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* Posts by Brian

32 posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

Times: US about to deploy Space Marines

Brian
Black Helicopters

They already have....

The ubiquitous "they" have already been dreaming up short-orbit object-tossing schemes.

It was known as the "THOR" weapons system. Basically ...fire up a launching platform complete with several very large ceramo-metallic pillars. Wait for the "Baddies-du-Jour" to make themselves plain, hit the button and the orbital platform simply drops a nasty gravity-enhanced mass o' splat on the offenders, with the benefit of short turnaround repetition if need be.

That was 20 or so years ago. Haven't heard of anything recently.

Wait......what's that growing whistling sou

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That 'Elderly Persons' sign: Can you do better?

Brian
Stop

Was going to post a real funny suggestion....

but apparently the other cold-hearted bastards in here beat me to it.

BTW Amanda...."as if insisting those damned kids stay off his lawn". Priceless.

Perhaps a warning triangular sign with a lovely sunset on it...possibly a sign with a solid pale, soothing institutional green color....or perhaps a garish floral pattern.

Bah!

Get off my lawn you little bastards!

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Russell Crowe to play Bill Hicks?

Brian
Coat

@ Hud RE: Bernie Mac.

Gonna be a tall order to give you a Bernie Mac seing's how Bernie shed his mortal coil about a month ago.

Gonna also have to withhold judgement about the performance 'til it happens. And for the same reason previously stated: Crowe did a decent job as Nash.

'Course, I don't know that Mr. Hicks would be all that pleased about a posthumous biopic released about him to line the pockets of the fat bastards he resented in the first place.

Ah well, we shall see....

I was just starting to get acquainted with his work for a year or two before he passed. Had tickets to a show and had to pass them up for work reasons. I figured he'd be back sooner or later.....

Dammit.

Mine's the one with the baggie of cowpie-fertilized 'shrooms in the pocket.

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US Marines: Osprey tiltrotor doing OK in Iraq

Brian
Black Helicopters

Finally!!!!!!!!

Now all we need is a few more wars for it to operate in successfully to offset the absurd financial/human cost of over 30 years of development.

Don't get me wrong, innovation is fine. I admit I am something of a Luddite, however. To that end, I approach technological "marvels" with apprehension and as much empericism as I can muster. I figure, though, that if you take the money spent on this tilt-rotor hotrod's teething pains, you coulda bought a full air task force of existing aircraft to do the same job. And spare parts. And fuel. Or the Iraqis could be organized into an effective fighting force and we could furnish them with an entire functional air arm (a longshot, I know).

I have been having this very same discussion with a couple friends of mine over the intervening years. The lastest line of reasoning has been that this aircraft has brought about so much advancement in various technologies that it has paid for itself. 'Course they said that about the B-1 (the B-what?). Splatted 3 of 'em (fortunately without full crew complement). Pretty plane, though. Finally gave up on further purchase, although there are a few airwings of them hither and yon.

A few years ago, it was found that the wing roots of F-16s were cracking out at a number of cycles far under what the manufacturer claimed for designed loads.

Then there was the Blackhawk fiasco. And on...yadda yadda yadda....

Or maybe I am just being too skeptical.

HARK! Ospreys in the distance!

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Alcoholic rats' boozing slashed by mutant superpower drug

Brian
Happy

THIS IS GREAT NEWS!!!!

With the drinking proclivities of the rats effectively curtailed...and the humans being able to swear off alcohol through metabolic response....that makes for a glut of spirits on the market!

Which, in turn, drives the price down....

Which, in turn, would lure people to buy more....

Which would lead to, presumably, more alcohol consumption................err...wait a minute....

I feel dizzy...it is either the double vodka with the vodka chaser...or my carefully crafted circular logic.

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Junk food ads target net

Brian
Stop

FIREFOX?

What the hell does Clint Eastwood flying in a top secret, fly-by-mind, superdupersonic Russian aircraft have to do with blocking ads from McDonald's?

Granted....firing a couple air-to-ground anti-armor missiles at fast food restaurants could be seen as a way to curtail consumption by the kiddies...but it seems a tad drastic to me.

