Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Guest blogging at Ace of Spades

If you haven't noticed, I've been doing some guest blogging at Ace's joint. A lot of the same sort of stuff I've been doing here, but it gets a lot more exposure over there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

...the greatest thing I have ever done

Baghdad Soldiers rescued a 2-year-old Iraqi boy from a dry well in which he fell Aug. 9.

Soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division responded to the pleas for assistance from the father of a 2-year-old boy who had fallen into a dry well near the family’s residence [PA's note: this was a serious 25' deep well].

The company commander, Capt. David Powell of Newport Beach, Calif., was about to begin a scheduled security patrol when the boy’s father approached the gate of his Coalition outpost on foot. Using an interpreter, Powell quickly assessed the situation and sent the patrol to assist with the recovery of the child[...]

[...]"In my 18-years in the Army," Powell said, "this is, by far, the greatest thing I have ever done."
H/T North Shore Journal

Monday, August 13, 2007

Amy Winehouse - "(drug) Rehab is a cop-out"

This girl needs a bit more than rehab. She needs a 7x24 keeper.

Daily Mail
[...]The 23-year-old, who is notorious for her wild partying, was treated in a London hospital last week after taking a cocktail of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine and the horse tranquiliser ketamine[...]

[...]Rehab is a cop-out[...]

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Very cool -- jet engine simulation from NASA

While stumbling through a bunch of links researching pulse jets - specifically the Lockwood-Hiller design that has no moving parts (Lockwood eliminated the petal valve...the only moving part in a traditional pulse jet) I ran across this sim for a turbo-jet engine.

Its a Java applet, so you'll need to enable Java on your browser.

NASA Glenn Research Center
With this software you can investigate how a jet (or turbine) engine produces thrust by interactively changing the values of different engine parameters[...]

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pelosi "earmarks" for bioweapons

Wassup with the biowarfare WMD shit Nan? The nutroots ain't gonna be down with that at all girl.

The California Democrat has won funding for six companies in a 2008 defense funding measure. One is a $4 million request to develop a ``novel viral biowarfare agent'' for Prosetta Corp., based in her San Francisco district.

UPDATE -- NRO is saying they talked with the reporter who wrote the story and the guy screwed up. He says the work was to treat viruses used in biowarfare.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Chinese torture/kill "corrupt" officials in online game

I wonder how well such a game would do here in the US? Being able to shove a virtual red hot poker up a few politicians asses might prove very compelling.

Middle East Times
BEIJING -- An online game in which players can torture and kill corrupt officials that a Chinese local government set up to teach people about the perils of graft is proving a roaring success, state media said Thursday.

"Incorruptible Fighter," developed by the government of east China's Zhejiang province, was launched just over a week ago and is already so popular that it is being redesigned to accommodate more players, the China Daily said.

"I feel a great sense of achievement when I punish lots of evil officials," one gamer surnamed Sun was quoted as saying.

The game, which lets players get ahead by killing officials by means of "weapons, magic, or torture," has been downloaded more than 100,000 times, the Southern Metropolitan Daily said[...]

Monday, July 30, 2007

Airplane porn - Boeing 777 wing destruction testing

Nice. I think the 777 will stay together. Now if they'd just get rid of that fly by wire crap, they might get me to fly on a commercial airliner again.

Wild and crazy Scandis - fly R/C plane through tunnel

Whoever was piloting that rig has some mad skillz

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Ball Screw

This isn't a post about porn...well sort of -- metal machining porn perhaps. Every so often I come across some bit of technology that is so perfectly suited to a particular task its worth mentioning. The notion of the ball screw is one of those.

One of the problems with high precision machining operations is play in the machine tool itself. Things like threads are used to advance cutters and such, but ordinary cut thread screws have a certain amount of slop in them and can wear over time resulting in imprecision creeping into the machine. For a lot of run of the mill machining operations, this slop may not be a big deal, but for some things that need to be precise to say 1/10,000th of an inch (ex tiny internal combustion motors like the old Cox .010 cubic inch model engine which isn't much bigger than a $.25 cent piece), slops of any amount make producing the part virtually impossible.

Enter the ball screw. The interposed between the male/female "threads" of the ball screw are small ball bearings -- the male and female ride on those miniature ball bearings and remove virtually all the mechanical slop in the feed screw mechanism and reduce friction during traverse operations.

A wonderful thing the "ball screw idea" is -- much of the high precision small components of today's world would be almost impossible to make without it.

Jose's machining info
The screw itself uses a special spherical thread. That is, it is not made with a pointed angular cutter, but it appears to be made by rolling. The surface is very smooth as you can easily see in the photo[...]

eBay's patent problems with "Buy It Now"

As much as I despise eBay (for a host of reasons), SCOTUS got this one wrong. The MercExchange patent should have been voided. There are very real problems at the USPTO these days when it comes to "technology" type patents. There's a vast amount of crap being awarded patents falling under the category of "obvious" or when there is prior art the patent filer failed to disclose or direct real world analogs making a technological implementation of same trivial and obvious.

I had two software patents awarded while at IBM. Neither of which was obvious, and neither of which had meat world analogs.

Seriously, "buy it now" is pretty much the same thing as the listing price on a house where several buyers will be making offers (i.e. bids). The first guy who offers the seller's listing price is going to take it. To patent something as obvious as this, that has clear real world analogs, that have been in practice for thousands of years in fact, is a travesty.

Next we'll find out that some jackass has patented "the idea" of a door knob.

A federal judge Friday denied a request from a small Virginia company to stop the online auction powerhouse eBay Inc. from using a feature that allows shoppers to purchase items at a fixed price[...]

[...]Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that although eBay infringed upon MercExchange's patent for the service, it was up to the lower court to decide whether eBay had to stop using it[...]

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cox/Estes PRC made model airplanes recalled

Bogus lithium batteries. IMO, lithium batteries are bad news and I won't buy anything using them. The CPSC is one of the few Federal government services we pay for that is actually worth something.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Sky Rangers Park Flyer Radio Control Airplanes

Units: About 21,000

: Estes-Cox Corp., of Penrose, Colo.

: The airplanes are launched by hand and can explode near the consumer’s head, posing a risk of temporary hearing loss and injuries to eyes, face and hands.

Incidents/Injuries: Estes-Cox has received 45 reports of airplanes exploding, including 22 reports of consumers experiencing temporary ear pain or hearing being affected; five reports of minor burns to hands, faces or eyes; two reports of chest impact from debris; two reports of eye injuries; and one report of a cut hand. One consumer sought medical attention for burning eyes.

Description: This recall involves Model 4116 Sky Rangers Park Flyer radio control airplanes, which come with a black battery charger. The airplanes have a wingspan of about 14 inches, a light blue, white and orange polystyrene foam fuselage, and a copper coil on the rudder. Airplanes with a warning sticker on the fuselage near the on/off switch are not included in the recall.

Sold at: Hobby stores and other retailers nationwide from September 2005 through December 2006 for between $20 and $40.

