Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DiCaprio should read more

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

Unfortunate poster for his new movie:

Fear not, McMansion Owners

Representative Dingell will propose:

Dingell said Friday he plans to introduce legislation next month that would eliminate the tax deduction on mortgage interest for owners of so-called "McMansions" - houses bigger than 3,000 square feet.

But the market will provide.

Treehouses (ok, this one is cool)

A logical line of operation. Pass the berries.

I, Robot

Link to BB on a robot arm the mimics the human arm:

Quote For Today: Computer Science/Robotics is just the poor man's biology.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Someone's listening

Dr. North over at EUReferendum has been on a roll recently about the nature of close air support in battle.  He's right, of course. The way ahead in nook and crannie battles is smaller, cheaper, repeatable (tactics, aircraft, ground vehicles etc). One of the planes he's proposed for the Brits is the Super Tucano, from Brazil.

Today, from Strategy Page:

August 27, 2007: Security company Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work. 

BEGIN PARANOIA: Why is Blackwater fielding it's own organic CAS. Is it for Iraq? Do they feel they don't or won't have access to U.S. CAS? Is it because U.S. CAS will be committed somewheres east in the near future? END PARANOIA

I don't know.

But hey, if Blackwater buys some C27-Js, they'll be on their way to the first homebrew military of this century. 

Ought to piss someone off.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Machina "in" Deus

Europe's most powerful computer goes to church

Balloon Tech

Sending a balloon into space, with a canon coolpix attached? Priceless.

Beats my parasailing photos.

The S.A.B.L.E. 3 homepage (looks to be crashing under the server load)

Probably vaporware

At least according to the MarsBlog, but Galactic Suites, the "new" space hotel venture has enough pleasing eyecandy.

Drifting conestogas.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"The Graduate Level of War" is a pretty amazing company. Four days from point of order to the ends "o" the earth.

Probably where I lost my keys....

Scientist find big hole in the universe.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Pronoun People

I fight a losing battle at work.

A battle against them. I don't know who they are, but everywhere I go, I run into them, or there agent provocateur, he.

"Well, they said...."
"Not according to them...."
"They got that thing."

I don't know who these people re, but they are everywhere. Instead of reading, research and citations, people rely on hem to tell them what to do.

Them. The pronoun people.

They are out to conquer the world.  And their weapon of choice is the passive voice.

The Flat Earth

Good article in Reason Magazine on Ill Presidente 4 Life, Hugh 'Hugo' Chavez:

The nation had at last "broken the chains of the old, exploitative capitalist system," he said. "The state now has the obligation to build the model of a socialist economy."

Man, Venezuela is like a petri dish of bad politics, even when it's so heartbreakingly obvious where this will all end up.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

So fifty percent of the world's population will live in cities...

That will make for interesting stories.

Via Neatorama, Kowloon:

Source Deputy-Dog.

Peace Makes You Stupid

Bruce Bawer on the Peace Racket.

America’s leading Peace Racket institution is probably the University of Notre Dame’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies—endowed by and named for the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, the ultimate symbol of evil corporate America. It was the Kroc Institute, by the way, that in 2004 invited Islamist scholar Tariq Ramadan to join its faculty, only to see him denied a U.S. visa on the grounds that he had defended terrorism.

I don't fear Bill Gates. But his money living on after him scares the shi* out of me. Peacers will be all over it like a fly on Leno.

Peace? Right.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rudy on the World

I finally got around to reading Rudy's piece in Foreign Affairs: Toward a Realistic Peace. Pretty good read, and I can see why Thomas P.M. Barnett found the work impressive; it bears alot of the hallmarks of PNM and BFA. Rudy addresses a complex, developing world in a way that is distinctly not "batshit insane." 

He'd like to take America down a path between "bend over" and "bomb, bomb, bomb." 

Looking at the other responses, on Slate, from the "left" or the "right," I'll note not one George Keenan. But, Kaplan be proud, they were probably all "A" students. Good for them. Bad for us.


