Monthly archive for August2014 - page 2

New Aviation Post at Men Out Of Work Blog

New Aviation Post at Men Out Of Work Blog

I have a new aviation post up at The Men Out of Work Blog:

A Memorial You Will Probably Never See To An Astronaut You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

No ifs ands or buts…the future WILL get weird

No ifs ands or buts…the future WILL get weird

I have speculated that the future could get weird, and now the speculation is over – the future WILL get weird, no ifs ands or buts.  Here is the Prima Facie evidence: this article at cites a report by The Pew Research Center that states “robotic sex partners will be commonplace” by 2025.  What’s weird about that you may ask?  Well, most of you will just say “Eeewww”, but some of you may ask.  Here’s a clue:


I can’t wait for all the political unrest over people demanding the right to marry their Dutch Wives.  And don’t think that the sexbots wouldn’t turn on us in a minute.  Turn ON us, not turn us on.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

The Future could get weird…

The Future could get weird…

I have contemplated a time or two the imminent Robot Revolution.  These next two stories only add to my paranoia.  Did I say that out loud?  I mean apprehension.

The first story is about scientists who have taught (programmed?) swarms of micro-robots to act in unison to form larger objects or shapes.  They even  title the article “Mini-robots Self-organise into Army”.  You know…like the hordes of androids in the movie “I, Robot”.  That’s reassuring.

The next story is about one of those industries that is uniquely Japanese – the Sex Doll Industry.  Yes, there is a Japanese Sex Doll Industry,  Well, they call them “Dutch Wives”.  Read the story if you don’t believe me.  No, they don’t explain why they call the that, and I’m not sure I want to know.  They are simply detailed, life like poseable dolls with realistic….never mind.  They’re not actual robots – yet.

Anyhoo…the story is about how the industry has reached “the next level” in creating the perfect Dutch Wife.  The only conclusion I can reach is that we are destined to be taken over by a sentient self-organising army of Dutch Wives with perfect skin.  And that could get weird.

robot love

Music Friday – The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Edition

Music Friday – The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Edition

Having just found a few John Lennon songs to share, I’m reminded of John’s oldest son Julian.  So here are a couple of my favorite Julian Lennon songs.  Enjoy!


Music Friday – John Lennon Edition

Music Friday – John Lennon Edition

A few weeks ago I did a Happy Birthday post featuring Paul McCartney, and have been listening to Beatles tunes since.  So I figured why not do a couple songs from the other half of the dynamic duo?  Not Batman and Robin – Lennon and McCartney.  That is, John Lennon.  Lennon’s solo work is not as ubiquitous as McCartney’s, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t  just as good.  In my mind, McCartney was much more prolific and his music had more of a pop quality, while Lennon’s seemed more deliberative, introspective and artlike.  No judgement, just an observation.  Anyhoo… I picked a couple of my favorites here:

First up: “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” (with Elton John):

Whatever gets you to the light indeed.  Next I give you “Watching the Wheels”

Finally, “Nobody Told Me”:

Most peculiar, Mama.  Which may sum up the whole story, sad ending and all.  Final fun fact:  Lennon’s middle name is Winston, after the other famous British Winston – Churchill.  RIP and THANKS!


OK, this is pretty funny

OK, this is pretty funny

You Had One Job

Fighting Fires From They Sky

Fighting Fires From They Sky

It seems like the right time for this – this is fire season.  All over the west, but in California…Northern California in particular.  Since I live near an airfield with a long runway, the occasional large tanker flies over my house.  So why not do a little post with some video of the largest air tanker in operation in the U.S.?  That would be the DC-10 “Rainmaker”.  The McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 is a wide-body airliner that is no longer used for commercial passenger flight.  It’s three engine configuration, with two engines mounted on wing pylons and the third engine mounted at the base of the vertical stabilizer makes it easily identifiable whether on the ground or in flight.  The DC-10 ended production in 1989.

Here’s a Modern Marvels segment that give you the basic facts:

Here’s some footage taken by a news crew that was in the drop zone:

There are only two of these flying, Tanker 910 and Tanker 911.  Quite a machine.  Glad we have ’em.

