July 04, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

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July 02, 2015


J. Greely has thoughts on  the most recent information regarding Windows 10.

Additionally, two of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of IT Babes share their thoughts on the matter. Happily, since the .gif has no sound, no language warning is necessary. 

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Well Then...

In an earlier post, we made a prediction about the "killer ap" for Sudobashi heavy industries most recent product line. 

Now one of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes has some analysis of recently released video evidence that we may have been correct.


OK. that's not actually an analysis. It's a squee. However, we find ourselves in  complete and enthusiastic agreement with the sentiment. 

Oh yes. The video.

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June 29, 2015

Simply Genius...

So obvious in hindsight.

Just go here and let the win wash over you.


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Reply Hazy, Try Again

That is the answer to the following burning question: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

You see, they never actually addressed the ethics of the matter. Indeed no picking up of girls takes place in the dungeon (unless one counts physically picking up injured girls to get them to safety).

I'm going to have to go back and watch the whole thing again.

To my considerable astonishment though, the answer to the more relevant question "Was the show any good?" is "Yes. Definitely!"

As expected from the ending of the last episode, the finale is one huge fight.This could have been tedious, but the episode is crammed with an extraordinary amount of world building,  character development and genuine surprises. 

This was a remarkably satisfying ending to a show that has been way more enjoyable than it had any right to be. 

Towards the end of the episode the god Hermes, who has been sort of hanging around for the last two episodes, acting suspiciously, climbs a tree and gives a rather exuberant soliloquy which leads me to believe two things...

1: A sequel may be in the works.
2: This is not actually a harem show, or at least only secondarily so.


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June 28, 2015

Well. Crap.

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June 27, 2015

This Time For Sure

Last week's out of the park finale was NOT the end of Fate Stay Night. Tonight's episode was.

In stark contrast to the white knuckles action of the climax, this epilogue is a mostly quiet affair which takes place a few years later in England. Flashbacks that serve to wrap up loose ends are woven into the story which involves Rin and Shirou taking a day off, contemplating what they've been through and how what they learned during their ordeal will impact their decisions for their future. 

Aside from from one momentary digression it's pretty much sublime. 


I'm kind of surprised that they did this. The episode was in some ways completely unnecessary, but it provided a very nice (if slightly bittersweet) denouement for what has been a superb (if occasionally quite dark) show. 


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June 24, 2015

I've Got Nothing

To compensate for this quiescency (and to get Mum-Ra off the top post) here is Sakuya annoying the hell out of Rob Paravonian.

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June 23, 2015

How Many Nuclear Bombs WOULD it Take

...to effectively knock most of the world back into the 7th century?

Well, to physically devastate the planet through blast and heat would take thousands upon thousands of bombs, probably more than existed at the height of the cold war. 

However, all we have to do is bring down the thing that (philosophical advances notwithstanding) makes the modern world modern. That of course would be...

Luddites SUCK!

...and that can be done with an Electro Magnetic Pulse. There are a few ways to get these but we're talking about nukes so one has to detonate a nuclear weapon at high altitude. The sweet spot seems to be an area with a lower limit between 18 and 31 miles up (depending on latitude and other factors) and somewhat over 300 miles into space. The effects are caused by interaction with the earth's lower atmosphere and magnetic field and extend to the visible horizon. The effects radii for various altitudes can be seen here...

The actual effects are fairly consistent throughout the area with a horseshoe shaped area containing a zone of very high effects and a small area just north (or south in the southern hemisphere) of ground zero with minimal effects.

Most of the area has between 50 and 80% of the maximum intensity of effects. The effects can be...impressive.

  The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) fused all of the 570-kilometer monitored overhead telephone line with measured currents of 1500 to 3400 amperes during the 22 October 1962 test. The monitored telephone line was divided into sub-lines of 40 to 80 kilometres (25 to 50 mi) in length, separated by repeaters. Each sub-line was protected by fuses and by gas-filled overvoltage protectors. The EMP from the 22 October (K-3) nuclear test caused all of the fuses to blow and all of the overvoltage protectors to fire in all of the sub-lines of the 570 km (350 mi) telephone line.The EMP from the same test caused the destruction of the Karaganda power plant, and shut down 1,000 km (620 mi) of shallow-buried power cables between Astana (then called Aqmola) and Almaty.  

