atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7568: Looks like Iceland is about to blow itself off the map

34,000 tremors of varying intensity, over a few weeks' time, on a volcanic island. Uh, yeah. No.

Apparently there hasn't been much activity since the 2010 eruption of Mount WTF.
The last major incident was the Eyjafjallajökull [WTF] eruption in 2010, which caused a massive shutdown of the world's airline industry as ash plumes circulated into the atmosphere. If an eruption is seen, this could be disastrous for the industry as it attempts to recover from the pandemic downturn.
How does this cluster of earthquakes compare to other eruptions? Is this remarkable, or normal?

The one hard bit of data in this article is that there's a "magma intrusion" which is "about 7km long, up to 2km deep but only 1 metre wide". So, a crack some 1.2 miles beneath the surface, about 4 miles long, is allowing magma to move upward? I don't know much about volcanoes (other than, "don't be where they are when they go foom, or are planning to") but a 4-mile-long fissure foutaining molten rock into the air sounds like a really bad time to me.

* * *

Speaking of "really bad" times, I didn't previously remark on this because it was "dog bites man" stuff. ATF overreach--yes, this is what they do, why are we surprised? I mean, after the whole, "wrecking a gun by hammering an incompatible part into it makes it a machine gun, so they're all banned" thing, this really didn't seem like such a stretch.

The real problem with BATFE is not that they're overenforcing their mandate (which they certainly are) but that they're all a bunch of lunatics.

What the company in question sold was not contraband. It's information: this is the outline of the part that makes your AR-15 into an automatic weapon. And that's it. No other instructions included; it's just a piece of metal with an outline on it. And I'd wager that the product included a warning about the legal consequences of modifying an AR-15 for full auto fire. "Sold for entertainment purposes only" etc.

But let's say you're a hardcore "fuck them revenoors" type and decide you want to make the part. You buy this product. Can you put it right into your AR-15 and start going full rock-and-roll?


You must:

1) clamp the card in a vise and carefully cut on the line, leaving you with a flat piece of metal in the right shape.

2) file the burrs off the edges, again carefully, because the tolerances for these things can be finicky.

3) bend the metal into the right shape. Carefully, because the bends not only have to be at the correct angles, but the right radii, in order for the thing to function well.

But everything up to this point is only theoretical, and none of it's really a crime, unless you

4) install it into your firearm.

Now you have a machine gun. Now you have broken the law.

The BATFE, being composed of lunatics, doesn't see it that way. They see "step 0" as the breach of the law: obtaining the information, or even expressing a desire to obtain it. Since they can't declare that you've made a machine gun because you're interested in knowing how to, they're criminalizing the dissemination of the information. And so, making and selling (and buying) a piece of sheetmetal with an outline on it is illegal.

Though believe me, they will. Very soon, just asking, "What's the difference between a legal weapon and an illegal one?" will get you thrown in the hoosegow for having a machine gun, because if you know how to make a machine gun from a semiauto one--

Oh, who am I trying to kid? The democrat junta will outlaw guns long before the BATFE can criminalize that question.

* * *

By the way? There's nothing special about the piece of metal with an outline on it. You can go to the hardware store and buy metal stock of the right thickness and trace the outline on it your own damned self. I don't want to end up on a list so I'm not going to do it, but in fact I don't have to in order to know that I'm right: you can do a search for the fricking diagram on Googe or Duck Duck Go or whatever and download it. Import it into a CAD program and put in the dimensions, get it sized right. Flip the image, print it on a laser printer, use an iron to transfer the image to that piece of metal you bought at the hardware store.


That's the part that sucks: we used to live in a country where citizens could do these kinds of things. No law has been broken. It's really nothing more than free men thumbing their noses at the government; but we are no longer free men.

* * *

This is also why I no longer watch...well, anything on TV. No matter what the setting is, TV is nothing but 21st century family drama with different backdrops.

One of the things I hated about the Doctor Who reboot from the very beginning was the inclusion of that kind of horseshit. It wasn't really all that bad at first. But then Rose Tyler's boyfriend started his whining about being "a tin dog", and that really made me hate the character, because if there was anything that DW did not need, it was the Doctor's companions acting like whiny little bitches. (You never heard Harry Sullivan whine about being a tin dog. Though his stint in the show was before K-9 was invented. Nor Adric--who was the absolute worst companion ever--nor Turlough.)

Especially since his "tin dog" status was the result of him being a coward. The one thing that never happened in DW was a companion being such a pussy that he couldn't face whatever danger was before him.

...but of course in the woke 21st century, women are universally strong, smart, and brave; and men are weak pansies.

Strong female characters aren't the problem, here, though. My all-time favorite DW companion was Leela, who carried a crossbow and never, never, ever backed down from facing danger or even certain death. I don't think the character ever screamed in fright so much as one time. My second-favorite was Ace, who was a scrappy punk girl with an aluminum baseball bat and a love for explosives. These women were strong characters--fighters!--and that's what made them the best companions.

No, the problem is making the men into pussies.

I may be wrong, and I'll preface this point with saying that I did not (and won't) watch the salient episodes; but in the first ep with Matt Smith as the Doctor, when we're introduced to Amy Pond (played by the excellent Karen Gillan) we find out she's got a boyfriend, Rory...and I could see the "Rose's boyfriend" dynamic coming a mile away. The real turn-off was "Amy tries to seduce the Doctor" but seeing the "tin dog" thing coming did not help.

* * *

Speaking of SF, I've been reading Exhaltion by Ted Chang over the past few days. Anthology of shorts and novellas, and some of them are fantastic. There's this story about a race of mechanical beings which operate pneumatically, which live in a universe where the only source of power is the reservoir of argon, at high pressure, underground, and it's absolutely magnificent.

The one about the "digients" seems kind of pointless. Which is to say, it's interesting, but it seems like it's half a story. Like, he wrote the required number of words, tacked on an ending, and stopped. Minus points for writing it in present tense.

Still, a really good read overall; though I've not finished it yet, I think I can recommend this on the strength of the "pneumatic beings" story alone.

* * *

Bah. Lost an hour. Need more sleep.

  • #7604: Well, she died doing what she loved, I guess?

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  • #7603: Absolutely correct

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  • #7602: Still not gonna take it.

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