Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday: Ukraine in hell and I'm doing the plumbing.

Nobody in their right mind believes Putin's excuses, but one of the things I've learned from my favorite old Soviet, gri, is that Putin's ilk has a very perverted sense of what capitalism is and it's whereby Putin's got Europe by the balls.  Europe might be hesitant, sure, but Putin would be as delusional as ISIS if he thinks it's gonna buy him an empire.

Efforts to resurrect the long-gone Roman Empire gave us both the Great War and World War II, so what we see in the Ukraine and in Iraq are just two more attempts to litter the annals of history with both corpses and massive FAILs that can be also seen in the Americas with the Incas and the Mayas. Both Putin and ISIS are trying the same formula and expect different results, so if ever you wanted proof that they're all nuts, here it is.

And so I turn to catching up on domestic chores like I do every Saturday, but this Saturday was a bit different as the tank of the toilet developed a steady drip of a leak.  Closer examination revealed that the leak was springing as a result of a failure of the tank seal where the fill valve passed through to the connection to the water supply.  It was just a rubber type thingie and so I went to the hardware store to find a replacement seal. Shouldn't be a big deal.

In days of yore, it wouldn't have been...but each different design of fill valves means different and incompatible forms of gaskets, and so instead of purchasing what should have been a standardized seal turned out to be a purchase of an entire valve even though the old valve was still operational.

Gri, NOW you can laugh at capitalism.  Go ahead.  It sucks when it comes to snit like this. I did manage to beat the system, though--doing the plumbing myself because I know how to.  I saved my ole man upwards of $50 per hour plus parts, so nobody laugh when I claim to know how a time machine works.  I can even wire up and change the oil, set the spark gap, points and vacuum advance on that sucker too, so deal with it.

I should add that what's laughable, but not all that funny, about capitalism is that it's how ISIS gets its money to do battle with western capitalist interests.  It sells oil on the open market and it's mindless entrepreneurs with an eye toward buying-low-selling-high opportunities such as what ISIS offers.  Western capitalists are basically being handed the rope they'll get hung with, according to ISIS goals. 

Another postscript, to address the skepticism regarding my qualifications for TARDIS maintenance and the terms I used that, the claim makes, is more applicable to antique technology, never mind basic plumbing.  I'm pretty sure I showed my mechanic's creds when I posted a how-to on lawn mower maintenance, in my mentioning of the function of a venturi, which is no longer used in today's automobiles for fuel carburetion. Guys, I even know how to change a head gasket, which means that I am aware of the NECESSITY of a torque wrench (which I also know how to use).  On that note. permit me to recount to you something that happened at Motorola's EPI (EMO) department when an Applied Materials epitaxial reactor failed to open its lid.

Part of the lid's function in sealing is to not only keep the introduced dopant gases from leaving the chamber, but it's also expected to keep a tight seal against the atmosphere because the chamber needs to be pumped down to a very hard vacuum, typically measured in units of Torr rather than the usual inches of mercury column.  That's how hard a vacuum it has to be.  The lid is rather large and has a bolt pattern similar to what you find on your auto's wheels (you HAVE changed your own flats before, haven't you?) but the bolts were Allen wrench (hex) type and a guy who had been assigned to dismantle the lid and remove it from the machine had stripped his wrench and purt-near stripped the heads of a few of the bolts.

Guys who know about head gaskets will already see where I'm going with this.

A different guy was assigned to the job and I was assigned to work with him (yeah, the boss was a guy who'll be damned if he'd give credit to a woman for being an apt mechanic).  The guy I was assigned with started out just fine--he was smart enough to make sure that all the bolts were tightened back down first, but he used feel to gauge the torque on each bolt head.  Then he loosened each one to the point where he thought he could remove each by hand.  So far, so good.  But when he got to the first bolt he loosened, he found that it couldn't be hand-turned anymore, and he was scratching his head over that.

