February 27, 2017
Today was the Day Today I saw the doctor and got some news. For those uninterested in my banal existence, here is something completely different.
A good end.
Art by Hews Hack (totally NSFW)
How About...Can We...I mean...If They're Just Little Bitty Ones?
Some small ones. Mostly under 3 kilotons.
Because small is relative.
Do not click on the You Tube channel, it appears to be run by crazy people.
But the 'splodies are pretty.
February 26, 2017
Milo The Milo story broke as I was preparing to go into the hospital and I only became aware of it in the waiting room. I was horrified...though not as much as I was 2 days later.
A bit of background:
Milo Yiannopoulos is an exuberantly gay Catholic Briton of Jewish decent with a black boyfriend. Milo is also a loud, obnoxious, rude and crude advocate for free speech and vocal opponent of both government and corporate censorship.
Naturally this assortment of characteristics got him pegged as a NAZI.
Obnoxious, rude and crude don't actually do him justice, as he has had a tendency to be sadistically catty in a way that only urbane queens can pull off. In his case this caused some anxiety because as we all know, gay men are not actually people, but a variety of animatronic fetish dolls whose only legitimate functions are to provide upper middle class white women with affirmation of their grandeur and opportunities for virtue signaling.
Sadly, Milo did not fulfill this important societal niche, at least not in the approved way. He did not turn his poison tongue against working class pizza waitresses of limited means, but rather against hollywood celebrities, as well as powerful lobbyists and activists in the gaming industry. He said some things that I think were rude and unescessary, and he hurt his argument sometimes through the exquisite sadism of his insults.
He also tended to be on the bad side of some truly loathsome individuals as seen in his habit of going after pedophiles and exposing them. Amongst those were Sarah Nyberg, and Chris Leydon and he was an early voice sounding the alarm about Jimmy Savile.
So it was pretty horrifying to learn that an interview of Milo with him advocating for pedophellia had turned up.
It's at least as horrifying that this story appears to be bunk, yet has cost this man his job, his book deal and his good name.
Here is what was expertly excised from the tape:
Milo’s money quote, which was edited out of the video, is this:
The law is probably about right, that’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about okay, but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age, I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who are sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world by the way. In many cases actually those relationships with older men…This is one reason I hate the left. This stupid one size fits all policing of culture. (People speak over each other). This sort of arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys you know understanding that many of us have. The complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex. In the homosexual world particularly. Some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents. Some of those relationships are the most -”
Well, Milo's been an ass again, but that's hardly a new development. Milo, himself a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, did NOT advocate for pedophelia. He's said numerous times that he considers it to be possibly the worst crime possible.
Milo Yiannopoulos is often not my cup of tea, but he's been nuked from orbit by a false claim and his job, book deal and reputation are currently smouldering ruins.
That bothers me for some reason.
There are a few others who have opinions that diverge from the "It serves him right!" school of thought.
The charges against Milo are contrived from a) video editing and b) rumor and innuendo and c) pretending no one ever used the word "boy” to mean man, thereby meaning playboy is for 10 year olds and "playing with the big boys” means middle schoolers.
IF the attack on Milo were about, say how outrageous he got before the election (he’s been walking it back since. I suspect he gets a little battle mad as I tend to.) I’d shrug and say "whatever”. However this is a contrived and false attack and one that apparently came from the right but is teaching the left the way to take every one of us down. You might not like Milo or his lifestyle, but you should not under any circumstances, applaud this means of taking him down. And if you do, I hope you experience likewise and get to experience what you like so much. There is a good chance you will. They’ve tasted blood with Milo. We’re next.
John C Wright (Who, it should be noted is a fairly hardcore social con, going to bat for the gay guy whose being accused of child molestation.)
I have been on the receiving end of a coordinated libel Campaign like this but smaller and not this vicious.
The tactic is simple: simply edit what the victim says to make it sound like he said what you want him to say.
Then you have your Newsmen and paid trolls repeat it.
By the time the truth comes out, everyone already believes the narrative and it’s too late.
