Thursday, March 30, 2006

Damn, I'm right again. :(

Another "it sucks to be right" moment for the Invincible Phantom.

Y'all may recall one of my favorite paranoid musings is the terrorist with the model airplane.  Check it:

Momin Khawaja of Ottawa [Ontario, Canada!] was devising a way to fit a remote-controlled model airplane with explosives, a London terrorism trial of seven Britons charged with plotting to bomb sites in Britain heard yesterday.

What's more, the trial was told, a senior al-Qaeda figure in Pakistan wanted the men to unleash a simultaneous wave of bombings in Britain in 2004. Potential targets, court has heard, included a London nightclub, pubs, trains and a major mall east of the British capital.

Yesterday's revelations from star prosecution witness Mohammed Babar are the first in which a witness has said the plot was directed and controlled by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network.

It gets better:
Last week, the 12-member jury deciding the case heard from the Crown that Mr. Khawaja's primary role in the group was to built remote-controlled detonators to set off explosions using 600 kilograms of ammonium nitrate fertilizer the group acquired from a British agricultural merchant.
At Old Bailey yesterday, Crown prosecutor David Waters read out an e-mail in which Mr. Khawaja allegedly said that he could supply remote-controlled detonation devices, with a range of about two kilometres, for about $8 each.
Is it still paranoia if they really are out to get you?

Ok, so match this Khawaja guy's airplane up with a bit of bang bang and a bunch of nails, you've got a nasty little flying Claymore.  Lots of places that could make a hell of a mess. 

Now expand your thinking about what a "model" airplane is to include a fifteen foot wingspan and a chainsaw engine or two.  Twenty pound payload?  Uh huh.  Maybe thirty to fifty if he's really clever.  That's a nasty BIG Claymore.  GPS robotic control too, that means launch and forget, read about it in the paper tomorow while you build another one.  Because you launched it at night and nobody saw you, and you programmed the thing to fly around for a while before it made its bombing run so nobody can track it back to the launch site.  Complex and juvenile in conception, but then terrorists like the showy stuff.

Now think about some of Saddam's "missing" WMDs and a model airplane.  Chemical weapons.  Woo.

Finally, this creep was living in Ottawa, capital of Canada, where the Parliament buildings and stuff are.  Think "model airplane" and "Parliament buildings" in the same sentence for just a second.

Kinda puts the anti-American, anti-war Liberals into rather stark perspective don't it?  Let me make it a little more stark for you.  They've know about this guy and his little airplane plans for two years at least.  Paul Martin: too stupid to come in out of the rain.

The Flyin' Phantom

Friday, March 24, 2006

Possible connection found between gravity and magnetism.

A possible major, MAJOR breakthrough in physics was announced today.
Just as a moving electrical charge creates a magnetic field, so a moving mass generates a gravitomagnetic field. According to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, the effect is virtually negligible. However, Martin Tajmar, ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH, Austria; Clovis de Matos, ESA-HQ, Paris; and colleagues have measured the effect in a laboratory.

Their experiment involves a ring of superconducting material rotating up to 6 500 times a minute. Superconductors are special materials that lose all electrical resistance at a certain temperature. Spinning superconductors produce a weak magnetic field, the so-called London moment. The new experiment tests a conjecture by Tajmar and de Matos that explains the difference between high-precision mass measurements of Cooper-pairs (the current carriers in superconductors) and their prediction via quantum theory. They have discovered that this anomaly could be explained by the appearance of a gravitomagnetic field in the spinning superconductor (This effect has been named the Gravitomagnetic London Moment by analogy with its magnetic counterpart).

Small acceleration sensors placed at different locations close to the spinning superconductor, which has to be accelerated for the effect to be noticeable, recorded an acceleration field outside the superconductor that appears to be produced by gravitomagnetism. "This experiment is the gravitational analogue of Faraday's electromagnetic induction experiment in 1831.
It demonstrates that a superconductive gyroscope is capable of generating a powerful gravitomagnetic field, and is therefore the gravitational counterpart of the magnetic coil. Depending on further confirmation, this effect could form the basis for a new technological domain, which would have numerous applications in space and other high-tech sectors" says de Matos. Although just 100 millionths of the acceleration due to the Earth’s gravitational field, the measured field is a surprising one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein’s General Relativity predicts.
Pending confirmation of the results, one may speculate that we are watching the dawn of a new species of technology here.  This is nothing other than artificial gravity, my friends.  Anti-gravity.  Reactionless space drives run by solar energy.  Crazy stuff we can't even imagine yet.  We stand in the same place as Faraday, with who-knows-what kind of miracles stretched out in front of us.  Gravity can be manipulated by electro-magnetic means!  Hot DAMN, ladies and gentlemen!

