Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Eid sexual rampage in Cairo

SandMonkey is all over this story and really pissed off about it. Click the link for a lot more. Its worth taking the time to go read it all.
...The story is as follows for the those of you who didn't hear about it: It was the first day of Eid, and a new film was opening downtown. Mobs of males gatherd trying to get in, but when the show was sold out, they decided they will destroy the box office. After accomplishing that, they went on what can only be described as a sexual frenxy: They ran around grabbing any and every girl in sight, whether a niqabi, a Hijabi or uncoverd. Whether egyptian or foreigner. Even pregnant ones. They grabbed them, molested them, tried to rip their cloths off and rape them, all in front of the police, who didn't do shit. The good people of downtown tried their best to protect the girls. Shop owners would let the girls in and lock the doors, while the mobs tried to break in. Taxi drivers put the girls in the cars while the mobs were trying to break the glass and grab the girls out. It was a disgusting pandamonium of sexual assaults that lasted for 5 houres from 7:30 PM to 12:30 am, and it truns my stomach just to think about it.

I called my father when I heard of that happening, and he informed me that he didn't hear of it at all. They watched Al Jazeerah, CNN, flipped through opposition newspapers, and nothing. Nada. Nobody mentioned it. As if it didn't happen.

But it did...
Now think about how this dovetails in with what went on en Australia recent...

Monday, October 30, 2006

When mice go bad

This machine I'm typing on started acting strangely a couple of weeks ago. Performance was jerky and mouse response was spotty. It seemed as if there were some sort of virus stealing a lot of the CPU cycles. I looked in the registry, poked around for any lurking nasties, but found nothing.

The last couple of days the mouse pointer started moving on its own. It would suddenly zip to the top of the screen or go flying about randomly. So today after discounting to my satisfaction possible software issues, I plug in a new mouse and all symptoms have vanished.

Apparently, the mouse hardware went crazy and was unmercifully hammering the CPU with interrupts. Naturally, I had to take the defunct mouse apart and examine its mechanism prior to sending it off to its final reward. This is what engineers do -- we love to examine failed stuff and see what it's made of. This particular rodent had a couple of possible culprits. Its internal circuitry was simple enough - one IC, a couple if infrared LED's and IR sensors, three 3 micro-switches (it was a wheel mouse), and one electrolytic capacitor.

The smart money has to be on the electrolytic cap or the IR sensors be bad. If I had to take a guess, I'd go with the cap being bad first. QC on these things has been notoriously bad over the years, resulting in some really spectacular failures in the field.

I suppose I could have fired up the soldering iron and tried replacing the electrolytic with an equivalent rated tantalum cap, but I just didn't have the patience today for such an adventure. Since the new mouse was only $4 at Big Lots, and I already had the thing in stock, there wasn't much economic motive for trying to resurrect the dead one.

I usually give up on electronics hard. I'm not afraid of warming up the soldering iron and hacking on stuff. Defunct generic Chinese mice that maybe only cost $10 5 years ago just don't seem worth the effort though. If my original MS mouse with the "chicklet" buttons were to go belly up someday, that would be a different story. That one I'd take a crack at repairing because there's some historic value involved. I really hate to send stuff with genuine historic value into the skip.

Missouri "stem cell initiative" explicitly allows "cloning"

Been a lot of talk over this, Michael J. Fox videos, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Well, I decided to actually read the full text of this initiative and stop relying on what all the talking head, pundits, politicians, prognisticators, prevaricators, movie stars, etc were saying.

Here is what the text in 38(d)2(1) says regarding cloning:
"(1) No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being."
Looks like it explicitly prohibits "cloning" right?


Anyone casually flipping through the proposed legislation will be totally fooled into believing that it prohibits cloning.

Here's why -- the initiative doesn't use word definitions as the common man and general public understand them. This is a very common trick politicians use to fool people about the real nature of a particular piece of legislation. They use words and phrases people know and understand intuitively, but then include other language in the legislation to ALTER and CHANGE the legal definition of those words and phrases so they legally mean something else entirely.

This is exactly what is going on with the Missouri initiative. Here's the kicker down at the bottom of the initiative [38(d)6(2)] where "cloning" becomes explicitly permitted by virtuse of redefinitional hokus pokus:
(2) “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.
As you can plainly see, they've redefined the phrase: "Clone or attempt to clone a human being" to be legally something TOTALLY DIFFERENT than what ordinary people would interpret it to be.

What we have here is explicit permission to clone as long as the resultant cells are not "implanted in a uterus". Grow'em in a petri dish for as long as you like. Let the resultant cell blob grow as large as it can get. You could even grow it to term into a full blown ready to be born human as long as you avoided ever putting it in a uterus.

Why this shifty redefinitional legedermain? Obviously the proponents of this initiative full well intend to have cloning proceed at full speed if it is passed. If not, they wouldn't have felt the need to include the redefinitional weasle words giving "clone or attempt to clone" a completely different meaning than common usage might suggest.

Simply put, the proponents of the initiative are flat out lying in their public presentations about the nature of this initiative, and when someone lies like this, they do it because they know people won't accept it if they tell the truth about it.

For the record, I have no moral problems with cloning or stem cell research. I would love for someone to clone me up a fresh pancreas if they could.

My problem is with the intentionally deceptive presentation of this initiative. I don't like it when people try to con the public.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hack resistant voting machine block diagram

Excuse the graphics, I whipped this up with the Windows Paint crapplet. The graphic is a bit simplified. The up counters will really be a set of bank switched counters. Each voting screen full of candidates would get a bank of counters. When the next screen is presented, there would be another bank of counters activated and the previous (and all other banks) rendered inaccessable.

The only communication between the COTS PC and the custom voting logic module is:

  1. Counter bank setup information, multi-select (w/max permissible selects), or mutual exclusion mode, and an activation map for the buttons to activate.

  2. A signal that the display information is on screen and the voter should be allowed to start pushing button(s).

  3. Coming back to the COTS PC is a signal from the voting module that the current bank of selections has been committed

When a button is pushed, the corresponding LED will light indicating a selection has been made.

When the voter is done selecting for a particular page of votes, they hit the commit button. This tells the subsystem to strobe the counters corresponding to selections.

An additional (desirable) feature would be the ability to review/change/revisit votes. This feature can be added, by mapping the commit button to a set of bank switched flip-flops that would hold selection information. The addition of a "master commit" button would use the flip-flop banks to strobe the counters rather than the button state flip-flop's themselves. This would require an additional signal to the cots PC to "restart" the vote sequence for a voter.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vegemite: US bans Australian culinary menace

There's not enough praise that can be given about this courageous US government action to restrict the uncontrolled proliferation of Vegemite. Vegemite, as you all know, is genuinely dangerous stuff. Its bloody legacy of victims in Australia is well documented. Vegemite, when combined with toast, is well known to chemically transform into a very powerful explosive undetectable to bomb sniffers. Of course, this makes Vegemite the ideal terrorist weapon.

Sunday Mail
THE United States has slapped a ban on Vegemite, outraging Australian expatriates there.
The bizarre crackdown was prompted because Vegemite contains folate, which in the US can be added only to breads and cereals...

...Former Geelong man Daniel Fogarty, who now lives in Calgary, Canada, said he was stunned when searched while crossing the US border recently.

"The border guard asked us if we were carrying any Vegemite," Mr Fogarty said...

I thank Ace commenter mesablue for alerting me to this prompt, prudent, and responsible US government action.

C-SPAN gets punked by audience callers

The dangers of broadcasting live without a time delay ;->

Damned media sensing drives...

Normally a media sensing floppy drive is a good thing...except for when you've got old 720K original distribution diskettes you want to make copys of so the originals can be tucked away safely somewhere and the copies used instead.

