Thursday, September 19, 2019

The sewer-pipe home. Now a reality.

Edgy new architecture, the house made from concrete sewer pipe.

Gives a new meaning to the phrase "sewer dweller."

They're called OPod Tube Houses and literally consist of reclaimed bits of industrial piping renovated inside with other left over pieces from building sites to make them into micro apartments.
"Constructed out of low cost and readily available 2.5m diameter concrete water pipe, the design utilizes the strong concrete structure to house a micro-living apartment for one/two persons," states a promo for the product. "OPod Tube Houses can be stacked to become a low rise building and a modular community in a short time, and can also be located/relocated to different sites in the city."
The pods are placed on spare bits of land and stacked on top of each other, allowing people to live their dream of being a human ant in a colony.
The sewer pipes are becoming more widespread in Hong Kong, where the cost of living is prohibitively expensive, but expect to see the trend transfer to the west very soon.

Because sea-cargo containers are too expensive now, so they use eight foot diameter sewer pipe instead. And they -stack- them. Sounds awesome, right? Sign me up!

The Phantom

Sunday, September 15, 2019

DC = DemocRat Comics

DC Comics has decided that they are an unpaid propaganda maker for the DemocRat Party of the United States.

Comic book icon Lois Lane is making a return in a new 12-issue series from DC comics.
In the series, "Enemy of the People," the character reprises her role as a hard charging reporter for the Daily Planet, her newspaper in the DC universe.
This time around, Lane is covering the White House, where she gets into a combative exchange with a White House press secretary, is ejected from the briefing room and has her press pass revoked.

Revoked because she's working on what?

In the first issue, Lane is in the other DC universe, the District of Columbia, grilling a fictional White House press secretary on whether her administration is monetizing the separation of children from their families at the U.S. border.

The comic then goes on to Russia. Inevitably. Here's what the author has to say about comic book fans:

"I've seen criticism saying, 'I don't read comics to see what's going on in the real world.' Too bad. It's called art. And it has to reflect what's happening around us," Rucka says. "I don't think you can tell an honest story about Lois if you're not reflecting the state of journalism and also hostility to journalism in the world today. The danger in telling truth to power and the fear that power has of truth being told, is in and of itself, a worthy story."

"Too bad. Its called art." Well no, Mr. Rucka. It is actually called propaganda. A perversion of art used to promote a political agenda. You don't get to make a naked propaganda comic and then fob off your critics with the "art" excuse.

Its too bad I already boycott comics 100%, I'd like to be able to boycott them even harder.

The Phantom

Update: Welcome Instapunditeers! Thanks for the linkage Sarah Hoyt!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ontario -loses- millions selling weed.

You know how we joke that the government is run by fuck-ups who couldn't make money selling dope? Guess what:

Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. lost $42 million in the latest fiscal year, according to newly released public documents.

The provincial Crown corporation tasked with online sales and wholesale distribution of recreational pot reported revenues of $64 million for the year ended March 31, 2019.

However, Ontario's consolidated financial statements show the OCRC, which operates as the Ontario Cannabis Store, racked up expenses totaling $106 million during the period.

For those who don't know, the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation is not a brick-and-mortar operation. They run a WEB SITE. These incredible, unbelievable assholes spent $106,000,000 taxpayer dollars on a web site and a warehouse.

I have seen their web site. It is a steaming pile of shit. I have seen little mom-and-pop vitamin stores that had better web sites and offered better service. A do-everything custom web site for retail costs about $300,000 at the high end of the range.

A gold-plated warehouse with all the trimmings and super security would cost at most $10 million in a private enterprise setting. The producers who grow the fricking weed have entire production facilities that go from seed-in-dirt to finished-packaged-shipped product, and those cost a lot less than $100 million bucks. According to industry numbers, a grow-op costs $42 per square foot for indoor cultivation.

And that is why I am for smaller government and lower taxes. Because government is where money goes to die.

The Phantom

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11th. Did you forget?

Twin Towers on Sept. 11th 2001 from the ISS.

It is easy to forget about these kinds of things. I forgot. I was reminded by friends this morning, who posted their reminders.

Its been 18 years. The people who did this are dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead. I should feel better, right?

I saw this as it was happening on television. I sat the whole day and watched people deal with this atrocity. They did well. They were magnificent.

Its important to remember two things. First, there is evil in the world. People will try to do things like this, out of hate. Second, the evil is small and out numbered. For every hate-filled lunatic there are a million good people.

Walk with your eyes open and your heads up, my friends.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Unclean, unclean! Leprosy in LA.

The new emerging hotness in Los Angeles is leprosy. Isn't that special?

Leprosy cases are emerging in Los Angeles County, according to a recent study revealed in a Reuters Health report and its co-author Dr. Maria Teresa Ochoa of Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles told Reuters Health that she's urging the public to "fight the stigma."

