Ain’t It Funny How…

…it was terrible when the Taliban or ISIS tore down monuments they didn’t like, but American SJWs can tear down monuments they don’t like and the American media cheer? The same American media that loved to refer to conservatives as the American Taliban.

Well, the SJWs claim their destruction is justified on moral grounds — which I’m sure makes them totally different from the Taliban.

Totally, dude.

TAXI!

Almost a year and a half ago, I wrote this:

Those annoying little drones are about to change the way aircraft are designed and built.

Multi-rotor drones are more stable because the lift footprint (if there’s such a phrase) is wider, and when the rotors are distributed around the edges, the body interferes less with the air’s downward motion, which means the rotors provide more actual thrust.

By not wasting thrust you get more lift with shorter rotors, which require less power to rotate faster, amplifying the benefit of more rotors.

Processing power used in miniature drones allows the thrust on each rotor to be adjusted more responsively to changing conditions.

While I’m not big on the idea of pilotless passenger drones, I can see these innovations making the piloting of small aircraft simpler with computer-assist (as most of us already have to some extent in our cars), which could finally put personal VTOL flight within reach.

Today, via Drudge, I saw this:

German automobile firm Daimler and other investors have invested more than $29 million dollars (25 million euro) in aviation start-up Volocopter.

Volocopter plans to use the money to invest in further developing its electrically powered, autonomous Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft and ‘conquer’ the market for flying air taxis.

Volocopter’s ‘Volocopter 2X’ is a fully electric VTOL with 18 quiet rotors and a maximum airspeed of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour – and it can transport two passengers without a pilot.

<Heather O’Rourke> They’re here. </Heather O’Rourke>

The Volocopter is all-electric, and therefore has the same limitations as an electric car — range, and recharge time — but you have to start somewhere.

r

In algebra — and probably in other flavors of occult mathematics — r is the variable used to represent all numbers.

All numbers. Positive and negative. Odd and even. Rational and irrational. Real and imaginary. Prime and non-prime. It is an infinite set.

It’s not the only infinite set. The set of only all positive numbers is entirely contained in r, as is the set of only all negative numbers, and the set of only all even numbers, and so on. r is not only the set of all numbers, it is the set of all sets. It contains every numeric value in the known universe and all the unknown universes.

Does it contain literally everything? No. It does not contain that creepy uncle who’s always telling you to pull his finger. It contains every number that can possibly be used to describe him, such as the one defining all the ways he grosses you out — but it doesn’t include the actual ways.

Even infinity has its limits.

Introducing the 13th Doctor: COUSIN OLIVER!

As a rule, people set out on purpose to “make history” either when they’re about to be history and don’t know it, or they do know it and want to go out with a raised middle finger.

So kindly forgive me if I don’t get excited because Doctor Who is going to get the estrogen treatment that boded so well for the recent Ghostbusters remake.

I’m willing to admit that I may prove to be wrong and the experiment won’t be a massive failure, but that would be an exception. Most of the time when people pull stunts like this it’s an example of why we can’t have nice things.

Secret #1: Never Check “Yes”

It came in a large-ish envelope with those red-and-blue hashes around the edge, like on an actual international-mail envelope. But the postmark was domestic.

Right away the letter started in with the flattery. The mustache does not abide flattery. It said,

McG, please forgive us, but we have taken a closer look at your profile. It turns out you’re even more special than any of us imagined!

I’d like to know how they got their hands on my bank balance — I mean, profile.

Notice: this is not a mass mailing; this letter came to you by first-class mail, not by third-class bulk mail.

The going rate for first-class mail, according to the U.S. Postal Service, is 49¢ — but the postage stamped on the envelope was only 40¢. You don’t get that kind of discount unless you’re sending (ahem) mass quantities of first-class mail. Not to mention the fact this wad of … paper can’t possibly have come in at only one ounce.

McG, we are the rich, the famous, the powerful — and the crème de la crème of society; famous sports and movie stars, musicians, billionaires, businessmen, intellectuals, and scientists.

Do tell. Nice use of the Oxford comma — you’ve got that going for you at least.

