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So am I the only one to get sucked into “The Expanse?” May 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology, Uncategorized, watch.
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Regular readers know that we haven’t got any cable or satellite, but I’m not completely dead to the culture, yet.  I still hear about things through blogs and news sites.  I heard about the SyFy network program The Expanse several months ago and quickly got sucked in.  Enough so that after I had exhausted the first season episodes available free on Amazon Prime, I waited a few months but finally cracked and bought the second season.  The show is by no means perfect, but it is very, very good.

One warning.  I guess the broadcast standards have really collapsed because the show has all kinds of cuss words in it.  It’s not really gratuitous, the situations generally call for such language, but the show features such dire situations so frequently the language does tend a bit blue.  And another warning – one unfortunate failing of the production was the inclusion of totally gratuitous sex scenes in the first episodes of both seasons.  This is such a sop to the sick and fallen culture it’s really sad to consider, because neither of these scenes is even remotely necessary for plot advancement or character development.

But aside from that there is very much right with the show.  The Expanse is set in the late 23rd century, a time when man has colonized much of the solar system, with Mars a heavily populated independent power and a huge population scattered on myriad asteroids and moons of the gas giants.  The Earth is still the greatest power in the solar system but Mars is rising and seeks to ultimately displace Earth.  There are lots of cold war-type tensions and then a radical new discovery literally changes everything.  The fight to gain control over this discovery and weaponize it for advantage drives much of the plot in the first two seasons.

The thing I like best about the show is that it is relatively realistic, as Sci-Fi goes.  It’s not quite 2001: a space odyssey, but it’s close.  They show real weightlessness, they show the effects of “high-G burns” when the interplanetary spacecraft must impose huge G-loads on the crew to do certain maneuvers, they show mostly realistic weaponry (but no anti-missile missiles is a pretty bad miss), long-range ship-to-ship, missiles, nuclear warheads, point defence guns, interplanetary guided missiles, etc.  It’s a quite fully realized universe and one that is enjoyable to watch.

The third major party in the series are the “belters,” souls who live among the asteroids and many moons colonized on the outer planets, people who have been in low-G and low-oxygen environments for so long their physiology has changed and they can no longer live on Earth.  They also have a unique language developed for the show, which to me sounds a lot like Afrikaans (and the English they speak is spoken with a South African accent).  The belters view themselves as outcasts who are preyed upon by the “inners” and violently punished whenever they “get out of line.”  This is another major story arc through the series.

The production values and CGI are top-notch.  There are some errors, like spacecraft with voluminous empty spaces serving no purpose (but they look pretty on TV) and crazily sped up transit times between, say, the rings of Saturn and the asteroid belt (which even at 5 million miles per hour – a speed the ships in the series regularly attain – could take many days or even weeks).

The acting ranges from fair to superb.  Shohreh Aghdashloo is brilliant as a leading Earth politician Chrisjen Avasarala.  I love Cas Anvar’s Martian of Indian-descent who speaks with a Texan accent, Alex Kamal.  Dominique Tipper has grown on me.  I think the dude playing James Holden is just OK.  Most of the others are serviceable but overall the acting does not bring the show down at all.

What really carries it along is the plot and the very well-realized universe.  The story is gripping and tends to draw you in.  They are dealing with end of the world solar system type scenarios quite regularly (hence, the language) but the scenarios are not utterly implausible.  Once you accept the MacGuffin that drives everything along it all flows very sensically.

If you like sci-fi it’s a definite must-see, provided you can get past the language and the two brief but gratuitous scenes in the first episodes of series 1 and 2 (fortunately you have a bit of warning for both and can easily skip past).  If you like good drama with a healthy amount of action, you’ll also probably enjoy it. If you think this culture has absolutely nothing to offer anyone and prefer a good book to anything broadcast, you’re probably wiser than I.  But sometimes my ‘ol noggin’ wants a break and this one wasn’t too bad.

Season 3 will air sometime in the first half of 2018.

What Everyone Should Have in their Bedroom…….. May 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, blogfoolery, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Our Lady, silliness, Tradition.
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………a five foot statue of Our Lady of Fatima!

What, you mean you don’t have one?

