Ridiculous tattoo


So, this article came across my radar and WTF people.

Now, to be fair, it’s not the worst face tattoo I’ve seen.  It is, after all, recognizable as a human face.  Not a super strong resemblance to Harry Styles, but it’s fresh and the skin is probably angry right now and some allowance needs to be given for artistic style.

But still, what?  First visible tattoo is of a celebrity?  And it’s on your face?  And you hope to work with him but haven’t yet?

I mean… I’d probably be refused this from most artists and I have 5 tattoos, four visible in the short sleeves I typically wear, one peeks out of most long sleeves, and the fifth is visible in sleeveless tops and partially in some short sleeves.

A face tattoo is serious business.  People will judge you for any visible tattoos, this goes double(at least) for face tattoos.  Most artists will therefore expect you to have at least a few somewhat concealable or socially accepted placements for your first visible tattoos, so you have half a clue what you are getting yourself into.

But it’s Romeo Lacoste, noted glory hound.  I wasn’t a fan of how he oversells the durability of fine linework tattoos, but this?  Give me a gift certificate for him it’s probably going right in the trash.


Domain change

While the old behind-blue-eyes.us will remain active for the next several months, the current domain, which will actually be renewed, is http://anniethebruce.com in line with IDs and such I use elsewhere on the net.  Update bookmarks accordingly.

Stirling Boat

Since watching a few videos about the Stirling Engine, I’ve had a thought to build one. But what to power with it?

A boat.  I could heat the top with sunlight.  Paint it black for maximum heating, materials chosen to hold as much heat as possible.

The cold end would be flush with the hull.  Possibly even a finned heat sink like you’d use on a computer, with the fins extending below the hull(probably with a shield open on the ends to let water through for cooling while protecting the fins from impacts). Especially once you get moving, this should provide fairly effective cooling of your cold end.

Not sure how practical it would be to build something to transport people and/or cargo, but a small model should be feasible.

This boat wouldn’t work too well at night, though if there’s a warm front coming through while the water is still cold you might get a bit of power, though if you’d take this thing far from shore you’d want backup oars or materials to build a fire on the top plate.

I’ll look into the feasibility of this over the weekend, and maybe put together a parts list soon if it looks buildable(and I can get access to a large enough body of water to test whatever I build, if it’s not small enough to test in a bathtub.

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Japanese Emperor divine ancestry?

Had a random thought.

The Emperors of Japan stopped claiming divine ancestry under pressure of the US occupation force after World War II.  Had the United States not pushed the issue, and had the guns to force the issue if it came to that, it would not have happened.

While the fact that it happened in another country might make it technically legal for the US to have done that(by domestic law- I don’t know nearly enough about relevant international law to judge)… that’s a pretty serious violation of at least the spirit of the free exercise clause.  Forcing this on an entire country.

Now, Japan appears to be OK with it these days, still, even by our own law we shouldn’t have done it.

Quora question- asteroid impacts


If we’re looking at something that can actually shatter Earth, we’re screwed.  Pretty much completely.  Even a Mars colony might not save the species, something that big will wreck orbits and cause tidal stresses and all sorts of other crap.  Our best chance in this case is to start with a distress call- just something a passing ship might notice and investigate, and hope to hell they’ve got some ideas and tech to help us out.  Parallel to this, build the largest Orion ship we can, load up the smallest genetically viable founding population we can to crew it, tell them to make babies, and point it at the nearest star that might have an Earth like planet in the habitable zone.  And hope they make it, find a habitable planet, and start anew.  Chances of failure would be incredibly high, but barring helpful aliens with fleets of FTL transports it’s our best, really only, chance of survival.

Now, as for somewhat smaller scale destruction- wiping out all life on the surface- there might be a few additional options.

There’s a good chance we won’t last long enough for the asteroid to kill us. Something this big, there’s no way it could be covered up past maybe the first few months after NASA notices it. Just too many people with telescopes in their backyard, and as it passes through the asteroid belt, too many people with eyes to look up with. There would be panic no matter what governments tried to do.
There may be enough wiggle room in “destroyed” for a crash program to build underground shelters for a large enough population to recolonize the surface eventually.
There might also be time for a crash project to build ships to take people to Mars. Orion ships could do it, and if the aerospace industry went all hands on deck to get it done(to the point of shutting down things like airliner production entirely) we could probably get a few thousand people to Mars. This has the advantage of being completely out of the line of fire, and the disadvantage of having far more unknowns and more points where things can go wrong than underground shelters.
Hopefully, enough people avoid panic that we could attempt both rather than putting all of our eggs in one basket.

A generation ship as in the scenario with Earth actually being destroyed wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible backup plan, but to make the far more plausible Mars attempt work we might not be able to spare the resources.  If the resource situation allows, though, the generation ship should be launched.

