The U.S. said recovery efforts to collect sensors and other debris from a suspected Chinese spy balloon were successfully concluded. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said investigators are now analyzing its ‘guts’ https://t.co/YUXj38WFKM pic.twitter.com/aIZUu7USJj
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 18, 2023
… But U.S. and Canadian authorities also announced they had called off searches for three unidentified objects shot down over last weekend, without locating any debris.
President Joe Biden said this week the U.S. intelligence community believed the other three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions – not China’s spy program.
The last of the debris from the Chinese balloon, which was downed by a Sidewinder missile, is heading to an FBI laboratory in Virginia for analysis, the U.S. military’s Northern Command said…
“It’s a significant amount (of recovered material), including the payload structure as well as some of the electronics and the optics, and all that’s now at the FBI laboratory in Quantico,” said National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.
Kirby said the United States had already learned a lot about the balloon by observing it as it flew over the United States…
The U.S. military has said it believes it has collected all of the Chinese balloon’s priority sensors and electronics as well as large sections of its structure, elements that could help counterintelligence officials determine how Beijing may have been collecting and transmitting surveillance information…
U.S. officials have since been looking at the possibility of a meeting between Blinken and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference that began on Friday.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who is in Munich for the conference, defended the administration’s handling of the balloon incident and the shooting down of the three other objects.
The Chinese balloon “needed to be shot down because we were confident that it was used by China to spy on American people,” Harris told MSNBC.
“We will maintain the perspective that we have in terms of what should be the relationship between China and the United States,” she said. “That is not going to change, but surely and certainly that balloon was not helpful.”
“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”
50% chance this is because every alien so far has gotten smoked by an F-22 50% chance John Kirby is a robot suit being piloted by a very tiny alien Men In Black style https://t.co/wH4n3AUV6r
— knife-wielding hemophiliac (@NickTagliaferro) February 13, 2023
I've directed my team to set sharper rules on how we deal with unidentified objects.
We will inventory, improve capacity to detect, and update rules for launching these objects — and @SecBlinken will work to establish global norms.
Americans will be safer because of it.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 17, 2023
From the Washington Post, “There’s a ton of crap in the sky we haven’t shot down (yet)” [unpaywalled ‘gift’ link]:
The sky is full of stuff. Much of it can be identified, often with the naked eye: police helicopters, prop planes, ravens and starlings and eagles, runaway pink and blue latex balloons from gender-reveal parties. An average of 45,000 flights traverse American airspace daily, with 5,400 aircraft in the sky at peak operational times. Every day the National Weather Service launches about 180 balloons to collect data, sometimes from as high as 20 miles up. Higher still, approximately 23,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbit the Earth, along with 500,000 marble-sized objects, plus more than 5,000 working satellites. At lower altitudes: at least a million recreational drones, hovering over your neighbor’s backyard barbecue or at the wedding reception down the street. Some of the stuff in the sky is immediately identifiable, some less so. The alien craft that crashed in rural Colombia in 2017 and freaked out farmers? An internet balloon designed to boost WiFi signals…
The abundance of random stuff in the sky has gone from confusing to alarming over the past two weeks, as the U.S. military targeted four airborne objects to shoot down with Sidewinder missiles. One object was determined to be a foreign surveillance balloon, 200 feet tall, with a payload the size of a commercial fuselage. It was part of a Chinese spying flock that has soared over dozens of countries around the world.
What about the other three objects?…
Let’s identify three things that we know for sure.
First, NORAD usually looks for marquee threats such as nuclear missiles and enemy bombers, but it opened its radar filters in response to the Chinese balloon. Now smaller, slower objects — including garbage that would normally be filtered out as noise — are instead appearing as signals that can be engaged or investigated.
Second, air and space have been getting more crowded with objects, as aerial technology improves and proliferates among governments, corporations and the public. (Not all of these objects are flying in a propulsive manner. Some, like balloons, are merely floating.)
Third, the United States is taking unidentified objects more seriously than ever, and in a more public way. Some of these objects are explainable. Some are baffling…
“The primary thing we’ve been saying all along is not that these are alien spaceships,” said Christopher Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense who in 2017 helped put witnesses and declassified UAP videos in front of Congress and the New York Times. “The issue has been: We should know who is operating in U.S. airspace. And everyone can agree on that. The frustration that we’ve been feeling is now shared by the Congress and the American people. We’re sorry it happened this way, that it had to be a Chinese balloon, but we’re grateful it’s dawning on people that this is a genuine, legitimate issue.”