You see, just before he got to the bolt he started with, he completely removed the last bolt, and that was a big mistake.  I recognized it right away, but, going along to get along, I kept my mouth shut until he just gave up and went on break to give it a rest.  Well, that's when I put the removed bolt back in, tightened it up (yeah--had no choice but to gauge the torque by feel, alas), and loosened each bolt about 3 turns at a time, going around each bolt again and again until the lid was loose.  Oh--we were not working against a vacuum, by the way--there's a relief valve that pumps in air to equalize the pressure even if the lid is still in place.  That's done every time an epi run is done and the reactor is ready to unload.

I had the lid off before the guy was finished with his break. So--what does all this have to do with navigating a time machine? Basic physics. You can't get away from it no matter what you do, so you might as well obtain at least a basic grasp of its principles.  At the VERY least.

Speaking of navigating those relative dimensions in time and space, The Atlantic produced an interesting flash video that gives a look at a "multiverse" (not a universe) which is timeley (ahem) in respect to navigation into the future, but they get the concept a bit wrong when they show infinite reflections. The rest of the video does accurately convey the different branch-offs that is available to the traveler into the future and brings us back to the mathematical sense of the necessity of the theta sigma component in fractal time, which isn't a "time line".

The Atlantic: the multiverse 

Okay--my response to the observation that it's one thing to properly take apart the reactor lid, but what about properly putting it back together? Aye, there's the rub, and lacking a proper torque wrench with proper torque specs, putting the lid back together properly is a major issue and putting it back together via reversing the method by which it was disassembled can, indeed, cause permanent damage to the machine.  In fact, it's highly likely that the lid will be permanently warped enough to prevent a proper pump-down of the reactor chamber, ever...but only after it may appear to operate properly the first time it's used after re-assembly.

The way this type of reactor works is not just under high vacuum but also with high heat, and when the lid isn't re-assembled properly, the heat will ensure permanent warpage of the lid.  Quite so.  However, big manufacturers such as Motorola was, once upon a time, look to cut costs by demanding that their mechanics do some electrical work and some electronics specialists do mechanical work, and the mechanical physics I'm talking about here is more advanced than is the purview of the typical "grease monkey" an definitely beyond the purview of the electronics specialist.  Interestingly enough, the engineers in the QC (Quality Control) department recognized my electromechanical talents better than my immediate supervisor did and recruited me as a QC automated equipment specialist, much to the surprise of most of my co-workers and immediate supervisor.  And from that position, I was also appointed by QC to be the person who would train equipment operators on the proper use of QC equipment.  They also insist that I train any of my co-workers for proper maintenance and calibration procedures on QC equipment that might get assigned to such equipment, before they commenced working on any of it.

Sunday mini-UPDATE: Producing the Enid Summer Chautauqua performances is still a work in progress, and a rough draft of the intro is now available, just recently posted on Facebook.  It's not the final product, but, just for your amusement, here's the rough draft (in HD for a change):

The last piece of music is done by Billy Murray, already mentioned in this blog elsewhere. And I'm still a big fan of his, as well as his occasional duet partner, Ada Jones.

Tuesday UPDATE: via Facebook.
Just became an ex-fan of somebody I used to enjoy watching on the TV series, Andromeda. "Fickle fan" my ass.

Totally kicking that clown to the curb.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Note to the Pecan Googler and an anniversary update

Note to the person who used Google to search for "pecan husks won't come off":

When a pecan husk won't come off readily, it's due to one of the following:
1) it's not properly ripe
2) it's wormy
3) it wasn't properly pollinated and the shell inside the husk has no proper nut kernels inside.

Regardless of the reason, just throw it away. Keep only pecans whose husks come off cleanly with little to no effort.

Thursday UPDATE: ...and along similar lines of entertainment...I just got this notice in my emailbox:

 Ya, the Mysterious Lab has been around for a long time, folks. Please give me at least a scrap of credit for knowing a speck of something about the performing arts.  At least give me credit for knowing a smidgeon more than a box of rocks. Thank you.

 Oh man, was there ever a big jolt of humongous deja vu with this Edison...

Who won? Emile Berliner. Edison stole the credit for the phonograph, too.

