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The spacecraft is feeding back all kinds of great data and the instruments are working nicely.

I didn’t see Cruel Wife very much that year of working at the UofM so it is a very pleasant payoff to see the instrument working so darned well… You. Have. No.  Idea. … how tickled I am that the UofM’s instrument is performing so fantastically well.  It was a tense and cranky year when I was there but this made it worthwhile…

This, from JHU-APL…  read the lava part, which is cool, but the really cool part is the exosphere part.

 

Orbital Observations of Mercury Reveal Flood Lavas, Hollows, and Unprecedented Surface Details

 After only six months in orbit around Mercury, NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft is sending back information that has revolutionized the way scientists think about the innermost planet. Analyses of new data from the spacecraft show, among other things, new evidence that flood volcanism has been widespread on Mercury, the first close-up views of Mercury’s “hollows,” the first direct measurements of the chemical composition of Mercury’s surface, and the first global inventory of plasma ions within Mercury’s space environment.

The results are reported in a set of seven papers published in a special section of Science magazine on September 30, 2011.

“MESSENGER’s instruments are capturing data that can be obtained only from orbit,” says MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. “We have imaged many areas of the surface at unprecedented resolution, we have viewed the polar regions clearly for the first time, we have built up global coverage with our images and other data sets, we are mapping the elemental composition of Mercury’s surface, we are conducting a continuous inventory of the planet’s neutral and ionized exosphere, and we are sorting out the geometry of Mercury’s magnetic field and magnetosphere. And we’ve only just begun. Mercury has many more surprises in store for us as our mission progresses.”

MESSENGER Reveals Flood Volcanism

For decades scientists had puzzled over whether Mercury had volcanic deposits on its surface. MESSENGER’s three flybys answered that question in the affirmative, but the global distribution of volcanic materials was not well constrained. New data from orbit show a huge expanse of volcanic plains surrounding the north polar region of Mercury. These continuous smooth plains cover more than 6% of the total surface of Mercury.

The volcanic deposits are thick. “Analysis of the size of buried ‘ghost’ craters in these deposits shows that the lavas are locally as thick as 2 kilometers” (or 1.2 miles), explains James Head of Brown University, the lead author of one of the Science reports. “If you imagine standing at the base of the Washington Monument, the top of the lavas would be something like 12 Washington Monuments above you.”

According to Head, the deposits appear typical of flood lavas, huge volumes of solidified molten rock similar to those found in the few-million-year-old Columbia River Basalt Group, which at one point covered 150,000 square kilometers (60,000 square miles) in the northwest United States. “Those on Mercury appear to have poured out from long, linear vents and covered the surrounding areas, flooding them to great depths and burying their source vents,” Head says.

Scientists have also discovered vents, measuring up to 25 kilometers (16 miles) in length, that appear to be the source of some of the tremendous volumes of very hot lava that have rushed out over the surface of Mercury and eroded the substrate, carving valleys and creating teardrop-shaped ridges in the underlying terrain. “These amazing landforms and deposits may be related to the types of unusual compositions, similar to terrestrial rocks called komatiites, being seen by other instruments and reported in this same issue of Science,” Head says. “What’s more, such lavas may have been typical of an early period in Earth’s history, one for which only spotty evidence remains today.”

As MESSENGER continues to orbit Mercury, the imaging team is building up a global catalog of these volcanic deposits and is working with other instrument teams to construct a comprehensive view of the history of volcanism on Mercury.

[snip]

Mercury’s Surface and Exospheric Composition, Up Close and Personal

[Other things were said here]

MESSENGER has also collected the first global observations of plasma ions in Mercury’s magnetosphere. Over 65 days covering more than 120 orbits, MESSENGER’s Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) made the first long-term measurements of Mercury’s ionized exosphere.

The team found that sodium is the most important ion contributed by the planet. “We had previously observed neutral sodium from ground observations, but up close we’ve discovered that charged sodium particles are concentrated near Mercury’s polar regions where they are likely liberated by solar wind ion sputtering, effectively knocking sodium atoms off Mercury’s surface” notes the University of Michigan’s Thomas Zurbuchen, author of one of the Science reports. “We were able to observe the formation process of these ions, one that is comparable to the manner by which auroras are generated in the Earth atmosphere near polar regions.”

