Archive for December, 2013

Good luck…

Good luck, Michael Schumacher.

Prayers for his family.

Read Full Post »

Things you missed for Christmas gifts.

Nipple lighteners… Not for just anybody.

Not super big on chess game variants but cutthroat chess seems like it might be trippy and fun.

This would be kind of cool, actually. Imagine the things you could do to a passed-out buddy. tattoo transmogrifier

Salt made from tears. That is sort of disturbing. Sort of like a hallucinogenic made from cat sweat.

Colon Cleanser” hot sauce is probably a Bad Idea.

The possibilities make the mind wobble. I have wished to get one for some time. Problem is, most people would suspect me first. Hidden noise maker.

This is nuttier than a squirrel’s den. Killing your husband by poisoning your hoo-hoo.

I am surprised it took Jackson so long to get outraged about Robertson’s remarks

Read Full Post »

Ho Ho. Ho.

It is the craziest time of year again.

The Dude sent me some pics.

This is what it seemed like at home some Christmases. Well, ok, most of them. But it takes home the win for the “Cthulhu Tannenbaum” category.


Nothing says “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” like a bacon tree. Nothing. Feel the love.

What did Cruel Wife get me?

Well… A shirt that made my day.


Then, the crowning touch. She took a picture of the group I worked on our part of MESSENGER with, and matted/framed it with some MESSENGER commemorative postage stamps. It is beautiful. The frame is awesome, the matting is sublime, the color choices were phenomenal.

I did smoosh out the lab logo in case they want to never be linked to me again. Perhaps salt the earth where I walked. I have had that effect on folks.

My gift to Cruel Wife… Another frog!


Read Full Post »

Hackerboy gets battle robots for Christmas.  Note the elevation controlled missile battery on a rotating gun.  It reaches them right out and touches things.



It would have been <i>one</i> bot but I successfully lobbied for a second so his battle bot can battle another bot.  This one shoots Malibu Barbie dinner plates.




They are quite fun.  In fact Cruel Wife e:mailed me today to tell me:

<blockquote>These robots totally ROCK!</blockquote>

OOoooh, Bad Mom.  Playing with your son’s Christmas toy before Christmas???  Someone is getting coal or reindeer poo in her stocking.

HackerBoyBot-2The above pic is before duking it out in the kitchen one room away.  No armor this time.  Three hits to the schnoz and you are out.

Here I knocked out CW’s bot with three fast strikes to the nose grid and froze her bot.  Classic match.  And Melody was an observer to make sure it all went well.  It seemed up and up.  (Except that I blocked CW’s sight so she could not line up a shot on me other than firing blind.)





Read Full Post »

Merry Catsmus for the Rest of Us.

Ten minutes after the tree was up, so was the cat.

Merry Catsmus-2




Melly Catsmus-1

Read Full Post »

Former NSA contractor Snowden’s disclosures have been “cataclysmic” for the eavesdropping agency, Richard Ledgett, who leads a task force responding to the leaks, said in a rare interview at NSA’s heavily guarded Fort Meade headquarters.

In the more than hour-long interview, Ledgett acknowledged the agency had done a poor job in its initial public response to revelations of vast NSA monitoring of phone and Internet data; pledged more transparency; and said he was deeply worried about highly classified documents not yet public that are among the 1.7 million Snowden is believed to have accessed.

He also stoutly defended the NSA’s mission of tracking terrorist plots and other threats, and said its recruiting of young codebreakers, linguists and computer geeks has not been affected by the Snowden affair – even as internal morale has been.

“Any time you trust people, there is always a chance that someone will betray you,” he said.

– source: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/exclusive-cataclysmic-snowden-affair-nsa-032218664.html

Wow. The irony there is so dense you can cut it with a knife. It is nutrient packed and as strong tasting as Vegemite. Good stuff, that irony.

Read Full Post »

… Not suffer a fire ant to live…

God bless this man and his holy works. May he cast the all with molten lakes of fiery aluminum.

Stay classy, Big O… Nothing like having a great time at a memorial.


Ah, Orygun, the crazy place of my youth. Sometimes, like Obama and his crew, just don’t make the cut and achieve great things. Obama has had more practice at abject failure however, and has reached new heights of loserdom. If it has been that he has fallen so far it is because he has been able to fall from the shoulders of giants. In this case, Orygun has leapt hand in hand with Obama into a kiddy pool filled with turpentine and broken glass.

Ohbamacare. We are so screwed.


Steamed BBQ pork buns… Oh Lord help me, I so love these things.

Read Full Post »


So we won’t be littering Mercury for at least another year. Darn.

But the thing survived launch, went through years of space, and has been baked by the sun and Mercury for 1000 days. Not too shabby.

The effort that went into just the thermal for our one little instrument out of an entire payload suite was loco – thermal modeling, slip interfaces, heat sinking, material selection, deliberate choice of surface emissivity, MLI to protect against heat and cold… Crazy. Then there is the electrical shielding, high voltage management, and connection integrity between the stacking electronics modules. Mechanical tolerancing and fastener fussiness, constraint without over constraint, surface finishes, lightweighting (tracking of a mass budget where grams of material count), knowledge of moments and center of mass… Material selection, outgassing considerations, venting, etchants, staking, arcing control, windings, tensioning and torques… Vibe modeling, FEA models of stresses, acoustic testing, assembly, documentation, parts drawings for hundreds of parts, certifications, vendor consultations, reworks and redesigns, tracking. Techs to build engineer and greybeard insanities. GSE to be built. Meetings and consultants… I know I am leaving some stuff out.

