100 Years Ago Today: The Beginning of The End
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir apparent to the throne of Austria-Hungary. He had initially been third in line for the throne and as such had, in his early years, led a somewhat dilettante lifestyle. After a suicide and then typhoid fever placed him in the position of heir he frequently came to violent disagreements with his father(the Emperor Franz Joseph) over what he perceived as needed reforms. While Franz Ferdinand was a bit of an autocrat and a staunch royalist who wanted to consolidate executive power on the throne, he also wanted to establish a basically federal system granting considerable autonomy to the various regions. He also wanted to ensure all ethnicities had equal standing, which was very unpopular in some quarters, particularly the Hungarian half of the empire, which had its own legislature. In essence he wanted to extend in some ways the privileges the Hungarians enjoyed to all regions while simultaneously unifying the country on strictly national matters. Furthermore he wanted to organize a third ceremonial kingdom out of the slavic states with equal prestige as Austria and Hungary to drive home the idea that the Slavs were full citizens. Franz Ferdinand was also one of the few voices in government advocating that the Empire should cultivate good relations with its neighbors and in particular, not poke Serbia any further.
His wife Sophie was a commoner and was not permitted any royal courtesies by imperial decree (another reason there was grief between Archduke and Emperor). However she was accorded the courtesies and privileges due the wife of a general in the imperial army if he was engaged in official military business. Thus, when he went to Sarajevo to inspect a local garrison she accompanied him.
While there they made some goodwill appearances and visited the Sarajevo town hall....
Moments after that picture was taken both were assassinated by the leader of a local chapter of a Serbian secret society called the Black Hands...which despite his melodramatic title was an an angry young loser of a man who lived with his mother.
The assassination removed one of the last voices for conciliation with the Serbs and threw the Emperor into a grief stricken rage.
Russia stepped up to defend their Serbian allies which obliged Germany to step in and honor their treaty with Austria-Hungary, whereupon the Kaiser signed off on a unfortunate plan to preemptively take out France "quickly", lest they decided to open up a second front...which brought the British Empire into the fight. These and other decisions formed a cascade failure of strategic miscalculations amongst the governments of Europe cumulating in a disaster of unimaginable proportions from which the world has still not fully recovered.
The entrance of the Ottoman Empire into the fray and its subsequent collapse precipitated the mess we now call the Middle East. The toll the war took on Russia begat the Soviet Union, international communism and the hundred or more millions that died from that ideology in Russian, China and elsewhere. Germany, broken and humiliated by the conflict rose up under the leadership of a fiend to lash out once more against a world still reeling, not only from the loss of a generation of young men, but from the fact that this unspeakable, and stupid orgy of carnage broke the spirit of the west.
The progress that civilization has made in the last hundred years seems impressive, but it pales between the vast leap that took place between the end of one great war in 1814 and the events of 1914. From the cold war, to the middle east, we've spent the better part of a century putting out fires started or fanned by the First World War...and still they smolder.
We hardly think of this conflict today but its ramifications are still with us. Let us hope the lessons are as well, because while history, as they say, does not exactly repeat, it does rhyme.
The analogies at the link, while worrisome, can be taken too literally. There is of course, little significance to the century mark beyond superstition baed on numerology. If we were using hexadecimal this year it wouldn't even have that, but the artificial significance of a hundred years passing should be taken to reflect upon not only the carnage, but the miscalculations that led to it.
1...an angry young loser of a man who lived with his mother.
At the risk of sounding flippant, I'll point out that that one phrase neatly describes most of the members of the now-moribund Occupy movement.
On a more serious note, the parallels between then and now frighten me. If anything, things are worse now. Now, we have more nations bumbling around the world stage, acting just as foolishly and with just as much belligerency, and armed with weapons that make even the deadliest weapons of WWI look like toys. Also consider the various Islamist terror groups, who are playing a similar role to the Black Hands, except that (a) they have proven themselves to be more motivated, better organized, and much more brutal, and (b) they have (or have improvised) weapons that are far more devastating than the crude bombs and pocket pistols the Serbian radicals had, and may yet gain access to weapons that are even more destructive. (As a small aside, also consider that many Western nations, the United States included, have bred their own potential Black Hands; the above-mentioned Occupy movement, The Traitor Formerly Known As Bradley Manning, and recent British and Australian volunteers for international jihad are the bellwethers of this.)
