Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Thursday, February 29, 2024

1930 Rudge Whitworth Ulster Grand Prix 500cc

1930 Rudge Whitworth Ulster Grand Prix 500cc

Those dual exhaust pipes make it look like it is a two cylinder engine, but it's only a single cylinder. This single cylinder engine had four valves. In 1930. Wikipedia page about the make.


Show of Afghanistan army
yadullah marvi

I don't think I've ever seen this particular combination of two very common devices.

Harry Tuttle, Heating Engineer

Harry Tuttle...heating engineer at your service (or Have you got a 27B-6?) - [Brazil movie]

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies. Came across it in Adaptive Curmudgeon's post about his Non-Vacation.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

KIO Towers

Entrevias, Season 3, Episode 7, around the 4 minute mark

We started watching episode 7 of Wrong Side of the Tracks this evening and this scene pops up. Why do we have two skyscrapers leaning into each other? Seems somebody built a couple of tilted buildings in Madrid. From the right angle they appear to be leaning against each other.

KIO Towers Madrid Spain

Also known as the Gate of Europe they were built in the 1990s. I had to resort to Google Maps to get a decent image. All the other photos have the buildings facing each other, which is really kind of boring. I do wonder what the foundation looks like, I mean it's got to be pretty solid to keep them from tipping over.

Through the Graves the Wind is Blowing

Stolen entire from Variety on account of being the best thing I've read this morning and because Variety's website is infested with popup ads.

The unsolved murders of several tourists in Croatia's second city become the pretext for a spirited, mercurial tour of the former Yugoslav state's relationship to fascism.

By Jessica Kiang

The city of Split has long been a tourist magnet, famous for the churches and flagstones of its picturesque Old Town, and for the beauty of the rocky, sparkling Croatian coastline. But not all visitors come for the culture. Some seek the trashier pleasures of rowdy bars and cheap drinks, and all they know of the area’s history is that the spectacular medieval fortress clinging to a nearby cliffside was a “Game of Thrones” location. 

Split is also where US filmmaker Travis Wilkerson (“Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?”) recently lived for a stretch, having resolved — and then failing — to make a movie about the dissolution of Yugoslavia. This he tells us on camera, at the beginning of “Through the Graves the Wind is Blowing,” the film he made instead of that one, and it’s an admission of compromise that somehow never compromises the integrity of what follows: a witty, dismayed, eccentric and fascinating outsider’s-eye tribute to a deeply split Split. 

Wilkerson starts by introducing local homicide detective Ivan Peric, a character who could have walked straight out of a deconstructed neo-noir: a hangdog Sam Spade as written by Paul Auster channeling Franz Kafka. Peric, who only joined the force to avoid working in tourism, is on the political outs with his bosses and finds himself somewhat “working in tourism anyway,” when he’s assigned to several cases no one else wants, namely the murders of several holidaymakers in the area. It’s a sensationalist slant that Wilkerson is quick to puncture: this movie is not some true-crime serial-killer exposé. In fact, the rather absurd deaths, five of which are recounted in Peric’s lugubrious police-jotter manner on the spots where they occurred, are unconnected. Except that each is further evidence of the intense dislike the locals have for the shrieking, vomiting, urinating hordes that treat their town with such disrespect.

Peric faces insurmountable apathy and possibly actual obstruction in investigating his rapidly cooling cases. The spear (probably a “Game of Thrones” replica) used in one murder disappears. The authorities will not allow him access to another crime scene because it’s a local attraction at which the victim was allegedly killed for taking too many selfies, and they can’t afford to shut it down during high season. But even while he’s discussing the killings, the film’s other main character starts vying for our attention: Split itself is crowding in from the edge of Wilkerson’s gorgeously high-contrast black-and-white frames.

This is not the Split of any tourist brochure. Wilkerson’s camera is trained on the suburbs, the derelict malls, the abandoned motels, the once-futuristic plazas grown scrubby with weeds and angry with graffiti. Over striking dystopian cityscapes, often mirrored in the perfectly silver standing water of a permanent puddle or two, Wilkerson narrates his idiosyncratic 20th century history of Split. He makes particular reference to the shameful relationship to fascism. Croatia as an independent state first existed under the Ustaše, the local fascist party installed as a puppet regime in 1941 by the Nazis, and so the story of Croatian nationalism is inextricably entwined with its far-right past.

