Impossible not to smile at this.
Remember, folks, it's not the facts that get reported, it's what moves magazines off the stand that gets reported.
Now that enough photos of China's new fighter have surfaced to convince even the skeptics that it's not just a big dragon photoshop contest, Bill Sweetman has some advice on what it might, and more importantly might not, actually be. I'm old enough to remember both kinds of miscalculation about the Soviet capability during the Cold War. I'd like to think we've learned a thing or two since then. Then again, I'd like to think politicians have actually changed since then as well. Both are, unfortunately, not too likely to be true.
As God is my witness, I actually, genuinely like this song. If nerdy Asian guys can do hip-hop, hell anybody can do hip-hop. I'm not even sure I know what a "slizzard" is.
Sometimes I feel bad for the left side of the peanut gallery. When you lose by a point or two, you can blame it on an off day, but when you lose by such a huge margin it just means the other side is better. Then I read things like this, and I suddenly don't feel bad at all for them anymore. Jonah Goldberg does a great job of picking it apart. Victor Davis Hanson dissects it in detail.
Turns out PC gamers really are a breed apart. No thanks, I've already got the gold oak leaf clusters on my "Nerd" merit badge.
Ring in the New Year by checking out some of the latest space photos!
Seems all it takes is some well-preserved Kodachrome to bring the non-unwashed-hippie sixties back to life. I guess, if you wait long enough, style stops looking awful and just looks quaint.
Remember that pizza delivery guy who got blown up in a bizarre bank robbery scheme? The uncut video that seemed to be required viewing six, seven years ago? Yeah, they're still not completely sure just what the hell actually happened there. Not often you get to say, "dude gets his face blown off, and then it gets weird."
Those clever Israelis! Not content with controlling (shakes the 8 ball of JOOOS!!!) rrrm... Hollywood, they've now been spotted using the F-35 operationally. If it appears on a news site, it's bound to be true!
Usually the only way anyone in the US knows a country is doing OK is because nobody's mentioning it in the news. Heard much from Iraq lately? Some may say, "no thanks to us." But, you see, that's the point.
It seems that $20, a laptop, and a really gigantic data file is all you need to eavesdrop on cell phone calls. Fortunately, I'm not interesting enough to really warrant this sort of effort. Even if I was, well, like I said anyone who tries will find out I'm just not that interesting. Anonymity through banality, FTW!
Remember, folks, guns don't kill people, neck massagers kill people. Another day, another freak accident triggers a new ridiculous warning label on an appliance.
Feeling down because, thanks to the evil BushCheney of course, America is on the skids, never to return to its former glory? Your grandparents had the same feelings, too. Except, you know, they didn't have a convenient political target to blame for everything, forever. Life's funny that way.
And in today's, "dude, you really get paid to do this?" file, we have a research project that has determined the brains of politically conservative people have larger "fear centers" than liberals. Since my side of the gallery spends most our time keeping the left side of the gallery from driving us all into a wall, well, yes, we tend to respond to fear more than their side does. It's conditioning, not genetics.
Technology Review's "best idea of 2010" is that gravity is an emergent phenomena generated by quantum mechanics. I think what they're saying is that by treating gravity as something that springs out of quantum interactions, a number models far simpler than those floating around today can be built of what makes the universe tick. Simpler models tend to mean cheaper experiments to prove them, so maybe we've finally found a new way forward toward the good ol' GUT.
Problem: evil people are taking advantage of the virtuous poor! Solution: Quick, hand me The Hammer of Government! Consequence: Nicky Santoro suddenly has a lot more business. Every day I wake up glad, now that I know we've put grownups back in charge of Congress.
China's stealth strike fighter does not only seem to be real, it seems to be getting photographed more and more often. It seems to be big, and may be intended more as a strike aircraft. Go for the new Chicom toy. Stay to watch the discussion devolve into another poo fight over the F-35.
Even more pictures are here.
New York Times: "Five years ago, Matthew R. Simmons and I bet $5,000. It was a wager about the future of energy supplies — a Malthusian pessimist versus a Cornucopian optimist — and now the day of reckoning is nigh: Jan. 1, 2011."
The conclusions confirm what most of us in the libertarian section of the peanut gallery have suspected for years. Poo flinging from the green section on the left in 3... 2... 1...
Mark gets a no-prize that zigs for bringing us video of how Cadillac promotes itself in China. Nice to see the Shanghai circuit does more than just host an annual F-1 race.
A little wordy, but I'll take it. Via Guns, Holsters, and Gear.
Supposedly rare photos of the very first aircraft carrier landing have surfaced on the web. I'd seen a few of them before in various books, but others I hadn't. So, well, here ya go!
Ever wonder why any piece of powered equipment you buy nowadays is covered in so many ridiculously stupid warning stickers you can barely see the paint? This is why. F- kids, how grownups managed to survive all those decades without warning stickers I never will know.