Later: While rifling through an old post I made about "meeting" a new Facebook friend courtesy of Fred Waterer, and how we chatted about old recordings, and I had asked her if she had any Van Brunt...she said she had...and when I revisited that link she gave me I discovered a more recently posted YouTube copy of the first recording of Van Brunt I acquired--and via which became instant fan when I heard it. I'm all but turning handsprings of joy over this find! ...originally recorded by Edison on Amberol cylinder.  Enjoy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Giver movie--a review

Post-Emmy UPDATE: The Colbert Report has Jeff Bridges discussing this film tonight and interestingly enough, Stephen quotes the John Prine song that was performed on show last year ("How Lucky Can One Man Get") and the tie-in is beautiful.  By all means watch the Colbert Report on demand if you can get it.

Yesterday I made a point of seeing this movie mainly because I read THIS review, which mentioned a couple of favorite authors (Aldous Huxley and George Orwell), even though the review panned The Giver somewhat.  Now that I've seen it, I would say that it is indeed a mix of Brave new World and Nineteen Eighty Four, but I would add that there's The Stepford Wives in the mix, too, regarding the culture's attempt at sanitizing family unit cohesion.

Put simply, The Giver is indeed a work of art and the aspects of the art are primarily what the review complains about.  Most movies are formulaic with pointless gratuitous action, sex, gore, terror intended only to attract an audience that dotes on those things.  Not this film. The big name actors in it (Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges) clearly recognized the art of the script as such that the reviewers remained blind to.

Without actually going there, the film addresses the reason why the cultural sanitation is necessary--for every yin of a good aspect, there's the yang of a bad aspect and the point of the exercise is to exorcise the yang while preserving the yin, and then discovers that there's a yin-yang that can't be divorced--that's genetic engineering yin and the deliberate culling in an artificial Darwinist manner yang which mankind has used successfully to domesticate wild animals since the beginning of human existence.

The plot is based on sound science, which was of particular interest to me and not likely to be as great an interest to much of anyone else--the science of human emotion and perception being chemistry-dependent.  Every good citizen in this society were, by law, required to take regular medication by both tablet and injection, and when someone was determined to be deviant, they were accused of skipping either the tablet or the injection and were ordered to get their daily dose immediately or face Release, which everyone believed was a sentence to the area beyond the culture's boundary (Memory Boundary) but turned out to be euthanasia.  Yup--when you deliberately skipped medication, you got the death sentence.

Sameness was the objective, and it's unfortunate that Sameness was the result of a perverted sense of civil equality as if civil equality were a bad thing to pursue. On the other hand, the celebration of diversity is the yang to that equality yin, and again, inseparable two sides of the same coin.  As the movie progresses, it also points out that this new world order was important because of the yang of other things: happiness, sadness; delight, pain; peace, war; love, hate.  On that last dichotomy, the Giver (Bridges) launches into quite a stirring lecture to the head leader (Streep), who sees what the Giver is encouraging as dangerous, particularly in the method he uses to train the neophyte Receiver (of the society's collective memories/history).

When the movie-goer considers all these other things beyond what was superficially covered by the movie reviewers, and particularly if the movie-goer is also familiar with the aforementioned literary works (turned into movies: Brave New World, 1984, and Stepford Wives), this movie will linger in your head for quite some time to come.

Late PM PS: I just now got around to reading this month's AARP magazine and there's an article about Jeff Bridges therein. It's a good read, so if you're an AARP member who gets those, read before you toss.  There are a number of good articles about Baby Boomers and sexuality, too, so I guess in a previous post on that particular subject, it appears that the absence of hormones beyond menopause is no obstacle.  But if that's true, then I wonder what's acting in their absence to produce what we used to know as hormone insanity?  Hmmmm.  Well, it's no wonder to me that women who think the occurrence  of this nature has to be nothing short of a miracle. GO COUGARS!!!

An a propos image circulating on Facebook today, which evokes thoughts of a few specific people, some of which are sort-of masters of illusion...

In the fine print it says "Real didn't recognize real until fake showed up".  There's no better an effective cure for what's fantasy/imagination than the cold hard reality of recognizing fake when fake shows up. Just like the saying says: snit just got real.


