Archive for March, 2011

Hey, there is good news.  Yesterday was the day the first image of Mercury was taken by a man-made satellite in orbit and was sent back to Earth.


Remember a while back?  The frozen under-ice Antarctic lake thing, where we pondered what might lurk for millions of years beneath the ice, evil incarnate, waiting only to be melted down, waiting only to take those giant foo… oops, shit, that was Godzilla.  (Thank you, BOC for an awesome concert…)

Well, we wondered what might live in that already melted patch of nougaty goodness… uh… water.  With me so far?  No?  Didn’t we wonder about this together?

Well, I know of at least one fellow who wondered as well, and he might have (did) tip me off to it so I’d wonder, too.  Yes, I’m babbling.

Here.  Go here and read up about the (now passé) fear of imminent doom from life right here on this planet!   Ok, ok, so these are different lakes.  Work with me people.  The fear-mongered lake was Lake Vostok (we all could have diiiiiiiiied!) and this cool little critter-thing lives/lived in Organic Lake.  Seriously, work with me here.

Well, they found another virophage!

Oooh that sounds so sexy…  virophages.  Nature’s little destroyers.  Do they have one that fights Barking Moonbats?  (Yuppii Dooficus)

Also, a more intelligent link here.


h/t to The Dude for telling me to look at XKCD today.


I pointed out to mrmacs two nights ago that this is how you know it is not your time to die…

When you survive the road sign post going through your truck and you together.


Can you imagine this kind of twisted thinking?  That just giving people money doesn’t address the underlying problem?  Where the HELL did that kind of sick logic come from?

In a stinging rebuff to the United Nations and its anti-poverty efforts, Eritrea, one of the poorest countries in Africa, has told the world body that it wants out of its long-term development agreement because the U.N. makes the problem worse, not better.

The reason, given in a January 26 notification letter from the country’s powerful Finance Minister, obtained by Fox News, is that “aid only postpones the basic solutions to crucial development problems by tentatively ameliorating their manifestations without tackling their root causes. The structural, political, economic, etc. damage that it inflicts upon recipient countries is also enormous.” In other words, the government argues, U.N. aid does more harm than good.


Clearly there is some confusion between “Dude, I’m really high” and “stone cold science” but the general idea is that the Free Electron Laser as a viable tool is inching closer.  No, it’s not news.  I’m pointing out one of the misunderstandings that go along with high-power things, namely energy density vs. size.

The problem with solid state lasers, though, is that the wavelength of light that they pump out is fixed, and depending on the weather, the beam can get significantly weaker over distance. So, the laser of choice by 2020 will be the far sexier free-electron laser, which can output energy in multiple wavelengths and doesn’t require any of the bulky and heavy solid-state infrastructure.

[They already pump out different wavelengths by tuning the wiggler magnets… – LK]

Free-electron lasers are basically just particle accelerators that can convert fast-moving electrons into photons. The more electrons you stuff into them, the more photons they spit out, at whatever wavelength (or wavelengths) you want.

[Basically just particle accelerators?  That’s like saying that basically a nuclear reactor is a steam driven generator.  It doesn’t begin to cover the reality. – LK ]

Yes, I’m irritable about physics whenever some doof (in their comments section) talks about shrinking an FEL down to the size of a handheld weapon.

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Apparently the persistence of vision thing nearly unhinged a few of you because after just a few views, Hillary was the first thing you saw in the morning and the last thing you saw at night.  Who knew that blogs could cause retinal burns?

Anyway, only just so many people can beg for mercy before I begin to feel pangs of guilt.  Granted, they were short lived pangs – on the order of two and perhaps as many as three seconds – but they were pangs of guilt nonetheless.  I think it even happened twice.

The implications of that are staggering.  But that is a topic for another post.

So I give you something to soothe those retinal burns.  Clicking on Scarlett makes biggerness.  I think it could be said that she is the Anti-Hillary.

Bis repetita placent – The things that please are those that are asked for again and again. – Horace

Google sent me to someone else’s blog where apparently they got it from somewhere else, probably the place in the lower right corner of the graphic.  Anyway, if Scarlett and Jessica don’t make up for Hillary I don’t know what will.


Hypocrisy, get thee behind me, stand next to Vanity – B. Obama

President Barack Obama said the U.S. and its allies had to take military action in Libya to avert a massacre of civilians that would have “stained the conscience of the world.” –  Bloomberg

Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries – the United States of America is different.  –  Barack Obama at the National Defense University in Washington

What about Sudan, Big O?  Done jack or squat about that lately?

Let’s just come out and say “We’re there because of oil.”   Why do people make excuses and apologies for protecting our investments?  I fully support going in there for oil.  What I don’t support is slimy statements about humanitarianism when evidence clearly exists to the contrary.


h/t to Soylent Green.  If I understand it right, when you break into a business and threaten to close them down you are supposed to be met with open arms and goodwill, be given soy milk and free-range cookies, and all toke up in one big love-fester.

