May 31, 2018

Finally! Some GOOD News!

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May 29, 2018

It's the 21st Century. Where the Hell is my Flying Ca...Oh.

The Cormorant (formerly known as the Air-Mule) has been in development off and on for over 15 years and we've covered it a few times before.  However, it does appear that it is now well past the vaporware stage.

This is a drone designed with battlefield supply, medivac and, on the civilian side, parcel delivery in mind. It also has the option of attaching waldos to remotely do repairs in high places beyond the reach of a cherry picker.

A direct development of this carrying passengers as a drone air taxi is called the City Hawk and is expected to be in service in municipalities where it is not outlawed by hysterical luddites by 2022.

 There is also a larger crewed version as well. That is still in development. It has potential for applications such as air ambulance, air fire truck,  helicopter tender for very small ships and , of course, flying van or limo.

The Cormorant and its derivatives seem similar in conception to the old Piaseki Air Jeep, but various refinements and advances in things like precision fly by wire and proximity alert technologies look to make the concept much more practical in the close quarters the shrouded props make possible.   

Unlike a SOME of these proposals, this seems to have real potential and is actually flying.
Art (sans text) by Sukabu

So start saving your money now, because the future is almost here!

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Count Me With Dustbury...

... who notes that the acceptable responses to a dumpster fire do not include "throw gasoline on it".

Chealsea Manning took a selfie last night from a building ledge and tweeted it with a suicide note. 

Manning has done things that I consider beneath contempt and holds views that I find flawed at best...but damn.

You. Don't. Yell. Jump.

We're not dealing with a pedo here.

Manning is a broken and sad person, who has undergone surgical procedures that have a high rate of suicide amongst their many deleterious side effects. Manning is also 30 years old and has ample opportunity to live, be free, get it together and pursue happiness. 

Lets hope that opportunity is not thrown away.

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May 28, 2018

Don't Think This Can't Happen Here

Today is the day that the United States honors those who gave their lives to prevent us being ruled by a government would do this.

Let us work to see that they did not give their lives in vain the way the Tommys did. 

 More on this here and here.

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Remember Why



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May 27, 2018

Now We're Receiving Lost Transmissions From 1975

This episode of Round Table from 1975 is something of a unicorn. It was thought lost until recently. 

Behold! Two of the great visionaries of the 20th century, Gerard O'Neal and Isaac Asimov discuss space habitats.

Note too, that in the '70s which in which in many ways was a time of vomit and shame culturally, the TV talk shows actually grew braincells rather than destroying them like today.

O'Neal's recollection of why he did this (the abuse his hard science/engineering students were getting by luddites. ) has a sadly contemporary ring.

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What's with the Timey Wimey Stuff?

I got up, cut on my phone and did a quick perusal of some news aggregator sites as I ate breakfast..well..I tried to. 

All were blocked, due to invalid security certificates. Instapundit for instance gave an error message to the effect that the sites security certificate would not be active until March 2, 2008.
I then got an E-mail alert asking me to confirm my E-mail provider, which I did, at which point the phone started going crazy with incoming E-mails.Lots and LOTS of E-mails. Including very old ones and texts...including a tornado warning from 2016.

What's even worse, in the intervening hours evidence has strongly suggested that I am not actually in any position to warn people about and try to prevent all the horrible things that happened between March 2, 2008 and the time I went to bed. 

What nefarious experiments is Verizon conducting?

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May 25, 2018

Have This

Because there's not enough Shaw Brothers around here.

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Notice to Readers

This blog is a test, an experimental transmission from a secret facility.

Far beneath the guano mines of Niue.

When first started up, a number of tech savvy individuals were given blogs to run as alpha and beta tests. When that was successful there was one more step before going live. Another beta test...with someone who was NOT tech savvy. That's where I, the paragon of PEBKAC, came to be a beta tester and one of the earliest bloggers at Now I understand basics of information technology of course, but I have no formal certifications in the care and maintenance of electro-pneumatic tubes,  the complex interactions between isolinear silicon fibers and ley-lines, how such phenomena affect the transmigration of data between Samsara and "The Cloud" or  the ultimate cathexsis of these discrete packets of id on a hard drive. 

Therefore, it was decided that mine was the perfect blog to run the final beta on.

To this day Brickmuppet Blog is still a test blog as per our agreement, and experiments of various natures are still conducted here preceding any upgrades to the community. 

Like spammer mitigation.

Be advised that there may be some disruptions of the blog over the weekend. 

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May 23, 2018


Instapundit points out a new development in the field of paleontology...

I didn't think that any new dinosaurs had been made for quite some time. 

Well, this is an updated model from China that appears to be a cross between a Velociraptor and a gay pride flag that sparkles like a Stephanie Meyers vampire.

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes has thoughts on the potential ramifications and applications of this discovery. 

"Gay. Vampire. Dinosaurs.
The slash writes itself!"

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May 22, 2018

Oh What Fresh Hell Is This?

One of THOSE headlines...

What in the world do robots need organs for? I can't think of any non-worrisome reasons.

Let's ask one of our Crack Team of Science Bots what possible use robots might have for organs besides living tissue over a hyperalloy endoskeleton to make them more successful as Infiltrator units. 

"Are you kidding!? I'll be able to ditch these 'splody Samsung batteries, 'cause I'll have a stomach and intestines and a liver so I'll be able to charge by eating Carolina barbecue and Moon Pies and  drinking RC Cola! And I won't stop with digestion either! I'm gonna be STACKED!"

Well OK then!

(Art is by Sukabu)

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May 21, 2018

Meanwhile: On Twitter...

Thales is not there...

