The National Space Society blog is featuring an extensive article on why SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is important. This is all, of course, assuming it doesn't go "kerplooey" when they light the fuse. That said, if something like that were to happen we'd at least have the advantage of not stopping everything for three years while Congress peers up everyone's rectum for an answer to "what went wrong." Go, SpaceX, go!
Go vote for Cory! Old records into bowls!? CRAFTY!!
Using newly discovered electrical effects, a UK graduate student has created what can reasonably be termed a "flying carpet." Right now it's only a 10cm sheet of plastic which doesn't fly very high or go very fast, but it definitely proves the concepts are sound. Who knows where it'll end up next?
At least not all right in South Korea, where a very long-standing cultural tradition of cramming for tests is causing leaders to worry about maintaining the country's spectacular economic progress. Turns out the NEA is right, albeit more in a "broken-clock" fashion: exclusively concentrating on test scores probably isn't the best way to educate children in a modern society. That said, one look around here will quickly reveal what we have here in the US is no alternative to brag much about.
When did you ever think you'd hear this: "Two years ago, America was importing about two thirds of its oil. Today, according to the Energy Information Administration, it imports less than half. And by 2017, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts the US could be poised to pass Saudi Arabia and overtake Russia as the world's largest oil producer."
That's right, folks, the good ol' US has the potential to put Hajji on the breadline all by itself. And, unlike fundamentalists, fascists, and various dictators, this is ethical oil. Oil with environmental inspectors crawling all over it, oil with worker's rights, oil with US money going to US firms paying US taxes. What rational person would have a problem with this?
Well, ok, yes, but he's getting tossed out next November.
More is here...
Play it again, Sam: once NASA finally gets a probe close enough to get a good look at a planet, the planet turns out to be much weirder than anyone expected. The latest idea kicking around planetary science is that at least some inner rocky worlds did not form as an aggregate, but rather were the centers of gas giants whose atmosphere has been blown away. It'll be interesting to see how all this new data works with that idea.
Just when I thought the Chinese couldn't get any weirder, I learn about a festival in which pigs that've grown to be the size of VW Beetles are publicly slaughtered and then their gaily painted carcasses are paraded around town. Still, it's gotta be better than dog meat. I hope.
Standard: an organization responsible for a ridiculous stunt is irritated that someone else is giving the wrong people the credit. WTF: the organization is Al Qaeda, and they're telling Iran's president to stop blaming the CIA for 9/11. Even better, the whole thing was just about prophesied by an Onion parody some time ago.
The world's largest "renewable diesel" manufacturer is now saying the stuff is much more expensive to produce than previously thought. Exactly why this is isn't detailed in the article, presumably due to some sort of trade secret. Fortunately, as far as I know anyway, they're not the only player in the game, just one that seems increasingly likely to be sitting on the sidelines for now.
Congratulations to the Chinese National Space Administration for the successful launch of Tiangon 1, its first space station. And it seems like (big surprise) I was wrong, Tiangong is considerably more than a booster stage with a docking collar. More power to them!
Ok, on the one hand scientists using an artificial cerebellum to make a rat blink is creepy on all sorts of levels. On the other, if it leads to something which cures all the various ailments that are caused by a defective cerebellum... well, it's still creepy, but it's creepy with a purpose.
Scientists have announced a new HIV vaccine which has successfully completed its first round of human trials. The vaccine is based on an altered version of a smallpox vaccine, and first proved itself in earlier studies involving mice and primates. Two more human trials must be passed before it would be considered for production.
OMG! Double the head bumps!
CNN Image A 12-year-old cat in Massachusetts is making history just for being alive. Guinness World Records has declared him the oldest living two-faced cat, according to CNN. His name is Frank and Louie, and he's a Janus cat, named after the Roman god with two faces.
Read the article and SEE the picture!
You can see a video in this article!
Beats the hell out of a dumb clock radio: sign up for a new account and get a free AK-47. Well, actually yes, the firm is in Florida. How'd you guess? I just hope it's actually legal.
Never let it be said George Lucas misses an opportunity for promotion: in honor of the upcoming Star Wars Blu-Ray release in Japan, Tokyo subways are getting lightsaber handles. They appear to be some sort of 21st century sticker. Were this installed on a lawless gaijin train here in the West, I'd estimate their half-life to be about 20 minutes but since they're in Tokyo, I'll wager they stay attached until the guy who installed them pulls them off.
Archeologists have announced the discovery of a huge ancient Roman shipyard. The appropriately named Portus contained the building, which was nearly five hundred feet long and two hundred feet wide.
Today's attempt to smear the Tea Party will be... (spins the wheel BZZZZZZZ clickclickclick click click... click...) "the fundies will think they're the precursors of the antichrist!" And, as we all know, not only are tea partiers racist, they're also associated with all sorts of Christian wackadoos. We know this is true, because we say it is!
At no point, at no point, does it ever seem to occur to the left side of the peanut gallery that our side disagrees with them simply because they're wrong. No, sir, we're evil, fundamentalist... fascists, an immediate and dire threat to the whole country. Gonna shoot up your house and take away gramma's social security checks! Vote Democrat before we all become corporatist slaves!
