However, here is a panel of actual experts including James Woolsey and Henry Cooper (who some of you will remember from his work with HIGH FRONTIER) who, in 2013, held forth on the matter for a bit over an hour.
Amongst the things discussed is the possibility of multiple cascading Fukishimas. I was also surprised at the offhanded comment about the North Koreans being caught smuggling missiles into/ out of Cuba.
One other interesting bit of information we've turned up on the topic pertains to the more modest nukes and delivery systems that a group with ambition and cleverness could extemporize. In 1958 the US conducted a series of nuclear tests called Hardtack 1. This included a test to determine the effects of a anti aircraft missile warhead that was simulated by lofting a small fission device via a ballon. The yield of shot Yucca was only 1.5 -1.7 kilotons but according to this article, the detonation was just high enough to trigger the High Altitude EMP effect. The fact that most of the observation equipment was destroyed by power surges was chalked up to improper calibration until the later high altitude tests that had populated areas (Like Hawaii) in line of sight revealed that the problem was not with the test equipment. Note that the tropical location would result in far lesser effects than one in a middle latitude location like the continental United States or Europe or Australia....or Kasputin Yar.
So a nuke as small as 1.5 kilotons delivered via balloon could still cause considerable mayhem by tripping breakers and burning out transformers.
Pique Should Not Be a Default State...for Anyone
I'm seeing some wailing and gnashing of teeth over one of the President's recent pronouncements. While I think that it is perfectly reasonable to be prepared to experience horror, bewilderment and dread any time he opens his mouth, it is still important to actually listen to what is said since there is always the possibility (however remote) that such reactions will be unwarranted.
For instance, it would seem to me, given the usual complaints from those complaining, that it would be more appropriate to cheer...or at least nod knowingly at the Presidents completely uncharacteristic decision to defer to state and local wishes with regard to federal land management decisions, and the decision itself seems perfectly reasonable.
Considering the President's motivations, I wouldn't be surprised if he directed the monument to be renamed the Mt. Rushmore Monument at the Lakota name for the mountain. Which isn't really that big of a deal except for all of the politics behind it. It doesn't "fix" or even "help" anything; it's purely a political action, just like with Mt. McKinley.
Less of an issue would be something like Mt. Taylor. It seems that most people know the mountain equally as Taylor or as Turquoise Mountain. If you're able to pronounce Navajo (and even if you can't, for some) you might call it Tsoodzil. If the President wants to rename it, though; he better check in with the Zuni, Hopi and a handful of other American Indian nations that all call the mountain by different names. I notice President Obama didn't check with the Ahtna or Dena'ina to see what name they wanted for the mountain.
Posted by: Ben at Mon Aug 31 17:47:31 2015 (S4UJw)
Looks fun. You can keep your "Buttman vs Stupidman" - I'm gonna go see Ultraman next summer.
Although I supposed that the producers of Ultraman don't want you to spend too much time thinking about all the people crushed to death in those buildings.
Posted by: L. Beau Macaroni at Sun Aug 30 19:19:53 2015 (P2Eio)
You are welcome. It is a pretty useful home remedy, and I was also startled that something so effective isn't more known. (Although it may be one of those things that Greatgrandpa and Greatgrandma knew all about, and just didn't talk about in public.) I gather that normal-strength mint teas help against them forming, too.
PS. I think I found out why you and another commenter have not been able to post comments. It looks like the anti-spam system marked both of you as spam, and I was finally able to find some comments that got marked that way and unmark them. I hope the same thing hasn't been happening to other people. (And I don't know why I couldn't find them before in my anti-spam pile. Wordpress is weird.)
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Mon Aug 31 08:37:58 2015 (ZJVQ5)
Like Izumo, she's named after a prefecture that doesn't exist anymore, so yeah, they are naming them after the WW2 warships.. We think of Kaga mostly in context of Perl Harbor and the Darwin raid, (and Midway obviously) but like Izumo, the old Kaga was heavily involved in the unpleasantness in China...in particular she was the ship that provided air support during the 1932 Shanghai incident.
Pete, consider the reaction in Russia if Germany named a division of brand-new, high-tech tanks the "Barbarossa Division".
Yeah, I'd expect there to be some soiled skivvies in Moscow. Probably much like there are in Beijing over the name of this ship.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sat Aug 29 22:04:36 2015 (jGQR+)
We think of Kaga mostly in context of Perl Harbor...
