Itâ€™s not clear, however, that even well informed Americans realize how dire the situation is. Itâ€™s time they paid better attention, because Chinaâ€™s lawless pursuit of resources and territory is coming to resemble nothing else so much as the behavior of the Japanese empire before World War Twoâ€”a disconcerting comparison I have heard more than once from analysts and government officials here...
North Korea on Wednesday test-fired a submarine-launched missile 500 kilometres (around 300 miles) towards Japan, marking what weapons analysts called a clear step forward for its nuclear strike ambitions.
The flight distance, which was tracked by South Korea's military Joint Chiefs of Staff, far exceeded any previous SLBM tests, suggesting significant progress in technical prowess....
... If fired at the optimum angle, it could cover more than 1,000km, the source said.
Do note the neighborhood it it would have landed in if it had fired at optimum angle.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and allied tribal fighters recaptured the Waleed Border Crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi Border on August 3. ISIS mounted a counterattack on August 8 - 9 against the Waleed Border Crossing as well as the Tanf Border Crossing in Syria, which is held by the U.S.-backed New Syrian Army. Both attacks were repelled. ISW is thus changing the status of Waleed Border Crossing to ISF Control.
Iraqi Peshmerga affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) launched clearing operations southeast of Mosul on August 14 - 15, seizing at least twelve villages in the Ninewa Plains. The operation originated from positions near the Khazir Military Base between Mosul and Arbil, and progressed south towards the town of Gwer. ISW is thus changing the status of this area from contested to KDP Peshmerga Control.
The ISF recaptured the city of Qayyarah on August 25 following more than a month of operations to secure terrain on the southern and western outskirts of the city after security forces seized the Qayyarah Airbase on July 9. The ISF breached the city limits of Qayyarah on August 23, encountering limited resistance in the southern neighborhoods. The ISF secured the city center and government complex on August 24 and Joint Operations Command announced full control over the city on August 25. ISW is thus changing the status of Qayyarah to ISF Control.
The deal with the bananas is that the current banana we get doesn't have seeds, right? That means it cannot reproduce. Nearly all the bananas in plantations in the world are clones and clones of clones of the original mutant that lost its seeds, and as a result they are all genetically identical.
That kind of situation leaves the cultivar extremely vulnerable to diseases. Which can burn through them like wildfire.
It happened one time here in the PNW. The Forest Service had the bright idea of coming up with a super-tree to use to replant clear-cuts, and they ended up with one, which they cloned and planted tens of thousands of acres -- all of which were genetically identical. And then there was a moth attack (IIRC) that seriously devastated that particular cultivar. In a genetically varied population the destruction wouldn't have been as bad, of course, and these days when they reforest they use seedlings which are not genetically identical.
But the current banana is itself favored precisely because the previous one encountered a fungus problem. So it's not like we're looking at the End of All Bananas, just that this particular variety's probably had it. (And, to hear tell, it's no loss - what this variety gained in disease resistance and long shelf life, it lost in flavor...)
Instapundit commenters are having a barrel of laughs at the expense of John Schindler, who is apparently a real person, and produced the following headline: "Married US Naval War College professor put on leave after nude photo he allegedly sent to woman was posted on Twitter". Twitter is clearly his bane... as well as the truth.
Yeah, Schindler face-planted hard several years ago when he pulled an Anthony Weiner. He's a historian of some note and a former spook and been building up his "days since epic failure of judgement" ever since.
Schindler is taking tremendous heat now (265 comments as I type this) because he's spoken ill of Trump, which is an unforgivable sin for Captain Combover's myrmidons. I do note that Schindler has been quite critical of the Republican establishment's treating the rank and file like retarded children...which eventually resulted in such intense (and generally justified) frustration that many turned to Trump.
For all that I generally like Schindler however, I'm deeply, deeply skeptical of coup talk. Trump's statements regards nukes and mercurial personality are probably quite a concern to a lot of GOFOs. Thus there is likely to be some discussion of contingencies for what to do if a nut-bar president decides to launch nukes willy nilly. "Discussion in some circles" is updating contingencies, not plotting a crossing of the Rubicon. Schindler, like so many other people this year is spun up and probably overstated the situation....to such an extent that he probably ought to reset his fail counter to zero.
