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kleinbl00's comments

So this is Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation. Don't get hung up on the details; the basic fact is that there's an exponential curve with "mass fraction" on the Y and "change in speed" on the X. In other words, the greater proportion of your rocket is 'gas' the more velocity you get. "Velocity" in this case being "that which gets you in orbit or escape velocity."

People with a casual familiarity with rockets don't really get that your average orbital launcher is a giant tube of propellent with a flyspeck of useful payload at the end. The Saturn V, for example, is a skyscraper full of kerosene and LOX that flings the equivalent of a VW Beetle at the moon. So the real goal has always been figuring out a way to leave most of that Tsiolkovsky curve somewhere other than "on the rocket."

Rockets don't go up, by the way. They go over. They have to go up until the air is thin enough to go over, but once they're up there, they roll over nearly 90 degrees. It isn't altitude that gets you into orbit, it's speed relative to rest position. That whole "3-2-1 blastoff" big pyre of smoke thing is the first stage lifting the other stages up and over to the point where it can head out into the deep blue yonder.

That's the Scaled Composites SpaceShip One and White Knight, a combo launcher designed to ferry tourists up to suborbital so they can spend a few minutes experiencing zero gravity.

Something like 80% of Scaled's work is classified. They don't publicize this but they've been doing weird stuff for the Air Force for decades.

So the concept isn't new... what's new is Paul Allen's decision to fund really big rockets.

It isn't the concept that ooks me out. It's that hope is about only thing keeping the bodies from spindling around that wing, and that the violently-detaching load is right where the stress point is the greatest. I mean, that thing banks too tight in a turn and one tail is going to have more lift than the other and the whole plane is experiencing torsion around its drop point.

Them be some brave pilots.

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I got to see Space Ship One and White Knight's X-Prize winning flight, live, in the desert. It was a thing to behold, for sure.

The key thing is that Space Ship One's engine doesn't fire until it detaches from White Knight. It free-falls for a bit while White Knight gets out of the way, and then the rockets fire and it WHOOOSHES away.

So spindling around the wing is a concern during flight, but not during launch, and these big pig platforms like the Stratolaunch just kinda lumber up into the air, drop some payload, and then make a wide flat turn to return to base. I think of them more of an escalator than a plane...

But yeah... flying these things must be An Experience. Gentle inputs only! :-)

kleinbl00  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

One problem is that when you drop it you go from a dynamic load of "the second and third stage of a satellite-launching rocket" to "nothing" which I'm sure they're engineered for but it's not a task I really want.

Another problem is that those big dumb pontoons the people are in have enough aviation fuel to get a "second and third stage of a satellite-launching rocket" up to 35,000 feet. Stratolaunch is, from an engine standpoint, three Boeing 777s. Assume it launches halfway through its mission profile, having burned two thirds of its gas, that's about 120 tons of avgas you're burning. Sixty tons per pontoon. About half a 777 worth of gas attached to that wing, twice.

This is an HE111-Z1.

It's a pair of Heinkel HE-111 bombers glommed together to haul this ridiculously large cargo glider into flight.

There weren't a lot of people who flew them, and nobody's really sure how they all ended up, but by the end of the war there were four. The design was a little ad hoc:

    The engine configuration was made up of 5 x Junkers Jumo 211F 12-cylinder, liquid-cooled, inverted Vee engines of up to 1,340 horsepower each. These engines were fitted across five individual nacelles along the wing leading edge, three found at the center wing chord and two held outboard to either side of their respective fuselage in the usual way. Despite this multi-engined layout, the He 111 Z was still somewhat underpowered when attempting to pull a fully-loaded Me 321 glider. This was rectified through the utilization of rockets for additional thrust (RATO - "Rocket Assisted Take-Off") - not a wholly uncommon sight found at the beginning of the jet age. The Zwilling could, however, maintain flight if any or all of the three central wing cord engines failed - certainly showcasing the importance of the outboard engines. Range could be augmented by up to four external drop tanks which supplied the design its needed endurance.

