More on Serenity...

Jason Kuznicki on the Serenity movie via Robot Guy:
"This brings me to one other aspect of the film that pleasantly astonished me: It is, without any question in my mind, the most pro-individualist, pro-liberty film since The Shawshank Redemption. Forget Batman Begins; for the classical liberal, this will be the film to see. All the same people who hated The Shawshank Redemption are going to hate Serenity--and those who loved Shawshank are going to have the ride of their lives. Let the others sneer about Nietzscheanism or glorifying the vigilante; I am quite sure that they will. But, like a conversation overheard after the film is over, it’s not going to matter a bit."

I have to see this movie.

Robot Guy A Firefly Fan?

I should've known that Robot Guy would be a Firefly Fan.

When the series first came out, I remember thinking at the time - cool show... Like a western in space - or at least that's how it was sold. I never saw an episode, mainly because it seemed that whenever it was on, I wasn't watching TV.

About a year to two years ago, a friend of mine told me about the series and he was playing the DVD of the first and only season in Poets... Poets is kind of like an Engineering bar at the University of Waterloo. In between midterms for one term, I would pop in, watch some Firefly and then go back to writting midterms.

First off, it was amazingly entertaining. The shows were cold I found at the start, but they warmed up quickly with characters and plot lines that were unique and fun. I couldn't get enough of it.

You could tell though that the ratings were concerning them... The last few episodes ranched up the sex obviously in an attempt to boost the ratings and avoid cancellation.

Cancellation did come. Then they released a DVD of the first season - and it sold like mad. So they decided to bring it back as a movie called "Serenity" - because the idiots couldn't see a good idea when they had one.

I've been salivating at the thought of a Firefly movie. With Serenity coming out, I can't wait to see it. Joss Whedon got screwed when they gave Firely the turf. If they had given the show a little more a chance it would have the audience that the DVD did: people like me. There was a definite audience for Firefly the TV show - the question is, is there one for the movie?

I bet Robot Guy would agree that there sure is one of nutsos like him and me.

t/Space has it all wrong...

t/Space doesn't get it at all. If they really want to win a NASA contract they can't go around proposing ideas that are actually pratically possible and then back it up by doing real testing with real hardware.

If they really want to win a contract they should take all the money they get and produce mindless pointless reports, and propose designs that are impossible to construct or as Al Gore put it "more technically challenging." That seems to be the recipe for NASA's previous contracting awards...

Gee that's a surprise...

Thinking of living together before marriage? Think again:
Anne-Marie Ambert, a sociology professor at York University, said her review of recent research shows that couples who lived together before getting married face as much as double the risk of separaration as those who lived apart.

Now the weird conversations I have at work with guys living with chicks seem a lot more worth it... If you don't trust the girl before marriage, how do you expect to trust her after?

Arnie on Abortion

"I have a daughter," Schwarzenegger said in an interview with The Bee. "I wouldn't want to have someone take my daughter to a hospital for an abortion or something and not tell me. I would kill him if they do that."

Yikes. The Governator speaks. Why doesn't he just pull out the machine guns and roast everybody while misteriously a whole bunch of bad guys come out of nowhere and shoot at him over and over managing to miss every time until they're all taken down by the Governator's steely gunfire already? I mean that's what we all want isn't it?

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews

Catholic? Not good enough for aid...

Apparently some in Congress don't think Catholic students deserve educational aid from hurricane Katrina...

Harper Strikes Back

Lately, there has been a concerted effort by some to push Harper out possibly months before an expected federal election campaign. Such a move would literally mean electoral suicide... There is no way to have a leadership race to replace the leader so soon.

Not to mention the fact that you would have to wonder why a party would replace a man that over the last year has raised several times over it's greatest rival in funds, signed up thousands of new members, and already has campaign ads out...

Harper's response? Look Prime Ministerial:
"The Conservative leader who wins, the leader who brings Conservatives together and unites them, is a leader who, frankly, ignores such people.

"It is a leader who does not spend his time attacking other Conservatives, it's a leader who spends his time attacking the Liberals and that's what I intend to do."

Stephen Taylor and Vitor Marciano has more on why these "conservatives" calling on Harper to resign aren't so high profile, and have dubious records of loyalty themselves...

The media feeding frenzy is disgusting. Why bother actually reporting the news when you can frabricate stories and raise meaningless dribble spoken by low ranking members into national news?