It’s an association Wilkerson finds written across the city today in horribly prevalent swastika and Ustaše-symbol graffiti, deeply knitted into the local football scene and given its most awful expression further inland at the Jasenovac concentration camp, which had the grim distinction of being the largest such European extermination factory not to have been built by the Germans. And yet the town has another history too, of resistance and resilience and heroic acts of self-sacrifice which Wilkerson also relates in his low, frank, warm narration. Most satisfyingly, for a film titled after a line in the Leonard Cohen song “Partisan,” he tells the story of Rade Koncar, the WWII partisan whose statue, in 2018, fell onto the drunken neo-fascist who was trying to deface it. “Rade Koncar,” says Wilkerson with something like joy, “Still fucking up fascists 70 years after they killed him.”

The irreverent, intimate voiceover is one way he saps the potential pretension or self-seriousness out of this dynamically entertaining film, but he also achieves a lovely conspiracy with the viewer by showing his work, its rough edges, its errata and false starts. It is ironic and a little subversive that the punchy imagery — hyperreal photography, text on screen, blood-spatter overlays, CCTV footage — should be so agitprop in its aesthetic. Wilkerson has the very opposite of propaganda’s agenda, questioning dogmas and doubting certainties and making “Through the Graves the Wind is Blowing” a beautifully monochromatic meditation on how nothing is actually black and white.

Looked up the fortress in Split Croatia. It's quite the place. Google Maps has good 3D View of the place, and Chrome now has a video capture function, so I thought I'd give it a try. Not as smooth as I would have liked, but good enough for this post.

Fortress Klis, Split, Croatia
Chuck Pergiel

And here's the Leonard Cohen tune:

The Partisan - Leonard Cohen

Reading this review another Leonard Cohen song came to mind: Nevermind.

Wrong Side of the Tracks Season 3

Trailer - Entrevías [TEMPORADA 3] (TeleCinco) [Avance] | HD
Pack TV 2

The three musketeers return with the whole neighborhood:
Tirso Abantos (Jose Coronado) - the grumpy first musketeer,
Pepe - the second musketeer who runs a bar / cafe across the street from Tirso's apartment,
Sanchis - the third musketeer, disabled because of PTSD, who spends his days hanging out at Pepe's,
Maica - Tirso's ex-wife who shows up out of the blue,
Santi - Tirso's son, who runs the family hardware store half a block down from Pepe's Bar
Gladys - Tirso's lush girlfriend who cooks at Pepe's bar and lives across the hall with 
Alicia - Tirso's grandmotherly neighbor.
Jimena - Tiros's lesbian daughter who is trying to get 
Amanda - her police woman girlfriend out of jail where she is being held on a murder charge
Ezequiel (Luis Zahera) - the sleazeball cop with a heart of gold who understands how the world actually works and gets things done by slipping a little sand, or grease, into the gears as required. He's an outrageous bon vivant and as much fun to watch as Tirso.
Dulce - Ezequiel's leather clad, biker babe, partner-in-crime.
Irene - Jimena's adopted east Asian daughter who has gotten pregnant by 
Nelson - Gladys' son, a former gang banger who is trying to turn his life around.

At some point we have all of Tirso's extended family living in his rather spacious apartment.

Then there are the villains:
Nata - leader of the pack of drug dealers who are still operating in Entrevias, though in a much reduced area.
Romero - the new police commissioner
Linares - Romero's Smithers

Romero has ties to a gang of gypsies run by a blind patriarch.

Entrevias is a real neighborhood in Madrid:

Entrevias, Madrid, Spain

Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Stranglers - Golden Brown

The Stranglers - Golden Brown (1080p)
benski tv

Heard this tune the other day and I wondered who the band was. I mean it's a great tune but I haven't heard it in a coon's age. Never heard of the band, so off to Wikipedia I go where I find this:

The Stranglers are an English rock band who emerged via the punk rock scene. Scoring 23 UK top 40 singles and 19 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning five decades, the Stranglers are one of the longest-surviving bands to have originated in the UK punk scene.

Really? That's weird, so I listen to some of their other tunes and while they might have been big sellers, they didn't do anything for me. In fact, some of them were downright awful. And then I found this line:

Summing up their contribution to popular music, critic Dave Thompson later wrote: "From bad-mannered yobs to purveyors of supreme pop delicacies, the group was responsible for music that may have been ugly and might have been crude – but it was never, ever boring."

Well, that kind of explains it. The video came out in 1981.


