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Ultraforge Online Magazine
The Journal About Everything and Nothing
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Remember this entry? As you can see, I've corrected an oversight after the inventor of the exoskeleton paid me a visit:

lifesuitdriver

Thank you for posting the article. If it is not too much trouble I would ask you to make a small correction.

It is sort of a military thing so I hope you do not mind.

The Term "Ex Army Ranger" implies a dead one.

"Once a Ranger always a Ranger" If you can not make the change that is okay, but if you can I would appreciate it. Change it to "Retired Army Ranger" or something like that.

I just don't want any of my old Army buddies to think I died, okay.

I am getting ready to go to the Robolympics event in San Fransisco to demonstrate the robotic suits.

Sci Fi is the future. There is a lot of Science coming out of sci fi lately. Nano Tech nanobots, Space Elevators, exosuits, robot vacuums, solar cars etc...

NASA has just given me a grant to work on powered spacesuits this summer.

Thanks again for posting the article.

I hope to see you soon.

Warm Regards,
Monty

ultraforge

Oh, I see. Sorry, I didn't realize I was making a such a gaffe. And it bothers me that I did so inadvertantly because I respect the Rangers, their level of training, extraordinary dedication to duty, and exemplary service to this country. I sincerely apologize for my oversight. I will hasten to correct the entry and post an editorial in my next entry. Please look for it tomorrow.


Thank you for stopping by, Mr. Reed. I'm glad you gave me the oppourtunity to correct unwitting oversight.

Aside from that, I also appreciate your update about your work. Furthermore, I'm happy and astonished that you found my little weblog amongst the vast primordial soup we refer to as the blogosphere(I'm pretty low on the Google and Technorati totem poles from what I understand). This is the first something like this has happened to me. darth_spacey do you know Monty personally and did you inform him of my entry?

In any case Monty, if you plan to stick around and keep blogging on LiveJournal, feel free to friend me and I'll friend you back. And even if you don't plan to keep blogging on LiveJournal, feel free to stop by and comment anyway. Non-LJ users don't need an account to comment here. Just click the option to leave an anonymous comment but sign your name at the bottom. As soon as I notice it, I'll unscreen it.

Thanks again for stopping by, sir. It was an honor.
Iron Man
11th-Jun-2006 04:35 pm - Further Crimes of the $cientologists
$cientology is now sponsoring a NASCAR driver:

Kenton Gray will drive for the Dianetics team. He credits the book with helping him become a better race car driver.

The team won't be racing in the Nextel Cup just yet. Reports show they'll first start out in a smaller circuit.

Scientology is the religion Tom Cruise follows. Cruise also starred in the 1990 racing movie, Days of Thunder.


Meanwhile, failing actor and couch-jumping $cientology spokesman with ADHD Tom Cruise has invited Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to the so-called church.

Not that I care all that much. $cientology's attempt to become a major world religion is doomed to failure, in my opinion. I only mention this because I don't have anything better to talk about at the moment but I don't want this journal to lie fallow.
Mechawarrior
Do you know what day Tuesday is? Take a look at this:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us



Now, I'm not a big fan of the Emo thing. To be honest, I think it sucks:

"Oh, I'm so depressed even though I live in the suburbs and have a comfortable lifestyle! Woe is me! I'm going to grow my hair like a girl and cut myself to prove I'm hardcore!"

You emo kids want something to be really depressed about? Go live in some dirty overcrowded Third World shithole where you have to step around puddles of piss because they don't have a waste management system.

But still, beating the fuck out of someone because they have a stupid haircut and mope around all the time sounds facist to me. No, I'm not going to beat up any emo kids unless one of them swings on me first...which is an unlikely scenario in the first place because emo kids usually aren't that motivated to expend physical energy.

If you don't like Emo, there's a far more productive way to deal with it than thuggish violence: Simply show them the ugly truth of what it is they're doing. Make them think, for fuck's sake. After all, a beatdown would just give them one more reason to be emo and give them more "rebel chic". That's just the way they roll.
Beat Down!
30th-May-2006 06:10 pm - Now You See Me...
Scientists and tech guys are trying to develop an invisibility "cloak" that can render a man as unnoticeable as the recently ended Tony Danza Show:

Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak Is Possible, Studies Say

The creation of an invisibility cloak like the one used by Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling's books is theoretically possible, scientists said in two studies published by the online Science Express journal.

The key to making an object invisible is to surround it with a cloak made of ``metamaterials'' that are engineered to bend light around an object, continuing on the other side in the same direction as before, Ulf Leonhardt, author of one of the studies, said in a telephone interview. Sound waves, which have a longer wavelength than light, can be distorted in such a way, and light bends naturally in mirages, for instance, he said.

``All one has to do is enhance this bending effect and control it better,'' said Leonhardt, Professor of theoretical physics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. ``We've given recipes of how to do this. You have to control structures that are smaller than the wavelength of light -- less than half a micrometer,'' he said. A micrometer is a millionth of a meter.

The authors of the papers set out mathematical requirements for a theoretical metamaterial, that could achieve invisibility. Applications include protecting structures from vibrations, sound and seismic waves, improving wireless communications, seeing through obstructions, and hiding objects, David Schurig, a scientist at Duke University, North Carolina, and co-author of the second paper, said in a statement.

``The cloak would act like you've opened up a hole in space,'' another co-author, David Smith, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke, said in the statement. ``All light or other electromagnetic waves are swept around the area, guided by the metamaterial to emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space.''

`Broadband Cloak'

The cloaking device posited by the Duke scientists and the paper's third co-author, Professor John Pendry at Imperial College London, would cover the entire light spectrum and other lines of force, such as magnetic fields, Imperial said in an online statement.

``Ours would be a broadband cloak,'' Pendry said in the statement. ``There would be no communication between the object that is cloaked and the outside world.''

Translating the math into a metamaterial that works isn't easy, Leonhardt said, describing his proposal as more ``modest'' than Pendry's.

``If you relax the requirement of perfection in the invisibility, we can have much more modest requirements of the material,'' he said. ``If you're happy with a slight haze, or even things you can't really perceive with the naked eye, but you can with instruments,'' then it's easier to make, he said.

`Spacewarp'

The two Duke scientists are now working on building the proposed material, and the first device would be a few millimeters across, according to Imperial College. When built, a final theoretical device would have just the same effects as the magical cloak in J.K. Rowling's books, the British school said.

``Just as in the Harry Potter film, nobody would be able to see an object if it was cloaked, as it's in a spacewarp, and that's exactly what our stuff would do,'' Pendry said.

The two papers, ``Controlling Electromagnetic Fields'' by Pendry, Schurig and Smith, and ``Optical Conformal Mapping,'' by Leonhardt, were published yesterday by Science Express, the online advance publication of the journal Science. The Duke/Imperial research was supported by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


A couple of things:

1) Do I even need to expound on the abuses this technology will be put to when(not if...when. Always remember that!) it falls into the wrong hands?

2) For the love of God, somebody please put one of these things on David Hasselhoff, Courtney Love, and every single member of Aqua so sane people can finally forget such evil exists in the world.
Wormhole
21st-May-2006 12:45 pm - Man Builds Exoskeleton
A disabled ex Retired [EDIT: I'm owning up to a mistake and correcting it here, folks. Let me paraphrase my mistake and how it came to my attention:
Thank you for posting the article. If it is not too much trouble I would ask you to make a small correction.

