Perfectly legal technology, but it makes me nervous

I note the availability of a “TF-19 WASP Flamethrower Drone Attachment“, that is “highly compatible with most cinema/industrial drone platforms with a payload capacity of 5 lbs or more“.  Here’s a promotional video. This is, of course, entirely legitimate technology in a number of industries and activities.  The supplier lists: Clear debris from power lines Pest management and nest elimination Forest fire containment back-burns / pre-burns Remote agriculture burns Nothing wrong with any of those.  However, I can’t help thinking how much damage it could do in the wrong hands. What if a disaffected person got hold of one of

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Lies, damned lies and politics

I see the old Trojan Horse candidate ploy is still going strong in New York City politics.  It seems a “former” (?) supporter of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be running “against” (?) her as a Democrat in Republican clothing. The launch of a “republican” political challenger in NY-14 to challenge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sherie Murray, follows a very familiar political ploy…. A fake candidate intended to protect AOC in 2020.   In June of 2018 Sherie Murray was an avid AOC supporter. In the last 36 hours you may have seen “republican” candidate Sherie Murray promoted, seemingly out of nowhere, by a variety of media platforms

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Sunday morning music

Last week I put up half a dozen songs that were iconic, representative of their performers, in a way that makes the one forever identified with the other.  It’s a symbiotic relationship.  I invited readers to contribute their own suggestions for pieces like that, and several of you responded.  Rather than continue with my own selections today, I thought I’d pick half a dozen of your choices that I also like, and put them up instead. From 1973, here’s Strawbs, one of my favorite rock groups of all time, with their three-part masterpiece “Autumn“, one of my favorite progressive rock pieces of

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The geography of apartheid – and its human consequences

Gang violence and bloodshed in some of the so-called Coloured (i.e. mixed-race, in South African parlance) townships on the Cape Flats, outside Cape Town, has become so bad that the army has been called in to patrol the area.  This will likely bring some short-term stability, but it won’t solve the bigger, longer-term problem. It’s a particularly sad situation for me, because I was born and raised in Cape Town.  I used to travel through some of the townships there routinely, with my mother and my sisters, in the days before violence became endemic.  Many of the locations mentioned in an article in the Telegraph are

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That’s the strangest airliner I’ve ever seen

. . but I’m sure Klingon passengers would be happy!  It’s a conceptual aircraft in art and model form, presented by Airbus at this week’s Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in England.  They’ve dubbed it the Airbus Bird Of Prey, although it’s not armed, unlike its fictional namesake.  (In fairness, Airbus specifically links the name to birds of prey here on earth, but given the number of Trekkies out there, it’s inevitable that the science fiction association will be made, too.) According to the company’s press release: Airbus has unveiled a bird-like conceptual airliner design with the goal of motivating the next generation of aeronautical engineers, underscoring

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A refreshing alternative to tea or coffee

Being a writer, I spend long hours in front of the computer, working on books, research, blog posts and the like.  I get rather tired of coffee and tea as refreshments. I’ve used various bouillons as substitutes – meat, chicken, etc. – with good results.  Miss D. and I particularly like the “Better Than Bouillon” range, and keep it in stock.  However, I recently discovered another alternative that’s really taken my fancy, to the extent that I drink at least one cup of it every day.  It’s Knorr’s tomato chicken bouillon, as shown on the left.  It’s remarkably economical, whether

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This one’s for Old NFO

Every year, fellow writer, blogger, and friend in meatspace and cyberspace, Old NFO, undertakes a pilgrimage to Augusta, Georgia, to assist in the running of the US Masters Tournament.  He always seems to enjoy himself, and regales us with stories of the fun and games when he gets back. Me, I’ve never played a round of golf in my life – not even a single hole.  I’m one of those who regards a golf course as an unconscionable waste of a good rifle range!  That being the case, I giggled loudly when I saw yesterday’s “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip.  Click the

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It’s as if they can’t connect the dots

I’m puzzled by the lack of awareness shown by many business media and journalists in their reporting these days.  One will report on this aspect of industry, while another reports on that aspect;  but they’ll seldom make the mental connection (at least in their reporting), to point out that there’s a cause-and-effect relationship at work. Case in point:  the trucking industry.  There are many reports that, after a bumper 2018, it’s in the doldrums this year.  Here’s one example from Business Insider, earlier this year. Last year, retailer after retailer sounded the alarm on the rising costs of transportation — and how

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Soldier Of Fortune, unplugged

While David Coverdale was lead vocalist of the rock band Deep Purple, he recorded several songs that have become indelibly associated with his voice.  One of them, perhaps the most iconic of all, is “Soldier Of Fortune” from the 1975 album “Stormbringer“.  You can listen to that original version here. After leaving Deep Purple, Coverdale founded the group Whitesnake, which is still active.  In 2015 the group recorded “The Purple Album“, featuring songs Coverdale had performed while with Deep Purple.  It included a very good rendition of “Soldier Of Fortune”, which has become my favorite version of the song.  (The entire album makes for very

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