- Taking a dump on Turkmenistan.
- Being in a situation where I can accurately say to someone “you have arrived just in time for my moment of triumph!”
- Go on a Cape Buffalo hunt in which I kill a massive bull in a full charge, timed so that he slides, dead, up to the toes of my boots. Note that this item will likely necessitate a change of underwear immediately thereafter.
- Bitch-slap Chuck Schumer.
- Drive the AlCan.
- Go hunting in Siberia.
- See the following places:
- Tierra del Fuego
I have more bucket list items, but those are just a few of my favorites.
I know the science in Jurassic Park is pretty much at the Star Trek level of bullshit, but I wish it wasn’t, solely because I think hunting a full-grown bull T-rex would be an unimaginably awesome adventure.
Having spent a fair amount of time in Japan, I’ve often wondered why Japanese schoolgirls wear what amounts to a sailor’s uniform. They aren’t going to school on a ship – so, why?
By the time Mrs. Animal and I leave here on Saturday, I will have spent nigh unto a year now working and living in Silicon Valley. I can sum up my experience temporarily residing in California with three words: Fuck this place.
On that note, we return you to your Thursday, already in progress.
Seeking to prove that a conspiracy of astronauts fabricated the shape of Earth, a California man intends to launch himself 1,800 feet (549 metres) high on Saturday in a rocket he built from scrap metal.
Assuming the 500-mph (805-kmh), mile-long (1.6 km-long) flight through the Mojave Desert does not kill him, Mike Hughes told the Associated Press, his journey into the atmosflat will mark the first phase of his ambitious flat-Earth space program.
Hughes’s ultimate goal is a subsequent launch that puts him miles above Earth, where the 61-year-old limousine driver hopes to photograph proof of the disc we all live on.
“It’ll shut the door on this ball earth,” Hughes said in a fundraising interview with a flat-Earth group for Saturday’s flight.
Theories discussed during the interview included NASA being controlled by round-Earth Freemasons and Elon Musk making fake rockets from blimps.
That said, Hughes isn’t a totally unproven engineer. He set a Guinness World Record in 2002 for a limousine jump, according to Ars Technica, and has been building rockets for years, albeit with mixed results.
“Okay, Waldo. 3 . . . 2 . . . 1!” someone yells in a test fire video from 2012.
There’s a brief hiss of boiling water, then . . . nothing. So Hughes walks up to the engine and pokes it with a stick, at which point a thick cloud of steam belches out toward the camera.\
Yes, that’s right; he poked it. With a stick.
You just can’t make this stuff up. Also:
Here’s my favorite:
He won’t be able to test the rocket before he climbs inside and attempts to steam himself at 500 mph (805 kmh) across a mile (1.6 km) of desert air. And even if it’s a success, he’s promised his backers an even riskier launch within the next year, into the space above the disc.
Here’s my prediction Hughes won’t get out of that launch alive.
Now, some folks will be advocating for government interference with Hughes’ plan, to prevent him hurting himself. I’m not in favor of that. Not only should stupid people be conspicuous, I’m not particularly against allowing them to freedom to kill themselves, especially when it might be entertaining. As long as he doesn’t crash into a populated area, and from his plans he doesn’t seem to be going over too many of those – I say, he should feel free to knock himself out.
Tax the rich, feed the poor
‘Till there are no rich no more
Even the seventeen-year old me thought that was stupid. “If there are no rich no more,” I remember thinking, “who the hell is going to feed the poor then?” These lyrics seemed to that younger me to describe the very folly of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Now, musicians – indeed, performers of any sort – are frequently of the redistributionist bent. That’s nothing new. But some popular song lyrics present us with some of the most intelligence-insulting economic illiteracy ever seen. Here are a couple of examples:
1: Steve Miller Band, Take The Money and Run.
The lyrics in question:
They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run
Isn’t that nice? The young couple that are the subject of this song, in the very opening stanza, commit three felonies: Breaking and entering, armed robbery and assault with intent to commit murder (if not actually murder – the song is unclear.) Maybe the Steven Miller Band wasn’t trying to glorify violent robbery, but you couldn’t prove it by me. The song goes on:
Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He ain’t gonna let those two escape justice
He makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes
Sure appears to me that the cop is made out to be the bad guy here. As for his making his living “off of the people’s taxes,” well, sure – law enforcement is an example of a distributed interest, and one of the actual legitimate functions of a local government. And bringing armed and dangerous felons to heel is a pretty damned good use of tax money.
2: The Beatles/John Lennon, Imagine
I loathe this song. I’ve been called a heartless bastard for saying so, but I nevertheless loathe this song. it’s the worst sort of mushy-headed puffery masquerading as some kind of high ideals. Consider:
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world
No possessions? To hell with that! Heartless bastard I’ve been called and heartless bastard I may be, but screw that idea. If I work for something and earn it, it’s mine. If you work for something and earn it, it’s yours. If anyone works for something and earns it, it’s theirs.
You want a brotherhood of man? Fine. Let’s have a brotherhood of free men, all using their own talents, skills, knowledge and abilities to produce value. Let’s have a brotherhood of free men openly and freely trading the products of their work with each other, via mutual agreements openly and freely agreed to, in which both parties gain value. What Lennon called greed, I call ambition – that urge that drives people to work, to achieve, to excel. Want to eliminate hunger? That’s the way to do it.
Much as I love my daily helpings of classic rock, there are nevertheless times when its creators drive me batty.
