Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The new Fermi Gamma ray Space Telescope obviously works - and just in time too.

The picture here shows the largest burst recorded in history.

This kind of thing is important to study because the particles given off from this kind of thing are actually traveling at 99.9999% of the speed of light. Not a lot of things do that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's US$700B Between Friends?

It is easy to forget that when people throw around the name 'Clinton' these days, that we are talking about the current Secretary of State - the former Junior Senator "from" New York.

Recently also we hear numbers thrown around like $700Billion, $800Billion, maybe as much as US$1.25Trillion Dollars. These are absurdly huge numbers that belie the size of the hole that has been dug for the American Taxpayer to fill in for this absurd economy of ours to continue life-as-usual.

You might ask how the hell we got ourselves into this mess when as little as a decade ago we actually paid off the national debt.

Certainly The War Effort is to blame in terms of what we went on a shopping spree for with all that money. But where did it come from? How did we even allow ourselves to get into a situation like this?

When a college kid runs up $80k worth of credit card debt without ever holding a job you ask why the credit card company gave them credit to begin with. Why were they allowed to borrow and spend like that?

Well the answer to why we could do this is hinted to by Secretary Clinton urging China to keep lending us money. And that magic number we keep hearing reflects the $700Billion that we currently owe them.

I recall when her husband was in office looking on in horror and shame in 1998 as they sat in box seats overlooking a parade in Tienanmin Square - the site of the student protest for democracy that was mercilessly put down by the communist chinese government not a decade before that.

So if you want to know who paved the way for the Chinese to hold the mortgage to our economy it was the Clintons. If you want to know who used that resource like a crackhead taking cash advances from an ATM card then you can blame the Bushes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Please Just Go Away

"He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall."
- The Bible, Proverbs 10:10, King James Edition

So the Winker is just doing anything she can to get in the news and push the party line.

You lost. Please fade back into obscurity. I have never seen someone who lost the election work so hard to try to turn public humiliation into a perk. But then again, if you went from nobody to being the center of attention in America - it's got to be hard to go back to being nothing.

Let's face it, she's now the Danny Bonaduce of Republican politics.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

20090211 Nuke your Television

I remember very specifically early into the last administration's reign that there was a massive push in all of the ever-consolidating media companies to "clean house". Investigative journalism as we used to know it just outright dropped dead. The general tendency of the media to question the government and to perform critical analysis on press releases before just reading from them as a script simply went away.

Part of that was in step with the metaphorical and as I remember ACTUAL flag-waving that took place in pathological amounts starting in September 2001. No one wanted to question "our side" and to do so became "unpatriotic" in ridiculous measure - a sentiment that was echoed to great effect to stave off ANY questioning of government policy for the next seven years.

Interestingly when you stop asking questions publicly for that long - the public stops asking the questions. We have an entire generation of people who now just take every press release at face value and don't even know why that might not be a good idea.

What's more, the chilling effect on 'dissent' of any type has translated into the entertainment industry. The explosion of police/military-oriented shows, movies, "documentaries", etc. has warranted an entire new Channel on cable television.

I am sick to death of choosing between Disney-child-safe and Pro-Army-Crime-Drama as my categories. I am tired of morality plays and glorifying people in uniforms beating other people up. And I feel insulted every time a story devolves into the ever-more-popular hidden message of "Faith>Science"

Overused Trope of the Decade: Anyone who is smart is either portrayed as completely lacking common sense, as a mad scientist, or gay. (See CSI, Eureka, and Big Bang Theory for examples)

Eight years of this crap was enough. Someone let a few hippies out of the secret concentration camps and let them write a few scripts or something.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

20090205 Blenderiffic

Blender is not new. Even the latest version isn't all that new. But I have finally been taking a little time to learn how to use the thing. As such, I have stumbled across several useful tutorials.

For those of you who are not familiar with it, Blender is a free 3D modeling and animation tool. Do not let the price tag fool you and do not let the interface scare you away!

Blender has every major conceptual feature from every 3D tool released in the last 2 decades: Metaballs, Bones, Particles, Audio sync, Keyframe Animation with parameter curve graphs, NURBS, a game engine, etc..

The interface is designed to be useful and so is designed around the concept of heavy hot-key use. As such it is difficult to learn for the first 2 hours - but you will quickly see the benefits of working this way. The truth is also that every 3D tool has a steep learning curve and they all work differently from most desktop applications.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

20090203 Join the Shoevement

There has been another shoe-ing!

While shoemakers quibble over whose shoe it was that was thrown at G.W. Bush - a human rights protester
threw a shoe at Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China at Cambridge University yesterday.
Mr. Wen was quoted as calling it "despicable". Golly. If he reacts That strongly over something that really is trivial, maybe he ought to have shoes thrown at him a little more until he snaps out of his own ego.

In fact he is so bent out of shape about it that the Chinese people don't even get to know about it because it has been censored from the media. THAT is the BEST reason to do something as symbolic, rebellious and utterly pointless as this, IMHO.

I can't help but think of Arnold Schwarzeneggar when he was hit with an egg who reacted in a very cool manner, shrugging it off & joking "He definitely owes me some bacon". That is really the only way to deal with it properly. Any other reaction betrays an inner weakness that deserves the pelting.