And, why use Clint eastwood....or Russian MiGs? I mean I just finished an article stating that Eagle drivers are being retrained to fly drones...couldn't we just employ them to do it with American aircraft rather than just leaning on one septuagenarian actor and a mythical Soviet fighter?

All so confusing....perhaps I am missing something....

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The Electric Car Conspiracy ... that never was

Brian
Go

Tossing in my 1/50 of a dollar....

For starters...I am a lifelong "petrolhead". I have several very-large-engined (7.1 liter and above) vehicles. I have drag raced, street raced, etc.etc. I love the sound of gas engines ('specially a properly tuned V8).

That being said....I live 17 miles from my job. In order to be able to commute I drive a car that gets 30mpg, cost 350 smackers, and is (suprisingly) of American vintage. I drive my other cars when the whim strikes, but have realized that I cannot justify using them as primary transportation when better options are available. Also, I am in the process of converting my 1956 beetle to plug-in electric...a very fun project for me as I enjoy the engineering and tinkering. This will replace my on-road commuter. Its also gonna be a "hillbilly hybrid" with a small removeable propane powered generator , should I need the range extended over, say, 80 miles.

Over the years, I have come to notice the problems associated with personal transportation. In America, at least in my neck o' the woods, I have noticed (and studied) that the transportation problems are something of a chicken and egg problem. Originally, towns and cities were rather compact and distinct from the more agrarian areas of the country. As such, commerce movement was limited to within townships (except of course where trains and ships were available). Electric (and steam) delivery vehicles become available, gas-burners not becoming widely available until 1910....even then electric and steam were sold side by side, in dwindling numbers, until the early '30s. The power and relative cheapness of gasoline powerplants in vehicles makes them the more attractive to auto manufacturers. With the prevalance of smaller and more personal vehicles hitting the streets, the streets themselves had to adapt. Thus, the U.S. starts planning an infrastructure around the growing numbers of the vehicles. This changes the landscape (much more literally than figuratively). What happens over the intervening decades is that you now have a society with more spread out centers of population requiring more travel for work, goods and service delivery, and recreation.

The chicken in this scenario is the need (and fashionable want) for more individualized transport. The egg is the infrastructure built to accomodate, which promotes another chicken of individuals needing personal vehicles to travel the increasing distances...yadda yadda yadda.

I would have to agree that mass-transit devlopement should be pursued and in my area it is promoted vigorously, but the non-individualistic aspects associated with it constantly hamstring it.

Fuel cell? If you read books other than those that promote it, then you end up with new infrastructure costs...plus some dubious claims of overall efficiently. Nice idea, all-in-all, and I hope developement will realize those lofty goals. Plus, there is potential for new industry.

Hybrids? I would think a dedicated engine-over-battery setup work be less costly and more scalable in the short and long run. I could be mistaken about this. Plus concerns about battery reconditioning and disposal have not been completely addressed. Not to mention depreciation in value over time. Personally, the batteries are not the largest problem...battery remanufacturing is a potentially a booming industry and batteries can be rebuilt with little (and in some cases, No) effects on the environment. The deprecaition arguement is utter bullshite....value is percieved and supported by those who go along with it. Is the imbued value of a vehicle truly dependent on what society decides is not up-to-date enough...or is the value reflected in the fact that it is actually a functioning mode of transportation, albeit 10 or so years old?

Pure electrics? Infrastructure augmentation, battery development, high finished product price. Plus, in the current phase of battery performance, maintanance and duration will have to be be kept in mind for prospective buyers.

From my standpoint, the electricity prices in my area are a plus towards me retrofitting my VW. I am also able to build this car in my garage, cutting costs to me dramatically. The existing vehicle still has tons of maintanace parts available. The newtech I will need to install is supported by several manufacturers.

Even after this long dissertation, there are those dubious of non-gas vehicle performance. That's fine. Go to evparts.com and check out the vehicles they have retrofitted. Even the super-duper off-roaders will find something of interest as they retrofitted an older model Land Rover which competes in various 100+ mile trail runs...climbing past other gas-fueled contenders and, on many occasions, dragging them out of harms way.

