Thursday, 31 May 2012

UFO: Timelash

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

“Intelligent” goggles highlight obstacles for the visually impaired

Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid (UC3M), Spain, have developed a pair of “intelligent” goggles that make getting around a bit easier for partly-sighted people, by providing them with Terminator-style vision. Using a pair of cameras mounted on a virtual reality headset connected to a tiny computer, the device scans the area ahead of the wearer and displays information about the scene as color-coded outlines that convey the distance and shapes of objects that are difficult to otherwise see or interpret... Continue Reading “Intelligent” goggles highlight obstacles for the visually impaired 

Newspeak dilemma

Don't worry, doublethink will solve it
Fat is evil... Calling people overweight bad... Fat  ungood... Overweight ungood... Must condemn... Must not offend... Class enemy... Victim group... No viable alternatives... Paradigm shifting... No clutch....  Alert... Alert...

Defined out of existence

More than just a degree and  the right toys
Robert Weisssberg looks at how social "scientists" in the 1960s redefined the Middle Class in a way that ignored what actually makes someone Middle Class in favour of a set of criteria based on theatrical props that made social mobility as unlikely as saying that putting a crown on a monkey will make it a king.

Andrew Klavan: The New York Times Answer Man

Lying Liars

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas "Nick" Clegg says that talk about hordes of refugees swarming from the Continent in the event of the Euro collapsing is "deeply unhelpful".

If you're part of a government that allows 250,000 immigrants, mostly illegal, swarming into Britain every year, then the prospect of facing an even larger wave due to your continued support the entire European Empire project that any sane person can't see as anything less than barking mad, then someone pointing out your utter uselessness might be "deeply unhelpful".

But that depends on to whom it's unhelpful.  For the rest of us, it's as helpful as raising the alarm on the eve of invasion.


Coping with life in modern Britain.

Cozy Dryer

Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) proves that it's still on the cutting edge with this radiator that you can (drum roll) dry your clothes in front of!

Apparently, no one at Yanko has ever visited a school dorm or cheap hotel room.

The Adventures of Captain Marvel: Part 4: Death Takes the Wheel

Monday, 28 May 2012

NASA asks future explorers to respect historic landing sites

When the last American astronauts blasted off from the Moon in 1972, it seemed as if they were leaving behind monuments that would stand for all time. On a lifeless, airless satellite there would never be any scavengers or souvenir hunters, no wind to bury or wear down the abandoned spacecraft and artifacts, and no air to corrode metal. Even the footprints would still be there millions of years from now. Or so everyone thought. Now, with more and more nations and private organizations planning manned and unmanned missions to the Moon, NASA is worried that the Apollo landing sites and others could be endangered by the next wave of lunar explorers. To prevent this, the space agency issued a set of guidelines that politely asks everybody to keep their distance... Continue Reading NASA asks future explorers to respect historic landing sites


Just finished Watermelons, James Delingpole's excellent book on the "green" movement and how it has free-fallen from people concerned about clean air to an anti-Western, anti-industrial, anti-Capitalist, anti-human Socialist movement that has grabbed on to the fallacy of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and turned it into a all-purpose bludgeon to force people to abandon civilisation and liberty in return  for... nothing, really.

Delingpole makes a multi-pronged attack on the movement including its origins, the duplicity of those behind it, the cod science that supports it and the ludicrous nature of  the precautionary principle.  He shows how it is possible to understand the scientific arguments and their flaws and that "don't worry your pretty little unqualified heads" is not an argument.  He also reveals what is at stake in this battle, for battle it is, and that if the worshipers of Blessed Gaia have their way, we will all suffer.  Most importantly, he explains how global warming is just one position that the Left will happily surrender when the time comes to fall back to a new bogey man.

Written in his usual irreverent style, Watermelons is must reading for anyone who needs to swot up on the arguments in a weekend.

The Facebook Caliphate

Mark Steyn looks at what happens when the West expects Facebook to civilise the barbarians instead of admitting that there is such as thing as civilisation and barbarism and that it's up to the civilised to do the civilising and failing that, keeping the barbarians at bay.

Mind the Map

The Guardian looks at the new London Transport Museum exhibit of transport artwork.