It is sort of a military thing so I hope you do not mind.

The Term "Ex Army Ranger" implies a dead one.

"Once a Ranger always a Ranger" If you can not make the change that is okay, but if you can I would appreciate it. Change it to "Retired Army Ranger" or something like that.

I just don't want any of my old Army buddies to think I died, okay.


My sincerest apologies, Monty. I won't make that mistake again.-ultraforge]
Army airborne ranger has built a prototype human exoskeleton:

Project has him walking on air

A high-tech human exoskeleton powered by compressed air that could one day enable quadriplegics to walk.

Sounds like something from science fiction? Well, it is.

University of Washington junior Monty Reed demonstrated his prototype Lifesuit exoskeleton Friday. His was one of 541 undergraduate projects at an end-of-year UW symposium designed to trumpet the range of research going on at the institution. After Reed, 41, broke his back in a parachute accident 10 years ago, he lay in a hospital bed and read about human exoskeletons in Robert Heinlein's science-fiction novel "Starship Troopers." It became his inspiration.

"It was so well-written that I could imagine building the thing," said Reed, who's studying biosynthetics. "I just added a computer."

Reed's accident occurred when he was in the Army airborne rangers taking a training jump at night in Europe. Another soldier was too close in the air and Reed's parachute collapsed. Doctors told him he might never walk again, but he has since regained most of the movement and feeling in his legs and arms. That hasn't diminished his interest in the exoskeleton project he began as a hobby in 2001.

He's on his 14th prototype and recently received a Mary Gates Scholarship for research. The exoskeleton is a body-length metal frame with a tank of compressed air on the back. Reed said the suit has advantages over a wheelchair in that one day it could allow paralyzed people or amputees to traverse stairs and other uneven terrain.

Users can interact with others at eye level and stretch their leg muscles, preventing them from atrophying, Reed said. One tank of air can power the suit for a mile, he added.

Reed has completed two St. Patrick's Day Dash runs in his suits. But the latest prototype is not ready for real-world use, explained associate professor Steven Stiens, who is Reed's mentor and a wheelchair-user himself.

"It's a very exciting demonstration project," Stiens said. "It would need to go through research and trial by various disabled groups. They would need to test the practicality of the device, to see how easy it is to get in and out of."

Other projects on display Friday ranged from an examination of the science and poetry in bird song to assessing the effect of male circumcision on the spread of AIDS.


And he got the idea from reading Starship Troopers. Who says reading sci-fi is a waste of time now, hmm?
It's what I do...
16th-Apr-2006 03:00 pm - For My Fellow Sci-fi Geeks
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens When Worlds Collide.

Happy Easter!
Wormhole
10th-Apr-2006 10:25 pm - Potatoes Make Bad Housepets
I once had a pet potato. Bad choice. Let me explain why.

You see, the potato is stupid. You can't teach it to do anything. I tried teaching Bruce (that was my potato's name) how to roll over. Nothing. He'd just sit there looking at me like, "What?" Since that didn't work I tried teaching him to fetch. He just sat there once again looking at me with that blank expression potatos always have on their faces.

Teach him to guard the house? Nope.

Teach him to kill mice? Nada.

Teach him to scratch on the door when he wanted to go outside? No. He'd just sit there peeing an pooping on the carpet.

He was abysmally stupid, kind of like David Hasselhoff or 50 Cent. Yes, the potato is definitely the least intelligent member of the berry family by far. I should have got a turnip or a coconut instead. They're far more intelligent than potatoes. Some of them even hold high public positions in government or the psychiatric field. Some turnips and cocnuts have even gone on to become famous actors, actresses, and singers who distinguish themselves by becoming spokespeople for Scientology.

Anyway, Bruce was about as sharp as a koosh ball. So what else could I do? I killed him, cut him up, fried him in a pan, and ultimately ate him. He was delicious.

Oh, look. You're getting all judgmental with me now. You're probably a member of People For The Ethical Treatment of Berries or some shit like that. Well, screw you and your sissyfied emo hand-wringing. Bruce was too stupid to care what was happening to him. Besides, I see you self-righteous bastards sneaking off to McDonalds when you think nobody's looking. Freakin' hypocrites. Who are you to criticize?

Bruce was stupid, ugly, and useless. He deserved to die.

This psychotic episode has been brought you by the fine folks who make Lithium™.

Lithium™. It's Lithi-umm-umm good! :p
Data: "WTF?"
I love urban legends and conspiracy theories. I'm not saying I believe them. I'm just saying that I find them amusing. In fact, the bigger the amount of bullshit contained in a conspiracy theory/urban legend, the more amusing it is to me.

And that leads me to my latest entry. It concerns an amusingly bullshit story about Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Jet Propulsion Laboratory wunderkind Jack Parsons, and the infamous Aleister Crowley. They were all connected by a magic(k)al operation known as The Babalon Working:

In its initial stages, The Babalon Working was intended to attract an elemental to serve as a partner for Parsons elaborate sex magick rituals. The method employed was that of the solo VIII Degree working of the O.T.O, the quasi-Masonic organization reformulated by Crowley in the earlier part of the century in accordance with his Do What Thou Wilt mythos of Thelema. Parsons used his magickal wand to whip up a vortex of energy so the elemental would be summoned. Translated into plain English, Parsons jerked off in the name of spiritual advancement whilst Hubbard (referred to as The Scribe in the diary of the event) scanned the astral plane for signs and visions.

Apparently, it worked. In a letter to Crowley dated February 23, 1946, Parsons exclaimed, "I have my elemental! She turned up one night after the conclusion of the Operation, and has been with me since."

The elemental was a green-eyed, flaming redhead named Marjorie Cameron, (later of Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome film, an artist of some reknown and a primary force in the New Age Goddess movement). Cameron was only too happy to participate in Parsons' sex magick and now Parsons could get down to the real business of the Babalon Working: the birthing of a moonchild or homunculus. The operation was formulated to open an interdimensional doorway, rolling out the red carpet for the appearance of the goddess Babalon in human form, employing the Enochian Calls [angelic language] of Elizabethan magus John Dee and the attraction of the sex force of the duo's copulation to this end.

As Paul Rydeen points out in his extended essay Jack Parsons and the Fall of Babalon: "The purpose of Parsons' operation has been underemphasized. He sought to produce a magickal child who would be a product of her environment rather than of her heredity. Crowley himself describes the Moonchild in just these terms. The Babalon Working itself was preparation for what was to come: a Thelemic messiah. To wit: Babalon incarnate as a living female, the Scarlet Woman as consort to the Antichrist, bride of the Beast 666. In effect, Parsons also claimed the mantle of Antichrist for himself, as the magickal heir of Crowley prophesied in Liber AL: 'The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them [the mysteries of the Apocalypse]. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West, for from no expected house cometh that child.'"

Without the Scarlet Woman, the Antichrist cannot make his manifestation, the eschatological formula must first be complete. In whiter words, with the magickal rites of the Babalon Working, it was Parsons' goal to bring on the Apocalypse.


I have no doubt that they actually attempted this "Babalon Working" ritual even if I doubt that it actually produced a "Moonchild". But one thing is clear: Hubbard and his cohorts were trying to summon an extradimensional entity to this plane of existence and were using the occult teachings of Aleister Crowley as their template.