Manufactured in
: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled airplanes immediately and contact Estes-Cox to verify that their plane is being recalled and for instructions on returning the airplane for a replacement product[...]

Monday, July 23, 2007

Al-Qaeda dropping dimes on...Al-Qaeda

Heh, they're losing the general populace, and now they're losing themselves as well. Harry and Nancy of course are desperate to put a stop to these treasonous AQ defections before it causes irreparable damage to democrat electoral aspirations in 08'.

I suspect general Petraeus is a lot smarter than Harry and Nancy though and will have undeniably shaped up the Iraq situation before the democrats can turn it into a loss. It will be shaped up so undeniably that even the MSM won't be able to carry democrat water anymore. The only ones at the end of this year who will still be denying this obvious progress are going to be the hard core deadender oblivions who can't stand to see an American success.

Times Online
Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.

The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.

They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area[...]
More here at TigerHawk

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter takes United Arab Emirates by storm

I can't even imagine a book like Harry Potter even being allowed in an Islamic country 30 years ago. The west's "secret weapon" is blue jeans, McDonald's, Sony's, and now...Harry Potter.

Khaleej Times
[...]Hundreds of fans began lining up outside bookshops across the UAE from early Friday evening with some dedicated fans, like 13-year-old Abdulla Moaswes, travelling from Sharjah to Ibn Battuta Mall where some of the biggest celebrations were held.

As Potter aficionados joined the serpentine queues, a magician conjured card tricks and stilt walkers amused the visitors, while at other malls, coffee after coffee was served, wizard quizzes completed and wands and witches' hats created[...]

July 22 2007 Yankees: 21 Rays: 3

Game isn't even over yet...

Gotta be the worst drubbing I've listened to in quite a while. At least Shields, who gave up 10 of them can't be blamed for giving up the majority of the runs anymore ;->

Thursday, July 19, 2007

$1,000 cash reward for witnesses who will step forward

Let it be known I'm officially offering a $1,000 cash reward for any soldier who will step forward, authenticate these stories, and testify under oath at a court martial of the offenders.

I really don't think I'll have to pay off as the stories the New Republic is pimping sound like bullshit.

Mark Foley -- "lawyered up" for $450,000 in 6 months

Paid for of course out of unspent campaign funds he had laying around. Doing the math, that works out to roughly one high powered $500/hr mouthpiece for 40 hours a week, every week, during the period reported.

Since I can't imagine how someone who has NOT been charged, and likely won't be, could possible need that much lawyering up, I have to conclude Foley is using payment of "legal fees" to wash "campaign cash" such that a significant percentage eventually kicks back to him in a form he legally keeps for himself.

For example -- high priced "no-show consulting" on some hokey project that law firm has going.

First Coast News
[...]According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Foley spent more than $250,000 on legal fees from February to April. That's on top of the $200,000 in campaign cash he spent on attorneys from last November to January[...]

Missing honey bees NOT caused by "global warming"

I am however pretty sure I can blame global warming for my jock itch and a flat tire I got yesterday.

Planet Ark
MADRID - A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years[...]

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The story of the General Lee

Michael Yon

Go read it all, you won't be disappointed.

Oh look -- another Spitfire!

This is a free flight rubber powered one that I built from a kit a few years ago. It is covered with tissue paper and was given a couple of thinned coats of aircraft dope. The problem with buying a kit is you don't get to choose the balsa contained in the kit. The weight of balsa wood can vary widely from a low of 3lb per cubic foot to as high as 20lb per cubic foot for the hardest densest. The lighter stuff is of course not as strong as the densest -- but it is lighter -- a big factor in how well any airplane built with it will fly. The wood in this particular kit was more like ironwood, so this one came out a tad too heavy to be a good flyer, so it hangs on the wall for the most part.

Still its a good example of a classic "stick and tissue" type rubber powered model. Models using this type construction data back to the early 1900's and remain popular today. They're quiet, can be flown in a schoolyard, and are very inexpensive when built from scratch rather than buying a kit.

These sort of models are great for people living in an apartment where space is at a premium and you don't have a garage full of tools like band saws, drill presses, and belt sanders. All you really need to build a model like this is a flat board about 12" x 36", some single edge razor blades, a tube of wood cement, a small jar of aircraft dope, a little brush, and maybe a cheap needle nose plier from the dollar store.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Spitfire starts to take shape

As a young child, as far back as kindergarten I've always been enthusiastic about things that fly. In the first grade my mother got complaints from the teacher that I was always making engine noises and looking out the window at the sky. This interest in flying things recently motivated me to start building a control line stunt model of the Supermarine Spitfire.

This one will have a wingspan of about 48" and be powered by a Fox .35 Stunt engine (an engine design that has remained virtually unchanged for almost 60 years!). The pic is an in progress shot of the wing. This isn't a kit, this one is 100% scratch built from a set of age yellowed plans I've had laying around for about 30 years.

My current plan is to cover this airplane with a traditional doped silk finish. Doped silk has largely fallen by the wayside in favor of heat shrinkable plastic coverings, but the plastics really are a poor substitute. They simply don't have the feel and look of the classic doped silk finish. This whole airplane is being built using "old school" methods, and will be running an old school engine, so it should be finished using old school methods as well.

Any fool can breeze into a hobby shop and plunk down a few hundred bucks on some almost ready to fly R/C model that's been prebuilt and precovered with plastic (and built by some starving wretch in China or Vietnam with dubious methods and materials.

To do it yourself, from scratch, using traditional methods is a whole different thing. Opening a wallet isn't an accomplishment. Completing this model will be.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pennies are worth over $0.02

Want to know what your money is worth? Check out this site - they track the value of various coinage in terms of its metal content.

Of course, that's the old copper pennies. The government has been quietly counterfeiting its own pennies since around 82' when they became mostly zinc and are just copper plated. The new pennies are worth less than a penny in scrap value.

Just in case you get any clever ideas about sending a pail of old copper pennies to the scrap yard, read this article first. The government recently made scrapping coins a crime that can get you 5 years and a $10,000 fine.

Quite frankly, you'd be better off doing something utterly treasonous -- like selling F-14 fighter parts to the Iranians. Doing that will only get you 2 years at club fed.

There's a lesson here people. Do not scrap a hand full of rolled pennies. Stick to treason, gun running, etc and the feds won't take it too seriously.

Stealing Canada -- literally

I did a job last year where about $500 worth of wire got stolen on us.

Aluminum billboards disappearing in Vancouver, stainless steel tanker trucks reported stolen in Quebec, a copper wire theft in New Brunswick resulting in a death, beer kegs in Nova Scotia and a two-tonne bronze statue snagged from an Ontario park[...]

[...]The phenomenon is nationwide, but British Columbia has seen the most frequent incidents, says Len Shaw, executive director of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries, while Ontario takes the cake in terms of the volume of metal stolen.