Because, you know, the Democrats have done such a stellar job recycling every damned idea they've failed at for the past seventy years... again!
Ah, northern Australia, where the men are men, the women are women, and the parrots are completely lit. I wonder if they're noisier when they're smashed? I'm not completely sure it's possible.
And now we have transgendered kids. I genuinely don't know what to make of it. It sniffs suspiciously of all that repressed memory crap that tore through the psychological landscape back in the 90s, which ruined many people's lives. On the other, hell, I hear about gay folks knowing they were gay all their lives and how painful it was hiding it. All I really know is, I'm very grateful this is not something I have to deal with in my own family. Olivia is 100% American Girl. She's even got the doll.
China is set to launch its first "space lab" this Thursday or Friday, weather permitting. From the very limited description, this seems to be the start of their version of the Gemini program, which leads me to believe the rumors might have some weight to them... China may actually be aiming for the Moon, if not further. Meh, more power to 'em, good luck and God speed!
SpaceX is jumping into the "VTVL" launcher game with a research vehicle called "Grasshopper". Short for "Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing" (I do wish you would do a better job keeping up with these things), it marks the third such effort into designing a reusable rocket that would look perfectly in place as part of a 1950s science fiction movie.
Another day, another entry in the angst-ridden annals of postmodern feminism. In a time when women are represented more prominently and in more diverse roles than ever before, what do they complain about? Jasmine is hot. Girls want to be pretty. They like teasing boys and sometimes do dumb things in the attempt. Parents must keep an eye on their girls, because you never know what they might be getting into, especially on that filthy internet.
Note that when the author actually digs down past all the angst and talks to the girls, they seem to have it figured out just fine. They seem more than a little annoyed at being constantly reminded that pretty isn't all that there is.
The paternalism is as striking as it is unremarked. We all better watch out, because without government controls our daughters will grow up to be sluts. Without more regulation their "body image" may deteriorate into bones and cuts. Without Big Sister peering over our shoulders, these little, helpless girls will turn into mindless consumer slaves, staring doe-eyed at the latest couture they're too fat to fit in.
It's been a long time since I've seen almost everything that's irritating about modern feminism piled into a single article. How about a different spin: girls like being pretty. They enjoy playing dress-up. Sex is everywhere but so what? I got news for you sparky, sex is everywhere. The things a girl in rural China is exposed to growing up on a farm with a single-room house would put what shows up in a Lancome ad to shame.
Being the owner of an '03 Little Girl, I have more than a little interest in this sort of thing but really, why the fear about sexuality? That's supposed to be the pervue of religious fundamentalists, people so completely committed to a blinkered view of human nature they absolutely refuse to acknowledge any alternatives. Oh, wait...
Here's a thought: stop fear-mongering about Disney and how much TV kids watch. Stop worrying whether my kid will wander across porn on the internet. Stop using it all as an excuse to let government intrude even further into my job as a parent. I'm busy enough as it is. Butt out.
Fans of Storm Chasers and other weather-related phenomena should not miss this detailed and harrowing account of surviving the Joplin tornado. Best part: they were saved by a beer cooler. Beer. Is there anything it can't do?
A US salvage firm has discovered a shipwreck with 200 "tonnes" of silver on board. As part of a deal with the UK government, they'll keep 80% of the cargo, worth somewhere north of 250 million dollars. Which is probably a good thing, since it's sitting several miles underneath the ocean's surface. That kind of salvage ain't cheap.
One of our 7. He went to his new home this past weekend.
You say that like it's a bad thing: "Women are jumping into the sack faster and with fewer expectations about long-term commitments than ever, effectively discounting the “price” of sex to a record low, according to social psychologists."
There's a way to counter-spin it, though: birth control, sex education, and HIV's gradual transition to a treatable, chronic illness has lessened the cost of casual sex to the point women are willing to engage in it more often. A return to the swinging '70s, if you will.
Those of you wondering why the economy is still flopping around in the bottom of the boat need look no further than this: new environmental regulations will require 230,000 new employees to enforce, cause 6.1 million businesses to fall under their jurisdiction, cost $21 billion dollars, and probably won't work. No, this isn't some right-wing think-tank report. It's the EPA itself admitting all this effort probably won't work. This is just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure, and is a direct result of electing a community organizer with exactly two years of federal office experience to the Presidency. It's not who he is. It's who he's hired.
A computer programmer has proven a specific version of the "infinite monkeys" theorem. That's the idea that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of keyboards for an infinite amount of time will, eventually, produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Not having even one infinite amount of anything, the author of the proof simplified the problem to make it simpler and, whaddayaknow, out popped a sonnet.
See, I always thought people learned to leave wild mushrooms alone back in, you know, first grade or something. As usual, it seems that a few people weren't listening in that class. Darwin missed them by THAT much.
Olivia is officially a proto-nerd. She just now actually placed several foster kittens in a box, covered them up with a blanket, and then asked me if they were dead, or... ALIVE...
I think one of them should be named Schroedinger in honor of this event.