The Stratolaunch is kind of the HE111-Z1 if instead of 5,000 HP worth of piston engines it had 330,000 lb of thrust and instead of towing a big dumb glider, it's lifting 1/3 of a Delta II in launch configuration.

Obviously, it works. Obviously, Burt Rutan and crew know hella more about aviation than I do. But Stratolaunch still gives me a real Helistat kinda vibe.

OftenBen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I think of them more of an escalator than a plane...

I think this is completely valid. Just because it uses the same airspace as a Cessna does not make them equivalent.

You don't take malamutes on the subway, you don't try and use chihuahuas to pull sleds.

kleinbl00  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 3, 2019


I needed something with a "complication" to work on for class. So I managed to stumble across a Universal Geneve Senna 41 case with an Omega Seamaster movement and a generic-ass Otto Frei $12 dial. And I need to buy the parts to make the day function work and then I have a FrankenSenna for $500.

I've got $900 worth of gemstones showing up tomorrow. stoked. Also the fucking dishwasher cacked out so I kicked its ass onto the porch and am replacing it with a GE muffukin' tomorrow.

bfv  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Complication" is my new favorite jargon.

kleinbl00  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Horology is hilarious. They aren't "gears" they're "wheels" and they aren't "axles" they're "pinions" primarily because we're all forced to use French terminology unless you're from Saxony in which case fuck you it's not a "pilot watch" it's a "flieger" pay double. If you sell your watches for less than $20k, the cutaway models are "skeletons." If you sell your watches for more than $20k, they're "squelettes." At a certain price point, it's a "chronograph monopouissoir rattrapante flyback" (that price point being fully-loaded Prius). At another price point, it's a "split seconds monopusher chronograph" - that price point being BMW 5-series because "monopusher" means "we made the movement ourselves fuck you." Meanwhile a "watchmaker" is someone who fixes watches, an "atelier" is someone who makes watches, but a manufacture is a protected Swiss term which means you make everything under one roof, except certain things, and especially if you're Swiss. We measure everything in mm, except when we don't, when we measure things in ligne, which are 12 to a pouce, which are 12 to a pied du roi, which we don't really care about because the only thing we use is ligne, which is extra hilarious because the Swiss didn't standardize on jack shit until a guy named Florentine Ariosto Jones bailed on the Hamilton Watch Company in Boston to go over to Switzerland because he figured the mountain savages with their cottages could be taught standardized industrial production and they were so mad about his progressive ways that they chased him off to German-speaking Switzerland where he founded IWC and all this happened - let me pause to clear my throat -

    The mediaeval royal units of length were based on the toise and in particular the toise de l'Écritoire, the distance between the fingertips of the outstretched arms of a man which was introduced in 790 AD by Charlemagne. The toise had 6 pieds (feet) each of 326.6 mm (12.86 in). In 1668 the reference standard was found to have been deformed and it was replaced by the toise du Châtelet which, to accommodate the deformation of the earlier standard, was 11 mm (0.55%) shorter. In 1747 this toise was replaced by a new toise of near-identical length – the Toise du Pérou, custody of which was given to l'Académie des Sciences au Louvre.

- 80 years after the introduction of the Metric system.

"Wheels within wheels" might be from Ezekiel, but it's from a 17th Century translation, at which point the clockmakers were already getting nutso. When someone wants to say something is "complicated" our basis comes from clocks.

English is a whore of a language.

I love hearing about Biosphere 2. It's damn near Peak '90s.

    It was a powerful image, one that inspired later ecologists to create small glass globes full of water, algae and little invertebrates

Almost bought one of those, even though it was $200 and I was fourteen years old.

The New York Times did a real disservice in not linking to the video. It's one of your few chances to see Steve Bannon before Saruman possessed him/the FSB poisoned him with TCDD.

Dala  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That video was surreal AF. Thanks for posting it!

kleinbl00  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Original article

    If Bannon does have deeper thoughts about climate change, they could be buried in The Steam Experiment (aka The Chaos Experiment), a 2008 film on which Bannon was an executive producer. The film, according to its promotional text, depicts “a disgraced and deranged scientist (Val Kilmer)” who “traps six sexy strangers in a hotel steam bath and slowly turns up the heat.” The whole point of the movie is to “prove that humanity will go crazy under the pressures of global warming.”

