Friday, January 30, 2015

Barak's New Boeing

The US Air Force will be replacing its current fleet of two Air Force One presidential aircraft with Boeing's commercial 747-8 airliner.
Boeing 747-8: taxi for Da Prez!
US Air Force Secretary Deborah James: "The Boeing 747-8 is the only US-manufactured aircraft that, when fully missionised, meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission." "Missionised"…? Gotta LUV the American penchant for creating impossible words to fit particular situations eg: their houses don't get "burgled", they get "burglarised"…!!! LOL
But I digress…or should that be "digressify"?
Boeing's been building the Prez's planes for around 50 years, so naturally is rather pleased it's got the contract for the next one. Opps, make that the next TWO, coz the USAF operates two VC-25s, specially-tweeked Boeing 747-200Bs, with lotsa anti-missile and anti-detection systems (plus, if you believe the movies, a presidential escape pod too). However the exact details about the new contract, including cost, won't be released.
The Air Force decision was a no-brainer really: the only other suitable four-engine jet is the A380 built by Airbus in France…and with the US xenophobia, who'd eat French Fries when you can enjoy Freedom Fries instead!
The double-decker entered service in 1970, and had a major overhaul in 2012 with new engines and a longer fuselage. But last year, Boeing didn't get any 747 orders, despite a record 1,432 net orders for commercial aircraft. The 747-8 is the only four-engine commercial jet Boeing makes, providing an extra margin of flight safety over the more standard twin-engine planes.
It also has a hefty pricetag of US$370m (NZ$511m) each, and that's WITHOUT including all the presidential extras. But hey, when the US taxpayer's forking out for it, who cares, right?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

H3: The Chinese Lunar Takeaway

The Chinese see things long-term.
And I mean REALLY looooooooooooong-term!
China used to be regarded as a source of laughable-quality novelty products made by impossibly-cheap labourers who worked 20 hours a day for a cup of rice. But then China embraced capitalism 30yrs ago...and never regretted it. Just check the items around you for their production source – the vast majority will say 'Made In China'. China has grabbed the West by the proverbials, and just about torn
'em completely off!
Westerners say "the sky's the limit", but China is looking BEYOND the sky. It's eyeing up the Moon! It landed its first vehicle on the Moon last month, and says it wants to carry out mining operations there!
Why, grasshopper? Because the Moon has H3, a helium isotope with two protons and one neutron. It's rare on Earth but common on the Moon and can produce LOTS of energy! One wheelbarrow of H3 will keep the whole US economy going for a week.
Mining on the Moon…a helluva challenge. Well, don't write off the rice-munching novelty-makers: if anyone can do it, these long-term visionaries can! And as the stuff's worth US$5 billion per ton, it's worth the challenge.
There's the slight stumbling block of the 1979 UN Moon Treaty, saying no state has Moon ownership or mining rights and all decisions concerning the Moon and other celestial bodies must be referred to the international community. But surprise, China hasn't signed it. Neither has US…or any of the other countries that've actually sent anything into space!
They're not bound by the treaty, so when it comes to mining the H3, it'll be first-in first-served. And let's face it, when the mining's going on nearly 390,000kms away on a desolate grey dusty rock, who'll be there to complain?
Pass the moon cakes please, Chang.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pirates Prove Politicos Are Pussies

Rough and dangerous conditions...? Riiiggghhhttt!!!
What do two of the three objects in this pic have in common?
If there's an answer, it's probably something like "they go wherever the winds blow them." It's certainly NOT that they abide by any global rules.
Here's the Royal New Zealand Navy - its offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington, armed and supposedly dangerous - chasing rusting old poaching ships in the Southern Ocean. But WTF? The captains of these pirates stop said naval vessel from boarding, and then manage to ESCAPE?!!!
Yeup, the navy was wanting to gather evidence to use in any future prosecution, after filming fishermen hauling their illegal toothfish catch aboard. But the captains of the Yongding, the Kunlun and the Songhua refused to let the crew board, and did a runner!
Our fumbling Foreign Munster Womble McCully explains that "...due to the conditions and the evasive tactics of the masters it was not possible to safely board these vessels. While disappointing, it's important that we keep the safety of the NZ crew as our paramount consideration."
Disappointing? It's downright embarrassing!
Asked how these DOGS of fishing boats managed to evade the military might of our navy, a defence spokesman passed the buck: "Ask MFAT [Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade]." And from MFAT: "It was an operational decision made for safety reasons." What crap! It reeks of politico gutlessness!
What's wrong with a couple of bursts of 25mm Bushmaster across their bows? In those circumstances, pirate suddenly understand the words "Heave to!" For crissake, when will back-room PC limpdicks step aside and let the military DO THEIR JOB!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oh, MOW You Don't!