Fiona Reed who was at Mainshill said: “We were attacked from the minute we entered the site. At no point were we confrontational or threatening, we just wanted to do the action safely so that no one got hurt. First of all huge dump trucks were deliberately driven at us and tried to box us in, then the excavator driver swung the machine’s bucket at us, blatantly disregarding all health and safety rules. Most deaths and accidents that occur on opencasts are because of how dangerous these dump trucks are. A lot of people’s lives were put at risk. We were then pounced on by workers and site security who punched us in the head repeatedly, threw us to the ground and kicked us in the back. They also stole our video camera.”

People’s lives, my dear fruit-bat, were threatened because you broke into a worksite.  By placing yourself there you were endangered.  Had you sat in your dorm room and had another bong hit, with your electric heater powered by coal, you’d have been cozy and warm, just as clueless, but at least safe.

Another Left-Weenie:

We were all threatened with being stabbed by a worker, and the people on the machine were told by an operations manager that as soon as the support had gone they were going to get beaten up. The site manager Steve Griffiths watched all this happen and was totally indifferent to it. Security has no right whatsoever to act like that.  – Jim Slater

Would you believe that you had no right whatsoever to trespass and attack a business like that?


Don’t get me wrong.  I cannot stand “The Barefoot Contessa” (Ina Garten).  I think she is pretentious, I think her show panders to people who feel they must compete with others to have the best parties, and I think … well, let’s just leave it at that.

She’s been bashed and vilified for reportedly turning down a little kid’s Make A Wish Foundation request to cook with her not once, but twice.  The LA Times did an article that from what I can tell in the comments did her no favors whatsoever.


But can I actually say “Gosh, Ina, you’re really kind of a bitch”?  Nope.  I can’t.

She said no once.  At some point someone had the gall to ask again.

Garten isn’t obligated to say yes nor is she even obligated to explain herself.

Yes, seeing a sick little kid breaks my heart.  It really and truly does.  It’s one of the reasons why I can believe in God and be pissed at Him, because I don’t understand it and don’t feel particularly compelled to relent on that issue.  My problem, I’ll deal with it.  But that doesn’t mean the kid automatically gets the wish.   As the great philosopher Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want.”

Garten’s publicist said she has many engagements and scheduling makes it impossible.  That should be the end of it. For all anyone knows, Garten may have had a child die of an incurable disease and to do it would be too painful.  Perhaps it’s just too painful regardless.  Perhaps she has a number of charities that she already devotes time and effort to and feels that she can’t add any more.  But it doesn’t matter and people should leave her alone.

The kid’s mother actually made a statement of regret for the problems it has caused Garten:

I had written about our disappointment when we originally found out, but asked everyone in the spirit of Enzo to please just “let it go” and move forward, as I know he has. I know this REALLY hit a strong cord with people, the outrage over this has been REALLY OVERWHELMING. There are so many articles, blogs, radio shows, even a Utube video about this. I want to make it VERY CLEAR we have NO ANGER OR ILL WILL toward Ina Garten. Enzo made his request and she declined, end of that story. As much as I know it has REALLY angered people, she has that right. Furthermore it is not our wish to hurt Ina Garten in anyway.

Hey, Garten is fair game when it comes to her show and the style/substance of it.  But for heaven’s sake, leave her alone about the kid already.

Comments about her that amazed me and just from the first two pages:

Boycott her! And send your letters stating your disapproval and intent to boycott.

Have these people forward the letter to her:

Write to the Onwers of the Food Network to have her thrown off the air:

or call their office and request that her show get cancelled:
Write to her staff and tell them to forward and letter of disapproval and intent to boycott anything she could make a personal profit from:

And once again, another place to announce your boycott and disapproval:

Also, you can call her office and state your disgust and disapproval and intent to boycott:

Also there is a twitter petition going – you have to sign into your twitter and put this link up in your address bar:

Join the fight against greed, pretention, and narcissism.

Posted by: K W | March 26, 2011 at 02:28 PM

Don’t sugar-coat it, KW.  Do you just have nothing better to do than go on a vendetta?

Despite her “heavy schedule” she could have found a time to meet with this boy, like perhaps allowing him to join her as she prepared her “Charity Meal” in the Hamptons for 6 people! If those folks were willing to pay $100,000 each, I am sure they would have loved to have seen her charitable actions at work. That little boy would have been a perfect addition for such an occaision! However, that said…I am positive that her schedule will be offering much more free time in the future, since everyone I know is refusing to watch anything she is on…ever again! There are MANY more popular cooks out there, and she wasn’t that good to begin with. I’ll bet Paula Deen wouldn’t have refused him!

Posted by: Cheri Horgan | March 26, 2011 at 02:21 PM

Cheri – the $100,000 event was a charity event.

