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:
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.”
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:
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.
“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:
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?
After a substantial delay, I’ve posted the first of two PDF Reviews for September over at the APR Blog. This one covers a Ling Temco Vought concept for an SST from 1973. These PDF Reviews are brought to you by the APR Patreon. For as little as 75 cents per month, you can […]
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 […]
From the same source as the Martin P6M-1 data sheet, here’s a Lockheed summary of data on the Chance-Vought Cutlass naval jet fighter. The Cutlass was a snazzy, futuristic jet fighter that just didn’t work worth a damn, due in no small part to the bane of early jet fighters: underpowered jet engines. Coupled with […]
There’s a gas station nearby that has an attached small diner that serves addictively good chicken… along with all the other staples of small “quick stop” joints. They recently set up a flat screen monitor to cycle through little ads showing the stuff that’s on sale or that they’re simply trying to move. All the […]
Elon Musk argues that we must put a million people on Mars if we are to ensure that humanity has a future Interesting. Especially the first two words in the interview. Not the usual approach to such things. […]
Woo! Patient at Dallas hospital isolated after showing signs of Ebola virus Patient apparently had travel history in Ebola-land. All other details lacking. ——————– UPDATE: Yup. Ebola case is the first diagnosed in the U.S. A few things: 1) It’s not the first case of Ebola in the US. There was a minor outbreak of […]
For the last few centuries, combat in pre-firearms plate armor has been somewhat disparaged. Recent beliefs about what it actually might have looked like are derived from a combination of romantic notions of chivalry, tainted with the moves found in highly stylized fencing, coupled with the nonsense produced by gibberish produced by fiction writers from [... […]