Another argument made is the visceral elements of driving electrics/ hybrids/ alt. fuel vehicles are not equal to their gasser brethren. Have any of you driven an electric vehicle? I know the TANGO is like being shot out of a cannon on acceleration while cornering like a race-prepped ferret. As arguments go, aesthetics are hardly a reason to promote the existing paradigm that is bringing about its own demise over a potential helpful step in the solution that may not sound like or look like a hotrod (but will more often than not spank your factory-built hotrod).

Efficiency gains in ICE (internal combustion engines) are still out there. The prob? Large scale manufacturers are strictly bottom-line. New technologies and methods of construction will not be implemented unless mandated by the gov. or the buying public. Another problem is the bullshite laws and rules implemented. for instance, California attempted to sign into law a mandate to improve base economy standards...even Schwarzengettothechopper touted the idea. Wanna know who stymied it? The federal elements of the EPA actually said that California had no right to put that law into effect for its own state to reduce emissions and raise mileage, separate of the rest of the union. Read that again.

But, if you are really looking (as a petrolhead) for a good reason to support expansion of alt. power vehicles, the solution is fairly straightforward. Alt. power increases....current fossil fuel consumption per capita falls precipitously. Anyone knows what happens next? FUEL PRICES DROP. Eventually the fuel prices drop to the competitive mean with other power schemes (and there will be many....there is no magic bullet) such that petrol will be an option rather than the standard.

Any fiscal conservatives in the house? Really? This is a field that promotes un-freakin-believable industrial potential. Wanna guess who I hear negative comments about alt. power industry from? See above. This is something that doesn't make sense to me.... if it's the almighty buck and the ever-present hand of the market that must be paid attention to above all else then it would seem to me this is a market to be explored, exploited, and advanced just like....say....oil. Just a thought. Any central planners in attendance? Howzabout developing more interurban areas insteads of developing the hinterlands? Less infrastructure costs to maintain AND urban sprawl could be (in theory, anyway) kept in check...thus, those who want to see unspoilt wild and the like would actually be able to see just that and not an unending row of cookie-cutter abominations that were installed because a developer needed to make a buck and didn't feel like paying the extra bucks-per-acre. Guess thats just the nature-loving hippie in me... fight the power ;) .

Are you still reading this? The upshot is that most arguments being put forth on this thread could be helpful if they weren't so myopic. We will be saddled with the current transpo problems as long as folks are still willing to over-simplify the problems and solutions. Several elements will be needed to be put in place to effect a solution. It can be done, it oughta be done. At least, thats they way it seems to me.

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Japan scores ballistic missile shootdown bullseye

Brian
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@ John and Richard Simpson

I have to add my 2 cents.

Orwell was technically correct...enough AA would keep bombers from being effective for a few reasons. The first (and more myopic) is that enough AA would cause so much havoc with the bomber formations that Germany would not have been able to field an effective flight of aircraft if, say, they were losing 50-100 craft and crews at a throw. Technically true, but then how much AA would be enough to effect this result? Obviously, more than Britain had in its standing defense force, and even that was probably less than a 1/10 of what would be necessary to bring those kind of numbers about. England would have had to have been encrusted with AA from the coast to the middle of strategic population centers such that inbound aircraft would be getting hammered all the way in and all the way out.

As it was, there was a fair amount of artillery, but located in concentrations relatively close to the cities they were defending. The standing Air Corps had to take up the slack with very few aircraft relative to the early German inbound filghts. Thus, Germany sends planes in, but are losing too few to justify suspending operations, continuing a bombing campaign for several years. That is parts of the economics of warfare that Orwell apparently didn't reconcile.

As far as service ceilings, you are technically correct. The problem was that aircrews typically flew far below those ceilings for several reasons. German aircraft, good as they were, were usually designed as multirole aircraft. As such, few were actually flown below their optimum configuration. Plus, in the case of Germany, they relied primarily on twin engined aircraft which are very subject to the laws of ballistics and smaller in bombload, thus needing far more aircraft to do the same job of a Lancaster or B-17 detachment. Had Hitler approved construction of high-altitude heavies early on, things could have been a whole lot worse (if one could even imagine that) for the inhabitants of Britain.

