Archive | August, 2009

>Another Day, Part 14

31 Aug


Security officers on a starship work in an environment that has more in common with Andy Griffith’s Mayberry sheriff than most law enforcement types; while the ship is indeed leaping through the limitless cosmos — or at least the Earth portion of the Hidden Frontier (less the worlds settled from France and China and, mostly, the two hardline ex-Soviet worlds) — a starship between planetfalls amounts to a small town with no roads out. Additionally, Security answers to the Captain and ultimately to the Starship Company, not a Mayor and Town Council.

As a result, Security is more inclined to wait situations out and the officers are encouraged to apply logic and common sense instead of no-tolerance rules, to de-escalate instead of arrest, confrontation or other ways of bothering the Security Director. All of which goes to explain why there was not a lot of shouting and shoving; John stepped to one side of the opening through which he’d entered, saying, “Keep your hands where I can see ’em, Mister,” adding, “–Alan, hang back,” while keeping his attention on the seated man. “All right, whoever you are, we’re going to take you out of here. ‘S that a problem?”

“‘Vill,’ please, and I shall come along quietly. Do be careful of the urns.”

“Stand up, slowly, hands in sight, do not move until I tell you; it’s gonna be a lot easier getting back out if I don’t have to cuff you – – Er, ‘…Urns?'”



>Not Green, Just Bloodless

31 Aug

>How to open plastic clamshell packaging and not maim yourself!

>Tiny Guns Of Canada

31 Aug

>David Kucer Miniatures. Go see!

Found via a comment to this post at BoingBoing.


30 Aug

>(Say it three times fast with a mouthfulla ice cubes and win a set of plans for your very own fallout shelter!)

Tam links to a story about a bill that’d left the Feds officially pull the plug on this here Innernet. In one sense, it’s silly to think this power doesn’t already exist; The Phone Company has been deeply, madly in bed with the Feds for years, since before the tax on long distance to fund the Spanish-American War, even, and if Uncle Sugar were t’ring ’em up and say, “Internet. Off. Now,” screens would go blank while the last syllable was still echoing.

It is nevertheless troubling when they wanna make it Official. Sort of sets it out of reach of serious censure in any public forum; like the hideously-misnamed USA PATRIOT Act, there might be plenty of whining ’round the edges but, “Hey, it’s the Law,” still commands inherent respect, same way my “The Revolution Will Not Be Telegraphed” T-shirt* gets narrow and suspicious looks at gun shows.

…And I can’t help but remember that one of the things Claire Wolfe was blogging about (or was it in the old BBS?) before she decided to drop off the grid even more was how to get around a big ol’ net.shutdown, by cranking the clock back to FidoNet or havin’ a go at amateur packet radio (license required. Batteries not included).

The ‘net is fine for fun but please remember, the blame thing is not all that reliable or trustworthy unless your name ends in .mil or .gov, and it never was; and I would not get too comfy with anything dial-up based, either.
* Maybe they misremember the Gil Scott Heron tune?


30 Aug

>Wired’s Danger Room has been collecting “most awesomely bad military patches” for quite some time — have to say my fave is the “W.W.J.S” at the top.

…Then there are the patches for classified satellite launches, some of which will make you wonder where you left that shiny, shiny hat. H’mm, so…didn’t want ’em to be that secret, then? It’s the highly-visible security camera trick: since some folks will only play nice if they know somebody’s watching, make darned sure the watching is obvious.

>Wiki/Web Wander

29 Aug

>I did it the other direction but it works even better backwards: what does James Joyce have in common with a Purdue student?

Bad friends, is what. However, Joyce had a better outcome and a very different venue.

Of course, that’s just one example; the Brits had weirder than that. And,t come the next century, got odder still!

The idea returned later; when thing settled down, they found a new life. Eventually, one of the persons doing that decided he’d make new country.

And here’s the thing: the endpoints of this arc are both in my blog.


28 Aug

>”When pigs fly:” Never gonna happen.

“Swine flew:” Unavoidable horror! Panic now!

–Oh, wait, that was supposed to be “flu.” Still, odd convergence of opposites, innit?