Worthy of note: "The Chaos Experiment" is probably a terrible interpretation of the off-broadway play Steambath. On TV, it starred the Incredible Hulk.

Dala  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So his time at Biosphere 2 was basically research on how to destroy the world?

kleinbl00  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My only interaction with Steve Bannon was last year when he nearly ran me over in traffic in Universal City. We aren't pals. But i know the type: the dreamer who thinks he knows better than everybody else and will do whatever he can to find an edge. Hollywood is brimming with them.

Money is super-important to them because it gives them operational flexibility. Hollywood does not work without the money people and you live in such a pie-eyed gold rush universe that the ethos becomes "do what the money says." What's that? You'll pay for my movie if I change it to be about abortion? What's that? Gary Sinise will star in it if he gets to deliver a diatribe against Democrats? What's that? If I take this beautiful, perfect script and let the protagonist inject a boring, worthless, on-the-nose description of what the movie's about so he's assured an Oscar, we can get Tom Hanks?

Steve Bannon worked the system from within the system until his dad lost his retirement. Then he decided the system was broken so he found a new system.

Robert Mercer is a one-issue guy - "make my $6.8b tax bill go away." And in order to make that happen, we have Cambridge Analytica, Brexit, Trump and Charlottesville.

"What's that? You'll let me pick the president if I erase your tax bill?"

bfv  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Robert Mercer isn't a one-issue guy, he's one of those social conservatives who go crazier and crazier working in the tech industry because libertarians are acceptable in tech circles but women in the kitchen, gays in the closet conservatives are very much not. If he were a decade or two younger he would have been writing ridiculously long blog posts about how a return to feudalism would solve all our problems or sending manifestos to Google's HR department.

kleinbl00  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mercer's political awakenings came precisely as his wealth generation started running afoul of the law. Sure - he gives to the hatemongers but that's literally.every.conservative. He's in it for the money. His money.

kleinbl00  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Today's NYT is brought to you by the letter 'secular stagnation'"

Nice to see you again, man!

"Half-life" is a useful way of thinking of inflation. I'm old and can remember when candy bars could be had at the grocery store for 40 cents. Now they're 85. The purchasing power of a dollar dropped by more than half there, at least as it relates to candy bars.

If you look at the CPI, a dollar in December 1989 has the same purchasing power as $2 in January 2019. That puts the "half life" of the American dollar at about nineteen years.

So. American money has a half-life in the same regime as strontium-90. Sit on it and it will be worthless. This is basically what drives investment - you put your money in a bank rather than under the mattress because the hope is that you make interest that at least keeps up with inflation. It never does, though. You have to put your money in bonds and stocks and real estate and capital projects for it to beat inflation which is the "engine that drives the economy" or some shit - investing, in a nutshell.

Things get into trouble if the risk of losing your money is greater than the gain of investing. Then everybody locks their money up in the bank because a guaranteed rate beats a high risk of loss. "locks their money up in a bank" is bad for "liquidity" - there's cash, but nobody can spend it. So you lower interest rates so that people are forced to invest their money. You create a disincentive for saving rather than an incentive for investing.

Right now, something like a third of the world's money is under negative interest rates - the banks charge you money to hang onto it. That's because the world's central banks can't provide enough disincentive to make you invest. It is economic crazytown and it's only numbness that doesn't have economists howling from the rooftops (they did a bunch when ZIRP and NIRP - Zero and Negative Interest Rate Policy respectively - came to town). In other words, the smart guys in the room are real close to the metal here; they're running out of reasons for you to not put your money under the mattress.

Because that "half-life" characteristic can be influenced. It's called the "rate of inflation." Central banks usually shoot for 3-6%. They don't hit it very often. But as you can see, if it's too high things go crazy. If it's too low things collapse.

A lot of my guys are linking to that horrible "turning japanese" video because they're 80s guys and they're scared to death of that "half life" reaching the point where money is no longer "radioactive."