There is still a few days left! C'mon celebs! Join the club!
Sir Paul Mellars, a prehistory expert at Cambridge University, said that the find is "important," but that it was premature to say the remains are from modern humans. He said the teeth are more likely from ancient relatives of Homo sapiens, such as the Neanderthals or their ancestors, which are thought to have left Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Read the entire article here.
A time lapse video of the recent blizzard.
Cops say two cats died and others starved while they were left to fend for themselves with their litter boxes overflowing. Another 12 cats had to be euthanized. Bozzio blamed it on a caretaker who hadn't tended to the animals while she was gone for a week, but a judge ruled that the conditions were in place for quite some time.
Somehow I don't believe her.
US drones are being reported as having bagged a whopping 25 bad guys with just two attacks in Pakistan's tribal region. They don't seem to have had the time to switch out their guys with random villagers before the press got there.
Recent observations that the Earth's magnetic north pole has begun moving around much faster than before have triggered a revision in the ideas of just what, exactly, makes that happen. Seems like it might be related to the same forces that generate a whirlpool in a bathtub drain. I think. At any rate, I'm sure the Bush administration will (still) get blamed for it somehow.
Hey, did you know Bill Gates is a lot richer than the crack whores on North Capitol street? What a great idea: instead of letting rich people manage their own money with private banks that lend it to anyone they see fit, let's get the government to take their money and give it to anyone the politicians see fit. Put it another way: where do you think rich people store their money? What, you think they bury it in the back yard?
To repeat: who will do a better job managing that money, the people who made it, or the politicians who steal it?
India's latest attempt to launch a satellite with a home-grown booster has failed in spectacular fashion. No injuries reported, except maybe to pride. That whole effort to put an Indian into orbit with a native booster? Yeah, hopefully this'll put the brakes on it for awhile.
After years of trying, scientists have successfully photographed the elusive Sahara cheetah. The environment it lives in is so extreme, and the cat so crafty, even eight-day expeditions have not succeeded in directly observing the beast.
They told me if I voted Republican, gas companies would be given outrageous special favors, and they were right! Bonus: the latest concessions will not only rot the fuel system of my ridiculous old Italian sports car, but every other damned car made before 2007.
Old and busted: Aviation Week posting grainy, impossible to understand photos of Soviet aircraft. New hotness: Aviation Week posting grainy, impossible to understand photos of Chinese aircraft. Except this time, we have Photoshop!
Two words: belted sweaters. The letters next to each guy mean they must've been in a catalog at some time, somewhere. I was busy ogling the chicks in the underwear ads, so I never noticed. And, dude, check out that pimp hat!
Making the rounds: Hugh Hefner is getting married for the third time, to a 24 year-old playmate. Meh. She's a grownup, it's not like anyone's making her do this. Plus she'll have him around for, what, ten, fifteen years, tops? Hey, I hear the guy has a nice house, how bad can it be?
According to Olivia, this is the best present EVAR!!
All of us here at AMCGLTD would like to wish you all a very:
Those of us on the right are, understandably, deeply suspicious of
the media and their agenda Fox News. Especially when we see There's nothing to worry about when all the mainstream news outlets say the same thing, with nearly the same word order, over and over again. It definitely makes should not worry me that perhaps our old friend the Journolist has definitely not reconstituted itself somehow.
That, or the whole establishment media
is so dumb is keeping our best interests at heart when they all are reading from the exact same press release that twit noble legislator Nancy Pelosi put out.
Wait a second. Suddenly
I'm I AM NOT getting the urge to change my blog password...
Scientists have announced the discovery of a "missing link" cattle species, with a fossil find some two million years old. Exactly how the scientists determined humans had anything to do with eating the beast is a little unclear from the article, but if nothing else it does prove that we were all wandering around the same area at the same time.
NASA has released a new batch of high resolution pictures of Mars. There's cold and dry, and then there's cold and dry. The trails of dust devils are pretty neat!
Now that's a present I wouldn't mind unwrapping! My kind of Christmas card, indeed.
One of the nicer things about a big automotive anniversary is all the crazy one-offs that come out of hidden garages. More, and better, pictures are here. If I ever get a nice enough garage...
Daddy likes No, I'm not really in the market for an AR-15 with a .50 cal bolt-action upper. I live in Virginia. They don't make ranges big enough to let this thing stretch its legs. But I can dream!
The Democrats are done. "Most productive." Yeah, that's what I call sitting on the toilet, too. Produced pretty much the same thing. Even though we've put the grown-ups back in charge, I'm not going claim all will be Chocolate and Moonbeams. But it will be better, because it certainly couldn't...
The president has gone a full nine months without sneaking a cigarette, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reported Thursday.
I am sure they will let us know his next bowl movment.
