Saturday, December 29, 2012

What bothers me.. that their costumes are woodland, but their heels are baby blue.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Well, they sure proved me wrong..

Nike's trying a new campaign:

In other news, here's KD helping seniors stay in shape.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Toronto Raptors.

They're not even in a situation where it's like, "oh, we can win sometimes when the other team plays like crap".

Because other teams play like crap, and still win.

And when I talk about other teams playing like crap, I don't mean good teams playing "sloppy".

It's bad teams like Portland, legitimately playing like garbage, and then winning.

By 20 points.

It's gotten so bad that the Raptors are getting booed at, in Toronto.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Have you ever seen glasses so fly?

She wore them during SMTown Tokyo and SMTown Seoul performances.

But not at the performances in SMTown LA and SMTown Taiwan.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Somebody took a picture of their newly arrived photobooks.

Obviously I had to go track down the picture in picture.

Then I went and found the performance video too. <_<

Saturday, December 08, 2012


What a clown; Kobe couldn't believe his eyes

Saturday, December 01, 2012

This continues for another good screen and a half

I never really know what's going on in my Twitter feed.

Friday, November 30, 2012

NBA 2K13 should have a Hustle Meter

Once it runs out for a character, you can no longer make them run; instead they'll just saunter around at a leisurely pace.

Reggie Evans will basically never run out of Hustle.

On the other hand, Melo's Hustle Meter will be perpetually empty.

This will accurately simulate his total laziness on defense in real life.

For a true experience, the player should consider walking him in a circle and then maybe faking an injury.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A forthright exchange of ideas

" we knew we had an operating constraint of 400kW to work with"

"Wait, isn't 400kW really small for a cogeneration unit? How big is the main plant? Like 2MW?"

"I don't understand what you mean"

"How big is the main power plant?"

"We're not working with a power plant, we're working with a food production plant"

"Ohhh! That makes total sense then; I just assumed.."

"Nitta Gelatin! They make gelatin"

"I always thought that was a strange name for a utilities company"

"Dammit, I knew they should've let me do the introduction"

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Can't these liberal art guys consult an engineer before publishing this stuff?

From the Economist:

"Morris Technologies has invested heavily in 3D printing equipment and will be printing bits for a new range of jet engines. Morris Technologies uses a number of 3D printing machines, all of which work by using a digital description of an object to build it in physical form, layer by layer. Among the 3D printing technologies used by Morris Technologies is laser sintering. This involves spreading a thin layer of metallic powder onto a build platform and then fusing the material with a laser beam. The process is repeated until an object emerges."

"One of the attractions of printing parts is that it saves material. Instead of machining components from solid billets of metal, in which much of it may be cut away, only the material that is needed to shape the part is used. Printed parts can also be made lighter than forged parts, which promises fuel savings. 

Many manufacturers already use 3D printing to make prototypes of parts, because it is cheaper and more flexible than tooling up to produce just one or two items. But the technology is now good enough for it to be used to make production items too."

No, dammit!

That's not why the aviation industry uses sintering!

Think about the conditions in a jet engine: extreme heat, extreme stress. Any material that can withstand those types of conditions is going to be prohibitively expensive to machine. Sintered alloys are actually much weaker than cast alloys, which means the recipe is going to need to be all the more complex to get that strength back.

Aside from needing to melt substances that are explicitly designed to have an extremely high melting point, the problem with casting is that as the material cools, it shrinks from the mold, so it becomes impossible to cast parts with precision. That means the only alternative to sintering would be taking a big block of superhard alloy, and then trying to grind it down to a blisk or whatever you're making.

Forging produces even stronger materials (through stress hardening), but the logistical impossibility of forging a turbine blade should be obvious to anyone.

Sintering is used in mass production when there's no other choice.

If you're trying to make tank armour on the other hand, where precision is not so important, but strength and cost are..yeah, good luck selling the industry on your 3-D printers.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All aboard!

I've always found character shipping kind of strange and crazy, and doing it with real people just adds another dimension of creepiness to everything. But since I'm knee deep in this world of weirdness already, here is my appraisal of selected watercrafts:

TaeNy (Taeyeon + Tiffany): Clearly the most popular ferry by far. Also there are way too many ridiculous videos made on this that I don't want to click on.

SunYeon (Sunny + Taeyeon): Minor, TaeNy is strictly dominant.

JeTi (Jessica + Tiffany): This is just silly.

YulSic (Yuri + Jessica): I woke up and had an epiphany; there is subtle brilliance at play here.

StrawNy (Straw + Tiffany): The only acceptable ship in my mind.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Kevin Durant is not a nice guy"

Said nobody ever.

Anyways, from the Times:

"At the Thunder’s training center, after a practice in early October, Kevin Durant and I sat on folding chairs at the edge of the gym. He was wearing a black tank top, black shorts and ridiculously colorful shoes. (Loud footwear is one of his few obvious vices.)" 

Really? I never would've guessed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dear Houston..

..don't know whether it is the coaching or the players,

But when it comes down to crunch time,

Can you have a play that isn't just Harden playing Hero Ball into all the defenders?

Or you know, going iso into Lebron fucking James?

Three times in a row?


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So who thought pairing an idol contestant with Taeny was a good idea?

Because they came on and stole the damn show.

Also, Tiffany as Lil' Kim made me smile.

Monday, October 22, 2012


The US military has more bayonets now.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


That's some kind of Sandra Bullock bullshit right here.

I think she's cute with glasses. =3

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Border push

I wonder which culture is really invading here..

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Who are these 1500 people that clicked thumbs down??

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On that note

Google Art is hella sick and everyone should check it out.

Modern Art

I was never one for modern art.

Part of the problem is that it is all so opaque and meta, that you can't really understand what's going on by just looking at a piece in isolation.

Like, Lynda Benglis is known for her feminist sculptures.


Why is this feminist? It's just a lumpy piece of shit. Except you have to know that her contemporaries were predominantly males making really angular lumpy pieces of shit in hard colours (how they got to that point is a whole other story). This has obviously more feminine characteristics in its soft curves and softer colours and served as her rebuttal to the masculinity of the art world. It's like a back and forth discussion in a secret language; they are saying things about their society, but you have to be in the know.

What happens if you try to make the same thing today? Well I guess you'd be full of shit, really.

Warhol and his likes are noteworthy not because of any sort of technical excellence but because nobody in their time would've thought about doing what they did. They were taking the lowest forms of consumer culture and trying to make it into art. Now that it's become accepted, what meaning is there today for you to do what he did? Now not only can anybody paint a terrible soup can, but anybody can think of painting a terrible soup can.

Which brings me to Damian Hurst, who I think is a total hack and people need to stop giving him bags of money for animal carcasses and crystal skulls. I think he derives a lot of success because his works are aesthetically pleasing in a way that many are not. So if you don't really know what the hell you're looking at but want to act sophisticated, why not at least pick up something that looks cool?

