May 23, 2015

One of Them Thar 'Propane Accessories' I've Heard Tell of

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Signs, Portents and Small Victories

There is an interesting interview with the Latvian Defense Minister here, which discusses amongst other things, that the little country is spending 27% of their budget on defense in light of current events.

Actually, China just dumped $50 billion dollars to help Brazil build infrastructure including a Transcontinental railroad to take Brazilian resources to ports in Peru (for shipment to China). It's unclear what other agreements are involved but with  Argentina getting money and military kit gifted to them as well and  Namibia getting a Chinese port, the South Atlantic is going to be a darned cozy place for Chinese ships.

Russia is playing chess, China is playing Risk and we are playing golf. 

One other minor thing....

Instapundit is reporting tonight that...

...but you already knew that...because Brickmuppet Blog had that story on May Third

See? There's a bright side to everything.



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May 20, 2015

The End Times, They are Upon Us

I had heard this series was in the works, but I did not entirely believe it, and I certainly didn't expect...this...
The production values look good and it appears that it it might be pretty faithful to the manga, but....




...Yes, exactly.

UPDATE: It belatedly occurs to me that this blog's review of the manga might be helpful information.

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Bittersweet Victory

Well, my trip to Kafkaland seems to finally be resolved.

This is kind of a shame as I was enjoying both classes. OTOH this is almost certainly for the best as it means I'll be caught up financially in a few weeks (I still need to get a car after all).

In any event, here is something that some of you might find clever.


Art by Ao Usagi

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May 18, 2015

A Certain Irksomeness

Since the content below the fold can be nothing but a horrible, horrible warning, we decided to post some positive words to live by above it.


Kaga,  Akagi and wisdom by Kuon
more...

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May 15, 2015

We Have Been Diminished

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May 13, 2015

Abort Test

Space-X successfully tested its launch abort system recently. Instead of a disposable tower the system uses the landing retro rockets to remove the capsule from an exploding rocket and send it down range. 

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May 10, 2015

Timing Can Compensate For a Lot

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A Straightforward and Forthright Answer

I just stumbled across this which contains a quote for the ages...


 You have worked at the eating lab for some time. What is the eating lab? What does one do at an eating lab? The concept of an eating lab is really cool, but I have to admit that I don't quite know what it is.
I don't want to make it sound any less cool, but it is a lab. And it is where we do eating studies.....
 

There's more to be sure, but the rest of the article merely detracts from the purity of that.

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The Red Guards Were Never So Respectable

The response to the Garland shooting has been...dismaying

That response is tied to something that I've blogged about in association with matters of far less importance before, I've been working on another post on the topic for months but its so damned depressing to me that it still festers in draft form. Fortunately, Ace has nailed it: You really should read the whole thing, but here is a particularly important excerpt:

This is about, specifically, the careerist, cowardly, go-along-to-get-along mores of the Upper Middle Class, the class of people whose parents were all college educated, and of course are college educated themselves; the class that dominates our thought-transmitting institutions (because non-college educated people are more of less shut out of this industry).

It is a class which is deathly afraid of social stigma, and lives in class-based fear being grouped with the wrong people, and which is more interested in Career, quite frankly, than in the actual tradecraft of that Career, which is clarity of thought and clarity of expression.


That is the bit that is getting quoted everywhere and I DO think it is making an exceedingly important point about the larger issue facing society. 
The idea of a 'problem class' is on the face of it is pretty obnoxious. However, the upper middle class is an important barometer of a societies' health. This is the group that in other times were often minor nobility and they produce the bulk of a nation's great thinkers and innovators when a society is healthy. 
When societies are not though, this demographic also produces about 100% of the Robspierres, Ches, Maos and disappointed Austrian painters. The herd dynamics ACE is referring to are at the core of a whole host of societal ills right now, the most troubling being the inability of so many people to stand up for anything like classically liberal principals....which is where ACE gets down to brass tacks..

One does not "support" someone's right to free speech by name-calling them and advertising how far one believes they fall outside the smug Upper Middle Class (leftist-dominated) Consensus.

One supports free speech by supporting those who speak freely.

