It is not that no attention is being paid, it is. Rather there are logistical problems here that weren't present with the other storms that hit the U.S..
Cdr Salamander has thoughts on this here, and makes some interesting comparisons to Connecticut, roughly the same shape, size and population. Also, from his comments section, comes this link, where NOAA is putting up an interactive map of post hurricane aerial photos of the island. These are mostly limited as I type this to the north coast east of Arecibo, but they are pretty scary.
It looks like a nuclear test site.
Those of you who've been in the Southeast in August in the week after a hurricane hits have a very small taste of what it's like in Puerto Rico with no AC, no water and no refrigeration. The mosquitoes are something I don't want to think about. Dengue, Malaria and Zikka are coming if more is not done in the spraying department.
Everything has to get in via ship or plane, so the 'roadtrip for relief' operations that have been so effective in the southeastern CONUS won't work. A lot is actually being done, and theArmy and Navy are bypassing the demolished port facilities with amphibious landing craft. But time is running out and this could turn unspeakably horrible real quick.
One final note, while Puerto Rico's electrical infrastructure was pretty decrepit before the storm, it was not nearly as old as much of the grid is in the northeast. There are challenges in getting replacement transformers and other equipment there due to it being an island, but these are probably comparable to what our great eastern cities would face if the entire northeast were shut down by a Carrington event or NEMP attack. As for the difficulty getting around to fix things and save people, the damage to the trees and structures is consistent with a 1-5 psi blast wave. What Puerto Rico is facing now is the equivalent in damage to a nuclear attack, minus the fires and radiation. It also lacks the sub freezing temperatures that an attack on the northeast in winter would entail.
So don't be smug about out fellow citizens in the islands. How we respond to this will be telling.
This is a Potentially Alarming DevelopmentTFB reports on what appears to be a booby-trapped shotgun that was purchased by a gunstore. It seems to have been modified to shoot a .32ACP into the shooters face when racked.
A group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world have taken the very rare step of presenting Pope Francis with a formal filial correction, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments.
It's being reported as a big deal, but I'm skeptical of modern reporting on Christian denominations, and the only thing I really know about Catholics is that they are just like D&D. (At least that's what the Chick Tracts said.)
It is a reasonably big deal, because it shows that the learned and faithful are getting seriously worried and annoyed. The Church can have some pretty big disagreements going on, without anybody trying something like this.
Of course, the more usual filial correction, historically speaking, has been stuff like Roman mobs expressing their discontent with bad doctrine. (Not super common, either. But it has happened.)
OTOH, when popes really are promoting bad doctrine or trying to ban acceptable doctrine they don't like, they usually drop over dead from natural causes. Not that there's any guarantee that will happen, but it has happened before. (Such correction by the Boss is usually heeded by the next pope elected.)
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Sep 26 22:40:54 2017 (BYYJV)
Suburban Banshee is certainly better educated in these areas then I am, but I'll give my perspective as a member of the laity. I seem to have missed the Sunday school sessions on obscure Canonical Law, but his Holiness seems to have precipitated a situation where opportunity to make up for this lack has abounded in recent months. I'd agree with Suburban Banshee that this is a reasonably big deal, but more as a warning sign of potentially bigger deals ahead if Pope Francis doesn't get some form of consensus formed. To date his track record on this matter is not promising and could be described as having screwed the pooch.
In particular since a certain friar made known his own correction by posting it on the door of a church five centuries ago next month, the Popes have more and more driven change through their subordinate Cardinals and Bishops. They, by and large, ensured this by building consensus among the senior prelates more often then via proclamations and dependence on the vows of obedience of the priesthood. The ancient traditions of councils to determine theological matters dating back to at least Nicaea in 325 provided a solid framework for this. In addition Popes had a powerful tool in being able to control the elevation to the rank of Cardinal and the ability to assign dissenters to the ecclesiastical version of counting mess kits in Antarctica. Pope Francis has been pulling all three levers since his elevation, but it requires both subtlety and political finesse. They generally don't issue proclamations until they have their support firmed up, as they can cause significant backlash otherwise. Saint John Paul the Great was a grand master at this, and even he occasionally had some issues flare up.
