New Earth-Focused NASA Encouraging ‘Global Selfies’ for Earth Day

e9d0339593a5107c33e661fbe6096249Yes, it’s come to this.  Lacking any human presence in space, or any meaningful plans for deep space exploration, but committed to making goat-herding nations feel better about themselves, NASA is now the preeminent social media agency, as long as it promotes sham science on Earth Day.  From NASA Communications:

The year 2014 is a big one for NASA Earth science. Five NASA missions designed to gather critical data about our home planet are launching to space this year. NASA is marking this big year for Earth science with a campaign called Earth Right Now, and as part of this campaign the agency is asking for your help this Earth Day, April 22.

While NASA satellites constantly look at Earth from space, NASA invites you (and everyone else on the planet) to post a “selfie” on any of these five social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr. You can also post your photo to the #GlobalSelfie event page on Facebook, the #GlobalSelfie group on Flickr or you can join the #GlobalSelfie Google+ event page. Need an idea of what kind of picture to take? Get outside and show us mountains, parks, the sky, rivers, lakes — wherever you are, there’s your picture. Tell us where you are in a sign, words written in the sand, spelled out with rocks — or by using the printable signs we’ve created that are available at the bottom of this web address:

Posted in Country, Obamanana Republic, Politics, Science | 5 Comments

Open Thread, Holy Thursday 17 April 2014


Image | Posted on by | 34 Comments

Obama: Dump costly men, hire cheap women


At a White House news conference today, President Obama encouraged employers to boost their profits by slashing expenses, or in his words: “Dump costly men, hire cheap women.”

“With women earning just 77 cents on the dollar compared with men,” Obama said, “they’re a real bargain, allowing you to move 23 percent of your HR budget straight to the bottom line.”

The president noted that, “Not only are women cheap and renewable, but they’re smart and they work hard, often doing jobs that no man would do. And some of them have even bigger biceps than their husbands.”

An unnamed economist at the American Woman Cooperative Marketing Board agreed.

“If women really earn so much less,” he said, “why would a business ever hire a man? All other things being equal, it makes no economic sense.”

However, a spokesman for Man Worker International noted that despite their proclivity to engage in risky after-hours behaviors and to die sooner, men are still a good deal.

“Sure, they cost a little more up front,” the spokesman acknowledged, “but men consistently put work before family, senselessly devote their lives to developing boring but useful expertise, and rarely get pregnant.”

President Obama signs an executive order, firing every male employee in the executive branch, to be replaced with “cheap, renewable women,” saving taxpayers millions of dollars this year alone.

By Scott Ott.

Posted in Humor | 7 Comments

Open Thread, Wednesday 16 April 2014

“Look at all the liberals, honey. They must be migrating.”  (These are bats, BTW.)

Posted in Open Threads | 34 Comments

Open Thread, Tuesday 15 April 2014

I stole this “dog’s life” photo from Wirecutter in honor of Sol’s dog Sweetie, who was killed yesterday. Rest in peace, and never run out of bacon, Sweetie.

Posted in Open Threads | 18 Comments

For Holy Week: Guns of the Swiss Guard

Guest post by Texan59.  Excerpts from: article by Chris Eger, entitled: “Guns of the Swiss Guard: Happy Hole-y Week.”

the-swiss-guard-has-remained-timeless-although-their-firearms-have-not-186x300Formed of 110 officers and men, the Pontifical Swiss Guard are the defacto military of the Vatican City, an independent country of just .17 square miles (110-acres) in size located inside Rome, Italy. They are responsible for the security and safety of the Pope as well as the Papal facilities.

All of the members are volunteers serving 25-month contracts. To be a member you have to be an adult male Swiss citizen, at least 5-foot, 8-inches tall, under 30 years of age, and have successfully completed prior service with the Swiss Army. Once selected members receive further training in less-lethal weapons, crowd control techniques, dignitary protection, and other skills needed in their future job.

The Guard takes their mission seriously. In 1527 during the Sack of Rome, the Swiss Guard suffered more than 80% casualties in a rear guard action known forever as the Stand of the Swiss Guard, which allowed the then-current Pope to escape. The Guard responds to regular attacks on the Pope both in the Vatican and abroad.

since-1990-the-standard-issue-pistol-of-the-swiss-guard-has-been-the-sig-p220-300x241For almost 80 years, the officers and NCOs of the Swiss Guard were armed with Hugo Schmeisser’s very homely Dreyse Model 1907 pistol. This 7-shot .32ACP was ugly but reliable. After the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul in 1981 by a Turkish hitman, the Guard upgraded these handguns to the logical SIG P220, which is standard issue for the Swiss Army. There are also a number of Austrian-made Glock Model 19 9mm pistols used when a more concealable duty weapon is desired, such as on overseas dignitary protection.

the-sig-552-is-standard-issue-with-the-swiss-guards-when-swords-alone-will-not-dueRifles of the Swiss Guard have long been whatever is standard with the Swiss Army. Since 1990, that has meant the SIG SG550 rifle. This 5.56mm NATO select-fire rifle has a 20.8-inch barrel and is one of the most accurate and reliable modern combat rifles. Its 30-round clear lexan magazines clip together like ‘jungle mag’ style for rapid exchanges. The Guard owns both the standard StW90 rifle variant and the SG 552 Commando model (with 8.9-inch barrel, 19.8-inches overall with stock folded). With the Swiss military tradition of marksmanship, it’s guaranteed that these soldiers can use them if needed.

the-HKMP7-probably-rides-shotgun-with-the-dark-suit-wearing-Swiss-Guardsmen-near-the-pope-287x300Besides the unique MKPO, the Swiss Guard also acquired quantities of the 9mm Hispano Suiza MP43/44 subgun after World War 2. The MP43/44 is itself a better-made Swiss copy of the Finnish Suomi M31 submachine gun. In the 1970s, these guns were augmented by HK MP5s from West Germany, one of the first instances of the Guard using non-Swiss made guns. Today the Guard now carries the ultra-modern HK MP7 PDW chambered in 4.6×30mm. This is a good choice as these same types are used by US Navy Seals, German GSG9 and just about anyone who doesn’t agree with Jerry Tsai.

Speaking of the Swiss Guards Armory, it is a functional time capsule of Swiss weapons development. Inside the secure location deep within the Vatican are racks of Model 1871 Vetterli Rifles (with their extremely collectable Yataghan-style short-sword bayonets), opposite racks of Swiss T59 rifled muskets with socket bayonets. These guns mingle freely with SIG 510 and 550 assault rifles and lounge among 15th century edged weapons. Items in the armory are marked ‘AG’, which means “Ausrustung der Garde,” or “Equipment of the Guard/Guard Property” but have never been sold as surplus, making any Swiss-made firearm so marked a subject of a very interesting conversation.


Posted in Europe, Firearms, General Religiousness | 3 Comments

Open Thread, Monday 14 April 2014

We were nice to Barn yesterday on his anniversary, so I’m posting this one of him at work, today.

Posted in Open Threads | 22 Comments