Mind-Blowing Game Invented by Russian Sociology Student

Dutch F-16s in Eastern Europe

Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon (J062)

F-16 taking off from Leoš Janáček Airport near the city of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. Note the heatwave distortion from the exhaust plume.

Okay, it's an F-16, but whose Air Force does it belong to? Might be kind of important since there has been talk about sending F-16s to Ukraine. Ostrava is only 500 miles from Kiev. There is some kind of round symbol on the tail, but it isn't clear enough in this image to determine just what it is. Have no fear knows - it's the Royal Netherlands Air Force*.

More poking around turned up this picture:

F-16 tail feathers

The symbol is similar enough that it's likely the same.

On to Ostrava, Ostrava is just northeast of the Moravian Gate, which is a low area between two ranges of mountains. So if you have an army in Czechia and you want to go east into Poland, Ukraine or Russia, you are going to go through Ostrava and the Moravian Gate. I started watching a video the other day about how if Russia really wanted to defend their land against land invasion, they would need to secure several of these passes including the Moravian Gate. Sounds nuts to me, but then I didn't think Russia would invade Ukraine either.

Mošnov, Ostrava Airport
Note the mountains along the northern border of Czechia and all over Slovakia

So having F-16s stationed is Ostrava makes a certain amount of sense. Give those unruly Poles something to think about should they start casting covetous glances at Czechia.

* calls it the RNIAF which Google translates to RNLAF, not to be confused with RNAF, the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Funny how all those European countries are hanging on to their royalty.

Duck Duck Go

I watched this three or four times and could not figure out what it was. Is it a man in a wingsuit? Some kind of weird bug inching along on the snow? What is it?


Via The Feral Irishman

Friday, February 23, 2024

Tulsi Gabbard

Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) speaks at the 2024 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, February 22, 2024. ©  Global Look Press / Ron Sachs / CNP

RT reports:

Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has denounced her former party as enemies of democracy driven by a lust for power, while praising the Republican favorite for the presidential nomination, Donald Trump.

Gabbard was once the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, but resigned in 2016 to protest the “rigging” of the party primaries against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton. On Thursday, she spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), held just outside the US capital.

In her speech, Gabbard denounced the “Democrat elite and the swamp creatures in Washington” as having no respect for Americans and their rights, and being “driven by their insatiable hunger for power.”

Democrats claim that Trump will “destroy our democracy” if elected, she argued.

“They say he will be the dictator-in-chief, that if he’s elected it will be the last election this country sees. It’s laughable. This is so crazy, it’s laughable. They’re justifying their actions by telling themselves that they need to destroy our democracy in order to save it. It’s lunacy and it’s the mindset and mentality of dictators,” said Gabbard. “They are waging a multi-front battle and they will stop at nothing until they’re successful.”

She praised Trump as “a fighter” whose strength and resilience come from “a sincere love and concern for the future of our country and his care for the American people.” Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, whom she endorsed in 2020, would “crumble” under a fraction of the pressure and attacks currently directed against Trump, she said.

Gabbard denounced attempts by multiple US states to take Trump off the ballot, as well as prosecutions intended to convict him of anything ahead of the November vote. The most recent judgment against Trump’s business in New York, she said, was “very clearly a politically motivated hit job.”

The speech “sounded like an audition for the vice-presidency,” according to the Guardian, which disapproved of Gabbard’s message. The British outlet noted that she was met with “a standing ovation and cheers” and “notably more enthusiasm” than former British PM Liz Truss, who also addressed the gathering.

Trump is seeking a rematch with Biden, who officially won the 2020 election with the most votes in US history. Earlier this week, he reportedly mentioned Gabbard as a possible running mate.

The 42-year-old lieutenant-colonel in the US Army Reserve served in the House of Representatives from 2013 to 2021. She left the Democrats in 2022, denouncing them as elitist warmongers driven by “cowardly wokeness” who sought to divide Americans by “racializing every issue.”

I like Tulsi.

