Friday, 29 June 2012
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
We were promised Cool Britannia and a People’s Government, but instead, we got boom and bust, injustice, surveillance, regulation, stealth taxes, interference, sleaze, lies, hoodies, and binge-drinking ladettes… Our whole relationship with the state has become adversarial, rather than collaborative.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
And they think that people getting ready for the inevitable zombie apocalypse are silly.
Dark Roasted Blend has a post on people and vehicles carrying huge loads that includes these ironic photos of Third World transport of First World technology.
It's a strange thing about the modern world. I'll never forget the first time I stuck my head into an African hut straight out of King Solomon's Mines only to come face to face with a colour television run by a bank of car batteries.
Monday, 25 June 2012
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Friday, 22 June 2012
From the BBC:
The EU should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, the UN's special representative for migration has said.Translation: The UN's special representative for migration urges the EU to declare war against its member states.
It's time to invest heavily in tar and feathers.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Eighty-four female high school students (We used to call the "girls". Ed.) from 29 states will plan a simulated mission to Mars and experience life as an engineer or scientist when NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston hosts two events focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in June and July.How splendid! So, NASA, when is the version exclusively for boys scheduled? I thought not.
The Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars project, or WISH, is sponsoring two six-day summer camps for rising high school seniors. The young women will work in teams with female NASA mentors to develop mission plans for launching to Mars, living and working there, and integrating the many components necessary for a successful planetary mission. They will work within the confines of a fictitious budget and build several small mockups of vehicles to demonstrate a successful launch and landing of the Mars spacecraft.
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
NASA press release:
A new university-led study with NASA participation finds ancient Antarctica was much warmer and wetter than previously suspected. The climate was suitable to support substantial vegetation — including stunted trees — along the edges of the frozen continent.
They discovered this by way of borings that brought up samples of vegetation, pollen, elder signs...
Alan Turing would have turned 100 this year and the intertubes are loaded with tributes to him. Unfortunately, while most articles pay attention to his invaluable services during the war and his contributions to computer science, there is also an obligatory tendency to refer to him not as a great man, but as a great homosexual. Worse than that; as some sort of "gay martyr". Indeed, the real irony of the man is that the very conviction for gross indecency that ruined his life is probably the main reason he's getting so much publicity today while the men who built Colossus remain in relative obscurity. It's rather sad that the memory of this great man should be held in subservience to identity politics.
Case in point is this absurd plaque resting at the foot of Turing's statue at Bletchley Park. "Victim of prejudice"? Hardly. Turing was convicted of gross indecency and he did lose his security clearance. However, his conviction was entirely in accordance with the law and the revocation of his clearance was standard procedure since clearances weren't issued to people seen as at risk of blackmail. The only "victim" status that Turing could reasonably be awarded is that he was the victim of misplaced compassion. Rather than the court finding him guilty of a minor criminal act and punishing him, it took the "enlightened" view that he wasn't a criminal, but an unfortunate with a condition in need of a cure, so they gave him the option of oestrogen injections, which may (or may not) have contributed to his suicide.
When judges take it upon themselves to act like doctors and come to regard criminals as patients, justice is ill served.
Update: Suicide? Maybe not, but that doesn't serve a "martyr" narrative. Let's stop this nonsense and remember Turing as a great man, not a sacrificial lamb to identity politics.
Monday, 18 June 2012
The Swedish Left Party wants abolish men's lavatories. Sorry, I mean require that offices have only "unisex" toilets without urinals.
In other words, they want to abolish men's lavatories.
To add insult to injuries, they also want to require men to pee sitting down.
If this piece of idiotic tyranny isn't met with howls of derisive laughter before being torn up and the scraps literally thrown in the authors' faces, then we have reached a very dark crossroads.
Black bears have demonstrated counting abilities, in a first for the species.
Great. Now I have to carry extra rounds just in case the bear is trying to draw my fire.
