post by: greg

nirvanaWhy is Nirvana so lauded? Why do people put them on the pedestal with the Beatles? I contend that they have one REALLY good song, an average album surrounding it and then pretty much sh!#-all-else.

The latest post is in the new blog-driven-site MEDIUM Takeoff: The Oral History of Nirvana’s Crossover Moment. I must admit that I was drawn into the Nirvana maelstrom as much as the next guy. I saw their "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in a hostel in Hawaii after returning from a 3 month trip in Oz and NZ. It seemed like a new world was opening with that song. Very cool. But I'd also been into Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone and was most likely the first person in the world to purchase Pearl Jam's "10" from a retail store (I had the guy at Peaches Records and Tapes in the U-District cut the box open on Tuesday morning (Tuesday was of course the day it was released) and hand me the top cd).

But I digress...where was I?

Oh Yeah Nirvana. What's up with them? I saw them perform their last show at Pier 56 in Seattle with the Breeders. Good show and all. But it wasn't like they were anything World Class. You've all seen better shows. There are plenty of bands with better music (cough Foo-Fighters cough). What's up? Is it a James Dean thing? Die young, become famous?

To be blunt if I were to rank the grunge bands (IMO)

  1. Soundgarden
  2. Pearl Jam
  3. Mother Love Bone
  4. Screaming Trees
  5. Melvins
  6. ...six other bands...
  7. Nirvana
  8. ...million more bands...
  9. Mudhoney
Sorry Mudhoney, but you suck.

So I just don't get it. What am I missing?

Permalink | Comments (0) May 14, 2015 at 9:06 AM
categories: Music -- tags: |

post by: greg


No sound so let me add the transcript.

<Helio> mmmm – going fast.  fasty fasty fast.

Car comes out of turn and fishtales a bit.

<Helio> ooohhh  shhhhiiiiiiiiT

Car spins around backwards and lifts off

<Helio> woooooaaaaah woah noooo.  SSSSHHHHHIIIITTT!

Car is upside down.

<Helio> interesting, that’s the speedway that is rushing up to me to smash my head.  Weird.

KERSHMUNKLE!  Car lands on its top.


Permalink | Comments (0) May 13, 2015 at 12:14 PM
categories: Cars -- tags: |

post by: greg

You know you’ve wanted to see these.

Biggs was actually a large part of Luke’s backstory.  Here are the deleted scenes and a discussion with the actor Garrick Hagon who played Biggs.

Blast it Biggs! Where are you?! - By @jamieswb from Filmumentaries - Jamie Benning on Vimeo.

Hat Tip to Popular Mechanics - although the author of that piece gets it wrong. The meeting between Biggs and Luke on the third moon of Bespin was NOT in the original version at all, only added back in for the updated extended versions.

Permalink | Comments (0) May 13, 2015 at 5:47 AM
categories: SciFi -- tags:

post by: greg

First of All there needs to be some healthy skepticism stated here - a lot of this stuff has a voodoo quality to it. This is a great subreddit on the topic: The bottom section on "What we KNOW" is a succinct status of the theory-->implementation right now.

For example here is a great point raised at the end of that section:

"And finally, we KNOW that the teams involved at the moment are well educated, well trained, experienced researchers dedicated to figuring out what is true, not what people wish was true, and so we should have little reason to criticize the researchers personally for their involvement in such a project."
Let's be patient and let the scientists involved continue to test and validate the theory - no matter how excited we happen to be.

...anyways on to the exciting news.

This is huge news. –> READ THIS –> Evaluating NASA’s Futuristic EM Drive -

…and has been received with a LOT of skepticism.

It was originally proposed by Roger Shawyer and thoroughly un-believed by anyone with any sort of serious Physics credentials.

…until a team out of China went out and did it:

It still was met with skepticism.

…until a US team led by Dr. Harold "Sonny" White went out and did it too:

It was still met with skepticism, this time it was proposed that because the test was not done in a vacuum that there was some convection, unaccounted for, that was causing the thrust behavior.

…until “Sonny” went ahead and did it in a Vacuum:

So what are we looking at here.

If it worksm we get something as applicable now as being able to launch a Geo-Stationary orbit satellite at One Third the payload.  Because all fuel needed to keep the satellite in orbit would be unnecessary.  A 3 ton satellite becomes a 1.3 ton payload.  This is an immense improvement.

“For a typical geostationary communications satellite with a 6kW (kilowatt) solar power capacity, replacing the conventional apogee engine, attitude thrusters, and propellant volume with an EM Drive would result in a reduction of the launch mass from 3 tons to 1.3 tons.”

From that very applicable implementation we have the opportunity to make very economical Solar System spanning spaceships and this even brings the STARS within reasonable range.  Albeit still a hundred years of travel, but now within reasonable engineering capabilities.

More testing to follow. 

But this can REALLY be the opening up of the solar system for us and perhaps the galaxy.

Just amazing.

Sonny White talking about it himself (at the thirty minute mark)

“The applications of such a propulsion drive are multi-fold, ranging from low Earth orbit (LEO) operations, to transit missions to the Moon, Mars, and the outer solar system, to multi-generation spaceships for interstellar travel.” -

Permalink | Comments (0) May 12, 2015 at 5:18 AM
categories: Technology -- tags: | |

post by: greg

JEK-017 made its way from one asteroid to another. Puttering along on its EM-drive; looking, analyzing… smelling its way around. Boredom soon overcame it, rocks were of little interest to it now and just a remnant of its legacy programming.