This wasn't the first warning sign recently. Four Cardinals released a similar letter last June, called a Dubia, after they had repeatedly approached Pope Francis in private and as a group. This is fulfilling the direction of Matthew 18:15-20 where Jesus directs to offer correction in private, then in front of witnesses, then in front of the Church. Since the Cardinals are under a vow of obedience to The Pope, they presented it as a request for clarification. On the other hand, this new letter probably gives the four Cardinals political cover as Pope Francis would have to act against both groups.
This new letter ups the game by taking it out of the realm of the episcopate and involving lower level clergy and lay scholars. Unfortunately the group who set this up has invited one significant issue on themselves as one of the most senior prelates who signed the letter, Bishop Fellay, is actually the leader of a schismatic sect known as the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which Pope Francis was actively trying to reconcile with the Church.
Pope Francis has a limited number of options, most of which carry significant risks at this point. He can ignore them, like he did the Cardinals, and risk continued escalations. He can try to form another council to forge a consensus, but the last attempt at this seems to have hardened attitudes against the change and risks a disasterous conflict deadlocking the council. He can try issuing a Papal Bull or other such proclamation and risk causing a situation not unlike firing a cannon in a china shop from outrage. And no, Papal Infalability only applies in extremely limited circumstances and I suspect Pope Francis may have difficulty applying it in this case. Not to mention you'd better be right in applying it or your performance review with The Boss later might... suffer. Finally he can warn those involved that they are taking a schismatic stance and are at risk of excommunicating themselves, which runs the risk of 'martyring' them and creating a major rift in the Church.
As for worst case scenario? Well, my reference to Matthew 18 above has one more step, treating the sinner as a pagan or tax collector. Let's all pray, whatever your faith, that it doesn't go that far.
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Wed Sep 27 21:19:36 2017 (0oc59)
That Other "Football"
While millionares who get paid big bucks to play games effectively thumb their noses at the fans who pay to see them, it probably behooves us to remember that "football" is also a term for something rather more consequential.
That seems rather high for anything that the DPRK could put on a missile, but, while the Norks are full of bluster to be sure, for the past few years they've made good on their promises regarding WMD. Note that their last (250KT) test, broke their mountain.
...reports of the mountainâ€™s demise are highly exaggerated, although there is little doubt that there would have been significant "crackingâ€ (possibly extending to the surface) as well as significant "irreversible strainâ€ resulting from this event. Such cracking facilitates radioactive gas seepage in other environments. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not the North Portal will ever be used for another nuclear test. There are still two unused additional tunnel complexes (served by the South and West Portals) that are also deemed potentially capable of further nuclear testing, albeit for tests having lower yields than that of the sixth test.
So, if they want to pursue higher yields (which makes sense if they'll have only a limited number of devices in the near furture) then they probably have to do atmospheric tests as there are so few safe places to do underground tests in the DPRK.
The generally quoted maximum yield to weight ratio is about 6 kilotons per kilogram, but only a few American weapons in the megaton range achieved that. The U.S. reportedly had designs for weapons with yields as high as 11 kt per kilogram in the early 1960s, but such efficiencies are only possible at the very high yields which went out of favor in the U.S. around that time. Note that "that time" was 50 years ago, The DPRK's weapons labs are no doubt well behind those of the other countries today, but it is unlikely that they are substantially less advanced than Los Alamos 50 years ago. The notion that they could put a 15 +megaton nuke on one of their missiles is therefore unlikely, but not beyond the realm of possibility.
There's another really dreadful scenario, and that is that they detonate the device in the water, either as a depth charge or as the warhead on a nuclear torpedo like the Russians are again beginning to deploy. The fallout from such a weapons test would likely be pretty bad, even if less than Castle Bravo.
This brings us, inevitably, to video of Castle Bravo.
Knights and Magic is a perfectly reasonable name for this show and not a misleading title in any way.
Trapped! in a Fantasy World would work too.
IN A WORLDwhere the transmigration expressway missed a turn at Alberquerque, one computer programer is reincarnated as a nobleman's son in a world that's ripped from the pages of Cliffs Notes of the Silmarillion...except for the giant robots.
