Summer is in full swing, and speaking of things in full swing, I plan to continue my recent superhero kick by doing up a review of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
If the number of articles in this series were years of its age, we would now refer to it as over the hill.
- Komsomolets is leaking radiation – But it’s way underwater, and water is an excellent radiation shield, so it’s not a very big problem. Plenty of cool pictures of the wreck, though.
- Please stop calling it Skyborg – The Air Force Research Lab will be testing Boeing’s autonomous UCAV this summer. Unfortunately, the supervillain section was last week, but ‘Skyborg’ gets, at the least, an honorable mention.
- How to fight China on American terms – Spoiler: by cutting off China’s oil imports. I can’t think of any time in the past century when blocking a rising Asian power’s access to oil has ended badly1.
- US military not planning a war on pizza after all – There were evidently some rumors that the military was going keto, but whether that was true or not, they’re definitely not now.
- More on superconducting degaussers – See also the item on Chicago in the Science and Technology section.
- Inside the B-2, like, literally: a 30-year-anniversary special
- BAE gets the green light to develop a 58-caliber gun for the Paladin – Bringing us ever nearer to
the Paris gun Project Babylonthe Strategic Long-Range Cannon.
- The Army wants an autoloader for that, too – Not the
AlbatroskanoneSLRC, but the actual reasonable project.
- The San Antonio LPDs are pretty cool – Not only are they getting the superconductors, they’re also fit for-but-not-with room for a 16-cell Mk 41 system.
- France still wants to create a European Army – That way, we can centralize the neglect and procurement into one bureaucracy with no real oversight, instead of a handful with a little bit!
- Aircraft carrier Kennedy the Next gets its flight deck done
- To pay for finding new suppliers for F-35 parts from Turkey, the Pentagon will raid the F-35 spare parts budget – That seems… short-sighted, we’ll say.
- F-35 sales are America’s Belt and Road – As China uses infrastructure projects in Third World countries (in the unaligned sense from the Cold War) as a way to spread its influence, the US uses the promise of F-35 sales and parts production as a way to lean on First World countries.
- Speaking of, the US might use those parts it’s taking away from Turkey to entice new F-35 buyers
- Turkey, for its part, wants to slow-roll its S400 deployment to evade US criticism – I don’t think that’s going to work.
- Breaking! Ex-F-15 pilot favors F-15X
- The P-8A’s radar voodoos away its engine nacelles with computer magic
Science and Technology
- How the Voyager spacecraft communicate with Earth – This is but one of a series of six articles (at the time I saved the link) on the Voyager missions and their history and technology. Worth a deep dive if you have the time.
- One engineer at Commodore back in the day hated a new OS version so much that he ignored an office policy to use it… – …so all his coworkers built a version which looked like the prior one and installed it on all his machines.
- Extra! Extra! American Superconductor to connect Windy City substations with wires made from new miracle metal, Amperium! – American Superconductor is, of course, the same company doing the superconducting degaussers. This is an old story, but it’s the first I’ve heard of a) it, and b) the fact that they call their superconductor Amperium, which is a wonderful name and entirely deserving of the headline with the old-time radio announcer stylings.
- New York’s recent blackout suggests that maybe they need superconductors too
- Want to break Google’s monopoly on search? Don’t break up Google, force them to make their index public – I don’t know that I’m that much of a trustbuster, but it’s a delicious recommendation.
- USPSA match video: me, last weekend – I bought a camera which clips to the brim of a baseball cap, so I don’t have to mess around with tripods or finding someone to record me2. The resolution is quite poor for an allegedly-720p video, but it does, at least, work.
- Related to the above, Facebook reminded me of a fun CZ story. When I bought the P-09 originally, I got the night sights version, even though I was planning on taking the night sights off immediately, because it came with an extra magazine and the price delta was less than the cost of one magazine. In the manual, it said that the tritium gas, if it escapes, is mostly harmless, and “[…] in case of its inspiration it is recommended to increase the intake of liquids and eventually to take some diuretic (beer with low content of alcohol) for acceleration of the body water exchange.”
- USPSA match video: one of the local fast shooters – Shared because he has a super-fancy Max-Michel-branded video app which analyzes your audio to find your shots, then lets you tag the intervening time with various activities, then gives you a breakdown of the result. Very handy—”I spent six seconds on transitions on that stage, but only three seconds on splits” tells you a lot about what you should be practicing. It’s the kind of thing parvusimperator and I might aim to recreate by hacking an open source video editor, so we don’t have to go out and buy an iDevice to use it.
- A fully renewable energy economy isn’t plausible in the near term – The numbers are just too big. That’s why I present Fishbreath’s Genuine Patent Carbon Neutral Energy Economy Plan, if you’re concerned with such things: 1. Nuclear power, in the quantity ‘lots’. 2. Switch to synthetic fuels made with electrolysis and atmospheric carbon capture. #2 isn’t cost-competitive yet, but there’s a pilot plant in Canada which says it’s cost-competitive with dinosaur fuels given $200/ton carbon tax, which translates to about $2 per gallon of extra cost on refinery products. Scale up and add cheap power, and I bet you can get that cost way down.
- If France can do a nuclear energy economy, surely we, who invented it, can too
- Hedge fund managers do not think Lolita Express guy Jeffrey Epstein was a hedge fund manager – I favor the blackmail conspiracy theory myself.
- In Sacramento County, it’s largely illegal to work on your own car in your own garage – Busybodies.
- Much of US uranium is imported, which does not strike the Trump Administration as a good idea – Nor do I think it is.
- As Tommy John surgery is to pitchers, vocal cord surgery is to singers – Blow out your (arm/voice) by overexerting it? Go under the knife to get it fixed!
- Pacific Rim Zero: Kaiju Rising – Over the past week, Earth has been experiencing earthquakes at about three times the normal rate.
- Whatever happened to French cuisine? – TLDR: “nothing, and that’s the problem.” English chefs, once they discovered that there’s a whole world of colorful, tasty food out there, leapfrogged their Continental brethren, who have been slow to catch up. Still, the article is something of an elegy for and a paean to the classic French restaurant.
- Written language drives sentential complexity – It being difficult to keep track of a spoken sentence with vast numbers of subordinate clauses and dozens of words, and written language being a popular mechanism by which to conduct science, it seems that, to the linguistic world, the idea that oral languages might, to ensure ease of speaking and ease of comprehension, tend to favor short sentences and limited recursion, which is to say, nestedness of clauses, is novel. See, for instance, the preceding sentence. I don’t talk like that, but I do write that way on occasion3.
- Granted, the article is talking about a blockade (a piece of wartime strategy) rather than an embargo (a diplomatic lever), but the comparison’s just too juicy to pass up. ↩
- Open-source hardware idea: a cheaper version of those $800 tripods which turn to follow a radio beacon. I can’t imagine a stepper motor, a few circuit boards, and some RF voodoo cost nearly that much. ↩
- Some of the examples in the article remind me of my favorite thing about English: it’s a very easy language—not to be fluent in, but to be comprehensible in. No tones, very little formal grammar, and a long history of interaction with wild accents and local flavors make English a better lingua franca than French ever was. ↩