Today, De Santo has a name for what happened that night: "crisis apparition." She stumbled onto the term while reading about paranormal activities after the incident. According to paranormal investigators, a crisis apparition is the spirit of a recently deceased person who visits someone they had a close emotional connection with, usually to say goodbye.
Read entire article here.
Scott does not believe in the afterlife. He believes in reincarnation. I do not. I am an absolute believer of ghost and the afterlife because I have had few experiences like this that you simply cannot explain.
Don't even get into a discussion with an atheist over the subject. Even though the majority of them believe in zombies.
Most people are surprised by a box or two hidden away in a corner of the house their parents once lived in. Now imagine that, turned up to 11. THIS is why it's a bad idea to let junk build up to the point a door gets hidden, know'wha'I'mean?
25 is on the uphill!!
The world's oldest still-running car is now for sale. A steam-powered runabout completed in 1884 "La Marquise," nicknamed after the mother of the man who paid for its construction, is arguably also the winner of the very first car race. "Arguably," since it was the only one to show up. Yours, for perhaps only two million dollars!
No surprise to anyone familiar with the "wisdom" of diplomats assigned to the UN: diplomat's car stolen and crashed after he left it double-parked and idling while he went and got some tea. The UAE is a comparatively liberal Arab state, so it's not like a religious policeman was outraged or anything.
Update: Actually, it's the diplomat's chauffeur.
A picture, and a (brief!) note from a business owner form a nice riposte to all of those smug "principled" posters of which the left is so very fond. You know, when they're not busy accusing the rest of us of being bloodthirsty fascists and whatnot. They're helpful that way, those lefties...
Scientists are actually rather worried they've found evidence of things moving faster than the speed of light. They're concerned because there's lots of evidence that this shouldn't happen. The idea is to get someone else to duplicate the (presumably expensive) experiment so they can figure out what the heck is going on.
They start violins out at 3rd grade instead of 6th for a reason. It's like a trombone with four octaves. Best I ever could do on mine was two, maybe three, tops.
“We have collected over a thousand so far and we have only just begun,” said Denise Feiber, Public Information Director for Florida’s Division of Plant Industry.
Don't forget to watch the video!~
Make sure you click the link to see what this article is about!
Pity the poor Dems. After one of the worst drubbings in recent history, they really might, really might, get it all back next year. And it's not their fault, oh no! It's because the Republicans now, mysteriously, control the state legislatures. It's because the economy now, mysteriously, remains in the tank. It's because the unemployment rate now, mysteriously, won't drop below 9 percent. At no point does it ever seem to occur to the author that things are this way because Democrats are in charge. Things are this way because their ideas don't work. Things are this way because their policies have failed. He can't bring himself to admit they're all getting ready to be tossed out on their keisters because we couldn't do it all at once last year.
Their failings are mysterious. Things don't work because of bad luck, previous history, evil forces, bad mojo, take your pick. That the other side might be winning because they're just better at all of this, well... that's just crazy talk there!
Just when you thought nature couldn't get any more macabre: scientists have finally discovered the mechanism which certain beetle larva use to feed on much larger amphibians. In other news, there are finger-sized beetle larva which can eat a whole frog all by themselves! The article helpfully includes shiver-inducing pictures and video of just what this means. Creepy!
That'll be chick with horse: 1, bear: 0. Not much else to do about it, if you're determined to stomp around in the woods with them. I can see the appeal of all that wilderness from an academic point of view. You know, while I'm sitting poolside sipping a Mojito.
Rand Simberg: "The problem is that ... the government ... has always supplied human spaceflight, and when you propose to do it in any other way ... the same cries arise: “Are you crazy?! Why do you hate space exploration?! Spaceflight is hard! Only NASA knows how to put people into space! Who is going to do it if not NASA? These people are just hobbyists in garages! What if all of the commercial companies fail and go out of business?! ... What if they can’t hit their cost targets? What material will they use? What if we can’t store propellant in orbit?”
I actually have heard people make these arguments. I have a pizza bet with one of them. Read the whole thing.
Scientists have discovered that not only do "just" digest food, the genetic information in that food can alter your own genes. Considering that we've been eating other things, well, forever, it's probably not as alarming as it would at first seem. Still, it may suggest new methods of treating diseases. A good thing!
Scientists have discovered that certain species of squid are will mate first, and never ask questions at all. By using unpiloted submersibles, scientists were able to observe clear indications that these squid do not bother to "check under the tail" to make sure they're mating with the opposite sex before they do the deed. The strategy may actually help increase the odds of a successful mating.
Amateur astronomers are now taking pictures of the doomed Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite that may fall on a witch near you. It seems the craft is tumbling at a fair rate, causing the shinier bits to flash quite brightly when viewed from Earth. My luck? It'll probably squash the spider. Which is in our garage at the moment. Underneath our dining room. And bedroom. Whee!
Walter Russel Mead: "And so I say it again to all my many friends on the secular and religious left: relax. The Christianists aren’t coming to lock you up in camps. George W. Bush was the first president to choose a vice presidential running mate with an openly lesbian daughter; the dark night of fascism isn’t preparing to fall. The Left likely must resign itself to a long term trend of less compulsory social solidarity and more individual economic freedom; the right must accept that individuals in our society can only be compelled by their own consciences on an ever growing list of social and cultural issues."