Yes, this is an obligation. What is unfathomable to me is if she could not spend time cooking with him then why is there no mention of her sending some kind of goodies basket with a few kind words or books or something. Or, hey, an email takes ten minutes….But a “definite no” is so cold. She should be honored he asked her. I hope more on this story comes out besides the bashing on her appearance and marriage on other website comment pages. Charity work is not the same as this, if a child with a disease asks for you personally, yes you HAVE to do it. I can’t “stomach” watching her show after this even though I havent seen it in a while. Sad all the way round.

Posted by: Anthony | March 26, 2011 at 02:17 PM

A definite “no”, huh?  Did not one adult screen a thing?  Did not one adult perhaps fib a little to protect the little tyke?  You HAVE to do it?  How many hundreds or thousands of requests do you think this lady gets in a year from all sorts of people?

Of course they have an obligation. They have an obligation to be HUMAN. And they are only celebrities because of their fans. How can you let down a six year old baby? How can you live with yourself after that? That poor child.

Posted by: Jenna | March 28, 2011 at 07:59 AM

Not everyone can be Oprah, Jenna, and buy the entire audience a car.  I’m sure she’s quite human and every bit as imperfect as yourself.

“But to disparage her is plain childish and stupid”..
uh… she most definitely deserves it.
To say that the mass media is overreacting is outrageous. This woman is only famous because of fans. And when she offends with such atrocity one of the most important fan that she has, she is going to feel the repercussions of her decision. That is the price of fame. But lucky for her, it does not seem like she’ll be needing to meet any expectations for much longer.
For you heartless people saying that he should get over it, you clearly do not have children of your own. If you were to watch your dying child’s disappointment from the direct actions of such an uncompassionate person, I highly doubt you would be so willing to dismiss his “silly request”.

Posted by: compassionate | March 28, 2011 at 07:55 AM

Pretty sparing of that compassion yourself, compassionate.  What does whether or not she has children have to do with anything?  Some of the kindest people have none and some of the vilest evil fuckers you ever saw walk the earth have multiple children.

What a complete worm she is. She’s a cook not the queen of England, she could take a day off to hep;p a dying kid. I hope everything she does in life from this point on fails as much as she failed this poor child.

Posted by: Bob | March 28, 2011 at 06:56 AM

Nice, Bob, nice.  You would think she’d have dipped the kid in boiling oil for all your vitriol.  The kid is dying, don’t you think there are bigger disappointments in his life than this?  There are other wishes to be granted, just hopefully not yours.

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Now Hear This.

Wasn’t called in last week but I had to report for jury duty today.

Waited in Purgatory for a while, drinking complimentary coffee that had been sent up from Hell.  When not even Hell wants the coffee it goes to one of two places – juror waiting rooms and Starbucks™.

We got the call and shuffled out to the sounds of whips cracking and somebody in the back yelling “Moooov ’em out!”  Bossy in front of me was told to please muffle her bells.  Thus the journey of a thousand yards began with but a single hoof-step.

When we were seated in the courtroom The Judge (Her Honorableness) gave us the usual inspirational speech and then asked if anyone had a medical condition, like a bad back, that would possibly be an issue.  Several people did and they talked back and forth for a while but no one was dismissed.

The Judge asked if anyone had bad vision.  After some silence I raised my hand and said “I’ve got bad hearing and read lips.”  I helpfully pulled my hearing aid out and held it up.   It’s black so from a distance it looks remarkably like the evil earwig thing from The Wrath of Khan.

The Judge quickly looked at lawyer #1 and asked “Pass him over?”   He nodded.   The Judge asked lawyer #2 the same and he said “He can go.”

Not only do they worry that someone’s back to me would cause me to miss some of the conversations but they also don’t like lip-readers because I would be able to tell what a lawyer was whispering to his client.

In the words of the Court Clerk: “We’ve had lip-readers before and it really screws things up.”

I can just imagine myself in the juror’s box and suddenly standing up in outrage and pointing at a lawyer and then his client, yelling “You BASTARDHE KILLED KENNY!

This, I imagine, would not have a favorable outcome.

In the context of performing one’s civic duty, I’m a Legal Leper.  Outcast unclean.  A pariah.


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Quick!  Everyone run around like their hair is on fire!   That always helps!

This is like pouring sugar on the ground at a picnic to keep the ants away.

The game’s 1996 precursor Duke Nukem 3D — which sold 3.5 million copies, made millions for its developers and transformed the entire world of video games — depicted women as strippers and prostitutes.  The new iteration of the game, set for release this spring, takes sexism to a new level — starting with Duke receiving implied oral sex from twins in school uniforms.

“It was offensive then and it’s even more offensive now,” Jamia Wilson, vice president of the Women’s Media Center, told FoxNews.com. “These depictions of women are extremely harmful, especially to young women,” she added.