Want to make yourself miserable? There’s an app for that

Want to make yourself miserable?  There’s an app for that

One way to make yourself miserable is to stay angry and agitated all the time.  And one way to do that is to stay focused on politics all the time.  Personally, I think that’s a bad idea and I say that as someone who is very interested in politics.

So, here comes the latest bad idea – Buypartisan.  The app that helps “make every day election day”  through “spending choices”.  It lets you scan a product’s barcode to get information on which political party the company’s CEO, Board of Directors and employees donate to.  Reviews of the app can be found here and here or at many places via google.

So this app should do two things to create more angry people – first there will be more people clogging the aisles at your favorite grocery outlet on their smartphones.  That’s not gonna make anyone happy.  Then, those people using the app will be ticked when they realize the CEO of the company that makes their favorite cornflakes donates money to the “wrong” party.  I predict, chaos, mayhem and mass hysteria.

credible hulk


Politics is not unimportant, but we are all more than simply our political identity.  At some point you have to distance yourself from political considerations and just live your life.  Life is not a zero sum game.  Money flows where money flows.  Sometimes you just have to let it be.

Ohs Noes! Six States Initiative Would Create “Rich and Poor States”

Ohs Noes!  Six States Initiative Would Create “Rich and Poor States”

Let the Liberal hand-wringing begin.  Reuters: “California Breakup Plan Would Create Rich and Poor States: Report”.  If there is one thing that cannot be tolerated in California – whether it is one California or Six – it is inequality.

In case you are wondering what I’m talking about, there is an initiative being considered for the California ballot called The Six Sates Initiative which would create six separate states out of California.



According to the Reuters story, the richest state would be Silicone Valley with a per Capita income of $63,288, and the poorest would be Central California with a per capita income of $46,477.  The story also states that the plan has raised “bipartisan hackles”, but quotes no one.  Near as I can tell, everyone outside of “Silicone Valley”, “West California” and “South California” thinks it’s a great idea because those areas are heavily populated and deeply liberal/Democratic while the rest of the state is more sparsely populated and leans Independent/Conservative/Republican and are tired of being force fed a liberal Democrat agenda.  As far as the fiscal disparity, they are sure they can handle their own affairs.

Of course, the stated “inequality” exists even now, regardless of the initiative, but I doubt the concern is great enough for the rich to “redistribute” any of their wealth to their “poorer” bretheren.  All that’s needed is to defeat the initiative, keep those people on the la-la liberal plantation and everything will be fine.

Cross posted at Men Out of Work Blog

Sketch Factor – is avoiding bad neighborhoods racist?

Sketch Factor – is avoiding bad neighborhoods racist?

A minor internet kerfuffle has erupted over the introduction of an app called “Sketch Factor”.  Sketch Factor is a crowd source app where users can upload information they find “sketchy” about their neighborhood or wherever they happen to be.  This is then added to map data and can be used to avoid, or if you’re looking for sketchiness, to find certain neighborhoods.  Some on the internet have declared the app “racist”.  Here’s the logic:

Step 1:  The app was created by two young white people,

Step 2:  All smartphone users are affluent white people,

Step 3:  All white people distrust black people and find them “sketchy”,

Step 4:  Therefore white people will use the app to flag black neighborhoods and black people as “sketchy”.

Step 5:  Racism!

I suppose that my labeling of some neighborhoods as “bad” is confirmation of my “racism”.  I am a firm believer in situational awareness and minimizing risk, and so I would find this app usefull especially if I was in a strange town.  I don’t see at all how that equates to racism.  A lot of the discussion of the app seems centered on Washington, D.C. maybe because the Gawker writer lives there (I think).  Anyway, a Washington D.C. news crew went out to do a story about one of the neighborhoods identified as “sketchy”, and while they were doing man on the street interviews with the residents there something happened:  but as folks were telling us that it was a good neighborhood, and that not much activity happens around there — as that was being told to us, our van was being robbed.”    

So…Sketch Factor: 10 out of 10.  I wonder if they reported the incident.  Probably not, that would be racist.

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