The future comes to an MIT gym:
Yeah: it’s just a five pound test module now, but ion-drive, no-moving-parts, heavier-than-air flight has to be pretty damn cool.
Yes. I still want my flying car.
Image: Pieter Brueghel the elder, The Fall of Icarus, c. 1558
The Midnight Lurker
To hell with flying cars! Where’s my jetpack?!
Ex-fed prosecutor Dan Goldman said he’s beginning to believe conspiracy with Russian interference is not the most serious crime Mueller is investigating.
“There may have been a much larger conspiracy to provide sanctions relief to Russia” for assistance.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 2, 2019
The Midnight Lurker
You posted an image of something I’m familiar. I have a print of Brueghel’s painting in my house. Hey, I’m one of the kool kids!
@The Midnight Lurker:
Jetpacks will never work. It’s not a technology issue, it’s the fact that there is no way to design one whose exhaust gases won’t burn your lower extremities to a cinder.
The Pale Scot
West Virginia Cracker travels to FL, goes to McDs, gets physical with young woman employee. Woman punches him 7, 8, 9, times in the face.
My kind of Happy Meal, they’re selling Avengers HM now, right?
Man Attacks Black Female McDonald’s Worker, Receives Large Surprise Order of ‘That Smoke’
The Midnight Lurker
@Amir Khalid: Fine, jet pack party-pooper. What about an anti-gravity suit?
@The Pale Scot:
Whoa, based on your first phrase I thought this was going to be about Cole.
@The Pale Scot: Clearly, she was acting in self-defense. That guy leaned over and grabbed her shirt and did not let go of her until one of her co-workers went to the customer side of the counter and physically pulled him off. He was holding on tight enough that they could not pull her away from him, which they tried to do. He said he wanted a straw. Every McDonald’s I have ever been to has straws out front in those little dispensers.
@rikyrah: I think this article is actually pretty good, in the sense that it largely escapes Cheryl Rofer’s earlier complaint about how many of these articles are just too dense and hypothetical to make sense of.
It’s a flying Sharper Image Ionic Breeze.
OT, some ‘held-the-line’ news about habitat conservation for birds in the revised Farm Bill:
The link has some slides showing positive effects of the Farm Bill on bird populations when it has included conservation programs.
Some improvements are mentioned in statements from Audubon, Ducks Unlimited and the American Bird Conservancy. There are “boosts to wildlife funding in the Farm Bill’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (which provides money for Audubon’s Conservation Ranching program) and to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program that allowed Audubon to partner with California dairy farmers on projects to protect nesting state-endangered Tricolored Blackbirds.”
There is “increased funding and improvements to the program that operates Wetland Reserve Easements and (a) boost in enrolled acreage for the Conservation Reserve Program (cap raised to 27 million acres), which compensates farmers for not plowing up and even restoring wildlife habitat on their private lands.”
“The final agreement also dropped numerous harmful provisions affecting federal forests, endangered species, and dangerous pesticides that kill millions of birds each year.” The American Bird Conservancy “was especially pleased with Regional Conservation Partnership Program boosts, which it said support conservation programs on private lands for Golden-winged and Cerulean Warblers.”
Pete Davidson is half my age, but looks older than I am. So, maybe Ariana Grande will hit me up.
Open thread comment: I posted a couple of days ago about a guy who was sleeping on our front porch swing. I didn’t approach him because I didn’t know what his state of mind was. He had relieved himself on the porch, too.
He left without any confrontation, and my husband decided to put the porch swings in the garage to discourage another visit. In the process, he found an unused hypodermic needle and an empty cigarette pack under the swing cushion. That worried me, but I figured it was a once-only thing.
So today I left for the grocery store and when I got home, I found an apple core, neatly squared, apparently with a knife, lying on the chair by the front door. He could have taken the core with him, but it seemed like he wanted it to be found.
It’s unnerving. I usually keep the front and back doors locked, and I will definitely keep doing that, but this seems like a weird game to this guy.
Should I call the police to let them know? My husband thinks I’m overreacting and we have no proof, so maybe we should set up a surveillance camera to see if he comes back.
That neatly sliced apple core really creeped me out.
That young woman is management material. She coolly and calmly defended herself until her coworker was able to pull the guy away. Find her a spot at Hamburger University, stat!
ETA Better baloney: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4Bm3cs9TFo
Fun article on Technology, Ranked
I think that the plow should have been ranked higher.
@rikyrah: Sanctions relief and a change in US posture toward Ukraine sure seems to have been the “quo” to the election interference “quid.” Naturally, Twitler is on the record confirming that suspicion, exactly two years and four days ago from today:
You know what’s not “very smart”? Broadcasting to the entire planet that you’re going to undercut sanctions imposed by a sitting president on an autocratic thug who helped you cheat your way into office.