2. use strict;
3. use warnings;
4. my @attackplanes = ("B5N2", "D3A2")
5. my @carrers= ("Kaga", "Akagi", "Soryu", "Hiryu", "Shokaku", "Zuikaku")
6. use @carriers @attackplanes @perlharbor
7. print "A Day That Will Live In Infamy"
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sat Aug 29 22:15:23 2015 (jGQR+)
Well...I guess I won't be correcting that typo.
Also:Wonderduck wins the thread.
Wonderduck, what blighted moment led to you learning Perl?
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Aug 30 03:36:19 2015 (PiXy!)
Pixy, the moment I saw the "perl harbor" typo. I know Perl much like somebody "knows" something by reading about it on the back of a cereal box.
Seriously, everything I know about PERL came from this website, in about five minutes of reading. I know the syntax is correct, because it's pretty much copied directly from that page, but beyond that? I think the end result of that snippet would be "A Day That Will Live In Infamy" as the "print" command is the only thing that actually does anything in the so-called "program."
I will spend much time for the right joke...
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sun Aug 30 04:29:19 2015 (jGQR+)
Thanks to a brief fad for Perl poetry, it's hard to write Perl that's so bad it doesn't do something. It just may not accomplish your original goal, which makes the joke even better...
My history with Perl began a few weeks before version 2.0 was released, and has yet to end. Too damn useful.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Aug 30 11:30:23 2015 (ZlYZd)
School Live Continues
In the latest episode of this season's surprisingly clever slice of life show, Yuki must catch and wash the dog. Hijinks ensue.
The girls discuss their plans (or lack thereof) for after graduation. Miki stops reading her horror books long enough to conclude that the school being equipped as a civil defense location is actually indicative of some sinister purpose. Yuuri organizes an expedition to sneak into the teachers lounge because SHE MUST KNOW. An attempt at a group photograph goes about as well as one would expect. Sakura Sensei practices her penmanship with heartbreaking results.
I am in genuine awe of this show and how it is able to elicit an actual emotional response from me.
LIKE SCREAMINNG AND CRINGING!
Oh...dear. I had previously assumed that the well equipped school was a function of an affluent zip code and an appreciation for civil defense in a disaster prone country. Alas...no
So what have we learned?
The zombie apocalypse happened because of a bioweapon...the school administration was made aware that this was a possibility. And the school is well equipped for a zombie apocalypse...because it was ACTUALLY equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse. (Apparently it happened at the worst possible time...as the gates were all open as the school was letting out).
One subtle bit...the school is increasingly looking like it actually is rather than as Yuki sees it. This may or may not be tied to Yuki's recurring nightmares.
They still don't seem to have found Megune's epitaph...Which makes sense if that heartbreaking flashback at the beginning...isn't actually a flashback.What I mean is, that it looks possible that when Yuuki says she's going to talk to Sakura Sensei, she could be telling the truth.
I am eager to hear the thoughts of anyone else who is following this show. But PLEASE, use spoiler tags!
Wow. The last few minutes of that reminded me of
"The Andromeda Strain" - the good one, from 1971. Esp about 2/3 into it where they find out that 'Scoop' was a military biowar project hijinks ensue.
I fear this series is taking its inevitable turn towards the horrible; and, thus, I'll have to abandon it at some point. My own fault, really: I just don't want to spend my downtime being miserable. Don't get me wrong: the writing, sound, dialog, and animation are great! I just don't need an outside source to be unhappy. Thus, I'll stick with this, for a bit, hoping for the best for these girls...but I dread.
Seriously. The implications of what they found are horrific. Japan cannot even face up to their own real-life demographic death-spiral, and yet they make an anime that implies it's even worse? The world wonders.
It looks like this is a single-cour season, so it won't catch up to the manga. I took a very quick look at the scanlations, and the good news is that
all four girls are still alive and functional ("sane" is perhaps too strong a word for anyone in their situation), and they've found evidence of survivors outside the school. I didn't read more than a few pages; I'm generally spoiler-immune, but in this case I just don't want to know too much too soon.
Posted by: J Greely at Sat Aug 29 11:17:00 2015 (ZlYZd)
Not clicking...I'm avoiding scantalation spoilers like the plague on this one.
