Watch SpaceX Blow Up a Falcon 9 Rocket to Prove It’s Safe for People

! UPDATE TEST POSTPONED FOR 24 HOURS !

On Saturday, Elon Musk’s space company will intentionally shred a Falcon 9 to smithereens to prove it can safely carry humans, of course.

Daniel Oberhaus

WIRED

On Saturday morning, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to lift off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, the same launchpad where astronauts departed for the moon 50 years ago. A Crew Dragon capsule will be mounted atop the rocket, just as it will be later this year when SpaceX sends its first astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station. But this time, neither the rocket nor its payload will make it to space—and that’s the point.

Just a minute and a half after launch, the Falcon 9 will kill its engines and the Crew Dragon will fire its SuperDraco engines to separate from the rocket. At this point, the rocket and the capsule will both be traveling around 1,000 miles per hour. After separation, they will continue coasting through the stratosphere before they begin their return to Earth. The Falcon 9 will get torn to shreds over the Atlantic Ocean during its descent, but the Crew Dragon will gently land in the ocean under parachute.

“We tried to design a way to save B1046, but not possible,” CEO Elon Musk tweeted, referring to the rocket by its block number. Instead, he wrote, it will be “destroyed in Dragon fire.”

The so-called “in-flight abort test,” whose launch window opens at 8 am Eastern time on Saturday morning, is going to be one hell of a show. It is also one of the last major milestones before SpaceX can start sending astronauts to the ISS. The test is meant to show NASA that in the event of an emergency during launch, SpaceX can jettison astronauts to safety. It will mimic an actual launch to the space station in nearly every way, except no astronauts will be on board.

NASA describes an emergency during launch as an “unlikely event,” but this kind of dramatic escape is more than a hypothetical. In 2018, a Russian Soyuz rocket had to jettison its capsule containing a Russian and American astronaut after one of the rocket’s boosters failed to separate. It was the first time in history an abort system was used during flight with astronauts on board, but it worked perfectly and both astronauts returned safely to Earth.

The launch abort process is not a fun one for astronauts. The crew notices an intense and sudden increase in g-forces, from forces that are about 5 times gravity, as experienced during launch, to about 7g. “The first thing I noticed was being shaken fairly violently side to side,” NASA astronaut Nick Hague said, recalling his experience during the 2018 abort. “Then there was an alarm in the capsule and a light. I knew once I saw the light that we had an emergency with the boosters.”

SpaceX and Boeing are each vying to be the first commercial company to send NASA astronauts to space later this year, but the road to crewed flight has been plagued with setbacks. Each company has a slightly different certification process with NASA, which means that Boeing only had to demonstrate a launchpad abort test rather than an in-flight abort test. Late last year, Boeing had to prematurely end its uncrewed demo mission to the space station after a timer glitch on the spacecraft.

Although SpaceX’s uncrewed demo mission went off without a hitch, it has had problems of its own. Last year, its Crew Dragon capsule exploded during a test, a problem that the company traced to a leaky valve. At the same time, both SpaceX and Boeing struggled to perfect their capsules’ parachute systems. In December, however, SpaceX completed its tenth consecutive successful parachute test, which is required by NASA before astronauts can fly.

If Saturday’s in-flight abort test goes well, SpaceX will be nearly ready to return human spaceflight to American soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. The crew capsule that will bring astronauts to space will be delivered to Kennedy Space Center next month, but Musk says it will be a “few more months” before it’s ready to fly.

How to watch SpaceX blow up a Falcon 9 rocket in a safety test Saturday

Daniel Oberhaus is a staff writer at WIRED, where he covers space exploration and the future of energy. He is the author of Extraterrestrial Languages (MIT Press, 2019) and was previously the news editor at Motherboard.


January 18 is…

  • Thesaurus Day
  • Soup Swap Day
  • Maintenance Day
  • Winnie the Pooh Day
  • National Peking Duck Day
  • National Gourmet Coffee Day
  • National Use Your Gift Card Day

Guess who doesn’t have a “Handicap Parking Permit?”

Must be Monday.

usetheforce

canstockphoto53073149  Odie


French invaded moon

Barak Obama HS


I was listening to Elizabeth Warren on the car radio when suddenly the “check injun” light came on and I remembered to buy some “Tipi”



This is “National folic acid awareness week.”


January 13 is…

  • National sticker day
  • Korean American day
  • National Peach Melba day
  • National rubber ducky day
  • Stephen foster Memorial day
  • National clean off your desk day
  • Make your dreams come true day

How the US Knew Iranian Missiles Were Coming Before They Hit

Daniel Oberhaus

 WIRED

The US has operated an extensive network of missile warning systems for over half a century, but next-generation missiles will put it to the test.

A missile launch as seen through greencolored nightvision goggles

On Tuesday, Iran launched more than a dozen missiles targeting two Iraqi military bases housing American soldiers. The attack was retaliation for the US drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, a top-ranking Iranian military general. In a televised speech on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said “minimal damage was sustained” during the attack and that no American or Iraqi lives were lost. Considering that Iran has developed missiles that are accurate to within a few tens of meters, it’s remarkable that all personnel at the base emerged unscathed.