The Body in the Bog

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Lasers used to zap weeds into submission

Weeds are pesky things. They grow everywhere and, by definition, where they’re not wanted. Whether a large-scale farmer or a weekend gardener, everyone who has tried to raise crops has wished that there was a ray gun that could just blast the wretched things out of existence. Now, thanks in part to researchers from the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) at the Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany, that frustrated daydream is closer to reality. Through the use of low-powered infrared lasers, the team has found a way to inhibit weed growth without harming neighboring plants, providing an alternative to expensive, hazardous and environmentally-damaging chemicals... Continue Reading Lasers used to zap weeds into submission

Happy Empire Day

Happy Empire Day


Ephemeral Isle

Break up the Euro

Speak clearly into the tree

Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) does it again with its plan to promote tourism by bugging public places.

Because that worked so well for Intourist during the Communist regime.

Completely off the beam

If only they'd been chipped!
Science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon wants everyone on the planet chipped at birth.  Why?  Something to with,
Having such a unique barcode would have many advantages. In war soldiers could easily differentiate legitimate targets in a population from non combatants. This could prevent mistakes in identity, mistakes that result in the deaths of innocent bystanders.
I don't know where to start.  The first-catch-your-rabbit problem?  The utter impracticality of it?  The fact that a theatre of war is the last place it would work?  That maybe it would get more civilians killed?

I think I'll go for the fact that this is the fondest dream of every tyrant since the dawn of time.

UFO: Reflections In The Water

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The gauntlet is thrown down

From the Metro:
Six-month deadline for UK to grant prisoners right to vote 
The government has been given a six-month deadline to enfranchise some prisoners after a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
Or the government could simply say that Britain is a sovereign state, that English Common Law is supreme and the ECHR can go chase itself.

Dragon is go

SpaceX's Dragon supply craft is finally on its way to the International Space Station.  The first private cargo carrier will deliver 1,148lbs of provisions along with a small,well-trained assault team and an orbital laser capable of destroying any target on Earth unless certain demands are met.

Or perhaps I've said too much.

Mirror comb

The mirror comb:  Because combining two things best used simultaneously into something that makes it impossible is always the best option.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Green evil

Take a good look at this man.  He is the face of modern environmentalism; a would-be Himmler who would slaughter 13/14ths of the world's population and subject the miserable rump to an eternal, Orwellian dictatorship to Save the PlanetTM.

Don't believe me?  Here are his views on mankind:
What to do, when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and there is only one lifeboat? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship's axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides.
And democracy?
Any dictatorship would be better than modern democracy. There cannot be so incompetent dictator, that he would show more stupidity than a majority of the people. Best dictatorship would be one where lots of heads would roll and government would prevent any economical growth.
They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.  This man's very intentions are evil.

The EU mind at the BBC.

A BBC Europhile laments the collapse of the dreams of establishing a European Empire and lets the mask slip with this litttle gem:
For myself, I had always been an enthusiastic pro-European and an unashamed believer in a federal European state. Like many English people of my tastes and proclivities, I rather fancied myself propping up zinc bars, sipping pastis and listening to the musical chink-clank of petanque. 
I viewed an increasingly united Europe as a necessary counterweight to US world hegemony and Russian idiocy, while also being a handy cosmopolitan stick with which to beat the backs of uptight Little Englanders.
That seems like a pretty fair characterisation of a BBC European Empire booster; a man who sees himself in Continental cafes, drinking anise-tinged cocktails and wouldn't be caught dead watching something as English as bowls, but is perfectly happy with petanque.  A man who isn't so much interested in dissolving nationalism as establishing Empire over sovereign states, is anti-american while critcising Russia strictly for the sake of form (and very likely for abandoning Communism).

But I think the final bit is most telling.  Above all else, he is a man who despises his own country and sees the entire, rotten European project as a stick to beat his fellow, retrograde countrymen.

It's a telling difference of philosophy.  A decent man who disliked his own country would just leave.  This sort isn't satisfied unless they conform to his will.

You must love Big Brother

A "social sciences" teacher in North Carolina screams at a student that criticising or even questioning Mr Barack Hussein Obama is a criminal offence.

Education in America in the 21st century.

The Adventures of Captain Marvel: Part 3: Time Bomb

Monday, 21 May 2012

Day of the eagle

What's worse than being attacked by an eagle?

Being attacked by an eagle with a knife!

Cowardly cuts

From the Telegraph:
The British Army will have to rely on civilian drivers, reserves and foreign armies to fight wars in the future as the MoD plans a swathe of cuts to support solders, it can be disclosed.
These aren't reforms.  This is wholesale dismantling of the armed forces by a load of traitorous, cowardly blackguards.

