“Allowing the Neoconservatives to brand humanitarian intervention as always their sort of project does a grave disservice to international law and institutions, and gives them credit that they do not deserve, for things in which they do not actually believe.” – Juan Cole
If you live in Texas, the next several weeks (latter part of March, probably April) are the prettiest time to get out of the city and see the open road. The flowers are blossoming a tad later than usual this year because this winter was the coldest we’ve had in perhaps a decade. [Some sources are saying that wildflowers may not peak until sometime in April because of the late start they got this Spring. – Mike]Continue reading →
We can thank old British laws for handing down this phrase. A will, traditionally, dictated how “real property” would be allocated (in other words, land and things of physical value). A testament dealt with personal property — things of sentimental or family value.
These days, there can be a less concrete line drawn between what is “real” and what is “personal,” so we just use the phrase “last will & testament” to cover all our bases.
Incidentally, when it comes to your last will & testament, you are the testator in question.
Oh, and a holographic will is an informal will made under extenuating circumstances, and without the usual legal witnesses and signatures. Even with a holographic will, however, the testator’s signature is required.
Finding a 1-hour fire safe was easy. Finding a 2-hour fire safe is quite challenging. I found this item at Sears around 2005. (Currently Sears Item# 00957428000 | Sentry Model# A5882)
Our house burned to the ground in 2008. The flames burned for 10 hours, and we’re told that the temperatures probably reached 1200 degrees Fahrenheit at some times during the blaze. This safe was on the 2nd floor, and it took some days to recover it. Continue reading →
One of my favorites not on the list: “The Forbin Project” (1970), with Eric Braedon, just after he was Hans Gudegast in “The Rat Patrol”, but before he was Victor Newman on “The Young and the Restless”. A great little film with a haunting score, and arguably a precursor to “The Terminator”’s Skynet, with inspiration from HAL9000.
Having a Chinese wife, in-laws (who experienced Japanese wartime occupation and brutality personally) and friends, I have heard from several sources that the Chinese (citizens and ethnic) have donated less to the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/reactor disaster than they did to Haiti’s terrible earthquake tragedy. Far less. Both disasters were horrible human catastrophes, but ethnic Chinese have a much harder time working up sympathy for Japan.
[UPDATE, 2011-APRIL 22: I have improved the links in this story. I’m sorry it took so long to do so. – Mike]
Contemporary journalism often frustrates me greatly.Good questions don’t get asked, spin is reported as news, and explanations necessary for the understanding of important events are often thin at best and non-existent or flat wrong at worst.
The reporting on the technical aspects of the Japanese nuclear crisis is an excellent case in point. If you want to know how high the tsunami was, the depths of the human tragedy, how much the main Japanese island of Honshu moved or the changes in the length of a day or the tilt of the earth’s axis as a result of the great quake, you’re in luck. There’s lots of that information to find.
If you want to understand what’s going on at the Japanese nuclear plants Continue reading →
If you’ve ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of a space shuttle during launch, go to this video.
At about the 47 second mark, the SRBs (Solid Rocket Boosters) separate. If you look closely at the right-side booster, it looks for a moment like you can see hot gases leaking from the seam of the nozzle segment as it rotates.
An SRB segment leak of hot exhaust gases was the prime cause of the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster.
Beware of Skynet. It starts with a clothing tester, then a treadmill runner. Next thing you know, we have terminators. Make sure you stay near a building with a big hydraulic press and a white-hot vat of molten metal.
Posted on Wed, 10/28/2009 – 06:24 by Emma Woollacott
The US Army is ordering bipedal robots that can walk and crawl like a human, in order to test chemical protection clothing.
The Petman robot, under development by Boston Dynamics, is roughly the size and shape of a real human. It can balance itself and walk freely – albeit with a motion reminiscent of someone on the way to the bathroom and not sure if they’ll make it in time. It can also simulate human body temperature and sweating. Continue reading →
Massachusetts biotech company Joule Unlimited says it’s demonstrated a process for generating pure diesel directly from solar energy.
The company’s Helioculture platform converts sunlight and waste CO2 directly into liquid fuel – Liquid Fuel from the Sun – without the two-stage process of using sunlight to grow plants which are then processed for fuel. Continue reading →