Also, Pete: your comment preceded the Instapundit post. What set you off about Schindler and/or his analysis? I do not speak or read Russian and the perspective of another Russian speaker on these matters is always welcome.
When Politics and Anime Converge
By far, my favorite cartoon as a child was a show called Star Blazers, the American version of Space Battleship Yamato. It was animated to 1974 standards and so does not have the following today that its story, characterizations and excellent soundtrack would normally warrant*. A remake was done a couple of years ago that was absolutely superb. However, it really went full fan-service with some of the female uniforms (or were they tattoos?) to such an extent that the show was not given the wide U.S. release originally intended.
More importantly for the purposes of this post, the remake lacked this particular scene.
The background here is that the villain, Leader Desslock of the Gamilon Empire, has gotten tired of his galactic navy being roughly handled by the hero's spaceship, the Argo. When our plucky space adventurers (unwittingly) pass within tractor beam range of the Gamilon imperial capital, Desslock decides it's a really good idea to drag them into his home planet's sulphuric acid sea and pound them with all the planetary defense batteries one might expect to be set up at a galactic imperial capital. This is overkill to be sure, but not entirely unreasonable given that the Argo has been a preternaturally tough nut to crack. Obviously an epic battle ensues and umm...
Anyway, then this happened...
Which brought to mind this little on air bit of fun from Rush Limbaugh earlier in the week.
Here Rush, who thought it was a really good idea to throw out a big swath of conservative principles to back a shifty real estate mogul who promised to never waver on one particular issue reacts to the morning paper and , ummm...
Anyway, then this happened...
I've been called a cuck, a fool, a traitor and a snob because I not only pointed out that Donald Trump is a dumpster fire of a candidate, an affront to reason and not someone we want the movement associated with, but that every promise he makes has an expiration date.
This is not in any way meant to support the corrupt, totalitarian, corporatist harridan or carbon taxing, statist, first amendment skeptical "Libertarian"(WTF!?) that captain comb-over is running against, but as I sit here in our smoldering national handbasket trying to ignore the ear-popping from our rapid decent, I am going to take a moment to savor the schadenfreude of this development...and ponder the admittedly silly notion that Trump may in some small way live up to at least one of his supporters hopes....
Re the uniforms in the re-make. Yeah, I'll get to that. I just spent a week with my computer trying to get it back into shape. Still not completely done. One thing I was never able to find was the Perineum-cam shot of the nurse, but then, her uniform has a skirt. But there MAY be one of her space suit.... Still, it looks like she was the only to to escape that treatment.
Friends don't let Friends install Seagate.
Posted by: Mauser at Sat Aug 27 12:11:56 2016 (5Ktpu)
2Star Blazers! Wow, that brings back memories of watching the whole first, and I believe, second seasons (Comet Empire story line) during summer vacation between the first and second grade, 'cause it came on about 9:00 am on some UHF station in the early 1980s. What an awful time slot!
I only knew about the show's overseas origins because my mother was an incorrigible reader of TV and movie credits. It's only been at some point in the last ten years that, thanks to the magic of the internet, I have actually heard the original Japanese version of the show's stirring theme. But for once, the U.S. dub of a Japanese original wasn't half bad, and it didn't stop the schoolboy version of me from running around the neighborhood, singing, "Evil men with evil schemes / They can't destroy all our dreams!"
Posted by: L. Beau Macaroni at Sat Aug 27 20:21:42 2016 (+156S)
Although Proxima is considered a moderately active star, its rotation period is about 83 days (ref. 3) and its quiescent activity levels and X-ray luminosity4 are comparable to those of the Sun. Here we report observations that reveal the presence of a small planet with a minimum mass of about 1.3 Earth masses orbiting Proxima with a period of approximately 11.2 days at a semi-major-axis distance of around 0.05 astronomical units. Its equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface5.
One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes has thoughts on the matter....
This is still, an insanely long way out. An Oriondrive (which involves propelling a ship by exploding atom bombs behind it) could get a crewed expedition there in about 100 years. More advanced nuclear pulse propulsion systems (that, unlike Orion would require considerable advancements to get working) could make a one way trip in around 45 years, as could the proposed laser sail designs.
