Preparing the "SPLODY!"
These three videoes of nuclear tests are pretty dry, as they deal mainly with the preparations for the tests, but they are also facinating as they give a detailed oveview of how these test were conducted and how scientists were able to get a detailed picture of the progress of these horriffic explosions at intervals measured in millionths of a second.
The first video (Tumbbler/Snapper) gives a very neat overview of the gadgets involved in monitoring these tests. It seems that a previous test had demonstrated vastly lower blast effects than predicted, indicating that their computer models, and more importantly their field manuals on how to use these weapons were completely wromg. The film goes into surprising detail about how they went about testing various theories on the cause of the anomaly and the mechanics of the devices used. Those smoke trails one sees in test footage...they were smoke rockets intended to give a visual reference for the blast wave...also the trees one sees getting all abused in test foottage are not native to the Nevada test site, but a transplanted forest.
Two of these tests were very small (1 killoton) and aren't particularly impressive visually, but there is a satisfying 30 killoton blast at the end, so our tax dollars weren't completely wasted. Amusingly, there is a bit of audio censorship at 24:10 and 26:20. "We used a normal casing because of its...."
The second test, Teapot, three years later elaborates a bit on the techniques used to gather the data with 1950's technology and is also interesting because it is the test that involved the metal sphere experiment that ended up inspiring Project Orion. (Stanislaw's Balls can be seen at 19:07) At the time the film was made no one knew the significance of this test and it's presented as a curiosity.
The final test lacks the engineering detail of the first two, but is also quite interesting, being a VERY elaborate civillian nuclear test by the civil defense authorities. Operation Cue was nominally one of the operation Teapot series of tests, but this particular test was administered by civil defense authorities and was intended to observe the effects of a nuclear bomb on civillian structures, provide a civil defense rescue and response drill under realistc conditions, and evaluate construction techniques to mitigate blast and radiation. Various civillian contractors were invited to test out their ideas. Operation Cue involved building a suburb and industrial park, populating it with manequins and dropping a 30 killoton bomb on it. Cue followed on the heels of several military tests that investigated such effects as an aside and made use of lessons learned in those.
One sobering detail is the somewhat more elaborate nature of the PPE in the Teapot tests.
One unrelated, but still interesting thing I noted thanks to Epic's tracking monitor is that when one looks at nuclear test footage on you tube one is beset by about an order of magnitude more trackers than is normal for a you tube video.
The increased number of trackers is somewhat disturbing, as I cannot think of a reason for private companies to be interested in this data. It's not as though a marketing department would want to know who's interested in nuclear tests. I mean, there's no commercial market for nuclear weapons, is there?
Posted by: Siergen at Thu May 1 06:48:38 2014 (WVGDf)
Well, I'd buy one!
4th of July would be AWESOME!
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Apr 30 05:37:30 2014 (TJ7ih)
I think I read where this was thirty years after Return? That makes sense age-wise, I guess. Maybe actually a bit kind, but man do you miss a lot in canon. Will we see all three of Han and Leia's kids? How about Mara Jade?
Posted by: topmaker at Wed Apr 30 19:41:55 2014 (2yZsg)
All that's gone--it's part of Expanded Universe and Disney officially announced this week VII won't follow EU.
Posted by: RickC at Wed Apr 30 21:07:30 2014 (0a7VZ)
Don has one of the two blogs
whose embeds are invisible to me on Epic, so I very nearly missed his latest post, which
I had initially taken to be a formatting error. That would have been tragic as
I would have missed this
gem, which shows that these kids today still have an appreciation of the
classics. (There is a side by side comparison here.)
I've been using the Epic web broswer for 20 days and have gotten
a feel for it.
One of its features is a little pop up window
that tells what trackers it is blocking.
To the right is the NY Daily News. Interestingly
4-chan of all places had only one, and that’s only on certain boards. I probably
need to stay away from those boards anyway...I already wear glasses.
Of course the browser’s extreme focus on privacy
comes with a few quirks, with a lack of
spewlchek being the most keenly felt. Since it carries no cache data it
is a bit slower to load. Occasionally one finds a site that reacts badly to anything
that doesn't let it track its viewers and demands that you its their
cookies like some rabid girl scout. I haven’t been blocked from any site
Aside from the slightly
slower loading, the only functionality quirks I’ve found so far are as
follows. Occasionally embedded videos on some Wordpress blogs do not show up.
