October 30, 2007


art by RYU

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Dating Dimorphism & Dispair

Over at Chizumatic is a long, thoughtful and rather brave disquisition on the pressing topic of otaku dream girls. Stephen points out the biggest of many hurdles there are to Otaku dating.....(incidentally, this very nebbish factor is one reason I tend not to like harem shows).

Meanwhile, in the UK a scientist has pointed out what might happen if we forlorn Otaku are allowed to breed, instead of being the evolutionary dead ends that so many of our predecessors were.

Truly frightening prospects, but I'm doing my bit to keep this dystopia at bay..

I'm watching Chobits.....


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Pirate Pwnage

Eaglespeak has pictures of a recent engagement off the horn of Africa between a pirate skiff....and a US Destroyer.

(Note to Pirates...if the USN or USCG tell you to heave-to or be fired upon, the correct answer is "A")


In a related story, via Wonderduck, the crew of the North Korean freighter that was recently siezed by Somali pirates has with some USN assistance, overpowered and captured or killed their captors according to this BBC report .

Korea was a Japanese posesssion for around 40 years, so this may have relevance to the pressing question of who would win.

Ninjas or Pirates


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October 29, 2007

Refrigerator Nuke


One of the Brickmuppets crack team of science babes reports on this interesting design from India. Yes, Brickmuppeteers, it's a compact nuclear reactor that produces 100kw of energy from a 1m3 space!

Of course, it's heavy...being, you now, one cubic meter of heavy metal, but this could have applications for the shipping industry as well as remote power production in space or the third world. Such a device could run freshwater stills and provide distrbuted power supplies.

Note that a reactor is not a power source unless its fitted for radiothermal generation, (and then it's not really efficient). This device would have to be hooked up to a boiler to harness its energy. In fact it was designed in part with railroads in mind...the thing is small enough it could just sit in the firebox!

(OK "sit" does not convey the complexity o the connections involved)

IF they can make this thing as robust as one of NASA's rtg generators....this could fill a very useful little niche.



More or less Stanley Steamer-free discussion here, at Kirk Sorensen's excellent thorium advocacy site, where one finds cool stuff like this all the damned time.


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October 28, 2007


After several days of improvement I took a turn for the worst Friday.
I may actually need spinal surgery. I'll find out Monday or Tuesday. It took me an hour to put my shoes on last night and the pain is pretty much constant.

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October 25, 2007

The Making of a Legend

 This has certainly been making the rounds but it does bear linking to.

Asshat reporter acts like pompous jerk.

Asshat reporter proudly blogs about his asshattery.

For possibly the only time in the entire history of the serious biddness that is the intwerweb (from as far back as when it was a series of straws) 196 commenters are in complete agreement on something.

Thank you asshat reporter.

You indirectly made me  LOL.

You are truly a legendary asshat.

Update: Docweasel, who preserved the legendary moment of internet unity, has relevant updates here and here. The reporter is taking pains to cover for his wire service (which shows professionalism) and does seem contrite. He seems like a pushy arrogant little cuss, but most reporters are. If they weren't there wouldn't be any Spider Jerusalem would there? Docweasel considers the issue closed.

Credit where its due, he’s not cutting and running, as he easily could, he’s come back to explain, apologize and take his licks. Ok, that chapter is done, its rude and useless to keep bashing the guy once he’s apologized.

 Fair enough. Additionally being IN Iraq and OUTSIDE the green zone puts him way ahead of a lot of reporters. So, loyal Brickmuppeteers, don't go harassing the guy on his new blog, that's tacky, stalky, and otherwise smells of Code Pinko behavior...just don't.

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New Stuff I Haven't Watched

 Don looks at Ghost Hound....

  Given the creators of Ghost Hound, I was afraid that the show might be pretentious, incoherent or incomprehensible. The first episode suggests a worse possiblity: it might be dull.

Oh dear....

Astro, on the other hand, seems to like it thus far and has other recomendations as well.

It certainly looks cool. I'll most likely give it a try.

Both Astro and Wonderduck seem to agree that Sketchbook is a worthy bit of quirkieness.

Ubu claims to have discovered the result of combining "win" and "awesome".

Tangentially related, Jason has mathematically reduced the series of the Fall 2007 season to their constituent components .  (There seems to be fair ammount of "lose" and "fail" in this list. )

No idea when/ if I'll see any of these. Right now, to the extent I'm watching anything, I'm watching.....Chobits....for the first time.

