Saturday, 30 April 2011

Phantom Empire - Chapter 12: End of Murania

The Horror at 37,000 Feet

Friday, 29 April 2011

Congratulation, your Highnesses

Here's to matrimony, the high sea for which no compass has been invented.

Postal underground

This is amazing.  Someone managed to find a way into the abandoned Post Office railway under London and took a raft of photos.

That's what I love about the Capital.  There are so many railway tunnels, bunkers, service ducts, sewers, underground rivers and whatnot down there that in the event of nuclear war we're guaranteed to spawn a race of telepathic mutants to hold off the apes when they take over.

Feminism is a one-way street

According to the controller of BBC One, the Beeb is not only "hideously white", but the cop shows are hideously male.  You can guess what that means.

This sort of bean counting isn't pro-women, it's anti-men.  If I were to point out that nine out of the BBC's 15 main presenters are female, would they sack one and replace the other with a man for precise balance?  I'm sure they would.

About the time Doctor Who stops being a sex romp and goes back to being a children's programme.

Update: Another underrepresented group.

Cosmos Part 5: Blues for a Red Planet


Happy Birthday, Morris Marina



The Morris Marina turns forty, so here's a little birthday tribute.

And take heart, there are more pianos in the world than Morris Marinas.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Another minor detail

Lord Summerisle approves.
Yesterday, we looked at a BBC report on the Casio F-91W that tried to make the Americans look like a load of barking mad paranoids for regarding the digital watch as an indication of Jihadist connections–but nearly "forgot" to mention that the timepiece is a bomb-making component.

Now the Beeb tries the same trick in two days with a hearts and flowers profile of a former police officer who went undercover to investigate a group Blessed Gaia worshipers Marxist Luddites environmentalists and now finds himself persecuted for being a human being with a conscience who was just trying to "understand the issues".

Mind you, there is that one sentence in paragraph 20 where the little Quisling admits to talking to the group's defence team, thereby damaging the Crown's case beyond repair, but that's such a minor point.

At least, to the BBC.

Safe House

Welcome to the Blofeld summer home.
This is a bit modern for my tastes, but it does have one neat trick up its sleeve:

That lawn had better be mined.
Flick the switch and the steel door rolls down and concrete slabs slam shut over the windows to turn the cottage into an impregnable pillbox.

It's impressive, but a bit amateurish.  Now if the walls sloped more to deflect shot and were of reinforced concrete with a sheet of Chobam armour and kevlar padding it would be better.  And I'd prefer that as the shutters closed the strategically placed remote-controlled mini-gun turrets on the grounds would rise followed by the Javelin and Rapier missile launchers. The subterranean escape tunnel* with the one-man rocket sled/jet aeroplane I take as a given.

Safety first, you know.

*House self-destruct switch inside the hidden entrance in the study.

Frugality


The Art of Manliness looks at 80 frugal tips.  Being the miserable skinflint that I am*, I love this sort of thing.  Show a way to squeeze more out of a bob and I'm happy.  Most of the tips here are good, though I disagree with a couple and a few more are in the "depends" category, but there's enough here to satisfy anyone's inner Scotsman.

*Ask my daughter for emphatic verification.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A minor detail

The BBC does a report on the Casio F-91W wristwatch, which the Guardian claims is regarded by the Americans as a red flag for identifying Jihadists.  The Beeb chunters on about how popular the F-91W is for 18 paragraphs and it's only in the caption of a photo at the bottom of the page that one tiny fact is revealed that indicates that the American's aren't a load of barking mad paranoids:
The F-91W is used in bomb-making.
Oh, it's not only popular as a time piece, it's also a crowd pleaser as a timer for setting off IEDs.  Here's a thought: Maybe detaining a suspected Jihadist walking around with a bomb component is what we like to call rational.

La Voiture Minimum

Aching for Jeremy Clarkson to dissect it.
Apparently Charles-√Čdouard Jeanneret aka "Le Corbusier" wasn't only obsessed with designing ghastly cities, he designed ghastly cars as well.

Never developed beyond the sketch phase, La Voiture Minimum never had a chance to prove that it was as uncomfortable and underpowered as it was hideous.

Thank God.

Jean Paul Sarte's Star Wars


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Clickity clack RIP

The manual typewriter has had its chips as the last factory in the world closes its doors.

It's a good thing that those that are left are built like battleships.  They're hardly the sort of thing that'll be cobbled together by olde worlde crafts types.