There are a few quirks with the Dashboard in Minx (The Mee’n You blog engine) but
said quirks are present in Safari and Opera as well.
On the plus side, it
seems to have the amazing ability to disable only the bad pop-up windows.
Let me explain.
ODU’s website opens
certain features in pop-up windows and pop up blockers (like the ones ion the
ODU learning commons computers…) generally disable that functionality. However,
they work fine in Epic. On the other hand, I have not seen a pop-up AD since I
started using the browser. I have had no issues with Paypal, which surprised
me. I understand that Epic allows people to view HULU from outside the US and
while I cannot confirm that, I can say that I was able to access one Japanese
site that normally blocks US access…and
I was thoroughly scarred by the experience.
One's mileage may vary, but I
think the slightly slow loading is a small price to pay for the added privacy.
This of course is assuming that
the whole thing isn’t an NSA honey pot to snare us paranoids .
Posted by: ReallyBored at Sat Apr 26 13:17:23 2014 (n3V1X)
This is Sure to Calm Things Down
While everyone was looking at Ukraine, the Chinese siezed a Japanese merchant ship on Monday. MV Baosteel Emotion was imponded as per orders from a Chinese court that declared the bulk carrier a war reparation. It was released yesterday only after the company paid about 28 million in fines.
This one issue seems to be resolved, but the precedent has the potential to open a huge can of worms in the future. Given the ammount of Japanese investment in China, if they start calling in reparations from a war 70 years ago it's going to be a huge mess.
It may not be entirely coincidental that the Chinese real estate bubble has shown signs of popping over the last few weeks, though the opacity of the the Chinese market makes it hard to be sure exactly what is going on. Thr large Japanese holdings in China are probably seen as a ready supply of cash, from a particularly hated creditor.
Far less likely, but still within the realm of possibility is the potential for rthe US backing of Chiang Kai Shek to result in unwelcopme surprises for American companies.
My oral Japanese exams were 100% of my grade (And I really bombed them once or twice) but the worst thing is, they were administered by a guy from Cornell (not my college) who was not a native speaker, and whose pronunciation was abominable.
(For contrast, my tutors were native speakers, who told me I spoke with no accent.)
Unfortunately, I remember almost none of it. It's been over 20 years.
Posted by: Mauser at Sat Apr 26 04:30:36 2014 (TJ7ih)
Anyone can send mail using anyone's From address, and spammers did it for years. If you are sure that your account is secure, there's nothing for you to worry about.
"Working on a patch" may mean them turning DMARC on. Haha.
Best of all, find someone who received one of those "spoofed" mails and who knows how Internet works (tough condition to satisfy, but try). Ask him to save the mail with headers and then ask someone else, or him actually, to look at Received: chain. See if it was sent by AOL or not.
It sounds like AOL's address book thing might have been hacked, but not the email service itself. Which sucks (if true) because now the spammers have your address book, and changing your password doesn't help.
ANY E-MAILS YOU HAVE RECIEVED FROM MY AOL ACCOUNT BETWEEN 01:00 AM SAT APRIL 19th AND AN ALL CLEAR SIGNAL TO COME LATER IS NOT FROM ME IF IT DOES NOT CARRY THE SUBJECT LINE " I'VE BEEN HACKED". ASSUME MALICIOUS CONTENT.
Apologies to everyone affected.
I've been buried in the Library studying for exams with the phone
off so I was oblivious until I went out to eat last night and noted several
E-mails. I immediately changed my password but another fusillade of electronic
mischief went out this morning around 08:00. AOL tech support is closed for the
holiday so I'm unsure if the issue is resolved. I have shut down all external
I was surprised that I HAD permissions enabled for other sites to access
One was Facebook (which I’ve been banned from for two years) and the
other was some sketchy thing that was an E-Mail addy for a "uis.coveritlive”. I
have NO idea what that was but it’s blocked.
I note I’m not the only AOL user this has happened to in the last few
days. This is the second time this has happened to me and I don’t think it was
a PEBKAC error (unlike the last time where I accessed the AOL account from the
school computer system).
Does anyone have any suggestions
for alternatives that aren't GOOGLE?
In the second one they're being introduced by Danny Kaye.
