May 302015

Some days back I worked in the garage, emptying out litter boxes. While doing so, One-Eye came by begging for (i.e. demanding) food. She sorta pranced back and forth just outside the open main garage door; the screen door between the house and the garage accumulated a crowd. I don’t know if they were watching me or watching One-Eye… but it’s clear that whatever the point of interest was, Raedthinn was *not* too happy.


 Posted by at 5:11 am
May 302015

If you are looking to say, “Well, that is legitimately the oddest thing I’ve seen all day,” then I’ve got ya covered. Like “Iron Sky, ” “Kung Fury” is a crowdfunded film from Scandinavia; it’s half an hour filled with every single 1980’s trope (Lamborghini Countach! VHS quality video! David Hasselhoff! Bad cel animation! Terrible early CGI! Computer hacking via mashing randomly on the keyboard! 8-bit graphics!), along with instant classics like barbarian chicks with miniguns, laser-raptors, Tyranosaur slap-fights, Kung Fu Hitler, elderly Thor and more!

There’s no point in attempting to describe the plot.

 Posted by at 1:02 am
May 292015

From a 1977 Rockwell brochure touting the forthcoming benefits to be expected from the era of space industrialization that the Shuttle was soon to usher in:

rockwell 77 space industrialization

Note that some of the illustrations here were constantly re-tasked. For example, the image in upper right with the cop and the bad guy: here is shows the advantages of the Lunetta, lighting up scary urban areas at night, allowing The Man to spot and chase down criminals. But in other publications, the same small painting was used to show other advantages of space industrialization, nothing to do with Lunetta. Not shown in *this* illustration is the police officers right hand. Elsewhere, the image is published with him holding his hand sort of in front of his face, as if he was wearing a Dick Tracey-esque two-way video/radio watch… because that’s what he was wearing (same sort of thing shown in the center-left image on the right-hand page). Space technology would, it was claimed, allow police officers to carry small, easily portable communications devices of effectively unlimited range, unlike the bulky and short-ranged walkie-talkies they had at the time.

Admittedly, it was a crazy, far-out notion of the future.

 Posted by at 11:29 pm
May 292015

Raedthinn has done this for going on ten years, probably at least once a week. I’ve never known other cats to do this. This is the first time I was able to get the phone ready in time to catch it on video. Anyone else ever know a cat to do this?

 Posted by at 4:22 pm
May 292015

Baltimore Get Bloody as Arrests Halt

Baltimore suffers deadliest month in 15 years as arrests plunge following Freddie Gray case.

Basically, it looks like the Baltimore PD said “screw it, they don’t want us there, we ain’t goin’ there.” Which to me seems a perfectly sensible response. As a result, the murder rate has spiked… 38 so far in May. Arrests have dropped 56 percent from the previous year.

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” – H. L. Mencken

 Posted by at 12:51 pm
May 292015

Operation Ivy was a nuclear test series of only two tests, carried out in the Pacific in late 1952, using the most powerful bombs then available.

The Mike shot (Ivy Mike) was the first US thermonuclear test, November 1, 1952. While the yield was impressive (10.4 megatons) as are the photos of the mushroom cloud, what really tells the tale is the before-and-after aerial photo of Enewetak Atoll showing the crater the ground-level blast punched into the Earth:


The fireball reached four miles in diameter, while the mushroom cloud topped out at 136,000 feet in altitude and spread to 100 miles in diameter. The crater was more than 6,200 feet in diameter and 164 feet deep; the island was stripped bare of vegetation and structures.

The Ivy Mike test used a one-off type of thermonuclear bomb that utilized liquified (cryogenic) deuterium. This resulted in a wholly impractical device as far as deliverable weapons go, but it was adequate to test the effects of decamegaton devices, as well as the basic physics.

A good documentary about Ivy Mike:

And a one-hour contemporary film about the test (the full-length film that the first clip above was taken from):

 Posted by at 12:31 am
May 282015

Much to my surprise, the new series “Wayward Pines” has turned out to be pretty good. It is based on a series of novels I have not read, and I don’t know how close the series is going to stick to the books. Until tonights episode I thought chances were fairly good that the series would turn out to be All In The Main Characters Head… some plot evidence pointed that way, and since M. Night Shyamalan is behind it, it seemed like the the sort of What A Twist that the series could get behind. But tonight it became fairly clear that rather than some weird “psychological thriller,” the series is actually straight-up science fiction. A little bit of googling brought me to THIS summary of the novel and… yup, sci-fi. Big-ass spoiler in there, so beware.

For what it’s worth, the evidence presented through the first three episodes was enough for me to figure out what the Big Secret of the series is *before* I googled the answer. But even so… knowing the “twist” here is actually not going to turn me off to continuing watching the series, but will actually make me more interested.

 Posted by at 10:40 pm
May 282015

Yikes. A graph depicting the ongoing death toll of workers in Qatar building the facilities for the 2022 World Cup:


Parents: don’t let your kids be a part of this travesty. Teach them that there are alternatives to soccer. Safer, less violent, more socially uplifting alternatives… not to mention more interesting and useful. Baseball. Basketball. Rugby. Gunrunning. Dungeons and Dragons. Smoking dope. Chess. Mortal Combat. Watching paint dry.

Soccer: not even once.

 Posted by at 6:01 am