In January, thieves made off with aluminum bleachers at a baseball diamond in Ucluelet, B.C. The province has been dealing for months with the theft of scrap metal from Vancouver billboards and memorial plaques removed from park benches in Nanaimo, among other targets[...]

[...]The metals that are getting the most attention from thieves are bronze, stainless steel, copper and aluminum[...]

They're stealing America too - Colorado Springs has an ongoing problem with wiring going missing in its street lights.

Cordless batteries - "Do Not Overcharge"

OK, so you see some interesting cordless tool, buy it, get it home, then find the instructions say something like "do not overcharge battery". Of course the battery charger that came with the tool is a very slow "dumb" one that won't shut itself off when the battery is charged.

Of course the recommended charging time is something like 4-6 hours which is just long enough that you always forget to unplug the damn thing and don't remember that its still charging until a day or two later.

Sound familiar?

I finally decided to do something about this odious situation. Places like Home Depot and Lowes sell a little settable timer device made by Intermatic. The Intermatic timers come in several different maximum time settings. I picked one that runs from 0-6 hours. The Intermatic timer works just like a standard 2-pole switch from an electrical point of view.

I came out of an existing GFCI receptacle (on its line-side so that the Intermatic and downstream receptacle are protected by the GFCI), into a box with the Intermatic timer that switches the hot, and into another box that contains an ordinary receptacle.

Now I can plug a cheap dumb charger into that receptacle to the right of the Intermatic timer, set it for whatever charging time I want, and walk away knowing the battery pack won't be overcharged.

This whole project took under a half hour and maybe $20 worth of materials. I already had the boxes, covers, receptacle and some short lengths of EMT and wire on hand, so all I really had to buy was the Intermatic timer. Even if you had to pay an electrician to do this, I would expect the cost to be in the $100 range.

The nice thing about this approach is it doesn't block an existing receptacle with one of those hokey plug in timers (which aren't very robust, and often don't support having a ground prong). The Intermatic handles higher current, and all the downstream receptacles will be fully functioning 3-prong ones.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The role of useful idiots

Interview, circa 83'. Ex-Soviet official talks of "useful idiots" in the west and their role in destabilizing countries preparing for tyrants.

H/T Cassandra Page

More here on the big lie

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iPhone in a blender

Good stuff. An iPhone gets "carbon neutralized". Wretched gizmos deserve all they get.

H/T Infinite Monkeys

OPLAN 5029 -- paralysys in DPRK collapse

Here's the joint "plan" we have with the ROK if the DPRK were to collapse for whatever reason. Its a pretty simply plan -- the plan is that there is no agreed upon plan.

If the ROK thinks they can handle that situation on their own, I'm more than willing to let'em do it. I'm also more than willing to let'em do it without any subsequent US aid. 50 years worth of training wheels should be quite enough, particularly for a "partner" who seems ready to get cozy with the PRC.

Global Security
OPLAN 5029 [also designated Con Plan 5029] is the US-ROK Combined Forces Command to prepare for the collapse of North Korea. The plan is reported to feature preparations by the South Korean and US forces to manage an inflow of North Korean refugees and other unusual situations if the North Korean regime collapses[...]

[...]The United States had asked that the plan be approved in 2004. It would have given the United States command over South Korean military assets in the event of rioting, mass defections or a government collapse in the impoverished North. US officials reportedly had argued that the contingency plan was necessary to secure sensitive nuclear and military facilities, and for overall public safety.

In April 2005 South Korean Defense Authorities rejected a contingency plan that would give command authority to the United States military in the event of a North Korean collapse. South Korea's National Security Council on 15 April 2005 said it had vetoed a joint military plan with the United States on how to handle serious turmoil in North Korea, should it arise. South Korean officials said they were dropping the plan because it could limit "South Korea's exercise of its sovereignty." [...]
H/T DPRK Studies

'Let me run home and get another million'

Some of you may have heard that Zimbabwe has a bit of a problem. Zimbabwe's "leader" of a few decades, Robert Mugabe (known psychopathic murderer, flagrant commie dictator, and all around very very bad guy), has finally screwed the pooch in a major way managing the nations finances.

Mugabe has allowed the nation, probably intentionally, to slip into a Wiemar Germany style hyper inflation mode of some several thousand percent a year. Of course this has always been the problem with fiat money -- its intrinsic value is near zero -- the value of the paper pulp. Its value is "faith based". When people lose faith, you have to pay for stuff with ever increasing poundage of notes.

On the other hand, the notion of fiat money is great when you owe a big debt denominated in that scrip. You simply print up as much as you need to pay the debt and call it a day. You're off the hook, and the guy who just got a truck load of worthless paper gets screwed. Good deal eh? Other than the induced inflation and lack of faith it induces of course...

Sydney Morning Herald
[...]"My sister went to buy some groceries at a shop. They told her that the groceries she had seen the day before at closing time had just gone up, so she said let me just run home and get another million [Zimbabwean dollars].

"When she came back the prices had gone up again and the million she was carrying could not cover that. And that was within the space of two hours

Add to this poisonous fiscal brew a recent decree of price controls (everyone must cut prices in half and keep them down) and heavy penalties for any merchant who violates it, roving gangs of government enforcers, and you have a situation where the store shelves have become empty and will STAY EMPTY. What merchant is going to lose money stocking stuff he's mandated to sell at less than replacement cost? None, so this is what grocery stores in Zimbabwe look like now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

PRC executes corrupt FDA chief

The only way to prevent this sort of crime is to treat it seriously -- something we don't do in the USA. Betrayal of the public trust SHOULD be a death penalty crime. Of course we might have to execute 90% of congress, but I got no problem with that.

China Daily
China's former drug and food safety watchdog chief was executed on Tuesday after being found guilty of corruption and dereliction of duty, Xinhua news agency said...

...China has been under pressure domestically and internationally to improve its quality controls after a series of health scares attributed to substandard Chinese products, including exported tainted food and fake drugs.

Zheng was sentenced to death in May for taking bribes to approve an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths and other substandard medicines...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

This is how the modern world ends.

(pic courtesy of Jay Brusse/Henning Leidecker at NASA)

All manner of freaks and lunatics have been claiming the end of the world for quite a while now. Apocalyptic visions, natural disasters, disease, etc. The whole four horsemen scenario in gory technicolor with 3D Lucas DTS™ Sound.

In reality, the end will be much more subtle and is already upon us. I'm not talking about goofy biblical predictions, Nostradamus, or any of that nonsense. No, I'm not talking about some super computer virus or worm -- that sort of thing we can deal with.

What I'm talking about is something so fundamental that it rocks the foundations of how we understand metals. What I'm talking about is a kind of "metallurgical disease" that is infesting and wreaking havoc on all of our modern systems from GPS satellites to ordinary PC's to heart pacemakers.

Think about metal for a moment. The modern world, and its electronic and power infrastructure, depends heavily on the exploitation of various metals to build our technology transmit power, and construct all the myriad controls, computers, airplanes, etc we rely on.