The FIPS sensor detected helium ions throughout the entire volume of Mercury’s magnetosphere. “Helium must be generated through surface interactions with the solar wind,” says Zurbuchen. “We surmise that the helium was delivered from the Sun by the solar wind, implanted on the surface of Mercury, and then fanned out in all directions.

“Our results tell us is that Mercury’s weak magnetosphere provides the planet very little protection from the solar wind,” he continued. “Extreme space weather must be a continuing activity at the surface of the planet closest to the Sun.”

“These revelations emphasize that Mercury is a fascinating world that is unmatched in the solar system,” says Blewett. “We have barely begun to understand what Mercury is really like and are eager to discover what Mercury can tell us about the processes that led to formation of the planets as we see them today.”

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Universe Today has some neat stuff on MESSENGER/Mercury as well.  (h/t to Black Lab on Meth)

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And then one of my bosses sent me this article, too… Mercury is hot as hell and appears to match it pretty closely in the description, but it’s not quite as bad as Hell because Mercury doesn’t play Barry Manilow music.

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Words without equivalents.

A friend of mine who no longer works with me sent a link to words that have no English equivalent.

One that isn’t in the very top but is my favorite:

Nervio:  A feeling of such intense affection that one trembles or grits his teeth with restraint so as not to harm the object of his affection.

I think this word is the perfect word to describe how you might feel when giving your kid a hug goodnight or when you are greeting them when they come home.  When my daughter isn’t being a rodent (and sometimes when she is, admittedly) this is a regular thing.

Things you feel about that intensely, those are the things you would die or kill for.

No, I’m not planning on dying or killing – there’s no hidden meaning here.

Anyone else got a word that they’d add?

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But, it’s for the children

President Obama told an audience in Ohio that poor ventilation systems that make students sick is a reason to pass his jobs plan, the “American Jobs Act.”

“Some of the schools, the ventilation is so poor it could make students sick,” Obama claimed.

“How do we expect our kids to do their very best in a situation like that? The answer is we can’t,” Obama said.

I don’t know just how disingenuous a person can be but this guy is plumbing depths.  Maybe duplicitous works here, too.

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A photographer saw several high school girls being incredibly abusive to some classmates on FaceBook.  Then…

She took screenshots, sent them to the girl’s parents, said she was not going to take their pictures, and refunded the $200 deposit.

Oh. My.  GOD.

Ms. McKendrick (Jennifer McKendrick), I am willing to drive to Indiana to pay you to photograph my family.

Seriously, that takes real character.  Good for you, ma’am.

I don’t want to photograph them, I don’t want them to be a part of my business image and I don’t want them on my blog. – Jennifer McKendrick

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Well, this is sad.  Don’t read if you’re not up for a story that you’re not quite sure will have a happy ending or not.  It’s not over yet.

Someone took a child and neglected her until it snuffed her spirit right out.  Nice.

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An environmental watchdog group [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)] that is defending a suspended government biologist who claims polar bears are drowning has blasted the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed scientific integrity rules, saying they will make it easier for scientists to be punished for misconduct.

Can you imagine the chaos if scientists who knowingly publish fraudulent data were suddenly punishable for misconduct?  Why, the push for carbon dioxide emission reductions would drop overnight.  Al Gore would have to find a new scaremongering job somewhere.   Public hangings of global warming deniers would drop off dramatically.

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Good gravy.  When trying to implode buildings the purported goal is to bring down the building.

Now, you blow your wad and the building is still standing.

Two of its 230-foot smoke stacks collapsed to the ground — and the building dropped 18 feet and teetered back and forth — but it never fell, said Jennifer Gregor, operations manager and marketing coordinator for Engineered Products.

Do you:

A)  Waltz in, inspect it all, and carefully plant more ANFO in strategic locations?

B)  Walk away in disgust, saying “Kwitcherbitchin’, it’s going to fall on it’s own eventually, anyway”?

C)  Open another bottle of Johnny Walker?

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I know this sort of thing has been claimed before but I do have hopes that it (or any of them) come to pass.  The idea of being able to wipe out leukemia so easily is so cool.

It’s a good example of where government does not have to be the source – an idea that has merit will be funded.

With results for the three  patients published Wednesday simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine, money for further studies — not just in this one type of leukemia, but in other cancers — will likely pour in from both the government and drug companies.

