Apr 302009

Whole Chicken in A Can.

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A review:

After following the directions to chill the product, I opened the can, dumped the contents into a large pan, and found myself staring at a quivering mound of congealed goop. Figuring there must be a fowl in there somewhere, I pawed my way through the gelatinous mass and, sure enough, discovered one very sorry-looking chicken about the size of a Cornish hen. I poked at a wing; it fell off. At this point it was hard to imagine anyone following the label’s suggestion to “serve cold just as [the] chicken comes from the can,” but I’d been planning on a hot meal anyway, so I popped the pan into the oven for the specified 15 minutes and then sat down to some of the blandest chicken it has ever been my duty to consume.

But hey… at least it’s cheap:


 Posted by at 4:05 pm
Apr 302009

From the Daily Mail:

Her error is to confuse a person’s class with the amount of money which he or she earns. Our Kate thinks that because her family was poor it was working class.

But there have always been people who earn more money through hard, physical work than some members of the middle class do in less strenuous occupations. Equally, there are impoverished members of the aristocracy.

A well-paid assembly-line worker in a car factory could justifiably claim to be working class, though he might easily have middle-class aspirations. An actor, however poor, cannot claim to be working class. Acting is not a recognised working-class occupation.

Umm… what?

In the US, “class” is pretty much defined by “the amount of money which he or she earns.” A massive fall in your finances can easily take you from “upper class” right down to “lower class,” and a sudden increase in wealth can do the opposite. People regularly shift around from one class to another. Someone who acts for a living and makes ten million dollars a year and lives in a mansion is “upper class.” Someone who acts for a living and make ten grand a year, living in a van down by the river, is very likely “lower class.”

But the Britsh, at least based on this (and quite a number of other things I’ve read, and from discussion with Brit exchange students back in Ye Olde College Days), seem to see “class” as an Indian-style caste system, inheirant to the person from birth to death, or something nailed to the persons job.

Am I wrong here?

 Posted by at 11:49 am
Apr 292009


The World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to the second highest level Wednesday, meaning that it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan declared the phase 5 alert after consulting with flu experts from around the world. The decision could lead the global body to recommend additional measures to combat the outbreak, including for vaccine manufacturers to switch production from seasonal flu vaccines to a pandemic vaccine.

 Posted by at 4:58 pm
Apr 292009

Two versions of the same painting, depicting Rockwell International’s proposed design for the X-30 National Aerospace Plane:


They are clearly the same painting, but one that has been slightly altered (note the tail) to show different logos. One, a US flag, the other, the Rockwell insignia. Not really sure why the two versions were needed but obviously someone thought they were.

 Posted by at 3:24 pm
Apr 282009

I just found him in the road.

I goddamn hate digging graves.

I wish I could’ve found a shelter to take him in. He’d’ve made someone a good indoor pet. Now….

 Posted by at 6:17 pm
Apr 282009

Now available… 99 pages.

The main article: Part 2 of the Bell BOMI article series, showing the evolution of the manned rocket bomber concept from the early 1952 three stage concept through passenger transports on up to the end of the program.
Three-engined 747 by Dennis R. Jenkins… a proposed DC-10 competitor
Convair’s Flying Wing “B-36” by Dennis R. Jenkins
Martin Model 262: a turboprop VTOL fighter
The Blackburn B-49B canard flying boat
Bell D-188 VTOL Fighter Part One: covers early Bell VTOL fighter design up to the initial D-188 concept
Grumman D-623-2024: jet VTOL fighter

Only $8.50 to download; slightly more for CD-ROMs.

V2N3 download order: $8.50

V2N3 US-CD-ROM: $10.50

V2N3 non-US-CD-ROM: $12.50

See here for more details…

 Posted by at 3:50 pm
Apr 282009

From the BBC:

After surviving several storms during its 10-month voyage, the junk broke in two and sank after it was rammed by a freighter just off Taiwan’s coast.

It set sail last June and called at several ports on the US west coast, including San Francisco, and at Honolulu, after riding out several storms.

It sank 30 miles (48km) off the island’s north-eastern port of Suao, just hours shy of completing its record-breaking Pacific crossing.

Ouch. Getting rammed by a giant steel freighter was probably not high on Admiral Zheng He’s list of worries, 600 years ago. Pirates, probably. Dragons, maybe.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The adventure came to a sad end Sunday morning in the ocean off Taiwan when the 54-foot vessel, built to the specifications of a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) war junk, was hit by a large freighter and sunk. The 11 Princess Taiping crew members survived. The large ship did not stop or render assistance.

Someone’s in trouble…

 Posted by at 12:01 pm