If there is a more horrifying medieval plague than leprosy, I do not want to know what it is. If you vote DemocRat, that's what you are fucking well voting for.

The Phantom

Friday, September 06, 2019

Just how full of shit are the Puppy Kickers?

We've know for quite some time now that Puppy Kickers, aka those WorldCon Wokelings who called people who were part of the Sad Puppies Campaign racists, were full of shit. To the point where this year the Red Panda Faction ran a slate trying to hack the Dragon Award.
If that paragraph makes no sense to you, this is all Science Fiction Fandom drama, you can stop reading.
If it did make sense, then this next part is going to piss you off.  (Fair warning, this link goes to Vile770, the wretched hive of scum and villainy run by China Mike the bot-farmer and manure merchant. Don't click it if you don't want to get any on ya.)

Fandom, Entitlement and Toxicity By Hampus Eckerman: On the second day of the Dublin 2019 Worldcon, I went to a panel with the promising name of "With fans like these, who needs enemies?" I hadn't really read the description, instead going by the idea that it might have something to do with fans sucking the energy out of convention organizers, whether caused by anger, entitlement or a sincere wish to help. Instead it was about how fans made life miserable for creators with George Lucas and Star Wars fandom as the prime example. Most of the panel was about the big media phenomena in SFF, Star Wars, Star Trek and GoT, but there was also an interesting discussion on why Doctor Who fandom hadn't reached the same levels of toxicity.

Emphasis mine.

Because when a guy makes a movie trilogy, and it is awesome, and it develops a huge fandom, and that fandom is two generations deep, then he sells it to Disney and they release a movie that basically craps all over the original in favor of some idiotic political propaganda effort, if the fans complain they are to be considered spoiled, entitled, and toxic. 
Which is exactly what we see with the Sad Puppies. We complained because we were sick of seeing politically heavy Leftist grey-goo grimdark bullshit winning the Hugo award. We voted against the WorldCon Wokelings fair and square, and they literally changed the rules to keep us out.
But that's not the annoying part, that's just history. Here's the part where we find out how deep the shit really is:

My first understanding of my own potential for toxicity was with the infamous Spider-Man storyline "One More Day". For you that have never heard of it, the basic plot is as follows: Spider-Man married Mary Jane in 1987. This changed the dynamics of the comic. There was no longer the possibility to add soap elements of romance to the story, Spider-Man being too much of Goody Two-Shoes to be unfaithful. Killing Mary Jane would have caused an outrage, a divorce would still have left the dynamic. And that was not the only problem. Spider-Man had given up his secret identity in the Civil War-storyline, thus even more limiting the possibilities for writing a traditional story. So the decision was made in 2007, some 20 years later, to make a drastic change: Mephisto would for some flimsy reason magic Spider-Man so he wasn't married, his identity had never been revealed, and a lot of stuff was retconned for no apparent reason, such as Harry Osbourne being alive again.
I remember the enormous *anger* I felt at the time. It felt like they were spitting in my face.

 Emphasis his.

Yeah, that's because they WERE spitting in your face, Mr. Eckerman. They didn't give a shit about the fans and the Spiderman nerds. They took a comic that had held the same continuity since 1964 and changed it as a business decision. A really BAD business decision as it turns out, because the slide their sales were on in 2007 steepened dramatically after that. Funny how that happens when you spit in the faces of the people who buy your comic.

Afterwards, I can see that most of it was a healthy reaction. I quit reading. I didn't continue, becoming more and more discontent, feeling more sidelined or out of step with the Marvel universe. Instead I found other things to read.

I've written nearly identical things about my experience of quitting comics in 1992/93. I didn't like the art, I didn't like the stories, and I didn't like the way they were screwing with the characters. Many years later I found out that there was a business crisis at Marvel in 1992, and the whole thing was coming unglued. New "talent" was brought in to put a "fresh" stamp on things, and they did so. By fucking up all the stuff I liked. I did the same thing Mr. Eckerman did in 2007, I stopped reading comics. Of course when I did it, -that- was toxic entitled nerd racism.

But that was of course not my only insight in toxicity with regards to myself. I remember a flatmate inviting her friend to a visit. The flatmate was also a comic nerd, so I remember starting to talk about comics, trying to see what we had in common, what likes we both shared, on what level we could discuss. Until she asked if I was interrogating her. And that was a clear wake-up call. What I was doing was in practice seen as if I was trying to find out if she was a "fake geek girl", that toxic concept where only women are questioned about their statuses as geeks or nerds.

This is hilarious. When guys test each other's nerd lore and each tries to impress the other with their command of the subject, that's "talking about comics." When the exact same conversation takes place with a woman, that's "toxic masculinity."