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More later, I’m sure.

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Could have sworn I posted this last night. Crap. Well, it is now.

I read something like this and I think “Gosh I’m proud to be a fellow American to this guy” and “Gosh I’m not worthy of his sacrifice(s)”.

Already wounded by a bullet that went through both his legs, (Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur) Petry picked up an enemy grenade that landed near him and two fellow Rangers and threw it back toward the enemy, according to the Army News Service. The grenade detonated and blew off Petry’s right hand. Petry applied a tourniquet to his wound and called for help.

And you’d be completely within your rights if you thought to yourself “… and then he probably went over and kicked the bad guys’ asses before deciding whether to pass out.”

That’s one tough hombre.

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REALLY steams my clams when you hear about the total opposite end of the spectrum, with losers like this.

Upon outing an individual who may or may not be with the CIA, a leaker scumbag said:

“I do not believe my post put anybody in physical danger,” Cook said in an email response to several questions posed by FoxNews.com. “I do not believe that people whose photographs are distributed by the White House as part of its public relations efforts have a reasonable claim to ask that no one speculate as to who they are.”

[snip]

Cook said he and his Gawker editors discussed potential safety concerns before publishing the information and photos.

“We came to the conclusion that it is highly unlikely that the White House would distribute for publication a photograph of a man whose life would be endangered if his photograph were ever published. Likewise, we decided that it is highly unlikely that such a man would publicly accompany the director of Central Intelligence, in the presence of AP photographers, to Capitol Hill to testify.”

So how is it that reporters and other liberal arts majors acting as editors are somehow more qualified to assess danger to an agent’s person (or surrounding networks) than the intelligence people themselves?

This guy is so clueless as to his uselessness that if he really understood the sheer magnitude of how abysmally worthless he is as a human being, he’d immediately commit suicide.  Most people, when they really are truly forced to face the truth – deep in their soul – have the capacity to be ashamed and find the truth to be intolerable.

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More worthless?  Yes.  Absolutely.

NBC has issued a formal apology to more than 100 members of Congress for omitting the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during a patriotic montage that aired last month.

The letter, signed by Kyle McSlarrow, president of NBC Universal, comes in response to a complaint by 107 members of Congress alleging that a montage shown during coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament obscured America’s religious heritage.

The montage featured video of schoolchildren saying the pledge alongside images of soldiers and American flags, but did not include the phrase “under God.” It also omitted “one nation” and “indivisible.”

NBC ought to be issuing the apology to the rest of us Americans who are deeply insulted by their atheist left-wing editing of reality.
There’s an awful lot of  leftists (and minorities, if you get right down to it) who are perpetuating problems that should be behind us by seeking to divide us in the name of “freedom”.   When was the last time you saw a liberal that celebrated freedom for it’s own sake and not as a tool to control others in their pursuit of societal and economic engineering?
Also, speaking to point out that part of freedom is the freedom from (a) integrating and, (b) standing as one, is a time-honored leftists (and dare I say anti-American?) tactic.  It’s much like saying “In a free country we have the right to burn the flag”.  Actually, yes you probably do technically have that right, but it isn’t right, proper, or worthy – and no one should celebrate or tolerate your actions.

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Source: The Patriot Post (Cartoonist Ramirez, who is the best)

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I have no idea where he got it.  But it would be a crime to not post it.  If this graphic is yours, please do claim it so you can get proper credit!

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Good God I smart today – skull to tail.

You would not believe the amount of effort that goes into putting a show on.  I worked the whole day but with little ones and my physical condition I could not tear down – at some point I had to say “I’m sorry, I just cannot do any more.”  We started at 1:30PM and finally did a last walkthrough around 10pm.

Hey, buddy… did you just see a really bright light?

It was in the 90’s, it was humid, and the sun was oppressive.  I drank eight liters of Dihydrogen Monoxide, a Mountain Spew, three Dr. Poopers (diet), and a Sunny Deelight.  And never had to go use the litterbox once. 

Note:  Trade names have been changed to protect their corporate identities.