I was ASSUMING that at least some of the balloons they released had useful information like their location and the fact that they had non-infected people on the roof post-plague. Now, I'm not sure that would do any good, since the implication of the manual is that they will just ruthlessly quarantine the valley, possibly forever. The fact that the school is intended for VERY long term survival backs this up. Of course, the contingency manual suggests that disease is so deadly that the whole world might be infected. This unlikely in the extreme given that it's not airborne...but then, it spread through the whole town much more effectively than fast acting rabies should have. Of course this is a trope of the zombie apocalypse genre in general. However, it's also possible that this had a weaponization vector in the early stages. Remember that the episodes that took place on the day of the disaster had news reports of multiple disturbances simultaneously and the very nature of the disease would have meant that hospitals were overrun quickly. Still, it seems too fast acting for lingering vectors to get very far before they become unwelcome additions to the random encounter table...In this sense a good public transportation system was probably not helpful.
Wow, looks like I might be wrong after all (for various values of "alive" obviously). That opening implies that Sakura-sensei managed to escape the zombies after locking them away from the girls. I wonder where the ribbon on her grave came from. Of course, that also brings up the question of the grave itself...which I just don't want to even think about at the moment.
Posted by: ReallyBored at Mon Aug 31 10:02:35 2015 (ulGxe)
Tonight on GATE: After Sneaking a Thoughtful and Intelligent Show Past Standards and Practices for 2 Months, They're Found Out!
Now boarding at GATE 9 bound for Fan Service with stops in Akihabara, suspiciously opaque hot springs, America bashing, dead G.I.s, a cool old dude, otaku affirmation and normally strong female characters doing the paper doll pander.
Please direct your attention towards the EYES of the EGL at the front of the cabin as she adjusts your belt and attempts to convince you that even if she looks 13, her actual age of 961 means it won't really count as loli.
After 8 episodes of sublime storytelling and pacing, this heretofore excellent show surprises us in an entirely new way.
Mind you, it actually does move along a rather tendentious subplot and there is some character development so this is not a complete non-sequitur of an episode, which is, perhaps, unfortunate, as is it were, I could advise you to skip it....especially if yo've been watching this show with your kids. It just doesn't at all fit with the tone of the series thus far and that feeling rather increases as the episode progresses.
There is at least one bit that I hope is foreshadowing though...
I predict ARCHERY!
We also do find out offhandedly that Leili's magic does work in this world...which ought to be a big deal.
This series is now 8 stellar to 1 meh so I'm not by any means dropping it as of yet.
One That Bears Watching
This is a wet one. Erika is just a tropical storm now but its massive rains have contributed to at least four deaths on Dominica. The NWS is still talking cat 1 or 2, but as Rand Simberg notes, the gulf stream is hotter right now than it was during Andrew...meaning that depending on wind shear, this beast could get worrisomely impressive.
Everyone south of Cape Charles would be well advised to keep an eye on this one, get their kits in order and keep their tanks topped off.
Well, This Could Be BetterMonster Musume is faithfully following its comic book inspiration into imbecility and squalor, wasting what is admittedly a fairly interesting cast on prurient pandering to the dolorous, disaffected degenerate deviants that make up its target audience.Obviously this is a show I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in admitting to watching...
"Oh..umm...This?...Uhh...Thi...This is a...a cooking show."
This is not to say that the show is without potential. For one thing, a spinoff centered around the Mrs. Smith and her commando team of mythological monster-maiden myrmidons has a considerable likelihood of being quite entertaining.
UPDATE: In fact, as a friend recently pointed out, such a show would probably be the most enjoyable G.I. Joe sequel possible.
The dimensions of that cockpit are giving me OCD fits. Even if the top of the seat goes into the head-piece cavity, the whole thing looks far too much like mechanical origami. And growing up, we had a neighbor who got badly mangled getting launched out of a crashing military jet, I have a healthy respect for just what tight tolerances can do when you're using an ejector seat at speed.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Tue Aug 25 09:16:46 2015 (jwKxK)
Maybe the seat is intended to flip out the back hatch before firing? (Still crazy: in that case, the design depends on that elaborate seat-deployer hinge thingy being unbent, and the hatch opening as it should.)
Ah well, it's anime world, where giant robot designers have infinite budgets, and neon pink is an acceptable hair color in a professional setting.