And that happens for every system with a huge payload suite of instruments, a spacecraft system, communications, gnc, propulsion, thermal…

MESSENGER Celebrates 1,000 Earth Days in Orbit around Mercury

Later today, the MESSENGER spacecraft will have completed 1,000 Earth days of flight operations in orbit around Mercury. “This milestone is a testament to the outstanding work of those who designed, tested, and operated this spacecraft,” says Jim McAdams of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the lead engineer for MESSENGER’s mission design team.

“MESSENGER was designed to function for eight years following launch and to withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the inner solar system and solar heating up to 11 times greater than experienced by spacecraft near Earth,” McAdams says. “The probe not only has continued to function, it has thrived, with very little loss of planned observations for more than nine years and four months since launch.”

“To date, the spacecraft has returned 198,166 images from orbit about Mercury, far exceeding the mission’s original plans,” says APL’s Rob Gold, MESSENGER’s Science Payload Manager. “In the original mission concept we were planning to use half of the telemetry for images and the rest for the other instruments, and that plan would have returned about 1,000 images of the surface of Mercury. That we are now approaching 200,000 images is the result of major technological improvements made during construction of MESSENGER.”

Read Full Post »

South of the Border

In Mexico, they report six people (possibly terrorists?) are nearing release after being picked up in relation to the Cobalt-60 theft. Maybe part of the Al-Queso terrorist branch?

Six people picked up, supposedly the stuff is accounted for, even though it was removed from its container.

However, Hidalgo state Health Minister Pedro Luis Noble said that while the six suffered from skin irritation and dizziness, none was in grave condition and they could be released soon. Only one was vomiting, a sign of radiation poisoning.

Uh… No. Just no. If they opened that thing, they are dead. If they are not dying, someone else opened it.

Fishy as hell. If they knew how to safely open it, then there would be no reason to dump it nearby, unless they took just some of it, because the effort and knowledge to do so implies you know what you want to do with it.

I read the IAEA report on the Thailand version of this sort of craziness/stupidity. Link here if you have the stomach for the kind of damage this stuff does. I was looking it over and CW saw what I was doing as she brought me some dinner and said “Here, enjoy your lentil soup.” Mmmm-mmm!

It kills stuff. Hands, legs, germs, anything with any chance of living… dead. The Everclear and Methanol Blend of the nuclear world, mostly. Imagine frostbite or serious burns combined with HF exposure, and that still isn’t right.

So anyhow, the Mexico thing doesn’t add up. People are either dying or stuff is missing. Anything other than that points to things Not Good.

I then remembered an XKCD.com graphic on radiation. A science friend of mine said “Yep, that seems about right.”



Ok, enough serious stuff.

Meet Parkour Pooch. Not news but I saw it on tv last night. Cool dog.



This link is with Mitchell, the artiste, in mind.

I heard an interview with Teller of Penn and Teller, where he spoke (yes, he has a voice) of a documentary they did on making a Vermeer. It was awesome and I have some respect for P&T in spite of some personal flaws. pobody’s Nerfect.

Not sure I get what their problem is – I know I get excited about people depending on me to put in money to pay for services I probably won’t need anytime soon.

Mike Hostetler, founder and CEO of AppendTo, a company that has built websites for Time Magazine, Pitney Bowes, Lenovo.com and Celebrity Cruises, says the three most important things in getting young people to revisit a site are responsive web design across desktops, tablets and mobile, clean and clear user experiences and a quick load time. A criteria list that healthcare.gov fails to meet.

Yeah, and because it doesn’t use a Wii or Xbox controller, too. It is really pretty insulting to assume that the reasons for not being on-board cannot be related to not agreeing with the stupid program. Why is it everyone assumes that non-agreement with this implies ignorance rather than informed choice?

“Millennials” cannot be blamed for not wanting to be milked like cash cows. How long until they (and the rest of us paying) are threatened with even harsher consequences for noncompliance?I

It is just un-policed mugging, is all.

Read Full Post »

Shhhh. It is a secret.

Ok, I got Cruel Wife the coolest thing for Christmas. It is a

Seriously, she reads this blog. Sometimes. Once a year. And if I say what it was, it will be tomorrow that she reads it.

So instead, we will turn to the other little secret. The Secret of the Smoking Vagina. The woman is 26, folks. Look what meth has done for her. She looks like a ravishing septagenarian rhesus monkey with dry itchy skin.

Cops do not get paid enough.

Here is a good story for you. Talk about a guy who has had a life changing experience.

Cruel Wife knew I was having a rough day and dared me to watch this without smiling.

I tried to be a hardass. I was in a Dennis Leary “Asshole Song” mood. I tried to say “meh”. Failed.

Read Full Post »

Creepy Tuesday.

All righty, campers!

Here is the first weirdness of the day. Fashion meets dead.

Creepy #2… How they keep manufacturing links to BPA hoping something will eventually resonate with enough people that they force a stop to it. It probably causes gout and ingrown toenails and as of yet they have not proved at BPA doesn’t cause MS.

Creepy #3… Matthews and Morgan. Two fruitcakes worshipping a nut job.


Creepy #4… Weird hat.


For a nize hat, go here

To offset the creepy, have a camel eating a small child.


Not creepy. Kudos to her for sticking by what she said. You can’t argue with safety and gun control isn’t going to happen in the US (I am emphasizing that part).

Read Full Post »