I've also noticed some more traffic from the UK, and I also know that a new season of Doctor Who has begun, which may account for some of the hits on the posts where I've posted some TARDIS navigation instructions.  Well, I've deleted some of those, so if you guys want to pick up on TARDIS navigation classes, you'll have to begin at the beginning. No shortcuts. Email me if you want to sign up for classes next term. No exceptions.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Amnesty International now in Ferguson MO....R.I.P. Don Pardo

It's very late at night over here but I've been watching cable coverage of Ferguson MO, seeing for the first time the appearance of Amnesty International observers.  And I'm sure a lot of people are doing the same, as well as monitoring Twitter,  Instagram, and such.

What's going to make this blog entry on that different is the recollection of Tahrir Square in Egypt and the question that kept popping up throughout: when is America going to have an American Spring?

Well, isn't that what Occupy Wall Street was trying to do?  But--back to Ferguson MO.  There's a lot that is similar to the events in Tahrir Square, and I'm pretty sure that the people across the globe that are watching events in Ferguson are feeling that the U.S. is in no position to criticize Egypt, or even Russia for that matter, for sending in local militias or whatever they have that passes for a National Guard, or other military into, oh, say, Crimea.

The role of the military in Egypt was criticized in re: Tahrir Square, as was Assad re: Syria rebels.  And now look at the air strikes we're taking in Iraq in what's otherwise a civil/religious war.  Whatever standing the U.S. used to have as a world leader for basic civilization, rule of law, and the like, just vanished in Ferguson MO.

Adding to the solemnity of this late night is word in that the voice of Saturday Night Live died at the age of 96. :'(

Thursday UPDATE: People not familiar with the updated version of the TV series Battlestar Galactica will probably just say that the picture above is of Edward James Olmos...and as far as the actor goes, that's correct.  But it's the story of events on the Battlestar under the command of Admiral Adama that relates to what happened in #Ferguson, big time.

But speaking of favorite actors and characters and science, this was circulating on Facebook:

Ya, that's neither actor nor character, but it evokes the recollection of a deceased local legend of Southern Illinois, who performed a song about this topic.

Uncle Briggs, you are still sorely missed.  I hope they have SAE signs where you are now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ferguson MO is now an international incident; lesson for China.

Sure, it's an international incident now because Al Jazeera reporters were also roughed up by police.  Here's Al Jazeera's report, which mainly makes as big a deal over the harassment of the two reporters (one of Washington Post, the other of Huffington Post) that our domestic reporters are making a big deal of.  All that Al Jazeera says about its own reporters is, "Al Jazeera journalists covering the protests in Ferguson on Wednesday night were also tear gassed by police" in the middle of the bottom part of the page.

Go figure.

I was on Twitter most of last night because the Twitter feed went fast and furious from various reporters on the ground.  Twitter is where I went when Tahrir Square was happening, and it's where to go when any ongoing event of this nature is in progress, as I Follow a number of news entities there as well as all congressmen.  It's the best place to keep up with developments in Egypt, which include talks of cease-fires and whathaveyou regarding Gaza even though broadcast news entities tend to follow only one item as a major lead, setting the other stuff on the back-burner with only general, superficial treatment.

I would be surprised if BBC America was NOT present in Ferguson, too.

I again recommend Twitter for anyone out there who wants to keep following multiple events at the same time.  If you're still one of those out there who thinks Twitter is just for gossip chatter, I'm here to tell you again--you're wrong.

Thursday UPDATE: Suspicion about BBC confirmed by former Voice of America man and former fellow shortwave radio hobbyist of NASWA back in the day...

Jonathan Marks, formerly of Radio Nederland Weredomroep.
China, the lesson for you is about how police don't bring harmony and can, in fact, disturb the harmony that a community who disagrees with the government enjoys among its members.  Even when it has complaints, it's the community that is in harmony with each other.  Harmony is in the ear of the beholder, not in the arms of any police. The police that are in harmony with a community are servants to the community--not its masters.

