No commentary necessary.
Well, crap. My plans, developed yesterday after my car died and got left at the shop, was that I’d spend this weekend working on CAD drafting and modeling. But a small issue has arisen what stomped on those plans.
Starting a few weeks ago, I developed a recurring pain in my right shoulder. Some days it was there, some days not. At it’s worst, it would prevent me from raising the arm very far, but that mostly inconvenienced thing like raising items over my head. Didn’t interfere with the computer or driving. Yesterday it was fine.
This morning I awoke to agony. I have been unable to raise the arm at all, except for straight out to the side (which is not terribly useful for most common applications). The right hand and elbow function, but the shoulder? It hurts hanging straight down; it screams in any other position. The end result is that I can position this little netbook so I can type and post my gibberish, but proper manipulation of a mouse has proved impossible so far, stymieing my plans to get some damned work done.
Like as not, tomorrow (Sunday) my shoulder will be more or less fine. But it’s also possible that the pain will be worse, and then there’s Monday when I still won’t have my car.
A few years back I had tennis elbow; this feels much like that, except on a grander scale. Choking down as much aspirin and ibuprofin as I feel comfortable with has not noticeably knocked down the pain, nor slathering on stuff like Ben Gay or Voltaren. The tennis elbow took more than a year to fade away, but there was one treatment that resulted in pretty substantial pain reduction: jamming a big-ass needle into the joint and pumping it full of steroids. If the same sort of issue is the problem here… I shudder to imagine what sort of icepick of a hypodermic would be called for. Bleah.
No, I’m not referring to Wicca or the Druids, but to something much worse.
As if importing Ebola from Africa wasn’t bad enough, the West seems to be importing the dumbest of belief systems: anything bad is due to demonic possession, and the proper response is to abuse the hell out of kids.
Brilliant. Put these Christian jackholes together with the Muslim kiddie diddlers of Rotherham and you’ll have a temptingly-nukable target.
So, I was driving home from Logan (about 30 miles and one shallow mountain pass) when I heard an odd, intermittent slipping or grinding sound. It got progressively worse, so I decided to pull into the repair place in Tremonton (about 7 miles from home). As it was only a half hour from closing, they briefly looked at it and declared that most likely it was due to some belt slipping, not a problem, bring it back Monday. About half a block out of the parking lot, the radio couldn’t decide if it wanted to stay on, every light on the dashboard lit up and the power steering decided to go on vacation. I managed to horse it back to the repair place, where the explanation now transitioned to “sounds like your alternator’s screwed up.” They still couldn’t get to it until Monday, but they wanted to pull it into the shop… but putting the key in the ignition and turning it resulted in little more than a brief “uhhh” from the engine compartment then… nada. So, we pushed it in and I got a ride home.
Well, if your car *has* to die, I guess ten feet from the repair shop’s entrance is the place to have it happen.
Why the hell do people refuse to think things through and continue to allow the tyranny of public artists and their Archimedian solar death ray machines?
Yet another piece of “sculpture” causing damage via focused sunlight. Feh.
You know, though, I’ve long wondered why we haven’t seen this sort of thing weaponized. Not militarily, as such as the weapons are too big and the damage potential too small for actual military use, but by protestors. Imagine if a quarter of all the sign-waving yahoos at the next Occupy rally had their placards made not out of cardboard, but out of 1/16″ mirror plexiglass, with a sheet of paper taped over it. Or even just foamcore with a reflective sheet of mylar. With enough sunlight and enough solar hippies working in concert, all manor of havoc could ensue.
In 1972 the Holland America cruise ship S.S. Statendam set sail for a spot off the coast of Florida where the passengers got to watch the launch of Apollo 17. Also held on board was the 4th Conference on Planetology and Space Mission Planning. This conference, as described at http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=6879 , was a complete disaster. It was a sad, sad tale of lost opportunities and odd choices. It has also largely faded from memory.
I have a photocopy of the brochure selling the cruise and conference, and have scanned it in as a PDF. The quality is not spectacular, but it’s nevertheless an interesting bit of aerospace history. I’ve posted the PDF for $5 APR Patreon patrons over HYAR.
Either It Has Begun and It Will End In Fire, or we’re just beginning on the up-slope towards Peak Panic. Either way, the cold and flu season should prove incredibly entertaining this winter. I fully expect that surgical masks and latex gloves will be all the rage in fashion, and there’ll be a run on bleach.
As the topic on Fark.com so succinctly put it…
If you watched NBC News tonight and thought “Why the hell is Dr. Nancy Snyderman in the Liberian village where that guy caught ebola?”, you weren’t paranoid, because her cameraman just tested positive for ebola
Or just the less interesting ABC headline…
“Hey, let’s go film an Ebola outbreak.”