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Sat Jun 28 23:50:19 2014 (2eP1J)
This is the first I've heard of the Archduke's policies. It sounds like if he had survived, things would be even better than we imagine things would be simply if the war hadn't happened.
Posted by: Mauser at Sun Jun 29 01:18:20 2014 (TJ7ih)
Nuclear weapons really did change everything. In World War 1, the main fear of countries was that they would delay mobilization, their enemies would mobilize, and they would lose the war before they could properly form up their levies; this is essentially what happened in the latter wars of the 1800s, where Prussia won several decisive encounters through superior organization. Alsace-Lorraine was obtained that way in the first place, right?
Nowadays, the need to have your civilians drafted and mobilized is next to nil, and the rewards to be run through a devastating first strike are quite a bit smaller. No civilian militia or freshly-drafted troops could stand against a professional Western army (and, to be blunt, none of the other professional Western armies dare stand against the US; even the Brits and the French would be little but speed bumps). On the other hand, having experienced WW1, the Western countries are very hesitant to be the first one to pull the trigger. Even Hitler didn't resort to invading countries outright, without a buildup of public opinion and well-crafted justifications. (Of course Pete would probably say "I can think of one example!" ;p)
The biggest issue regarding world peace is that there was previously a system where the powerful Western countries demanded that the leadership of other countries take responsibility for the actions of their countrymen, and happily decapitated those who did not; the idea that a country would be considered "sovereign" but not fully under control of all its territory was silly. Now we've got a series of countries who can claim sovereignty within their borders without actually having control of the population within those borders; the penalty for toleration of such shamelessness has not been fully paid.
That said, the REALLY scary parallel isn't with the start of WW1, but the US's chosen tactics in WW2. We have previously denounced entire areas of warfare, such as the bombardment of cities or the use of unrestricted submarine warfare, as barbaric and completely incompatible with the behavior of a modern society; yet, when pressed, we embraced those strategies thoroughly and to the massive detriment of our foes. Should the new asymmetrical strategy of the employment of non-governmental combatants prove to be a true threat to the US, we would likely embrace that strategy as well. And how well would we do, with our acceptance of military necessity, our widespread gun culture and gun ownership, our legions of youth trained from a young age in advanced squad tactics, and our vast wealth coupled with our technology advantages?
(Basically, were it not illegal, could I see the same folks who play Counterstrike or League every night piloting remote killing-drones through the streets of Medina for the glory and lols? Oh yes, oh yes indeed.)
It would also be handy in case of combat damage. For conventional warplanes, they erect crash barriers on the runway if they don't think they can land and stop normally. For Harriers, they have "landing stools"...
Posted by: Siergen at Fri Jun 27 16:59:39 2014 (8/vFI)
The stands are used for maintenance on the plane when it is required that the forward landing gear needs to not touch the deck.
There are similar mounts for replacing the other landing gear too.
It / they are just fancy jack stands.
Posted by: jon spencer at Fri Jun 27 19:24:23 2014 (JSYPT)
4Harriers only carry enough water to run in hover mode for 90 seconds...
Wait, what? Can you explain, Steven?
Posted by: Wonderduck at Fri Jun 27 23:49:10 2014 (DiS7r)
When they are hovering, there are gizmos that vector thrust from the engine straight down. But the engines don't produce enough thrust normally to hold the jet up. So they overdrive the engines by injecting water.
It's the same principle as water injection in WWII piston engine fighters. The water cools the air flow, which permits more air and more fuel to pass through the jet engine, producing more thrust. But they have to use a lot of water to get that effect, and they don't carry all that much because water is heavy.
It turns out that they carry enough for 90 seconds of hover. (And too bad for Arnold in True Lies.)
The maximum take-off thrust available from the Pegasus engine is limited, particularly at the higher ambient temperatures, by the turbine blade temperature. As this temperature cannot reliably be measured, the operating limits are determined by jet pipe temperature. To enable the engine speed and hence thrust to be increased for take-off, water is sprayed into the combustion chamber and turbine to keep the blade temperature down to an acceptable level.
Water for the injection system is contained in a tank located between the bifurcated section of the rear (hot) exhaust duct. The tank contains up to 500lb (227kg, 50 imperial gallons) of distilled water. Water flow rate for the required turbine temperature reduction is approximately 35gpm (imperial gallons per minute) for a maximum duration of approximately 90 seconds. The quantity of water carried is sufficient for and appropriate to the particular operational role of the aircraft.