The main difference between this show and every other show that involves a geek getting zapped into a fantasy world is that he's actually reincarnated and at at some point in his childhood, he encounters a giant enchanted suit of armor (which the knights in this realm use to fight) and suddenly remembers his past life as a highly regarded computer programmer and plamo Otaku.
This show actually starts out remarkably well. The story and world are in a lot of ways, very well thought out.
For instance the way they handle magic is kind of neat.
The reason that our hero is good at magic is that as a computer programmer, he is very good at writing code, and that's how magic works. Some humans and members of an elf like race have the ability to interact with the fabric of the universe and hack reality to an extent (you can for instance reduce gravity and therefore ground pressure, but one can't eliminate it entirely or make the value negative). * Our hero, being a programmer...in a magic school....realizes this and looks at magic as code to be written rather than finite spells to simply be memorized.
There is a nice (and very atypical) side plot involving another individual's redemption, and a lot of thought went into the creation of the world and its characters.
The plot develops quickly but logically, and the characters are well realized. The show has a bit to say about bureaucracies, institutional inertia and how disruptive technologies can destabilize the international order (nothing terribly insightful mind you, but they touch on these issues). This is a nice touch given the premise of the show. It's just a very solid, remarkably well done and engaging show...
quite suddenly, (around episode 9) it appears that the writers received word that the show was only going to be 13 episodes and not 26 or 52 and the pacing gets downright... brisk, while he plotting gets inchoate.
The story moves all over the place so quickly that the show actually gets a narrator around that time to explain all the stuff that they're not showing the audience.
For instance there are fragments of a really moving tale of a crown princess who must come to terms with an awesome responsibility thrust upon her...but most of that it taken care of off camera. There's a villain who seems to have a very dark and tragic backstory that was being developed until it was....not.
The show wraps up QUITE abruptly, and unsatisfyingly. This breakneck pacing exacerbates the main negative issue with the hero. That is, he is so good at everything that he gives off a bit of a Mary Sue vibe...
...in more ways than one.
Even more annoying, there are several interpersonal relationships between various characters that start out really well written and fun (this is, astonishingly, NOT a harem show) These just get left unresolved in the mad dash to wrap up the main plot.
The animation and art design was quite good (with the sole exception of the little mini-mechs, which never looked or moved right). Unlike the plot, this does not seem to have suffered much at the end and remains high quality throughout.
Knights and Magic, despite its painting by numbers premise, had a LOT of potential and seems to have had some real skill and talent working on it. It really does seem that the show was cut short unexpectedly and that is unfortunate. However, we should probably keep an eye on the director Yusuke Yamamoto and the writer Michiko Yokote in the future. Because both of these people have definite skill in their craft.
It seems that his sales are running about 50 copies apiece, and considering that his prices are astoundingly reasonable and he's running all over the country to do research, he can't really justify this.
He's not giving up yet, but he's asking for help in marketing his wares.
And they are awesome wares indeed.
Now I know that some of my readers self-publish and know people who are masters of the ins and outs of self publishing, web-presence and web-marketing. Can we get this fellow some advice, contacts and maybe a link storm?
I've bought most of the available issues of his magazines and have been sufficiently impressed that I've mentioned this fellow before, but it's hard to do justice to how unique this publication really is.
Here...click on this here link, scroll down and browse. The individual issues contain exactly what they say on the tin. If you don't find those topics transcendentally awesome...you are wrong.
A random sampling of articles:
Northrop ST-38 Space Trainer: a rocket-powered T-38 for trips to space "Have Sting:" A General Electric design for a gigantic orbital railgun JPL Thousand Astronomical Unit probe: A spacecraft into interstellar space Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft: A Boeing concept for a giant spacecraft to Mars and Venus Convair Inflatable Spacecraft: an early spaceplane concept One Man Space Station: A 1960 McDonnell concept for a tiny space station Astroplane: A lightweight aircraft for the exploration of Mars Reactor-In-Flight Test: A Lockheed nuclear-powered stage for the Saturn V
Project Orion, USAF and NASA 10 meter designs. This article presents many never before published Project Orion technical diagrams.
ROMBUS/ITHACUS: the Douglas concept from 1963 for a million-pound payload SSTO, and its stablemate that could rocket 1200 fully loaded US Marines anywhere in the world
Convair Mach 4 Seaplane Bombers, by George Cully
Convair's flying submarine.