Well, DUH.  It is offensive!  It is hilarious!

It’s entertaining because it IS over the top, lady.  Tell you what, Jamia… unbraid your armpit hair, shave your legs, go out with the girls, have a few fortified wine coolers, and metaphorically let your hair down – meet some guy and find something to do besides worry about a video game. The hugest percentage of men abusing women got it not from video games but from a suck-ass home life when growing up.

Most men who are transvestites didn’t get it from watching Bugs Bunny in drag.

Young women aren’t going to be playing the game.  Boys, grown men, and the grown men’s wives are going to be playing it (at least mine will be, anyway).

Young women (and prosti-tots) will be shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch.

As a parent, I won’t let my daughter shop there. That is how the system works. I don’t like A&F so I don’t let my daughter go there.  How hard was that?

As for my daughter coming into contact with boys who don’t have parents to teach them the values that they won’t get in Duke Nukem, well, she’ll be well-taught about how to handle them and if there’s still problems, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.  That’s why fathers own guns, so’s they can protect their daughters.

All the guys that I met over the years that were the type to objectify or abuse women weren’t that way from a movie or from a game – they were creeps through-and-through.  Not all people are good and that is a simple fact.  Mostly people are made that way by their parents.  Sometimes you raise them in a good environment and they’re still evil – I’ve seen it firsthand so don’t try to feed me a line of excrement to the contrary, please.


I also must say – my daughter’s self worth will be instilled in her by us, her parents, not some video game or the world’s view, so let me worry about my daughter.

The ESRB argues that its ratings effectively allow consumers to self-police: If you find that sort of thing offensive, simply don’t let your kids buy the game.

“This game carries a Mature rating indicating that it’s intended for ages 17 and up, and retailers overwhelmingly enforce their store policies requiring that M-rated games not be sold to a customer under that age without a parent’s consent,” [ESRB spokesman] Mizrachi said.

There’s bad news though…

Following the what-were-they-thinking response shared across the gaming community, Gearbox announced Thursday yet another delay to the overdue game’s release. Duke Nukem Forever, which had been slated for release May 3, is now scheduled for June 14.


I could be a bitter cynic.  But you know what?  I still recognize bullshit when I see it.

9 Signs of Happiness

Some of the signs are absolutely mind-numbingly asinine.  I include only four here.  You need to go and see if #3-#7 are ridonkulous for yourself.

1. Smiling face in photos

Studies have shown that people who are smiling in photographs from their youth have five times lesser chances to divorce later in life. Happier people are more attractive to the society, and people feel better in their presence, which contributes to higher quality of relationship within marriage.

I have NO photos of me smiling in childhood, and I’m deliriously *$&%^@ happy.

2. You have a sister

People who have at least one sister are more inclined to optimism, providing support and empathy. Sisters foster communication and unity in the family, which is reflected on positive feelings of all family members.

My next-oldest sister had me unknowingly sniff ammonia from a jar and once peeled up a strip of duct-tape from the entire length of my leg and gave me a redneck wax-job.  My oldest sister is a psychopath.  As you can tell, I have happiness just dripping out my pores.

8. You drink warm drinks

According to one study, people who were holding in their hands and drinking warm drinks, like cocoa or tea, were warmer and better willing than those who drank cold drinks. Psychologists concluded that external heat influences inner one and that warm drinks have a favorable effect on the organism and thus have influence on the mood.

Drink coffee and tea all day long and I’m the sunniest person I know, so perhaps this has some truth.

9. You have two best friends

In one study that included 600 participants, all those who concluded that they have two best friends were generally happier than those with more or less friends. Therefore, a large number of people with whom you socialize are not a guarantee of happiness.

“Hi!  I’m Barf the Mawg!  I’m half man, half dog… I’m my own best friend!”


It has come to my attention that the next few images might offend someviewers.  I wasn’t raised nor am I Catholic so it just doesn’t hold the same emotional clout for me that it does others… soooooo, consider yourself warned.












Happiness in 9 simple points?

No.  I don’t think so.  Happiness is discovering that nuns have boobs.

Source… would you believe it came up on a Google search?  Now if only I could remember what it was I was searching for…  Well it wasn’t Nude Nuns with Big Guns, but here you go…


Turducken for Nintendo???

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h/t to Wilson… errr… The Dude… for drawing attention to Theo Sparks “Protection from Muslim Men” posting. I think a bacon g-string is a necessary accessory.
Yes, as Veeshir said, having the Hillary pic at the top of the page is kind of rude/cruel/awful/nasty.

I am truly sorry/repentant. I am filled with remorse.

So let’s start with something different.

Well, isn’t that sumpin’?


Let’s offset that with a story of pure goodness, one that marks a little girl as having real character.

Nine year old girl loses her leg and a kidney while saving her five-year-old sister’s life – running out in front of a vehicle.