Problem: Massive budget deficit. Solution: Soak the rich. Unintended consequence: Rich people got wheels, ya know? Let's take a look at this graph again, keeping in mind the red line is how the left side of the peanut gallery thinks the world works, while the green line is how the rest of us know it works:
Q: Why does revenue stay comparatively flat despite dramatic fluctuations in the tax rates on the wealthy?
A: Cheaters and loopholes.
Follow up: And exactly how will your current plans to soak the rich prevent that from happening again?
I rest so much easier now that we've put grown-ups back in charge of the money.
Scientists have announced the discovery of a new, genetically distinct, line of ancient humans. DNA testing reveals this population shared a common ancestor with Neanderthals, and interbred with early modern humans who'd taken up residence in the same area.
Full load testing of the Navy's flashy new catapult system has been completed successfully. The tech has certainly come a long way from amusement rides, I'll say that.
I definitely get the idea that roadside bombs suck some fierce lemons, but this part of clearing them sure looks like fun. There's just something damned satisfying about creating enormous fireballs.
The on again/off again debate over whether naked singularities can exist now seems to be tilting toward "does not exist." I'm sure the explanation makes sense to people smarter than me. As it stands, I'll just trust the guys who can do math without any actual numbers to know what they're talking about.
And in the, "wtf is California up to now?" file, we have vaginal steaming. Remember, folks, if you smoke after sex, you're doing it too fast.
It looks like a keystone of the early 21st century will be the computerization of just about everything. Ellen would likely find the "storytelling tomb stone" the best, but personally I like the toilet that'll shut itself off if it starts to overflow. That would've made more than a few potty training incidents a lot less messy.
And you thought figuring out what to do with that puce sweater gramma gave you was tough: the Iraqi government is trying to decide what to do with an entire Koran written with Saddam Hussein's blood. Seven freaking gallons of the stuff, no less. Seems like he had a really great idea back in the late 90s, and the project took two years to complete. Just when you thought everyone's favorite Arab fascist couldn't get any weirder...
"He actually provided a how-to guide to commit sexual battery against children," according to Judd, who said he was shocked and mortified by specific examples and illustrations using 9- and 13-year-old boys.
Judd said he was frustrated that Greaves' book was protected under freedom of speech laws, even though it was created "specifically to teach people how to sexually molest and rape children."
I hope they put this guy away for quite a long time.
And we all know what happens to child rapists and killers in prison? They usually don't make it out alive themselves.
The guy WROTE a HOW TO guide. You would think he would have been put away for publishing it!
BBQ you fail, but Frito Pie you are king.
I like Frito Pie.
Yeah, I know, You'll see Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Drowneder and Blitzen is much funnier, but I gotta try to be original. This would also make for a really nifty redneck trap.
Syfy network has announced they will not be renewing Stargate: Universe for a third season. I thought the writing had remained strong, although I will admit to wondering how they'd keep it from turning into Star Trek: The Intellectual Property Avoidance Exercise once they'd learned to steer their mysterious ship. Apparently the production team have been given time to retool the last ten episodes to close the story lines, so that's something, I guess.
I've long known Alfas weren't all that much rustier than their contemporaries. What I didn't count on was their being less rusty than bazillion-dollar stealth aircraft. Every time you think the defense contract business couldn't get any more f-ed up, you're proven wrong again.
And yes, I know rust is a specific sort of corrosion not associated with the metals used in an F-22. Pendantic isn't something you hang around your neck, ya know?
Scientists think they may have worked out how to spot trees on other planets. No, it's not a matter of finding a big enough telescope, rather, the theory makes predictions about how light reflected off a planet covered in trees would be different from one that wasn't. Per usual, there are other phenomena that could duplicate the effect.
Triatheletes in general are a bit of a cracked bunch. The Iron Man version sits way over in the far corner of the "crazy" bleachers. At 4:30 in the morning.
Now that the future has decided to stop monkeying with the LHC, it's finally starting to refute some theories. Ellen will, of course, be vaguely disappointed that they haven't managed to create any black holes yet, but that's not going to stop them from trying!
Changing demographics and poor timing are shaping up to make Obama's next presidential run even more difficult. Seems like that whole "tighten grip / slips through fingers" thing is actually true. Who knew?
Not another bald spot!
Ok, deep breath, it's a joke, nobody's gotten hurt. So far.
New York City beekeeper Cerise (seh-REEZ') Mayo was puzzled when her bees started showing up with mysterious red coloring. Their honey also turned as red as cough syrup.
Read full story here.
I cannot wait for my house in the country so I can have my small bee colony!
This is easily the best distillation both of what I believe and what the left side of the peanut gallery's beliefs sound like to me. And, unlike most "attempts to explain" the PR staff over on the left side come up with, I don't think it's nasty or personal. Dialogs have been a powerful way of exploring ideas for more than two thousand years, and this one's no different.
