Jim Downey's picture

No Hunter's Home should be without one.

Now, through the magic of modern technology, you too can have your very own Camo Bible!!

Holy Bible (New King James Version) with Mossy Oak® Break-Up® Camo Leather-Bound Cover

This outdoor inspired edition of the New King James Version of the Bible comes in large print for easier reading with a ribbon bookmark and a handsome gift box. Bound in Mossy Oak® Break-Up® bonded leather with gilded-gold edging. Dimensions: 9.3'' x 6.7'' x 1.7''. 1728 pages

Yup. There I was, browsing through the latest holiday flyer from Bass Pro, and there it was: the Bible of My Dreams. How can I resist?

Jim Downey

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There are times . . .

. . . when I am *really* glad I am not in the demographic for most of what is marketed these days. Like now:

App To Help Men Score & Tweet (by Pepsi)

Tired of a night out clubbing only to come home with a limp ego? Then try AMP UP BEFORE YOU SCORE, an actual iPhone app that helps you change your game and increase your chances to score with any type of woman, whether she's a "rebound girl," "aspiring actress," or a member of the ever-growing herd of "cougars."

Once a woman is defined by type, the rest is a snap. Check the app for her profile, and review the cheat-sheet providing details as to what she's into, and more importantly what sure-fire pick-up lines will cinch the deal.

No, it's not a joke. Well, it is, but it isn't *really* an intentional one. Except in the hey-I-meant-it-ironically way that seems to be the escape clause for everything these days.

Ah, brave new world, that has such technology in it. Who could have imagined such a thing?

Jim Downey

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Man, ya gotta love technology.

This is almost like ballet:


Jim Downey

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"Grab your ankles, please."

Good lord. I'd heard about this, as an "attempted assassination", but I hadn't heard the details:

On the evening of Aug. 28, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister — and the man in charge of the kingdom’s counterterrorism efforts — was receiving members of the public in connection with the celebration of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. As part of the Ramadan celebration, it is customary for members of the Saudi royal family to hold public gatherings where citizens can seek to settle disputes or offer Ramadan greetings.

One of the highlights of the Friday gathering was supposed to be the prince’s meeting with Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, a Saudi man who was a wanted militant from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Asiri had allegedly renounced terrorism and had requested to meet the prince in order to repent and then be accepted into the kingdom’s amnesty program.

* * *

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Confession time: "Stranger in a Strange Tweet" edition.

Well, in spite of Our Fearless Leader's little box off to the right there, I just don't grok Twitter. There are damned few applications of it that I have heard about which make any sense at all to me, and the whole notion of "following" someone's Tweets just strikes me as surreal and more than a little creepy.

Yeah, I confess: I'm an old fogey at 50.

But anyway, let's have a little fun with this, and maybe see if we can launch a new internet meme. Let's call it "The Twitter game". How you play is simple: substitute the word "Twitter," "Twitterer," or "Tweet(s)" for another key word in the title of a book or movie. Success is determined by how funny the resulting title is, and how much fun it makes of the absurdity which is ego-Tweeting.

So, here's a few to get us started, playing off of Heinlein novels (because that cranky old fart would probably find this whole phenomenon hilarious):

- Twitterer in the Sky
- Stranger in a Strange Tweet
- The Moon is a Harsh Twitterer
- The Number of the Twitter
- Beyond this Tweet
- Have Space Suit - Will Twitter
- Time Enough for Twitter

Jim Downey's picture

Screw-ups happen.*


U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally

The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.

* * *

Several nuclear experts argued that any dangers from the disclosure were minimal, given that the general outlines of the most sensitive information were already known publicly.

“These screw-ups happen,” said John M. Deutch, a former director of central intelligence and deputy secretary of defense who is now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s going further than I would have gone but doesn’t look like a serious breach.”

Yeah, everyone knows where their local stockpile of enriched uranium is, right? I mean, really. I can't see the problem here.

Jim Downey

*Sorry, I couldn't resist the connection to Heinlein's classic SF story "Blowups Happen" because of the topic and attitude.

Cross posted to my blog.

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Here be dragons.*

Man, this is what happens when religious kooks try to understand technology:


Subtitle: The Illuminati now claims to have the technical capability to stage the Rapture, they might just carry it out in order to throw extreme panic, confusion, and despair into the hearts of genuine Christians just before their beloved Antichrist arises.

Would you be ready?

