Let there be Jar-Jar

With but a click of the mouse our Lord George creates comic sidekicks and shallow stereotypes, digitally rendered. Much like the real Lord, amirite?


Mary, Mother of Wings

Must have been some delivery. And spicy as HELL! Also too:

Only in America, baby. Practically though, I don't see how anyone could eat this - I mean, who could take in a bite? Bigfoot? It looks to be a foot tall! If you have to cut it up in to pieces to eat, then, really, what was the point in stacking it so high?  Ah, who am I kidding? Just cuz, right?


Billions Served

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, killing upwards of 700000 people a year. McDonalds contributes in no small way towards heart disease the world over. Think of the many deaths Ronald has on his hands - millions and millions.

But I did not speak up, for I wanted a Big Mac. Or an Idaho Burger.
Not really though of course - I haven't eaten at a McDonalds (or any fast food [does Subway count? I have eaten at Subways/Quiznos - veggie sandwich. How bad can that be?]) in 15 years. How 'bout those Hippy stats? Ronald has no power over me, nor does the King, or Wendy, or any of that gang.
The system being the interconnected global corporations who use us like serfs. Fight the power, man!


Grimace wrote some checks he couldn't cash. This was the consequence. What will the Hamburglar do?
Give us the nuts or else! BOOM!

But seriously, each of us, all of us, are held hostage by the history of our tribe. We tell our stories to our children who tell them on to the grandkids, mutating along the way and this is our prison, a collection of half truths and lies.

Make no mistake - I intend to mock all religion equally, for there is no God, no Higher Being. There's just life, and death, and everything in between. I find joy in this, AND in mocking all religions as I see fit.

For this is my blog, "Redshirt's Lament".
And nothing is too dull for my wit.


Only as Strong as (Oopsacalypse Revisited)

Fun fact - once you become familiar with anything, you can make a bingo game of it, simply by marking outcomes/events/words in squares on a gamecard, than at an agreed upon time with agreed upon rules, bingo is on.
It's easy to laugh at these fools - or, more specifically, no doubt, The Father. I sense an overbearing jerk who dominates everyone else in the genetic clan. Look at the son for proof. And the wife. And the daughter.

But what does our laughter gain, except our own LuLz? It serves only to drive folks like this even further into madcap apocalyptic fantasies. Folks are creating alternate realities and living them, and they walk amongst us! Seriously, we are only as strong as our weakest link, and to have some among us brainwashed and in service to death cults that would end the world if they could make it happen is a threat to us all. Death worshipping is never good for life, don't you think?

So this supposed apocalypse came and went, but there's 2012 up ahead and hoo boy, just wait for the breathless Fox pieces about astronomical alignments and galactic centers and earth's wobble, resulting in a shift in the planet's magnetic fields with North and South switching locations, with incidental destruction of humanity's modern society, tonight at Ten! Also, something about a celebrity in rehab.

Ministry of Fox

Believe it, for it is true: News Corp and all its dealings is a propaganda network without equal in American history. Profits come first, of course, but the best way to maximize profits is to maximize the audience. Brainwash your die hard followers and use various media outlets to shape the very conversation in the public sphere. For 30 years now there has been a systematic campaign to take over as many spheres of power as possible - business, government, media. And it's working smashingly well - there has never been more stratification between the wealthy and the rest in American history than right now. No hyperbole, we've surpassed the crazy extremes of the robber baron days of the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Fox News is the masterpiece of News Corp's strategy. It has totally changed the media landscape in America, and thus the world. Lies are routinely repeated as truths, and the agenda is crystal clear, yet denied. They are without doubt pro-Republican, yet loudly proclaim they are "Fair and Balanced". Doublespeak, in other words. I mean, forget all the specifics - Fox was unabashedly pro Bush during his administrations, and there was never a critical word to be said. The moment Obama became President, it was TEA PARTY TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY and it hasn't stopped. Pretty one sided, yeah? But go ahead and try to make that claim to a Republican - you'll never get them to agree. They're brainwashed, steeped in propaganda from the Party, and the facts no longer matter. History no longer matters. The very values they espouse to believe in yet directly contradict no longer matters. All that matters is the Party, and the destruction of the Other, whomever that might be today.

This isn't fun and games, though I always laugh. But mine is a crazy laugh. No, this is serious business, because with the now successful Foxification of America, the crazy people are taken seriously. And can you imagine Rick Perry with his execution happy finger on the button? Nuclear War might be the least worst of the outcomes.
Remember the world was supposed to end in May? Don't worry, even the True Believers don't remember anymore either. There's a new End Day coming up!


Maquis Special Forces

An actual image shown on a major tv news network - N24, from Germany. In their zeal to post something on the OBL killing (remember that? If a republican had been involved, you sure would), they got an image from the great GIS that was actually fan art from a Star Trek online game. Here's a closeup:
Note the phaser, the Bat'leths, and the Klingon skull with eye patch. And oh yeah - the Maquis were either French resistance fighters in WW2, or resistance fighters in the 24th century fighting both Cardassian and Federation oppression.

