Aug 272017

There are several websites that have collections of Blu-Ray screencaps from various movies. But “2001” has somehow failed to be the number-one screengrabbed movie. Finally, though, one of the sites has made a bajillion screencaps from the “2001” Blu-Ray and posted them. Behold your new background screens!

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


Now I need to start whining about the lack of a thousand “2001” 4K screencaps…

 Posted by at 11:23 am
Aug 262017

In these here 57 United States, is the problem of people shouting “wolf” in crowded theaters so bad that the Constitution doesn’t cover it?

See, this is why whenever I go to the theater I make sure to bring a fully loaded .50 caliber Browning machine gun. The wolves, you see.  I can’t say anything about them, what with the freedom of speech now being curtailed.

 Posted by at 9:06 am
Aug 262017

I’m not a professional truck driver. Never driven a dump truck. I assume there are some intricacies to the task that ‘m unaware of. Still… you’d imagine that “don’t drive with the damn thing raised” would be like number two or three on the checklist. But that wasn’t the case in Houston recently (note: colorful metaphors are deployed):

This sort of thing apparently happens more than you might wish… here it is in Saudi Arabia:

And here’s a collection of ’em (note: a pedestrian bridge is hit in one of the vids, and you can bet there were injuries and/or death):

What *must* have happened is that the bed of the dump truck for some reason deploys while going down the road. But whether that’s due to a mechanical failure or the driver hitting the wrong button… dunno. This might be the sort of thing that could be fixed with proper design… the truck having a built-in governor that won’t let it move faster than, say, 10 miles per hour if the bed is raised, or will automatically lower it if the truck’s going faster than 10 mph… something like that. Or a least a friggen’ LOUD beeping when the bed is raised and a flashing red light. *Something.*



 Posted by at 8:12 am
Aug 252017

I don’t know if this piece is full of accurate data or wishful thinking, but if the former, this could be some good news:

Gilmer: We Should View The Permian Basin As A Permanent Resource

Short form: an expert believes that the Permian Basin formation in west Texas may have between 500 billion and two trillion barrels of economically recoverable oil. The US currently consumes about 7.2 billion barrels of oil per year, so this formation would provide between 97 and 389 years of petroleum for the US. This makes it a “permanent” resource because it’s safe to assume that the US will be largely weaned off petroleum for most fuel applications before that first 100 years is up, so the formation might never be drained.

From a strategic standpoint, it might be best if the US developed the infrastructure to tap that oil deposit… and then leaves it more or less alone, pump out no more than we’re doing now. Instead, buy our oil from elsewhere. Run ’em all dry. Then, when the whole world goes into oil shock as the foreign supplies dry up and the prices shoot through the roof, the US starts tapping the Permian Basin as a strategic reserve. Make it illegal to export the oil. The rest of the world grinds to a halt, the US forges ahead. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!!

 Posted by at 10:51 pm
Aug 252017

It’s a heck of a day for chaos…

North Korea launches three missiles into sea, heightening tensions


Trump pardons former Sheriff Joe Arpaio


Massive protests threaten UC Berkeley as it vows to protect free speech


Organizers cancel right-wing rallies in San Francisco, Berkeley


Violent Protests in India Turn Deadly After Guru’s Rape Conviction


 Posted by at 7:38 pm
Aug 252017

When I think of advances in 3D printing, it tends to be by way of improved resolution. The finer you can print, the more accurate the model you can make.

But there are other metrics one might consider. The ability to print big stuff very quickly could of course be very advantageous for certain applications, especially those that don’t need micron-level accuracy. And so… this thing:

The items shown here all look pretty floppy, so I don’t know how useful this stuff would be as furniture, but I can see how a setup like this could be used to print off, say, a chair in just a matter of minutes. Given the speed involved, the per-unit price might even be competitive with that of an injection-molded chair.

 Posted by at 3:35 pm
Aug 252017


It’s claimed to be a functional space suit, good for a vacuum.  It’s less of a true space suit than a survival suit, like the suits the Mercury astronauts wore: good enough to keep you alive in case the spacecraft loses pressure, but not very flexible. Not something you’d want to go outside the ship and do repairs and fight Martians in. I guess we’ll see…


 Posted by at 10:28 am