As expected, the Foo Fighters were creative in their response to the Westboro wackos' protest. Still, doesn't quite seem fair to get front seats to an ipromptu concert just because you're a nutjob. Ah, well.
A five year-old UK girl has been reunited with the nearly perfect fossil she found. The 160 million year-old ammonite will eventually be displayed in their home, albeit carefully. The specimen is so well preserved its spikes are a bit of a hazard, it seems.
Oyster shots. What's that you ask? Of course there's
Scientists have found conclusive evidence that at least one raptor-like dinosaur used its talons as weapons. Because, you know, a giant razor-sharp claw attached to the foot of a critter that had feet just built for kicking things could be using it for something else. Shuffleboard, for example.
A new camouflage technology promises to make ground vehicles impossible to track or shoot has made a big splash in the defense community, but may not see the light of day. If there's this much buzz about it I'm inclined to think it works. Yes, lots of durability problems to overcome but that's just engineering.
Mark gets a no-prize mounted to the top of a dog house for bringing us news that the search is on for a lost piece of Apollo-era history. Out of all the lunar modules used during the program, there's only one who's fate is unknown. A group of UK schoolchildren are aiming to find just that out.
This is what I call "the New York No." With friend Mark portraying the actual emotion being conveyed.
This horse was a bit too happy to be jousting. He nearly ran into a wall a few times.
Why worry about finances when you're a successful actor and... a vampire?!? Because, really, it's definitely not a faked photo. That's what the auctioneer on Ebay says, and we all know how reliable they are!
A US company has announced it's developing a radioactive steam-powered car engine. According to the company, the engine would be a turbine powered with steam heated by lasers powered by the mildly radioactive element thorium. According to the company the engine would go decades between refuelings, and be perfectly safe.
According to me it sounds like a load of hooey, but I do wish whichever venture capitalists that are under-writing this venture loads of luck. I have a feeling they're going to need it.
A surrogate mom got some startling news when she found out the prospective parents were backing out of the contract, leaving her with twins she never thought she'd have to raise. Fortunately, an adoption agency was able to place the children and everyone seems to be Ok.
Reason #432 that a womb is not a rent-able factory. Ya know?
SpaceX seems to be moving along smartly to its next Dragon mission. Scheduled for November 30 of this year, it combines all the tests and demonstrations previously meant for two separate flights, and will result in a rendezvous with the ISS. Good luck to them!
By stitching together hundreds of publicly-available photographs, a "science educator" has created a nifty time-lapse video of a journey on the International Space Station. It better be good. We spent enough to get it.
Test flight fail, that's for sure. Who knew it was possible to get in that much trouble with a Syma?
Making the rounds: a heavily modified P-51 Mustang has crashed at the Reno Air Races. The pilot reported a mayday and pulled out of the race, and then the plane looped over and went in nearly vertically, right in front of the grandstands. Death toll is currently at 3, but may climb higher.
Pilots get killed pretty regularly at Reno, but this is the first accident involving spectators I can think of. Unfortunately it wouldn't surprise me at all if this incident shuts down the races for good.
We have big hair, what can I say?
Hurricane Irene's destruction isn't stopping students who want to attend a small Vermont school. Pardon me while I give a shiver to the thought that there's a place somewhere with a first snow just weeks away. This Southerner's mind boggles...
Modern Chinese axiom #23: It's only a copyright violation if someone important is getting hurt. Since everyone knows only the Chinese are important, the math becomes very simple. And yes, I know Americans are every bit as guilty of this sort of thing, but when Americans get caught there's at least a chance they'll go to jail.
Most folks have heard of the mysterious Nazca lines, but have you heard of the stone wheels? They are just as strange, might be just as old, and there are thousands of them. I'm still pretty puzzled that, with so many, nobody seems to have done any research at all on them.
A returning ISS crew suffered an unexpected communications blackout during re-entry today. But don't worry, I'm sure when the New York Times reports it, blame will be correctly placed on the Bush administration. Glenn sees it happening all the time.
Making the rounds: scientists have discovered a wide variety of dinosaur feathers trapped in amber. The finds are so well preserved it's possible to figure out what colors they contain. It would seem our ancient giants could be every bit as colorful as a modern bird.
Fumes at a Georgia McDonalds have sent 10 to a hospital. I always knew the place could smell a little weird, but this is ridiculous. I'm putting a $5 chip down on "stupid teenager mixing bleach and ammonia just to see what would happen."
Astronomers have discovered the first planet known to orbit a binary star system. Unfortunately for metal bikini dreamers everywhere, this one's likely a Saturn-sized gas giant instead of a dusty desert planet. But hey, who knows? Maybe it's got a dusty desert moon.
No, realli! He was Karving his way tru apples using the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush... What? You didn't really think I'd let another chance to make Holy Grail references go by, did you? Just wait until I break out the llamas!
Scientists have announced the discovery of a new, very large, species of extinct fresh water crocodile. Acherontisuchus guajiraensis inhabited an ancient rainforest ecosystem some 60 million years ago, during Palaeocene times. It lived alongside an even bigger ancient snake, a 42 foot beast called Titanoboa. Fortunately, separate geologic eras mean Ellen actually can't have either of them. Not that she wouldn't try, mind you...
