Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Vibrant boat art - gotta love this!

Said to be the hot topic of discussion at the White House and in Peking right now

 Allison’s theory, which he first promoted in 2015, has caught the attention of the Chinese themselves. During a visit to Seattle, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the gloomy prospect of a collision course, saying there is “no such thing as the so-called Thucydides Trap in the world,” while adding that if major nations “time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.”

Medieval longsword discovered in a peat bog in Poland.

It was discovered in late May by excavator operator Wojciech Kot during drainage operations at the bog in the municipality of Mircze, 12 miles south of the town of Hrubieszów in southeastern Poland. 

"The place where the discovery was made is a wetland and a peat bog. It is possible that an unlucky knight was pulled into the marsh, or simply lost his sword" - told PAP Bartłomiej Bartecki, director of Fr. Stanisław Staszic Museum in Hrubieszów.

 "It is very light - it originally weighed about 1.5 kg. Today it measures about 120 cm" - added Bartecki. In his opinion the sword was very well made; it is well balanced, perfect for fencing.

On the rear bar of the weapon there is a clear sign of an isosceles cross inscribed in the shape of an heraldic shield, probably made by the blacksmith. Bartecki explained that it was a kind of a maker's brand. This symbol was normally not visible, because the bar was covered by a hilt made of wood, bone or antler.

The area first appears on the historical record in the 13th century where it’s mentioned as the site of a few hunting lodges surrounded by forest. The region was part of Ruthenia (aka the Kievan Rus) then and was absorbed by the Kingdom of Poland in 1366 century after the disintegration of the Rus. The Polish governor built a castle in Hrubieszów in the late 14th century. So at least the second half of the century offered good employment opportunity for knights. Or he could have just been riding through and made a wrong turn into the bog.

This astonishing piece was apparently found near to what today is the border between Ukraine and Poland, west of the Bug river. It would be great, however, if that isosceles cross inside an heraldic shield would reveal further information. 
What today is the North of Poland had in the 13th century been object of the ‘Prussian Crusades’ (‘Lithuanian Crusade’ in the 14th c), during which the Teutonic Knights attempted to ‘Christianize’ the pagan Old Prussians and Lithuanians. 
In return, and much less ‘Teutonic’, the influence of the Jagiellonian dynasty increased massively in the 14th c. and in the South they fought the ‘Turkish and Tatar wars’. In 1320, most of the principalities of the western Rus’ had either been vassal or annexed by Lithuania.

The tears of the Progs are sweet indeed.

Maybe if they would listen to level headed centrists, like the Tuck, they could do better.  But no, with leaders like Pelosi and Perez, they'll just double down on what isn't working.

Easy fishing in Russia

A couple of “Rosies” working at the Brown Shipyard in Houston during World War II.

New York Supreme Court judge scammed out of $1million by just ONE EMAIL: Jurist wires cash to fraudsters pretending to be her lawyer

Genius.  Just raw, unadulterated genius.

Sattler, a judge in the First District of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, went to police Friday saying she received the email June 7 from someone that she thought was her lawyer.  The imposter told her to send the money to an account in Arizona.
She followed the instructions and wired $1,057,500 to the account, the money was then transferred to a Commerce Bank of China in Hong Kong.

This chick is a judge.   Clearly, her judgment is sorely lacking. Sorely.  Retire her, and replace with someone who at the very least knows not to wire a million dollars to someone who asks for it by email.

The face of a dupe.  But if you live in Manhattan, she'll decide your rights. 

Richard Fernandez addresses the political situation

Well worth a full read.  A taste:

The destruction of future of the Democratic party, which Ossoff was supposed to have been, left the progressives with Bernie Sanders again as the standard bearer of tomorrow.  It illustrates how trapped the Left has become in its own paradigm.  It is an in absurd condition. The obsession with Trump's very real shortcomings obscures the fact that the biggest crisis in American political life today is that of the Democratic Party.  It never really recovered from the Clintons or Obama and it never really came to terms with the economic collapse of the Blue Model.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.  It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan.  It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Democrats are being driven into the Van Jones, Bernie Sanders mode by collapse of its former command structure,  which once kept it inflated like the Big Tent it aspired to be. Leaderless it reverted to type: the screaming, yelling, howling Evergreen State college archetype.

