbing suspect found biting off pieces of man’s face, possibly high on flakka, police say

Well, that’s spectacular. For those not in the know, “flakka” is a synthetic drug that apparently can cause people to go whacko.

And at the same time that Better Living Through Chemistry is putting a strain on the legal system, the Drug Enforcement Agency is demanding that marijuana remain a federally banned “Schedule 1” drug, punishable with years in prison and SWAT teams shooting your dog. The DEA claims that pot has no medicinal value, a claim that is pretty easily scoffed at.

On the one hand, I’ve got no dog in the pot fight. I use it as often as I use cocaine, nicotine or vodka… i.e. never. If all the pot on  the planet suddenly vanished, it would make no material difference to my life. And as with any other intoxicant, I see a lot of downsides to its use and abuse.  That said… if someone wants to smoke a joint… who the hell cares? People stoned on pot are a much greater danger of eating all your Doritos than eating your face off. The DEA would do better to leave pot alone and go after drugs that are actually troublesome.

 Posted by at 4:27 pm