Weeks ago I saw this article on bias in the NPR (link is down a short ways). I did tons of research on where their money really comes from and found out that they’re playing real games in reporting where their funding comes from. Lot more gov’t funding than they claim, and a lot smaller percentage comes from you the listener. But I found that the rabbit hole goes deep and trying to hunt down all the affiliations was just … too much effort and no one would read the compilation anyway.

So here’s the article where NPR folks say they are overwhelmingly liberal but they are not biased.

If they aren’t biased the simple question is why do so many libs listen? It’s not because they are enlightened and liberals are seeking pure truth, that’s for sure. Most liberals think they are moderate, too. There’s an issue of broken self-perception there or intense myopia.

Truth? My truth is that I’m conservative. I’m not moderate. No self-delusion there. I’m actually more libertarian/federalist.
Ok, so…

If I marry, you can eat me.

A wedding cake shaped like herself.

The thing to note, which doesn’t seem to have impressed it upon the husband… if I am marrying you and I go to order cakes of both of us and only one cake can be made, one would think that I’d choose to have it made of my spouse since the very nature of getting married is that you place that person very high in your life – you want to live life with that person, right? So what does it say when you instead choose to have a cake made of yourself rather than a more generic cake if you can’t have both?

Sorry dude, you got hitched to a ho.

Saw this on Fark:

Should Florida lawmakers make sex with animals illegal? Some say yes, some say neigh (naplesnews.com)

Gen Y not slackers, just slow starters… ? … ? … ?

Nah, sorry, you live with mommy and daddy until you’re 30-something you’re pathetic.

Generation Y is often thought of as a slacker group of young adults who have failed to launch, delaying real careers and families until later in life. But new research suggests their heavy dependence on Mom and Dad might ultimately prepare them to be successful adults.

You become a successful adult by hardships and lessons learned, not playing video games in the living room. What, did they also breast-feed until they were six?

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Update: Hillary: I’m Very Relaxed.

That’s the botox speaking.

Say you are being questioned just prior to going to your eternal reward, wherever that might be… and the conversation goes like this:

So, you broke into someone’s house, went to drag the gal upstairs, and… what?  Fiancee got in the way?  You tussled?

She ran out of the room?  You don’t say…

And then she came back into the room with a pink .38 and blew you away?

Jeez, dude.  How about dying with a bit more dignity than that?  Oh, I don’t know – there’s many ways you could have gone that would have left you with more self-respect.  Like having a heart attack while engaged in amorous relations with a cow?

A pink gun.  Only thing worse would be to have been shot by a Hello Kitty AR-15.


On Fark… MESSENGER related, I assume…

NASA spacecraft now circling massive object that is not your wife, despite being super-hot on one side and super-cold on the other


I can make two comments based on the statements by the mother of one of the civilian-murdering Army fellas (Morlock).

Morlock’s mother, in an interview with The Seattle Times, blames much of her son’s plight on a failure of Army leaders to oversee the platoon’s behavior and actions.

“I think the government is just playing these guys as scapegoats. The leaders dropped the ball. Who was watching over all this?” Audrey Morlock said.

  1. How insulting to men and women in uniform, that she seems to think that like little children they need constant supervision.
  2. Her weird comment about using the killers as scapegoats – is it so hard to imagine that her son is more than a little “damaged goods”?


Granny get your gun.

What is it with women and .38’s today.  (let’s stay away from the joke about the woman with 38’s and packing a couple of 45’s, too)

After being denied a kiss yesterday by a neighbor 39 years her junior, a 92-year-old Florida woman allegedly returned to her home, retrieved a .380 semi-automatic handgun, and fired several shots into the man’s residence.

Supposedly she was aiming at his car… yeah.  Yeah, that’s it.  Damn thing ought to have given her a smooch.  Hmph.

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Totally Rad


Things be looking good…

Spacecraft Data Confirm MESSENGER Orbit and Operation

Data from its first three days in orbit about Mercury have confirmed the initial assessment of the spacecraft team that MESSENGER is in its intended orbit and operating nominally.

“The team is relieved that things have gone so well, but they remain busy as they continue to configure the spacecraft for orbital operations and monitor its health and safety in the new environment,” says MESSENGER Project Manager Peter Bedini, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

Today the navigation team delivered an orbit determination that will span MESSENGER’s first four weeks in orbit. Starting on March 23, 2011, the team will begin commissioning the science instruments. That day the Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer, Magnetometer, Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer, Mercury Laser Altimeter, Neutron Spectrometer, and X-Ray Spectrometer will be turned on.

Interesting ground track – it’s a high-inclination highly elliptical orbit that seems to have it’s major axis sort of parallel to the equatorial plane so I guess it looks right.  I guess I expected more dwell at one pole over the other but that would seem to be counter to the stated goal, wouldn’t it?.