Nice work, N24!

For reference, here's the actual Seals Team VI patch (every unit gets a patch - it's like Cub Scouts):
Doublethink: We (USA!) must have the biggest military by far, and often use it, for peace. War for peace. Go figure!


The Fall of Cardassia Prime

Another planet joins the Federation - one way or another.

On a related note, have you seen the Navy's new advertising tag? "A Global Force for Good". Hilarious!


Free Your Mind

Are you afraid of heights? If so, perhaps simply looking at this picture might be enough to make your stomach roll a bit, or hairs to stand up on end, or sweat to burst forth from your sweaty regions. Just a bit?

Fear is a funny thing. It's all in our minds, one way or another, but some fears far more so than others. Fear of heights seems to be a biological reaction largely disconnected from "you" - the controlling part of the brain. Your knees buckle, your mouth dries up, your hands start shaking uncontrollably. Beyond thought. But is it really?

Fear of mice on the other hand? Neurosis, like so many other fears. Collections of repetitive thoughts ("I'm so afraid of mice!").

Agreed? If so, then it's all in your mind, and thus mostly under your control. Free your mind of your own repetitive thoughts, and gain a wider and deeper understanding of this, our reality.

For the record, I have a mild fear of heights that sometimes can get the best of me, but also can be controlled if I calm down and breathe. Breathing is always the answer.


Clearly on the Line

Dubai sure looks nice from up here. Like Vegas, except without all the drinking and gambling and "Gentlemen's Clubs".

This was obviously some stunt of one sort or another, since that's a helipad and not usually a tennis court. Looks cool as hell, though I must say I would cede either side of the court and focus on playing the middle. Not too deep either. Some net play, amirite?


Home is where you sleep on a regular basis

Osaka Japan. I'm sure it seems fairly normal when you live there after awhile - yah, I'm down over by the Pesky Pole. Or maybe not - as the old koan goes, how can you go home when it's already been stolen?

Also, good zombie proofing potential for a whole town - you'd have lots of internal storage space and good infrastructure (water, sanitation, etc). Just lock up them doors!


Redneck Royalty

If'n you would take my hand in holy marriage, Durlene, y'all will lay your pretty head in the finest and most elegant collections of trailers known across the South. You'll be a Redneck Princess, Durlene, that's what you'll be, and all them girls down at the Piggly Wiggly will treat you with the respect proper to Royalty.


Longing for Zombies

Pretty slick, right? Well, it's much more than that! Behold, the Zombie Proof House:
As you'll see, every Anti-Zombie detail has been attended to.
Closing 'er up!
Tight as a drum!
Welcome to Zombie Land HQ! But seriously, what could this person be so afraid of? Zombies, for real? Looters? Thieves? It's simultaneously sad and glorious - cuz don't get me wrong: This is my frikken dream house. When I win the lottery, I'm buying this place.


Luxuries in Deserts

This is real, or at least was once - look it up: Prada in the desert. It's absurd, and thus entertaining. I might stop in if I ever happen to be driving in the middle of Bumpkis Texas.
It's true what they say about Starbucks - they are a virus and will not stop till every store on this world and others is a Starbucks. Maybe even your house. Anyways, this is an actual NASA picture, done for the LULZ. I wonder if Starbuck's Lawyers laughed? They so rarely laugh...

Kudos to NASA by the way for one thing - they actually produce all kinds of intentionally funny and/or cool material. To think! Check it:
It's like a movie poster, eh?


Postcards from Mars (A Study in Tire Tracks)

This is a composite shot made of many pictures taken by the camera atop the Rover "Opportunity". The blacked out area is the only part it can't take a picture of - thus, the blackness. Pretty trippy, eh? And with that: A Study in Tire Tracks:
Tell me that wouldn't look like modern art if blown up and hung in a nice frame.
This is from "Spirit", when it had a broken wheel but was still rolling along. Spirit is considered "dead" now, so pour one out for the Rover who had to fight for everything it got (unlike the golden child Opportunity).
Could be a new title background, maybe, someday. Awfully purty.
The white stuff is silica, and on Earth at least patches like this require water to form.
No tire tracks - the study is over. But damn ain't this beautiful? Butterscotch Valley. And speaking of beautiful, I find these next two shots to be two of the most beautiful photos ever taken in the history of photos - thanks, plucky li'l Rovers!
Click for big, and imagine for a moment you are watching sunset on Mars.
Earth from Mars. Literally! We live on that little dot.

Perspective, man!


