September 19, 2020


Scrimshaw be from the ole' Strikewitches Gacha Game...fer some reason. 

2020 be givin' everyone the black spot, but there's no need te git yerselves 3 sheets to the wind. Take a moment from battenin' down the hatches for storm season and bring a spring upon yerselves to more pleasant endeavors, at least fer a bit. 


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September 18, 2020


Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed. 

She was a smart woman who fought tenaciously for what she believed in. I gather she knew the end was near and was trying to last until the election. Whatever one might think of her jurisprudence, she seemed to have a great deal of class and even in her frail last years carried herself with considerable dignity. 

If so inclined, I suggest saying some prayers for the Notorious RBG... and for our country, for I fear that things are about to get very...passionate.

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Lazy Writing

The writers at 2020 the Ongoing Series are starting to re-use scripts from the winter season. 

Fortunately this bug is not terribly contagious, not especially deadly and is easily treatable.

But still...

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Obituary Cancelled

I've been monstrously busy of late. However, I've been online a little and on Wednesday I noted that the very last post by Pete Zaitcev was over a week ago and read as follows. 

Due to some circumstances, I was pocket-carrying a Shield 45 in Boraii mini-holster all day today. It works very well with jeans, belt size 38.

Because "some circumstances" are burning down American cities and at least one plot of forrest, having this be the last word from Pete was cause for alarm.

However, moments ago,  just before hitting "publish" I double checked and there was another 'tweet' (Plier?) regarding ammunition availability that was made today, so there is no need to publish any retrospective regarding アニ・ノート or Pete's contributions to the anime blogosphere since before 2009. 

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September 13, 2020

It's 2020 in Another World

Well. I'mma gonna take that as foreshadowing. 

Re: Zero is back! Actually, it's BEEN back for 10 weeks but I'd missed it while fighting off harassment and distractions foisted upon me by a nefarious group I'll refer to henceforth as the I.R.L.

Anyway. The first two episodes of the lates installment  of this excellent show are quite solid. At this point, understanding that I'm 8 behind,  I'm recommending it heavily. 

In other cutting edge, breaking news of the trivial: A Certain Scientific Railgun Season 3 has been going for 23 weeks. 3 episodes in, it is actually looking to be up to the previous two seasons' standards. 

Heck, even the most annoying lesbian in all of the future gets an awesome scene

There are several other shows that look to have promise and the I.R.L. is being less least with my internet connection, so tardy reviews may be forthcoming. 

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Meanwhile: On the Roof of the World

India is moving 12 steel hulled patrol boats to Pangong Lake, a large Himalayan glacial lake at the center of the current unpleasantness between China and India. The undertaking of this logistical feat is in response to the sudden appearance of numerous Chinese naval patrol boats on the other side of the lake. 

The latter had badly outmatched the Indian zodiac boats, and now there is again parity.  Kind of like Lake Champlain in 1814. 

When looking this up, I learned that there is a Tibetan national army. This surprised me. Then I learned that it is part of the Indian is seen by its troops and India as analogous to things like the Free Polish army of WW2 and it trains for one thing; to fight China. 

There is an overview of the situation from an Indian perspective here. 

Do note that this is where China, "Tibet", Kashmir, India, and Pakistan all meet. This is challenging physical geography and combustible political geography. 

China: 320 nuclear warheads
India: 150 nuclear warheads
Pakistan: 160 nuclear warheads

There is more on this here, here, and here

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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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I Suppose Delta Airlines is Particularly Enthusiastic

We asked our Crackerjack team of Science Babes to report on the latest breakthroughs regarding the Flying V

However, due to poor communication there was some confusion, so I'll just link to this story at Ars Technica

Flying V is a type of aircraft that has been talked about for some years. In theory a Flying V aircraft with the same passenger capacity as a standard airliner would have about 20 percent less fuel consumption. The design has not been pursued until recently because that's only a theory and there were other theories that the design would just not get off the ground, or flip over and crash. Airbus rejected it, but the engineer who developed the concept hopped the border to the Netherlands and the idea was taken up by Dutch Airline KLM, who have built a scale model and successfully flown it. 

Theres a concept video on YouTube...

...which is WAY more impressive looking than the actual event. 

But the test is not CGI. It's actual engineering. There's more on this at New Atlas. Which notes that the baseline for the 20% fuel savings claim  is the Airbus A350-900 and that unlike most flying wing proposals, a Flying V would have the same or smaller wingspan. This would solve the achilles heel of most flying wing airliner proposals, the notion that airports would have to be massively rebuilt for the new planes. With this they wouldn't. 

All this assumes that the thing actually scales up well, which is far from a sure thing. Still, it's nice to see innovative and frankly futuristic looking designs being looked being the 21st century and all. 

I'm all for more Syd Mead and less Mad Max. 

Image via Slash-Gear

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September 11, 2020

19 Years It's Been

...since those planes struck from incredibly clear skies. 

19 years ago, after the terrible events of that September and the subsequent anthrax attacks, there were predictions in some quarters that we'd end up locked in our houses in fear watching our cities burn and living in dread of unnatural plagues. 

How people can have been so very right and yet simultaneously so utterly wrong is worth pondering. 

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September 05, 2020

Wow. This Guy's Good.

He has a great singing voice and actually pulls off this song, which is no mean feat. 

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September 03, 2020

So today at work...