According to Trump, this had nothing to do with luck or bad aim. Instead, he attributed it to “an early warning system that worked very well.” The US has a vast network of radars and satellites dedicated to tracking missile launches around the globe, which allowed troops stationed at the Iraqi bases to take cover before the missiles struck their targets. The system worked as intended, but as the missile technology of America’s adversaries continues to improve, some experts wonder if the country’s first line of defense will be able to keep up.

America’s missile warning system harkens back to the early days of the Cold War, when the threat of a Soviet nuclear attack kept the world on edge. By the early 1960s, the US had a network of a dozen ground-based radars concentrated around the Arctic and several infrared satellites capable of detecting the launches of Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles that could deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland. The ground-based radars would constantly send pulses of high-frequency radio waves toward the horizon; if a missile was launched, the radio waves would be reflected off the missile back to the radar antenna, while the satellites would search for heat signatures from the missiles.

Although the fundamental methods for detecting a missile launch haven’t changed all that much in the past 50 years, today’s missile warning systems are vastly more accurate and responsive. One of the biggest improvements in early warning technology has been seen in space systems, which keep a constant watch for missile launches across the entire globe. At present, the US has four missile-tracking infrared satellites in geosynchronous orbits—meaning they never change position relative to the surface of the Earth—and two additional infrared missile detection systems likely hosted on classified National Reconnaissance Office satellites. In the case of the Iranian attack, it was almost certainly one of these satellites that gave the military a heads-up that missiles were on their way.

“It must have been space-based or a manned aircraft,” says Riki Ellison, founder and chair of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. “Radars are limited by the horizon and mountains so you won’t be able to detect a missile until it clears a certain elevation. You need something directly overhead.”

Once a satellite detects a possible missile launch, it triggers an alert at the Missile Warning Center, run by the US Space Command out of the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station in Colorado. There, military analysts work to confirm that the detection is legit and process the trajectory of the missile to determine where it will strike. With this information in hand, Space Command can determine whether a missile intercept is possible or necessary. How long the whole process takes, from detection to direction, depends on the launch location and target. In the case of the Iranian attack, US officials say troops had hours of advance warning of an impending attack from communication and signals intelligence, but the warning after the missile launch was likely only a few minutes. No attempt was made to intercept the missile; instead, troops at the targeted bases were ordered to disperse.

The US missile warning system works great for ballistic missiles like those used by Iran, whose trajectories can be calculated with an extremely high degree of accuracy once they’re launched. It’s not well equipped to handle newer kinds of missiles. “What we’re seeing is the threats becoming more complex, and the complexity manifests in terms of maneuverability,” says Tom Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

More advanced missiles are able to change their trajectories mid-flight, which means “it won’t be in the place you think it’s going to be if you’re trying to engage it,” says Karako, who says maneuverable missile technology is within reach of Iran. Other US adversaries have still more advanced missiles like so-called “hypersonic glide vehicles” that take off like a normal missile and glide through the atmosphere at relatively low altitudes.

Defending against the combination requires the ability to continuously track a missile that is modifying its course and flying at relatively low altitudes. Right now that’s a sort of blind spot for the US early warning system. Radars are good at tracking objects well above the horizon, less so lower-flying hypersonic missiles, while satellites can detect a launch and calculate a trajectory, but not track an object during its flight (although two satellites currently in orbit are testing this capability).

The US Department of Defense is well aware of these shortcomings, and is making a concerted effort to update its technology. In 2018, the Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman an $866 million, five-year contract to upgrade three ground-based warning radar systems in the US. Last year, Congress approved a $160 million budget transfer to accelerate the development of a new generation of five missile-tracking satellites, the first of which is expected to launch in 2025.

Ellison says he also expects artificial intelligence to play a greater role in America’s missile warning system as the number of threats proliferates. “We’ve got to move faster, we can’t do the old school manual check out,” he says. Indeed, the US military is considering the use of machine learning to accelerate response times.

The Iranian missile attack was a grave reminder of the importance of a robust early warning system—its critical role in saving American and Iraqi lives may well have prevented the loss of countless others.

Daniel Oberhaus is a staff writer at WIRED, where he covers space exploration and the future of energy. He is the author of Extraterrestrial Languages (MIT Press, 2019) and was previously the news editor at Motherboard

January 12 is…

  • National marzipan day
  • National pharmacist day
  • National kiss a ginger day
  • National rubber ducky day
  • National Sunday supper day
  • National curried chicken day

Self-Destruction of American Power

Crossing The Swamp

The reflection of the well-known American journalist and analyst Farid Zakarii on the reasons for the weakening of America’s dominance.

Sometime in the last two years, American hegemony died. The age of U.S. dominance was a brief, heady era, about three decades marked by two moments, each a breakdown of sorts. It was born amid the collapse of the Berlin Wall, in 1989. The end, or really the beginning of the end, was another collapse, that of Iraq in 2003, and the slow unraveling since. But was the death of the United States’ extraordinary status a result of external causes, or did Washington accelerate its own demise through bad habits and bad behavior? That is a question that will be debated by historians for years to come. But at this point, we have enough time and perspective to make some preliminary observations.