This is an exciting time to be alive my friends!

The Stoked Phantom

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lovely Chicom tradition comes to Britain.

Word of a new Chinese tradition has been received in Britain today:
A Chinese cosmetics company has been using skin taken from the bodies of executed convicts to develop beauty products for sale in Europe, a London newspaper reported.  [The Guardian, so get out your salt shaker.]

An agent for the company informed customers it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they had been shot.

The agent said some of the company‘s products have been exported to Britain, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts was “traditional" and nothing to “make such a big fuss about,“ the Guardian reported.
Face cream made from actual faces. Lovely!  I'd be too corny for a B horror movie, wouldn't it? 

I'll be interested to hear how the Lefties spin this, their good buddies in Chicomland using the flayed skin of executed prisoners [cough!-political dissidents-cough!] to develop new cosmetics.  Wonder if they take the skin off before or after they shoot 'em?  D'oh!  China, land of oportunity where Girl Scout cookies may contain real Girl Scouts.

No doubt PETA will aprove.  Why test on animals when you can get The Real Thing® ?

The Phantom

(quite beyond being shocked anymore and finding that the hardest, most sour-faced cynicism he can muster falls short of reality time and again.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

post mortem on the Liberals = typical media missing it

If this is what CBC's Larry Zolph really believes, the Canadian media is missing it worse than I thought.

Here in Mr. Zolph's own words are his thoughts on the pivotal point of the election:

Martin made one particularly fatal blunder. He could have visited the troops in Afghanistan over Christmas 2005, in the middle of the campaigning for the Jan. 23 federal election.

If he had, he would have been the hero of the troops and stolen the campaign momentum away from Harper's one-a-day policy announcements.

Not visiting the troops was probably one of the smartest things Martin did during the election. He at least knew that the Canadian people would take a dim view of any politician using Canadian troops in a war zone as photo-op material. For Martin particulary it would have been suicide.

The history of the Liberal Party since the Trudeaupian Era has been to starve the military and ignore it as much as possible when they aren't trying to turn it into some kind of socialy progressive police force. One need only visit the government controled military museums in this country to get the feeling that warriors are not well respected. Great battles are not recounted, great victories not celebrated, there aren't even any guns on display. Instead there are depictions of nurses, food being delivered, and lots of smiling blue helmets posing with little kids. You have to go to a private museum to see actual pride in the military.

Fortunately this careful official depiction is a lie, as evidenced by the strong performance of the troops to date in Afghanistan. But it is the view of the Liberal Party of what is desirable in a Canadian military man, and it is what they have been working for since the 1970's. Well, when they work at all that is.

Furthermore, Team Martin and the previous Chretien team were making points with vaguely peacenik urban woolly heads by bashing George Bush for his war in Iraq. You can't be blasting the Yanks for being in a war and then run off to be with the troops in your own war, coincidentally fighting in support of those damn war mongering Yankies.

Proof of this thought is the huge aproval Harper has received for his genuine support of the Afghan mission and the military generally. For Martin to go to Afghanistan would have been a cynical lie and a disaster. For Harper to go was a vindication and a triumph. That dichotomy is what killed the Liberals, not Martin dropping the ball.

So what is Larry Zolph thinking? He's thinking Harper and all Conservatives are a bunch of idiots, that's what. He can't understand how the Big Red Machine failed to beat these hayseeds, its gotta be Martin's fault.

He's completely missing the fact that Canadians (outside Toronto anyway) are sick of the Liberal fluffy bunny aproach to the military and terrorism. They see the Americans out there kicking bad-guy ass with all kinds of super duper ass kicking equipment, then they look at our 40 year old helicopters lying upside down on top of 30 year old warships. They see the PPCLI sent to the brown Afghan desert in green uniforms. They see 20 year old soldiers driving Iltis jeepy things ten years older than they are with zero armor protection. They see the Danish Navy hoisting the Danish flag on a Canadian arctic island, and are told we have nothing that can get soldiers up there to do something about it. They see the Canadian Forces renting skidoos because they don't have their own. Worst of all, they know if the Liberals are running the show they are going to keep right on seeing it, because that's what the Liberals are all about. Not just Martin, the whole party.

Wake up and smell the coffee Larry! It's going to take a lot more than clever political deck-chair arrangements and better lying to get the Liberal Party off that reef they drove themselves up on. And Bob "Ray Days" Ray ain't the one going to git 'er done, that is for sure.

The Phantom