Oct 082016

St. Louis NAACP says girl, 13, accused of shooting couple at beauty supply store is ‘not a monster’

She tried to murder two people for hair extensions.

From HERE:

The store owner said her mother turned to run and was shot in the back. When the shop owner’s father went to help his wife, the girl shot him in the abdomen.

The girl then held the couple at gunpoint and demanded they help her open the cash register, the shop owner said, but they couldn’t get up. The girl eventually opened the cash register by throwing it on the floor. Along with the cash, she stole hair extensions.


It’s bad enough that there are monsters like this in the world. What’s worse: that there are so many people who leap to their defense and provide excuses for them, hoping that they will avoid appropriate repercussions for their actions.

 Posted by at 1:02 am
Oct 072016

I’m old enough to remember the time I thought “Yay! The threat of global thermonuclear war is over!”


Russia moving nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad, says Estonia


Russia tells citizens ‘nuclear war with the West could happen soon’


Russia Adds Hundreds of Warheads Under Nuclear Treaty


Army Warns that Future War with Russia or China Would Be ‘Extremely Lethal and Fast’

Gosh, I guess it’s a good thing that in the coming years the US will be helmed by strong, wise leadership…

 Posted by at 11:23 pm
Oct 072016

I knew the man was a vulgarian, but jeez. Does anybody *really* think he’s even remotely Presidential?

The options suck. Trump is clearly not good leader material. He’s narcissistic to a historic degree, his relationship with honesty is tenuous at best, he’s nowhere near the businessman he claims (neither from a financial performance standpoint, where he would have done better by simply dumping his initial millions into the market, nor from a what-he-claims-to-be standpoint, where he’s just a promoter, not a “builder”), he’s a scumbag, he’s historically been a supporter and funder of leftist causes, he’s waaaaaaaay more fond of Vladimir Putin than is seemly, he’s a braggart and a blowhard, and he just doesn’t seem that damn smart. And now he’s on tape expressing views that are low, even by his previous standards. Republican politicians who had previously endorsed him are bailing. I see no way possible for the man to win… his chances were dubious before, but now… what woman would vote for him?

And of course, the other option is the wholly unsupportable Hillary Clinton. Before, it was “yeah, Trump sucks but I guess I’ll hold my nose and vote for him because bad as he is he’s better than Hillary,” but now he has demonstrated not only Lyndon Baines Johnson-level standards but the bad judgement that puts him on the same low, low, LOW level as Hillary.

Well… poop.

So, now what? Can the Republicans ditch Trump and replace him with someone better? Obviously they can, but is it too late to get the new guy on the ballot? The obvious choice is Pence, since he’s right there. Maybe Romney. At this stage I doubt that if Abe Lincoln came back to life even he couldn’t get elected as a republican at this stage, given the damage Trump has done to he brand. But having a quality candidate, or at least an inoffensive one, might bring out enough Republican voters to at least minimize the damage in House and Senate races.


 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Oct 072016

Clowns have always been damn creepy. Not sure why… perhaps it begins with the enforced cheerfulness, and proceeds outwards from there. But recently clowns have become the latest “moral panic,” soon to rival the “Satanic panic” of the 1980’s. Sightings of creepy clowns – both real and hoaxed – have popped up all over. And the press these “creepy sightings” have received have made copycats inevitable. It’s happening in Utah:

Utah teens find clown pranks come with serious consequences

Where a couple of 14 year old dumbasses showed up to a football game wearing clown masks… and promptly got a beatdown from the other kids who weren’t playin’ dat. An unrelated 14-year-old created an Instagram account, using a creepy clown to issue death threats. And:

Clown hysteria in Utah turns criminal with attacks, vandalism

In which a school was tagged with clown-based vandalism, leading to a few dozen students deciding they were too freaked out to stay in school.