As with most deaths, many factors contributed to this one. There were deep structural forces in the international system that inexorably worked against any one nation that accumulated so much power. In the American case, however, one is struck by the ways in which Washington—from an unprecedented position—mishandled its hegemony and abused its power, losing allies and emboldening enemies. And now, under the Trump administration, the United States seems to have lost interest, indeed lost faith, in the ideas and purpose that animated its international presence for three-quarters of a century.

U.S. hegemony in the post–Cold War era was like nothing the world had seen since the Roman Empire. Writers are fond of dating the dawn of “the American century” to 1945, not long after the publisher Henry Luce coined the term. But the post–World War II era was quite different from the post-1989 one. Even after 1945, in large stretches of the globe, France and the United Kingdom still had formal empires and thus deep influence. Soon, the Soviet Union presented itself as a superpower rival, contesting Washington’s influence in every corner of the planet. Remember that the phrase “Third World” derived from the tripartite division of the globe, the First World being the United States and Western Europe, and the Second World, the communist countries. The Third World was everywhere else, where each country was choosing between U.S. and Soviet influence. For much of the world’s population, from Poland to China, the century hardly looked American.

The United States’ post–Cold War supremacy was initially hard to detect. As I pointed out in The New Yorker in 2002, most participants missed it. In 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher argued that the world was dividing into three political spheres, dominated by the dollar, the yen, and the deutsche mark. Henry Kissinger’s 1994 book, Diplomacy, predicted the dawn of a new multipolar age. Certainly in the United States, there was little triumphalism. The 1992 presidential campaign was marked by a sense of weakness and weariness. “The Cold War is over; Japan and Germany won,” the Democratic hopeful Paul Tsongas said again and again. Asia hands had already begun to speak of “the Pacific century.”

U.S. hegemony in the post–Cold War era was like nothing the world had seen since the Roman Empire.

There was one exception to this analysis, a prescient essay in the pages of this magazine by the conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer: “The Unipolar Moment,” which was published in 1990. But even this triumphalist take was limited in its expansiveness, as its title suggests. “The unipolar moment will be brief,” Krauthammer admitted, predicting in a Washington Post column that within a very short time, Germany and Japan, the two emerging “regional superpowers,” would be pursuing foreign policies independent of the United States.

Policymakers welcomed the waning of unipolarity, which they assumed was imminent. In 1991, as the Balkan wars began, Jacques Poos, the president of the Council of the European Union, declared, “This is the hour of Europe.” He explained: “If one problem can be solved by Europeans, it is the Yugoslav problem. This is a European country, and it is not up to the Americans.” But it turned out that only the United States had the combined power and influence to intervene effectively and tackle the crisis.

Similarly, toward the end of the 1990s, when a series of economic panics sent East Asian economies into tailspins, only the United States could stabilize the global financial system. It organized a $120 billion international bailout for the worst-hit countries, resolving the crisis. Time magazine put three Americans, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, on its cover with the headline “The Committee to Save the World.”

THE BEGINNING OF THE END

Just as American hegemony grew in the early 1990s while no one was noticing, so in the late 1990s did the forces that would undermine it, even as people had begun to speak of the United States as “the indispensable nation” and “the world’s sole superpower.” First and foremost, there was the rise of China. It is easy to see in retrospect that Beijing would become the only serious rival to Washington, but it was not as apparent a quarter century ago. Although China had grown speedily since the 1980s, it had done so from a very low base. Few countries had been able to continue that process for more than a couple of decades. China’s strange mixture of capitalism and Leninism seemed fragile, as the Tiananmen Square uprising had revealed.

But China’s rise persisted, and the country became the new great power on the block, one with the might and the ambition to match the United States. Russia, for its part, went from being both weak and quiescent in the early 1990s to being a revanchist power, a spoiler with enough capability and cunning to be disruptive. With two major global players outside the U.S.-constructed international system, the world had entered a post-American phase. Today, the United States is still the most powerful country on the planet, but it exists in a world of global and regional powers that can—and frequently do—push back.

The 9/11 attacks and the rise of Islamic terrorism played a dual role in the decline of U.S. hegemony. At first, the attacks seem to galvanize Washington and mobilize its power. In 2001, the United States, still larger economically than the next five countries put together, chose to ramp up its annual defense spending by an amount—almost $50 billion—that was larger than the United Kingdom’s entire yearly defense budget. When Washington intervened in Afghanistan, it was able to get overwhelming support for the campaign, including from Russia. Two years later, despite many objections, it was still able to put together a large international coalition for an invasion of Iraq. The early years of this century marked the high point of the American imperium, as Washington tried to remake wholly alien nations—Afghanistan and Iraq—thousands of miles away, despite the rest of the world’s reluctant acquiescence or active opposition.