That is to say, I think some modern artists are full of shit.

But most of their appreciators are definitely full of shit.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Axis powers revisited

BMW 328i xDrive

BMW is known for making Ultimate Driving Machines.

They are also known for their other full of those things that drove the British out of France and blitzed London. But that was a Bad Time, so let's forget about that part.

The 328i used to run a 300cc I6 228bhp/199lb-ft power plant. This year they are downsizing to a 200cc I4. Which is actually good news, because, with the help of TwinPower turbos, their performance has been boosted to an impressive 241bhp/258lb-ft.

"Hey roll your windows up, it's quite windy back here"

I didn't even notice. When you are throwing the car around, you really don't pay attention to much else. In Sport mode the throttle response feels great and the steering is sharp. In most other cars you have to contemplate the physics of a turn; this car is not like most cars: it is as nimble as you are. This is when the car is at its best, when you don't think, you just drive.

"Just don't go past 150"

Haha, that's funny. But in more than a good way. For all their engineering, 241 horsepower is 241 horsepower. At some point you've hit 6500 revs and you're ready for more but you glance at the tachometer and you realize there's just no more for it to give. And that's just a little disappointing.

My father mentioned after his drive that it felt like the Maxima had more power in it. I dismissed it out of hand initially, but it turns out that he's right. When you hit rock bottom in the BMW, there would still be some juice left in the Maxima.

There are some interesting questions here. For instance, what was I doing in a BMW at 6500 revs? And what the hell was I doing in a Maxima to have any baseline of comparison?

Those are good questions.

So now I am going to talk about the exterior: it looks great. I don't like much what they've done with the new headlamps but they still know a thing or two about making a pretty cars.

But don't let the outside fool you. The interior is just tragic. When you are driving it to the fullest and nothing fills your senses except the road, there's no problem at all. Except that you won't be driving like that for the vast majority of time. Else, you won't be driving at all for long because those license infractions will suddenly start appearing very quickly. For the rest of the time you can admire the cheap looking plastic panels, and the cheap looking steering wheel, and the terribly designed shifter and the terribly designed signal switch and a million other Minor Annoyances present in the vehicle. These are things you can put up with, but when the price tag is running close to $60k all-inclusive, why should you?

"You should move your seat back a little more"

No don't! Because it feels like a vice sitting back here! Second-class passengers indeed!

"Buy it for yourself, not the wife"

About sums it up actually, because this is a car for a lot of things, but it's not one for Real Life.

Infiniti G37

The G37 is in the same class, but it is actually not in the same class. This car is of a different pedigree altogether.

The inside is roomy and elegant, everything works as you expect it to, and they give you some amenities right off the bat. For instance, rear-view camera: standard. How many extra packages would you need to buy before you can get this in a BMW? Over five thousand dollars worth. The G37 treats you as you'd expect to be treated for the price.

And it stays together longer; the vehicle histories show it.

As for the engine? It is a beast. A 370cc V6 giving you 328bhp at 269lb-ft, and the torque comes earlier than in the VQ35 too. At 4000rpm it gives an audible but not overbearing low growl, suggesting that there is more power yet untapped should you need it.

You don't need it.

I put it in high gear to see how it would do for kicks and it effortlessly boosted me uphill.

No, it isn't as agile as the bimmer, nor would you want to drive it like one. But it is more maneuverable than what its girth suggests. Even with a 1" longer wheelbase than the old Maxima, it actually turns tighter, and of course the VQ37 gives you very little to complain about.

Except perhaps the gas prices.

Although the exterior isn't quite as exquisite as the BMW, it does a good enough job at looking its part. Besides, the exterior is for other people, but the interior? That's for yourself.

To sum, you can occasionally enjoy a BMW (and really enjoy it), but the G37 is the one that you can sit easy in on any day, at any speed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Don't worry, I'm an engineer!

"Does it cost more pollution to create high octane gas?"

No, there's only a small amount of leeway in how a refinery fractionates its crude. Gasoline itself is a blend of different compounds.

One desirable characteristic of gasoline is how much it can be compressed before it auto-ignites (you don't want this to happen because it'll throw your engine timing off) and a specific band of compounds (known as the B-T-X fraction: benzene, toluene, xylenes) increases this property.

The reason high-octane fuels are more expensive is because there just isn't enough of this stuff to go around. You get your crude and when you separate it into components there is x amount of stuff you can make gasoline with and y amount of B-T-X additives where y is less than x. Supply and demand economics.

"Does it release more pollution when used in a car?"

This is a loaded question.

At high compression ratios, the fuel burns more efficiently so you get more complete combustion, more power for the fuel. So in the strictest sense, no. Let's say you have a VQ35, all else being equal you will have better combustion (so you get a higher CO2 to CO ratio with C being stoichiometrically limiting) and more importantly you get more power per unit of fuel so you need to burn less of it to do the same thing.

There are a number of caveats. First you need an engine designed for high compression, otherwise low or high octane will ignite all the same and you're just wasting your money.

Secondly, high compression engines are usually high power, high performance pieces of machinery. So yes, you will get to 300hp more efficiently with a high octane fuel versus a low octane fuel, but if you are getting to places with a 300hp engine instead of a 100hp engine, you're not really saving any fuel are you?

The corollary is that engines have very different sets of performance envelopes so what's most fuel efficient depends on your driving habits. If you do a lot of hard acceleration, a Nissan Sentra won't have enough torque to push it on the low revs, so your car is going to have to gear down and rev harder. On the other hand, a straight-6 BMW is going to be able to generate the same amount of power without breaching 3000 on the tachometer. An engine operates more efficiently in the 2000 - 3000 rpm band than, say, 5500. So in that case, yeah, you might actually save more fuel in that 300hp BMW than the 100hp Nissan. Jeremy Clarkson might be an ape but he got that right, it's more about how you drive than what you drive.

(I've simplified some things but the point is generally valid)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why is this the last resort?

This would really be my first resort if I were in charge.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


At one time, Japanese autos were much better than what the North American makers were offering. They were more reliable, performed better and came at a great price. Ford introduced the assembly line, but Toyota brought Lean, TPS and 5S to the manufacturing world.

Also, their doors made a great thunk when you closed them.

Of course now, every car door makes that sound. Auto manufacturing has come a long way since then and quality has increased across the board from everyone. But back then American makers were struggling to replicate that sound, the sound of a perfect fusion of parts. Something that comes off a line that measures defects in PPMs. The intangible feeling of goodness.

I just want to say that I get a satisfying thunk every time I close my laptop lid; time to catch up, everyone else

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


I am throwing down, Keyar.

We are going to do this Battlestar rematch.

Here is the setup: we're going to create a sentient race of robots who are going to force humanity to evacuate Earth and resettle in a system of 12 habitable planets. There the stage will be set for our descendants to do-over.

This sounds hard, but I know this guy who's really good with machine learning; he's like an expert, don't worry.

