February 08, 2020

That Show That Got Yeeted After Three episodes For Being Exactly What it Said it Was

Rest assured that this not a trend for this blog. Whatever passes for a format here, this is not it.




However, this show is being aggressively "disappeared" and its case is curious not only for being cancelled after 3 episodes rather than simply slapping a R-rating on it (despite high ratings), but that the streaming company bought the rights to a show about individuals that travel Ersatz Middle Earth and do consumer reviews of BROTHELS, then translated it, dubbed it, REMOVED pixels from it and then, three episodes in, decided that, upon reflection, it might be lewd. 

After careful analysis, much consideration and in-depth research, I've concluded that this show is, in fact, lewd. 

It's only R-rated though, it doesn't actually cross the line despite dancing along it drunkenly while being aggressively irreverent and completely tasteless. 

It also made me laugh, which is probably indicative of deep character flaws on my part.

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February 07, 2020

Second Order Effects, Leading Indicators, Devil's Advocacy, and Friendly Advice

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is starting to have second order economic effects. Hundai is shutting down at least one factory due to a shortage of parts from China. Similar issues are stymieing production at Airbus, Kia, Apple, and EricssonAB and this is unlikely to be an isolated trend.  Certainly futures markets believe so as copper prices are plummeting to nearly a three year low.

There have been a number of disease outbreaks that have caused concern over the last few years, SARS, MERS, any number of bird flu variants, Ebola, and others were (and in the case of Ebola still are) serious problems and genuinely dangerous, but they did not approach anything like what was feared and may contribute to a cry wolf effect when the big one hits. Something feels different about this, it may not pan out but the impression I get is that if it doesn't become a pandemic, it will be because of heroic efforts and luck.

A leading indicator of what the U.S. government may think is coming can be found in the fact that the Pentagon is being asked to set up quarantine stations on or near 11 airports nationwide. This is in addition to the 20 that the Centers for Disease Control operate. As of a week ago there were already 1,000 people in the U.S. in quarantine for this virus.  


I was asked on Discord to comment about the following:

There has been some speculation that the location of China's Class 4 Biohazard facility smack dab in the middle of this mess, and that the 2 week asymptomatic contagious period  (which is near the gold standard for a bioweapon) indicate that this disease is a military pathogen that got away from them like Glanders did from the Germans in WW1.

First of all, there's no direct evidence. Second, evolution is perfectly capable of producing horrific examples of pestilence as the Black Death, Plague of Justinian, Smallpox and Spanish Influenza show. Third, it is probably not relevant as the disease exists and must be dealt with. I emphasize probably because if it were an engineered virus that might have implications for treatment, though such matters are beyond a mere bachelor of arts' area of expertise.

I'm skeptical, but in the interest of devil's advocacy it should be noted that the P.R.C. is, like the U.S.S.R. before it, is a communist dictatorship. Using bioweapons seems unwise in the extreme, but the hubris of a bureaucrat knows no bounds and if the 5-year plan says that there will be a vaccine fore one's own forces, then in the mind of a bureaucrat that vaccine will exist. Additionally, in an earlier post we mentioned that serious concerns were raised about the then-under-construction Wuhan lab in 2017 and that there were 2 earlier containment failures with the less dangerous SARS virus in a Beijing lab about a decade ago. One involved a protocol issue and one involved an attempted live virus vaccine that had not, in fact, been rendered fully safe. China doesn't have a good track record in this area.  Here is an interview with  Ken Albiek who was an executive at Biopreparat (the soviet bio-warfare program). It's pretty horrifying, particularly the bit about what happened in Sverdlovsk when a filter was not properly installed and someone broke a container. Anthrax is not person to person contagious, had it been a more virulent disease it would have been  a major incident, with the only saving grace being the closed nature of the Soviet Union. It's entirely possible that the odious Chinese regime did botch something like happened in Sverdlovsk , but there is no hard evidence I'm aware of and eating fruit bats is a perfectly reliable way to get dreadful new diseases.

So heed this friendly advice...



Also:If you are interested in biowarfare,its potential for bio-terrorism or find that you sleep too soundly at night, I recommend buying BioHazzard, by Ken Albiek, which gives an overview in layman accessible terms of the mischief that Biopreparat was involved in.

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For Some Reason

I've been getting a TON of spam in the comments section to this old post.

And in visiting it again and again over the last few days, I find myself asking the same question about this comely mechanic's PPE that I did two years ago.





Those buckles on her skirt/waistcoat....

What are they for?
How are they fastened without tripping her?
Don't they leave a potentially hazerdous gap ?
How exactly does that knee guard work and not contribute to potential injuries?

Reader suggestions are welcome.

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The Backup Plan is Proceeding Apace

With all the challenging things in the news lately, One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes has brought us news on one of the more appealing contingency plans...