What does it all mean, though? What can we deduce from all this clutter in the sky, and all this clamor on the ground?
“I think we can deduce that people get scared too easily,” said astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who helps track the bumper-car ballet of satellites higher up, in orbit. “There’s been a lot of unnecessary panic around this. … For the most part, the right attitude is to shrug and let it fly over.”
Long, excellent thread, for those interested:
Quick 🧵 on why the last three objects shot down are so hard to find, especially compared to the first. I have had some inquiries on this, so here goes: The Chinese Spy Balloon was very large, with a huge towering envelope and large payload truss…
— Tyler Rogoway (@Aviation_Intel) February 15, 2023
They're clearly jonesing for a balloon shootdown. Unseemly NORAD envy
— Hemry, Local Bartender (@BartenderHemry) February 16, 2023
Prediction: We're going to find out eventually that these "objects" were drones operated by some shadowy US 3-letter agency that didn't bother to let anybody else know about them and would rather lose the asset than reveal their operation. https://t.co/XNUobIbBmS
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) February 11, 2023
CNN is the first international network to track down the headquarters of a Chinese balloon manufacturer blacklisted by the US government after the suspected spy balloon. We found an active industrial complex with possible ties to the Chinese military. @OutFrontCNN @ErinBurnett pic.twitter.com/3a1cJ2XSWE
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) February 18, 2023
North Korea, desperate for attention, tying a GoPro to a cluster of circus balloons
— Kitara Revanchist (@canderaid) February 12, 2023
Media always be spinning.
Everyone is going to be watching the skies, no one will be looking for the C.H.U.D.’s.
You can pay 100 bucks, buy a balloon that can get to 100,000 feet, and track it as it goes around the world. Easy peasy. The article explains this better than I can. It is a basic hobby, sorta like ham radio operators, and it has been going on forever.
Have some balloons.
That’s so cheap.
Lawnchair Larry better be a little more careful.
(I haven’t seen anyone else refer to him but I only read the AM comment threads)
Interesting article about the hobby balloonists.
Sad their hobby gets shot down. And you know some fools are about to start baiting the Air Force just for “fun”.
Beginning to think this blog itself is in the pocket of Big Balloon.
I would love for someone to do that again just to hear the audio of the jet pilot’s reaction when it’s spotted.
“For some…” He’s not naming names, but….
You can tell none of them have any actual public school experience or they would know parents LOVE AP courses :)
“It just makes voting for him less enjoyable,” said one parent.
How long till the pukes start bitchin about how much this ordnance costs?
DeSantis boasted in his state of the state that Florida students were 2nd in the nation for AP courses.
Then they discovered that there was a pilot of an African American studies course that they could exploit politically by lying about what’s in it and every conservative was immediately required to push for the abolition of AP courses.
Ridiculous people, the antiwokesters. Baby/bath water on every issue. Reckless.
The pseudo cold war with China is really fascinating in an “oh crap” kind of way.
Pretty much everyone on this site is using a device of some sort where it, or its parts, was probably assembled in China. You see companies like Apple starting to build alternatives in other countries. But I’m pretty sure neither country can afford to lose that industry/pipeline, from one end or the other.
So where does the political dick-swinging go, when the economics are almost a whole `nother issue?
It’s the third most populous state. So they beat Texas. Big whoop.
@P Thomas: and the hard part of the hobby is powering things on the long duration flights. It’s cold enough that all the easy to obtain batteries will freeze up and quit.
the simple one day up and return can get by with a well insulated container, and spending some of your power budget on heaters keeping the batteries warm. (A favorite are those small styrofoam coolers that they ship medicines that need cold shipment, like insulin). These days it’s the sort of thing you could find on exhibit at a high school science fair.
each round costing 25–30 dollars (plus tax) at 6,000 rounds per minute.
We’re living in an era of cheap balloons and still people are bitching about the state of the world. Amazing.
Good Morning, Everyone😊😊.😊
@Baud: I remember joking with friends about the conversation between the 1st passing airplane and the tower.