Iraq in particular marked a turning point. The United States embarked on a war of choice despite misgivings expressed in the rest of world. It tried to get the UN to rubber-stamp its mission, and when that proved arduous, it dispensed with the organization altogether. It ignored the Powell Doctrine—the idea, promulgated by General Colin Powell while he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, that a war was worth entering only if vital national interests were at stake and overwhelming victory assured. The Bush administration insisted that the vast challenge of occupying Iraq could be undertaken with a small number of troops and a light touch. Iraq, it was said, would pay for itself. And once in Baghdad, Washington decided to destroy the Iraqi state, disbanding the army and purging the bureaucracy, which produced chaos and helped fuel an insurgency. Any one of these mistakes might have been overcome. But together they ensured that Iraq became a costly fiasco.

After 9/11, Washington made major, consequential decisions that continue to haunt it, but it made all of them hastily and in fear. It saw itself as in mortal danger, needing to do whatever it took to defend itself—from invading Iraq to spending untold sums on homeland security to employing torture. The rest of the world saw a country that was experiencing a kind of terrorism that many had lived with for years and yet was thrashing around like a wounded lion, tearing down international alliances and norms. In its first two years, the George W. Bush administration walked away from more international agreements than any previous administration had. (Undoubtedly, that record has now been surpassed under President Donald Trump.) American behavior abroad during the Bush administration shattered the moral and political authority of the United States, as long-standing allies such as Canada and France found themselves at odds with it on the substance, morality, and style of its foreign policy.

So which was it that eroded American hegemony—the rise of new challengers or imperial overreach? As with any large and complex historical phenomenon, it was probably all of the above. China’s rise was one of those tectonic shifts in international life that would have eroded any hegemon’s unrivaled power, no matter how skillful its diplomacy. The return of Russia, however, was a more complex affair. It’s easy to forget now, but in the early 1990s, leaders in Moscow were determined to turn their country into a liberal democracy, a European nation, and an ally of sorts of the West. Eduard Shevardnadze, who was foreign minister during the final years of the Soviet Union, supported the United States’ 1990–91 war against Iraq. And after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russia’s first foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, was an even more ardent liberal, an internationalist, and a vigorous supporter of human rights.

The greatest error the United States committed during its unipolar moment was to simply stop paying attention. Who lost Russia is a question for another article. But it is worth noting that although Washington gave Moscow some status and respect—expanding the G-7 into the G-8, for example—it never truly took Russia’s security concerns seriously. It enlarged NATO fast and furiously, a process that might have been necessary for countries such as Poland, historically insecure and threatened by Russia, but one that has continued on unthinkingly, with little concern for Russian sensitivities, and now even extends to Macedonia. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior makes every action taken against his country seem justified, but it’s worth asking, What forces produced the rise of Putin and his foreign policy in the first place? Undoubtedly, they were mostly internal to Russia, but to the extent that U.S. actions had an effect, they appear to have been damaging, helping stoke the forces of revenge and revanchism in Russia.

The greatest error the United States committed during its unipolar moment, with Russia and more generally, was to simply stop paying attention. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Americans wanted to go home, and they did. During the Cold War, the United States had stayed deeply interested in events in Central America, Southeast Asia, the Taiwan Strait, and even Angola and Namibia. By the mid-1990s, it had lost all interest in the world. Foreign-bureau broadcasts by NBC fell from 1,013 minutes in 1988 to 327 minutes in 1996. (Today, the three main networks combined devote roughly the same amount of time to foreign-bureau stories as each individual network did in 1988.) Both the White House and Congress during the George H. W. Bush administration had no appetite for an ambitious effort to transform Russia, no interest in rolling out a new version of the Marshall Plan or becoming deeply engaged in the country. Even amid the foreign economic crises that hit during the Clinton administration, U.S. policymakers had to scramble and improvise, knowing that Congress would appropriate no funds to rescue Mexico or Thailand or Indonesia. They offered advice, most of it designed to require little assistance from Washington, but their attitude was one of a distant well-wisher, not an engaged superpower.

Ever since the end of World War I, the United States has wanted to transform the world. In the 1990s, that seemed more possible than ever before. Countries across the planet were moving toward the American way. The Gulf War seemed to mark a new milestone for world order, in that it was prosecuted to uphold a norm, limited in its scope, endorsed by major powers and legitimized by international law. But right at the time of all these positive developments, the United States lost interest. U.S. policymakers still wanted to transform the world in the 1990s, but on the cheap. They did not have the political capital or resources to throw themselves into the effort. That was one reason Washington’s advice to foreign countries was always the same: economic shock therapy and instant democracy. Anything slower or more complex—anything, in other words, that resembled the manner in which the West itself had liberalized its economy and democratized its politics—was unacceptable. Before 9/11, when confronting challenges, the American tactic was mostly to attack from afar, hence the twin approaches of economic sanctions and precision air strikes. Both of these, as the political scientist Eliot Cohen wrote of airpower, had the characteristics of modern courtship: “gratification without commitment.”

Of course, these limits on the United States’ willingness to pay prices and bear burdens never changed its rhetoric, which is why, in an essay for The New York Times Magazine in 1998, I pointed out that U.S. foreign policy was defined by “the rhetoric of transformation but the reality of accommodation.” The result, I said, was “a hollow hegemony.” That hollowness has persisted ever since.