"ESCAPE ROCKETS!!"


She notes that Elon Musk currently has crews working 24/7 on his Starship prototype with the aim of beginning sub-orbital flights in March.

The FCC permit has already been applied for.


Art via Teslarati

While Musk's main focus is Mars, he has also been looking towards the moon, initially with a planned 2023 circumlunar flight, and Luna has always figured in Musk's Mars plan.. The moon is much closer and has attracted his attention with regards to ice and as a secondary destination. it's a week away as opposed to six months to a year, and a good place to test stuff for Mars. There is also a lot of science potential there obviously.

While there's very little on the moon worth mining and bringing to earth it's dirt is practically MADE of Iron, Oxygen, and Aluminum and there are extensive deposits of Chromium. Musk has gone to great lengths to remove exotic materials from his toolkit to facilitate field repairs and his structural components tend to be made of stainless steel and aluminum. The moon has everything but nickle and carbon for stainless steel which can be as little as 0.8% carbon by weight. In the highly unlikely event no carbonaceous chondrites have impacted on the moon, or has been baked out carbon can be provided by the carbonaceous not-quite-moons like Cruithne, and Yorp, which could also provide nitrogen and phosphorus. Nickle almost certainly exists in viable ammounts in the larger craters, which were, of course, created by meteors. While, it's unknown if there are spectacular glaciers on the moon like there are on Mercury, there is known to be a good deal of water at the poles.



The moon has a vast uninhabited area, and NO ECOSYSTEM, so one could, as an extreme example, use unshielded nuclear reactors on the surface for smelting stuff, so it's a perfect industrial park for expanding space projects.

Some people seem confident enough that they're already measuring the drapes.

Brian Wang over at NBF notes that Musk is looking to run out these rocket's life cycle on launches to the cis-lunar destinations and then gathere those near the end of their lives for the Martian Launch Window every two years. These large convoys would have the advantage of proximity to one another in the event of any mishap. Obviously one would not send that many people to Mars until the local infrastructure such as habitats (and, if necessary gravitrons) have been developed to accept several thousand people.

Given the numbers Musk is talking about, a typical convoy might have 50-100 ships, most on a one way trip so, 5-10,000 people every two years after about a decade of building habitats. This would immediately push Martian population into a biologically sustainable levels, especially if the population were of varied races and ethnicities. After a decade the population might be 50,000 without factoring births, which is way more than Liechtenstein, and almost as much as the Cayman Islands. 

We here at Brickmuppet Blog are more in the Dandridge Cole, Gerard O'Neal camp, favoring large space habitats over outposts on planets or moons, but the advantages of having a large (planet's worth) of resources handy is probably a good advantage at the start of this endeavor. There's a lot to do there as well and the first step is the moon.


Art by Sam Taylor. buy Full rez Posters and other art from him Here!

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Wait...

What!?



Yes boys and girls. That's a Mosin.
In a 450 dollar chassis with a $99. folding stock.

UPDATE: Upon reflection, this madness being from a Ukranian company, this might make sense in a place like the Ukraine, where, I imagine, the 3 Line Rifle is probably still cheaper than a used Hi-Point and....

...no.


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February 06, 2020

Meanwhile:

While all eyes are upon the Coronavirus and the implosion of the Iowa Caucuses, other things are actually happening.

Like this...


A vulcanologist in Iceland has gone into a fit of weird forced metaphors, which may indicate a large eruption is likely sometime in the island's future. Of course it being Iceland, this is a safe bet.

Regarding Coronavirus, the Chicom secret police are coming to the unwelcome realization that there is often a good side to even the worst things.

Archeologists are all excited about a box shaped well head.
A 5,256 year old well head.


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February 05, 2020

Tenuous Data, but Worrisome (UPDATED)


There is a report in a Taiwanese newspaper that Tencent (the umbrella corporation that owns Blizzard) accidentally posted actual Coronavirus numbers for a few hours Saturday.

Tencent is managing the official info distribution for the Corona Virus situation. IF this report is accurate and IF the numbers posted were not a data glitch, then TENCENT is likely keeping two sets of numbers, one for the CCP and one for the plebs. This is of concern because the numbers posted were:
INFECTED 154,023
SUSPECTED 79,808
CURED 269
DEAD 24,589 which makes for an interesting contrast to the official figure yesterday of  around 300.
It's unclear to me if the dead are a subset of infected in this tally, that data point, of course, having a significant effect of the actual mortality rate.
Note that as per Zero Hedge, these numbers jive closely with the predictions of UK epidemiologists from 10 days ago.


Note too that even if one dismisses this out of hand because Zero Hedge in in the source list, the official death toll screencapped above as I type this has jumped by about 60 percent since yesterday when it was just north of 300. However, the 5 digit number jives disturbingly with  other reports from Hubei Province.


