September 13, 2020

Gender Reveal Parties: Threat or Menace?

By now most of you have heard about the idiots who set off the fireworks at a gender reveal party, thereby igniting one of California's current wildfires

Well it's not just California where these bridezilla recidivism incidents go haywire, it appears that one just went off the rails in Canada and at least 80 shots were fired

Was there a betting pool? What? Why?

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March 27, 2020

A short tale of supply shortages, work regulations as well as black markets and their proper utilization in the age of COVID-19.

Art by AT-2

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March 22, 2020

This Weekend has Seen A Considerable Amount of Heated Debate

In these trying times we should all embrace the healing power of "and". 

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March 15, 2020

A Video Primer on Hygiene in Current Year

Besides the hand-washing, one should familiarize oneself with PPE, its proper use of protective equipment and  ideas for extemporization in a pinch. . 

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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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February 07, 2020

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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February 06, 2020


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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January 27, 2020

My Fellow Rednecks Continue to Advance the State of the Art

Or something.

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January 14, 2020

Chemicals in the Food Supply

So a few days ago, while zipping between the productive children who had provided them with grandkids,  my parents stopped by for a few hours and dropped off a care package including some fresh bread they got from the bakery because "that Dollar Store stuff you eat worries me!"

It was really good, but in about 4 days time I went to make a sandwich and....

Turns out the bread they had purchased was that really high-end all-natural stuff with no preservatives.

Now, they're not into the crazy, hard-line "organic" nonsense, they simply zipped into the grocery and picked the top-of-the-line bread, but it brings home how much of these lifestyle fashions are just status games by people who have both the capital and leisure time to buy bespoke merchandise in tiny quantities.

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January 09, 2020

I Have a Question

I turned on the news a few minutes ago and the President is having another rally. VP Pence is doing the opening act.

Why are these two people in the same time and space?

Notwithstanding the recent  righteous vivisection of the Persian's answer to Himmler and Skorzeny,  we're involved in wars in Afganistan, Syria, and in sporadic locations around Dar al Islam. All it would take is a big bomb or a drone swarm to give us president Pelosi.

That'd be bad.

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January 03, 2020

In Which I Again Completely Missed the Point (Updated)

So Wednesday night I blundered into a webcomic in one of the tabs I was closing out.  While, fairly true to life in my experience it had all the moral ambiguity of a Goofus and Gallant strip. Now to be fair, it was a 4 panel strip and so it's not really a art-crime that the antagonist was a purple haired Snidely Whiplash. I didn't know where It'd been linked from or the context and so I closed out the tab and since Wednesday was my birthday, and I'd missed Christmas due to work, I went down to visit my folks in NC.

Fast forward to getting home an hour ago, and lo and behold that strip I'd blown off is now all the rage...

It turns out that the aforementioned 4koma was the source of the meme of the week...and I'd completely misread it. In particular, I had misidentified which character was the author insert and which was the designated straw-man. This puts the comic in a whole different context.

Dev's video makes some insightful points (as Dev does) though he get's wayyy into the weeds on this. But then the talented Mr. Benjamin looked at the above video and how much the Canadian was able to glean from a 4 panel strip. And thereupon the Briton said "Hold my beer!" 

Gracious! It's Plato vs. Aristotle, in a war to the knife in the field of memes.

UPDATE: Good grief. I did it again. When I saw it earlier I assumed that this was obviously a parody obituary. Alas, I again missed those subtle cues so necessary for gleaning the deeper meaning of derp.

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December 11, 2019

A Headline of the Crazy Years

Pigeons Wearing Cowboy Hats are Roaming Las Vegas, and Nobody Knows Why

That headline gives all the pertinent information conveyed in the several hundred word article.

Other outlets are covering this important story, the NYT reports that there is a rodeo in town, but they deny responsibility.

Oh look. There's video...

Things fall apart
The center cannot hold

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November 29, 2019

Adventures in Steam Engineering and Their Applicability to the Precautionary Principle.

So. I put a piece of leftover chicken in the microwave this afternoon for 45 seconds as I have done many, many times before. At about 30 seconds there was a loud explosion as the as the flesh of the chicken bird evenly dispersed itself around the interior of my microwave.

It's all clean now but golly, I haven't had a microwave mishap like that since that time when I was a kid...with the egg.

So perhaps the takeaway here is that moisture can flash to steam in unpredictable ways. However, if  we were to err on the side of caution and assume that chickens of any age have the potential to interact catastrophically with radiation, then this has implications!

"We'll have to take iguanas to mars instead!"

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November 28, 2019

Isekai no Kanshasai: Thanksgiving in Another World

Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday, but it wouldn't be isekai without anachronisms, so here we go.