...I was in a state of frenzy dealing with an insane number of boxes and smalls bags when somebody shoved a tote of small packages onto the set of rollers that fed the totes to me to sort to the proper belt. there was one tote at he very end next to me, a lot of empty rollers, another full tote, and the tote that had been cast onto the belt, which hit the tote at the far end and stopped cold upon hitting the other tote. 

That second tote was propelled with great force down the belt which caught my eye just as it hit the tote full of stuff at my end of the belt knocking it off, creating a huge mess, and causing a metal rod to pop out and cut me. 

And I thought to myself "Wow, that was just like a short-stroke gas piston." And then I thought to myself " I probably spend too much time watching Forgotten Weapons." 

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September 02, 2020

The Evolution of Men's Business Attire

Update: I just figured out where I must have gotten this

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September 01, 2020

Here's a Headline to Remind You That You're in the FUTURE

Flight Crews Report Man In A Jet Pack During Final Approach To LAX

There's little to add except, don't take your jetpacks into the flightline

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Meanwhile, in Mozambique

The Islamic State (remember them?) has seized the Mozambiquean port of Mocimboa da Praia. This is significant for three reasons:

1: This is a major achievement for a defeated organization. (and I'm not being sarcastic, they were thoroughly trounced in Syria). 
2: It is FAR outside the usual stomping grounds of The Islamic State and its affiliated groups. (West Africa, The Levant, North Africa, Afganistan and neighboring countries, and the Philippines) 
3: The city in question is a particularly strategic node, being a deepwater port and also very close to natural gas fields.
4: The actual defeat of the army and seizure of the town took place 19 days ago. The Jihadists have HELD the city and are moving on the nearby gas fields
The Islamic State had, at its height, expanded into or incorporated into itself, many similarly motivated organizations worldwide from Boko Haram to the Sultanate of Sulu. Many of these federal arrangements seem to have actually survived the collapse in Syria and  to have given the organization redundancy and staying power.  Moreover the Islamic State has a history of growing and moving very quickly. It is, after all a revolutionary religious movement and is quite charismatic in ideology to a certain segment of Dar al islam. The fact that they are this organized has implications going forward. While the IS is of little apparent direct threat, particularly at the ass end of the planet, they are an active and enthusiastic sponsor of terrorism. The organization has a history of financing themselves via creative smuggling of petrochemicals and have proved adept at bypassing blockades. If they secure the gas fields they may be able to turn that into financing to purchase weapons and support terrorists in the U.S., Europe and other places. The Islamic State and its confederated "Caliphates" are known to have close ties with certain Latin American drug cartels including technical assistance. The group can conceivably use their smuggling infrastructure to insert agents, and or weapons into the U.S., perhaps to contribute to our current domestic urban chaos. A safe haven for The Islamic State allowing them time to build infrastructure has other implications as well, though mainly in the longer term. 

Sallying forth to slay dragons in some awful land war in Africa is a dubious and daunting prospect with no political support here. It also would take attention off the primary strategic goal of deterring China.  Certainly the locals need to be given ample time to take care of the situation themselves, but this is a situation that should be watched carefully. 

For one thing 1500 Civilians are dead and 250,000 are displaced. The last time The I.S. did this it caused a humanitarian crisis that had notable effects in Europe, Mozambique is more isolated, but the effect on such  countries as Botswana, and South Africa, (the former one of the few stable Sub-Saharan states, the latter with its own problems) could be quite disruptive. 

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August 30, 2020

The Difference

...between being red-pilled and black-pilled is wether one gives into despair. 

Don't give in to despair. 
Don't fly off half cocked.
Don't assume that the first reports have all context.

Be careful.
Stay safe. 

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Oh Great. Another Isekai Show....wait....

Well, that's different. 

It'll take longer to explain than it will to let you watch the first episode on You Tube. The rest are on Crunchyroll

I guess someone saw Thermae Romae and decided to make a...weird, claymation, Greek version.  I'm not sure it's good, but it made me laugh. 

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August 27, 2020

Oh Dear Lord

It's hitting with 150 mile per hour winds, a 20 foot storm surge.

This excerpt from the NOAA Public Advisory is sobering.

Key Messages:

1. Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes.
This surge could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate coastline, and flood waters will not fully recede for several days after the storm.

2. Hurricane-force winds are expected tonight in portions of the hurricane warning area, with catastrophic wind damage expected where Laura's eyewall moves onshore. Hurricane-force winds and widespread damaging wind gusts will spread well inland into portions of extreme eastern Texas and western Louisiana early Thursday.

3. Widespread flash flooding along small streams, urban areas, and roadways is expected to begin overnight tonight into Thursday from far eastern Texas into Louisiana and Arkansas. This will also lead to minor to moderate freshwater river flooding. The heavy rainfall
threat and flash and urban flooding potential will spread
northeastward into the middle-Mississippi, lower Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys Friday night and Saturday.

I don't recall ever seeing the word "unsurvivable" in a forecast before. 

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August 25, 2020

2020 Comes to Beaumont

Actually, I'm much more concerned about the inland path of this storm as it's following a path very similar to Camille. This is reportedly a wet storm and the potential for unpleasantness in Appalachia due to orographic precipitation is high. 

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August 24, 2020

Calcium Phosphate, Lead, Brass, Bismuth, Batteries, Boxes, and Banking

Baleful banality bides below.

For those uninterested in such matters, here is Tsana in the Lansane. Support his work on Fanbox

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August 22, 2020

Two in as Many Days.. 2020 is Jumping the Sharks.....

...and the alligators, and the water moccasins which will probably be swimming in the streets of New Orleans next week. Steer clear of NOLA Tuesday and Wednesday.

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