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Friday, 15 June 2012
|Do a Cromwell on him, I say.|
I for one am absolutely opposed to this. It should be removed, beheaded as a regicide and its coconut stuck over the Kremlin gate.
Then turn his tomb into a McDonald's franchise.
|Our "green" future|
The point of the article is, no surprise, to declare that the only answer is for us all to resign ourselves to becoming peasants–except for the enlightened oligarchs, of course, who must hold onto their high-tech lifestyles complete with air-freighted arugula.
For our good, of course.
Thursday, 14 June 2012
DesignLibero seems to be giving Yanko Design a run for their money with this idea that combines two incompatible objects: A dish rack (Does anyone still use these?) and a pot plant.
The only question remains, how much compost do you get on you dishes before the plants die?
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Remember when buildings used to be covered with ivy, but then people were told to tear them all off because they destroyed the brickwork and acted as a highway for vermin? Silly Outer Party members! Just call them "vertical gardens" and you'll have the benedictions of the priests of Blessed Gaia
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
BBC is already setting up the new threat to Blessed Gaia by rolling out that discredited Malthusian bogey man: Resource depletion.
And guess what the solution is? Yes! Exactly the same as for global warming. What a coincidence.
And guess what the solution is? Yes! Exactly the same as for global warming. What a coincidence.
Monday, 11 June 2012
Ah, malaria; scourge of the tropics, the reason why I can't donate blood, and, thanks to her flat-out lies about DDT, why Rachel Carson is responsible for more deaths than Hitler. Andre Malcolm at Investors.com has a fascinating article on the disease that includes this telling observation:
Today’s generation – healthy and robust, beneficiaries of earlier, concerted efforts to wipe out malaria from America evidently have little empathy for doing the same efforts for Africans. Despite proof it can be done, a lazy argument that ‘we just have to live with it’ is making the rounds. Our forefathers didn’t accept that, why do the beneficiaries of their hard work shrug off their duty to the next generation or to those in this generation who are still under siege from this ruinous parasite? Our means are more than ever before in history, so why the unnecessary surrender?
The second the world believed it might be vulnerable to dying by avian flu, the media gushed and money surged to the cause … evidently the same people who panicked about avian flu cutting their own lives short don’t think malaria can reach them, so they aren’t interested. No skin in the malaria game. The ‘we have to live with it’ is really, ‘they have to live with it. Yet, if malaria re-appeared in Philadelphia or in Washington, DC where it once flourished, how long would it take for the massive public panic and a frantic outcry to DO something?People who don't read history forget that malaria wasn't always a tropical disease. In the 19th century it ranged as far north as Minnesota and in East Anglia it was so endemic that the pubs used to put opium in the beer as a prophylactic.
It made the coaching inns every interesting when coach parties of outsiders not used to the stuff had a pint or two.
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Friday, 8 June 2012
With all of that facing the MSM's Messiah, they have come up with a new strategy: Howling "Stop being mean to The One!" at their top of their voices with appropriate foot stamping.
Next stop: the MSM catching a dose of reality by discovering that their choice is to turn on Mr Soetoro or go down with him.
The US presidential election just got interesting.
From the BBC:
Speaking on German TV, [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] called for "more Europe", including a budgetary union, saying "we need a political union first and foremost".That makes about as much sense as treating a gunshot victim by pumping more bullets into him.
Thursday, 7 June 2012
Zil lanes so that the Great and the Good don't have to drive alongside the hoi poli.
Welcome to Airstrip One.
I was reading through tributes to Ray Bradbury when I came across this observation:
Without Bradbury there’s no Michael Chabon, no Cormac McCarthy, no Margaret Atwood.Great. Now I have to build a time machine, go back and kill Mrs Bradbury before she conceives him.
Wednesday, 6 June 2012
This seems to be a bumper week for Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world). What else can one say when confronted with their "green" power triumph? Behold: An undershot waterwheel of incredible inefficiency sitting out in a stretch of water with no way to turn it.
The elegance of its idiocy is breathtaking.