Missile Command and the Giant Dandelion of Doom

Did I mention how much effort is involved in this stuff?  There’s unpacking and setup of the tubes, unwrapping of the product, sorting, carting them out, loading strings, taping of buckets (open fuse ends), taping fuses to the frames, eating of pizza, walkthroughs and last minute checks.   I was a giant sponge – trying to learn as much as I possibly could by observation and instruction – I spent the day doing nothing more than having people say “Ok, now do this taping over here” and “help me do that over there”.   It’s one of those situations in life where you don’t want to f*** around because these things are dangerous.  They have classes where you can get certified to do a show and transport the stuff and I plan on doing that.  Until that time I can show up and help out but I couldn’t legally run a show or drive a truck to get it to a show – but helping out is very interesting and plenty.  I think I was exposed to only the scratched the surface of what needs to be done to do all that.

All sorts of rules like “Keep your cigarette on the opposite side of your mouth” and “No, you can’t sort the product next to the campfire.”  Rules almost as onerous as “You have to roll down the window before shooting rats from your pickup at the dump.”

No, there was no campfire and no one up there smokes cigarettes – only crack.

Red Willow

An interesting note:  When you cut yourself and you get the residue – saltpeter and sulfur – in your cuts the stuff burns and stings for like… forever.  Not bad, but enough to remind you that your skin suffered a breach.

But it was worth every bit of sweat, twinges, cut fingers, and screamin’ neck when I got to see my kids with ear-to-ear grins when the 5″, 6″, and 8″ shells started going off.  There’s this fierce out-on-the-bow-of-the-ship feeling you get when they go off.  When Cruel Wife went “ooooh” and “ahhhh” I got a big grin out of that, too.  I kept thinking to my self  “I was part of making that happen.”  Wonderful feeling of satisfaction.

Just part of the finale. Sorry I didn’t orient the camera horizontally.

Remember, the family is sitting as close as is safe to the things and they are going off nearly overhead so the boom is significant.  And when you are up in the enclosure thirty feet away they are setting off tests every now and then and the ground moves under your feet.  Obviously you can’t have family members in that area or where we unpacked and humped stuff around but I was able to leave and hang with the kids every now and then.

Cruel Wife picked me up a cane since I left the one I have at home.  So by the end I was getting around and letting the folks who were actually lighting the stuff off – I can’t move fast enough in my honest assessment – vie for the honors of touching off the 8-shells, and I just bounced from place to place.  Go hug the kids, talk to the wife, talk to the other family folks, drink some more pop.

That’s one thing I really appreciate about this crew.  Almost all of them are AA folks so I felt right at home.  Seriously nice bunch of people.

Wobbled up the hill and got up-close during the show.  Here’s something you don’t get to see every day.

2nd Act – Up close

When a 6″ or 8″ shell goes off at this distance you know something substantial just went off.  What is immediately obvious and subtle is that when they are going off overhead like that the entire surroundings light up but you don’t cast a shadow.  Very cool.

I hobbled over and talked with one of the firefighters, told him that years ago I was a firefighter and how we used to drive a truck out in front of the fire to get spot fires while crews tried to flank the fire, and I asked him how many gallons they carried in their truck.  He looked at me and said “Well, you know how it is – 300 gallons – just enough to kind of piss the fire off.”

We laughed about that one.  It’s only too true.  Any serious fire is going to require more than 300 gallons even with retardant foam.

Faint outline of our firefighter friends in foreground. Happy 4th folks.

Today’s Plan: Move slow, use the cane to steady things out, drink lots of water and pop, and remain drugged throughout.

Happy 4th of July, folks!  Just remember to educate the ignorant about what Independence Day is really about.  We didn’t break away from France for no reason.

Note:  I damn well know it wasn’t the French we broke away from.  It was the Scots.

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Here’s all your hopesy-changey at work:

That’s the good news. On the flip side, however, a country whose hallmark has always been a sense of irrepressible optimism is in the grip of unprecedented uncertainty and self-doubt.

You know what bothers me the most about that statement?  If it is actually true, then our true grit, that which made us such a force to be reckoned with, is gone.  I don’t think it is gone except for those who are naturally wired to piss and moan.  Dire straights like this should not be enough to dampen the celebration of Independence Day.  That’s what made the US great – intestinal fortitude – the desire to keep going on because, you know… it’s our “f*** you” attitude.  I’m talking about the attitude that says “We’re not giving up.  We may be beaten down but we’re still not giving up.”