Some metals appear to not be as well understood as we thought. They're not the inert lumps of metal stuff we imagined them to be. Some critical metals appear to behave almost like living organisms sometimes. They move around, they do things previously considered very "un-metal" like. They grow "whiskers". Whiskers that can conduct electricity, break off and raise havoc in electrical systems as they float around, or grow to a length where they short out components.

Check this shit out! (links to NASA)

Satellites disabled.
Computer centers crashed.
Military systems failing.
Medical systems failing.
A nuclear reactor shutdown.

All due to these metal "whiskers" -- which NOBODY understands the dynamics of. To date, we can't explain why this phenomenon happens.

More here(gold whiskers), here(zinc whiskers), blown apart avionics relays, failed circuit breakers, electric utility failure, NASA video of impact on space shuttle, and Australian Tax Office data center crashed.

So this is how it will all end - not with a bang, but with a whisker.

BTW, the Eurpoean Union recently banned lead based solders, so heavily tin based stuff will be mandated for anything to be used in Europe. Expect a wave of electronics failures in Europe in the next few years. California has also foolishly legislated against lead solders and will be cranking out problem products very soon as well.

Nano tech? DOA baby, DOA until this whisker issue is understood and beaten.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

SR-71/RPV crash video

Pilot punched out, but unfortunately died later. Project to use SR-71 as a RPV launch platform was subsequently canceled.

Amazing that we were trying this sort of thing over 40 years ago.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

More high quality "military news" from the Associated Press

Q: What's wrong with this story?

ABC Money
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Navy on Wednesday awarded a $29.8 million contract boost to a unit of General Dynamics Corp. for maintenance and repair on the USS Texas battleship.

General Dynamics' subsidiary Electric Boat Corp. will provide alterations and testing on the ship as part of an effort to correct deficiencies on one of the oldest battleships left since World War I [...]
A: BB-35 (the Texas) hasn't been an active fleet vessel in over 55 years, having been decommissioned in the late 1940's.

Apparently the military hardware mavens at AP have recognized this "slight error" and have issued a correction stating that its NOT a close to 100 year old antique being refurbished, rather the slightly more modern nuclear Virginia class SUBMARINE the SSN Texas. However, in the "correction" the AP still refers to the SUBMARINE Texas incorrectly as "USS Texas" rather than "SSN Texas".

Of course anyone can see how such a goof could be made, since submarines and 100 year old battleships look so similar. I mistake one for the other all the time. See for yourself:

This is BB-35, the battleship Texas

This is the SSN Texas

See what I mean? They're both kinda long and thinish, both involve water, both are made of metal. Pretty much the same thing, right?

H/T Murdoc

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fundamentally unserious and incompetent terrorists

Everyone has heard about the FAILED London car bomb by now right?

I have a real problem with this bomb not going off. Being an engineer, I favor things that work. Ineptly designed and constructed bombs are embarrassing. They demonstrate a lack of seriousness and poor craftsmanship that seems to be pandemic in the world today. Non-functioning bombs are a sort of "canary in the coal mine" indicator for general societal disfunction.

Seriously, at 12 years old I knew all sorts of things about proper bombs and explosives (thanks to encyclopedia Britannica) and could have offered a better effort than we had here. The messy terrorist aspect aside, this dud bomb concerns me because grown men who have been through any reasonable school system SHOULD be able to produce a simple bomb that actually works.

We can surely beat the terrorists eventually, but will we be able to beat the generalized level of mechanical incompetence that is permeating society these days?

Walk into any Home Depot and observe the customers for a while and what I'm saying will become readily apparent. The majority, unless they are tradesmen, don't have the slightest clue. Its really a wonder that they managed to drive their cars to get there.

50 years ago this wasn't the case. The males in our society were expected to demonstrate a certain level of mechanical competence. People changed their own oil in their cars. Having to take a car to some mechanic to have a busted fan belt replaced would have been considered embarrassing in most social circles. Decades ago, at an early age, our males were constantly exposed to information and experiences that built a modest level of competence even among those who would eventually become white collar office workers.

To a large degree this is gone today. To a large degree, society is indeed choosing to suppress this competence in our youth. How many towns have laws now that prohibit you from keeping a "junk car" around? Most of them. Junk cars, aside from being junk, were/are wonderful mechanical training grounds for youth. People don't need 10 of them, but one isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Some kid with grand hopes wrenching on some hopeless beater isn't out on the street doing drugs or mugging people - he's developing a "life skill" that will be with him for the rest of his life.

Its a loss that will be hard to replace.

Associated Press hires 9/11 truthers and commie sympathizers to report from Afghanistan

Michael Fumento
[...]One of the AP reporters says he believes 9/11 was a Bush administration conspiracy hung on al Qaeda. Slusher gives him hell about it – albeit in a good-natured way. I don't hear the other reporter sound out on the subject, but he never takes off his Che Guevara T-shirt. Maybe these two will provide unbiased footage and commentary notwithstanding their personal views – maybe not[...]

Also of interest -- can you tell the difference between the writing of Al Gore and the Unabomber manifesto?

I only scored 42% on that quiz. H/T American Digest on the Gore/Unabomber quiz

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Greenpeace uses "laser graffiti" on stricken freighter

Leave it to the Greenpeace asshats to shoot lasers at people trying to perform a dangerous operation in difficult conditions to try and score some cheap political points. Just keeping it classy eh guys?

This sort of beclownment and fundamental unseriousness just confirms my decision to stop donating to Greenpeace 20 years ago.

NZ Herald
The salvage effort for the stranded coal carrier Pasha Bulker is in jeopardy after a second tow line snapped early this morning[...]

[...]Greenpeace protesters last night used a laser light to project the slogans "This is what climate change looks like" and "Coal causes climate chaos" onto the stricken vessel's damaged hull.

New "twinkie defense" : "train crash made me a killer"

Curiously, he offers no explanation as to why the other 400 or so survivors of the crash weren't rendered psychopathic murders as well.

Times Online
A man who claims he was turned into a killer by the trauma that he suffered in the Ladbroke Grove rail crash began an unprecedented claim for £300,000 in compensation yesterday[...]

[...]Gray jumped out and punched and kicked his victim before driving to a friend’s house for a kitchen knife and stabbing Mr Boultwood seven times[...]

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Using nail polish can get Beijing cops fired

NZ Herald
[...]Male police officers cannot have long or curly hair, sideburns, shave their hair bald or have beards. And female police officers cannot have hair longer than shoulder length or wear nail varnish[...]

[...]Breaching the new rules, which take effect this month, could cost offending officers their job. "Minor offenders will be lectured and asked to mend their ways. Those who repeatedly break the rules or whose behaviour has a detrimental impact could be sacked," the guidelines say.[...]

Burn baby burn, Tehran inferno

When even a despised regime's enforcers are unwilling to wade in, the end is near.