XKCD has a great diagram to compare relative radiation doses.

Everything I’ve heard from folks says that the Sievert isn’t really a good measure for acute doses but you gotta start comparing apples to orangutans at some point, right?   It’s a guideline or rather, an illustrative guide.

It’s also been fuzzed to prove to the venerable XKCD God (Randall) that I don’t want to blatantly steal a whole body of work.  It’s enough to whet your appetite.  Go here for the original over at XKCD.  (h/t to The Dude)


Oh, bra-VO, you idiots.

Now, if it were an enemy sniper and one of our snipers got the guy before he could kill some of our soldiers, I can see it.  But, assuming that these are actually innocent civilians… the idea of killing innocent civilians and posing with them goes beyond the pale, and a long cruel sentence is warranted.

Why?  Because if this is true, the people who already want to kill us won’t want to kill us any worse, but it sure swells the ranks.  If it’s true, I can’t see as how I would blame the muslim world for being angry.

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Yay!  MESSENGER successfully went into orbit around Mercury tonight.  An awful lot of us breathed a sigh of relief.  There are three options when approaching a planet like they did – (a) You match velocity and make a successful orbit, (b) You shoot on past, or (c) You make a magnificent crater on another planetary body.

The rockit scientists did just fine.  With an 8-9 minute lag in communications (one way), real-time control is impossible, so on autopilot the spacecraft executed a successful burn and decelerated pretty fast (without ABS, I might add) and went into it’s eccentric orbit.  They’re waiting for more telemetry but all signs look good.

From the APL site:

MESSENGER Begins Historic Orbit around Mercury At 9:10 p.m. EDT, engineers in the MESSENGER Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., received the anticipated radiometric signals confirming nominal burn shutdown and successful insertion of the MESSENGER probe into orbit around the planet Mercury.

The spacecraft rotated back to the Earth by 9:45 p.m. EDT, and started transmitting data. Upon review of these data, the engineering and operations teams confirmed that the burn executed nominally with all subsystems reporting a clean burn and no logged errors.

MESSENGER’s main thruster fired for approximately 15 minutes at 8:45 p.m., slowing the spacecraft by 1,929 miles per hour (862 meters per second) and easing it into the planned eccentric orbit about Mercury. The rendezvous took place about 96 million miles (155 million kilometers) from Earth.

I’ll post a pic in a while of me sitting next to an engineering model of the FIPS instrument (it is attached to the EPPS instrument on MESSENGER).  We were all damn near crazy once we finished the fabrication of parts and built the thing up, but we did it in just under a year.

Here is a picture of a handsome little fella who I happen to know very well standing next to an engineering model of FIPS.  It’s packed with all the gooey sciencey goodness that only Sparks can dream up, folks, and looks just like the thing on MESSENGER, too.  Well, except that the whole thing is alodined and the real thing is covered all over with MLI/ceramic-blanket stuff.  The blanket is like asbestos underwear – keeps the precious stuff from getting too toasty (and can keep your drinks from getting too cold, too).   It also keeps seagull droppings off the instrument.  Now, you may be tempted to say “Oh, that isn’t a seagull-protective cover!”  To which I respond: “How come?  Do you see ANY seagull droppings on the instrument?”

Franken-Boy standing next to honest-to-goodness hardware.

For a size reference, the cylindrical thing pointed up and to the left is the size of a coke can and the whole thing is lighter than a popcorn fart.  There’s so much crammed into that front section alone that it would make your head swim.  As one of the project heads (a Spark) was introducing me to another attendee he said “Well, if you’d known what you were in for you might not have come on board.”  And he was right, I might have run away like a scared little girl.  What a great group of folks though.  I think we all hated each other a bit towards the end but we got over it.

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Update #2:

I am going up to the UofM’s Space Physics Research Laboratory in a few minutes to meet with the instrument crew (for FIPS, not the S/C crew) that I am honored to have gotten to work with.  It was a crazy crushing schedule to get it done on time but what an awesome crew up there.  It’ll be good to see some faces I haven’t seen in years.

MESSENGER will start it’s burn at 8:45pm for Mercury orbital insertion – a little over three hours from now.  It’s been flying since August 3, 2004 and will be there tonight!  Wahooooo!   Sigh.  This is like The Payout after waiting so very long.



Thank goodness they have come up with a way to utilize all that rotting zombie flesh rather than let it sit there and… uh… rot.

Zombie Jerky.     (h/t to colleague Inscrutable Half-Breed)

We should count our blessings that the folks at ThinkGeek are around, and are fixing global zombie waste in any manner possible.


What are you… chicken?

Remember not too long ago I put up a post about penalizing boys for being boys?  They had their own little Fight Club going.  And for being boys they were expelled post-haste.  Good riddance to bad rubbish!  P-tui!!

Now, two seniors in high school have been tarred and feathered.

