Category Archives: Science

Animal’s Daily Apex Predator News

This should come as no surprise to those who study early humans, or to those who pursue furred or feathered critters in the game fields, but a new study shows humans have been apex predators for over two million years.  Excerpt:

“One prominent example is the acidity of the human stomach,” says Dr. Ben-Dor. “The acidity in our stomach is high when compared to omnivores and even to other predators. Producing and maintaining strong acidity require large amounts of energy, and its existence is evidence for consuming animal products. Strong acidity provides protection from harmful bacteria found in meat, and prehistoric humans, hunting large animals whose meat sufficed for days or even weeks, often consumed old meat containing large quantities of bacteria, and thus needed to maintain a high level of acidity. Another indication of being predators is the structure of the fat cells in our bodies. In the bodies of omnivores, fat is stored in a relatively small number of large fat cells, while in predators, including humans, it’s the other way around: we have a much larger number of smaller fat cells. Significant evidence for the evolution of humans as predators has also been found in our genome. For example, geneticists have concluded that “areas of the human genome were closed off to enable a fat-rich diet, while in chimpanzees, areas of the genome were opened to enable a sugar-rich diet.”

Evidence from human biology was supplemented by archaeological evidence. For instance, research on stable isotopes in the bones of prehistoric humans, as well as hunting practices unique to humans, show that humans specialized in hunting large and medium-sized animals with high fat content. Comparing humans to large social predators of today, all of whom hunt large animals and obtain more than 70% of their energy from animal sources, reinforced the conclusion that humans specialized in hunting large animals and were in fact hypercarnivores.

“Hunting large animals is not an afternoon hobby,” says Dr. Ben-Dor. “It requires a great deal of knowledge, and lions and hyenas attain these abilities after long years of learning. Clearly, the remains of large animals found in countless archaeological sites are the result of humans’ high expertise as hunters of large animals. Many researchers who study the extinction of the large animals agree that hunting by humans played a major role in this extinction – and there is no better proof of humans’ specialization in hunting large animals. Most probably, like in current-day predators, hunting itself was a focal human activity throughout most of human evolution. Other archaeological evidence – like the fact that specialized tools for obtaining and processing vegetable foods only appeared in the later stages of human evolution – also supports the centrality of large animals in the human diet, throughout most of human history.”

Hunting is what made us what we are.

Think about it like this:  Among very early humans, some were better at finding foods high in protein and fats.  Larger brains are metabolic gas-guzzlers, and while needing more proteins and fats to run than smaller brains, also lend greater intelligence, enabling those hominids to learn new and better ways of obtaining proteins and fats – in other words, meat.  Smarter hominids were better at obtaining meat, first through scavenging, then through hunting, and the increased quality of diet allowed more intelligent hominids to survive, and to increase their reproductive success, which in turn led to even richer diets by succeeding generations – forming a sort of self-reinforcing feedback loop that resulted in, well, us.

Remember that next time you confront a vegan soy-boy intent on lecturing you on the evils of meat.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I swear, you can’t make this shit up.  Take a look:

I distinctly remember Ronald Reagan meeting Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland.  Reagan landed first, and was waiting when Gorbachev’s Aeroflot airliner landed – in the Icelandic wind.  Gorbachev deplaned in a typically Russian heavy overcoat and fur hat (say what you will about the Russians, they know how to dress for cold weather) and Reagan was outside waiting for him in a regular business suit.

As Gorbachev approached, he slipped on a patch of ice.  He did not fall, but before his aides could react, the older Reagan ran to his side and steadied him, as though he was the younger, stronger man, representing his younger, stronger country.

It was a great visual.  Now we have doddering, senile old Joe Biden, sending the world just the opposite message.

Great.  Just great.

With that…

On To the Links!

Yeah, that’s not going to work out the way you think.

And that’s not likely to work out at all the way you think.

The epidemic that wasn’t.

Well, this is embarrassing.  If you’re not feeling like this, you should be.

No shit, Sherlock.

No shit, Sherlock II.

From the time of dinosaurs, and before.  Cool.