Even assuming these were maximum effects and most areas would receive 30-80% of this effect this messes everything up. 

Back to the question at hand. How many bombs would it take for a not entirely rational government to apply those effects to the entire world?

Well, using the 1470 mile radius of the affected area we get an area of 6,788,670 square miles. The earth has a total surface area  of 196,939,900 square miles (rounded after conversion from km) and 196,939,900 / 6,788,670 = 29.010 so one would need less than 29 of these to send the whole Earth back into the dark ages (less because the nefarious individuals doing his would not need to hit most of the 70% of the surface area that's oceans, Antarctica, or themselves.

Now a small crazy country that wants to do this and had the capability to make 25 bombs a year and a transportable ballistic missile, and a modest merchant marine might discreetly disperse these missiles to where they could be simultaneously launched for global coverage... like so...

Iranian Shabab 4? missiles and their TELs on small container shiip.

Now to what end would they do this?

Well a conquering, convert or die army is kind of like a zombie apocalypse, with fast, tool-using, gun shooting zombies (except they don't often bite) and we've seen some of what can happen when a group like that moves into an area that's demoralized...

Of course if they encounter a proper modern military they'll get curb-stomped. 

Of course if you have the same goal and can knock the entire world back a few hundred years even for a decade...well., these people have a sense of history...

Imagine this transpiring while the whole world is knocked on their behinds by a power failure, starving and desperate, and assume to that kept aside a few nukes for military bases and tactical usage.

Is this likely? Would it work?....probably not.

But, if you're crazy enough to roll the dice with nukes you're crazy enough to try really crazy crap.

Anyway, I was surprised that you could do it with 20-30 midsize nukes.

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This Was Not on The Checklist

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June 22, 2015


The dystopia that we were promised!

The techweasels have delivered unto us TELESCREENS!

Google Chrome Downloads An Audio Listener Secretly On Your Device That Can Listen In Your Room  

We have tech-savvy people who frequent this place who we assume are not under the thumb of the techweasels. So, is this story complete bollocks, or should we start making bulk purchases of certain civics-related items?

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...Wonderduck...how was the first day at the new job?

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June 21, 2015

Well, This is Reasuring


Ian Spreadbury, who invests more than £4bn of investors’ money across a handful of bond funds for Fidelity, including the flagship Moneybuilder Income fund, is concerned that a "systemic event” could rock markets, possibly similar in magnitude to the financial crisis of 2008, which began in Britain with a run on Northern Rock...

...The best strategy to deal with this, he said, was for investors to spread their money widely into different assets, including gold and silver, as well as cash in savings accounts. 
But he went further, suggesting it was wise to hold some "physical cash”, an unusual suggestion from a mainstream fund manager.

Emphasis is mine, the quote is from The Telegraph.

Not sure if the  cause of this advice is Greece, China or something else.

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The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown

Art by Sumashi

One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes takes a break from the heat to point us to a piece by Michael Flynn, who gives an interesting analysis of the scientific process by which geocentricism was discarded. It bears reading in full because one important fact, often overlooked is that we only have 20/20 hindsight going backwards. Things which seem blindingly obvious in retrospect were not nearly so at the time. 

UPDATE: an excerpt:
Before you laugh at your ancestors, TOF invites you to prove that the earth is, contrary to your senses, in wild and careening double motion: spinning like a top and whipping around the sun without (somehow) leaving the Moon and Air behind, and without everyone stumbling around like dunkards.  You are not allowed to appeal to authority or to the success of NASA, or suchlike things.  You've got eyeballs and armillaries, and that's pretty much it.  Go. TOF will wait here

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Oh...One of THOSE Episodes I See


In the latest episode of IIW2T2PUGIAD there was a brief bath scene but they didn't sell any blue rays with it. The episode was mostly character exposition and shopping. Also: stupid criminals and a fight...then something else happened but I have no idea what....it looks exciting though.

This is not high art by any means but it remains an interesting show in spite of itself. The heroines are all particularly well deve ...well realized and the portrayal of the gods is, despite all the anachronisms, actually faithful in tone to the classical myths. 

I've enjoyed it so far, though it remains to be seen how they wrap it up. 

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