August 30, 2018
Meanwhile; In Space It appears that the ISS was hit by a micrometeorite.
Actually, it looks the Soyuz spacecraft docked to the station was hit.
NASA image via
Meanwhile; In Florida A family was being pestered by a large monitor lizard and hired a trapper to deal with the invasive reptile.
Yesterday the trappers trap tripped and trapped a tetrapod. Sadly, said tetrapod was not a big lizard but something far, far worse.
A cane toad.
August 29, 2018
Many Many Rockets
A really big truck with a whole lot of Turkish T-122 rockets.
Ah! Some of us have been wondering what exactly is up down under and have strongly suspected that we'd missed something obvious.
Now that we've received a detailed explanation from the people on scene, it appears that the one detail we were wondering about is actually lacking a generally accepted explanation.
This is both reassuring and of some concern.
For we live in interesting times.
August 28, 2018
Slightly Less Fun Than the Last Post
This video is three years old and it looks like Extra Credits was not only ahead of the curve on this story, but, due to their area of expertise, had some very interesting perspectives about the Chinese social credit system. The video also has some facinating bits of info regarding the Orwellian nightmare in question that haven't been widely reported.
One of the entities that runs the SCS is Tencent, the company that owns Riot Games, Epic Games and... Blizzard.
Furthermore, it looks like a couple of specific features of the social credit system seem to have been given beta tests in Blizzard's popular MMO, World of Warcraft.
The whole social credit system is the stuff of nightmares, but the fact that western game companies are so heavily involved in the development of this is even more worrying as this has some...implications.
Perhaps Twittermobs are a beta test to explore more social manipulation of a more kinetic nature.
This might sound paranoid. And you might think to yourself "That's retarded!" ...but if you didn't just think that...but you tweeted it, well, then you just got banned.
So who's retarded now?
UPDATE: OK, so you so you just got suspended for a week. These things add up.
August 27, 2018
See?...SEE? It Could Have Been Fun!
August 24, 2018
THIS JUST IN: Stupidity Still Rampant
"He should change his name to Jack"
August 22, 2018
I Blame The Lawyers
August 21, 2018
Today's Facebook Follies Facebook is instituting a TRUST-RATING FEATURE because their Panopticon is not just creepy enough yet.
Oh look! They're helping India weed out online purveyors of unpopular views. How...civic minded of them.
It looks like Facebook is all about civics today! They're suspending and doxxing politically problematic Latin American moms now.
Also: If your Facebook page gets...big*...then you need to let Facebook know where you live.
People who manage these pages that have significant followings are going to be asked to complete an authorization process in order to keep posting on their page.
"Well...that doesn't have any troubling implications."
Oh lighten up Sarcastic Coffee Girl. It's obvious that the idealistic nerds are just building a road to a glorious** future that we can get a glimpse of in this two year old Wired article and these two pieces that (entirely coincidentally I'm sure) ran on Drudge today.
* definition of "big" is not firmly established at this time.
** definition of "glorious" may involve momentary discomfort.
August 19, 2018
More News From the World of 'Splody!
We've mentioned Russia's horrific, supersized, Strangeglovian, torpedo of terror here before. Well, the Russian government recently held an online poll to determine what this abomination is going to be named. The winning name was, sadly, not Nukey Mc Nukeface, but Poseidon.
Reports on this system are somewhat contradictory. The Russians seem to be giving 2027 as the date it is fully operational, while it appears that the system is in service now aboard RFS Belgorod, which has the capacity to carry 6 of these devices. The press reports also report that this thing has a yield of 2 megatons, (down considerably from 100MT)but that makes exactly no sense.
Unlike the U.S. the Russians never stopped designing new nukes. They are at least as advanced as us in this regard. In 1963 the U.S. had a one megaton warhead that weighed only 600-680 pounds and was less than 18 inches in diameter. A 21 inch torpedo like the MK 48 has a 650 pound warhead. The Russians use 660mm torpedos. I have no idea what their warhead weight is but the smaller 610mm Japanese Type93 (Long Lance) had a maximum warhead weight of over 1700 pounds in its mod 3 version. Thus one could conceivably put a 1-4 Megaton warhead in their submarine's standard tubes and carry a dozen or more with no expensive mods to the sub. This weapon has been photographed (in its tube) and is bigger than a WW2 Japanese midget sub. Modern 21 inch Torpedoes already have a 140 kilometer range, and one can assume that the 660mm russian weapons are longer legged still, so it seems unlikely that the entire Russian sub force could be stopped from tossing a dozen of these into major US ports, which aren't moving targets after all. This weapon on the other hand is limited to one boat at the moment, with 1 or 2 more in the pipeline. The only reason to add that vulnerability is if there is a huge increase in capability. This blog has explored cratering and seiche effects on a port before. Now let's look at secondary effects.