I am so disgusted by how so many alleged thinkers seem to care more about social positioning than actual thought.

I should not advertise any hostility I may have towards Ms. Gellar to prove I'm "among the acceptable ones."

What he said...


The winning submission to the contest was by Bosch Fawstin

 I have little to add except for this....One of the more worrisome arguments I've heard concerning political correctness recently is the idea that "...as long as the GOVERNMENT isn't shutting people up, then it isn't censorship...So kindly shut up" That argument may be technically true and indeed government enforcement of such things is a bigger evil. Its also pretty hard to pass constitutional muster in this country which is why we have these examples of things that are not technically censorship.

The Hayes Code

The Comics Code Authority

The Hollywood Blacklist

Homeowners Associations

I guess those are all non-objectionable then. 


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Belatedly Bounding Onto the Band-Wagon



Unlike some other shows I've enjoyed of late, Sound! Euphonium is not hampered by budget considerations or any learning curve. Kyo-Ani are the pros from Dover when they apply themselves and they have really pulled out all the stops on this show. The production values are gorgeous and the writing, pacing and characterizations are excellent. More impressively, they have gotten me to care about a dramedy set in a high school band. 

 I'm not even going to try to catch up on episodic reviews of this show, in no small part because Ben and Wonderduck are already doing a fine job on this one, but also because there is such a lot to take in. Each episode warrants at least a second viewing to catch every character bit or subtle attention to detail. There is an awful lot to like here...


Oh my yes...verily. 

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May 09, 2015

14 Hours

That is how long I slept. 

First really good sleep in weeks.
I still have a sinus headache in the right side of my head and I'm just a tad weak but I feel vastly better than I have in some time.
I still haven't gotten my grades back which is rather vexing, but there was this one bit of trivia in my academic status chart...



Note that credits applied counts 3 classes I am enrolled in for the Summer and Fall...but that is a set of numbers that should be very resistant to life's little curveballs..

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May 05, 2015

First World Problems

Kvetching lurks below the fold. As compensation, here is a view of the most awesome transportation network ever...



Note Meteor Jr was actually a real project. Note too that the suffix "Junior" was because Goodyear had bigger things in mind. The math worked (though the third stage would have to be redesigned as re-entry issues were greater than supposed). Goodyear also was pitching Zeppelins for passenger and freight throughout the '50s. 
more...

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May 03, 2015

Meanwhile...

While Baltimore is the focus of the news...

Stuff continues to happen...

Finland has sent activation orders to 900,000 reservists
No, that is not a typo, the number is nine hundred thousand. 
This is not a full mobilization, but the country is sending letters to all reservists clarifying where they are to report in the event of one.


The Iranians have seized the MV Maersk Tigris. The vessel is registered to the Marshall Islands. This gets complicated because while the Marshall Islands is an independent country, they are a US protectorate. The US, New Zealand and Australia have arrangements like this with several of their former territories. The upshot is that this is exactly the same legally as if it were a US ship. Note that earlier on the 29th, the Maersk Kensington which IS US flagged, was intercepted and ordered to heave to in the same area but refused. There is more on this here. It appears the the Navy is going to be convoying US ships through the straits of Hormuz

There is some further oddness going on in the hermit kingdom. Of course I'm sure that an unstable regime with nuclear weapons is nothing to worry about



Finally, there has been some good news. There are reports that ISIS head Al-Bagdadi has suffered a case of extreme chiropracty due to some US bombs. This could strike at the heart of the caliphates legitimacy. More verifiable, is that 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria have been rescued from Boko Haram. These are not the girls who were kidnapped last August but some of the many other girls that have been kidnapped by the Islamist group.   


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May 02, 2015

Brickmuppet Interactive!

Congratulations loyal readers! As a free perk of reading Brickmuppet Blog, you get to take part in cutting edge technology decision making.

Click here and tell me what you see, what you hear, what browser you are using and if you got the harem ending.

For those who do not wish to partake in such a meta exercise,  here is some scenery pr0n. 


MinasTerith (?) by Yo Shimizu
That other thing by Dick Dale and Shaft

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