All that aside, the primary reason that aircraft operated below the threshold that would have put them out of reach of flak (and most fighters) was that although the Norden bombsight and others could calc the physics of falling bodies at any altitude/speed...the bombs had troubles hitting home even at 10-15 thousand feet. The reason was not known until after WWII. The physics of falling bodies was tight, but those in know had no idea that the "jet stream" existed, much less that winds often change direction significantly every 5-10 thousand feet. In fact, the Lancastrian that smacked the mountains in Chile in 1948 (maybe Peru), the aircrew flew in on-off poor visibilty and ended up plotting course by compass and airspeed. They knew they had the altitude, however when they plotted for calc airspeed, the came up 100+ miles short and started their descent straight into the mountains they thought that they had flown over. What they didn't know was they were flying into a severe headwind caused by the jet stream.

High altitude bombing was considered the best bet early on in the war, but was wildly ineffective even with huge formations. I have read several accounts where the accuracy of bombing campaigns was calculated as low as 8% and and "high" as 25% on good days. Actual effects on the bombs were not calculated as they fell towards earth simply because no-one knew there were effects to be calculated outside the physics of the blackboard. To sum up, when accuracy had to be maintained, the operation ceiling of the group generally lowered. Because of the inherent problems of getting it in the pickle barrel, you have huge formations to carpet bomb high value targets instead of a few super-accurate bomb strikes made by a few aircraft. As such, one can see why '17s, '24s and Lancs were getting plinked throughout the war. Even the Superfortresses during WWII and Korea were suffering the same fates (much of it was due to the plane itself) though they were constructed to fly very high and very fast out of the reach of everything...but their bombs hit targets more out of pure luck at those heights than for any other reason.

I'll shut up now. Just had to throw my 2 cents in. I should keep those pennies though....they are becoming more valuable for their metal compostion than their face value.

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NASA's Deep Impact mislays comet

Brian
Happy

@ Peter Lenz.....

A callback of a " Futurama " plot?

I bow to your greatness.

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Boeing confirms revised Dreamliner schedule

Brian
Go

Hence, the name "Dreamliner".....

The original deadline was a dream .

'Course, if it was an Airbus....it would have taken 6 months just to determine when to announce the first production delay.

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China pretty chuffed with lunar probe

Brian
Thumb Up

I see your moonrocks.....

and raise you a powertrain developer for the lunar lander.

My neighbor of about the first 20-odd years of my life was an unassuming gentleman by the name of Mr. Hoy. He owned a small farm down the street, which i visited frequently (probably much to his annoyance). By that time he had been retired for close to 20 years. Anyhow, the topic of what he used to do for a living came up. He was a meachanical engineer who worked for one of the subsidiary companies for program development under NASA. One night at a bar in Southern Florida, he was asked for ideas about a drivetrain design for a rover that was to operate under lunar conditions while being light enough and compact enough to stay within allowances for weight. The story goes that Mr. Hoy sketched out a design on a cocktail napkin while the other gentleman stuck to his promise to buy him another double-scotch.

From what I was told, the design was adopted virtually unchanged...presumably because the materials were readily available, the specs were maintained, and the rover development team was fast approaching a demonstrational deadline.

Mr. Hoy retired 2 years later in his mid-50s. So, my guess is that he was handsomely paid for his idea. It gives creedance (to me at least) that the moon landings were legit (any goofball could design a go-cart that could run around on a sound stage at earth-normal gravity and atmo conditions). HE had to observe rather strident power, weight, and envelope considerations, not necessary if they weren't headed for the moon to begin with. Hell, given a 6-pack of Guiness bottles and a hundred pounds of scrap steel, I could build a halfway convincing earth-bound rover for driving around a studio backlot.

Lunar rover? I will require a FULL case of Guiness, several pounds of unobtanium, and a cocktail napkin from Mr. Hoy.

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US gov silent robot white (?) helicopter prangs itself

Brian
Coat

1/11.5........ crash / successful test ratio.......

