Saturday, October 06, 2018


In the spirit of reconciliation after the past tumultuous weeks, I decided to make this a bipartisan Saturday Night Music.

Four our democrat friends, Godley and Creme with Cry. Album The History Mix Volume 1 (1985).

English rock duo consisting of Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, both ex 10CC.

For the Republicans, here's Queen with We are the Champions. Album News of the World (1977).

My favourite band member is Brian May. Apart from being an iconic rock star (who as a 16 yo designed and built, together with his father Harold, his own guitar, the Red Special) he's also an accomplished astrophyscist and some kind of a Conservative.

Gute Nacht und Schadenfreude!



Over at CNN Prof Julian Zelizer tries to cope with imminent mental breakdown by offering an explanation:

"(CNN)For all the chaos of the Trump White House, the GOP remains adroit at using the levers of power in our modern political system. Senate Democrats and Republicans are not even playing the same kind of game. The GOP comes to work ready for full-contact boxing while Democrats were setting up for a friendly game of checkers."

Hey, I'm not making this up. Our Princeton Prof from the Putting Empty Bags Upright faculty did write:

"... while Democrats were setting up for a friendly game of checkers."

Look! It stands there ☝☝☝☝!!! Just LOOK 👆👆👆👆👆👆!!!!

Prof Zelizer is a curious case. At least a broken clock is right twice a day. Poor Prof Zelizer manages only half of that:

"This was an extremely costly lesson for the Democrats to learn, and it is not the first time they have been schooled. The confirmation could very well be the factor that saves Republican control of the Senate and it cemented a long-term shift in the court that will have severe repercussions on a number of issues ranging from abortion rights to executive power."

You betcha!


Friday, October 05, 2018


Via Fox News, already from 5 SEP, but as hot a topic as never before:

"America is in crisis, from the university to the workplace. Toxic ideas first spread by higher education have undermined humanistic values, fueled intolerance, and widened divisions in our larger culture. Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton? Oppressive. American history? Tyranny. Professors correcting grammar and spelling, or employers hiring by merit? Racist and sexist. Students emerge into the working world believing that human beings are defined by their skin color, gender, and sexual preference, and that oppression based on these characteristics is the American experience. Speech that challenges these campus orthodoxies is silenced with brute force.

The Diversity Delusion argues that the root of this problem is the belief in America’s endemic racism and sexism, a belief that has engendered a metastasizing diversity bureaucracy in society and academia. Diversity commissars denounce meritocratic standards as discriminatory, enforce hiring quotas, and teach students and adults alike to think of themselves as perpetual victims. From #MeToo mania that blurs flirtations with criminal acts, to implicit bias and diversity compliance training that sees racism in every interaction, Heather Mac Donald argues that we are creating a nation of narrowed minds, primed for grievance, and that we are putting our competitive edge at risk.

But there is hope in the works of authors, composers, and artists who have long inspired the best in us. Compiling the author’s decades of research and writing on the subject, The Diversity Delusion calls for a return to the classical liberal pursuits of open-minded inquiry and expression, by which everyone can discover a common humanity..."

Here is Heather Mac Donald giving a lecture on her book at Hillsdale College:

Video via The Rebel Media.

You can buy the book here.


Thursday, October 04, 2018



"This isn't your grandfather's lunar lander.

Today (Oct. 3), aerospace giant Lockheed Martin revealed its concept for a reusable, single-stage spaceship capable of ferrying four astronauts between lunar orbit and the surface of the moon.

For comparison, the expendable lunar lander that NASA used during the Apollo program carried two people and weighed 4.7 tons (4.3 metric tons) without propellant. Lockheed's craft would weigh 24 tons (22 metric tons) dry and tip the scales at 68 tons (62 metric tons) when fully fueled. [Lunar Legacy: 45 Apollo Moon Mission Photos]

The Lockheed lander would use as its home base the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a small space station that NASA aims to start building near the moon in 2022.

The lander would depart from the Gateway, taking astronauts and up to 1.1 tons (1 metric tons) of cargo down to the lunar surface, according to a newly published Lockheed white paper. The craft (and crew) could stay on the surface for up to two weeks, then launch back to the Gateway without the need to refuel. (The lander would be refueled between missions — eventually, perhaps, with propellant derived from water ice extracted from the moon or asteroids.)

The lander design leverages many technologies from the Orion capsule, which Lockheed is building for NASA. Orion and the Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket, which is also in development, will help astronauts explore deep-space destinations, such as the moon and Mars, NASA officials have said.