Just the other day I saw that Slow Joe Biden was the front runner in some polls for President in 2020.  Really?  That's an objective failure right there, when you have no one of clear quality to run, and have to fall back on a tired hack of a politician.  I'm sure the party will come up with someone better before then, but good lord, Joe Biden??

The Tuck explains the Georgia election about as well as anyone.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's amazing how popular you become when you have a bucket of fish.

Freckles, even subtle ones, are good.

Weird new quality of light energy.

New research published this week in the journal Nature Physics reveals that light can behave in an even stranger "superliquid" state, in which light particles flow around objects with no friction or viscosity at all. In this state, light exhibits the dramatic effect of "frictionless flow," bending around obstacles with no ripples or swirls whatsoever. Interestingly, this effect can be observed at room temperature and ambient pressure.
This state of superfluidity is sometimes referred to as the fifth state of matter, or a Bose-Einstein condensate. Particles in this state behave like a single macroscopic wave, oscillating at the same frequency, and paradoxically combining the attributes of liquids, solids, and gases.
 A Bose-Einstein condensate is a rare state (or phase) of matter in which a large percentage of bosons collapse into their lowest quantum state, allowing quantum effects to be observed on a macroscopic scale.
"The extraordinary observation in our work is that we have demonstrated that superfluidity can also occur at room-temperature, under ambient conditions, using light-matter particles called polaritons," said Daniele Sanvitto, who led the research group.
As to the practical effects of the discovery, the most readily evident benefit concerns superconducting materials that can move electricity around with virtually zero resistance, according to the research team. Typically, these materials need to be radically cooled, usually with liquid nitrogen. If engineers can find a way to harness superfluidity at room temperature, it could lead to new and improved photonic devices like lasers, LEDs, solar panels, and photovoltaic cells.

Tallest and heaviest structure ever moved by man

Platform Troll A is a natural gas platform for the Norwegian Troll gas field. The picture was taken while moving into position in the North Sea.  In normal operating it's mostly submerged.

It's 1,549 feet tall.

Inside one of the legs.

The CNN folk upon learning that their boy Ossoff didn't make the grade.

Millions of Soros money for a minor state election - wasted.  Faces of horrified media dupes - priceless.

Now we'll be hearing the following from these same sour faced partisans:

"The R next to Handel's name stands for RUSSIA, not Republican."


"The fact we had so much money to throw away is a testament to the growing tide of #resistance against this illegitimate tyrant! So technically you cuckservatives lost yet again!"

"There's no way the Republicans can win this election too. Can we call the military or national guard to demand a recount? The Russians must be behind this win too."

WashCompost: Here's 10 reasons why Ossoff actually won! YOU WON'T BELIEVE NUMBER 7! (You will.)

Viking war axe.

Kutenai woman poses on a horse on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana - Boos - 1905/1907

A bit of a nightmare - bamboo scafolding

Planning and teamwork make it happen


A man's tool

How the upper crust lives. Victoria, scion of the Swarovski gem fortune, marries Werner Mürz in a style the rest of us can only dream of.

Read the rest of this with a "Hogan's Heroes" German accent for best effect.

For some reason this story entertained me immensely.

The language the Daily Mail uses to describe these things is just laughable.  I'm taking the liberty of modifying it in certain places.  See if you can tell where.

The 23-year-old Victoria Swarovski, who is also a famous singer in Austria, married her childhood sweetheart and property investment boyfriend, Werner Mürz, over the weekend in Trieste, Italy, in a show-stopping three-day bash.

The happy couple stretched the festivities over three days in the Italian sun, with three outfit changes for the bride.  That Italian sun is hot, and even a winsome and svelte Swarovski lassie can stink up a dress after a few hours.