These events were probably the basis for a completely bullshit legend: The legend that Hubbard and Parsons used a sorcerous ritual to summon up the UFOs that people report seeing from time to time.

The story goes that Hubbard and Parsons went out into the Southwestern Desert at the behest of the JPL. Their goal was to perform a series of incantations that would open up a nexus to another dimension. Supposedly the incantations worked and a "dimensional portal" opened up in mid air before them. Something flew through. In some versions of the legend, the thing that entered our world was "The Third Book of the Law" or some such nonsense. In other versions, it was a flying saucer. The beings within cut a deal with the JPL. In exchange for liscence to come an go within our dimension and do whatever they wished, they would share vital technological and esoteric secrets with the U.S. government. Those who believe this legend also tend to believe that many technological advances from the internet to Tang were handed down by metaterrestrial sorceror-scientists to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and from there to the rest of the world.

Some even expand the legend further. They say that the extradimensional beings worked with another government before they worked with the United States: Nazi Germany. They hold that the Thule Society had used magic(k)al riuals to contact the metaterrestrials in a similar manner to the way Hubbard and Parsons would a few short years later. However, the aliens abandoned the Nazis at some point for unguessable reasons precipitating the downfall of the Third Reich.

And so that's the way the legend goes. Complete and utter bullshit? Of course. Amusing and fascinating in an odd way nontheless? Absolutely.
A Newborn Hamalian
A Russian cosmonaut and a Russian space engineer say a manned mission to Mars is possible by 2025:

Russian cosmonaut Yury Usachev logged more than 670 days in space but even he has his limits.

Speaking yesterday to several hundred students at Powhatan High School, Usachev shuddered at the thought of a possible manned mission to Mars and said he'd let the next generation of space pioneers sign up.

"I don't work for science fiction," he joked. "I am a realist. I will help them here for training."

Usachev, whose missions included service on the Russian space station Mir and the International Space Station, spoke to science and math students along with Russian space engineer Alexander Martynov, who is working on international projects including a manned mission to Mars.

Martynov said he believes such a mission is possible by 2025 with help from the international community, including the United States.

"We need your help to build the station to fly to planet Mars," he told the students.

The two spoke earlier in the day at Goochland High after appearances this week at high schools in Northern Virginia. The tour was sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and coordinated with Averett University in Danville, where the two are headed next.

Usachev showed the Powhatan students a video of his missions, which included scenes of him and other cosmonauts experimenting with weightlessness by performing flips and playing with food and water. One student asked whether Usachev had slept standing up in space.

"It doesn't matter in weightlessness," he said. "Up is down."

In response to another question, Usachev said orbiting in space provides about 15 opportunities each day to watch the sun rise or set.

"If you don't sleep you can see all 15 sunsets or sunrises, and it's spectacular," he said.

Mike Noble, a 10th-grader, left the presentation inspired and wondering whether his scuba-diving training might give him a head start on training for space flight.

"I wanted to try it after I saw the video," he said.


In my opinion, the real barrier won't be technological. Instead it will be social. Do we have the collective will to go to Mars?

Time will tell.
Starships
There is an academic controversy in China. It revolves around a map allegedly copied by a Chinese cartographer in 1763 from a purportedly unfound original 1418 map made by Chinese explorer Zheng He showing that he discovered America before Columbus. On one side are the naysayers saying that the map isn't authentic. On the other side are those who point to the results of carbon dating tests.

I'm betting this won't ever be settled unless the original is found.

x-posted from eye_on_china
Ultraforge 16: Analyzing
American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson will soon open up its first Chinese retail outlet in a very long time:

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is to open a dealership in Beijing, its first outlet in China in more than 50 years.

Beijing Harley-Davidson, which has teamed up with dealer Beijing Feng Hou Lun, is set to open in April.

The retail outlet, which is to be located in Beijing's Fourth Ring Road, will employ 14 people and be run by Feng Hou Lun's founder, Wan Jidong.

The dealership is to sell several models of Harley-Davidson bikes, parts, accessories and collectible goods.

Harley-Davidson lifestyle

"Customers will get a real understanding and appreciation of the Harley-Davidson lifestyle," said David Foley, the company's managing director in China.

The outlet will also provide services, rider training and events such as organised rides.

The Chinese motorcycle market has been constrained by ownership restrictions and limitations on where motorcycles can be ridden, said Harley-Davidson.

The bikes are banned within the city's Third Ring Road, a 30-mile (48km) highway which encircles Beijing's centre.

A population with a restricted but expanding disposable income will be a challenge, said the motorcycle company.

Harley-Davidson is not alone in seeing strong potential in China.

Car companies have been attracted to China by its expanding middle-class with disposable income.

Volvo is the latest company to decide to move production to China, following Volkswagen and BMW, which already have plants there.


In America, motorcycles have a definite image and impact within the culture, particulary the Harley. For many years, bikers were portrayed(fairly often inaccurartely) as nomadic criminal lowlifes due to bad press coverage generated by such gangs as the the Pagans and the infamous Hell's Angels.

My bet is that the first group to latch onto the Harley in China will be the affluent. The biker image in China will become one of a rich playboy rather than a roving felon.

x-posted from eye_on_china
Ultraforge 23: Rock On
Long Time fans of The Simpsons need to watch The Live Action Simpsons Opening. And what is your opinion of this? Most Simpsons fans are overjoyed by it. But I'm curious as to whether or not there are any Simpsons purists out there who find this somehow blasphemous to their fandom.

And for something only marginally related due only to the fact that it's also on YouTube...wtf is Kamen Rider Blade anyway? Those Japanese. When they aren't endulging their lust for pornography that would make The Netherlands blush, they're making stuff like Kamen Rider Blade. Chinese culture I understand fairly well. But modern Japanese culture completely mystifies me.
Bruce Willis-Sin City
22nd-Mar-2006 06:40 pm - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
I want THIS!!!
Wormhole
15th-Mar-2006 07:00 pm - Technical Difficulties
Okay, I just noticed that many of my entries may not have been showing up on your Friends' Pages for a long time. You may have missed some things but I've been here! Honest, I have. I think I've fixed the problem now.

Please comment below if you can see this entry from your Friends Page.

Thanks in advance.

-The Forgemeister
Data: "WTF?"
15th-Mar-2006 06:30 pm - Woman Feeds Pet Bee Steroids!
Holy shit! You really need to see this thing! How did she manage to tame the damn thing and keep it from flying away? It's wings don't look damaged.

I hate those freaking things, by the way.
Ultraforge 20: Heh
9th-Mar-2006 11:00 pm - My World, Part III
Time for another look at my little corner of the space-time continuum. These photos were snapped outside of work this evening.





We see two police cruisers having stopped someone in what appears to be a late model Piece of Shit. The first car to do the actual pullover was a K-9 car. Police Dog smells something and starts barking like Armageddon is on the horizon. Within minutes the second car shows up and they let the dog out to do a search.

They were unable to find any contraband. Weird, yes?

So, they let him go. Then they stay in the parking lot and talk for several minutes. Probably about how they're going to get 'em next time.

What's funny to me about this picture? Look at the neon sign in the upper right hand corner.

It says "DRUGS".