I don't really know why it takes color photography to bring a scene from the past to life, but it does, at least for me. What I like to think about is that these people lived closer to the 19th century than the 21st. Things seem to have been a lot, well, dingier back then, but that may be the film. Or the fact that I've not spent all that much time in Manhattan.
It seems the DIRECT team has got the upper hand over at NASA. Witness the striking similarities between the Jupiter proposals and the recently announced new heavy-lift launcher NASA says will carry astronauts to Mars and beyond. Not that any of it matters, since a) NASA will almost certainly not be able to afford it and b) even if it looks like they will, the propeller-headed program leads will get starry-eyed and grasp at new ideas that'll jack the price up so high it'll become unaffordable. Me, I'm putting my bets on SpaceX. Of course, now that there's this thing out there, it's possible my favorites will have a harder job than before. Such is the life which surrounds the last surviving design bureau of the Cold War.
A small robot manufacturer has got the Army tossing robots left and right. The little self-propelled cameras are turning out to be vital in the insurgent conflict by allowing quick, accurate reconnaissance at very low risk to the soldiers involved.
And now we confront another sacred cow of the left: it's expensive to be poor in America. And in truth it is, for specific kinds of poor people. Which sorts? Even the author can't get around who we're really talking about:
[T]hese are people who’ve messed up their relationship with a bank. They’ve bounced so many checks that no bank wants them as a customer. Or they’ve racked up so many fees they have dug too expensive a hole from which to escape.
There are also the "[R]oughly 50 million Americans [who] have a credit score below 600."
Of course, to the liberal mind, people who's choices are constrained have no real choice at all. This is held to be true even if the constraints are imposed by that person's own behavior. That's right, folks, if someone is poor it is the fault of society at large, not the poor wretch who kites the check. And, since we're society, it of course becomes our responsibility to fix it.
Because this person could only choose from a constrained set of (mostly bad) choices, the proper course is not to educate them in how to choose the best from a bad lot, but to somehow open up their range of choices to ensure they have the same opportunities as everyone else.
So, well, what's the problem? Isn't maximizing opportunity a noble, obviously good goal? Well yes, except the noble principle hides the hard facts. At no real point is any consideration given as to how best to go about implementing this principle. It completely ignores that such an implementation must be made through people, often the same people who are already predisposed to make bad decisions no matter how many options are open to them.
But it's worse than that. By removing personal responsibility from the equation, we dehumanize the very person we want to help. This is not a problem faced by a person, it's a problem imposed by society. This person has no chance to help themselves, they must depend on the power of the state instead. And therein lies one of the darkest unconsidered evils of modern liberalism and the progressives who practice it... dependency.
By starting out with the first, seemingly noble, principle that a constrained choice is no choice at all, we are logically and inexorably drawn to solutions which cannot help but create dependency. This, most of all, is one of the great tragedies of the left: that obviously good ideals lead directly, and unavoidably, to bad consequences.
But, because the liberal combines good principles with unexamined consequences, those of us who try to point out the problems aren't seen as wrong, we're seen as evil. Precisely because these principles are so obviously good, anyone who disagrees must either be incredibly stupid or deviously malignant.
So, instead of an article which tries to examine why poor people do dumb things, we get instead a litany of statistics that make it sound very bad to be poor with only the slightest nod to the fact that these expenses occurr not because of constraints, but because of bad behavior. The litany of vicious comments that follow anyone who dares point this out in the comments of that article merely underline the point.
Let me go on record here, and I'm sure this won't surprise the left side of the peanut gallery one bit: I'm glad these fees exist. I support them! They provide clear and obvious incentives to people who don't often have a good education or particularly good impulse control to change their behavior. It forces them, in other words, to clean up their damned act, and punishes those who refuse to do so.
The left side will, of course, shriek about how heartless and cruel such a belief is, but that's just how they roll. Never once will they consider the cruelty of their own "assistance" which, no matter how well intentioned, quite explicitly perpetuates the cycle they so heartfully claim to be trying to break.
But I'm not heartless, although by this time I'm sure those on the left are already convinced if I'm not it must be so small even the Grinch would cluck in disapproval. No, I do think people like this need help, but a very different kind of help. My basic principles are choice is choice, and behavior is the responsibility first and last of the individual making the choices. Education and redemption are my watchwords. Teach them, so that they may learn from their mistakes. Forgive them, so that the consequences of those mistakes are not utterly permanent. Work hard to ensure that when some doors close others must open, and restrain or punish those who would lock them instead.
Then, and only then, will the cycle truly be broken. Then, and only then, will free people properly learn what it means to be free. Then, and only then, will the sins of the father be taken from the son.
One scientist is on a mission to prove life can evolve based not on carbon, but on metal. It seems like he's managed to generate most of the structures which life needs to function, but hasn't figured out how to knit them all together into a critter. Nobody, even the guy behind the work, is completely sure it's possible. I wonder if it'll shine like chrome?