From The Spirit of Man
[...]Angry people have blocked the main highway in Tehran and several serious clashes have occurred in gas stations across the capital. The amount of anger among the people is such that police forces have refused to intervene in some parts of the city where roads are blocked and people have shattered the buildings' windows. And some reports indicate that 50 petrol stations were set ablaze in Tehran alone and at least 3 people died in the clashes[...]

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ohhh -- Trilobite race pics!


Butts Charged With Stealing Toilet Paper

Retard. Everyone knows you steal your TP from WalMart because they won't call the police or prosecute if you shoplift under $25.

Morning Call
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and while they're chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.

"She's facing potentially three years of incarceration for three rolls of toilet paper," Chief Lon Walker said, stifling a laugh as he talked to KCCI-TV about Suzanne Marie Butts. "See, I can't say it with a straight face."[...]

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dumber than a bag of rocks? or attempted murder?

There is a fine line between attempted murder and just too dumb to know any better. I think this moron is sitting right on it. Flip a coin.

Personally, I think the teen would benefit from say 9 months or a year in prison which would provide him the time necessary to reflect on what being a good citizen implies.

UK Metro
A teenager has turned off the life-support machine of a fellow hospital patient because he said he couldn't sleep with the noise.

Frederik Moelner's attempts to get some kip were interrupted by the noisy machine that was keeping the 76-year-old in the neighbouring bed breathing.

So the 17-year-old, who ended up in the intensive care ward after he was involved in a car crash decided to turn it off, reports Ananova.

Luckily medical staff at the hospital in Southern Germany quickly realised what had happened, and reconnected the lucky pensioner who survived.

They then contacted local police who are now investigating.
H/T Dr. Sanity

When your number is up, its up.

Not much you can do about that. The best planning, being aware, all that stuff, and whack a fire hydrant hits you in the head.

Authorities say a 24-year-old man was killed in Oakland today when a fire hydrant dislodged during a car accident struck him in the head...

LA funded anti-gun group founder arrested on weapons charges

Lets see - you give a gang banger named "Big weasel" $1.5M for "anti-gun" efforts.

What could possibly go wrong with that, being that he's a sterling citizen and all...

Smart. Tough.

LA Times
The founder of an antiviolence group called No Guns pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal weapons charges.

Hector "Big Weasel" Marroquin is accused of selling an assault rifle, a machine gun, two pistols and two silencers to undercover federal agents last fall. He could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

Marroquin, 51, of Downey, is a onetime member of the 18th Street gang who founded No Guns in 1996. No Guns received $1.5 million from the city as a subcontractor on anti-gang efforts, but its contract was canceled last year.

Marroquin is charged with three counts of manufacture, distribution and transport for sale of an unlawful assault weapon, along with one count each of machine gun conversion and possession of a silencer. He remains free on $260,000 bail.

WWII MIA unearthed in Germany and returned home

The books are never "closed". Welcome home Lawrence.

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Pvt. Lawrence P. Burkett, U.S. Army, of Jefferson, N.C. He will be buried Saturday in Jefferson...

Japan signs up for another two years supporting Iraq

The American MSM remains largely silent about this extension of course -- because we're supposed to have nobody helping us and are world pariahs.

Japan Times
The House of Councilors enacted a special measures law Wednesday designed to extend the Air Self-Defense Force's Iraq airlift mission by two years[...]

[...]The ASDF unit in Kuwait is engaged in airlifting supplies and personnel in Iraq for U.S.-led multinational forces and the United Nations between Baghdad, Taril in the south and Irbil in the north. The operations and coverage are expected to remain unchanged after an extension[...]

Oh, and the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia is sending a 3,000 man brigade to help interdict Iranian meddlers and arms flow...because they hate us too.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Showdown: 20 year old Mac+ vs 2007 dual core

I'm not surprised in the least, but you probably won't believe the results.

The 20 year old antique fares VERY WELL indeed doing some common tasks.

Taliban uses 6 year old kid as suicide bomber

Quality folks those Taliban.

Actually, this smells a lot like AQ imported talent to me. They've shown repeated disregard for the locals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

NATO Press release
[...]“They placed explosives on a 6-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan Police or Army and push the button,” said Capt. Michael P. Cormier, company commander. “Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on[...]
H/T Peace Like a River

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bobby Kennedy "personally managed" Castro hit attempt

Recently declassified documents released at George Washington University's national security archives suggest Bobby Kennedy personally managed at minimum one hit attempt on Castro. Bobby and JFK had stones. Teddy not so much.

These revelations will of course revitalize conspiracy theorists bolstering the notion that the JFK hit was "payback".

Curiously, we have here a case of a republican administration willing to cover up for the sins of a previous democrat administration. What are the chances of such a thing happening in the other direction today? Slim? None? Think about this -- failing to exploit this may have been enough to allow Carter to win.

My dad always said "no good deed goes unpunished."

Henry Kissinger Oval Office conversation with Ford and Scowcroft:(PDF file)
"Helms said all these stories are just the tip of the iceberg. If they come out, blood will flow. For example, Robert Kennedy personally managed the operation on the assassination of Castro..."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fred! overtakes Rudy, McWhatshisname and somebody fade


Fred! 28%
Rudy 27%
The seven dwarfs 10% each

This has to scare the crap out of the democrats. Two strong republican contenders, both "electable", are now leading and pulling away.

The left tries to spin Rudy as somehow damaged because of his personal life, but that's a crock of shit. Everyone knew Clinton was a tomcatting scum when they elected him twice, so the bar of what's acceptable has been permanently lowered. I certainly don't care about Rudy's private life, nor does his stance on abortion concern me much because I know in my heart that, like it or not, that issue is settled with SCOTUS. I'd make book at 10:1 odds that Roe v Wade isn't going to be revisited in any significant manner in the next 20 years.

Mahmoud Abbas: dead man walking

Now that Abbas has outlawed Hamas, how much longer can it be until he gets his 72 virgins delivered in the form of a car bomb?

I must admit, the guy has a lot more stones than I ever thought he did. He'll never make it until new years of course, and the corpse won't be fit for viewing, but its a heckuva gesture.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What happens when 2 combat models occupy the same space

I've had a few midair collisions over the years. Usually the engine survives...but not always if it takes a direct hit from the other guy's crankshaft.

CL Combat

These are models in the 4' wingspan range with motors .35 cubic inch that can generate in the range of 1hp when run on fuel that's maybe 40% nitromethane 40% methanol and 20% oil (I prefer pure Castor oil , others use synthetics or a blend)

Swedish reporter smacked for using racist derogotory terms

Not very politically correct. Even to my not very sensitive ears that's pretty cringe inducing.

The Local
The editor of a newspaper in western Sweden has said he will slap down a reporter after he described a robber as a 'blackie' in a news article.

The journalist was reporting on a robbery that had taken place in the town of Kungsbacka, 30 kilometres south of Gothenburg.

The journalist's report, in the Kungsbacka Tidning newspaper, repeatedly used the word 'svarting'. The word roughly translates as 'blackie' and is considered a racist term[...]