Oh, the irony.
Ultraforge 22: Peekaboo
Oh, now this is too sweet to ignore:

LJ Abuse runs rampant across LiveJournal, suspending accounts at will with no oversight and no appeal. The abuse team tosses around legal terminology with no idea what it means, and users are informed of rules only after being suspended for breaking them. Argue back and they will go in to your locked entries looking for ammunition against you.

It's time for a new LJ Abuse team, a new manager, and a clean slate.

Email us your story at abuse.lj.abuse@gmail.com

We will remove identifying account information unless you tell us not to.


I know some people who've been unfairly burned by LiveJournal's Abuse Team while watching the true villains of LiveJournal walk.

We need to spread this around.
"OOOH! Just wait until I write about thi
Actress Terri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives fame has revealed a secret from her childhood and sent a child molestor to prison as a result:

Santa Clara County prosecutors say Terri Hatcher helped convict molester

NEW YORK Santa Clara County prosecutors are acknowledging that one of the stars of the television show "Desperate Housewives" help put a Sunnyvale child molester behind bars.

In the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, Terri Hatcher tells the magazine that her uncle -- Richard Hayes Stone -- sexually molested her when she was five-years-old.

The 41-year-old actress says she learned in 2002 that a 14-year-old victim of her uncle had committed suicide.

Concerned that he would escape charges of molestation, Hatcher went to Santa Clara County prosecutors.

After Hatcher came forward -- Stone -- who was then 64-years-old, pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation in the case of the 14-year-old victim.

He was sent to prison for 14 years.

Scource
It must have been horrible to keep something like that bottled up for such a long time.

Well done, Terri. Well done.
Tron:Ascending Disk
5th-Mar-2006 06:55 pm - March of the Machines
Okay, you've got to check out this thing. It's trippy and fascinating. And yet, it's also slightly disturbing to watch for some strange reason.

I can't wait until the military makes a larger version of this contraption with armor and swivel-mounted chain guns.
Abstract Tron
I've found more evidence that we are descending into a cultural toilet to add to the evidence already gathered by countless scholars and pundits who came before me. What is it? Why it's none other than Kaiju Big Battel. It's similar to professional wrestling but it's dumbed down even further...to about the level of Yu-Gi-Oh fandom. This is professional wrestling for people who consider the WWE too "highbrow" or "snooty" in the same way that some fans of mainstream professional wrestling think that works of William Shakespeare are a waste of time.

Karl Marx was famous for saying that "Religion is the opiate of the people."

He was wrong. Crap entertainment like this is the true opiate. Remember the decline of Rome with it's "bread and circuses"? Same kind of thing applies here. I predict that this thing will take off big time in the next year or two. People are just generally that dumb.
Ultraforge 21: Disdain
1st-Mar-2006 06:05 pm - The SuckSpace Review
This is the first of my entries where I review other blog sites. I figured I'd play the first one for laughs and review MySpace.

Now, you thought LiveJournal had a "LOOK AT ME, DAMMIT!!!" vibe? LiveJournal can't hold a candle to the narcissistic attention whores that populate SuckSpace. Here is a random MySpace. Notice the annoying disorganized clutter? Now, let's take a look at her blog. Hmm, it appears she has never once updated it. This is typical of many MySpace weblogs. However, one thing MySpacers love to do is post photos. Here are some photos from the aforementioned MySpace. Frightening, isn't it?

Let's go on to another random sample kept by an individual calling himself Mr. Pot. Groove to the formless atonal music of Synthetic Warfare. Read his wit and wisdom:

"Fettuccini Alfredo is macaroni n cheese for adults"

Dude, that's like so deep. I hear ya' bro.

But no blog entries, natch.

One thing that really keeps most MySpacers from blogging more often is the bulletins feature. A bulletin is like a half-assed version of a blog entry that disappears in a couple of weeks. Another thing is that most of these people simply have nothing to say...about anything. You know the type: Can't remember what the First Amendment is, can't locate America on a world map if a gun was pointed at their head, favorite color is "clear", etc.

Some of these people are incredibly strange. Want another laugh? Okay, here ya' go. Here is another. I think one of these days I'm going on a MySpace stupid/disturbing picture scavenger hunt and then do a randompics photo dump of all crap I find there.

About the only signs of intelligent life you're going to find on MySpace are current or former LiveJournalers. And most of them don't really use it for much.

In conclusion, there are very few reasons to get a Myspace:

1) Some of your LJ friends are there and you want to keep in touch with them(roughly 1% of all MySpacers).

2) You enjoy pissing yourself with laughter from gawking at freaks and losers(roughly another 1% of all MySpacers).

3) You are a freak and/or a loser who enjoys being gawked at by higher beings who have opposable thumbs and abstract reasoning skills(roughly 49% of all MySpacers).

4) You really need to get laid and have no standards whatsoever(the remaining 49% of MySpacers).

As an added bonus, you will upon creation of your MySpace automatically be added by Tom. Tom is MySpace's founder and basically their version of brad. Why Tom automatically friends new MySpacers, I have no idea. He must be a very lonely man deep inside.

My rating for MySpace: 1 3/4 out of a possible 5.

That's it. Review over! Move along!

P.S. Want another laugh? Hey, Magda! Suck in that gut and try desperately to look sexy before you get sent to internet prison, you water buffalo!

Which blog site should I review next?

Blogger
1(100.0%)
Xanga
0(0.0%)
Some site I've probably never heard of.
0(0.0%)
Surprise me.
0(0.0%)
Ultraforge 26: Raised Eyebrow
Google is in the news again:

A new feature in Google Desktop 3 that allows people to search for documents across multiple computers poses privacy risks and should not be used, a consumer digital rights nonprofit and a security company are warning.

Google released the latest version of its desktop search application on Wednesday. It includes an option that allows people who regularly use several computers to search for items stored on multiple computers simultaneously.

Once the Search Across Computers function is enabled, text copies of documents and Web history are automatically transferred to the other computer that has Google Desktop installed. When the user searches on one computer for information, the second computer is automatically searched.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation warned consumers that the government or litigious rivals could subpoena the search engine for the information stored on the Google servers before it is deleted, which Google said is within 30 days.

The threat is underscored by the recent Justice Department request to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online for random Web search records. Google was the only one of the companies to deny the request and challenge it in court.

"EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google password," the EFF said in a statement on its Web site on Thursday.

"Coming on the heels of serious consumer concern about government snooping into Google's search logs, it's shocking that Google expects its users to now trust it with the contents of their personal computers," EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston wrote.

"For this feature to operate you need to use your Google account, the same one that you use for Gmail, Orkut and the other Google services. This means that if an attacker can obtain your Google login details, he will be able to access your confidential files," security firm Kaspersky Lab wrote in a blog on its Web site. "The good side is that this feature is an option and is not turned on by default. We advise you to keep it that way."


Google retorted:

A Google spokeswoman said the data is encrypted while in transit and on the server, where it resides only temporarily. Google also automatically excludes from being transferred any password-protected files and secure Web pages, like those containing bank account information, and enables users to exclude any folders or files and to easily clear them from Google's servers by hitting a button, she said.

Privacy "was an important consideration in the development of the feature, and we have taken a number of steps to protect the privacy of users," she said.

As far as subpoenas, "for the files stored on Google servers we would of course comply with valid legal process, but we provide notice to users when a request for their data is made, unless we are prohibited from doing that," she said.