Fans of Apple products big and small should find this reflection on Steve Jobs of interest. Jerry Pournelle is one of the founding journalists of the PC age, and so watched Jobs' saga first-hand. It wasn't always pleasant and it was almost never easy, but I think everyone agrees now Steve got what he wanted.
He changed the world.
The AC apparently went out at the Geneva auto show, and the show's eye candy got downright cranky because of it. I'm not sure they actually are arguing; the model on the left could simply be pointing something out.
Six months after a devastating earthquake, Japan is still digging out of the rubble. Oh, they'll recover. It has, after all, been worse before. But, as these pictures show, they have a very long way to go.
Russian space officials have figured out what caused the last Progress launch failure and have scheduled a new Progress and manned Soyuz mission for this fall. You go first. Comrade.
Good: Airliners are booting thugs off for not pulling their pants up. Bad: get a load of what they'll let on the airplane instead (SFW). I had a point to make, but the picture just, well... go look, you'll see.
A fossil discovered in nearby College Park, Maryland is making some news today. The specimen, recovered in 1997 by an amateur collector, is that of a nodosaur, an armored beast closely resembling its more famous cousin, ankylosaurus. It represents the smallest, and therefore youngest, example of the species found to-date.
A pack, not a herd: a security video captured a group of bystanders working together to lever a burning vehicle off a trapped motorcyclist. Which is rightly seen as heroic. What's not so heroic is how the cyclist himself seems to have been dressed. When all the world is out to kill you by accident, you'd think some protective gear would be in order. Everyone I know who rides motorcycles uses some.
Scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of ancient toothed fish. Laccognathus embryi is thought to have been a bottom-dwelling ambush predator about six feet long, and lived in the late Devonian. While I'm thinking about ways to get away from something like this, I'll bet half of you are trying to figure out how you'd catch it.
Another day, another genetically engineered critter that can glow. According to the article this is the first successful application of this technique in a carnivore. Making "teh kitteh" glow not only may help medicine in humans, but may also help find a cure for that other immune system scourge, FIV.
By genetically manipulating a population of insects, scientists have created a "mutant army" that promises to be far more precise in destroying pest populations than any pesticide. The technique itself is not particularly new, but genetic manipulation allows it to be used more cheaply and effectively. If it helps kill mosquitoes, I'm all for it!
With humans, jealousy normally results in the sort of drama that drives the plots of hundreds of soap opera episodes per year. With tigers, the drama is much shorter, and... gurglier... Reason #37 why Ellen can't run a big cat rescue from her back yard one day, that's all I'm sayin...
It seems the main limitation to the next generation of combat drones won't be technological, it'll be legal. I can't find the essay, but not so long ago I noted the West is rapidly reaching the point we can engage in effective warfare by pushing a button, at no real cost to ourselves. It seems that day is here.
Turns out there's a reason why it sounds like Spanish speakers are talking a thousand miles an hour. I'd read, in other books, that it was because languages like English have more sounds (consonants, in this specific case) than others like Spanish, but it seems there's more to it than that.
Alfa is scheduled to unveil subtle updates to its 4C sports car at the Geneva Auto Show this week, but someone managed to snap a few pictures ahead of time. It seems to be shiny this time, instead of that "needs-a-wash" satin finish from earlier this year.
Andy Whitfield, the British star of US TV drama, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died at the age of 39.
Whitfield died on Sunday in Sydney, Australia, 18 months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his family and manager said.
If you have not had a chance to see the show, we highly recommend you head over to Netflix now and put it on your cue.
Nope, it is correct. A nudist dating site.
Lots of sagging, cellulite... and well those models they feature. Yeah right.
Two primitive ape-like creatures, believed to be a mother and her young son, plunged through the roof of a cave and suffered a slow death from starvation.
Now scientists believe their fossilised skeletons show they could be our direct ancestors, the long-sought ‘missing link’ between apes and humans.
The things you find in caves. Amazing.
This morning, Aunt Nina got tired of us all sitting on our rears watching TV and talked Olivia into getting on her bike for the first time this year. When she started out in the morning, she couldn't do anything. This was three hours later. :)
It seems that the J-20 is much further along in its development than previously thought. Of course, this is a communist regime, and a Chinese one with that. Is this "a stealth fighter with Chinese characteristics," or "a misinformation campaign with Chinese characteristics?" Only time will tell, I suppose.
So, is it a Star Trek character, or an erectile disfunction treatment? I only managed 4 out of 10. Part of me is very disappointed. Another part is stunned at that disappointment.
It seems waterski jumping is making a comeback. The technique strongly reminds me of regular ski jumping, but that lake looks pretty short. I'm just old enough to remember ski jumps in the river we used to cruise in when I was a kid. Liability and various strong storms did away with them long ago.
Another one of those "I didn't know everyone didn't know this" stories: on 9-11, the nearest Air Force fighters were unarmed, but scrambled anyway, determined to do whatever it took to keep another plane from crashing into something. It didn't work out as necessary... Flight 93 had already crashed in a field when the F-16s were in the air. What wasn't discussed in the articles I read about the incident was that one of the pilots was the first woman assigned to the squadron.