Incidentally--Happy Independence Day, India!
You too, Pakistan!

Ferguson UPDATE: Gov. Jay Nixon has put the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of law enforcement in Ferguson under Captain Ronald Johnson.

ABC News report

I also see that China has returned to my blog. Hello, China, guess what?  I know about your latest incursions into the South China Sea even though I haven't mentioned such things lately.  If you think I've turned a blind eye to Asia, you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.

China, you cannot achieve what you don't understand; harmony will always be beyond your reach.  Here's a level of harmony that exists entirely without your government thugs:

I will add that I have no doubt that China regards Ferguson as  a justification for T-Square, the Chinese event that cannot be mentioned in China.  Well, the bright side of being that wrong-headed about Ferguson is that maybe China will bring up the subject of T-Square itself while talking about Ferguson. Ya think?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Worldwide appeal of Robin Williams via blog stats & important UPDATE.

What tuppenceworth I posted in my last post regarding the passing of Robin Williams resulted in traffic to this blog dropping to a complete zero, even from China.  It's quite clear that I wasn't somebody slobbering over what I know was an illusion; one of the reasons I prefer being a time traveler to an  historian is my appreciation of cold hard facts, not some biographer's embrace of whatever illusion any given public figure preferred to project and then run with.  I recognize illusions and mirages when I see them, and as I've had a few friends of mine attempting or accomplishing suicide in the distant past, I've had the experience with the issues in that regard.

I still expected traffic from the orient, the hackers, the spammers, the tech-heads among them, but even that traffic dropped to zero over night.  That. people, was today's surprise.

Robin Williams was indeed the master of illusion, as are all good actors who engage the audience and take them along for the ride of the presentations are.  Therein lay Williams' very strong appeal--they were strong illusions.  But they were still illusions, and that's why I for one wasn't a bit surprised while everyone else was.  The cold hard truth of the matter is that nobody in the audience knew what this man REALLY was like, and just the statistics alone, of his 3 different wives pretty much showed conclusively that they thought they knew him but in the end, didn't really.

Although I'm familiar with his schtick and the apparent genius of his various schticks, and enjoyed that like everybody else, I know that I did not know this person. If you find that I have any stuff about Robin Williams off-base, that's fine because I don't pretend to know people that I don't really.

It's easy for a member of the audience to love the illusion.  What's hard is dealing with the cold hard reality, and it's the cold hard reality of actually getting to know the real person which will cure a lot of that.  And so it comes as no surprise to me that fans prefer to hold on to the illusion and bury the reality; a performer's business is to serve up what the audience wants to see, and the audience wants to see--and prefers--the illusion.

Thursday UPDATE: Ya, I realize that the above missive sounds harsh, but you won't catch me pretending to know stuff and people that I know I don't, and I've observed a number of people doing just that.  I don't wish to be included in that group, but by all means include me in the group that describes the ordinary fan.  I'm certainly a fan.  But coming down the pike this Thursday is a posting by somebody who apparently did know this man in actual fact, as shared by somebody that I do know, and his remarks are well worth full consideration:

I would be surprised of those of us of a certain age, who do remember the 60s and 70s, didn't know somebody who had experimented with substances and came out on the wrong side as a result.  I had a number of friends like that including one gal who attempted suicide in the presence of a number of her friends and yet still declared that she was alone and that nobody cared even after a bunch of us showed up when the ambulance did.  It is possible to not have known Mr. Williams personally and still relate deeply to the situation he found himself in.  Don't  know the guy, but I fully understand.  While everybody else seemed surprised and shocked, I wasn't--and that's just it, in a nutshell.

Ferguson UPDATE: All hell's broken loose as if Assad moved from Syria to Missouri and is now in command of the police there.  It's probably just a matter of time before an order is given to fire tear gas canisters into a crowded van just like Assad did. Betcha.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Gaza situation deserves its own blog entry; R.I.P. Robin Williams

Word just now coming down the pike this Monday is that Robin Williams looks like he committed suicide by asphyxiation, says the Marin County sheriff.

Word up is that he was going through heavy depression.  The planet lost a genius today.