Holy shit!  Watch the embedded video – there was sure as hell automatic weapons fire on the Mexico side of the river.  Believe me, I’ve heard it before – and not an automatic rifle.  That was an M-60 or something of that sort, a crew-served machine gun.  (But they have such strict gun control in Mexico!)

Neandertals took good care of their teeth.

Well, you bought a house in loony California, so…

Fuck you, China.  Right in the neck.

This is actually racist.

1.  Read riot act.  2.  Order rioters to disperse.  3. Open fire.

Another one bites the dust.

Baghdad Bob at the southern border.

Meanwhile, immigrant facilities are apparently full of giant baked potatoes.

Joe Biden(‘s handlers) can’t keep covering this shit up.

The Navy is still looking into fusion.  Not surprising, the Navy operates a lot of reactors and has plenty of nuke experts.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Stephen Collinson is an idiot.

Newsweek‘s Michael Dyson is an idiot.

The Guardian‘s David Smith is an idiot.

USA Today‘s Nicole Carroll is an idiot.

Notorious blowpig Michael Moore is still an idiot.

Colorado farmers and ranchers respond to Gov. Polis’s idiocy.

Slate‘s Pedro Gerson is an idiot.

Slate’s Jane Hu is an idiot.  I’m sensing a pattern here.

Everyone involved with this bill is an idiot.

The Week‘s Ryan Cooper is an idiot.

The Nation‘s Elie Mystal is an idiot.

And So:

Boy, this one brings back some memories.  I remember going to the Ben Franklin’s Five and Dime when I was a little kid.  They had bins of little plastic toys, dinosaurs, birds and the like.  My Mom would give me a nickel each trip, if I had behaved myself, so I could buy one.

Later, as a teenager, I worked at the Woolco in Cedar Falls, selling guns and fishing gear.  Woolco was, of course, a branch of the famous Woolworth chain of five and dime stores.  I never fell in love with a co-worker there, although I did date one of the girls from the Garden Center for a while.  Nanci Griffith did a wonderful song about that happening, however; this is Love at the Five and Dime.  And (let’s say this softly) compare this marvelous display of talent, class and skill with what passes for music today, say, for example, at the recent Emmy Awards.  Anyway.  Enjoy.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

I found this pretty interesting, both as a biologist and a science-fiction writer.  Excerpt:

On the website for the department of zoology of the University of Cambridge, the page for Arik Kershenbaum lists his three main areas of research, one of which stands out from the others. Kershenbaum studies “Wolves & other canids,” “Dolphins & cetaceans” — and “Aliens.” Granted, science hasn’t yet found any aliens to study, but Kershenbaum says that there are certain things we can still say about them with reasonable certainty. Topping the list: They evolved.

“The bottom line — why animals do the things that they do, why they are the things that they are — is because of evolution,” said Kershenbaum, a lecturer and director of studies in the natural sciences at the university’s Girton College. He argues that evolution is a universal law of nature, like gravity — and that studies of plants and animals here can therefore tell us something useful about potential inhabitants of worlds far beyond Earth. He finds evidence for this in the process of evolutionary convergence, in which unrelated lineages of organisms evolve similar features as adaptations to similar environmental challenges. It’s an argument he presents in detail in his new book, The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal About Aliens — and Ourselves, which draws on comparisons of animals’ physical adaptations as well as his own research (and that of others) into animal communications.

In science-fiction, it’s common (I’m guilty of it myself) to portray intelligent aliens as just humans with funny features, and that’s more an artifact of story-telling than it is science, as your characters have to have a degree of similarity enough to make social interaction possible.  But it’s far more likely that even intelligent aliens would be truly alien, to the point at which we probably wouldn’t even be able to communicate with them in any meaningful way.

But how different would they be, in the broad strokes?

Well, look at life here on Earth.  Thanks to a set of genetic instructions called hox genes, most multi-celled life is organized fore-and-aft, with a mouth at one end and an anus at the other.  Sensory apparatuses are at the fore-end, near the mouth, because their original purpose was to detect food.  The central nervous processing center, that would eventually become a brain, would usually develop near those sensory inputs, the better to reduce reaction times.  And as organisms become more complex, they would have to have some kind of ways to move, and then, later, to manipulate their environment – limbs.

