Monday, March 31, 2014

Dangerous to camels.

"Thank God none of my bastards are embarrassing me like this," Zombie Mel Torme

"Gotta blame the dame on this one, Mel, there's no way that no account loser is mine," Zombie Frank Sinatra.

Wunderkind Ronan Farrow totally bombs on MSNBC.  His ratings are so bad he was actually beaten by a rerun of "The Golden Girls."  So, would that be "former wunderkind" at this point?

Storms in the Sierra

El Capitan from Turtleback Dome.

Composite photographs of a now abandoned high school in Detroit.

Through photography, seeks to raise awareness of the social and economic challenges facing the city of Detroit. Over the course of 100 years the population level has rapidly expanded and contracted. In the 1950s the population was approximately 1.85 million, in 2010, it was 713,000.
The recent contraction means many of the buildings that were erected to support the rapid growth are now vacant and abandoned. The infrastructure was built to handle a population of 2 million. Only a third of that currently resides in Detroit.
In a fascinating series entitled Cass Tech – Now and Then, detroiturbex has created a 43-picture gallery of old photos and found the exact location of where they were taken and made a composite of the past and present.
While the original Cass Tech was left abandoned for some time, a new Cass Technical High School was built in 2004 in an adjacent lot to the north of the original building. According to Wikipedia, the original building was demolished in July of 2011.
Much more at the link.  I'd bet that you could not find any similar pictures from modern day Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
Below, a basketball game in 1988.

Looks a bit stormy in the mountains this morning.

Too bad I have to work, or I"d be up in that.

Mondays, they're like that

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Oh, I'd pay to watch that.

Exactly correct

Weekend steak feast

On hearing the news that eating meat doesn't really hurt your health, I spent some time at the meat counter at the local Raley's, and came home with three nice New Yorks.

I also bought a fifteen pound bag of potatoes ( the price was super cheap), and some parsnips, in order to make my signature mashed potato/ parsnip side dish.

Here are the ruddy beauties fresh from the butcher.

Properly broiled, with mashed potatoes/parsnips.  Life is good with this on a plate in front of you. After this fine feast, I believe that I'm ready for the next work week.

Another illustration of the maxim: the Air Force will try anything once.

Northrop Flying Wing, or the YB-49 ( which is what I said just before turning 50)

I like this

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What rewards does a right to work state enjoy? This kind.

GREER, S.C. BMW is celebrating its 20th anniversary of building cars in the United States by investing $1 billion in its South Carolina plant to build two of its new X-series vehicles.
The German automaker announced Friday it will produce the X7, a large SUV with three rows of seats, similar to a Cadillac Escalade.
The company will also make the X4, a sportier version of the X3 coupe, and plans to build a plug-in hybrid version of its smaller X5 SUV.
The $1 billion will be spent through 2016 at the plant in Greer, just down Interstate 85 from Spartanburg. BMW said it will hire 800 additional workers, bringing total employment at the plant to 8,800 people.
The Greer plant will make 450,000 vehicles a year by 2016, becoming the largest of the company’s 28 plants around the world.

Compare this to pathetic California, where the government is mired in wasting money and destroying industry, and three prominent Democrats in the legislature have very recently been arrested for corruption.

How a dog drinks, and why they are so messy ( there's a downside to having no cheeks! )


This high-speed footage shows how a dog drinks. The dog’s tongue curls backwards, creating a large area of surface contact with the water. When the dog pulls its tongue back up, water adheres to it and is drawn upward in a column. The dog then closes its mouth around the water before it falls. Fundamentally, this is the same mechanism as the one cats use. Part of the reason that dogs are messier drinkers, though, is that the backwards curl of their tongue picks up extra water. Because the dog has no cheeks, there’s no way to move this water from the underside to the top of the tongue and so the water just falls back out.

California's cursed bullet train fails to live up to the hype once again.

But then that's really par for the course when the Democrats set out to waste everyone's tax money.
California’s stillborn bullet train is now expected to be slower than promised when voters were asked to approve $9 billion in borrowing—in addition to being twice as expensive and half as useful. The LA Times reports:
Regularly scheduled service on California’s bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday.
But Louis Thompson, chairman of the High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group, a state-sanctioned panel of outside experts, testified that “real world engineering issues” will cause schedules for regular service to exceed the target of two hours and 40 minutes. The state might be able to demonstrate a train that could make the trip that fast, but not on scheduled service, he told lawmakers. If public demand for the service supports additional investments, travel times could be improved after the currently planned system is built, he said.
Yes, if the public can be squeezed for still more cash after the train is already built, it “could” be made to travel as fast as voters were originally told it would.


St. Petersburg, Russia

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood during a squally autumn morning. The church marks the spot where the reformist Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by a bomb-rolling revolutionary.