Via (initially) Instapundit.
Now, don't forget to check the second link to see what the parrot is actually singing!
Sandra K. gets a no-prize that's full of unintended consequences for bringing us a survey of what real, actual progressive and liberal policies can accomplish when the resources of the richest state in the union are put at their disposal.
"Oh come on! The policies would work, and work well, if it weren't for the liars, cheats, and... and... CONSERVATIVES screwing it all up!"
"Really? So, what you're saying is, the only thing holding your ideas back from their inevitable success is the people who implement them? That your side is always the victim of foul intent, for the past, what, fifty or sixty years? What's different about it this time around?"
What, you mean all this time troops didn't already have "armoured codpieces?" A set of bike shorts that can stand up to that sort of treatment would likely even be popular in the civilian world. It certainly would've saved me some road rash and entertainingly-sited bruises when I had my off last season.
China has very quietly announced their intention to build an aircraft carrier. The term "aircraft carrier" can be very elastic, used to define things as small as a glorified helicopter transport to our own new Ford class big-deck bad-asses. They've had ten years to pick apart Varyag, and seem to be doing what everyone once claimed could never be done by making her seaworthy again. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Perhaps the last surviving Nazi directly involved in the execution of the Holocaust was recently interviewed by a private American citizen posing as a neo-Nazi. Even extended clips of what resulted are fascinating. I guess that, when confronted with one of the few living remains of such monstrous evil, all one really can do is ask questions, and record the answers.
Oklahoma has become the first US state to execute an inmate with drugs commonly used to euthanize animals. Ellen's been advocating this sort of thing for years. She thinks it's likely cheaper than the existing protocol, and just as effective. Hey, man, that's just how she rolls...
After bouncing around various private collections for more than two hundred years, the head of the French king Henry IV has been found and identified. One of the things that still bugs me about the royal burials at St. Denis is how they were all piled into a few big boxes after the lunacy of the revolution because identifying the separate skeletons would be "impossible." Probably in the 19th century, yes, but even before modern DNA testing it has long been possible to reassemble disarticulated skeletons using modern osteological techniques. All they'd need to do was try. Politics. Bah.
Super-tight jeans, for men? It's more likely than you think. On the one hand, it's nice to hear a fashion trend I liked from my youth making a comeback. On the other, leave it to the 21st century to include The Wrong People in it.
A great big hearty thanks to Jeff for bringing us this blast from the past! Yeah, it's a little long, but it's Olivia's very first day, and our danged website. We'll post what we want!
Everyone's favorite deep water submersible (and really, who doesn't have a favorite deep water submersible?) is getting an extensive refit which should allow it to explore more than 90% of the ocean's depths. Alvin's been around a long time, and has done some spectacular science. It's nice to hear it'll be around a good while more. I do, however, find it a little bit strange that the article completely failed to mention the sub is actually owned by the Navy.
So, after what must be at least three thousand words of hand-wringing and shirt tearing from Glenn Greenwald, what shocking things have we learned:
Look, even I think the guy deserves a blanket. That should be easy enough. As for the rest? Well, prison sucks, whaddayagonnado?
Robert H. gets a no-prize from the Russian ballet for bringing us the latest theory of how Saturn's moon Iapetus got its ridge. Seems like a temporary "sub-satellite" is enough to do the trick.
Yes, Ballet. Ballet. You know, tall soldier thing with a big mouth? Ha-ha? Come on, work with me here, people...
Scientists have speculated for years that the Siberian Traps, a featured formed by a massive volcanic event 250 million years ago, may have been involved in the Permian extinction, but nobody's worked out exactly how. Now a group of scientists are proposing exactly that. Having the lava pass through salt-rich rock, and thereby creating a much more poisonous event, would neatly explain why this eruption was so disruptive when other similar events, like the one which formed the Deccan Traps area, were not.
An Ares correspondent has written an insightful commentary on where China is, and where it might be going, in the 21st century. I personally consider it rather striking that the idea of a patriotic Chinese is somehow different from that of a patriotic American. We've made room for each other this long, I'll wager we'll continue to do so for the foreseeable future. People on the street yelling about kicking ass is great for scaring the foreigners, but, in our two countries at least, when money starts getting scared people who matter start paying attention. C.f., "US Election of 2008, The."
Census data has revealed segregation has reached 100-year lows in 75 out of 100 major metropolitan markets. Bonus: due to economic growth, most of these cities are in the south and west.
LinkedIn has a list of the 10 most over-used resume buzzwords. I'll have to go dig around for mine and see if any of those words are in there. I'm thinking "motivated" and "team player" may, but the rest, I don't think so.
What most dads threaten boyfriends with, this German guy actually did. I'd be more along the lines of, "beat within an inch of his life" rather than, "whack off the dangly bits," but I do have to say I can see where this guy was coming from.