I've seen Harriers hover at airshows for longer than 90 seconds, so I suspect that limitation is for when the aircraft is fully loaded with ordnance and fuel.
Posted by: Siergen at Sat Jun 28 08:57:30 2014 (8/vFI)
Did you actually time it? Subjective evaluations of duration of extraordinary and noteworthy events are notoriously imprecise and tend to be on the high side. (I think the principle was called "All eclipses last five minutes" because subjectively it seems that way even if totality was actually shorter than that.)
The numbers seem slightly off, given "A Pint's a Pound the whole world 'round." A Gallon of water is typically 8 lbs. (and a Gallon of Gasoline is typically around 6. Not sure about Diesel/Jet A).
Posted by: Mauser at Sun Jun 29 01:21:08 2014 (TJ7ih)
A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter. :p
Except in the US, Liberia, and February.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Jun 29 04:24:52 2014 (PiXy!)
Pixy, we can't help that the Imperial standards were diddled by Parliamentary souses determined to squeeze four extra fluid ounces into their beer measures, can we? The old measures continued as they ever were, here in the rebelled provinces.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Mon Jun 30 15:36:29 2014 (jwKxK)
According to The Blaze, a previous attempt to land on a stack of mattresses did not end quite well, after which the stool was constructed.
It's Not Just Mee.Nu
AOL got hit too. My College G-mail account was similarly stuffed. Now, some of this is not messing with E-mail for three days but a good deal of it was pulled pork shoulder.
To add to my annoyance the University G-mail account also threw a couple of important E-mails into the spam folder.
If anybody tried to get hold of me via E-mail and has not gotten a reply, I have deleted your correspondence by mistake and am unaware of it.
There don't seem to be a lot of phishing schemes in any of these and spam, especially comment spam can't have a high return, so I'm wondering if some of this Hawaiian bacon festival is actually a sort of 'chaff' to cover something up.
The Duck is Dark
For those who might be wondering, I have received word via text that the reason that Wonderduck has gone silent is that he has has been without internet service for over three days. There is no indication of when it might be back as his provider is, apparently, up to no good.
An actual photo of Wonderduck's internet provider.
Depends on what you want to use it for.
For reading, checking email, and playing games, you can't do better than the 2013 Nexus 7. But it's a bit small for browsing web sites, and definitely too small for reading comics.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wed Jun 25 02:01:07 2014 (PiXy!)
Yeah, that's the kind of thing I'm trying to find out. I have no experience with tablets.
A tablet was recommended for the upcoming kanji class and I'm curious about things like actual as opposed to advertised battery life and how big the screen really ought to be. It'll be used as a reader so finding out that ones like the Nexus 7 are a bit to small helps. Thanks!
Kanji class? Then you'll definitely want a high-DPI device, especially if there will be any furigana. For reference, I have a bunch of books from Amazon Japan on my Kindle Paperwhite, and while I need mild reading glasses to make out the furigana at the standard text size, its 212dpi renders everything clearly (and of course zoom is your friend). Fortunately, Apple isn't the only tablet maker that's shipping high-DPI displays.
Several of my friends are happy with recent models in the Samsung Galaxy Tab/Note line, and since Amazon lists a brand new model as "released tomorrow", you could either get a decent discount on the previous model or get The Latest Thing, depending on your budget.
(of course, my own tablet of choice is the Microsoft Surface Pro 2, which is more capable, but also heavier and considerably more expensive)
Posted by: J Greely at Wed Jun 25 11:24:18 2014 (1CisS)
I've been using an Acer Iconia A3. As a computing device it's fairly powerful, or seems that way. The 10" screen works well as a reader, but the higher weight and bigger size can make holding it in one hand uncomfortable.
Also, having worked with several tablets over the last several years, I strongly recommend you budget for a sturdy cover. I have seen several tablets suffer damage to the screen because they were held between thumb and fingers on the left or right edge. A good book-style cover will give you something else to hold on to.
Posted by: Ben at Wed Jun 25 11:34:02 2014 (S4UJw)
The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S (that J mentions) looks awesome. The smaller model weighs the same as the Nexus 7, but has an 8.4" screen instead of 7", so 44% more screen area. The Galaxy Tab Pro is also very nice and is on sale now that the Tab S is out.
