July 28, 2015

Exactly What it Says on the Tin

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July 24, 2015

Gentle Readers

...I urge you to watch this.

I do so mostly because I am a very bad man, but also because watching this will kill sufficient brain cells that it might distract one from any pain one might be experiencing.

Warning: May also cause psoriasis. 

Via Moe Lane, who's write up, while technically accurate, did not prepare me for the epic dreadfulness of this thing. 

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July 15, 2015

They've Stolen Murnau's Head!

No. Really...

 The skull of the film director F. W. Murnau — best known for "Nosferatu,” his 1922 Expressionist take on Bram Stoker’s "Dracula” — has been stolen from a cemetery outside of Berlin.

Not currently a suspect.

On the bright side, this could easily be parlayed into the basis for a sequel to that awesome John Malcovich movie.

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June 23, 2015

How Many Nuclear Bombs WOULD it Take

...to effectively knock most of the world back into the 7th century?

Well, to physically devastate the planet through blast and heat would take thousands upon thousands of bombs, probably more than existed at the height of the cold war. 

However, all we have to do is bring down the thing that (philosophical advances notwithstanding) makes the modern world modern. That of course would be...

Luddites SUCK!

...and that can be done with an Electro Magnetic Pulse. There are a few ways to get these but we're talking about nukes so one has to detonate a nuclear weapon at high altitude. The sweet spot seems to be an area with a lower limit between 18 and 31 miles up (depending on latitude and other factors) and somewhat over 300 miles into space. The effects are caused by interaction with the earth's lower atmosphere and magnetic field and extend to the visible horizon. The effects radii for various altitudes can be seen here...

The actual effects are fairly consistent throughout the area with a horseshoe shaped area containing a zone of very high effects and a small area just north (or south in the southern hemisphere) of ground zero with minimal effects.

Most of the area has between 50 and 80% of the maximum intensity of effects. The effects can be...impressive.

  The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) fused all of the 570-kilometer monitored overhead telephone line with measured currents of 1500 to 3400 amperes during the 22 October 1962 test. The monitored telephone line was divided into sub-lines of 40 to 80 kilometres (25 to 50 mi) in length, separated by repeaters. Each sub-line was protected by fuses and by gas-filled overvoltage protectors. The EMP from the 22 October (K-3) nuclear test caused all of the fuses to blow and all of the overvoltage protectors to fire in all of the sub-lines of the 570 km (350 mi) telephone line.The EMP from the same test caused the destruction of the Karaganda power plant, and shut down 1,000 km (620 mi) of shallow-buried power cables between Astana (then called Aqmola) and Almaty.  

Even assuming these were maximum effects and most areas would receive 30-80% of this effect this messes everything up. 

Back to the question at hand. How many bombs would it take for a not entirely rational government to apply those effects to the entire world?

Well, using the 1470 mile radius of the affected area we get an area of 6,788,670 square miles. The earth has a total surface area  of 196,939,900 square miles (rounded after conversion from km) and 196,939,900 / 6,788,670 = 29.010 so one would need less than 29 of these to send the whole Earth back into the dark ages (less because the nefarious individuals doing his would not need to hit most of the 70% of the surface area that's oceans, Antarctica, or themselves.

Now a small crazy country that wants to do this and had the capability to make 25 bombs a year and a transportable ballistic missile, and a modest merchant marine might discreetly disperse these missiles to where they could be simultaneously launched for global coverage... like so...

Iranian Shabab 4? missiles and their TELs on small container shiip.

Now to what end would they do this?

Well a conquering, convert or die army is kind of like a zombie apocalypse, with fast, tool-using, gun shooting zombies (except they don't often bite) and we've seen some of what can happen when a group like that moves into an area that's demoralized...

Of course if they encounter a proper modern military they'll get curb-stomped. 

Of course if you have the same goal and can knock the entire world back a few hundred years even for a decade...well., these people have a sense of history...

Imagine this transpiring while the whole world is knocked on their behinds by a power failure, starving and desperate, and assume to that kept aside a few nukes for military bases and tactical usage.

Is this likely? Would it work?....probably not.

But, if you're crazy enough to roll the dice with nukes you're crazy enough to try really crazy crap.

Anyway, I was surprised that you could do it with 20-30 midsize nukes.

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June 14, 2015

Maximum Return for Minimum Effort

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June 11, 2015

Man the Harpoons!

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June 07, 2015


My eyes are all glazed over and my brain is tired right now so perhaps you, gentle reader, can explain why this is a bad thing... 

...and wouldn't "influx" "immigration"or "increase" be a better word?

More of this, please!

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June 01, 2015

Non-Deceptive Headline

The headline:

 Wayward pig gets ride in police car, poses for epic photo

The associated photo:

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May 10, 2015

A Straightforward and Forthright Answer

I just stumbled across this which contains a quote for the ages...

 You have worked at the eating lab for some time. What is the eating lab? What does one do at an eating lab? The concept of an eating lab is really cool, but I have to admit that I don't quite know what it is.
I don't want to make it sound any less cool, but it is a lab. And it is where we do eating studies.....

There's more to be sure, but the rest of the article merely detracts from the purity of that.

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March 17, 2015

That Awkward Moment When....

Inquisitive Naga by Bubuzuke

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March 13, 2015

An Argument Against Friggatriskaidekaphobia

18 minutes left to go and as of yet no disasters have yet befallen any of the staff here at Brickmuppet Blog since midnight.

So close...so close...18 minutes to safety....

Lest people grow complacent, it should be remembered that in a few minutes it will be International Pi day.

If one does not consume pie at exactly 3-14-15 9:26:54 then no one knows WHAT might happen! 


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February 14, 2015

An Important Valentines Day Reminder

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack team of Science Babes is about to learn an important lesson that you, gentle reader should make note of...

Heartfelt scene by ddochi1

 If you have someone special, then remember that the appropriateness of a gift can be every bit as important as the thought and effort that went into getting it.

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And Now We Know....

Source unknown but probably not approved By Casper David Frederich

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February 08, 2015

It Has Come to This

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Secret Files and Origins BRICKMUPPET

The new blog-game that all the cool kids are playing right now is this homage to the inventor of the blog* Brian Williams.

Sound Like a Badass Without Committing Yourself to a Lie

My Walter Mitty lifestyle is somewhat non-conducive to this challenge but sacred honor says I have to give it a go. 
So, what to write about? 
The barracudas? No. anyone who dives regularly knows that barracudas aren't that big a deal. 
Changing the bilge punp hanging upside down in the bilge of a fishing boat taking on water during the storm off Hatteras while seasick? No. No one wants to read about me aspirating my own vomit. 
Stepping on the Alligator? No That's not badassery, that's clumsiness. 
The bear under the trailer? No. Does not qualify. The bear and I achieved a nonviolent resolution to the situation.
The other bear, when the bear cub was behind me? No. See above.
That time in junior high when we built the raft and left the paddles on the island and the cops got called and the missing persons report was filed but we had come ashore in a completely different city? Nope not badassery...but might qualify as a failed Darwin award.
That time, at the babysitters with the bees, the baby and the wild pigs?Nope. No one would believe that.
How I became Tidewaters only LIVING comic book supervillain? That's not badass...that's just pathetic.

So I'll go with the origin of my nom de plume.... 

Everything in this story is true, though some descriptive phrase choices might be debatable.

It was a dark and stormy night. We get those in Virginia sometimes.

Several weeks or months after the storm, this happened.....

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