Yet another funny site that is based on unwanted gifts.
Kids like that learn to beat other people, not just animals. His parents suck.
“Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.”
- Will Rogers
Hey, it's not often you get to see a Space Shuttle transporter being used to ferry something about the size of a fighter jet. The article, eventually, makes the valid point that UAVs of this sort aren't really in high demand at the moment, and are mostly being used to test various research concepts. They're expensive, as I understand it approaching a fourth-gen fighter in cost. They're neat on paper, yes, but a few dozen cruise missiles will usually do the same job and we've already paid for those, eh?
Scientists have a new entry in the "where did Saturn's rings come from?" This time, the thought is that, at the start of the solar system, a Titan-sized moon got peeled like an onion as it fell into, and was destroyed by, the planet. I wish they'd spent a little more time on the predictions this theory makes, but it does seem as if the composition of the small inner moons will go a long way toward proving or disproving the idea.
It seems that, after some five hundred years, someone actually has found a secret code in the Mona Lisa. The article seems to only mention a few letters, and then veers off into discussions of da Vinci's love life and how someone is badgering French authorities into giving them a look at his bones, so no idea what it actually may mean.
I've heard of blood transfusions and organ transplants, but poo transplants? Yeah, I'd like to see more science first, too. Colitis is both deadly and miserable, so if someone has found an effective treatment, I'm all for it no matter how gross it might be. But it does need to actually work.
It seems The Closer's next season will be its last. While I've always thought Sedgwick's character's accent to be "Southern via Mars," I have liked the series from its start. It's always sad to see a favorite go, although 8 seasons is a very good run indeed. Ah well, they haven't even finished broadcasting this season yet. Lots more to enjoy!
Looks like Amazon is a helluva lot harder to take down than a bunch of script kiddies previously thought. Too bad, so sad. Think maybe that'll be what causes them to climb out of their mom's basement, blinking, into the sun?
Nah, me either.
And in the, "never expected to see THAT name in the Wikileaks" bin we have news that North Korea seems to have wanted Eric Clapton to play Pyongyang as a gesture of good will. "Seems to" being the operative phrase here, as analysts aren't sure if this is the real deal or some REMF trying to polish his resume or something.
The famously reclusive astronaut Niel Armstrong has written a detailed reply to a column by NPR's Robert Krulwich regarding why the Apollo 11 mission seemed so limited. It's my understanding there were very firm distance limits set by NASA on all the moon landings to ensure the astronauts could rescue themselves if something went wrong with the space suits. Discovery dedicated a documentary to what would happen if, say, the rover fell down an unseen ravine when it was far from the LEM. The conclusions were, "it won't be pretty."
And now Ares has video of that 33 megajoule shot from a Navy experimental rail gun. Flinging a projectile 200 miles and have it arrive doing Mach 7 is pretty damned impressive. If they ever manage to mount one on a ship, I propose Dreadnought as the name.
What happens when you combine a guy who dresses like a chick, an un-fire-able bureaucrat, and the state of California? If you said, "lawsuit-ilarity," come down and collect your prize. The worst part is this'll likely drag on for years, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and not resolve a damned thing. Hooray for government, actual!
Regional figures show icicles kill dozens of Russians each year. Local authorities responsible for regularly clearing roofs of snow and ice are usually blamed.
Not only do they have to worry about starving to death, dying of alcohol poisoning and other Soviet fun, they have to worry about this!
NASA scientists have confirmed the existence of a gigantic lake in what is now the middle of the Sahara. I've read in a few places that earlier radar mapping missions (STS-2 and -41G) were not really the pure science they were advertised as, but instead were subtle cold war demonstrations meant to prove we had the means to detect silos no matter how well the Soviets hid them. Dunno if that's true, but it makes for a neat story.
I'm thinking "the first powered, controlled flight in an Australian-designed and built plane" means the guy was puttering around in a flimsy Wright Brothers-like contraption. Regardless, where it chose to crash land was pretty interesting. That's the problem with exact recreations of really old airplanes... it recreates all their handling vices, too.
That's right! Pierce Morgan from "Americas Got Talent!"
We spotted him at The Old Ebbit Grill in Washington DC!
The (Peoria) Journal Star says the woman attendant told police Thompson asked for "extra nuts" for the squirrel, and began petting it as if it were still alive. She says when she said she didn't think the squirrel was real, Thompson tossed it through the window at her and then drove off.
Read entire quip here.
How FUN does this movie look!
The main characters are parrots! How can you not love it. Oh wait...maybe if you have parrots you would appreciate it more!
Sometimes they're just no improving the original: They told me if I voted for Hillary, that Bill Clinton would basically be a co-president AND THEY WERE RIGHT! The presidency has always struck me as the worst job everyone wants. Nowadays, though, I'm thinking ex president is a pretty sweet gig. It's like being the ultimate granddad. Everyone's happy when you show up, and you get to give the country back when you get tired of it.