Finding a new 720K floppy diskette these days is near impossible, so one is forced to try this ploy using obtainable 1.44M diskettes. OK, so I put some tape over the hole in the 1.44M diskettes and got them to format as 720K. Problem solved.

But still, if I tell the format utility to format a diskette as 720K, damnit, I want it to try, not just quit and refuse to do it. At least ask me if I want to give it a whirl.

The tyrany of technology that attempts to be too clever can be very annoying.

DoD to fight back against media distortions

Someone has apparently hit the stodgy DoD with the cluebat when it comes to dissemination of information, and correction of errors in media reporting.

The DoD is now documenting its objections to innaccurate media stories online. Good stuff. Its about time the public had a way to compare media portrayals against what the DoD actual positions are.

The new web page is here: For The Record

H/T Confederate Yankee

Friday, October 27, 2006

Diebold electronic voting machines

See my preliminary design in block diagram form here.

A study has been done by Princeton on the Diebold machines, you can read the whole thing here.

As a professional in the field, here is my opinion.

I'm not happy to say it, but the Princeton study is correct. The Diebold machine can be hacked if it operates in the manner they have described. The fundamental flaw in the design of these machines (which Princeton doesn't talk about), is that that vote recording is done under software control.

The Diebold unit is essentially a PC'ish type machine using ordinary memory technologies(Flash, DRAM, etc) and a general purpose CPU running Windows CE.

Whenever you have something under software control, where the software isn't running out of a mask programmed ROM (or 1-shot non-erasable EPROM) there is going to be the chance of a hack. This is particularly true if the software is allowed to do the counting rather than special purpose counting hardware that isn't alterable via software.

What is needed is a different hardware design. One where the general purpose CPU and software are only capable of providing display information to the voter. To beat the possibility of a hack, it is absolutely necessary for vote casting and counting to be a dedicated hardware function that uses a completely independent bank of hardware accumulators and vote buttons that the CPU and software have no physical connection to that would allow for a change.

It is essential that the CPU and software have no hardware mechanism to read/query the selection status of the hardware registers contining the pending ballot selections.

The only thing the CPU/software should be allowed to do is setup the selection criteria for a particular screen full of candidates. By this I mean the the voting buttons that correspond to candidates or initiatives would need to be put into a mode allowing for mutually exclusive selection(a normal race), or a multiple select mode(approval of a slate of judges) for any particular screen full of vote stuff.

The CPU/software must only know of the mode the vote buttons are to be configured to and nothing else. Pure unhackable hardwired logic gates must handle the operation of the buttons and vote selections (I'd be willing to allow for a small mask programmed single chip microprocessor like something in the Intel 8051 family of microcontrollers).

Key design point -- the logic(or microcontroller) handling counting and voter button presses, must be COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to anything other than button presses and counting. It MUST NOT be aware of anything associated with what those presses and counts map to. Obviously, that logic or microcontroller must be unalterable in the field (mask programmed at the factory) and soldered down.

The CPU/software can set the logic/microcontroller's mode for a vote, but it won't be able to see what was recorded or alter it.

What I've outlined here is a major architectural change in the way these voting machines have been designed in the past, but it is a necessary change if absolute integrity is to be guaranteed.

This crap Princeton described of passing memory cards around with software that automatically loads, and vote counts on them is completely bogus.

The only way you should be able to suck the votes out of a machine is by pluggin a specialized vote sucker device into a port hooked up to the tally logic/microcontroller. You want dedicated counting hardware to say what its vote count was, not some general purpose CPU like in the Diebold machine. The Diebold architecture is fundamentally flawed.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"youths" burning Paris again.

Can you imagine such a thing happening in the US...and having it tolerated? Actually I can, but only in those cities with a disarmed populace. In Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, the sidewalks would have been littered with the bodies of these muslim "youths".

Associated Press
Youths forced passengers off three buses and set them on fire overnight in suburban Paris...

...About 10 attackers _ five of them with handguns _ stormed a bus in Montreuil east of Paris early Thursday and forced the passengers off, the RATP transport authority said. They then drove off and set the bus on fire.

Late Wednesday, three attackers forced passengers off another bus in Athis-Mons, south of Paris, and tossed a Molotov cocktail inside, police officials said. The driver managed to put out the fire. Elsewhere, between six and 10 youths herded passengers off a bus in the western suburb of Nanterre late Wednesday and set it alight.

Plugging in a fridge is not as simple as you might think

Get a group of electricians together and have'em start talking about electric code requirements. A conversation about the (apparently) simple morphs into something truly strange.

What you might consider to be a fairly cut and dried situation - like how a recepticle for a fridge gets wired up, becomes an amazing exploration into language parsing, naval gazing, and self-doubt that can probe the limits of sanity itself.

You don't need to understand the points in the electric code being discussed here, you just need to realize that even seemingly trivial things can cause professionals fits when the edge of the envelope is involved.

Mike Holt's Electric Code Forum

Click on that link above and be prepared to be amazed at the volume and diversity of opinion/positions on how one should treat the lowly fridge recepticle. As of this posting, 15 pages of discussion have ensued on this issue.

Rectify this national disgrace Mr. President

Mark Bingham. Jeremy Glick. Thomas Burnett. Todd Beamer.

These are names we have all heard or are familiar with. They are the men known for fact to have participated in action to thwart the hijackers of Flight 93.

What they did was beyond the call of duty for any ordinary airline passenger. But that is the stuff of which heroes are made. Ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances, who make decisions and take actions that change the vector of history.

This handful of men very likely saved the nation's capital and those in it at the time from doom. Pretty heady stuff saving the capital and scores of staffers and congressmen, striking the first counter attack against OBL's henchmen. That sort of thing doesn't happen every day.

Its the sort of result one might think obviously worthy of this nation's highest civilian honor (the Presidential Medal of Freedom). One would be WRONG in making that assumption.

We're five years on since 9/11 now and yet NONE of the men listed above have been awarded the Medal of Freedom.

Why is this? I don't know. I've written my congressman inquiring as to why. If I get an answer I'll blog it.

I'll leave with this. Some of the past Medal of Freedom awards have gone to Rita Moreno, Estee Lauder, George McGovern and Julia Child. It seems to me the Flight 93 crew stands a lot taller than 90% of the people on that list. Julia Child? GMAFB.

Some are going to whine about the FDNY and NYPD guys who did heroic things as well. Yep they did. They accept danger as part of the job, and I thank them profusely for doing it. Heroic things are expected of professionals doing dangerous jobs though. The four guys above just bought plane tickets. They weren't expecting a date with destiny.

Flash over substance - iPods failed on Everest climb

In all things technological I have always valued a product that WORKS over one that is flashy but fragile, or feature laden but unstable.

Video cards are a prime example. I love the ancient Matrox Millenium II cards. They simply work. Drivers are available under almost any OS and are stable. There are no suprises with these cards...and they never fail because they run cool enough to not need cooling fans. A video card requiring a fan WILL FAIL. Its not a matter of if, rather when -- and that's usually in about a year when the cheap Chinese sleeve bearings go bad and the fan motor burns out allowing the graphics processor to overheat and die.

My favorite disk drives are the old Seagate Elite line of SCSI drives. They're considered slow by modern standards, but they were built like tanks (9-11lb depending on the particular model) and never fail. They were not consumer grade products at any point in their production life -- the 9G ST410800N debuted just under a cool $4G's. Nope - they never found their way into ordinary PC's or even PC class servers. The Seagate Elites were built into million dollar heavy iron drive arrays by outfits like EMC. They were the top of the line -- the Rolls Royce of disk drives designed for applications where failure was simply not an option.