Tab Pro is currently $329/$399 on Amazon for 8.4/10.1 inches; the Tab S is $399/$499. All have "retina" class 2560x1600 displays, fast processors, plenty of RAM, and a rather poky 16GB of storage. (There's supposedly a 32GB option on the Tab S, but I haven't seen it.) But they do support microSD cards. The Tab Pro has a high-quality IPS LCD; the Tab S has an OLED screen, which can use less power and potentially better colour reproduction.
Also, the Nexus 7 now seems to be out of stock in many places, suggesting there's a new model on the way. An announcement was expected at Google I/O yesterday, but so far, nothing.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Jun 26 04:07:59 2014 (PiXy!)
Stuff and Things
Apropos the previous post. My utter contempt for the people involved exceeded the scope of my Thesaurus. I don't think I've ever dropped 'f bombs' in a post before and I certainly do not intend to make a habit of it.
Frequent commentor Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts makes an interesting observation...
Send cause concoction towards large zip major naff plastic bag. Increase sirloin to successfully tote
Well, it might be an observation.
Of course, given that this faithful commentor has helpfully provide similar insights twenty times this weekend, my first impulse is to violate the promise made in the first paragraph. It occurs to me however, that perhaps what I need is not a bigger thesaurus, but a cypher. It could be that this is a coded message and all that stands between me and a great adventure is deciphering this! What if all of these comments, together form a sort of Rosetta Stone that has the potential to unlock the secrets of the Voynich Manuscript? Solving such a puzzle would have the potential to unlock wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. Formidable enemies would seek to suppress that disruptive information, but the potential to bring about a golden age of enlightenment would surely be worth the risk!
Heck, cute girls might talk to me!
If only...I hadn't deleted all those comments....
Once again I have sabotaged myself.
I may have to check out this show. Not only is this barista into military history, I hear tell she has good trigger discipline too!
No, the spelling errors are proof that the sender has not been replaced by an enemy agent (assuming the errors are in the correct position).
Posted by: Siergen at Mon Jun 23 17:22:07 2014 (8/vFI)
Honestly, I'm a touch torn. Rize is pretty good in that show. That said, everything without her is -amazingly- saccharine, and she's just not in enough of it to counter the cloying sweetness.
The studio's previous show, Kin-iro Mosaic, had much the same tone, but under some of the cuteness lay some real edged wit (being a show about Japanese/English exchange students, they were perfectly happy to point and say "look, Japan, we are ridiculous here" or "hey gaijin, what is up with this thing you do?") I liked it a good bit better, so you'd think "same basic recipe plus a military kid" would be a winner, but I just don't think it came through.
One Hopes That There is a Special Concierge Service in Hell To Give These People the Extra Attention They DeserveSuburban Banshee has an extensive, link-heavy post on the utter monstrousness of Marion Zimmer Bradley, child molester and protector of her child molester husband.
Go read the while thing.
I mentioned this to my friend BOB! last night and he said that he'd heard about a lot of this years ago and had written off the author for that reason. Another friend mentioned yesterday that she'd known about enough of this for years that she had long ago burned Bradley's books.
I, on the other hand, had muddled trough life blissfully ignorant of this.
It's a squalid, foetid affair that involves a couple of truly evil people. That word "evil" gets bandied about a lot, but this is the real deal.
But the reason I'm most angered by this is that the story is actually far worse than the depredations of 2 fiends.
What is REALLY disturbing about this is the fact that elements in the Sci-Fi community had been covering this up since 1963. Oh, they had banned Breen (Bradley's eventual husband) from a con, but no one bothered to call the cops.
This passage from the letter is particularly disturbing...After laying out the fact that Walter Breen is a CHILD MOLESTER, he suggests that Breen be...get this...banned from a con.
I came to this conclusion most reluctantly. I have no axe to grind. And quite apart from my emotional reluctance, I expect some of my friends to get mad at me if I do anything about Walter. Others will be "disappointed" in me because of my "persecution" of Walter, poor innocent Walter who loves and understands children. Also I rather expect some damage in my race for TAFF in 1965.[/quote]
You know, I have something to say to the author of this letter....
