October 31, 2009

Nashtie Trixie Spammszerzes

Amongst the spams I just deleted....

Small loss.Thanks!!!

You seem to be taking spam below the waterline, though. thanks!

In addition to the irony of the second one, I note they are copies of comments left by Steven....but with the word "thanks!" added.
In other news, I'm heading out of state...to get a new (to me) car.

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October 29, 2009

The Miracle of SCIENCE!!!

One of the Brickmuppets crack team of science babes brings us a collection of cool, potentially game changing developments in the field of SUPER SCIENCE!

Magnetic Monopoles?
 Tony Stark call your office. This has been one of the holy grails of physics for some time, now 4 different teams have produced considerable evidence that they exist. More on the discovery can be found here and Brian Wang has an overview of the implications, if this can eventually be replicated commercially  here.

Metallic Hydrogen?
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that adding lithium to hydrogen they can vastly reduce the pressures at which it becomes metallic. IF this can be made stable at reasonable pressures, the implications for this are potentially game changers for both rocketry and electronics. As a rocket fuel it would theoretically have performance heretofore never attained by man. As explained here it's applications for electronics are something that has been long sought.

Metallic hydrogen is predicted to be a high-temperature superconductor. A superconductor is a state of matter where electrons, and thus electricity, can flow indefinitely and without resistance.

Wow! There are certainly hurdles to be overcome....
The calculations also predict that LiH6 could be a metal at normal pressures. However, under these conditions it is not stable and would decompose to form LiH and H2.

...still, this takes metallic hydrogen from the purely theoretical to something that might well be made practical with refinements in stabilizing it. As a fuel it is, like regular H2, not an energy source, but an energy carrier albiet one with high density, it would require a lot of power to produce...power that might best come from....

Atomic Power Plants: We here at Brickmuppet Blog really like atomic power and we are overjoyed to report that mass production of some of the small reactors we've blogged about before is indeed iminent. Hyperion's nuclear reactors are finally going to enter production, albeit in the UK. In Japan, Drudge reports that small reactors are taking off,  Toshiba (with Westinghouse) is planning to mass market their 4s Reactor. While the reactor itself  is old news it appears that Toshiba no longer considers it experimental and is looking beyond Alaska to the third world. Mitsubishi is also developing small mass produced reactors for third world consumption. Such reactors dispersed around the US could provide a robust, redundant, reliable, decentralized and nearly carbon free source of power if it were pursued aggressively, particularly if domestic reprocessing facilities were developed. This would be a vital and necessary investment if one genuinely considered global warming to be a transcendental threat and a damned good one if one was more concerned about the well being of the U.S.A. with regards to infrastructure, strategic, and economic (cheap power=jobs) well being. Those in power seem to have little concern about any of that.

Well...back to the miracle of SCIENCE!

Touchy Feely Bionics!
The BBC reports on the first prostetic arm with a sense of touch!

Caves on the Moon!
Japans Kayuga lunar probe seems to have spied a cave....no word on the presence of amazons, diamonds and giant spiders...but we'll keep you posted.

Finally, via Jerry Pournelle, comes this astonishing powerpoint presentation of the earth from space....look.

Science Babe is the scientist Yayoi from Mouse by Satoru Akahori

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Bad Day in the Kanmon Straits

 JS Kurama, a Japanese Shirane class helicopter destroyer, has collided with a Korean container ship in the narrow Kanmon strait between Kita-Kyushu and Shimonoseki. (H/T: Information Dissemination)

This is why we do those drills. (Pic via)

The collision reportedly touched off a fire in the forward paint locker off Kurama which seems to have fared the worse of the two.

Damage to the MV Carina Star courtesy of the Daily Telegraph

I've seen the Kanmon strait. It is very narrow and astonishingly busy. I understand it has very severe tidal currents as well. The total width of the strait (not the shipping channel) is only 650 meters. The Daily Yomuri reports that around 70 accidents occur in the straits every year. Heads will no doubt roll over this, but it is not obvious that this is the example of flaming incompetence that such an event normally would be.

It is unclear how much of the damage was due to the collision vs the fire, but if paint thinner in sufficient quantity had a steady supply of air then the fire could have easily reached blast furnace temperatures. With the close proximity of the 5 inch magazines and the sheer intensity of the fire, the fact that the ship is pier-side rather than on the bottom is a testament to her damage control team.


JS Kurama in happier times

At sea, even in peacetime, things can go south in an instant. There are few more dangerous things than a fire on a ship.

Damage control is vital and this requires DC teams. This brings up a related point that our staffing gurus need to be beat over the head with.

A warship is designed to go into harms way, which generally refers to threats greater than a merchant ship. A warship needs to be able to fight while hurt and have enough crew to do damage control while others are fighting the enemy. The number of personell to do this must take into account those killed by the weapons that caused the damage. Given the difficulties that current staffing policies cause in rather benign conditions,  "optimal manning"....isn't.

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Pixy is Teh BOMB!

Actual photo of Pixy Misa about to ruin the day of two spammers he has cornered.

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October 22, 2009

Dialup SUCKS! But there are far more hideous things to have to deal with.

Via Cdr Salamander, some powerful perspective from Penn Gillette.

Do watch the whole thing.
In the last few years, I've lost friends over similar conversations that had many of the same elements. Patronizing condescension, backhanded compliments and finally....the ultimatum. I know what he's going through...and it is very very hurtful.

I should note that Beck, while certainly bit of a loon, is very civil with his guests and lets them talk even if he disagrees with them. This utter departure from current opinion journalism procedures ought to be encouraged rather than boycotted.

UPDATE: Related item here. Though, thankfully,  not as related as I previously thought.

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October 20, 2009



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October 09, 2009

Actually...There WERE Worse Proposals

Self deprecating yet still appalling analyst is Rin From Katawa Shoujo

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October 07, 2009


Lucky Stars Cosplaying courtesy of KL-Chan

I've been sick so there's nothing today but some banality below the fold. As partial compensation, here is some completely unrelated promo art from Macross Frontier...wait...WHAT!!??


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October 03, 2009

Way Cooler than a Wawa

Renovations are being done on a gas station in Minnesota.
Now normally unless alternate fuels are being fed through the pumps or a giant robot is somehow involved, this would not be of any interest whatsoever.

This gas station however, is the only one ever designed by Frank Loyd Wright.

If the parking lot was filled with Tuckers..It'd be perfect.

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Nin Nin Nin Nin Nin Nin Nin Nin Nin Nin Nin

One of my followers is named Trapchan. I fear this may lead to awkwardness at some point.

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October 02, 2009

To the Extent I Care at All

I'm rooting for Rio.

UPDATE:  Moved below the fold


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