Your reactor works like shit on depleted uranium.

Isherwood  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"they're running out of reasons for you to not put your money under the mattress."

I feel this. I just had a bunch of stock vest in the company I work for and I want to sell it off because I don't want that many eggs in that basket, but I have no idea what to invest in. Everything just seems on its head crazy right now and I don't want to deal with the risk. The only thing I can think to do is put it towards the mortgage so that, if it comes to it, we could refinance and lower our payments.

I was was also going to ask here if everyone who was hot on ETH is still hot after the latest bubble, but that's not an investment as much as a novelty for me.

kleinbl00  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have thoughts.

It doesn't help that our latest bot detector cannot show a difference between a human Reddit post and a SubredditSimulator post. the chatbots that control the stock market don't know that there are fundamentals that underly their trades. (1) they're bots, they don't "know" shit (2) that's not their training data. So we've got a probability fan between two extremes:

A. The market never crashes again because it no longer means anything economic. It means what the bots think it means.

B. As soon as enough factors go Minsky, the market will behave exactly like a 737-Max8 autopilot. After all, the Max8 Autopilot doesn't "know" it's attached to a plane full of aid workers. It only knows that when it sees variable X, it responds with control Y and if you keep it within the regime it knows, it performs flawlessly.

Cryptocurrency is not, in my opinion, a good investment. It's a good speculation. You shouldn't spend more than you can afford to lose because there are way too many x-factors controlling what's going to happen. That said, the impetus of cryptocurrency in the first place was removing money from the control of central banks; Bitcoin doesn't happen without Occupy Wall Street.

If your mortgage is young you get an outsized benefit from paying into it. When crypto was high I didn't do that because (A) I was slow (B) our financial planner treated me like shit (C) we're far enough along that it wouldn't have saved us that much money. But if you're just a few years into it? BOMB that fucker.

Isherwood  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We're 3 years into the 30 year ARM with a credit union that adjusts every 5 years at a consistently reasonable rate (not max every time). Thanks to a few windfalls and moving from a real estate boomtown to a real estate mehtown, we've already managed to pay off about 1/5 of the mortgage, I just keep putting money into it. My 401k is stocked and has a steady flow, we have a stock portfolio, and I just can't think of a better way to diversify, so I guess house it is.

The bot thing is interesting. It gives me a lot to think about. I work for an ecommerce software company that makes a nifty bot for sellers. It looks at a product, finds that product for sales on amazon, and sells it for a penny less. This ensures our sellers are the ones that you're buying from. A lot of people use these pricing bots and they compete all the time to the benefit of the consumer. The problem comes not from the bots, but from the person that thinks they know what they're doing on setup. They forget to put a minimum, or to put in noncompete clauses with known "price cheats" and this will cause the market for that item to flash crash. It usually resolves itself quickly, but it costs the sellers a lot of money and, if they really bugger it up, it can put them out of business. It's kind of scary thinking the same basic premise is our economic underpinning.

kleinbl00  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

ARMs scare me on principle, but I cannot make a rational argument that interest rates are going to be rising any time soon. I don't even really remember the '70s; really, I would say if it's working for you keep on keepin' on. I understand that ARMs are the norm in Canada.

If you have ready cash in the 401(k) and an interest in keeping things agile, I've been rolling over 90-day CDs. It allows me to make a little cash with zero risk while also saying "well I don't think I'll need to buy anything for three months, anyway" and then forgetting about it.

Your bot is on point. 85% of trades in the public market are bots... but we don't even know about the dark pools.

You know what calms people down? The Run Lola Run soundtrack. So let's use that to look at 500 milliseconds of dark pool trading... in a single stock... in a single dark pool... in 2011.

Rhetorical question: what real world information could they act on if they had the ability? Those are bots making three and four bid/ask combos per millisecond. How much do you think the inherent value of any given equity changes in 0.001s?

kleinbl00  ·  43 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I don’t wanna do my video game chores


    This is the standard experience of playing a so-called Real World Game, which other than RDR2 includes games like Horizon Zero Dawn (2017), and No Man’s Sky (2016) before the developers actually made it interesting.

