atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1592: Michael Moore's next movie

Apparently it's going to be about Wall Street. Moore reportedly said it's "...not going to be an economics lesson; it's going to be more like a vampire movie".

Yeah: pure fiction.

* * *

It's official: Chuck Norris has admitted that he is afraid of something.

...I'm going to be over in the corner, sucking my thumb, while you check this out.

C'mon, Chuck! You could roundhouse-kick that goon so hard he'd turn into Barry Goldwater!

* * *

Where is the "watchdog press"? The Obama administration has illegally fired someone who reported that one of Obama's cronies had done something illegal.

Michelle Malkin's take on the crime.

Press: "Ho, hum. We're not interested; call us when a Republican does something wrong."

* * *

STAY AWAY FROM AIRBUS AIRCRAFT! The Air France flight that went down in the Atlantic Ocean apparently suffered multiple avionics failures, and get this:
...the disaster was caused by a combination of factors, possibly beginning with the blockage of speed sensors.

The sensors, called pitot tubes, are prone to getting clogged with ice and insects. One theory is that the “inconsistent” speed readings caused the automatic pilot to disengage, leaving the crew trying to fly manually – a difficult task at high altitude without knowing the plane’s speed.

It has emerged that the same sequence of events occurred in six cockpit emergencies reported by Airbus pilots over a year beginning in February 2008. According to internal Air France documents leaked to the press, the incidents involved “a rather incoherent cocktail of alarms” and “severe breakdowns”. These appear to have originated with malfunctioning pitot tubes in stormy weather.

In one incident, an Air France pilot issued a mayday call between Paris and Tokyo in turbulent weather after the loss of speed indication resulted in the disengagement of the automatic pilot and set off other alarms. In all six incidents, however, the pilots regained control of the aircraft.

Air France advised pilots on November 6 last year about the “significant number of incidents” in which false speed readings had confused the automated flight system.

The company rushed to replace speed sensors on its aircraft last week after a pilots’ union threatened to boycott long-range jets. Even so, questions were raised over why Air France had taken so long to act on advice from Airbus to upgrade pitot tubes in 2007. As early as 2001 an airworthiness directive from the US Federal Aviation Administration noted problems with pitot tubes on the Airbus A330 that could cause “inadvertent excursions outside the normal flight envelope”.
Worse yet, the avionics failure disables the aircraft's envelope protection.

I've talked before about why I dislike envelope protection; envelope protection caused at least one crash when a pilot demanded more power and the airplane refused to give it to him. Now we find out that envelope protection doesn't even work all the time, particularly--it seems--when it is most needed.

From here it looks as if the Air France A330 broke apart in midair because it exceeded its flight envelope.

* * *

Obama taking too long to figure out how to deal with Iran? Count on it. Obama thinks he can reason with those lunatics. "Nobody can resist the charm of Barry O!" or some such nonsense. Yeah. Chamberlain thought he could reason with Hitler, too.

* * *

Meanwhile, Boortz discusses the Iranian election chaos. Iranian president "Ahmathimgamabob" (LOL) apparently stole the election. Surprise, surprise!

Jimmy Carter, of course, will go visit and then insist that the election is legitimate.

* * *

Also from Boortz, North Korea is going to weaponize all its plutonium. Good! Great! Perfect! That'll give the Gargoyle about 6-8 nuclear weapons, depending on their sophistication.

Let's see, how do you feel about losing Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and--oh, why not?--Pearl Harbor? (I realize that Honolulu is pretty close to Pearl Harbor. But we're probably talking about single-stage weapons here, or at best boosted fission; they'll probably only be good for 20-60 kilotons, which means using one on Honolulu and another on Pearl Harbor just to make sure. If there's a west coast city which would be a better target, you can skip Honolulu.)

* * *

RIght now the Democrats don't have the votes they need to socialize medicine. You had better hope and pray that this continues to be the case. Not only because it will utterly FUBAR our medical system, but because it will FUBAR our economy in the process.

* * *

In the "I'll believe this when I see it" department, we have Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell saying that the Senate Republicans might filibuster Sotomayor.

Expect the Democrats to whine and cry about how "unfair" it is. They will get away with it--despite the fact that it is perfectly fair--because the mainstream media sure as hell isn't going to remind anyone about how many of Bush's nominees were filibustered by Democrats.

* * *

So let us now switch from impending political disasters to impending natural disasters.

First up: Mount Saint Helens! There may be a "supervolcano" brewing underneath that thing: a magma chamber about the size of the one under Yellowstone.

Oh, good; so now we've got two chances for the ultimate in natural climate change.

To be fair the Mount Saint Helens magma pool doesn't seem entirely molten, which makes it less likely to go kaboom. Still, it might not be a bad idea to invest in a roof rake, just in case. Volcanic ash is heavier than snow, you know.

* * *

Betelgeuse has shrunk by 15% in the past 15 years. It's still as luminous but 15% smaller.

There are two basic possibilities: either the star is merely switching phases--going from fusing one element to the next higher element--or else it is entering the iron fusion phase, in which case we're due for quite a spectacular show.

The article says, "As the iron fuel runs out, it may explode into a supernova, blasting newly created elements out into the universe and leaving behind a small, incredibly dense neutron star." but this is incorrect. When a red supergiant begins to run out of one element, the next higher element begins to fuse, and it takes less and less time to run through each phase. Eventually it gets to iron; and iron is a problem, because it's the first fusion reaction which produces a net loss of energy: it takes more energy to fuse iron than the fusion reaction gives off.

The star collapses. And then BOOM.

It will make for a very pretty display in wintertime, but Orion is going to lose one of his shoulders. And by and by, there will be another Orion Nebula.

* * *

It's been an unusually chilly spring! No kidding. I'm sitting here--on June 15--in sweatpants. It was in the 50s last night and we've had a handful of days over 80 degrees so far this year. It's been cool and wet this year.
After a fearsomely cold winter, June brought heavy snowfall across large parts of western Canada and the northern states of the American Midwest. In Manitoba last week, it was -4ºC. North Dakota had its first June snow for 60 years.

There was midsummer snow not just in Norway and the Cairngorms, but even in Saudi Arabia. At least in the southern hemisphere it is winter, but snowfalls in New Zealand and Australia have been abnormal. There have been frosts in Brazil, elsewhere in South America they have had prolonged droughts, while in China they have had to cope with abnormal rain and freak hailstorms, which in one province killed 20 people.
This is not "global warming". It's not man-made carbon dioxide causing record temperature increases. This is global cooling in action.

The penultimate paragraph of the article is telling:
It is now more than 200 years since the great astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots. When the latter were few in number, he noted, the climate turned colder and drier, crop yields fell and wheat prices rose. In the past two years, sunspot activity has dropped to its lowest point for a century. One of our biggest worries is that our politicians are so fixated on the idea that CO2 is causing global warming that most of them haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, with all the implications that has for whether we get enough to eat.
Emphasis mine, of course.

But not everyone is getting the point yet; the headline of this piece is "Argentine glacier advances despite global warming".

What global warming?

* * *

Tattoos! This is a funny page which shares many of mine own attitudes regarding tats! Ha, ha!

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