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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in realinterrobang's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
5:39 pm
Genocide for Fun and Profit!
Got into an argument (what else is new) on the Boke of Faces the other day with this tinfoil-hat type who took the OP's tepid endorsement of North American-style "democratic socialism" as an excuse to run with "Socialism is the same as Communism, and Communism leads inevitably to genocide; I know 'cause I was in Bosnia and it was all about keeping the Commies in control, yay Capitalism!"

So, in case you ever run across a similar yob in your travels, here is a brief and definitely incomplete list of genocides perpetrated for profit, because capitalism has such a stellar human rights record...

Belgians in the Congolese Free State: up to 10M people, approximately 20% of the population
Spanish in South America: ~28M, approximately 90% of the population
Europeans in Canada: Best estimates are 2-400K, 40-80% of the population
Europeans in the United States: Best estimates are ~12M, ~80-90% of the population
Spanish in the Caribbean: Taino people, best estimates are 90+% of the population (no hard population figures)
Germans during the Holocaust (of forced labourers, e.g. at Mauthausen, Mittelbau-Dora): 6.8M, approx 57% of abducted forced labourers only
Germans during the Holocaust (of handicapped people, for resource conservation*): 70 000

* The alleged reason for Aktion T-4 against handicapped and chronically ill people was strictly eugenic, but internal rationalisations within the Reich and even some of their propaganda posters put the lie to this; the "useless eaters" were murdered to free up hospital beds for German soldiers, and to redirect money and resources that would have otherwise been used for their care.

Also: 50 pfennig per sack of Jewish hair...

Current Mood: tired
Monday, May 23rd, 2016
11:22 pm
Note to self, or the perils of being a professional editor
Dear editor,

"Composed of" and "composted of" are not the same, regardless of what you apparently actually want to do to this MSS.


The executive portions of the brain

Current Mood: tired
10:11 pm
Quotes, Who Can ₹ Now Edition
I was attending a far less than stellar Los Angeles Public High School. I had qualified as a freshman for an Honors English course placement. I was excited to see a 23 year old teacher. He seemed eminently approachable. His first statement of the year was " I give one A, one B, One C, and one D. I will fail the rest of you because if you're not the best, you deserve to fail." I had never had a grade of less than a B and this was the early 80s. Fast forward 3 months and my parents received a notice that I was failing the class, along with the 42 kids of 46 that had not struck this prick's fancy. This was a much different era. Despite my complaints, this became all my fault immediately. My parents refused to act on my behalf despite reading all of my papers. This leprous asshole who, in his youthful arrogance, decided to fuck 90%+ of his class simply based on his own ego paid absolutely no price for his actions. Of course, a failing grade in an Honors class precluded your acceptance to another one forever. This arrogant wanker's comments cast me and 42 others in my freshman class to regular English classes where we discovered just how little was required to get a very high grade. I had to explain this sole grade below a B (in AP Physics) to six admission officers. I have no doubt that this one asshole denied me opportunities aplenty. Mr. Terrell, if you're reading this, please send me your address. I will allow you to choose pistols or swords. Nope, not kidding.
-- Nunya, Gin and Tacos, comments

In his memory, we should all commit to taking care of health issues early instead of waiting.
-- Melissa Misuraca, Facebook, comments, on Jim Henson

American (and most European) society has a triple system of stratification: class, race, and gender. While they all interact with one another, they are also partially independent. Elites in all state systems actively work to exclude as many people as possible from enjoying full benefits of society for their own benefit. They employ many ways of doing this, but prefer to use permanent ascriptive statuses, like gender and race, which are fixed.
-- DrDick, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

No sadness, this is a happy ambulance.
-- paramedic Tony Lemon, to patient "James," in "999: What's Your Emergency? 'Don't tell my parents'"

At this point, it's possibly worth asking whether he honestly believes this stuff and is just going Chuck Yeager on the Poe's Law barrier
-- from the RationalWiki entry on Alex Jones

Short work and long work this time.Collapse )

Current Mood: annoyed
Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
5:01 pm
Hey, it's the May Two-Four Weekend!
That makes me feel much better somehow. Maybe because this means I probably don't have to totally panic about returning this massive amount of editing by tonight. The new employers paid me on Friday, too!