I can write data to an Elite and expect it to stay there and be available for a long time. I've stopped counting the number of lesser quality IDE drives I've tossed out over the years that failed. My beloved Elites just keep running day-in-day-out. I bought a big pile of them stripped from a retired EMC array many years ago for about $20/each. The cost per gig is higher than if I bought a new 200G drive, but cost per gig isn't really all that important to me - the COST OF FAILURES over time is what really matters. The Elites don't fail, and the most I could lose if one did was 9G at a time. Using this stodgy old tank of a drive makes my cost of failures much lower.

Don't get me wrong here - I use some large new IDE drives too - but I use them as cheap LAN attached backup devices for the Elites which are hauling the freight every day. The machines with the new junk get powered up only for the backups then sit powered off for quite a while until I think I need another snapshot.

So far I've never lost an Elite, but I've had some of the big cheap IDE's die.

True reliability -- there is no substitute.

Washington Post
Last year my team on Mount Everest witnessed firsthand how lousy the iPod is.

On our expedition, we brought enough electronic gadgetry to outfit an army. What broke first? The iPods. The batteries croaked, the cases scratched and the hard drives seized from the rarified air...
H/T Kuru Lounge

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Danny Rolling -- gets the chair tomorrow

Notorious Florida serial killer Danny Rolling, is scheduled for a date with Old Sparky tomorrow.

About time. I'm personally offended there are scumbags like Rolling breathing the same air I have to.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The most serious problem in America today?

What is the most pressing problem facing America today?
Global warming
Global cooling
Health care
The growing queer menace in congress
Michael Jackson
Lack of a gold standard
Serial Killers
Free polls from Pollhost.com

"Committed pacifist" "Peace Activist" who beat man into coma is sentenced

COMMITTED. PACIFIST. Right. He just has this thing about physically beating strangers into a coma. Other than that, he's really quite a peaceful pleasant fellow. This is the hidden face of the far left. Do as we say, or we'll beat you into a fucking coma.

A smirking peace activist who left a rising rock star fighting for his life after a row over his girlfriend was jailed for eight months today.

Christiaan Briggs, 30, attacked 19-year-old singer Billy Leeson and left him in a coma,...

...After punching the teenager Briggs, who went to Iraq as a peace activist in 2003, walked away "smirking"...

...judge at Snaresbrook Crown Court said: "It was obviously a miracle that he lived."...

...He had to be resuscitated in hospital, had to learn how to walk again, and must endure a fourth operation on his brain...

...New Zealand-born Briggs...had previously acted as a human shield in Iraq in 2003 in the hope of warding off a US attack...

...In mitigation Bartholomew Casella said Briggs was a "committed pacifist"...

...[judge] "You are a serious, intelligent, hard-working and utterly decent young man of talent and ability and you will undoubtedly bear a heavy burden of guilt and sorrow about what you have done...
H/T Moonbattery We Are Lumberjacks

Monday, October 23, 2006

Men love women in leather because...

H/T Wanton Abandon

eBay flying car auction Q&A

Funny stuff. Lots more where these came from.

eBay motors

Q: Does it come with a Flux Capacitor or similar?

A: The M400X prototype is powered by eight, internal combustion rotary engines, driving two fans that counter-rotate in each of the four ducted-fan nacelles. The engine was invented by Dr. Felix Wankel in the 1950s. We acquired our rotary engine design and proprietary information from Outboard Marine Corporation OMC and have further refined the charge-cooled rotor design to provide more power and operate at higher temperatures.

Q: You have no idea how excited I am about this vehicle! For some time now I have been tormented by my conscience and only now after seeing this auction realise my true destiny! The streets of Cheadle Heath, Stockport, England have been taken over by scum and filth and need cleaning up!...

A: The downwash air temperature of the M400X prototype is only about 4 degrees higher than ambient conditions. Hope this doesn't put a crimp in your plans.

Q: is it possible to fit parking sensors to assist with landing in shopping centres (the misses wrote of my mk1 golf like that) thank you

A: The M400X prototype does contain a number of sensors, but none specifically for that purpose...

IBM sues Amazon.com for patent infringement

Amazon is screwed. IBM has some of the very best patent lawyers on the planet. I guarantee they did their homework and built an airtight case before taking an action like this. Trust me, I know. I was awarded two patents in my time as an engineer with IBM. I've worked with these guys. They are very very good and know their shit.

IBM has always viewed its patent portfolio as a major corporate asset. The company derives significant revenue from that portfolio every year. It is a treasure that is always defended vigorously.


IBM stock opened up sharply today ;->

IBM has filed two patent infringement lawsuits against Amazon.com for unspecified damages, the company announced Monday.

The lawsuits are over five patents that IBM alleges that Amazon has knowingly infringed upon, which it says the online retailer uses in its customer recommendation and purchase system, advertising, web site navigation and the way its stores data on its network, according to IBM.

Big Blue says it has notified Amazon.com more than a dozen times of the alleged infringement since September 2002 seeking reimbursement, but the companies have not been able to resolve the issue.

IBM added that other companies license these same patents, and that it is open to licensing and sharing its intellectual property.

Dog cuts off power to 148 homes and erupts in flames

Shocked Gary Davies saw his dog erupt in flames — after it peed on a live power cable. Bailey the Staffordshire bull terrier also cut power to 148 homes by cocking a leg against a faulty pylon.

Gary , 42, said: “There was an almighty explosion and the whole street lit up. I turned round and the dog was on fire.”

Power was off for five hours in Middlestone Moor, Co Durham...

Cockroaches defeat woman's chemical weapon attack

Another crushing defeat for humanity as the animal rebellion continues to surge.

A huge explosion rocked the city of Lvov in the middle of the night...

...concentrated toxic fumes exceeded the reasonable norm and the poison quickly produced a reaction as soon as the woman lit a candle to reach another dark corner with the pesticide.

As a result of the explosion doors and windows were knocked out and an entire apartment wall lay collapsed...

...woman...taken to the nearby hospital...40% of her body covered with burns.

The neighbors lamented that the insects suffered no losses what so ever. Apparently the poison blew up before they had a chance to inhale it.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The resolve to stand firm

I wish our politicians had the intestinal fortitude that one Iraqi policeman displayed in the face of a suicide bomber. Iraq The Model has the story.
...As the vehicle passes through the gate and past the last barricade all of the officers run away seeking shelter…except for one extraordinary man.
One police officer held his position and was still standing in the way of the terrorist and kept on firing his rifle at the windshield until the vehicle was just meters from the officer, then…BOOM.
End of video….

I watched the video over and over again and my amazement grew with every time I watched it…this is incredible…this is heroic…this is happening...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

PAINT as an idea

Some time ago I read a SciFi story that had human/alien interactions as part of the story. I don't remember who wrote it or what its title is any longer, but one aspect of the story always stuck with me as being worth of writing about.

PAINT -- yes, that ubiquitous stuff we slop on houses, cars, fences, etc. (maybe some reader will be able to ID the story from this)

The humans in the story never thought much about paint and neither do we as a general statement. Paint is just something we use and don't give much thought to. We take paint for granted. Sure, some people get concerned about colors and such, but that really has little to do with what paint itself really is.

Lets take a step back, broaden our minds for a moment and look at paint the way the aliens in the story saw it.

The aliens had never seen paint prior to their interaction with the bumans in the story. Paint was a foreign thing to them. More interstingly, the IDEA of paint was foreign to them.

The idea of paint you say? Yes, paint is an idea. Paint is the concept of coatings that protect against adverse environmental forces. I discount paint as a colorant here because coloring is a quite different notion that can be accomplished without paint(stains, dyes, anodization, etc).

Paint, as an idea, has considerable intellectual property value. Lacking the paint concept, many things in our world would be very different indeed. Consider how an ordinary car would be affected by lack of paint. It would rust into nothing in a matter of a few years. Ocean going ships would be similarly affected. Wood sided houses would all be weathered grey like an old barn. Sheetrock walls would collect more dust and the outer paper layer would be come fuzzy quickly with the wear and tear of ordinary living.

