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.

Here's why.

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 .gif 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.


Contingency plans.

Ceres vs. Mars?
Pro's and cons.


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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. 

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.


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August 08, 2018

A Note on the Previous Post

Note that while Alex Jones is rarely correct about 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.

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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.

Oh good Lord!

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August 02, 2018

In Partial Compensation for the Limited Blogging

Art by Potato (NSFW Patreon page is here

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Never Rains

Yesterday morning I received word that my folks had just gotten back from the hospital. My dad had been working on an outboard motor and got his hand caught in it. 

Last night my mom fell down the stairs and broke her arm. Both are in their 70s. 

I'll be leaving here in a few minutes. There are no computers down there and blogging from the Blackberry is quite difficult so we'll be off-line for a bit. 

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August 01, 2018

Well, this is Interesting

Calexit, the campaign to have California secede from the U.S.A. and build utopia unfettered by the likes of U.S. has added a new dimension to their proposal. 

The idea is to give all the federally owned land in the state to the Native Americans.

If one were to commit the disgraciousness of comparing that map to the actual federal land in California one might note some discrepancies...

..and in so doing reveal oneself to a troublemaker.

A good swath of the federal lands are not actually included, but they hardly count because they are prime coastal real estate or associated with Tony zip codes. A fair ammount of the federal lands are actually overseen by BLM which is not always the actual owner. Instead a good bit of that land is privately owned but tightly regulated. Finally there is a good deal of land in the allotted area that is NOT federally owned or administered. 

Fear not my Jacobin friends, those areas voted for Trump.  
Because their's no greater expression of charity than forcing other people to sacrifice. 

I do note that the Native American country would be almost landlocked and its only access to the sea would be Crescent City and possibly Eureka, neither capable of handling deep draft vessels. 

UPDATE: Oh look! It's up already.

The money quote is at the 04:50 mark. 


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The Video is So-So, but the Cover Actually Works

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July 30, 2018

Meta Blogging

It's been 12 hours and our crackerjack team of antipodean IT pixies thinks the issue is resolved.

Lets see if images post.

Smug Catgirl being smug is by Sayori.

 Update: We seem to be up and running.

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Banality Below Fold

As compensation, Here is something pleasant:

(Cute Girl in Coversomes Goes Here)

Ah. One of THOSE days.

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July 28, 2018


While most of us weren't looking, Redding burned. This was happening yesterday...Thing is, I watched the news this morning, and I channel surfed because Hannity started talking.. I've seen almost no coverage of this (aside from very brief mentions) until blundering into Lowther's post.After that a quick search turned up LOTS of stories on it from various news outlets,  it's just not getting the national coverage that it seems to deserve.

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Van Vexations

Last night I started to go to a friends when my headlights refused to come on. Both lights going out at once is unlikely so I figured I'd blown a fuse.

Several fuses and 2 halogen bulbs later, I am still without headlights. 

I thought it might be the switch, but the switch activates the running lights and dome lights fine.

I've been pondering the wiring diagram I got from the auto-parts store, but my volt-meter's not working and in any event its dark now.

I go to work at 3AM Monday. This could be an issue. 

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Chiron and Pholus are Very Interested in an Answer

So...this happened. 

I can't embed Twitter threads, so go here.

"Gracious! I wonder if it's someone I know."

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July 26, 2018

Not Everything I Saw At Moe Lane's Blog This Morning Caused Me to Fear For Humanity...

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