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
8:34 pm
You know, even stuff like an anxiety attack that keeps you up half the night (when you have an early morning) can really fuck you up, even if at this point, your attitude toward your anxiety is, "Yeah, it's a thing... *sigh*" I think I got about 4.5 hours of sleep last night, which is about three fewer than I need to be truly functional.

In other news, I saw a gynecologist today, and she did in fact say that I should get sex toys -- a set of dilators (she says the way to do this on the cheap is to buy a bunch of candles in graduated sizes at the dollar store; she says, "They're wax; they won't hurt you," and I said, "And you can always put a condom on them," and she said, "Exactly!") and a dildo. So now, among my Weirdness credentials, I can honestly say I have been prescribed sex toys.

And how's your life?

Current Mood: exhausted
Monday, May 16th, 2016
8:25 am
Quotes, Christopher Columbus Was A Fox-Watching Dipshit Edition
I'm big into voting because if I don't, I can't complain. And, boy, do I *looooooooove* complaining.
-- Stephanie Llewdrac, Facebook, comments

When I was five years old, my birthday party, I'd asked for a doctor's kit, and the person who brought the present for me brought me a nurse's kit. I threw a fit. I was like, I didn't want a nurse's kit, I didn't want the little hat; I wanted the stethoscope, I wanted the shot...
-- medical resident Dr. Lisa Hardin Van Bremer, in Trauma: Life in the ER

Alone among the big cats, cougars lure their prey in with adorable meeps.
-- Facebook user Seth Ellis, More Words, Deeper Hole, comments

We could hear, on Sgt. Jaques' radio, the voices of police officers getting more and more frantic. And I'm...and when I say frantic, I mean frantic. You could tell...there were an element of fear in their voices. Some poor lad just lost it. I remember this on the radio, saying, "For fuck's sake, for fuck's sake, open these gates. If you don't open these gates, people are gonna die; for fuck's sake, please open these gates!"

I looked at me colleague and thought, "Someone's swearin' on the radio!" Dinna happen. You just didn't do it.
-- police witnesses, interviewed in "Hillsborough" (BBC Two, 8 May 2016)

Selling rides is really the tiniest part of the Uber plan. What they're actually selling is headlines reinforcing the idea that the fast moving Silicon Valley startups don't have to play by the rules. That stock valuation is the real product of Uber, and it is entirely based on the idea that mobile web devices mean the old rules no longer apply, even for something as commonplace as paying for a cab ride.
-- Helmut Monotreme, Alicublog, comments

Well, in thinking, anyway...Collapse )

Current Mood: sick
Monday, May 9th, 2016
9:40 pm
Quotes, Yom Huledet Simcha #68 Edition
[My daughter] was about 8 when she first told me -- in answer about what she learned in school that day -- that "I am sorry, Daddy, but you do not have a Need-to-Know basis for that information." Sadly, I am not making this up.
-- smut clyde, Alicublog, comments

Punk showed me you could be whatever you wanted to be, and that’s the way I’ve lived my life. I haven’t changed.
-- former Sex Pistols stylist Jordan, quoted in Nige Tassell, "Never mind the bus pass: punks look back at their wildest days," The Guardian

For two-thousand years, Jews were at the whim and will of local non-Jewish authorities and citizens of the countries in which we lived. In 1948, everything changed. If a Hitler arose today, we would have flights leaving today and beds ready tomorrow for those in need of safety and shelter. And, if need be, a military response to prove, in the immortal words of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, that Jewish blood is not hefker (cheap).
-- Todd Berman, "Is it time to come home?", Times of Israel blogs

He must be broke, because he can't even pay attention.
-- Lynn Kalinosky, Facebook, comments

