Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some days you just have to lay down on the grass.

Bad boys, bad boys....

Freckles, they are good.

Interesting concept. It would need to be led by iron willed Romans, and there are none of those anymore.

Your feel good news of the day

Southern Utah University, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to school, is stripping his name from one of its buildings after the city where the college is located got $40,000 in pledges in five days from people who wanted his name to come down. 

The real reason this happened:

 "This is a conservative base in Southern Utah and many people in southern Nevada also feel the same way," Cozzens said. "These people in Nevada do not espouse to Reid's political philosophies, and they told me they would not support the university or send any more of their children there, and this was coming from people who had already sent children to SUU, so long as Harry Reid's name remained."

Reid's name also was not bringing in any donations, said Wyatt.

"They thought there would be substantial donations from Harry Reid's friends," Wyatt said. "But there has never been any money donated for that purpose."

The Nevada Democrat's name had been put on the Southern Utah University Outdoor Engagement Center to honor the school's famous alumnus, President Scott Wyatt told The Spectrum newspaper.

Not long after, concerned citizens started meeting with Wyatt, calling for Reid's name to be taken down, and Cedar City Councilman Paul Cozzens said he another others were willing to donate money if the name came down.

Harry Reid should be tried for treason, convicted, have his citizenship revoked, and then he and his brood of locusts should be shipped to Liberia, where at least they can't do us any more harm.

Hat tip: Free North Carolina


My face when I realize it's a long weekend.

Starting Saturday right

Friday, August 29, 2014

Science mystery solved.

The mystery of the roaming rocks of Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa may be at an end. Since their discovery in the 1940s, researchers have speculated about what conditions on the playa could cause 15+ kg rocks to slide tens or hundreds of meters across the dry lakebed. But the rare nature of the movement and the remoteness of the location had prevented direct observation of the phenomenon until last December when a research team caught the rocks in motion (see the timelapse animation above or the source video). Winter rain and snow had created a shallow ice-encrusted pond across the playa by the time the researchers arrived to check their previously installed equipment. Late one sunny morning, the melting ice, only millimeters thick, cracked into plates tens of meters wide and began to move under the light breeze (~4-5 m/s). Despite its windowpane-like thickness, the ice pushed GPS-instrumented rocks up to hundreds of meters at speeds of 2-5 m/min. It took just the right mix of conditions—sun, wind, snow, and water—but the two ice-shoving instances the team observed go a long way toward explaining the sailing rocks.

Via FYFluiddynamics

Bear hunting

Taking a peek

Freckles, they are good.


Racist Tea Partiers go to Ferguson, Missouri, to start a "buycott."

Americans making a difference, a little bit at a time.
That’s why a small band of (mostly) white people from (mostly) West County drove to Ferguson (and Dellwood) to shop tonight.
We targeted the small businesses that were hit hard by violence–violence committed (mostly) by out of town agitators, criminals, vandals, and hooligans.
We drove to Ferguson to make two statements with our actons: 1) Ferguson is OUR community, and 2) Ferguson is open for business.
I met Dellena. Dellena owns the 911 Beauty Salon on West Florissant in Dellwood. Her landlord got foreclosed on, which meant she lost her home, just before the riots. So she moved all her inventory from her house to the store. Then the riots happened, and they took her inventory.
I insisted on buying something–all the people in the salon were so happy and kind. She didn’t have much for white guy gray hair, but she took the time to pull together some gift bags. Then she didn’t want money, but I made her take it.
A gentlman (my age) in the salon (husband?) asked who we were with. I told him “St. Louis Tea Party.”
“Tea party?” he said. “You bad boys,” and chuckled. Then he looked at me, very serious. He said, “The tea party came up here to do this?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said. “we don’t want to see Ferguson go south.”
He laughed. And he looked at me. Then he was quiet, lost in thought for a minute. When he came out of it, he was like our best friend. Laughing, giving us crap about stuff, telling stories.”
In that moment of reflection, I’m sure he was trying to reconcile “tea party” with what he was seeing–four white people, ages 18 to 50, laughing, spending money, empathizing.
There is doing good, and doing bad.  These people are doing good.

Friday Open Road

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool? Would I need to dive to actually experience a fatal amount of radiation? How long could I stay safely at the surface?

Put the risk in proper perspective:

For the kinds of radiation coming off spent nuclear fuel, every 7 centimeters of water cuts the amount of radiation in half.
The most highly radioactive fuel rods are those recently removed from a reactor. Based on the activity levels provided by Ontario Hydro in this report, this would be the region of danger for fresh fuel rods:
Swimming to the bottom, touching your elbows to a fresh fuel canister, and immediately swimming back up would probably be enough to kill you.
Yet outside the outer boundary, you could swim around as long as you wanted—the dose from the core would be less than the normal background dose you get walking around. In fact, as long as you were underwater, you would be shielded from most of that normal background dose. You may actually receive a lower dose of radiation treading water in a spent fuel pool than walking around on the street.

