January 27, 2020

More Viral Videos

Dev, over at Short Fat Otaku lived in Wuhan for a while and has film he took there as well as some thoughts on the matter, 



Vee, is not really a Nazi vampire, he's actually a libertarian doctor and he has two videos on the situation as it stood yesterday.

One on quarantine.

And one on why he finds the hype credible.

Coincidentally, all 3 are are around 13 minutes long. 

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My Fellow Rednecks Continue to Advance the State of the Art



Or something.

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January 26, 2020

A Few Unconnected Observations

Log Horizon, a low budget anime which was cancelled six years ago, had a dumb as rocks premise, diffident animation, and some of of the best characters, concepts and plots of the last decade. It has been renewed for a third season and will air in October. The first two seasons are still on Crunchyroll, so you've got 9 months to catch up.

Countdown begins now. (Hat tip: Executive Foistmeister)

Niche Gamer is crawling out of the hole they got themselves in after one of their founders was caught plaigerizing, rather spectacularly. Niche-Iban seems to be their remaining writers attempt to start fresh. 

Don, on the other hand, is quoting with full attribution.

Fillyjonk got some good news.

Ubu is blogging again.

Sara Hoyt got a fairly impressive upgrade to her blog design.

J. Greely needs an intervention.

This exists:


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A Few Viral Videos (Updated)

Ben Kavanaugh, An English-teacher from Ireland goes to buy groceries in Wuhan.


The bit about the goggles is probably good advice.

This below seems to be the full version of "The Nurse's Video"; the video that caused much of the online hysteria yesterday. Epoch Times has a slant to be sure, but they don't (to the best of my knowledge) make things up whole cloth. It's unclear why she would give the interview in a hazmat suit. I don't know who she is and even if I did I've seen enough Downfall parodies to know that I'd want someone with a good knowledge of Mandarin I trust to translate this.



Nevertheless, the uncertain provenance notwithstanding, nothing she says is out of line with what we know about the bug and it jives well with the analysis of experts in the U.K. The wildly divergent numbers with respect to the ones provided by the C.C.P.
might not be remarkable either if the C.C.P. numbers are confirmed cases and the numbers 'Mystery Nurse' provides are of those estimated to be infected but not symptomatic yet.

Styxhexxenhammer has thoughts on the matter:


 As he notes above, It is reported here (via U.K.Channel 4)  this morning by the Chinese Government that the virus is getting "stronger" though it's unclear if that means in lethality or virulence (or both).



More here.

Regarding the suspicions in some quarters about the fact that there is a government bio-research lab studying the most .dangerous pathogens in the middle of 'City Zero' ; Well, it turns out that serious concerns were raised about the then-under-construction Wuhan lab in 2017. Note too that there were 2 earlier containment failures with the less dangerous SARS virus in a Beijing lab about a decade ago. One involved a protocol issue and one involved an attempted live virus vaccine that had not, in fact, been rendered fully safe. None of this is strictly relevant to the current situation, it doesn't matter if the virus came from a botched experiment, a snake, a bat, genetic recombination at the local bathhouse, or the crashed satellite from project Scoop. It exists and appears to be real despite some obvious hype.

The thing is, aven about the relevant we don't know what we don't know, about the actual mortality rate, and transmissability, though the latter seems to be alarmingly high given the measures taken by the powers that be. These quarantines are not taken lightly after all. This could be, in ascending levels of undesirability: hype,  SARS, a bad flu season, 1918, or North America 1545-1610.

I'm betting on a bad flu season none of us has the shot for, so I'd suggest having a lot of canned goods and buying some mas....oh.

UPDATE:
Via Instapundit, John's Hopkins University has put together a CoronaVirus tracking page, with a lot of data.



And now I've even included the links! 

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Happy New Year Again

To our Chinese friends and those on their calendar, we here at Brickmuppet Blog hope your first full day of the year of the Iron Rat is hangover free.




Art by Crystal Herb who works through Eight Studio.

May the coming year bring you hippyness happiness...


Art by Catxuan, who is also on bilibili, Hueban, and can be supported at Art Station.

Health...


Art by Gomzi,

and...uhhh...kittens?



Art by Shigaraki, who can be supported via Booth.

...and finally, may all of your affairs in the coming year be in ship-shape.




more...

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Meanwhile, In Virginia

Not Content with the cornucopia of counter-constitutional gun laws they are passing or the more that 115 laws to rape our electoral system, Democrats have decided that the root cause of all their woes is the first amendment and so have given us Virginia HB1627

  Threats and harassment of certain officials and property; venue. Provides that certain crimes relating to threats and harassment may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the victim is the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. In addition, threats to damage property may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the property is owned by the Commonwealth and located in the Capitol District. 