Now, even if, for some inexplicable reason, that name doesn't ring a bell, I'd wager that most of you are probably at least famillier withthis performance he did with the Andrews Sisters. In any event, because of the wonders of Boolean searches, the tangential Danny Kay connection to the Joe and Eddie search then led to this particularly worthy bit of win.
The one bit I really don't get is that most of the kids didn't "get" having to use headphones with the walkman. Although ear buds are much more popular now, some kind of ear-mounted speaker is still the standard for portable music; the connection port even looks the same.
Posted by: Ben at Tue Apr 15 12:30:47 2014 (Oftf2)
Ben, but everything these days already has speakers built-in, so these kids were expecting there to be speakers. They all knew what headphones were, they just didn't know you had to have them.
Posted by: RickC at Tue Apr 15 19:55:13 2014 (0a7VZ)
In keeping with the blogs policy of being on the cutting edge of the Anime scene, we concluded that we ought to actually get around to watching this show from 2009.
A Certain Scientific Railgun was well received by American fans when it came out and was successful enough in Japan to have spawned a sequel last year. It is apparently a spinoff/side story to an earlier light novel series called A Certain Magical Index about which I know nothing.
The series is set in Academy City, a recently incorporated, planned metropolis just west of Tokyo (in present day Okutama perhaps?). The city has been set up in part as a high tech development region; a sort of government subsidized Silicon Valley with additional heavy industry. Its main purpose however, is as an educational mecca. Academy City is a vast collection of junior high schools, high schools and colleges with different specialization's (including nearly all of Japans most prestigious academies) and its atmosphere and infrastructure are both intended to be highly conducive to learning and developing the special talents of Japan's youth.
...and developing boondoggles like wind turbines...inside a city.
Note that we are not being whimsical or abstract when we say "special talents". Some years prior to the events in this series, ESPer abilities were scientifically confirmed to exist latently in certain people. Intense study revealed ways to exercise and thus improve these abilities. A single person can have one ( but only one) of the hundreds of known talents. However, they are rated on an ability level that goes from 1-5. This seems to be an exponential scale and frequency dwindles rapidly with power. There are less than a dozen level 5's in the entire city. Since these abilities are psychic in nature, improving them is largely a mental discipline. Thus, schools are a good means of pursuing this research. The schools pursue an intense, broad spectrum education since few ESPer abilities have any marketable use and in any event, this many educational institutions in close proximity foster a critical mass that the powers that be no doubt hope will become a high capacity Japanese genius generator.
The educational theme extends to certain city services.
First some cultural background:
Japanese high schools often have student councils with a great deal of responsibility. They manage the basic janitorial duties of their school, do a good deal of the scutt work in organizing field trips and school activities, assign students to do groundskeeping and equipment inventory and divvy up their budget between various clubs and school events. In some high schools they even provide (through the Home-Ec classes) the cooking staff for lunch and to a very limited extent, discipline (well...hall monitors).There are faculty advisors overseeing this of course, but they only get involved if necessary.The idea behind this affront to the sensibilities of the NEA and DoED is that high school students are young adults and should have organizational skills, be acclimated to work and be given increasing responsibilities. In a high school setting this can work pretty well.
In Academy City they've applied this concept of high school students administering things to the whole metropolis...thus dystopia.
OK, not quite: In addition to the individual school's councils, there is an inter-school student council that coordinates members of various school's councils to deal with student related concerns throughout Academy City. One can assume that this council co-ordinates, festivals and spelling bees but those activities don't lend themselves to a crime drama so we never see those committees. The manifestation of the inter-school council the audience encounters is JUSTICE...a city-wide network of STASSI glorified hall monitors with limited ticketing and arrest powers. While this seems at first glance to be whacked, remember that this city is overwhelmingly (80%) populated by students, most of whom are teenagers trying to develop their super-powers. Having as much discipline as possible meted out by peers helps to minimize the social dynamic of having a bunch of super powered kids being disciplined by mostly unpowered adults. The city does have a regular police force as well as a frighteningly well equipped SWAT team in case the teenagers decide to rumble.
Everything in the city is geared towards technophilia and academic achievement. Students with good marks are local celebrities, but "good marks" has come to mainly mean having an unusual power. Universities, corporations and eclectic individuals have descended upon the city to study the abilities of those with talent and Academy City is as much a scientific observatory as a learning center. This is most harshly expressed in the fact that those who cannot manifest any ESPer abilities are not held in particularly high regard. They are the level 0s and are termed "Human Errors" by medical professionals and while not actively discriminated against they are considered 'broken'. However, if they keep their non paranormal grades up they are allowed to stay in the cities schools.