THE FINAL BLOW

The Trump administration has hollowed out U.S. foreign policy even further. Trump’s instincts are Jacksonian, in that he is largely uninterested in the world except insofar as he believes that most countries are screwing the United States. He is a nationalist, a protectionist, and a populist, determined to put “America first.” But truthfully, more than anything else, he has abandoned the field. Under Trump, the United States has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and from engaging with Asia more generally. It is uncoupling itself from its 70-year partnership with Europe. It has dealt with Latin America through the prism of either keeping immigrants out or winning votes in Florida. It has even managed to alienate Canadians (no mean feat). And it has subcontracted Middle East policy to Israel and Saudi Arabia. With a few impulsive exceptions—such as the narcissistic desire to win a Nobel Prize by trying to make peace with North Korea—what is most notable about Trump’s foreign policy is its absence.

When the United Kingdom was the superpower of its day, its hegemony eroded because of many large structural forces—the rise of Germany, the United States, and the Soviet Union. But it also lost control of its empire through overreach and hubris. In 1900, with a quarter of the world’s population under British rule, most of the United Kingdom’s major colonies were asking only for limited autonomy—“dominion status” or “home rule,” in the terms of the day. Had the country quickly granted that to all its colonies, who knows whether it would have been able to extend its imperial life for decades? But it didn’t, insisting on its narrow, selfish interests rather than accommodating itself to the interests of the broader empire.

There is an analogy here with the United States. Had the country acted more consistently in the pursuit of broader interests and ideas, it could have continued its influence for decades (albeit in a different form). The rule for extending liberal hegemony seems simple: be more liberal and less hegemonic. But too often and too obviously, Washington pursued its narrow self-interests, alienating its allies and emboldening its foes. Unlike the United Kingdom at the end of its reign, the United States is not bankrupt or imperially overextended. It remains the single most powerful country on the planet. It will continue to wield immense influence, more than any other nation. But it will no longer define and dominate the international system the way it did for almost three decades.

What remains, then, are American ideas. The United States has been a unique hegemon in that it expanded its influence to establish a new world order, one dreamed of by President Woodrow Wilson and most fully conceived of by President Franklin Roosevelt. It is the world that was half-created after 1945, sometimes called “the liberal international order,” from which the Soviet Union soon defected to build its own sphere. But the free world persisted through the Cold War, and after 1991, it expanded to encompass much of the globe. The ideas behind it have produced stability and prosperity over the last three-quarters of a century. The question now is whether, as American power wanes, the international system it sponsored—the rules, norms, and values—will survive. Or will America also watch the decline of its empire of ideas?


January 10th is…

Houseplant Appreciation Day
National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
Oysters Rockefeller Day
Peculiar People Day
Save The Eagles Day

For The Coming Days Ahead.

Ask yourself an honest question, why would a billionaire who has it all, fame, fortune, a warm and loving family, friends, etc. want to endanger himself and his family by becoming POTUS? Why would he want to target himself and those he cares about?

Does he need money?

Does he need fame?

What does he get out of this?

Does he want to make the US/world a better place for his family and for those good and decent people who have long been taken advantage of?

Perhaps he could not stomach the thought of mass murders occurring to satisfy Moloch?

Perhaps he could not stomach the thought of children being kidnapped, drugged, and raped while leaders/law enforcement of the world turn a blind eye.

Perhaps he was tired of seeing how certain races/countries were being constantly abused and kept in need/poor/and suffering all for a specific purpose.

Perhaps he could not in good conscious see the world burn.

Why, hours after the election, did seven people travel to an undisclosed location to hold a very private & highly secured/guarded meeting?

Why didn’t HRC give a concession speech?

When was the last time a presidential candidate didn’t personally give a concession speech?

What happens if the border remained open and the MSM continued to brainwash?

At what point do Patriots, and hard working men and woman, become the minority?

What about voting machines?

Who owns the voting machines?

What about voter ID laws?

Photo ID? When is it necessary and must be presented? Make a list. Laugh.

Reconcile.

Would the chances of defeating evil grow less and less with each passing year?

What does ‘red line’ mean?

Why, again, were the arrests made in SA so very important?

What strings were immediately cut?

Follow the money.

When does a bird sing?

Has General Qassem Soleimani quit smoking yet???

Asking for a friend.

 



I was in the bar having a conversation with a couple of bouncers, when the barmaid rudely interrupted and said, “Will you talk to my face, not my fucking tits.”


UFO


You’ll go apeshit over these.

What do you call a flying primate? A hot air baboon.

Where do baboons get their hair cut? Vidal Baboons

What do you call a baboon using a kiln in England? Hairy Potter

Who is a baboon’s favorite president? Hairy Truman

What’s a baboon’s favorite drink? Ape-ricot brandy

Which author do baboons like the most? John Steinbeck ( The Apes of Wrath )


Scarlet Parrot

At dawn the telephone rings, “Hello, Senor Rod? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house.”

“Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?”

“Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senor Rod, that your parrot, he is dead”.

“My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?”

“Is, Senor, that’s the one.”

“Damn! That’s a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from?”

“From eating the rotten meat, Senor Rod.”

“Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?”

“Nobody, Senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse.”