I’m being facetious, it’s not even ours, but I made the bier for Mater Dei‘s various Marian processions and the parish got this new statue, so I need to modify the bier to accommodate.  Still, I like it enough that they’re going to have a hard time getting it back………

Early Flighline Friday: DeHavilland Vampire Obliterates Runway at Halfpenny Green May 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in error, Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Halfpenny Green being a former WWII airfield still used for private and commercial aviation. Apparently the runway surface was not jet rated because this WWII-vintage DeHavilland Vampire ripped it to shreds:

Good grief. That exhaust is really close to the ground, but the Goblin engine powering the Vampire only made 3400 pounds of thrust.  The same as a Westinghouse J34.  Are they related?  Maybe so, many early US jet designs were based on British originals, and both are relatively rare centrifugal flow units.

I’ve never seen the like before.

Two Videos Demonstrating the Left’s Willingness to Submit to Islam March 30, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, horror, Immigration, pr stunts, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, silliness, Society.
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I’m out of time, but here’s two good videos.  If the language is bothering folks, please let me know and I’ll stop posting this stuff, but this is too good.  A really radical, out n’ proud lesbian feminist in Canada not only wore the hijab in a Canadian mosque but also agreed to enter through a back door – as fitting for a woman – and then sat in a back corner, because everyone knows God finds the sight of women horribly offensive, so offensive that their mere presence somehow magically invalidates any prayers offered:

Moronic PM Justin Trudeau was asked about this, and all he could do was blather meaningless platitudes that said absolutely nothing other than the tired leftist mantra, “diversity is our greatest source of strength” (which has, BTW, never even been remotely proven, or even grounds established  upon which the claim could be based):

His response reminded me of this old Monty Python sketch, especially at 7:30 (WordPress refuses to let me start a video at a particular time):

Michael Palin makes a brilliant Himmler.

Flighline Friday: Lazy Edition March 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology, Victory.
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Consider yourself lucky, I’m at home.  This may be a lazy Flightline Friday, but it’s better than nothing.

Two videos showing some very early Tomcat footage.  Some of the earliest Tomcats built are in the first vid, the first 30 or so ships built had only the ALQ-100 ECM antenna under the forward fuselage where later appeared first an IR sensor, then an electro-optical telescopic camera, and finally both.  The development of the F-14’s “chin” is shown below:

The first video is a Northrop production hyping their involvement in TOPGUN:

The second is from Grumman and is an obvious – but very early – PR effort for the F-14:

The kids are home, so that’s all you get.  Whether it’s better than nothing is wholly debatable, but you get what you pay for………

Scott Adams Explodes Cult of Gaia, Reveals Falsehood of Climate Models March 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in attachments, cultural marxism, error, foolishness, fun, huh?, It's all about the $$$, persecution, Revolution, silliness, Society, technology.
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Scott Adams of Dilbert fame, who has been revealing himself to be quite the anti-leftist of late, attacks the cult of gaia-worshipping climate activists who have been telling  us constantly for over 40 years that Mother Earth is doomed, DOOMED, unless – surprise! – their favorite political platforms are enacted.  And these same people tell us how terrible it is for Christians to influence politics with their religious views.  What about YOUR religious views, sunshine?

At any rate, this is pretty good, just how many climate models turn out wrong, for just one to be right?  Is it 50?  100?  5000?  How many that might be right, today, were right 20 years ago, or will be in another 20 years?  I can tell you the answer: none.

This is a sort of Occam’s Razor logic that is deadly to fantasists:

I will bet anyone $1 million dollars that I can come up with a climate forecast model that ignores C02 and still predicts the temperature 30 years from now to within half a degree. Does anyone want to take that bet?

Obviously there is a trick involved, so I won’t accept your bet for ethical reasons. But let’s see if you can figure out how I could win that bet every time.

I am 100% confident I can build a climate prediction model, using my current skill set, that will predict the measured temperature in 30 years to within half a degree.

Furthermore, you can pick whatever measurement type and place you want for the bet. My trick does not depend on doing anything clever with the measurement itself.

I can also build an accurate climate prediction model for any local geography. I can do it for the ocean or the air. And in each case, I have a 100% chance of getting the right answer to within half a degree.

Would you take the bet?………

……..how I could make a climate model that is right every time?

All I need to do is make a hundred different models, each producing output that is half a degree apart, until I have at least one model that fits every possible outcome. My models would look like this:

Model 1: Current Temp + .5 degrees

Model 2: Current Temp + 1 degree

Model 3: Current Temp + 1.5 degrees

Etc.

And I’d include all the temperatures below the current temperature too, just in case we start to cool off. In 30 years, one of my prediction models will be correct by chance. I’ll throw away all the loser models and collect my $1 million bet.

