January 29, 2021

Well This Bodes Ill

Yesterday there was a bit of confusion regarding Space-X's test flight (which failed to transpire). Specifically,  there were conflicting reports that the FAA had or had not rescinded their flight authorization at the last minute. 

Well, Space-X does appear to be in trouble with at least one other branch of the government, the Justice Department. 

It seems that they are being investigated for workplace discrimination. Specifically, they are accused of refusing to hire non-U.S. citizens

They're gonna be prosecuted for not hiring foreigners at an ITAR sensitive firm, and one of the Few U.S. firms with a global technological lead in its fields.  There is no info on what the nationality is but as this doesn't seem to have been an issue until president Djo Bai Din came into office, I would be very interested in knowing that crucial fact. 

UPDATE: Via Scott Lowther comes this article which contains a SCRID copy of the D.O.J. complaint.  

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January 13, 2021

Good Grief! It's Real.

We covered the rumors of the Kel-Tec P50 before. And expressed skepticism that anything this cool could exist. Commenters reported seeing magazine articles on it, but now there is confirmation from Kel-Tec themselves via The Gun Hipster Network

Sadly, Kel-Tec will not be getting it to market before January 20th, so there is still some doubt as to whether it will ever be available. 

Without handling the thing it's hard to make any judgements on handling, but the mag change looks flakier than it should be, not because its bad in concept, but because it opens SO wide that in the dark it looks like there's too big an area that the mag might go. It's certainly not "hand finds hand".  

Still, that's what practice is for and a pistol shooting 50 rounds of 5.7x28 for under a grand is quite compelling and a potential budgetary hazard. 

I'd been looking at an 1858 Remington, and then THIS goes and happens.  

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December 23, 2020

Mr. Kellgren: QUICK! Get it to Market Before January 20th!

I don't know if this is a joke or not. 

It's not on KelTec's website as I type this.

But it seems to be a new development, and given that it's allegedly a Kel-Tec product, it's a more plausible notion than it would otherwise be from less whimsical manufacturers. 

But if this is real, and there's really a pistol coming out in 5.7x28 NATO, one that uses the 50 shot P-90 mags, well, I'm afraid my cashflow is likely to take a hit. 

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November 24, 2020

Damnit! It's 2020! Where's My....Oh.

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October 20, 2020

Oh. So THAT'S Why.

I had always wondered about that.

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January 26, 2020

Happy New Year Again

To our Chinese friends and those on their calendar, we here at Brickmuppet Blog hope your first full day of the year of the Iron Rat is hangover free.

Art by Crystal Herb who works through Eight Studio.

May the coming year bring you hippyness happiness...

Art by Catxuan, who is also on bilibili, Hueban, and can be supported at Art Station.


Art by Gomzi,


Art by Shigaraki, who can be supported via Booth.

...and finally, may all of your affairs in the coming year be in ship-shape.


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No Bridezilla Will Ever Have Anything So Perfect As This

A wedding in The Philippines  gets some spectacular fireworks thanks to a sudden eruption the Taal volcano.

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October 21, 2019

HIJNS Akagi Found

Discovered yesterday, by the Research Vessel Petrel 18000 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific, the wreck of the flagship of Japan's once implacable Kido Butai sits in the middle of the craters she made when the vessel came to the end of her long fall from grace.

Akagi and her sisters sallied forth expecting to spring a trap and oversee the killing blow against the U.S.N. and the capture of the most important pile of sand and albatross nests in the world. Instead, the loss of of this vessel and 5 others at the hands of a numerically inferior and diffidently equipped scratch force of U.S. Navy planes dumbfounded the Japanese and ended their rampage across the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Over the next three and a half years there would be more battles and the Japanese would even win a few, but this battle ended the Japanese forward momentum and the loss of so many aircrew was a blow from which Japan never really recovered.

Japan's hope for success in her folly ended with the death of Akagi and her sisters.

Kaga was found last week:

There is a very good overview of this battle from the perspective of the Japanese here.

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August 06, 2019

"I always wanted a pony. But after the accident, I got to BE the pony!"

Can't find the artist, but the girl's name is Mako Shimano. The centaurcycle is called a G.U.M.B.A and the source is an ad for a Toyota dealership in Gunnma Prefecture Japan.
An ad that fills me with equal parts skepticism and want.

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March 13, 2019

Cesar and Nero

Some sculptor in Spain, using the extant sculptures as models, is creating hyper-realistic busts of the Roman Emperors.   

Julius Caesar


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November 18, 2018

Mary Shelly Should Sue.

Via Moe Lane, the Library of Congress has restored the 1910 Frankenstein, and, since it predates Steamboat Willie, they have made it available for free download. 

I note some subtle differences from the book.

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May 01, 2018

Things They Tried to Warn us About in 1978

Even then they foresaw the perils of the Googleplex.

Naturally, being the BBC, they blamed it all on the Catholics.

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May 21, 2016

It's the 21st Century! WHERE IS MY....Oh!

Steven was recently disappointed to learn that the word "hoverboard" had been defined down by people who lack either vision or an understanding of the language. 

Fortunately there are those working to rectify that.  

In other, more meta news: I edited the recent post that was speculating about practical applications of scientifically facilitated hybrid vigor. This was mainly to provide proper citations. However, in the process, additional expository graphics pertinent to the subject matter were  uncovered and added.

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April 14, 2016

Some Truly Good News

This is a couple of days old, but it is still awesome news.

