March 12, 2020




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March 11, 2020

Well. THAT Was an Odd Glitch

For those of you arriving late the front page just filled up with  duplicates of a half typed post title. 

Anyway, the President just gave his speech and by Trump standards it was  reasonably short on the hyperbole and such. Between sniffles and wheezes he laid out several things being done to deal with the current crisis, among them being a rather belated set of restrictions on travel to and from Europe and pending financial assistance for those ill or caring for family members with the virus which is intended to prevent people from going to work sick.

I think the big takeaway from this will be the sniffling and wheezing though.

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March 08, 2020

An Unusual Source of Protein

Scientists examining a meteorite think they have discovered a protein inside it. This is significant because, while amino acids have been found in space rocks, proteins had not. The researchers are reasonably sure that the protein is not due to terrestrial contamination due to its isotope signature and the fact that the protein is like nothing ever seen before. 

The hemolithin protein found by the researchers was a small one, and was made up mostly of glycine, and amino acids. It also had oxygen, lithium and iron atoms at its ends—an arrangement never seen before. 

"Hemolethin appears to be a new word invented just for this protein. but that's not NEARLY as important as the validating fact that one actually CAN find protein in space!"

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March 06, 2020

Science Babe Doing Science Things

...with varying degrees of utility. 

Side effects may include blunt force trauma, forrest fires, suicidal thoughts. 

Seriously, would you buy underpants from this woman?

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March 03, 2020

A List That Ought to Be Shared Far and Wide

Deep in the heart of Coronaville , it appears that Uyghers are being trucked in from their "re-education" camps to staff the factories in the plague zones that are either unsafe to operate due to contamination or have massive numbers of people out sick. The purpose of this appears to meet government mandated targets for production in an attempt to rescue an economy hammered by having its workforce immobilized by this disease. Of course if members of a demographic that the CCP is trying to exterminate are infected with a deadly pathogen, then, (presumably) they won't be required to be trucked back to the concentration camps. As far as the CCP is concerned, "two bats, one stone". 

As vile as it is, this situation is actually worse than that. 

The utilization of these people in the disease wracked regions is a current expedient, but it turns out that this pool of 80,000 or so workers has been used as a sort of slavery temp service since at least 2017.Long before COVID19 was unleashed upon the world, this cadre has been used by various firms to round out the labor pools at factories that include those of western companies set up in China. 

This practice has been noted in a in-depth report by The Australian Strategic Policy Institute a PDF of which is here. It gives extensive citations regarding the practice and helpfully notes which companies have been taking advantage of this abhorrent service.

Abercrombie & Fitch, 
BAIC Motor,
Calvin Klein, 
Cerruti 1881, 
Changan Automobile, 
Founder Group, 
GAC Group (automobiles), 
Geely Auto, 
General Motors, 
Hart Schaffner Marx, 
Jack & Jones,
 Japan Display Inc., 
Land Rover, 
The North Face, 
Polo Ralph Lauren, 
SAIC Motor, 
Tommy Hilfiger, 
Tsinghua Tongfang, 
Victoria’s Secret, 

I note that many of the western entities on this list not only profess their own piousness but frequently presume to lecture us on what they claim are our moral failings (usually sins involving mere words).

China is a brutal dictatorship, and a nuclear power. Our ability to affect their internal affairs are necessarily limited. However, while we can't stamp out all evil in the world, willingly engaging in this atrocity is another matter entirely.

This is a list that needs to get some distribution and attention. 

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March 02, 2020

Leading Indicators of the National Mood

I spent about 55 bucks apiece on virtually identical items I bought myself and my family in 2018-19.  

That screenshot is actually from the 27th. As I type this, this whole category is largely sold out or won't be delivered until mid-March at the earliest.  

20 pound bags of rice are still available for around 20 dollars though pinto and kidney beans are now running about $50-$60  for a 20 pound bag. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 02:24 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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All That and a Bowl of Grits

On my iMac, for browsers, I've got Safari, Opera, New Moon (A mysterious Macintosh fork of Pale Moon), Epic, and Vivaldi. All have good and bad points. Now I've loaded Brave and it is better than the lot of them. It's closest to Epic in concept and execution, being a "privacy browser" based on Chrome, but it seems rather more polished and is independently verified to be about as private as advertised.  I'm not sure, but I assume given that last fact that Brave would also get maximum utility out of one's VPN. 


Anyway, I'm very pleased with it. The only thing it lacks is a cute personification avatar. But we can rest assured that when it comes, it'll likely be a catgirl.

My curiosity has out argued my skepticism so I've tentatively activated the Brave Rewards option and will keep you appraised.
UPDATE 2: Well. THAT'S annoying. 

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March 01, 2020


Musk's second test rig for his giant rocket met the same fate as the first, bursting during a pressure test. 

Well that was demoralizing. 

It went "bloop".

Let's see if one of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes is ready to throw in the towel on Starship. 

"This is why we have tests to destruction. Run to destruction, fix, run to destruction, fix, For context see below."

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V-Tuber Gets Doxxed

A tragic, tragic story.

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