I realize that if you have never seen a fake edit job before, it will fool you. What you do to do a fake editing job is take parts of one sentence parts of one conversation and clip them to another. In this case you take a conversation about how many times two college students engaged in copulation are required to ask each other about the continued ongoing state of their consent, and then you clip in a discussion of the consent between a 17 year old and a 27 year old gay couple.You take a sentence where the speaker uses the word ‘boy’ to refer to a seventeen-year-old and you clip it to a question when someone is asking about a 14 year old boy , clever editing makes it sound as if he is talking about lowering the age of consent to 14
Having unloaded these truths, Milo nevertheless completely agreed that the legal age of consent is a good thing and lands on the right age. The unspoken conclusion driving that statement had to have been that, given the broad spread in age of sexual maturation, it’s appropriate for the law to err on the side of caution to protect the maximum number of children from sexual predators.
Neo Neocon hits on what I think is the real problem with Milo's nosehair curling rant...
As an abuse survivor, Yiannopoulos thinks he can say that consent can be given in such a case, apparently because he thinks he gave it. But that shows one of the problems with sexual abuse, and it’s not just the problem of an adult exploiting a child sexually. It’s the problem of an adult messing with a child’s mind. Because the relationships Yiannopoulos describes are actually betrayals of the child/teen in the guise of "helping” the child, betrayals that may even feel good to the child/teen in certain circumstances but exploit the child/teen’s psychological, emotional, and physical vulnerability.
Kate Paulk's piece contains this brief passage that's almost free of obceneties.
Let me be absolutely clear here. The stickybeaked moralists who are claiming that Milo Yiannopoulos somehow brought this shitstorm on himself because his lifestyle squicks them are endorsing lying to eliminate a person. They are endorsing show trials and guilt by association and all the evils of every fucking Communist regime ever. They are endorsing the tactics both the Soviets and the Nazis used to crush dissenting voices and enemies of the regime.
I'm a southerner and, arguably, a variety of social conservative, so I'm not exactly a Milo fanboy, but I do note that in general, Milo, as a reporter, as well as a rabble rouser, gave considerable discomfort to the powerful, and defended the innocent.
He may well deserve criticism's. Lets make damned sure they are for things he actually did.
So...Amazon I'm not the only one who's noticed a certain odd trend in your recomendations.
I wonder if perhaps this charmingly naive Twitterer has stumbled across the cause of your confusion.
I mean really; "algorithim" as an excuse can only take you so far.
February 25, 2017
The First 12 Minutes of Yamato 2202
Note that the name Star Blazers is in the title.
February 24, 2017
Oh. That's an Unexpected Happenstance.
February 23, 2017
We Ought to Name Them After the Days of The Week*
Wow! No less than SEVEN planets ranging from roughly Earth to Mars sized have been discovered in the TRAPPIST-1 solar system. No less than three of the planets are in the habitable zone!
All 7, at least theoretically, could have water on their surfaces, though on the farthest planet, any water would almost certainly be ice, and the closest are...borderline. However, at least one of the planets in the habitable region has tentatively been identifies as being of water rich composition (mentioned at about the 04:40 mark in the embedded video).
Note that NASA recently tightened the definition of Habitable Zone which effectively reduced it in width for any given star. This model does not take into account many potential atmospheric effects, but does account for other things. By the older, less restrictive definition (given the distance from the star and sufficient atmospheric pressure, could liquid water exist on the surface of the planet) Venus, Earth, Luna, Mars and Ceres are all in the habitable zone of our solar system. Note too, that under the new rules Earth is a borderline case.
The star is being described an ultra-cool-dwarf, which is NOT a charismatic little person, but a stellar spectral type classification (L-T) that has recently been shoehorned into the demarcation between red dwarf stars and brown dwarfs (which are substellar). The star is only 11% the diameter of the sun or about the size of Jupiter (though much more massive). The orbits of these 7 planets, therefore are pretty close together, kind of like the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, but they are much much larger. This means that...well...look...
From the video, this completely hypothetical view from the fourth planet out is quite speculative and hopeful regarding the snow and water and transparent atmosphere. However, given the latter, is accurate regarding the view of other planets.The other planets, at certain times of year would appear as actual planets rather than wandering points of light. In some cases, planets in adjoining orbits would appear bigger than the moon. The planets are all closer to their tiny, cool star than Mercury is to ours.