So a creature with a head with the senses on the head, a body, and some number of limbs, would seem to be a sort of biological default.  And to evolve into a technological society, they would have to have not only the intelligence but the ability to use and make tools, so either hands or some approximation of same.

Now, there’s no requirement for bilateral symmetry or even a tetrapodal layout; you could have an intelligent, technological race that uses flashing lights rather than sound for communication, is organized in a trilateral rather than bilateral body plan, and is a hexapod rather than a tetrapod.

You know – alien.

I think I’ll grab a copy of Dr. Kershenbaum’s book.  It looks to be an interesting read.

Animal’s Daily Lockdown News

Want to see some evidence of how well the Kung Flu lock-downs have worked?  Look at Florida and California.  Excerpt:

For the past year, California has effectively been shut down because of COVID. Most students haven’t attended school in a year. No kids sports have been played. Restaurants and bars, gyms, amusement parks, most public facing businesses, all of them have shut down in California to protect people from COVID.

Disneyland has been shut down for over a year in the state.

As a result, the California unemployment rate is 9.3%, and the COVID death rate per a million residents is 1,413.

Meanwhile, Florida hasn’t shut down at all, at least not since around May of last year when the COVID restrictions were lifted in the state. All kids have attended schools in person since last summer. All schools and youth sports leagues have played full sports schedules. Businesses have all remained open. Even amusement parks in the state, like Disney World, have remained open. (Full disclosure, I took my family to Florida for the month of May last year and also took my family to a fully open Universal Studios in Orlando for a week around Christmas of last year.)

The result?

Florida has an unemployment rate of 5.1%, and a COVID death rate per a million residents of 1,503.

Read it all, but the excerpt really says a lot.  California’s lock-downs were ineffective.  Florida’s per-capita death rate from the Kung Flu, when you normalize the data for the older population in Florida, may even be lower than California’s.

It would be interesting to see a broader sampling of data, of course; say, from South Dakota and Illinois, for example, or New Jersey and Alaska.  Colorado had mixed lock-downs, not as stringent as California’s and roundly ignored in many of the rural counties.  Alaska took few measures outside of requiring testing for entry, protecting the bush communities, although the cities of Anchorage and Juneau did engage in some lock-downs.

Alaska’s concern for the bush communities, of course, spawns from one issue:  If someone in the bush falls ill, they may have to be flown or even dog-sledded to medical help, which is a matter to be concerned about at all times, not just during the present supposed plague.

But the larger revelation from this story is somewhat different:  It’s another example the various levels of government having grown so overbearing, so ossified, that they can no longer react to changing data.  It’s another example of the fact that our pols, that horrible, parasitic ruling class, cannot admit they were wrong, no matter what the data shows.

And that, True Believers, is only going to get worse.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Variety is the spice of life.

Colorado (and much of the central part of the country) is still recovering from one of those spring snowstorms that, pronouncements of some weather-readers aside, really aren’t that unusual.  This week finds Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. in Colorado, packing up for our drive up the Alaska Highway in a week and a half (stay tuned for more on that topic next week) and we have done a fair amount of shoveling.

The Old Man with his payloader

Things, snow-wise, will be a lot different in our new home in the Great Land.  Winters are a different deal up there, with wintertime accumulations of three to four feet not at all uncommon.  Forget shoveling, except maybe the little bit right by the entry doors to your house; plowing is called for, and frequently actual snow removal, where you need a front-end loader of some kind to physically remove snow from your driveway and parking areas.

The Old Man on the tractor

So I’ll probably be buying some equipment.  And that’s OK – I like equipment.  I grew up on a place where the Old Man kept some equipment around – not just an old Ford utility tractor with front-mounted hydraulic loader, but also an old 1948 Hough four-wheel-drive payloader and a 1957 Ford 3-ton dump truck.  My new place isn’t as big as the old place in Allamakee County, but I do think that a small tractor will probably still be in order.  More and more I’m going back to my roots, and I’m loving that.

On that note…

On To the Links!