Of course, there are a few things that might be cause for a case of the blues.  Enough to spoil the celebration?  Nah.

Well… maybe a bit bluer, but still not dampened, no.

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Could we please start hunting down and incarcerating “Star Chefs” when they do things like suggest Kobe Beef Sliders?

At $40/lb I’m not going to make sliders out of it.  I won’t even eat regular sliders.

In a world that is self-righting sometimes, it is recognized that bacon is the gateway meat.

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Oh, boo-hoo.

A Michigan inmate is suing Gov. Rick Snyder and the state over his prison’s ban on pornographic materials, claiming he is being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, the Detroit News reported.

In a handwritten lawsuit filed June 10 in US District Court in Detroit, Kyle Richards said the porn ban has “been used as a method of ‘psychological warfare’ against prisoners, in order to both destroy the morale of inmates and break the spirit of individuals.”

I want prison to be such a miserable awful place that you never want to go there again, you wuss.  If you come out humbled and broken it’s going to be better for society than if you are strutting like the cock of the walk.

In another heartbreaker, prisoner’s kin suggest that the term “inmate” is stigmatizing.

The family of a coldblooded killer serving 25 years to life in state prison for shooting a man in the head complains he’s being stigmatized — by the use of the term “inmate.”

The label “implies that our brother is locked up for the purpose of mating with other men,” claims Marie Domond in a lawsuit against the state Correctional Services Department.

Oh it gets better.

“It’s something that’s bothered me for a long time,” Marie told The Post. “I couldn’t understand why no one recognized that somebody being labeled an inmate, why they wouldn’t recognize that. To me it just sounded very wrong.

Does it sound as wrong as shooting a guy in the head with a gun?

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So much for my new Korean cookbook50 Ways to Wok Your Dog.

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I must have a power guantlet… I must have a power guantlet… I must have a power guantlet.

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Hey, he died doing what he believed in, so stop it with these kinds of remarks.

The motorcyclist, 55-year-old Philip A. Contos, likely would have survived the accident if he’d been wearing a helmet, state troopers said.

As long as someone signs a paper somewhere where they absolve the rest of us from the responsibility of paying for the rest of their vegetative lives if they are severely brain-damaged, I don’t care if someone wants to wear a weasel instead of a helmet.  Have at, folks.

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My father and stepmom flew out this last Thursday.  It’s the first time he’s been to Michigan.

Today we went to an estate sale (I got books and a cane, more on that later) and then to our favorite coffee shop to visit with Spaced Diode and his wife and son.  I was finally able to prove to my dad, as I put it to him:  “See Dad, I do have friends!  Gosh darn it, people like me!”

He said “Yep.  At least one.”

In my family dry sarcastic humor is an art form.

Then we came home and I continued to watch over the ribs I had put in the smoker this morning around 10AM.  We let them go until 6pm and I pulled them and the smoked chicken legs out and we all stuffed ourselves silly on ribs, legs, macaroni salad, and awesome bread from Zingerman’s deli (yes, the world-famous Zingerman’s that we visited on Friday).

Tonight I introduced my dad to the joys of lightning bugs.  Picture an 80 year old man with his forty-something son and eight and five year old grandkids, all out catching fireflies in the fading daylight.  Gosh it was fun.   Spent a bunch of time doing long-exposure photographs to cat lightning bug streaks.  I’ve also got roughly 30-40 mosquito bites so if West Hemorrhagic Listeria Nile Pox is a real phenomenon then we’re going to find out.

Tomorrow, we go to the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village.  We’ll visit the Wright Brother’s shop and Edison’s laboratory among other places.

The cane… no, I don’t need it to walk but after a while if I’m walking or standing it is nice to lean on it, straight-arm it, and lean my head on my shoulder to take a load off of my neck.  Yes, I know it makes me look crippled, but in a sense I am when the neck goes “tits up” on me.  It was funny but I saw it and did that w/o thinking and suddenly realized that it actually helped to do it so I willingly threw four bucks down on the table for it.

Plus now I can whack people with it.