Night Boat to Cairo

Madness - Night Boat to Cairo (Official HD Video)

Clowns clowning around.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Curious Car Seats

Resarch paper:

Car Seats as Contraception by Jordan Nickerson and David H. Solomon, July 31, 2020


Since 1977, U.S. states have passed laws steadily raising the age for which a child must ride in a car safety seat. These laws significantly raise the cost of having a third child, as many regular-sized cars cannot fit three child seats in the back. Using census data and state-year variation in laws, we estimate that when women have two children of ages requiring mandated car seats, they have a lower annual probability of giving birth by 0.73 percentage points. Consistent with a causal channel, this effect is limited to third child births, is concentrated in households with access to a car, and is larger when a male is present (when both front seats are likely to be occupied). We estimate that these laws prevented only 57 car crash fatalities of children nationwide in 2017. Simultaneously, they led to a permanent reduction of approximately 8,000 births in the same year, and 145,000 fewer births since 1980, with 90% of this decline being since 2000.

Via Handwaving Freakoutery

Monday, February 19, 2024

Land Clearing

Clearing Wooded Land with Anchor Chain and Bulldozer

I don't quite know what to make of this. I think the problem is that the narrator isn't showing any kind of bias. He's just explaining what's happening: 'here's a bulldozer, it's clearing land.' Seems like when I see any kind of video like this, the narrator is always selling something, like 'bulldozers bad, trees good', or 'look how efficient our mighty machines are, buy one now'.

In any case, I've never seen this particular technique before. I suppose if you want to get rid of all the trees that would be one way to do it. In any case you'd need to be clearing a large parcel of land to make hauling in the bulldozers a worthwhile expense. Not to mention the chain, though I suppose you might be able to pick up a scrap one. Hmm, wonder if there is a market for used anchor chains. All ships need to carry them, but if the ships are run efficiently they would never need to use those chains, so when it comes time to scrap them, the anchor chains might be something that can be pulled out and sold.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Editorial Office

International Trailer of 'The Editorial Office' directed by Roman Bondarchuk
moon man production

Stolen entire from Variety because it has some great lines describing the times we live in. Stolen instead of linked because their page won't quit jumping around. (It's jumping around because it won't stop loading ads, ever.) I haven't seen the movie.

Feb 16, 2024 7:20pm PT

The Editorial Office’ Review: A Post-Truth Satire Set in Pre-Invasion Ukraine Connects With Multiple Targets

A young journalist struggles to expose the truth about a forest fire in a news ecosystem riven with corruption and fake news in Roman Bondarchuk’s meaty follow up to “Volcano.”

By Catherine Bray

In the grasslands of Southern Ukraine, between Crimea and mainland Ukraine, a natural history researcher named Yura (Dmytro Bahnenko) is hoping to track down and photograph a groundhog. If he succeeds, the land can be protected as a European reserve. This apparently simple premise — the kernel at the outset of “The Editorial Office” — can’t begin to hint at the rugged tapestry of thematic and topical threads that Roman Bondarchuk’s second narrative feature proceeds to weave together, the unique product of both the director’s vision and ambition, and also of the circumstances under which it gestated.

Set and shot just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and completed during the war, the film closes with a dedication to editor Viktor Onysko, who lost his life in the conflict during a combat mission (his job was completed by Nikon Romanchenko, with contributions from Heike Parplies, who also worked with Bondarchuk on his 2018 debut, “Volcano”).

While attempting to track his groundhog target, Yura catches some arsonists on camera as they set a forest fire. Such a journalistic scoop ought to be an open-and-shut case: publish, expose, let the authorities take action. Unfortunately, life in the Ukrainian provinces doesn’t work that way. As Yura attempts to interest various people in the story, most of them respond with a version of one editor’s blunt assessment that “no-one gives a shit about facts,” and a broader picture begins to unfold of a civilization collapsing into absurdity.

Corrupt politicians learn fashionable dances and attempt to go viral. A violent but wealthy man keeps his girlfriend chained by the ankle on a swimming pool float; she is liberated, then returns to him. Yura’s mother, an unemployed 50-year-old tourism manager enamored by the get-rich-quick promises of an American snake oil salesman, ploughs money she doesn’t have into cryptocurrency. There are hints of cult activity culminating in a sequence that wouldn’t look out of place cut into an Ari Aster movie.

Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull” pops up throughout as a reference, and it’s easy to see how that wildly successful allegorical novella applies here: Yura is Jonathan, the seagull that lives to fly, while the rest of his kind are petty and small-minded, surviving rather than living. As the paper’s editor (and Yura’s new boss) puts it, “People won’t think about the war until they see the Moscow tanks rolling in. They want to eat, drink, fuck, pray.” Yura is told that if he wants to succeed as a journalist, he needs to prioritize fabricated human-interest stories (ideally with a morbid or sexual element) and money-spinners (for example, fraudulent political puff pieces hyping the installation of a nonexistent pipeline).