Friday, June 15, 2007

Israeli market chain goes kosher to not "provoke" muslims

WTF? The Muslims will see this for exactly what it is - a capitulation. And they will push for even more. The owner of this market chain will come to regret this.

NZ Herald
[...]No more highly convenient - if defiantly non-religious - opening on Shabbat. No more ham, salami, shellfish, pork sausages and all the other non-kosher food - that has brought Schlinger and tens of thousands of her Israeli fellow shoppers to the 24-store chain over the past 15 years[...]

[...]Gaidamak was not at Rishon Letzion to hear these complaints. But he flatly gave his answer, in an interview to Army Radio on Sunday. "I believe that in a Jewish state," he declared, "in which there is a large Muslim minority, selling pork is a provocation."[...]

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Canada responsible for global warming

I suggest invading Canada.

TORONTO (Reuters) - Even Canada's thinly populated Arctic regions can play a role in curbing global warming, by reducing soot from dirty, old cooking stoves which are blackening snow and making it melt faster[...]

[...]"Canada is special because it's so far north and when you look at climate change prediction, the global mean temperature changes,"[...]

[...]Arctic temperatures have risen by 1.6 degrees Celsius (2.9 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1700s, with filthy snow accounting for a degree of that alone[...]

Monday, June 11, 2007

Denver mandates urban blight and eyesore vacant lots

Recycling is good, I like recycling. HOWEVER, when you charge people extra to get rid of stuff, it invariably backfires. What happens IN REALITY is that the unwanted stuff get chucked in to the nearest vacant lot, pond, or WalMart parking lot in the dead of the night.

My uncle lives in a town that charges $5 for every tire someone wants to get rid of. As a result, the ditches along the roads are littered with tires and he has to clean a half dozen of them out of his pond every spring.

Albany NY tried a similar scheme with disposal of appliances - they wanted to charge people to get rid of a fridge, stove,etc. What happened IN REALITY was every vacant lot in the city became a dumping ground for dead appliances. Amazingly, Albany eventually realized the folly of this approach and now offers free dead appliance pickup as part of normal garbage collection. The vacant lots and back alleys of Albany are no longer dead appliance graveyards.

"do gooders" ignoring basic human nature seem inclined to repeat this failed policy time and time again. None seem to learn a thing from places that tried it.

In related news - Japan's Mount Fuji has become a massive garbage dumping ground for exactly the reasons I've outlined.

Rocky Mountain News
[...]Recycling plays a crucial role in Denver's plan. It would join other Colorado cities that already have moved to aggressively to foster recycling.

Fort Collins, for one, has set an ambitious goal of diverting 50 percent of its waste from landfills. As part of the effort, the city recently banned throwing away old computers, TVs, cell phones and other electrical items, requiring that they be recycled instead.

Fort Collins also has mandated that people who leave extra bags of trash for pickup be charged by the bag. [...]

Ten million gallons of toxic gunk

This is a very long piece, but worth a read. It makes you wonder what's lurking underneath where you live. It also brings up issues of how far back notions of "legal liability" should be allowed to go. Much of the gunk apparently dates back to the 1800's.

Is it reasonable to hold descendant companies, several times removed, and a century+ distant from the original offenders liable? Taken in the extreme, could say the city of Albany NY sue the Netherlands for shoddy sewer construction on State St that happened 350 years ago? (Albany very recently had some sewer lines still in operation that were built hundreds of years ago by the Dutch). As the detritus of progress grows more dangerous and toxic, this is a legal issue that will need addressing.

At what point does punishing people/companies, who had no direct complicity what so ever in some incident, become excessive and patently unfair?

Society loves to identify scapegoats for everything and "make them pay", but what about when the responsible parties have been dead for 100+ years and nobody really knows who they were anyway? Something to think about.

New York Magazine
[...]a thin dribble that betrays the presence of a supertanker’s worth of the stuff submerged in the age-old geology of Greenpoint. It’s actually more than a century’s worth of spills, leaks, and waste dumped by oil companies that has pooled into a vast underground lake, more than 55 acres wide and up to 25 feet thick. First discovered by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1978, the Greenpoint spill has been estimated at anywhere between 17 million and 30 million gallons—three times more oil than the Exxon Valdez spill. That makes it the largest known oil spill in American history[...]

Iran tries to buy weapons grade uranium from Brit company

Given that this is the Guardian reporting it, and it had to PAIN THEM GREATLY to write a story casting a negative light on Iran, one must conclude that its probably quite accurate.

The Guardian
[...]During the 20-month investigation, which also involved MI5 and Customs and Excise, a group of Britons was tracked as they obtained weapons-grade uranium from the black market in Russia. Investigators believe it was intended for export to Sudan and on to Iran[...]

Time magazine reporter spied for north Vietnam

40 years later, not much has changed. The MSM are still treasonous.

OC Register
A black wall in Washington, D.C., bears the names of more than 50,000 Americans killed in Vietnam. Many owe their fate to Pham Xuan An, the communist spy who masqueraded as a reporter for Time magazine.

That cover gave him access to classified information. This he passed to the communist forces, enabling them to win key battles. That is why, in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Pham Xuan An needs no introduction.

There he is subject of two officially sanctioned books and a 10-part documentary produced by Ho Chi Minh Television in 2005. When An died last September, Vietnam proclaimed two days of public tribute before a funeral with full military honors. [...]

Sunday, June 10, 2007

eBay seller fined $400,000 for price manipulation

Its been a while since I did anything on eBay, but even a few years ago it was plain that some sellers were shill bidding and complaints were falling on deaf ears at eBay.

There's no real motivation for eBay to crack down on shill bidding -- it drives up their commission revenues.

Apparently pressure from the NY AG's office and the magnitude of this fraud was enough to finally get eBay's certainly wasn't complaints from ordinary users.

eBay is an evil company with the ethics of a $5 crack whore.

PC World
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A jewelry company on eBay Inc. that allegedly bid on its own auctions to illegally drive up prices by as much as 20 percent agreed to pay $400,000 in restitution and penalties, the New York state attorney general's office said on Saturday[...]
Much more info here at

Science is one step closer to StarTrek teleportation

When they can teleport me into and out of a bank vault in the middle of the night, I'll be impressed ;->

NZ Herald
[...]A team of physicists have teleported data 143km from the Canary Island of La Palma to the neighbouring island of Tenerife, which is 10 times further than the previous attempt at teleportation through free space.

The scientists did it by exploiting the "spooky" and virtually unfathomable field of quantum entanglement - when the state of matter rather than the matter itself is sent from one place to another[...]

Studies Say Death Penalty Deters Crime

I don't suppose it would be too much to trot out the old "if it saves one life argument" eh?

Associated Press
[...]What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument - whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer[...]

Puppy sodomized. WTF?

Heh, I'm told this is a C.S. Lewis quote

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

Friday, June 08, 2007

NY supreme court shows uncommon common sense

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York has the right to deny driver's licenses to immigrants who can't prove they are in the country legally, the state's highest court ruled Thursday[...]