@donnah: I am pretty tolerant of loiterers I see around my neighborhood, but it would upset me if they spent a lot of time on my front porch. Not sure what I would do in this case. Certainly, don’t confront him on your own, but only with your husband, and only if you are relatively sure he is unarmed. Have a cell phone ready to call 911 at the first sign of belligerence, but my guess would be that he will not come back if you confront him and clarify that you don’t want him on the porch and will call 911 if he shows up again.
@rikyrah: Duh, of course Russia was doing this for its reasons. It is not just the US either.
Home Security Cameras are not that expensive these days and might be worth the investment.
@Amir Khalid: Who needs lower extremities when we have jetpacks!?!
By all means, speak with the authorities first. If they don’t offer other guidance, then I would suggest you either set up some sort of camera system (including IR capability for night vision), or consider having a motion detection system with audible alarm that can be engaged when you’re in for the night. The latter is by far the more aggressive approach, and I can understand being reluctant to go that far if you have concerns about these situations escalating.
I’d set up either a real or dummy camera.
My browser won’t let me do actual replies right now for some reason. ? I would call the police non-emergency line and see what they advise. They may be able to adjust their patrols and have someone drive past your place a couple of times a night. And I would definitely try to travel in pairs for a while — try not to come home by yourselves if at all possible.
Last idea: motion-activated lights on the porch and around the perimeter of the house. They’re fairly cheap these days. You’ll get startled by a lot of raccoons, but it may be worth it for your peace of mind.
Thanks for all the advice, folks! I thought this guy was just a one-time trespasser, but he seems to want to hang around. We’ll find an inexpensive way to set up a camera and see if we can catch him. And if he continues to show up, at least we could have footage of him to show the police.
Bonus: if your flying car uses an ion drive, it probably will have low enough acceleration that won’t be as much of a danger to yourself and others!
The Midnight Lurker
@donnah: You should file a report with the police so there will be a record in case he returns. In a lot of areas, you can do this online. Include photographic evidence, if possible. If you are still in possession of the hypo, call the cops and ask them what to do with it. They might send a unit and you can explain the situation to them. It might rest your mind to get it off your chest to a cop.
This is clearly a person that needs help.
Yes. I once received a bullshit bomb threat and called the cops simply because I wanted a record of harassment should one be needed in court if things escalated.
@donnah: Call the police, not on the 911 line, but on their regular phone, tell them what happened and ask kindly for their advice. They won’t be able to do much at all, but they will have heard your concern and might send a car past more often….
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
AFAIK, from my many hours playing Kerbal Space Program, an ion drive would only be good for propulsion in space, and really only for small space probes. They have a low impulse and aren’t very powerful.
@rikyrah: I still think the primary quid pro quo was weakening President HRC in return for Trump Tower Moscow (or, given what an atrocious negotiator Trump is, in return for
magic beansa promise of Trump Tower Moscow.) I can’t believe Putin thought a Trump victory was likely enough to conduct an attack on the US that would only pay off if Trump won.
@donnah: Something to increase your peace of mind is worth doing. For today, even just a HW store sign saying “Security camera is recording.” If you don’t like the idea of a camera, you can put one up for a while and remove it later. Or try bright motion detector lights that are easy to put up and don’t need to be wired in. (There are solar and battery ones, LEDs, wide angle, etc.) For ideas of what’s out there. : (This place does have a great return policy.)
@Redshift: What you say might be true — but the conspiracy regarding sanctions could have started the day after Trump was elected. Or the sanction lifting could have been ONE of the quids for the Russian quo of election interference. They are not mutually exclusive.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??:
Correction: ion drives have high impulses but low thrust.
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??: This isn’t that kind of ion drive. This one ionizes the air rather than using a small amount of onboard gas, so it can scale up with the size of the wing.
NASA has also demonstrated an electric plane that uses a large number of propellers to blow air across the wing and produce lift, making the lift independent of the forward speed of the aircraft.
Putin’s actions make perfect sense if he knew that Trump would win 4 specific states by a very small margin that would give Trump an electoral college victory.
Just sayin’. I think we’re going to see actual vote-meddling before this whole thing is through.
@Immanetize: Oh, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had “stretch goals” in place from early on. I just don’t think that was the only conspiracy.
@donnah: That would creep me out too. I don’t think the cops would do anything if you did call them, but the video camera idea seems sound.
@Mnemosyne: That could well be, but I still think the timeline of the conspiracy began well before it could be predicted that the overall election would be close enough for that to work.
I agree with those who say you should call the police on the non-emergency line and tell them what’s been happening.
Gin & Tonic
@donnah: Look into what are called “game cameras” – used for shooting pictures/video of wild animals at night. They only shoot and record when there’s motion, and they’re pretty cheap.
The Pale Scot
Yea right, that’s the first thing I thought of..
I thought about going there, asking him to keep his crackers locked in the basement, but couldn’t come up with anything pithy
Well, sure. I think the Russians have been sending dark money to the Republicans since at least 2010 when Citizens United made it easy to conceal where the money was coming from. I think that dark money from Russia was what really put the Republicans over the top in local and state elections. The Kochs and Mercers and other big Republican donors were just a cover story for the Republicans to explain why they were suddenly swimming in cash.