"Well...Crap"

********************************************
UPDATE:

Coronachan is a BitChute channel that is aggregating videos regarding  the Coronavirus, many of which have been banned or have vanished.  The BitChuter in question seems to be an interested layperson and is unsure of the provenance of some of the videos, but is up-front about that and is asking for info in that regard. The channel links to sources in the video descriptions when available.

The channel could have perhaps chosen a less edgy avatar.

Gallows Humor Artist is Unknown

In other news, it looks like Bat-Soup Belle of Balefulness is vacationing in the Wisconsin Dells.


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February 04, 2020

I.T. People: I Have Some Questions About the Iowa Carcasses

...er...Caucuses.

They've completely botched the Iowa Caucuses.
Several of my legions of...six or seven readers work in IT and have had experience with applicable app issues.

So.
Here are the facts as I understand them.
The Democrats decided to simplify the chaos that is this caucus thing by using a smartphone app.

A Phone application: you know, one of those esoteric bits of technology that is basically unknown to the general populace that is never used for secure online sales and such in everyday...oh wait.

To that end, the Democrats hired a company called SHADOW to manage the app that counted the votes.

There was a technical problem and as I post this nobody knows who won or lost, aside from the three or four candidates who have claimed victory in the absence of any numbers.

How does this happen?

What incompetence was necessary for this to happen?

I just...
Gurus of technical support just, explain this...
Please.

Note that even assuming nefarious intent with the goal of botching the caucuses does not absolve the participants of failure due to an unprofessional lack of subtlety.

Again; they named the company that ran the AP that lost the votes...SHADOW which is a company partially owned by a firm named A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.which in turn is run by former Clinton staffers and funded by a big Pete Buttigieg backer supporter.

A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. is literally an Umbrella Corporation that owns several companies that...seem to...exist...but have indeterminate specialties other than to be oriented towards left wing politics and...

Wait...

Why would you name your company that makes voting software and has to have trust and transparency as its highest priorities...SHADOW (in all caps)? 

And , A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. what the actual hell?




I just have this notion of A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. helping organizations put their mission statements in their name, with results like
Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion,
or perhaps League Of Calamitous Intent
or Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem.

But this notion; it is crazy.
CRAAhayhayaZZyyyY! I sai

W hat is going oN?
 

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February 03, 2020

The Red Head

http://brickmuppet.mee.nu/images/Redhead_duck_Aythya_americana,_male1.jpg

...(Aythya americana) is a diving duck that is native to the United States and Canada, it is most commonly found  in or near reservoirs, lakes, playa wetlands, freshwater river deltas, coastal marshes, estuaries, bays, and (in northern Illinois), small apartments. It is an omnivorous species, eating both plant (pondweeds, wild rice, wild celery, wigeon grass, doritos, bulrushes, muskgrass and shoal grass) and animal matter (in the form of gastropods, mollusks, insects, their larvae, pepperoni and other meats mostly from ruminants), occasionally they consume these simultaneously in the form of a Chicago Pizza.   The redhead is 37 cm (15 in) long with an 84 cm (33 in) wingspan though their height can occasionally exceed six feet, in which case they tend to be non-migratory. One of these rarer examples of this branch of the Anatidae family spent several years supporting himself as a disc jockey and now graces us with tunes from around the world.

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February 02, 2020

So I Heard About Ishuzoku Reviewers

...and did not initially pursue it because, honestly if its only claim to fame is that it's a fan-service show its probably not worth my time.The plot does not inspire confidence..a troupe of (brothel critics?) in a D&D/LOTR esque fantasy-world go around doing reviews of various brothels staffed by numerous fantasy races like elves and mermaids and slimes and..sundry.

 Then I heard the show was quite good, with it actually being described as funny and one of the better shows of the season.. So, I went to Funimation and, to my surprise...



So they have a show that's based on a hentai manga. Its character designs are by a hentai artist. It's plot is more porny than most porn. They depixelated parts of it and they were in the process of dubbing the show. Some of the character designs that have popped up in the promo art , I couldn't even put on this blog clothed. Then all of a sudden they realized "Gracious! This is...(squints) I dare say it might be LEWD!"

How does that even happen!?

 UPDATE: I swear there was a review at the end of that first link.

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Oh NO!

We had two depressing plague posts back to back, involving 3 different viruses. This is unhygienic, depressing, and not in keeping with the format of what is among its many other formats, still an anime blog.

I should probably watch some anime.
And review it.
In the meantime, here are some AMVs.

One for our new Canadian viewers.


Because this isn't YouTube...we can repeat one from a few years ago.


Caravan Palace is always welcome


Another re-run because...reasons.


Finally, I here tell that we're all Russian bots here so...