Trump recently stated that his bold plan for dealing with the national debt was that, as a brilliant negotiator, he would convince holders of Treasury obligations to take a haircut – in other words, to accept fifty cents on the dollar or something like that, as a bankruptcy court might force creditors to do during a liquidation or reorganization. This is almost too stupid to bother explaining why it is stupid, as though the Treasury of the largest economy on the planet is no different than a failing casino trying to talk down its debts to a bunch of Mustache Petes who put up the initial investment. It is such a stupid idea that it falls short of qualifying as an idea; it's the kind of thing someone who has absolutely no idea how anything related to the economy works would think is a really brilliant solution.
-- Ed, "Loud, Racist, and Signifying Nothing," Gin and Tacos

From one young country to another!Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
4:46 pm
Quotes, A Clash of Conurbations Edition
It's lot easier to be comfortable in a reputation-based economy when you have a Visa card with your parents' billing address.
-- BigHank53, Alicublog, comments

Canadians have crashed the census page. Canada: YOU ARE A PACK OF DANG NERDS

I’ve never been more proud to be Canadian.

And the world's loudest "SORRY!" echoed throughout the land for hours, bouncing among the mountains and valleys.

I was so excited to get mine in the mail today.
-- @karengeier, @BriggsAlexa, @Nixadoodle, and @stephenlautens, Twitter

Mr. Murphy, my Jr. year Science teacher on the first day of class. "I will be taking a long vacation at the end of this school year. Whether it is Aruba or Walpole State Prison will be entirely up to you".
-- David Hersh, Facebook, comments

There is so much money to be made off irrational fear.
-- David Wright, Science-Based Medicine, comments

One of the cats keeps opening a kitchen drawer, retrieving a chopstick and depositing it in bed.
-- james_nicoll, "a mystery," More Words, Deeper Hole (entire post text)

May the best municipality win!Collapse )

Current Mood: apathetic
3:14 pm

Today's editorial cartoon from the Globe and Mail, Brian Gable.
h/t anton_p_nym

Current Mood: sad
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
9:17 pm
Speaking of hideous disasters...
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Tar Sands Ground Zero, is burning. All 80 000 (not a typo) residents have been evacuated.

Current Mood: tired
12:33 am
Bhopal, the Prequel

Did you know that in the early 1930s, Union Carbide (the same company that brought the world the Bhopal disaster in 1984) killed something like 750 workers1 and made hundreds of others ill, and drained part of a river to build a private hydroelectric plant to power one of its factories?


Well, I just read this book on the subject, so let me introduce you to the Hawk's Nest Tunnel disaster, which came about as a result of Union Carbide wanting a ~3 mile long tunnel drilled through Gauley Mountain, in the West Virginia Appalachians. The tunnel diverted part of the New River to power a private hydroelectric plant that generated electricity to power Union Carbide's steel processing plant at Alloy, WV. In his 1986 book The Hawk's Nest Incident, medical doctor and public health specialist Martin Cherniack documents the legal fiction Union Carbide used in persuading the state authorities to allow the tunnel's construction, which strongly intimated that the general public would benefit from the plant directly, although according to Cherniack's research, it seems as though Union Carbide didn't have to persuade too hard. (I get the feeling that Cherniack may not have known about Bhopal at the time he was writing the book, because he seems to me to be entirely too charitable to Union Carbide, even though he wasn't, very.)

The Gauley Mountain water intake which feeds into the tunnel.

Unfortunately for the hapless workers on the project, most of whom were black Depression-era migrants, Gauley Mountain is made largely of quartz sandstone.2 Quartz dust of the purity found inside Gauley Mountain means immense amounts of silica dust, which means that all the workers who had to breathe inside the tunnel once it struck silica, without benefit of respirators or other personal protective equipment (PPE), were at risk of silicosis. (Silicosis is like black lung or white lung, only from silica dust instead of coal dust or textile fibres.)

Image from Stop Silicosis, a 1938 US Labor Department film made in response to the disaster.