"There's a lot of development that we've accomplished on Orion, so that helps," Tim Cichan, space exploration architect at Lockheed Martin Space, told (Cichan presented the lunar-lander concept today at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany.)

Orion already has one flight under its belt, an uncrewed test mission to Earth orbit in December 2014. NASA intends to fly the capsule again in 2020, on an uncrewed flight called Exploration Mission 1 that will also serve as the SLS' debut. (The 2014 Orion flight employed a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.) On EM-1, Orion will loop around the moon and spend about three weeks in space. The first crewed Orion-SLS flight, Exploration Mission 2, is currently targeted for 2023."

And here's the craft:

Fully reusable, so unlike in the Apollo program the lander would go up and down in one piece. 14 meters high, single stage. Capable of carrying up to four astronauts to the Moon's surface, where they would be able to stay for a fortnight max. Equipped with a lift elevator platform to help the crew descend from the cabin to the surface. Dry mass 22 metric tons. "Wet" - i.e. fully fuelled with 40 tons of LOX and hydrogen - over 62 tons. The preliminary design uses four RL10 engines, but other ones could be employed. Refueling either on the Moon's surface or in orbit. Capable of at least 5 to 10 flights.

But just as interesting is the Gateway concept. Indeed, such a heavy lander is obviously not meant to be taken on the flight Earth-Moon, but as a shuttle between an orbiting space station and the lunar surface.

Also via

"NASA plans to build and visit the Gateway using the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion deep-space capsule, both of which are still in development.

The first piece of the 55-ton (50 metric tons) outpost, its power and propulsion element (PPE), is currently scheduled to lift off in 2022. Other key components, such as a robotic arm, a crew habitat module and an airlock, will follow in relatively short order, if all goes according to plan. The Gateway could be ready to accommodate astronauts by the mid-2020s, NASA officials have said.

Those crewmembers won't have nearly as much room to roam as they do on the 440-ton (400 metric tons), Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS). As currently envisioned, the Gateway will feature a minimum of 1,942 cubic feet (55 cubic meters) of habitable volume, compared to the 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic m) on the ISS.

The ISS typically houses six crewmembers at a time, who serve missions of five to six months apiece. And these missions overlap; rotating international crews have occupied the ISS continuously lsince November of 2000."

"The Gateway, however, will support a maximum of four crewmembers at a time, and they will be more or less isolated, living and working at the station for 30- to 90-day stints. Because getting NASA astronauts out to lunar orbit will require expensive (and, therefore, relatively infrequent) SLS-Orion launches, the Gateway will likely be uninhabited for most of the year — unless other users want to take advantage of the outpost, that is.

"It doesn't have to be U.S. crew. We're trying to use interoperability standards for both the docking, power, avionics, a lot of other systems," John Guidi, deputy director of the Advanced Exploration Systems division of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said in June during a presentation with the space agency's Future In-Space Operations (FISO) working group.

"The attempt there is to open up the ability for other nations, other companies, to dock," Guidi added. "They would have to bring their own resources. We won't have food, water, etc. available for everybody. We're just planning enough for our missions. But that is a capability we want to have in this Gateway.""

We are nearing the 50th Anniversary of the first Moon landing. It is high time to go back - and beyond.



If you import the Third World, you become the Third World.


Monday, October 01, 2018


It's easy for stuff like this to slip under the radar. Every day there's news left and right testifying to the insanity of a Europe letting itself be invaded while insisting all will be well because, multiculturalism and stuff. Why, just today in Kortrijk, Belgistan, two people, a young man and a woman, were found stabbed to death. Turned out the murderer was an Afghan. One of the victims, the male, was another Afghan. The theory is now that it's probably a matter of rivalry. Presumably a homegrown tw*t fell in love with Afghan #1 and Afghan #2 was not pleased:

Progress! But enough about that, back in time one month, the news that slipped under the radar you know. At the end of August a group of ten young Syrians attacked nightclub Frosch [Frog, MFBB] in Frankfurt an der Oder. There was a nineties party going on. Two arabs had gotten into a war of words with guests. They started to provoke other partygoers. Then things got out of hand: "We are arabs, we will kill you all".