Something Microsoft could aspire to.

No coat...I'm calling in via the payphone down the street.

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Shell in Hawaiian algae biofuel pilot

Brian
Thumb Down

Soooooooo....Let me get this straight......

The green scum is being courted, developed, and sold by the yellow scum?

As far as the crack about Neo-Luddite-ism, I am rather happy about being bronze-aged in my regard for the bleeding-edge technologies. Mostly, this stems from the fact that pure science is almost never performed....it is simply science for profit....same as its been for quite some time. The newtech we end up with is what is marketed to us. Then we get to buy the upgrades to fix the unforseen problems from V 1.0....at that point we end up as a society being railed into one paradigm (think Microsoft, among others). I refuse and I resist...let the suckers pay the bill over and over again.

As far as the references to eco-nazis, I believe that there do need to be movements to counter the effects of those who could not care less. Take away the need for safeguards, and the safeguards will not be enacted. Being an "atheist" about it is just as myopic as those who are hyper-glassy-eyed about the ecological movement without realizing the negatives.. If you believe so whole-heartedly one way or the other, then your rational process is governed by a preconception akin to religious fervor.....a proposal will be ignored if it conflicts with your belief and adopted completely if it jives. At no point is the validity tested, just off-handedly dismissed or completely accepted unchallenged. Narrowmindedness like that has hamstrung humanity far more than can be comfortably calculated.

Lastly, I believe that instead of the term "free society" , the more apt term is "free-er society". If there is central planning involved, it ain't totally free....no matter if it is politically planned, shaped by prevailing religion...whatever. Only the level of personal restriction varies among societies. Oddly, the central planners are historically the only ones who will have the best chance at experiencing this "free society" I keep hearing about.

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Boffins in live-monkey-brain robot weblink arms race

Brian
Happy

Dammit Laemi Qian....

That was the FIRST thing that popped into my head when I read the article...

Cheers to great minds (well, similar minds anyway) thinking alike. The type of minds that would be rejected for removal and implantation in some horribly ill-concieved RoboCop-esque scenario.

I, for one, welcome the advance of our simian-metallic, fecculant-wielding, banana-seeking overlords. Really.

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Campaign to name US street after Douglas Adams

Brian
Black Helicopters

There goes a Frogstar Scout Class "b" ...

I would like to 42nd the nomination for the "Don't Panic" icon.

I raise a glass to Mr. Adams. Taken from us far too soon...

I would like to take a moment to quote a poem by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Essex, England...On second thought, perhaps not...we know what happened the last time her poetry was featured....

Gotta go...Frogstar Scout Class "c" coming to GET me...where the hell did I put my towel...

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Sperm-derived power system for nanobots patented

Brian
Go

No.

It's just too damned easy. I mean cum on.....

But i do wonder if this would promote alt. energy production for off-grid systems applicable to homesteading.

Mind you, I am all for off-grid power for homes....but that is a lot of kinetic energy expended....and I would lose interest after the first six or seven hours.

And if your battery runs down in your laptop or Ipod....you run the risk of an indecent exposure charge if in public.

It's thoughts like this that perpetually guarantee coal every year for Christmas for me...and odd looks from my wife and her family.

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World's oldest Roller goes for £3.5m

Brian
Happy

Another thought....

You could see the original owner tear-assing around letting all 10 of those horsepowers loose in a melee of frenetic tire squeal and flying dust.

And I just bet there were ladies in bustle dresses and parasols giving him the pinky-todger sign...even back then

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Brian
Thumb Up

@ Mr. Larrington and Mr. Simon

I don't think you are being entirely fair...just picture it lowered, spinner rims, flames, fart-can ricer exhaust, several inneffective spoilers...

It has the chance to be just as aesthetically pleasing (and slow) as it's more modern Racer-Boy counterparts.

Two things tho... The Rolls is increasing in value every second. And if you are in an area of very high EMP...the Rolls will still start due to lack of "sophisticated electronics" shorting-out or de-polarizing.