The hits keep coming in this collection of cleverly defaced signs. This time, with even more "STOP: HAMMERTIME" goodness!
It's like something out of a cartoon: inventor found blackened, wandering the street in his underwear, after blowing up his own house. I've long known stills could be finicky, but I had no idea they were explosively dangerous. In other news, it's perfectly legal to run your own still in the UK. Try that in the US, and the revenuers'll come a-knockin'...
A young lady brought this little guy into work to me this evening! We thought kitteh season was over! Apparently not! He was found under a car cover soaking wet. His eyes are just starting to open.
We normally do not name kittens so soon, but we had to give the picture a title and Noah seemed appropriate since VA is literally underwater.
A moose drunk on fermented apples was rescued recently when it staggered into a tree and got stuck. And really, they can be mean drunks.
A new study using "crowdsourcing" techniques to spread traffic information at near-real-time to apps that then use that data to select the fastest route shows real promise in improving traffic flow any time, anywhere. Bonus: according to the article, less than half the vehicles on any road need to be using the system for it to provide maximum benefit. No, I don't completely understand it, either, but if it can help get me out of yet another Saturday morning traffic jam on the Beltway, sign me up!
Mark gets a no-prize wrapped in hot, crunchy goodness for bringing us this collection of unique fried foods. I'd heard of the fried pickles before, but the fried bubble gum was new to me. Definitely don't want to tell the little gum fiend in my house about that one...
Only in the heartland of all things progressive: San Francisco's latest controversy involves forcing nudists to sit on towels when they're in public. Yes, "sit on," not "wear." Meh. Their city, their rules. It's not like I was planning on visiting Castro any time soon anyway.
A team of scientists has figured out exactly how a specific sort of microbe can generate electricity while it eats nuclear waste. They're hoping to use the knowledge to create a renewable energy source that cleans up toxic waste while it works. Everybody wins!
Hundreds feared dead.
It hit a cemetary.
With 32 fun photos!
Drunk, naked, passed out in an empty hot tub next to a dead guyis no way to go through life, son. Bonus: Arkansas weatherman. Hot water, booze, boy toys, and blow. That's some fine judgement there, very fine.
It seems like at least one MSM reporter won't let the White House off the hook about Mr. Hoffa's "friendly" remarks. An NBC reporter from the White House press corps, no less. Fifty-third sign of the apocalypse, I tell ya. Go for the grilling, stay for the, "ZOMBG!!! Evil REpublicans get everything they want all the time!!!" moonbattery in the Facebook comments.
All the new rules and organizations set up to stop the Wacky Westboro Bunch must be having an effect, since their new target is the rock group The Foo Fighters. Trying to make a lot of noise at a venue that celebrates nothing but noise isn't a particularly good idea, but the Westboro people have never been known for quick thinking. I'm sure Grohl will have a good time with them.
Giant king crabs have been discovered in large numbers in Antarctic waters. Since it's the BBC, the finding is treated as even more evidence of apocalyptic climate change. Fans of the Discovery show Deadliest Catch know that extermination of an undesirable king crab population is only a few seasons of unrestricted commercial fishing away. Predictably, this is illegal in the "threatened" waters.
Meet the honeyguide bird, the helpful avian with murderous offspring. You'd think, with a strategy like that, the host species would simply die out. Something else is likely going on here.
By altering the orbit of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA scientists have been able to take even more detailed photos of various Apollo landing sites. You'd think this would go a long way to silencing the "faked moon landing" believers. Then again, there are still "flat earthers" still out there, so I wouldn't hold my breath.
I tend to agree: this is not a cat being a bully, this is a bunch of youngish cats being goobers. I imagine Ellen sees things like this at the clinic all the time. She just doesn't have time to video tape it.
Rick Romero's on the beat: a new poll finds Obama's popularity still strong in California. I guess it would really be news if it wasn't; then again, it probably wouldn't be news at all if it wasn't. Paranoid? Me? You don't come around here very often, do you?
Scientists have developed a micromachine which could lead to incredibly small mechanical spiders that swim through blood vessels to deliver drugs or heal injuries. After reading the article, I think they're quite a long way from something that cool, but you gotta start somewhere, even if that step is very, very small indeed.
The stupid person mode of transportation.
Mr Satur said the incident was a 'terrible' example of the danger of trying to hop a train. He said: 'It's terrible.
'It really highlights the dangers of trying to hop a train. It is not safe by any means.'
Authorities said the 100-car train was travelling at 18mph when the incident occurred.
The person is lucky not to have lost their life pulling this stunt.
Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't they supposed to screen the blood before giving it to another person?
Of the 162 cases of Babesia infection caused by blood transfusions between 1979 and 2009, nearly 80 percent occurred between 2000 and 2009.
"Babesia microti has become the most frequently reported transfusion-transmitted parasite in the United States," CDC researchers wrote, far outpacing malaria infections, which accounted for 49 cases of transfusion-associated disease during the same period, including just five cases during 2000-2009.
Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said dozens of villagers and experts ensnared the 21-foot (6.4-meter) male crocodile along a creek in Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province after a three-week hunt. It could be one of the largest crocodiles to be captured alive in recent years, he said, quoting local crocodile experts.