“Dead horse? What dead horse?”

“The thoroughbred, Senor Rod.”

“My prize thoroughbred is dead?”

“Yes, Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart.”

“Are you insane? What water cart?”

“The one we used to put out the fire, Senor.”

“Good Lord! What fire are you talking about, man?”

“The one at your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire.”

“What the hell? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a candle?!

“Yes, Senor Rod.””But there’s electricity at the house! What was the candle for?”

“For the funeral, Senor Rod.”

“WHAT BLOODY FUNERAL??!!”

“Your wife’s, Senor Rod. She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I shot her with your new Kreighoff Limited Edition Custom Gold Engraved Trap Special with the custom Wenig Exhibition Grade Stock.

“SILENCE…

LONG SILENCE…

VERY LONG SILENCE.

“Ernesto, if you scratched that shotgun, you’re in deep shit.”


Minion Sex Doll


AOC was arrested yesterday at a DC laundromat completely naked. When police asked why she was naked, she pointed to a sign on the wall. It read, “When washer stops, remove your clothes”.


Animals Phones.png


I started a company selling landmines disguised as prayer mats.

Prophets are going through the roof!


Snowy Owl


Dating nowadays….especially in California

Adolph: Hi…I’m Adolph…do you come here often?

Her: No. This is my first time

Adolph: Would you like to dance?

Her: Yes

Adolph: Are you here alone?

Her: No, I’m with a girlfriend.

Adolph: It sure is noisy in here. Would you like to go somewhere quiet?

Her: Ok. That sounds good.

Adolph: Before we go…..do you currently have a penis or have you ever had one removed?


Spandex.png


A cockroach can survive a nuclear holocaust.

A cockroach can even survive being submerged under water for half an hour.

Because they are cold-blooded insects, cockroaches can live without food for one month.

A cockroach can live for a week without its head the roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst.

A cockroach can’t survive a swat from a newspaper, that shows how toxic the media is.


cold.png


I picked up a pretty girl at the bar last night and when we got to my place I took off my shirt and she said, “What a great chest you have!” I told her “That’s 100 lbs. of dynamite, Baby”. I took off my pants and she says, “What massive calves you have!” told her, “That’s 100 lbs. of dynamite, Baby.” Then I took off my underwear and she goes running out the door screaming in fear. I put my clothes back on and chased after her and caught up to her and ask her why she ran out of the house like that. Her terrified reply, “I was afraid to be around all that dynamite after I saw how short the fuse was!”


Trash


I went to see a Muslim Tribute band last night at a Mosque. They were called “Bomb Jovi” and I thought they were brilliant. They performed songs like: “Losing my Head over You”, “Rocket Launcher Man”,” You’re Six, you’re Beautiful, and you’re Mine”. Their last song “Living on a Prayer Mat” almost brought the house down! Then I heard this Muslim guy saying he had the entire Koran on a DVD. I was interested, so I asked him, “Can you burn me a copy?” Well that was when the trouble started.


DU

The Architects of Our Digital Hellscape Are Very Sorry

Tech leaders need to innovate on their apologies. But given the state of the internet, is a meaningful mea culpa even possible?

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If you’re feeling a bit uneasy right now, you’re not alone. It’s the end of not just a year but a decade, and we’re not exactly closing on a high note. There’s more misinformation than ever, climate change is putting the future of humanity at risk, devices are eroding our privacy, and the police are happily tagging along at each and every step. What happened to the internet we were promised at the beginning of the decade, the one so full of creativity, connection, and joy?

It was squandered, as many writers have pointed out, by engineers and CEOs who opted for profit over people at every turn with seemingly no consequences. As these people’s role in creating a physical and digital world built on surveillance, harassment, and child labor has become more clear, we’ve seen a wave of pseudo apologies for the tools and decisions that got us here. For the past few years, the men (and it’s almost entirely men) who built this digital hellscape have been on a veritable atonement tour.

Chris Wetherell fessed up to the RT button on Twitter’s being perhaps a bad idea. Facebook co founder Chris Hughes admitted that Facebook had become too powerful. Another former Facebook employee, Sandy Parakilas, admitted that the company had no real interest in protecting user data. Ethan Zuckerman took credit, and blame, for his role in building an ad-supported internet (and coding the first popup ad). Guillaume Chaslot, a former YouTube engineer, revealed just how bad and biased the site’s algorithm has become. Loren Brichter, who helped invent the infinite scroll, made his regrets public. Even Mark Zuckerberg uttered the words “I’m sorry” in congressional testimony.

Yet none of it feels satisfying. Perhaps it’s because many of these apologies only happen when these men have something else to promote, like a book, a TED talk, or a new company. (Writer Audrey Watters has termed this lucrative side business the “regrets industry.”) Perhaps it’s because most of these men are still incredibly wealthy, thanks in large part to the decisions they’re theoretically apologizing for. Perhaps it’s because, Zuckerberg aside, they almost never actually say the magic phrase that every child learns: “I’m sorry.” Or perhaps it’s because it would be impossible for one person to apologize for the current state of the internet.