[citation needed]

You know what you used to do in No Man's Sky? You used to shoot rocks and buy shit and fly to another solar system. You know what you do in No Man's Sky now? You shoot rocks and buy shit and build a shed and shoot rocks and plant lettuce and sell lettuce and buy shit and buy a skylight and grow red lettuce and sell two colors of lettuce and buy a spark plug so that you can start your fuckin' janky-ass busted-ass holds two quarters and a slurpee space ship. Lather-rinse-repeat until you've got an impressive lettuce farm. Also take pictures of bugs for some reason.

You know what I'm doing with my evenings right now? SPREADSHEETS. You know what Bungie would like me doing? Playing Destiny 2. Know why I'm not playing Destiny 2? Because I have to do two weeks of multi-player bullshit so that I can earn the armor upgrades so that I can defeat the undefeatable chore that made everyone stop playing two months ago because unless you have ten hours a week to go raiding with your five closest friends, your season pass is worthless because you can't level up enough to actually play the content you bought.

Thing about fuckin' spreadsheets? They're done someday. And then you have information in an organized format.

I bought the last Final Fantasy. Know what that game is about? Waking up, tripping over a dozen side quests, driving for some reason, buying groceries, camping and taking selfies.

I guess if your principle market is shut-ins who can afford to kill 60 hours a week grinding, you want the grinders to get their money's worth. Me? I wanna play a game. And I realized the last time Bungie had some "days of pudwhacking" special event that the time I have invested in the game is two orders of magnitude too little to get the brass ring.

goobster  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe this is why I've only ever connected with Fallout (3/NV/4) and Borderlands 2... you just jump in and start doing shit. Maybe you follow a quest... maybe you go run over to that mountain to see what's there.

When I got bored in NV, I went into the casinos and played blackjack.

When I got bored in FO4, I built shit, and found the settlement size limits.

When I got bored in Borderlands 2, I went and took another crack at the fucking worm you apparently aren't able to kill without a team. Or jumped in a car and just blasted around the landscape like it was a race track.

When I got bored with Fallout 76, I went back to FO4.

I can't imagine grinding away in new games. Why is that fun? I play games maybe 2 hours a week, spread over 2 or 3 sessions... and some weeks don't play at all.

bfv  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I always spend way more time tinkering with games than I do playing them. I never got around to doing the main quest in Skyrim, but I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing with the AI so I'd be able to send zombies to clear out all the monsters and traps in dungeons and gather crafting supplies for me. Out of the box they were too dumb and that annoyed me, by the time I was finished they were smart enough to play the game for me and there wasn't anything left to do.

Foveaux  ·  43 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the last Final Fantasy I bought was X. The more I see come out the less I think I'm missing out on.

Took me like 50 hours playtime as a kid to beat Final Fantasty VII (5 hours on 3-phase Hojo, that fuck) and it remains one of my fondest gaming memories, now if I were to put that many hours into a game it's probably because I'm grinding just to play the fucking game.

Notable current exceptions are Stardew Valley and Breath of the Wild.

kleinbl00  ·  43 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, once again Nintendo seems to have created a video game ecosystem for people who don't want to surrender their lives.

I dunno. I guess the fact that there aren't any console games that don't end up dominated by Tryhards indicates that the console sphere belongs to the Tryhards. I thought they lived in the PC ecosystem but I mean

...that's a guy who brought his PS4, his shitty monitor and his generic-ass Sunny D to the goddamn library on a Monday afternoon.

kleinbl00  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy

This was a book ten years ago As well as a two part podcast and a Q&A and a call to action. There's even a counterpoint.

I'm pretty sure I've suggested you read them.

At least twice. has been a leading climate change action/adaptation organization since 2004. That your author lists no one associated with the organization or its writings (or, really, much that predates 2017) seems more like a deliberate omission than an oversight.