A culture that redefines food choices as moral issues will demonize the people who don’t share the tastes of the priest class. A culture that elevates eating to some holistic act of ethical self-definition - localvore, low-carbon-impact food, fair trade, artisanal cheese - will find the casual carefree choices of the less-enlightened as an affront to their belief system. Leave it to Americans to invent a Puritan strain of Epicurianism.This is on a par with why I dislike vegetarians and vegans. It isn't because they won't eat meat (or claim they don't). I have nothing but healthy respect for my friends who say that they don't eat meat because they don't like it or for health reason. Heck, I'm married to a woman who won't eat any meat unless it's ground and my daughter is just as bad and I love them both dearly. No, what I dislike is people who wear their diet as a badge of moral vanity–worse, as a mandate to tell me what to eat. And, as Mr Lileks points out, the same goes for the rest of their ilk.
And I don't even like soda.
You will find me drinking rum,
Like a sailor in a slum,
You will find me drinking beer like a Bavarian
You will find me drinking gin
In the lowest kind of inn
Because I am a rigid Vegetarian.
So I cleared the inn of wine,
And I tried to climb the sign,
And I tried to hail the constable as "Marion."
But he said I couldn't speak,
And he bowled me to the Beak
Because I was a Happy Vegetarian.
Oh, I know a Doctor Gluck,
And his nose it had a hook,
And his attitudes were anything but Aryan;
So I gave him all the pork
That I had, upon a fork
Because I am myself a Vegetarian.
I am silent in the Club,
I am silent in the pub.,
I am silent on a bally peak in Darien;
For I stuff away for life
Shoving peas in with a knife,
Because I am a rigid Vegetarian.
No more the milk of cows
Shall pollute my private house
Than the milk of the wild mares of the Barbarian
I will stick to port and sherry,
For they are so very, very,
So very, very, very, Vegetarian.
G K Chesterton
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) inflicts a building in the form of a metal "dragon" in the centre of Shanghai. Even the ChiComs don't deserve this.
Question: Exactly when did architecture become an exercises in bad jokes that the rest of us have to live with?
|If it looks real, it must be real. Pull the other one, it's got bells on.|
Speaking as someone who spent two decades sorting fakes from the real thing, I can say that it dashed well does matter the same way as it matters if a cheque is a fake. Not only do fakes detract from the artists reputation, but the very intent of the forger is to deceive. He isn't painting a picture that others just happen to mistake for an old master, he is trying to pass off a fraud. He carefully works in the manner of the original, never varying. He uses period materials, ages the product and generally does everything he can to foil attempts to verify the validity of the piece. Worse, the fake is invariably inferior to the original and never fools everyone. there is always some critic or scholar who smells a rat.
Worst of all, the damage done extends far beyond the showroom. Thanks to enterprising forgers over teh centuries, a huge fraction of the ancient coins in the British Museum are of dubious origin–and that collection is meant as reference material for studying the past.
If anyone pulls this sort of asininity in real life, offer to sell him a bridge and present him with your "genuine" deed to it.
Monday, 4 June 2012
We'd show you footage of the one for the current celebration, but we can't because there isn't any. Why? Because there wasn't a review because the Royal Navy has suffered such appalling cuts that to mount a review of the pitifully few hulls available would be an exercise in national humiliation.
Time for a John Belushi-style rant, I think.
The Norwegian government is selling a surplus submarine base for $17.5 million.
It's not bad, though I'd have to see if there are any underground areas suitable for conversion into palatial living quarters and a Maze of Death. Also, since the existence of the base is already public knowledge, it would mean spending a few years establishing a cover that was suitably innocuous, yet explained why I took such severe measures as armed guards to ensure my privacy–not to mention the installation of a satellite tracking antenna.
I came across the blurb about the medikit on Modern Mechanix and, having a great love for kits, hunted down more info on it; including some very nice images from ebay.
It's not perfect, but with some updating, modifications and additions I think that we could come up with something that Dr McCoy would be proud of.