"[NASA administrator Charlie Bolden] talked about connecting with countries that do not have an established space program and helping them conduct science missions." The only "science mission" the muslim nations are interested in are practical demonstrations of the effects of explosives on human flesh, preferably the flesh of Americans.
SpaceX, however, is there with its heavy-lift booster. I guess that's something.
* * *
Synthetic marajuana. Now that is a headline out of an SF novel: "Cops: Imitation pot as bad as the real thing".
It's called "K2", it's 100% legal, and anyone can buy it as there are no regulations covering its sale. To borrow an example from the article, a 10-year-old could buy it.
The guy who did the science which led to the creation of K2 said, "People who use it are idiots." I'm going to go a step further and say that I think anyone who smokes any variety of pot is an idiot, but then I've never had any respect for the users of recreational drugs anyway.
* * *
The lying lair in the White House lies some more: "It is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second depression is no longer a possibility."
I know Gaffe-o-Tron would like to believe that, and I know that he would like us to believe that the economy is now in a recovery, but unfortunately I do not. I have several reasons for not believing this nonsense any farther than I could comfortably piss a Greyhound Americruiser, which I have laid out in previous Fungus posts.
"A second depression is no longer a possibility"? I hate to say this, but nothing has changed since last year. Nothing has been done--nothing--to alleviate the problems which led us into this recession in the first place, and in fact the Democrat plan is more--much more!--of the same!
The runaway federal spending is going to cause serious trouble for our economy. It's inescapable; and the only question is "how long before the ceiling caves in?" Particularly deft politicians could stave it off for years, but none of the politicians in charge right now are "deft", particularly or otherwise.
China just sold $34 billion worth of US debt instruments. $34 billion isn't much of anything, but "...a pullout by China and other foreign investors would force the United States to pay higher interest rates on its debt, jeopardizing the fragile economic recovery."
Point of order: there is no economic recovery, but let's table that one for a moment. The point is, if the US has to raise interest rates on its debt it's going to totally bollux the whole works. The world economy is like an egg balanced precariously atop a steep hill; if anything upsets its equlibrium, the egg's going to start rolling. (And there's a sudden stop at the bottom.)
* * *
Here is an interesting point from the Wall Street Journal, via Neal Boortz: "The deficit in 2007 was $160 billion."
The 2007 budget was passed in 2006 by a Congress which had Republican majorities in both houses.
The 2008 budget was passed in 2007 by "the Pelosi-Reid Congress". Budget deficit for 2008? $458 billion.
I don't think it's a coincidence.
* * *
Toyota's plants are not unionized except for special cases (such as the now-closed NUMMI plant). "Toyota, which employs over 35,000 workers in the United States with factories in eight states, is the target of a government-led and union-supported attack due to recent recalls," begins this article.
This is happening for much the same reason the left demonizes Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart is the biggest retailor in the US, and it's non-union. Unions and lefties don't like it when a successful company isn't hampered by union contracts. Liberals and Big Labor want in on the gravy train.
Toyota's the world's largest automaker. It's non-union. In order to change this, the left will make Toyota's life a living hell until and unless they unionize.
And afterwards, of course, Toyota can hemorrhage money the same way GM and Chrysler did, and the unions won't give a rat's ass.
* * *
Dennis, "Selling [BS] by the pound."
Pause to consider this: President Obama and Congressional Democrats had a veto-proof majority for a full year. Health care reform did not fail to pass because of the Republicans, because the Republicans were completely helpless. They had no veto power. Health care reform failed to pass because the American people hated it. And because the American people hated it, some Congressional Democrats - and especially some Senate Democrats - decided discretion was the better part of valor. Ergo, no health care reform. That had nothing to do with Massachusetts; Democrats could have had this legislation passed months earlier had they wanted it so.Emphasis his. Bonus points for excellent use of parallel construction.
Then pause to consider this: President Obama and Congressional Democrats had a veto-proof majority for a full year. Cap-and-Trade did not fail to pass because of the Republicans, because the Republicans were completely helpless. They had no veto power. Cap-and-Trade failed to pass because the American people (and every U.S.-based union linked to manufacturing) hated it. And because the American people and the unions hated it, some Congressional Democrats - and especially some Senate Democrats - decided discretion was the better part of valor. Ergo, no Cap-and-Trade. That had nothing to do with Massachusetts; Democrats could have had this legislation passed months earlier had they wanted it so.
Now pause to consider this: In Harry Reid you have a Democratic Senate majority leader who is so inept that, after brushing aside an $85 billion bi-partisan jobs bill because he didn't think it would pass, cannot get his crappy little $15 billion jobs bill through the Senate. This has nothing to do with either Republican obstructionism or flaws in the Constitution. It does, however, have everything to do with Democratic legislative incompetence.
Liberals want the general public to blame Republicans for the failure of ObamaCare and such, but it's up to us to remind everyone the Republicans could not have stopped them if the Democrats had gotten their shit together.
If these bills had not been complete and utter bullshit the American people would not have opposed them. The American people--not the Republicans--made their voices heard.
* * *
Our intelligence agencies concluded Iran had suspended its nuclear program in 2003, so Bush owed Ahmadinejad an apology.Like I said: back up your critical data to optical media.
Feb. 11, 2010: Ahmadinejad announces that Iran is now a nuclear power.
* * *
Using Shrödinger's cat to measure the gravitational constant.
To get the necessary separation of "clocks," they launched the atoms into a vacuum, using laser pulses to put it in a superposition of two quantum states, each of which traveled a slightly different path. This provided a single test subject that would experience two gravitational potentials at the exact same time, allowing the experimenters to isolate the effects of redshift.Quantum superposition of something as large as an atom already freaks me out; the fact that you can use it for this kind of thing is really fascinating.
* * *
...this has the same feel as something drawn by Kliban. The guy was famous for his book Cats, but his other books were...bizarre. I'm thinking, specificaly, of Whack Your Porcupine and Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head.
The artwork isn't Kliban's style, but the story presented is just like stuff from the two books I just mentioned. Geeze.
* * *
I'm going to go try something.
In WoW, theoretically, you can permanently kill a character by drowning him in the deep ocean: you go out past where the water gets too deep and "fatigue" starts in; when your fatigue drops to zero you start drowning.
Apparently your ghost is also subject to fatigue; and if your ghost dies out there, the character is lost. So just to be a total and utter dork I'm making a character to try it; and I am naming the character "Darkmaster" for reasons I won't go into here.