Ok, that's a littler silly given that one needs to be darned sure of a destination if one embarks on a one way trip.
Obviously an unmanned probe could get there faster still...as little as 15 years for one design using near term technology and a very small probe. Well, that design now has a concrete goal.
And IF there was something very interesting found there...well, assuming a 20 year lead time to build the ship (which would involve the equivalent of constructing 4-10 Nimitz class aircraft carriers in terms of mass) then we could still put a, flag, some footprints and a small town there in the lifetime of the people that set the project in motion.
This is, on the one hand, unspeakably extravagant and optimistic given the challenges our civilization faces regarding its health and even survival in the near term. However, given those difficulties and others peculiar to having all of our eggs in this pale blue basket, such an extravagant project is not quite as insane as it sounds at first blush, given that a successful implementation would mean that our civilization would be multi-stellar at that point and our species's survival far more likely.
In any event, this is an awesome development in astronomy, for other reasons. The fact that the very closest star to our sun just happens to have one of these planets makes the odds of such things far more likely...especially since red dwarf's such as Proxima Centauri are the most common type of star in the galaxy.
The implications for that are nontrivial indeed.
UPDATE: This image, by ESO Calcada is, of course, pure speculation regarding the planet's appearance, but it gives a very good idea of the scale of space. Note that Proxima Centauri is generally considered to be a part of the Alpha Centauri System, Alpha Centauri A and B are both about the same size and brightness of our sun (A liitle larger and a little smaller respectively). Keeping in mind that they are in the same solar system as Proxima, note their distance from their little red companion in this picture.
It is by no means certain that Proxima is part of the Alpha Centauri system, by which I mean in orbit around the two main stars. It's possible Proxima is making a one-time hyperbolic pass.
Which wouldn't matter for our purposes; either way it will be thousands of years before it has moved very far away from where it is now. And if it is in orbit the orbital period is probably measured in tens of thousands of years.
The big question I would have about any planet which is that close to its star (even if the star is a midget like Proxima) is whether the planet is tide-locked. If so, with the same face always toward the star, then you can forget about life.
And you can forget about terraforming.
An artificial colony might still be possible, built at one of the dawn/dusk lines, but it would have to be entirely enclosed.
A different possibility is that it's like Mercury and caught in a 3:2 resonance. Which means each planetary day is 1.5 planetary years long. In that case each day would be 8 Earth days long and each night likewise. I think you can still forget about life; the daily temperature swings would be brutal.
And the only places you might be able to build artificial colonies would be the poles.
Unless it has a substantial moon (unlikely at that distance from the star) it is almost certainly locked tidally. That doesn't preclude life if its in the habitable zone, especially if there is an ocean that allows heat circulation.
There is also the possibility that the atmosphere might provide convectional temperature stabilization and preventing the atmosphere and oceans from freezing out. Interestingly, a study on this recently found that 2/3rds of simulations had this result and due to something to do with coriolis effects, this happy result was quite likely if the day/year was less than 12 Earth days. Proxima Centauri b has a 11 day long year.
As you mention, it could be in resonance Mercury in which case it has long days and nights. Given that this planet's year is about 11 earth days long, 3:2 resonance would mean nights lasting 14-15 earth days which isn't a deal breaker. Dense, biologically rich forests in Alaska have that much darkness or more.
A bigger concern, would be magnetic fields, though even regarding that, Ganymede, which is an icy moon, far less dense than Earth, and tidally locked to something far less massive has a powerful magnetic field. A much more massive terrestrial planet with a big iron core would have a far more powerful one which might protect it from having the atmosphere stripped off.
Finally, a tidally locked world still has a slight wobble (libration), allowing for a "day/night" cycle around the twilight band.
Note that during the time represented by nearly 15 minutes of this 15:56 minute video (which slows down a bit at the end), slavery was an ubiquitous institution except in isolated locations for fleeting seconds. The fruits of the enlightenment are an aberration in history that have survived as of now for a far shorter time than the vast majority of nations. This is far from mankind's natural state and we desperately need to grasp how precious and fragile this anomalous blossoming of knowledge and human rights is.
