Thursday, May 31, 2007

Star Adventures II - Design changes

The command center for the Foghorn is different now. To recap: The original wooden set of the Foghorn was a rectangle with three command seats glued to the deck and a booth in the rear for "eating" and in the very back were 3 chambers for cryogenic suspended animation.

The problem regarding the interior size of the Foghorn with the exterior was never really addressed. There was this looooooong corridor shot near the equipment room that could not possibly have fit into the size of the Foghorn. The Equipment room itself was huge, and the bridge was big enough to hold the entire crew of the Enterprise.

The new Foghorn is smaller still. It is insectoidal in external appearence and so this requires basically a single habitable unit within. The interior is basically the bride and nothing else. The cryo-chambers have been moved far forward and the "living" area is in the center. I changed the big giganto seats into smaller seats that can allow easier access. They swival 360 degrees, and each has a joystick controler. Note Joe the Handyman for scale.

This is still a work in progress. More to come...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Reconstructing Iraq

This document was published in February of 2003. Unfortunately it was not read by people who were incharge of the coming f-up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Star Adventures II -Foghorn Bridge nearing completion

The bridge of the Foghorn is almost ready. Command seats, chart table, and three cryochamgers are in place. Now all we need is a script and well you know the rest.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why are Fox News viewers so screwed up?

Above is a screen cap of the FOX NEWS web site. This is first thing a viewer of the news site sees. Compare it to any of the other 4 major news org sites. Can anyone really claim that FOX is an actual news network? Or that they are really trying to present fairness? I guess by fairness they mean National Enquirer type stories. Let CBS, CNN, and the BBC do all those hard hitting “liberal” stories. Fox will make up for that with the cat fights, and strange pig stories.

I am not saying that the other news orgs are good and Fox is all bad. All of them have basically the same crap on them. The difference is the visual emphasis. Fox consistently has biased tag lines, biased stories, or non-stories, or muck raking stories. To Fox any journalism that is not slanted is “liberal” It has to be pro-right wing ideology or it can’t pass muster. The people who pay big bucks to Fox for ad placement understand this too. Look at who is advertising on a web site and you will know what point of view it is trying to get across.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Star Adventures -Foghorn Bridge

The command bridge is more complete. There are some things missing and you can see space in a few places that you should not. However more googah will be added. I became a control pannel making fool and created 10 new ones that can be used in all sorts of configurations. They are all pretty high-res (TV res that is not cine) So you can view them up close as set decor and they will look good. The screens are static for now. But all can have their video screens made active without too much trouble. Just throw in a quicktime or AVI file onto the screen and there you go, glow and all.

The second view is of Sam's staion. In this config the fire-control section is on the left side, flight control in the center, and navigation to the right.

Bush News Conference

I got to hear the idiot this morning. So here is some things that our so-called press should have pointed out.

1: President mentioned UN SC resolution 1441 in that Iraq was in violation of that as a pretext for the war.

2: President admitted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

3: If Iraq had no such weapons then they could not comeply with 1441 which told them to get rid of the weapons they did not have.

Also the inspectors were there on the ground continuing their quest to find the non-existant weapons when they were told to leave by Washington so that Bush could have his war.

Bush always trys to turn the question back on the reporters by saying stuff like "So your saying that the world would be safer with Sadam?" Well no this is not what the reporters are asking.

4: Bush said that Sadam got a level of justice that was not seen under his tyranny. Well to most of us who watched this "justice" we are not impressed. And Sadam met the typical fate meated out by his own brutal regime.

Getting back to the WMD that was not there:

It seems to the rest of the world that the only people telling the truth in the run up to the war was the regime of Sadam. The weapons inspectors were finding this out so they had to get yanked. Bush made an assumption that Sadam was lying just like Bush was lying so he sent our army in.

5: Alquieda in Iraq, during the Sadam years, was operating in the northern regions of the country. Why? Because that region was out of Sadam's control. The US Airforce enforced the no-fly zones in effect saving the terrorists from Sadam. Only after the regime came crashing down did the terrorists move south into areas that had been off limits to them.

6: The "democracy" that Bush talks about is a two party government. Dominated by DAWA and SCIRI. DAWA was started back in the 70's and was the creator of Hezbullah. SCIRI was created in Tehran by the revolutionary radicals in Iran. So we replaced a facist dicator with a government that is owned and operated by Islamic militants.

7: The world and region are NOT safer. The region is spiralling downward in Gaza, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. They feed off each other and we provide an easy scapegoat. Our fuckup in Iraq is almost complete.