Let’s start by laying out what separates a good apology from a bad one. Writer Lux Alptraum, the author of Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex—and the Truths They Reveal, has thought (and written) a lot about this question. She suggested a three-part test for these techpologies. “A good apology says, number one, ‘This was bad, I recognize this was bad, and you are perfectly within your right to be hurt and angry and upset.’ Number two, a good apology says not just that harm was caused but that the harm was someone’s responsibility. And, ideally, number three, it shows growth and commitment to repair.”

It turns out that when you look at the apologies offered by the architects of our technological present, they often fail at least two of these three things.

Number one: The apologizer must recognize the harm done. Some techpologies do this well. Chaslot, the former YouTube engineer who built the platform’s recommendation algorithm, has tweeted about how that algorithm specifically impacted public understanding of things like the shape of the Earth, which is not merely subject to silly (and false) conspiracy theories but has also been connected to the murder of over 600 teachers by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Parakilas, one of the contrite former Facebookers, wrote that if the company isn’t regulated, “nothing less than democracy is at stake.”

Other times, apologizers are vague about the actual impact of their work, or they focus on their initial goals rather than the outcome. The Chris Hughes “regreditorial,” for example, never actual states the harm Facebook has done beyond saying very generally that “the News Feed algorithm could change our culture, influence elections and empower nationalist leaders.” (Unlike Parakilas, Hughes won’t go so far as to say that Facebook threatens democracy, only that it “could” have “influence.”) Justin Rosenstein, a former Facebook employee apologizing for inventing the “Like” button, told The Guardian, “It is very common for humans to develop things with the best of intentions and for them to have unintended, negative consequences.”

Then there’s apology criterion number two: Take responsibility for the harm that you’ve just acknowledged. Those who do this almost always speak from a place of remove—as former employees who, years later, look back and safely regret their role in all of this. And even here, there’s a catch. In most cases, the people apologizing don’t really deserve the full credit or blame for the technology in question. Even if a piece of software or hardware were invented by one person alone, its use and deployment would never be a singular decision.

Chris Wetherell, who was profiled by BuzzFeed as “The Man Who Built the Retweet,” cannot take sole responsibility for the impact of this button. Wetherell seems to know this: In his Twitter bio, he clarifies that he “Only *HELPED* build retweet.” Though Zuckerman, now the director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, has apologized for his part in building an ad-supported web, he also can’t take responsibility for an entire business model. “The notion that I invented anything is just absurd,” he told me. “It was a shitty decision and a shitty move, but it wasn’t exactly a move of technical brilliance. There’s no way I can take responsibility for the harms or benefits of the web as a whole.”

Yet to hear an apology coming from a brand isn’t likely to feel satisfying either. For all their horny tweets, brands are not people, and people may be inclined to feel that corporate communications reflect cold, calculated PR rather than true and genuine emotion. When Uber spent $500 million apologizing for everything from the CEO’s connection to Donald Trump to allegations of gender bias and sexual harassment, the campaign failed to change most people’s minds. Even Zuckerberg’s apology to Congress felt more like a faceless Uber ad than a real person’s reckoning with his sins. “Either you over-empower individuals and give them too much credit, which is what happened to me,” said Zuckerman, “or you have people who really are that powerful and then you’re perhaps not dealing with a human being anymore so much as you’re dealing with a media brand.”

Here is perhaps where journalists should fess up to being part of this problem. We love a personal redemption story, even if it’s ultimately toothless. By allowing individuals to take responsibility for the digital mess we’re in, the media perpetuates the “great man” myth. This not only misrepresents how technology is built and deployed, it impedes discussion of meaningful solutions and progress. When journalists overstate one person’s role in creating the problem, we also overestimate their ability to fix it.

Take Tristan Harris, for example, who has made a second career out of warning people about the perils of “attention stealing” systems. His argument is that he was once the problem, and now he can be the solution. This is a narrative that journalists love: This very publication called Harris “part Don Draper, part Carrie Mathison, and part John Nash as portrayed by Russell Crowe.” But Harris can no more be blamed for “attention stealing” writ large as he can be expected to fix it single handedly.

This brings us to the third part of the three-point test: showing some kind of meaningful action toward repair. I think this is where many tech apologies feel unsatisfying to the consumers who are living with the consequences. Because almost none of these people who trot out their apologies can, on their own, repair the harm done. “You should be able to ask someone who’s apologizing for something to undo it,” says Zuckerman. “Part of what’s so unsatisfying is the thing they’re apologizing for isn’t undoable.”

In some cases, it’s unclear whether those expressing their misgivings and regrets are even trying. Many still work for companies within this ecosystem, gathering a steady and probably lucrative paycheck while slamming their former employers. Parakilas, who has called out Facebook for data harvesting, went from Facebook to Uber, and now works at Apple. Rosenstein, who helped implement the “Like” button at Facebook, and who has spoken up about the addictive nature of said likes, co founded a company that “improves office productivity.” “These people are getting status and money and clearing their conscience, but the rest of us aren’t getting anything but the recognition that we live in a fucked up world,” says Alptraum.