And FFS if you're going to call something a "map" maybe you should have a graphic or two.

user-inactivated  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wow. Thanks for all of those resources. I've got some reading to do.

kleinbl00  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just read the book. It's a good 'un.

user-inactivated  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I plan on it.

kleinbl00  ·  51 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: India and Pakistan say they've launched airstrikes against each other.

Here's the TL;DR on this:

Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) provides shelter and support for the terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Deobandi Muslim group dedicated to driving Hindus (ie India) out of Kashmir (and eventually out of India). Jaish-e-Mohammed is an ISI proxy but, much like Iran doesn't have total control over Hamas, Jaish-e-Mohammed doesn't do solely what the ISI requires. J-e-M is more of a decentralized organization like al Qaeda than a hierarchal one like Hamas or Hezbollah so there's a lot of individual initiative.

So when J-e-M drives an explosive-filled truck into a bus full of Indian SWAT, killing 40 of them, the ISI has plausible deniability (for broad definitions of "plausible"). If you're Pakistan, you obviously had nothing to do with it. If you're India, it's clearly a Pakistani attack, and an escalation of Kashmiri business-as-usual.

It's also rolling up on election season in India and Modi needs to look tough. Pakistan, for their part, lurrrrrv having Modi in office because he's the best bogeyman they've had in decades. So yesterday India rolled a shit ton of hardware - 12 Mirage 2000, 4 Su-30, 2 AWACS, a UAV and 2 tankers - and bombed... something. India says "terrorist camps killing 300-350 people" while Pakistan says "nothing" which, considering the five people killed in shelling immediately after were named and aged by Pakistan within hours, is probably the truth.

About twelve hours later Pakistan rolled three F-16s across the Line of Control and dropped bombs on Indian military installations. The Pakistanis claimed they never intended to hit anything and the Indians claimed they never hit anything - this is Pakistan saying "we could be dicks but we're not". India scrambled 56-year-old MiG-21s to chase them back... because that's what was on the tarmac. This is important to note: India has Su-30s, they have MiG-29s, they have Mirage 2000s. That they kept their front-line hardware on the Chinese border indicates the seriousness with which India is treating this adventure; the MiGs that ended up with the job were around when Kennedy was alive.

In any event, 56-year-old Indian MiGs managed to shoot down a Reagan-supplied F-16, although it made it back across the border before doing a lawn dart impression. The F-16s managed to shoot down an Indian MiG over Pakistani territory - its pilot bailed out. The Indians rolled an Mi-17 rescue helicopter to recover the pilot and Pakistan shot that down, too, killing both pilots. The Indian pilot is currently in Pakistani custody.

So. Two nuclear-armed countries bombing empty fields with the intent of hitting nothing and the guys that end up killed? Fuckin' search'n'rescue.

katakowsj  ·  51 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Excellent play-by-play.

kleinbl00  ·  52 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ask Hubski: Down with Dr. Seuss or this is craziness?

At first, I wondered what the difficulty was in teaching that previous generations had different (I'd go as far as inferior) values and that progress is the act of being better humans than those that came before you. But then I remembered the John Gardner point that we teach the books that are easy to teach, not the books that are good and adding in a "and here's why we don't want you absorbing these values" layer on Dr. Seuss readers is an awful lot of overhead to saddle a first grader with.

But it's simpler than that.

What's the fundamental value of Dr. Seuss? Sure, they're colorful. They're fun. But they aren't particularly clever; much of Seuss' rhymes work because he makes up words. The meter is often tortuous. Dr. Seuss is largely good compared to what came before him; you only need to be saddled with one of those wretched Beatrix Potter Costco collections by a great uncle or grandparent to recognize that children's books used to be dreadful and then they just kinda sucked.

If you look at Dr. Seuss' bibliography you see a whole bunch of books that coincided with the childhood and parenthood of 'boomers. '37 to '71 is pretty much the Greatest Hits of Dr. Seuss, from Mulberry Street to The Lorax. And there's stuff in there to learn - we did The Butter Battle Book in AP History as an example of pop culture and the Cold War 'cuz it took less time to digest than The Day After but we're not talking about that we're talking about stuff we're exposing young readers to.