  Some adventuring party giving thanks for a successful dungeon crawl by RFF

Thankful bunny mummy is by Romana

Muzzle, Spring and Trigger-Chan; the Trigger Mascots, brazenly appropriating our cultures is by Sasamori Tomoe

Meanwhile, in the real world...

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November 10, 2019

I Have No Idea What's Going on Here But I'm Pretty Sure I Whole-Heartedly Approve of It

Art by Sukabu. Buy his artbook!

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November 05, 2019

Bagger 288

A short documentary examining the operation of and rationale behind the largest and second heaviest mobile ground vehicle on earth.

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October 28, 2019

The Impact of Technology Upon the Upcoming Holiday

"I bet her butt doesn't hurt."

I will not try to transliterate the SOURCE

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Discourse in Current Year

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October 22, 2019




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October 06, 2019

A Blast From the Past; A Legendary Asshat (UPDATED)

John Nestor was a man who followed the rules to the letter. Jonah Goldberg remembered this paragon of propriety  as part of a questionable analogy opening a 2013 column.

In the early 1980s, transit officials in Washington couldn’t figure out why traffic on the Beltway would grind to a near halt every day around the exact same time. The usual explanations didn’t fit.

Then it was discovered that a single driver was to blame. Every day on his drive to work, this commuter would plant himself in the left lane and set his cruise control to 55 mph, the posted speed limit, forcing those behind him to merge right. You can imagine the effects.

It gets better...

To his credit, this driver came forward in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post. The man’s name was John O. Nestor. He explained that the left lane was great; less traffic, less merging — why not ride it into work every day? Besides, he wrote, "Why should I inconvenience myself for someone who wants to speed?”

With that bit of daily narcissistic malice, this jackass was able to destroy the traffic in the DC area. The term "Nestoring" was coined by readers of the Washington Post to describe his antics.

It gets better worse still...

Fittingly, Nestor was a regulator at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Virtually no drug was worth the risk, according to Nestor. The FDA transferred him out of the cardio-renal-pulmonary unit to some bureaucratic backwater because he "had approved no new chemical entities ... from 1968 to 1972...
There is more on this here.

So this officious prick caused untold deaths because he stopped ANY approvals of heart medicine for 4 years. This does not count the deaths from any accidents he likely caused on the beltway or the people who got stuck in traffic in an ambulance and died on the way to the ER.

Mr. Nestor wrought all this misery by simply following the rules and exercising his lawful power over others. His comment about speeders belied the fact that Nestor was actually a bully. Devoid of empathy, he derived glee from hurting others with his passive aggressive mischief. His refusal to approve a single drug for the stated reason of fearing there might be harm speaks to either profound moral cowardice or fearful malice.

Jackasses are all around us. But few have had been able to make such a profound difference by themselves as Mr. Nestor. So today we remember a truly legendary asshat.

NOTE: The above was originally published in 2013.  In order to get reference material for this post I had to search my own blog to find Nestor's name so I just copy-pasted it and fixed the hyperlinks.

It is relevant because I had an unexpectedly intense discussion with a friend this evening about this topic and I could not, for the life of me remember the jackasses name.

It's more relevant to my Virginia readership because in looking it up, to my astonishment, I discovered that...


Actually, they passed it in 2017 to very little fanfare...and even less definition of pokey.

There are good reasons to discourage people from engaging in such despicable noted by NPR, and this Canadian, but the Virginia law seems alarmingly vague. Cripes!

Additionally, There are other,  less definitive or peer reviewed reasons besides giving a damn about traffic patterns to get out of the way when someone overtaking you flashes their high beams.

Now, let's be clear, when this dreadfully annoying thing occurs, there is a 90-99% chance that the individual coming up behind you is a complete jerk with delusions of autobahn.

But here's the thing.

A few years ago my Dad was pulled over for traveling at...rather excessive the passing lane, and he had been flashing his high beams to get people out of his way. He explained to the officer that my mom was having a stroke, after some quick checking the officer escorted them to the hospital and no ticket was issued. Mom got there in time. I've known or known of several people in similar straits when they had to determine the minutes it would take to await an ambulance versus the dire need of a loved one. Now there are plenty of reasons why this is, in a macro sense a bad idea. One is after all engaging in a different sort of risky behavior, but cost/risk benefit analysis is less clear cut when dealing with a loved one.

90% or more of high beam flashers are probably asshats, but I am not such a narcissist that I'll take smug satisfaction in the power I wield over the speeder by refusing to get out of their way, because on the off chance that the speeder is in dire straits, to not yield (if safe to do so) might result in a preventable death, and that blood would, (if not legally, morally) be on my hands.

On this. your mileage may certainly vary.

*FULL DISCLOSURE: The word "pokey"does not actually appear anywhere in the aforementioned alarming legislation.

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