I gather that his Patreon will soldier on regardless ( that is separate from the magazine and he's doing fiction there as well).
Given that each issue runs between $6 and $10 bucks and tend to have 80 to 140 pages of aerospace might have been goodness you all should probably run on over and start buying before it's gone.
With a little better marketing, it will not come to that, there is no way that there are only 50 people on the internet willing to spend 9 bucks on the stuff in this publication.
Said stuff includes actual designs for space battleships powered by atom bombs.
Wait wait wait wait wait, hold up here... that last graphic, is that... MICHAEL?!?!?!
Okay, no, it's not. No front armor plate, no 16" turrets off the New Jersey, no missile-carrying Space Shuttles, no rocket-powered 5" guns... but holy crepe, that's still awesomely cool!
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sat Sep 23 11:25:28 2017 (Mxu+F)
That was my first thought as well. This is the canonical Michael. And this is the design of the gunships.
Posted by: David at Sat Sep 23 14:29:18 2017 (JMkaQ)
This Did Not SuckThe Orville does not seem to be high art, but it's solid. I've seen two episodes and I'm tentatively optimistic.
I was (pleasantly) surprised that its not a typical Seth McFarlane 44 joke a minute comedy, but rather a very Star Trekesque show done largely straight with a sitcom side-plot and a fair amount of snark.
One thing I do like is that this is not the United Federation of Planets Planetary Union flagship/hottest, most cutting edge starship, but a mass produced 5th rate scout vessel whose captain and several of his crew have had...chequered...careers and this is their last chance to avoid being cashiered. They have this chance due mainly to a severe fleetwide crew shortage due to the recent massive expansion of the Union. This is, however, a small ship, with routine duties, so how much trouble could these spacers possibly get into?
One somewhat bright note: there has finally been word from the Arecibo Observatory, where the scientists sheltered in place. One Astronomer was able to get a message to NASA via short wave today and reported that the 96 foot dish suspended over the crater dish has blown away. There is substantial damage to the main (crater) dish and the stand alone dishes are gone, but the observatory and main dish appear to be repairable.
My Kanji dictionary is not handling simplified Chinese well (seeing as how it's Japanese and all). Typing in via Kana isn't working for the same reason and Google translate is giving me completely different runes for what I think this says.
Anyway, I'm trying to see if this snuff fantasy from a naval journal for killing between 125 uhhh... ten thousands of people and 265 er...ten thousands of people, is referring to 5 yield units or 20 (I don't think the units are megatons as I know the kanjis for that ç™¾ä¸‡å¨ CS & ç™¾è¬å™¸ TC)
Direct Hit at Cat 5
The U.S. is certainly making up in sheer destruction for our last several years of luck regards hurricanes.
155 mph winds, and it looks as if the eyewall is going to pass over the whole island of Puerto Rico.
It must be especially harrowing in Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I.
In most of the U.S. if a hurricane is incoming, you can just drive to Montana if you want to, but on the states and territories that are islands there's nowhere to run.
Even more frightening is that we're not the worst off. In addition to the other Caribbean islands that were flattened by this series of storms, the U.S.M. has been getting nailed from above and below, with multiple high magnitude earthquakes and a tsunami adding to their recent hurricane woes.
I saw a report this morning that said that the entire island of Puerto Rico was without power. That seems statistically unlikely, of course.
However, the Puerto Rico branch of the company I work for is closed until further notice. That was a notification I've never seen before... usually they'll say something like "the Houston office will be closed on Wednesday due to inclement weather." So saying "until further notice" makes me think things were pretty bad.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Wed Sep 20 19:09:22 2017 (1zQhi)
Add in a damn that's about to burst above a town of 70,000, and Puerto Rico is really screwed.
Posted by: Mauser at Fri Sep 22 22:43:52 2017 (TYvUn)
UPDATE: Well, it appears that the epic formatting issue in the previous post has been fixed and that sea monsters were not responsible in any way. We apologize for the hurtful, unwarranted and irresponsible speculation.
We've purloined ourselves some treasure. Unfortunately the sea-chest we made off with had nary a dabloon init', and instead was filled with various pieces of artwork...which we obviously cana' bury due to the lack of proper climate control in desert island sand.
