September 26, 2011

I Hope They Call it the Corvega

UPDATE: I'm not finding much in the way of debunkery of this story online. Car and Tech blogs seem to be pretty sanguine about lasering thorium to power cars and one site that focuses on rare metals seems to think the lasing thing makes sense with Thorium.

I found little about the Doctor Charles Stevens mentioned in the many articles I perused below. However, I went to the Laser Power Systems site, which is pretty spartan unless one registers...I mean spartan as in there is NOTHING there. Well, I registered hoping to find patent, tech or business info.
Boy Howdy.
After registering, if one clicks  on "patents"one is taken to a page called the
Galactic Governments Patent Office
...which seems to be a separate website that is railing against new patent legislation....but has no patents. And there isn't much there. On the "News Feed"....I saw "Brickmuppet Registers" as the most recent news. The other site is Registering there takes one to a screen that is labeled Registered Users Area, but that's links...nothing just a page that one has to register to access....with no info or business plan or catgirls or anything

I did track down this powerpoint online...which is an Laser Power Systems pitch from 2009  that contains a host of spelling errors and a working diagram that rivals the U.S. Department of Innovation's Logo for functionality.

One other thing (scarcely worth mentioning I'm sure).
Another Dr. Charles Stevens (who has the same contact phone number) is the founder of Helyxzion, LLC. This is claimed to be a genomics company and my undergraduate biology tells me that his biddness plan is...dubious. I also note that both of these Dr. Charles Stevenses (who share he same phone number) have been working in their respective fields since the mid-80's. I guess that apartment is just full of mad science...Wait...maybe its not an apartment...I'm now envisioning something along the lines of Conjectural Technologies.

Comedy Gold...or a scam?
OK....I've been had.

Now can someone explain to me why no one from any of these rated sites  did this cursory bit of research? It certainly doesn't excuse my screw up...but damn.

Of course it's not their fault I posted it. This screw up was in my post, on my blog and was my fault.

I apologize profusely to my readers for this post which I am now moving below the fold where it shall fester as a shameful reminder to all of my fallibility.

Dude...You failed SO hard.


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September 25, 2011

It Was Not Even Close!

UPDATE: As this is a political post, it has now descended below he fold.

Note that the .gif is actually somewhat related.


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September 22, 2011

The End

My graduation plans were an intricate Jenga game of prerequisites. Graduating next summer would have required several things to break my way, most notably having the required courses available, and of course, money is always an issue. Of course the whole pile of blocks could have been knocked over by an illness, loss of employment......

....or Jury Duty.

OK its a civic duty and honestly how bad can it be? I'll be on call, what, a month? + trial time if I am selected to sit on a trial?

Try Two Years....
I've never HEARD of such a thing. According to my summons: from January 2012 through December 2013 I am on call by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. For 2 years I have to report to the courthouse 3 days a month and can be called up for jury duty, which, unless it's a really short trial, will realistically will cause me to drop out of school again...


I can't leave the country obviously, so going to Japan to get the teaching job  I would have been able to get if I'd still be graduating in August or December of next year is right out.

All plans, all dreams derailed. The end.

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September 15, 2011

All Those Illegal Downloads

...must be hurting the pr0n industry even worse than was thought.

A San Fernando Valley adult entertainment studio began construction this month on what it calls a "post-apocalyptic” underground bunker...

Read the whole thing.....Although this is from CBS, I'm not entirely sure this is legit. On the one hand, the Pr0n industry was awash in cash until the crash a few years ago, and I would imagine it is full of flakes. If said flakes did not spend all their money on blow then several of them with an interest in preparedness ought to be able to pull this off. OTOH, the captions on the "blueprints" might warrant some skepticism.

(Or indicate that they are truly visionary. )

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September 14, 2011


One of the Brickmuppets Crack Team of Science Babes takes a moment from relay this news from exotic Canukistan.

It seems that the Canadian air transport company Discovery Air has entered into a contract with Hybrid Air Vehicles to provide heavy lift airship services to the remote areas of the Canadian taiga and tundra.

This is actually a big deal. These airships are much better able to handle winds than conventional airships and heavy lift requirements in remote locations would seem to play to their strengths.

