Jun 262016

Hamilton: An American Musical with special guest Hillary Rodham Clinton

Premium Seat – $10,000 Includes Photo Reception with Hillary

Host – $33,400 Includes Premium Seat and Wrap Party with Hillary and other special guests

Event Chair – $100,000 Includes two Premium Seats and Wrap Party with Hillary and other special guests, and Invitation to the Democratic National Convention

I mean, gosh! You’d have to be crazy to *not* buy a couple of tickets! You have to spend money to make money, right? And how else are you going to get this close to Hillary to bend her ear for two seconds to try to influence her policies than by throwing fat stacks of cash at her?


 Posted by at 1:32 am
Jun 262016

A couple years ago, ads started appearing above the Disqus comments on posts on the Unwanted Blog. I didn’t ask for ’em, and I wasn’t asked to let ’em show up… they just did. But they were easy enough to ignore, so I just chalked ’em up to the cost of doing business. Turns out, though, that I receive a fraction of a  pittance from the ads. I’m scoring something like three to ten cents a day. Woooooooo.

In looking into this, I found that as far as the ads were concerned the focus of the blog was set to “Living.” Now, granted that “Dying” seems a poor focus for a blog, I’d assume that “Living” would be accurate enough, but I don’t think that’s quite what’s meant. So I re-set it to “Tech.” Which, again, might not be the most accurate setting, but they don’t seem to have a Tech-Science-SciFi-Politics-News-Rant setting. At least as of this writing the ads don’t seem to have changed their focus any, but maybe they will, who knows.

So… I dunno. If you see an ad that looks halfway interesting, *maybe* take a look. I might get half a penny out of the deal. Or maybe use that Amazon search box at upper right… I get a pittance out of that, too.

And for the trolls out there: Huzzah. Every time you comment you’re putting a fraction of a cent into my pocket. I’m sure you’re thrilled.

 Posted by at 1:07 am
Jun 252016

A heavily illustrated USAF brochure on turbine engine technology included, among a vast number of little photos of engines and aircraft, a few illustrations that might be of interest.

Several futuristic concepts here, several old ones. Of particular interest is the “Supersonic Multirole Fighter,” which looks like a cross between the old Lockheed Hopeless Diamond concept and the Northrop XST design… tailless with an inlet on top, with features reminiscent of the F-117, but blended rather than faceted.



Of these “Emerging Concept Needs,” several are distinctly old. The middle row of three designs are all 20+ year-old concepts.



 Posted by at 6:13 pm
Jun 252016

Here is Part Four of the story of Sarah, Zane, Loff and George transporting a shipload of rich folk to Gimli, a place where regular folk just don’t get to go. Here in Part Four, the Corpus Georgi finally lands at the destination after an unusual escort.

If you want to catch up in advance, Part One is available HERE, Part Two is available HERE, Part Three is available HERE, and the previous story, “Mass Disappearance,” is available HERE. A couple story fragments starring this crew are available HERE and HERE. Part Five, already written and completed, will be the final portion of the story.

If you like it, feel free to tell your friends, family, co-workers, random strangers, whoever. Like it, hate it or meh it, I’m interested in your thoughts via comments. In particular: do you read it in EPUB pr PDF??

EPUB version

PDF version


 Posted by at 1:22 pm
Jun 252016

Below is a brief armwrestling video. Not really the standard fare around here, but I thought it was illuminating. Because on one side there’s Jill Mills, two time “World’s Strongest Woman.” On the other side there are three more or less normal guys. Clearly none of them are powerlifters like Ms. Mills. She appears to have bigger muscles than any of them. She *looks* stronger than any of them. And out of the three matches, she loses twice. This presumes that these matches were on the up-and-up and she didn’t throw ’em.

Like it or not, there are same *distinct* differences between men and women. We are not interchangable. This is not a judgement of moral superiority or being “better,” or a suggestion that anyone should be considered unequal before the law. It’s just… the way it is. Men are, on average, substantially physically stronger than women, just like Masai are on average notably  taller than Kalahari bushmen, or women have slightly longer lifespans than men

Feel free to share with the trigglodytes in your life.


 Posted by at 8:16 am
Jun 242016

A 1966 NASA film about hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, for employees who will work around those propellants. Just in time to help you with that hypergolic fire walking ceremony!


These Earth-storable propellants used to be quite popular (they fueled the Titan II and Titan III and IV core stages, frex), but are far less so today.

 Posted by at 10:30 pm
Jun 242016

Credit card skimmers appear to be pretty simple electronics. A bit disturbing how easy they are to produce and emplace.


While looking at some YouTube vids about skimmers (see the comments), an ad popped up that was no doubt selected via some context-analyzing algorithm. But *you* decide what to think of it…


 Posted by at 6:59 pm
Jun 242016

Londoners call for capital to break away from the rest of Britain following Brexit vote

I have approximately zero fraks to give about whether London stays a part of England or not. But what I *do* care about is the awesome possibility of that idea catching on in the US. Just imagine… New York City secedes from New York State. Chicago breaks away from Illinois (and Gary from Indiana; those two utopian ideal metropolii can joint forces while Illinois and Indiana build a wall around ’em). Politics in NYC and Chicago could remain exactly the same, but for the rest of their states? A renaissance of freedom and a breaking away from the strangleholds of the urban powerhouses that have enforced entirely inappropriate laws and regulations on the rest of their states.