The emphasis over the last five years on promoting abstinence from sex has led to widespread neglect of discussions about the safety of various sexual practices, Wagoner said.
What emphasis? Who was stressing it? Because as far as I can tell it's been Soddom and Gomorah as usual in the last decade... If anything the acceptance of promiscous behaviour in society is well highlighted by shows like Sex in City and Desperate Housewives.

And what's this, toilet paper?
The continuing push for explicit sex-ed programs in the US and abroad and the consequent rise in promiscuous sexual activity among youth has concerned organizations re-emphasizing the dangers that result from this phenomenon. One study being emphasized is a US Centers for Disease study which warned that the prevalence of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the US is having a serious impact on the rates of disability and premature death.

Absitence isn't being stressed. And for that conclusion to be drawn from that data... Well it's just plain simply doesn't make any sense.

The Cult of The Throw Away

Robot Guy blogs on NASA's proposed new launch architecture:
They are not trying to recover the SSMEs on each launch, and would instead be building new ones every launch. At first glance, this might seem like an increased cost in comparasin to the shuttle, but that first glance would be wrong. The requirement to build a great many such engines means that production line methods can be brought to bear, decreasing the total per-unit cost. Furthermore, the current system of refurbishing engines with every launch means increased wear on each engine (reducing safety) without reducing cost, as each engine currently needs to be completely rebuilt by hand.

I've often wondered just about that. The conventional thinking with the design of the shuttle was that by creating a reusable launch system the costs of the system would reduce. In the 60's the Cult of Throw Away dominated everything. Little of any launch system designed was reusable.

Instead of costs dropping, they've increased. Now there are many other reasons why the Shuttle is a flying brick financially and not just physically, but I can't help but wonder if NASA got it all wrong right then and there with that whole assumption.

If NASA had stuck with ablative heat shields, throw away capsules and rocket technology, and instead focused on using manufacturing production line methods for increasing efficiencies and output like Six Sigma initiatives and the like would that have shown more success at reducing launch costs?

Maybe. If so that's at least one good thing about "The Stick" I hadn't thought of.

All Hail the Supreme Leader Clin-ton

What's the self proclaimed "most famous sinner" in the world up to lately?
Clinton’s latest project, the Clinton Global Initiative, (CGI), has attracted 1000 of the world’s most prominent internationalist movers and shakers this week. The three-day conference, which kicked off last night in New York, includes representatives of many of the world’s heads of state, is touted as a means “to forge a new level of global cooperation.” The stated goals of the meeting include finding solutions to “global poverty, religious conflict, government corruption and global warming.”

CGI’s goal is an “integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities, and values.”

Already he's being touted as a candidate for UN Secretary General... OH and the roster of personalities involved just gets better...
The contingent from Canada includes Conservative Party turn-coat, Belinda Stronach, who has long had a “personal friendship” with Clinton. Along with Stronach, the Canadian contingent includes Prime Minister Paul Martin and his predecessor, Jean Chretien and International Development and Aid Minister, Aileen Carroll.

Because, we all know, what conglamerate of pompous windbags and quasy dictators making up the first meeting of a one world government would be complete without a blonde heiress who has less smarts in her than any other woman in Parliament has in her pinky?

Stupidity is contangious...

Burger King apparently isn't immune:
ICE creams are being withdrawn from Burger King — because a design on the lid looks like the word Allah.

The fast food chain has had dozens of complaints about the coloured symbol - meant to be a spinning whirl - on its range of BK Cones.

This is just plain simply stupid. What are were going to start banning anything that looks like a symbol of the Muslim religion? Why would they stop there? They'll probably move on to ban anything that looks like a Christian or Jewish symbol too.

People should just suck it up, and get over it... Ice cream anyone?

Going Back to the Moon You Say?

Here's the link. I think Curmudgeons has already blogged on it.

Blah, blah, blah... And finally the good stuff:
NASA’s plan, according to briefing charts obtained by, envisions beginning a sustained lunar exploration campaign in 2018 by landing four astronauts on the Moon for a seven-day stay.

Why four? What did they figure double Apollo was a nice round number? Four? It's like the weirdest number ever. At least in the early space program everything was done in three's... Three, what a nice round number...

The expedition would begin, these charts show, by launching the lunar lander and Earth departure stage (essentially a giant propulsion module) on a heavy-lift launch vehicle that would be lifted into orbit by five space shuttle main engines and a pair of five-segment shuttle solid rocket boosters.