Ohhhh, the joys of a Council blow-out!
Christchurch City Council is considering asking residents to do the very jobs that the Council is charging rates for!!
Council has reduced the maintenance frequency for over a thousand parks and reserves to save costs, and is thinking about
getting ratepayers to mow their local park or reserve instead!
Naturally the peasants are revolting!
Cr Phil Clearwater says "People already mow their berms outside their houses. It's really just an extension of that"…but adds that the brilliant brain fart has not gone further than a discussion at this stage.
Cr Pauline Cotter adds "We're not talking about the big ones" (what, y'mean like Hagley Park, for instance?) "…just pocket parks and green spaces. It wouldn't be letting the city get to rack-and-ruin. It's to try and get people to take ownership. We've all got to step up and save some money here if we want our city fixed."
Fire Service Canterbury area commander David Berry says any long grass is a potential fire risk.
The council will spend $7.3 million this financial year maintaining its parks and reserves…and that's on the REDUCED mowing schedule!
But what do ratepayers think? Not at all surprisingly, 79% of those in The Press's strawpoll say NO F***ING WAY!!!
But I'm sure there'd be plenty of qualified ratepayers prepared to help Council with its book-keeping!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Japan To Use Non-Lethal Farce

Japan's move to send whaling boats back to the Antarctic for non-lethal scientific research is being labelled "a farce" by environmental group Sea Shepherd.
The Institute of Cetecean Research (ICR) says it'll use methods such as sightings and biopsy sampling.
Last March, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Japan's whaling was illegal. So today, to get around the ruling, the institute is sending four boats for non-lethal research - they'll be there until the end of March.
Greenpeace has welcomed Japan's decision to do non-lethal research, but environmental watchdog Sea Shepherd is more cynical.
Is this Japan's idea of 'non-lethal'???
Speaking from Bob Barker in the South Indian Ocean, SS Captain Peter Hammarstedt, says the scientific programme is merely a way to scope the whales out before killing them next season:
"We're incredibly sceptical of Japan's current idea, given that they've already declared they plan to resume their commercial whaling in 2015-16. The data they collect now will be used for future lethal programmes."
Last November, Japan announced its intention to kill 333 Minke whales in the 2015-16 season.
ICR spokesman, Glenn "Ginza" Inwood, says Japan is entirely open and honest about its research intentions. He says the Institute wants to develop its knowledge base required to undertake sustainable whaling in the Antarctic.
In March, the ICJ said the special permits granted by Japan "for the killing, taking, and treating of whales...are not for purposes of scientific research". It said the sample size of its lethal research was not driven by strictly scientific considerations. It also said that despite Japan killing about 3,600 minke whales in the past decade, its scientific output to date appeared to be limited.
ICR's Inwood says future research would be in accordance with the ICJ's decision: "Future research expeditions in the Antarctic are likely to include some lethal research sampling, where limited numbers of whales from abundant species are taken, and Japan is confident that it is consistent with last year's decision by the ICJ."
Jeez, which part of "no" do the nasty Nippons not understand??!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Real Love Story

A man, recently dumped by his girlfriend of four years, was browsing the web when he saw an offer he could not refuse.
No, not some sordid on-line romance! A brand-new casino site was offering new players $30 free, for a chance to win a progressive jackpot of over half a million dollars.
Carl Matthews had just lost his job, and had racked up over $9K of credit card bills he couldn't pay back. Just when he thought his life couldn't suck any harder, his girlfriend Amy Parkinson decided to call it quits...via text! A real class act...
Amy: "Carl was the sweetest guy, but I needed someone with drive, who could look after me financially and I just never saw Carl being that person."
In stepped KARMA!!!
Carls life was about to dramatically change. Those $30 that initially aroused his interest ended up multiplying for him over 10,000 times. After spinning for 14 minutes, Carl won a progressive jackpot that dropped a massive $362,259.03 into his bank account!
Curiously, Amy's feelings towards Carl quickly changed. "She started calling, texting, emailing, saying she wanted to give it another go. Saying she wanted to make it work. That she loved me, she missed me, she couldn't imagine life without me," says Carl.
Current state of play:
Carl remains single. Amy remains persistent.
It simply MUST be true love. Right? RIIIIIGGHHTT!!