A Congressional candidate from Florida has been to space. In a UFO. No, I’m not kidding, although she is very likely delusional. Excerpt:
Rodriguez Aguilera, 59, a Republican who is running to replace retiring Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, recounted her experience with the ETs during a 2009 television interview.
She described “going up” inside the spaceship — though whether it went into space or just hovered around town was left unclear.
“I went in. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship — not like airplanes,” Rodriguez Aguilera said.
In two separate videos posted to YouTube years ago, one by local Spanish-language station America TeVe and another by a political critic with the user name DoralGirl26, Rodriguez Aguilera spoke on television in detail about her extraterrestrial experiences. She said the alien beings reminded her of the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer, with arms outstretched.
Among the things she said she found out from the aliens:
▪ The world’s “energy center” is in Africa.
▪ The Coral Castle, a limestone tourist attraction South Miami-Dade, is actually an ancient Egyptian pyramid.
▪ “God is a universal energy.”
Am I alone here in thinking this kind of delusional horse squeeze should disqualify Ms. Aguilera from office? There are plenty of people who believe some odd things but are otherwise very functional within their field of work.
But this is something different. This is of a kind with flat-earthers and hollow-earth loonies. It’s of a kind with the lady I referenced last week that believed there was a city of superhuman aliens under a dormant volcano in California.
It’s of a kind with people who think socialism is a workable economic system.
Party registration be damned, this woman has no business holding office.
It’s sad and stupid, but apparently people thinking the Earth is flat is still a thing. Excerpt:
The Flat Earth Society’s site — which posits that the idea of a round Earth is somehow related to the faking of the Moon landing — is remarkably well-designed and professional-looking, eliminating some of the old hallmarks of disinformation on the internet. The ease of creating a website as clean as this one is a problem that has been well-documented by information scientists. As recently as five years ago, high schools were teaching that you could identify a disreputable source by its cheap-looking site, bad design, and messy URL. That no longer holds.
Digital newsrooms churn out coverage of flat Earth truthers using tools that make it easy to find stories bubbling up from the depths of Reddit. Here’s how it works: conspiracy theories get people fired up enough to comment promiscuously, bringing them to the front of Reddit where journalists see them, says The Verge’s editorial director Helen Havlak. When a reporter writes an explainer of a new oddball conspiracy theory, the sharing and hate commenting that drove the theory to the top of Reddit reoccurs on Facebook. And, if the post is coming from a generally reputable outlet or involves a celebrity (e.g., B.o.B. or Kyrie Irving) or a major news event (e.g., a presidential election), it can also get a boost into the Top Stories slot on Google News. “Newsrooms watch each other’s highest-performing stories,” Havlak says. It’s common practice to use a tool that lets newsrooms make lists of their competitors and monitor the popularity of their posts (on services like CrowdTangle, for example) to see what’s doing well for other outlets, and what might be a sure traffic bet if they could find a fresh angle or a reason to weigh in. “People see all the traffic to be had, and look for the next thing trickling up from Reddit,” she says. “Cycle repeats.”
It is perhaps belaboring the obvious to note that counting visitors to a loony-tunes web doesn’t necessarily translate to those people believing in whatever brand of nutballery the site espouses. However – the fact that a site exists is a pretty good indicator that the people who put the site up believe in that nutballery (parody and satire sites like the Landover Baptist Church aside).
Seriously, folks – Eratosthenes of Cyrene calculated the circumference of the planet thirty-four freakin’ centuries ago. This is hardly new stuff. Still – there are people about who believe all manner of stupid shit. When I was writing Misplaced Compassion, I was frequenting all sorts of Usenet (remember Usenet?) animal rights forums, and once encountered a nutbar who claimed to believe that there was a city of superhuman aliens hidden inside a dormant volcano in (where else?) California.
This is precisely as stupid as believing the Earth is flat. It’s funny and sad all at the same time.
An early flight back to (ugh) San Francisco beckons, so I’ll be brief. Yesterday, while surfing a few news sites, I stumbled on one of the better pieces of anti-gunner trolling that I’ve encountered in some time.
I apologize in advance for linking to, sending you to or in any way drawing any attention to Derpbook, but that’s where this is found. Enjoy.
This is definitely a case of “ahead Troll Factor Nine!”
And a mil-spec butter knife. Eh heh heh heh.
Well, we’re all still here. Guess that guy was just another crackpot.
Predictable. Stupid, but predictable. Hey – maybe I should go into the prophecy business!
Since we’re here, have some bonus ginger from the archives.
The airline industry’s response:
The other night, in Phoenix:
Eh heh heh heh.
This is one of those cases where it wouldn’t really matter who this asshole was protesting; in any case, the behavior of “antifa” fascists is out of control. A few generations ago, they would have been dispersed at bayonet-point; in recent events (Berkeley) they have been emboldened by a general lack of police response.
Not in Phoenix, though.
In spite of some of the headlines on this incident (including mine) this dickhead wasn’t actually hit by a rubber bullet:
According to Sgt. Howard with Phoenix police, some people in the crowd began to throw rocks, bottles and other projectiles at police and someone in the crowd dispersed tear gas in the area.
After the crowd was given a warning to disperse, police used smoke, pepper balls, pepper spray, tear gas and flash bangs to make them disperse. Howard said that no rubber bullets were used by police.
Police did make four arrests, three pertaining the protests and one on an unrelated warrant. The three arrested in relation to the protests were 28-year-old Daireus Stokes, 25-year-old Pamela Robertson and 34-year-old Derrick Pacheco.
So, that means that the jackwagon in the video was hit by something else – probably, judging from the video, a smoke grenade, most likely fired from a launcher.
I bet that really smarts.