Hal 9000, Skynet, and the Krell mind machine, combining their processing power and crunching numbers for a decade could not calculate all the fucks I do not give about your fanboy electioneering. You have, with that paragraph, proven yourself to be a soulless, malignant waste of skin that could be put to vastly better use by burn victims. You know of a child molester and you do not report it to police because you are afraid it will harm your popularity? If ratting out a pederast will endanger ones social standing, then I suggest that it is time to get another peer group. You have no axe to grind? ARE YOU HUMAN?
This was 1963. How many children were raped because no one on this mailing list had the spine to call the cops? (ed: at least 22) Why in the hell didn't SOMEONE call the authorities? Is it because as a member of fandom you'd been bullied and didn't want to cast judgements? If so you deserved every wedgie you got and more...far more. This was not being a beatnik, or some other alternate lifestyle, this was children, and this was a hell of a lot more children who suffered agony and terror because not ONE person in this circle of fen had sufficient ethical grounding to call the police.
The Kitty Genovese story was utter bunk, but this is as real as it gets.
You know what's almost as disturbing than that?
No news here, just a couple of glowing testimonials...well, the only people covering this are the French and the Italians.
The tiny Mk 4 reentry vehicle containing the tinier W-76 warhead weighs only 368 pounds allowing up to 14 to be carried on a Trident missile, though treaty restrictions limit them to considerably less than that. The joint U.S./UK W-76 is the most common warhead in the American and British nuclear stockpiles and one of the two oldest in the US arsenal. Rather than replacing these elderly warheads, the rather questionable decision has been made to refurbish them. This is the warhead that caused the stir some years ago when it was belatedly discovered that the U.S. had lost the knowledge of how to produce a crucial component of the bomb.
While 368 pounds is a bit too heavy for a backpack or suitcase nuke, the impressively small size of this terrible weapon, along with its comparatively moderate weight, mean that a weapon comparable to this (far from state of the art) device could fit into any number of vehicles, steamer trunks or porta-johns.
Fortunately nothing could get past our border security, so rest easy and enjoy the summer!
Battered but unbowed, SY Seascape sits quietly at a local shipyard's marina awaiting repairs. Mom and Dad are exhausted but in good spirits. Their sometimes harrowing trip covered 5000 nautical miles via the intercostal waterway, Atlantic ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and a grove of cattails in the Great Dismal Swamp.
They were vey pleased with the performance of the boat, though, they did note one quirk that initially caused them some dismay. The boat is not what Americans generally think of as a motorsailer. That is, when being operated bare pole in a heavy sea, she will roll almost onto her beam ends with great enthusiasm. Once they got the whole "sailing" thing down this was no longer an issue. It is an exceptionally strong boat and withstood being driven aground by the waterspout with hardly a scratch. Most of the mechanical issues were of the sort one encounters on any shakedown, though as anticipated, the engine repairs (replacing the head gasket) will be a shipyard job. I'll help him haul the boat next week.
Hurricane season starts next week, so any further attempts will have to wait until November at least.
Well, it looks like motor sailer, anyway, with that cabin house.
Is it the extreme round chines that lets it roll like that?
It looks like it would ride well in a following sea.
I'm glad they are safe and sound.
Posted by: topmaker at Wed Jun 18 19:05:58 2014 (2yZsg)
According to Dad, with the sails deployed it's super steady. Running bare pole though, the topweight from the masts, without the steadying effect of the sails causes it to roll a lot, though the boat was never in danger of sinking. I imagine you are right regards the round chine contributing to this. The hull really is optimized for sailing as opposed to a lot of American motor sailers, that are do both equally bad. It goy two 70 year old people safely through 19 foot seas so I'm impressed.
The water visibly leaving the boat in the picture is from the air conditioner and icebox. They have the bilge pump turned off because of the oil in the engine compartment so they don't generate a 10,000 dollar sheen.
However, boats nearly always have some minor leakage around the stuffing box where the propellor shaft penetrates the hull. (It's hard to get a rotating watertight seal). There are also various through hulls (penetrations for sonars, the bow thruster and the sanitation system). The amount of leakage from these is so small as to generally be negligible unless the boat is flexing in a VERY heavy sea.
An IT Question for Pixy (and any other IT professionals) UPDATED
In 1973 revelations that 18 and a half minutes of a recording on a reel-to-reel tape recorder had been erased dealt the death blow to an already struggling administration. In 2014 the revelation about the loss of every single E-mail pertinent to the investigations into the IRS political targeting of American citizens is being described as 'just one of those things'.