The Stick. It's all "The Stick" with these people. It's either "The Stick" launcher or something else Shuttle derived. I think the whole jist of using Shuttle derived tech is supposed to be that the R&D costs would be much lower... Somehow I question that logic. Everyone assumes that NASA acts rationally. Maybe they do some of the time, and maybe they will this time, but my money is on them making a $200 toilet seat. When you think NASA can't screw something up with the financials - think twice - at least that's my motto.
Once the Earth departure stage and lunar lander are safely in orbit, NASA would launch the Crew Exploration Vehicle capsule atop a new launcher built from a four-segment shuttle solid rocket booster and an upper stage powered by a single space shuttle main engine.

See now this I can't understand. If we want to do things cheaply, why not minimize the number of launches? Especially considering the fact that range costs are the highest components of launch costs. Apollo managed to get the whole enchilada in space in one get go. Now mind you they weren't trying to get 4 bumbs up there, but still I would bet that this launch system in the end will cost more inflation adjusted than the antiquated forty year old tech that got us to the moon the first time around.

The CEV would then dock with the lunar lander and Earth departure stage and begin its several day journey to the Moon.

NASA’s plan envisions being able to land four-person human crews anywhere on the Moon’s surface and to eventually use the system to transport crew members to and from a lunar outpost that it would consider building on the lunar south pole, according to the charts, because of the regions elevated quantities of hydrogen and possibly water ice...

This isn't good enough. " eventually use..." That's just another codeword for "not in a million years." How many other times has NASA planned "to eventually use" a launch vehicle for space colonization or exploration? The Shuttle was originally intented to be used to help colonize low earth orbit. Instead it become a satellite delivery system. It was cargo transport in a world that didn't need cargo transport but needed human transport.

It's human colonization or bust. And all I see in this is another recipe for a flag planting exercise like the first Moon missions were... Hopefully I'm wrong, and NASA isn't so prone to screwing up.

Now This is Just Funny...

“The lockout has deprived them of their biggest cheerleaders on the national scene,” Ms. LeBreton wrote in a letter published in the Sept. 12 edition of the Hill Times newspaper.

“As far as I am concerned, I hope it takes months to settle the CBC lockout.

“The thought of going through a national election campaign inconveniencing those Liberal and NDP supporters who rely on the CBC is truly something to look forward to.”

Now that would be funny. An election campaign without the CBC? That's like having a USSR without Pravda.

In an election, I wonder how Canadians would vote if they didn't hear the constant "Stephen Harper is Scary" routine from the CBC...

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

Zero Point Energy

Goldes, 73, is chief executive of a small company called Magnetic Power Inc., which has spent years researching ways to, yes, generate power using magnets.

Within a few months, he says, he might just have a breakthrough to report that could revolutionize where people get fuel.

"We're not yet ready to talk about what's happening in our lab because, honestly, we don't know what's happening," Goldes told me. "All we know is that we're seeing more energy output than input.
"If their efforts pay off," the magazine reported last year, "ZPE-driven power plants might enable Mach 4 fighters, quiet 1,200-seat hypersonic airliners that fly at 100-mile altitudes as far as 12,000 miles in about 70 minutes and 12.6-hour trips to the moon."

Sounds cool. Sounds too good to be true. Sounds like a crock.

First of all why would this guy open his mouth about this technology if he really had it? You would figure he would keep his mouth shut, patent the darn thing, and make ubber gubber billions when he proves it works.

Either he's the biggest moron off the face of the planet in the history of human civilization,... or he's just another idiot that thinks he's got a "perpetual motion machine." I realize he's not building a machine that will violate the laws of thermodynamics - in theory zero point energy is viable. However, this harks to me of the same type of nonsense. Many patents over the years were granted to machines that were not viable because they violated the laws of thermodynamics... Each one I bet had an awnser like "Zero Point Energy" as a justification that can explain away the theoretical impossibility.

I'll believe it when I see it. And if I were this guy, and I knew this was true, I would shut my big fat trap. Then I would make a phone call to Ford, and kindly explain to them that I can sell them a power source that would let them manufacture cars that can literally run off of nothing at all. Then I would call up Boeing and Lockheed, make another deal, and by the end of it I would swimming in a whole sea of cash I don't need. Then I would sell the business off, and then I would give most of the money away to charities and Catholic organizations, and then I would move down to some tropical paradise to sip fruit punch for the rest of my life.

Sounds like a plan to me.

More Government Bureacrats In Space... Yay!