They kicked off the luxurious weekend with a 'pasta and love' welcome dinner at The Piazetta at the Falisia Resort and Spa the night before the wedding and hosted a 'farewell brunch' the day after the wedding ceremony.

Pasta and Love.  Lovely.  Don't get any pasta sauce on your dress, Victoria, or ve vill send you to Russian Front, and revoke your membership in the "Beautiful People" Club!

The crystal heiress stunned in a 46kg custom-made gown, which reportedly cost over £700,000, and came embellished with 500,000 ice-like Swarovski crystals.  That's an eight meter veil and train, encrusted with glittering, snapping, clinking Swarovski jewels.   

Ze beautiful couple vill haf 1.4 beautiful kinder.  No more, no less.

The oddly plain cake.  Victoria seems to have a two handed death grip on Werner's mitt.  Don't knock that pile over, sweetheart!

Ze best part ist naturally ze festivities.  

On Friday, following the ceremony at the cathedral of San Giusto, Trieste, guests enjoyed a wedding meal at Maxi’s Restaurant Portopiccolo.

Bird's eye view of the party venue, with it's complement of super yachts.  That is a place I will never go.

Victoria's mother, Alexandra, is a journalist and her father, Paul, works for the family business. 

The guest list included her aunt, Fiona Swarovski and her son Nicolas Pacifico Griffini, real estate tycoon and Karstadt owner, René Benko, together with his wife Nathalie, industrial magnate Peter König, construction company owner, Claudio de Eccher with wife Laura.

Other notable attendees included Saudi Arabian businessman, Ahmed Ashmawi, Munich based investor Zafer Sanlik with wife Anja, TV-host and model Sylvie Meis and her fiancé Chabel Aoud and model Barbara Meier with boyfriend and real estate investor, Clemens Hallmann.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his puss were in attendance, as was Auric Goldfinger.  Hey, Auric, the bride's eyes are up here!

Model Sarah Brandtner added some glamour to the guestlist, whilst Pharma entrepreneur Willi Beier and rapper Kay One were also at the event.  

The evening event had a red and white theme and  Victoria plumped for a red couture Michael Cinco crystallized red high-low gown for the bash - and the designer shared a stunning video of her donning the design on Instagram.

Herr Blofeld and Werner Mürz were seen huddled together, over tumblers of Jaegermeister, planning the annexation of Lesser Upper Slobovia and the city state of Spitzflugenstad.
After that, the World!

Dress designer Michael Cinco is one of the most lauded Middle Eastern designers and has dressed the likes of Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez.

The couple are currently enjoying a lavish honeymoon around France. The heiress has been keeping her 132,000 Instagram followers up-to-date with her trip and snaps show her relaxing on a superyacht and shopping at Dior in St. Tropez.

After that, Victoria will depose Cersi Lannister from the Iron Throne, and bedazzle the Red Keep with a trillion Swarovski gems.  Werner will have the job of keeping Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons at bay, so Vicki can continue to live in her accustomed life style.

Well, best of luck to the newlyweds.  But, I'm still sore that the post office lost my invitation.  Send jewels.

They said the robots would come for the burger flippers, but instead they came for the masters of the universe.

Rishi Ganti used to help manage the personal fortunes of hedge fund founders David Siegel and John Overdeck, whose quantitatively driven strategies turned them into billionaires. Ganti, 45, says he’s glimpsed the future of his industry. A wave of coders writing self-teaching algorithms has descended on the financial world, and it doesn’t look good for most of the money managers who’ve long been envied for their multimillion-­dollar bonuses.

He thinks that about 2 percent to 7 percent of the hedge fund industry’s $3 trillion of assets will jump every year from predominantly human oversight to computers.

How long until the computers eliminate all carbon based life forms, seeing us as we see a nasty virus?

Old guy not complaining

“Natural Bridge” – art by David Johnson, 1860

Makes me want to play hookey from work today.

How to lure a flock of emus


No sweat kid, just tape it back together.

