August 06, 2015

OK This is REALLY Neat!

Here is an animation of the moon crossing the Earth from a million miles away. Note the lack of rabbits on the far side of the moon.

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Vacation DENIED

Yeah, there's been a LOT of perfunctory posting recently.
As "blog" theoretically means Biographical log, for those interested, there is a disquisition on the banal reasons for this extended programming anomaly below the fold. 

As compensation, here, courtesy of  GATE, (this season's surprisingly enjoyable and intelligent fantasy) is Tuka, Chuka or possibly Tsuka.

However her name is transliterated, the art is by Otono Fei.

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August 05, 2015

OK This is Neat

An old ad for the Seawolf amphibian variant that was aimed at military customers. I'm skeptical about the claim this you tuber made in the title, but I particularly like the boarding operation at 7:00 and "ninja mode" at 8:25. 

This would be my dream plane. 

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August 04, 2015

Post Title Goes In This Field: Remember, Post Titles Should Be Short, Only Two Or Three Words And Be Humorous If Appropriate And Possible, However, Above All They Should Be Relevant To The Topic Of The Associated Post. For Frack's Sake Don't Write A Whole Friccking Paragraph.AND DON'T FORGET THE POST TITLE! Thank You.Management.

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How Much Will 150 Billion Dollars Buy?

Obviously, production and sales tax issues aside, one could purchase 150 billion of those sketchy Dollar Tree steaks. However, one would not be Iran, which is getting 150 billion in frozen assets freed up as part of the deal to...ummm....slow their acquisition of nukes.

Anyway, it is rumored that they have made some interesting purchases:

150  Chinese J-10 fighters  (Guestimated at 5.625 billion)
250  Russian SU-30 Strike fighters (Guestimated at 9.375 billion)
100(!)  Russian IL 78 refueling tankers (Guestimated at 3.5 billion)

That is a hell of a lot of planes.  It's an especially large number of tankers, though if they are serious about power projection 4 fighters per tanker is not just means the Iranians have given a lot of thought to logistics and other non-flashy assets an air-force needs.

The cost estimates come from Wikipedia and Global security and are WAGs only that don't take into account associated ordinance purchases, training or fuel costs. However, 18.5 billion leaves a lot of wiggle room for these and other pointy, sharp things before 150 billion is reached  and its not like the 150 billion is their's extra. 

A few things about this story.
Iran can't actually take delivery for a few years under the terms of the agreement and it's likely that most of the planes couldn't be built /delivered for some time anyway. However  a chunk of the Chinese order (and possibly the Russian one as well) actually appears to be a preexisting order from 2007, which was frozen because of the sanctions, so its possible that some of the planes have been built and also conceivable that the ex-post facto nature of the arrangement could allow delivery sooner than normally allowed. That is unclear, but the deal is so full of unpleasantness that it is not beyond the realm of possibility. 

This story itself is thinly sourced. It has popped up in a couple of places, but it seems to always refer back to the DEBKA story or a Wall Street Journal article currently behind a paywall. However, It is well within Iran's financial means and similar numbers of planes were being ordered in 2007 so it is very plausible. 

This story also gives some idea of what a windfall Iran has gotten irrespective of the nuclear aspects of the deal by having its assets unfrozen. In adjusted dollars this is a slightly bigger infusion of cash than The Marshall Plan was for Europe


Dennis Prager has a good overview of the situation.... 

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Giant Minion Causes Chaos on Dublin Road

That's the headline...

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A Dispatch From the Department of Derp

Dustbury has discovered yet another reason to be wary of Windows 10 beyond the concerns about its security or  the worries that it permanently "upgrades" your computer to telescreen mode.

The Windows 10 error screen...

 "Well, that's...helpful"

Compounding these problems is the fact that Microsoft can't count.  This is either the thirteenth or the seventeenth edition of Windows depending on how one counts. Neither of those numbers is equal to 10. 

It get's worse. As we all remember, following the new numbering system adopted after Vista, the last edition was Eight which means that in REALITY,  we're discussing...


All of Microsoft's desperate obfuscations cannot save them from mockery by anonymous Touhou fans. 

Nineball was unavailable for comment.

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August 03, 2015

Meanwhile, In Remnant

Pyrrha Nikos by Iesupo

In other news, Rooster Teeth has hired You Tuber Dillon Gu as an animator on RWBY, a show about which there have been precious few announcements since the one regarding the resumption of production. Obviously, Project Monty is on the back burner now, but it is still an ongoing endeavor.

 Completely unconfirmed scuttlebut sourced to people who have claimed they talked to Rooster Teeth employees is that the third volume of RWBY will NOT premiere at RTX this year but that it is tentatively scheduled for late fall or early winter.  