For his part, Zuckerman is working to fix the problem he helped create. He’s currently working on imagining and building a new way of thinking about the web—one that looks more like a public good than a private-monopoly-run product. “I don’t feel like I have the solution. What I do think is that everybody who is critiquing platforms is thinking way too small. They’re thinking about small tweaks to a system that is pretty badly broken. What we actually need is a much better vision of social media that is actually good for us as citizens in a democracy. ”

It’s also possible that it’s too soon to judge any of these apologies. Changing an entire system takes teams and years of work. “The apology has to be the start of a process, and maybe the reason an apology feels unsatisfying is that they feel like the end of the process,” says Zuckerman. “If the apology is the first step, then maybe we appreciate the apology five, 10, 20 years later. Some of these apologies are insincere, some are inappropriate, and some just aren’t there yet. We have to give people the time to see.”

Perhaps my desire to see a meaningful apology for our current digital hellscape is wishful thinking. It might, in fact, be impossible to properly apologize for any of this. (In fact, some research hints that apologies are always better when we imagine them than when we actually receive them.) But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. “Maybe the apology is the first step in trying to think about doing that affirmative, forward-looking work,” Zuckerman told me.

So this December, I’m channeling a sentiment that several celebrities have lately shared on Instagram earlier this year: “I don’t want to end this year on bad terms with anybody. APOLOGIZE TO ME.”

Hat tip smiley  271-2714910_google-exposed-data-of-wired-magazine-logo-transparent

 

Rose Eveleth is an Ideas contributor at WIRED. She’s also the host and producer of “Flash Forward,” a podcast about possible (and not so possible) future scenarios, and has covered everything from fake tumbleweed farms to million-dollar baccarat heists.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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Hunter Biden bought a 2.5 million dollar Hollywood hills home in June for $14,000, but won’t pay child support. Biden bought his Los Angeles home earlier this year at a deep discount. A screenshot of the Zillow listing for Biden’s LA house, which is estimated to be worth nearly $2.5 million also shows it sold for $14.000, that’s a 99.5 percent discount! The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home “sits at the end of a private gated drive and includes a pool.”

hunters house

Lunden Roberts accused Hunter Biden of refusing to hand over his financial records in their ongoing paternity case. Roberts demanded the former vice president’s son hand over all financials documents from the past five years, and filed papers in Independence County, Arkansas (Clinton country, prior to his presidency Bill served as attorney general 1977 – 1979 and governor 1979 – 1981 & 1983 – 1992)  asking the court to compel him to turn over the records.

Roberts met Biden while she was working at Mpire strip club in Washington D.C. and launched her case in May, claiming Biden is the father of her child. A paternity test proved that he is the father of the child.

She wants Biden’s financial records to establish how much he should pay in child support, as well as proving he can afford to pay her $11k legal bill, but says he is refusing to hand over any details. His attorneys filed a motion on December 2 to protect his financial records from public disclosure because of the “exceedingly high” likelihood that they will be used in an “inappropriate and malicious manner.” Biden submitted an affidavit of financial means on Dec. 16, but the document is sealed. Biden has provided no support for this child for over a year.

Roberts’ lawyers say in legal papers that Biden has objected to answering any of their discovery questions, which included confirming the state in which he lives, his phone number and if he worked for Ukrainian oil company Burisma. Roberts, meanwhile, released five years’ worth of her tax returns and other financial documents to the court. The documents list her as having worked for Hunter and his company Owasco PC.

Hunter Biden is the subject of more than one criminal investigation involving fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme. The allegations accuse Hunter and business associates of establishing ‘bank and financial accounts with Morgan Stanley for Burisma Holdings Limited for the money laundering scheme’.

The allegations were filed by D&A Investigations on Monday in relation to Hunter’s paternity case involving Lunden Roberts. D&A is a Confidential Private Investigative Agency to the Royals, servicing clients, and providing them with continued Identity Protection, throughout the British IslesEurope and the United States. D&A claimed that the accounts showed a value of nearly $6.8 million between March 2014 and December 2015. In addition, the documents allege that Hunter and three associates attempted to con Sioux Native Americans out of $60 million through the sale of tribal bonds.

HBBH

JH

 

Christmas: A Celebration of the Birth of Commercialism…

Oh yea, and Jesus.


 

Santa Claus explained by Albert Einstein

There are 7.8 billion people on Earth. Probably about six per family on average, so there are one billion homes. Some of these homes are city apartments twenty feet apart, but the people in igloos or jungle huts or desert tents are more widely spaced, so let’s assume the homes are about a mile apart on average.

Santa has one night to visit them all, we’ll say twenty-four hours because it’s not night everywhere on Earth at the same time. So, he has to fly one billion miles in twenty-four hours.”

He wrote “SANTA = 41,666,667 MILES/HOUR” on his blackboard.

“At that speed, friction with the atmosphere will generate intense thermal energy, and twenty-four hours of that will release enough heat to melt the Earth’s crust.

And the billion takeoffs and landings will cause two billion sonic booms. By December 26, the Earth will be reduced to an endless sea of molten lava and loud noises.”

This is how it will all end? How dare you! 


 

rudolph



 

Alone for Xmas


 

fuckit