The New World Order is coming! Are you ready? Once you understand what this New World Order really is, and how it is being gradually implemented, you will be able to see it progressing in your daily news!!

The crazy! It BURNS!!!

Blue Beam Project and the Fake Rapture

There has been something “revealed” called the Blue Beam Project, which is reputed to be a governmental conspiracy to promote the New World Order. So, if still true, how successful would it be?

These are the essentials:

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I hope . . .

... I really, really hope that this site is run by atheists:

Information Age Prayer

Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget.

Subscriptions start at $3.95 a month, and there is a discount for volume prayers. No, I am not kidding.

Absolutely brilliant. I love a good scam.

Jim Downey

Via PZ.

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R.A.H. would smile even more.

Not quite a year ago I wrote about the Raytheon Sarcos powered exoskeleton, which was a major step towards the Powered Armor of Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Well, now there's some competition:


Dismounted Soldiers often carry heavy combat loads that increase the stress on the body leading to potential injuries. With a HULC exoskeleton, these loads are transferred to the ground through powered titanium legs without loss of mobility.

Paul Fidalgo's picture

Satan and the NSA

Our good friend Jake Jones the Evangelical Examiner, in a piece explaining what he calls the "Angry Atheist Syndrome" with his usual wit and depth of understanding, actually gives us a valuable insight into the bureaucratic workings of the next world:

Greedy prayers always go unanswered. If a greedy prayer is answered, then we must ask the tough question; "did the answered prayer come from God or Satan"? More than likely, Satan had something to do with it.

Holy crap! If Satan is answering a lot of prayers intended for God Himself, you know what that means, don't you?

Satan has wiretapping clearance.

So learn from Avon Barksdale's crew, folks, and use code next time you chat with the Almighty.

RickU's picture

The dead walk among us

I'm not going to reference an article today. Today I'm going to give an example of where theists go wrong. We have a small discussion group at work. One of the topics given today was something in the news that I hadn't read and still haven't read. The topic discussed memories from being reincarnated. One of my coworkers brought up the topic after having read something online. The coworker gave the headline which was something along the lines of, "Study shows evidence of former life memories gives credence to past life experiences!" (w/ a reference to reincarnation which I can't recall at this point, sorry)

Keep in mind, I haven't read either the article or the study. My coworker brings up this article and immediately afterward another coworker exclaims, "And you say you don't believe in God."

My immediate reply afterward was, "What? Why would you bring God into this?"

The coworker was incredulous. He wondered why an atheist would reference an article which gave the idea that reincarnation was possible.

Jim Downey's picture

Enter the vortex.

Ever stand on the bank of a stream and watch a submerged stick oscillate up and down? Or maybe seen something similar happen when you were fishing, and a cork/bobber got pulled underwater, the way it will swing back and forth?

That's vortex induced vibration. And it is a real problem for all kinds of engineering disciplines - just about any real world application which involves a fluid (or a gas, or even a plasma I suppose).

It could also be the thing which saves us from a carbon-based energy nightmare. Vortex Hydro Energy is a new technology which could supply clean, renewable energy. Professor Michael M. Bernitsas at the University of Michigan has helped pioneer this system. From his University profile:

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"MedTech, another biobeer, please."

Ah, gotta love the advancement of science - soon, you'll be able to drink beer with the legitimate claim that you are doing it for your health:

Anti-cancer beer under development

NEW YORK: American students have designed a genetically modified yeast that can ferment beer and produces the chemical resveratrol, known to offer some protection against developing cancer.

* * *

The idea for the healthier beer, dubbed 'Biobeer', started out as a joke. "You could say that the inspiration for the project came from a student who really enjoys his beer," said Thomas Segall-Shapiro, a member of the team behind the project.

And from USA Today:

Students are working to modify the yeast with two sets of genes, including one that will allow the yeast to metabolize sugars and produce an intermediate chemical. The second set will convert that chemical to resveratrol.

Jim Downey's picture

"You're in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you're not helping -- why is that?"*

So, according to FOX News, our friends at the Department of Homeland Security will soon have a new trick up their sleeve: MALINTENT.

Homeland Security Detects Terrorist Threats by Reading Your Mind

Baggage searches are SOOOOOO early-21st century. Homeland Security is now testing the next generation of security screening — a body scanner that can read your mind.

Most preventive screening looks for explosives or metals that pose a threat. But a new system called MALINTENT turns the old school approach on its head. This Orwellian-sounding machine detects the person — not the device — set to wreak havoc and terror.

