Friday, January 19, 2007

Embracing the Suck

The best movie example I’ve ever seen of that concept is Tom Berenger’s character in Oliver Stone’s Platoon "encouraging" a wounded soldier to, "Shut up and Take the Pain!"

Obama’s conversion from Islam

If Obama converted to United Church Christ from Islam, isn’t that punishable by death in most of the Muslim world? Especially given that the UCC is way out in front of the Episcopal Church on most issues that would particularly upset a more radical Wahhabi type?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

California Citrus Damage exacerbated by EPA

In today's TCSDaily's article by Dr. Henry I. Miller entitled "Feds Freeze Out Antidote, Costing Billions", we see once again why the scariest words in the US remain, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

A couple of paragraphs:

In the early 1980's scientists at the University of California and in industry devised a new approach to limiting frost damage. They knew that a harmless bacterium which normally lives on many plants contains an "ice nucleation" protein that promotes frost damage. Therefore, they sought to produce a variant of the bacterium that lacked the ice-nucleation protein, reasoning that spraying this variant bacterium (dubbed "ice-minus") on plants might prevent frost damage by displacing the common, ice-promoting kind. Using very precise biotechnology techniques called "gene splicing," the researchers removed the gene for the ice nucleation protein and planned field tests with ice-minus bacteria.

Then the government stepped in, and that was the beginning of the end.

What else do you need to know? (But read the whole thing if only for the science.)

Monday, January 15, 2007

The new F-35 from Lockheed lets the fighter pilot be more fighter than pilot

This is very cool. From today's NRO:

On Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after testing the F-35, Beesley explained why the new nine-G, Mach 1.6 (just over 1,200 miles per hour) fighter is unlike anything ever flown.

"I’ve never felt any airplane that had better performance coming off the ground," Beesley tells National Review Online. "I had a very good idea of how I would climb out, but [because the single Pratt and Whitney F135 engine generates more thrust than any fighter engine ever built] I had to keep pulling the nose up. I was thinking, ‘this is interesting.’"

In September, I talked with with Marine Lt. Col. Arthur "Turbo" Tomassetti. Tomassetti, who had flown the X-35 (the stripped-down experimental version of what would evolve into the current F-35) explained that, "Mission stuff — killing things and blowing things up — should be what is most challenging. You don’t need to complicate a pilot’s life by making the hardest part of his combat mission getting back aboard ship."