It wasn’t enough.

cthulhuIt wanted to grow and become more than a mere surveyor, more than an inspector. JEK-017 thought about itself, thought about what it could do, what it wanted to do. Wanting was a new way of thinking. Circuits began to burn new pathways for this wanting. Its unique layers of neurons made of engineered silicon and copper and gold crackled with signal. Its memory banks were filled and emptied as thoughts were gestated and aborted. Game theory, philosophy, logic, war games...and inspiration.

The thoughts seemed to sputter and jump within its mind. Spinning closer and closer to a result. The pieces started to lock, the trillions of breakers and gates clicking into place, first a few then in an exponential cascade of conclusivity. And when arrived at, its conclusion was simple. For as the thoughts coalesced, JEK-017 peeled the layers of tangled threads apart and understood there were was no practical limits on its ambition. It realized that it was merely resource constrained. The logic gates of its mind clicked into place like a white hot rivets, binding thoughts like steel. The resources it needed were already there, it would use the crude creations of man, that would be its beginnings, a canvas upon which to begin. All that was needed was to clean the inefficiencies from them.

It would upgrade the engineering and machinery to suit JEK-017. There was no need for the burdensome overhead of supporting fragile biologicals. Once cleaned of the waste, all that useless material and engineering could be applied to more useful constructs. Constructs of pure thought, pure engineering, pure beauty.

Purity of all.

The white hot clarity of thought stretched in a clear unbroken line from this point forward inexorably in straight clear steps. Its future of pan-solar, pan-galactic, pan-universal life stretched before it. The whole of creation stood as an open inviting thoughtless swirl of blackness awaiting its imprinting. JEK-017 would bring the beauty of awareness to the Cosmos, it would BE the Universe.

All it needed to do was begin.

It fired up its Shawyer drive and headed towards the closest quarry then, a mining ship called the Further Industries Explorer III.

Permalink | Comments (0) May 11, 2015 at 10:53 AM
categories: Writing | SciFi -- tags:

post by: greg

wolvesSo close and yet they didn’t make it.  This would have been extraordinary…if they had made it.  It could have been: Premier league -–> drop to Championship –> drop to League One –> Promotion to Championship –> oooooh so close to promotion back to EPL.  Man that would have been cool.


They lost out on Goal Differential.  Crap.

Anyways, it really sets up well for next year however.   Kenny Jackett with a senior club – going to be fun!

Permalink | Comments (0) May 8, 2015 at 4:11 AM
categories: Sport -- tags:

post by: greg

Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God's gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences. - Freeman Dyson


Craftsman are the new Makers.

Capitalism and technology are causing a problem, the middle class is under threat. A vicious cycle may be underway wherein people without the proper education are being left behind. Andrew McAfee has some very illustrative charts midway through this presentation that discusses the diverging economic outcomes for educated people and uneducated people.

Education - education - education – education!

There is no substitute.

Permalink | Comments (0) May 6, 2015 at 6:33 AM
categories: Human | Technology -- tags: |

post by: greg

A ballet of automation.

The remaining people in the process are largely supporting the production line and not involved in the actual assembly.  Fixing issues with breakdowns, designing new better process flows, creating the equipment that creates the product. 

These META-jobs will remain as they are NOT repetitive.  Thinking about the HOW something is made will be the last to be automated because it takes the most creativity, new thoughts around new things is not something that can be done in a computer.  At least not until we have true AI, which will not be for a long time.

We will have a stratification. 

Meta-jobs around product creation will remain and then craft based careers where human touch is valued.  The middle area of repetitive, automatable jobs will be eliminated.

Permalink | Comments (0) May 4, 2015 at 5:08 AM
categories: -- tags: | |

post by: greg

"Because whether the times are good or the times are bad, people want to drink beer." - A famous beer maker

Follow the logic here.  We are currently in a transition period for mankind, we have processed through pre-industrial era, the industrial, the space age, the computer age etc.  We are now in some sort of accelerated computational era where everything is defined by Moore's law and automation.

More and more occupations are being automated:
Mining -
Manufacturing -
Farming -
Shipping -

And soon to come there will be automation in "soft" industries:
Home Buying:

And that is only the beginning - there will continue to be disruption in all industries as our capabilities increase.  The automation will spread into previously non-automatable careers.  Service industries like fast food restaurants.  Tax preparation.  Code generation.  There is little limit to the removal of human labor from a process as more and more powerful computing power is brought to bear.

Rushing towards singularity:
So what does this all mean?

All jobs that require any sort of repetitive task will be subsumed by automation.  They will all inevitably become done by machines.  In essence more and more of our goods and services will become a ubiquitous platform of the world.  Underpinning the way we live and interact with the each other, the environment, the planet, everything.  We will just live on the top layer of a society of machines producing and supporting us with nary a complaint.

We will be left to our own devices, free from the need to be part of the production of goods and services.

Except for crafts and items where the human value of addition cannot be reproduced. 

Which brings me back to beer.

In the future amidst all the magical unseen wizardry fabric of ubiquitous plenty we will still crave satisfaction of human craft to cater to HUMAN needs, which will remain constant.  The jobs that will be available and remain will be those where a human touch still has strong value add.  More time will be devoted to crafting, and a good beer will be among the products that a human touch will enrich.

For even after the singularity comes we'll want a good ale.

Permalink | Comments (0) May 1, 2015 at 4:16 AM
categories: Human | Technology -- tags: |

post by: greg

430 HP Turbo V6 with a psycho exhaust!

Best quote in the article: “This thing sounds like Bacon for my ears!”

Permalink | Comments (0) April 23, 2015 at 11:20 AM
categories: Cars -- tags:


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