Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Archive for January 2014

FAA stops beer drone…

leave a comment »

The Lakemaid micro brewery has been forced to stop  drone delivery  of its beer to ice fishers.   The FAA has no sense of either proportion or humor,  but enjoy the video anyway.

Written by timeforthorns

January 31, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Drones for Bigfoot and others…

leave a comment »

There is an apparently  serious effort  underway to fund a project to search for Bigfoot using drones.   I know others have used small fixed-wing aircraft to mark likely habitation for the creatures,  but this project is likely to garner a large viewing audience for Spike TV.

Of a more practical nature,  Louisiana Hog Control has been using a drone to assist in its efforts to thin out the feral hog population in that state,  and has  achieved success  in doing so — an average of 60 kills a month is nothing to sneeze at,  but they need to be doing 10 times that to decrease the breeding population.   I won’t be surprised if similar companies appear in Texas and Arkansas,

Don’t be fooled  — these feral cousins are not cute cartoon characters.   Aside from the destruction of crops and fences and buildings,  they can kill a man and will do so readily if cornered.   What most people don’t realize is that a domesticated porker  turned out  into the wild will undergo physiological changes to increase its ability to survive.

In Peru,  drones are  speeding up  sluggish survey work for archaeologists and protecting sites from squatters,  builders and miners.   But in the most elegant use of all,   researchers at MIT and the modern dance company Pilobulus have teamed up for  a performance  featuring a quadrotor helicopter and a single male dancer.   You will find the video clips amazing,  as I’m certain the audiences did during the live performances.   A new production is in the works and should be equally as interesting.

 

 

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

January 31, 2014 at 10:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Has Curiosity spotted a UFO?

leave a comment »

Did Curiosity  see a  UFO?  Probably not,  since I’m fairly certain it will turn out to be a meteor streaking by,  but here’s an interesting question  —  has any rover or spacecraft ever captured a UFO on film?   I don’t know the answer,  but I’m sure UFO enthusiasts have claimed so.

Written by timeforthorns

January 30, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Snowy South…

leave a comment »

A  Chick-fil-A lives up to  the corporate  creed,  much to the delighted gratitude of some of the motorists stranded in Birmingham.

Written by timeforthorns

January 30, 2014 at 10:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

A book I’ll miss…

leave a comment »

Former President Jimmy Carter is  writing yet  another book,  and like his previous ones,  this will go unread by me.   Since this one focuses on women’s rights,  I’ll sure Hillary will buy a few copies.

Written by timeforthorns

January 29, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Jade Rabbit hops to a halt…

leave a comment »

China’s loudly touted Jade Rabbit moon rover has  come to a halt  a month before the end of its stated three-month mission.   Considering the chines Communist propaganda machine,  I think it is likely that they expected it to last at least twice that long so they could brag about its longevity,  but I don’t think the USA’s Curiosity or Spirit,  much less the Opportunity on Mars,  have anything to worry about as of yet.

Written by timeforthorns

January 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Stormy Monday…

leave a comment »

The weather in the South is awful — my truck was nearly encased in ice when I went out this morning to check on my neighbor’s house and animals.   Fortunately,  diesel engines have glow plugs which kick into high gear when it’s cold, so I was able to get going quickly.   With six tires on a heavy vehicle,  I don’t worry so much about the ice on the roads,  but the build-up on the power lines means we’ll probably lose electricity sometime tonight,  then be without it for a day or two.   That’s part of the price you pay for living in the country instead of in a town  — you’re last in line for repairs.

Since there’s a good chance I won’t be able to watch tonight’s State of the Union,  I thought I’d give you some additional links.  It’s fair to say that the  nation’s pessimism  colors our view of the event.   I’m not sure everyone shares Kevin Williamson’s totally sour  view,  but no doubt many think of it as the  chief bully  using the bully pulpit.   Those who still  have faith  in government or political leaders either haven’t been paying much attention or are dumber than dirt.   I would much prefer presidents return to the original habit of merely  writing a report  to Congress.

As for consigliere Valerie Jarrett’s assertion that it will be an  optimistic speech  and all about action,  who believes that other than Democrats intent on denying the reality of the  trouble they  are in.   The truth is,  even most people who listen to SOTU  won’t remember  any of it by next week.   In fact, more than a few Democrats are likely  more concerned  about what the cameras on them will see than they are about the substance of the address.   A look back at the  success rate  of the items promoted in last year’s SOTU is not encouraging for the White House.