No risk, no fun

It had to happen.  The no-risk, nanny state has grown so cotton woolly that they've created a chemistry set with no chemicals.

The 21st century rule of thumb seems to be, if you can't trust a psychopath with it, don't give it to a child.  Another generation of this and the Jihadists can walk in and take over the lot without firing a shot.  Come to think of it...

The Crimson Peanut to the rescue

The Elders discuss the North Korean situation.
Some presidents spend their retirement fishing.  Mr James "Jimmy" Carter spends his playing Mystery Men.  At the moment, he's in North Korea trying to solve its nuclear weapons problem–and we know how well Mr Carter was at handling the Communists when he was in office. 

I say "superhero" because Mr "Brezhnev lied to me!" Carter is there on a mission for the World Council of Elders; a self-styled organisation of washed up politicians elder statesmen who think they have some sort of right to poke their noses into other people's business.  I'm not sure if they gave Mr Carter a power ring before he set off, but I'm told that the Elders do like to put on tights and sit around in their domed Arctic fortress of an evening until it's time for cocoa. 

It'll be on a Thursday

Slashdot asks for alternative ways to detect intelligent life in outer space.

This one strikes me as the most probable.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Future car

Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) presents The Car of the Future. It's a three-wheeler with the one wheel in the front, so it's basically a Reliant Robin.

And we all know how well they did.

Move! Move! Move! Move! Move!



I don't know about you, but if I saw this outside my door, I'd definitely be worried.

Men, Steel and Earthquakes

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Friday, 22 April 2011

Review: The Illustrated Man

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Good Friday

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?


Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.


And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.


The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.


Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Jurassic President

Though I think even those little frilled spitty things had more on the ball than Barry.

Dethroned with a shrug

Daniel Foster over at the Corner regarding the new cable series Game of Thrones and the question of whether or not its racist:
Here’s my brief answer: Of course Game of Thrones is racist. Rather, of course the show’s various ethnic groups and clans are differentiated by their appearance and behavior, and of course some end up looking and acting more barbarous than others as a result. I’ll go one further: All of the characters in Game of Thrones are racist as well, and few if any suffer even the slightest admonishment for it. But wouldn’t it be queer indeed if the residents of the Western part of an Iron Age fantasy world thought that distant (and often belligerent) cultures with strange, alien habits were to be celebrated for their uniqueness? As my friend put it, imagine the schoolkids in the capital city of Kings Landing making posters to commemorate Dothraki History Week.
I've seen the first episode of Game, but since I'm unacquainted with the books its based on, I came away wondering if I was supposed to buy a study guide because I had no idea what was going on.  Still, I find Mr Foster's take refreshing.  "Racism" is like "Fascist"; a word that has been so overused and so broadly applied that today it means "Something I don't like".    I've often worried that the insane crush of political correctness might result in a violent reaction by society to shrug it off when it becomes too oppressive.  However,. Mr Foster presents another and I think preferable alternative:  Indifference.  When the term racism is used to cover everything from genocide to a reasonable desire for free association and demands minimum terms of redress that are indistinguishable from cultural suicide, then it ceases to have any serious meaning.  In that case, the only reply to be expected to the accusation is,  "Racist?  I suppose. So what?"

That may not help much at a thoughtcrime hate crime trial of the British, Canadian, or Dutch variety (unless it's by mass resistance combined with liberal doses of rude gestures, of course), but it will go a long way toward putting the cocktail party totalitarians in their place.

Cosmos Part 4 Heaven and Hell

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Review: The King's Speech

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Ask the experts

From the BBC:
France and Italy have said they are to send small teams of military officers to advise Libyan rebels who are seeking to topple Col Muammar Gaddafi.
I would have thought they already knew how to put their tanks into reverse.

Reformation and destruction

Cranmer weighs in on the urge of some people to fix that which is not broken and takes their woolly thinking to its logical conclusion.

ReWalk



There are two approaches toward helping the disabled:

One is to lumber the whole of society with a raft of euphemisms, guilt, division, soft-totalitarianism, political correctness, laws, regulations, bureaucracies, identity politics, and general busybodiness in the name of "fairness".

The other is to find ways to help the crippled to walk again.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Projected Man

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Design of pure evil


Bored with common, garden-variety roller coasters?  Looking for something a bit stronger?  Then try Julijonas Urbonas's Euthanasia Coaster.  The name isn't just hype.  It really is designed to kill you, though I'd have thought that "Premeditated Murder Coaster" is a better and legally accurate description.