These ships have been tested off and on for a decade now by the US DOD, but as far as I know the only military use for them has been the recent contract for a surveillance airship for the US Army.  This is much more significant, because, it seems that the technology is now mature enough that they are getting commercial contracts.

The ships currently offered have lift capacities of up to 200 tons , but there are vehicles in development that have a 1000 ton payload.

Unlike normal airships these vehicles are generally trimmed to be slightly heavier than air, which makes them much better ships in a storm, they can still do vertical takeoffs and hovering via their thrust vectoring systems.  For the vast Canadian Arctic these ships could indeed be a boon in opening up the wilderness.

If they work out there they could have any number of civilian and military applications., from container transport to passenger liner to Coast Guard cutter.

'Science Babe' is by Sakamoto Mineji  

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On that other bit of Political Asshattery

CDR Salamander says what needs to be said.

I've long thought that Bachmann is vastly and disturbingly closer to the medias image of Palin than Palin herself is. I'd actually been meaning to write about why she bothered me...but I didn't and now there is no need as she seems to have self-immolated the other night.

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September 13, 2011

Brickmuppet Blog

Where memetic history is made in our comments....
...even as we achieve ignominy in our posts.

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September 12, 2011

Hidemari Sketch: Hoshimittsu

 The third Hidemari Sketch series picks up the 'story' in the next semester and sees 2 more girls join the 4 previous characters. It continues with more of the same. The new season's animation's rather better, but increasing the core cast from 4 to 6 thins the available bandwidth for character development a bit.  Still, its well paced. Those who liked the previous incarnations are likely to enjoy this one.

They seem a bit more chibi-fied on this cover.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise, it is based on a 4 panel comic strip and involves the antics of a group of young ladies going to a small but well regarded art school as they try to cope with living in a town extensively polluted by the detrius of an exploded zipatone factory,
( That last bit might not be canon)

Being about art students and written by creative types, it's sort of a Mary Sue strip for aspiring artists. The humor is generally pretty dry and revolves mainly around sketch comedy and character bits. The pacing reminds me a lot of Peanuts.

The art and direction is exceedingly quirky. This latter may grow out of the first series being a throwaway filler show with no budget. The production team seems to have compensated for their initial lack of resources with offbeat art and a LOT of screen-tone. The first series was a runaway hit and SHAFT seems to have responded by throwing money at the animation team, though the quirkiness remains.

One thing I did find slightly dismaying:
The characters are all living in an apartment complex near the school and one of them is an established (and award winning) writer who has enrolled in the school to learn to draw so she can illustrate her light novels. So...I'd gotten it into my head that this was a college and that Sae was much older than the rest. That was certainly the vibe I got from the first two discs.
This show makes it much clearer that the art school is actually a high school. It just specializes in art.

This means that ...ummm...Sae is a high school student....which for some reason makes me feel both dirty and old.

"Why would that make...?...!!...Oh God...I just threw up a little in my mouth

Despite that jarring realization It's still an enjoyable little franchise. A third of the way in this third installment is holding up very well.

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September 11, 2011

10 Years On

10 years on Bin Laden is dead. AlQuaeda is scattered. Young girls in Afganistan go to school where they once would have gone to the soccer stadium for execution.

...and yet.

Here at home our greatest fear seems to be offending the murderers. PC Quislings ensured that no one from the clergy or first responders is going to be allowed at the place the buildings fell, for it is a secular place....except for the mosque that is to be erected.

Our oikophobic, orientalist ruling class condemns anything that might "offend". They then congratulate themselves on their sophistication and tolerance, and in their implacable ignorance expect reciprocity. What these smug provincial sophisticates cannot comprehend is that our enemies are not sophisticated, or tolerant...or even literate for the most part.

 These savages are not the Muslim dentists or professors we know who came here to escape the terror under which they once lived. Our enemies are that terror.   For 1432 years they've adhered to a creed that explicitly says to look for any signs of weakness and then attack. They do not appreciate nuances beyond signs of strength and weakness, and the signs they see are overwhelmingly of the latter. They see a people that back down and censor themselves to avoid a potential riot. They see a people that allows them to build a victory marker at the site of their greatest victory.