The world's oldest known computing device has been recreated in Lego. Recreated functionally, but not (apparently) an exact duplicate. Then again, since the original is pretty squashed, maybe a functional replica will do just fine.
I suppose you have to have an acquired taste for haggis flavored chips.
The flag is known to be the only one flown by Custer's troops that was not destroyed or captured by the Native Americans who overwhelmed the US troops in the battle in what is now the western state of Montana.
What gives me a warm fuzzy is that it sold higher than Michael Jackson's glove.
Folks curious about just what Space X is and who's behind it may find this earlier in-depth look at the company of interest. Sounds like they have the right combination of tech and talent to me.
Looks like the SDFD did their job right, and that house full of explosives just burned right down. I've never completely understood how "raised" and "razed" ended up meaning opposite things, but, well, there ya go.
Mike J. gets the Trinity no-prize for bringing us news that the "stuxnet" virus seems to still be a problem for the Iranian nuclear program. Could we actually be lucky enough to defuse this situation with just a computer program? It'd be nice if we could.
Oh wait... I forgot, this was the airport that let the planes fly into the NY Trade Centers too.
Watch how one guy gets pulled into the grave too... poor dude.
Bad weather, resulting in 30-foot waves in the Antarctic's Drake Passage, was said to have caused the technical damage, leaving the 160 people on board at the mercy of the sea.With a video!
Glad you are OK Cindy! Go back to rescuing homeless animals!
"Instead of briefly grabbing for testing or tasting purposes, this female apparently considers human swimmers as a potential food source," she said.
Oh calm down...it's about a shark.
Careful! There are many squee moments!!!
Making the rounds: Aretha Franklin has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
A group of scientists are proposing (yet another) theory that explains dark matter and why the whole universe wasn't annihilated by anitparticles billions of years ago. This time they're proposing a super-dense particle that, due to its makeup, prefers to decay in a unique, asymmetrical way that would naturally lead to the universe we see now. Me, I think it sounds pretty convenient, but they do claim there are existing experiments which should be able to disprove the idea. Hey, why not?
Pennsylvania has decided to expand its elaborate vending machine beer and wine machine into Walmart stores. I actually saw one of these things on a Modern Marvels show dedicated to vending machines. It's an incredibly elaborate answer to the incredibly elaborate problem posed by PA's drinking laws. That the whole problem could be solved quickly and cheaply by changing the laws seems not to have occurred to anyone. Well, anyone important, at any rate.
Heck I loaded this one up local. This is the exact conversation I have with Ellen, every time a front moves through. She calls me up at work to biatch about how the thunderstorm is splitting apart.
Congratulations to SpaceX for the successful first launch of the Dragon space capsule. From the article, one of the main challenges they have man-rating the capsule is cooking up an escape system. Which is very interesting, since I happen to know someone...
Update: it appears the mission was completely successful. Woot!
That being, "The United State's production of oil has reached a new peak this year." And the next. And the next. And the next. It would be sweet irony indeed if the high oil prices that had peak oil believers merrily twirling 'round the tops of their towers were what tipped us onto the road of outright energy independence. Twirl faster, you loons, twirl faster!
"I know! I know! Let's use a picture of a handsome naked athlete with a ball covering his... you know! That'll make a great PETA ad against fur! I dunno, seems to be just too rich to actually be true. I gotta say, I think I'm smelling a hoax. Or, you know, body wash or something. Picture is startling but technically SFW. Technically.
The things you learn, trolling Google's news service: the world's first commercial 747 is ending its days quietly rotting away in a South Korean parking lot. Seems it got turned into a restaurant about ten years ago, and then was abandoned when that business failed. The article claims aviation buffs are trying to figure out how to bring it home, but, when I look at the photos, it seems pretty clear if it's going anywhere it'll be in boxes.
I guess the internet really has sped even the most staid of discussions up. This time, instead of it taking months or even years for a tennis match of scientists to complete a volley, it only takes a few days. Even I thought the description of NASA scientists' discovery of an exotic type of bacteria sounded a little weird. Does it mean that they're wrong, or even that the science is bad? Only time will tell.
Chris gets a most informative no-prize in an envelope that squeaks for bringing us the latest in British instructional videos, circa 1975. Mark and I remember these things thrown on a screen by a squeaky 16mm projector. You know, those things schools used to use before they could afford VCRs. Which, of course, you know are these gigantic machines that used T-A-P-E to project...
Oh, hell with it. Pop in a Blu-ray, let's enjoy the movie.
Pro tip: Cars have brakes. Giant cans of paint don't. Fortunately nobody got hurt. I bet it'll be fun to hear how they explain that to the insurance adjuster.