Read the article and see the picture!
Scott took Olivia and I to the Indy Car race in Baltimore this past weekend. We had a great time, a bit hot, but the one thing we cannot get over is how LOUD these cars are.
Mind you there were several races that day. Each division was LOUDER than the next. The final race...was 145 decibles! x's that by 75 laps. Loud right?
Yes, Scott bought all of us earplugs!
Today there are 150 children, all conceived with sperm from one donor, in this group of half siblings, and more are on the way. “It’s wild when we see them all together — they all look alike,” said Ms. Daily, 48, a social worker in the Washington area who sometimes vacations with other families in her son’s group.
Now, there is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors, including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Some experts are even calling attention to the increased odds of accidental incest between half sisters and half brothers, who often live close to one another.
Read the entire article.
Yes, it's sad Bob Denver has passed. What's much more interesting is the actor, who was born in 1935, died Friday at the age of 70. At least, that's what the article says right now.
Update: Didn't notice the article was dated '05. Never trust what someone posts on facebook. Doh!
ESPN has lots of nice things to say about the Baltimore Grand Prix. Even someone obviously against the event gives grudging respect, although it takes a bit of wading through various political sniping to get to it.
We re-watched the event last night and both Ellen and Olivia said it was all much more interesting when we'd actually been at the event. It turns out I actually got on TV. If you know exactly where to look, and on which lap, are watching in HD and have a slow-motion feature on your DVR, you can see me for about sixteen frames exactly once. Well, my hat and my shirt at any rate. Mike Wazowski, FTW!
So first there's what Peter Schmuck (no, really!) thought, and then we have the very important farm report article that helps us all tell the difference between NASCAR and Indy Car. Me, I'm impressed one of the drivers seems to have been the Sun's point man. They're saying the same things they said when American LeMans came to DC, but this time around there's a five year contract. They'll be back.
Well of course a girl needs her face painted when she attends the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix! Will Power won, Simona de Silvestro ran as high as 4th, and Danica came in 7th. We didn't actually get on TV during the GP, but I think we probably could be seen during the Indy Lights race.
If the documents prove to be authentic, the US government definitely believed in Yeti back in the day. Bonus: It seems the guy who created Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer included a yeti in the story because he was obsessed with finding them. No, really!
Ellen's idyllic San Francisco isn't quite as idyllic at the moment. Meh. People gotta swim, shark's gotta eat, ya know?
"AMCGLTD," we hear you ask, "I've figured out how to turn insects into remote controlled spies ready to do my bidding, but I can't make the batteries small enough. My madcap plans for world domination cannot be held up because of that stupid Energizer Bunny! What can I do?"
Fear not, kind Doofenshmirtzian, DARPA is here to help!
Hey, those RC airplanes aren't so hard to fly when you're sitting in the cockpit. Not sure what a real Viper pilot would think, but that sure does look damned close to the hours I spent driving a virtual one around in Falcon 4.0. And yes, he's wearing a helmet and steering it as if he were in it.
More, and more video, is here...
Since it's doubtful I'll ever get anywhere near the place, this picture collection of nifty shipwrecks in the Truk lagoon are pretty neat. There are no intact Betty bombers around today. I wonder if the ones at the bottom of that lagoon are even vaguely candidates for salvage?
I always tend to steer clear of the "free food in the breakroom" phenomenon, but that's just because I'm a recovering picky eater. Now I know there are even better reasons to be cautious. Or, on reflection, perhaps hidden bonuses? Sort of like a real-life version of finding hidden coins in a Mario Brother's game?
A Welsh lady walking her dog in a nice pasture got killed by a cow. Better: this was the second time in two years it's happened. Remember folks, guns don't kill people, cows kill people.
It seems the fate of the Standard Model may be decided before Thanksgiving. The Large Hadron Collider is collecting data so efficiently that the experiments designed to prove (or disprove) the existence of the Higgs particle, predicted by the Standard Model to be the transmitter of the force of gravity, may be completed much sooner than expected. This evidence will likely determine if the Standard Model, which has held up so well over the past 40 years, is complete, or if it must be discarded for another theory.
Forget that stupid hurricane force metric. When you've been eating cold pork and beans for two days, the Waffle House Index is far more important. My brother utterly loves the chain, while Ellen turns green at the mere thought. Of course, that's what she thought about Sonic, too, until she tried the shakes there. Unfortunately the closest one to us is more than a half-hour's drive away. Always puzzles me, that such Southern staples as Waffle House, Wal Mart, and Sonic are so light on the ground around here.
For the third straight year DC area drivers have been picked as the worst in the country. Yes, traffic that can drive a third of the people on any particular road "wild with rage" has something to do with it, but so does a big cabbie population mostly born in places where driving rules apply to other people. No wonder my damned insurance rates seem high.
Knowing fanatics who follow their respective teams, well, fanatically, I thought the paths to the Cowboys and the Redskins were particularly appropriate. Me? Yeah, ok, I root for the 'skins, but that's because they're the home team. Hell, if I lived in Dallas, I'd be all blue and silver most likely. College football is where I have genuine loyalty. Go Hogs!