Some of the early “creepy clown” pranks seem to have been effectively planned and carried out efforts to create “urban legend” levels of rumor and chatter. But now lazy schmucks are using clown masks to try to scare random folks… with variable results:

Report: Maine woman pulls out her gun on threatening clown

Where a schmoe in the rear seat of a SUV pulled up in front of a house and tried to spook the woman sitting on her porch.

She said she laughed at first saying “I’m not afraid of clowns,” until the clown made a gun shape with his fingers and said “bang.”

“I picked up my 9 mm — I didn’t point it at him directly,” the woman told the Sun Journal, “and said, ‘Back at ya, clown.’”

Hokey makeup and latex masks are no match for a good nine millimeter at your side, clown.

 Posted by at 3:17 pm
Oct 062016

Now this is interesting…

Hurricane Matthew Is a Nightmare Scenario for Kennedy Space Center

With such highlights as:

When Category 2 Hurricane Frances made landfall roughly 100 miles south of Kennedy in 2004, tropical storm-force winds lashed Space Coast, ripping more than a thousand panels off the Vehicle Assembly Building and resulting in 100 million worth of damage.


The storm is projected to pass perilously close to Florida’s entire eastern seaboard beginning later today, with a Category 3 or 4 eye passing directly over Kennedy Space Center on Friday…


Kennedy’s Orbiter Processing Facilities are rated to withstand sustained winds of 105 mph. The Vehicle Assembly Building and launchpads hold together up until about 115 mph, while newer buildings constructed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 are designed to weather 130 mph winds.


If the storm does hit at high tide, the NHC warns of surges as high as 9 feet from central Florida all the way up into southern Georgia. Most of Kennedy’s infrastructure sits between five and ten feet above sea level.


So, let’s say Canaveral gets well and truly trashed. Winds rip the buildings apart, a storm surge sloshes over the facilities and washes ’em out to sea. What to do?

This would argue for some diversity in not only launch vehicles, but launch sites and launch *modes.* I’m not a terribly big fan of air-launched systems like Pegasus or Stratolaunch, but the availability of such systems would allow for the important bits to be locate much further inland. You could in principle base such a system in, say, Utah and fly down to the Gulf for an easterly launch. Systems that launch from the decks of ships would be less sensitive to this, as they could steam out ahead of the storms. Systems that launch from the surface of the ocean itself would also be insensitive to storms.

One of the potential problems with systems like these is that they tend to be smaller. An aircraft could maybe carry a Falcon 9, but good luck horsing a Falcon 9 Heavy into the sky. Or launching one from a ship smaller than a supertanker. Launching directly from the ocean made sense for vehicles as vast as the Sea Dragon, but it gets less sensible as the vehicle gets smaller. And I’m uncertain how well this would work out for a thin-walled eggshell design like the SpaceX Mars booster.

There is another solution: launch from inland. Works well for the Russians; having booster stages crash down into Kazakhstan apparently doesn’t cause trouble for anyone who matters. This would be trickier in he CONUS, though. However, there is already a solution to this problem, detailed on this very blog nearly 8 years ago: buy a strip of northern Mexico. The original idea was to turn that strip into a new nation, Neuvo Israel. But turning it into a Federal reserve would work too. Make it a wildlife refuge, off limits to settlements and urban developments; but a dandy place to locate the launch and impact sites, along with a few dozen terawatt-class breeder and thorium salt reactors.

 Posted by at 4:47 pm
Oct 062016

In July, the team from Rick & Morty released a black-and-white animatic of a court scene. The thing was, the court scene, voiced by the guy who actually does the voices of Rick & Morty, was based on the transcripts of an actual event on an Georgia court. And it’s pretty nuts. The animatic was freakin’ hilarious, just as it was, but in the months since a YouTuber took the animatic and did an *excellent* job of animating it in full cartoon color.

Not only was it colorized and animated, additional animations were added, including background characters. Props for the Futurama characters!


