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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Japanese US2 Flying Boat


【4K】US 2 父島での訓練 Part5
([4K] US 2 Training in Chichijima Part5)

The video is a little slow moving, but it is a big, expensive aircraft, so you want to be careful. Engine startup begins before the one minute mark. after that:
2:10 aircraft starts moving, but the motion is barely perceptible for about 15 seconds
2:50 nose wheel touches the water, using reverse thrust to slow their descent into the water.
3:25 aircraft is afloat
3:45 landing gear retracts
5:45 the aircraft has turned sideways and one of crew is waving, or maybe he's just wiping the window
7:05 break in recording, airplane has completed its turn into open water
7:35 break, aircraft continues taxiing across the harbor
8:24 break, spectators standing on the breakwater
8:32 break, wide shot of breakwater with aircraft in the distance
8:42 break, aircraft maneuvering, rock in foreground
9:42 break, aircraft begins takeoff run

Flying boats are the epitome of cool. They were the first aircraft to cross the oceans, reducing days to travel time to hours. Plus all the people who flew on them were cool. Of course they were cool, they were rich and could afford to buy fancy clothes that made them look cool. Plus Jimmy Buffett had one, and what could be more cool that island hopping in the Caribbean in your own private flying boat? I mean this is the stuff of a million fantasies.

Recorded on October 23 at Ogasawara Village, Chichijima Futami Port

The ramp is clearly visible on a satellite image:
Chichijima Aircraft Ramp
Okinawa (center left), Chichijima (center), Iwo Jima (just below Chichijima)
Chichijima is really out in the middle of nowhere. It is about 600 miles from Tokyo, 900 miles from Okinawa and just over 100 miles from Iwo Jima.

I think the US-2 was the largest operational flying boat for a while. It has recently been eclipsed by one from China, which might be operational.

The Rifleman

Chuck Connors with rifles
Saw this over at daily timewaster. I recognized him immediately, of course, because I'm old, but I couldn't think of the actor's name. So I go to Wikipedia where I found this bit:

Large loop cocking lever
The Rifleman's gimmick was a modified Winchester Model 1892 rifle, with a large ring lever drilled and tapped for a set screw. The lever design allowed him to cock the rifle by spinning it around his hand. In addition, the screw could be positioned to depress the trigger every time he worked the lever, allowing for rapid fire, emptying the magazine in under five seconds during the opening credits on North Fork's main street.
Empty the magazine in five seconds? See for yourself:


The Rifleman - "Sharpshooter" Season 1 Episode 1

Billy Jack had a similar rifle. He was able to work the action one-handed. I tried it once with an unmodified lever action rifle. It about took my hand off.

Via daily timewaster

Friday, November 15, 2019

Non Sequitur

Rod Stewart's model train layout
I like model trains and I like pop music, but I would never in a million years have suspected that Rod Stewart was building a King Kong sized model train layout in his attic.

Via Brian Micklethwait's New Blog

John Day Oregon

Kam Wah Chung General Store
John Day Oregon
John drove out to John Day on Monday to get a client up to speed on a new computer system. John Day isn't much of a town, the population is less than 2,000, which isn't too surprising since it is smack dab in the middle of eastern Oregon, some of the most desolate terrain in the world. Okay, that's not exactly fair. The town is on the John Day river, in a valley surrounded by tree covered mountains. But Malheur county is right next door.

The Oregon Encyclopedia has a good article about the Kam Wah Chung General Store.

Wikipedia's article about the town notes that "federal policies . . . shut down all gold mining in the United States in 1942". Really? That sounds kind of weird. Google turns up a case on FindLaw that explains the situation:
Early in 1941, it became apparent to those in charge of the Nation's defense mobilization that we faced a critical shortage of nonferrous metals, notably copper, and a comparable shortage of machinery and supplies to produce them. Responsive to this situation, the Office of Production Management (OPM) and its successor, the War Production Board (WPB), issued a series of Preference Orders. These gave the producers of mining machinery and supplies relatively high priorities for the acquisition of needed materials. They also gave to those mines, which were deemed important from the standpoint of defense or essential civilian needs, a high priority in the acquisition of such machinery. Gold mines were classified as nonessential and eventually were relegated to the lowest priority rating.
Gold was non-essential? Who'd a thunk that gold, the most sought after metal in the world, would be deemed non-essential? Since gold has become the preferred material for plating electronic connectors I doubt that such an order would fly today.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Staring


Dan Croll - From Nowhere (Official Video)

The tune is fine, the video is kind of clever. What's up with everyone staring into the camera? All is revealed at the end. Bonus points if you figure it out before the big reveal. I didn't, even though in hindsight it is perfectly obvious. Obvious, that is, if you remember the games you played when you were a kid.

