Thursday, September 21, 2006

paint it black

Good news! Black hole won't destroy Earth

Best quote:
... trapped black holes are so tiny, they could pass through a block of iron the distance from the Earth to the Moon and not hit anything. They would each take about 100 hours to gobble up one proton. At that rate ... "about 100 protons would be destroyed every year by such a black hole, so it would take much more than the age of universe to destroy even one milligram of Earth material,"[experimental physicist Greg] Landsberg concluded. "It's quite hard to destroy the Earth."
Of course, the rest of the quote should end with ... "not that it will stop us trying. Mooohaahahahahaha." Christ, when you get around to thinking up a name for a Death Star-like planet destroying weapon of choice for 9 out of 10 mad scientists, it's going to be something like a Large Hadron Collider.

Anyone else having flashbacks to The Quiet Earth?

A Snopes a Day; or, Shit You Should Stop Believing:
Book Excerpt: How PR Sold the War in the Persian Gulf - scroll down to the section called "Suffer the Little Children". Goddamn bastards. I'm all for territorial integrity and not letting nations get away naked aggression, but that shit is cold.

CSI for skeptics:
Houdini's Impossible Demonstration

You-have-got-to-be-fucking-kidding-me time:
The Orgone Howitzer (link stolen from Mutopia). Normally I'm all for things ending in -howitzer, but this really takes the cake. And oh god read the testimonial. Makes a man wish for humble 'ol Black Helicopters.

I see you under the midnight

Freaking hell, David Gemmell died 2 months ago and nobody told me? Holy crap. Best quote from Wikipedia:
"I tried to quit smoking and found that the years of polluting my brain with nicotine meant that I couldn't string a reasonable sentence together without filling my lungs with smoke. I went three months without a drag, took a good look at the crap I was writing and lit up."

David Gemmell I've always seen as the Agatha Christie of the Fantasy world - someone who could spin a damn good yarn, and even though it was essentially the same yarn as the last book he kept interesting enough that you didn't care. And he never jumped the shark, unlike some of his contempories **cough** David Eddings **cough**. Anyway, I think the reason I like Gemmell (aside from his writing about when men were Men and women wore chainmail and leather) is he wrote explicitly about honour; about people who were honourable not because they were inherently good, but because they weren't but they made the effort of will to be good inspite of their nature.

Isn't it shit that the moment you talk about "honour" or "heroes" you start to feel twee? Damn.

Anyway, if you're a fan also you might want to pop over Legend of the Silver Slayer and check out some interesting articles (I'm a fan of the timeline myself).

One of my favorite quotes is from Morningstar (1993):
The enemy is always reviled, pictured as the despoiler of women, the eater of babies, a living plague upon the earth, a servant of Satan. Wars are never fought for plunder or gain. Oh no, they are always depicted as ultimate battles between good and evil. But then, looking at the nature of Man, that is understandable. Can you imagine the scene, the great King gathering his troops before an epic battle. 'Right, myy lads," he says, as he sits upon his great black stallion, "today we fight for my right to steal gold from whomsoever I choose. The enemy are men much the same as yourselves. A good bunch, probably, with wives and children back home. And at the end of the battle, when I have more riches than I'll ever spend in a lifetime, many of them - and indeed many of you - will be wormfood, or crippled. Better to be dead, really, because I'll have no use for you once you can no longer raise a sword. All right lads? Let's be at them!
What if they called a war, and nobody came?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

now I'm hiding in Honduras

Frank can't help it, he just likes oversized rocket launchers.

As always, if you ever see this, or anything like it, freaking drop me a line in the comments. I mean, for zombie-christ's sake, do you think I like ransoming your children?

Friday, September 15, 2006

keep the vampires from your door

If you read the Register story in my last post ("Mass murder in the skies") then you should also skip over to Wikipedia and read the story of Flight 434. This could be seen as the prototype for the recent British plot (and also was to be the precursor to Oplan Bojinka, an altogether more disturbing scenario), except instead of the TATP binary explosive that The Register is so skeptical of, the bomber used nitroglycerin - kept in contact lens solution bottles.

This all comes to mind because of The Path to 9/11 controversey. I saw the beginning of it whilst channel surfing on the Sunday night the first part screened. I came in just as the truck bomb was being positioned under the World Trade Centre. It was a slightly disturbing moment because I knew exactly what was happening within seconds of seeing the truck (without knowing what the programme was); you see, I'd just picked up The New Jackals on sale that Friday which starts with a description of the events of the first WTC bombing and then follows the careers of Ramzi Yousef and Osama Bin Laden up until the time the book was published in 1999. And the TV show followed the book pretty faithfully for the events of the WTC bombing. I stopped watching soon after because I pretty much knew what was coming and to be frank the docudrama format was kind of irritating for it's faux-24-ness. And there was one other thing that disturbed me. On The Path to 9/11 there was a scene where the detectives discover the differential housing with the legible VIN number that practically cracks the case. They remove the housing for analysis and are later berated by an FBI agent for disturbing chain of evidence in their zeal to get the housing back before the bombsite collapse (the implication being that the Federales were more concerned with bureaucracy and who got the credit) ... but the book, despite describing events in much detail, has no such scene with a tightwad FBI agent, or any such controversy over moving the evidence. It was just a small thing, but if they were prepared to lie about that small detail, what else would they fuck up? And guess what ...

Now for a mid-blog round-up: Posts of mine I actually like, in chronological order:

Alternate history of the world #1

Nice company you keep, terrorist; or, I'm just like the fetuses, Chuck, I wasn't born yesterday ... okay, actually I just like the title.

Give me a minute; i just need to irony my shirts

Terrifying space monkeys

God does not play al-zār with the universe I've said it before, I'll say it again. You protesting my speech does not mean you are against my freedom of speech. It means you disagree with me (I'm still on the fence as to burning down my embassy counts as speech, or perhaps "performance art").

It's Ralph Wiggam crazy Hey; I was raised Catholic so I'm allowed to be disrespectful.

Down in the trenches of hell, digging madly: Part 1. More the second, FutureWorld part. Althought the dolphin sex bit is also pretty funny.

The calliope crashed to the ground I'm proud I actually read some research before going apeshit about it.

News Round-up:
DVD chips 'to kill illegal copying'
Somewhere, Satan is laughing his ass off. You mean to tell me any mildly tech-savvy thief is going to be able to walk past the front of my house with a RFID reader and see at an instant exactly whether my collection is worth stealing? Are you fucking nuts? And don't get me started on the regional coding thing. It has nothing to do with piracy you cocknobbling parasites. Arrrggghhh!

RIAA copyright education contradictory, critics say
Satan's having a coughing fit.

Headmaster justifies fingerprinting pupils
Satan just fell off his chair.

You always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask:
Hold it! What happens if you don't urinate? Ow. Just Ow.

An Onion a day ...

Report: Majority Of Americans Unprepared For Apocalypse