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October 24, 2007

Michael Yon's Latest

Bumped to top

I started to link to this in the post below.... indeed it is what actually set me off...but it is too important to be buried in a linkfest.

It is also an example of the type of reportage that is far too rare.

Michael Yon reports on the HUGE dichotomy between what is reported and what is now happening in Iraq.


He is now offering his dispatches for free in a desperate attemtpt to get this story out. But he needs help.

This is where my readers come in, at least those among them who share the concern that the distorted picture most Americans have of the situation in Iraq has strategic (and disastrous) implications for this war, our national security, and the stability of one of the most volatile regions on the planet.

Those readers can first check to see if their local paper is a member of the NNA . Because only NNA members will be able to

” . . . print excerpts of Michael Yon’s dispatches, including up to two of his photographs from each dispatch. Online excerpts may use up to 8 paragraphs, use 1-3 photos, and then link back to the full dispatch on his site saying ‘To continue reading, click here.’”

If their local paper is a member of NNA, readers can contact the editor, urging their participation. [If Bob Owens’ experience is a reliable indicator, this might take several prompts.] By encouraging their local daily or weekly newspapers to reprint these dispatches in their print editions, more people without internet access can begin to see a more accurate reflection of the progress I have observed and chronicled in dispatches like “Achievements of the Heart,” “7 Rules: 1 Oath,” “The Hands of God,” and “Three Marks on the Horizon.” 

Yon is a freelancer who is travels between Iraq and Afganistan. He has reported on the war warts and all and was one of the first to point out missteps in the early days of the occupation. He also reports on the success being made and is doing some of the finest Journalism I've ever seen.

He has no suport other than his articles and donations. He's just given up on the former, so please consider supporting him with the latter.

More Here:

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Chizumatic links to this important development in super science.


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Exam Status

 "A"s in all exams taken...current grades in all for-credit classes... "A"

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If I Bleeds It Leads....Fetch My Straight Razor

Ed Morrisey comments on this piece by Craig Franklin, a Jena resident (and reporter) who sets straight some of the facts about the situation in Jena Louisiana that were missed or misreported by reporters who told a story of horrid racism, nosses hanging from trees, dreadful inequity and the railroading of a group of six innocents whoes only crime was to be the wrong color.

A complelling story that needed to be told except that the narrative was incorrect in almost every way.

Sayeth Mr. Franklin

There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice. 

More here at NRO which makes a point that I'd heard a couple of times but been unable to pin down...ie that the poor oppresed thug in this case kept getting a pass because he was a star on the football team.

This is terrible. It's not just that these ingorant know-it-all BoBo's are slandering good people and fanning the embers of hatred. They are crying wolf and people who have heard about this and the Duke Rape Case might not be so ready to believe a similar tale when its real. This only leads to more hate, which will no doubt be profitable for the press.

There was a time when a story like that of Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass were shocking. Now it seems that they were just par for the course.

TNR, who got burned by glass has been caught trying to cover up a smear campaign on US troops, one that they wanted desperately to believe, but that had been typed by a disgruntled Army Specialist who fancied himself the next Hemmingway. OK so they got snookered, but if they'd fact checked it at all they would have never published it. Now we know that it was the New Republic and not the Army that was lying about their access to the vile little man. They could have cleared this up by a mea culpa but they let it fester and feed the malignant antimilitary bile that so consumes their readership.

It gets worse....

This long war is as much about perceptions as anything, and the press is always there to broadcast to the 4 winds 24/7 any scrap of dirt on the conduct of the war real or imagined. However, good news or even inspiring news....isn't news.

And here is more on the same topic.

Yes this is a stock wail on the media post...but this is an important thing.

Do click follow the above links, most of them are to sites that lean to the right to be sure,  but in many cases those stories would never see the light of day (beyond page 31 of the paper) otherwise. THAT is the problem.


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 Via Drudge: CBS News is reporting that at least one of the horrific fires devastating Southern California was deliberately set.

In possibly related news an arrest has been made for a brush arson in San Bernadino.

4 dead

24 firefighters and 21 civilians wounded

640 square miles charred and a million people displaced.

Throw the book at them!

Here is what the fires look like from 708 km up....