[...]"To state the obvious, undocumented aliens lack documents," wrote Judge Robert Smith in the 5-2 decision, "And the DMV's right to insist on such documents is undisputed." [...]

John Edwards revisionist history

John Edwards is a pathetic piece of shit.

07 JUN 07 John Edwards: "There was no group called al-Qaida in Iraq before this president's war in Iraq."

25 OCT 04 Wall Street Journal: "...The Pentagon drew up detailed plans in June 2002, giving the administration a series of options for a military strike on the camp Mr. Zarqawi was running then in remote northeastern Iraq, according to generals who were involved directly in planning the attack and several former White House staffers. They said the camp, near the town of Khurmal, was known to contain Mr. Zarqawi and his supporters as well as al Qaeda fighters, all of whom had fled from Afghanistan. Intelligence indicated the camp was training recruits and making poisons for attacks against the West.

Senior Pentagon officials who were involved in planning the attack said that even by spring 2002 Mr. Zarqawi had been identified as a significant terrorist target, based in part on intelligence that the camp he earlier ran in Afghanistan had been attempting to make chemical weapons, and because he was known as the head of a group that was plotting, and training for, attacks against the West. He already was identified as the ringleader in several failed terrorist plots against Israeli and European targets. In addition, by late 2002, while the White House still was deliberating over attacking the camp, Mr. Zarqawi was known to have been behind the October 2002 assassination of a senior American diplomat in Amman, Jordan.

But the raid on Mr. Zarqawi didn't take place. Months passed with no approval of the plan from the White House, until word came down just weeks before the March 19, 2003, start of the Iraq war that Mr. Bush had rejected any strike on the camp until after an official outbreak of hostilities with Iraq. Ultimately, the camp was hit just after the invasion of Iraq began..."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sick auction listings : flowers from Sharon Tate's grave

What can I say? These are sick, sick people.
Authentic flowers from the grave of Sharon Tate. Grave was being cleaned by staff asked permission to take as they were throwing them away.

Shoplifting -- You can do it. We can help™

I'm thinking this changes the whole financial equation when it comes to doing "home improvement".

An internal memo from Home Depot outlines that associates cannot accuse, detain, chase or call the police on any customer for shoplifting. However, one of the fired employees said the company is selective in enforcing that policy.

"The loss-prevention guy at our Shields (Boulevard) store turned around and told me all we need to do is tell the shoplifter to have a good day as they leave the store.
H/T Digital Brownshirt

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What childhood toy from the 80s are you?

What childhood toy from the 80s are you?

You're a Speak & Spell!! You nerd, you. Just because you were disguised as a toy doesn't mean you weren't educational, you sneaky bastard.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ordinary 9V battery supplied lethal jolt

This is the lowest voltage electrocution I've come across so far.

1999 Darwin Awards
A US Navy safety publication describes injuries incurred while doing don't's. One page described the fate of a sailor playing with a multimeter in an unauthorized manner. He was curious about the resistance level of the human body. He had a Simpson 260 multimeter, a small unit powered by a 9-volt battery. That may not seem powerful enough to be dangerous… but it can be deadly in the wrong hands.

The sailor took a probe in each hand to measure his bodily resistance from thumb to thumb. But the probes had sharp tips, and in his excitement he pressed his thumbs hard enough against the probes to break the skin. Once the salty conducting fluid known as blood was available, the current from the multimeter travelled right across the sailor's heart, disrupting the electrical regulation of his heartbeat. He died before he could record his Ohms.

The lesson? The Navy issues very few objects which are designed to be stuck into the human body.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Why are the Kiwis so interested in bomb making?

My first thought is that one might check the specific IP's making the requests to see if there are some stable high bandwidth open anonymous proxy servers in those locales that the hits are coming from. I'm sure terrorists and such are aware of anonymous proxy servers and the advantage of using them. If that is not the case, then WTF?

NZ Herald
Internet users in New Plymouth and Auckland are the keenest in the world to find recipes for making bombs, according to a leading counter-terrorism expert.

Nicholas O'Brien, a former Scotland Yard terrorism expert, told a security conference in Sydney yesterday that the popular internet search engine Google had recorded an extraordinary number of NZ-based searches for bomb-making techniques, the West Australian newspaper reported.

Professor O'Brien, from Charles Sturt University in NSW, said data provided by Google's online statistics web page, Google Trends, showed Auckland and New Plymouth recorded the highest volume of per capita hits for the search term "make bombs" of any cities in the world.

New Plymouth was ranked first, then Auckland, and then Perth. Brisbane was the fourth highest ranked city for that search term, followed by Auckland's North Shore, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Halifax (Canada) and Salt Lake City (Utah).

Amnesty Intl honcho: David Hicks should get "reparations"


Spend a moment and get your head around that one. I guess we know pretty definitively who's side Amnesty International is on now.

The Australian
[...]IRENE Khan, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, was interviewed on ABC radio's AM program by Stephanie Kennedy last week[...]

[...]Khan floated the idea that the convicted terrorist supporter could be "entitled to reparations". Not even members of Australia's David Hicks fan club have raised the notion that he should be compensated, courtesy of the taxpayer[...]

Swiss "death tourism" being questioned

I can see where having an already dead client might make it difficult to do proper evaluations and/or counseling. Thorny matter that.

As a more practical matter, I simply don't see why people would chose this method of suicide to check out. If any life insurance policies exist, many have suicide exemptions on payouts. Wouldn't it be better to concoct an "accident" so the insurance will pay off?

Like maybe chugging a bottle of Jack and take a run at a bridge abutment at 100mph while not wearing a seatbelt. Seriously, that would have to be more thrilling in the last few seconds than any E-ticket ride at Disney.

Prosecutors are calling for tougher regulations on Switzerland's assisted suicide clinics after uncovering evidence that some of the foreign clients they help to die are simply depressed rather than suffering incurable pain.

The clinics, which attract hundreds of foreigners, including Britons, every year, have been accused of failing to carry out proper investigations into whether patients meet the requirements of Switzerland's right-to-die laws.

In some cases, foreign clients are being given drugs to commit suicide within hours of their arrival, which critics say leaves doctors and psychologists unable to conduct a detailed assessment or to provide appropriate counselling[...]

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A gun "buy back" scheme that actually works

Not really a buy back per se, rather a scheme to get the bad guys to rat each other out for a grand a throw. Either way, its targeting the guns in the hands of bad guys rather than honest folks.


Local 10
The Miami-Dade Police Department has made its first arrests in the agency's gun bounty program announced last week.

Police received a call from a tipster referencing the "One Gun, One Arrest, One Grand" campaign who informed them of two men on the streets "in possession of firearms illegally," Miami-Dade police Cmdr. Linda O'Brien said[...]

[...]were all found to be in possession of weapons. Police said there were ammunition, a bulletproof vest, illegal drugs, a safe, an antique gun and two cash register drawers inside the apartment.

