Sail the Solar Wind… for “free.”

I just realized something.

Was reading New Scientist earlier, when I read the following article:  they now have not merely thermo-electric devices, but radiation-electric devices.

That pinged in the back of my head for a bit, but it wasn’t until a moment ago when it clicked.

Oh, shit.  This gives us the solar system.

How does it do that?  Ion engines.  A radiation-electric ion drive system lets you leave your cruising fuel on the ground… the sun, in all its deadly radioactive glory, will give you everything you need… and you’ve solved, in that same stroke, one of the biggest problems to long-term habitability.

Golevka, here I come.

It’s tax night at Chez Happycrow

That glow over the horizon ain’t just fusion at a few hundred million miles away, folks.

I hate doing taxes.  The wife will put the data in front of me, and then go hide until it’s done…

software helps.  But every April, one night in the month, I turn into a creature of Cthulhoid menace… watch for sunrise in the west, or sunset in the east.

Dramatic Lemurs, or, A Programmer Drinks Coffee

The embed code didn’t work, so I’ll have to provide a link instead…

Better killing through chemistry.

Longsuffering Wife and I  are both mildly allergic to wasps and bees.  So, while I personally like them, and always have, I’ve been keeping them off the garage where they might make a larger than normal nest.  If you want to take out a hornet nest, or a wasp nest, I now have one absolute recommendation:

1 Squirt bottle

1 pint undiluted orange oil

They can’t retaliate if they can’t track you, and, for creatures for whom smell is more “real” than vision, they can’t do that if they’ve just had the equivalent of a sulfuric acid bath sprayed all over them.


If you’re familiar with the concept… I have recently been to Ft. Sill, where the first Bolo lives.  Pure to form, it’s a prototype that didn’t get put into production.


Professionals and folks who keep up on military affairs will recognize it.  It’s otherwise known as the Crusader, and it can fire so fast that it can put 16 shells time-on-target.


Plus, it’s HUGE.  These pictures really don’t manage to bring out how big that gun is, to actually be mounted on something self-propelled.  Are there bigger guns?  Oh yes.  But bigger guns that are rapid-fire, self-propelled, heavily-armored, and ridiculously automated?

Nuh-uh.  We rock.

You know why else Americans rock?  Atomic cannon.  Yeah, that’s right… it’s the beginning of the nuclear age, and one of our geeky squirrels, you know, the kind who knows precisely how to vaporize your ass from orbit, but looks like he teaches 2nd grade music appreciation, gets this bright idea….

Let’s shoot nukes out of cannons!

And we did.   Here’s  Eason and his officially no-longer-a-figment charming girlfriend, in front of “Atomic Annie.”  I’d say she’s really hot stuff, but Eason might think I meant his girlfriend, and decide to get me vaporized from orbit…


Oh, while we’re at it, southwest Oklahoma is real pretty, as is the barnacle I seem to have picked up…


Quote of the day from Megan McArdle

of whom I’m normally not much of a fan… but in this case, I like:

Your gut is not a good replacement for reasoning from first principles.

She’s having an argument over prostitution, and its legality/morality, etc.  I tend to lean towards the “legalize it” end, though I admit that I’ve heard some GOOD counter-arguments.  There’s an active comments section if you’re interested.

Yet More Things My Students Taught Me

“Those who opposed the proggressive (sic) movement were those in power. These included, but not limited to (sic), the papal order who sought to control the people through social repression. Monopolist (sic) also opposed reform movements that challenged their status quo, such as safety regulations, and regulatory pay minimums. The (sic) were those who were also just afraid of change, such as the conservitives (sic).”

What makes this extra spiffy, is that it’s plagiarized.

Hungarians Crush Global Warming Theory?

The Speculist has an entry up, describing how Miklós Zágoni may have just put a stake through the heart of the Global Warming movement, going from super-advocate for the Kyoto Protocol, to extreme “doubter,” with a new theory that seems to better predict both the Earth and Mars’ temperatures.

Turns out, all the equations being used contain one of my favorite things, a “dangerous assumption.”  I won’t steal their thunder:  go check it out, it’s a REAL forehead-slapper…

The Nerd-Father is Dead.

All hail the Great Nerd-Father, providing dirt-cheap pastimes, easy afternoon hobbies, and 4th-graders with ridiculously well-developed vocabularies.

How many who would scorn you, owe you so deeply.

A Serious Problem… who is a combatant?

It’s not like this is a really new problem… we’ve been dealing with it since the Philippine War.

But, when mothers are teaching their kids to be suicide bombers… are the mothers fair game?

And, for those who haven’t done a lot of thinking on this issue, although I don’t read him regularly, I would really suggest that the following essay by Bill Whittle, Sanctuary, should be required reading.

Sick again and Hopeful News

Well, not two weeks after shrugging off one of the two bugs going around, now I’ve picked up the other one, the one that goes after your lungs.  So I’m going to intentionally make myself scarce on the ground, b/c I *don’t* want to spread this mofo, the way all my plague rats (aliter nomine, “students”) are.

In other news, I have multiple job apps in for a full-time position (and believe it or not, with an institution that actually provides tenure!): keep your fingers crossed, this would be a MAJOR increase in Happycrow’s QOL not to be commuting back and forth across 3 counties every week.

Am seriously considering not teaching Maymester, in order to finish the book my brother keeps pestering me about.  Brother, keep pestering me.

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