Plane: Uhhhh Tower? I would like to report a man in a lawnchair at 14,000′.
Tower: Say WHAT??? Please repeat.
Plane: Tower, I would like to report a man in a lawnchair at 14,000′.
Tower: WTF is he doing up there???
Plane: He’s drinking Budweiser and roasting weenies.
Plane: Oh yeah, he is also armed and may be dangerous.
I’m telling ya (again), a squadron of Spads would handle the problem up to 20-22,000 feet.
Can you still get .303 ammo for Vickers?
Republicans can’t get rid of Santos because it will turn out that all of them lie on their resumes. It’s a huge can of worms for them, but also hysterical.
This is what they call a “quality crisis” in manufacturing. When you find out that all of your employees are just really bad and so they make bad products. It can’t be fixed, because by the time it happens there are too many low quality hires and you can’t get rid of all of them.
I hope Santos starts saying it – “look at all these other Right wing liars! Why am I being targeted?” I think he will, because like all of them, he never shuts up.
@Kay: Nikki Haley is trying to out DeSantis DeSantis:
It’s a race to somewhere below the bottom.
@Spanky: Cheaper than 30 30!
20 Round Box – 303 British 174 Grain FMJ Prvi Partizan Ammunition – PP303F
Her and Pence both. It’s full time 24/7 anti cancel culture now. They join the NYTimes and the Atlantic in this nutty panic.
I keep going back to PA, WI and MI. This bullshit didn’t carry the day in those states and they’re not the most liberal states – they’re in the middle. Conservatives and anti cancel culture ninnies of all stripes ran on this in PA, WI and MI and they lost. I think Biden is ignoring the liberals who have fallen for this and he should ignore them. Freaking out about “cancel culture” is not mainstream.
@Raven: Well there ya go.
Get me the Secretary of the Air Force on the phone!
Or should we be calling the Army Air Corps?
How does President Haley plan to enforce her speech ban? It’s one thing to ban speech as a governor, like DeSantis. It’s much harder as President. She’s going to order Connecticut to stop offering AP courses? My ass she is. She doesn’t have any power to do that.
Up from the sea, from underground
Down from the sky, they’re all around
— “Carol of the Old Ones”, by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society
The primary thing the last 3 objects shot down will do is provide the television show “Ancient Aliens” with 3 years of programming material.
@Princess: Obviously we need to crowdfund a green one. It’s the next logical step! Right there in the name.
Clearly the solution is a radiothermal generator (or “power orb”, as XKCD calls it). Though they’re not exactly easy to obtain; governments are fussy about plutonium.
WaterGirl needs to stop wasting her timing on election fundraising and start working on important stuff like this.
Heh. I thought the power orb was going to be the sun.
@Kay: Maybe this is one reason why they’re so resentful of those who have actually done the work and got the advanced degree from the challenging school.
@Baud: It will be perfect. Fox will hear about the big green lib balloon and demand that Biden shoot it down. We’ll go from a top 10,000 blog to a milli…..you know what, never mind.
Mai Naem mobile
I don’t understand why people aren’t pointing out the obvious. These balloons are obviously alien entities sent from other planets to take over the planet because we’ve obviously fucked this all up so bad as humans that we need intervention to straighten things out.
@Mai Naem mobile:
People don’t like to get their hopes up.
Heh. Mo’ people = mo’ problems.
@P Thomas: There’s a whole genre of YouTube videos that is just people doing this–“we sent our [object] to space” (no, they’re not going to space but they get high up enough that it certainly looks like it: black sky, blue Earth swirled with clouds).
And then a bunch of flat-earthers invariably start yammering about fisheye lenses in the comments.
@Kay: Republicans are not about to be constrained by anything as inconsequential as reality
@Kay: DeSantis cares only about political theater. Real-life damage to other human beings is irrelevant; every other consideration is subordinate to the spectacle of owning the libs.
(Honestly, I think it’s a bit of a waste of helium, which we should be treating as a precious finite resource, but at least it’s cooler than spending it on party balloons.)
@Baud: Missouri people = Missouri problems. Can’t argue with that.
@Mai Naem mobile:
[Obvious Agent Mulder joke goes here.]