“So we confessed. We told the truth. Now we’re getting charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, not allowed to go to prom, not allowed to go to graduation, and all that,” – Anthony Cesareo, hardened juvenile criminal

Wow.  So, you guys… what did you do to warrant this sort of punishment?  Did you sneak onto school grounds, get really drunk, and pee all over some pom-poms?

No?  You what?

You released a chicken into the school after hours?

Oh… multiple chickens. Chikii, or whatever.  Hey…!!

Ohmygawd – you BASTARDS!

Well, it is true, chickens are the gateway animal.  Before you know it they’ll have tried pigs or sheep in a social setting, then moved on to buffalo, and it’s not too much of a stretch to doing wildebeests or hippos in private, and selling their bodies for just one more marmot.

Police said…you getting this?   This is how it is written in the article… I, at least, am not making this up.

It may have been a joke to them, but police said it wouldn’t have been so funny if a student got hurt.

Yeah, you could peck and eye out with one of those things!

In the comments section of the article one commenter (a sharp one!) said:

Was that chicken registered? After all, criminals use chickens all the time when they hold up liquor stores… – Jonathan Grant

No, Grant, I bet none of them were registered.  They probably chicked and didn’t find a single serial number. – LK


I really MUST take exception with Reuters and this kind of photography in the wake of nuclear contamination fears in Japan.

That’s like interviewing kids about their closet-monster fears after scaring the living sh*t out of them the night before by creeping out of the closet wearing latex claws and an Obama mask.

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Who knew that sucking on silicone was bad? It’s supposed to be inert – you know for moving parts, hydraulics, fun-bags, etc.

Certainly this poor snake was unaware of the health risks.

Men, let this sad moment in herpetology be a sobering reminder to you!  Read the ingredients list first then decide whether to latch onto something.


A little humor to lighten up the mood after that sobering PSA.

Two Arabs boarded a flight out of London. One took a window seat and the other sat next to him in the middle seat. Just before take-off, a U.S. Marine sat down in the aisle seat. After take-off, the Marine kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Arab in the window seat said, “I need to get up and get a Coke.”
“Don’t get up,” said the Marine. “I’m in the aisle seat. I’ll get it for you.”

As soon as he left, one of the Arabs picked up the Marine’s right shoe and spat in it.

When the Marine returned with a Coke, the other Arab said, “That looks good. I’d really like one, too.” Again, the Marine obligingly went to fetch it. While he was gone, the other Arab picked up the Marine’s left shoe and spat in it. When the Marine returned, they all sat back and enjoyed the flight. As the plane was landing, the Marine slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened.

“Why does it have to be this way?” he asked. “How long must this go on? This fighting between our nations? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and pissing in Cokes?”


Oh yes, if you see this graphic floating around… IGNORE IT.  It’s a total crock.  US NRC wouldn’t be measuring in Rems and they certainly wouldn’t publish sh*t like this.  I strongly suggest that if the nuclear “stuff” were THAT dangerous, no nuclear reactors would ever have been built nor nuclear weapons because a bomb would have been un-necessary.  That sort of thing leans towards cobalt bombs and I just don’t know enough to say any more.

Plus this popped up and was listed as having come from some official source in Australia.  Yeah, sure.

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Today I bought a knife.  I am happy.


On Oozing Stupidity

I ooze stupidity daily because it just plain feels good – it hasn’t made me blind or given me the equivalent of reefer madness so I see absolutely no reason to stop.  If it is bad, why does it feel so good?


There are people that say “things” in certain ways that imply certain “things” loudly and clearly.  Last night Soylent linked to Grist.org where they implied that Japan’s earthquake was caused by thinning of the polar ice-caps.  These coy statements are the framework that eco-terrorists hang much of their arguments on and have some very recognizable features:

  • They highlight something emotional, which may be a real disaster or accident
  • They reference statements that spring off of the emotion
  • The statement is dressed up to look like a point that they are trying to argue, but…
  • The statement is also crafted or presented in such a way that it can be disowned immediately

Here’s an example of something worthy of being disowned very quickly (and they did).

“When the ice is lost, the earth’s crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis,” Bill McGuire, professor at University College London, told Reuters.

Melting ice masses change the pressures on the underlying earth, which can lead to earthquakes and tsunamis, but that’s just the beginning. Rising seas also change the balance of mass across earth’s surface, putting new strain on old earthquake faults, and may have been partly to blame for the devastating 2004 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia, according to experts from the China Meteorological Administration.

Wow… got that?  Grist.org struck out that last part as soon as people cried BS.  In fact, I haven’t seen so many edits done to a blog in such a short amount of time since… well, ever.

Scientists have known for some time that climate change affects not just the atmosphere and the oceans but also the Earth’s crust. These effects are not widely understood by the public.