Ahead, Warp Factor Eight!

No Shit, Sherlock.  Seriously, Mrs. Animal and I have been happily married for almost thirty years – and I still pay more attention to her when her nipples are erect.

John Stossel rocks.

Pot to kettle:  “You’re black!”

He’s an armless lumberjack and he’s OK.

Prediction:  Andrew Dice Cuomo will skate on all charges.  These days, having a “D” after your name is a damned effective get-out-of-jail-free card.

Still, Andrew Dice Cuomo is taking a beating in the social-media world snakepit.  He’s learning that, when worn on the other foot, the shoe pinches.

Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Fuck off, slaver!

A 2024 GOP likely nukes President Biden(‘s handlers) threats of more lockdowns.

They can’t do that to our pledges!  Only we can do that to our pledges!

So, where are all the girls in boy’s sports?

Haw haw haw!  Couldn’t have happened to a bigger dimwit.

When I wore Uncle Sam’s colors, we were told, constantly:  Never make a public political statement while in uniform.  Never become involved in political matters using your status as a service member.  Well, some today have evidently not learned that rule.

The Great Uniter strikes again.

A bit of sanity may be creeping into this issue at last.

“It is no secret that Joe Biden is not in charge of the executive branch.”  No shit.

Florida v. California on lockdowns.

Interesting critters that lived before the dinosaurs.  Cool.

Neandertal art.  Also cool.

Life on Jupiter’s moons?  Extremely cool.

Best takedown of the year so far (Note, Nia Renee Hill is Bill Burr’s wife):

This Week’s Idiots:

NY Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait is an idiot.

California Governor Gavin Antoinette Newsom is an idiot.

Fuck you, you idiot, you nincompoop, you imbecile, you sniveling, cowardly douche-bag. Fuck you, your parents, your grandparents, any brothers and/or sisters, your first and maybe even your second cousins, and the horse you rode in on.  Seriously, if we’ve learned one thing from cancel culture insanity, it’s this:

NEVER.  APOLOGIZE.

The New York Times editorial board is (still) a collection of idiots.

The New Yorker‘s Doreen St. Felix is an idiot.

HuffPost‘s Laura Robbins is an idiot.

Salon‘s Bill Blum is an idiot.

CST‘s Mary Mitchell is an idiot.

Robert Reich is and always has been an idiot.

Stacy Abrams is a morbidly obese idiot.

And So:

A good song should elicit an emotional response.  This one does, and I’d be willing to bet I’ve got company.  As evidence, just watch the faces in the audience shown in this week’s video.

A while back, one of my daughters sent me a link to a music video by a country artist, telling me, “Dad, this song reminds me of you and Grandpa.”  And indeed, it does a pretty good of describing my relationship with my father, who was the finest man I ever knew.  This is Luke Combs, with Even Though I’m Leaving.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

There are some benefits to growing older and grayer, and since we’re all bound to grow older and grayer anyway, there is certainly no reason to not avail one’s self of those benefits.  Case in point:

For hunting and fishing purposes, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. don’t become full-fledged residents of the Great Land until one year has passed since our assuming residency.  That’s as it is in most states, and it’s not unreasonable; it precludes folks from swooping in, renting an AirBnB for a few days, claiming residency and harvesting a bunch of game or fish.

However:  By the time I reach that one-year residency requirement, I will have reached another milestone:  My sixtieth birthday.  That entitles me to a free lifetime general hunting permit, which, in the Game Management Unit where we live, enables me to take small game, fish, one bull moose, one caribou, three black bears and one grizzly per year, and exempts me from the state waterfowl stamp and king salmon stamp requirements.  Mrs. Animal will enjoy a similar free lifetime permit not because of age (I’m an awful cradle-robber, and Mrs. A will not see six decades for some time yet) but by virtue of being a 100% disabled veteran.

Every day reveals another reason we made the right choice with this move.

Well then…

On To the Links!

Will the real President of the United States please stand up?

Tucker nails it.

Kayleigh nails it.

This guy really nails it.  I’d buy him a beer any time.  (Note:  Language!)

Piers Morgan nails it.  Yes, really.

