Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Don't Want To Set the World on Fire After the World Burns

Somehow I have ended up on the song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire". I previously came across this song in the short Logorama. It was the song I needed to hear today. There are several straight version of this song on youtube, one of which is the just a shot of the 78 rpm record going a round and around. The version below is from the game Fallout 3. Anything involving nuclear war is not going to be positive.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why Americans Don't Vote

Americans hate politics because the people who are passionately involved tend to be such contemptible assholes.

Philo Vaihinger in  thread

The SUV of Winterwear

The SUV craze got weird because people would overestimate their need for them. They were been bought by suburbanites who needed four wheel drive for about an hour every year. Canada Goose parkas seem to be the in this category, bought by the clueless and fashion obsessed. The only "Canada Goose" parkas I see in Toronto are their bomber jacket, not a style of clothing to keep you warm when not sitting down.

There are not many winter jacket brands out there. A winter jacket needs to meet certain function requirements before satisfying fashion needs. I think "Canada Goose" needs to tone down its marketing or it will destroy its brand value. Their bomber jacket needs to be dropped. Or "Canada Goose" will only be connected in many people's mind/ my mind as the parka for idiots who don't know that winter exists.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Party Balloons Will Become Extinct

Party balloons might disappear in the future in order to preserve limited supplies of helium, slashdot article Scientists Speak Out Against Wasting Helium In Balloons, BBC report Helium shortage prompts scientist's balloon use warning.

Of course once breeder reactors are available maybe helium can be created by splitting hydrogen. The wold needs to invest heavily in nuclear technology so we can escape the carbon trap we are currently in.

Best comment in the slashdot thread was by cellocgw, also the first comment in the thread. 
There may be a free-market solution. Let's float a trial balloon and see how everyone reacts.

Project Trinity - Complete Film

Years and years ago I saw Project Trinity at tiff. I mentioned this documentary in an earlier post, Nuclear Testing as Art/Astronomy. The above is a complete copy of Project Trinity.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Kill Aliens - Support The Reduction Campaign

The Kick Starter campaign for the Prepare to Drop is on. There is less than 30 days to fund this campaign. Speaking as a player I have found that so of the best experiences as a player has come from user created content. I have played great mods in Civilization and great maps in Counter Strike. As a player sometimes you have to prime the pump and ante up to provide for good gaming times in the future.

2000 Light Years From Home - On The Reduction Campaign

To see more of these levels in Alien Swarm go to Reduction: The Bug-War-On-Earth Sci-Fi Game Campaign.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Test Your Vocabulary

The above is my score from Test My Vocabulary. Take the test and see if you can get a score better than me. I dare you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

How Criminals Die of Natural Causes

Coroner: These two men died of natural causes.
Police: What do you mean? They were both shot.
Coroner: Yes, natural to their line of work.

Joke left by RunningMacon in

It's sad that the 90% bad ones make the other 10% look bad.
comment by "John" in 

Monday, September 03, 2012

The Addict Doctor in Reality and Fiction

...his remoteness, severity, and mordant sarcasm were the products of a daily struggle with addiction.

Frederick Crews, in the review
 Physician Heal Thy Self: Part 1 about the book
 Genius on Edge: the Bizarre Double life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted
 in the New York Review of Books Volume LVIII, Number 14

That sentence fragment could also describe a certain fictional doctor.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Theoretical, Historical and Current Air Lanes of The World

Years ago on this blog I posted a link to a study of shipping lanes in the 18th and 19th centuries, Windjammer and East Indiaman Shipping Lanes. Now very little commercial cargo is shipped on sailing ships. Instead now there are container ships and air cargo. Weirdly there is a coincidence. Fed Ex according to Wiki shipped 15 million tonne kilometers in 2004.  One clipper, The Blackadder, with a tonnage of 900 tons on a trip to Sydney was capable of shpping 20 million tonne kilometers in one 2 month voyage.

Here is a map of the air lanes of the world published as of 1944 from The Atlas of Global Geography. Link from Thande in Things that look like alternate history, but aren't at Look at how Canada is nearly empty of air routes. And how the USSR has dense network of air routes compared to China, India and the Middle East.

Here is a map from 1920 about possible air lanes from The People's Atlas. This atlas was published so soon after WW1 with the result one of the only sections that is not prewar is this section. Helpfully it also has pictures of warplanes drawn to scale. As you can see the scale it presumes that commercial air travel was going to limp along at 100 miles per hour. What may please the those futurists who drew this map is that four airlines that were founded in 1920 still exist.

Here is an illustration of the air traffic in 2008 based on observed contrails. It is from a blog concerned with contrails, Contrail Science. The image below comes from a blog post about the growth of air travel in last 30 years, 30 Years of Airline Travel. The paper that blogpost is based on is not available.