Plus every zealotous, more-money-than-sense automotive enthusiast wants the ultimate in exclusivity....this car makes a Delahaye seem like a VW Bug.

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Microsoft kills Santa Claus

Brian
Unhappy

Errrr.....Uuuummmm...

Alan Turing is either spinning in his grave (at roughly Indy-car engine RPMS), or laughing maniacally whilst sitting around a bar table drinking with Jung, Jon von Neuman, and Freud.

Damn funny site all the same.

Got to the point of deliberating on the existance of Dark Matter with ElectronoSanta, and apparently Santa had other things to do as he disappeared from view.

Hmmm....Santa hung up on me.....looks like being something of a Neo-Luddite will be a benefit for me this year...I should be able to make that coal work for me somehow.

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Chancer punts 'lucky' Wii for $1,234,567...

Brian
Coat

1,234,567.89? Really?

Crap.

Short by 10 bucks.

Ah, well....

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British teens score a C in international science poll

Brian
Black Helicopters

2 cents worth from the U.S.....

I found it enlightening that you in the U.K. are saddled with the same educational nonsense that we are with our illustrious "No Child Left Behind"... a milestone of sociopolitical buffoonery that is partially funded by corporate entities that also have a hand in dictating the syllabus of our children.

In only 6 short years since its implementation, the U.S. rankings have fallen to absurd levels. Even with the dismal reports there are those who are quite content to keep funding it, coming up with such reasoning as "It hasn't had enough time to take full effect so funding must be continued/increased". I kid you not, this statement was made by a friend of mine...a mother that (oddly enough) home-schools HER children. Add to that her near-zealotous commitment to her religion and the Idiot-In-Chief we have, it should then come as no suprise that she and people like her (and there appears to be a hell of a lot of them) also push hard for Creationism in science class. Nevermind, of course, that she and people like her cannot differentiate between non-testable postdiction and actual science. If, in fact, the NCLB hasn't had enough funding/time to accomplish it's mission, then I say end it now before critical thought is eliminated entirely from the education system.

This all came to bright, screaming reality to me while helping my niece with math problems over the phone. The problems in and of themselves were not terribly difficult...however the methodology used to solve them was goofy at best. In addition it wasn't the correct answer which actually recieves the points for a given problem, but the method employed in attaining it. I only wish I was kidding. Even though her and I were able to calculate the correct values (proven by substituting our answers back into the original equation...a "trick" taught to me in the waaaaayyy-back time of the early 1980's), we could not jibe with the methods that were taught in her class. As of late, I have been showing her algebraic methods to use in tandem with the horseshite she is being taught in class.

Then I remembered that she was also enrolled in "TESSERA"...a program for extended learning for advanced students in the public school system. I, also, was enrolled in the same program 20+ years earlier. It dawned on me that she is having to be enrolled into E.L. programs in order to learn what I did in "normal" school at the same grade level...such as Social Studies, hard Science, and Art (these are practically verboten in education planning and funding).

The result is fairly evident: Critical thought is being watered-down or wholly removed from the classroom (I believe on purpose). The same group that instituted NCLB also were pushing hard for the school voucher program. So...if the public schools were seen to be extremely deficient via poor stewardship ....then maybe the populace will be in favor of voucher programs for private schooling.....thus, those pushing the voucher program would be "vindicated" and those schools that pay them would make more bucks. I'm sure it's just paranoia making me suggest that.

And to my friends in the rest of the world, if you think that America has a narrow, self-indulgent, or at least wildly myopic worldview now, just wait a decade or so...the generation of idiots that our school system is producing (and our society/ culture is promoting) is going to be far, far worse.

Must go now. After declaring EL Prez was "Idiot-In-Chief", I can almost hear the choppers coming my way. They can prove what I wrote because a copy of it was electronically "split" and sent to Room 641b in California. (That wasn't a joke....but I guess it qualifies as a strained reach for the IT angle.)

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El Reg fires up online standards converter

Brian
Go

Fun with outdated units...

I'm often asked what kind of mileage my 1967 Chrysler New Yorker gets.

My answer: 17.77 Gunter chains per hogshead

You can almost actually HEAR the blinking....followed by a dialtone as the questioner's frontal lobe reboots.