Pic via NASA's Earth Observatory Page.

UPDATE: Big roundup of links here (via Instapundit)

Ron Coleman recommends this site.

Update 2: Via Pete in the comments, it appears at this time that the fellow who was arrested was arrested for starting a fire unconnected  to the big ones..Stephen is right, several of these fires were natural or accidental, the area is a tinderbox eg. no thermite required.


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Beta/Meta Bloggage: Keep scrolling citizens, nothing to see here....


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October 22, 2007


Still cramming....

...but took a break, saw this on iichan, and LOL'd.

Here have fun with it kids

Back in a few days.

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OK This is Stark Raving....

Via Gates of Vienna comes this bit of revisonist asshattery.

Yes boys and girls, its a powerpoint explaining how the Native American peoples are actually....Muslims.

Who knew?


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Ouch (Updated)

Last night, I got up from studying.....


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October 21, 2007


While it matters not one iota to me...

...others might find the implications distressing.

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October 20, 2007


Colleen Doran posts on the Hollywood writers strike.

I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand unions have been injuring US industries for years. I'm very much a right to work kind of guy.

On the other hand incidents like Matawan are NOT propaganda, they really happened. Plane old unions are INHERENTLY corrupt, but for all their inherent corruption they do (in theory) act as an important legal recourse for workers.  If organized as guilds rather than straight unions they can be forces for considerable good beyond the narrow interests of the union hall.  Additionally, if the Hollywood writers have been hosed to the same extent as some people I've known in comics and animation then I'm certainly sympathetic to their plight.

On the gripping hand.....as noted in the update to Colleen's post there seems to be a wee bit of overreach in the demands of the Writers "Guild". Via her addendum is an excerpt from a longer communication by Warren Ellis:

The strike rules declare that writers may not write animation or “new media” content. This is interesting because WGA has no jurisdiction over animation or new media. Further, they state that any non-union person found writing animation or new media during the course of a strike will be barred from ever joining the Guild.


It sounds a bit arrogant to say the least.

 My sympathies are shall we say...strained. 

First off, at least according to Ellis, they don't seem to have any real jurisdiction over animators or "New Media". Despite the apparent truth of this, being a private entity, it seems they can refuse membership to anyone. If one of their membership requirements is that animators starved while they struck then no animators who worked while they were on strike need be allowed in. They can certainly put a glass ceiling on peoples carrers.

And "new media"? Mmmmmkaaay....

So people getting started online or creating new mediums who don't bow down to the whims of a union they never belonged to (and might not even be aware of the edicts of)...does this mean they can never join? I'm blogging....right now.

Does this mean I can't ever join the WG?

Hell, Miss Doran (who has categorically stated that she will NOT do healthy healing growth on the wound work) is blogging about this...right now...and has advertisements on her site. Is she new media?

The difference between a Union and a Guild (in theory) is that the Guild (in theory) sets up standards and training for its tradespersons to ensure that everyone who is a member is a solid and competent expert at whatever trade they represent. They also collectively bargain just like a union to ensure that their members are treated equitably, but in maintaining standards they expel unqualified or unethical members. Like any human endeavor, they are fallible, but "Guild" carries with it an expectation of both work ethic and competence that union does not. Of course the names of organizations may have little bearing on how they operate. Some organizations called unions (pipefitters for instance)certainly work like a guild. And some organizations with the name "guild" care nothing for the quality of the work their members do and will grow in power and arrogance until they kill their respective geese and create a rust belt of one sort or another.

Which brings us to a fine place in this rant to remind people why so many of the voice actors who dub anime are Canadian. They took work from small marginal companies that couldn't pay union scale, and after a couple of times were shut out from the industry.

LOTS of productions are moving to Canada. The Canadians bend over backwards to bring them in and the expenses are far cheaper because the unions they have aren't nearly as odious.

A lot of writers well versed in the innovative and growth oriented applications  of whatever the hell "new media" is might soon be driven there too.

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Jihad of the Squirrels

Instapundit points out a recent incident where an apparent jihadi squirrel deprived a neighborhood of power and took out a Toyota Camry.

A little digging turned up this gem...Yes, indeed, it's proof that the squirrel uprising is well underway, and has been targeting our electrical infrastructure for some time. This needs to get more attention than it does if only because squirrels, being faster and smaller are far more difficult targets than...you know....zombies.

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