Rush Limbaugh gets in one last troll on the Left.

How a time machine would actually kill you.

How the search for yummy snacks actually shaped human evolution.

The space between life and death.

Gasoline prices are headed nowhere but up.  Did you know, by the way, that food and fuel prices are excluded from most inflation indexes?

Do we even have a Republic anymore?  Well, no, we don’t.  We haven’t for some time.

This was the right decision.

On top of everything else – there is now a shortage of sand.

Why the hell is anyone treating a little teen-aged Swedish loon as though she’s an expert on climate science?

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Jeffrey Sachs is an idiot.

Roll Call‘s Mary Curtis is an idiot.

Bill de Blasio is an idiot.  In a just world the people of New York would have fitted this asshole out with a new suit of tar and feathers by now.  Add that idiot Cuomo to that tar and feather party, as well.

Outlaw?

“Wildly unrealistic” doesn’t begin to cover this piece of idiocy from Oregon.

This genderless potato is still a genderless potato, and an idiot.

CNN’s Josh Bivens is an idiot.

Petaluma, California, is governed by idiots.

Robert Reich remains a sawed-off little asshole, and an idiot.

And So:

Tom Petty was a rare talent, and on the list of folks taken from us (stupidly and by his own hand, candidly) too soon.  He formed temporary partnerships with such other notables in music as Stevie Nicks and, as one of the Traveling Wilburys, with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison.

But much of his best work was done with his own band, The Heartbreakers, including this one from his 1984 album Southern Accents – this is Don’t Come Around Here No More, in which video Tom Petty proves that he would have made a far, far better Mad Hatter than that cheap hack Johnny Depp.  And the story behind the song is kind of interesting, as it involves the aforementioned Stevie Nicks, former Eagle Joe Walsh, and the Eurythmic’s David A. Stewart.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Rhino Horn News

Bob didn’t use rhino horn.

John Stossel tells us of his recent conversation with someone concerned with rhinos – the problem is, their policies are actually making things worse.  Excerpt:

Today’s environmental activists are so hostile to capitalism that they end up killing animals they want to protect.

Like the African rhinoceros.

Poachers kill them to get their horns, which can sell for as much as $300,000. Poachers mostly sell in China and Vietnam, to people who carve them into ornaments or sell them as aphrodisiacs. By the way: The aphrodisiacs don’t work.

When I started Stossel TV, my first video covered one man’s attempt to reduce rhino poaching by flooding the market with fake horns.

Matthew Markus argued that his 3D printed rhino horn would reduce demand for real horns.

“One way to devalue something is to create a lot of it,” he explained. “When things are abundant, people don’t fight, kill or steal.”

True. Bootleggers and Al Capone’s thugs disappeared when America ended Prohibition.

South Africa, home to the largest number of rhinos, once tried something similar. For 20 years, they allowed people to own rhinos and sell their horns. Rhino farmers put the rhinos to sleep with tranquilizer darts, sawed off their horns (the horns grow back) and sold the horn.

Farmers had an incentive to protect rhinos. South Africa’s rhino population quadrupled.

But in 2009, under pressure from “environmental” groups, South Africa banned sales of horn again.

The sad result: Poaching increased sharply. Poachers also killed park rangers who tried to protect rhinos.

An old man who had hunted in Africa several times in the Sixties and Seventies told me once that the safari companies in Botswana and South Africa in those days had a wink-and-nod agreement with the local authorities, namely that poachers would be shot on sight by the professional hunters and left for the hyenas.  One would think that would de-incentivize the poachers, too, but it might also start a shoot-first race these days.

Education would be great – get ignorant assholes to stop thinking that powdered rhino horn would cure boils or make their dicks stay hard longer.  That’s just some stupid, ignorant shit.  But also, why the hell now acknowledge reality and do what’s best for the rhinos, if we really do want to keep them around?  The fake rhino horn seems like a pretty damn good angle on it.  Flood the market with the stuff.  Make the poachers find some other line of work.