I wish I could tell you who I am. But under advice from my counsel, I cannot reveal my full name.

So you’re pleading the Fifth?

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m one of the most famous people in the world. If you own a TV, listen to the radio, browse the internet

…look at the flyers on the post office wall…

there’s barely a day that goes by that I’m not mentioned in a news story.

Fools’ names and fools’ faces are often seen in public places.

The Society has uncovered the World’s most powerful secrets. Most people will never know them. We are only willing to share them with our members.

Every successful person throughout history knew the secrets. And that’s why they were successful, rich, happy, healthy, and powerful. It’s a blueprint for your success. And I will send the secrets to you FREE of charge. Why?

Because I am nominating you for membership into the Society.

My guru, Groucho Marx, will present my answer.

You’ll note that this letter is marked “FOR YOU ONLY”. It is meant to be read by you and you alone, McG. Its contents are TOP SECRET and contain sensitive information which cannot be shared by anyone except the recipient.

These words are intended for your eyes only. They are not to be shared with anyone else.

Oops.

Internet Anonymity

I’ve been saying for years now that the power of internet anonymity is vastly overrated by many of those who depend on it. The only thing standing between online trolls and exposure is the question of how motivated someone needs to be to hunt them down.

You’ve undoubtedly heard or read about this:

What a public service CNN has done, identifying the dangerous man behind a silly GIF posted to Reddit! Days of investigation in the making, CNN ascertained the name of a guy who likely lives in his mother’s basement while posting to a sub-Reddit devoted to Trump.

Read the whole thing.

CNN even went so far as to retain jurisdiction over the defendant, should he ever re-offend:

CNN is not publishing ‘HanA**holeSolo’s’ name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.

CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.

In yesterday’s Morning Jolt, Jim Geraghty checks in:

Deep down, a lot of obnoxious online trolls don’t want their comments and behavior associated with their real identity. They know it’s wrong, and it violates their own conception of who they are, and how they want other people to see them. If you’re doing something that would cause you that much personal and professional ruination if it were ever exposed . . . eh, maybe you shouldn’t do it?

Nothing to disagree with there, but…

There are all kinds of things about CNN’s action here that makes the hair stand up on my neck. For one, it’s a clear case of “punching down.” As Bethany Mandel, author of the first linked excerpt above, noted (in case you didn’t read the whole thing, as I instructed),

CNN took it upon themselves to not question the world’s most powerful man about this, but to dig into the private life of the private citizen who had created the GIF.

There are surely people in this polarized political landscape that are cheering a multinational media company for raining global vitriol on an internet troll who … made fun of it. Which leads me to another thing that bothers me here: while the trolls who infested my first blog 12 to 15 years ago undertook to harass me, hijack my comment threads, and drive me off the web, this guy … made a joke at CNN’s expense.

If I went after everybody in the world who’d ever made a joke at my expense, I would have been in prison since I was … well, probably 13 or 14, since by then the state would have decided to try me as an adult.

As I said at the top of this post, motivation is key. CNN wasn’t motivated to investigate this guy because of his other material — they only found that because they dumpster-dived him for the Trump tweet.

I’ve seen claims that HanA**holeSolo’s animated GIF wasn’t even the same one Trump tweeted. I haven’t looked into that myself but if true it only adds to CNN’s ignominy. It’s bad enough you go after some schmuck who made an animated GIF that a President you hate retweeted — but to wind up nabbing the wrong suspect?

It just goes to show:

“The Most Trusted Name In News” is sorta like “The Most Trusted Used Car Lot In Shreveport”

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) June 27, 2017

To Boldly Go Where No Mustache Has Gone Before

Mrs. McG’s car has in-dash navigation, but mine does not. This means I am dependent on a third-party device — or a passenger reading a map — if I want to navigate.

For a number of years now this family has used Garmin GPS devices, but in the last couple of years I’ve found them increasingly troublesome and unreliable; in particular, the newest Garmin will not keep an update — it may work for one trip but revert to outdated maps on the next.