The full text is here, and while the bit about true threats is reasonable on its face, THAT'S ALREADY ILLEGAL. It should not be extra grave to do so to an elected official...they aren't royalty.

It gets worse:

§ 18.2-152.7:1. Harassment by computer; penalty.

If any person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, shall use a computer or computer network to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act, he shall be is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A violation of this section may be prosecuted in the jurisdiction in which the communication was made or received or in the City of Richmond if the person subjected to the act is one of the following officials or employees of the Commonwealth: the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia

No making fun of the Politburo !

Dank memes are outlawed! That means any mention of blackface is right out!

Oh. Right.

And that little strike through of "shall be" replacing it with "is" is present in several of these bills. I'm not a lawyer, but it worries me.

Now, having removed our ability to defend ourselves or criticize elected officials in a meaningful way, the Democrats are finally able to deal with the greatest threat  facing the Commonwealth and its citizens subjects.

Balloons!

No really, 2,500 dollar fine and 10 hours of community service for releasing Balloons.

Kids, your birthday parties will suck from now on.

While this fiasco ranges from the horrifying to the ridiculous, it does provide some object lessons:

1: To those in what are still free states, today's Democrats are stark raving cuckoo for cocoa puffs. And once you get them it's like bedbugs.

2: For those of us trapped between the Patomac and 36° 30′ north, we now know what dread haunts the progressive's nightmares.

They've let slip what it is they most fear....


Art (sans text) is by Dairin, also here, whose NNV channel is here.
(and who is not responsible for the context of her chibi)

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A Note of Concern:

With regard to the situation in Wuhan PRC and Captain Tripps this new Coronavirus, it's hard for us outside the loop to know what is hype, misinformation, miscommunication, mistranslation, a combination of all four, or rock solid investigative reporting.

What we can be reasonably confident of is that the Chnese Communist Party, being a totalitarian state, is going to try to cover-up or minimize the situation to the maximum extent possible and even rather beyond credulity.

Thus, seeing that Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has declared that the situation is "grave"  is cause for some concern. This is as close to a declaration of emergency as we're ever likely to see from the politburo. I've got a degree in Asian history and while certainly no China hand, I've done several papers on Chinese politics, and the fact that Xi Jinping is admitting even this much is a genuinely terrifying thing. The CCP considers its people to be grease for the machinery of their state.

But this situation actually seems to have them scared.


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No Bridezilla Will Ever Have Anything So Perfect As This

A wedding in The Philippines  gets some spectacular fireworks thanks to a sudden eruption the Taal volcano.



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January 25, 2020

Oh.

Wait.
I dropped a bit.
This is not a parody. It's actually the U.S. Space Force logo.
Cool!


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January 23, 2020

Take With a Grain of Salt (UPDATE)

There's a lot of talk about the outbreak of this coronavirus which started in Wuhan and has now spread to multiple countries. At this point the death toll 5 days on is said (by the ever-so-trustworthy government of China) to be 25. That's almost equal to a half-hour in a really bad flu season, but given the small numbers reported (~825) that comes to one in 33 of those infected being killed...which is....quite impressive if the data is accurate.

The data's probably NOT accurate. It's almost certainly skewed one way or another. However, the Chinese have instituted a quarantine(!) of Wuhan, where the outbreak started. Wuhan is a city that's bigger than London. There are now multiple cities that are also locked down. I don't know the provenance of the following video, but it is alleged to be from inside Wuhan...where they are apparently going to great lengths to look like the beginning of a zombie movie.



Entirely coincidentally, Wuhan is the home of China's National Bio-Safety Laboratory China's first level 4 Biohazard facility which now handles the most deadly diseases on the planet, because China has had such a good record with the less dangerous ones.

Fortunately, we can all rest easy, because despite what some on the internet are implying when they talk about the situation in Wuhan City, it turns out that the Chinese word for raccoon is not actually wuhan , it's huànxióng.

So rejoice! There are no zombies in evidence at this time.
But there is reason to keep one's eye on this.

UPDATE:
In the U.K., doctors are being given instructions on how to deal with a patient that is suspected of having this bug. "Lock the patient in a room and leave the area straightaway."
I don't know if this just socialized medicine at work, or this is serious business, but I'm starting to lean towards the latter.
Good LORD!

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January 21, 2020

Razorfist Should Cuss More

Despite his cusserifferousness, I like Razorfist and he's generally pretty solid on his sourcing, but today, he tried to supress his Tourrett's and, well, he repeated an error that's been getting a lot of play.