I signed up for YouTube premium just after they bumped the price from $10 a month to $12. Figures. I could tolerate a few random ads, but when they start hammering me with the same ad over and over again it got to be annoying. My kids recommend Spotify and while it might work fine with smartphones, the desktop browser version seems to be broken. Besides, I seem to like older music more than newer music. This tune is from 2014. I had never heard it before a couple of days ago. I suspect that most of the new stuff is popular just because it's new and different, not because it's any good. Let a few years go by and the dross will fade and the good stuff will float to the top.

I don't like paying money for something I've always gotten for free, but maybe it's time, and it's not like $12 a month is going to bust me. I'm paying $16 a month for HBO and I don't even use it anymore since Game of Thrones is over. Netflix has an apparently endless supply of shows. Even if I watch a movie every night I'm not going to make a dent in their supply. They are probably adding shows faster than anyone could watch them. Of course, a lot of them are dross, but sometimes it isn't apparent that a show is a stinker until you get half way through and by then you've invested so much mental energy in it that you may as well finish watching it.

I signed up for YouTube TV recently in the mistaken belief that I could do away with cable TV completely. You can't, not if you want to watch your local NBA team. So I canceled it. It was easy. Just go to the web page and click on cancel. Boom, you're done.

Dealing with the cable TV company is like wading through the circles of hell. I tried to cancel HBO, which I get through Frontier. I spent half an hour chatting with chat bot, only to learn that I had to make an actual phone call to their "retention team". Useless scum sucking pigs. I am trying to figure out how to cancel it without having to talk to anyone. If it would only take five minutes I wouldn't mind, but they've already wasted a half hour of my time, and I suspect they are going to waste an unknown quantity. Maybe if someone dumped a bucket of shit on Frontier's head honcho they would change their ways.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Epstein

Aircraft tail codes used to spell out 'Epstein didn't kill himself'
The 'Epstein didn't kill himself' just keeps getting stronger and sillier. This one made me chuckle. Did he? Yes, no, maybe so. I doubt we will ever have any proof one way or the other. Either way it's an article of faith for true believers.

Brain Fart


AI in Brainfuck

First of all I don't approve of the name. People you the word 'fuck' entirely too often. It is often used as an expletive by people who are frustrated by something they are working on, people like mechanics and programmers. I have been both and I have used the word extensively, but speaking it is different than writing it. Speak it and the sound vibrations dissipate into the atmosphere and no damage is done, unless someone with sensitive ears is nearby and hears it. I don't approve of using it to name things because that leads to the word being used as noun, which is dumb. Couldn't they have come up with a better name? Apparently the originator had a brain fart that prevented better word smithing. Whatever.

Mitxela has posted the source code for his tic tac toe program along with a debugger. Copy the source code and paste it into the debugger and you can watch it run while it tries to beat you at tic tac toe. I had to turn the speed down to zero in order to see anything happen, otherwise it goes to fast for anything to show up.

I have to admire that Urban was able to develop a 'complete' language using only 8 characters. Wikipedia has an article about it. I really enjoyed the video. The guy's voice has a soporific quality, so much so that was I content to let his explanations pass by without examining whether they made sense or not. The program works, so there's a good chance that his explanations are correct. It could be that the video is all a sham to disguise what he is really doing, but why would he do that? Of course the same question could be asked of the originator. Why would you do something like this? For fun, obviously.

Via Dennis, which prompted Jack to reply with INTERCAL, which was designed to be really stupid, which is how all programming languages look when you are starting down the road towards digital nirvana / oblivion.