And the horrifying thing is, there's no alternative to them short of revolution or Her Majesty invoking emergency powers.  It's that serious

Free-range jerks

(N)ew research has determined that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods. In fact, a new study published this week in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, has found that organic food may just make people act a bit like jerks.
Or the more likely explanation is that people who buy "organic" produce are a load of ignorant urban poseurs with more money than sense who live to posture ad nauseum about their "healthy" "green" diet when, in fact, they wouldn't know "organic" if they fell into manure pond.

In short, the sort of people who you find at a Seattle organic produce markets didn't become jerks, they are jerks.

Tales of Television Centre

Friday, 18 May 2012

Architects transform submarine into a bar

Two hundred and fifty years ago, brewer Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for his St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. To commemorate this event, the Guinness company could have rolled out a stretch limousine, but it decided to go one better by launching a “deep-sea bar” in the chilly waters of the Baltic off Stockholm, Sweden. Designed by London-based Jump Studios, the modified tourist submarine was commissioned as part of the Guinness Sea Experience competition, that included an underwater trip inside the Guinness sub as a prize... Continue Reading Architects transform submarine into a bar

Red light

Telegraph headline:
57 per cent of cyclists have jumped a red light
And the other 43 percent lied.

Euros disintegrating in sunlight

This is satire.  I pretty sure it is.  I think.

The Day The Universe Changed: Part 1: Fit To Rule

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Paralysed woman controls robot arm

It's breakthroughs like this that are one reason why I don't have much truck with the euthanasia people.  While there's life, there's hope.

A ray of sunlight

Next they can let Britannia hold her trident instead of that stupid olive branch
The world must be coming to an end because the BBC is running a story about how MPs and civil rights (real ones and Leftist ones) want the laws removed  that makes insults a criminal offence.

That's removed, as in not reformed, but repealed.  I'm not holding my breath, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

Metric mediocrity

Relic of a saner, freer age.
Peter Hitchens looks at metric insanity; a classic example of the totalitarian mindset that itches to fix that which isn't broken and replace the practical and intuitive with the arbitrary and aggravating.

I've used metric and I've used Imperial measurements my whole life and I've always found the metrics to be difficult to calculate and impossible to visualise while it's very easy run Imperials in my head.  Ssince the Imperial units are based on real things (unlike the fantastic metrics), I can count off inches on my knuckles, yards with my nose and thumb and fathoms with my arm.  Also, as Hitchens argues,  it's a lot harder for a merchant to short measure me.

Much more logical.

UFO: The Psychobombs

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Pass the birthday mustard

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the greatest culinary advance in human history: The sandwich.

Let all pause for a moment of reverent silence.


Gravity: It's not just a good idea, it's the law.
Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) comes to the aid of law enforcement with the NR-02; a robotic peace officer that combines non-lethal weaponry with a complete inability to grasp the basic laws of physics.

Werner Herzog leaves a note for his cleaning woman

Werner Herzog looks into the belly of the beast and comes back with complaints for his cleaning woman.
You constantly revile me with your singular lack of vision. Be aware, there is an essential truth and beauty in all things. From the death throes of a speared gazelle to the damaged smile of a freeway homeless. But that does not mean that the invisibility of something implies its lack of being. Though simpleton babies foolishly believe the person before them vanishes when they cover their eyes during a hateful game of peek-a-boo, this is a fallacy. And so it is that the unseen dusty build up that accumulates behind the DVD shelves in the rumpus room exists also. This is unacceptable.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Save the...CRUNCH!

They don't like vultures either

Are your bird-chopping windmills batting bald eagles out of the sky in sacrifice to Blessed Gaia?  Worried about slaughtering what was once the poster bird of the American environmentalist movement now being killed by that very movement?  No problem; just change the rule and make death by windmill legal


This is what happens when you a) don't think through an idea and b) refuse to abandon it when it all goes pear shaped.

Yes, you can make a case for the icon for Save being a bit dated because the floppy disc has gone the way of all silicon.  It wasn't in general use by the public for too many years and changed a lot over time, so the connection will probably fade away quickly.  But clipboards?  Spanners?  Telephone handsets?  If you think that nobody sees these anymore, then you need to but down the Doritos and step away from the screen.