O. Felix Culpa
@Mai Naem mobile:
It’s the larval stage you have to watch out for
@Matt McIrvin: Helium is actually a renewable resource unlike most other elements present on Earth. Radioactive decay in rocks continuously creates helium as does spent fuel from nuclear reactors (supposedly 20 grams a year per tonne of stored spent fuel).
The cheap helium we use is mostly from radioactive decay, trapped in gas domes underground over millions of years and concentrated there to make it easier to extract and utilise. Worst case we could extract helium from the atmosphere, there are literally billions of tonnes of the gas present there with more being added every time a party balloon pops.
Heh. Fun with postal abbreviations.
What is mainstream are families like mine: multiracial, some recent immigrants, some LGBT people. Some family with mental health challenges, addiction issues, special needs and disability. Even normies and non-ideologues can understand — because they can see — that their experiences in the world are not the same. It’s undeniable. And cruelty pointed in their direction is unnecessary, no matter how one feels about taxes or foreign policy.
Most conservatives very much want to see themselves as normative. They’re followers. They don’t want to be countercultural and they aren’t comfortable with it. We need to remind them of it.
@Kay: So, Rufo took advantage of Harvard’s willingness to dilute their brand for cash. I mean, what’s the point of going to the Harvard Extension School if you can’t say you got a degree from Harvard?
I’m torn between “screw the elitist jackasses who think their Harvard education makes them automatically better than anyone else” and “nasty pathetic person padded his resume”.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
At the DoD contractor I am working at we got a newsletter about these things. I am not sure what I am allowed to say about it, but, note the that the President and the Pentagon keep on using the words “Chines Spy Balloon Program“.
My MArch is from Arizona State — a punchline if ever there was one — and I have still had experiences in which I was told I was elitist and intimidating,
Lots of people just always scorned the nerds in their classes in school and it pisses them off that the nerds now make more money. (And now look better, if I do say so myself.)
@Ken: I thought we’d be able to buy plutonium in every major corner drug store by now.
I’m kind of embarrassed that this never crossed what passes for my mind, but I read a response to an article in the Washington Post about the latest mass shooting—77 dead in six weeks (as of yesterday; it already may be more).
“It’s an amendment! Prohibition was repealed because it led to too much crime. The 2nd is being misinterpreted wantonly. Repeal.”
I doubt there’s any chance to flat-out repeal it (I wish), but I wonder whether there’s finally enough revulsion to give this country a chance to at least rewrite it. Is there anything we can do except barricade ourselves?
Sadly, I remember when I thought the Equal Rights Amendment would pass too. Nevertheless, despite knowing that I’m urinating into a hurricane (especially difficult for an old woman), I’ve contacted legislators, even if to make myself feel as though I were doing something.
That is sooooooo elitist, you must be some kind of pointy headed intellectual. ;-) ;-) ;-)
@Robert Sneddon: When I look up “”balloon juice” I find this website listed first. That’s how I reach this fine forum.
If I scroll down past a few winery ads I come to a November 21, 1943 New York Times article titled, “New Uses for Balloon Juice.” It’s about the recent discovery of a rich source of helium in New Mexico. I’m guessing it was one of the gas domes you describe, and that the uranium deposits underlying parts of northwestern New Mexico accounted for the extra helium.
Not in MO. Not in AR. Not in TX. Not in OK. Not in….
Even if you could get it thru Congress (or a Constitutional convention) You would never get it thru the Red state leges, and Blue states don’t add up to anywhere near the required 3/4s.
@OzarkHillbilly: I remember when I was 17, and I was working after school at a store in a terrible part of town (in which I lived and went to school, of course)….. I was reading “Naked Lunch” on my breaks. One of my coworkers asked what I was doing, and I said that I was reading, and she said, “You must be one of those intellectuals“.
People who complain about intellectuals and college are just telling on themselves.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Suzanne: I recall a joke that the losing MIT team cheer was:
That’s all right. That’s OK.
You’re gonna work for us someday.
@Skepticat: I’m with you, as long as we keep the 3rd Amendment. That’s the one that really matters.
At one point, the media was speculating that one of the objects – probably the Michigan one – may have been launched by an educational institute. That possibility cracked me up.
Professor: Miller, why is your Senior meteorology project late? Did the dog eat your weather balloon?