It would probably also be a good idea to try to send a distress call into space in this situation too. Coming up with something that aliens would immediately recognize as a distress call would be difficult to say the least, but coming up with something unusual enough to warrant a closer look might be feasible. I wouldn’t put great hope into this working, but we might as well try it if we’re facing extinction.  It’s much more likely, in the event that a passing alien picks it up, that they’ll be able to help mitigate this smaller scale disaster than the Earth shattering scenario above.

What’s an Orion ship you ask?  Nuclear pulse propulsion.  Toss a nuclear bomb out the back of the ship, and ride the shockwave.  The basic principles were proven in the 60s, but bans on nukes in space shut down practical research.  It’s the only tech we have that can achieve the speeds and load capability to give any of this any chance of working.  There are a few ideas discussed in scientific papers that might be better, but we can be sure Orion will work.  Will it work well enough?  Unclear.  But it will work at all, and we can say that with much more certainty than, say, an Alcubierre drive.


So, I have no idea what a tachometer is used for when driving a car, other than “don’t let it get into the red”.  Diagnostics, though, here’s a story.

So I’m driving home, and my car is acting a bit funny.  Engine runs smooth, but every time I let off on the gas power plummets almost fast enough to feel like a stall, but there’s no shuddering as the engine struggles before giving out. Like highway to idle in an instant is what it felt like.  Didn’t notice anything on acceleration.

Running through everything it could be, ruling out all the easy things I can handle on my own, then I catch a glance of my tach.  About 2.7k rpm at about 35mph.

So then I nearly shit a brick.  This held, it wasn’t a brief spike during acceleration.  It was my cruising RPM at that speed.  I was thinking my transmission died and couldn’t reach the gears it was trying for.  Bad news.

Then I remembered that even automatics have some ability to override the transmission and set a specific gear, and sure enough, I was set to 2 rather than D.  Set it properly, and my car ran fine.

I’m not sure I’d have thought to check anything transmission related if not for the tach, which would lead to me being home wondering what the hell was wrong with my car, and being unable to reproduce the problem when my dad came down to look at it.

2.7 at 35, though, makes me wonder how high my engine would go if I went on the highway in 2nd.  I redline at 6.5k(never seen past 4 even in hard acceleration) so I probably wouldn’t immediately break anything, but I can’t imagine sustained driving past the ~2.5k I typically see on the highway would be all that great for engine lifespan.

Cracked Paradoxes- a legal one

Make the assumption that all relevant terms of the contract are specified in the statement of the paradox.
In that case, it only says that Bill has to pay after he wins his first case. Not “upon winning”, at some unspecified point “after”. Strictly speaking, if he wins a case, while he has to pay he’s under no obligation to keep to a specific schedule. One could assume, though, that he has to pay up before the end of time(or arrange for payment to be made by that time), as no payments could possibly be made in any form after that point. If he waits until afterwards, he’s failed to meet his end of the deal. So he could move for a continuance until the end of time has come, as that will be when the actual breach of contract occurs.
Now, if you look at some results in physics, it looks like eventually the universe will spread out into a perfectly even field of matter and energy stretching off into eternity.  But… there’s still activity.  At the quantum level, particles will jump all over the place.  This is a random process, and when one jumps away another is going to take its place in short order, so conservation is maintained.

The thing is, though(I think i read about this idea in A Briefer History of Time), being a truly random process, occasionally it’s going to have a period where it appears to exhibit ordered behavior.  It won’t, but if a given ordered process is possible, a random process will eventually behave very much like it.  This may cause a bunch of particles to jump all to the same place, without other particles jumping out to make room, and staying there long enough for gravity to reassert itself.  Over time, the macro level effects of gravity(and other forces) will dominate over the quantum weirdness, triggering a gravitational collapse- everything in the even field will be pulled into this point gravity source.  It will get bigger and bigger, squeeze tighter and tighter, and then Big Bang.

Granted, this isn’t certain, but it’s one of many possibilities of what may happen.  If Bill has some guts, he could move for dismissal as there will never be a situation where he’s in danger of breaching the contract.  There will be a universe in which the debt can be paid and things in this universe will be able to be collected into a suitable payment, forever.  Though John could counter on grounds that the information about the debt would be lost, rendering Bill entirely unable, even in principle, to ever pay up.  But at the very least, a continuance until heat death(the first time) should be possible, though Bill may be required to take special measures to ensure his heirs remember his obligation.

Wonder why legal language is verbose and painfully precise?  This is why.  So smartasses can’t pull bullshit like I just outlined here.   There’s also vast bodies of case law we keep around to help deal with these sorts of absurdities,  I’m sure something in there would prevent “the end of time” being the payment period unless it was explicitly specified.

Realistically… Unless the judge decided that adjudicating the contract itself does not count as a win for the purposes of the payment clause(not a lawyer, so I have no idea if this is realistic), Bill’s going to be paying up either way it goes.