The "One Gun, One Arrest, One Grand" campaign offers a $1,000 reward to anyone who calls in a tip that leads to illegal guns being taken off the streets. The program is open to any citizen, but it is being targeted to more than 300 people who are released from Miami-Dade County jails on any given day[...]

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Its a joke right? Nope, its not. Measuring titties is patented.

Patent number 5,965,809 awarded October 12, 1999. I don't believe its happenstance this was awarded during the Clinton administration, not for a minute ;->

US Patent Office
This relates to a method of direct measurement to determine cup size of the breast which includes band size measurement by initially measuring the user's chest or torso circumference with a flexible tape measure immediately below the breasts followed by[...]Next, a measurement conversion is made wherein a measurement of seven inches corresponds to an "A" size cup, eight inches a "B" size cup, nine inches a "C" cup, etc. Each one inch increment determines a cup size[...]

James Gleick has graphic from the patent.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Scraping the bottom of the bad guy gene pool

Desert Flier
[...]"No casualties from the VBIED".

We all have this incredulous "what the....?" look on our faces. Turns out, the VBIED driver only managed to blow himself up. His incompetence has an end result of one death....his own. This is a first for me, and I'll take it as a sign that the insurgents are scraping the bottom of the bad guy gene pool at this point.

Is your beer good or bad?

Madfish Willie has some ways to discriminate between the swank and the swill.

Heh, sounds about right

You scored as Rogue, Rogues share little in common with each other. Some are stealthy thieves. Others are silver-tongued tricksters. Still others are scouts, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. What they share is versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness. In general rogues are skill at getting what others don't want them to get; entrance in to a locked treasure vault, safe passage past a deadly trap, secret battle plans, a guards trust, or some random person's pocket money.























Which D&D Class Are You?
created with

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Prohibited for export - WMD (Wardrobes of Mass Destruction)

The DoD is apparently disposing of some surplus WMD at Mainz-Kastel Germany. Among the list of dangerous items for sale are such scary things as book cases, desk chairs, folding tables, and yes...the infamous WMD - wardrobes of mass destruction!

Being that this lot consists of potentially "dual use" technology items like folding tables, there is a lengthy list of countries to which the buyer is prohibited from shipping these WMD's to after purchase. This list includes a long list of sworn enemies of the USA including the well known terrorist hideout and training ground of Haiti.

Far be it for me to suggest that the DoD are ummm...fucking retards here with regards to Haiti. I'm just saying...

I've just written my congressman requesting an official explanation as to why Haiti would be on a list of countries that shipping furniture to is prohibited. If I get an answer, I'm betting it will be quite entertaining.

Those vanishing snows on Kilimanjaro -- not global warming

Apparently, the inconvenient truth about the retreating glaciers on Kilimanjaro is that its not global warming, rather the increase in sun output that has been observed over the past few hundred years.

CO2 Science
[...]In a final study that describes what has actually happened to Kilimanjaro's glaciers, Cullen et al. (2006) report that "all ice bodies on Kilimanjaro have retreated drastically between 1912-2003," but they add that the highest glacial recession rates on Kilimanjaro "occurred in the first part of the 20th century, with the most recent retreat rates (1989-2003) smaller than in any other interval." In addition, they say that no temperature trends over the period 1948-2005 have been observed at the approximate height of the Kilimanjaro glaciers, but that there has been a small decrease in the region's specific humidity over this period.

In terms of why glacier retreat on Kilimanjaro was so dramatic over the 20th century, the six researchers note that for the mountain's plateau glaciers, there is no alternative for them "other than to continuously retreat once their vertical margins are exposed to solar radiation," which appears to have happened sometime in the latter part of the 19th century. They also say, in this regard, that the "vertical wall retreat that governs the retreat of plateau glaciers is irreversible, and changes in 20th century climate have not altered their continuous demise." Consequently, the 20th-century retreat of Kilimanjaro's plateau glaciers is a long-term response to what we could call "relict climate change" that likely occurred in the late 19th century[...]

Another way to get killed -- wearable TV's

As if cell phones weren't distracting enough, now we have wearable TV's so people can have half their vision obstructed too. The device costs about $800, so of course oblivions wearing one will become prime targets for snatchers as well as more prone to walking in front of buses, driving into bridge abutments, lurching down elevator shafts, etc.

Reuters (vid at this link too)
Japanese commuters can now stay tuned on crowded trains, with what's called the world's smallest wearable TV.

"Teleglass T3-F" is attached to glasses like a jeweler's eyepiece, with a remote control arm extending a mini-screen.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Comet wiped out northern hemisphere 13K years ago

Vague stories of apocalyptic events, fire and brimstone, great floods, etc. These are common long distant past historical themes running through many physically seperated cultures.

Traditionally they've been chalked up as legends, fanciful stories, or gross exaggerations...well maybe they all had a basis in actual events.
[...]Stone Age cultures were destroyed and populations of mammoths and other large land animals were wiped out. The blast also caused a major bout of climatic cooling that lasted 1000 years and seriously disrupted the development of the early human civilizations emerging in Europe and Asia.

"This comet set off a shock wave that changed Earth profoundly," said Arizona geophysicist Allen West.

"It was about 2km-3km in diameter and broke up just before impact, setting off a series of explosions, each the equivalent of an atomic bomb blast.

"The result would have been hell on Earth.
Most of the Northern Hemisphere would have been left on fire."[...]
UPDATE: Some background on the mass die off 13K years ago -- as far back as 03' this Science Daily article suggested it was a major climate change event that caused the die offs.

First the bees, now the rhinos

Of course I blame global warming for the disappearance of the Nepalese rhinos.
[...]Officials said dozens of rhinos appeared to have gone missing in recent years

Amazing F-15 footage

Israeli pilot lands an F-15 that missing a wing.

H/T Grouchy

Chinese ship 3 tons of poisonous puffer fish into US

Not for aquariums, for people to eat, mislabeled as Monkfish. Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, the third time will have to be considered enemy action...

Chicago Tribune
[...]The company shipped 282 boxes, with 22 pounds of frozen fish in each box.

The boxes were labeled, "Monk fish, gutted and head off, Product of China," the company said. The product was sold to restaurants and stores.

Pufferfish, also known as fugu, is a delicacy in Japan. Chefs must be licensed and usually undergo at least two years of training on how to safely remove the toxic parts of the fish.

The FDA describes tetrodotoxin as "one of the most violent intoxications from marine species." Symptoms begin as a numbness of the lips and tongue that can progress to paralysis[...]

Thursday, May 24, 2007

But I was told they fly kites in Iran, how can this be?

If you're a queer Iranian and want some sanctuary, your only hope is to take a Mexican vacation and jump the border -- THEN the politicians in the US will be glad to sign you up.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International has called on its members worldwide to appeal to Iranian authorities on behalf of 17 men who are reportedly being held for "homosexual conduct." The men were severely beaten when they were dragged from a private party by police, and may have been tortured in prison, according to reports. The offense of "homosexual conduct" is punishable by death or flogging in Iran[...]