Memo to any computer geeks reading this: Please share your thoughts.
Tron:Ascending Disk
5th-Feb-2006 07:28 pm - Superbowl XL Prediction
Steelers win but it will be close.
Ultraforge Main
4th-Feb-2006 12:25 am - Dark Synthesis
Case 1: Man uses occult to coerce girls into having sex:

Lengthy ArticleCollapse )

Case 2: Murder May Have Been Part of a Necromantic Ritual:

Another Lengthy ArticleCollapse )

On a related note, there are a lot of "Dark Pagans" popping up here in Central Missouri. Here is what they say they're about:

So often darkness is associated with evil. Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion, we Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.

Evil is a human term. It begins and ends with us. A tornado is not evil, yet it is destructive. Fire can be used to benefit life or destroy it. Nature is neither good nor evil. It simply is. It follows no moral code. Only humans, with our complicated set of emotions and intellect, can justify such categorizations.

Death, destruction, chaos… these are essential driving forces within nature. Life feeds on life; destruction precedes creation. These are the only true laws, and they are not open to interpretation.

When Pagans anthropomorphisize nature into something good and loving, they deny its very all-encompassing nature. When the dark deities are shunned in fear of the unknown, we deny ourselves full understanding of all deities and what they have to offer.


So, basically good and evil don't exist to their way of thinking.

I've met these people. Many of them take bits of Anton Lavey's Satanic Bible and mix it with Wicca. The end result is one of the most ate up forms of cut and paste occultism I've ever seen. A Wiccan priestess I know has expressed great concern over these individuals. Rumor has it that the local Dark Pagans have ties to the Temple of Set. She's also concerned about the way the Dark Pagans are luring so many young Wiccans into their fold and the fact that the local Pagan umbrella organization has legitimized Dark Paganism in the name of "diversity". One young Dark Pagan was even rumored to have poisoned the cat of a rival occultist with antifreeze...a horribly agonizing way for an animal to die.

This seems to be the direction the occult is headed and I think it's a natural progression. A long time ago, a man named Gerald Gardner was friends with the infamous Aleister Crowley, aka "The Wickedest Man In the World". Crowley's aim was to bring the world into something he called "A New Aeon". Sounds an awful lot like "New Age" doesn't it?

Anyway, Crowley's dictum was "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." Wicca's only law is "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt." Note the similarities? That's because Crowley and Gardner cooked up Wicca to sucker in the more softcore occultists. Personally, I find Wicca's "Threefold Law" lacking. I've even met regular Wiccans who were fucked up cats. I can only imagine what the Dark Pagans are like.

So there you have it. Black magic has infiltrated white magic from the beginning. And now they're coming together again in a Hegelian Dialectic manner: Thesis+Antithesis=Synthesis. The cases I mentioned above are case in point for what I'm talking about. To any Wiccans or Pagans reading this, I'm well aware that you might be decent people. However, keep an eye on other occultists you meet. And if you see them doing something fucked up and it rubs you the wrong way, don't keep silent out of "diversity". Please don't keep your mouths shut for fear of drawing negative attention to your tradition. If you keep the silence, the cancer grows until it consumes everything.
Abomination
Kids get far more bombardment of sexual imagery and themes than when I was growing up. Cable TV, the internet, and even regular network television increase their exposure these days. Surely, lazy parenting can exacerbate this exposure. A study of the affects on children was performed. The results?

Read more...Collapse )

My Reaction: Well duh, Captain Obvious!

I'm so not letting my future kids watch that kind of crap.
Ultraforge 16: Analyzing
I've been working on something called eye_on_china recently. Today, we're officially open for business.

Our misson statement: To be the best China-focused community on LiveJournal.

This is a place to post essays, photos, news, questions, and opinions regarding China, Chinese culture, Chinese immigrant populations, Chinese art, Chinese cinema, or just about anything of interest that has to do with China.

If you're interested and knowlegeable about China, please join up. We'd love to have you there.
Chinese Dragon 2
Basically, all the big IT players are doing it:

Cut For LengthCollapse )

This aiding and abetting of censorship on the part of the Chinese government has drawn official scrutiny from the U.S. government. In fact, Google is already scheduled to testify before Congress on this issue. This comes with the announcement that Google is gaining ground over Baidu, their Chinese rival.

While I would love to see the big IT players stop assisting censorship in China voluntarily, the idea of our government forcing them to do so, leaves me queasy.

One thing has me curious, however. Can proxy servers offer a way around these filtered censorship results for the Chinese people? If you're a computer geek, let me know.
Tron:Ascending Disk
28th-Jan-2006 10:55 pm - Videoblogging
For those of you who need an example of what YouTube is, go here to see me do some videoblogging.

Bleh, after watching that...I really wish I'd shaved first.

Some more examples? Here you go:

Dave Chapelle makes fun of R. Kelly!

Classic comedy with the Gilda Radner and the Land Shark...

Improvised music video with Lara Croft...

From Boiling to Frozen

Tiger vs. Crocodile

Space Dive

GTI Goes Up In Flames

Drunken Dumbasses+Fire

Hahahaha! Some old wierd guy dancing in public!

Korean Girl Madness! Ha ha HAAA!!!

Of course, YouTube also has plenty of sheer unmitigated dogcrap on it:

Numa Numa Parody From Brookers

But if you're a LiveJournal user, then you're already
used to wading through crap to get to the good stuff, right?


So, that in a nutshell is what YouTube is all about.
The Channel
28th-Jan-2006 03:55 am - Do You YouTube?
Hey, do any of you guys have a YouTube account? If so, you should add me. My YouTube profile is located here. I've also created a YouTube Group for LiveJournal users. You should also join that.

Don't have a YouTube account? Then I heartily recommend that you get one. It freaking rocks!

I'm also thinking about creating a LiveJournal community for LJers who are also on YouTube. Your thoughts on the matter?

Image hosting by TinyPic
The Channel
A 2,400 ft. tunnel was recently discovered along the U.S./Mexican border:

The tunnel begins near the Mexican city of Tijuana, travels under a heavily fortified stretch of frontier, and is equipped with lights and ventilation.

Hacked out of the earth some 26m (85ft) below ground, the tunnel runs 720m (2,400ft) between two industrial warehouses straddling the border.

Officials discovered about two tons of marijuana while exploring the tunnel.

Of more surprise to immigration and customs officials in the US, who discovered the tunnel's entrance, was the route's sophisticated underground infrastructure.

As well as electric lights and ventilation, the tunnel has a concrete floor, groundwater pumping and a pulley system for winching goods in and out.

Security concern

The tunnel was discovered on Wednesday evening by US agents at a warehouse in the Californian town of Otay.

They alerted Mexican authorities and both sides began exploring the tunnel.

Eventually the source was traced to another warehouse on the outskirts of Tijuana.

"It's just huge, absolutely incredible," said Michael Unzueta, a US immigration and customs special agent based in San Diego, California.

"We believe this tunnel is, in fact, the largest tunnel ever found on the south-west border."

"Our quick assumption is it's the drug cartels," he said, adding that those responsible for constructing the tunnel needed access to money and connections in construction and engineering.

However, the size and scope of the tunnel meant it could have been a conduit for other criminals or terrorists, Mr Unzueta added.