Photobomb winner

If I were President, there would be a whole lotta places that would get this treatment

Today at NASA we opened the portal to hell.

You might call this a dynamic entry

Useful information

An assembly line I could look forward to working on.

More useful info

How a real American President thinks.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Aaaaahh! The weekend!

It's finally here.  Where's my steak?

Gun Porn

Gimme one.

We knew they were charlatans all along

Full screen, HD.

Amazing, but at the same time, I could imagine some horror movies being inspired by some of these beings.  Maybe there's a Cthulu egg in there somewhere.

Via American Digest.

Today's good news.

That the worm is turning became increasingly evident a couple of weeks ago, when a meta-analysis published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that there’s just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. (In fact, there’s some evidence that a lack of saturated fat may be damaging.) The researchers looked at 72 different studies and, as usual, said more work — including more clinical studies — is needed. For sure. But the days of skinless chicken breasts and tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter may finally be drawing to a close. . . .
Since the 1970s almost everyone in this country has been subjected to a barrage of propaganda about saturated fat. It was bad for you; it would kill you. Never mind that much of the nonsaturated fat was in the form of trans fats, now demonstrated to be harmful. Never mind that many polyunsaturated fats are chemically extracted oils that may also, in the long run, be shown to be problematic.
Never mind, too, that the industry’s idea of “low fat” became the emblematic SnackWell’s and other highly processed “low-fat” carbs (a substitution that is probably the single most important factor in our overweight/obesity problem), as well as reduced fat and even fat-free dairy, on which it made billions of dollars. (How you could produce fat-free “sour cream” is something worth contemplating.)
But let’s not cry over the chicharrones or even nicely buttered toast we passed up. And let’s not think about the literally millions of people who are repelled by fat, not because it doesn’t taste good (any chef will tell you that “fat is flavor”) but because they have been brainwashed.

I'll tell you what, I'm eating a giant - and I mean giant - steak this weekend.  No worries about that anymore.

It's the B-26 Marauder over at the Flyby

Let's jump in and fire it up!

Friday Open Road

Which is the first day this week where I can spend it purely in the office, and not running around somewhere.  I'm gonna enjoy doing as close to nothing this weekend as possible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No applause for Obama

I guess the Europeans have had just about enough of all the NSA spying, the incompetence in foreign policy, and his listless, insincere style of speechifying.  The MSM would have been wiping the drool off their chins, hoarse from cheering and chanting his name, at the end of that performance, so I'm sure Obama was surprised at the steely silence.

A Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts passed a kidney stone during a debate

They say it's as painful as childbirth.  Grossman called it a "10 out of 10, " which means he would have been writhing on the ground screaming.

Typical Democrat exaggeration.

An interesting bit of science \ sleuthing

How Inmarsat used it's satellite data to find the missing Malaysian Flight 370.

An fascinating read.

On a more speculative, National Inquirer type level, this Chinese language article says that the captain of the lost flight, who was deeply involved in Malaysian politics, was attempting to hold the passengers hostage to secure the release of a local political figure, whose trial he had left just before getting into the plane.

When negotiations broke down, he flew the plane off into the ocean.

Crazy, but in the absence of any other solid explanation, something to consider at the very least.  Stranger things have happened, and this is indeed a strange thing.

A scene from Greenland for RAF

Yosemite Falls this morning, with a dusting of snow.

Equinox on a spinning Earth

When does the line between day and night become vertical? Tomorrow. Tomorrow is an equinox on planet Earth, a time of year when day and night are most nearly equal. At an equinox, the Earth's terminator -- the dividing line between day and night -- becomes vertical and connects the north and south poles. The above time-lapse video demonstrates this by displaying an entire year on planet Earth in twelve seconds. From geosynchronous orbit, the Meteosat satellite recorded these infrared images of the Earth every day at the same local time. The video started at theSeptember 2010 equinox with the terminator line being vertical. As the Earth revolved around the Sun, the terminator was seen to tilt in a way that provides less daily sunlight to the northern hemisphere, causing winter in the north. As the year progressed, the March 2011 equinox arrived halfway through the video, followed by the terminator tilting the other way, causing winter in the southern hemisphere -- and summer in the north. The captured year ends again with the September equinox, concluding another of billions of trips the Earth has taken -- and will take -- around the Sun.


NYC Freedom Tower BASE jump

Great security.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The sound of music is...

... double automatic weapons firing!

Julie Andrews as she should have played the part.

Freckles, they are good

An attempt to put a number on the frequency of fatal encounters between police and the public

After reading this disturbing story over on Free North Carolina, I was heartened to see someone start up a site dedicated to documenting the frequency and circumstances of fatal encounters between the police and the citizenry.  