Belgorod reportedly carries six of these things, What happens if ONE sub fires a full spread and positions them for maximum effect?
Quick! To Nukemap for Justice!
"Holy crap! What the hell am I looking at?"
This is 6 x 100Megaton groundbursts in 5 deepwater ports and a Fishing harbor (Bangor, Astoria, Crescent City, San Fransisco, Sacramento, Long Beach) plus a 2 megaton groundburst for perspective in a salt marsh next to Vandenburg AFB. I had the fallout pattern from the smaller blast go south to make it stand out.
Note that the orange circles are the zone of burnination. At the outer edge of those circles, on a clear day, people outside go blind, get third degree burns, leaves, hair and dark clothing can catch fire, everything inside of that gets steadily more combustible. This means that EVERYTHING inside the inner orange ring is on fire. Recent headlines have implications for that effect, and how hard it might be to get under control.
The light grey bit just inside that is the outer limit of smashed windows and associated lacerations of people who might already be blind and on fire . Damage, gets worse in from that, the darker grey circle on each blast pattern is the 5 PSI limit. The effects of 5 pounds per square inch of overpressure can be seen in this helpful .gif .
(The .gifs on the right actually.)
Everything inside that circle gets progressively more unpleasant. None of those effects save the outer burn limit are visible at this scale on the 2mt bomb, which is the smallest that really shows effects at this scale. Still, I very much would not want to be at Vandenburg in this instance.
I picked the west coast not because I hate J.Greely, and Mauser nor because I think that my home next to the largest naval base in the world is not a target, but because of the orange and yellow pointy bits coming out of the blast radii.
Fallout. This is how the Nukemap site explains the visuals for the streamers coming out of the circles.
Fallout contours for a 100 megaton surface burst (52% fission) with a 15 mph wind:
Fallout contour for 1 rads per hour:
Fallout contour for 10 rads per hour:
Fallout contour for 100 rads per hour:
All of those fall under the category of "bad", with10 rads per hour giving acute radiation syndrome in about half a day.
The fallout contours vary in length because I varied the wind speed. The mushroom cloud from a full yield RDS-220 is estimated to get over 30 miles high so it's going to be blown east by high speed upper level winds, especially if it intersects the very high speed winds of the jet stream(s). The wind speeds in the above image vary from 10mph to 180mph.
In practice such fallout patterns would follow a lazy s curve well into Canada (I would not want to be in Saskatoon or Winnipeg) before arcing down intothe U.S. breadbasket and possibly (depending on wind speed) looping up through the northeast and poisoning New England & the Maritimes. This is, of course highly dependent on the time of year (things like is the subtropical jet stream active as well as effects of North America's comparatively mild continental Monsoon pattern).
Here for comparison are three different fallout estimates from the federal government.
Images all nicked from Modern Survival Blog.
Note that these all date from the '80s or earlier and are all based on cold war scenarios involving a thousand or more bombs. The estimate in the first image is for 6.
So a full spread of 6 high yield weapons from Belgorod killed or poisoned at least half of North America and probably killed a majority of Canadians as an afterthought. That is a capability that makes the huge scale and complexity of this system actually make some sense, in exactly the same way that the 2megaton yield being reported doesn't.
I strongly suspect that IF this is not a Potemkin torpedo, that the yield is much higher than the 2 megatons that has been surfacing in news reports lately. I'm sticking with between 50 and 150 megatons.
Note too that 150MT was, according to The Johnston Archive, the final maximum design yield for the RDS-220 physics package, when it was intended as a warhead for the ICBM that was re-purposed as the Proton launcher.
Even given space and weight restrictions in the torpedo, 100 MT doesn't seem unreasonable. It seems like a middle of the road estimate.
If you take the parachute, and lay down casing off the old, 1963 Tsar Bomba the actual 'splody bits should just fit into a Poseidon. That weapon fit into the T-15 torpedo designed for it with just fine and its dimensions are similar to Posiedon's (albeit it was a tad shorter). It's been a long time since 1963...a lot of progress has been made.