It occurs 2/3s through this otherwise accurate, informative and unusually family-friendly rant.



What he says at 06:42 about SJ-16 is wrong. That Bill proposes adding legislature term limits, it says nothing about the governor. The idea that the governor's term limit is proposed to be increased or removed altogether has cropped up a number of times and is being reported in a number of places. I'm not sure where this comes from, and in Razor's defense, I've heard this multiple times albeit always without citation. It's inconsequential in the face of the nightmare pile of sewage that Razor correctly comments on, but repeating this give the left a tool for dismissing all the other things he mentions which are pretty dreadful even with only one term of our hoplophobic Al Jolson wannabe.

Everything else he rattles off is pretty much correct, including SB-399 which awards all of Virginia's Electors to the candidate that wins the national popular vote...(!) One of the bills he mentions (the terrifying SJ29) may have been tabled today as when preparing for this post I noted that it does not appear to be in the General Assembly's legislative queue, but it certainly was a real thing until recently.

He also links to this recall petition, which seems legit.

One thing Razorfist touches on but does not adequately convey the scope of, is the scale of the changes to Virginia's election laws which are pending before the Hose and Senate committees.  This is getting next to no coverage by the Democrat's media myrmidons and even right leaning sites are focusing (understandably) on all the Gun stuff, which is certainly consequential, but will become inevitable if Virginia becomes a one party state like California.

Look below the fold to see what the Dems are about to do to Virginia election law.


more...

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January 20, 2020

Meanwhile, in Richmond Virgina Today

  

Northam did not get his blood.

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January 19, 2020

Meanwhile, Off the Coast of Florida Land

Two of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes discusses today's developments.

"It's got everything ;">Even things that don't normally go togetherRockets! ;">EXPLODING ROCKETSTotal overwhelming victory!"
Art by 夜羊 (Night Sheep?)




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January 18, 2020

Unintended Consequences

That Star Wars Girl does media reviews and has been a fairly pleasant channel. The blog linked to her earlier with regards to tragic circumstances and its only fair that we do so regarding hilariously cringy ones.

First off, Anna is really enthusiastic and talks at about 240 beats a minute which is generally amusing. What she really doesn't do is cuss....until recently. A short time ago she did a video on Star Wars TROS that was...colorful, in its language. It managed to use the "F" word at what someone worked out to approximately 5 times per minute.  Alright...It was, reportedly, a very bad movie and she's passionate about Star Wars and has had a very bad year. I've seen the rant in question described as a meltdown and I did not get all the way through it because it was not up to her usual standards and, well, no harm no foul.

Fast forward to today, I started getting recommendations from YouTube for videos describing her as a sociopath. The basis for this dubious psychoanalysis is apparently that sincethe aforementioned Star Wars video she's been cussing up a storm. It's like the movie gave her a stroke and she developed Tourette's Syndrome. Today, I clicked on her latest video and it has the word "Mansplaining" in the title, which in this fraught age is a warning sign...and quite not in keeping with Anna's image or professed outlook on political correctness. So I clicked on the link and learned a few things.
1: In a pinned comment she explains that she's using the term "Mansplaining" in a different way than it is used by the perniciously woke.
2:Due to childhhood surgery to correct a congenital defect, Anna has an inconspicuous third nostril that allows her to breathe while talking...which explains soooo much about her speech style.
3: She's cussing because of COPPA to be as non-kid-friendly as possible. Because YOUTUBE's handling of COPPA drives nice girls to cuss.

For some reason I found this whole thing both sad and amusing

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January 17, 2020

Well This Was...Not Expected.

One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us news from the cutting edges of Materials Science.

"And Biology. And Architecture. And Structural Engineering. And Invasive Species Management."

Rio Futaba by RB2. Who is also on Twitter and accepting commissions on Skeb.

You see...Living Concrete has reportedly been created by an insufficiently supervised team of scientists at the University of Colorado at...um...Boulder.

They have a paper.

As we approach the third decade of the 21st century we should not be surprised to see science fiction become science fact...but we at Brickmuppet Blog express our consternation that instead of flying cars, our scientists are pursuing Monolith Monsters.   



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January 16, 2020

The Oddness Gets Odder

One of the The Brickmuppet's First Class Team of Drone Experts brings us news of the weird from the land of the big sky.


BM-1CToDE is akshually from VA-11 HallA and is by Saru

Way out west, there's been a spate of U.F.O. sightings since late last year...

Well, not really.