Student: Uh….the Canadian Air Force shot it down….?!?
Dead birds take flight.
@Robert Sneddon: Yes, but it’s a question of rate. As far as I know, we’re using helium vastly more rapidly than it is being created. Oil is still being created too, but we don’t see it as a renewable resource because of that.
Also, helium is a light enough element that helium released into the atmosphere gradually escapes into space. Recovering it from the atmosphere before that happens would be extremely difficult since it’s so nonreactive.
@Suzanne: Every night I read to the boys and then they got another 30 mins to read what they wanted themselves. The best thing I ever gave them was a love of reading.
Can’t go into too much detail but, yes, defense radars (like weather, etc, radars) are generally designed, aligned and operationally tuned to look for SPECIFIC things.
You don’t want a missile defense radar to pick up thousands of small tracks moving at 40 mph at 20Kft (geese) and have a priority track (missile) get lost in the clutter.
These morons who claim the US military can track and ID every single thing in the air are, quite frankly, pulling nonsense out of their asses for the sole purpose of “OWNING THE LIBS! HYUCK!HYUCK!HYUCK!”
These guys fly balloons to study cosmic rays and sell merchandise.
@Suzanne: Yeah, at a place I worked, would read at lunch time- 1 of my bosses would make it a point to swing by and sigh, “there you are reading again” with a disappointed look on his face. Another employee would stop by to make snide comments about it. Mind you, I sat at a small table around the corner and down a long hallway in the back of the company so both of these people had to go out of their way say something. Was just so odd that they cared about my reading a book. I mean, it wasn’t like I was skipping thru the company hallways with Shakespearean tomes in my arms and yelling thru a bullhorn about my state university BS degree.
A view about Harvard’s Extension School. A lot of universities have adult/continuing education programs. Why shouldn’t Harvard?
Especially people on the Right. (Yeah, I know. Obviously, dude.) But back during the 2004 Bush II re-elect campaign, I was prowling around Free Republic. They were passing around some propaganda shots of Al-Queda precision order marching, with their AKs and black face coverings, and one of the Freeper cowards commented that he hoped to God for a Bush II victory, because only Bush could deal with characters as tough as these bad-asses, with their Monkey Bar training routines and blocks of hay to vault. Freepers were literally shaking in their boots over the thought of a president Kerry.
Steep’s occasional gadget report:
I had occasion to look for a new car phone mount, and I found one that is really good. My previous ones worked okay but always had problems like occasionally coming loose or making certain phone functions hard to get to. This iOttie Easy One Touch 5 solves all of those problems. Highly recommended.
The one I got attaches to an air vent or to an included flush-mount knob. (There is also a version that goes in the CD slot, if you prefer.) I use the air vent. What makes this mount great is that you can tighten the grip on the vent slat as much as you need. And you can tighten the mobility of the mount itself to maintain your preferred position and angle. Everything holds steady even (as I found) on some bumpy roads in need of infrastructure love.
The link above is to Amazon, which has good pictures showing the functionality, but I bought mine at Best Buy. You can choose which gigantic corporation to be abused by.
@Princess: Who do you think pays our salaries?
*the non-existent ones. :-)
Some already have.
The dirtbag-for-Jeebus Tony Perkins whined about it on his “Washington Watch” program this week.
We have to close the Helium gap.
@Matt McIrvin: Mathematically speaking, helium is being created faster than we “use it up”. Easily recoverable sources of helium are not being replenished that fast, this is true. At the moment it’s easier and cheaper to filter helium out of natural gas wells than it is to concentrate it out of the atmosphere. One way to do this would be via cryogenic separation, making liquid gases like LOX and LN2 and going a stage further to produce helium from the same process line. The helium doesn’t have to be liquefied, it’s what’s left after all the other gases in the atmosphere have been liquefied but it’s still a costly way of extracting it.
I figure it might be possible to concentrate helium from air via filtration — the helium molecule is a single since it’s a noble gas and that makes it the smallest molecule around, even smaller than the H2 molecule. I don’t know if anyone’s ever tried doing this though. Sounds like a neat Ph D project for someone though.