Now keep all of that in your head and take a second look at this headline. Does this model still look impressive? I’m guessing there were quite a few prediction models in the past, and lots of them now too. One of them will be more accurate than the others in 30 years.

Does that really tell you anything?

My point here is that I don’t care how many climate models are accurate if you don’t tell me how many were wrong. If 99 out of 100 climate scientists create models that are wrong, and one gets it right, would you bet on that winning model to stay right in the future?

A Little Peak at Why Texans Love Their State So Much March 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, family, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, history, Latin Mass, silliness, Society, Victory.
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I lived in Idaho for a year and worked at a place that, because it was such a craptastic nightmare of pollution and amazing danger, had to recruit across the entire nation to bring in a flood of new engineers to replace those who constantly left.  So I wound up being a new hire working with people from Arizona, California, Michigan, etc.

Now I was actually replacing a previous UT grad who just bled “Texas is Awesome” all over the place.  He DROVE 24 hours or so back home at least every 2 or 3 months.  He bragged Texas up one side and down the other.  After he left and they hired me, I was fairly homesick.  I, too, lamented having to leave Texas and especially Austin (OK, a, it was different then, and b, I was all of 22), and probably described how awesome it was.  And it drove my co-workers nuts.  They kept asking me, “what’s so great about it, what’s so great about it?”  I had a hard time describing it.

I think those who haven’t lived here for an appreciable length of time can comprehend the extent of the love affair many Texans – natives or transplants – have for this place.  As to the why…….it’s hard to explain.  Texas has its own, very dramatic, history. It was an independent nation.  It is huge.  The food is varied and awesome (Whataburger!).  The women are gorgeous, prettier than any other state I’ve been to, though some other southern states come close.  Cowboys, the oil industry, the ranching, Hispanics that have been in Texas longer than Mexico has been a nation, the huge wide open sky which some easterners used to tall trees and narrow vistas find oppressive.

It has the most varied geography of pretty much any state in the union including maybe even Alaska and California.  You can be in deep East Texas piney woods that look like Alabama, the Rocky Mountains, or flat unbroken scrub brush desert.  But the heart of it all, the prettiest, best part, to me, anyway, is the Hill Country.  I fell in love with the Hill Country in college and have adored it ever since.

The people are generally awesome, too, but we are getting too many and the urban areas have become more and more generic Top 10 market type places. So don’t think about moving here!  There’s snakes everywhere and black widows and you have to rinse the sand out of your coffee cup every morning and its hotter n’ blazes n……..

Seriously, Texas also has a deep Catholic heritage that the fading protestant majority has tried to minimize but which this video gives at least some recognition to.  It’s from the early 60s and is in good color.  You can see the fields of wild bluebonnets that are just about to start blooming, among the Indian Paintbrush and the Firewheel and Mexican Hat and others. There is even a brief shot of a TLM at an ancient mission in South Texas.  German immigrants, of which my wife is a pureblood descendant, get a mention.  Her father is one of the dwindling speakers of Texas German.

Texans I think will really enjoy this video, even though it is possibly a bit hokey and juvenile.  Outsiders will lament and gnash their teeth in great jealousy.  Clear streams with white limestone bottoms, oak and cedar trees, white rock cliffs and rolling coastal pastures, mountain laurels…….my wife and kids are going to Pipe Creek next week, and I have to stay and work. I know everything will be wonderfully in bloom. Waaaahhhhh!

So……..Today’s a “Day Without a Woman”……… March 8, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, huh?, scandals, secularism, silliness, Society, unbelievable BS.
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……….or, what my son and I call, daddy and BZRs super fun time party day.

Just more self-indulgent virtue signalling bullshnit.

The virtue signalling was turned up to level 11 in the city of Alexandria, VA, which even 20 years ago was a sane, somewhat conservative suburb, but which has been transmogrified into hyper-liberal enclave through the invasion of thousands of Washington apparatchiks.  They closed all schools today in solidarity or because of a huge jones for a J or something I don’t know.  The actual reason is so many left-wing teachers are taking the day off to…….demonstrate how a woman’s place is truly in the home, I guess:

Alexandria City Public Schools will be closed Wednesday after more than 300 staff members requested the day off.

The “unusually high number” of call-outs may be connected with the “Day Without a Woman” nationwide protest and social media campaign, school superintendent Alvin Crawley said in a statement.