It seems very instructive to me that the Republicans basically got routed at almost every level in 2018 and most of their big donors (like the NRA) have been pleading poverty. I think someone in the Deep State managed to quietly turn off that spigot of Russian money and the Republicans had to try and rely on domestic donors, who came up short.
This was absolutely a long-term game by Putin that only came to fruition in 2016.
@donnah: Call the police. Never let a man – not even a beloved husband – tell you that you are “overreacting” if you perceive a threat.
The Pale Scot
Hell yes, those are acts of terrorism with a small t. He’s not enjoying the views, he’s marking his boundaries, pushing on yours.
Also, when I REALLY get paranoid, I suspect that Republican election officials in WI, PA, OH, and MI cooperated with the Russians to fix the elections. And those may not have been the only Republican-controlled states that did.
Police. Call them. We have folks that roam our neighborhood. The only way to get the police to act is to let them know. Cameras too if you can afford it.
You all are great; I knew I could count on some good advice and tips. I’m not the type to be panicky or afraid, but this is flat-out weird and I am not going to be scared in my own house.
Our front porch is a few steps up from the front yard and there’s a brick wall all around the porch about three feet high, so it’s not easy to see from the street. However, we have always had a porch light that stays on overnight and my son just replaced it with an even larger and brighter one while he was here for Christmas. But a security camera is our next decision. I would feel better with one.
So here we go.
I will always believe that the state elections in Kansas the previous year were the test case for 2016
@donnah: You’ve gotten excellent advice here. Let us know that you have called the police non-emergency line. I would guess they might step up patrols in your neighborhood. This gentleman does not materialize out of nowhere.
All the best to you.
@rikyrah: I agree with Mnemosyne’s comments. I just do not believe Trump was legitimately elected.
There is an enormous story here. It’s sad we have such an incurious press.
Have we still been hearing the drumbeat of “Mueller’s gonna finish in February?”
I think that Karl Rove’s famous 2012 election night meltdown was because he thought his voter suppression scheme had worked and Romney was going to do what Trump did in 2016. That’s why places like Wisconsin ratcheted up their voter suppression laws in the 4 years in between.
But I think all of that voter suppression got a little extra boost of help from the Russians. It’s not a coincidence that their social media propagandists spent a LOT of time trying to suppress and depress the Black vote in 2016. ?
Oh, you, me, and rikyrah are all singing from the same hymnal. My main claim that may be slightly different is that I think the Russians started their long-term meddling program in 2010 when Citizens United allowed them to start sending unregulated dark money to the Republicans
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Oh, so this isn’t a Hall effect thruster? Wow, that sounds infinitely more interesting with more applications to boot.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
That’s actually scarily plausible. 2010 was a year when a lot started going wrong, Citizens United having been decided just in time for the midterms, which helped also spawn the gerrymandered maps we’re currently stuck with.
I wonder if Putin attempted to meddle even further back in the past, during the Shrub Admin? There was some funny stuff going on with Ron Paul in 2007.
On the ion-drive plane, my first reaction is, “Neato, but there’s no way it will scale.”
Then I think about how people claimed that the first Montgolfier balloons were useless novelties, and Ben Franklin replied, “What good is a newborn baby?”
In a more extended version of the same thought, he wrote to an English correspondent:
“It does not seem to me a good reason to decline prosecuting a new Experiment which apparently increases the Power of Man over Matter, till we can see to what Use that Power may be applied. When we have learnt to manage it, we may hope sometime or other to find Uses for it, as Men have done for Magnetism and Electricity of which the first Experiments were mere Matters of Amusement.”
So, now I’ll take the more optimistic view, along with Ben: the first Experiments on the new Ionic Drive are mere Matters of Amusement. But we may hope sometime or other to find Uses for it!
@donnah: I would be creeped out by that, too. You need a knife to have a square apple core. So far that’s a knife, a hypodermic needle, and pee. Time to do something, I think.
I think you should report it to the police right away (non-emergency number, like when your bike is stolen). They will surely send officers out to take your report. They may not do anything other than that, but at least you’re on record.
And then get your camera. A real one.
Really Professor? You’d be willing to give your fellow Massholes an extra dimension to be jerks in? And you thought driving in Boston was bloody now…
@Yutsano: phasers set on stun!
@Redshift: Deceleration isn’t going to be too spiffy, either. Assuming the ionic drive is your sole means of movement.
Russians had jack shit to do with what the WI state leg did with targeted vote suppression. It was the tried and true race and class based shit they’ve been perfecting for decades.
@Mnemosyne: Florida comes to mind.
@The Pale Scot: good lord, thank goodness that woman knew how to protect herself. what a jackass he is for grabbing her like that. glad they charged him with battery.
Dude, that’s an amusement-park ride, not a means of transport.