Cherniack notes that Union Carbide's and their engineering contractor's personnel were issued breathing protection, but the nearly 5000 men who worked in the tunnel as regular labour were not. Most of these men were black migrants, although some were local white miners. Cherniack also documents that the turnover rate on the project was astonishing -- around 90%. Cherniack uses Union Carbide records to determine that, between being fired, quitting, or falling ill, the average worker on the Hawk's Nest project worked for around 100 days, give or take. (White workers tended to be on the job slightly longer, black workers slightly less.)

But even ~100 days of exposure was enough to cause acute silicosis in dozens of men.
[Acute silicosis] results from short-term exposure to very large amounts of silica. The lungs become very inflamed and may fill with fluid, causing severe shortness of breath and low blood oxygen levels. Acute silicosis follows massive exposure to dust in unregulated environments.

Working on the tunnel.

Worse, Cherniack also documents that exposure to the dust likely caused an increase in cases of tuberculosis and fatal pneumonia among the workers (although he does say that it's likely local doctors misdiagnosed some acute silicosis cases as tuberculosis or pneumonia), probably due to increased susceptibility because of their damaged lungs. His carefully-gleaned epidemiological statistics also seem to show an increase in TB among local black women during the tunnel period, and seems genuinely baffled as to why that might be, although it seems to me that TB-infected tunnel workers were probably spreading it to their wives and/or girlfriends, with whom they were in close enough contact for long enough to infect them.

Union Carbide further exploited this tragedy by turning the tunnel into a secret silica mine, without the proper permits or state oversight. They sent tons of silica to their plant in Alloy for use in steel processing.

Cherniack documents over 200 lawsuits filed in the area over silicosis. Cherniack further notes that the average black labourer might expect to see about $42.00 -- not a typo -- in compensation, if he managed to win in court. White workers could receive up to $1000, of which their attorneys might take half.

The workers who died locally to the project were buried in a makeshift cemetery set up out of part of a cornfield owned by a local undertaker. They were then consolidated into smaller coffins, moved to a different site in 1972, and reinterred "when the state of West Virginia decided to widen U.S. 19. The new burial site in Summersville became a dumping ground for old appliances and highway crews disposing of road kill until local residents Charlotte and Charles Neilan made it their mission to find the graveyard, which they did with the help of West Virginia State University Professor Richard Hartman." (See also.)

An unmarked grave at the post-1972 site.

What makes this event a striking parallel to Bhopal is not just Union Carbide's wilful negligence and dismissal of the lives of workers of colour, but that they went to such great lengths -- even given a friendly, even submissive regulatory climate -- to obfuscate the evidence, distort or destroy or fail to keep records, and basically deny anything much bad had ever happened.

Union Carbide is a memory now, but industrial malfeasance -- particularly at the hands of corporations that were engineered to be cartels from the outset -- lives on.

Unlike the Hawk's Nest tunnel workers.

1 Worker figure from Michael Cherniack, The Hawk's Nest Incident, 1986. Other sources have put the figure as low as 109 to as high as 5000. Cherniack, however, includes his epidemiological research in a lengthy appendix in his book, and it seems solid. The 109 figure is Union Carbide's, and easily discounted from historical records.

2 Cherniack notes that the Union Carbide contractors assayed it at between 97 and 99.44% pure silica, though he says the latter number was probably "drawn from popular culture."

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
10:17 pm
Mycological nerdiness
I'm inordinately enthused that I found a morel in my backyard!* And there was another one coming up right near it. Also, today when I looked more carefully, I found another one over further toward the east. Now I'm looking avariciously at every evergreen tree in the vicinity. I think I may go out tomorrow and see if I can find any more around. Morels are delicious!

It's amazing what you can forage around here, considering that I'm right in the middle of a medium-sized city.

* Yes, I'm sure they're morels and not some species of Interrobang-murdering toadstools. I checked online and the differentiators are really simple. Besides, not much looks like a morel, and most of what even sort of looks like morels isn't super-toxic anyway. Besides, I ate it last night and I'm fine. (Yum.)