Markets work.  They aren’t perfect, but they usually get things right in the long run.  The people concerned with rhinos should take advantage of that, and abandon the stupid RHEEEE CAPITALISM knee-jerk.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Today, first of all, we recognize the passing of a giant:

Rush Limbaugh, 1951 – 2021

RIP, Rush Limbaugh.

Mark Steyn weighs in on Mr. Limbaugh’s passing.

Rush Limbaugh Was My Radio Dad

The most-listened-to host in radio history.

I did listen to Rush some, on and off over the years.  I didn’t always agree with him, but I always found him interesting listening.  He had a way of making you think, even – maybe especially – when you didn’t agree with him.  He also single-handedly invented modern talk radio.

El Rushbo was a titan, and lots of folks will miss him.

Well then…

On To the Links!

Lockdowns today, lockdowns tomorrow, lockdowns forever.

Turns out wind turbines don’t work well during winter weather.

Renewable energy’s biggest failure.  To blame?  Not winter weather or even climate change; no, it was Communism.

I’m liking Lauren Boebert more and more all the time.

Possible Kung Flu herd immunity by April.

Why we can’t make Kung Flu vaccines any faster.

Related:  Kung Flu cases are dropping like rocks.  Good news indeed; from that article:

Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?

In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.

Now add people getting vaccinated. As of this week, 15% of Americans have received the vaccine, and the figure is rising fast. Former Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb estimates 250 million doses will have been delivered to some 150 million people by the end of March….

There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection. As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.

Pretty good takedown.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Jill Filipovic is an idiot.

Rolling Stone‘s Bob Moser is an idiot.

Salon‘s Patricia Roberts-Miller is an idiot.

Paul Krugman continues to beclown himself.  Seriously, I’m constantly having to come up with new ways to deride this asshole, just to avoid repeating myself.

The Atlantic‘s David Graham is an idiot.

Al Franken is an idiot.  But then, everybody already knew that.

Hey!  Where’s my bourbon on the rocks!?

Rep. Ro Khanna (Elitist Prick-CA) is an idiot.

And So:

This seems appropriate after last week’s Arctic cold snap that hit most of the Forty-Eight.  In 1976, America’s Songwriter Bob Dylan was busy proving he could do rock & roll in the Rolling Thunder tour.   And, indeed, how many songwriters can boast of a Nobel Prize for Literature?

In 1976, I was fifteen, and this was right around the time my older brother got me started listening to Dylan.  My brother, being an old hippie, was more into Dylan’s acoustic folk music work, but I always enjoyed his electric rock-band music.  Here’s a good example from a 1976 show in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  This is the rock version of his tune Shelter From the Storm.  Enjoy.

Rule Five Patent Pending Friday

The U.S. Navy, apparently, has patents on some weird shit.  Excerpt:

The U.S. Navy has patents on weird and little understood technology. According to patents filed by the Navy, it is working on a compact fusion reactor that could power cities, an engine that works using “inertial mass reduction,” and a “hybrid aerospace-underwater craft.” Dubbed the “UFO patents, The War Zone has reported that the Navy had to build prototypes of some of the outlandish tech to prove it worked.

Dr. Salvatore Cezar Pais is the man behind the patents and The War Zone has proven the man exists, at least on paper. Pais has worked for a number of different departments in the Navy, including the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAVAIR/NAWCAD) and the Strategic Systems Programs. (SSP) The SSP mission, according to its website, is to “provide credible and affordable strategic solutions to the warfighter.” It’s responsible for developing the technology behind the Trident class nuclear missiles launched from Submarines.

The patents all build on each other, but at their core is something Pais called the “Pais Effect.” This is the idea that, “controlled motion of electrically charged matter via accelerated vibration and/or accelerated spin subjected to smooth yet rapid acceleration transients, in order to generate extremely high energy/high intensity electromagnetic fields.” 

Essentially, Pais is claiming to use properly spun electromagnetic fields to contain a fusion reaction. That plasma fusion reaction he claims to have invented will revolutionize power consumption. Experts theorize that a functioning fusion reactor would lead to cheap and ubiquitous energy.

