Nov 292009

Here’s a little teaser promo for the next issue (V2N5) of Aerospace Projects Review. Does it look familiar? If you are at all aquainted with 1950’s American science fiction movies it damned well aughtta…  it looks like *someone* in the aerospace industry watched the movie “When Worlds Collide” and decided that George Pal’s rocketship “Ark” was a good design.


 Posted by at 8:36 pm
Nov 292009

My eldest cat, Koshka (who is about 9 or 10 now), has been unwell for a while. Eating causes her pain (there is an ulcer or some such in the back of her mouth), and it’s a problem the vets have been having a hard time figuring out. She’s now on an oral antibiotic and an oral steroid, both of which she *hates.* If you’ve ever seen a cat taste something really awful, their response to it is to drool a *lot.* It’s a mess.

Sometimes when she eats the pain is so bad she growls at it. It’s not a fun thing to watch.

So, yesterday when she somehow found a bag of catnip, tore it apart on her favorite sunlit cardboard bed and rolled around in it, making both a spectacle and a mess of herself, I wasn’t about to stop her. Raedthinn looked on in confusion; while Koshka gets all nipfaced when she indulges, Raedthinn doesn’t . He seems to have missed out on the genes that make cats like catnip and cat treats… he treats them all as it they are tasteless food. Give him the dirt cheap bland dry cat food, that’s what he likes… the “good stuff” doesn’t interest him. But Koshka going goofy… that interested him.




It also drew an audience outside the door…



 Posted by at 3:34 pm
Nov 292009

From the Times Online:

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.


In other words: “trust us.” But without the raw data, there is NO WAY to verify the claims made by the CRU. A truly scientifically valid approach would be to dump the CRU’s conclusions as they did the raw data, and start over from scratch.

And from the American Thinker:

Due to the fact that direct temperature measures for past epochs are lacking, climatologists utilize “proxy measures,” such as tree rings, glacial moraines, and lake sediments. Tree rings have played an important part in the warming controversy as evidence backing the claim that temperatures have been consistently lower worldwide until recently. A crucial series of measurements utilized by Mann, among others, involves trees located on the Yamal peninsula in Siberia. How many trees were measured, you ask? A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand?

<>The answer is twelve: a number perfectly adequate to trigger international panic, overthrow the capitalist system, establish Green totalitarianism, and completely turn Western culture on its head.
<>But it turns out that further measurements were in fact made in the area, involving at least thirty-four other trees. And when this data is added to the original twelve, then the warming evidence disappears into the same branch of the Twilight Zone as the grip of Mann’s hockey stick. Another “oversight”, you understand.

Twelve? Fricken’ twelve? The future of mankind was predicated on examining a whole dozen trees? Really?

Take a look at Climate Audit to get an idea of what happens when you pick such a small dataset…

But lest you think that the revelations of chicanery and incompetance out of the CRU might cause some of the alarmists to back off on some of their overblown rhetoric, never fear! We’re All Going To Die!

Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, believes only around 10 per cent of the planet’s population – around half a billion people – will survive if global temperatures rise by 4C.

Anderson’s warning comes just eight days before global leaders meet in Copenhagen for the most crucial talks on climate change reversal since the Rio summit in 1992. Current Met Office projections reveal that the lack of action in the intervening 17 years – in which emissions of climate changing gases such as carbon dioxide have soared – has set the world on a path towards potential 4C rises as early as 2060, and 6C rises by the end of the century.

Anderson, who advises the government on climate change, said the consequences were “terrifying”.

“For humanity it’s a matter of life or death,” he said. “We will not make all human beings extinct as a few people with the right sort of resources may put themselves in the right parts of the world and survive.

“But I think it’s extremely unlikely that we wouldn’t have mass death at 4C. If you have got a population of nine billion by 2050 and you hit 4C, 5C or 6C, you might have half a billion people surviving.”

Oh no! Surely after all the recent news, the only reason why professor Anderson would produce such dire predictions is because he has new data, right? RIGHT?!?!??


Kevin is a qualified marine engineer and has 12 years industrial experience, principally in the petrochemical industry. He is currently a non-executive director of Greenstone Carbon Management – a London based company advising leading firms and public bodies on how to manage their carbon emissions and is commissioner on the Welsh Assembly Government’s ‘Climate Change Committee’.

Uhhh…. hmmm. Seems to me an alternate explanation might well have something to do with the fact that he works for/is probably invested in a company that makes it’s money off of fears about global warming… and if Copenhagen does not go the greenpisser’s way,  and if the unreasonable fear of global warming abates, then somebody might be out a load of cash.

So… think of Prof Anderson as a “non executive director” in, say, a tobacco company. And just after a report hits the news that there’s a major scandal – that the Tobacco Research Unit, say, has fudged it’s cancer numbers, and outright lied and “lost” data – good prof Anderson comes out and announces that if people stop smoking cigarettes, the moon is goign to crash into the Earth. Sure, we believe you.

 Posted by at 12:08 pm
Nov 292009

From the Telegraph:

Voters in Switzerland appeared to have backed a call to ban minarets from mosques, according to early exit poll results.

Thirty minutes after the referendum finished at midday, Swiss television reported: “The initiative would appear to be accepted. There is a positive trend. It’s a huge surprise.”

Campaigners demanded the referendum to halt “political Islamisation” by amending the Swiss constitution to add a clause stating “the construction of minarets is prohibited”.

“This minaret is a symbol of conquest and power which marks the will to introduce Sharia law as has happened in some other European cities. We will not accept that,” said Ulrich Schueler, an SVP politician and leader of the “stop” minaret campaign.