A third insight was only this year while watching first Captain Marvel and then Avengers: End Game. The sudden understanding that I didn't really get any pleasure out of these movies. I was never that much of a fan of action movies and that is much of what the Marvel movies are. I wasn't watching them as much out of enjoyment as I was out of addiction. I was watching them as a completionist, wanting to learn all the details, again building up an expertise. But building up that expertise also forced me to spend time on things that I didn't really like. Often sitting there bored while Captain Marvel was having another uninteresting fight, waiting for it to stop to at least get a bit of plot or dialogue.

Emphasis mine again. Yes friends, comic nerds are -addicts-. (And I'm sorry, uninteresting fight scene in a comic book movie and waiting for some dialogue? Dude.)

Thinking of nerds as addicts puts things in a different perspective. Not only as addicts but as persons who come to identify themselves as, let's use a grandiose expression, Keepers of Knowledge. People who have for 10-20 years built up a knowledge about a subject, are addicted to add to this knowledge, but suddenly recognize that they don't enjoy it anymore. And the frustration of needing to do things *they don't like* just to feed the addiction.

So just to recap, comic nerds (and SF fans) are spoiled, entitled and toxic if they complain when Big Corporation spits in their faces, they are full of toxic masculinity for expecting teh nerd whammyn to live up to their same level of secrit nerd lore, and they're addicts.

But, Mr. Eckerman's little trip down memory lane A) absolves him of all of the above, because B) HE of course doesn't complain, he just goes away like a good little consumer and doesn't make a fuss.

Myself, I walked away from Spider-Man and Marvel. They didn't fit my needs anymore and I moved on. Toxicity, I feel, is for those that can't move on. But I feel it is good to admit that I myself have these feelings, because that makes it possible for me to recognize them before I grow angry enough. Recognize the pattern in myself and thus being able to also see the flaws it is built on.

The rest of us, who feel moved to say something when Big Corporation (or maybe the CHORF Wokelings) spits in our eye and tells us to shut up and consume the bullshit like we're supposed to, despite the fact that he's literally repeated exactly what I've said on the same subject over the years, we are toxic racist/sexist/bigot/homophobes and we should all be... what, quiet? Crawl back into Mom's basement and go play Minecraft? Give up and go paint landscapes?

Yeah. Right. That'll happen. When Hell freezes over, mother fuckers.
So there you have it my friends. How full of shit are the Puppy Kickers? Completely. Can't get any more in there. No space for anything else. Running out their ears.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Social credit decides if you can buy a gun.

In ChicomLand their ubiquitous surveillance system gives each prole a "social credit" score. If you have bad scores then you get refused things like social services, airline tickets, luxury goods etc. Pretty much everyone I talk to agrees this is a Big Brotheristic nightmare and the Chicoms are assholes for doing it.

Well, check this out:

The Trump administration is considering a proposal that would use Google, Amazon and Apple to collect data on users who exhibit characteristics of mental illness that could lead to violent behavior, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The proposal is part of an initiative to create a Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), which would be located inside the Health and Human Services Department, the report notes, citing sources inside the administration. The new agency would have a separate budget and the president would be responsible for appointing its director.


HARPA would take after Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which serves as the research arm for the Pentagon. The idea was first crafted in 2017 but has since gotten a renewed push after mass shootings killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in August.


The Suzanne Wright Foundation approached the president recently and proposed the agency include a project called Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes, or Safe Home, the report notes, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The document lists several technologies that could be employed to help collect information, including Apple Watches, Amazon Echo and Google Home. Geoffrey Ling, the lead scientific adviser on HARPA, told reporters Thursday the plan would require enormous amounts of data and "scientific rigor."

Stripped of bafflegab, shitheads at the Suzanne Wright Foundation are proposing to create a government system that spies on you with your cellphone and your network-attached devices. They're calling it Safe Home but it is really a Big Brother Telescreen.

Not explicitly stated in the article is the implication that if you "exhibit characteristics of mental illness that could lead to violent behavior" according to their "scientifically rigorous" algorithm, you would be denied the right to purchase things like guns and ammunition.

Aka this is a social credit system identical to the Chicom system, and if implemented will be used to send people to jail or the loony bin.

What's most chilling here is that these assholes actually think its possible to to predict and circumvent mass shootings by mentally ill people. With cell phone data no less.

In truth this proposal is so odious that I wonder if it isn't being floated to damage Silicon Valley monopolies. If government seriously proposed using Big Data to decide who's been naughty or nice, every thinking human in the country would immediately ditch their phone and go off-line permanently. If they made it a law that you have to have a phone, you park the little spy in front of a VCR playing "Its a Wonderful Life" 24/7/365.

In other news, Hong Kong demonstrators are going off the government run cell network and using a Bluetooth mesh network instead. If you take the SIM card out of your phone, the Bluetooth still works. If you are extra-mega paranoid, the cell antenna is separate from the Bluetooth antenna. Snip, you're off the cell network.

Suck it, Big Brother.

The Phantom