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A Few Things That Make One Just Throw Up Ones Hands And Go Watch Cartoons

For many, the major concern regarding the high octane nightmare fuel that is Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is loose nukes getting into the hands of one of the many Islamist organizations that operate in the country with and without official sanction. For instance:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan—Six leading figures of the Pakistani Taliban pledged allegiance to the terror group ISIS, one of them claimed in an audio message released Tuesday
(There is no word on their position regarding Lion hunting.)

 However, the possibility of Pakistan straight up using their atomic weapons in a war is nontrivial. A lethal 12 hour long gunfight in an Indian border town has thrown tinder on the hot-plate that is India and Pakistan's relationship. This despite the fact that no lions were harmed during the incident. 

 It is part of a general pattern of deterioration of India/ Pakistan relations..

Conditions are ripe for a crisis in this strained environment, even more so if a terrorist attack on Indian soil—such as Monday’s—is traced back to extremist groups supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). These rising tensions make crisis management more difficult and increase the risk of a conflict with nuclear dimensions.

Pakistan and India have been to war several times and Pakistan's statement that they consider battlefield nuclear weapons to be legitimate equalizers should certainly give one pause since once nukes start popping off all in a conflict where both sides have them, all sorts of nastiness is likely to ensue. 

Here is an estimate of the soot cloud that would be generated by 100 nuclear weapons of 15 kiloton yield going off over cities. 

The scale on the bottom measures reduction in watts per square meter.

These estimates tend to lean towards the pessimistic, however, this study assumes blast yields somewhere between approximately one half and one quarter those of the underground tests the countries have conducted and since both countries had stockpiles of around 100 weapons in 2011 (and have been building them up since) the number of blasts modeled is perhaps half what one would see in a real war. It concludes that growing seasons would be reduced between 10 days and a month in many parts of the world.
 Smoke emissions of 100 lowyield urban explosions in a regional nuclear conflict would generate substantial globalscale climate anomalies, although not as large as in previous "nuclear winter”scenarios for a full-scale war (11, 12). However, indirect effects on surface land temperatures, precipitation rates, and growing season lengths (see figure, page1225) would be likely to degrade agricultural productivity to an extent that historically has led to famines in Africa, India, and Japan after the 1783 1784 Laki eruption (13) or in the northeastern United States and Europe after the Tambora eruption of 1815 
This does not include estimates of ozone layer depletion which might persist for as much as 5 years. These models should be taken with a grain of salt of course, but it is apparent that if India and Pakistan go at it full on it would cause problems worldwide.

There has been little coverage of the deteriorating situation between the two nations in the U.S. media which is remarkable given that many of the hypothetically targeted cities in the studies contain zoos, which in turn might contain....lions. 


Fortunately, no negative impact upon any lions is considered imminent, hence the lack of interest by the media. 

Ukranian 'rebels' are reportedly building a dirty bomb, ie: a conventional explosive laced with radioactive substances to increase its lethality, or at least fear inducing effect. Like everything coming out of the confused region this should be treated with some skepticism, especially since the media has determined that it does not merit extensive coverage despite the fact that, if true it would be an obvious threat to the proud people eating lions of Kiev


Puerto Rico is defaulting on its debts. This is the U.S. Greece, fortunately no lions seem to have been harmed. 


China's stocks fell 29% in July. This is having some ripple effects, but may, in the short term, lower the number of Chinese businessmen able to pay for safaris to hunt lions. 

Poaching lions is a thing worthy of notice, but when the Jews start to flee a nation, it is warning sign of dreadful ugliness in the works .


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August 02, 2015

That Comment Problem

I've been informed that people not logged into have been getting the following message when they attempt to comment:


I inquired to Pixy as to why my commentors were being harassed by what appeared to be an obscure Egyptian god.
Pixy informed me that he was able to acquire the services of the Egyptian god of what translates very loosely as spam busting for a remarkably reasonable rate.

Unfortunately, this had unforeseen consequences as the contract required that all users be registered as "Members of the Temple" and those who are not member be registered as "Unaffiliated". Fortunately, none of our commentors were sent to Duat before the issue was discovered (except for Wonderduck...He got better). 

Pixy has made arrangements so that non-menuvians can comment by presenting offerings of hieroglyphics via captcha. Note that since Egyptian gods have not been in the deity business since the abdication of Nectanebo the second, and in any event, as this is "payment" for admission to a secular web service, it is not actually considered apostay. 

Anyway...The comments should be fixed and we have captcha now. 

Art by Abusoru, who, to the best of our knowledge, has at no point denied this is a representation of Akismet...and that's good enough for us.

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