The books… Statistical Methods in Engineering, Mechanisms, Electromagnetic Theory for Students, Marco Polo, The Heart of Darkness, Black Beauty, etc.   All with that musty old book smell, all hardcover, all of them with the woodcut graphics and illustrations, and all of them for $1 apiece.  The nice thing about the Mechanisms and EM Theory books was that when they were written, authors didn’t write it just to publish a book, they made the book to teach people who wanted to learn.  They didn’t set out under the premise that people knew Thing X and Principle Y just so they could get to Cool New Thing Z… they taught you Thing X, Principle Y, and gave you enough bedrock information so you could understand Cool New Thing Z on your own.   There is a vast difference between the mindset of stuff published before the mid-1950’s and stuff published now.   I draw the analogy that science and engineering “back then” is more like factual news reporting (minimum of bullshit) and science and engineering now is more like watching CNN/Time/Warner “news” – which is meant to puff itself up and provide puff-pastries rather than a basic diet.

Then  it was a relationship between teacher and student with the goal that the student should attain mastery alongside the teacher and hopefully surpass the teacher.  Now it is a relationship that seeks to dress the information up so it looks interesting and if a student learns the information it is really a secondary goal.   Before you had to already have the interest and then work to understand the principles before you could see the beauty, and now it is a matter of trying to present something that is visually interesting and maybe the student will want to work harder.

It has the effect of pulling more students in but also students who love the idea of where they think they want to go rather than students who want to go there for it’s own sake.  Engineering and science requires a burning need to understand, in my not-so-humble opinion.

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Great Father’s Day

Well, my daughter couldn’t sleep and she came out when Cruel Wife and I were watching The Brothers Bloom.  I hit pause on the movie and she sat on my lap with a blanket for half an hour or so.  Best Father’s Day present a guy could get.

The family, knowing my love of fountain pens, got me a Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen.  It is a kubotan that can write purty stuff.  (Let’s see a machete do that, hmmm?)

It is heavy – really heavy.  1.6 oz may not sound like a lot but it is noticeable – compare that to 0.2 oz for a normal pencil.  It is heavy enough that posting it may take some getting used to (it’s my normal habit) but I see even odds of not being able to write without thinking with the extra mass there.

You could incapacitate a rabid badger with that thing.  The pointy-tip end opposite the nib is a chunk of solid aluminum and it will dent the hell out of what it hits.  I’m thinking that this is not going to be a carry-on pen when I go on travel for work.  The TSA is obviously so unable to discriminate between real risks and legitimate travelers that I don’t want to chance losing it.

Love that copper color.

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World Steampunk Expo is tomorrow.  Cruel Wife and I will be attending sans kids.  Last time one or two attendees were a bit spooky and the kids were into everything.   Getting into everything is fine if the stuff on the vendors’ tables is meant to be gotten into but they were behind and underneath tables and touching “do not touch” things, which was stressful and didn’t allow for browsing much.

I’ll see if I can snap some pictures.  Tomorrow morning we’re going to show up for the Professors Foglio demo, where they show how they create the graphics for Girl Genius.

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Watched another of my favorite movies tonight.

I am fully aware that it got a lot of not-so-good reviews and even had to go look up a word:  Mawkish.

I’m afraid I just don’t see it though.

I’d probably help readers by passing on the name.  Bicentennial Man.

It’s one of those movies, like Secondhand Lions, where the viewer has to bring something to the party.  If all one can bring to the experience is a soul with shallow depths as yet unplumbed, then of course one will see nothing of value.

Oh sure, I can see how someone might say “mawkish” when describing the movie but what I can’t see is how someone could not look at their life and see a little bit of truth reflected there.

And it could be viewed as sad or maybe even bittersweet (not quite the word I’m searching for though).  One would have to be blind to not see the contrast between the humor, sadness, callousness, and insightful moments and perhaps you could even choose to ignore parts of it, buffet-style.  I argue that it would be a disservice to one’s self to ignore the sad and take in only the good because put simply that is what makes life noteworthy.   It’s the highs and the lows that are the scaffolding that props up the metaphors of our life as we segue from one into the next.

Yes, I know it is exceedingly odd to go from Duke Nukem Forever to this.  No, I haven’t been drinking.

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Over at Science Daily where real science is never allowed to get between a reader and sensationalism.

There is water inside the moon — so much, in fact, that in some places it rivals the amount of water found within Earth.

One who doesn’t read a lot of science papers and proposals would probably say “Ho-leeeee-shiat!  There could be space fish on the moon!”