So... while we keelhaul the scurvy dog what grabbed the wrong chest, we'll be displayin' our latest booty.
I want people to be safe, but if you're not prepared to handle a hurricane, you've got no business living in Florida. (I say this as someone who has lived in Florida in the past, and lived through several hurricanes.)
Posted by: Rick C at Mon Sep 11 14:49:38 2017 (ECH2/)
Also,(I didn't see a way to attach an image in the wysiwig editor, so I used the HTML editor. Sorry if the post looks bad. Also, why does the source editor use a small caps font? This is horrible. I feel like I'm writing a telegram, except for not using words instead of punctuation.
Posted by: Rick C at Mon Sep 11 14:54:42 2017 (ECH2/)
Posted by: Wonderduck at Tue Sep 12 00:54:33 2017 (1zQhi)
Wonderduck, for about the fifth time, I use the link inserter in the editor. I don't care that you don't believe me. Take it up with Pixy. You'll notice I don't put any image links on your blog, since I can't do them in away that pleases you, so please don't follow me around complaining about it on other blogs.
Would it get you off my back if I recorded a video of me using the editor to add a link and post it to Youtube?
Posted by: Rick C at Tue Sep 12 08:08:43 2017 (ITnFO)
Not trying to pile on here, but perhaps you're missing the step where you have to select some text to be the anchor before you hit the link button to add the link.
As for actually having an inline image, you have to use BBcode for that, not HTML.
(Square bracket img=https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/upcoming_hurricanes.png Square Bracket)
Preview is your friend as well.
Posted by: Mauser at Tue Sep 12 13:51:19 2017 (TYvUn)
Few have had as big an influence on Science Fiction as Dr. Jerry Pournelle. Best known as a fiction author he was also a veteran who fought in the Korean war and an engineer of some repute. He worked in the government developing advanced defense technologies in various capacities during the Cold War , he was tasked as well with various strategic studies and was very involved in civil defense issues as well. After Civil Defense was placed on the back burner by the government in favor of a more top down approach exemplified by F.E.M.A. , he helped to start the preparedness movement in the 1970's. (It should be noted that many of his views on civil defense have been spectacularly vindicated in recent weeks by the response to Harvey.)
With the late Max Hunter, he helped develop the DC-X a vtovl rocket test rig for a proposed re-useable spacecraft. It was, unfortunately, cancelled despite a succsessful test run.
Dr. Pournelle received numerous awards for fiction and nonfiction work, including the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award for a lifetime achievement in promoting the goal of a free spacefaring society. It was well earned as making humanity a multiplanet society was a passion for him as was individual liberty.
I have read nothing of his, that was not enjoyable, inspiring or both. If you have not read his books, then you need to start with A Mote in God's Eye.
He left unfinished several works including an update of his earlier The Strategy of Technology, a nonfiction policy oriented essay which I particularly recommend.
I did not know Dr. Pournelle, however the dozen times or so that I interacted with him, he was a perfect gentleman, respectful, professional and kind.
His life was long and has to be judged successful. He went above and beyond though. His daughter is an archeologist and his son is a naval officer and in addition to blessing the world with such worthy progeny, he gave joy to millions through his prodigious quantities of fiction and hope for humanities future through his vision and wisdom.
May we be worthy of his legacy.
We have truly lost one of the greats.
UPDATE: Sarah Hoyt remembers Dr. Pournelle..
There is a silence after a giant falls. Weâ€™re all concussed by the sudden loss.
The two people, Steven & Jerry, who were 90% the reason I ever started writing... gone.
I'd just read Chaos Manor; he'd come back from DragonCon with con-funk. It seemed.
I am not an emotional man; but I am devastated by this, so close on the heels of SDB.
Please, all of us, pray.
I thought I had not read much of his work. I was surprised to discover that I was quite mistaken. Everything he did with Niven before 1998, much of the CoDominion series, Falkenberg's Legion...
To space with him, I say.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Fri Sep 8 22:50:02 2017 (1zQhi)
I knew of him, and read him, mostly through his monthly article in Byte magazine, which I bought for many years. In fact, through 1998, IIRC. Sadly, I never really followed him over to his blog.