Current Mood: excited
Monday, May 2nd, 2016
10:54 pm
Quotes, Bucket of Mint Edition
When you live in Alaska, you get used to folks telling you they are "calling from the United States." "And what a coincidence--you've just called the United States!"
-- Cole, Alicublog, comments

I believe Hayek said the McKenzie’s were hosers, eh
-- Bill Murray, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments

The Large Hadron Collider suffered a power outage last night, after a luckless weasel decided to chew on a 66-kilovolt power cable.
-- Maddie Stone, "Report: A Weasel Shut Down the Large Hadron Collider," Gizmodo

I give you Leonard Nimoy's "The Legend Of Bilbo Baggins"

What the fuck is why this exists what
-- scoldog and HighRelevancy, Reddit, comments

I have a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew.
-- Barack Obama, 2012 White House Correspondents' Dinner, in Dan Zak, "The single best joke told by every president, from Obama to Washington," The Washington Post

Some really disturbing stuff under the fold this time.Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, April 28th, 2016
10:54 pm
Quotes, I Survived the Week Edition
I wish the 'fairtrade, protect the environment, treat others fairly, reduce reuse recycle' stuff didn't get all mixed up with the 'woo'. I want to be a science-based hippie.
-- Simba, Science-Based Medicine, comments

sad? lost? confuse? it ok frend. be like snek. shed old skin, become anew. leave old self and past behind, slither away into setting sun~
-- @DangerNoodle, Twitter

Oh we're pacifists alright we are about to pass a fist right through your face.
-- Tumblr user try-lullaby, spotted on Buzzfeed Canada

Saggy pants have been around so long that I'm thinking the best thing to do is enthuse about how you look JUST like your Great-Uncle Henry in that outfit, isn't it SWEET.
-- ethelmay, More Words, Deeper Hole, comments

Fuck the “disruptors.” As far as I can tell, all their “disruptions” do are make things better for the upper-class and suckier for the rest.
-- Luthe, Balloon Juice, comments

Even if it is only Thursday night!Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
10:22 pm
Strange, very strange
This is weird. I've never before prepped for a job interview in part by loading the work I was planning to do on the trip onto my laptop...

And I mean like remunerative work, not "I am, therefore I write" kind of work.

Current Mood: exhausted
Thursday, April 21st, 2016
5:16 pm
Quotes, Clean ALL the Things??? Edition
Coors Brewing... not only does background checks but also runs prospective employees through a lie-detector test. One of the things they're looking for (and I swear I am not making this up) is "communists".
-- BigHank53, Alicublog, comments

[A]nd there's no way to say this without sounding like a judgmental asshole, is the role of family planning in exacerbating the already dire situations in which these people find themselves. You practically want to scream at the pages, please stop having more kids. There are numerous tales [in this book] of people living on something like $650/month in total income…and they have three kids, and they have more kids as the story unfolds. There are a lot of issues balled up here: lack of effective sex education (in or out of school), lack of sufficient access to methods of birth control, and using children to fill an emotional void or try to hold onto a relationship partner. I can't put myself in the position of anyone in this book, and I have no idea what I'd do if I were. But if there's one thing the people described here are good at, it's figuring out how to survive. In many ways they are highly rational and they make decisions that eliminate anything that isn't absolutely essential. In that light, it's confusing to try to understand why "I shouldn't pay this month's rent because I'm about to be evicted anyway" makes sense (and it does) but "I shouldn't have a fifth child" does not.
-- Ed, "Sympathy for the Devil," Gin and Tacos, comments

Fucking idi*ts
-- Dani Weigert, Facebook, comments

I have come across people who didn't believe that cats had lungs. Worst part is on researching this, they weren't the only one.
-- Simba, Science-Based Medicine, comments

