Aug 292012

The Guardian newspaper is a bastion of neanderthalic left wingerism, with editorials that generally read like something that would’ve been written a century ago to appeal to the early communists and anarchists. But even they can get it right… from time to time.

Neil Armstrong’s death should be a wake-up call for the world

Nobody born since 1935 has stepped on another world.

Now, in 2012, I have to face the possibility that I could live to be an old man in a world where the only memories our civilization has of planetary exploration are a few grainy, black and white images, carefully preserved from a century before; dusty footprints and scraps of metal abandoned in a place we never go.

 Posted by at 12:49 pm
Aug 292012


Yesterday, the president ordered the America flags at federal properties to be flown at half- staff on Friday, the day Neil A. Armstrong is buried.

That seems like a nice gesture, but it is such a slight gesture as to be insulting.

When Obama himself dies, for example, the flag will be lowered for 30 days. The Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House, would get 10 days, and if a member of the president’s cabinet were to die, the period of respect would be from the day of their death until the day of their burial.

If a member of Congress dies, the flags are lowered the day they die and the day that follows.

And the first man to walk on the moon gets half that.

He will inspire future generations, but mostly he is shaming ours.

By reminding us of who we used to be.

 Posted by at 11:00 am
Aug 292012

Following on the heels of the MX-1964 mockup was a mockup of the B-58 as it more or less was built. Clearly built in the same facility, what’s unclear from the photo is whether any components from the previous mockup were re-used. All the major components appear to be substantially altered, so it might have been an all-new structure, or it might have used some of the same internal supports. It would be nice if such things were able to be preserved, but mockups like this usually wind up getting turned into firewood.

 Posted by at 9:24 am
Aug 292012

In the vast pile of magical thinking that people have dreamed up over the millenia, “Onomancy” is the belief that you can figure something out about someone by using their name in divination. Aslo, people have believed that if you find out someone’s “true name,” you can develop some form of power over them. And of course as we all know, Muad’Dib is a killing name.

In recent years we have dropped a lot of this sort of belief, though perhaps not entirely: you might not be able to do much to me just by knowing my name, but if I posted my Social Security Number, I bet I’d be financially ruined by nightfall. And people online often choose usernames that hide their “true names,” perhaps not for magical reasons, but for reasons of protecting privacy. Still, it takes a special kind of Herp and Derp to see any sense in this news story:

Deaf boy’s name violates weapons policy: School

Short form: the family of a deaf three-year old in Nebraska was asked by his preschool to change his name. Why? His name is “Hunter,” and the sign for his name is a “shooting gesture,” with the fingers crossed to show that it’s a proper name. Why is this a problem? Because the school bans anything that looks like a weapon.

After the current school board either gets fired or voted out (come on, these are *Nebraskans,* not a bunch of wilting violet New Yorkers who freak out over guns or 44-ounce Pepsis), hopefully they’ll be replaced with a board that takes this as a “teachable moment” and institutes firearms training in grade school. A number of firearm options are available.

 Posted by at 9:09 am
Aug 282012

Solicitor completes project to translate Bible into Doric

The Acks o the Apostles, Chaptir 14, verse 8

**Noo, at Lystra, there was a cripple mannie vrang amo e feet fae e day he wis born, nivver haein waalkit. He wis hearknin tae Paul as he spak, an Paul, leukin him straicht in e ee an seein he hid e faith tae be made aa better, says till him wi a lood vice: “Stan straicht up on yer feet!” He jumpit up an set oot waalkin. An fan e crood saa fit Paul hid deen, they roart oot o them in their ain tongue, “E gods hiv come dooon till hiz in e form o a mannie.”

Now who can argue with that?  (Spellcheck about melted down on this’n, though)

Vaguely relevant:

 Posted by at 10:44 pm
Aug 272012

Just a few minutes ago (1:26 by my cel phone) I was in my workshop when the whole thing felt like it was gonna shake to bits.  Didn’t feel like an earthquake; felt more like a sizable impact tremor or an explosion. Called a neighbor; they heard it and felt it inside a conventional house. So, at least it wasn’t a psych0logical aberration.  If it was an earthquake, it must’ve been *real8 close and *real* shallow.

Unless it was a nearby meteor strike (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease), my guess would be that something kersploded over at ATK. But no smoke plumes, and it must’ve been a mighty BANG if it was.

 Posted by at 12:33 pm