Tuesday Robin Williams UPDATE: All news media was just plastered wall to wall with this news today, and I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know by now. I just have to add that I'm surprised that the world of actors is surprised because the more convincing (great) an actor is, the greater is his ability for deception.  Feel deceived, do you?  It was great acting.  A lot of people who are not actors are great actors, and that's the world of fraud, of con men.  Put an actor on trial and the jury will get fed deception.  Ain't that right, O. J. Simpson? 

I would imagine that superlative actors find themselves believing that they are actually this other person that they're portraying, so you'll find some deceiving of self in the process.  Maybe Robin Williams had had enough of lying to himself, and believing his own lies.  I imagine that no one can convince himself that he's somebody else without a high level of self deception. 

3 children, 3 different wives.  Odds are better than average that somebody was lying to somebody, big time.

Yeah, I'm just one of the millions in the audience, no expert on acting as a profession, but I do know what I seeJe vous connais, milord, vous n'm'avez jamais vue--Je n'suis qu'une fille du port, une ombre de la rue. (Edith Piaf)

C'est la vie.

Lauren Bacall, on the other hand, died today of a more natural death. Also Arlene Martel, of the old Star Trek. She portrayed Spock's wife.

I usually post updates on an existing post when I don't have much for another blog entry, but I make exceptions for important topics.  Recent developments in Gaza prompts this separate entry, intended for those of my audience who value history.  It is similar to a post I made about Syria much earlier, and about the same issue:

You can't conduct productive archaeology on a site that has been bombed to smithereens.  I repeat this because Ashkalon has been bombed multiple times and it's a prized archaeological site.  Just a few minutes ago I heard that a Gaza mosque has been bombed now, bringing to mind the risk of destruction now facing the very antique Al Aqsa Mosque, a mosque that dates back to Mohammed's own century, built by Calif Omar under the Treaty of Medina. Rabid Zionist Israelis have wanted to destroy that mosque for a long, long, time, claiming that it sits atop a Jewish temple.

The antiquities of Iraq come under similar threat via ISIS as well as any bombs that might be dropped to counter them.  In destroying each other we destroy records of our history for future generations, if there are to be any of us left in the future.

Note to historians--it's over issues like this where you go wrong in insisting on reading the latest books on an historic topic of interest: while stuff might have been recently discovered, a lot of stuff is just as likely to be lost to current investigation.  Old books and periodicals are just as valuable in that they contain information on that which hadn't been destroyed yet by the date of their copyright.

The horrendous loss of life alone is a given, but it's also obvious that such human costs aren't of value to the combatants, clearly. The whole thing is a tragedy, no doubt about it, but that just doesn't stop some people.

That machine did kill fascists.

Late Sunday UPDATE: Marc Ginsberg on CSPAN

By and large this man sounds sensible but he hit a few snags in spots.  The one that prompts me to write this post-script is his complaint about the U.S. backing out of what he claimed was a "red line" drawn on the Assad regime in Syria...which he complained about after talking about ISIS without realizing that going forward with any sort of consequences in Syria to punish Assad would result in handing ISIS a victory. Dummkopf.

Friday, August 08, 2014

The ISIS Crisis Redux

If I had a dime for every time there was some megalomaniac who claimed that God ordained him to re-establish the Roman Empire, I'd be set with an income for life. Now, if I had a dime for every time each of these megalomaniacs were challenged to their perceived ordinance by making the same but competing claim,  I'd have more gold than the Pope.  Now here comes a bunch of Islamic megalomaniacs that don't think that the demise of the original "Califate Empire" wasn't the will of Allah in the first place and are under the delusion that they can build another one without Allah to will it to be.  They think that Allah is so weak and helpless that he can't do without them.

ISIS/ISIL in Iraq are, we're told, former Ba'athists of Saddam Hussein's, but the problem with that is that Ba'athists were by and large secular--secular enough to have permitted an ancient Zoroastrian-era religion to persist within Iraq's borders the entire time these same Ba'athists were in power under Saddam.  WTF?