The owner of a sandwich kiosk at the site suffered a broken hip and shrapnel in his stomach from the blast. He ironically named his small shed next to the bus stop, which had also been targeted in a similar bombing in 1994, “Pitzutz Shel Kiosk” or “Blast of a Kiosk.”
-- Dave Bender, "One Year Later," Times of Israel blogs, on a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem on 23 March 2011

Yes, clean all the things...again...Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
9:11 pm
An American friend asked me to explain Canadian Tire, in the context of my saying I was excited to make a trip there to get housewares. How to explain Canadian Tire to a non-Canadian who's never been in one... I said:

Um. I'm not sure I can explain why Canadian Tire is called that, but suffice to say it's kind of like a Lowe's, only with more stuff and auto parts as well, and a vague aura of magic.

They usually have really good prices on housewares. You could pretty well fit out most of an apartment with what you can find at Canadian Tire, with the exception of the major pieces of furniture (although you can certainly find bookcases and nighttables and endtables and things).

You can also buy barbecues, cleaning products, reproduction Victorian light fixtures for your next renovation, toilets, guns, touch-up paint for your car, the odd assortment of clothes (mostly t-shirts with outdoorsy slogans, plaid flannel jackets, and belts with funky buckles), bicycles, a few drinks and snack items, fishing and hunting gear, cleaning products, plants, and I once even saw a paddleboat for sale there.

One of the reasons I like shopping there is that you never quite know what oddments you're going to see there next. Like a paddleboat. Or live trilliums in pots for your garden. Those cool plastic Israeli plant pots that hang over balcony railings. Or a no-assembly-required (save filling and plugging in) garden fountain that runs on house current. What else is there to say?

Current Mood: tired
12:34 am
Can We Seriously Regulate Drones Yet, or Do People Have to Die First?
Agence France-Presse reports that a BA Airbus A320 on approach to Heathrow hit a drone. According to the article, "The UK Airprox Board, an air safety agency, said last month there were 23 near-misses between drones and aircraft in the six months between April and October last year. In one incident on September 22, a Boeing 777 reported narrowly passing a drone as it was taking off."

Drone owners are turning into the ATV riders of the skies. If drone flyers haven't got the common sense to not fly one of these things around an airport, they don't deserve to fly them at all, particularly since if they're intruding on approach or departure corridors, especially around large, controlled airfields (that is, airports that have air traffic controllers on duty), they're automatically flying their drone into restricted airspace. I'm glad nothing untoward has happened, but if and when it does, I hope the offending drone owner gets the book thrown at them, followed by the entire bookcase, followed by the entire law library. And those drone owners who fly their drones into restricted airspace should face the same penalties as anybody else. In this particular case, the person flying that drone should be looking at the same consequenses as a clueless general aviation pilot who wandered into an approach corridor at Heathrow and caused a minor incident.

At least a lot of general aviation aircraft carry transponders so the ATCs can see they're there and tell them to GTF out of harm's way. Hobby drones do not. They're invisible to ground-based and onboard radar.

Mid-air collisions are not a good idea, even when the other craft is something as small as a drone. Two problems I can see right off are engine ingestion (that is, the drone getting sucked into an engine), and the drone colliding with the airplane's cockpit windows. Losing an engine suddenly on takeoff or landing because your Airbus has just sucked in some asswipe's drone could be quite perilous, especially since those are the most task-heavy times of an entire flight, and pilots don't really expect to have one of their engines suddenly die like that.

And it doesn't take much to really do damage to a jet engine. To give an extreme case, the Concorde burnt up on takeoff from one of its engines ingesting a piece of runway debris that was only ~40cm long. Even something metal the size of a bottlecap can damage a jet engine, which is why airports try to be scrupulous about keeping runways clear of any detritus. Comparing a drone ingestion to a bird strike isn't really accurate, because birds are made of, well, meat (and get turned into what's technically called "slurry" in an aircraft engine, not unlike putting a meatball in a food processor), and drones are made of metal and plastic, which makes runway debris incidents more accurately instructive to look at.