Fish on the surface

It's like a big gulp of 'Merica/Freedom!

A Texas brewery has introduced a massive 99 pack of beer.  I hear it's hot in Texas.  This would hit the spot.

It's like a big mouthful of ‘Murica/Freedom!

The Consumerist reports that Arby's has done something awesome, American, and totally off the hook.

Here it is.  The Meat Mountain.  Ron Swanson approves.  I'm getting one.

The story:

Arby's made a poster showcasing a stacked tower of all the other meats on the menu, reports the Washington Post.
Once they built it, the calls started to come.
“People started coming in and asking, ‘Can I have that?’” Christopher Fuller, the company’s vice president of brand and corporate communications told the Post.
The answer is now yes; yes, you can have a $10 pile of meat between two buns, but you’ll have to know to ask for it as it won’t be on the menu.
That mound includes: 2 chicken tenders; 1.5 oz. of roast turkey; 1.5 oz. of ham; 1 slice of Swiss cheese; 1.5 oz. of corned beef; 1.5 oz. brisket; 1.5 oz. of Angus steak; 1 slice of cheddar cheese; 1.5 oz. roast beef and 3 half-strips of bacon.

Chief Garfield, Jicarilla [Apache], ca. 1904 photo by Edward Curtis

Sitting pretty

I was going to have to go to Oxnard, in So. Cal., tomorrow morning ( five and a half hour drive, without traffic), but I resolved the problem this morning, so now I'm feeling like this:

Suddenly I have plenty of time to get a boatload of work done before the long weekend, which is a good thing!

Expensive fun ( but then, when is good fun not expensive?).

Thanks to Lou and Ed for this, and yeah, we all need one.

The guy just couldn't be stopped, by either law or logic.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1928 Fairchild FC - 2W2

Head from a Statue of King Amenhotep I

Didn't realize bowling could be so dangerous.

Fred on Everything explains the policeman's dilemma.

Read it all.  Worth every minute.  A taste:

  "As a fresh cop, you will notice that the standard editorial notion, that cops are heavily armed brutes amid a helpless unarmed populations, isn’t quite accurate. When you are on the sidewalks of a bad neighborhood, where you know you are disliked by all and hated by many, you will become aware of your vulnerability. You have to pass close to people. Any of them could blow your head off from behind, stick an ice pick in your back, or brain you with a piece of rebar.
The second thing to know about the police and guns (though it sounds unrelated) is something you will hear often from your new colleagues: “I’m going home tonight.” This does not mean, “I’m going home instead of to the bar with buddies.”  It means, “If some dirtball threatens my life, or credibly seems to be doing so, I will blow his sorry ass away before I’ll let my wife have to explain to the kids why Daddy is never coming home again.”
Ah, but how do you know when your life is in danger? Therein lies the rub. In a good department, you will get shoot-no-shoot training. It will surprise you. You stand in front of a very large screen, your weapon holstered. On the screen (for example) appears in video exactly what you would see responding to an armed-robbery call at a small store. A woman, the proprietor’s wife, frantically accosts you. "He robbed us! He has a gun! He went into the alley.” Gun in hand, you run down the alley, scared and breathing hard. A man with a gun turns the corner, gun in shooting position. You fire. You just killed the proprietor who also was chasing the perp with his own gun.
Back on the real street. A 250-pound guy crazy on PCP charges you with the clear intention of doing you harm. How much harm? He could kill you. It isn’t part of your job description to find out. You don’t have time in three seconds to try pepper-spray (which doesn’t work well on PCP heads anyway) or send for a Taser, or shout, “Halt in the name of the law, oh evil emissary of the forces of chaos!”

California, run by criminals

And it is "his" state, since no real Californian would tolerate this blatant lawlessness.  Why is it that Democrats, or in this case simply a treasonous bastard, are so keen to destroy the very land that gave them so much?

   "According to the Los Angeles Times, while introducing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who said America is "the other Mexico," Brown "spoke about the interwoven histories of Mexico and California." He "nodded to the immigrants in the room, saying it didn't matter if they had permission to be in the United States."
"You're all welcome in California," Brown reportedly said.
Brown has made California a sanctuary state by signing the Trust Act, giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. He has also expanded financial aid to illegal immigrants by signing the California DREAM Act. Peña Nieto reportedly "thanked state officials for embracing foreigners, citing measures that extend state benefits to immigrants."
Even during the border crisis, Brown reportedly vowed "to find ways to shorten long waits at the Tijuana-San Diego international border crossing," saying, "If we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man from Mexico to California in 20 minutes."

Monday, August 25, 2014

What lines!

"Mary"  cabin catboat 32 feet 6 inches over all. She was considered one of the fastest sailing yachts in 1893. She was built by Town of Staten Island, and was designed by Capt. Philip Elsworth, uncle of the owner.

What is behind this sign? Dinosaurs?

Hat tip: Tai Wiki Widbee

What's unusual about this penny?