“In the political community people are almost completely unaware of any geological aspects to climate change,” said McGuire.

Yeah, just last week a guy started up his snowblower, m’kay, and three sinkholes swallowed up a schoolbus, a schnauzer, and my neighbors back-yard toilet/planter.  You guys are just totally clueless about climate change and geology just like the political community {nods vigorously}.

Well, over on the youtube thing I was looking at video of Japan’s tsunami, where I found a cornucopia of idiocy.  We’re not talking about secretions of stupid-ooze, we’re talking about entire-bowel-moving excretions of stupidity.

we are all incredibly frightened here. this morning there is a tiny gang of analysts which have been with a college in nevada that have showed clearly the planet is definitely drawing near to its finish. this is truly beginning to seem sensible now. read the intimidating write-up@:[VTBBNews.us.mn]

“A tiny gang with a college in nevada”.  Seriously?  Wow, those are some heavy hitters there.  A Tiny Gang has had their hands in everything and A College in Nevada is where I got my mail-order PhD.  How about that?

21.12.2012 is not the end of the world, it is the end of the Atlantis experiment. So we are now at the end of something that went badly wrong. The world is now experiencing a complete shift, releasing negativity and pain (includling humans), hopefully after this date we will then be able to move forward into a new era x

– Just , to let you know, 12/3/2011 03:08

Boy am I ever glad they let me know.


Speaking of liberals, ec0-terrorists and liberals are like liverwurst and mayo sandwiches, they just seem to go together… Oh, do stop looking like that, liverwurst and mayo on sourdough is good for you.

Over at Aardvarks and Asshats, Eddie von Bear has made some friends.  Now, Eddie and I say things in entirely different ways – for instance, I could never, and would never try (well, I did once) to emulate his style.  If you are up to what might be considered “vulgar” language in genteel company, here is the link.

Now, a fella named William J Hanchey III 2 (Good Lord, all that is a name?) is what you would consider to be a troll.  And he’s an erratic troll with friends who got riled up at EvB’s writing style and arguments.

There’s the part I can’t understand.  Why would you go to a “Rattlesnake and Squirrel Chili Cookoff” event if what you were really jonesing for was a “Strawberry-Kiwi Cheesecake Poetry Brunch”?

After making an argument (and I thought it was a very good argument, if I may say so, about the misconceptions liberals have about conservatism and philanthropy), WJH32 got rather upset.  To the point of saying that I, the Glorious Lemur King, could personally fellate him.  Well, I felt that his response was uncalled for.   Then he kind of rattled himself apart towards several other visitors to EvB’s blog, uttered insults and proto-threats, then basically started behaving like an irate 12-year old.

At some point in his blustering (before my second response) he uttered – and I kid you not and I quote:

Reagans fiscal Sanity? Before Bush left office reagan and the the two georges had the three biggest deficits in US History.  Reagan was awesome huh? He is also the one who trained the Mujahideen aka Taliban considered them to be no different than America’s Founding Fathers.  – A Troll named William J. Hanchey III 2

I admit I blinked three times slowly after reading that utterance, and then I responded.

To be perfectly clear, being quite heterosexual I have no desire or interest to fellate him so he’ll just have to go to bed all full of liberal angst and sexually flustered.

† Proof that I am Heterosexual:  Mrrreeeowwwrrr… Salma Hayek… you can’t fake that, sorry.

Update:  Soylent thought maybe I had best provide a picture of Salma as additional proof – ok, so here’s the secret handshake part of the heterosexual male club… the first time I ever “met” Salma.  I even have Tito and Tarantula’s Tarantism album because of her.

Oh hell… you need MORE proof, SG? Geez. Right around 3 minutes into it.

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Oh Japan…

Thoughts and prayers for the Japanese people.

Just saw the scale and longevity of the tsunami.  When entire burning buildings are picked up and carried along it doesn’t look good for people caught unawares.

With that kind of wholesale damage, it’s going to be a long while before the toll on lives is known.

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Well, that didn’t really happen, but THIS did.

Authorities said a woman entered the Amherst County courthouse this morning with a tiny monkey tucked into her bra, dressed in diapers and a white dress with pink flowers.

The dress was special made.

One official asked why the woman had the monkey in her bra and quoted her as saying, “Well, would you leave your child at home? She has to be close to me.”

Asked who let the monkey through the metal detector, a deputy quipped: “It wasn’t armed.”

Well, uh… I guess he’s got a point.  An armless monkey probably can’t hurt much unless it bites someone.  Doesn’t make sense how the dress stayed on, however.


Yes, his priorities have stayed the same – they are all orbiting his ego.

  • Libya Burns as NATO Squabbles

  • Saudi Police Open Fire on Protesters…


  • REPORT: 250,000 Have Fled Libya…

  • Hoard of Cash Lets Dictator Hold On…


  • Obama to bullying victims: I know what it’s like

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