Emergency Room's everywhere await a sharp uptick in business from the popularity of this maniac's video.
I used to love these things as a kid and find myself unable to resist the lure of an undoubtedly craptacular reboot as a cheap child-friendly Virtual Reality toy. A young lad of my aquaintance is not far off a birthday and I suspect he'll be getting one, even though he'll probably respond with, "What the hell is this piece of crap? Where's my CoD5 disk?"
"That crap is my history, son. And you'll enjoy it or you'll get the back o' me hand."
Apple has just started offering these things in its online store, which is why there's suddenly a rash of stories about them, but Amazon has the last, somewhat dinkier model for half the price. I'm going with dink.
3 Responses to ‘Viewmaster reborn as VR’
Two articles over at the Lowy Interpreter, one wondering if the F-35 might not be so bad after all. (Reminds me of the Simpsons joke about Springfield Mall, "Where teeange gangs aren't such a problem any more"):
The assumed rules of air-to-air combat may be shifting from speed to sensor capability and payload. As a report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments found last year, 'advances in electronic sensors, communications technology, and guided weapons may have fundamentally transformed the nature of air combat.' Other than its stealth capability, these are attributes where the F-35 boasts significantly advances. It seems the stealth characteristics that were the big selling point of the F-35 may become second tier, and its sensor and communication capabilities could make it the plane for our time.
And a longer piece looking at Japan's ATD-X, currently just a technology demonstrator, but a potentially 'friendly' rival for the F-35 and not so friendly for China's J-20 and J-31.
It is 'a testbed platform for multiple technologies', including next-generation electronically scanned array radar, multi-dimensional thrust vectoring, an indigenous low-bypass turbofan engine and radar-absorbing composite materials. Production of an 'F-3' fighter will not begin until 2027, at the earliest. It is likely that this plane could turn out to be so expensive — a single F-3 could cost US$200 million or more — that Japan may never buy more than a handful.
If successful, the ADT-X/F-3 could shift the centre of gravity in the fighter jet industry from the North Atlantic closer to the Asia-Pacific. If Japan decided to market this fighter to overseas customers — increasingly likely, as Tokyo is quietly watering down its near-total arms export ban — then the F-3 could seriously challenge the West's predominance in this highly lucrative business sector. That, however, depends on the cosmic alignment of a great many technological, economic and political factors, a 'harmonic convergence' that is hardly assured. Japan, despite all its advantages, will continue to struggle in building and maintaining a state-of-the-art aerospace industry.
9 Responses to ‘Japan's stealth fighter’
For anyone interested in the artform, this is kind of amazing, even if the authors admit the limits. (One joke per comedian, and only American gags).
I don't get some of the early ones, which just goes to show how much of our humour is contextual. Worth a long read on the weekend. I can't help but feel that Professor will study this closely.
1937 ‘Take My Wife … Please.’ Henny Youngman
It’s hard to say with authority exactly who invented the one-liner, but Borscht Belt comedian Henny Youngman (the man Walter Winchell called “the King of the One-Liners”) is arguably responsible for the most famous one ever. Just like how Groucho's moustache, eyebrows, nose, and glasses became synonymous with “comedian,” “Take my wife … please” is the Platonic ideal of a joke. The format is one that is still mimicked to this day: using a familiar phrase to draw people in, then taking a sharp left turn. And though the joke is seen as shticky and hacky at this point, structurally it is deceptively elegant, as the setup is hiding inside what seems like a transition. Despite writing tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of jokes in his life, legend has it that Youngman’s most famous one was the result of an accident. When he first started working on the The Kate Smith Show, Youngman's beloved wife, Sadie, brought a bunch of her friends backstage with her. Annoyed, Youngman brought his wife to the stagehand and said, “Take my wife, please.” The rest is history.
22 Responses to ‘The 100 Jokes that shaped modern comedy’
From PNB, in the thread below. Worth extracting:
They matter because they are the first states where real people have to make an actual decision, and because of something elusive and possibly illusory that is coveted by the political class called "momentum" - aka "the Band Wagon Effect."
The people in Iowa who find Ted Cruz appealing are fundamentalist pseudo christian neo fascist under educated corn farmers who want nothing more than to replace American civil law with Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Ted Cruz pretends to be an fundamentalist pseudo christian neo fascist who wants to replace American civil law with Leviticus and Deuteronomy. And he pretends to admire corn farmers.
9 Responses to ‘Why the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary matters’
After test firing the system early this week, I pushed the big red button on the mailing list today. Everyone who signed up for it should be getting their first letter with a link to a free copy of Here be Monsters over the next day or so. The release is staggered because Mailchimp's software decides when you are most vulnerable to my approach.
It's nice to see the book out in the wild, even though the story has been published before. It's not just a tease for the mailing list. Monsters was a test run for me, to shake out the process of releasing titles without a major publisher behind them. I learned something at every stage.
The next big step is to release Cairo. I'm looking at mid-March for that and then monthly releases of the other Stalin's Hammer titles and the new Dave Hooper books through until September.
I do have some real anxiety about this.
Not so much about the whole scheme failing. I have readers. They buy my books. I love them with a deep, physical intensity for this. But I also have trade publishers who are important, and I hope they can see the sense in me walking this path. By building the list I build a marketing machine to sell their books. By publishing new works in the original trilogies, they'll sell more of their backlist too.
And bottom line, I just couldn't make ebooks work across multiple contending publishers. The slot machine only pays out when you have one title released by one publisher, globally, simultaneously, at the same price. It really wasn't fair to my local ebook publishers either. Momentum, the Pan Mac imprint, would do all the work on a manuscript, take all the risks and then find themsevles locked out of 97% of the English language market.
I felt guilty even sending them manuscripts.
So, bottom line, there are new books coming in all the old storyworlds – Axis of Time, the Disappearance, Hooper – but I'm doing them myself, to industry standard, while still working on mass market trade published fiction.
Anyone who hasn't signed up to the list and would like to, can do so here: http://eepurl.com/bxdqjP
And anybody who feels like writing a review of Monsters has somewhere to go now.