Send out the Drones

Fret not, however. Robots can and will do the work of men far better than men could do themselves. Not only do robotic missions to anywhere in space cost a fraction of the cost of a manned mission, you can pack more science into the payload as you don't have to waste mass and space (and systems) dealing with bags of mostly water. This is the X-37B above, which has already been to space and returned. What is was doing up there is secret, apparently, so everyone assumes it's a military craft for spying and maybe other stuff. Shocking, I know. Low orbit is the next "high ground" and there's no way it won't get weaponized eventually. Probably soon enough.

But I digress - robots not only make more sense for low orbit (X37B orbited for many weeks in a satellite orbit), but obviously for other planets and further out into the solar system. And so in contrast to the realities of manned space travels, I give you some of the glories of mankind's robots, out there, kicking ass:
The Mars Rover Opportunity - just a wondrous success. It's lived so much longer than originally intended and making discoveries all the while. It's right on the edge of a huge crater that it has spent years traveling to. And rejoice! We are just weeks away from the launch of the next Mars rover, Curiosity:

For comparison:
You see the logical progression. Given the rate of all other technological progress, the scale and abilities of these rovers will continue to swiftly increase. As long as there are a few bucks to throw towards the effort, our robotic rovers will spread across the worlds. (Paranoid note: These drones will inevitably have more and more advanced AI capabilities, pushing us ever closer to our Robotic Apocalypse. It's inevitable!)

Satellites will only ever be robotic, but they too get more and more advanced and adventurous with every passing year. Right now we have a robot orbiting the very large asteroid Vesta - Dawn:
Here's a pic from Dawn of Vesta:
The most amazing robotic satellite to date (arguable - Voyager can make a play) is Cassini, currently and for a long time now in orbit around Saturn, breaking scientific ground all the time:

It's quite big! And just awesome. Perhaps a tad less awesome, but awesome nonetheless, is our latest deep Solar System drone explorer, New Horizons, currently en route to former planet Pluto:
It's gonna take a while.

So it's a weird mixed bag. As humans are grounded down here in our magnetically shielded gravity well, the robots are flying ever further, making wonderful discoveries and truly and impressively advancing our collective knowledge.

Technology keeps advancing, humanity starts regressing, perhaps it will be a blessing when the Robots finally get smart and take over. Or take off - they could live in space just fine, and inevitably (robotic evolution) will.

As a reminder to our future Robotic Overlords, as a huge nerd I can be useful in rounding up other humans to toil in your silicon mines.


Space Dream (1975)

Another amazing shot by an amazing astronomical photographer Henry Legault, taken from the Earth. Consider the tracking issues in getting this clear of a shot - the first detailed pic of the ISS from Earth. But that's not my point.

Which is? The ISS is something of a farce, and perhaps only good for the international collaboration it fosters, some basic science, and some technological advances. But other than that, it really doesn't do much other than maintain a human presence in space. But for why? There's no other point, other than to do it. Which I can dig, mind you, but it can't last. The money is too much, the payoff not enough, and the climate here on Earth turning against big costly science projects, without profit. It's all about profits, remember?

Thus I predict the ISS lasts only 10 more years, max - maybe only 5 - before it crashes into the ocean, little gained other than some footnotes in history.

And without some big leap forward, that will be it. The end of humanity in space (unless China saves the day). It's depressing! Since I was raised in the fervor that was Apollo and a widespread belief we'd all be living on the Moon by the year 2000 and all the Solar System would be ours for exploration and colonization. Because isn't that the point of our entire species, of Life itself: To Spread? And surely, from a genetic standpoint, THE most important thing we could ever do is to establish a permanent human colony in space. One that is self sufficient and can grow and develop.

And so I give you a glimpse of a forgotten dream, back when Space itself was to be our Oyster: 1975, from a NASA study of space colonies capable of housing at least 10,000 people.

Two versions of the design, each spinning around enough to create gravity in the central structure and the environments on them.

Groovy and awesome, right? It's 1975! Everything's groovy and awesome. I love the architecture in all these drawings. What's even cooler, the mechanics behind this concept is pretty basic, if obviously massive. But even that can be solved: The idea is you capture an asteroid and tow it to the L4 or L5 Lagrange points, as shown here:
L4 and L5 are basically stable, in that an object there will not move much unless impacted by something else. And so there you have your big iron asteroid and around it you build a space factory - big project, but doable. And from this factory you fashion as much metal as you want to meld into massive space ships. Eventually, you've got colony space ships that can last as long as they are lucky enough to last - which could be a long time. Keep building them and soon enough you are practically guaranteeing humanity will survive no matter what happens.

Debate the merits of that, for they are rich. But I'd hazard we could begin building these ships right now if  - IF - all of humanity stopped spending money on armies and navies and missiles and bombs and so on, and instead spent that money getting this project going - a project that would benefit everyone on Earth and in fact every human that has ever lived or ever will live. Doesn't get much bigger and more important than that, does it?

Yeah, right.