14 December 2017

Headline of the Day

Yes, Net Neutrality Is Being Stolen From Us in a F%$#ed Up, Undemocratic Heist
Motherboard

(%$# mine)

We can say all that we want about the F.C.C. repeal of network neutrality rules, but that hed nails it.

Here is hoping that the Dems in Congress do their level best to invoke the Congressional Review Act.

Adding to the List of They Who Must Not Be Named

Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Absent some sort of political activity, such as endorsements, running for office (PLEASE GOD NO!!), or her attempting to assassinate someone, she will not be mentioned here again.

Linkage


Have some Nichols and May:

13 December 2017

A Load of Bananas Whirling Around


It does look like whirling bananas


And the 1980s predecessor
The aviation engine manufacturer Safran is looking at an open rotor engine, which was looked at, and largely abandoned in the 1980s because of issues with noise and airframe integration issues:
Safran Aircraft Engines now has clearly plotted the technological trajectory a counter-rotating open-rotor (CROR) engine can be part of, somewhere between an ultra-high-bypass-ratio (UHBR) turbofan and a boundary-layer-ingestion (BLI) configuration. Despite wavering interest from the rest of the industry, the France-based company believes its ground demonstrator here in Istres is proving the architecture is certifiable in terms of both safety and noise. It says it would be an efficient powerplant for the 2030-35 generation of narrowbody aircraft.

The CROR concept has to be evaluated long before a commercial program is launched. It would be a greater breakthrough than the UHBR, a geared turbofan with a bypass ratio of 15. The latter could be ready in the 2025-30 time frame and is Airbus’ priority. In Safran’s view, the CROR, with its bypass ratio of 30, would be next. That would proceed an engine designed for BLI, in 2040-45.

Compared to the CFM Leap’s fuel burn, the UHBR and the CROR would be 5-10% and 15% better, respectively. Being unducted, a CROR can have a greater bypass ratio, and therefore a lower fuel burn. At Mach 0.75, the CROR would require a minor concession in speed.

………

A major challenge for an unducted engine can be found in acoustics. A witness to GE36 testing in the 1980s remembers its “dreadful” noise. And, since May, no journalist has been allowed to see and listen to an actual CROR run in Istres.

Nevertheless, Safran says the problem has been solved. The pair of propellers has been aerodynamically optimized, with thin blade profiles and complex shapes. They meet the current Chapter 14 standard, according to wind tunnel-trial results. The noise level is well below that of a turboprop, Bonini adds.
The engine is in generally form remarkably similar to the GE/Snecma engine from 30 years ago.

Both are using a fighter engine in the 20,000 lb thrust class as gas generators, and in both cases the props are being driven by counter rotating free turbines without a transmission.

It's a bit of 80s technology that never seemed to find its way into production.

Maybe this time.

Another Stopped Clock Moment

While others in the Trump administration are downplaying his statement, Rex Tillerson's statement that the US is willing to engage in talks with the DPRK without preconditions, shows that he is the sanest Secretary of State over the past two administrations:
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key U.S. demand that Pyongyang must first accept that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be part of any negotiations.

Tillerson’s new diplomatic overture comes nearly two weeks after North Korea said it had successfully tested a breakthrough intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire United States mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

“Let’s just meet,” Tillerson said in a speech to Washington’s Atlantic Council think tank on Tuesday.

The White House later issued an ambiguous statement that left unclear whether President Donald Trump - who has said Tillerson was wasting his time pursuing dialogue with North Korea - had given his approval for the speech.

“The president’s views on North Korea have not changed,” the White House said. “North Korea is acting in an unsafe way ... North Korea’s actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea.”
Seeing as how state department staff have been forbidden from talking directly with their DPRK counterparts since the George W. Bush administration, and that has resulted in spectacularly bad results, it is rational to think that a change might effect better results.

Of course there is an entire regime change industry directed at Pyongyang,* so it's no surprise that there has been push-back.

*Note that there are also ones for Syria, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and formerly there was one for Libya.
And the nation state that negotiated in good faith, and reentered the respectable community of nations, because it accepted US and European promises? That one was overthrown by western militaries, and is now a morass of anarchy and literal slave auctions.
And people wonder why some "rogue nations" are not willing to play nice with the west.

12 December 2017

Sorry, Mississippi………

You are still the go to state for jokes about backward, inbred, racist hicks, because Roy Moore lost in the Senate election in Alabama.