Seuss is better than Madeline but not much better than The Snowy Day which has the advantage of being entirely about an African-American kid. My kid can find examples of her race doing dandy everywhere she looks; we're in charge. Her friend the African-American transsexual girl with the white lesbian foster mother? She's gonna need every positive reinforcement she can get and statistically speaking, society benefits the more confident and comfortable she is. Neither Crazy Rich Asians nor Straight Outta Compton are great films but they are full of minorities acting like humans instead of cardboard cutouts filling a square in Minority Bingo so they're loved.

There's lots of great books out there about kids and people that are colors other than white. There's even more in which people in colors other than white aren't negative stereotypes. I fully encourage any curriculum that reaches beyond "that which makes 'boomers happy" in order to present examples of minorities being non-minor. The future ain't white and the more we cling to a white past the more people we're leaving in the dark.

kleinbl00  ·  66 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I Cut the 'Big Five' Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell

It's almost a rite of passage for tech journalists to do the performative cold turkey thing. Meanwhile most of the civil libertarians are all about "if you don't like Facebook, get off of Facebook."

I myself have said "our lives would be no worse without Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Netflix." Articles like this point out that the hydra is so multi-headed now that you'll never cut them all off.

kleinbl00  ·  69 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fortnite

Speaking as someone who has made nearly seven figures from television, I am reasonably certain that television will turn out to be a 'boomer phenomenon. The average age of network viewers goes up a year every year. The engagement of every age group but senior citizens goes down every year.

These are not people who will suddenly start watching TV. It is dead to them forever.

francopoli  ·  69 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And if you really want to see Ad Execs freak out, separate that out by Sex. Men under 35, if I had to make a bet, are 1/2 those numbers.

OftenBen  ·  69 days ago  ·  link  ·  


kleinbl00  ·  84 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Roger Stone has been indicted and arrested

    CHECK IT OUT: Tea Pain’s noticed a number of folks reportin’ that a new sealed case (Case 1:19-cr-0018) showed up in the D.C. court today.

That's as of 13 hours ago. So every news organization you know had about nine hours to go "so... whose houses do we want to stake out? Just, you know, in case?"

Looks like CNN wins.

Day before yesterday, I was awoken by my roommate arising at 5:45 to use the bathroom. I also needed to use the bathroom, but I was sleepy.

I dozed until 6:15. The fan was still on. He was still in the bathroom.

I dozed until 6:30. The fan was still on. He was still in the bathroom. I got up, got dressed, got my bag ready, checked messages. It was 6:38 and I needed to get to fucking work. I knocked on the door, surprising him. The toilet flushed eventually and he mumbled out apologetically.

Mutherfucker sat down to take a shit at 5:45 and browsed Twitter until damn near an hour later.

Went to a concert with Other Roommate on Sunday. He was so busy texting someone as he crossed the street that he stone-cold kicked the curb and did an ass-over-teakettle. Dude couldn't keep his face out of his phone while crossing the street in downtown LA.

Got another buddy. Brand new Tesla 3. Screen on that thing is an easy 17" of information overload; I had to talk him out of putting up a frickin' stalk so his iPhone could be in Carplay right next to it. 'cuz you know. When you're stuck in traffic for an hour you need two displays to keep you from driving.

Shit's real, dawg. What's funny is that I haven't seen anyone in either of my two colleges who has much of a problem... other than millennials. GenZ is fine. GenX is fine. 'boomers are fine. But the millennials apparently got primed for that shit.

kleinbl00  ·  100 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi club no. 38: Born of Man and Woman Discussion

The reason schoolkids read Born of Man and Woman even now, 70 years after it was published in a pulp sci fi magazine, is its masterful use of point-of-view. The actual content of the piece is very spare - there's something that lives in the basement, its parents are terrified of it, it has a little sister that's normal, the situation is untenable. With lesser presentation it would be unremarkable. As it is, the rigid commitment to the viewpoint of the "thing under the stairs" requires the reader to puzzle out a mystery and a mood through sparse and pointed first-person narrative.