Abu Bekr Al Baghdadi likes to fancy himself not only as a world leader but as an expert scholar of Islamic history, and will yet defy that history by excluding tribes and Shiites when the original empire was all-inclusive.  He can't "restore" the old empire by going against everything the old empire stood for and flourished by.  The old empire was ruled by Sunni AND Shiite governments, which chose to overlook differences ever since the truce agreed to on the Day of the Camel.  Al Baghdadi, you can't amass a local army when you kill off the local nationalists, you idiot.

You're just an insane megalomaniac who has a death wish, as are all of the imbeciles that follow you.  Same is true of Boco Haram.  Imbeciles all.  Never heard of the Day of the Camel, never heard of Saladin, but always following the ways of Genghis Khan, not any great Muslim leader. Not even the original Abu Bekr thought that doing what ISIS is doing was ever a good idea. Omar "conquered" Jerusalem by treaty (The Treaty of Medina), not by bloodshed.

Speaking of imbeciles, we have a few of our own over here. Those are the ones whining about how we should arm the Kurds.  Yes, they are complete imbeciles who don't have a clue as to why the UK isn't backing the current U.S. efforts.  The elephant in that room is Turkey.  Arm the Kurds and the U.S. gets two more enemies of a sort, in the form of both Turkey and the UK.

Imbeciles.  Turkey and the UK are of paramount importance to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as is Egypt.

Sunday talking-head addendum: it's just come down the pike that Turkey is more receptive of the Iraq-side Kurdistan. From this point one must consider the PKK as a separate problem.  Good news, this. 

UPDATE, beheaded journalist edition: Just do the numbers, ISIS--you now have one less hostage.  Each time you do an execution, you're reducing your inventory.  As for selling/raping captured females, I'm guessing that you're showing the world how the original Abu Bekr pawned off Ayisha on Mohammed, which doesn't do your religion any credit at all. To non-Muslims, consider this: we occasionally talk about working with Shiite-run Iran. Why? Because the people who think they can succeed by terrorist tactics are invariably Sunni, and the why for that is the fact that the Sunni branch was founded by a military man who pawned off his daughter in exchange for power.  It's this same reason why the original Califate Empire was successfully ruled for a lot longer by Shiites (known back then as Fatimites), the Abbasides, who ruled from Baghdad.  The original Sunni government of the old Empire were Ommyades ruling from Damascus, and even back then they proved themselves to be misguided failures.  Make serious note of that, Saudi Arabia, home of the similarly misguided Wahabs.

Saturday UPDATE: I was just listening to the conference Obama held this morning, regarding this topic, and I'm sure that the points he made regarding what can be done "on the cheap" should have shut up McCain's mouthings about how his surge worked completely.  It might have been a great stop-gap idea but we can see at this point just how permanent that solution turned out to be.  As in, NOT. McCain is the same imbecile who claimed that we should be arming Syrian opposition to Assad while whining about how pulling out of Iraq gave ISIS a boost--without realizing that the opposition in Syria IS in fact ISIS and he's trying to have things both ways.  Complete imbecile.

Surges just aren't sustainable even if you did have the resources to maintain their results because when you ride any tiger like that, you have to stay on the tiger's back--the result of getting off the tiger is invariably fatal.

In other news, it looks like Fred Waterer is planning a new webcasting effort, begun just today with his website,  I'm definitely looking forward to further developments on this. He also has a website in honor of his father, website in honor of his father: Dognouse Charlie.

Well, today, Saturday, THIS came down the pike from WIRED magazine, regarding quantum physics, which does essentially re-invent the zero after a fashion (paragraphs 7 and 8). "The usual picture of space and time, and particles moving around in them, is a construct."  Indeed, but so is the concept of proximity, and knowing this permits a TARDIS to be bigger on the inside than the outside AND permits the resolution of a number of paradoxes introduced by the travel of an entity originating in time and space during the lifetime of that entity to a destination in time and space when/where that entity doesn't otherwise exist.  There's hope at last for humanity, scientifically speaking.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

GREAT ADAMS' GHOST!! An Improbability Drive at NASA!