Meanwhile, Britain comes up with an equally thrilling and more cost effective version–plus, the tide takes care of the messy clean up problem.

Smart electric car isn't

Personally, I prefer the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust
27 BHP, zero to 37.5 in 6.5 xeconds, zero to 60...eventually, range 63 miles (according to the EPA, which must involve coasting downhill a lot), takes all night to charge, and costs $28,752 after the $7.500 tax credit.

I know where you can get another paperweight a lot cheaper.

Schoolhouse..of the FUTURE!

What does this remind me of?  Oh,  yes.

They must be holograms

Remember Mr Barack Hussein Obama's promise of "no troops on the ground" in Libya? 

Neither does anyone elseBritain is already sending ten.

How far we've fallen

I cannot think of any one fact which more clearly shows the speed and depth of our national decline than the news that when our Navy catches pirates, we give them nicotine patches and let them go.
Peter Hitchens

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Blessed Gaia's newest evangelist

Somehow, he's a very apt mascot for certain parts of the Environmentalist movement.

Grade A stupidity

The MOD shows its usual competence by releasing documents on the Web without realising that putting a black background over the redacted copy doesn't hide it at all.  But what the heck, it was only Royal Navy nuclear submarine secrets.

Meanwhile, the Americans show that they're no slouches either by handing over their counter-jihad efforts to the Jihadists.

Sun lamp.. of DEATH!

What's better than a death ray?  A solar-powered death ray!

Just doing our bit to Save the PlanetTM.

Mr Mohr started with a fridge, but it got out of hand.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Just a Spark


Voronoi


Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) presents "yacht enthusiast" Hyun-Seok Kim's design for a giant "entertainment" yacht.  Let's see:
  • Wheelhouse in the bow? Check.
  • Latticework around the deck that wouldn't survive two seconds if there's any glass in it and is pointless if there isn't?  Check.
  • No knowledge of marine architecture in general?  Check.
  • Designer can't spell?  Check.
  • Emergency submarine?  Check and double check.
Submarine?

Own goal

How Carteresque:  Mr Barack Hussein Obama makes a vague posturing gesture by starting a war, not war, something else to topple Khadaffi (he of many spellings), or not topple him, or support the rebels, or not support them, or something, or nothing, and the only likely casualty is the NATO alliance.

And the tyrants of the world relax. It's like Henry V showing up at Agincourt and then running like the clappers.

Meanwhile, NATO is running out of ammunition.

Numi toilet

My worst nightmare realised:  A karzi with a remote control.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A promise past its sell-by date

Remember when Mr Barack Hussein Obama said that American involvement in Libya would end in "days, not weeks"?  Neither does Mr Dunham, apparently.

Woolly Kevlar

Australian scientists claim that Kevlar vests would be improved by including wool in the weave.

Australian scientists?  That's Australia as in where they have more sheep than people?  It looks to me as if Big Wool is trying to... pull the... over our...

Um...

Review: Four Sided Triangle

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

President Empty Suit

Roger L Simon on Mr Barack Hussein Obama:
But what is it about Obama that makes him so boring? I submit it is something quite simple — he has nothing to say. He is a boring person, the quintessential “hollow man” in the T.S. Eliot sense. He is kind of a socialist, kind of a liberal, kind of a multi-culturalist, kind of an environmentalist, kind of globalist, kind of a budget cutter — but none of them with any real commitment. Basically, he’s a vague and uncommitted person pretending to be otherwise. He is the man that voted “present,” now in the presidency. The fact that he never specified the targets of “hope” and “change” during his election was far from a campaign ploy and more typical than we ever dreamed. There never was a there there. And now, I strongly suspect, there never will be.
It looks as though we're finally getting to know who Mr Soetoro really is and, unfortunately, it's one of the alternatives I'd suspected.  In fact, I think that Mr Simon actually give Mr Dunham too much credit.  I don't think he lacks just commitment, I think he lacks basic understanding.  From what I've seen, Mr Obama is all too familiar a creature once you get past the mask the media allowed him to keep for so long.  He's merely a not very intelligent, not very well read man without any real industry or even curiosity whose worldview was set in stone during his second year at university.  He fervently believes in his Socialist, Multiculturalist, post-American goals, but he has only the sort of hazy idea of what they are that you'd find in the head of some smelly undergraduate hawking copies of Socialist Worker on the street corner.  He's also such a narcissist that he imagines that all he has to do is order his Brave New World into existence and everyone else will do the hard work for him while he toddles off for another holiday.