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Cig-lighter electropulse cannons offered to US plods

Brian
Alien

Actually....

A small handfull of MIT soon-to-be-grads showed that a microwave oven could be made portable AND have its output directed...it utilized a backpack-sized power source coupled with the oven's innards... portable by one person (even a pencil-necked MIT student)

The reason for this was an attempt to show that crop-circles were very hoaxable by terrestrial means. In this case, it had been reported that the joints of the grainstalks that had been flattened had been exposed to concentrated energy causing them to expand and deform. Cue MIT students, a car battery, and a defunct Amana Microcooker...

They showed rather conclusively that a hoaxer could create the same effect with a Micro and a little imagination...it was actually astonishingly successful.

I have often thought of mounting one on the back of my Chrysler as a deterrent to the Ricer-Racers who seem to think it necessary not only to tailgate, but to make sure that I can clearly hear their music in my car. The great thing about it would be that many "newer" cars (mine was built in '67...not a lot of plastic...nor any goofy computer controlled nonsense) have plastic-ish radiators. A focused MW at the radiator....30 seconds on "high"...and when the bell dings the radiator and the coolant both have attained the same consistancy.

I KNOW, I KNOW....there are other concerns of public safety and unforseen effects..my friend Pete managed to talk me out of doing this only after a heated debate...

But....it is awful DAMN tempting sometimes...and I do have a disused MW oven in the garage.....

As a parenthetical aside...can cars that are modified to be that ugly and are still that slow still be considered "racers" as in "ricer-racers"?

The debate rages on.....

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Brian May appointed university chancellor

Brian
Thumb Up

36 Freakin' Years?

What the hell was he doing in the intervening decades?

Oh....THAT Brian May.....well, then......nice choice of fallback in case that Rock 'n Roll thing doesn't work out.

Good on 'im.

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Will bird flu stuff our Happy Christmas?

Brian
Alert

Craptastic...

I was gonna leave a post...

But I coulda sworn I just heard one of our chickens sneeze.

Boots on, 12-bore in hand...gotta nip this in the bud....

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Aussie-Irish boozer ejects 'terrorist' drinker

Brian
Black Helicopters

Old news, y'all.....

Here in the states, a member of a gym was overheard talking with someone on the phone about the wisdom of sending troops to the Sunny Sandbox when the terrorists were actually based out of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.(ssshhhh..don't make too large a mention of this...they are our friends after all................with "friends" like that...blah blah blah).

Long story short....the eavesdroppers (also fellow members of this gym) contacted the local Feds and, as a result, he was questioned at length about his discussion. By "at length", I mean the better part of 2 days.

Crap...I almost forgot....he was a 66 year old white male....you know---the "classic" terrorist profile. Oh, and the time frame was shortly before first deployment.

Orwell would be proud..and Solzhenitsyn would be saying "I told ya so!"

The most hilarious aspect of the paranoia is the complete inability by those afflicted to make honest rationalization. I say "hilarious" because if you REALLY try to concieve of a bunch of zealots arriving at the outskirts of your local municipality with obvious intent to do harm, here in the states they would be mowed down in a hail of bullets by the local armed citizenry (only if they weren't too busy trying to shoot the lugnuts off of their vehicles....but I digress...) If they attempted this around Alabama ( or Georgia, Louisiana, etc...), not only would they get reduced to a fine red mist, but whatever was left would probably be turned into jerky. Only after that would the police be summoned.

The final punch line is the fact that this communication has most likely been run through a "splitter" and has has a copy of itself run into a Data Repository in California. Room 641b I believe.

Cue uneasy, stifled laughter.....

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Vietnamese cops jailed for death row pregnancy ruse

Brian
Coat

This is just too easy...

With all that dong she managed to acquire I would've been amazed if she DIDN'T get preggers....Play me out, Johnny! (cue cheesey intermission music...)

Dont bother, I didnt even take my coat off....

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Holy pancake appears on eBay

Brian
Coat

Fantastic Famous Filigreed Flapjack Fetches Frenetic Fusilade of Fednotes From Flush Faithful

Nah...I got nuthin'.