8: Iraq is not an open ended war. Our armed forces face major equipment and man-power problems because of it. And after 500 billion dollars of American tax money spent and 3400 lives lost, and 20 thousand lives broken, what have we gained? Nothing good.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Star Adventures II

The preproduction, seemingly unending preproduction, on a film that seems never going to be made, progresses none the less. Above is a not-finished set of the Foghorn Bridge. The command seats and much set decor googah is still to be added. The console closest to the camera is the navigation console. Note the gas gauge at far right. The ceneter console is from a 747 jet liner panel. The other panels are a mishmash of different kinds of control panel redouts.

This is the current final design of the Foghorn for SAII.

Monday, May 21, 2007

No WAR on TV no more

From 1962 until 1967 we had Combat
From 1963 until 1969 we had Gomer Pyle
From 1965 until 1971 we had Hogan’s Heros
From 1972 until 1983 we had MASH

So what happened to all the army shows? Those shows, made during the a BIG war, were all hits. So why no war shows now? Is it perhaps that the studio execs are all too candy-assed? Certainly Gomer Pyle would be viewed today as insulting of the USMC. MASH would be too insulting too since it was critical of the army and war in general. Hogan’s Heros was about the really old WWII, but would be scandalous since it made a German POW camp a place of laughs. And Combat, well combat was pretty realistic even for the 1960’s and nobody really wants to see a show about soldiers getting hurt in war.

So we get to watch FOX and CNN and their pundits spew crappola about our war. But the self sanitization system built by modern media keeps us a long way away from the men and women at war. They are oddities to be seen walking through airports in their new ACU’s and shaved heads. Off in their own little world, a world and reality we are forcibly kept away from. They are correct to say that the average citizen is ignorant about what it means to be in the military or about what is happening in Iraq. We are ignorant about that stuff like we are ignorant about what happens in a sewage treatment plant. We don’t want to know.

Those old TV shows gave us some connection to that aspect of our culture. The people in those shows were…people. They were not righteous war-gods, but flawed humans that could still crack a joke in the middle of hell. It was not reality TV, but I would take any of the above over the wasteland of TV now.

Check this out. It isn’t Gomer Pyle, but there is laughing.

Of course now the Pentagon wants to keep stuff like this off the air too. I guess the bad guys will view it and refine their skills.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

War Czar?

We now have a War Czar. A man who is the “point man” for the wars (fiascos) in Afghanistan and Iraq. I guess the pressure was too much for Bush, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Secretary, and all the other generals off in foreign lands. We were able to fight WWII without a “war czar” So why do we need yet one more “point man” ?

The reason is that Bush wants someone else to be the target of scorn when his fiasco’s go awry. Bush is a tough talking cowherd. He flinches and recoils from all real responsibility, braking most things he touches despite all this sanctimonious good intentions.

So the RMS Titanic has a “sinking Czar” now all aboard can be assured that the “sinking Czar” will handle things. Of course the ship is doomed and 1500 people will die because of the stupidity of the planning behind the construction of the ship, but hey they have Czar.

At least the poor Russians new what to do with a Czar.

But then again maybe the War Czar will be as successful as the Drug Czar? We won the war on drugs right? I think what Bush really needs is an Impeachment Czar, otherwise known as a special prosecutor to get him and his incompetently evil scumbags to jail where he belongs.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mothers Day

Julia Ward Howe-
Mothers Day speech 1870

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

"She failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Anna Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who had attempted starting in 1858 to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.

Anna Jarvis' daughter, also named Anna Jarvis, would of course have known of her mother's work, and the work of Julia Ward Howe. Much later, when her mother died, this second Anna Jarvis started her own crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1907 in the church where the elder Anna Jarvis had taught Sunday School. And from there the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. Finally the holiday was declared officially by states beginning in 1912, and in 1914 the President, Woodrow Wilson, declared the first national Mother's Day."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

BF2 - Ramadi

I would like to create a new scenario for Battlefield 2. It would be called Ramadi. Here is a description:

Irregular MEC allied forces are holed up in Ramadi, a tactically important city in Iraq. Their numbers are unkown. USMC forces must secure Ramadi by ridding the city of the enemy and capturing all control points.

MEC has access to the following kits:
Anti tank
Suicide Bomber
IED planter
Truck bomber

USMC has access to the standard crap they have.

The scenario opens with the city booby trapped with lots of IED’sm sprinkled with lone snipers, with nests of assault troops and anti-tank dudes. There are truck bombers too and the odd suicide bomber.

Instead of the standard burnt out cars and road barriers there are people standing around. Some streets are filled with people others have few people. The people can be killed by either side. If the USMC inflicts too many civi casualties then they lose. How many civi deaths it takes is random game to game.