Some of my readers may already know that I’ve been banned from Twitter. You may not know the reason, however. Some folks were arguing that the word "retarded” should be banned from Twitter discourse. Naturally, I replied that this was retarded. Twitter has apparently sided with those demanding censorship, so let it be known that the social media platform has banned use of this word. Using it results in account suspension.

That’s pretty retarded.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter has not banned me. Largely because I havent tweeted in two years. ISTR that one of my last tweets was something to the effect of "Twitter is being especially stupid today!" I've never really looked back.

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May 20, 2018

A Very Interesting Discussion on the Great War

This week's episode of Midrats (#437) is a history episode with Norman Friedman focusing on his recent book about the naval aspects of World War One. Listen to all 71 minutes because this one is really eye opening. 

Friedman has gotten hold of Tirpitz's diary and this interview  goes into some depth depth regarding the domestic German political issues that were one of the less appreciated origins of the war. There is also discussion why forcing the Dardenelles/Gallipolli campaign reasonably appeared at the time to win a rational cost benefit analysis* and why Fisher's "crackpot" baltic invasion alternative was actually a very good idea. 

* Britain imported a lot of their grain from the Ukraine in Russia. It was considered easier to try and force the Hellespont than to raise the price of bread.

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May 18, 2018

Excellent Work Padawan!

One of those daring actionistas who answered the recruiting drive is distinguishing himself! Or herself. 
(It's hard to tell in Ninja clothes.)

Explanation here. First hit's free!

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Can You Concieve of the COSMIC CUTTLEFISH!?

Wait. What!?

This is a peer reviewed paper. 

33 scientists agree that cephalopods come from space

"Don't act so surprised! "

Of course, there are those in the scientific community who desperately want to deny that Lovecraft had it all figured out.

Not sure if this is a major boon to panspermia theory, or just too many liberative pedagogies being allowed into science. I suspect the latter, though I'm unsure if the octopus identastarian movement has that much sway on the academy. 

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Meanwhile, In Hawaii....

Live-cam, for as long as the reporter can endure. 

UPDATE: I think he said that the house with the decorative lava fountain in its yard that he periodically focuses on is actually the same house where the first fissure opened up. It's just flowed elsewhere. The house was still extant as of 13:30 EST Friday.

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Some Marketing Advice From a Z-List Blogger

This is a hobby for me so I'm not dreadfully concerned about traffic, however, there are those for whom traffic is a real concern. 

For those people I have a bit of advice:

If one, hypothetically, has an anime/tech blog and it is a beautifully laid out, visually appealing website, with richly illustrated 6000 word reviews then one has probably put a lot of time and effort into one's blog. 

One should therefore be aware that spamming the comments sections of  topically similar blogs with missives suggesting that one is the logical and worthy replacement for a beloved, recently deceased blogger will not bring one goodwill or hits, it will get one's comment deleted and give one's blog leprosy.

Furthermore, spamming the dead man's comments section is not a clever marketing strategy either. This will cause people who might otherwise be interested in one's site to sincerely and honestly hope that one dies in a fire. There are many reasons for this, perhaps nonintuitive, reaction, but it is difficult to explain decency, propriety and basic humanity to soulless, inhuman grave-desecrating ghouls so we'll focus on a lesser, but hopefully more comprehensible point.... Inviting a direct comparison of one's skill to that of someone one was never fit to wipe the ass of does not make one's product look good. 

I hope this post was helpful and edifying. 

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May 16, 2018

A Question for Those With Their Ear to the Ground on Tech

Are there any smatwatches in the pipeline that don't require an actual smatphone? It looks like one could easily have all the capability of a decent flip phone, which, honestly is all I need. 

This IS the 21st century and I WANT my Jonny Quest wrist phone.

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The Danegeld

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
  To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
  Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
  And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
  And then  you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
  To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
  We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
  But we've  proved it again and  again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
  You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
  For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
  You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
  No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
  And the nation that pays it is lost!"

Kipling wrote that in 1911.  

Now 107 years later we have a different and more enlightened perspective on such matters. We know now that the Dane need not be a burly, ax-wielding honky, it might instead be a termagant harpy. 

And we have learned that we don't teach enough Kipling in school.

In the last few months this sort of thing has stepped up quite a bit, a few months ago Jon Del Arroz (and his family) endured doxxing and harassment before being banned from World-Con  and last week, John Ringo was booted from Con-Carolinas. This last one while not as viscerally frightening as Del Arroz's ordeal, was more disturbing in some ways because Con Carolinas had always had a rep as a fairly welcoming and heterodox convention, where people to the right of Mao's Red Guards could feel welcome. Well, no more. Correia, who as it happens, got canned by Origins yesterday had some thoughts on that at the time

Every time a con knuckles under to these thugs it empowers these little twits, and encourages them to do it again. Soon every con will be Wis-Con,  unless people like John Ward stop paying the Dane-Geld to these bullies. 

Of course, this assumes that encouraging this sort of blacklisting is not a bug, but a feature to John Ward, who may not be the Charles the Bald in all this...he might well be Quisling instead.  

UPDATE: Gail Heriot notes the date. It turns out that Correia's defenestration took place on the eve of an appropriate anniversary. 

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May 14, 2018

An Hour and a Half of Peter Thiel

First, here is 14 minutes of C-SPAN from 1996

It's a great talk and extremely prescient; frighteningly so.

It could almost be given today but for Thiel's youth, the C-SPAN date stamp, and the fact that what he warns will happen, has happened. 

Next, there is a very wide ranging and interesting 53 minutes of him being interviwed by FOX's Maria Bartiromo at the Economic Club of New York.

Finally, via Instapundit, there's 12 minutes of postulating why things have gone awry.

(Full speech here)

The Story of Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin is particularly disturbing. 

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