As for losing helium to space, we don’t really know how much this happens. Helium is, as I said, a noble gas so it’s not as affected by ionisation as much as other elemental gases and compounds. This lowers the statistical chance a helium atom will be ionised and then ejected from the atmosphere by the Earth’s magnetic field (the usual way gases are lost). Ionisation of helium does happen but it takes high-energy cosmic rays to achieve this, not just UV light which will ionise oxygen and other gas molecules.
Searching on the internet for how much helium is actually lost to space, everyone quotes everyone else but the breadcrumbs lead back to a single scientific paper from the 1960s (Landis et al, 1964) which theorises the figure to be 50 grams a day. A cursory search by me doesn’t reveal any updates or more recent research with actual observations etc. to prove or disprove that figure. Again there’s probably a Ph D project in there if anyone can get the funding.
Trump news – live: Tucker Carlson said Trump was ‘demonic force’ after 2020 election, Fox News lawsuit shows
Cowards, one and all.
I haven’t had the chance to read all the comments yet, but has it been discussed that Trump is going to East Palestine on Wednesday? When I first saw it I thought it was a joke or the Onion. What the hell does he have to do there? It’s supposed to rain so maybe he’ll cancel. Can’t get his hair wet, you know!
I have no problem with Harvard Extension existing or with Ruffo going there. His wiki page (and resume) should state that — not give the impression he went elsewhere. Esp people like him that are unelected and flaunting their expertise.
@Eunicecycle: I see it was discussed in the late night thread. Sorry for the repeat!
@Anyway: Yes, ignoring the source of Rufo’s master’s degree and looking at the subject matter should be enough. He has no background in education or related subjects.
I was looking up Ruben Gallego news and a KTAR-TV (Phoenix) story caught my eye: “Early Arizona polling for Senate looks good for Democrats, bad for MAGA.”The story is about a poll released last Thursday by OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix based polling outfit.
Polling of 3-way races (with Sinema running) showed Rep. Gallego plus 5% with Doug Ducey the Republican candidate; +7% with Karin Taylor-Robson the Republican; +9% with Blake Masters; and +8% with Kari Lake. “Undecided/Don’t” know ran from 21% to 25%.
In two way races, Gallego was +4% against Ducy, +4% against Taylor-Robson, +11% against Masters, and +10% against Lake. Undecideds in these matchups ranged a few points higher than in the 3-way races.
The “bad for MAGA” in the KTAR headline refers to the poorer performance of Masters and Lake, Trump endorsees in last year Senate and Governor races.
Rep. Gallego was the only one of five potential candidates with a net-positive favorability rating. His was +8%, Taylor-Robson’s -6%, Sinema’s -10%, Lake’s -22%, and Master’s -24%.
OH Predictive found Gallego’s +6% favorability among Independents and +18% among Hispanic/Latinos significant because:
OH Predictive Insights describes itself as a “nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research and data analytics firm.” They do a lot of polling of Arizona races. I will try to link to the poll in my next comment, but the KTAR story is easily found and has a good link.
Link to poll.
Oh well, another lousy link. But the KTAR story is easily found and their link works.
One item in the story that caught my eye was that Gallego was “most popular among voters 55+, college grads and parents.”
Thlink does lead to the OH Predictive Insights website which gives a fuller picture of the outfit.
edited to fix your link. WG
@Anyway: Interestingly, Rufo’s wiki page now has his degree listed correctly. Is that new?
Yeah, it’s amazing how much important science was done in the ’50s and ’60s that hasn’t been revisited.
Google tells me that Alpha particles (He nuclei) are kicked out in Radon decay, so given enough money and energy, we can all harvest helium in our basements.
@Eunicecycle: They need paper towels!
@Eunicecycle: Trump is jumping on a bandwagon or more accurately, into a clown car. The East Palestine derailment was and is in fact a serious environmental problem, but it has been sensationalized on the internet, hyped as another Chernobyl even. Opponents on the left and the right think they can turn it into Biden’s Katrina.
The famous “bully pulpit”, maybe? Whatever that is. Do we still have one?
The next R president will have a stroke live on camera, trying to out-cancel cancel culture. “DIDN’T YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID FROM BEHIND THIS HERE BULLY PULPIT??” LOL
@Eunicecycle: I hadn’t seen that (and almost wish I still hadn’t). Perhaps he’s going to take credit.