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More Pronouncements Pertaining to Pestilence


There's nothing particularly unexpected in the news of the Coronavirus except for this that Instapundit found this morning. A story indicating that the bug's transmission rate outside China is expected to closely follow that inside China (hardly news) is getting deleted.

Perhaps it's the wording.

 Coronavirus infections predicted to grow exponentially; first death outside China; outbreak becomes political.

That WaPo link was good as of 10:50 AM, but several of the links on this ">screenshot are not.

Note that the John Hopkins tracking page does not match the aforementioned headline as of this post.

In other news, Ebola is having something of a resurgence in the Congo.

Fortunately, humanity is resilient, and can find something positive even in this mess.

OK...perhaps it's not that fortunate, but this exists.


Corona-Chan and Ebola-Chan:Viral Gal-lows humor is by dp6523

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February 01, 2020

Oh For Crying Out Loud

While China's Hubei Provence has been in the news with this Coronavirus, Hunan Provence has been hit with what is being described as a highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 birdflu in Hunan Provence.

Over 17,000 chickens have been killed trying to get a handle on this secondary mess, about which the news is mixed.

The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual," the WHO said. "There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food." The mortality rate in humans is 60%, the WHO added.


Emphasis mine

Let's hope it stays mostly bird-bound.

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Star Trek Picard

To say that this show has been unenthusiastically received is a rather large understatement.

Much of this lack of positive buzz can be laid squarely at the feet of  the show's immediate Predecessor Star Trek: Discovery.

Despite incredibly talented actors and superb production values, STD's writing and general asshattery seems to have poisoned the well for many fans with its strange combination of sanctimony, stupidity, and frequent contempt for the fans and its source material. 

Learning from it's showrunner's missteps, CBS-All Access has pinned it's hopes on a new series that is being presented as a sequel to the Star Trek shows of the 90's, built around a geriatric but plucky Admiral Picard.


Despite the logo, only the pilot is on Amazon Prime

It seems that the damage done by STD was considerable, because Picard's ratings have been sufficiently bad that CBS has actually released the pilot of the new show for free viewing on YouTube.ht

So with low expectations, I sat down and watched it.

Jean Luc-Picard, one of the United Federation of Planet's greatest heroes is spending his twilight years on his french vineard, when suddenly the protagonist of a young adult novel blunders into his retirement, setting in motion a series of events that causes him to make an astonishing discovery...

To my surprise, this does not appear at this point to be a bad show, I can't honestly say if it's GOOD yet, as the pilot is mostly set-up, but it's really interesting There are a LOT of interesting ideas being touched on. There are also there are a lot of call-backs to ST:TNG that are respectful and don't have Worf being a Kling-Ork (and there was much rejoicing).

Among the complaints among TREKdom is the rumor that the show makes a POLITICAL statement. Well, it does. Star Trek always has, and one of the major themes of Star Trek is one of universal respect for sentient beings. The brief foray into politics in this pilot are not out of place in a Star Trek episode and part of the political discussion stems from the fact that Picard remains admirably idealistic ( but perhaps naively so given the backstory touched upon in the pilot). 

The story is appealing and the production values look great. It's VERY different from TNG but it seems that it is a part of the same universe, a very different vibe than I got from the few episodes of Discovery I watched.

I am not opposed to watching more of this show. In fact I'm rather impressed and want to see more.

Getting me to PAY for this show is another matter.

STD so poisoned the well that I'm ambivalent at best about subscribing to CBS All-Access when this show, as appealing as it seems, could very easily go completely off the rails and end up in a dumpster fire. Moreover, the general contempt that some of the showrunners have expressed for the fans in general and my demographic in particular do not encourage me to give them money.

That then is the problem that CBS faces with this show. The pilot is pretty good and actually encouraging.Two years ago I and others would have been begging them to take my money for this show, but after STD that is a much higher bar now, and the new normal of being nickle-and-dime'd to death by an ever expanding number of streaming services is a particular source of resentment for many, including myself.

Time will tell if this warrants a subscription.

I might be persuaded to buy the DVD's though.

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Adventures in Boomerism

Last night, I finally got my twitch, Discord, and Steam accounts to sync up in both Epic, and New Moon.

No big feat that, however, in keeping with established theories regarding the Dunning-Kruger Effect; this morning, thus emboldened by this junior varsity facsimile of "productivity", I resolved to sync and tether the Kyocera Smartphone and my iMac.



Well, that was non-intuitive.

Most every online guide I found turned out to date from before Mojave and 'Grea' is using the newest iteration of Android. I get the impression that Apple and Google really don't want you to do this.

That aside, Holo and Grea are now talking to one another, ALL of my pictures from the old Blackberry's SD card are saved  and I can begin the process of deleting unwanted/obnoxious apps, and possibly installing new browser.


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