Certainly, engineers lacking the concept of paint would work around many of these problems by using other methods. Cars and ships could be made from metals that don't rust. House sidings could be made from plastics or rustless metals, sheetrock could be covered with some sort of smooth plastic films, etc.

All of these "workarounds" for lack of the paint idea are more costly than the use of paint though. Paint, the idea, is an enabler of more cost effective engineered solutions. This is why the aliens in the story were keenly interested in paint. They didn't want to buy paint, the product, from the humans, they wanted to buy paint, the idea, from the humans.

Which brings me around to the whole purpose of this essay. I believe we in the west too often view "freedom" like paint in our effort to export it. Too often we try to export it as a product(ex. "elections") rather than an idea. If we can somehow get freedom lacking societies (ex. Islam) to recognize the idea of freedom as having genuine value to them, the actual manufacture of same is easily accomplished locally once that value is recognized.

The aliens could easily manufacture their own paint products once they recognized that paint, the idea, was a valuable one.

Radical gay group Human Rights Campaign burned Foley first


HRC has admitted it came from them, but are blaming it on a thusfar "junior staff member hired last month".


To read all about how this was electronically sleuthed out CLICK HERE
how to catch an idiot?
Start with something simple...

Send the moron an email using a tracing tool like ReadNotify, wait until the email is read...
Previously, I'd noted that HRC had donated heavily in the past to the Foley campaign (to the tune of $27,000 in the period since 2000).

The big question here, is why would a group who knew Foley was essentially an ally and typically voted in favor of gay issues the majority of the time, choose to burn him NOW? Obviously if they'd done their homework they knew the page in question was almost 18 at the time and was a willing participant.

You don't burn your friends over what was in reality a marginal scandal -- UNLESS you believe there's something larger at stake -- like thinking the democrats might have a chance of taking control of the congress. Even then, you're not going to burn your friends on a hunch, you're only going to do it if the DNC leadership assures you there will be a real chance and that a single seat could be the difference. Only then might you consider burning a proven friend.

Plainly what needs to happen now is for the FBI to get a court order prohibiting HRC from touching any of their computer systems and IT equipement until a full forensic analysis can be done on the stuff to see if the trail leads anywhere else.

H/T Ace commenter "MikeZ" and Gateway Pundit

Friday, October 20, 2006

Websites of distinction

Simon is an explorer/documenter of abandoned structures in Britain. Facinating stuff and definately worth a look.

Simon Cromwell

The worst of YouTube

Only 8 seconds long. Morons throwing french fries at a pidgeon who seems not interested.


...In his book, which came out this week, Kengor focuses on a KGB letter written at the height of the Cold War that shows that Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered to assist Soviet leaders in formulating a public relations strategy to counter President Reagan's foreign policy and to complicate his re-election efforts.

The letter, dated May 14, 1983, was sent from the head of the KGB to Yuri Andropov, who was then General Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist Party.

In his letter, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov offered Andropov his interpretation of Kennedy's offer. Former U.S. Sen. John Tunney (D-Calif.) had traveled to Moscow on behalf of Kennedy to seek out a partnership with Andropov and other Soviet officials, Kengor claims in his book.

At one point after President Reagan left office, Tunney acknowledged that he had played the role of intermediary, not only for Kennedy but for other U.S. senators, Kengor said. Moreover, Tunney told the London Times that he had made 15 separate trips to Moscow.

"There's a lot more to be found here," Kengor told Cybercast News Service. "This was a shocking revelation."...
H/T Ace Sticky Notes

Kengor's Book

Sponge Bob says...

Ghetto GPS navigation

The kicker is right at the end.

H/T UNEASYsilence

Go green

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Delgado/Beltran : "Oh my, that is a nice curve ball"

What a bunch of punks.

Democrat vote fraud efforts in full swing

Associated Press
Election officials say hundreds of potentially bogus registration cards, including ones for dead and underage people, were submitted by a branch of a national group that has been criticized in the past for similar offenses.

At least 1,500 potentially fraudulent registration cards were turned in by the St. Louis branch of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, leading up to Wednesday's registration deadline for the Nov. 7 election, said Kim Mathis, chairwoman of the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners.

Invalid registrations solicited by ACORN workers included duplicate or incomplete ones, a 16-year-old voter, dead people registering, and forged signatures, Mathis said...

That 2nd amendment thang

It really irks me when some statist/leftist/retard tries to foist of on people the sorry ass argument that the term "militia" means only the guard or some such nonsense.

Smack'em with the 10 USC 311 cluebat next time they try that nonsense and ask'em what part of the word "all" has them confused?

Clinton administration tried to foist radioactive waste on US steel mills

USGS.GOV(PDF document)

By Michael D. Fenton
Reston, VA
Open File Report 01-224

...Of immense concern to the scrap and steelmaking industries is the threat of accidental melting of radioactive scrap. Steel mills that receive ferrous scrap have been exposed to radioactive materials without warning. Such accidents can be extraordinarily expensive to steelmakers. The Federal Government recently proposed releasing very low-level radioactive scrap into the recycling stream, an action that is vigorously opposed by the scrap and steelmaking industries. The Metals Industry Recycling Coalition has been trying to persuade the U.S. Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, and the U.S. Congress to keep any radioactively contaminated scrap out of the commerce stream...

NTY profits continue to plunge

"a continuing tough advertising environment" : Continued seditious behavior can make for a "tough advertising environment". The universe of pro-terrorist advertisers willing to be associated with the New York Slimes is not likely to rise anytime soon. My own personal goal is to see Pinchy Boy and his band of merry Bolsheviks living in cardboard boxes under the Triborough bridge within 10 years ;->

Editor and Publisher
The New York Times Co. reported Thursday that its third-quarter 2006 profit from continuing operations plunged 39.2% on costs related to its job cuts and a loss on its sale of its 50% stake in the Discovery Times Channel...

...At the New York Times Co., 3Q operating profit was down 48% from the same period in 2005 to $20.5 million on total revenues that slipped 2.4% to $739.6 million.

Reflecting a continuing tough advertising environment, total ad revenue was off 4.2% to 465,476.

The Times Co. said it earned $14 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with $23.1 milion, or 16 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2005...

Infrared detection of office porn surfing

The Skwib
A new invention has helped employers create the first “inappropriate thought” sensor.

Based on recent sexual studies showing that women get aroused as quickly as men, the invention measures the temperature of an employee’s genital area. The thermal imaging camera can measure temperature changes from a distance and relay the information to a computer for analysis.

Its patent name is “Portable and Hidden Device for Thermal Imaging of Genital Areas”, but the inventor, Dr. Shabby Fingler, calls it the “Chubby Detector”.

Though many companies are known for watching the content of employees’ email, instant messages, blogs, and web browsing, this new device is a major breakthrough.

“I’ve already had more than thirty Fortune 500 companies order the Chubby Detector,” Dr. Fingler told The Skwib. “There is a great deal of interest in monitoring employee’s sexual behavior and thoughts.”...
Although this is a parody, the technology is real and could be put to use in an office environment for a number of purposes. Diagnostic electricians have been using thermograhy for years now to detect circuit breakers, relays, and connections that are overheating. An infrared camera could be hidden in a conference room where negotiations are going on to detect body temperature variations in participants (temp rises can correspond to lies)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dollar store Zombie DVD recommendation

I just picked up a $1 DVD at Dollar Tree. This one is a double feature produced by Allegro. It includes Revolt of the Zombies and King of the Zombies

The DVD compilation is titled Zany Zombies Double Feature

Forget about Revolt of the Zombies, it is truly horrible. It has no redeeming qualities what so ever. This film flat out sucks and is quite boring.