They left "Frosch", only to come back with around 8 other Syrian "youths" and armed with iron bars. They started to pelt stones and..., oh, read it yourself, via Morgenpost:

"Frankfurt/Oder. Eine Gruppe junger polizeibekannter Flüchtlinge hat in Frankfurt/Oder den Club "Frosch" mit Eisenstangen und Messern angegriffen. Das bestätigte eine Polizeisprecherin der Berliner Morgenpost. Den Angaben zufolge ereignete sich der Übergriff bereits in der Nacht von Sonnabend auf Sonntag. Im Club "Frosch" wurde zu der Zeit eine 90er-Jahre-Party gefeiert. Zwei Syrer hatten laut übereinstimmenden Angaben von Polizei und Staatsanwaltschaft zunächst im Club Streit mit Partygästen begonnen, vor allem mit einem Deutschen waren sie aneinandergeraten. "Die Männer haben angefangen, feiernde Gäste zu provozieren und zu bedrängen", sagte Clubbetreiber Dirk Schöbe der Berliner Morgenpost. Laut Oberstaatsanwalt Ulrich Scherding riefen die Männer: "Wir sind Araber, wir töten euch alle." Das sagte Scherding am Freitag der Morgenpost.

Zunächst hätten die beiden Männer den Club nach dem Streit verlassen, wo sie aber dem Oberstaatsanwalt zufolge Freunde und Bekannte verständigten, die innerhalb kürzester Zeit am Club eingetroffen seien. Nach Polizeiangaben fanden sich zehn Personen zusammen, die mit Eisenstangen und Messern bewaffnet waren. Laut Staatsanwaltschaft drohten die Männer draußen vor dem Club stehenden Besuchern: "Wir bringen euch um, wir stechen euch ab." Sie riefen laut Oberstaatsanwalt Scherding auch "Allahu akbar" (Gott ist groß). So schildert es auch Dirk Schöbe. "Sie kamen plötzlich angestürmt, gingen auf die Gäste los. Wir konnten erst gar nicht begreifen, was wir da sahen, was passierte."

"Im Vorraum waren Menschen in Panik, haben geschrien"
Die aggressiven Männer zerschlugen Scheiben der Diskothek und warfen Steine auf das Gebäude. "Besucher wurden angegriffen, geschlagen und mit Steinen beworfen", sagte Oberstaatsanwalt Scherding der Berliner Morgenpost. Polizisten beschrieben die Stimmung vor Ort als "tumultartig" und "aufgeheizt".

"Es waren Kriegsszenen", sagte Dirk Schöbe der Berliner Morgenpost. "Wir haben 90er gefeiert - und plötzlich befanden wir uns im Kriegsgebiet, nicht mehr in unserer Heimatstadt. Es war gespenstisch, die 'Allahu akbar'-Rufe, die Aggressivität, die dumpfen Schläge, die Schreie von Menschen.""

"These were scenes from a war zone", said Dirk Schoebe to Berliner Morgenpost. "We were doing a nineties party - and suddenly we found ourselves in a war zone, not in our Heimat city anymore. It was ghostly, the "Allahu Akbar" shouting, the agression, the muffled beats, people crying."

Here's a video courtesy of Gates of Vienna:

Good God. Where is all this going to end?


Sunday, September 30, 2018


Because we can't keep complaining about muslims or socialists forever, it's good to catch some fresh air now and then. Once upon a time, a semi-regular contribution on my exploits in the Ardennes was a fixed staple on this here blog, but the last one dates from a couple of years ago already. Anyway, with sunny weather and zilch chance on rain, plus the daughter also willing to go, I thought it might be a good idea to head south again after a long pause. And so we did.

But first a short stop in Liége, la 'Cité Ardente'.

The Tour Paradis, or Tour des Finances de Liège, a brand new building housing some 1,100 fonctionnaires of the Ministry of Finance. Not that high, only 118 meters, but of a peculiar design.

Nearby is the main station of Liège, Liège Guillemins, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava:

And then it was off to Solwaster, a tiny village perhaps halfway between Liège and the German border, at the edge of the Parc National des Hautes Fagnes. There's a modest walk there, No. 57 (dark blue rectangles), only 9 kilometers long, but commendable as a warmup exercise for tougher stuff. Also, quite nice because following the picturesque Statte brook (a tributary of the Hoëgne river, which seems to actually be a nicer place according to this bloke) for much of the way AND excellent signals, no risk whatsoever of getting lost. Sorry for the mediocre photography, I'm still using a geriatric iPhone4.

At some point we came across a peculiar rock formation rising some 20 meters above the Statte valley. This is the Rocher de Bilisse, about 500 million years old, so smack in the middle (give or take 10 million years) of the Cambrian. Very interesting since in fact having been pushed up through leverage from later sedimentary layers nearby, deposited between 280 (Permian) and 400
(Devonian) Ma ago.

A view on Solwaster from a ridge actually higher up the Rocher de Bilisse:

And finally back to the village. Landscape not so stunning as along the Semois further south, but it was worth the oxygen cure.