Oh yeah, and I guess your lineage is going to need to become androids at some point.

I will pass down a fortune cookie for all my future generations,

"Beware the Hoods"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


“Love and Other Drugs” director Edward Zwick got naked when his stars, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, balked about the 2010 film’s many nude scenes. “I said, ‘What do you want me to do?’” Zwick told New York Magazine. “And they said, ‘You take your clothes off.’ And I said, ‘Fine!’” Zwick said the three of them even posed for a naked photo after. 

That sounds exactly like Anne Hathaway.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

And now for some more baseless speculation

I think the battleship may yet have its day again.

A2AD is starting to forcing large combatants to the limits of effective carrier air range.

This means more reliance on standoff weapons.

As guided missiles get more expensive to field, we'll be looking for direct energy weapons or mass drivers to fill the role.

Systems that'll require large powerplants on large platforms.

Battleships of the future.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Never too late to quit


Sunday, July 15, 2012

I don't want to post the photos that just passed my News Feed

But they sure aren't what comes to mind when I think "Beliebers".

I will describe those shirts as "liberally buttoned" and surface area "scarce".

Also PBR wtf?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

54 hours in

At a conservative estimate of 6 hours a day..

I think I'm all Carly Raed out right about now.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


The standard of evidence for physics requires 5 sigma.

What's the standard of evidence in psych? Maybe 1.2 to 2?

Lol, food for thought.

Monday, July 02, 2012

On the Precipice of Darkness

The art looks strange because the style is not how Gabe usually draws women.

This like the hottest picture ever.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Young Money

Sure has a lot of shitty artists.

Round holes

I've often complained about why F-35s are no good for Canada, so I'm finally going to write a post about it. And I'm going to write under the best-case assumption that it does everything it's supposed to. And all things considered, it's still a square peg.

Here's the thing about F-35s, people look at it, compare it to something like an F-22: they're both 5th gen stealth fighter aircraft, and then conclude that they are meant to perform the same roles. People assume that we pay more and shrink the fleet size for a plane that is better at defending our air space.

(The F-35 airframe was based off of the Raptor airframe, accounting for some similarity in appearance)

But that is not the trade-off. F-22s and F-35s are not similar planes, they weren't designed to be. F-22s were designed to be air-superiority (or as some marketing guys like to call it, air-dominance) planes while F-35s are what people like to term "multirole" fighters.

What this actually means is you don't want to go against other fighters if you can help it.

That's because designing a plane for missions like strike (i.e. air-to-ground) adds weight, weight, weight. If you want an idea of how much, an F-15E is about 2000kg heavier than an F-15D. That is huge in the domain of high performance aircraft. Most of it goes towards strengthening the airframe for heavy ordnance payloads. Affectionately (or sometimes not so affectionately) we can call it a "bomb truck".

Of course most nations cannot help it, because there are limited amounts of money to buy airplanes with: not enough for a separate fleet of pure-blooded air superiority fighters. F-16s are cheap, that's why they are popular. The problem is that F-35s are not cheap, they are extremely expensive. You're buying a next-gen F-16 for $120-170M/pop. What bang does that extra buck buy?

The flight envelope of an F-35B is reportedly comparable to that of an F/A-18 (4th gen multirole fighter). It has a bit more power in some maneuvers and an A model will be a bit more agile but the performance difference will not be huge.

It is stealthy but it is stealthy with caveats; an F-22 has all-aspect very-low-observability (VLO), the F-35 does not. It is mostly stealthy in the front and somewhat stealthy from the side. The American versions will be slightly stealthier than export versions. Of course if the afterburners go on, it's not stealthy. If it's not flying clean, it's not stealthy. It's also important to note that all 4.5 generation fighters have radar cross-section reduction features, especially from the front, even if it's not outwardly apparent. For instance, a F/A-18E Super Hornet is harder to detect than a F/A-18C even though it is bigger and looks like basically the same plane to the casual observer.

It has a very good AESA radar but F/A-18E/Fs also have very good AESA radars. The advantage is that the F-35 will be able to conduct electronic warfare missions with it and even purportedly "insert malicious code into enemy radar stations".

A big selling point of the F-35 is that it offers interoperability between nations, but realistically everybody will still be flying a diverse fleet of fighters into the far future. The USN (who by the way spend more money on aircraft procurement than the USAF) will be operating Super Hornets for the next 30 years; upgrading the RCAF to those planes instead will not necessitate such drastic changes in our support structures (which includes things like training pipelines and fleet tankers that are completely absent in public discussions but will obviously incur large costs beyond aircraft procurement).

So the F-35 is a strike aircraft with frontal low observability and electronic attack. What kind of mission does this lend itself to? Penetrating strike. Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses.

This is not something in alignment with Canadian strategy and interests.

The F-35's strengths are oriented for Day 1 strike in a war of aggression. Canada has no overseas colonies and only two notable neighbors (Russia and the United States); Day 1 strike is not a capability that we should be building towards. Super Hornets are more than adequate to exercise control over our airspace, can be purchased at less than half the price of F-35s, and are conflict tested.

Our CP-140s perform important roles in maritime patrol and interdiction but they are aging and people tend not to take notice. The extra money would go well towards purchasing P-8s and maybe even BAMS. These would be especially appreciated support for allies in conflict because maritime assets are always in demand and its ability to effectively persecute naval targets under and below the surface is invaluable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oh..I liked that piece

Kate Beaton's cover of course, is a nod to Jean-Honoré Fragonard:

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What does this mean?

A reputable reporter writes that Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley has told him that the US has special forces in North Korea doing recon.

For context, Tolley is the commander of SOCOM US Forces Korea.

US Forces Korea then denies everything.

A followup from a Lt. Col (I believe he is a Pentagon spokes) then confirms that Tolley did indeed say those words, but actually those words are not true.

What does this mean?

I have a question

How did he get so high up?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Economist and Cartoons

Part 1: Putin is riding a bear

Part 2: Nobody in the Economist comments section knows how BMD works 

"It is a missile defense system, is NATO trying to convince the Russians that the defence system will work just against Iranian missiles? That they will just let the Russians ones through?" 

"The very fact that missiles dont need to point in any direction, they are facing the sky is being overlooked in the simplistic analysis of this picture."

To hit a ballistic missile you need a looker and a shooter; this is because the optimal point to launch an interceptor (head on) is not the optimal point to track a target (side on). So in real life, BMD is not like a shield in Supreme Commander, they have to be deployed according to specific threat axes. I am not an expert but I do suspect the arc of a missile coming in from Iran would be different from that of a missile coming from Russia. In this sense, yes, you are pointing the defense system at a specific target.