10 years on we pause to remember the 2,996 people who died that day.
We should also reflect on how best to remember them.
I would suggest that taking pains not to offend those who celebrate their passing is not it.

UPDATE: To wit...


The Anchoress has a roundup of links here.

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September 10, 2011

A Snowballs Chance in a Blast Furnace

This post drifts into the partisan arena below the fold. It may contain images that some will find disturbing, or unpleasant.

Everyone ought to read more Yotsuba&!

As compensation for this, here is the very antithesis of partisanship... Yotsuba&! producing less worrisome images.

For those who dare, hit "more" to get on with the politics...

UPDATE: The post below the fold has been updated.

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A More Pernicious Madness

Reuters reports on an EU study that indicates that nearly 40% of Europeans suffer from mental illness. The definition of mental illness in the study seems on one hand to be rather broad, as it includes insomnia and anxiety. On the other hand I don't think the government study is likely to recognize THIS for the madness it is...

At the instigation of a mentally unbalanced bee-keeper, the similarly unbalanced European Court (EuGH), the highest court in the EUSSR, is considering whether honeybees are allowed to approach genetically modified plants and take their pollen. If they are not, then, first, the resultant honey must be removed from supermarket shelves and burned in a carbon-neutral fashion. Second, bees will be forbidden to approach inappropriate blossoms.

OK the translation is imperfect...but damn. Due to hysteria over geneticall modified crops, the EU is going to forbid...the bees...from approaching politically incorrect flowers. 

Bee-girl is by Nardak, who had nothing to do with the added text.

Note that being surrounded by such dingalings would seem to indicate that the responses of anxiety and insomnia are actually a sign of sanity.

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September 07, 2011

The Great Debate

...was great.

Seriously, it was a really good exchange. I was surprised.

Despite the focus on Perry and Romney several of the others were quite strong. Perry was not stellar but he gave a credible and solid performance and Romney seemed to hold his own.

Cain did well in previous debates and he has grown as a candidate. This was his best performance ever, with answers that were not only well delivered but remarkable in their specificity.

Thank goodness for Newt...he is not executive material but he is a damned good idea man and these debates are much better for his presence. He actually did hit it out of the park a couple of times. He needs to at least be an adviser in the next administration.

Huntsman came off better than he has before, in that he got to talk, and though he likely did himself no favors with the base its obvious he is a thoughtful guy.

All in all it was one of the better discussions of our problems I've seen.

OTOH the hosts did not cover themselves in glory as they tried (quite unsuccessfully) to start petty fights and in one remarkably patronizing moment, they brought in a Hispanic reporter to ask questions about immigration...and then dismissed him. 

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Oh Please! Just a LITTLE to the North

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September 05, 2011

Legalities of the Reboot

Brian Wang at Next Big Future has an interesting post on some of the legal reasons behind the Superman Costume changes that are part of the upcoming DC Reboot.

Art by Rags Morales
It looks to be at least in part a legal gambit to deny the Siegel and Schuster estates ownership of the properties.

Most interesting to me is this bit from Brian Wang:
The interpretations also seem to be that the Siegel and Shuster families will be able to start developing movies and other projects with the portions of copyright that they control starting in 2013.

Their version of Superman would seem to be legally restricted from developing the powers of flight. They would be forced to stay at the power levels of Action #1 and the first two weeks of strips. Although both parties would be free to create new works based on these separate versions. I think it would be perfectly possible the 1938 Superman to be made very interesting and vibrant franchise.

This could actually be interesting.

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She's running! She's running! She ran.
She did pretty good too.

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More Reasons to be Wary of Facebook


Hey kids, I have an idea, why don't you ask your professor about how Facebook and Twitter were used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I mean they HAD to have had an impact right? You professor will be SO impressed with you.

Now go tweet someplace that is not on my lawn.

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September 04, 2011

Not an Example...But a Horrible Horrible Warning

So this girl asked me...
Where did things go wrong?
And thus a history of banal failure is posted below the fold.

For those uninterested in such matters, here is Kyo-Ani's take on the Sailor Scouts.

Actually it's by someone who goes by the handles of Tom and Attopez


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September 03, 2011

Oh Joy


....Now keep turning and go to Texas

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