"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Whenever I think the Syfy Channel has reached its limit ...

... it manages to surpass itself.

For tonight (Sat, 16 Jun 2012, 8 PM CDT) TV Guide lists for The Syfy Channel ...

 Piranhaconda (2012) A piranha-anaconda hybrid terrorizes a movie crew.

Words fail me.
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Update 2200 CDT, Sat 16 Jun 2012 - Going way above and beyond the call of duty, I've just finished watching it.

When I first heard of this, I flashed on another Syfy Channel offering of some time ago, Sharktopus (which is being repeated as I write this, with an encore of Piranhaconda to follow). Looking them up on the Imdb, it shouldn't shock you that I've learned that these two share a writer.

Having now seen it, I suppose some more words are in order.

Problem is, the words just don't exist.
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Update - Sun, 17 Jun 2012 - Perceptive readers will notice that I've added a new label (Syfy Channel) to my Categories list. It promises an endless supply of material for when the muse goes on vacation and I can't think of anything else to write.

Commenter roadgeek noted, "It gets worse. They're about to premiere another movie called 'Arachnoquake'." (see his comment below).

Breaking tradition, it appears to not be from the writer who conjured up  Piranhaconda,  Sharktopus before that, and Dinocroc vs Supergator (Damn! Missed that one. Seeing a pattern there?).

But it does appear to follow the Syfy Channel's M.O. of adding to a cast of relative unknowns, in a supporting role, precisely ONE actor you may have even heard of (probably attracted to the project because rent is due, and he'd like to eat).

In Sharktopus you had Eric Roberts (Julia Roberts' brother; a fairly decent actor whom I last saw in The Dark Knight - Yes! The Batman film with Heath Ledger as The Joker).

Piranhaconda's token is Michael Madsen; a long way from Reservoir Dogs or Kill Bill.

Arachnoquake lists Edward Furlong (Sarah Conner's son John, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day).

No idea if it will have some of the (inadvertent) humor of Piranhaconda; in addition to their other problems, some bandits kidnap the movie crew for ransom. On recovering a videocam left by a victim of the title creature and seeing on it what they might be up against ...
  Chief thug's girlfriend:  "It seems to be a blend of piranha and anaconda
      "-- a PIRANHA-CONDA!"
  Chief thug:  "I can't believe you just said that."

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Dear God!  I'd almost forgotten.

It was twenty-five years ago today when President Ronald Reagan issued that challenge to Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, in a speech by the Brandenburg Gate on 12 Jun 1987.

That obscenity went up in 1961, and lasted until November 1989.

Twenty-eight years (twenty-six of them seeing all too many people making excuses for the damned thing until Reagan had the gall to treat it exactly as what it was) until it was finally destroyed. Although it stood for two more years, his speech almost certainly put the first crack in it.

He had a knack for speaking plainly in spite of an attitude from professionbal diplomats that "you cannot DO that" (especially his reference to the Soviet Union as "an evil empire").

Can you imagine any of that from the current occupant of the White House.

Hell! He couldn't even be bothered to interrupt his golf games and fund raisers to help the union people in Wisconsin who had done so much to help his election.

Now, I am personally delighted at the outcome of the Wisconsin recall vote, but Obama's action there (or lack of) says volumes about the gulf between him and Reagan.

Right now, I miss almost everyone who preceded this disaster into the White House, and truly hope to God that this November will see him handed his eviction notice.

Remembering what we once had does not make me feel charitable towards this pathetic excuse of a politician at all.

Yup! This IS a vent.
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Global Warming - A force so powerful ...

... it stunts black holes

This poster was created by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That ...

... for his post Quote of the Week: ‘global warming stunts black holes’ , in which he was reminded of this line from Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men ...
   “Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!"

If the bottom line of the poster is difficult to read, it says ...
   "Takamitsu Tanaka - The New Scientist - June 9 2012"

Apparently, Takamitsu Tanaka at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and his colleagues developed an explanation ...

... that a prodigious amount of X-rays emitted as the supermassive black holes gulped gas would have heated up the universe. Black holes need cool gas to grow so this would have slowed down the growth of other black holes in smaller protogalaxies, even as the growth of black holes in the most massive protogalaxies continued apace (arxiv.org/abs/1205.6467v1).

"This global warming process could have basically quenched the latecomers," says Tanaka. "The early ones end up being the monsters and they prevent the overgrowth of the rest."


I suspect that Mr. Watts is having a bit of fun at this (admitting that he hadn't even finished his morning coffee - a very dangerous working condition as I have learned many times :-), noting ...

Tanaka probably should have said the “galactic warming process”, and maybe he did, and this could is a misquote by the unnamed author of the article at TNS. Either way, it shows how global warming on the brain tends to create an environment for such ridiculous comparisons to make it to press.

Update 1415 CDT, Sun, 10 JUN 2010 - I put this up a little over thirty minutes ago, and already Mr. Watts has struck out the likelihood of it being a misquote.

A commenter to Mr. Watts post said ...
To be fair, Tanaka might have made the comparison facetiously and New Scientist, being New Scientist, took it seriously.

That too seems reasonable. As I noted above, Mr. Watts could have been having fun and venting at the same time (the two are not mutually exclusive), and probably wishes he'd found justification for using a much more famous line from Jack Nicholson in that movie.

I, on the other hand, have no shame and require no such justification, but will plead that it really does apply to many of the global warming advocates ...

   "You can't handle the truth!"
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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Wisconsin Voters Speak!

Photo from wattsupwiththat.com (Recycled
from Foray, where I explain it a bit more)

Update Thursday, 07 Jun 2012 - As of this morning, the latest unofficial tally I can find is a 1:07 AM Cleveland Plain Dealer report of 53%-46% in favor of Walker.

Considering how much union money went into this effort (screams about the Republicans outspending their rivals deliberately ignore funds coming from union dues and that paid union workers performing campaign duties are often referred to as "volunteers" to avoid listing them as part of campaign spending), a 9 to 10% margin still qualifies as an impressive broadside under the circumstances.

Impressive enough that a political action committee (Michigan Rising) has called off its efforts to force a recall against Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

White House Spokesman Jim Carney told reporters that the result “probably won't tell us much about a future race."  Well, whistling past the graveyard is a part of the thankless job he has, and at least he's trying to earn his paycheck.

November is looking more and more promising. :-)

Update - 1852 CDT, Thursday, 07 Jun 2012 - NEVER do an update before you've had your morning coffee. The margin noted above should have been 7% - not 9 to 10%..

Still decisive. Still impressive enough. The Huffington Post Live Election Results is showing  1,334,450 votes for Walker, 1,162,785 for Barrett ( 53.1% vs 46.3% ). I have yet to see a count declared "official", but they show the reporting to be 100%, so it's extremely unlikely there will be boxes of uncounted ballots discovered to overturn this.

The comments I made in the first update (except for the margin) still stand.
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