Caveat: most of the tracking platforms are mobile, so they could be redeployed to face a different axis fairly easily, though not immediately in response to an incoming threat.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Routes to victory

Game 4, the same

It is now turn 1 (crobert)


[Lockon Stratos] so I know like two win conditions
[Lockon Stratos] and one is really fragile

[Lockon Stratos] I thought I could storm out

It is now turn 1 (Lockon Stratos) 
[Lockon Stratos] then I realized the deck doesn't have a tendrils

(Realistically the two routes to victory in my deck being Tinker for Blightsteel Colossus or assembling Voltaic Key and Time Vault; technically it's possible to win with Jace's ultimate, but it doesn't really happen. Since it isn't a Tezz deck, there is also no Tezzeret so the latter combo is not self assembling and therefore painful to put together. Other win conditions in some Gush decks are a Storm into Tendrils or Empty the Warrens kill or creature beatdown with Dark Confidants and Snapcasters but neither are present in this build.)
Lockon Stratos draws a card
Lockon Stratos plays Scalding Tarn from Hand
Lockon Stratos taps Scalding Tarn
Lockon Stratos sacrifices Scalding Tarn
Lockon Stratos puts Tropical Island into play from Library
Lockon Stratos shuffles library
Lockon Stratos's life total is now 19 (-1)
Lockon Stratos taps Tropical Island
Lockon Stratos plays Fastbond from Hand

[crobert] whoah
[crobert] wait

[crobert] ok
Lockon Stratos plays Underground Sea from Hand

Lockon Stratos's life total is now 18 (-1)
Lockon Stratos plays Underground Sea from Hand
Lockon Stratos's life total is now 17 (-1)

[Lockon Stratos] go


It is now turn 4 (crobert)
crobert untaps his/her permanents
crobert draws a card
crobert plays Black Lotus from Hand
crobert taps Underground Sea
crobert plays Voltaic Key from Hand
crobert taps Black Lotus
crobert sacrifices Black Lotus

[Lockon Stratos] hang on
Lockon Stratos taps Underground Sea
Lockon Stratos plays Mental Misstep from Hand

[Lockon Stratos] key
crobert puts Voltaic Key to Graveyard from Play
crobert plays Tinker from Hand
crobert sacrifices Grim Monolith

[crobert] yes?
[Lockon Stratos] yeah no hand
[crobert] oh wait you have no hand lol
[Lockon Stratos] and you too

 (We both have empty hands now)

crobert is looking its Library...
crobert puts Blightsteel Colossus into play from Library
crobert shuffles library

[Lockon Stratos] sure

It is now turn 4 (Lockon Stratos)
Lockon Stratos untaps his/her permanents
Lockon Stratos draws a card

Lockon Stratos plays Yawgmoth's Will from Hand

(I put it there previously with a Preordain, so I knew I would draw it this turn)

Lockon Stratos puts Yawgmoth's Will to RFG from Play
Lockon Stratos puts Jace, the Mind Sculptor into play from Graveyard

[crobert] fuck you lol
[Lockon Stratos] -1

crobert puts Blightsteel Colossus to Hand from Play

Jace, the Mind Sculptor now has 2 (+2) counters.
Lockon Stratos puts Preordain into play from Graveyard
Lockon Stratos puts Preordain to RFG from Play
Lockon Stratos is looking top 2 cards of its Library...
Lockon Stratos puts a card on bottom of Library from Library
Lockon Stratos puts a card on bottom of Library from Library
Lockon Stratos draws a card
[Lockon Stratos] go


It is now turn 6 (Lockon Stratos)
Lockon Stratos plays Time Walk from Hand

Turn 6.5 (Lockon Stratos)
Lockon Stratos untaps his/her permanents
Lockon Stratos draws a card
[Lockon Stratos] Jace 0
Lockon Stratos draws 3 cards
Lockon Stratos puts a card on top of Library from Hand
Lockon Stratos puts a card on top of Library from Hand
Lockon Stratos plays Mox Ruby from Hand
Lockon Stratos plays Mana Crypt from Hand
Lockon Stratos plays Island from Hand
[crobert] lol
Lockon Stratos plays Volcanic Island from Hand
Lockon Stratos's life total is now 14 (-1)
Lockon Stratos taps Tropical Island
Lockon Stratos taps Underground Sea
Lockon Stratos taps Underground Sea
Lockon Stratos taps Tropical Island
Lockon Stratos taps Island
Lockon Stratos taps Volcanic Island
Lockon Stratos taps Mana Crypt
Lockon Stratos taps Mox Ruby

(So I tap everything and float 9)

[crobert] god lol
Lockon Stratos plays Gush from Hand
Lockon Stratos puts Island to Hand from Play
Lockon Stratos puts Volcanic Island to Hand from Play
Lockon Stratos draws 2 cards
Lockon Stratos plays Island from Hand
Lockon Stratos's life total is now 13 (-1)
Lockon Stratos plays Volcanic Island from Hand
Lockon Stratos's life total is now 12 (-1)

(Gush, bounce two islands and replay them with Fastbond)

Lockon Stratos taps Island
Lockon Stratos taps Volcanic Island
Lockon Stratos plays Misty Rainforest from Hand

Lockon Stratos's life total is now 11 (-1)
Lockon Stratos taps Misty Rainforest
Lockon Stratos sacrifices Misty Rainforest

Lockon Stratos's life total is now 10 (-1)
Lockon Stratos puts Volcanic Island into play from Library
Lockon Stratos shuffles library
Lockon Stratos taps Volcanic Island

(Float to 12)

Lockon Stratos plays Blightsteel Colossus from Hand
[Lockon Stratos] hardcast

[crobert] wow

It is now turn 7 (crobert)
crobert untaps his/her permanents

[Lockon Stratos] lmao
crobert draws a card
crobert taps Underground Sea
crobert taps Underground Sea
crobert plays Echoing Truth from Hand

[Lockon Stratos] shit
[crobert] bounce

Lockon Stratos puts Blightsteel Colossus to Hand from Play

[crobert] go

It is now turn 7 (Lockon Stratos)
[crobert] yo i need more mana

[crobert] and cards
Lockon Stratos untaps his/her permanents

[Lockon Stratos] heads
Lockon Stratos flips a coin: HEADS

[Lockon Stratos] yes
[crobert] fuck
Lockon Stratos taps Volcanic Island
Lockon Stratos plays Sol Ring from Hand
[Lockon Stratos] I'm going to have to try this again next turn

[Lockon Stratos] WAIT
[Lockon Stratos] jace 0
Lockon Stratos draws 3 cards
[crobert] lol
Lockon Stratos puts a card on top of Library from Hand
Lockon Stratos puts a card on top of Library from Hand
Lockon Stratos plays Misty Rainforest from Hand
Lockon Stratos taps Misty Rainforest
Lockon Stratos sacrifices Misty Rainforest
Lockon Stratos puts Island into play from Library
Lockon Stratos shuffles library
Lockon Stratos taps Mox Ruby
Lockon Stratos taps Mana Crypt
Lockon Stratos taps Sol Ring
Lockon Stratos taps Island
Lockon Stratos taps Volcanic Island
Lockon Stratos taps Island
Lockon Stratos taps Tropical Island
Lockon Stratos taps Underground Sea
Lockon Stratos taps Underground Sea
Lockon Stratos taps Tropical Island
Lockon Stratos plays Blightsteel Colossus from Hand