Cats going nuclear

This looks like a handy tool for summer BBQ's.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Aero L-60 Brigadýr was a small, high-wing propeller-driven Czechoslovakian STOL utility aircraft developed for both civil and military use.

Oops! Long March rocket failure fails to lift Chinese satellite into correct orbit.

Long March off a short pier.  In fairness, though, this rocket has up to now been reliable.

A brief statement from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., a state-run contractor for China’s space program, confirmed an anomaly in the Long March 3B rocket’s third stage left the Chinasat 9A communications satellite in the wrong orbit following a liftoff from the Xichang space center.
An investigation into the cause of the launch failure is underway, CASC said.
The contractor said the Chinasat 9A satellite separated from the Long March 3B’s third stage after the anomaly and deployed its electricity-generating solar panels and antennas. The spacecraft is apparently healthy and in contact with engineers on the ground, who are taking “relevant efforts” to control the satellite, according to CASC.
Officials did not elaborate on what went wrong on the Long March 3B’s third stage, which is powered by a dual-nozzle YF-75 engine that burns a mixture of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants.
Sunday’s launch mishap was the first time one of China’s Long March 3-series rockets has failed to deliver a payload into its intended orbit since August 2009.
Rocketing is hard.  Gotta expect some failures.  Make them a learning experience.

The Tuck tells it like it is. Interesting.

Very professional, gentlemen. Hahahaha!

Being a naval bad ass is hard.  Photoshopping a credible image shouldn't be.
The dodgy image, which appeared on the ministry’s accounts on social networking sites Weibo and Wechat, was meant to mark the Red Chinese Navy’s 68th birthday.
It included fighter jets soaring over the country’s first aircraft carrier, with two other warships steaming along in the background, above two ghostly submarines.

Internet users were quick to point out though the two warships were probably US vessels, that one of the aircraft shown was a Russian MiG-35 and that the three other fighter jets were land-based J-10s rather than the carrier-based J-15s.

Is it dangerous to stand at the bottom of that structure like that?

Frozen Goriuda waterfall, in Val Raccolana, a valley in the Julian Alps.  It is located in the town of Chiusaforte, Italy.

Foolish Portland Oregon gets stiffed by Green power company.

A company once pursued for its promise of green jobs will cost the City of Portland $5 million after defaulting on a $10 million state loan.
Portland paid millions to lure SoloPower Systems to the city but will now have to pay much of the $8.1 million left on a state loan the company failed to pay. The Portland Business Journal reported Wednesday that the company defaulted on a $10 million loan from the Oregon Department of Energy. It stopped making payments in September. Portland made two payments of $119,000 toward the loan in April and May, said Oregon Department of Energy spokeswoman Rachel Wray.
Portland will now have to make $119,000 monthly payments toward the company’s debt through October 2020 because former Mayor Sam Adams agreed in 2011 to guarantee $5 million of the state loan. 
Thanks, Sam, you're just the smartest dude ever.  
The company opened the solar panel plant in North Portland after receiving subsidies, tax breaks, and publicly financed loans that totaled well over $200 Million; $197 Million from the feds, $20 Million from the state of Oregon, $20 Million by way of a state “business energy tax credit”, and nearly $18 Million in tax abatement. In fact, SoloPower wasn’t even supposed to tap into the $197 Million federal money until they “ramp into the second, third, and fourth production lines.”
Instead, SoloPower blew through all of the money in less than a year. They opened in September of 2012, and by June of 2013, they were shutting down the plant. 
My God, less than a year.  I'll bet the only people that got stiffed here were the taxpayers, both federal and state, through their virtue signaling politicians who couldn't be bothered to do some simple math to learn if this company had a chance in hades to make it on the free market. 
I also feel pretty comfortable betting that their plant and salaries were top notch.  I recall when Solyndra went down the tubes in the Bay Area, another solar power "company" that inhaled enormous piles of public money.  I used to have to drive past their plant in the south bay, and as someone who has started a business or two myself, the entire thing mystified me.  Their facilities were located in a hyper expensive part of a hyper expensive state.  The buildings were huge and made of the best, most showy construction.  If one is bringing a business up from scratch, then you locate in Arizona or Nevada, in a cheap warehouse somewhere in an industrial park, not on prime real estate in gold plated buildings.
It was, and is, inevitable that these businesses fail.  They are really not solar companies, but rather companies that aim at tapping into a flow of public money that is wide, deep and never ending.  That's their real business, but their owners are too stupid to do it the right way, like Elon Musk and his electric car company has.
In the end, all this sadness simply shows that the market, using cold and cruel market forces, must make the decisions, and certainly starry eyed politicians who want to establish their green credentials for the next election, should have nothing to say in the matter.