Circulating in cyberspace yesterday was some sort of announcement that NASA verified the operation of a propulsion engine that defied physics.  Today, it was debunked.  But hold on a sec, people, take a second look at this latest version of the old EmDrive...

Yea, the main body looks familiar to some of us, and the people who have read my previous post where I touted my background in antique automotive technology will recognize it too.  Kinda looks like a venturi configuration, doesn't it.

Now consider the concept of a space ship that doesn't need propulsion but uses a sail to catch solar wind instead.  Or with a properly tapped venturi-equipped solar-wind sail.  You who know how venturis work  are getting the picture, I'm sure.

Where does Adams fit in?  He's the inventor of the Improbability Drive based on the Brownian Motion principle, of course (well, at least he said that the tea had to be at a particular hot temperature, something which affects the rate of Brownian Motion which generates a maximum field of improbability)--and the genuine English tea has to be particularly hot, as it's used as an infinite improbability generator.  I'm sure his ghost is rolling in his grave, laughing what's left of his arse off.

Mini-UPDATE: It's late afternoon Friday and China just ticked up my blog stats to the significant magic number of page views for today.  Fans of Doug Adams already know what that number is, because it's The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Speaking of blog stats, I see somebody has used Google with the terms "nasa brownish drive".  Ahem--that's Brownian, as in physics of liquid in a container; that's Brownian as in Adams' physics, specifically a liquid in a teacup of sufficiently heated genuine proper English tea, for which any synthetic tea substitute is inadequate.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Another beloved person mourned by this blog today

Remembered by us older kids quite fondly still:

Bill Prater, aka Cactus Pete

Also, August 3 = Friendship Day, apparently, providing me with an evocation of what was International Friendship Year.  That would be 1973, for reasons obvious to the radio amateur and shortwave DXer.

MiniUPDATE: I've noticed some oriental traffic to this blog during the course of the day and I suppose they're hoping for some sort of commentary about current events in the Middle East and Ukraine (hello, gri!).

Everybody else has pretty much said everything I've already said on those subjects and I don't have much new to add, except to say this: for as long as Israelis and Palestinians have been trying to out-Dalek the other, God/Allah hasn't favored either side for the entirety of the struggles.  Israel, if you still think G_D favors you, then you think that the U. S. = G_D so you might as well go ahead and put that big fat zero between G and D for all the difference that makes.  Hamas, you're as loco as Boco Haram and ilk who actually believes that Christian rot about how Islam spread by the sword when it didn't.  You guys are just as Western as the Westerners who preach that shit.

If there is a God, he's just laughing at the lot of you as you both survive each other's rockets, escaping the harm that you mete on your children. Killing children is no laughing matter, to be sure, but your God/Allah looks like he's perfectly okay with all of that as he has been for the last hundred years since you jokers thought you amounted to something significant to your God.  Obviously, over the last hundred years, you're just so much dust in the wind.

My dear and reverent Mr. Putin, keep that in mind as you pray to whatever God you worship while you massacre people, too.  The dust you came from and the dust you will return to will put you as an equal to and intermingled with the people you turn to dust before their appointed times and there is no dust empire to be had.  You're not dead yet but you're already a dirtbag.

Something else happened that I really should devote an entire blog entry to is the event that happened this past weekend, ending today, Sunday, is the Enid FLY film festival. I got a chance to see a film that I missed at the Dead Center film fest AND got to meet some of the cast, one member of which also knew a guy known around these parts as Doctor Fear (Brian Young) in association with his horror show, The Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear.  The show began on a local low-power TV station and when the ownership of that changed hands, wound up on Public Access (you guessed it--PEGASYS).  Missing: John Ferguson (Count Gregore). I was given to understand that he was contacted about attending the FLY, but on Facebook he told me that, as old as he is, he couldn't make it.


Army of Frankensteins...opening soon in Japan.

Violinist/fiddler extraordinaire Kyle Dillingham was there, with his documentary about the Mary Rose, and the whole wingding all total was just awesome.

The Mary Rose Foundation
The Mary Rose Trust's Wiki page