It is now turn 8 (crobert)
crobert untaps his/her permanents
crobert draws a card

[crobert] gg

Something like Vintage

Game 3: Turbo-Tezz vs Empty Gush

It is now turn 1 (crobert)
[crobert] yo i thought vintage was fast not like
[crobert] 20 turns of countering the fuck out of each other
crobert shuffles library
crobert draws 7 cards
Lockon Stratos draws 7 cards
[crobert] im keeping
Lockon Stratos takes a mulligan
[Lockon Stratos] keep this
[Lockon Stratos] go
crobert plays Mox Opal from Hand
crobert plays Black Lotus from Hand
crobert plays Mox Pearl from Hand
crobert taps Mox Opal
crobert taps Black Lotus
[Lockon Stratos] that's fast
crobert sacrifices Black Lotus
crobert plays Jace, the Mind Sculptor from Hand
Lockon Stratos plays Force of Will from Hand (pitching Gush)
[crobert] FUCK
crobert puts Jace, the Mind Sculptor to Graveyard
Lockon Stratos's life total is now 19 (-1)
crobert taps Mox Pearl
crobert plays Sol Ring from Hand
crobert taps Sol Ring
crobert plays Grim Monolith from Hand
crobert plays Scalding Tarn from Hand
[crobert] there goes my hand lol
[Lockon Stratos] lmao

It is now turn 1 (Lockon Stratos)
Lockon Stratos draws a card
[Lockon Stratos] YES
Lockon Stratos plays Island from Hand
Lockon Stratos taps Island
Lockon Stratos plays Ancestral Recall from Hand
Lockon Stratos draws 3 cards

It is now turn 2 (crobert)
crobert untaps his/her permanents
crobert draws a card
crobert plays Island from Hand

It is now turn 2 (Lockon Stratos)

[Lockon Stratos] this is like a parody of vintage games
[crobert] im definitely doing it wrong

Lockon Stratos untaps his/her permanents
Lockon Stratos draws a card
Lockon Stratos plays Misty Rainforest from Hand
Lockon Stratos taps Misty Rainforest
Lockon Stratos sacrifices Misty Rainforest
Lockon Stratos's life total is now 18 (-1)
Lockon Stratos is looking its Library...
Lockon Stratos puts Underground Sea into play from Library
Lockon Stratos shuffles library
Lockon Stratos taps Underground Sea
Lockon Stratos plays Sol Ring from Hand
Lockon Stratos taps Island
Lockon Stratos taps Sol Ring
Lockon Stratos plays Tinker from Hand
Lockon Stratos sacrifices Sol Ring
Lockon Stratos is looking its Library...
Lockon Stratos puts Blightsteel Colossus into play from Library

It is now turn 3 (crobert)
crobert draws a card
[crobert] FUCK gg
[Lockon Stratos] this was pretty fast
[crobert] that was fast

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lost in translation

You can share my experience as I put my friend's tweets through Google Translate.

Well that sounds like something a pedophile would say, but I'm sure there's some context here.


Oh I see, it's something Pokemon related.

Wait whut

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Wait, how are they going to top this for the next movies?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Purchasing Power

This is something the Israelis could learn from America: how to buy large swaths of land to enlarge your country.

So we all know the Americans bought Alaska from the Russians.

The Louisiana purchase is also fairly well known. Here's the thing though, Louisiana was much bigger back then. In fact, it looked like this:

Yes that is a third of the continental United States.

This is funny too:

One problem, however, was too important to argue down convincingly: Napoleon did not have the right to sell Louisiana to the United States. The sale violated the 1800 Third Treaty of San Ildefonso in several ways. Furthermore, France had promised Spain it would never sell or alienate Louisiana to a third party. Napoleon, Jefferson, Madison, and the members of Congress all knew this during the debates about the purchase in 1803. They ignored the fact it was illegal. Spain protested strongly, and Madison made some attempt to justify the purchase to the Spanish government, but was unable to do so convincingly. So, he tried continuously until results had been proven remorsefully inadequate.

They later bought Florida from Spain.

They should make a dispenser like this except with Jello

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I made a timeline

It's of selected events that I decided was important to the rise of the Western world today. It's surprising how recent the roots of many Great nations today can be traced back to. 
(The inline display AA makes it kind of hard to read, right click view image instead)

Britain didn't even become the leading power until the 19th century (well into the industrial revolution) and its hegemony ended almost within one lifetime.

The Americans like to brag about defeating an empire but at the time of the American Revolutionary war Britain was nowhere near the height of its power yet and it had its hands full trying to prevent a French (the major power at the time) invasion of its mainlands and its Caribbean territories.

Monday, May 07, 2012

On scouts

There is a silly trope in common in video games with small scout units having larger sensor ranges than large dreadnaughts.

The thing with sensors is that (all else being equal) the larger the aperture, the more powerful it will be. This is a simple physical law, the larger something is, the more signal it collects, the better you see.

This has two consequences, one is that it will be physically larger so you need a big hull to support it. The secondary consequence is that a larger sensor needs more power generation and so you need a larger hull for bigger generators.

Now obviously if you have ship A with sensors and weapon systems and ship B with just sensors, then ship B will be smaller, but it realistically won't be an order of magnitude smaller. Hypothetically though, what if you can build the sensors an order of magnitude smaller? Well you'd still build it into the large platform with the weapons systems because it'd be more survivable and why would you ever want shooters without seekers? So either way your small vessels shouldn't see better than your big vessels.

There is one circumstance where it would make sense to separate sensors and weapons.

And ironically it is when the sensor systems are larger than the weapon systems.

Which is actually the case in real life.

For instance, fighters will almost always operate with AWAC support, but we separate the AWAC platform from the fast-movers. Why? Because those radomes are huge and it would be stupid to try and push that thing past the sound barrier.

We can look at warships for another example, a 3000 ton LCS is large enough to support strike-length VLS tubes, but you need an 8000 ton destroyer to carry the 12' SPY-1 radar. And even that's not big enough for the cancelled 22' AMDR, which required a 20000 ton nuclear powered cruiser to support. This has led to some interest in a surface warfare role for a Cobra Judy type vessel, because for the cost of putting all the sensors in a vulnerable dedicated platform, you get the benefit of needing only one 20000 ton spotter to cue all of those 3000 and 8000 ton shooters.

That doesn't mean small, short-sighted scout platforms aren't valuable though. They are cheap, which means you can build many of them and deploy to many locations at once and you can afford to lose them if they confront a superior force.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

Real laughter was produced

So, Yeezy has a new track out.

Kanye West, master of oration, has outdone himself again.

