Category Archives: Weird

Fending Off A Space-Alien Invasion

Does the U.S. have the needed weaponry?

Obviously, it depends on the nature of their technology, but I’d say no.

As long as we avoid becoming a spacefaring civilization (as we have been for decades, de facto, with our insane space policy) we will always be on the defense. We need to be able to take the offensive against a space-borne attack, and we don’t even have proper picket lines up in the solar system, which means that there’s a good chance that by the time we find out about them, they’ll be at our front door, and it will be too late.

I do think that we’re good against zombies, though, at least in the U.S.

[Update late Monday afternoon]

Welcome, Instapundit readers! Just a reminder that as long as we obsess about safety in space, we won’t have a chance against an invasion. We’re over halfway to the fundraising goal, with a little less than half the time remaining.

“Hi Hippy”

That was the salutation in the phishing email I got to reset my LinkedIn password (at least three of them today). Whole thing:

Hi hippy,

Can’t remember your LinkedIn password? No problem – it happens.

Please use this link to reset your password within the next 1 day:
Click here

Then sign in to LinkedIn with your new password and the email address where you received this message.

Thanks for using LinkedIn!

How stupid do they think we are? How stupid are they?

Iranian Billionaires And Lunar Dictators

I just did a radio interview with Thom Hartmann, in which he postulated that if the proposed homesteading legislation passed, it would result in an Iranian billionaire setting up a military base on the moon from which to bombard us. Or alternately, that I would become a dictator of my own lunar colony. He also didn’t seem to understand the difference between libertarianism and anarchism.

Hokay…

Vital Research On The ISS

The space station finally earns its keep:

Compounds of unmatured malt were sent to the station in an unmanned cargo spacecraft in October last year, along with particles of charred oak.

Scientists want to understand how they interact at close to zero gravity.

NanoRacks LLC, the US company behind the research, has said understanding the influence of gravity could help a number of industries, including the whisky industry, to develop new products in the future.

And those silly people say that space research is a waste of money.

Coregasms

Everything (OK, well, not everything) you wanted to know about exercise-induced org@sms:

Because I first began org@sming from exercise at a young age, not to sound cocky, but I have perfected it! I know when my body is about to coregasm, I know what exact workout to do to achieve that feeling. I have also perfected my face so that if I do have a coregasm in the gym it doesn’t look like I am. I have never been embarrassed about coregasming at the gym because my coregasms are never unexpected or unplanned.

Now whenever I see a woman exercising, I’m going to wonder: is she or isn’t she?

The SAT

I never took it, but here’s a guy who retook it at age 35. The analytic geometry question was easy for me, but I didn’t take the time to try to figure out the covered polygon. I assume I’d probably do pretty well on it, even now.

How did I get two degrees from Ann Arbor without taking the SAT? By spending the first two years at community college.

And boy, can I identify with this:

Because I work on a computer like normal human beings, I’d forgotten how painful it can be to write in longhand for long stretches of time. I know it’s not as bad as digging trenches in the Amazon, but still—it’s AGONY. Your neck gets sore from staring down. You get that weird dent in your middle finger and thumb from pressing the pencil too hard. Everything around you starts to smell like old pencil shavings. This is why I fucking hated blue-book exams in high school and college. It wasn’t that I had to study, or that I had to think on the fly. It was the hard LABOR of it all. Every time I finished a blue-book exam in school, I felt as if I had just moved a cord of firewood. Many times, I would hurry up and try and finish the essay early, just so that I could stop writing and rest. It’s amazing, when you think about it. You spend a whole semester studying for some test, and then you rush it because you just want five extra minutes to relax. That’s how my brain works. It’s not a perfect organ.

I am so fortunate that computers came along when they did. My writing volume would be a tiny fraction of what it is if I had to write long hand.

A Trade-Deficit Solution

There seems like a big market opportunity here. Put people to work by fishing, and sell the proceeds to China. You could do it canned, frozen and fresh. I know that when I was a kid growing up in Michigan we’d never eat carp, and considered them junk fish, though the blacks would eat them (and dogfish, too — I remember dogfish runs by the dam near our cottage on the Muskegon River, where people would just pull them out with nets and cover the banks with them). Not sure what the difference is between Asian carp and the native variety, or if it’s tastier. But the Asians definitely do know their carp (which is what koi and goldfish are).

Adaptation

Some have said that the cost-effective solution to climate change is to adapt (I’m in this camp). But I think this may be going overboard:

Some of the proposed modifications are simple and noninvasive. For instance, many people wish to give up meat for ecological reasons, but lack the willpower to do so on their own. The paper suggests that such individuals could take a pill that would trigger mild nausea upon the ingestion of meat, which would then lead to a lasting aversion to meat-eating. Other techniques are bound to be more controversial. For instance, the paper suggests that parents could make use of genetic engineering or hormone therapy in order to birth smaller, less resource-intensive children.

What could go wrong?

And of course, it’s all about the liberty:

It’s been suggested that, given the seriousness of climate change, we ought to adopt something like China’s one child policy. There was a group of doctors in Britain who recently advocated a two-child maximum. But at the end of the day those are crude prescriptions—what we really care about is some kind of fixed allocation of greenhouse gas emissions per family. If that’s the case, given certain fixed allocations of greenhouse gas emissions, human engineering could give families the choice between two medium sized children, or three small sized children. From our perspective that would be more liberty enhancing than a policy that says “you can only have one or two children.” A family might want a really good basketball player, and so they could use human engineering to have one really large child.

Yes, that’s what we really care about — a fixed allocation of greenhouse emissions per family.

More thoughts from Mark Wilson at Ricochet.

Satellite For Sale

I just got an interesting email:

A fully-operational communications satellite is available for purchase for only a short time (days). If you know an organization that might be interested, please have them contact Richard Van Allen of Microcosm at 310-219-2700 ASAP.

The F2 satellite has been in orbit for about 11 years, during which time it used about 6 kg of propellant. It cost in the multi-hundreds of millions of dollars, and the launch cost was $105M in 1994 dollars. All systems on board the spacecraft are functioning normally, and it has both S-Band and C-Band communications capabilities. Also important, there is a current RF license in place to use the frequencies allocated to it. The current owner has decided it does not want to continue paying about $133K/month to keep it functioning and has been intentionally burning propellant over the last several weeks to deplete the remaining propellant. Currently there is about 30 kg remaining, more than enough for the satellite to last for many years. However, by the end of this week, the remaining propellant will have been used up, and the satellite will be dead.

Info on the satellite can be found here.