A couple of things about that sentence: "Earthlike" in that context seems to mean a terrestrial planet, which is referring to rocky worlds like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars...only one of which would be described by laymen as Earthlike. The habitable zone of a red dwarf is very narrow , so this is a very lucky happenstance if their figures are right. Note though, that we have three terrestrial planets in our solar system's habitable zone and only one of them had everything break just right. Finally, the actual paper has not been released yet, The article is based on an anonymous leak to Der Spiegel.
It should be noted though that even this, closest of stars would take thousands of years to reach with our current fastest spacecraft. Nuclearpulsepropulsion and lasersails however, both have the potential to reduce that to less than a century.
"Science Babe" is Mercy from Overwatch as imagined by GGGG
Painting is an imagining of another planet orbiting a red dwarf in a trinary star system Gliese-667c and comes via ESO-Calcada
This show has been the bright star in the past couple of seasons of dreck. But that doesn't mean it's an easy watch at times. If you think about it, the hero is caught in a hell from which not even death is an escape.
Posted by: ubu at Wed Aug 17 09:30:02 2016 (SlLGE)
that's Puck...OH MY GOD IT'S PUCK.......well that does raise the stakes a bit and makes his offer of elopement more understandable (also futile).
It only registered in the latest episode that Reinhardt the sword master is almost certainly the son of Crush's Butler...he has his mother's eyes and hair too.
* "SOON!" in this context is to be understood as applying to a geological timescale and as such given the great difficulty of extrapolating developments over time might be better understood in layman's terms as "maybe" Additionally, in cases where there is a cursory understanding of biology or the knowledge that skinks are not snakes and have legs to begin with, "SOON!" as used in this post title might best be interpreted as "probably not".
Unimpressed by the premise and the series poster (which screams harem) I started this show several weeks late. Life's little interventions have seen to it that I'm still 5 episodes behind, but this series warrants some comment before I rectify that transgression.
Subaru Natsuki takes a break from his grueling schedule of computer games to zip off to the local convenience store for a bite to eat, upon walking out his vision goes blurry for a moment and as as he refocuses, he notes that he is not in Saitama anymore...
Our intrepid hero, after a moment of astonishment is remarkably calm. Having played MMORPGs and watched anime all his life, his first conclusion is not that he has had a stroke, or suffered head trauma, but that he has been drawn to this world to be a champion.
Over the course of the day he notes that he is illiterate in this land, has no legal tender, no special powers, and his starting inventory consists of a bag of nabs, a cup of tonkatsu ramen, a manga, a cell phone ( that is of limited utility as he is currently out of area) a jogging suit, a wallet and a plastic bag. Things begin to deteriorate from there until he encounters a young half-elf lady who introduces herself as Satella.
She determines, via inspection of his hands and physique that Subaru must (like her) be foreign nobility. They assist each other for approximately 17 minutes at which point the aforementioned situational deterioration resumes...with interest.
She dies. He dies. Everybody dies, quite horribly, painfully and graphically. However, Subaru discovers that he has one unique ability here. When he dies, he materializes alive, but with all of his memories at the time and place that he entered this realm.
This is an astonishingly well written and thought out show. Subaru is a teenage geek and the story pulls no punches in laying out his delusions and incompetence. However, while he is realistically portrayed as initially pigheaded and self absorbed, he gets better in a believable (given the conceits of the show) and satisfying way. This is some of the best character development I've seen in a while. Subaru screws up a fair amount, but his errors are often not stupid. He learns from his mistakes and even when he learns the wrong thing he never stops fighting the good fight. Subaru is also terribly alone, not just because he's in a strange land, but because he becomes privy to a secret he cannot share, and what those around him assume to be flashes of insight are earned in the most horrible and painful way possible.
Yeah, every time he dies, he re-spawns, goes through the whole process again, makes a note of where he screwed up and tries to save the day from a different angle...as often as not he dies again....horribly. painfully and with the memories of his agonizing and multitudinous dismemberments weighing on his sanity as he tries again from yet another angle. At least he finds that if he goes long enough without dying, his resurrection point changes to a time and place more recent. As taxing as his death scenes are on him, the biggest scar on Subaru's soul may have been inflicted that one time he didn't die. His character development includes quite a bit of PTSD which is completely believable.