Pixy, as an IT professional, does the total credulity expressed by so many regards this data loss indicate that the powers that be actually have proof of the existence of a population of Magical Malevolent Data Eating Bunyips whose grazing range extends throughout the tubes of the internet?
I'm thinking that this hypothesis is the only way to square that circle.
Also: Assuming they are out there, can we coax these beasts into feeding instead on anything involving Air Jordan Snakeskins and their Dadaist proponents?
UPDATE: I mean seriously, ruling out bunyip involvement would have suchimplications as to open a can of yowies.
At first I thought the Obama administration was just trying to make the Carter years look good, but it now appears that he's trying to rehabilitate Nixon's reputation as well. Obama is just so darn generous that way...
Posted by: Siergen at Sat Jun 14 19:55:22 2014 (8/vFI)
I think you're just going to have to turn on the only mee.nu members can post option. That stopped my spam. I don't know how long one would need to leave it on before they stop trying. The few posters who don't have accounts can get them easily enough.
Posted by: Mauser at Sat Jun 14 20:40:20 2014 (TJ7ih)
Actually, I've pondered that and I may have to do it, but I'm loathe to as a number of my commentors are not Mee.nuvians.
The level of incompetence commonly found in IT around the world often leaves me surprised that anything works at all. But it does seem to be the Obama administration's go-to defence in every scandal of the last six years: We're not corrupt, we're just incompetent.
At what point does incompetence become an impeachable offence?
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Jun 15 01:41:42 2014 (2yngH)
This is the computer equivalent of "my dog ate the homework".
Sure, somewhere out there, there have been verified cases of dogs having eaten homework. But most of the time when it is used as an excuse, the homework was not in fact eaten by the dog... and some of the times when it was, it was first put in the dog bowl after having been rubbed with bacon and drenched in gravy.
It's an excuse offered where the one offering the excuse doesn't actually care if they are believed or not. And, really, why should Obama care? The Senate wouldn't vote to impeach him if he went into the chamber and shot a Senator.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Jun 15 09:05:40 2014 (2yngH)
I would hope the IRS could do better, but I do know a fun IT story from a lower-level governmental area.
All the payroll data for this location (for a couple hundred employees) was handled by one computer. So, the IT "department" (who was one person) was tasked with finding a way to back it up.
The backup consisted of copying the C:\ drive data to the D:\ drive.
Not terribly smart, since anything that wrecks the whole machine takes out both drives, right?
Even less smart when the C:\ drive finally crashed, and at that point our alleged IT professional realized that the D:\ drive was another partition on the same physical HDD.
Said IT person was somehow not fired for gross incompetence.
Posted by: Mikeski at Mon Jun 16 20:16:31 2014 (Zlc1W)
My last full-time network and systems admin job was with a government agency. Incompetence was fine, as long as you stayed in the bureaucratic rails. In fact, *anything* was fine, as long as you never made someone higher up have to answer a question.
Of course, that last bit applies outside of government work, too...but if you're in tight with the bureaucracy, you'll (usually) be protected. Just don't quit. Make them fire you.
Wait...getting off track here.
Posted by: Ben at Tue Jun 17 08:07:38 2014 (S4UJw)
And now it's turning out that six other high-ranking IRS people have similar e-mail retention issues.
They really need to stop buying Western Digital hard drives.
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Jun 18 06:15:46 2014 (TJ7ih)
I had intended to do two posts yesterday including one on the silly Friday the Thirteenth nonsense. Unfortunately my Friday involved, getting off work late, having my car stuck in the shop (where it remains over the weekend), a letter from the VA telling me I owe them 1800 dollars, an attack of sinusitis and a power failure.
On the other hand, while yesterday was the only such quirk of the gregorian calendar this year, there will be no less than three opportunities to post on Paraskevidekatriaphobia next year. Also, today has involved leveraging last nights power failure into about 13 hours of sleep, so things are definitely looking up.....embedded video notwithstanding.
But that's unpossible! The Tea Party is Dead! The newsguy told us so!
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Jun 11 06:13:31 2014 (TJ7ih)
A local Tea Party guy Mike Frese won Republican primary for U.S. 1st Congressional district in New Mexico too. I don't think he's going to prevail over our Democrat incumbent, however. Still, it's not just Virginia.
