Feb 262016

A potentially interesting clip of Stephen Colbert interviewing physicist Brian Greene, who describes what gravitational waves are and how they were detected.

 Posted by at 10:10 pm
Feb 262016

The city’s war on small business slams ‘cat cafes’

In short: NYC’s wacky regulations have shut down a cat cafe, for reasons that seem at best arbitrary. This not only harms the humans who own the business, it harms the humans who are employed there and the humans who would like to frequent it… and it harms the cats who might have been “employed” at the cafe. These cats would be provided not only with a clean, safe environment that is more enriching than a simple metal cage in a shelter, they would also be made available to the human clientele for adoption.

This is just one of the reasons why I dislike major urban population zones like this. It compresses people… and power. Inhabitants surrender power to other people in order to take care of things and smooth over the social order; and once people (like city governments) start accumulating power, they don’t know when to stop. Or even *to* stop. So here you have Bill De Blasio’s jackbooted thugs clipboarded bureaucrats potentially economically ruining some people for reasons that make no reasonable sense.

 Posted by at 6:53 pm
Feb 262016

That’s right… B-21, not B-3. Looks like this:

B-21 art

US Air Force Unveils New B-21 Bomber

If you think it looks like the B-2, you’re not wrong, but it looks even more like the original ATB designs from before the B-2 configuration was nailed down:


Now, you may notice that in the B-21 artwork, no exhausts are visible. This could be because the exhausts are on the underside (very unlikely), or they are actually integrated into the trailing edge (unlikely), or the USAF simply doesn’t want to show the exhausts. Anyone who remembers the first artists impression the USAF released of the B-2 will remember that:


I’ve seen a lot of people cheesed off about this design, that it’s too much like the B-2. But… so what? If the goal was to design a long-range subsonic stealthy bomber, the B-2 layout is not far from optimal. The B-52 looked like the B-47; the 787 looked like the 777 looked like the 737 looked like the 707. This is due not to lack of creativity on the part of the designers, but to the laws of physics and economics.

Something I’d love to see… a new air superiority fighter designed for stealthiness and relatively low cost. One way to accomplish this? Rehash the LockMart F-22 layout. We know the configuration is stealthy. We know it’ll fly. So why *not* base a new design on the existing engineering?Save a whole lot of time, trouble and expense.


 Posted by at 6:09 pm
Feb 262016

If you ever catch basic cable after 10 PM or so, you’ve seen commercials that are just plain undignified. These sorts of commercials, catering to a male clientele that can probably be accurately  described as “desperate,” have been playing for decades and are nothing new. But there is a new one that has me a bit confused. It’s for a dating service… but one that specializes in “dating with women from Europe.” Assuming they *actually* bring over European women (as opposed to being a chat-line or something), it’d be my guess that they specialize in equally desperate women… probably refugees from Belarus or some such.

OK, sure, whatever. If you’ve watched late-night TV, you know the commercial. It’s on all the friggen’ time. But the question that has me stumped: the narrator is a guy reading a script pretending that he is a successful client, happy with his Woman From Europe. Ok, sure, whatever. But why is the narrator clearly a guy from *Europe?* He has an accent best described as “European trying to put on an American accent,” the result being sort of an aural uncanny valley, like listening to a subdued version of the “mid Atlantic” fake accent you hear from rich characters in old Marx Brothers movies.

So why would this be? If they are trying to appeal to American men, why would they use a European man as a model? My guess: the whole thing was actually produced in Europe, and the narrator was the best voice actor they could find who could put on an American accent… and to the producers European ears, the accent sounds convincingly American. But to at least *my* American ears, it sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

The end result is that it just doesn’t do the job of making me want to spend my money to bring over a European gold-digger woman.

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Feb 252016

Oddly enough, people seem to have lost their fear of AIDS. Sure, there are drugs that can fight the virus and extend the life of someone with AIDS; but if they stop taking the drugs, AIDS remains a fatal disease. You’d *think* that people would keep this in mind and behave accordingly, but you’d be wrong. There are some drugs that can be used as “pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP),” meant to protect you from getting HIV in the first place; and while they seem to be largely effective, they are not *completely* effective. Behold:

PrEP Fails in Gay Man Adhering to Daily Truvada, He Contracts Drug-Resistant HIV

To me, these drugs are somewhat akin to carrying a concealed firearm. Such a firearm, if you are an intelligent, sane person, is there to protect you in case something unexpected occurs. Someone undergoes Sudden Jihad Syndrome at the Piggly Wiggly, for instance, and you need the gun to defend your life. You know what that pocket pistol *isn’t* good for? Intentionally launching yourself into gang territory to find the local warlord and challenge him to a duel. Similarly… if you don’t want to get AIDS, you really shouldn’t have sex with people who have AIDS. Even if you are taking some drugs.

 Posted by at 7:57 pm
Feb 252016

Anybody else? Decades in the slammer.

Former state Sen. Leland Yee sentenced to prison

Yee was a gun-grabbing State Senator from California who was put on the “Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll” by the Brady Campaign for, in part, co-authoring the nations first bill to require “micro-stamping,” where a gun would stamp an identified into each cartridge it fired. He tried to ban conversion kits. He was quoted as saying “It is extremely important that individuals in the state of California do not own assault weapons. I mean that is just so crystal clear, there is no debate, no discussion.” He pushed bills to ban the sale of violent (read: fun) video games. 

Yee was also a gun-runner, nabbed trying to buy rocket launchers from Filipino Islamic terrorists to resell to someone who turned out to be the FBI. He has been sentenced to a whole five years.

Guess what his party affiliation he is. Go on, guess.



 Posted by at 4:32 pm