In that pussy so deep I coulda drowned twice
Rose gold Jesus piece with the brown ice
Eating good, vegetari’ with the brown rice
Girls kissing girls, cause it’s hot right
But unless they use a strap-on then they not dykes

Thursday, May 03, 2012

$120M Scream

What a ripoff; that guy wouldn't even be able to say he's got the only one in the world.


Clearly Japan is years ahead of ourselves in proper noun technology.

We've barely probed the potential of incorrect capitalizations.

They've already learned to incorporate ♪ and ☆.

Think of the possibilities.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Going to enter a t-shirt contest.

Monday, April 23, 2012



If I ever meet an IP lawyer I will have so many questions; most involving Hitler

What happens if say, Andy Warhol paints a can of Campbell's soup, does Campbell have any legal rights with respect to the work?

What if I paint a picture of Hitler driving the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle? Can Volkswagen do anything about it?

What if I release the picture under CC BY and then Fiat plasters a bunch of billboards with it?

What happens if Fiat sponsors an art exhibition where the theme is Hitler driving Volkswagens?

If Hitler were depicted as a zombie, would that change anything?

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Let's go Canada!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

So she's not Sheryl Nome or Lacus Clyne

If I had to compare I'd say...



This album art is poppin':

Friday, April 20, 2012


I realize why I've never seen the Gundam Wing Ed before until like a week ago.

Because this was always at the end of the North American airings:

I think I like this one better anyhow.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Well that's a bit weird

I just want to say that I saw this circulating on milblogs before I heard it on the radio.

Also, I thought surf torture was a SEALs thing, but who knows.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


Artists traditionally limit their pallet because depending on the pigment used the colour will behave differently.

For instance, winsor yellow is transparent, cadmium yellow is opaque and bismuth yellow is in-between. Mixing transparent pigments yield vibrant secondaries and tertiaries but mixing opaques give mud.

You see, there are only so many minerals we can use to create colours and each one of them has their own properties. Do you know how long it took us to find alternative blue pigments? A hell of a long time!

There are tons of other factors too, like the consistency of the mixture and the permanence of the colour.

So artists would stick with the same pigments and learn them intimately and only expand their pallet slowly and carefully.

That's why it's noteworthy enough for literature when artist x switches from viridian green to cadmium green or when artist y picks up emerald green.

Some artists, like Turner, would make their own paint from scratch.

Of course, this is all becoming somewhat of a lost art these days, especially with the advent of digital paints, where your yellow behaves like yellow and your blue behaves like yellow.

But the more that you know, right?

Rain, Steam and Speed

My favourite artist is J.M.W. Turner; unfortunately his presence in popular culture is virtually non-existent.

It's not on Wikipedia, but I do believe that he went quite mad in his later years due to his favourite green being toxic.

Paris green perhaps?

Perhaps he'd warrant an appearance on Dr. Who; showcasing the industrial revolution Britain, maybe. What of it? Hmm?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

"Tiny Hippo Dentist"

Is that a dentist for tiny hippos, a tiny dentist for hippos or a tiny hippo that is a dentist?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Talking points

New cost figures for F-35 are over-budget again; Lockmart's press release is not entirely convincing.

"For example, media reporting on the 2010 SAR estimate included only operations and support costs, while recent reports on the 2011 SAR estimate add the cost of acquisition and development which the U.S. government currently estimates at $396B. This results in the appearance of cost growth year over year."

Development being constantly being over-schedule and over-budget obviously does not contribute to the appearance of cost growth.

"The government also included the cost of lifetime modernization to the aircraft to improve its capabilities — expenses that are not included in the cost projections for other aircraft."

...because other aircraft come with their baseline features out of the box, none of this spiral development nonsense.

"Lockheed Martin remains confident that F-35 operations and support costs will be comparable to or lower than that of the seven legacy platforms that it will replace."


"The F-35 also provides our Armed Forces and allies with the unprecedented 5th Generation fighter performance capabilities of radar-evading stealth..."

F-35 stealth is not all-aspect, not VLO.

"..supersonic speed..."

No supercruise.


Flight envelope is comparable to an F/A-18, i.e. the bomb-truck from 1980.

"..and the most comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft."

This is a massive coding project and most of it hasn't been done yet, expect more bugs, more overruns, more delays.

"The F-35 will achieve cost advantages over the platforms it will replace by leveraging economies of scale – gained through deployment by the three U.S. service branches and international partnerships – and a common logistics, maintenance, training and supply chain infrastructure."

You can streamline the logistics, but that's null if you require more maintenance and more expensive parts in the first place.

"The F-35 will also achieve lower or comparable operation and support costs than legacy systems while providing greater capabilities."


Friday, March 30, 2012


Sheryl Nome drives a Ferrari California:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Indonesia is considering a purchase of 100 Leopard tanks from the Netherlands (source: The Economist).

Wait what?

They only have 82 tanks left.

On this note, it would appear that we are now finally more heavily armed than the Dutch.

We did it by buying the stuff out of those struggling Euros.

I hear those defense cuts are a pain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I think

If were to start watching sports, I think I'd pick up football or basketball.

The main barrier is that I have to pay attention to little tiny numbers on jerseys or I won't know what's going on. Alternatively memorize starting lineups..but that seems like more work..

Also that everything changes season to season so I have to commit to following or else I won't know what's going on.

My interest in hockey is actually close to nil.

I am not Canadian..

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm going to just post these PVs here because I think they're pretty cool


Holy batman $200 million!

F-35 costs based on LRIP 5 contracts:

F-35A: $172 million per aircraft;
F-35B: $291.7 million per aircraft;
F-35C: $235.8 million per aircraft

To be fair, these costs will probably come down in real dollars when they ramp up the production volume.

On the other hand, it will never go down to a reasonable number, which I am willing to accept $100M flyaway as at this point.

There are also a lot of miscellaneous of logistics costs involved with adapting it over something like a Rhino that aren't covered here. E.g. overhauling our entire tanker fleet.

Recently Canada has commented that it reserves the right to cancel orders based on cost.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Google, updated

Arts & Entertainment
Arts & Entertainment - Comics & Animation - Anime & Manga
Arts & Entertainment - Movies
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Music Streams & Downloads
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio - Urban & Hip-Hop
Arts & Entertainment - TV & Video - Online Video
Autos & Vehicles - Vehicle Brands - Porsche
Business & Industrial
Games - Computer & Video Games
World Localities - Asia - South Asia - Afghanistan
Demographics - Age - 25-34
Demographics - Gender - Male

I am now aged 25-34 and my interests have narrowed to Porsche.

Movin' up the food chain?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Aesthetic fail

What I see:

What I think:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fighting Words

National correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows, delivers some sick burns to The Economist:

"There are certain English products whose quaintness is put on mainly for export purposes -- they're the equivalent of Ye Olde Tea Shoppe-style tourist traps, which the locals avoid. Something similar is going on with The Economist. The Economist now has considerably fewer readers -- and is strangely less influential -- in England than in America."

"Another key to the magazine's boom in America during the 1980s must lie in its sycophancy toward Ronald Reagan in particular and American culture in general. We are all so used to being sneered at by the French or Swedes. To hear someone who poses as a British aristocrat celebrating American vigor -- it's just irresistible! If it came from the Wall Street Journal or USA Today, we'd consider it plain boosterism, but it works from The Economist, since we imagine we're overhearing the foreigners' real views. I think the flattery is actually the most refined and vicious version of the old British condescension toward the colonies. These Yanks! They'll believe anything! Let's give them another dose of how the world looks up to them!"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Army of Two

I've mentioned to people before about my idea for a crossover game with Commander Shepard and Master Chief saving the world together. They will be an unstoppable force of friendship, sweeping aside all adversity.

Then I had a better idea.

It'll be a crossover game where you play as Wrex and Arbiter.

For instance, at the end of an early level, Wrex and Arbi will be fighting against impossible odds, consigned to a competition of who will die the most heroic death. Then in an FMV cutscene Chief and Shepard will burst in, assault rifles blazing, riding on the legs of a Reaper painted in N7 colours. After mopping up the enemy forces, they will give you a curt, "good work soldier" before riding off again to do what they have to do. All of this will be entirely unforeshadowed and completely unexplained.

In the next level you will sometimes see the trail of destruction that the other heroes have wrought in the background environment. Sometimes looking at a key item will trigger a FMV flashback sequence of them doing something amazing, something that you were not a part of. By the end of the level you will find the entire husk of the reaper previously seen, wrecked in a fierce battle. As you climb to the top of the wreckage, you will see a large explosion in the distance and a Pelican fly out of the fireball. As an Easter egg, if you zoom in with the sniper scope, you can see the Chief and Shepard give each other fist bumps on the open back ramp.

The cutscene proceeding the penultimate level will have you unexpectedly finding Master Chief and Shepard floating in space unconsciously. When they come around, they will tell you about their fantastic adventures and how the world's forces are making a big mistake. Then they will tell you to turn back to rally the fleet and while they borrow a shuttle and continue on ahead.

The last level will have you leading the largest allied armada ever assembled in the history of the universe into battle, yet against an enemy far superior. But as you approach the battlespace, a tremendous explosion at the heart of the enemy force occurs and the entire operation turns into a mop-up action. Your mission becomes a search-and-rescue mission as you attempt to retrieve Shepard-Chief in the melee. You fight through the wreckage of an enemy vessel to their last known positions, behind a closed door. You open the door and you find...nothingness...a wound into space. They are gone: missing, presumed dead.

This will leave an opening for a sequel.

The promotional art for this game will feature Wrex and Arbi staring in awe in the foreground as Master Chief drives a flatbed Warthog off a cliff in the distance and Shepard is standing in the back holding two swords.

Imagine: you've crucially managed to open the gates to the reactor core just in time so the other heroes can go in (by jumping a Warthog across a chasm) and clean house.

The overall feeling you should experience at the end of the game is that you've had a strong secondary role in saving the universe.


Did you know that:

Wizards of the Coast has a patent on turning cards sideways,

To denote a game state?


Monday, February 13, 2012


Let's say a gentleman will give you two cars for your garage. Any two cars you want. The presumption here being that you're not actually rich so you can't just buy your way out of the weaknesses in your choices.

Initially I was thinking a Tesla S and a Chevy Avalanche. The reason being that I thought it'd be good to have an electric for day to day but that means I need something gas for long trips and of course I need some space for carrying things and that left me with trying to find a pickup truck with a large cabin.


Problem is that, neither car is particularly speedy or luxurious and some redneck is going to steal the Avalanche in a week. So this isn't going to work. I'm going to need to re-frame this problem.

I've got it.

First choice will be a black Porsche Panamera S PHEV. The Panamera is actually the second most popular car in Porsche's lineup, even outselling the 911. Meanwhile, Aston Martin had to cut production of the Rapide because they can't sell them and BMW had to cut production of the M5 GT because they can't sell them. So clearly Porsche is onto something here. The Panamera PHEV of course has four doors, is very roomy, comfortable and dead silent day to day. Eco is hip these days, eco is smart and you'll fill its tank for mere dollars. But when you need it, it has a double clutch that can link either or both the ICE and the electric motor directly to the powertrain. Well, that ends the roadtrip problem. What's even better is that the ICE and the electric motor have torque curves that perfectly complement each other for seamless application of power. Oh and did I mention the ICE is a 4.8L 500bhp twin turbo V8? Oh yeah, that's good for karma.

Now there are a couple of shortcomings with the Panamera: it is a two-ton monstrosity, which hurts its performance and makes it hard to parallel park. But despite its size, the battery pack infringes in its trunk space reducing it by more than 100L. But that's okay. This is where the M3 Ute comes in.

The M3 will be good at going fast and carrying cargo. It's still 50kg lighter than the M3 convertible and has a targa top for hot summer cruising. Granted, it is not an Avalanche, but it still has a respectable 400 N·m of torque and trailer-hitch comes standard. It won't climb boulders, but it's perfectly suited to moving a grandfather clock, bringing home a deer carcass from your hunting expedition or towing a trailer for your OTTB. Plus you get the looks because it will literally be the only one of its kind in the world.

Update: Link and I would like to note that his picture is clearly not of a Panamera PHEV because it's not out yet; that's not even a regular Hybrid S. Totally different appearance, not even close.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let me esplain you about torque

Say you have a car, when you make a turn the outer radius is going to be a longer distance than the inner radius. That means that the outer wheels are going to need to make more rotations than the inner wheels to make a turn. If you have a solid axle connecting them, then by necessity either the inner wheels are going to slip or the outer wheels are going to skid in a turn.

This is why we have differentials.

Differentials do many things,for instance they act as a reduction gear because your wheels don't spin as fast as your engine shaft (even coming out of the transmission), but the most important thing is that they allow your inner and outer wheels to spin at different speeds. I won't go into the details of how they work, but the key thing to know is the the engine is applying power by revolving the green gear (the purple is not directly connected with either the red or yellow shafts) and if there is unequal resistance coming from the shafts (e.g. in a turn), the green gear will also spin so the power goes the path of least resistance. There are more complex coupling mechanisms (like Torsen differentials which are super cool and I have no idea how they work really), but 99% of vehicles will be using these cheap, reliable and proven mechanisms here.

Let's talk about 4x4 vs AWD then. Apparently there actually isn't a straight forward convention with this terminology as it varies from manufacturer vs manufacturer, but this is how I use it consistently. 4x4 means that your entire powertrain is locked together. You see, because differentials transfer power to the point of least resistance. When turning, this is would be the outer wheels because they can spin more without slipping, but what if one wheel is on ice? Or if it's in the air? All the power is going to be wasted spinning that useless wheel while the differential ensures that no rotational energy is being imparted to the grounded wheel at all. So you lock the differentials and ensure that everything spins at the same time and all of that torque is going into resisting the ground. This does mean that your wheels will slip in a turn, but if you're climbing sand dunes in a Ford Raptor, the surfaces are slippery anyways so this is not a big factor.

You want AWD in a sports car because the main limiting factor in your acceleration isn't how much torque your engine is putting out, it's the amount of grip you have in your tires. So, power to 4 wheels equals 4 times the grip equals better acceleration. Now your R8 is expected to be driven on groomed tarmac, where all the wheels are always mated to a consistent surface, and you don't want to lose traction because your wheels are slipping because everything is locked down in a turn. That's why everything is on differentials and that's AWD.

Now say your Evo lifts off the ground. I believe that it uses a viscous couple mechanism, which submerges the mechanical connections between shafts in a shear-thickening fluid. So, corn starch and water right, if you move slowly through it, it flows around you but if you try to hit it, it acts as a solid. Same idea: if your shaft frequencies are too far apart the fluid solidifies, locking the shafts together. Maybe they use something else fancier these days, but the point is that if your Evo hits a bump, it doesn't shift torque by disconnecting the lifted wheels, it actually locks down everything so that you're not bleeding power through the diffs to a bunch of tires in the air: your AWD Lancer temporarily becomes a 4x4.

So when Richard Hammond breaks a diff in his Toyota, that's easy to understand. He just opens the diff box, severs the powertrain connections, presumably his front and rear are locked so he's not losing any power to a free-spinning shaft and his 4x4 becomes a 2x2. Simple. But when James May loses power to a single wheel, that is mysterious, because you look at that picture of a differential and tell me what parts need to have broken in what fashion in order to enable such a consequence. Any combination I can think of just seems absurd.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Optical Illusions

Here we see Kayne West rocking a bomber with what looks to be some kind of flame adornments but if you look closely they are actually rottweilers.

I like how

...nearly everyone on my Facebook who was so angry about SOPA a few weeks ago isn't making a peep about Bill C-11 now.

If anyone felt strongly enough to support Anonymous breaking things, they ought to feel strongly enough to send a letter to their government representative, you know, their actual government as opposed to the one in another country.

Caring about freedom my ass, more like jumping onto Reddit bandwagon of the moment.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012


On November 5, 1995, Chrétien and his wife escaped injury when André Dallaire, armed with a knife, broke in the Prime Minister's official residence at 24 Sussex Drive. Aline Chrétien shut and locked the bedroom door until security came. It is said Jean was ready to defend himself with a sharp-edged Inuit carving.

You know, if Robin ever related this story on HIMYM, everyone would just assume it was a made-up joke.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Nicholas Cage

Okay, I've given this some thought.

If I were in a zombie apocalypse and I can pick 3 characters, real or fictional, to bring as sidekicks these would be my choices:

Autobot Hoist (Toyota Hilux tow-truck ver.) - Hoist is a good choice because in vehicle mode he offers moderate off-roading capability, is indestructible, can tow away epic loot and consumes no gasoline. He is also an expert on mechanical repair and can transform into a robot. Robots have a favourable matchup vs zombies because they have no brains and are made of metal.

Hayate Yagami (Force ver.) - Having a magical girl around is like the ultimate swiss army knife isn't it? Plus, having a healer is probably important in a post-apocalyptic landscape. I had also considered Hermione Granger, but felt that her load of useless art courses and clear inferiority in offensive magics would lessen her utility by comparison. <_<

Kirby (ice+spark) - I just really like the idea of having a refrigerator full of food around at all times.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

On Lambourghinis

I used to think that Lamborghinis were totally stupid and designed by brutes with no taste.

I still think the former.

But on further consideration, I think that the latter only seems that way because their redesign cycles are so long. Like the Murc, their previous flagship, came into production in 2001 and was just disposed of last year. So no wonder it looked rough by modern standards! But what was around in the same time? The Enzo? I think it would compare very well with its contemporaries.

So then, if I had to spend all my money on a totally stupid car back in 2001, it would've probably been a Lamborghini.

(It is implicit here that an M5 isn't totally stupid)

Enter now, the Aventador.

Here are some things I like about this car:

-Safety hatch for starter button
-"Thrust mode possible"
-Air brakes
-Air brakes
-Shutter shades
-Arrow tail lights

It just has overall better proportions and they've done away with tasteless bright brake calipers (which I maintain will only ever work on a white Panamera). Plus, the Aventador is about the closest thing you can get to a stealth jet on wheels, it's actually quite elegant in a very brash way.

(I still maintain that Paganis are totally stupid and designed by brutes with no taste)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

F-35 FY11 OPEVAL Report

It is 7 times longer than the F-22 report. Some things to keep in mind: the F-22 bugs are about comparable in number to historical trends when rolling out new aircraft, I don't remember how much the F-35 exceeds historical predictions in terms of bugs but it is at least double. Also, F-35s are being produced and delivered right now even while it's still undergoing testing, which is pretty much universally known as a Bad Idea. The good news is that the limited production run is only for American forces so other countries should get something more mature.

Anyways, here are my favourite bulletpoints from this report:

- The program previously discovered deficient aircraft braking performance during landing on wet runway surfaces. The program tested new brake control unit hardware and software intended to improve performance. The program accelerated testing of the capability to stop the aircraft after landing on wet runway surfaces to 2011 to support the military flight release for aircraft ferried to the training center. Changes to the wheel brake controller improved this capability, but the program has not determined if the deficiency is resolved. Effective use of the latest design depends on the adequacy of simulations used to train pilots in maintaining directional control while activating differential braking. This requires precise control of brake pedal deflection, which will be difficult if not impossible during non-instrumented flight.

- Fuel dump tests found that fuel migrated back into the aircraft, similar to results discovered on F-35B test aircraft. This has the potential to create an unsafe condition.

It was at this point I realized that it's going to be like this for the next 6 pages.


So change of tactics, I am going to describe every blurb in less than 5 words:

Engine restart failures, heat damage from afterburners, actuator failures, door lock wear, airframe cracks, doors separated in flight, door swivel wear, door cracking, drive shaft inadequate, clutch overheat, roll-nozzle overheat, dangerous weight margins, control software problems, transonic issues, actuator overheat, gear performance issues, tail-hook inadequate, hold-bar weak, spontaneous loss of GPS/INS, helmet displays unreadable, low mission system capabilities, poor nightvision, helmet processor weak, inaccurate head tracking, panoramic cockpit display overheat (!), startup time/stability poor, shortfalls in maneuvering performance, part life short, low reliability, fire protection problems, support hardware problems.

The risks of concurrent development, testing, and production are highlighted by the experience with structural testing. Since most flight testing remains to be completed, the potential for more discoveries exist. The program predicts another 22 major discoveries and 43 moderate discoveries within SDD.

Sounds promising.