The film may come as a surprise to consumers of Western media, accustomed to seeing Ukraine presented in relatively straightforward terms as the plucky underdog resisting the might of Moscow. Bondarchuk has written neither a love letter to Ukraine nor a full-on indictment. Rather, it’s perhaps best viewed as a complicated elegy for the country’s potential, a surrealist expression of mourning for an endangered worldview based on faith in the value of truth.

While the events depicted in the film often have a larger-than-life feel to them, an effect amplified by their cumulative impact, they are not flights of fancy plucked from the ether, but bear plausible relationships to past, present and future events, as you might expect from someone with Bondarchuk’s documentary background. At one point, a political rival is shot and Yura finds himself taking photographs of the bullet wound in the man’s forehead, to disprove the official line that he has died of COVID.

The film’s critique isn’t targeted at a particular government, but leveled at anyone who collaborates in disrupting the idea that truth matters. Yura’s mother talks at one point about how “people of his kind are neither good nor bad. They’re different. More complicated.” So in a post-truth world, we’re also post-morality. But where George Orwell’s “1984” saw the Party insist that “two plus two equals five” if they said so, the nightmare here is not that one single authority dictates truth, but that anybody can do so, resulting in a fracturing of reality into infinite competing narratives. In Yura’s world, if a lie is proven to be a lie, firstly, no one cares, and secondly, there will be 1,000 more lies ready and waiting to drown out the truth. Part of the appeal of conspiracy theories is that they suggest that at least somebody knows what’s going on. Here, the villain is entropy.

The choice of a groundhog as a motif feels apt, since the little rodent is primarily associated in pop culture with repetition to the point of madness, thanks to the Bill Murray comedy. “The Editorial Office” captures the feeling of being trapped in an absurdist cycle of corruption, where there is no possibility of a satisfying cathartic moment of victory, merely an endless struggle in which all sense of meaning has been eroded. There can be no heroes in such a battle, Bondarchuk is bold enough to suggest, because the battleground itself is such a shape-shifting swamp.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Maserati Mostro

2016 Maserati Mostro

This Maserati is a real Italian hot rod. They built five of them to celebrate Maserati's 100th year anniversary. The company was founded by five brothers sometime around 1920. A couple of those brothers lived very long lives. Some of them didn't.

The Rot Starts at the Top

Phantom Legion

Excerpt from The "Phantom Legion" Problem by Charles Hugh Smith

Of the many signs of systemic decay in the late Roman Empire, one of particular relevance to our era is the Phantom Legion, military units that on paper were at full strength--and paid accordingly--but which were in reality no longer there: the paymaster collected the silver wages and recorded the unit's roll of officers and soldiers, but it was all make-believe.

When the Empire's wealth seems limitless, graft, embezzlement and fraud all seem harmless to those skimming the wealth. Look, the Empire is forever, what harm is there in my little self-interested skim?

This rot starts at the top, of course, and then seeps into every nook and cranny of the system. When those at the top are getting fabulously wealthy on modest salaries while claiming to serve the public, the signal is clear: go ahead and maximize your own private gain at the expense of the public and the state. Civic virtue--the backbone of the Empire--decayed into self-interest, incompetence and indulgence.

Golly gee, does that sound familiar?

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Quote of the Day

"Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty,” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best." - Notebooks of Lazarus Long by Robert A. Heinlein

'does not work too well at best'. Never heard a more apt description of society.

Via My Daily Kona

Monday, February 12, 2024

Boy Swallows Universe

BOY SWALLOWS UNIVERSE Trailer (2024) Phoebe Tonkin, Travis Fimmel
ONE Media Coverage

Life and times of a couple of teenage boys and their dysfunctional parents. Pretty great stuff. Cast of characters:
  • Eli, a precocious 13-year-old boy,
  • Gus Bell, his silent older brother
  • Frances 'Frankie' Bell, their mum, a recovering heroin addict, separated from their father
  • Robert Bell, an alcoholic.
  • Lyle, who has taken up with Frankie and is providing a home for her and the boys. He has a steady job, but he's dealing heroin at a wholesale level to make some extra scratch. He works in a prosthetics factory run by
  • Tytus Broz who throws a party for his employees at a restaurant run by 
  • Bich Dang who is also wholesaling heroin to people like Lyle. Her son
  • Darren Dang, a wanna-be samurai, goes to school with Eli.
  • Slim Halliday, an ex-con and friend of Lyle and his family. Lives in a trailer down by the river.
  • Alex Bermuda, a convict in prison and Eli's pen pal.
  • Ivan Kroll, villain, suffered damage to his face from a shotgun blast and wears a prosthetic from Broz's prosthetics factory.
We watched three episodes tonight and mistakes have been made and bad things are starting to happen. Corruption is pervasive in the police force, Tytus is beginning to look shady.