WHAT they are is not at all unidentified. They are Radio Controlled drones. However, these are flying in what are described as  large formations and have attracted the attention of the authorities, to such an extent that 9 days ago the newly formed Colorado drone task force instituted a search for a hypothetical command vehicle.

This was rescinded 3 days later but the drones continue to fly in formations...at night, one nearly colliding with an air ambulance.

The government has announced almost simultaneously that they haven't been able to confirm the drones exist and that the FAA needs new and intrusive powers to  monitor every drone in the country to deal with this burgeoning threat*.


More recently on the heels of those two government assessments, the drones continue to be reported, In some cases, the drones are being described as being as big as cars, which, if true** means that this is a much more impressive phenomenon and potentially worrying give the numbers involved and the formation flying.

Here at Brickmuppet Blog, the running theory has been that this was a combination of kids being kids, ranchers patrolling their property, and business doing their business in a way that hasn't been a thing until the last decade or so. When a bunch of reports of unexpected new things flying are combined this could have resulted in peoples perfectly reasonable pattern spotting tendencies resulting in alarm. In this case the"perpetrators" are all blissfully unaware of the pandemonium that they're causing. However, the large numbers of reports of drone formations mean that there may well be something more substantive going on**. 

Other possibilities besides mass hysteria include some small company testing out new drone rigs, (a big company like Amazon would have someone who watched the news and would have filed the proper FAA paperwork). The large number of such sightings indicate that if they are all connected (not at all certain) that there is an extensive training/testing program going on. It could be a secret Air-Force or Army program. It could be something as benign ad a bunch of students trying to practice a drone aerobatics demonstration. On the more sinister side of the spectrum there could be criminal activity such as drug running (though that is unlikely to involve formation flying)  or terrorists testing out formation flying and ground attack methods in anticipation of an upcoming attack. Al-Qaeda and ISIS have both used drones to attack civilian and military targets, but this is an awful lot of testing and training in plain sight with no civilian deaths to show for it.

At this point (assuming the press reports and video footage are in proper context...a big assumption nowadays) it looks like there's SOMETHING going on here. It's just unclear what.


* Hat tip Pete, I had not seen this anywhere else
**some skepticism is warranted : the devices are being observed at night, and this report of the being car sized  is from The Sun.


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January 15, 2020

Tachyon Interference?

This new Kyocera is impressive!

I just got a text on my new phone dated January 18.


Update: And I just now figured out how to do a screencap of it too.

Today is the 15th.
The text is reminding me that my voice mail subscription ends tomorrow...which presumably means in 4 days.

I'm getting spam from the future.
Whut?



"Oh I'm sure it's nothing!"

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Almost Heaven

With regards to the ongoing drama over the Virginia Gun Bills set to be voted into office on January 20th, West Virginia is offering to adjacent counties West Virginiahood. This would be crack addled anywhere else except that West Virginia seceded from Virginia when Virginia Seceded from the Union Technically this has been an option for 150 years and is apparently still allowed by the same long dormant federal and state legislation that allowed West Virginia into the Union separately (and forced them to change their name).  As of now, Fredrick counties board of supervisors are saying "no thanks' but this is an actual option that is being discussed actual people who aren't in insane asylums. .

UPDATE:

Annnd it gets crazier.
The Democrats are requiring that protests and public hearing have equal numbers of people from both sides of the argument. That is, they will let in no more pro-2nd Amendment people than the citizen disarmament advocates.


Sorry. I can't embed tweets. Marie Albiges is a reporter for the local paper, The Virginian Pilot.

In other news: The governor just declared a State of Emergency in anticipation of an upcoming utilization of the first amendment.

5 days till the 20th.

This is going to be a long weekend. 

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January 14, 2020

Good Grief

A lot of people have been talking about the situation between MxR Plays and Jukin. There's been a lot of sea-lawyering on this but here is some actual lawyering and, well, while it does not in any way change my opinion of whose the jerk and whose the victim it does indicate that the situation is much less cut and dried than people have been suggesting.



The process is the punishment.

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Chemicals in the Food Supply

So a few days ago, while zipping between the productive children who had provided them with grandkids,  my parents stopped by for a few hours and dropped off a care package including some fresh bread they got from the bakery because "that Dollar Store stuff you eat worries me!"

It was really good, but in about 4 days time I went to make a sandwich and....



Turns out the bread they had purchased was that really high-end all-natural stuff with no preservatives.

Now, they're not into the crazy, hard-line "organic" nonsense, they simply zipped into the grocery and picked the top-of-the-line bread, but it brings home how much of these lifestyle fashions are just status games by people who have both the capital and leisure time to buy bespoke merchandise in tiny quantities.


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