The proper response is… “Nope.”
When I was struggling, a quarter century ago, to get my aerospace engineering degree, it was abundantly clear that there was a distinct disparity between the numbers of males and females in the engineering, math and science courses I took. It was not unusual for a class of thirty or so to boast a whopping four of the fairer sex. This tended to make those four very popular. Granted my memories of the time are faded, jaded and biased, but I don’t recall so much “oh, boo, there are girls invading our traditionally male-only spaces” so much as “oh, boy! Girls! Interested in the same stuff as us!! Maybe they’ll notice us!” Grant also that I have no idea what it is like to have several dozen hormone-driven nerds take an interest in me, so maybe that was less thrilling for the gals in the classes than it may have seemed to the guys.
I do remember more than a few run-ins with femynist cause-heads who would for some reason berate me for that male/female disparity… but when I asked them if *they* were planning on taking Differential Equations and Calculus Three, never mind Statics, Dynamics, Orbital Mechanics or any of the rest, there was not a whole lot of “well, yes, sign me up.” The simple fact seems to be that the reason why there are (or at least *were*) fewer female-types in the engineering classes was because fewer female-types *wanted* to be engineers.
Why might that be? I am sufficiently politically incorrect and observant to suggest that there are some differences between the sexes that cannot be glossed over with post-1960′s propaganda. And some of these differences might simply make women naturally statistically less interested than men in becoming engineers. But it is also abundantly clear that there is at least *some* cultural component. While there have been women scientists and engineers for a little short of forever, they have, at least until recently, been viewed by society as odd or worse. One might’ve thought that those days should be over, at least overtly. Ever since Barbie got a talkin’-to over stating that “Math is hard,” it has been bad form to suggest that girls give STEM a pass.
But then this happened:
The Carnegie Science Center is shown advertising a series of science/engineering related workshops for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The listings for the Boy Scouts actually looks pretty good… I know that if they had been offered to 10-year old *me,* I woulda been all over ‘em. But the listing for the Girls is… well…
What is “Science With A Sparkle?” Apparently it has nothing to do with pyrotechnics or Cerenkov radiation. Instead:
Prepare to be dazzled! Dive into chemistry and learn how science relates to health and beauty products. Become a cosmetic chemist and concoct your own creations to take home.
“Health and beauty products?” Now, if the “health” products that the workshop were aiming towards were cures for Ebola, cancer and socialism, hey, that’d be great. But I suspect that’s not really it. More like “this is how to use makeup,” I’m guessing.
Now, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts are, to the best of my recollection, wholly unrelated organizations, sharing only a portion of their names. But for activities like this, can anyone come up with a good reason why the two organizations can’t work together to create *joint* science & engineering courses? Any good reason why they must be segregated? And if there’s a valid reason for the segregation, any reason why they can’t simply use the same facilities, equipment, books and instructors and such *twice?*
On a related matter: I keep hearing about sexism among comic book fans, sci-fi fans, gamers, cosplayers, etc. To a certain limited degree, such things are inevitable. But to a larger degree… dude, if’n yer a nerd, what THE HELL are you doing making life rough for a girl who shares your interests? What, are you a fricken’ moron? Forget the moral and ethical reasons for not treating females like trash. Simply do the math. If you don’t already, you will, soon enough, be attracted to women and want them to be attracted to *you.* But here’s the thing: if you are a sci-fi/comic-book/gamer/whatever nerd, most women *won’t* be naturally attracted to you, because you are a social outlier. How do you change that without abandoning the interests that give you some measure of happiness? Well, it’s *not* by bitching about how The Hot Chicks just want the Dumb Jocks. What you want to find are females who *share* your interests. And being a scumbag to ‘em will not help. Not only will you immediately mark yourself as a scumbag, you will make them less interested in those very hobbies that could have made them interested in *you.*
So if’n yer a geek-guy and you see another geek-guy being a dirtbag to a geek-girl, whap the dumbass upside the head. Not so much in order to make him re-evaluate his life and improve his chances of finding true love, but to make him stop driving females away from *you.* (Note: do no do this publicly. Do not advertise it to women. Nobody likes a “white knight.” You and your metaphorical fedora will get mocked.)
Also: behold the irony. This blog post is based on the above-linked posting at “Wonkette,” which appears to be a feminist political blog. Fine. But at least on my screen, the right-hand side of the page has vertical banner ads… including a Calvin Klein ad with women in an incomplete state of dress. Men get in trouble for looking at semi-nekkid women. But apparently feminists make money by displaying semi-nekkid women to other women. Shrug.
There is nothing left to invent. Creativity has ground to a halt.
Someone turn out the lights.