P. S. Soundtrack here. There were a couple of tunes that caught my ear. Most of it I've never heard. Some of it might be okay.

Ancient Engines

Biggest Duble Old Desi Diesel engine starting up amazing || Heavy engines starting
RAS Multan Vloger

This is just amazing. I am a little short on sleep, but that's the only word I can think of that adequately summarizes this video. Those engines look to be at least a hundred years old and they look to have been sitting on those masonry bases since they were new. I tried looking for information based on the nameplate but found nothing.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Super Bowl 58

Watched most of the game this afternoon. Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49-ers by 3 points in overtime. My wife recognized two of the 49-ers from when they were playing college ball in Iowa. She keeps up on college football and NBA basketball, not so much on professional football.
I was rooting for the Chiefs (silently) because Hoovies Garage is in Kansas and because the City of San Francisco is being run by morons.

There was one interesting play. The quarterback laterals the ball a short distance and then that guy threw it back across the field to another guy. Reminds of some movie about some underdog football team coming up with a bunch of goofy plays to beat their arch nemesis. Kicks were going pretty far. Kickoffs were going past the end zone and a couple field goals were more than 50 yards. Some kickers kicked soccer style, some kicked straight on.

Among the tsunami of ads there were a couple that were pretty funny. One starred Christopher Walken with a succession of people imitating his odd way of speaking. Another had Arnold Schwarzenegger saying 'neighbor' while they are trying to film an ad, but Arnold says 'nay-bah' and the director wants him to say 'nay-ber', and then we get Arnold telling him that's what he's saying. Yeah, and they just carry it to absurd lengths.

Taylor Swift and Kelce got flashed on the screen periodically. Taylor is a pretty woman, I'll grant you. Her music doesn't do anything for me. It's like even less affecting than elevator music. It's like nothing. And while we are talking about music, Usher was the half-time show highlight. It was a spectacular show, but it did nothing for me. It was kind of like Las Vegas itself, now that I think about it. (The game was played in Las Vegas.)  All sparkle and flash but absolutely no substance.

The TV signal kept getting interrupted, the screen would go black and we'd get a spinning wheel in the center. It might go a whole quarter without flaking out, and sometimes it would happen half a dozen times in the space of a couple of minutes. Sometimes it would just last for a few seconds and sometimes it would go maybe 30 seconds and then stop and ask if you want to retry. Press OK and the game comes back on.

The Budweiser Clydesdales made an appearance, and Disney might be trying to make amends.

The Postcard Killings

THE POSTCARD KILLINGS Trailer (2020) Jeffrey Dean Morgan Movie
ONE Media Coverage

Psychotic adopted children of psychopathic finance criminal go on a murder spree in Europe. They stage their murder victims like famous works of art. Half way through the show a sketchy couple meets up with  a clean cut couple and you just know the sketchy couple are really sketchy, but it's a red herring. Very well done and now we know who the real killers are. American policeman (father of one of the victims) teams up with American journalist is Stockholm to track down these psychos. Naturally they end up confronting the killers.

A Big Raise for Congressmen? Part 3

National Debt of the United States

The biggest problem facing our country is the huge amount of debt we are carrying. We keep adding to it every year because Congress keeps voting to spend more money. Much of that money goes to the military and the defense industry. The defense industry likes this because it means more business for them. All the people who work in the defense industry like it because it means they get to keep their jobs. 

I don't know if we can stop this constant overspending, but we should try. One way that might work is if we get Congress critters a bonus if they manage to reduce the debt. Say, through some miracle, they manage to reduce the debt by one trillion dollars. One percent of that would be $10 billion dollars. Divide that among the 500 Congressmen would be $20 million dollars for each Congressman. That might motivate them to do something.

Part 2 here.

Kachhi Canal Project

Kachhi Canal Project
The Red Line is the Canal

I started watching a video about this project, but while it was entertaining it wasn't showing any maps, so I traced the canal out on Google Maps and here we are.