The core issue of Born of Man and Woman is "how human is this thing?" We know a few things:

- It can read ("It says on it SCREENSTARS").

- It cannot cry, but it can drip.

- It knows only humans, and it knows them only in terms of its father and mother.

- It does not appreciate life vs. death.

- It is growing progressively stronger.

- It is eight years old.

- It knows - it is constantly reminded - it is ugly.

- It grows impatient with its fate.

- Shit's about to get real ("I will screech and laugh loud. I will run on the walls. Last I will hang head down by all my legs and laugh and drip green all over until they are sorry they didn’t be nice to me").

The story needs no context, but context emphasizes how remarkable it is: Russia had just dropped an atomic bomb. The idea of horrible mutations were front and center because suddenly America didn't have a nuclear monopoly. Fuchs, Greenglass and the Rosenbergs were arrested and McCarthy was talking about "enemies within." Meanwhile, mental health was at an absolute nadir. Insulin comas, electroconvulsive therapy and involuntary hydrotherapy were just coming into public knowledge, as was our nasty tendencies of locking people up and never talking about them again. Transorbital lobotomies didn't exist in the United States in 1946; by 1951 the number was near 19,000.

Born of Man and Woman is a cry from the heart of alienation shouted by a 22-year-old kid who had never sold anything before. He then proceeded to write everything. The subtext is "what is human" from an era when everyone was demanding answers to that question from everyone else. Stanley Kramer asked that question by posing it about an upright lawman abandoned by his town. Matheson asked it by posing it about a creature with an unknown number of legs.

kleinbl00  ·  108 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Human Jetpack Aviation: The Future is Here

It's a start. But what the article says is that nobody can get the 90% peroxide the Bell rocket belt needs to run. Here's James Bond escaping SPECTRE in one of those, by the way:

Sean Connery is in the air in that clip for 20 seconds. He's got 21 seconds of gas. Cutting it a little close but hey, when does Bond not cut it close. Really, the craft in your article are orders of magnitude more advanced; they can do "ten minutes" of flight... in ground effect (which means they're hovercraft, not aircraft - it's a lot easier to push against the ground than against a column of air). The real problem is that non-winged flight is a horribly inefficient way to get around. The high water mark, in my opinion, is the Williams X-Jet, and it'll lift a 150lb infantryman (or a 140lb infantryman and a rifle) as high as you wanna go and take you as far as you can get at 60mph in 30 minutes. So that's 12 miles of range, lofting your kid sister and her iPad, screaming so loud you'll hear it all the way. Turn that thing on its side and the same motor will loft a 300lb thermonuclear warhead 1500 miles at just this side of Mach 1.

Lift, if you're willing to use aerodynamics, can be had without too much drama. Here's a Nazi kite designed to be towed behind U-Boats. Get the sub up to 15mph, turn into the wind and the thing will pick itself up and autogyro up to the end of its rope, no motor needed:

...but if you want to omit the wings and rotors and lifty bits that have formed the basis of flight since Icarus, you're literally dumping fuel faster than you can pour it out of a jerry can.

Dreamers look at birds and say "why can't we do that?" without realizing that if people were birds we'd weigh about 30 lbs. Dreamers look at drones and say "why can't we make that bigger" without realizing that most quadcopters don't go more than a few minutes on a charge. And I love a dream and I love a dreamer but every journalist who says "we're almost there people!" is doing a disservice to science, engineering and the people who practice them.

necroptosis  ·  107 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Even your high water mark is vastly optimistic. 95% of infantrymen weigh well more then 150lbs, and that’s before the 30lbs absolute minimum of kit required in addition.

I consulted a while back with a Silicon Valley type trying to outfit drones to carry soldiers into the battlefield. It took ages for him to realize that you’d need to transport a minimum of 12 300lbs soldiers to a location, and at that point how is it not just a stupidly risky divided helicopter?

necroptosis  ·  107 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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kleinbl00  ·  108 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Elizabeth Warren Announces She Is Running for President in 2020

I have not observed the Democrats go for "better strategy" in many moons.