I often hear people say that Vice President Biden is Mr Obama's insurance against removal from office.  Frankly, the doddering old fool looks more and more like a preferable candidate.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Pure, unadulterated barbarism


Eichmann would have loved this woman.

The cracks widen

Right on schedule.
Open borders?  What open borders?

Update: Link repaired

Level 7

We're taking it really, really seriously even though there's no danger.
When taking something seriously means not taking it seriously at all.

Blessed Gaia Vs Pachamama

Pretty predictable development, really.
Who will survive the battle of the Earth goddesses?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Review: Despicable Me

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Red Moon


Curse those running dog Capitalists and their reliable technology!

The BBC's Pallab Ghosh cries in his beer about how if the Soviets had got to the Mon first, we'd have (Red) moonbases and cheap (Red) flights to Mars by now.  Why?  Because,
Had the Soviets got to the Moon first it is unlikely that they would have abandoned it as swiftly as the Americans. Not being a democracy may have enabled the USSR to spend money and marshal the talents of their population in a way that America could not.
Yes, because that whole command economy thing worked out so well!.  If you believe that, I've got a secondhand ZAZ to sell you.  Moonbases? Odds are that if the Communists had got to the Moon first, they'd have spent most of their effort on jamming radio transmissions so the Free World wouldn't hear the poor stranded bastard on the floor of Mare Imbrium using his last remaining breaths of air to curse the swine back home for sending him on a suicide mission.  Not that I'm surprised at such a  Red nostalgia conclusion from this puff piece.  It's wrong on most major points and doesn't even bother to mention Dr Wernher Von Braun.

Oh, and it has this little gem as well:
Of course, we have not been back since. Instead, human exploration of space has been confined to low-Earth orbit.
Eh?   What alternate universe has Mr Ghosh been living in for the past forty years?  We've sent several probes to Moon–not to mention all the planets and an assortment of asteroids and comets.  I'd say we've been a very busy little race and... Oh, I see, he means manned exploration!

The BBC really has to do something about their copy editing.

Caterham Seven Supersport

Like something out of a Donford Yates novel.
The Caterham Seven Supersport gets its first public airing.

I've never been one to regard cars as toys.  They're too expensive and when I own one it's because I'm dependent on them for transportation and haulage, so I always look on them as more Shire horses than steeple chasers.  However, if one of my books ever does hit the best seller's list, a Caterham (preferably in British racing Green with a flip-out holster in the door for the Webley) will definitely be the Szondy family's third car. 

*Bleep*

American scientists invent a bar-code reader that works on zebras.

Thank heavens for that.  There's nothing more annoying than getting stuck in a supermarket checkout queue while the cashier is manually ringing up someone's zebras.

The Dane-Geld

Clayton Cramer looks at the Dane-geld, so I figure that it's time for a reposting.

Dane-geld
Rudyard Kipling

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say:—
“We invaded you last night—we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:—
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:—

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”

Monday, 11 April 2011

Review: Starship Troopers

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Ban nitrogen

Nitrogen: Atom of Evil!
I knew it was only a matter of time. The European Empire EU declares nitrogen a pollutant.  The BBC point out that they mean "reactive" nitrogen, but remember when carbon dioxide (itself completely harmless) became evil, evil carbon?  Same logic at work here.

Next it'll be that appallingly reactive oxygen (rusts things, makes fires burn, etc.) and then we can go on to ban the entire periodic table.   Remember:  Matter is evil!

Spring in Oceania

Attention all Outer Party members:  Easter eggs are now "spring spheres".  They have always been "spring spheres".  "Easter eggs" are now thoughtcrime.  Minitru is advised to correct all documents in error.

This is why you couldn't get me to move back to Seattle at gunpoint.

Pathetic

Didums!
Mr David Cameron on the royal wedding: "For Gawd's sake, please celebrate!  Okay, I don't give a gnat's fart about Britain's institutions, but you're making my rat-arse coalition look bad!"

Buckets are fun!


Your moment of cuteness.

Let them eat Chevy Volts



Meanwhile Mr Barack Hussein Obama, as I predicted, has started blaming the American people for not being worthy of him.  Are you an ordinary American who is suffering from high petrol prices?  According to Mr Soetoro, that's because it's all your fault and you should buy a new car. 

Is this Mr Dunham's "malaise" moment when even his party starts looking for an alternative?   Please, God, let it be so.