HOWEVER - the other film on the DVD, King of the Zombies is a true gem. Nominally intended to be a "horror" film, this is really a flat out funny comedy due to an outstanding performance by Mantan Moreland. Moreland was a true comedic genius. Moreland wasn't the top billed star in this film, but he steals every scene he appears in (which is a majority of them), and makes what would otherwise be a forgettable film into a must see.

If you're tired of the usual overpriced sorry ass Hollywood fare these days, pick up this DVD for a buck (its also downloadable I believe) and enjoy watching a real pro at work in Moreland. Some of the lines in this movie will have you laughing out loud.

Test shots that didn't work out.

Reminds me that my Dragunov has a squib stuck in the barrel I gotta rod out one of these days...sooner rather than later perhaps ;->

H/T Of Arms and the Law

Cannibalism in New Orleans - for real this time

Guy have run out of free government cheese or something. At least he did the right thing and saved the taxpayers the cost of a subsequent trial/imprisonment. I appreciate deranged maniacs who are accomodating in that regard.

"a little troubled"? Ya think?

Man dismembers girlfriend in Quarter; cooks body parts

A suicide note in the pocket of a man who jumped off the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel late Tuesday led police to the grisly scene of his girlfriend’s murder, where they found her charred head in a pot on the stove, her legs and feet baked in the oven and the rest of her dismembered body in trash bag in the refrigerator, according to police and the couple’s landlord...

...said their landlord, Leo Watermeier, who recently ran a campaign for mayor.

The couple seemed happy, he said.

“He may have in retrospect seemed a little troubled,” Watermeier said...

"interesting" Halloween Costumes

Throw everyone to the floor with laughter at the sight of this amazingly detailed, hilariously funny and ingenious toilet bowl costume! Consists of one, BIG commode, a simply amazing costume design. Toilet paper and ring not included. Ages 7-14.
Fresh turds not supplied. Customer must supply their own.

H/T Dustbury

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Be pissed off, be VERY pissed off.

You must head over to Miss Kelly's and read the story she's uncovered about a certain Russell Hanks currently posted to the US embassy in Nabuja Nigeria in the Political Section.

The Nigerian newspaper Daily Triumph has quoted the illustrious Mr. Hanks thus:
...The counsellor who made the disclosure at a dinner parts organized by the US embassy for selected Muslims for breaking their fast on Tuesday, stated that the very foundation of democracy laid by America’s founding fathers was based on Islamic influence essentially from the Middle East.

The Daily Triumph (a wholy owned organ of the Nigerian government) appears to be a real newspaper.

More on Russell Hanks here (a cached entry from his NAU alumni newsletter)

Mickey Mouse is a Zionist tool

Got some super-delicious Iranian style crazy here.

Click here for MEMRI vid/translation

H/T Justify This!

My hero

Just saying...

Trauma, Passivity, & the Fear of Aggression

Normally I don't have a lot of respect for headshrinkers, but this one is spot on. Go read it all.

...A thesis I have been developing on this blog (Demographics & Narcissism) is that a unique combination of sociological and historical trends intersected in the early 1950s (and have persisted, with some blips, through the 1990s) which have had the effect of accentuating the development of Narcissistic character traits. Our material ease, the diminution of the threat of early childhood loss from infectious disease, and the relative peace which has been the norm for the post-war Baby Boomer generation, have all combined to make my generational cohort more likely to develop such character traits. Further, this development has left a large cohort of my peers unable to recognize, and with a decided preference to a cloistered denial of, the current existential dangers facing our civilization. Such trends threaten to disarm us at crucial moments...

H/T Dr. Helen

Police ambushed in Paris by "youths"

..a series of violent incidents over the past weeks, culminating in the ambush of three police officers on Friday by youths in Epinay-sur-Seine, north of Paris.

"These guys came to kill. They wore balaclavas, and had baseball bats and iron bars," said Joaquin Masanet, the general secretary of the powerful UNSA police union.

The three officers from the anti-crime brigade, BAC, entered the Orgemont housing estate after an anonymous caller reported a violent car theft.

Once inside, their exit was barred and they were set upon by around 50 youths, who pelted the men with stones. Iron bars smashed their windscreen. They tried to reverse, but a second vehicle boxed them in.

The criminals fled only after the officers fired live ammunition into the air and police reinforcements arrived...

Is YouTube editing/censoring user videos?

[UPDATE] -- this has been confirmed as a localized issue on my own systems -- [UPDATE]

Go to THIS WEB PAGE and try to play the last clip at the bottom of the page. Its the one where Oliver North is standing in for Hannity.

I can't get this clip to play past the first interview (which is pro-Murtha) when trying to view it from the Irey site.

Where did the rest of the clip go?

This is a copy of the same clip, with the code for loading it swiped directly off the Irey website. Curiously, it seems to play OK on this blog.

So what is going on here? Is YouTube truncating video on the fly depending on where the referral comes from?

Can someone else check this out and try to play the vid clip from the Irey page mentioned above, then try to play it from here. I need some additional eyes to see if this is a local abberation on my system or a global effect. Please report your results on playing it from the two different locations in the comments section.

A $6,544,650 woman's bra?

If this is the best thing someone can think of to drop $6.5M on, I would suggest that their priorities in life are in desperate need of an overhaul.

Daily Mail
It's the ultimate bling Christmas present - a flawless 2000-diamond bra complete with a 10-carat diamond broach.

The £3.5 million 'Hearts on Fire Diamond Fantasy Bra' has been crafted by lingerie firm Victoria's Secret...

Robert Wexler on Cuba/Vietnam

A while ago I wrote my moonbat congressman asking him how he justifies the US giving excellent trade status to Vietnam while at the same time continuing sanctions against Cuba. In my view, both are repressive commie regimes with little to distinguish one from the other. He finally responded and dodged my question entirely. Frigging weasle.

October 16, 2006



Thank you for writing to offer your comments relating to the American embargo against Cuba. I welcome the opportunity to respond.

I share the concern of many of my colleagues with respect to the health and well being of the Cuban people, and I am pleased that the President and Congress are taking steps to address these serious issues at this time. Unfortunately, given the oppressive, dictatorial nature of Fidel Castro's regime, I do not believe that the United States should fundamentally change its foreign policy toward the Cuban government until it takes the necessary steps to aid its people and promote a future of democracy, freedom and peace.

Cuba remains a hard-line communist state that denies the basic rights and freedoms of its people to form a democratic nation that guarantees life, liberty and justice. It continues to systematically violate the fundamental civil and political rights of its citizens, including restricting freedom of speech, religion, assembly and association. Cuban citizens are denied the right to change their government peacefully; the government uses internal and external exile against opponents and dissidents. Prisoners have died in jail due to lack of medical care, while members of the security forces and prison officials continue to beat and abuse detainees. In addition to blatant violations of human rights, Cuba has remained on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations since 1982 due to its complicity with terrorist organizations and capability to conduct research on biological weapons.

The United States must maintain pressure on the Cuban government through the increase of multilateral support for political openness and respect for human rights. The Cuban government must allow political parties to organize, schedule free and open elections, release hundreds of political prisoners and move toward democracy. In addition, Cuba must end all development of biological weapons and disassociate itself from terrorist regimes.

As a Member of the House International Relations Committee, I am hopeful that in the near future, the Cuban people will have the opportunity to live in a free and democratic society. Until that change occurs, we must find ways to help the Cuban people without abetting the dangerous and oppressive Castro regime.

Thank you again for taking the time to write. I sincerely appreciate your input and hope that you will feel free to contact me anytime I may be of assistance to you. In addition, I hope you find my website (http://wexler.house.gov) a valuable resource in keeping up with events in Washington and in South Florida.