The National Space Society takes great pleasure in announcing that its 2016 Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award has been won by acclaimed science fiction author Dr. Jerry Pournelle. This prestigious award selected by an international vote of NSS members will be presented to Dr. Jerry Pournelle at the 2016 International Space Development Conference (ISDC). The public is welcome to attend the conference and see the award presentation at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ISDC will run from May 18-22, 2016.

Pournelle is one of the best of the hard SF writers and he has worked tirelessly since the late '60s to defend this nation and make us a space faring society. He worked on space policy for two presidents, and was instrumental in getting the DC-X off the ground. In addition to his visionary and entertaining novels and short stories, Dr. Pournelle has been a tireless advocate for making humanity a multi-planet species. 

This is truly well deserved and it is uplifting to see it has come to pass.

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April 20, 2010

Random Thoughts on Eyjafjallajökull

Via Instapundit: Some really neat pics of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano which has so disrupted European air travel.

Photoblogging From Mordor

Meanwhile, as she sits back, eats her chips and watches the fireworks, one of the Brickmuppets's Crack Team of Science Babes takes the time to point out that his could be of more than passing interest.

 New Scientist reports that there is a nontrivial possibility that this could be a long term problem as the last hundred or so years have seen Iceland atypically quiet. If this becomes a periodic occurrence I wonder if cruise ships might be rerouted for transatlantic duty. This would be a suboptimal solution. Cruise ships are not liners as they are fairly slow, though Cunard might soon find it even nicer to have three new vessels on hand, that, being designed partly as liners, can make 28knots.

In the longer term if Icelandic ash is periodically disrupting air travel with Europe, might we see a return to piston engined planes?
As I understand it, the ash is a far greater menace to gas turbines ...it can cause issues over time with Otto and diesel cycle engines as well but that can be somewhat mitigated with better filters.

Nor is travel the only potential disruption.

The eruption of the Indonesian volcano Tambora in 1815 caused the 'year without a summer'. This is a firecracker of an eruption compared to that but it is very long lasting and seems to be spewing an awful lot of ash. I do wonder how the aggregate amounts of ash will compare to Tambora.

Tambora's affect on the weather was actually comparable to an eruption by another Icelandic volcano, Laki in 1783.

The British naturalist Gilbert White described that summer in his classic Natural History of Selborne as "an amazing and portentous one … the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man.

"The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. At the same time the heat was so intense that butchers' meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic … the country people began to look with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun."

Across the Atlantic, Benjamin Franklin wrote of "a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America".

The disruption to weather patterns meant the ensuing winter was unusually harsh, with consequent spring flooding claiming more lives. In America the Mississippi reportedly froze at New Orleans.

Apart from indirect deaths from famine caused by odd weather, Laki also killed people directly (via Sulphur Dioxide poisoning) as far south as France.

It should be noted in passing that the last eruption of
Eyjafjallajökull lasted two years.

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December 05, 2009

IJNS Yamato


6 years, 4 months, uncounted LEGOs and phenomenal patience.

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A Coastie From Newport News Made Good

Built in 1914 by Newport new Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.as the freighter Medina, the Motor Vessel Dullos has passed through countless storms, Braved the U boats of both the Kaiser and the Furher while bringing supplies across the Atlantic and survived the ravages nearly a century at sea. Additionally, during World War 2, the old vessel was operated as an auxiliary for a time by the US Coast Guard.

Renamed Dullos by her current owners, the vessel is now the oldest operating passenger vessel in the entirety of the Earths oceans.

Such a long and storied history would be worthy of comment on its own, but Dullos is doubly remarkable. Operated by the German charity GBA , her passenger list consists not only of fare paying travelers but volunteers who see to her cargo. That cargo consists of tons of books for Dullos is a floating library and bookstore traveling the world hosting floating bookfairs.

Bangkok, Manilla, Kuching, Hong Kong, Phuket, and more than a hundred other ports have been visited by the ship and her crack crew of globetrotting salty-dog librarians. Additionally, while in no way a hospital ship, her medical staff performs some dental and other medical services in the less affluent ports of call.

Now, in the ships 95th year her long voyage is at an end. The inexorable toll exacted by the corrosive and violent sea has accumulated over the years and it was decided after her latest survey that the old vessel  is to be decommissioned on Decenber 31, 2009.

Of course...if any of you have 10 million Euro laying around, there is a campaign to preserve the historic old girl.

95 years....the shipping industry, indeed the world has become unrecognizable since the time this ship first split the waves.  If ships could talk...

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October 03, 2009

Way Cooler than a Wawa

Renovations are being done on a gas station in Minnesota.
Now normally unless alternate fuels are being fed through the pumps or a giant robot is somehow involved, this would not be of any interest whatsoever.

This gas station however, is the only one ever designed by Frank Loyd Wright.

If the parking lot was filled with Tuckers..It'd be perfect.

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July 05, 2009

Them Thar's Some Big Fiddles....

This came via Wonderduck...who inexplicably hasn't posted it...so I naturally suspect a cunning trap of some sort.
However, I'm afraid that it is simply too cool not to post.

Now I await the shoe to fall.

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May 16, 2009

Tuckers For Today

A hot rod house  has produced a near replica of the Tucker '48 Torpedo using the original blueprints and mold.

Its not exact of course as the engine is moved a bit forward to improve balance (its almost a mid engine now )and the thing has A/C and a modern electronics fit (GPS/ stereo ect.) but damn....this is cool.

And yet it gets cooler still because they've done a low rider version updated, behold the Lower 48!

A bit more contemporary in style both within and without, it is still very faithful to the Tucker.
Sadly for us (though it is no doubt joyous for them) they are completely booked up at the moment.

Well...one can dream.....

UPDATE: Wonderduck points out that there is a movie of the Tucker story.

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