That sentence tells you absolutely nothingNothing at all.

Take a shovelful of lunar soil, pluck out the one rock that has a perfect tablespoon of water sealed up in the center.  Now you have water inside the moon and in some places (one) it rivals the amount of water found within Earth.

Elsewhere on Earth, scientists have studied the sphericity of the electron and found it to be spherical to within one umpteenooglity-eth of a meter.

Researchers from Imperial College London conducted a decade-long laser experiment on the subatomic particle and discovered that it differs from a perfect sphere by less than 0.000000000000000000000000001 of a centimeter — so that “if the electron were magnified to the size of the solar system, it would still appear spherical within the width of a human hair.”

“I don’t know of any naturally-occurring object that is rounder and has been measured to the same level of accuracy,” said research leader Dr. Jony Hudson, writing in the journal Nature.

[Note:  I’m sure that cbullitt over at Soylent Green has some pitchers of underboob that is significantly rounder than that.]

“Why is that important?” the authors were asked.

“Well, we really don’t know but if you give us a lot more money we’ll see if we can make some guesses at it.”

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Over at PopSci there’s an article about really sharp blades and cutting through things like pop cans with knives.

Which is really cool and all.

But invariably you have some “I Know ****ing Everything” jackass who writes comments like this and it really chaps my ass.

JediMindset   05/26/11 at 10:20 pm

@inaka_rob
mythbusters are liars. they are paid to misinform their audience. i can do this with a blunt butter knife. its all about technique.

Well, you’ll have to watch the video, but when some wanker says something incredibly stupid like “i can do this with a blunt butter knife” I want to use my godlike abilities to freeze the world, put the guy on a stage, unfreeze the world and have every one of 6+ billion souls watch him as he performs an epic FAIL with his blunt butter knife.  And then if I actually had such powers I’d allow all 6+ billion people the chance to wedge one of their shoes in his ass and send him on his way.  And then he’d have to walk 20 miles home – with all 6+ billion shoes up his ass.

This is probably why I have no godlike powers.

And then someone needs to show him how to use capital letters.  Peeve of mine.  The wanker.

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Yes, never mind that no seismologist has ever predicted an earthquake.

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No, I don’t mean the movie, although it was a great flick.

Instead I am referring to the results of the wonderful propaganda campaign arguments given by concerned readers to estrogen tyrant Cruel Wife in an attempt to give me my very own copy of Duke Nukem: Balls of Steel collector’s edition.   I’m on a misogynist scatological juvenile wet-dream Duke Nukem high.

Yes, it is $35 more.  But a BUST OF THE DUKE, man!   CW said “What comes with BoSE that you want so much?”

I was horribly frustrated.  Are we so out of sync that she couldn’t see the obvious?

I wrote:

What do I want so much??? Did you look at the picture?  Did you listen when I described what came with it?  (I was frothy by now)
It’s got a bust of Duke!  It has Duke Nukem dice!  It has radioactivity bumper stickers!  A collector’s comic book!  Duke Nukem poker chips!  Duke Nukem postcards!  Duke Nukem art book!  It even has it’s own serialized Proof of Duke Nukem Officialness certificate!

She didn’t understand it, but she relented agreed to it this evening.

This is a triumph.  I’m making a note here: Huge Success.  It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.  At LemurKing’sFolly, we do what we must, because we can.

ID10T Killer at work is getting one, too, so it only makes sense that I should be allowed to more fully share common experiences with co-workers/friends, right?  Delivery on June 14, of 2011.

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Man says he is robbed by woman with “real big thighs”.  God what a storytelling.

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Honest truth?  We should all be allowed to go in a cool way like this – saving the life of someone that means everything to us.  Good on you, Don Lansaw.  And so sorry for your loss, Bethany Lansaw.   Your fella was a true hero, one you can be proud of.

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More later.

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I can’t explain it but when I was out looking at cool art (surfing, and NOT porn) suddenly something sank it’s claws into my computer.

Whatever it was disabled EVERYTHING – Winpatrol, AVG, Anti-hacker, Ad-Aware.  Couldn’t even run them.  Went through a lot of hoops just to get into Safe mode and ran a command-line scan of my system.