MALINTENT, the brainchild of the cutting-edge Human Factors division in Homeland Security's directorate for Science and Technology, searches your body for non-verbal cues that predict whether you mean harm to your fellow passengers.

Jim Downey's picture

"God trumps doctors" for 57% of Americans.

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- When it comes to saving lives, God trumps doctors for many Americans.

An eye-opening survey reveals widespread belief that divine intervention can revive dying patients. And, researchers said, doctors "need to be prepared to deal with families who are waiting for a miracle."

More than half of randomly surveyed adults -- 57 percent -- said God's intervention could save a family member even if physicians declared that treatment would be futile. And nearly three-quarters said patients have a right to demand that treatment continue.

OK, grim. But not as bad as it could be. Only 20% of medical professionals thought that the Sky-Daddy would work a miracle to save a loved one. And the news item also contained this:

"Sensitivity to this belief will promote development of a trusting relationship" with patients and their families, according to researchers. That trust, they said, is needed to help doctors explain objective, overwhelming scientific evidence showing that continued treatment would be worthless.

Jim Downey's picture

Wait for the screaming to start.

Childbirth is usually associated with some pain and struggle, at least in most humans. That's normal, and to be expected.

But the cries of anguish I'm expecting to hear shortly will not be coming from women giving birth. Rather, it will likely come from religious fundamentalists who are going to scream about how their rights are being denied, how they are being persecuted for their beliefs. Which beliefs? These:

Calif top court: Docs can't withhold care to gays

SAN FRANCISCO - California's highest court on Monday barred doctors from invoking their religious beliefs as a reason to deny treatment to gays and lesbians, ruling that state law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination extends to the medical profession.

Justice Joyce Kennard wrote that two Christian fertility doctors who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian have neither a free speech right nor a religious exemption from the state's law, which "imposes on business establishments certain antidiscrimination obligations."

Cue the outrage:

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OK, I spent *way* too much time playing this game last night: Orbitrunner. And because I'm the kind of guy that I am, I wanted to inflict it on you.

It's actually a very interesting bit of gaming, for as simple as seems at first glance. Here's the description from the site:

Control the Sun with your mouse. Use it to manipulate the planets' paths. The Sun's pull gets stronger as planets get closer. If the gravity is at a right angle to the direction of travel, an orbit can form. Make sure planets don't leave the screen or collide!

Jim Downey's picture

Confession Time: Technological Ineptitude Edition.

OK, Kiddies, gather round - it's time to confess your sins and receive absolution once again!

Today's topic: technological ineptitude.

A lot of people expect me to be tech savvy, what with being a SF author and all. But the truth is, I tend to be a late-adopter. For the most part, a computer or cell phone or MP3 player that is one iteration behind the curve is good enough for me.

My stereo system is 15 years old. My computer is 7. Forgive me, for I have sinned against being a good consumer.

Actually, I will probably get a new computer system before the summer is out. It's finally time. There's a good local small business that builds systems to suit at reasonable prices that my wife has worked with for years (she's much more tech savvy than I am). I'll tell them my needs, let them put together a decent system for me.

One thing I have been considering is making the jump to an Open Source OS, since those have now become more user-fondling. Anyone want to offer opinions on this?

Jim Downey

(And there, I just posted blog #1958 - the year I was born!)

Jim Downey's picture

Nails it.

OK, if I was smart enough to post the actual cartoon, I would. But since I seem to be computer illiterate this morning, for now I'll just direct you to today's Cectic strip. He nails perfectly.

Oh, and if Brent wants to put the image in, this blathering can go.

(Nah... We love your blathering, Jim! :) -Brent)

Jim Downey

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The Woo of Tech.

Man, I loves me some Star Trek technobabble as much as the next guy. But get a load of this: Product Description
Get the purest digital audio you've ever experienced from multi-channel DVD and CD playback through your Denon home theater receiver with the AK-DL1 dedicated cable. Made of high-purity copper wire, it's designed to thoroughly eliminate adverse effects from vibration and helps stabilize the digital transmission from occurrences of jitter and ripple. A tin-bearing copper alloy is used for the cable's shield while the insulation is made of a fluoropolymer material with superior heat resistance, weather resistance, and anti-aging properties. The connector features a rounded plug lever to prevent bending or breaking and direction marks to indicate correct direction for connecting cable.

And it can be yours for the low, low price of $499.99.

Seriously. A $5 ethernet cable.

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