Robert H. gets the coveted Albigensian no-prize for bringing us evidence that the media frenzy about climate change has a long and rich history. Yes, yes, "This is a Crisis! You are a Dangerous, Greedy, Immoral, Evil, Stupid, Naive, Misguided Person! Denier! Apostate! Here's your yurt, we're off to Cancun!" Must always remember to post up those cautions. Don't want the plebes to get the wrong idea.
One of our clinic cats, Sir Humphrey Winston III. He thinks he is a person.
ANY attention given to the smaller green chicken of the two, makes the larger green chicken mad.
Weatherman Joe Bastardi (no, really, that's his name. Stop giggling! I said stop it!) is predicting lots of snow for lots of people this Christmas season. And yes, the only real point to this is to poke fun at this guy's name.
Bad: explosives-laden home is discovered in a suburban neighborhood. Worse: It's in a state that'll turn getting rid of it into a decade-long project costing millions of dollars. I'd imagine that other places (west Texas, central Ohio, basically any place that has fun fireworks) would be shouting "watch this!" and throwing a match in.
Well, hey, how else are we gonna know about fifty models all climbing into bed together? Those stories don't just write themselves, you know! (SFW)
So, what exactly happened to the engine on that Quantas A380 that forced an emergency landing? It f'ing exploded, that's what happened. Kudos to the Airbus guys for building the bird strong enough to take this sort of thing. Oh, and as far as the durability of the massive airliner in the face of a typical terrorist-sized SAM attack? Well, there's one data point right there.
Assuming the weather holds and the launch doesn't, Space X will attempt the first test of its manned space capsule tomorrow morning (EST). The test will be unmanned and seems to be a (hopefully) straightforward shakedown of basic capabilities. If all goes well, more tests in 2011 will ultimately lead to manned flights that same year. Fingers crossed!
Robert H. gets a no-prize guaranteed to send die-hard greens into an apoplectic frenzy for bringing us news that we may all in fact be in the grip of a "mini ice age." Yes, I understand it's all about climate change and yes, "one-paper-does-not-make-a-trend-who-is-this-maniac-you-dangerous-denier-type-person!!!" The point is when regular folks like me see temperature trending consistently up, that's worrying. When we see the temperature trending up and down, well, that's just weather.
Remember that balloon team who augered in during a storm a few months ago? Yep, they're dead. I think it's pretty amazing they could be found, and, now that they have a rough fix, authorities may be able to salvage the cupola and perhaps figure out what really went wrong. Aside from, you know, two people crazy enough to fly a balloon through a thunderstorm.
Ok, I admit it, I occasionally follow a few of the ridiculous pop-culture dramas that regularly stream out of Hollywood. I, too, had wondered just what the hell had gone wrong with Randy Quaid. After reading this in-depth profile of him and his wife, I'm still wondering what the hell's gone wrong. It's awfully easy to blame a kooky wife. Then again it's damned rare for two people to fall into the deep end of the crazy pool at the same time. I can only hope they learn to swim out before they drown.
While I'd rather the location look a little less seedy, I'll definitely count this as progress. There's supposed to be a Fiat dealership starting around here, too, but it seems to be run by a holding company I'm not familiar with. I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled!
It's official, Ohio State, of all places, will face off against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. Ellen's idea was to make Ron take a drink every time he shouted about donkeys, poo, genitals, or prostitutes, but Amber turned us down. She wants to make sure he gets to see the second quarter.
No, really, when cellphones attack. Lucky for me, I hate talking on the phone and therefore do it as little as possible. Ellen? Well, let's just say if exploding cellphones really were a deadly problem, I would've been a life insurance beneficiary long before now.
Me: "Olivia, what did you learn at the new human origins exhibit at the dinosaur museum today?*"
Olivia: "I come from neanderthals?"
"No, neanderthals are your cousins."
"Wow, I have some ugly cousins!"
* It was a "daddy day." Ellen works, daddy and Olivia road trip. Today, it was the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. As far as the name, she's a girl. Contradictions are built-in.
Along the warmth of the coast, this long, spindly-legged lizard deposits its eggs where they can fend for themselves. If a predator doesn't get them, they'll hatch into a whole new generation of yellow-bellied skinks. Up in the mountains, the eggs would have a rougher time of it. The temperature at higher altitudes drops, and the skink eggs don't have the same chance as their coastal siblings do. The yellow-bellied skink has found a solution to that; it disposes with eggs entirely and carries its young internally until it can give birth to them.
Is it a snake or a lizard!
Researchers at Warwick University testing the Naga Viper found that it measures 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale, which rates heat by tracking the presence of a chemical compound. In comparison, most varieties of jalapeño peppers measure in the 2,500 to 5,000 range -- milder than the Naga Viper by a factor of 270.
Habanero take a step, no wait, several steps down from super hot!