Wednesday also marks International Women’s Day.

March 8 will be a teacher workday, Crawley said. March 10 was already a regularly scheduled workday.

“This is not a decision that was made lightly,” Crawley said, adding it was “based solely on our ability to provide sufficient staff to cover all our classrooms.”

The decision to close school “is not based on a political stance or position,” Crawley said.

Bonus content for this post. You know the democrats use violent SJW protesters as a breeding ground for their next generation of national leaders, right?  This is really a training ground for their next generation of political leadership.  Some very high profile names have been taking part.  George Soros’ grandson helped organize and fund the riot in Berkeley.  “Catholic” Tim Kaine’s son was arrested for rioting in Minnesota:

The son of former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine reportedly was arrested during a clash between protesters at a pro-Trump rally.

Linwood Michael Kaine, 24, was busted for second-degree riot after the melee that took place in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Saturday during a rally in support of President Trump, according to Minnesota’s Pioneer Press.

Kaine, whose father was on the 2016 Democratic presidential ticket with Hillary Clinton, was released from jail Tuesday and the city attorney is considering whether to file misdemeanor charges, the paper said.

The chaos unfolded when anti-Trump protesters descended on St. Paul’s capitol rotunda Saturday during a March 4 Trump rally.

Demonstrators blew whistles and airhorns while one allegedly threw a smoke bomb into the crowd — striking a 61-year-old woman in the head, the Pioneer Press reported.

A total of five people were arrested for rioting and another busted for disorderly conduct.

Now, Tim Kaine’s son does not live in Minnesota.  He is part of that core group of paid agitators who fly around to take part in riots whenever a pro-Trump event is planned.  Many of today’s leaders of the demonrat party were extremists of the 60s and 70s.  This is their next generation.

Finally, some good news, ESPN is dying, and not soon enough.  Maybe more college games will wind up on broadcast TV if they go away.  Keep up the leftist diatribes, ESPN!  Keep losing audience!

As sports cable network ESPN continues to bleed cash, another round of layoffs is about to hit that will reportedly take out some well-known reporters and on-air faces.

Reports say that ESPN management is being tasked with cutting “tens of millions” of dollars of staff salary from its payroll, meaning that on-air personalities are on the chopping block, according to Sports Illustrated…….

………..The news of the massive cuts comes on the heels of reports that ESPN is losing millions per year.

Once a sports powerhouse, ESPN has gone from must-see-TV for millions of sports fans to a financial boondoggle for owner Disney with the network losing up to 10,000 subscribers a day, reports said last month.

“A floundering ESPN, with rising costs and declining viewership, continued to sink Disney’s DIS, +0.24% financial results during its fiscal first quarter,” MarketWatch.com reported.

With ESPN dragging on the company, Disney’s revenue fell 3 percent, and its profits sank 14 percent, the financial site reported.

As to ESPN itself, the network lost subscribers, found its average viewership crater, and experienced falling advertising rates even as its programming costs climbed. And this fall from grace continued even after Disney insisted that ESPN had reached its bottom after the previous quarter came to an end.

ESPN’s crashing revenue coincides with its increasingly leftward political content, a drift so blatant that the network’s ombudsman felt pressured to address the network’s political content.

This weekend’s earbug February 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, fun, silliness.
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Also from Pogo, the same guy who did the Star Trek/Picard video I posted last Friday.

This one is called Trumpular.  Not quite as good?  See what you think:

The Media’s “Job,” and Some Just Can’t Handle the Truth February 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, cultural marxism, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, rank stupidity, silliness, Society.
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A couple of brief, close out the week items via reader T.  First up, the media let’s us know what their real job is, not just presenting events as they occur in a factual and unbiased manner, but, no, telling us scary, unstable, easily enraged little people what to think:

Secondly, the billboard below apparently enraged some North Carolina feminists:

billboardrevised

Seems pretty straightforward to me. I guess theirs no accounting for taste, but I think you have to be pretty messed up to find this notion so offensive as to stage a protest……..next to a billboard:

A billboard on Interstate 40 West near Winston-Salem is angering many who say its message is offensive to women.

The board reads: “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it.” The owner of a Winston-Salem women’s boutique called Kleur has organized a demonstration against the billboard’s message for Sunday at 11 a.m.

On the plus side, from one of the comments:

the women’s movement nor their marches represent me…this sign does!

What do you lovely ladies think?