The people will run if shooting starts. They will run one block and stop exhausted in the heat. They seek walls and will also have some random number generation that will cause them to run from one building to another. In the dusty haze they look no different than an MEC insurgent.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The consequnces of a lame President

Some one should do some research into the effects of a bad President on the next election cycle. I think that the current situation is perhaps a lesson in the making for both parties.

If Bush had a better approval rating both parties would be more cautious about how they approached 2008. The fact that the entire Administration is basically already DOA makes matters worse. Bush has become a bucket up chum dumped into the political waters to start the feeding frenzy.

This is not a bad thing either. The current campaigning is a bi-product of Bush’s status as the lamest of lame ducks. This status has actually helped both Democrats and Republicans chart bolder territory. Dem’s do not have to fear being labeled soft and Rep’s can distance themselves from the right-wing nuts a bit more than usual. The Bush disaster may bring about more pragmatism for both sides. Clearly ideology is on the back burner for both parties.

As the days count down, and Iraq continues its job of stinking, both parties are going to be forced into the akward position of really having to deal with the oncoming headlights of a post-Bush Presidency. They are going to inherit a big mess and a global war that, because of how ill defined its objectives are, is not winnable at any cost.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The loathsome

I watched a bunch of explosion videos on You Tube. Most were interesting. Then I got to a compilation video of all the atomic and nuclear bomb tests. I don’t know about you but after a few seconds of watching this, or any such atomic explosion I almost get physically ill.

There is something primordially loathsome about these grotesque displays of violence. Something beyond shock and awe. It is like watching photos from your own autopsy or glimpsing some awful truth about the true nature of humans. That perhaps we are a cancer and hell bent on destroying the life that gave birth to us, a reverse abortion.

We would be worse the cancer though. Because cancer is not aware of what it is doing to the body. We are incredibly aware of what we are doing. Which makes us sadistic and masochistic. Mankind is a creep in need of reform. The average human is not a bad person, but I fear there are enough bad apples out there to bring down the house. We can only play Russian roulette so long.

Impeachment and or resignation not good enough

A mistake can be forgiven and accepted as part of the risks of any job. However the Iraq war was no just a mistake. It was a totally fabricated war. The President and his staff went out of their way to lead our nation into a war that we did not have to fight. The deaths of all our soldiers and the countless civilian deaths in Iraq need to be atoned for. Bush needs to go to jail. If he ends his days clearing brush on his empty ranch, and not in prison orange in a 6x9 cell ,he will have litterally gotten away with murder.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Another dreadful anniversary that Bush wish he didn't have...

On May 2nd 2003, George Bush got out of a jet in a flight suit. Soon he was pressing the flesh and beaming. Behind him was the, now infamous banner, "Mission Accomplished" In his blue suit he told us all how "major combat operations" were now over in Iraq.

Pundits on the right did a fair amount of back slapping and giving the bird to Byrd and those thinkers on the left who saw what happened in Iraq and winced.

Could the little peckerwood pull it off? Could a man of limited intellect and questionable qualifications win a quick decisive war against a nation of 26 million and bring about security and democracy all while finding weapons of mass destruction?

Well no he couldn’t do any of that and in hind site that kind of crap only happens in the movies. Real life has a bad habit paving the road to hell with good intentions.

So let us use this horrible anniversary, another in a long line of them, to see what has been accomplished:

Sadam Hussein Ousted: Yes
Weapons of mass destruction found: No
Major Combat Operations over: No
A Stable functioning government in Iraq: No
Nation rebuilt with oil funds: No
Terrorists defeated: No
Terrorist training bases destroyed: No
A more secure Middle East: No
Forces responsible for 9/11 gone: No

More terrorists created: Yes
More hatred toward US: Yes
More Dead Americans: Yes
More Hundreds of billions of tax dollars spent: Yes
More permanently maimed soldiers: Yes
US credibility weakened: Yes
US President thought on par with Osama Bin Laden: Yes

I think that George Bush and his administration is the sleeper cell everyone keeps talking about. He is the Manchurian candidate made flesh. He has done more to aid our enemies than any single American.

We need to be realistic. Being realistic is not defeatist. Only an idiot would still be looking at Iraq as winnable in any substantive way unless things drastically change. And 20,000 troops is not a drastic enough change. The war planners that planned for 500+ thousand troops were all let go because that high number did not mesh well with the micro managing Rumsfeld. We could have won this war if it had been planned and executed correctly. However the Bush leadership has been an utter failure in this and now we stand on the brink of admitting failure. It is not lack of resolve, or American softness, it is Bush’s stupidity and his reliance on men and women who were not up to the task history set before them. They are to blame for the situation. Not the troops or the taxpayers, or the Democrats now struggling to redirect the ship of state so terribly driven off course.