Bob Parks pointed out that the two major national "Tea Party" organizations who are touting Brat's victory as their victories contributed a total of $0 to his campaign.
Posted by: Mauser at Thu Jun 12 04:21:44 2014 (TJ7ih)
In fairness, Cantor was not a major target for the national organizations because he wasn't really a RINO.
However, Tea Party Express in particular is annoying in claiming Cantor as a notch on their belt buckle.
I still think Cantor should run for governor.
Tonight, due to a certain series of events, I found myself looking up the word "Therian". After some initial confusion I found that which I was looking for...and yet did not need to know.
This in turn caused me to ponder the additional befuddlement that might result if any of them find themselves 'connected' to a platypus.
Pondering such ponderables is not particularly productivel. Thus, we'll try to atone by posting this bit of art for Ubu, who has pointed out some information that looks to be worthwhile indeed.
Most of the best anime shows I've watched recently have been recommendations. Now, I sit and look at the current and approaching line-up and see a vast wasteland, but there must be something that doesn't suck.
So what's good in the world of anime?
As "Good" is highly subjective, here are the shows that I've most enjoyed over the years.
1My luck with recommendations is terrible. Nanoha almost made me quit anime altogether. Railgun was the only show where I loathed characters enough to think how I would kill them (I think poison is the best: works on teleporters). AsoIku took me 1 episode to drop. Mouretsu lasted 5. Other heavily recommended shows that I happily dropped without much drama included Minami-ke, Mai-HiME, Ai yori Aoshi, Princess Tutu, Clannad, Magic Users Club, Hand Maid May, PlanetES, Macademi Wassoi, true tears, Kurau, and a few others. Not all were terrible. In particular Princess Tutu is a masterpiece. But nonetheless, the recommendations didn't work.
Giving recommendations is difficult and I hate to do it but since no one else has I'll take a crack at it. So, with a grain of salt, I'd recommend:
Psycho-Pass, Steins;Gate, Kino's Journey, Kemono no Soujya Erin, Haibane Renmei, Ichigo Mashimaro, Shinsekai Yori, Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Eve no Jikan, Silver Spoon, Kaiba, The Tatami Galaxy.
Posted by: steelbound at Sat Jun 14 17:13:53 2014 (vJ1Dk)
From the above, I'll second Ai Yori Aoshi, Magic Users Club, Hand Maid May, and Macademi Wasshoi as good fun series. Ichigo Mashimaro is great, as is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
Haibane Renmei and Princess Tutu are masterpieces. Absolutely amazing.
As for current shows.... I kind of like the one with the rabbits.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Jun 15 01:51:54 2014 (2yngH)
The Great EscapeBernard Jordan, 89 a veteran of the Normandy landings 70 years ago had intended to pay respects to his fallen comrades by attending the 70th anniversary memorial service yesterday. However, June 5th found him confined to a nursing home and forbidden to attend the ceremony.
In the finest traditions of the British Royal Navy, Bernard Jordan eluded his captors, escaped from his facility and successfully evaded the local constabulary who were called in to assist in his recapture. He then made his way discreetly to the coast where her was able to slip onto a channel ferry, land in France and make his way to join his comrades.
Along the way, to further demoralize the enemy, he stopped for this picture.
We are now Able to Announce an Increase From 340 to 50
It's that new math!
No we're not talking about the chocolate ration. We're talking about the B-61 nuclear bomb. This is a fearsome weapon having a yield that can be varied between the equivalent of 300 tons and 340 kilotons of TNT.
Having first been tested in 1966, the B-61 one of the only two atomic bombs the US possesses and is, by a wide margin, the oldest atomic weapon in the U.S. arsenal. As such these weapons are in need of refurbishment or replacement. The current administration scrapped plans for the reliable replacement warhead on the grounds that developing a new weapon was not in the spirit of nuclear disarmament. However, the aged B-61 (the design of which actually began in 1960) was becoming a concern for reliability (and safety) reasons so something had to be done.
The result was the B-61-12, an program to refurbish and upgrade the bombs. This has caused some consternation on the left as the addition of a GPS guidance package to the bomb, which gives it an accuracy equivalent to the most modern 'smart' conventional warheads is considered by many to be adding a new capability and a possible treaty violation. Given that the "new capability" is simply a greatly increased probability of hitting its target this does not seem to be a particularly meritorious argument.