And then there’re all the other nations looking to bail from the EU:

The Swexits, Czexits and Frexits that could follow Britain out of the EU

Dexit, Nexit Or Swexit Could Be Next

Brexit — then Frexit, Nexit, Swexit, Plexit …?

Swexit: Sweden

Czexit: Czech Republic

Frexit: France

Dexit: Denmark

Nexit: Norway

Plexit: Poland (this one could use some work)

History is replete with high-minded associations that just didn’t work out. T he US, for example, under the original Articles of Confederation. The League of Nations is probably the standout example of a failure like the EU might turn out to be.


 Posted by at 5:47 pm
Jun 242016

More than 30 people burned in Tony Robbins’ hot-coals walk

Fire-walking is the easiest stunt out there. Simply rake out some glowing coals, put a damp pad at the front, a damp pad at the back, take off your shoes and socks and walk across. Don’t stop, keep up a brisk pace, make sure to wipe your feet at the end to make sure you don’t have any coals between your toes. That’s it. It impresses the rubes because ignert people think you’re actually doing something more impressive than demonstrating that charcoal has a really low rate of thermal conductivity. A good scammer can trick people into thinking it’s “mind over matter” or some such rubbish.

So how do you screw it up? The article doesn’t say, but I can only assume:

  1. Stupidity
  2. Malice

So, how do you make a fire walk actually dangerous? Any of these will do it; any could arise from dumbassery, but some might be more likely attributable to intentional nastiness:

  1. Walk across an actual fire (rather than just glowing coals)
  2. Mix the coals with something like rocks/pebbles/metal bits. You never see someone walking across hot *rocks,* do you.
  3. Mix in something like sugar or plastic. That’s be like walking across *napalm.*
  4. Mix in something like broken glass. All the burningness of rocks, now with sharp jaggedness.
  5. Stop.

CSB: Back in my college days, one semester I found myself coming up short in credit hours (calculus as a pre-req, and my inability to wrap my head around calculus, played havoc from time to time). So I had to take a “filler” course to stay a full-time student and to help jack up my GPA. The course I took was some sort of sociology course on magic or witchcraft or some such. I had hoped it would turn out to be a rational course on the history of bullshit, how it has affected history, blah, blah, blah. What did I get? The “professor” was a white guy. Normally not something I have a problem with. But the white guy was a shaman in some African tribe, complete with slideshows of him Over There in his village doing the Great White Savior Among The Noble Savages Thing. Worse: rather than him just scamming the natives and going along with their superstitious rubbish, he actually bought it and believed it (could well be they were running a line of BS on *him,* and the moment he was gone they laughed their asses off at the dumbass hippy).

I generally just kept my head down and snickered to myself. But one day he brought in one of his buddies, an elderly reject from the 60’s who bought into magical thinking. To this guy, fire walking was truly a magical thing; you had to be damn near a Jedi to be able to pull it off. To him, the supernatural was the only possible explanation. And since he did it on a virtually daily basis without injury, that proved that he was Something Special. And then he dared us to do it with him, that he could teach us his Magical Ways. This was approximately the only time I spoke up in class. I had no interest in firewalking; not out of fear, but because it’s a waste of time. I challenged the firewalker to a special challenge: I would believe that maybe, just maybe, he might have something to his belief in his magical specialness if he walked halfway across the field of coals, *stopped,* stood their motionless as I walked across, and only continued after I got to the end.

Oddly, that challenge was not accepted.

UPDATE: this news item has more info, including a pretty good clue as to what the problem was…

“From my observation, there was someone in front of us and someone behind us on their cell phone, taking selfies and taking pictures,” said Jacqueline Luxemberg, who completed the fire walk. “[She asked others] to video record for her, so I think that that has a lot to do with it.”

So… MORONS. Didn’t just burn themselves by stopping, but quite possibly also caused a traffic jam.

 Posted by at 9:47 am
Jun 242016

Who would the USA exit from? I suggest from the federal government. Behold:

There Are Now More Bureaucrats With Guns Than U.S. Marines

The “Militarization of America” report found civilian agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment between 2006 and 2014. Examples include IRS agents with AR-15s, and EPA bureaucrats wearing camouflage. … Open the Books found there are now over 200,000 non-military federal officers with arrest and firearm authority, surpassing the 182,100 personnel who are actively serving in the U.S. Marines Corps.

I’m sorry (no I’m not), but the government doesn’t get to have temper tantrums and demand that the people should be disarmed while at the same time loading up on the very same arms they say we can’t have.

Whenever there’s a gun control debate, you almost always see the one guy pop up with “Yeah, ok, so what about nukes? Should regular folks be allowed to own nukes? Huh? Should they? Gotcha!” I’ve suggested before that a simple rule of thumb on what arms the civilian populace should not be barred from having is this: I get to buy whatever the internal policing system in the US gets to buy. If the EPA gets to have assault weapons, so do I. If the IRS wants main battle tanks, I should be allowed to buy ’em too. If the Food and Drug Administration gets theater ballistic missiles, so do I. If the Small Business Administration gets weaponized smallpox, then I get the selection of plagues and poxes of my choice.

Don’t want me to have a particular class of weapon, Representative Trigglypants? Then why do *you* get them?

 Posted by at 8:35 am