The one thing we know is that His Oneness has just increased the  minimum wage  for federal contract workers by 39%,  but you can rest assured that he won’t mention he has just raised your taxes again.

For fun,  check out these  new toys  representing the winners His Oneness will select.

Written by timeforthorns

January 28, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

The Sleepiness of a Hollow Legend…

leave a comment »

The above is the title of Peggy Noonan’s  piece on  the upcoming State of the Union address,  in which she points out that such a speech can be great only if people listen to it.   She isn’t the only one who thinks  fewer than  ever will.   Here are five myths about  what has become a performance,  and here is how various  presidential speechwriters  have handled it.

George Will says the  shrinkage of  the presidency will be on display,  a rather vulgar act of   political exhibitionism.    That may well translate into high hopes but low expectations if you’re  a federal  employee.   Liberal commentator Juan Williams is urging His Oneness to  punch back  hard,  to give a  base-rousing  speech,  while his fellow Dems hope it’s the start of a populist agenda.   I expect the President will try to do so,  but he is incapable of showing strength,  only pettiness and arrogance.   The White House is certainly  going show-biz  trying to amp up interest for the speech.   Rob Garver forecasts  seven promises  which will be in the speech,  and seems doubtful any of them will be kept.   If,  as reported,  His Oneness will announce that he has  enlisted major corporations  to help with long-term joblessness,  it will prove that he doesn’t know that it is small businesses which hire the majority of workers.   He’ll reward the  corporations with  a tax cut for their perfidy and close  what he calls loopholes for the real engines of employment.

Marc Thiessen says  one lie  overhangs the SOTU,  so it makes sense that Obama is desperate to  change the  subject to income equality,  a lovely,  nebulous term that he can make mean anything he wishes.   What he most certainly won’t say is that income equality has  increased faster  on his watch than under any of the three previous presidents.   He won’t explain that his policies and regulations have  constricted the economy  like a boa downing a pig,  or that legislation which might actually help create jobs never sees the light of day in Harry  Reid’s Senate.

The White House  will have  Boston bombing survivors and the first openly gay NBA player as its guests.   An Oklahoma Republican Congressman will have the  father of one  of the former seals who gave his life at Benghazi.   Another Republican representative thinks SOTU will try to divide his party,  and he’s quite right  — I think it will be a bitterly partisan speech.

I know Obama won’t retitle his speech as State of the Coup,  as Rush Limbaugh suggests.   I like Erik Erickson’s  cynical take  on SOTU-2014 best of all,  and not merely because of the accurate title.   You may prefer Bret Stephens  lighter touch more enjoyable.

 

Written by timeforthorns

January 28, 2014 at 10:18 am

Pro-life in the snow…

leave a comment »

MSM spends little to no  time covering  the annual March for Life,  since it regards unborn life unworthy of its time and attention.   Snow and bitter cold  didn’t stop  this year’s march,  but the dangers  of ObamaCare  were added as a new concern.

Pope Francis  tweeted his  support,  but His Oneness chose the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to  celebrate abortion,  providing further evidence of how often he  misses the  mark.   Obviously no one on his staff pointed out the  fascinating piece  by Ron Rotunda on Justice Blackmun’s view of that case.   Other people believe in the  sanctity of  life,  and work to create  a culture which values it.

Forty-one years after the historic decision,  the pro-life movement has  made significant  progress on  several fronts,  especially in  swing states,  but much remains to be done.   The truly exciting thing is that  young adults  are now leading the charge,  as shown in  this shot.

Like many people,  I am of two minds about abortion.   In cases of rape and incest,  I can find no objection whatsoever.  But when used as last-minute birth control,  it concerns me.  As for the liberals who scream about women’s choice,  I always reply that any women who has sex without using some form of birth control has already made a choice.  Those who promote late-term abortions are simply looking for a “do-over”,  like whiny children who lose a game.

Written by timeforthorns

January 27, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Pope’s peace doves attacked…

leave a comment »

Pope Francis has two children each release a white dove as symbols of peace,  and they are  immediately attacked  by a seagull and a crow.   That seems regrettably to mirror today’s world,  doesn’t it?

Written by timeforthorns

January 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,