Britain today



Britain today:

The worst situation I can find myself in is when I'm metaphorically pressed into a corner with no exit by someone and then he starts to shove.  Faced with alternative of being crushed, I have to push back–hard–and that isn't very pleasant.

Such is the situation I'm seeing in 21st century Britain.  More and more the Inner Party Political Class that replaced the old Establishment reveals itself as a self-serving, self-regarding oligarchy who are utterly detached from the people and Crown they allegedly serve.  Like peeling away the layers of an onion that's gone rotten at the core, we find three main parties that come across as being like choosing between Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia.  The men and women we've entrusted with the future of the nation have made it clear that they are uninterested in doing their duty when they can merely grow fat at the public teat.  Instead of taking responsibility, they prefer to dodge it. When ask to speak for Britain, they damn her.  When asked to show pride in her, they renounce all confidence.  When demanded that they preserve Britain's sovereignty, they tell us they they'd rather be satraps of the European Empire EU.  When tasked with defending the realm, they lay its throat bare.  When entrusted with our ancient institutions, they destroy them.  When handed our ancient liberties, they violate them.  When faced with a merciless enemy, they embrace him.  When our prosperity is threatened, they bankrupt us.  When even basics like electricity grow scarce, they make us sit in the dark.  And all of this without an ounce of remorse or mercy.

I've never regarded myself as some nutter who sees revolution around the next corner, but if something doesn't change and soon, that may be the push back.

God help us all.

Update:  The sharia case against the Welsh Sir Roderick Spode has been "withdrawn", but "almost certainly other proceedings will ensue".  Translation:  The message has been sent.

Free Air

Friday, 8 April 2011

BBC surrender monkey test

James Delingpole looks at a new BBC documentary about a modern Britain at war where the enemy can shout propaganda in the high street, those who confront them get carted off by the police, and the BBC plays Dr Goebbels for them.

To coin a phrase, they're not anti-war, they're just on the other side.

Guardian hits a new low

A shooting occurred aboard HMS Astute while on a goodwill visit to Southampton, leaving one officer dead, another injured, and a seaman in police custody.

This is a terrible tragedy with few facts, but that doesn't stop the Guardian from bottom feeding with this at paragraph 3 (emphasis added):
There were calls for a full and open inquiry to establish if the public was in danger and campaigners said it should prompt a rethink about the wisdom of using nuclear submarines.
"Rethink the wisdom of using nuclear submarines?"  How is the power source of the craft even remotely relevant?  You might as well prompt a rethink of using washing machines, which Astute undoubtedly uses as well.  More to the point, why the deuce is the Grauniad reporting such a tinfoil-hatted view–much less affording it such prominence?  They even quote Mr Di McDonald of something called the "Nuclear Information Service", who says,
(T)he incident ought to prompt a rethink on the value of confining men in such an unnatural and pressurised environment.
So, the anti-nuclear crowd is now opposed to submarines in general?  That makes sense.  You can't stroll through Gosport these days for the crossfire from deranged submariners.  And as for the boats themselves, they have to paint the decks red to hide the blood.  I even understand that when William Beebe returned from his first test dive of the Bathyscaphe three men had to jump on his head and bawl for the strait jacket. Yes, this is what I call journalism!

Well done, Grauniad.  Never let a tragedy go to waste when you can exploit it to carry the CND's water.

Meanwhile, let's wash our hands of this foulness and tell the victims and their families that our prayers are with them.

Update: Meanwhile, the BBC can't tell an officer from a crewman.

The Shadow Strikes

A new Reel Ranting post is up.

Occam's razor

A Czech archaeologist claims to have unearthed the tomb of the oldest "gay" caveman. It's only 5000 years old, so it's scarcely a caveman, but we'll blame the "caveman" bit on the press.  Miss Kamila Remisova Vesinova, the archaeologist in charge, bases her claim on her observation that she'd found a male body surrounded with female grave goods.  From this, she concluded that "he" was a bit light in the loafers.

I'm not surprised.  I got into archaeology 35 years ago and a day doesn't go by when I don't see wooly thinking poured out by the bale–especially by those who don't have my training in palaeopatholgy.  I'll pass over the laundry list of alternative explanations (there are many and more likely) for the simplest one.  The report is painfully incomplete.  Given that we're told nothing about the skeleton (if one survived), its condition, or the method of sexing, I'd say that Miss Vesinoca either had an an incomplete skeleton, one in very poor condition, or her methods were less than exhaustive and she got the sex wrong.

"Third gender" (I think they mean "sex") my eye.