The Watering Hole: Wednesday, March 19, 2014: Forty-Two

http://www.worldscienceu.com/tour

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60 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Wednesday, March 19, 2014: Forty-Two

  1. So the pilot with the flight simulator had deleted all the files of his practicing? That can’t be good.

      • Remote air strip, the middle of the Indian Ocean, we really don’t know, but you’d think he’d have a favorite destination to fly the simulator to, say, Fiji? (Think Red Dwarf.)

    • I’m pretty sure I know what happened to Flight 370. It’s definitely an odyssey:

      ///too obscure?

  2. Damn, can’t watch the video at work!
    BTW, for you lifelong learners, Australian National University hosts the Open2Study channel. A Massively Online Open Source learning environment. Lots of good to great courses.
    I’ve completed Enterprise Architecture and Leadership courses so far, signing up for Negotiation Skills course starting Monday…
    Check it out!

      • Probably spying on folks in Leningrad, presumably while wearing a shirt.

      • He was a bodyguard/bag carrier to a variety of party apparatchiks…… pin-striped suit, pervert mac and a comb-over….. they are kinda creepy looking

    • They are going send over paid Titushkis (thugs) who have made a living agitating in all kinds of protests around the former USSR. These people will be sent to stir up trouble, make Eastern and Southern Ukraine ungovernable, probably not as a prelude to an invasion. Ukraine is already moving to close its borders to free movement of Russians and create a visa process to counter this.

  3. President Obama picks Michigan State to win NCAA tournament.

    Sorry Spartans, better luck next year.

    • Louisville is real hot right now. I am riding them to the $1 Billion Warren Buffet will be delivering to my house in 2 weeks.

      • You need to guess every game correctly in the entire bracket — not just pick the champion.

        The odds at winning are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,780,000 (one in 9.2 quintillion). So, yeah, lotsa luck.

    • So. Someone found Noah’s ark 2,400 years ago? Who managed to lose it after that? I really wish they would learn to keep their myths straight. I don’t believe any of them but even an old atheist like me knows that the Great Flood is alleged to have happened about 4,400 years ago.

  4. Thom Hartmann was talking about how this Malaysian Airline is in financial trouble. What if this lost airplane is an insurance scam?

    • Jeebus, in the absence of hard facts, everyone has their theories no matter how outlandish. The airline is majority-owned by the Malaysian government’s strategic investment fund, so outright bankruptcy probably isn’t in the cards.

    • I’m still going with Occam’s razor. The best and simplest theory I’ve yet heard is that the plane suffered a catastrophic electrical failure/fire.

      The first step when this happens is to pull the main breakers which would disable the communications along with every other system. Then, while one pilot attempts to keep the plane in the air and get on course to the best available landing strip, the second pilot would try to isolate the problem and restore power to systems one at a time as they are eliminated as the source of the fault. If the fault was in the communications system then communications would never be restored. If the fault had spread then other systems would also be unavailable. Meanwhile, the pilot in command of the controls is trying to keep the plane flyable on his own, perhaps missing some or all vital controls and possibly overcome by smoke, would most likely end up going the wrong way. Finally, the fire reaches fuel or burns out the electrical control circuits and the plane either blows up or crashes many miles from where anyone is looking for it.

      If this is indeed what happened there are some very good lessons to be learned. The first lesson is that, especially on long flights over water, there really should be a third crew member in the cockpit. One can fly. The second can navigate and aid, as required, either the command pilot or the third crew member who would be charged with tracing the fault and restoring systems. Those are three jobs that can demand 100% attention and two people simply can’t cope when the shit hits the fan. When the airlines first started talking about eliminating the flight engineer through greater automation I thought it was the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.

      Another lesson is that there should always be a manual backup for flight controls. Having a lifelong passion for airplanes I can tell you that the first time I heard about airplanes that depend wholly on electronic controls I thought it was the second stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. In an F-16, for example, there are something like 30 control system faults for which the only recommended action is to eject. Obviously, that’s not an option on a commercial jet and the only possible outcome in the case of cascading failures in the flight control system is a crash.

      The third lesson is that there should be a communication system that is completely separate from every other electrical system on the plane.

      Even if it turns out that the plane was hijacked by a crew member or persons unknown it still makes a strong case for restoring a three man crew to commercial flights. If one member of the crew turns out to be “bad” he/she would have to overcome two people instead of just sneaking up on one on the way back from the head and smashing a skull. If two of three are bad? The third still might be able to keep them from their bad intent or, at the very least, get out an emergency call. In the case of persons unknown? Three people are a lot harder to subdue than two.

    • Half of them would have stripped off and ran in to the street yelling “take me now Lord Jesus!” ….. Pat Robertson would have taken time out of his busy day oppressing African gold miners for Jesus to blame everything on Teh Gay. Mike Huckajesus, Batshit, Sanitation and the rest of the GOP Clown Car would have debated the ineffectiveness of Obama’s solar flare defences…..

  5. If this has been posted already, I missed it. I just saw this during a break on Free Speech TV during Thom Hartmann. I know how pro-wolf everybody is, so it caught my attention immediately.

    When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix

  6. Toyota to Pay $1.2B for Hiding Deadly ‘Unintended Acceleration’

    Car manufacturer Toyota has agreed to pay a staggering $1.2 billion to avoid prosecution for covering up severe safety problems with “unintended acceleration,” according to court documents, and continuing to make cars with parts the FBI said Toyota “knew were deadly.”

    A deferred prosecution agreement, filed today, forced Toyota to “admit” that it “misled U.S. consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety related issues affecting its vehicles, each of which caused a type of unintended acceleration.”

    Toyota “put sales over safety and profit over principle,” according to FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos.

    The bullshit about floor mat interference and the bogus recalls was part of the cover up and I called this deal back when it was happening!

    • Toyota “put sales over safety and profit over principle”

      Nah, not possible. A corporation putting profit over principle? NEVAH! ‘Corporations are people, my friend,’ and they CARE about . . . ummm . . . yah, that. Y’know.

      *barf*

  7. Maine man’s ‘gun’ turns out to be a tattoo

    Police armed with assault rifles descended on a Maine man’s home after members of a tree removal crew he’d told to clear off his property reported that he had a gun.

    Turns out the “gun” the tree crew had seen on Michael Smith of Norridgewock was just a life-sized tattoo of a handgun on his stomach.

  8. Robin G. Mahfood is President and Chief Executive Officer of Food For The Poor.

    That’s the joke.

  9. Today would have been my mom’s 75th birthday. She always said the swallows returned to San Juan Capistrano just for her. 🙂

    • oooo, stunning!
      (ten days ago I received an Avastin injection in my OD (ocular dexter/right eye) to reduce edema/pressure behind the retina, thus making my vision a bit sharper. I must write that taking that ‘tour’, via the internet, was a true treat…able to distinguish color and sharper images!
      Thank you for posting!

      (and a sincere appreciation for the ACA/ObamaCare)

      • Water –

        If the debris spotted off the coast of Perth is part of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 it is floating in the roughest part of the world, said an Australian oceanographer.
        Chari Pattiaratchi, from the University of Western Australia, said the debris had been located close to the ‘Roaring Forties’, where the wind created giant swells and waves.
        ”You may have debris at the surface but the bulk of the aircraft would be at the bottom of the ocean,” he said. ”It’s very deep down there, about five kilometres,” said Professor Pattiaratchi.
        ”Trying to get something out from five kilometres in the roughest part of the world is going to be extreme,” he said.

        • Thanks Ebb! Maybe by the time I get home they will know if it is from the plane.

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