"We're very concerned. When we find these tunnels, we see that as a vulnerability to our national security."

Two shorter tunnels were found earlier this month underneath the border, one ending in California and the other in Arizona.

The US and Mexico share a 3,200-km (2,000-mile) border that is major pathway for drugs and illegal immigrants into the US.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


So, whoever built this thing had a bunch of money? In Mexico, that really narrows it down quite a bit.

Personally, I would've laid in wait for someone to use the tunnel before blabbing to the press about it. It's what they call a "sting operation".
It's what I do...
25th-Jan-2006 06:45 pm - The Next Big Thing In Astronomy
The smallest known planet orbiting a normal star(i.e. a main sequence star and not something like a neutron star) has been discovered:

"The team has discovered the most Earth-like planet yet,” said Michael Turner, assistant director for the mathematical and physical sciences directorate at the National Science Foundation, which supported the work.


By Earth like, they mean Earthlike compared to anything else they've detected so far. It's 5.5 times bigger than Earth and probably a cold ball of rock with little or no atmoshere.

This news comes hard on the heels of top astronomers going into Phase II of their grand search for extrasolar planets:

Based on interviews with top experts, the new era will probably last anywhere from four to six years, barring any major surprises. It may be the least glamorous of the three phases outlined by astronomers, but it is a necessary prelude to the holy grail of planet hunting: Phase III, the discovery of Earth-like planets.

This phase would begin if and when the first rocky planets are detected, places that would resemble Earth, places where liquid water exists on the surface and the temperature is conducive to life.

"That'll be the real breakthrough, when you find things that you'd actually like to own real estate on," said David Latham of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

While Phase I and II are being conducted from the ground, Phase III must wait for a new generation of space-based telescopes to be built. Last week, Latham and other top planet hunters gathered at the Carnegie Institution here to assess the status and future of their burgeoning profession.


Did you get that? Their ultimate goal is to find life-bearing planets similar to ours. What's more, they're also trying to hammer out the physics behind hyperspace and other areas.

If everything works out perfectly, we'll be visiting alien planets with their own ecosystems before the end of this century.

Keep your fingers crossed!
Starships
23rd-Jan-2006 04:25 pm - The Road To China, Part I
Major hurdle cleared:



I GOT MY PASSPORT!!!
Ultraforge 13: Big Grin
23rd-Jan-2006 04:20 am - My World, Part II
Ultraforge Main
23rd-Jan-2006 04:15 am - The NFL Conference Championships
The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Denver Broncos 34-17 yesterday while the Seattle Seahawks won over the Carolina Panthers 34-14. So, it's going to be Seattle vs. Pittsburgh for the Superbowl Championship. A few years ago, I'd have laughed at you if you told me the Seahawks would make it this far.

I predict that the Steelers will win the Superbowl next Sunday.
Ultraforge Main
21st-Jan-2006 06:40 pm - I Said I'd never Do It...
...but I did it anyway. I now have a MySpace. I'm mostly going to use it to track down a few old friends who left LiveJournal entirely. Feel free to add me if you have an account there.
Ultraforge 22: Peekaboo
21st-Jan-2006 06:25 pm - Fuel Cells: Just a Matter of Time?
Here's what I'd like to say to my grandchildren:

"In my day we we didn't have those fancy fuel cells. No, we had to fill our cars up with something called gasoline. We used to buy the stuff to make it with from the Arabs, who liked to price gouge us for because we're infidels. Gah, you kids like to whine a lot but you just don't realize how easy you have things."

Video


Imagine a world without gasoline, my friends.
Far Future
A lot of people have always hated Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. In the past, I'd always chalked their hatred up to jealousy over his vast wealth.

Boy, was I ever wrong about that. Bill Gates is actually an evil, conniving bastard who helps authoritarian regimes crush the free exchange of ideas:

Microsoft's action raises a key question: can the Internet really be a force for freedom that repressive governments cannot control as easily as newspapers, radio, and television?

Ironically, Microsoft's founder and chairman, Bill Gates, has been an enthusiastic advocate of this view.

Just last October, he said ''There's really no way to, in a broad sense, repress information today, and I think that's a wonderful advance we can all feel good about. This is a medium of total openness and total freedom, and that's what makes it so special.''

Despite these sentiments, Microsoft is helping the Chinese authorities to repress information as best they can.

A Microsoft spokeswoman was reported as saying that the corporation has blocked ''many sites'' in China, and it has been known for several months that Microsoft's blog tool in China filters words like ''democracy'' and ''human rights'' from blog titles.


Did you get all that? Microsoft is basically helping Beijing to oppress the Chinese people. Hypocrisy much? Read Microsoft's outright lies:

Microsoft's defense is that it must ''comply with local and global laws''. But the MSN Spaces sites are maintained on servers in the United States. The relevant local laws would, therefore, seem to be those of the United States, and Zhao Jing's discussion of the Beijing journalists' strike does not violate any of them.

Nor are there any global laws that prevent Chinese people from discussing events that their government would prefer them not to discuss.

The New York Times, for example, is free to publish its report on the strike, even though it operates a Website that anyone with unfettered Internet access can read.

If the Chinese government does not want its citizens to read a foreign newspaper, then it is up to them to figure out how to block access to it. The newspaper is under no obligation to do it for them.

So Microsoft's defense misfires.


Why would Microsoft do such a thing? Well, Bill Gates obviously needs a way to keep himself well-supplied with hookers and blow:

We can only guess at the company's real reason for taking down the Website, but fear of repercussions against its commercial interests in China seems likely to have been an important factor.


It's all about the Benjamins, baby. Life ain't nothin' but bitches an' money.

I'm a capitalist. I have no problem with people making an honest buck and enjoying the fruits of their labor. But this doesn't seem like true capitalism to me. Rather, this is more like what I'd call crass commercialism.

Bill Gates, you're an sadistic, heartless bastard who desperately needs to have his ass kicked by a group of Chinese bloggers you forced into silence. I used to defend you on occasion. Instead, I'm going to mock you with a joke:

I was in a restaraunt the other day waiting for a friend to arrive. And who should sit down at the table next to me? None other than the world famous Bill Gates. I walked over to his table and fawned over him and told him that a prospective business client would soon join me at the restaraunt. I asked if he could come over to say "hello" to me when my "client" arrived, as that would probably impress him enough to do business with me. Gates acted annoyed and hemmed and hawed, at first. But eventually he agreed after I pestered him long enough.

My friend arrived and Bill Gates came over to my table and greeted me warmly. He even asked how my mother was doing.

I just looked at him like he was stupid and said, "Fuck off, Gates! Can't you see I'm meeting with a prospective client?"


Hahahaha!

In a related and highly controvecial story, the United States Justice Department is trying to force Google to hand over data regarding web searches. Make of that what you will because I'm too busy to analyze that one.
Ultraforge 10: Yelling & Pointing
18th-Jan-2006 07:30 pm - Built To Last?
Remember the two Mars rovers we sent to the Red Planet nearly two years ago? They were only supposed to last about three months. Well, guess what? They're still going:

NASA's robot rovers are still trundling across the surface of Mars, about 21 months after scientists expected them to sputter to a halt.

The twin vehicles were only supposed to last three months. Instead, one mission researcher said they're "living on borrowed time."