The canal was started in 2002 and is 500 kilometers long. It provides water to irrigate 100,000 acres of crop land.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Friday, February 9, 2024

Gaze into the Abyss

2021 Kioti CK2610 HST Cab Diesel Tractor Snowplowing
Freedom Filled Life

Adaptive Curmudgeon waxes philosophical:

[First, a complaint. I tried to write a post earlier. Sadly, it veered into politics. Regardless of good intentions, my post went off the rails. It’s not my fault. Nor is it your fault. Current politics is a black hole of mental ruin and we didn’t do it.

It’s impossible to wisely consider what is reason free. Are we to discuss adult things, like stoic philosophy or the calculus of economy, in a world of hyperventilating toddlers? The clownworld ass-rodeo of current politics is decrepit, debased, degraded, demented, corrupt, and weird. It behaves in blindingly illogical ways. It’s so extreme that it’s hard to assemble words to address the true form of the world.

I wish to ponder in depth, not merely point and shriek. Yet politics is shielded by walls of emotional incontinence. A tsunami of childlike thinking leaves no room for adults. I’m rendered (temporarily) speechless. It’s amazing really! I have a decent imagination, I ought to be able to bridge the gap between the unicorn dipshits and the solid earth. Fer crissake, I write about talking squirrels with disco based mind control! Yet I can’t do it. The unreality event horizon that is politics in 2024 (or if you will 2020 part 4) cannot be breached.

I drafted a post. I deep sixed it. I tried again. It too was inadequate. Rationality in an irrational environment is elusive.

Finally, I gave up. I wrote this post about tractors and snowplows. What can I say? If you gaze long into an abyss of dipshits, the abyss of dipshits will gaze into you.]

He goes to talk at length about snow plowing, plow trucks and the whole snow plowing culture of some place that needs such things. The whole thing is pretty great. And that's why we have a video of a tractor plowing snow at the top.

Tally Man

Tally Man

Whoa, that's a bunch of bananas! But where have I heard that phrase before? Oh yeah:

Harry Belafonte - Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) (Live)
Harry Belafonte Television and Video Archive

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Turbofan engine model

TR900 Turbofan engine model
Nikola Enginemodel

The endlessly rising pitch (Shepard tones) along with turbine in motion really gave me a feeling for what a jet engine is. Yeah, might be kind of weird, but that's me.

Cold enough for you?

Why is the Arctic Asymmetric? | Why Trees Grow at the Same Latitude as Ice Sheets
Casual Earth

If you ever wondered why some places are covered with ice and places that seem to have similar characteristics don't, this video is for you. I think I probably wondered about it once, but I likely got an answer like 'oh, I don't think anybody knows, that's just the way it is'. Realizing my scrawny little self wasn't going to personally be able to map the weather of the entire arctic, I forgot about looking for an explanation. Come to think of it, I haven't run into anything about arctic weather that wasn't designed for three year olds. Yes, I know we (that's a royal 'we') keep trying to educate the ignorant, but you know, there are some people out here with brains. There is the problem of how much work is expended on explanations. The amount of effort and information in this one video is probably enough to produce a zillion videos aimed at three year olds.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Writing on the Wall

Lisbon, Portugal

After I put this puzzle together I wondered if I could get a similar view from Google Maps. It was a little difficult, but I eventually found the square that is illuminated in the foreground and the row of buildings along the side:

Praca Martim Moniz

The perspective is different. There might be a way to adjust the 3D view so it more closely matches the image, but this was close enough for me. The top image was probably taken from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, a popular viewpoint. You can see a similar images taken from this viewpoint here.

But what's that tower on the far shore? You can see it just to the right of left most tower of the 25 de Abril Bridge. You can also see it in the Google Maps image about. However, the left most tower of the suspension bridge has disappeared from view. There just aren't enough pixels to display something that spindly that far away. It's like three miles from the camera.

There is a big tower on the south shore, but it isn't in the frame, so what is that thing. More poking around turns up this water tower:

Water Resevoir, Monte de Caparica

We're looking back across the river, back towards where the first image was taken. My question is: how did they pick up the signage on the side of this tower? Satellites can give you an image of the buildings and land, but they are pretty much looking straight down. Never mind the claims that NSA (National Security Agency) can read license plates (they can't). You can look a little bit sideways, but for every bit off of vertical you are adding miles to your distance which is going to make it even harder to see.