Interestingly, while ultracool dwarfs are red stars, that is because so much of their emissions are in the infra-red. Their VISIBLE light from them (or red dwarfs for that matter) would be perceived by us as very similar to our own...basically white-yellow as all the colors are mixed together unless refracted, for example by a prism. (Earth's sun is technically a green star). There are some things missing from their spectrum though, blue and some greens are absent. Thus, optimistically assuming a Nitrogen atmosphere like ours, the nitrogen would not lightly reflect the blue as it does here, thus, the daytime sky would not be blue, but would be transparent. So, if not looking directly at the star, on an optimistically assumed clear day one might well see a black nightlike sky and even see stars (and passing planets) at noon if one was not looking at the star. Green plants, oceans and rainbows would look...different.
I guess Trappist-1 really IS an ultra-cool dwarf!
Image from Wikipedia's Trappist-1 entry.
They are remarkably similar in size with much less variation than our solar system's rocky planets, ranging from a bit larger than Mars to a tad bigger than Earth. Given the proximity of the planets to one another (as little as 1.5 times the distance to the moon) and super short orbital periods (years on these worlds range from 1.5 to 20 DAYS) they would periodically subject their neighbors to tidal forces, that would provide tides in optimistically supposed seas and perhaps facilitate magnetic fields on the smaller planets in much the same way that Ganymede has one. This would greatly increase the possibility of life. Finally, since we're engaging in highly optimistic ponderings, such tidal forces might interfere with and prevent the assumed tidal locking.
Given current technology, 40 light years might as well be infinity. We could, if we went balls-out and spent something like the budget of the USN for a decade or two, we could make something related to an Orion type starship that could make 5-10 percent the speed of light (max) which would get us to the nearest star (ProximaCentauri at 4.5 light years) in 45-90 years. The Trappist-1 system is a tad under 40 light years away and would be 400-800 years...which is a rather unsatisfactory commute. Still, this discovery is beyond cool and there is the infinitesimal possibility that something like the Alcubierre-drive might be possible and get developed.
Here, one of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes takes a moment to show off the 'work" she's planning on getting done in the hopes that she can one day see this wonder up close.
Art by Sukabu
*There is symmetry in this: The days of the week actually were named after Graeco-Roman astrology, specifically, the 7 classical planets (which included the sun) themselves then named after the high ranking members of the Roman pantheon.
February 22, 2017
That Could Have Gone Better There were complications.
A chunk of stone is still lodged in my kidney, and further surgery is needed, in a week or so. I the meantime, I hurt rather a lot and I'm unable to work or go to school.
On a positive note...baseball!
February 21, 2017
Surgery in 25 Hours There's a slim chance that It will be delayed due to the abominable cold I caught nephew-sitting Saturday night. I think I'm almost over it though.
Obviously, blogging will be even lighter for at least a while so here, to tide you over, is an engineer's solution to "the Catbus problem".
...and since all my cow friends are Jerseys and Longhorns I'm gonna hafta' send you on your way.
February 18, 2017
RWBY Season 4 Ends Well, we're two weeks late in our appraisal, but then, out of 12 full episodes, we managed no more than four other reviews this season as life's interventions caused a substantial delay in watching the show this time around.
Thankfully, it was worth the wait.
"See guys, it says here that we ROCK!"
At mid-season, RWBY's five disparate plotlines began to converge, but not as expected. Instead of having the groups all come together, the various plotlines converged in their tone, with 5 different flavors of existential dread being presented. These, counterintuitively, coincide with the show largely regaining its optimism.
Monty would be proud.
The next season looks to be the last and this finale tees it up perfectly. My only complaint at this point is that we've got 8 more months to wait for it.
UPDATE: Rereading the post, I should have mentioned that the ending of this season is not so much a finale, or a cliffhanger as a pause point in the story.
February 15, 2017
Churchill Tried to Warn Us! I asked of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes comment on this headline.
Churchill essay on the possibility of alien life discovered in US college.
Next time, I'll specify that she comment on the article.
February 14, 2017
Ouch I'm still banned from commenting here due to a certain incident in Niue a few years ago, but I've had a knee issue. Knee damage sucks. Send some good wishes and kind thoughts over there.
"Wait...she missed the knee!"
Art by Donarudo
A Study in Civic Integrity
Happy Singles Awareness Day!