In this day and age of Google Maps it seems obvious to rely on it, via a smartphone, for navigation, but fiddling with smartphone apps while driving is bad (m’kay?) and the only USB-A – to – USB-C cable I have doesn’t handle charging well.

Google has addressed one of these issues by making its Android Auto app, which originally was limited to certain vehicles (or others with compatible aftermarket sound systems) usable in any vehicle, thanks to the Google Assistant and Bluetooth. All I’ll need to try this thing out is a good charging cable and something other than my belt holster to hold the phone.

I’ve had such lousy luck with suction-cup holders for (coincidentally) the Garmin that I won’t even consider them. Vent mounts might work in a climate where I’m less dependent on the air conditioner but I can’t have any of the vents blocking air flow. So I’ve ordered a cockamamie gooseneck clamp thingie that may do the trick.

The Auto app should also make using my phone’s music app more user-friendly so I can quit enduring the lousy sound quality from my thumb drive.

What remains to be seen — aside from whether the new cable can keep my phone charged and the gooseneck clamp mount can keep my phone from falling under my feet at the first speed bump — is how much cellular data it uses. I’ve gotten used to rarely paying more than a dollar each month for data usage, and from what I’ve read Google’s map app doesn’t seem to be a big problem data-wise, but there may be some troubleshooting and settings-adjusting in my immediate future.

If this test works out, future vehicle purchase decisions are likely to include the question of built-in Android Auto compatibility.

Update, after a test drive: I ran music through the Amazon Music app and had tracks play that were not on my phone. Supposedly I had the app set to only access tracks that were on my phone, but that doesn’t seem to have carried over. As a result I wound up with a rather large data usage for such a brief time — as of now, most of my month’s data usage occurred during that one outing. Oddly enough the battery usage (I don’t have the cable yet) wasn’t all that bad.

Next test I’ll use Google’s music app — it and Amazon were the only options — with (again) only downloaded tracks supposed to play. We’ll have to see how my data usage looks then.

Holy Mortality!

Yes, it was campy, but I was in kindergarten. So to me, then and for many years after, Adam West was Batman.

I hadn’t yet discovered comic books, and the Dark Knight was still years away. The show could be called a takeoff on the Silver Age Batman, whose adventures took place within the bounds of the Comics Code Authority and came to be regarded in later years as fluffy and silly. Really though, there wasn’t all that much room for parody.

I just happened to be at the right age, completely innocent of The Batman’s origin story, to be enthralled by the show. It was only later, I think after the show’s original run, that I learned why Bruce Wayne had put on the costume. By then I had bought in to the characters so much that giving me a book containing some of the old comic-book adventures was a pretty good way to ensure that I stayed out from under foot for an afternoon.

Though I was momentarily confused that Commissioner Gordon in the comics looked more like Alan Napier than Neil Hamilton. And I wondered where Chief O’Hara and Aunt Harriet were. That was my first exposure to the differences in how characters were realized in different media, or even in different outings in the same media — after all, the origin story was definitely pre-Silver Age.

Still, in my head I still always heard Adam West’s voice when comic-book Batman spoke. As for later TV incarnations, Olan Soule? Who was he?

It wasn’t until after the Tim Burton series of movies that TV successfully replaced Adam West as the quintessential voice of Batman in my memory, when Kevin Conroy took on the role. Having the chance to play off the best Joker voice ever, whoever that guy was who had the same name as Luke Skywalker but couldn’t possibly be him, didn’t hurt.

Still, Adam West kept going, eventually voicing a Batman-like TV superhero on an episode of “Kim Possible,” in between his duties of voicing Quahog’s mayor on “Family Guy” (a guy who, according to West, was named Adam West and looked and sounded just like the actor of the same name, but wasn’t actually him).

Actors whose later opportunities end up limited because of one definitive role often complain, for a while, about the burden — but even Leonard Nimoy eventually admitted that, yes, he was Spock. If Adam West ever complained he was low-key about it, and like so many others he found a way to turn the limitation into a spotlight of his own that no one, not even Kevin Conroy, could steal.