With warm regards,

Robert Wexler
Member of Congress

Monday, October 16, 2006

Democrat campaign poster

It used to be peace, love, dope.

Now its peace, love, dope, and willing dhimmitude.

Good potato launcher footage

Liberalism explained?

Daily Mail
Eight out of ten people who suffer the onset of serious mental illness are heavy cannabis users, claims a scathing report on the effects of the drug. The report found that the huge majority of those undergoing a first episode of psychiatric disorder, schizophrenia or similar mental breakdowns are habitual users of the drug. The overwhelming evidence of a connection between cannabis and schizophrenia was confirmed in a report delivered to Tory chiefs as part of leader David Cameron's review of party policies. It listed no fewer than 400 different scientific studies that point to links between use of cannabis, illness and destructive behaviour...

The great Greenville outhouse festival and auction

I wonder if they come with a complementary Sears Roebuck catalog nailed to the wall?

I yearn for the days of outhouse tipping. This new fangled indoor plumbing stuff really cramps the style of rural pranksters (I proudly count myself as being one while growing up). I was reduced to shoving potatos up tailpipes and similar desperate measures due to the decline of the the outhouse. There were many in the area when I was a youth, but most had fallen into disuse due to the CREEPING SCOURGE OF INDOOR PLUMBING. One simply has not lived until they've plunked their bottom on a splintery plank, been buzzed by wasps, and had to wipe with pages from the Sears catalog. It was such trials that build character.

Belleville News-Democrat
...the American Farm Heritage Museum's first Outhouse Festival and Auction Saturday at its site just off I-70 at Exit 45.

All day, the museum folks will be celebrating one of most enduring American icons from the pre-indoor-plumbing era: The Aunt Susan. The thunder box. The gas chamber. Function junction. Just a few of the countless euphemisms, of course, for the outhouse...

...They won't be slapped-together wood sheds with that crescent moon on the door, no sir. You could be going in style in la-las designed as grain bins and log cabins. There's even a model for NASCAR fans; sure, you have to crawl through the window to enter, but there'll be a seat belt in case your neighborhood ruffians decide to revive that old rite of passage of tipping the thing over...

Guy forced to continue alimony after ex-wife's sex change

Huh? Now I've seen it all.

Local 6 Video Clip

How commies deal with "dissent"

The Scotsman
Police torture union chiefs after protests in Zimbabwe

POLICE in Zimbabwe severely tortured a dozen trade unionists held for trying to stage a protest over poor wages, leaving some with fractured limbs and a top official in hospital, lawyers told a court.

Riot police arrested scores of members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on Wednesday, disrupting a planned march in the latest clampdown on opposition by President Robert Mugabe's government.

The United States today demanded the immediate release of the men following their first court appearance yesterday...

In other Zimbabwe news, they're essentially admitting that their agriculture policy was a failure.

Miami Dolphins Suck

Seriously, is there a football team in the NFL that could be more pathetic?


Non-muslim girl students forced to wear head scarves in Britain

At some point, we're going to have to tell the Brits they have to turn over launch keys to their nukes.

Daily Mail
Female students at a new Islamic school will be made to wear head scarves regardless of their religion, it was revealed yesterday.

The Madani High School in Leicester will be required by law to accept 10 per cent of its 600 pupils from a non-Muslim background.

But girls who are not Muslim will still have to abide by a rule insisting all female pupils cover their heads as part of the uniform...

H/T Sandmonkey

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Creative alterations with bondo

Disturbing Images

Not safe for work. Do not click on the link below if you are offended by nudity (its not a porn site), but its grotesque.

I don't think even a lobotomy could clear this horrible image from my mind.

I'm warning you -- don't click on this link if you are the slightest bit queazy.


Korea vs Iraq

Slublog has the best rundown on this I've seen so far. Recommended reading.

My 2006 World Series prediction

Tigers/Mets. Tigers take it in 5 or 6 games.

The 7 worst fonts

I've seen some that are in fact much worse, but in terms of fonts in the wild that might actually be used by font crazed fools on a regular basis as opposed to the occasional shock value, the list is probably a good one.


Via Dustbury via Swirlspice

The best Foley-gate rundown so far

AJ Strata seems to be all over this, and with some revelations that won't be making the dems too happy. Worth a look if you care about the Foley scandal anymore.


France to enact 1984 style "thought crimes" law?

Its my belief that the Armenian massacre likely did happen. However, to imprison and fine someone for stating they believe otherwise is absurd. The whole concept of "free speech" hinges on the absolute right of the loons and crazies to believe whatever absurdities they choose.

Can you imagine such a thing happening in the US if someone proposed a national law with similar penalties for anyone who was one of the idiot 9/11 "truthers"? I can't.

...Ankara denies accusations that some 1.5 million Armenians perished in a systematic genocide during World War One, saying large numbers of both Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks died in a partisan conflict raging at that time.

Turkey has protested against Thursday's lower house vote, which establishes a one year prison term and 45,000 euro (30,326 pound) fine for anyone denying the massacres...

H/T No Pasarant

PRC murder of tibet refugees caught on film

I'm not suprised. The PRC commie regime hasn't reformed in the slightest. They've just become more adept as constructing favorable public images.

At first they said they didn't know. "I've seen the reports about this, but I've no knowledge of the specific situation," Liu Jianchao, a ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Beijing about the shootings at Nangpa La.

That's when the pictures showed up.

Only hours later, China admitted. But now they claimed self-defense. A Xinhua report said that the people trying to cross the border attacked the soldiers, who were then "forced to defend themselves."

Fear of monks and a child

Not a chance, reported Romanian climber Sergiu Matei. ”The Chinese militias were hunting Tibetans onto the glacier...shooting them like rats, dogs, rabbits - you name it.” And Sergiu has video to prove it...

CLICK HERE for the video.


H/T Gateway Pundit

Hack detection products

Some products to see if your machine has been infested by a rootkit. Worth a look if you've got some symptoms of a diseased box.


This is progress?

Machine #1: Pentium 90mhz, 64M ram, running Linux 2.4.something kernel + X windows. Video is an old Cirrus something or other 1M onboard vram.

Machine #2: 386DX-25(with 387) 16M ram, running OS/2 Warp 3. Video is IBM 8514, 1M onboard vram

Both have a pair of 9G ST410800N fast SCSI-2 drives.

Machine #2 is dramatically more responsive and snappier than machine #1.

Yea, the OS/2 kernel and 8514 drivers have a lot of hand tuned assembler code, but still. The difference is dramatic. The OS/2 386 is actually usable to sit at and work on while the Linux box is really torture.

I want to like Linux, I really do. But its a pig, it really is.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The fundamental ineptness of Hezbolla rocketry

This is a Hezb Qassam:

This is an effort by American hobby rocketry enthusiasts:

Need I say more?

Inspired by a posting at TJIC

Kyoto blows up on the launch pad

The whole Kyoto concept is bogus. It was just a half baked plan to effectively generate wealth transfer from the industrialized nations to the non-industrial nations.

NC Times
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- With few exceptions, the world's big industrialized nations are struggling to meet the greenhouse gas reductions they committed to in the embattled Kyoto pact on climate change.

Europe is veering off course, Japan is still far from its target and Canada has given up...

...Among the worst off is Canada, the current president of U.N. climate change talks, which this year became the first country to announce it would not meet its Kyoto target of a 6 percent emissions cut on average over the years 2008-2012. Canada's emissions have ballooned by 29 percent instead...

...Japan, too, has a long way to go to meet its 6 percent reduction. If no additional measures are taken, U.N. forecasts show Japan's emissions will grow by 6 percent, instead of shrink by the same rate as mandated by the treaty...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wow, that sucked

No way to effectively excerpt this woman's account, you gotta go read it: Letters From NYC

H/T Sgt. Hook

Nuclear power using Thorium

A reactor that can burnup and render harmless nuke waste from other reactors? This is opportunity knocking at our door. We'd damn well better let it in.