I did not expect him to win, he spent a lot of the usual suspects among the DC consultants, but it appears that there are lines that SOME Republican voters are unwilling to cross, even in Alabama.

Must Watch Video

Nomiki Konst talks about the budget process, and the role of consultants.

Rather shocking is the fact that the DNC Executive Committee had no idea what the budget was.

She notes that nearly a billion dollars went to just 5 consulting firms for what was arguably the worst performance of the DNC, and the Democratic Party, in decades.

If you look at a number of comments, people seem to dismiss the whole budget process as irrelevant to the activities of the party.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The budget process is all about setting priorities at the most fundamental level, and what Ms. Konst observes is that the first priority of the DNC is to enrich a group of favored, and if the last few years are any indicator, incompetent consultants.

This needs to end:

Quote of the Day

But perhaps it does explain why America’s legions of puffed-up generals have been such abysmal failures for onwards of a half-century now.
David Stockman, former Reagan budget wonk, explaining just how arrogant and stupid someone has to be to blithely lie to the FBI the way that Michael Flynn did.
I don't agree with his thesis, that the FBI laid a "Perjury Trap" with Mr. Flynn, but it is mind-boggling just how stupid he was, and I do agree that its origin comes from the toxic culture of general officers in the US military.

Linkage


See the AyePhone:

11 December 2017

Damn

After decades of deaths from collisions with ships and entanglements with fishing nets, the North Atlantic Right Whale is on the brink of extinction:
Officials with the US federal government say it is time to consider the possibility that endangered right whales could become extinct unless new steps are taken to protect them.

North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world, and they have endured a deadly year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said there are only about 450 of the whales left and 17 of them have died so far in 2017.

The situation is so dire that American and Canadian regulators need to consider the possibility that the population won’t recover without action soon, said John Bullard, the Northeast Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. The high year of mortality is coinciding with a year of poor reproduction, and there are only about 100 breeding female North Atlantic right whales left.

“You do have to use the extinction word, because that’s where the trend lines say they are,” Bullard said. “That’s something we can’t let happen.”

Bullard and other NOAA officials made the comments during a Tuesday meeting of the regulatory New England Fishery Management Council. Mark Murray-Brown, an Endangered Species Act consultant for NOAA, said right whales have been declining in abundance since 2010, with females hit harder than males.

………

The U.S. and Canada must work to reduce the human-caused deaths of the whales, Murray-Brown said. Vessel-strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are two frequently cited causes of the whales’ deaths.
Any fix is probably going to be greeted by howls of protests from the fishing and shipping industries, but f%$# them.

Thank God for Incompetents

A would be suicide bomber in New York was such an incompetent bomb maker that he couldn't even manage to blow himself up:
A would-be suicide attacker detonated a pipe bomb strapped to his body in the heart of Manhattan’s busiest subway corridor on Monday, sending thousands of terrified commuters fleeing the smoke-choked passageways, and bringing the heart of Midtown to a standstill as hundreds of police officers converged on Times Square and the surrounding streets.

But the makeshift weapon failed to fully detonate, and the attacker himself was the only one seriously injured in the blast, which unfolded just before 7:20 a.m.

Law enforcement officials said the attacker, identified by the police as Akayed Ullah, 27, chose the location because of its Christmas-themed posters, a motive that recalled strikes in Europe, and he told investigators that he set off his bomb in retaliation for United States airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria and elsewhere.

It was the third attack in New York City since September 2016, and the second in two months, coming only weeks after eight people were killed in a truck attack along a Hudson River bike path. Like the earlier two, the attack on Monday appears to have been carried out by a so-called “lone-wolf” terrorist.

The explosion on Monday morning echoed through the subway tunnels just off Times Square and filled parts of the Port Authority Bus Terminal with smoke as commuters fled. Even as smoke still filled the chamber, Mr. Ullah was subdued by Port Authority police officers.

………

An immigrant from Bangladesh, Mr. Ullah came to live in Brooklyn through a visa program available to people who have relatives who are United States citizens. 
Some thoughts:
  • If the FBI weren't so fixated on sting operations on people who would never have been a threat, maybe they would have noticed the guy.
  • This is the first time I've heard of a Bangladeshi being involved, though I do know that Wahabbi/Salafist movements have been growing in strength there.
  • My guess is that his pipe bomb was insufficiently sealed, and so the gunpowder, or other low explosive, mostly just burnt, rather than generating a significant explosion.
We are lucky that this guy didn't know what he was doing.

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