Here’s the original B&W animatic:

 Posted by at 4:10 pm
Oct 042016

I was directed to this opinion piece:

Humans to Mars: a deeply disturbing idea

Which had the usual screamingly leftist anti-human reasoning we’ve all come to know and expect:

One of many cultural phenomena that worry me as much as the U.S. presidential campaign (I voted for Bernie in the primary, and I am voting for Hillary on election day) is the persistent public cheerleading for the human colonization of Mars. The media repeat every bit of the libertarian narrative of progress and freedom that they’re feed with virtually no critical analysis.

And it only goes downhill from there. Colonizing Mars is “elitist.” “Humanity is too immature to leave home.” Musks’ idea of charging $200,000 for a trip to Mars is fundamentally unfair because Syrian refugees won’t be able to afford it.

The following day, this intellectual giant posted a followup, dealing with the comments she received in light of her screed. Lo and behold, it turns out she’s among the worst form of Social Justice Warrior: she whines that those darn awful men are dismissing her apparently just because she’s a woman. And not because her notions are hare-brained and culturally, nationally, and species-suicidal.

So, nothing you’d find particularly surprising coming out of the anti-science pits of despair called modern Liberal Arts. Another nobody best left ignored, consigned to the dustbin of history. But here’s where it gets depressing… take a look at her C.V.:

Manager of Communications , NASA Astrobiology  Program, Jan. 2007 – present.
• Communication  research, planning,  and  analysis, NASA Planetary Protection Office, Sept. 2002 – 2006.
•  Director of Communications , SPACEHAB, Inc., Washington,  D.C., Sept. 1999 – Aug. 2002 .
• Chancellor’s Fellow  (1996 – 97, Knight  Fellow  (1997 – 99) , Indiana U. School  of Journalism.
• Director of Science Communication,  Life Sciences Division,  NASA HQ, Oct. 1994 – Aug.  1996.
• Manager of education  and  out reach, exploration office, NASA HQ, Dec. 1993 – Oct. 1994 .
• Senior editor/analyst, BDM International, April 1990 – December 1993.
• Editor, Lockheed Engineering & Sciences Co., July 1988 – April 1990.
• Senior editor for space, Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine, December 1985 – July 1988.
• Public affairs officer, National Commission on  Space, Sept. – Dec. 1985.
• Consultant, National Science Foundation, August – September 1985 .
• Editor, Space Business News, June  1983 – August 1985.

This is why we can’t have nice things.


After reading that much anti-progress SJW nonsense, I need some brain cleaner to flush the bullcrap from my memory. I have the feeling that these little ditties represent pretty much the direct opposite worldview…


 Posted by at 9:36 pm
Oct 032016
 Posted by at 12:53 pm
Oct 022016

Whoever said that government planned economies don’t lead to economic opportunities?

Venezuela crisis: I flew to U.S. to buy toilet paper

The lesson to learn here: when someone sets up a socialist economy, set up a store selling basic commodities *just* outside the boundaries of that geographic region. Soon enough, those unfortunate enough to be living under socialism will do whatever they can to get to your capitalist store and buy your stuff.

 Posted by at 9:41 pm
Sep 302016

Twenty years ago I worked for a guy who loved to self-promote on the subject of space exploration. One of the results of that was that I, Minor Peon #2 at the company, somehow got barraged with emails and messages and letters and packages from people who wanted me to pass on to The Boss Guy their crackpot theories, ideas and designs. Initially it was a whole lot of “what the hell is this” and trying to make sense of it all, in the naive belief that these people were on the whole *not* whacko. But once childlike innocence was replaced with proper adult cynicism, things got easier. And once the Crackpot Index was discovered, good times could be had by going through the writeups and totaling the points. If you are of a mind to, this would also seem to make the beginnings of an effective drinking game, if the goal of the game is to get blind stinkin’ drunk with great efficiency.

The next time you are going to go to a UFO conference or anywhere where Elon Musk is going to make a presentation to people likely to be fresh from Burning Man, make sure to print out a couple copies and keep them handy. Have a non-player with you with 911 on standby, because ethyl alcohol poisoning is a near certainty.

The full Crackpot Index is after the break.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:37 pm