atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3814: Did someone build an ark?

Because damn. It rained for hours yesterday, after raining on Tuesday and Monday and--

For the first time in a very, very long one, the back yard here at the bunker actually has standing water in the part that gets swampy after a good rain. Choir practice was cancelled tonight because the choir director's family is suffering from a rash of flooded basements.

It spit rain on and off all day yesterday, but once evening came it began to rain in earnest, and it didn't stop until early this morning.

And it is still rainy. WTF.

* * *

So let's talk about gun control, shall we?

Vox Day gloats about the NYT's butthurt editorial on the failure of tyranny.

The willful-liar-in-chief angrily denounces his opponents as willful liars. Love these "pot-kettle" accusations that liberals inevitably let fly during the tantrums they throw when they don't get their way.

Boortz tells the President, "People don't trust you."

Liberals are willing to allow cops to have guns because they have special training, but of course the average person is too stupid and inept to own firearms.


* * *

A promise made under duress is not binding. In other words, if your professor forces you to sign a pledge promising to vote Democrat--the article does not say what the consequences of refusing to sign were, but I assume they were dire enough to warrant her being fired over this--then you are not obligated actually to vote Democrat even if you do sign.

Notice, however, the totalitarian impulse of the tenured liberal college professor: "Vote the way I tell you to!" Typical.

* * *

So: in West, Texas, a fertilizer plant caught fire and blew up.

Over at AoSHQ there's a video embedded that some guy took with his cell phone from the driver's seat of his truck. The plant is maybe half a mile away, maybe a bit farther, and when it blows up you see the explosion for a couple tenths of a second before the shock wave reaches the guy. Then he drops his phone, and his kid can be heard saying "I can't hear! Let's get out of here!" over and over again. The first time I watched it, I thought the vehicle had been struck by shrapnel, but I don't think it was.

Fertilizer is pretty potent stuff, chemically speaking. Most fertilizers have significant amounts of nitrogen compounds in them. The more nitrogen you have in a molecule, the more 'splody it gets, generally speaking. And fertilizers tend to be oxidizing compounds; potassium nitrate, for example, is the go-to oxidizer for people who want to make "caramel candy" rocket motors. And don't forget that one of the most potent explosives you can make is essentially diesel fuel and fertilizer, mixed in the right proportions. ANFO, it's called--ammonium nitrate and fuel oil--and it's even used in mining because it's cheap and easy. The Oklahoma City bombing was done with ANFO.

So when you see a fertilizer plant on fire--assuming that you know it's a fertilizer plant--the thing to do is run away, not sit there with a cell phone recording the fire. The only reason I don't deride the guy as a screeching moron is that I assume he doesn't know what was being made at that plant; at least, he didn't understand the chemistry involved.

Safest thing to do is to stay away from any industrial fire, though, if you can. You never know what's going to go "boom".

Anyway, this one is a major disaster: hundreds of people injured, blast damage for miles around, and so forth.

* * *

The other night, Mrs. Fungus and I watched Apollo 18, which is a horror movie about a super-secret Apollo mission that discovered aliens on the Moon.

The conceit was that the Department of Defense prompted NASA to send one last Apollo mission to the Moon, where they set up some kind of super-secret monitoring stations to keep an eye on the USSR. The whole thing was shot and edited to look like video footage from the actual mission, a la Blair Witch Project and some others.

The technical direction was excellent; whoever wrote the thing really knew his stuff vis a vis the technology and procedures of the Apollo program.

One scene made me jump, which led Mrs. Fungus to exult, "You jumped! You never jump!" I had to admit she was right.

It was not art for the ages, but it's not like I paid anything to see it, and it was entertaining enough.

* * *

Last night, Wheeler Dealers featured an MGB-GT.

They bought the thing for about $1,500, and sold it for not-quite $4,500. Mostly it needed paint and an interior; that was kind of a shame, because I was interested in seeing the difference between the UK and American configurations. The car they featured was a 1980 car, yet it had twin carbs. As a previous owner had converted it to chrome bumpers I have to wonder if he also swapped in a set of SUs to replace the stinkinous Zenith-Stromberg, or if that was a US-only variant of the thing because EPA.

The GT is a coupe, but the one they featured had the same mechanicals as the roadster sitting in my garage. (There was a V8 option for GTs, but I'm not sure what years it was offered.) It was nice to see a car I knew on that show; heck, it's nice to see a vehicle I know on any car show, since I'm not into muscle cars or Harley Davidsons.

The MGB was made from 1962 through 1980, and many of the parts simply did not change in that time. I was looking through the Victoria British catalog the other day and was surprised that the MGB uses two-piston calipers on the front brakes, and did for the entire 18-year run. Nearly all the front suspension parts remain the same throughout the run. Of course the body panels don't change, even though they switched to rubber bumpers in 1975.

...watching the show last night I was surprised that the MGB-GT had only two windshield wipers. The roadster has three--and then I realized that was because the roadster has a shorter windshield.

I'm going to have to work out how to dump video from the DVR to a DVD; I want to keep that episode.

* * *

Ace on raped girls committing suicide. He seques into a discussion of bullying in schools:
was very annoyed by Anderson Cooper's anti-bullying campaign when he mounted it. But a month ago I saw the documentary that set him off--simply called Bully, streaming on Netflix, I think--and I'd strongly recommend it. School officials seem evenhanded to a fault, if one can call it that, in these matters, not differentiating between the aggressor (the bully) and the victim (the bullied), but rather engaging in this weird "cycle of violence" sort of thinking in which both parties are, somehow, equally responsible for the fact that one kid goes home every night thinking about suicide (and sometimes carrying through on that thought).

There's also a very weird "Well what can we do to stop it?" mentality. I can only think of twenty things off the top of my head, from suspensions to parent conferences to a semester hitch at alternate school (for first-time offenders; those who just continue being sadists can and should stay in a more structured environment, as a bureaucrat might euphemize it).
Letting kids fight would help a bit, too. Let the victim fight back, rather than punishing him for defending himself while the bully gets off scott-free. Ace's solutions are probably better, but at a bare minimum just allowing self-defense would go a long way towards eliminating bullying.

...of course, self-reliance is anathema to government, and the mission of socialized education is to turn out obedient subjects who are dependent on the feds for everything. *sigh*

* * *

Let's finish with more of my home-brewed Garfield Without Garfield strips!


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