The actors playing the arch-villains on “Batman” may have been more famous when the show was on, but Adam West was the star.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Over the last few days I’ve been noticing that some of the images posted on various entries here have disappeared and had to be re-uploaded. Previously I’d had to re-upload my mugshot and title banner as well. Only now have I realized what’s going on.

Until a few weeks ago I was using a different Google account, which I have recently had deleted. And apparently pictures posted from a Blogger account that is linked to a deleted Google account, get deleted.

I’ll have to make time to sift through the old posts to find which images I have to re-upload, but until then some of the posts may not make a lot of sense without the picture.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Update: Turns out that on about a dozen of the posts the missing images are screenshots of tweets by Twitter accounts that no longer exist, and I didn’t bother to save the screenshots. So, there’s no point keeping the posts. Nearly all of the remainder have been repaired.

Misadventures in PC Rehab

Aw, c’mon — if you think that title refers to offering Gitmo detainees subsidized housing and free health care in the big American city of their choice as an incentive to tell their captors they’ve denounced terror, you just don’t know me at all.

I have custody of two Windows 7 PCs that used to belong to Mrs. McG’s late mother: an HP desktop and an Acer laptop. Yesterday I isolated the files on the laptop that Mrs. McG would want to keep, and copied them onto a thumb drive (the desktop’s contents likely will require more than one trip). Then I gave the laptop a mindwipe, hoping the machine’s peanut-butter-and-molasses performance would disappear along with the remnants of all of Marie’s old software that hadn’t come off the disk when I uninstalled it last year. Restoring the factory installation of Windows took some time, and Windows Update consumed some more hours installing all of the updates Microsoft had issued for Windows 7 over the years. Actually, there weren’t as many individual downloads as I was fearing.

It did stop tripping over itself in trying to carry out the simplest tasks, but there were two tasks I set it that it just couldn’t do. I tried to install the PC-to-cloud sync utilities offered by Google, Dropbox and Microsoft. Somehow Dropbox didn’t even need to ask for my login credentials, having perhaps smartloaded them into the installation after I’d logged into the website to get the software. It worked like a charm, taking only minutes to sync the cloud account’s contents onto the Acer’s hard drive.

Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, however, couldn’t find their way to the internet to log me in. Both installers had accessed the internet to bring in the complete software, but once the software was complete, nothing.

I have 17-plus gigabytes of data on those cloud accounts. Without a working live-sync utility, that laptop is no good to me.

Oh, and it’s still slower — by oozes and farts! — than this Linux machine I’ve been using these last couple of years.

So, back to Gitmo with it. I’ll eventually get around to lobotomizing the HP too, but I don’t expect better results. Besides, I’ve had lousy luck with desktop computers since moving to Georgia. Surge protectors don’t really seem to work all that well hereabouts.

Update, Sunday: I downloaded a version of ChromeOS from CloudReady, which installed okay — but the screen flashes so much I could barely do anything with it. This Acer laptop seems to want to face the firing squad.

I Order My Jeans from Cabela’s

I saw the picture of this… garment last week on Dustbury, and this morning Sarah Hoyt posted about it on Instapundit.
Thing is, I’m not sure that’s more egregious than this item:
New jeans made to look muddy splashed onto Nordstrom’s site for the dirty price of $425 per pair!
The description posted on the retailers page implies that it’s hip to be “down and dirty”:
“Heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans in a comfortable straight-leg fit embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.”

 

Personally, I’m with Mike Rowe:
This morning, for your consideration, I offer further proof that our country’s war on work continues to rage in all corners of polite society. Behold the latest assault from Nordstrom’s. The “Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans.”
The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans aren’t pants. They’re not even fashion. They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic.
Ain’t that the truth.
At this moment I’m wearing what are known as “dungaree fit work jeans” from Cabela’s with carpenter-style pockets. I’m not a carpenter, so there’s some irony in my wearing these, but on those rare occasions when I actually do work with my hands I do find the extra pockets handy. Also, unlike entirely too many pants sold these days my carpenter jeans actually have belt loops in the same zip code as the button and fly.

Also also, my most recent order — just now — was placed in part because they’re on sale for around $20 a pair.