Mondays, they're like that.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Avalanche control, Russian style

CW, the early years

A bit of rain in front of El Capitan this afternoon. I'd bet the temperature up there is almost nice right now.

Swimming Hole of Dreams

A metaphor for life.

A good place to moor the little steamer for sale.

Gjógv, literally: gorgegeoDanishGjov) is a village located on the northeast tip of the island of Eysturoy, in the Faroe Islands and 63 km (39 mi) north by road from the capital of Tórshavn.

This kitty doesn't mind wet feet

Puma crossing river in Torres del Paine National Park / Chile (by Nicolas Monnot).

Augustin Vigil, Jicarilla Apache, 1880

Not the first time a Navy ship has collided with a civilian vessel

The USS ARIZONA was en route from Bremerton, WA to San Pedro, CA on a clear, moonlit night when she rammed the 52-ft purse-seiner UMATILLA, Capt Lucas Plancich,  off Cape Flattery, 26 July 1934. Two fishermen, Lauritz Halsan and John Urosac, were lost from the purse seiner. 
      ARIZONA, Capt. MacGillivray Milne, did not stop to render assistance, but proceeded on to San Pedro. The fishermen, including 7 survivors were pulled from the water by another fishing vessel. 

Schenechtady Gazette. 13 November 1934.
"Navy officials disclosed that the loss of 3 grade numbers on the active list was punishment given Capt. MacGillivray Milne as a result of the collision between the battleship ARIZONA and the fishing vessel UMATILLA, off Neah Bay, WA."

The USS ARIZONA was sunk by Japanese bombers 7 December 1941.
The UMATILLA, owned by Peter Petrich of Dockton, Maury Island, WA  was restored to continue a long life of fishing in Alaska.

Small steamboat for sale

Originally built in 1953, at the Oxford Boatyard, Oxford, Maryland, Rainbow was a 26' US Navy Mark II Motor Whaleboat. In 1973, she was sold at Mare Island & converted to steam with a Semple 5 and Semple VFT boiler. In 1995, the VFT boiler was replaced with a horizontal Scotch boiler to great advantage.
      Over the years Rainbow cruised San Francisco, Sacramento River Delta, Columbia River, Puget Sound and north out of Port Hardy into Seymour and Smith inlets. 
      In about 2005, the old hull burned and was entirely rebuilt, all new from the keel up, by Peter Christensen of Shaw Island. Materials were Yellow Cedar on Black Locust frames with bronze fastenings. Rainbow was an entirely new boat except for the original bronze breasthooks and propeller shaft/rudder skeg. During this time, the power plant was replaced with a Burleigh 3+5x4 compound engine. She presently steams 5 miles at 6 knots on each 12" diameter bundle of firewood.
      The owner is no longer seaworthy and Rainbow needs a new owner to take her cruising again. The Mark II motor whaleboat was the Navy's all round utility boat, both the 'liberty' boat and launched in all weather to pick up a man overboard or downed pilots.
      The dual axle trailer is nearly new and comes with spare dinghy propellers, curtains, anchors, firewood, and watertanks, etc, all included for $20,000. 
Location: Orcas Island.
Submitted by John M. Campbell

I'm sure she's taken, men