BOOM! One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes reacts to news that a small U.S. aerospace company in Bolder is branching out into supersonic airliners...
Real Clear Future has an interview with the founder and CEO of Boom Technology a small aerospace company that is designing a three engined, small (45 passenger) airliner with intercontinental range. The small size, is, in part, to mitigate overland sonic booms. A proof of concept prototype is set to fly this year.
Given that the prototype is a two seater, the proposal is not as far along as the article suggests, however, BOOM Technology is not quite vaporware, having done work for LockMart, Boeing and Space-X. Additionally, Richard Branson of Virgin Airways has agreed to buy the first 10 of their airliners, which they hope to sell him in 2023.
Of course no matter how small their sonic boom, commercial supersonic flight is illegal over the United States, so they are focusing on overseas routes for now. However:
Scholl: My view is that when you can get from San Francisco to Tokyo faster than San Francisco to DC, there are going to be a whole lot of influential people who are motivated to get those rules fixed. I think we'll see that coming. That said, apparently fixing this is on Trump's first 100 days agenda, so we'll see whether that comes to fruition.
While this proposal is at least as well removed from the ticket buying phase as other, projects in the same vein, what is intruiging about this is the attention to ticket price by the designers. Round trip prices to places like London, Sydney, Auckland, and Tokyo are estimated to be in the 5-7000 dollar range. Pretty steep, and three to five times what one might pay for a coach seat, but in line with business class....and it's supersonic flight.
We'll wait and see if their prototype even flies, but this is something to keep an eye on and look forward to.
February 13, 2017
Oh look! They can cast She-Hulk now.
Because in Russia, cute girl bench press YOU!
February 12, 2017
Yikes! (Multiple Updates) It appears that the tallest dam in the United States is about to fail. Evacuations have been ordered for 60,000 people. The Weather Channel briefly interrupted its ZOMG! THERE'S A BLIZZARD IN THE NORTHEASTERN U.S. IN FEBRUARY!1!! coverage to mention that there is a major issue with the evacuation due to an issue with the roads, though it is unclear what this issue is. Aside from that brief mention, I see nothing on any of the cable news networks which are running perecorded talking heads shows, prison dramas, The Grammys or Anthony Bourdain.
This could be a true catastrophe. Thousands may be about to die, some because they were watching cable news instead of skimming news feeds before going to bed.
Why do we have these 24 hour cable new networks? This would seem to be news.
UPDATE 2: No dam break yet, and it is looking like if it happens it will not completely drain the lake! still this is a very dangerous situation. Sondra K's site was Instalanched into blogblivion earlier, but she is back up and running and the pictures she has of the dam are worth a look.
It looks like one of the big reasons for this debacle is that infrastructure maintenance is not sexy. Authorities were warned that there were issues with the spillway 12 years ago, but the state decided to spend money on other things (I'll assume it was hookers and blow.)
Of course, given the general unaccountability of government, it's unlikely we'll ever know any of the people personally responsible for nixing the needed repairs of the spillway...oh wait:
A filing on May 26, 2006, by Thomas Berliner, an attorney for the State Water Contractors, and Douglas Adamson, an attorney for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, discounted the risk. It urged FERC to reject the request to require that the emergency spillway be armored, a job that would have cost tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.
In fairness to these two numbnuts, the many issues with infrastructure maintenance are not limited to unseriousness, corruption and the stupidity of bureaucracies...There's malice too!
For a bit over a decade there has been a movement amongst the environmentalists to remove dams note this article which celebrates the removal of dams throughout the U.S.. Remember, these are the same people who demand that we generate power without burning fossil fuels, so their hostility to the only reliable and scalable non combustible, non fissionable energy source indicates...something...(In fairness it could be madness, malice, a lack of reading comprehension or stupidity)
Note too that the recent drought in California was not helped by a lack of reservoirs.
Surgery is Set For the 22nd
It's been a rough week on many fronts but here is a non-canon plushie for any RE: Zero fans that might be out there.
Art by あべちょす
February 05, 2017
Annoying a Certain Segment of the Population
Following on the previous cheesecake post, here is some reproduceable violence not only being perpetrated by boys but portrayed in a positive light.
Since the brief appearance of Jezebel Jade is unlikely to annoy anyone, here she is smoking.
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