In the two years since Spirit and Opportunity first landed, the golf cart-sized rovers have set all sorts of records. Most importantly, they succeeded in finding evidence that water once moved across the face of the Red Planet.

Steven Squyres of Cornell University said the research team continues to push the rovers to greater exploration because they're "living day to day."

As Squyres puts it, they're "so past warranty."


It's so unusual to see a government agency perform beyond expectations.

Now I've seen everything.
Alien Vista
17th-Jan-2006 08:35 pm - Update RE: The Hyperspace Drive
Remember my entry about the hyperspace drive? I have an update:

Hey, just wanted to mention that Newscientist ran this as their cover story this week. The theory its based on has been used to predict the mass of subatomic particles, and the results they get match experimental data from colliders to within the margin of error (the currently accepted model doesn't perform even slightly so well). And its not just a hyperspace/subspace theory either...its an attempt at a Grand Unified theory wedding the quantum and the relativistic.

Plus the guy who developed it was pretty interesting. He was a German guy working on explosives in his basement during WWII. He had a terrible accident and lost both forearms along with most of his sight & hearing. Despite that he came up with this theory, which we probably would have heard about by now except for the fact that the guy (Heim) refused to learn English. So his work languished in obscurity, confined to a single German only publication.-zibacco


Quantum theory and Relativity might finally get married and have a bunch of babies toghether? There might really be something to this, after all.

Excuse me while I run off to do the Snoopy Dance.
Alien Vista
16th-Jan-2006 06:20 pm - Panthers Beat Da' Bears 29-21
There is no joy in Chi Town, this evening.

So much for that prediction.

Just watch. Now Denver won't go to the Superbowl because I predicted it.

Come to think of it, I've always sucked when it comes to predicting Superbowl outcomes. I think next season, I'm going to predict that my Kansas City Chiefs won't go, either. Maybe whatever forces govern the cosmos will make them win the damn thing just to make me look bad as an NFL oracle again.
Ultraforge 7: Irritated
15th-Jan-2006 04:45 pm - The Road To The Superbowl 2006
Here's a brief rundown of what going on in the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers upset the Indianapolis Colts in a road game. They play the Denver Broncos next. Speaking of Denver, The New England Patriots got their asses kicked by the Broncos. The Washington Redskins played hard but could not get past the Seattle Seahawks. Sorry Redskins, but it's off to the shower for you, you losers. The Carolina Panthers will face the Chicago Bears later today in what looks to be a nasty defensive battle. The winner will face Seattle next Sunday.

So far, my prediction for a Superbowl match will be the Chicago Bears vs. the Denver Broncos with a win for...da' Bears.

But bear in mind, that I haven't been able to follow the sport of professional football as closely as I used to in the late 1990's.
Ultraforge 16: Analyzing
14th-Jan-2006 03:35 pm - My World, Part I
Time for a look at my world, people. Click the photos to enlarge.

See more while reading less!Collapse )

More photography from my little corner of the universe to come in the near future.
The Channel
14th-Jan-2006 03:05 pm - Two Thousand-Zero-Zero
I'm sure xclara_bowx will remember this music video.

And that was music from the Cold War era circa mid to late 1980's, boys and girls. Compare and contrast with today's music.
Ultraforge 22: Peekaboo
14th-Jan-2006 01:55 am - Paraskavedekatriaphobia
Friday the Thirteenth has been over now for close to two hours.

Let me check...

Yes, I'm still alive.

I was never really afraid of Friday the Thirteenth anyway.

Oh, well. Time for bed. I'll check and see if you're all alive tomorrow.
Ultraforge 23: Rock On
13th-Jan-2006 09:00 pm - Iran Behaving Badly
Iran has threatened to end nuclear cooperation with IAEA:

Iran threatened Friday to end surprise inspections and other cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog if it is referred to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program, and the president vowed his country won't be intimidated by sanctions.

Iran's tough line came as Europe and the United States were trying to build support for hauling Iran before the Security Council. They faced resistance from China, which warned the move could only escalate the confrontation.

In Washington, President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged U.N. intervention. The world needs to "send a common message to Iran that their behavior … is unacceptable," Bush said.


I wish the Chinese government would get behind a move to stop the Iranian nuclear program. But that's probably too much to hope for:

China, which has growing economic ties with Iran and holds veto powers at the Security Council, expressed its opposition to putting Tehran before the world body for possible sanctions.

"We want a solution but to refer it might complicate the issue," its U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, said. "This is our concern."

Asked how a referral to the council could complicate the situation, Wang said, "I think that this might make the positions of some parties more tough on this issue."


Many have feared that Iran would possibly try to hit Israel with nuclear weapons if it developed such capabilities. However, it's worth noting that Iran just might be loathe to do because of strategic and theological concerns:

To the West lies the undeclared nuclear power of Israel, the only Middle Eastern country that has nuclear weapons, and also one of the few with the full triad of delivery systems. Just like the really big boys, Israel can deliver its nukes from land-based Jericho missiles, from its F-15I long-range fighter-bombers, or from the cruise missiles aboard its Dolphin-class submarines.

This means that Israel has a wholly survivable deterrent, capable of delivering second and third strikes even if Israel itself were destroyed. (One complication for any imams or mullahs pondering Israeli target options would be the theological implications of destroying the al-Aqsa mosque in the heart of Jerusalem, the most holy site in Islam after Mecca and Medina.)

And to the South of Iran sails the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet in the Indian Ocean, and to the West sails the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, while the B-2 Stealth bombers from Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri proved in the bombing of Baghdad that they can strike from any point of the compass. And the lesson that Tehran learned from the American wars against Iraq was that their national sovereignty (or rather, their immunity from U.S.-sponsored regime change) could only be guaranteed by the possession of nuclear weapons.

The only question now is whether the world is prepared to put up with a nuclear-armed Iran, which is currently led by a religious zealot who declares publicly that the Holocaust never took place and Israel should be wiped off the map.


And therein lies the rub with Iran, however. Their country is controlled by a crew of unpredictable old guard religious fanatics. What makes these Islamic hardliners even more of a wildcard isn't just the pressure from outside Iran, it's the growing cultural divide between the Islamic hard-liners and an increasingly Westernized populace itching for more and more freedom.

This can only end in one of three ways, in my opinion:

1) The Islamic whack-jobs that currently run Iran develop nuclear weapons, get itchy paranoid trigger fingers, and nuke Israel. This could very well start World War III.

2) The Israelis start to feel threatened enough by their insane Iranian rivals, launch an airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities(or get us to do it but it's unlikely we'd go that far for our Israeli allies at this juncture). This could also start World War III.

3) We'll get just lucky enough that scenarios 1 and 2 never take place. If Iran doesn't wind up being the epicenter of Armageddon, the old guard will eventually die off, and the more laid-back Iranian youth culture will finally assume control of Iran.

If you're religious, pray for the third scenario.
Ultraforge 16: Analyzing
13th-Jan-2006 07:25 pm - An Actual Hyperspace Drive?
According to some scources, yes:

AN EXTRAORDINARY "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.

The hypothetical device, which has been outlined in principle but is based on a controversial theory about the fabric of the universe, could potentially allow a spacecraft to travel to Mars in three hours and journey to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days, according to a report in today's New Scientist magazine.