Posted by: ams at Tue Aug 25 16:57:29 2015 (GtPd7)
Also, the first aid kit mounted in the hatch is going to be under/behind the seat when she's inside. That seems like the least useful place for it possible other than outside.
Posted by: Rick C at Tue Aug 25 23:02:24 2015 (FvJAK)
People May Wonder
...why I care about a little commemorative rocket that I can never own and affects me in no way whatsoever.
This is why...
I canâ€™t be involved any longer. If it were just meâ€¦ but it isnâ€™t. I have others who need me to stay out of the fight, as much as I hate it. If I keep in the frontlines, I will become a casualty, and I have people who are dependent on me, helpless in the world if something becomes of my good name. And so I must turn away, tears in my eyes, and leave the field of battle. I am sickened, but my duty is clear.
I cannot bay. I have been bound into silence. I bow my head, and exitâ€¦
8 Months to Go
Old Dominion University starts the week before Labor Day so, since I only have a week to go before school starts, I decided just now to check and see if any of my silly busses were online yet so I could order some of my books and also find out if any classes have homework due the first day of class.
What I discovered is that school starts tomorrow...
It's amusing that Larry's tongue-in-cheek invocation of this Sarah McLachlan PSA, exhorting his readers to help end puppy-related sadness, got twisted around by people who wouldn't be caught dead reading so much as a paragraph of his blog.
I'm even more amused that the opposition ended up earning the label Puppy Kickers, abbreviated PK, which evokes their similarity to the Player Killers of online gaming, whose only fun is actively preventing others from enjoying the game.
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Aug 24 00:57:34 2015 (ZlYZd)
The primary observation, I think, is that many recent winners of the Hugo Award are just plain not very good.
I don't know if there was a novel I would have voted for this year. I liked Skin Game well enough, but it's just another solid entry in the Dresden Files, not Hugo material. (Or not Hugo-as-I'd-like-to-think-of-them material.)
Honestly, the last Best Novel I think really earned the title was 2011's Blackout / All Clear, which is / are outstanding (it's one story, but about 1200 pages long, so it was broken into two volumes). Before that, all the way back to 2004's Paladin of Souls.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Mon Aug 24 01:38:11 2015 (PiXy!)
I've been going through some of the recent annual Nebula Award collections (which, tellingly, fall out of print fast and are not available as ebooks), and it's surprising how many of the stories can be converted from SF to F by deleting a few lines. In the 2006 collection (which I bought for an as-yet-unreprinted Vinge story), there was one that was 98% "kid growing up in Fifties US" and 2% "found a dead time traveler". (it lost to a story that was "kid growing up in Fifties US meets housekeeper who speaks in exaggerated Black dialect and teaches her voodoo")
Yeah, the difference between Hugo material and Hugo-as-I'd-like-to-think-of-them material is sad. I've still got Brad Templeton's CD containing the 1993 Hugo and Nebula nominees, and there's just no comparison. There are good years and bad years, but there have been an awful lot of bad years lately, and it isn't a coincidence that this is the year people decided that "nothing is good enough for an award". The in-group liked the bad years just fine.
Sadly, Templeton himself was a reflexive Puppy Kicker, so you can't just buff the rocket (not a euphemism) and call it a day; there may be nothing under the rust but more rust.
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Aug 24 11:35:23 2015 (ZlYZd)
There's plenty of room for an Oscar-type award, where it's voted on by people who are in the industry and understood to be as such. (Nebula, basically.) There's room for a "fan favorite" where everyone gets to vote (Golden Globes basically?)
There's -room- for "favorite of people who attend a certain annual event" too, really. Cannes might be the proper parallel here. However, there's definitely a difference between "they loved it at Cannes", and "it won an Oscar", and "I thought it was pretty good"; these categories are not necessarily mutually overlapping.
Not necessary mutually exclusive either, of course, there's plenty of good stuff that wins a Hugo. But at the end of the day, it's become a fairly poor predictor of things which I might enjoy reading.
"There's -room- for "favorite of people who attend a certain annual event" too, really."
From what I've been reading, the lefties who have been dominating the Hugos have been insisting that they were not, in fact, this, but actually the Golden Globes equivalent.
Then when the Sad Puppies slate got on the ballot, they started spinning in anticipation of a possible loss and claiming it actually is just the the results of some random con, one of the bigger incoherencies in the "them right-wingers can't be allowed to win" movement.