And now, a very tiny airplane tour of lower Manhattan. For decades, RC enthusiasts have wanted to mount cameras on their planes. Now it's actually happening. I wonder if nowadays it's possible to watch the video live, and use it to pilot the aircraft? It would seem to be a lot easier than the "normal" way to fly them.
Here's your cat. And here's your twenty dollars...
After 37 years of service, the last operator of the F-111 is retiring the type. It was a unique aircraft, designed to a unique set of requirements. It succeeded almost in spite of itself, and we won't see its like again. Salut!
And now, some absolutely spectacular pictures of thunderstorms on the plains. I'm pretty sure they've been massaged at least a little in photoshop. I'm also pretty sure completely unretouched they're still spectacular shots.
No, really, why would anyone have a problem with a "snow klansman," complete with hanging noose in one hand? Yeah, it's Idaho, so the eight or so black people who live in the state almost certainly didn't see the thing. From the article, the man in question sounds like a hateful old kook who's annoying but basically harmless. I'm just glad he knocked it down on his own, because I'm pretty sure teenagers in the area would've been less discriminant about it.
Mark gets a no-prize that'll knock Klingons off the starboard bow for bringing us news of the discovery of a critter that might not even be based on the same chemistry we are. Discovered in a godforsaken lake somewhere in eastern Cali no less. When I read the article, it's also possible this just happens to be a bacteria you can't kill with a stick. It'll take a few more experiments, a lot more grant money, and a slow-motion journal-based flame fest to be sure. Hey, that's science!
Making the rounds: the recent snow storm in the Buffalo area has left drivers stranded on the highway for more than 12 hours. Ok, normally I tell people we don't drive our Alfas in the winter because of the road salt. It never occurred to me it might be possible for me to be forced to camp out in one. Yeah, gonna put this in the, "reasons I don't ever, EVER, want to live in the snow shadow of the great lakes" file, that's for sure.
If this graph doesn't prove soaking the rich does nothing for the federal budget, well, I guess nothing will. Faith always trumps evidence, and I expect the left side of the peanut gallery to deny this with such force it'll make a fundamentalist Christian take notes.
The best part is, they'll think it's the Christians who're being dangerously hard-headed about their beliefs.
So, for punishment, here's what they have to write on the blackboard 200 times: our taxes are not too low; our government is spending too much.
Doesn't matter how many times I look at it, even as a moldering wreck, the Ekranoplan is still a damned cool flying machine. I don't have any idea what it'd cost to bring that thing back to life, but I really hope someone eventually tries.
The Army has announced the deployment of an all new hand-held infantry cannon. I've been watching segments about "smart rounds" on various Discovery channel
tech porns documentaries for a few years now. It's nice to see them actually making it to the field, although I can't help but wonder just how much more expensive the ammo is for this thing than for, say, your garden variety M4.
The world's first successfully cloned animal has been cloned once again. This time there are four "Dollies," and instead of needing hundreds of sheep embryos to produce a single clone, they only needed to use five. Me, I can't believe it's been fourteen years since the original Dollie was born.
Just what everyone needs for the holidays!
The end of the world prophecies!
Two ladies that hit and all time low.
No need for shopping bags for these 2!
Making the rounds: the coffin which once held Lee Harvey Oswald's body will soon be auctioned off. What I want to know is, who'd hold onto something like that for nearly twenty years? It's not like it can be used as a coffee table or anything. Well, in a normal house, not like ours, I mean...
GOP to dems: lame duck agenda: not yours. Meddlesome policies: you can not haz. STFU & GBTW on the stuff that matters. Last time the GOP stood their ground in the Senate, the media worked hand-in-glove with the Clinton administration and delivered a win to the dems. Will they be smart about it this time? We'll see...
Nothing like a bit of CGI fun to bring the art, and enormity, of a classic to life. What I find at least as remarkable is this most iconic tapestry of the middle ages sat unremarked and unexamined for some seven hundred years after it was created. It almost literally sat in a box so long that its true origins have long been lost, and we are left with speculation. Sometimes simple survival can be a remarkable thing.
Now that Virgin is proving some basic concepts in ballistic spacecraft launched from aircraft, NASA is (literally) dusting off their own older, and presumably much more expensive, version of the same idea. As long as they make the research public at the end, which I think they're required to do by law, I'm all for it.
And in the, "yeah right, your food is way healthier than ours" category, we have fifteen sandwiches from around the world. Some of them look and/or sound pretty good, but most definitely don't sound healthy. Oh, and would someone chase the UK out of the kitchen? French fry sandwiches sound about as appealing as poutine, to me at least.
Robert H. gets a dark and mysterious no-prize for bringing us yet another volley in the seemingly endless, "Yes there is! No there isn't!" theory that a very large planetary mass lies beyond Pluto. This time, the "yes" camp has volleyed into the "no" camp with the hypothesis that something as big as Jupiter is out there.