More great photos here, but the article is in German, but worth following the link in spite of the language barrier.

It's literally out of this world, on Mars in fact.  Embedded on the Curiosity Rover, it is used to calibrate the machine's cameras.

Hat tip: Tai Wiki Widbee

California, run by criminals

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  In California, the Democrats are spectacularly corrupt.
  "Last Friday morning, according to an officer with the California Highway Patrol, State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) was observed driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Hueso was subsequently arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, after allegedly flunking a field sobriety test and having a blood-alcohol level test showing he was over the .08 legal limit."
  "Driving the wrong way on a one-way street may be what drew the attention of a police officer to Hueso’s car, but it is also an allegory to a very troubling narrative that is emerging for the majority party in the State Capitol: California Democrats appear to be headed the wrong way themselves."

Mondays, they're like that

Scientists shocked to discover the beginnings of glacier formation in Scotland.

Hazards common in arctic and alpine areas but described as "extremely unusual" in the UK during the summer have been found on Ben Nevis.
A team of climbers and scientists investigating the mountain's North Face said snowfields remained in many gullies and upper scree slopes.
On these fields, they have come across compacted, dense, ice hard snow call neve.
Neve is the first stage in the formation of glaciers, the team said.
The team has also encountered sheets of snow weighing hundreds of tonnes and tunnels and fissures known as bergschrunds.
The large, deep cracks in the ice are found at the top of glaciers.
The team of mountaineers, geologists and botanists is recording wildlife and rock forms on the North Face.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Is it charity, or is it the conscious destruction of a people?

The Lonely Libertarian has a post up this morning that is a must read.  It will make one think about both the true needs of less well off Americans, and the state of the country and it's culture.

Go thee forth and see.

 "I have mixed feelings about this post. But I'm just going to report the facts as I observed them.

Every year, the local Kiwanis Clubs team together with the Salvation Army and Walmart to host a Back to School fair for underprivileged kids in the area. There's snacks and bouncy houses, a vaccination booth (don't get me started here), and each child receives a backpack, lunch box (don't know why since they all get free lunches), and all the recommended supplies. This year, they prepared 5000 backpacks. 5000. Backpacks. Full of stuff. Free. And they ran out with a considerable number of kids still left. So they issued vouchers to Walmart for the same items that were being offered at the fair. One $10 backpack, one $5 lunch box, paper, pens, pencils, RoseArt markers and crayons, binders and notebooks. Probably about $70 total. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider most of the recipient families have two or more (many more) kids. Take my next door neighbors, four kids all anchor babies, mom and dad don't speak English, would have received $280 worth of free school supplies.

Now, I'm extremely charitable, I'll give the shirt off my back and the last buck in my pocket to someone who really needs it. And I don't expect drippy gratitude, a "Hey, thanks!" is good enough. But when I give someone something, the last thing I expect is hostility. And that's just a small fraction of what I witnessed at Walmart this morning."

Perhaps it's time to forget about donating to the charities that cater to this crowd.  Like a parent that ruins a child by providing everything it wants, we seem to have infantilized an entire class of people in this country, who now are totally unable to either care for themselves or to place an accurate value on anything they have.  

They need and expect others to simply hand them the basic needs of life, and they growl and threaten as they take.  Gimme dat!

Is that the goal of charity?  

The only solution to this is hard, very hard, and it will come whether we want it to or not.  No matter if society cuts off the flow of goodies, or if nature does the job involuntarily through national bankruptcy, reality will intrude in a brutal way for these helpless, angry, debased and ignorant people.  I doubt that this is the end result that LBJ and those who created the "Great Society" envisioned.

I slept through the strongest quake in Northern California since 1989

However, I do live on the other side of the Sacramento Valley from Napa, so there's that.  

 "A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Northern California early Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Eighty-seven patients have been treated or are being treated at Queen of the Valley Hospital following the early morning earthquake, according to the city of Napa. "There are three major injury cases," the city said on its website.
One "young child," a girl, is in critical condition, Napa Division Fire Chief John Callanan said at a news conference. She was hurt when a fireplace collapsed.
Sunday's earthquake struck 4 miles northwest of American Canyon, 6 miles southwest of Napa, and 9 miles southeast of Sonoma, according to the USGS."

These medium sized quakes are probably a good thing, as they release, supposedly, pressure on the faults.  Who really knows for sure.  I'll try and wake up for the next one.

Obama consults his advisors on the back nine

This video is actually pretty good.

Rule #1 of public relations: If there is something embarrassing out there, like a video making fun of you, don't draw attention to it by making a big fuss.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, officials in Pyongyang are reportedly furious about the 3 and a half minute video because it “seriously compromises Kim's dignity and authority."

The North Korean government has reportedly requested that China stop the spread of the video, which was allegedly made by a Chinese college student who studied in South Korea. The Chinese government, says the paper, was “was unable to oblige.”

Via Curmudgeonly and Skeptical