So the Chinese are launching another Chinaman into space... And once again he won't be Homer Simpson, he'll be some blow dried Commie suck up who somehow deserves the right to go into space. Somehow he's earned the right to have taxpayers pay for his two million dollar joy ride into space. Look, don't get me wrong, I would love to have my own ticket paid for my own behind. I just have a problem when Astronauts get this attitude of entitlement about the whole thing. Newsflash: You didn't pay for it, and you didn't earn it.

Why is this Space news? Don't know. When something like this should be taking the lead. Private Spaceport in New Mexico? Now that's news that could lead to my own personal behind getting blasted into the God's great unknown... Now that's something that could effect us all.

Harper Dares

"The Liberal party thinks they've got great polls? Call the election - we've got the money, we've got the candidates, so ask them what the problem is."

It's becoming a weird little joke. The Liberals are rebounding in the polls, but massively lagging behind in donations. A big part of that has to do with the fact that they can no longer draw off of donations from big corporations and the rest of gravy train express now that the gravy train's been banned. The Tories and NDP have always drawn a majority of their donations from individuals...

That's left a situation where the Liberals barely have more money than the NDP and the Tories have several times the cash. Can you smell an election around the corner? Apparently Harper does - or at least hopes he does. With the NDP nipping at the Liberals heals the temptation will be there for them to bolt from propping up the government.

Though this whole comment reminds me of the whole Stockwell Day fiasco calling on the Prime Minister to call an election. We all know how that worked out.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.


I've never agreed with Bush on everything he's done in his Presidency. That being said, he will be remembered, and If I were American I wouldn't be able to think of a better man to lead at this moment in history. The best the Democrats could offer was an ultra-Liberal Vietnam-vet waffler. That's wasn't much of a choice.

But the Bush bashing lately over the response to Katrina hasn't been deserved. This seems petty by those on the Left in the US. How can they turn this into a political issue at a terrible moment like this? Do they honestly believe that anyone, Republican or Democrat, would wish this type of destruction and pain on anyone?

Apparently Micheal Moore does:
"It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands has no transportation to get out of town," Moore wrote. "C'mon, they're black! ... Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days?"

So now Bush is racist. Now Moore is playing the race card? In a couple lines he's managed to suggest that the US government conspired to only rescue white people... How many Black people serve in the US government anyways? Somehow I find it hard they could have been on the conspiracy too - but that's just one idiot Canucks opinion.
Moore asks if Bush has "any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters."

The lament of soldiers being in Iraq not being able to help out at home I feel is fair game as far as I'm concerned. Though to say that they only signed up to help in national disasters is twitdoom magnified. Members of National Guard are trained to fight wars... But that's just a detail to Micheal Moore.
Moore acknowledged that "there will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you." He suggested that Bush not respond to his critics.

I got to ask this: if Micheal Moore insane? Seriously does he have some sort of mental illness or something? This line is just spooky. Doesn't he realize that what he has just been doing is "politicizing" the tragedy?

I surely hope this is a typo or something. Because honestly this reminds me of responses I've read spychopaths give on personality tests and not someone of Micheal Moore's stature.

I'm probably over reacting. I guess everyone is a little nuts and Micheal Moore isn't a spychopath. Though this is one heck of Moorism he's thrown out there.

Did Katrina Kill The Shuttle?

Or at least that's the doomsday scenario being floated around lately. The place to watch is the Michoud Assembly Facility in N.O. that builds the external tank for the Shuttle. The theory being, that if Katrina caused sufficient damage to this facility, it could lead to an earlier retirement of the Shuttle. Although there are 10 or so ET's in inventory, it may be decided that the costs in repairing the facility may be too high to justify more Shuttle launches beyond that point...

Apparently that doomsday scenario may have just become true:
Its storm surge swamped the Michoud Assembly Facility with as much as 2 feet of water. Electrical power and communications were knocked out. Water service was interrupted.

The Lockheed Martin factory will remain closed until at least Tuesday, but it might take several weeks to restore power, communications and other utilities. It's also uncertain how soon workers will be able to return.

Plans to ship three tanks -- including the one for NASA's next mission -- back to Michoud for retrofitting are on indefinite hold.

Now there are plenty of more important things to worry about about in this disaster. The loss of life, and the destruction of people's properties and livehoods are immeasurable. Everything needs to be done that can be done by all parties involved. And I don't mean to belittle the suffering or pain experienced by those involved.

But it may be that something good may actually come out of this situation - the end of the disastrously overaged, dangerous, expensive Shuttle program (at least one can hope).