Google, or somebody, is using LIDAR to map some parts of the world in detail, which is how we get images like this (and this). But paint is not going to be picked up by LIDAR, is it? I dunno, maybe it can. Google has a patent on it.

Google Maps wasn't any help identifying this thing. I mean it could be some old industrial structure, so I went over to Wikimapia, which has a selection of views to choose from and one of them is OSM, which is where I found out what it is.

OSM is Open Street Map. Okay, but isn't that what Wikimapia is? Um, not exactly. Wikipedia explains:

Wikimapia was created in Russia by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev in May 2006. The data, a crowdsourced collection of places marked by registered users and guests, has grown to just under 28,000,000 objects as of November 2017, and is released under the Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA). Although the project's name is reminiscent of that of Wikipedia, and the creators share parts of the "wiki" philosophy, it is not a part of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation family of wikis.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Quote of the Day

Joseph Moore is talking about Catholic schools and education. He starts by quoting from a papal letter to bishops in 1890, wherein I found this line:

If in their early years they find within the walls of their homes the rule of an upright life and the discipline of Christian virtues, the future welfare of society will in great measure be guaranteed. - Sapientiae Christianae (1890), article 42


Saturday, February 3, 2024

Joe Rogan Media Matters

The Joe Rogan Experience

Very cool and encouraging article about the fringe media, like me: 

Joe Rogan Gets New Spotify Deal Worth Up to $250 Million by Anne Steele February 2, 2024

Hit show to be distributed broadly, including on YouTube, rather than exclusively on audio-streaming service

I especially liked this bit: 

My friend Phil Bak casually asked me on Friday what I thought the marketing budget was for big media corporations.

“Like fifty million a year or something,” I guessed.

“Exactly,” Phil replied to me. “Fifty million fucking dollars. And they can’t find a single interesting thing to say.”

Via ZeroHedge


Fork the System

Volunteers at the Khalsa Diwan Sikh Temple in Manila prepare chapatis for the evening crowd [Sonny Thakur/Al Jazeera]

Yes, Aljazeera is run by Nazis, but outside of their coverage of the Palestinians and Israel they seem to be fairly well balanced, so you get stories like this one about Sikhs emigrating from Bombay to the Philippines and going into the microfinance business. They are doing well enough there that they are offering free meals to all at their community kitchen.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Your Tax Dollars at Work

First Ball and Socket
Replaced in Second Surgery

Just got a statement from UnitedHealthcare. It has my total medical expenses from last year, which means it includes my hip joint replacement surgery.


Consolidated B-24 Liberator (25-2534)

This is not the original Witchcraft. That one was scrapped long ago. This one has its own history. Since it was restored it has been dressed up to play a couple of different characters. From the Collings Foundation:

The history of “Witchcraft” is a story that legends are made from. The original “Witchcraft” was produced as a B-24H, built by Ford at the famous Willow Run, MI plant in 1944. It was delivered to the 467th in Wendover, Utah and initially assigned to Second Lieutenant George W. Reed and his crew who flew the aircraft to England. “Witchcraft” safely arrived with her crew at Station 145 in Rackheath, England on March 19th, 1944, after a 20-day flight over the Atlantic. The aircraft and crew began their combat service on April 10th, 1944, flying the first combat mission of the 467th Bomb Group. Over the next year “Witchcraft” flew an incredible 130 combat missions with various crews. “Witchcraft” was never once turned back while on a mission, and never had any crewmen injured or killed. Her last mission was flown on April 25th, 1945 which also was the last mission flown by the 467th Bomb Group. “…Witchcraft” was there at the beginning and at the end.” After the war, she was returned to the United States and like many other B-24’s, was scrapped on October 3rd, 1945 at the surplus depot in Altus, Oklahoma.


Gerrymander - Elkanah Tisdale

Schneier on Security posts a new solution for the gerrymander problem. Sounds like it might work, which means no one will like it, and even if they do they will fight over who goes first. Still, it's nice to see someone applying logic to a previously intractable problem.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

More Die Cutting

New grey hide soon to be a crisp pair of boots

That's a pretty serious press. Imagine the collection of dies you would need to cover the complete range of sizes for a particular kind of boot. Now multiply that by the number of different styles of shoes and boots you want to make. Those dies look like they would be difficult to make, but I suppose once you had a made a couple dozen you'd get the hang of it. Still, I suspect it would take substantial outlay of capital to equip even a small shoe factory.

I'm posting this because just last week I was down this rathole.