This is a long article, read it all.

Cosmos Magazine
What if we could build a nuclear reactor that offered no possibility of a meltdown, generated its power inexpensively, created no weapons-grade by-products, and burnt up existing high-level waste as well as old nuclear weapon stockpiles? And what if the waste produced by such a reactor was radioactive for a mere few hundred years rather than tens of thousands? It may sound too good to be true, but such a reactor is indeed possible, and a number of teams around the world are now working to make it a reality. What makes this incredible reactor so different is its fuel source: thorium...
Thorium Power Inc
Thorium Power, Inc. and the Kurchatov Institute (Russia) are developing a fuel design for Russian VVER-1000 reactors to eliminate weapons-grade plutonium.

Thorium Power and its Russian colleagues have estimated that the inherent design of this fuel, in particular its fabrication process and availability of existing infrastructure to support the project in Russia, point to cost and project timeframe advantages of this fuel to dispose of plutonium in Russia. This fuel is being designed to eliminate plutonium in existing VVER-1000 nuclear power plants in Russia at a greater rate and make the used fuel highly proliferation resistant, so no plutonium in the used fuel can be suitable for weapons purposes.

Thorium Power’s project conforms with the new initiative launched by Presidents Bush and Putin in May 2002...
Hindustan Times(on India's Thorium efforts)
India on Thursday unveiled before the international community its revolutionary design of "A Thorium Breeder Reactor (ATBR)" that can produce 600 MW of electricity for two years "with no refuelling and practically no control manoeuvres."

Designed by scientists of Mumbai-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), ATBR is claimed to be far more economical and safer than any power reactor in the world.

Most significantly for India, ATBR does not require natural or enriched uranium which the country is finding difficult to import. It uses thorium -- which India has in plenty -- and only requires plutonium as "seed" to ignite the reactor core initially.

Eventually, ATBR can be running entirely with thorium and fissile uranium-233 bred inside the reactor (or obtained externally by converting fertile thorium into fissile Uranium-233 by neutron bombardment).
H/T James Hudnall

Airport security

Via Ogre

Reporters and a Marine

Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, NPR Reporter Cokie Roberts and a U.S. Marine were hiking through the desert one day when they were captured by Iraqis. They were tied up, led to the village, and brought before the leader.

The leader said, "I am familiar with your western custom of granting the condemned a last wish. Before we kill and dismember you, do you have any last requests?"

Dan Rather said, "Well, I’m a Texan; so I’d like one last bowl full of hot, spicy chili." The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chili. Rather ate it all and said, "Now I can die content." They tied him back up and set him against a wall.

Peter Jennings said "I am Canadian; so I’d like to hear the English National Anthem one last time". The leader nodded to a terrorist who studied the United States and knew the music was the same as to ’God Bless America’. He returned with some rag-tag musicians and played the music. Jennings sighed and declared he could now die peacefully. They tied him back up and set him against the wall.

Cokie Roberts said, "I’m a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what’s about to happen. Maybe some day someone will hear it and know that I was on the job till the end." The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder and Roberts dictated some comments. She then said, "Now I can die happy." They tied her back up and set her against the wall.

The leader turned and said, "And now, Mr. U.S. Marine, what is your final wish?" "Kick me in the ass," said the Marine." "What?" asked the leader. "Will you mock us in your last hour?" "No, I’m not kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass," insisted the Marine. So the leader shoved him into the open, and kicked him in the ass. The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9mm pistol from inside his cammies, and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he leapt to his knapsack, pulled out his M4 carbine, and sprayed the Iraqis with gunfire. In a flash, all the Iraqi terrorists were dead.

As the Marine was untying Rather, Jennings and Roberts, they asked him, "Why didn’t you just shoot them? Why did you ask them to kick you in the ass?"

"What!?" said the Marine, "And have you three assholes call ME the aggressor?"

Via Ogre

Fire a medieval trebuchet - online simulation & competition


The blog arms race is on. Some deranged maniac, calling himself IowaHawk has decided to up the ante. My blog security advisor Mr. T responded thusly when made aware of this development: "I pity the fool".

I can now announce publicly that construction of the Florida Homeland Defense Forces giant trebuchet is nearing completion. Trials and field testing will begin within days. Preliminary engineering calculations indicate our mother of all trebuchets will be capable of launching a 55 gallon drum full of of rotten festering dead sea urchins into a suborbital trajectory with a range of up to 2,000 miles. We expect a streamlined nose cone and stabilizer tailfins to extend the range of the urchin barrel to 2200 miles in subsequent trials.

Landlocked states should not be so reckless in their demands. Coastal states, like Florida, have ready access to terrible weapons of retribution. With the development of our new mother of all trebuchets we will have the technology the rain biological horror down on any who would threaten us. So, take pause Iowahawk -- do you really want a 55 gallon drum full of rotting sea urchin carcasses crashing into your bedroom? I think not.

Ancient weaponry has always been an item of modest facination for me. I remember well quite a few hours as a rambunctious youth snuggled up with an old Encyclopedia Britanica pouring over the drawings and descriptions of such things. Their performance using the materiels and construction techniques available at the time was rather impressive...and more importantly could be duplicated on a smaller scale by a motivated young boy with ready access to some tools and a barn full of random scrap lumber.

I became quite adept at working a traditional sling (the David and Goliath type sling, not a slingshot). It took a while and lots of practice, but that lowly sling (which I'd manufactured myself) could indeed be a very formidable and potentially lethal weapon in the hands of a highly skilled shooter. I will note that the sling can make for some interesting Halloween entertainment when used to launch eggs against an opposition force equipped only with hands/arms to throw them. Today we call that sort of thing a "standoff weapon". As a youth, I'd never heard the term of course, but I understood the concept very well and realized it was a very good thing ;->

The Trebuchet is one of the classic Medieval standoff weapons. Give it a go.


A Trebuchet in action:

H/T The Smallest Minority

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Harry Potter to do nude sex scene

Ummm OK, I guess that means this is the end of the Harry Potter movie franchise though.

Daily Mail
...Sixty people from the audience will actually be seated on stage when the Harry Potter star, in his role as the troubled groomsman Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer's celebrated play Equus, simulates a sex act while naked and astride a horse...

Taking down the bogus Lancet study

Confederate Yankee has as good a takedown as any, and its a quick read. Recommended.

Turning off word verification...for now

For everyone's convenience, I'm going to turn off word verification and see how long it take the spambots to show up. If they appear in droves it may have to come back..

Lamont's smear machine blows up in his face

Frigging amateurs. If such an outrageous claim were in fact true, a Leiberman challenger would have trotted it out DECADES prior. This sounds like the heavy (and obviously inept) hand of the Kos/Hamshire axis of evil.

Lamont is truly desperate it would seem.

Hartford Courant
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman angrily disputed a black leader's unsubstantiated accusation Wednesday that Lieberman lied about his civil rights work in Mississippi 43 years ago.

"Now, that's really outrageous and, of course, it is a lie," Lieberman said at a hastily called press conference, where he blamed the episode on his opponent, Ned Lamont...

...Lamont's campaign, which immediately seemed to grasp the political misstep, disavowed Parker's claim even before Lieberman produced news clippings placing him in Mississippi...

...But the damage was done. The episode gave Lieberman an opportunity to reinforce a constant theme of his campaign - that Lamont has relentlessly distorted Lieberman's record in the contest for the U.S. Senate.

"Don't put this on Hank Parker. This is an open letter to me at a press conference for Ned Lamont," Lieberman said. "Ned Lamont was right there. He can't disown this."

