A bit late on the draw this week: work has been ridiculously busy, as has been the pattern lately.
I did at least fix the occasional ‘your IP address has been blocked’ message you might have been seeing: that page was getting cached as the homepage when spammers visited. It’s not fixed in the sense that the anti-spam plugin and the homepage play nice, but I turned off the anti-spam plugin and cleared the cache, so it looks solved from your perspective, non-logged-in readers.
- NSM box launchers on unmanned trucks: the future of Marine aviation – The second part is maybe unwarranted snark, but they have been talking about giving up the baby carriers just at the point when baby carriers get useful with F-35s, haven’t they?
- Private aggressor aircraft provider Top Aces, not satisfied with having the coolest job in the world, now have the coolest Skyhawks – AESA, IRST… I wonder if you can stick AMRAAMs on?
- Oh, they also own 29 F-16s – I repeat: coolest job in the world.
- The technical alignment chart – These keep getting more niche… and I am on board.
- FNH builds a new lightweight machine gun – The “EVOLYS”. Just rolls off the tongue. It has some neat features, though, which I won’t spoil.
- Belgian farmer moves rock, expands Belgium – The former border dated back to the Treaty of Kortrijk (1820). “We should be able to avoid a new border war,” said the mayor of the neighboring French village, displaying an alarming lack of certainty. If the farmer doesn’t return the stone, the case goes to the Belgian foreign ministry, which would then summon a Franco-Belgian border commission inactive since 1930. European history is hilarious sometimes.
Sport, Motor, Formula
- After the 2014 rules changes, Mercedes F1 had an ‘idle mode’ to keep from destroying the field by too much – Relevant meme. The current team boss denies it, but then, of course he would.
China, Coronavirus, and Other Related Topics
- Here at the Soapbox, we like to demonstrate our editorial independence by honking off the Chinese government at every opportunity.
- The Chinese property market looks to me like some kind of scheme, perhaps one shaped like a three-dimensional triangular solid – Deposits from new buyers are being used to finish old construction, claims a guy on Twitter.
- Brazil rejects the Russian vaccine, which contains a replicating cold virus – Oops. Well, my Made in
RussiaSoviet Union pocket watch stopped working in pretty short order, and also, I spent enough time in Russia to develop an appreciation for all the nuance of на ремонт, so I can’t claim I’m totally surprised that something made in Russia would be of less than the best quality.
- It only took a year, but we finally figured out how COVID spreads! – Respiratory droplets. Shame that the lesson (avoid large groups in poorly-ventilated spaces) is now almost irrelevant, thanks to the widespread availability (in the US, at least) of vaccines.
- The lab leak hypothesis: increasingly likely – Not to say it was engineered, but any sober or even slightly tipsy examination of the evidence has to allow the possibility.
- Contractor with the PA health department leaks PII for 72,000 people – I don’t think I’m one of them, at least.
Twilight of the West
- We also like overwrought headings under which to sort articles.
- 20 French generals, 80 officers, and 1,000 men signed an open letter expressing concern over ‘mortal dangers’ that face the Republic – They don’t quite call for a coup. Quite.
- A Day in the Life: South African armored car driver – The armor holds. Late breaking: dashcam footage!
- Eviction moratoriums: both sides – For a commie rag, the Washington Post is slightly more sympathetic to the landlord side than I would have guessed.
- Excavator shoveling slag – It’s the most metal thing I saw last week. … don’t forget to tip your waiters and waitresses.
- Ars Technica slobbers all over Invincible, the Amazon animated superhero series, which is good but not quite as good as the ArsTech review says – Issue 1: ‘fun’ is the wrong word for it. It’s very rarely fun in the traditional superhero sense, and when it is, it’s quickly interrupted by ultra-gory realism. Issue 2: the voice cast is extremely uneven, because there aren’t a lot of people in it with serious experience doing voice work. (J.K. Simmons is, as always, worth the price of admission.) Issue 3: there’s an attempt at young adult drama, which is deeply tonally inconsistent with the rest of the show, and mostly just drags.