However, as part of the upgrade, the maximum yield of the weapons is being reduced to 50 kilotons, a tad over one seventh the current value.
Now 50 kilotons is a terrifying thing. For perspective, see what a 21 kiloton blast detonated 90 feet below the surface of the water can do.
For scale, that black stain on the lower right of the cauliflower of death is BB33, USS Arkansas...the only US battleship to fly.
Still, you're reducing the yield to a tad over one seventh of it's current yield. The rationale may be that the weapon's accuracy would allow in some situations a lower yield setting to be used, thus reducing the blast area to obliterate a target and, in the unfortunate scenario where a ground burst is necessary, reducing fallout significantly. That is all well and good, but...
...except in a few very specific, oddball scenarios, if we are forced to use these terrible weapons, collateral damage damage is not going to be a concern.
Nukes are for deterrence.
That means that if we, God forbid, have to use these dreadful devices, we're going to come at whoever pushed us that far like the bastard children of an affair between Andrew Jackson, William T. Sherman and Curtis Lemay. The reason to have these weapons is the implication that we will UTTERLY DESTROY any country that attacked us with nukes or comparable weapons. To that end reducing the yield does not seem wise. It removes an option for greater power if needed and in doing so increases the likelihood that some blinkered individual will conclude that they can "take the hit" and absorb our retaliatory strike.
On the face of it, that's crazy, but if one (for instance) has expressed the opinion that Mao was a man to be admired and that the 'Great Leap Forward' and Cultural Revelation' were noble endeavors...then one might be the sort of psychopath who sees China's billion or so people as "spares". The rather large reduction in yield per bomb might well reinforce that dubious notion.
Now there may be a technical reason for the reduced yield. If the guidance package displaces, say, a tritium tank and 50KT is all they can manage then the increased accuracy is probably a good trade off. But unnecessarily reducing the yield of our weapons so dramatically, when we are already substantially reducing the numbers of our weapons seems imprudent at best.
So...one might wonder "What about the other nukes?"
Well, here's what's left.
B-61: Has already been mentioned. The most common nuclear bomb in the arsenal and second most common nuke in the US Inventory. Also used (with US controlled activation keys) by Germany, Italy and Turkey.
B-83: Designed 20 years after the B-61 it is a very advanced free-fall atomic bomb and has every available safety feature. It is also variable yield 20KT to 1.2 MEGAtons. (1200 kilotons) . By far the most powerful weapon remaining in the arsenal after the scrapping of the B-53s in 2011 . The last US atomic weapon fully tested to full yield. It is neither a reliability nor a safety concern. About 650 were manufactured most of which are still in storage.
W-76: a US/UK SLBM warhead with a yield of 100KT. By far the most common warhead in the US arsenal. Publicly available documents indicate that there have always been some concerns regards this aging weapons reliability. It is currently the subject of a refurbishment program which made the alarming discovery that the technique for making an important component of this weapon had been lost. Reportedly a work around has been developed after 9 years of intense research..It is hoped to have these 30+year old warheads refurbished by 2018. Though doubts about the basic design's reliability may remain.
W-78: The surviving Minuteman 3 missiles were designed to carry three of these 300 KT weapons apiece. There are concerns about its safety and age thus it is being rapidly phased out in favor of 1 W-87 for every 3 W-78s.
W-80: 150 KT This is the warhead on the Air-Force's cruise missiles. It was also used on the nuclear version of the Navy's Tomahawk, which has since been retired.
W-87: 300 KT Originally built for the Peacekeeper missile which could cary 10 apiece, the treaty mandated retirement of those 50 missiles freed up about 500 of these and they are being distributed amongst the 450 surviving Minuteman 3 missiles. This cuts the number of ICBM warheads by a third but improves safety and reliability of the warheads. There was an upgrade proposal to raise its yield to 475KT but this does not seem to have been done.
W-88: Thought to be, in many ways, a much more advanced design than the Air-Force's W-87, this roughly 475KT warhead is the preferred warhead for the Trident 2 SLBM which can cary 14 of them. However, the Trident is limited by treaty to 8. This weapon is considered to be by far the most advanced US nuclear warhead, more than quadrupling the yield of the similarly sized W-76. This weapon was to replace all of those older warheads but production was shut down at only 400 after the EPA/FBI raid on the Rocky Flats production facility in 1989. Although it was intended to restart production in the early 90s it was not resumed...in the US.