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


“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:


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


And because why not, here’s Chemistry Cat:



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.)

Well, this sucks. But it was pretty much bound to happen eventually… a three-engine Grasshopper blew itself to flinders today.

SpaceX Test Flight Detonated After ‘Anomaly’ Over Texas Town


With the recent cat illnesses, serious dropoff in business and increase in vet bills, stress levels hereabouts have been at near-historic levels. But hey, at least I haven’t yet contracted a life threatening case of bronchitis in 2014 (that’s me, always looking on the bright side). One of the consequences of stress is a decrease in lesser creativity… I might still be able to creatively think myself out of some emergency situation, but art? Feh. Gone.

Fortunately, things are starting to crawl back towards the normal only-slightly-apocalyptic level of DOOM stress, and creativity is starting to slooowly return. So, some updates:

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Indiana grandmother suffers violent SWAT raid after a neighbor uses her wireless internet


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In short, internet smack-talking and lame almost-certainly-nonsensical threats can bring down a massive military response. But not on *you,* on the poor schmoes whose unsecured WiFi you’ve used  to post your nonsense.

So, at least two lessons here:

1) Militarized police…. blah, blah, you’ve heard it before.

2) If you have a WiFi connection in your home and you live close enough to other folks that they could use your signal, make damn sure you have it password protected. Not only will other people riding your WiFi slow your connection down, if they are doing something illegal, *you* may well feel the full force of organized government armed troops. Imagine if your neighbor is using your WiFi to download nekkid photos of the underaged. Or ordering drugs. Or buying illegal weapons. Or trash talking the local police.

Hell, one can easily dream up a conspiracy that a sufficiently irritated police force – or a non-police enemy you might have – could use. Let’s say they don’t like you for… whatever reason. But they don’t have adequate cause to raid your home. But then they find that you have an unsecured WiFi. All that’s now needed is a “burner” phone, some smart phone they can use to get online that won’t be traced back to them. Then they simply sit outside your home and post threats, download illegal stuff, whatever. And then let the appropriate prosecutor know just what a horrible person you are and sit back and wait or them to send in the local special forces to break your doors and windows, terrorize your family, stomp your cat, shoot your dog and, while they’re in there, search your home for whatever they might be able to find.

After the recent excitement down in Ferguson, MO, where the twin joys of “Lootie McRioterson” and “Officer Powermad” met up to do a little dance, I thought it was time to sit back, relax, and think about all the good that a government can do when it has power and the desire to improve peoples natures.

The US Once Poisoned Alcohol Supplies to Scare People Away From Drinking

Short form: during Prohibition, the FedGuv thought it’s be a smashing idea to denature alcohol with stuff that wasn’t just nasty tasting, but downright toxic. The idea: since booze was illegal, criminals were stealing denatured alcohol (alcohol for industrial use, “denatured” by adding other substances to it that made it nasty to drink) and re-naturing it to sell to drinkers… so, why not denature the booze with something *truly* awful, so the drinkers wouldn’t take the risk? After the first 100 or so deaths, the press noticed and the story went wide; but people being people, they didn’t want to stop drinking their booze. And the government didn’t think that poisoning them was a bad idea, so they kept doing it. Death toll: around 10,000. Many more sickened and blinded.

*Maybe* killing off a few people drinking illegal hootch seemed like a good idea at the time, but keeping the process going after the death toll was hitting the *thousands* seems a bit excessive. One would hope that these lessons would prevent the government from doing something similar today… after all, everybody knows that smoking kills (second hand smoke alone has killed, what, forty or fifty *trillion* babies just in the past five years, plus or minus), and yet smokers continue to puff away.

Another fine story to keep in mind when contemplating the wisdom of arming the po-po with weapons systems adequate to take on Imperial Clonetroopers, or giving them the reigns to the health care system as a whole.

*So* close to being entirely awesome…

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An often-made comment is that the military is always preparing to fight the *last* war. The point is that wars of the future tend to be unlike those of the past, and unless you keep up with what’s going on, you’ll be surprised by and unprepared for future events. Well, the Pentagon has revealed that, once again, they are not preparing for the future.

No Plans for Canada Invasion, Pentagon Leader Says

The US Army will once again be caught flat-footed, this time by the hordes of Snow Jihadis sweeping across the border shouting “Allahu ackbar, eh!”

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