Nuclear war is hideous to contemplate, but we lived unbder its spectre for decades. However, 'total atomic anihilation' used to require hundreds or even thousands of warheads. An EMP is a real threat, but doesn't involve direct damage or any meaningful fallout. Of course, in the unlikely event they ever use these things then the Russians will be hitting us with everything they have. Even if only to make the rubble bounce.
Ceres vs. Mars?
Pro's and cons.
August 18, 2018
Internet Search Hazards
I went perusing MMD videos and was surprised at how....risque they were all of a sudden. In particular there was a whole series of quite lovingly rendered videos involving zaftig young ladies dancing while clad only in stockings, pasties and...radar arrays.
Anyway, I gather that when I logged into my G-mail account, and then opened up You Tube in another tab, I was automatically logged into my You Tube account.
This grants access to R-18 videos.
This in turn means that the Googleplex now knows that I spent about 20 minutes perusing dancing shipgirls in thongs.
This has implications.
1: Amazon is likely going to send me creepy books on marlinspike.
2: They'll be able to blackmail me with this, thus compromising my integrity as a blogger if I cling to any pretentions of respectability. So...
Ladies and Gentlemen: I recently spent 20 minutes looking at dancing shipgirls in thongs on You Tube.
3: I can never get married now.
God, I hate Google.
UPDATE: No doubt for scholarly reasons, a request was made in the comments for examples of the aforementioned visual media.
I will not embed these but this link is representative. This one has less elaborate antenna arrays, making due with rabbit ears, but is more impressive from an animation perspective, and this one has (on its margins) something to offer to any remaining female readers I might have.
August 17, 2018
"If you haven't watched A Place Further Than the Universe yet, you're wrong!"
I was recently reminded by one of those many people who no longer return my E-mails that I've been sitting on a post for a month and a half (since it was derailed by a, um, mishap).
However, looking over it, the fact is that there really isn't much to add to the initial review other than spoilers, except to say that having watched the whole thing, it did not disappoint.
This is a REALLY good show with a surprising amount of depth. It has an ending that is not quite what I expected, but is quite satisfying and just works.
Note: Above image may not accurately represent ending.
I HIGHLY recommend this series.
August 16, 2018
The Queen of Soul Has Passed
Aretha Franklin passed peacefully today, reportedly surrounded by family. In her time on this planet she had 112 charted singles including 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, 18 Grammys (when that MEANT something) and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
She was also, by all accounts, a remarkably good person, a fine mother and she had an uncommonly positive influence upon our culture and society.
Her loss to the world is sad indeed but her time here was in no way wasted.
Finally! After three months of trying, I was able to secure an appointment with my department head/ advisor.
Image is maliciously, ruthlessly and shamelessly stolen from SMBC thus callously depriving the creators of any ability to sell you stuff and line their greedy philosopher pockets.
August 15, 2018
Brave New World The linked article is dated August 14th.
That date is the demarcation between the past and the now that extends into the future.
That date will go down in history as the day the very manner in which we communicate was forever changed.
August 14th, 2018 was the day irony died.
492 Dollars Worth of Ants. THAT'S what was wrong with my van.
There was a nest/hive/warren/condominium of the industrious little fiends inside the firewall.
August 12, 2018
A Quick Overview of Happenings In the Brickmuppet Bungalow Nothing but banality is below the fold, so here, as partial compensation, is someone who, to my astonishment is not a cgi rendered bot, but is instead an Aussie named Duckie Thot.
And yes, because the world is stupid, there are people angry about this.
August 08, 2018
A Note on the Previous Post
Note that while Alex Jones is rarely correct about anything...it does happen on occasion. However, these ephemeral moments tend to be better with editing, and better still if one doesn't have to look at Mr. Jones.
On the Spectrum of Lothsomeness
Alex Jones is a jerk, a creep, a lunatic, deeply offensive, societally corrosive, and an affront to all decency.
He also, to the best of my knowledge, is not advocating anyone get banned for saying things that he finds disgracious to his demented world view.
This makes him vastly less loathsome to me than the people who advocate de-platforming him, and somewhat less loathsome than those who think that this is 'not the hill to dies on' .
More in depth thoughts on this here, here, and here. A less current but more succinct take on this issue has been making the rounds as well.
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