"Satella" is an astonishingly well realized character. She too is, for different reasons, quite pointedly alone. However, what is remarkable about her is that her responses to events and, in particular, Subaru's antics are all quite realistic (given the caveat that she's a bit of an odd duck). She is very well written and comes across as an actual, complex, believable young woman. She is a magic user of some skill, but she has great strength of character as well.
Her real name is Emilia, and she has been brought in from afar on the sponsorship of a local nobleman as a contender for the throne of this kingdom. There is a succession crisis and all the local candidates of eligible bloodlines represent special interests that are at odds with one another. The nobleman introduced her as a long shot candidate in the hopes that her unbiased outlook would prevent civil war...at least that's his official story. That she is a result of miscegenation makes her a particular long shot and has complicated her life quite a bit.
This is one of those shows that looks like the writers sold it to corporate as a harem show, and included several potential suitors for our hero in the concept art. However, that is a cunning misdirection. While there is, at episode 14 at least the potential for a love triangle or an alternate love interest in another extremely well realized female character, this is not a harem show at all. In fact the poster at the top is quite misleading as it leaves out all of the male characters except the protagonist...some of whom are actually attached to women in the picture
Re: Zero Starting Life in Another World is (as of episode 14) a first rate fantasy, gut wrenchingly dark at times, but surprisingly intelligent and beautifully characterized. This is a really good show that has kept me on the edge of my seat. I'm enjoying it immensely.
Do note that there are two pilot episodes(1A&1B)...you do need to watch them both.
UPDATE:Also, while this is a wonderful character centered adventure, I may have understated how graphically violent this tonal rollercoaster occasionally is.
The Jovians Are Real and They Have a Theremin!
The weather has denied me a look at the Persieds, however one of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes has found something 73.8% as cool as a meteor shower!
"And it even involves magnetism!"
Wait...this sounds just like a sound effect from a late 50's Toho film. How did they know?
...not found on the word Australia are "O" and "Z".
So why do they call it Oz?
If antipodean issues of such consequence concern you then you should be aware that the Island Continent's burgeoning Jedi demographic is becoming something of an issue. Yes, it appears that a certain subset of Atheists is upset that a large number of individuals are declaring Jedi as their religion on their census forms which they claim hurts them....somehow.
The AFA is concerned that if the government tabulates more people as religious, theyâ€™ll aim policy and tax dollars that way, instead of accurately serving the atheist percentage of the population.
Wait.What? Does the Aussie government have separate homeless shelters and scholarships for various categories and degrees of belief that strictly segregated?
Why is this a problem?
Well...funny you should ask.
You see, three days after the 'tweet' in question, the Chinese Government concluded that they didn't have enough people upset with them over Scarborough Shoal and felt it necessary to announce that the CCP frickking HAETS Australia!
Analysts say that besides trying to please the US, it also intends to suppress China so as to gain a bargaining chip for economic interests. China must take revenge and let it know it's wrong. Australia's power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike..
Other than a brief introduction and the concluding threat to sink RAN vessels, the rest of the piece by the state run paper is mostly a series of insults directed at the Aussies.
Now some people might suggest that the stories are unrelated and that China's threats are a part of the ongoing territorial disputes, having nothing to do with the Jedi controversy (or abbreviations).
Steven, when you upload a video, YouTube shows you three frames. I think they're taken from the 25%, 50%, and 75% marks but I'm not sure. You pick one of them. I've heard people just edit the video so that the frame they want is in one of those positions. Dunno how much effort that is.
Posted by: Rick C at Mon Aug 8 16:49:30 2016 (ECH2/)
You can also upload any still image you want. So he could have done a screencapture and then uploaded the screencap and used it.
When people on the news call Donald Trump a racist, I find that statement difficult to believe. Like myself, Donald Trump is a life-long New Yorker. Donald Trump lives, works, eats and employs people of all races and religions. Like many of my fellow New Yorkers, Donald Trump speaks his mind and that type of behavior can easily be misunderstood by people who are not New Yorkers.