I want in on this Harvard Extension School thing! Think of the total bragging rights thing at the family dinner table. “Oh kiiiiiiiids, look what Daaaaad got while you were attending Premium State U…”
@Skepticat: I hope some journalist there reminds him it was his administration that got rid of rules that might have prevented the disaster.
@Geminid: I just say “please proceed” since it was Trump that loosened the rules on the transportation of hazardous materials. Yes, Biden has not replaced the rules but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
“Eat lead, Zeppelin!” (From twitter, somewhere.)
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@OzarkHillbilly: Tucker decided to reclaim his journalistic credibility last night by having noted foreign policy expert Tara Reade on his show to discuss Ukraine. Apparently the pro-Putin horseshoe is organizing some kind of march, and NATO is the aggressor. Chris Hayes, Rebecca Traister and Liz Breunig were unavailable for comment. I was gonna add Ryan Grim, but he’s probably painting signs.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE
I take ten minutes out from grading papers and I see this???
@Ken: like I said, easy to obtain batteries. I have seen some power sources that use tritium and solar cells, but they have outputs in single digit milliwatts at best.
(I was actually surprised that the lithium batteries used in cars will freeze at temperatures commonly reached in a northern Midwest February. Luckily the batteries aren’t damaged when this happens, unlike a lead acid cell. Manual says tow to a warm place, let thaw before attempting to use)
as for helium, on an unmanned balloon hydrogen would be a cheaper option. Needs a bit more care when filling, but not a big deal.
Nerd july 4. University student level. From the chemistry stores filch a tank of hydrogen. From the infirmary, one of oxygen. From the janitorial closet, a roll of the big clear plastic trash bags. Actually purchase, a roll of “cannon fuse”.
fill bag with mostly hydrogen, adding as much oxygen that you can without compromising lift too much. Add several feet of fuse. Light fuse and release immediately. Satisfying bang and flash at a few hundred feet AGL.
Zap Brannigan: Good work everyone, the mothership is destroyed.
(Flying Saucer appears)
Zap Brannigan: What the hell is that thing?
Kif: It appears to be the alien mothership.
Z.B.: Then what did we just blow up?
Kif: The hubble telescope.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Has Hayes come out against helping Ukraine?
Another tidbit dropped from the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News. I don’t know if this has already been posted yet. Link
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The “Rage Against the War Machine” rally speaker list is like a “Who’s Who” of a Red/Brown Alliance. Jimmy Dore and Ron Paul are among the motley crew. The Libertarian Party’s “Mises Caucus” is a principal sponsor, and last year’s LaRouchite New York Senate candidate will speak also.
Medea Benjamin was to speak, but her Code Pink colleagues told her she could not represent the organization with so many right wingers on the platform (although she may not comply). I thought the rally’s biggest catch is the former Congresswoman from Hawaii..
Yes, 17 Feb change; https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Christopher_Rufo&diff=prev&oldid=1139935475
For political things like these, the edit history can provide a glimpse of efforts under the radar.
@Suzanne: A friend and her rather uneducated friend helped me move back when my worldly possessions could fit in a medium sized pickup. The latter person started complaining about all the heavy boxes, and what was in them anyway? When I said “books” she was appalled, “who needs all these books?!?” , with “books” having two syllables and a Texas twang. I was 18 at the time and she was first person I’d met who thought owning books was weird.
As I suspected, but was too lazy to check for myself. Thanks.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
No, but he, Traister and Breunig were the most prominent (left) boosters of the Tara Reade story.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Gadzooks! Ron Paul is still with us? I haven’t seen or heard his name in a long time
Would that be former (up until about a month ago) Sanders Institute Fellow Tulsi Gabbard?
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan, but I respect that.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I thought Ron had a stroke on live TV a while back.
I love the fighter jet model with plastic push pins in the bomb carriers under the wings; made me look twice to see it. Excellent visual for the whole balloon freak out, thanks!
In fun news, my husband and I performed a gypsy jazz song at an open Mic night two weeks ago, which led to others asking to get together and jam with us. We had dinner and played music with one couple this week and it was a fantastic amount of fun; we’ve got a band started now with two folks of similar tastes and outlooks who are such positivr, fun people. We moved here knowing no one 2.5 years ago and have made more friends to do all sorts of things with than we ever had before, but the music connection is the one we’d really been hoping for!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, Ms. Gabbard will speak. I found Gabbard’s presence significant because she seems like a good candidate to run as a spoiler next year, and the Libertarian Party consistently gets a ballot line for their presidential nominee in all or almost all 50 states.