Alliterative Arse Attaining Actualization Albeit Abjectly Acknowledging Absent Acclaimation

(er....ahem...taxi...)

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US man blasts stubborn wheelnut with shotgun

Brian
Happy

Rusty Roadmaster Roller (1).... Geriatric Gun-totin' Goofball (0)...

Tacoma Emergency Services (several thousand dollars)....

Funny part is, I live on the eastern side of Washington State and WE are the ones considered the ignorant boomstick-wielding hillbillies by the folks on the other side of the Cascades.

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Buffy mastermind returns with new TV series

Brian
Coat

Firefly>SG-1>Rest of FOX Programming...ever

Obviously, I am a fan of the Firefly series. Could never get into the whole Buffy thing, tho the movie was actually quite funny.

Personally, I cant stand yet another goddam halfass adolescent-minded soap-opera-meets-highschool romance-meets-superficial mythology-meets-psuedoscience show. Unfortunately, that seems to be FOX and others' bread and butter as of the last couple years. By and large it appeals to the mouthbreather crowd, but it is a large part of the reason my TV stays off. Firefly was actually intellectually stimulating...small wonder why FOX would have nothing to do with it.

As to those who berate the show sets and camera shots, the full scale ship was built whole and was what the onboard shots were filmed on...the camera shots are as they would appear on the actual ship if it had existed with the tight confines and odd angularity of the internal spaces...no cutaway rooms...no extra sound stages...no CGI from here to hell and gone...the ship was actually a ship

Fox from the beginning short-shrifted Wheadon financially...and he still managed to do more than the other slicker productions. The storylines he developed actually had a depth to them that is found wanting with just about every show on the air these days. There weren't happy resolutions...the best that generally happened was a break-even scenario...even then the endings

werent predictable. Was nice to find something entertaining that doesn't also insult a persons intelligence. On and gone in 11 episodes (plus 3 that didn't air)...

All this from a person who thinks that the "Sci-Fi" genre is waaaaaay too much "Fi" and not nearly enough "Sci". And I am not a Sci-Fi nut. Ah, well....

BTW "Out of Gas" was one of the best storylines ever written in any genre. To those who wonder how a person could connect their reality to characters on a show set on a spaceship would do well to see that episode.

Ah... thank you my good man...mine is the Browncoat

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Museum drops Watson talk in race row

Brian
Black Helicopters

After Mismeasure of Man might I then suggest....

A book called "War against the Weak" by Edwin Black. This will take the information gleaned in Gould's book and show it in the context of the early 20th century to present, especially the consequences.

The reason I bring this up is that while I do believe that opinions (esp. the nuttier ones) that have social impact must be discussed....this opinion expressed by Watson already has been formalized, debated, dismissed, re-examined, re-debated, fervently re-dismissed....only to find its latest incarnation with Watson in the present day. The upshot is we have been here before, only last time heavy costs were paid.

In all fairness, I feel I must warn potential readers that Edwin Black is an obsessive fact-checker and chronicler...so much so that by chapter 2 of this book you may feel the urge rub your temporal lobes with 80-grit sandpaper. But it is engrossing and well worth the effort to read, as was "Mismeasure of man".

As to the thought that evolutionary theory leads (inevitibly, presumably) to racism...it kinda falls on its face if many (probably most) of those of us that have studied evolutionary theory and accept the science supporting it also abhor racism and discrimination rather than embracing it.

As a side note...Uh..ermmm...Chris...it was the right wingers that came up with No Child Left Behind. True story. Look it up.

Must go....choppers are getting close now.

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Currency launched to cover the cosmos

Brian
Happy

I'm tearing up right now.....*sniffle*....

The numerous Douglas Adams references have made me smile for the first time today.

BTW...If I remember correctly, the Triganic Pu has been devalued and as such has been rejected by the intergalctic banking council as being "so much fiddling small change".

Thanx for the smiles, all...

Until next time, I will be down in my bunk.

Sincerely,

BH (Reactor Scrubber's Mate 8th Class - Starship Titanic)

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