Among the more famous people in this odd town is our heroine...
...She is one of the few level 5 ESPers in the city. Her ability is to control electromagnetic forces. She can generate electrical fields, magnetic fields and using the latter propel arcade tokens at mach 3. This latter ability has resulted in the nickname 'Railgun'. She is a top student at the prestigious Tokiwadai Girls School and has become something of a local celebrity, which she finds a bit annoying. She's a fairly reserved and modest person, who responds to her schools alarmingly brief uniform skirts by wearing hiking shorts beneath hers. Mikoto is not part of any student organization and seems to be given somewhat wide latitude to develop her powers which are of considerable interest to the scientific establishment. She is decent, level headed and sane. This latter characteristic is somewhat surprising given that her dorm-mate is....
Kuroko is an extremely skilled (high level 4) teleporter and a student at Tokiwadai. She is smitten with her dorm-mate and periodically attempts to romance Mikoto despite constant rebuffs. Kuroko is the vector by which Mikoto gets pulled into any number of adventures, you see she's a field agent for JUDGEMENT. She takes great pride in her job and is considered quite conscientious, though she in fact has been becoming increasingly overconfident of late and in any event has numerous other character flaws. She is currently acting as mentor to her rookie partner...
...who looks up to her a great deal. Uiharu is a level one ESPer and her ability seems to be to grow flowers out of her head. This power is of no discernible utility in the scholastic or law enforcement fields so she must get by with determination and wits. She is very good at research and data acquisition and is normally Shirai's support, but she is increasingly being trusted with field work. As she is a mere level one, she is a student at Sakugawa school, which is not particularly prestigious. The school does not provide dorms for it's students and Uiharu lives in a nearby apartment with a classmate from Sakugawa...
...who came from a not terribly affluent family that pretty much put everything they had into getting her into an Academy City school where she could develop her abilities and move up in society. Despite much effort, she appears to be a level zero. This bothers her a great deal more than she lets on. She's quite smart, she just has no super powers in a city full of ESPers being groomed to be the leaders of tomorrow. Despite her brave talk she is becoming increasingly desperate to get in touch with the powers she is sure she must have. Saten frequently assists Uiharu in research, though as she a level zero this is in an unofficial capacity. Saten is quite astonished to find out that Mikoto Misaka is not at all the pompous prima donna she had imagined.
This is actually a pretty good teenage superhero high-school cop show thus far. The adventure elements are well thought out and the show is developing nicely. Misaka, Uiharu and Saten are thoroughly likable, decent characters...and Kuroko is fun to laugh at.
The show has a lot to say about what happens when one defines worth too narrowly and how credentials of any type can be given too much weight to the exclusion of other qualities.
Funimation's dub is pretty good. Allison Viktori's version of Kuroko is a rather annoying.... which is exactly as it should be. The rest of the cast are also very nicely realized with Brina Palencia doing an especially fine job as Saten.
These 12 episodes were quite enjoyable and I'm eagerly looking forward to the rest of it.
Uiharu's power doesn't have anything to do with her head piece (though she may be using her power on it, an idea I've considered a couple of times). Her power does get revealed in the second part of the first series, and it is useless for police work.
Mikoto is a great character and deserved her own series.
If you are a Saten fan, the next series, if they do Liberal Arts City as hinted, is for you.
To show you how forward thinking the creators get, there will be a quartet of "students" in a booth at a family restaurant ("Joseph's", I think) that actually figure prominently in the second series. They will only appear for an instant, with no comment, at the end of the Level Upper arc.
Posted by: topmaker at Tue Apr 15 20:03:41 2014 (2yZsg)
STOP THE PRESSES
I've been working on this post for hours. It is a scandal that exemplifies the terrifying abuses of power many of us have come to fear. The fact that it has not been getting a lot of coverage is in and of itself disturbing.
After considerable digging, here's what we know....
"It originated with an Info-Wars link."
It has been a beautiful day here in Virginia. I'm going to go back outside and partake of it.
5Yes, there was a comma in your comment. There were also two typoes in the space of the 17 words of my comment. You win this round Pete. Savor your victory, for I have nearly recovered from my afflictions and shall soon return...with a Harvey's.