One of Pais and the Navy’s patents described what the propulsion system and fusion drive would be used for—a “hybrid aerospace-underwater craft.” According to the patent, the craft could travel land, sea, and outer space at incredible speeds. Other patents invented by Pais and filed by the Navy include a “high temperature superconductor,” a “electromagnetic field generator,” and a “high frequency gravitational wave generator.”

It all sounds like science fiction, and the Navy has been skeptical too. Navy authorities called bullshit on Pais’ inventions and his patents went through a lengthy internal review at NAVAIR. The War Zone obtained emails about the bureaucratic fight between Pais and the Navy through a Freedom of Information Act Request and revealed that the mad scientist won. According to the patents, some of the technology is “operable.” That means the Navy is claiming some of Pais’ wild tech works and has been demonstrated to Navy officials.

Color me skeptical.  This stuff clearly falls into “I’ll believe it when I see it” territory.

Still, though:  Consider what Dr. Pais is calling the “Pais Effect”:

“…the controlled motion of electrically charged matter via accelerated vibration and/or accelerated spin subjected to smooth yet rapid acceleration transients, in order to generate extremely high energy/high intensity electromagnetic fields.” 

Author James Blish, for the Cities in Flight stories that were originally published starting in 1956, postulated something called the “Dillon-Wagoner Graviton Polarity Generator” or “spindizzy” as an interstellar drive/artificial gravity/atmosphere screen, that could lift entire cities off of their native planets and allow them to wander the stars.

From the Wikipedia article (I’ve read all of the fictional works in question, and the Wiki article is accurate with respect to Blish’s work):  Blish’s extrapolation was that if rotation combined with mass produces magnetism via gravity, then rotation and magnetism could produce anti-gravity. The field created by a spindizzy is described as altering the magnetic moment of any atom within its influence.

Sounds (very) broadly similar, at least to a non-physicist.  Could this be another case of science fiction foreseeing science fact?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Life right now involves a lot of airline miles between Colorado and the Great Land as we prepare to move the majority of our crap up in March and April.  Boy howdy!

Here’s the thing:  I have accumulated enough award miles that, if only United Airlines offered service to Jupiter, I could probably fly there on points.  Mrs. Animal is a ways behind, but she has plenty of award miles as well.  At some point Mrs. Animal and I will have to figure out what to do with all those miles; fortunately, once the Kung Flu panic dies down (assuming it ever does) we have plenty of bucket-wish destinations in mind:  New Zealand, Austria, Scotland, Ireland, and we always enjoy visiting Japan.

But we’ll have to see what happens with the dreaded Kung Flu over the next few months, I guess.  Now then…

On To the Links!

Oh yeah.  He’s running again.

Turns out governing is a lot harder than criticizing.

Haw haw haw!

Pelosi and Schumer propose to eliminate a few million more jobs.  What colossal horse’s asses they both are.

Turns out corvids (jays, crows, magpies and ravens) may be a lot smarter than we thought.  Probably smarter than Pelosi and Schumer.

In the Kung Flu news:  Vaccinated people don’t need to quarantine (no shit) according to the CDC, and broad distribution of vaccines should be in the works by April.

Heh:

Ted Cruz nails it.

What goes around comes around.

What an asshole.  Seriously, what a huge, gaping asshole.

Seems all those windmills don’t work when it is cold outside.

This Week’s Idiots:

Another bumper crop of idiocy this week!

Hot potato, off his drawers, Puck to make amends!

Project Syndicate‘s Eric Posner is an idiot.

The Nation‘s John Nichols is an idiot.

The Conversation‘s Karen Ragoonaden is an idiot.

USAToday‘s Dick Meyer is an idiot.

If Nikki Haley had a dick, she would have just stepped on it.

USAToday‘s Jason Sattler is an idiot.

The Nation’s Jeet Heer is an idiot.

Funny how we just keep seeing some of these same names over and over again.

And So:

1964.  I was three years old when the MaCoys released Hang On Sloopy, but it was a popular enough song that it was still getting plenty of play on rock&roll radio stations when I was in high school in the Seventies.  What’s not well known is that the MaCoys released a music video for this song, featuring some… interesting pre-disco dance moves by a lovely (and braless) young lady.  So, enjoy!