Posted by: Rick C at Mon Aug 24 13:41:30 2015 (FvJAK)
The Nebulas are even more clannish than the Hugos, which became obvious to outsiders when it became the Women's Award last year, to the loud cheers of activists deceived into thinking that SF was "anti-woman" until Just Now (and again this year, with a gratuitous swipe at SP3's imaginary "misogyny").
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Aug 24 17:02:52 2015 (ZlYZd)
To be fair, though, the Really-Old Guard seems to be against all this crap, even when they are leftist as the dawn is east. It's the Middle-Aged-to-Early-Old Guard that is doing the SJW crap.
I hate to say it, but I'm glad so many of First Fandom had died before they had to see this happen to what they made for us.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Mon Aug 24 20:10:10 2015 (ZJVQ5)
Makes sense; you've got the parents who created the wealth, the children who followed their example and expanded it, and the grandchildren who grew up spoiled and pissed it all away.
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Aug 24 21:43:23 2015 (ZlYZd)
A Non Sequiter Brought on By a Mysterious Banhammer
I've been banned by Facebook for some time, and while this seems to be an error that can be corrected, I've decided that having more than one blog is simply more than I can rationalize the time for. If I had a product I was marketing or a fan-base I was interacting with, then a second blog and/or Facebook page would, in all probability, pass a cost benefit analysis. However, to apply that much duplication and added effort to a hobby does not. Thus, for my part, I direct any questions about topics and format to the category tags.
I mention that, in part because, in addition to Facebook, I am banned from commenting at Wonderduck's place.
Now, I had assumed that this was a technical issue with the web service that we share, but I've recently discovered that I cannot opine on Subrban Banshee's site either.
I've ruled out a browser issue.
Thus, I can only suspect that they both found out about that time in '79 when I allegedly precipitated the destruction of a certain old manuscript during a violent altercation with a group of hipster filkers that, in turn, inadvertently resulted in the replacement of Marty McNeely by Svengoulie after I strolled into that Chinese Restaurant to try their Peking Duck.
Let me just say that I am denying here and now that any of that in the previous paragraph ever happened. With that in mind, I have just one more, completely unrelated thing to say....
Thus, it seems likely that game you got from DL Site that you stripped the DRM out of because it was incompatible with anything after XP is just toast.
I am 45 years old. Not counting my old TI-99, I got my first real computer out of a dumpster in 1999. As it and its subsequent replacements have all been Macs, I've never learned code and the magical slabs of seeing are all black box technology to me.
So...Keeping in mind the Gell-Mann effect and the fact that I don't really understand the matter beyond the broadest basics, can anyone opine on the veracity/feasibility of this ?
I've been following this, and the analysis seems to be that Microsoft needs to fire the lawyers writing their EULAs. Basically, Windows 10 provides integration with all of Microsoft's online services and with Xbox, but all the rules for everything you could possibly do with Windows 10 and any linked Microsoft products and services have been shoved into the one 12,000-word document.
In this case, the rules apply to Xbox Live - if you download a pirated game onto your Xbox, Microsoft can remove it and/or cancel your Xbox Live account. But that has always been the case with Xbox.
I'm still a bit leery of Windows 10 and waiting for at least the first update, but you need to remember that Microsoft are looking to upgrade about a billion business users to this new release, and they will get no traction at all if businesses are worried that Micosoft can reach into their computers.
But then, Amazon deleted unauthorised copies of, of all things, 1984 from users' Kindles, so I wouldn't be surprised if they pull a dumb stunt at some point, got their fingers burnt, and had to re-think.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Aug 22 20:59:40 2015 (PiXy!)
Ah. I had missed that this was an X-Box thing...that puts a different spin on it. Thanks!
Hmmm...Your mention of the AMAZON kindle fiasco reminds me of the AMAZON RWBY kerfuffel, which as trivial as it was, struck me as much more worrisome in its implications.
I'm old, I don't get these newfangled gadjitz...so my view of this are not through the lens of someone who is tech savvy and it is probably being tainted by crumudgeonism.
But the ability to go in and rewrite libraries or break ones tools from afar if they have forbidden knowledge or associate with the wrong person...that's the stuff of evil sorcerers; a totalitarians wet dream...
Alas, such worries are for superstitious children of course...and crumudgeons who just don't get it.