No. Nope. Nuh-uh. Ain’t no way that this could possibly go wrong.

This is pretty much exactly the sort of thing a lot of Americans would like to see happen. And it’s pretty much exactly the sort of thing that the Constitution  (especially the First Amendment) prohibits. However, there *might* be some ways around it:

1) Figure out how the minaret violates local building codes.

2) Declare the minaret to be a public nuisance or offensive or a threat to the peace/incitement to violence.  Imagine if someone proposed to build a large building in the shape of a naked woman, or a giant swastika; there would be an outcry and someone would probably figure a way to halt the process through legal channels.

Such efforts would have to be on a case-by-case basis, and would mostly fail, I’m sure. There is, of course, a third option:

3) Another 9/11, or more effectively, a *nuclear* 9/11.

I have little doubt that in the days after a successful nuclear/radiological terror attack on an American city, one place I would not want to be is anywhere near an obvious mosque. Hell, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a Buddhist, Sikh or Hindu temple, either… some people when they get sufficiently tweaked kinda lose focus.

Interestingly, the Telegraph ends the article with a quote from a Swiss Muslim leader… who goes ahead and gives a good reason as to why Muslims are increasingly less popular:

Muslims have rejected the argument that a minaret symbolises Muslim power. Mutalip Karaademi, leader of Langenthal’s Muslim community and of Albanian origin, accused Mr Schueler of telling “dirty lies”.

“They call us terrorists. They call us Taliban, so many labels all wrong. They insult us. We love this country, almost more than our own. Our children were born here.”

Ummm… excuse me? You love Switzerland “almost more than your own” country?   Ummm… what’s your country again that you love so much… and why aren’t you there?

If this vote passes and Switzerland bans minarets, the chances are good that Swiss people will die at the hands of Islamist nutjobs. Which will only make the desire to rid Switzerland of minarets even stronger.

I’ll get the popcorn.

 Posted by at 11:24 am
Nov 282009

Eighth in the series of reconstructed drawings from Paul Suhler’s book “From RAINBOW to GUSTO.” This is the second “Archangel” as drawn by Ed Baldwin. This is Figure 52. This particular drawing has a Source Grade of four:


“RAINBOW to GUSTO” is available from (for $39.95) and direct from the AIAA ($29.95 for AIAA members).

To download the high-rez version of the Archangel II drawing, simply click THIS LINK. You will be prompted for a username and a password. For the Archangel II drawing, use these:

Username: the FIRST word in the body of the text on page 110

Password: the FIRST word in the body of the text on page 111

(Remember: Case Sensitive!)

Up next: Figure 51, Cherub 1 (A-3)

 Posted by at 2:38 pm
Nov 272009

I admit I have a few of the Cthulhu plushies. But these take the prize for just plain neato. And I bet they’d make great gifts for the children of creationist friends and family members!

 Evolvems – Evolutionary Transforming Plush

From fins to feet, zip and flip to evolve

As we know, it all started with a big bang. The Earth was cooling, autotrophs were drooling, all that good stuff. And there were cool creatures like the bony-finned Coelacanth, the toothy Dimetrodon, the hidden dragon known as Yinlong and the Pakicetus, the furry landlubber ancestor to the whale. But we wouldn’t stop there. No way, we’re paleontologists! That’s who we are, that’s who we are, that’s who we are. Unzip and flip the creature inside out and you’ll get its evolved form. Watch fins turn to feet and gills grow into lungs right before your eyes. The best part is that all you kids who want to see ’em don’t have to line up at our museum. You can have your own piece of evolution in your own home and bring it in for show n’ tell at school. Show those other monkeys their roots, we say.

The Coelacanth is a bony-finned fish who lived 410 million years ago. Those bony fins evolved into legs over millions of years and his gills turned to lungs, eventually transforming him into the Ichthyostega, who is part fish, part amphibian.

Lizards like the Dimetrodon were the top dog on Earth before the dinosaurs came around. Alas, changing habitats and extinction caused the Dimetrodon to evolve into a smaller, more mammal-like creature, the Cynognathus.

What dino geek doesn’t like the Triceratops? His cousin the Styracosaurus lived in the Cretaceous period too, but did you know he originally descended from the “Hidden Dragon” of China known as the Yinlong? (It’s okay, we didn’t know that either.)

We all know that whales and dolphins, while sea creatures, are mammals and not fish. Enter the Pakecetus from 55 million years ago, a land mammal who hunted fish in the water and had inner ear bones similar to the modern whale. Twenty-two million years later, he evolved into the Squalodon, who looks suspiciously like a dolphin to us!

Product Specifications

  • For ages 6 years and up
  • Creatures evolve by flipping them inside out to reveal a new creature
  • The four creatures are:
    • Coelacanth-Ichthyostega
    • Dimetrodon-Cynognathus
    • Yinlong-Styracosaurus
    • Pakicetus-Squalodon
  • Size: Approximately 9 x 4 inches

Remember, Christnukhahsolstice is just around the corner.


And no, I’m not a paid spokesblogger. Bastards aren’t even advertising here. I just thought these were nifty.

 Posted by at 10:53 pm
Nov 272009

These have been reproduced in black and white (Jay Miller’s book on the B-58 comes to mind), but I don’t think they’ve been published in color yet. They are screenshots from a film at the National Archives. Specifically, they are screenshots from a DVD, the DVD taken from a VHS, the VHS taken from the film. Feh.









 Posted by at 10:35 pm