atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#2024: Poor Sting. If only he'd played for Hugo Chavez instead.

Sting is being excoriated for giving a private concert for a dictator's daughter. The tyrant of Uzbekistan apparently paid Sting a shitton of money to do so.

If it had been for Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro, no one would have minded. C'mon, Gordo*; if you want to give concerts for thugs, you have to make sure they're politically correct thugs!

*=Sting's real name is "Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner", as you know.

* * *

Here's a good article on why the volcanic eruption in Iceland is having such an effect on air travel in Europe.

* * *

The reason US policy should concentrate on keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of countires like Iran is the consequences can be extremely dire.

Imagine someone setting off a single-stage device in downtown Chicago, one only as good as the one we dropped on Hiroshima.

Chicago: over.

Or midtown Manhattan. Or downtown in any major city. The result would be destruction, chaos, and economic disruption on a scale which is scarcely imaginable. The article discusses the effects of the detonation of a 10 kiloton device, but it doesn't mention all the fires that would rage uncontrollably in the aftermath. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 would look like a Labor Day cookout by comparison.

Forget getting help from the federal government; it might as well be on the Moon. Aid would have to come overland since the city's airport(s) would doubtless be a morasse of mangled, burned-out wreckage and debris. Someone would have to clean the runways before planes could land on them, and no one would be out there in the fallout doing FOD walkdowns.

The federal government can't move fast even under ideal conditions. With all the transportation infrastructure gone, the only way in or out of the city would be on foot or caterpillar treads.

A single-stage device isn't even the way to bet. Iran has the information it needs to build a compact nuclear device, and a boosted-fission device is not all that much more complex than a single-stage one. Mostly it requires that you have some tritium to inject in the right place at the right time; and if you really know what you're doing you can add a layer of lithium for even more neutrony goodness.

The US can make a relatively compact warhead which generates a yield of 100 kilotons. The article mentions a 10-kiloton device; with a bit of extra engineering I'd expect Iranian engineers to be able to manage 30 kilotons from the same amount of fissionable material if the data they have is any good at all.

And the only defense from a nuclear detonation is not to be there when it happens.

* * *

The sun is not really active. Since the beginning of the year it has been a rare day that the sun has not had a sunspot or two, but the sun has not had more than three at any one time. This is more active than the 18 months prior to this year--far more active--but it's not approaching what we'd call "solar maximum".

Low sunspot counts mean a quiet sun mean less solar output--and Europe is chilly.

* * *

Did you save for retirement? The Democrat-controlled government is sucking all the value out of your savings.

Greece is screwed.

So are we. Greece is just further along the curve than we are.

It's like the US is a Lexus SUV and Obama's stepping on the gas while heading into a turn....

* * *

"Arm yourselves."

* * *

Dennis posts a good one: "You know, Alan Colmes was a nothing before Sean Hannity elevated him to the status of His Bitch. Think about the implications of that statement for a moment. Sean. Hannity. Then note that as Alan Colmes is still a nothing, he has had to find someone else to be a bitch for."

I remember hearing that Colmes was leaving Hannity and Colmes and promptly forgot about him; and only after reading Dennis' post did it occur to me to wonder WTF happened to Alan Colmes? It's like the guy dropped off the face of the planet.

He quit his sweet gig at Fox, being Hannity's bitch, and now where is he?

...to be honest, I don't care.

* * *

My gut managed to scare me last night.

Even though the symptoms of the 24-hour bug had abated, I still wasn't feeling well--there was still a lot of cramping going on from time to time--but I felt better. I'd thought that since I'd eaten my leftover Subway sandwich without trouble, having yakisoba for dinner would be fine.

After I went to bed, my stomach cramped and hurt such that I couldn't sleep. Then, finally, around 5 AM, I rolled over yet again, and...it stopped hurting. Not just for a little bit, not just part; it just stopped hurting. All at once, the pressure, the cramps, everything went away and it was blissfully still.

The pain had gone away too completely and too suddenly. Again I worried that something had blown out and everything got dumped into my abdominal cavity. That's twice in one week that I've worried about a perforated gut; and how often does something like that actually happen anyway?

My worrying was cut short by a brief return of the pain, but since then it's been relatively quiet. So WTF.

The worrying over a perforated gut may just be a new and exciting way for me to have an anxiety attack. Like I need that.

* * *

I am really, really tired of being sick.

This Sunday will mark my fifth week with this crud. Although I am not sick sick, the cough continues, the scratchy throat continues, and my temperature continues to be above normal. I don't have much energy, and it seems like I run out of wind awfully quickly.

My normal temperature is 97.6°; the lowest it's been is 98.6°. (My sister's normal temperature is also a degree cooler than the nominal human body temperature. Go figure.)

Next week I'm seeing the doctor. He probably won't do squat (won't be able to do squat) other than a chest x-ray and some lab tests, but I am really, really tired of being sick.

* * *

I just read somewhere that SpaceX--when its Falcon 9 is ready for commercial service--will be able to put a pound into low earth orbit for about $1,600.

When NASA does it, it's $15,000 in 1988 dollars. ($15,000 1988 dollars is about $33,000 in 2010 dollars.)

...of course you're not going to hand SpaceX a one-pound payload and have them loft it into orbit for $1,600, but if you're going to launch something fairly sizable that weighs a ton it's better to pay $1,600 per pound than $33,000.

* * *

Maybe I'll sneak into Steven's place and steal his Haruhi figure now that she's no longer in the place of honor atop his NAS box.

Nah, the commute's too far. Looks like he's safe.
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