Needless shortages

From Powerline:
America has more fossil fuel resources than any other nation. Russia is second, Saudi Arabia is third. On Thursday, a representative of the Government Accountability Office testified before the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment that the Green River Formation alone–it is located at the intersection of the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and mostly underlies federal lands–contains as much oil as the entire proven reserves of the rest of the world combined.
Not to mention all that shale gas in Britain and Poland plus the oil strike in the Falklands.  It looks as if trying to portray the current energy crisis as anything other than an artificial shortage engineered by Leftists for their own ends will be a much harder sell from now on.

A lesson that Germany is learning the hard way.

The Adventures of Captain Marvel: Part 2: The Guillotine

Monday, 14 May 2012

Northrop Grumman tests new laser weapon

Practical laser weapons came another step closer to reality, as defense contractor Northrop Grumman recently tested the latest version of its Firestrike solid-state lasers. On May 1st, the company announced that it had completed trials at its Redondo Beach laboratory of a more powerful and rugged generation of its slab lasers, that combine with improved sensor capacities to create a general laser component that can provide the military with a wide range of greatly enhanced defensive and offensive laser capabilities... Continue Reading Northrop Grumman tests new laser weapon

And the problem is...?

Ares headline:
U.K.'s F-35B Decision a Blow to Franco-British Defense Cooperation
All I can say is,


US government goes sane

Not designed to run on rainbows and unicorns.
Noticing that buying pointless biofuels at four times the costs of petroleum-based fuels is idiotic, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee order the Pentagon to stop using the "green" fuel until it becomes as cheap as petroleum.

The Man Who Saw the Future

Friday, 11 May 2012

Le déluge est maintenant

France goes stark, staring mad.

Get-home bag

A machete?  Really?
The Art of Manliness looks at "get-home bags" and while some of the suggestions are good, the author piles on so much heavy duty equipment (stout boots, tarps, toothbrush, machete) that it ends up as impractical for something that's intended to be close at hand for an office worker and operate for 24 hours after a natural disaster so he can get home safe.

I particularly take issue with his including a pistol.  Now, don't get me wrong, I believe in carry conceal and all that.  However, I've lived through enough natural disasters and even a couple of terrorist attacks to suspect that God has it in for me, but I've never been through one yet where my top-ten survival priorities in the first 24 hours involved packing iron.  My general rule of thumb is that if you need a gun after a disaster, then you needed one before, so you'd have one anyway.  In other words, if I need a gun after an earthquake, it's because I'm in Kandahar and not Seattle. QED.

I don't have an office survival kit now because my office is at home, but when I had to work for clients on site my get-home bag consisted of the gear I always carry on my person plus a small satchel that fit in the back of a drawer containing an energy bar, three water pouches, a pocket first aid kit, a space blanket, a torch, a face mask (I live near a volcano) and some matches.  That was enough to get me back to my car where my 72-hour bag is, home if I have to hoof it or a relief station if I can't. The basic idea is to include the essentials while keeping the kit small enough that I won't feel tempted to not take it along or stuff it away somewhere so I need an emergency kit to get to my emergency kit.

The Shock of the New: Part 8:

Life in a shooting gallery

In one of those desperate attempts at getting the numbers to balance, a team of astronomers at the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham speculate that their may be thousands more free planets floating planets in the galaxy than there are stars.

If this idea holds any water, I suggest we start building space arks.  NOW!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The future of Europe

Nigel Farage once again tells the Eurocrats some home truths they'd rather not hear.

I never thought I'd see so many grown men stuffing cheese in their ears at one time.

Growth industries

Depressed over the current economic situation and how Mr Barack Hussein Obama is managing the world's largest economic power upon which everyone else depends?  Fear not, because there are two booming industrial sectors:  Guns and sex toys.

Coincidence?  I don't think so.

Another nail

Spithead Review: 1912
A hundred years ago, Britannia was undisputed mistress of the seas.  Now, we can't even keep one miserable frigate on patrol off Somalia.

Somewhere the shades of Drake, Nelson, Cochrane, Fisher and Churchill are shedding angry tears of flame.

UFO: The Man Who Came Back

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Adding a touch of realism

You wanted Martians, you've got 'em, mate.
British, French and Italian scientists will travel to Antarctica so they can waste money pretending they're at a Mars base.

Someone should remind them that it gets boring down there and their fellow, more terrestrial-minded colleagues may not be above a joke, so be prepared when answering the door.