Lamont stood with Parker and other members of the Connecticut Federation of Black Democratic Clubs as they endorsed Lamont and released an open letter to Lieberman. The letter disputed a television ad that recounts his civil rights involvement...

An online lie detector?

Interesting notion if it pans out, but I suspect politicians will adapt very quickly and just become more adept liars. More likely is that this will be like the AI breakthroughs that Minsky pitched for the last 30 years as being only a few years away. Those few years were always a moving target though.

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of genuine advances in AI that have happened in the past 20-30 years, but the AI cheerleaders are always making predictions an order of magnitude more optimistic than is warranted. Prudence suggests this instance won't be much different. If they say 5, think 20.

Arnaud de Borchgrave
Google's supremo stunned the British Conservative party's annual conference -- and thousands of politicians in Western democracies -- when he said the next step in cyberspace was the "truth predictor." Within five years, new software will allow voters anywhere to check in real time the probability that political statements are factually correct...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Is your house "usable"?

Are there things that annoy you about the "usability" of your house? Does it sometimes seem like the architect was a drooling moron when certain aspects of it were specified?

Its likely that most houses were designed (not necessarily built) "to code" when they went up. However, "to code" doesn't guarantee that the place is a delight to reside in.

Take for example -- my house.

The master bathroom originally had a single light in the ceiling (and one over the sink). The way the walls were layed out and the ceiling light positioned, the shower stall didn't get any light at all. It was always in the shadows making you feel like you were showering in a cave. This was to say the least, very annoying. Last year I finally got around to rectifying this dreary situation and installed a wet location light in the ceiling of the shower stall. The difference was dramatic. I think I spent maybe $30 on the light/wire/switch/etc needed to do the job. That was one of the most rewarding $30 I've ever spent in my life. It pays me back every time I shower.

It took a few hours of up/down a ladder and crawling around in a 130 degree attic (being careful to not fall through the ceiling) to do the job though. Had that same light been installed when the place was originally built, it would have taken the electrician no more than an additional 20 minutes. Alternatively, they could have just positioned the ceiling light a bit differently and it would have illuminated the
shower OK.

In this country at least, Christmas lights are quite a common thing for people to put on their houses. Why do architects ignore this cultural reality? Why not specify a switched recepticle up under the eaves so people don't have to do horrible things like run extension cords all over their yards or out a window, or pinched under a door? This is in reality a safety issue. Cords dangled out windows aren't guaranteed to be plugged in on a GFCI which outdoor things getting wet should be on.

We typically electrocute a few people a year and burn down a few houses in this country because of this blindness to the American cultural reality of Christmas lights. I caught my neighbor last year running his Christmas light off a cord pinched under his front door plugged into a non-GFCI recepticle. Two years ago, a guy in Miami was electrocuted walking around in his front yard because of such a dangerous lashup. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. Dying because your house killed you shouldn't be part of the normal holiday plan.

A few years ago I fitted my house with a switched recepticle up under the eaves (fed by a ground level GFCI so it would be easy to reset), with weather cover that allows the Christmas lights to be plugged in while retaining rain tightness. No dodgy extension cords laying in the yard. I am a happy man.

Have you ever noticed that builders often put small shallow cabinets above the space where the fridge normally is parked? Those cabinets are effectively useless because they're so hard to reach. They're usually empty or contain mystery contents you haven't seen for at least 10 years, in which case you dare not open the doors anyway.

In my case, because of the uselessness of those small cabinets, the top of the fridge has become the place of repose for a small B&W television I'll turn on to listen to the nightly news. Parking the TV ontop of the fridge presented new annoyances though -- the dreaded extension cord hanging like clothline was needed to reach one of the normal countertop recepticles. Reaching up to the top of the fridge to turn it on and off, while not excessive work, was slightly irksome too.

While pondering a random pile of electrical parts and wire today, the solution to the TV/fridge popped into my mind. I would put a (GFCI protected because this is a kitchen) recepticle up on the wall alongside the fridge with a switch down at a convenient level to operate the recepticle. This design (which I just got done installing) is a vast usability and safety improvement over the dangling extension cord and reaching up over the TV. Total time to install was a couple of unpleasant hours belly crawling in a hot attic, but I used materiels already in inventory, so the cost today was zero.

The top of fridges seem to collect electrical things like small TV's radios, lava lamps, etc. Why can't architects anticipate this kind of obvious usage?

As you can see, I'm not too fond of architects who design stuff with poor usability characteristics. They are paid well for their talents, and the public has a right to expect better from them.

Harry Reid implicated in "mobbed up" land deal


Associated Press
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.

In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.

The Nevada Democrat's deal was engineered by Jay Brown, a longtime friend and former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The bastards stole my lawn mower!

OK, so I left it outside and along a wall of the house I don't always examine too closely.

OK, so it looked pretty nice and relatively newish.

OK, so I left it out there for a couple of months.

OK, today I noticed it had gone missing.

BUT...I'm not upset. I'm not angry. In fact, I'm not feeling bad in the slightest.
Because it was busted and I was hoping some asshole would steal it. It wouldn't start, and self-propel mechanism was completely screwed, so I was pushing that heavy ass thing around like an ordinary push mower for years when it did run.

You see, some thieving jerk just saved me the effort of removing the gas tank so I could put it out with the trash (the garbage guys won't take a mower with the gas tank attached).

Its not often that someone steals your shit and you offer them thanks, so this was a special day indeed.

Scarlett Johansson: I'm a "socially aware" slut

I wouldn't hit it, but I imagine Bill Clinton would.

... "I get tested for HIV twice a year. ... One has to be socially aware," she says. "It's part of being a decent human, to be tested for STDs. It's just disgusting behavior when people don't. It's just so irresponsible."

Madeline Notsobright

Just saying...


Yale student implodes worldwide on the net

Start here for the intro: Junkyard Blog
Go here for the smackdown: IvyGate

Future job prospects? I hear McDonalds is hiring.

H/T Ace

Cornered rat left winger deleted their whole blog

A few days ago I happened across a blog at THIS URL (don't bother clicking it, its gone now) who's blog author was making a bullshit claim that the US is doing nothing to help in Darfur.

I countered in comments on their blog that we were in fact doing a lot there and directed them to the USAID website showing we've pumped something like $700,000,000 into the region in relief in the past few years.

They were apparently "offended"
(as lefties are prone to being) that I used the word "ignorant" to describe their understanding of Darfur and US involvment there. Well, they were and are ignorant about US aid to Darfur since they couldn't even bother Googling up the USAID program's page. Obviously this was what I term willfull ignorance -- ignorance based on the desire to pitch a particular political POV in spite of evidence to the contrary. I'm quite sure this blogger knew full well what our contributions to the Darfur situation were, or at least that they were non-zero, they were simply engaging in a bit of anti-US propaganda to try and fool their blog readers.

They then deleted a couple of my comments where I kept trying to post the link to the USAID page showing what we've spent in Darfur so their readers would know what the real story was.

Let me say this, TRUTH is not about ideology as this person seems to believe. The US has done almost everything possible short of going to war over the Darfur situation. $700,000,000 in aid is not chunp change.

This is their statement on their now defunct blog that I took objection to:
Don't you think a little more assistance might be called for here? I mean, they've only been screaming for help since the beginning of TIME... how bout some shelter? maybe some medical care? maybe some nutritional goods? maybe some mercy? Nope, not the US, our government thinks you should be able to buy that shit all by YOself... I continue to be embarrassed."

Apparently the harsh light of truth was simply too much for this lefty. Within a day after I posted the link to their blog in my Darfur post comments highlighting their ignorant commentary, they deleted their whole blog. Boo, hoo, hoo.

Real reality, is like kryptonite to leftists.