(P.S. Fred's going to have to step it up)

Friday, August 17, 2007

I am so not there

In cosmiclog, news that Bigelow Aerospace is moving up the launch of his space hotel to before 2010. 

Great. I'd plan on making my fortune by cashing in well stocked change jars. Then I would have bought a ticket. I was planning on 2020, but at 2010 prices, I'm probably locked out.
On the plus side, they probably won't have high speed wireless internet and continental breakfasts.

Pity. (via Hit&Run)

Still, it seems the future is, indeed, inflatable. Maybe Einstein was right after all, with this whole expanding stuff. (Though I disagree heartily with his Theory of Cultural Relativity).
Don't forget this piece about inflatable lunar modules:

Space Age Joke: "Is that a solar colonization plan in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

The Great Skype Outage

Seems to be over. I can talk to my wife and she can talk to her family.

Fragile, the things which keep us together.

I wonder if my iPod will work, when civilization falls.

Makes me laugh:

In the Danger Room, via IP:

For years, members of the military brass have been warning that soldiers' blogs could pose a security threat by leaking sensitive wartime information. But a series of online audits, conducted by the Army, suggests that official Defense Department websites post far more potentially-harmful than blogs do.

Sounds right to me. My dime store logic: blogs are maintained by individuals, 'official sites' by organizations. Accountability and responsibility accrue to the individual. Organizations, not so much.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pattern Recognition

Cory Doctorow, posting over at Boing Boing, writes:

I feel him. I pretty much missed attending Honors classes in high school by a few points. Then I was accused of laziness by my teachers. Probably true. Instead, I went into the advanced placement track in ended up CLEPing a large part of my freshman year of college.

Lazy, again.

To date, I've never really settled into a career. I've got a profession; but it is one that gives me time to pursue my interest. And use explosives.

Eventually, I figure I'll settle down, and get to doing whatever the hell is I'm meant to do. It will either involve ponies, kittens or systems complexity. Maybe ponies.

My point is, I've got my eye on the perfect career. It just hasn't been invented yet.

Over at Scott Adams' blog, he references this New York times article talking about tout le universe being part of some deep blue/cray like supercomputer.

Um. O.K.

For me, it's like some mitochondria finally self actualizing in my big toe and realizing it's part of something larger. And that something larger may be organic.

Scott's right that universe as computer is a constant theme in SCIFI (PBUH), but I can't help thinking that if the universe is part of some computronium, then it is o in a way that's not recognizable.

No "intel inside" stickers slapped to it's big bang.

It's enough for me to view the universe as a complex system with plenty of unknown data points. Finding out how or where I fit into that system is enough to occupy me for life.

That, and explosives.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

AFRICOM and the J-Staff

Looks like AFRICOM is going to continue to redefine how we pursue security in this century. Getting rid of the J-Staff (see link) is a huge break from a lethal effects based thinking (good old fashioned kinetics) to a more holistic effects thought process. More PMESII, less JDAM (not that there's anything wrong with that). 

Cain't help it. Quote:

AFRICOM’s will have divisions called outreach, plans and programs, knowledge development, operations and logistics, and resource

Pretty damn neat.

Curriculum Vitae

Now, recently, I found myself promoted from upper, lower management to lower middle management. I've got the opportunity to travel to strange and exotic locales and work bone crushingly long hours. 

Hence the lack (in addition to the random internet connection) of sustained blogging.

Maybe I should entertain a career witch. If any out there is looking to hire me, I am willing to work for half the hours and twice the money. As a bonus, I'm lazy.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In Praise of Blimps

I owe, in part, my continued well being to semi rigid inflatable blimps, so I, for one, am happy when one makes big.

The Aeroscraft ML866 is taking off. As a proof of concept, it's pretty cool.

Inflatable flying hotel?

I think that in the future, being homeless is going to be expensive.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Oh yeah!!!

Back on the web.

My distant spot on the earth has an outrageously expensive internet connection, and addict that I am..... My dead run portable office made it through my travels, laptop, scanner and wacom tablet intact.

So, I'm back to blogging (which I like), drawing (which I love) and writing (which animates me).

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