Posts Tagged ‘lunatics’

Happy Easter and Other Stuff

April 20, 2014

Look out, Leonardo, I’m adding a new nerd-crush! The obscure genius of Cornelius Drebbel: Renaissance “engeneere” or “vulgar mechanic”?

Truth is one of the first casualties of War. Russian press harangued the Kiev transitional government as being controlled by neo-nazis, then leaflets demanding that Jews register were reported in pro-Russian province.A UN report urges all parties to knock it off because people will do horrendous things when they think they are right.

In other news, Mike Huckabee compares the U.S. unfavorably to North Korea. Sharp as a knot-hole, that guy!

Afghan opium cultivation has reached a record level, with more than 200,000 hectares planted with the poppy for the first time, the United Nations says“.

Bloomberg has a nice visual presentation, “How Americans Die“, that gives pause for thought. Why is suicide taking such a huge statistical slice out of most age groups?

The (non)persecution of the Goddists: If you can get a New Jersey vanity license plate that reads “BAPTIST,” why not one that reads “8THEIST”? (The answer is ‘you can, but you have to be willing to sue’).

Research on coaxial lasers shows promise in triggering rain and lightning on demand.

If only they were furriners, dagnabbit! The cos-play convention of armed lunatics in support of Cliven Bundy’s decades-long criminal activity offers a unique opportunity for federal authorities to identify and interdict a butt-load of domestic terrorists. I’m sure the opportunity will be wasted.



Weighing witches, swarming scammers, and weird is the new normal

April 17, 2013

Remember Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where they determined the guilt of a witch (played by the yummy Connie Booth) by weighing her? Well, there’s actually significant historical precedent for this practice. Ducks need not apply.

Okay, tornados I’m used to. And ice-storms. And fire-storms. And droughts… but earthquakes, WTF??? At least 5 small earthquakes struck central Oklahoma yesterday, centered around Oklahoma City.  Did a Pharaoh move here recently, or what?

Police have a suspect in mind as they investigate a ricin-laden letter mailed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi). Wicker was one of 16 GOP senators who voted to end a filibuster against a gun control bill last Thursday. Draw a causal link if you want to. I have my suspicions.

Sources tell CBS 11 that former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams will be charged with capital murder in the deaths of Mike and Cynthia McLelland, and Mark Hasse.

Ohio Republicans are looking to ban “Gateway Sexual Activity.” Up next, a ban on washing machines and socks.

China has revealed the numbers and structure of its military units in what state-run media describe as a first.

{I’m putting all things Boston here at the bottom from now on. Even though I have a detached interest in the story I don’t want to hit those affected personally with triggers or bum readers out over my technical fascination with stuff that goes boom and the psychology of those who use them. Just don’t read below here if you want to avoid it}.

Boston Marathon matters

Scammers are working overtime after the Boston Marathon bombing. According to, there were more than 125 new, Boston-related domain names registered by 7 p.m. ET last night.

Alex Jones and his Tinfoil-Hat Fashion Brigade will exploit any tragedy to self-promote his brand of conspiracy theory. It doesn’t help that “false flag” incidents are real and real people have died in them. But to see them lurking around every corner at every tragedy is paranoia at its worst.

A pressure cooker is emerging as the suspected casing of at least one of the marathon bombs. Go figure.

USA Today has a fluffy interactive infographic on bomb forensics. Here’s a 2005 CDC presentation titled “Asymmetric War (Terrorism) and the Epidemiology of Blast Trauma” that’s very informative.

A bit of a strange coincidence that a recent XKCD “What If?” asked the question, “Am I right to be afraid of pressure cookers?”.

The image below was taken from a 1981 “Barney Miller” episode ‘The Woman and the Bomb’, which had an agitated woman enter the precinct room with a home-made pressure cooker bomb. Luckily, the recently retired Fish had returned for a visit and was able to talk her down. It’s my earliest memory of a pressure cooker being used in this capacity.

Subjects: (l to r) Peggy Pope, Howard Mann and Abe VigodaProgram: