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Things that make you go "Hmmmm..." (2018 Installment)

Literary Snobs

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Jan 29, 2018, 12:48pm Top

Now the optics on this do not look very good, do they:


Jan 30, 2018, 8:30am Top

Oh dear. I heard this on NPR this morning and couldn't believe it.

Edited: Feb 6, 2018, 4:34pm Top

A must see event, launching of SpaceX's "heavy" rocket. Cross-posting below from SF fans topic:

Off topic but just watched SpaceX heavy launch - and ...yep... They had the dummy/StarMan driving Musk's red roadster on live TV after the faring popped off of the rocket showing him piloting the thing into space while David Bowie was playing on the stereo! The side boosters landing simultaneously were quite the sight to see. SpaceX.com where I think you can replay the scene.


Edit: the actual take off is at 29 minutes into the webcast and I would start there and then back to start for background

Feb 6, 2018, 4:41pm Top

That is one MONSTER rocket.

Hope one like it will eventually carry some of my ashes to Mars...

Feb 6, 2018, 6:25pm Top

Given Musk's liking for Iain M. Banks, is it coincidence that he put one of his old cars into orbit, given that in The State of the Art, the Culture Contact team that came to Earth in the middle 1970s had their orbital shuttle disguised as a Volvo estate...?

Feb 6, 2018, 7:07pm Top

>6 RobertDay: I have not read that Banks book yet but it also reminded me of the opening scene for the Heavy Metal animated movie..3 minute clip of corvette landing.


Feb 7, 2018, 7:00am Top

The knock-on effect of the Falcon Heavy could be that NASA cancels work on its own large rocket, especially given theirs is not reusable. Trump could transfer all the money and materials to build a wall or a pipeline across protected land.

Feb 7, 2018, 10:08am Top

>8 Jargoneer: I read that the Falcon Heavy was developed for $500 million using zero government money. The cost of a Heavy launch at $90 million while: "By contrast, the cost of launching rockets from SpaceX competitor United Launch Alliance will run $422 million per takeoff by 2020, according to one analysis of Air Force documents." quote from below.


Feb 7, 2018, 12:44pm Top

>9 DugsBooks: - unfortunately for SpaceX the US government and United Launch Alliance seem very very friendly, although this friendship looks like it will come under investigation.

Feb 8, 2018, 1:55am Top

>9 DugsBooks: As they say in the space industry, "the way to make small fortune in space is to start out with a large fortune"...

Feb 8, 2018, 2:29pm Top

>11 iansales: If I am not mistaken I believe I read that Musk started SpaceX with $100 million of his own money. It looks like he has a low cost lead into the commercial space industry at least. Communication satellites are very popular - even in "developing nations" it seems. I heard Google dropped their $30 million prize {with performance requirements} for landing on the moon. The finalists should get together & put them all on a Musk "Heavy" with a big subsidy from Google.

Personally I think the way to go would be to put one of those new laser beam internet/relay "communicators" on the moon and sell bandwidth to whoever lands there! Always good to have a back up system.

Feb 10, 2018, 1:45pm Top

Great discussion featuring Russell Brand and Sam Harris:


Feb 10, 2018, 3:35pm Top

Didn't know Quincy Jones was such a goofy character. (He knows secrets!)


Feb 13, 2018, 6:03pm Top

>14 mejix: I thought Quincy Jones had married Nastassja Kinski {made me jealous!} but after looking up Nastassja on wiki I see they just lived together for a while. Great interview.

Nastassja’s dad, Klaus Kinski, has been in some interesting films that I wandered onto.

Feb 14, 2018, 10:26am Top

WIRED picks the best podcasts--I'm just getting into podcasts, enjoying the dipping I've done so far:


Feb 14, 2018, 4:51pm Top

Word for the day, found this on a trivia calendar while recycling paper: Kakistocracy

Feb 14, 2018, 7:09pm Top

>15 DugsBooks:
Oh yeah, Klaus Kinski was pretty great. Glad you liked the article!

Feb 16, 2018, 8:29am Top

This is pretty incredible - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-42878021

Feb 17, 2018, 4:55am Top

>19 Jargoneer: Stories like that were common in the UAE. You used to see them all the time in the Gulf News. I remember one where an Emirati businessman had hired a witch doctor to help him win a contract. The witchdoctor told the businessman to throw several thousand dollars worth of gold jewellery into the sea just off Dubai. Which he did. Of course, it had no effect. But the businessman didn't report the witch doctor for theft, he sued him for failing to win him the contract.

Mar 1, 2018, 10:12am Top

Dolly Parton has just donated her 100 millionth book - https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/feb/28/dolly-parton-gives-100-millionth-f...

Why is this woman not President?

Mar 6, 2018, 1:06pm Top

Do audio books count as reading--interesting perspective:


Mar 6, 2018, 1:34pm Top

>24 CliffBurns: that's a lovely article. Quite powerful. Whatever gets people to live in the stories is great, if you ask me.

Jun 6, 2018, 11:30am Top

Horrible injustice, yet another example of a double-standard:


Edited: Jun 8, 2018, 11:11am Top

Anyone who like the "Wired" series about drug dealing in Philadelphia will be interested in this online magazine article I came across. A 17 year old kid in Detroit sentenced to life in prison years ago for drug dealing - no violent acts.

The Trials of White Boy Rick by Evan Hughes

::edit, still reading article:: they have actual FBI wire tap recordings of phone calls you can click on and document images in the article! Well formatted.

Jun 8, 2018, 10:50am Top

Wired is set in Baltimore.

Jun 8, 2018, 11:05am Top

Baltimore, home of the worst, most corrupt cops in America.


One in-depth podcast series I heard had two separate individuals (one a cop!) claiming that at least 50% of Baltimore's cops were either corrupt or covering up for corruption.

My God...

Jun 8, 2018, 11:07am Top

>28 anna_in_pdx: Right you are! It has been a while, not sure how I got Philly out of it.

Jun 8, 2018, 12:55pm Top

They spent time in philly in the show sometimes.

Edited: Jun 8, 2018, 1:37pm Top

>27 DugsBooks: Wow! That was a long read but you are right, it was so much like The Wire. It should be made into a movie. And my main takeaway is that it would have probably served Rick better if he had watched “Serpico” as many times as he watched “Scarface”.

Jun 8, 2018, 5:20pm Top

17 year old Rick chose the wrong lawyers and got screwed, all those very adult people he hung with who did murders etc. and they did less than half the time as he.

Jun 9, 2018, 12:59am Top

More than the lawyers it was the cops who kept him behind bars.

Jun 9, 2018, 9:00am Top

Yeah compounded by his lawyers inability to cope with the police he ratted out.

It was only briefly mentioned that he had an ostomy bag on his side after being accidently shot with a large caliber weapon. Those are extremely uncomfortable and in no way ‘tough guy” appealing - especially at 17 or younger. I wonder how long he had that or if he still has one.

Jun 9, 2018, 11:17am Top

Sounded like it must have been temporary to me.

Jun 12, 2018, 6:34am Top

The best books I read and films I watched in the first half of this year: http://iansales.com/2018/06/11/best-of-the-half-year-2018/

Edited: Jun 16, 2018, 12:34pm Top

>37 iansales: Interesting reviews - I might look into a couple of their subjects. Some stuff I would have never come upon any where else, especially the music.

WXYC - first radio station to broadcast over the internet {that I rarely listen to}, is the only place I could ever happen to encounter those tunes I think. {Located in the basement of the college dorm I lived in many decades ago}

Edited: Jul 17, 2018, 11:02am Top

The preparations for the Canadian invasion of the USA are really heating up - check out this new flying hardware:


Those stiletto shoes tariffs must have really set them off!

Article that pointed to this:

Jul 17, 2018, 11:33am Top

>39 DugsBooks: I WANT ONE

Jul 17, 2018, 12:01pm Top

Has the dashboard got a screen that says ***PURGE*** ?

Aug 10, 2018, 12:03pm Top

I'm thinking about joining the new "space force".

It's gonna have the coolest badges:


Aug 10, 2018, 5:00pm Top

>43 CliffBurns: Now, wouldn't it be funny if some uppity games company now attempts to sue the US Government because they claim to have copyrighted the name "Space Force"? Of course, that could never happen in real life, could it?

Edited: Aug 11, 2018, 11:13am Top

Jimmy Kimmel’s take on the new Space Force - funny bit, six minutes but worth it.


Great idea if they just use it as a marketing ploy to sell merchandise. But don’t we have treaties that forbid the militarization of space?

Edited: Aug 22, 2018, 4:43pm Top

Who's your daddy? If they had just opened a savings account.

Researchers Sequence Genome of Individual With Neanderthal Mother, Denisovan Father

Aug 22, 2018, 7:56pm Top

Personally, I'll always been convinced I come from a long line of fucking Neanderthals...

Aug 22, 2018, 10:56pm Top

>47 CliffBurns: I have not lived up to my ancestors expectations either ;-)

Sep 13, 2018, 1:16pm Top

#49: No doubt inspired by this giant, black monolith that appeared out of the blue one day and...

Sep 17, 2018, 8:00pm Top

The cure to your death anxieties is spelled "DMT":


Oct 13, 2018, 11:19am Top

Oct 13, 2018, 11:52am Top

That was a fascinating read. I wonder how much weirder it would have been to read while under the influence of LSD?

Edited: Oct 15, 2018, 9:45pm Top

>53 CliffBurns: ......remember when it was legal, I am old!

>54 anna_in_pdx: .....years ago a hippie friend of mine explained that was difficult because the words moved around to much.

Nov 2, 2018, 1:54pm Top

You probably have never heard of THIS James Buchanan. His vision of democracy is terrifying...and it forms the dark heart of the Republican Party:


Dec 5, 2018, 12:02pm Top

One of my favorite journalists writes of the REAL legacy of George H. W. Bush:


Dec 18, 2018, 10:18am Top

"Delivery Robot Catches Fire at UC Berkeley, Students Hold Candlelight Vigil". Title of article says it all.


Dec 21, 2018, 12:39pm Top

For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain:


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