Last place I remember bouncing over to was MGID – don’t go check it out, just in case.  Too bad because there was some neat photoshopping there.

Oh well.

Let’s look at something different for a change.

If you aren’t moved by that wee kitty’s face, you’re made of stone.

So here’s some quick links.

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An international series of protests known as SlutWalks, sparked by a Toronto police officer’s flippant comment that women should avoid dressing like “sluts” to avoid being raped or victimized, is taking root in the United States.

Peeve of mine?  People who get upset that women can’t tart it up without incurring additional risk from slimebags.  No, I agree, a woman should be able to dress as slatternly as she possibly can and at times I enjoy the spectacle.  But it’s a real and dangerous world – to do so is asking for trouble.  I in no way condone rape and think that castration should be the least of the punishments for beyond-a-doubt rapists.  But at the same time I also say “No, you didn’t deserve it, but you did court it, if not ask for it.”

It is purely a recognition of reality.  A racist pig ought to be able to walk through a predominantly black neighborhood with a sign around his neck that says “I hate all minorities” because after all, this is a free country, right?   But you know as well as I that the misguided pig of a racist that does such a thing is also (a) very stupid, and (b) asking to be assaulted.   The folks that beat him to a pulp are the criminals and he the victim, but he’d have been asking for it.

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Update:

So why is it that the liberals and liberal media were all fired up about releasing WikiLeaks info that is damaging/embarrassing to the US Gov’t and troops/operatives – YET – when it involves pics of Osama bin Laden they suddenly get all concerned?

Anyone want to take a guess as to how many layers there will be in the finally-released pic of Osama bin Laden?

President Barack Obama is reluctant to make public images of the body because it is bloodied and badly wounded, and a perceived lack of respect for the dead could lead to a backlash.  – Daily Mail (dot co dot uk)

That was a rhetorical question.  We all know damn well why.
Update #2:
Rogers told CBS News he has seen a post-mortem photo.

“The risks of release outweigh the benefits,” he said. “Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway, and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East.”  – CBSNews

Well, we should just never publish pics of politicians, the space shuttle, or accidents/floods because the world will just claim it’s all doctored anyway.  I can’t think of a more bullsh*t excuse.

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A quick time-out to enjoy life with an anecdote.

My daughter, who is 8 going on 14,  has made it painfully clear that she detests chicken nuggets.  What’s not to like?  Bits of chicken flesh glued together with Transglutaminase, then breaded, and fried… yum!   You can glue chicken to scallops to beef with Transglutaminase – it’s neat stuff.    Turducken would become easier.  Sealing stuffed pork chops or chicken kiev.

But anyway, Cruel Wife brought home the food and whispers to me “Well, she’s just going to have to be disappointed and put out – all I could find were the big nugget patties”.   A flash of inspiration and I yelled “KIDS!  WHO WANT’S CHICKEN STEAKS FOR DINNER?”

A chorus went up:  I DO!  I DO!!

And I cut their steaks up into nugget-sized bites and they ate the exact same thing without a hitch.  Ate it all, in fact.

I leaned over to Cruel Wife and said “Who’s the Genius?  Who’s the Genius?”

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US Army Corps of Engineers blows up levee, flooding 130,000 acres of farmland – putting 100 homes in farmland underwater to save a town of 2800.

Tough decisions.

Bullsh*t.  I want to know why our gov’t is making these decisions.  You don’t decide “I’m going to save this/these town/homes/businesses by wiping out that farming community” via some sort of social calculus.  You say “Pity this town didn’t work harder at protecting itself, let’s see if we can help them.”

You don’t say “Well, the farm levee river level was cresting anyway, so let’s help it along.”   YOU DO NO HARM.  YOU HELP IF YOU’RE CALLED ON TO HELP.

Jeez, this steams my clams.

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Only in Portland, Oregon.

But I suppose if you’re single and don’t want much space, 360 sq feet is economical and not too bad.  It is like a loft.  One of my favorite movies – The Fifth Element – touches that kind of idea.  A 40 foot shipping container is roughly 310 square feet… I’d do it, now that I think about it.   Interesting uses out there.

And the more I look at it… that must have been what they were thinking when they filmed T5E.

Maybe you even make it so it could be sealed, add pontoons, and chain the sucker to something… Army-Corps-of-Engineer-proof housing.

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