Aug 312010

If you like critters, give serious consideration to not reading any further than Right Here. Stop. Go have a beer or something and come back after I’ve posted something aerospace or political.


Seems a video was posted online showing a teenage girl merrily chucking live puppies into a fast-flowing river. Now, drowning “excess” critters has been a common occurance for as long as humans have controlled critters; and while sad, it is at least at some level understandable from a purely practical standpoint (critters that are sick, or that you can’t feed, your have to get rid of… and drowning is perhaps one of the quicker and less-horrible ways of doing so). However, we’re past the point where such things are likely necessary… I’ve had a *lot* of excess kittens over the years, and every last one of ’em, I was able to give away. So puppy-drowning is not “necessary to preserve the farm” anymore. What’s really bad about the video is that it’s clearly not being done sadly, or even matter-of-factly… she’s enjoying throwing puppies to their doom.

One of the down sides to the internet has been that it has allowed people to display their jackassery to the world for their own entertainment, and remain anonymous. But… as it turns out, there’s not near as much anonymity as most people think. Not only do multiple governments watch every online transaction you make and note every dirty video you watch, there are individuals who can do some pretty fair online investigating. And if you band enough of those individuals together and set them a common purpose… they can dig up pretty much *anything.*

Like the identity of Puppy-Chucking-Girl.

 The 4chan miscreants quickly identified the owner of the YouTube account that had uploaded the video, his hometown, and, possibly, his Facebook account. And not just that: /b/tards picked out two Facebook profiles they thought were most likely the girl in the video, as well as profiles of friends and the camera man.


The /b/tards are confident that they’re right, and they’ve got some evidence: “Martin,” the Bosnian kid on whose YouTube account the video was apparently uploaded first, seems to have posted on a Croatian gaming forum here (via) complaining about 4chan.

So not only did the (apparently Bosnian) animal abusers fail to hide their identities… they exposed themselves to the wrath of 4chan. That… was unwise.

Now, if’n you read the post and are feeling bummed, or watched the video and are feeling bummed, here’s some antidote:

 Posted by at 12:22 pm
Aug 312010

Shortly after today’s ATK rocket test… it started raining dirt.


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My guess is that the rocket exhaust kicked up many tons of burnt dirt and chucked it into the sky, borne aloft in the “mushroom cloud.” The wind conditions were just right for the fallout to cover my property (and my neighbors’… who is thrilled because she had just cleaned her swimming pool). The stuff is *everywhere.* It’s part fine dust, part grit, and sticks to everything. If I come down with cancer or some other crazy-ass disease… well, you know where it came from.


Maybe I can sell this on eBay?


 Posted by at 11:25 am
Aug 312010

So there I was, at about 9:30 this morning minding my own business when a low rumble comes out of *everywhere.* After a few seconds of it I realized that it wasn’t a truck, a jet or a psychotic episode, so I grabbed the camera and wandered out into the front yard and saw this:


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Turns out ATK just fired off one of the five-segment Ares motors for the probably-defunct Constellation program. I missed this one, I guess…

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Aug 302010

Every few days I check on my blog’s “stats.” Tells me things like how many people looked at it, which posts got how many views, what searches people use to find my blog posts (presumably Google, but I’m too damned lazy to really check), that sort of thing.

So I looked at it a few minutes ago, and found that yesterdays totals were well above normal, almost twice as many as the day before. My first thought was “oh, boy, people must be going nuts for the Project Orion book update!!!’

Well, no.


Seems a non-aerospace posting from more than a month ago got the bulk of the interest. Now, what could possibly cause that many people to decide to check out that posting? Hmm, let’s check out the “Search Engine Terms” data…


Ah. Christina Hendricks. Without whom apparently half of the internet would dry up and blow away.

Perhaps I should give up this failed interest in aerospace and turn the Unwanted Blog into a Christina Hendricks fan site. Maybe hire Pat to write some crappy fan-fiction revolving around her.

Sigh. Gah.

“Moobs?” Honestly?

 Posted by at 8:17 pm
Aug 302010

Around 1 PM I decided that I needed some groceries. Upon my return, the garage door didn’t work; upon entry into the house, it was clear that the electricity was off. This is not an uncommon occurance out here in the sticks, but the power *stayed* off. A phone call to the power company got the robot who told me that they were aware of the problem, that the problem was caused by line trouble, a crew was on-site, and they’d have the problem fixed in about 4 hours. Since most of my plans for the day required electricity, I decided instead to wander off with the camera and see what was worth photographing. Since it was partly cloudy and we’ve just gotten our first snow (yay), I figured there’d be some good shots.

 Within a few minutes of wandering down the road, I determined the source of the electrical outage: one of the power poles had caught fire, burned all the way through, and the top had toppled off, taking down some wires. None of the electrical stuff on the pole looked like it had arced, exploded or in any other way caused the fire, and the fire did not seem to have been anywhere near the wires. My best explanation is that the pole was the target of a secret military laser weapon test. Or a Jihadi starling flew into it. Other than that, I’m kinda out of ideas.




 Posted by at 8:01 pm
Aug 292010

When it first started, the “Tea Party” movement was pretty much a one-issue concept: government spending is out of control and needs to be clamped down within the bounds of the actual Constitution. When restricted to that, the message is a winner with the vast majority of the voting public. But due both to the leftist noise machine and right wing religious nuts, the Tea Party message is getting smeared into a rainbow of basically irrelevant topics. A good writeup on this is here:

Simple games theory shows that sticking to fiscal responsibility while ignoring the religious stuff is the way to go: fiscal responsibility appeals to 90% of the voters. Religious stuff, one way or the other, will irritate 50% of the voters.

Sadly, this simple advice is likely to fall of willfully deaf ears. Take, for example, a discussion thread on this topic at the formerly relevant Free Republic:

As I write this, the commenters are approximately evenly split between “this is good sense” and “To hell with that noise… God is my campaign manager.” The last comment on the thread, as I’m looking at it, is by the founder of Free Republic, who posts:

Over my dead body.

Keep it up, jackholes. And say hello to a continued Dem domination of the government, and trillions of dollars added to the deficit every year. All because you just had to cram God into every damned thing.

 Posted by at 10:38 pm
Aug 292010

Forging ahead on this project, working multiple angles at once. One project currently in works is collating all my NPP-based CAD drawings, and figuring out what more I need to do. As it turns out, I’ve a fair amount yet to do.

It is my expectation that the book will be loaded with diagrams, both new ones of my own creation, and as many of the original diagrams as possible. Additionally, it is my hope that a good deal of new color artwork will be created for the book. But that particular decision is a ways off yet.

I’ve taken the widely separated and sometimes densely-mashed-together CAD drawings and started to put them into their own C-sized sheets with a proper border. Below you can see a bunch of ’em… not a one of which I’d declare finished. Hopefully the resolution is high enough to make them look appealing, and low enough to be damned frustrating, so that you are left with an overwhelming urger to see to it that this book project is completed. If that urge causes you to shower me with cash, so much the better…

Depending upon the detail and interestingness of the design being shown, several sheets could be devoted to it. For example, seen here are external views of the Orion Battleship, inboard profiles of it, the first starts at external views showing all the primary ports and doors open and views of the landing boats.





















If interested, take a look at the first one with the list of subjects. Note the apparently random distribution of drawing numbers to topics; this is because I listed topics in the order in which they occured to me, not because of any particular logic. If I’ve forgotten something (and I know I have… I need to put the Orion from “Orion Shall Rise” on there), let me know.

NOTE: Once again, the topic of the book is nuclear pulse propulsion, not “starships” or “nuclear propulsion.”

 Posted by at 5:37 pm