The theoretical engine works by creating an intense magnetic field that, according to ideas first developed by the late scientist Burkhard Heim in the 1950s, would produce a gravitational field and result in thrust for a spacecraft.

Also, if a large enough magnetic field was created, the craft would slip into a different dimension, where the speed of light is faster, allowing incredible speeds to be reached. Switching off the magnetic field would result in the engine reappearing in our current dimension.

The US air force has expressed an interest in the idea and scientists working for the American Department of Energy - which has a device known as the Z Machine that could generate the kind of magnetic fields required to drive the engine - say they may carry out a test if the theory withstands further scrutiny.

Professor Jochem Hauser, one of the scientists who put forward the idea, told The Scotsman that if everything went well a working engine could be tested in about five years.

However, Prof Hauser, a physicist at the Applied Sciences University in Salzgitter, Germany, and a former chief of aerodynamics at the European Space Agency, cautioned it was based on a highly controversial theory that would require a significant change in the current understanding of the laws of physics.

"It would be amazing. I have been working on propulsion systems for quite a while and it would be the most amazing thing. The benefits would be almost unlimited," he said.

"But this thing is not around the corner; we first have to prove the basic science is correct and there are quite a few physicists who have a different opinion.

"It's our job to prove we are right and we are working on that."

He said the engine would enable spaceships to travel to different solar systems. "If the theory is correct then this is not science fiction, it is science fact," Prof Hauser said.

"NASA have contacted me and next week I'm going to see someone from the [US] air force to talk about it further, but it is at a very early stage. I think the best-case scenario would be within the next five years [to build a test device] if the technology works."

The US authorities' attention was attracted after Prof Hauser and an Austrian colleague, Walter Droscher, wrote a paper called "Guidelines for a space propulsion device based on Heim's quantum theory".


I sincerely hope there's something to this. Of course, this may not pan out but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

However, I do find it strange that the United States government would allow such a thing to leak out so far in advance of a protoype being tested. Such a device would be an enormous security risk in the hands of an authoritarian enemy nation.

Think about it. An authoritarian dictatorship could go exploring and possibly find an alien race to ally with. Especially dangerous, if said alien race also has a dictatorial government. But then again, an authoritarian regime on Earth may also be very paranoid about contact with aliens. They might perceive the aliens as a bona-fide threat to their power and control.

Of course, if we actually manage to develop a hyperdrive, chances are that some other older alien civilization has already done so. If that's the case, why aren't they here already? However, some would argue that they're already here...but they're keeping a very low profile. Maybe once they see that we've developed the hyperdrive, they'll welcome us into galactic society. Or they'll conclude that we're potentially dangerous barbarians and decide it's time to finally give us an interstellar ass-kicking.

Something to think about.
Malefic by Luis Royo
12th-Jan-2006 11:35 pm - What Is Ka-Blamo?
Thanks to the miracle of YouTube, we now know what Ka-Blamo is. Isn't technology great?

Anyway, now that we've used our technological prowess to finally discern the exact nature of what Ka-Blamo really is, it's time for another of my unscientific polls and a general all-around discussion of all things Ka-Blamo related.

Poll #651335 The Ka-Blamoness Of It All

On a scale from 1-10 with 10 representing an absolutely metaphysical level Ka-Blamoness, just how Ka-Blamo would you rate my journal? Be honest, please.

Mean: 0.00 Median: 0 Std. Dev 0.00
1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
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4
0(0.0%)
5
0(0.0%)
6
0(0.0%)
7
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8
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9
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10
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Who is the most Ka-Blamo LiveJournal user of all time?

What is the most Ka-Blamo LiveJournal community of all time?

Who is the least Ka-Blamo LiveJournal user of all time?

What is the least Ka-Blamo LiveJournal community of all time?

What is the most Ka-Blamo thing in all of creation?

What is the least Ka-Blamo thing in all of creation?

Is this entry and subsequent poll Ka-Blamo?

You just won the lottery. That's Ka-Blamo!
0(0.0%)
You dissed Fred Segal and everybody knows...ha ha ha ha ha...You're not Ka-Blamo!
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This girl that you like shows up at your funeral and that's a real mixed blessing!
0(0.0%)
I forgot what coal is...
0(0.0%)
Ultraforge 11: Laughing XD
12th-Jan-2006 03:25 pm - DeJennaration: Pornography Is Booming
AVN recently held it's annual AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. The news? Porno is a growing industry:

In the first quantitative study conducted in three years, Adult Video News estimates consumers spent $12.6 billion on adult entertainment last year.

Nearly $4.3 billion, or 34%, came from the purchase or rental of adult video DVDs and videocassettes. Another 20%, or $2.5 billion, was generated through Internet sales, with the third-largest segment -- dance clubs -- generating about $2 billion, or 16% of the market.

Adult software providers also remain at the forefront of technology. They were among the first to embrace DVD when the format hit the market nine years ago and are now aggressively going after high-definition and other new formats, including such hand-held devices as cell phones and game players. Digital Playground, one of the adult industry's top software suppliers, recently released a $2 million film, "Pirates," which was shot entirely in high definition. It was released on video in a three-disc set, two of them standard DVDs and the third in HD.

"Right now, most consumers can't play the HD disc because next-generation players aren't yet on the market," said Martin Blythe, spokesman for the Video Software Dealers Assn., which co-sponsored the show with AVN. "But the point is, these companies are already ahead of the curve."

Indeed, Digital Playground just announced that it will issue trailers for upcoming movies in HD and also make them available for playback on iPod and Sony's PlayStation Portable.

"We've been shooting everything in HD for more than two years, and the playback technology is finally available on Web consumers," company founder Joone said.


Why the booming interest in pornography? Why not just find yourself a partner and do the real thing as opposed to watching other people go at it? I just don't get it.

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"...most of my family is pretty ashamed of what I do."-Savannah Samson


This may surprise you Savannah, but having a daughter grow up to be a porn star isn't exactly most parents' fondest dream. Hahahaha! By the way, AVN Award Winner Jesse Jane(probably not her real name, hehe) is a fucking dimwit and at age 37, Janine Lindemulder is an aging ho-bag. Washed-up boxer and convicted rapist(now paroled from prison) Mike Tyson was also at the AVN expo. He took time to drool over porn starlets and basically do what he does best...make a complete ass of himself. Special guests at the AVN expo were some World of Warcraft charachters entertaining convention-goers with a song and dance routine.

Maybe I'm in the wrong line of work. I'll be getting married soon. Maybe her and I should just get a video camera, film our sexual exploits, and sell the videos on ebay.

I'm kidding, people! I'M KIDDING!!! I'd never do that for the following reasons:

1)I'm a Christian. Good Christians just don't do that sort of thing.

2)The only sane person in the world who wants to see me naked is my future wife(she has bad taste in men, you see ;-)).

Oh well, I'll be leaving for work in a while. Have a nice weekend, everybody!
Suspended
8th-Jan-2006 06:25 pm - An MS Paint Work In Progress
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No title as of yet.


As you can see, the planet needs more detail as does the moon orbiting nearby. It also needs stars but those will be easy to do. I also need to clean up some of the Cut and Paste flash around the starships.

Ultimately, I'm going to turn this into an animated GIF image. pacificocean wants me to go all out and make the planet rotate. I'll probably do that as a second GIF animation.

I'll be sure to show you the finished projects.
Far Future
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