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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Horses, again


Lemaitre - Higher ft. Maty Noyes

Another piece of inspired lunacy. I don't know about the tune, I only listened to it once. We shall see. But the video is great: we have a veteran (of some sort) preparing a young woman for some kind of contest. It isn't until we get to the end that we find out it involves horses.

Rube Gold Gun


Rube Goldberg Machine... But With GUNS!!!

What we have here is an inspired piece of lunacy for your amusement. I've got a cold and I'm feeling a little miserable, so today this video is just my speed.

As our host explains, black powder guns are not considered guns by the ATF, never mind that the American Civil War was fought with black powder weapons.

Now I want to see a Rube Goldberg machine that incorporates a trebuchet throwing a piano.

Good News from Africa

A picture of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the recipient of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, is on display at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, on Oct. 11. STIAN LYSBERG SOLUM/NTB SCANPIX/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Whenever I go to St. Johns to work on John's house, I stop at the 7-11 for coffee and a donut. The donut is my reward for driving over the west hills via Germantown road, and donuts require coffee. The guy at the cash register in the 7-11 is from Ethiopia, and when I ask about how things are over there, he tells me that the Prime Minister has just won the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the 20 year old war with Eritrea, so things might be getting a little better.

This is the second time an immigrant from Ethiopia has made it to this blog.

Southern Culture on the Skids: Camel Walk


Southern Culture on the Skids: Camel Walk (band video)

I posted a link to this video not too long ago, but it really deserves a post of its own. Shoot, it deserves a monument. The rhythm guitar sounds like every bar band I've ever heard, but I can't think of another tune that has got a strong rhythm chorus like this. Okay, it's been an eon since I've heard a bar band, but still.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Death to Our Digital Overlords

Magnus Robot Fighter
Why is it that when you have plenty of time all these fancy on-line systems work perfectly, but when you are in a time crunch they break down and spill their bits all over the floor? Murphy's law I suppose. Stupid robots.

I remember reading Magnus Robot Fighter comics when I was a kid. Even then I thought the premise was a bit shaky. No human, no matter how strong or well trained is going to be able to smash metal robots with his bare hands. It did make for a cool story though.

Where is Magnus now that we need him? I suspect our real robot fighters are hackers with 1337 skills.

Influence

Yesterday I sent a note to Forbes:
Stop using the term 'market capitalization' when you should be using 'market valuation'. Capital is what you invest in a company. The stock market valuation has nothing to do with the amount of money invested.
Yes, I know, everybody does it. That doesn't make it right.
The last instance I came across was in your story about George Pedersen.
This morning I open a story (also from Forbes):
Digital Bank Chime Now Has A Valuation Of $5.8 Billion
Even if they listened to me, I doubt they could react that quickly. Still, a nice little bubble of happiness in my morning.

The story about Chime didn't tell me much, other than some people think digital banks might be a good place to invest their money. The only reason I can surmise for that is that they are dispensing with the brick & mortar store front operations. For people who grew up in the 20th century, when cash was king, a big brick bank with a big steel vault could be a reassuring presence in your economic life. These days, for many people, as long as that little plastic card works, cash is just a nuisance. If you never go to the bank, why would you care if they have an office that you can visit?

Near as I can tell, owning a bank is the nearest thing to having a printing press that prints money. They take in deposits from zillions of people working for wages, and then they lend out five or ten times that amount to people who want to borrow money. Of course, lending money is a risky business, which is why banks make you jump through hoops before they will fork over the dough.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Flying Horses

Ash and smoke from Popocatepetl volcano seen from Puebla, central Mexico
A KLM flight from Amsterdam to Mexico City turned back because of a volcanic eruption near Mexico City. You may remember when all flights over Europe were shut down a few years ago because of a volcano erupting in Iceland.

Eleven hour flight to nowhere
This one made the news because the flight was already over North America when they turned back which meant the passengers enjoyed an eleven hour flight to nowhere. You might think they could have landed in New York or some other big airport (I certainly did), but when you compare the inevitable hotel bills and the hassles with immigration with the actual cost of the flying the airplane, maybe turning around makes sense. Then you add in horses and all of sudden I have no idea.

Flying Horses
Seems they had a big cargo of horses as well as humans.

KLM Boeing 747-400 Combi Floor Plan

Mobil Oil Flying Horse Logo
If you remember ever seeing this sign on your local gas station, you might be old.

P.S. The Prague Zoo is flying horses to Mongolia. I do not know why.

Via Flight Aware