I assume the Mises Caucus that controls the LP is motivated by money and power as much as promoting the libertarian economic principles of their namesake. So I am watching that space.
I’m pretty sure money and power are libertarian economic principles.
@StringOnAStick: That sounds great!
Maybe you can work up some fast Klezmer music, Shtetl Metal so to speak, and call yourselves the Dead Sea Squirrels.
@StringOnAStick: A neighbor helping me unload my truck when I moved to western Michigan thought my bookcase (without its shelves) was a guncase.
@StringOnAStick: That’s so great.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@StringOnAStick: What fun!
Florida may be replacing the SAT with a test based on ‘classical Christian education’.
@Spanky: Read that as “Spuds” and conjured a whole different scenario.
@StringOnAStick: Awesome! And fun music.
Personal highlight was seeing Stephane Grappelli and David Grisman Quintet perform together. Have always had a fondness for the genre.
@Bostondreams: “Classical Christian education” to consist of a Beethoven lookalike shouting at you in German whilst playing “Ein Feste Burg” on the klavier.
@Geminid: Interesting that their headline toward the top is this:
Click on the image to embiggen.
James E Powell
To Republicans, that makes him the perfect person for the job. Cf. Betsy DeVos.
@WaterGirl: Yes, I saw that. The 50% mark is considered very important in election race polling. But the 21-32% range of undecideds reflects how far away this election is, and only an exceptionally strong candidate would hit that mark so early. Both the TV station and the pollsters emphasized that these are very early findings.
One thing I like about this poll is that OH Predictive Insights polls Arizona a lot. I expect they will survey this race 7 to 10 more times between now and the election. Trend can be as important as the numbers, and successive polls by the same outfit are good indicators of trend I think.
James E Powell
Would that be a lot of Aquinas & Duns Scotus or are we going back to Origen & Augustine?
@Geminid: That poll was a good find!
True story about Lawnchair Larry.
I was a trainee air traffic controller, working Los Angeles South departures on the day of Larry’s “flight”. I was being monitored by a qualified controller, but we were not very busy, and were about to be relieved by the next shift. For about two minutes, the other 4 people around my scope had their headsets down and were just chatting, so they didn’t hear anything that happened.
A controller from the area from the south of us called me on the phone and asked: “Have you heard anything from aircraft about a guy flying a balloon west of Seal Beach at eight thousand? ”
Now….I was a trainee. Controllers love to play games with trainees. I figured this was a well planned game they were running. So, I just told the other controller that we hadn’t heard anything at all…etc” and rang off. I turned around and my trainer asked “What was that about?” And I said: “Something about a guy in a balloon at eight thousand over Seal Beach.” The four controllers just stared at me like I was some sort of alien being…or had gone crazy or something. We were relieved in the next minute, signed off, and was on the way home less than 5 minutes later. I was annoyed that they would play that kind of joke…and then not admit it.
Two hours later, of course, all hell had broken loose with the story of Lawnchair Larry. One of the few times in my career I was called back into work to fill out statements, etc. My trainer was so pissed at ME! “Why didn’t you tell us!?” I did, I told them. It was all right there on the tape…….
One of the “highlights” of my ATC career!
@P Thomas: Fun story!
@trollhattan: Love, love, love David Grisman! I was lucky enough to see Stephan Grapelli at the Boulder Chatauqua building long ago (obviously). Grisman just so does it for me.
@James E Powell: Homeskoolers would have NO idea what you are talking about lol. Talibangelicals are almost completely ignorant of the early Xtian fathers, theology before 1980, or even the history of Xtians in colonial America…I know this from MANY, MANY encounters with fundie friends, co-workers, relatives…
J R in WV
Yes, we have several albums of Grisman and Jerry Garcia, who were neighbors and would get together to pick — Grisman had an actual studio, and turned it on while they played, so there you go, real acoustic music!!
@P Thomas: considering that the ATC tapes from 9/11 were trashed, maybe the FAA investigatots learned something.