A drone getting sucked into the engine of a single-engine aircraft...well...

On USAir 1549 (the "Miracle of the Hudson" plane), the front windows were partially broken from impacting Canada geese, at ~12 pounds each. So it doesn't take much, given the speed at which airplanes travel.

Also, there could be problems if a drone hit any of the control surfaces of an airplane. As Patrick Smith writes at AskThePilot.com, "A jetliner traveling at 250 miles per hour (in the U.S., that’s the maximum speed when flying below 10,000 feet) hitting a 25-pound UAV creates about 40,000 pounds of impact force. A collision with even a lightweight drone could result in serious and expensive problems. A small drone impacting an engine would be unlikely to cause a crash, but it could easily cause the failure of that engine and millions of dollars of damage. Windscreens and other components are vulnerable as well." If you're wondering about impact forces, remember that in the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, NASA engineers fired a one-pound block of foam, moving 500mph at a Shuttle wing panel, and it smashed an enormous hole in it. Now, the Space Shuttle's wing panels are more friable and lightweight than aircraft parts, but one pound of mass travelling at 500mph creates much less impact than 25 pounds of mass travelling at half that speed.

If, as in these examples cited, the problems are happening around takeoff and landing, which are critical times anyway, things could really go wrong in any scenario. And you can multiply the problem factor by about 10 when you're talking about a drone contacting a general aviation airplane, since they're smaller and lighter, and some of them only have one engine, and the standard of competence for pilots is so much lower. I'm not even going to talk about helicopters here, since I don't know much about them, but I do know a lot of rescue and similar agencies preemptively ground helicopters if drones are reported in the area, because of risk.

So I have nothing against people wanting to fly drones, or RC airplanes or helicopters or styrofoam gliders or whatever, but I really don't want people to fly them near airplanes or helicopters or things carrying people through the air, either because they're idiots, or because they've let the "ooh shiny" moment override what passes for sense. And while there are regulations on the FAA's books, they're more honoured in the breach than the observance. Transport Canada is developing regulations for hobbyists and already requires people using drones for work or research to apply for permits.

Maybe hobby drone purchasers should have to take a licensure test before they can get some kind of critical part for the things, and drones should definitely carry identifiable, traceable Vehicle Identification Numbers, and large drones should probably have to be equipped with transponders, so they're not radar-invisible.

Unfortunately, I suspect people are going to have to die before anything changes. That's the way it usually works. However, most of the time, the aviation industry and people in general don't get this much obvious advance notice.

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, April 17th, 2016
9:24 pm
Quotes, The High-Pitched Screams of the Half-Sours Edition
Stockholm ain't just a river in Egypt.
-- AGoodQuestion, Alicublog, comments

As Tony Judt pointed out in Ill Fares the Land, Hayek forgot that vital national services cannot be allowed to collapse, which means that competition cannot run its course. Business takes the profits, the state keeps the risk.
-- George Monbiot, "Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems," The Guardian

An owl carried my cat off once. He came back hours later with half an owl and requiring 20 stitches.
-- darthbiscuit, imgur, comments

[T]he legendary Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős seemed to do little else besides publish prolifically, cram amphetamines into his body in legitimately alarming quantities, and devise new ways to be weird.
-- Ed, "Affirming the Consequent," Gin and Tacos

Bill Nye the Science Guy v. Ted Cruz the Human Ooze
-- post title, Shakezula, Lawyers, Guns, and Money

And the stentorian whirring of the lambs.Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
8:20 pm
I have a health problem for which (don't laugh or judge, and no word of a lie) a dildo is a significant aid to rehabilitation. But for the life of me, I'm vaguely too shy to go into a sex shop by myself, and I don't want to buy one online because I can't tell how big they are from the measurements they list, and I don't want to get one that's roughly the size of the Ron Jeremy of the elephant world.

What a stupid-ass problem to have. And yes, I know this is totally irrational. I mean, shit, I've been in sex toy stores before. *sigh*

Current Mood: tired
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