The idea:

This website is intended to help create a database of all deaths through police interaction in the United States since Jan. 1, 2000. The bulk of it will be based on public information request, but a large piece–the part that will make it sustain after the structure is built–will use crowdsourcing to update the database.
This site will remain as impartial and data-driven as possible, directed by the theory that Americans should be able to answer some simple questions about the use of deadly force by police: How many people are killed in interactions with law enforcement in the United States of America? Are they increasing? What do those people look like? Can policies and training be modified to have fewer officer-involved shootings and improve outcomes and safety for both officers and citizens?
After watching this video, I think both the public and the police could benefit from more information and more reflection on the use of deadly force.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Junkers K-43 W Portugal

Little known fact: The Junkers K.43, nicknamed the "Bush Bomber", was used extensively during the Chaco War (1932–1935) fought between Bolivia and Paraguay.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 8: pilot, co-pilot, 6 passengers
  • Length: 10.27 m (33 ft 8¼ in)
  • Wingspan: 17.75 m (58 ft 2¾ in)
  • Height: 3.53 m (11 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 43.0 m² (462.8 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,700 kg (3,748 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,200 kg (7,056 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × BMW 132 radial engine, 660 hp (492 kW)
6x 50 kg bombs (300Kg total)

World's largest cut emerald

Weighing in at a hefty 11 kilos (57,500 carats), the world’s largest faceted ‘emerald’ was mined in Brazil and cut in India. 

It would make quite the pendant for an Irish beauty - or a door stop.

The Americans send a special undersea drone to help search for MH 370 in deep waters.

The Pentagon announced the US is pre-positioning the sonar-equipped Bluefin "autonomous underwater vehicle" in Australia to help pinpoint the plane.
The Bluefin drone is just over 17 feet (5 meters) long and weighs 1,764 pounds (800 kg), according to a Navy factsheet. Kirby said it can operate for more than a day at slower speeds.
The undersea Navy drone was flown out of a New York airport on Monday and were expected to arrive in Perth, Australia on Tuesday, the Pentagon said.
Ten American civilian personnel and uniformed members of the military were also flying to Australia to operate or prepare the equipment, it said.
But the Pentagon cautioned that the US technology would only be employed once the search area was significantly narrowed.
"In order for this technology to be useful, you have to have an identified area on the sea bottom that you want to go take a look at," Mr Kirby said.

I noticed this too

Robert Stacy McCain heard the Malaysian Prime Minister announce the loss of their flight, but the other interesting thing to me and to him was his perfect English.

  "Yes, I know the big headline is about the lost flight — “It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean” — but watching it live on TV, what struck me is that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak delivered his press conference in such wonderfully fluent English. Razak spoke rather slowly, but quite clearly, and with only the slightest hint of an accent.
This was a triumph of the global Anglosphere. Anyone who speaks English worldwide — in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa or wherever — could have understood every word by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, as much as if it had been the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom speaking.
Could someone please explain, then, why it is considered xenophobic bigotry for us to expect immigrants to learn English? All over the world, English is recognized as the language of commerce and prosperity. "

From personal experience, I've found that you can't go anywhere in western Europe and not easily find someone basically fluent in our language.  I once heard two Swedes, in a restaurant in their capital Stockholm, order their food in English, even though both they and their waiter were natives.  After that I realized that the French were correct to be afraid of the encroachment of English into their language and culture.  It's everywhere.

Mondays, they're like that

Sunday, March 23, 2014


                                          Of clouds and wind in the eucalyptus trees.

On a more serious note...

This is a great video.

I wish the Venezuelan people success in delivering their country from the socialist tyrants who currently oppress them.

I also note the near total silence from the current American misadministration on the events happening just to our south.  I wonder if they are afraid of the growing resistance to their ideological twins?

Watch in full screen and HD.

Related: Three more killed in Venezuelan protests.

Related 2: Detroit and Venezuela, socialisms endpoints.


This is pretty cute

Watch as magician & mentalist Jose Ahonen magically makes some dog treats vanish under their noses. By the way, all the dogs got treats before and after the trick :)

An ancient seal

A Winged Hero Pursuing Two Ostriches
Cylinder seal and impression
Mesopotamia, Middle Assyrian period 
(ca. 1250–1150 B.C.
In one of the most striking of the Morgan’s Middle Assyrian seals, a hero pursues an adult ostrich, possibly representing the earthly equivalent of the griffin, the conveyor of death. The fleeing ostrich, with its head turned back in fear and fury and its feathers bristling, ranks among the greatest Mesopotamian depictions of animals. In the biblical Book of Job (39:13–17), the ostrich is considered a malevolent creature because it disdains its young, which may account for the presence of the young ostrich and enhances our understanding of this extraordinary seal.