Power Tools
Big If

Friday Ephemera

The adventures of Hover Cat. // How to build your own air raid siren. The moment of victory is at 8:42. (h/t, sk60) // Two types of squirrels. (h/t, Pootblog) // Lick me to sleep. // Owl gif of note. // Folded by hand. // Clever crows. // Sneezing chicken. // Sneezes on a plane. // Spinning top of note. // We must summon the mothership. // Xenomorph. // Small gestures, big marble. // The bells of Amsterdam. // Houdini’s illusions. // The free, complete Sherlock Holmes. // The mosh pit simulator does what it says. (h/t, MeFi) // Strum it, stroke it, beat its strings. // An interactive rat map by the Rat Information Portal. // And finally, behold Scroguard - the “premium latex feels like a second skin” and “can accommodate waists up to 48 inches.” Oh, and yes, it’s washable.


R. Sherman

Re: Scroguard

The Beta version

The Lurker on the Threshold

We must summon the mothership.

Hmm, the cloaking device appears to be playing up again. Must fix it over the weekend.


How to build your own air raid siren.

*clears diary for weekend*



It's definitely better than a sheet with holes in it.


behold Scroguard

Now I have to clear my browser history (again).


A hint on how to reduce the cost of fuel.

The bone-shattering physics of being rescued by The Flash.

And Captain America: The Winter Soldier remade as an Eighties Cannon Films VHS release. (Warning - features bra guns.)


Can't... stop... watching... Hover... Cat....

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Scroguard is disturbing.

So you're all revved up and about to do sex to someone, and then you say "hang on, I need to wrap some cling film around all of my naughty bits. No offense, but it looks like Sebastian and all his crustacean friends from "The Little Mermaid" are having a party in your pubic region".

And then what? Nobody who isn't on crystal meth is going to have sex with you after you reveal your turkey-wattled latex scrotum sheath. Even Michael Jackson would have rejected that as "too weird".

This is proof - if any were needed - that David Icke is right. Normal humans don't need a marigold for their Ed Balls. But shapeshifting lizard people from Proxima Centauri probably do.


The mosh pit simulator does what it says.

I'm now downloading a physics paper called 'Collective Motion of Moshers at Heavy Metal Concerts'.

I didn't see that coming.


Nobody who isn’t on crystal meth is going to have sex with you after you reveal your turkey-wattled latex scrotum sheath.

Yes, but on the upside it is washable.

Tim Newman

Years ago (around 2002) I went to a presentation by a small company that did crowd modelling. They'd managed to replicate the behaviour of people in a crowd using the little circles like those in the Mosh Pit, and could identify areas where a crowd could get dangerous (to test their software they recreated the Hillsborough disaster). They were offering it to engineering companies to verify evacuation routes, particularly for ships and stadia. They gave us a demonstration which showed that putting a handrail down the middle of a wide concourse or corridor completely relieves the pressure of a moving crowd. I've never looked at a central handrail the same way since. They were clever guys, with a fascinating product.


Guess what I bought yesterday? The complete stories of Sherlock Holmes.

Kobi Alexandroni

Hello David, long time reader, first time commenter here. I thought that you and your readers may find this article interesting:


Keep up the excellent blog - it's a real gem.

R. Sherman


Thanks for providing that link. Spot-on if depressing analysis of the current state of affairs in the Humanities, at least in the U.S.


Jacques Derrida himself scolded academics in a 1991 interview for downgrading the classics, stating, “If you’re not trained in the tradition, deconstruction means nothing. . . . I think that if what is called ‘deconstruction’ produces neglect of the classical authors, the canonical texts, and so on, we should fight it.”

Oh, right, did y'all hear about the deconstructionist mafioso?

He'll make you an offer you can't understand.


long time reader, first time commenter here.

That’s what I like to see. Readers joining in.

Oh, and the praise too. You can’t go far wrong with praise.


university |juːnɪˈvəːsɪti|
noun ( pl. universities )
a high-level educational institution in which students study for degrees and academic research is done.

Might have to do something about that definition.

    Three professors at the University of San Francisco (USF) are claiming that if you are white, heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian, or male, you …

Yes, well, the rest of the article writes itself really but there are some amusing posters in here too.


Yes, well, the rest of the article writes itself really

“Unearned access to social power” is bad, said the adults who presume to inflict their politics on inexperienced teenagers in a classroom setting, where decisive rebuttals are fairly unlikely and where authority and status – and the power to grade – are theirs alone. Adults whose access to that leverage and hugely unequal platform is based in large part on mouthing fashionable dogma as if it were unassailable, while risking little, if any, censure for their narrowness of thought and casual presumption.

See, for instance, here. Or pretty much anything tagged ‘academia’.


I like this comment:

"Maybe "privilege" is Society's way of telling you "You are doing the right thing."
Check your resentment. Don't live on the periphery."


Yes, well, the rest of the article writes itself really

Funny how 'think critically' means 'feel resentful and envious'.


Funny how ‘think critically’ means ‘feel resentful and envious’.

Well, one of the effects of cultivating this worldview, with its endless opportunities for social positioning and scolding other people, is that the more credulous students may be tempted to imagine themselves as fitting one or more of the Designated Victim Categories - and thereby entitled to deference. Or at least payback of some sort. Because someone who can spend their days nodding in agreement at the University of San Francisco, where annual tuition is around $40,000, must have drawn the short straw in life.


Anita Sarkeesian, she of the notorious "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" series, might approve of this video game:




If you don't have to think about it, it's a privilege.


Walking, breathing, seeing, medical staffers tell me I have a functioning circulatory system, picking thing up, putting things down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Oh, and where this practicing Buddhist had a followup thought about USF, where USF is just a few miles off thataway . . . .

The University of San Francisco is a Jesuit Catholic university located . . . . .

. . . . because as is noted by this spasm of collecting the salary of a teacher while pointedly and vehemently not really thinking through what is being claimed, being Xtian in that environment is certainly and clearly, totally an absolute aberration, and must be dealt with.

And let's not even start with the privilege of being Jesuit . . . let alone the ongoing horrors that being some Jesuit can lead to . . . !


Scroguard seems to me to be one of those products that, should you seriously be considering purchasing it, you would then proceed to look at your life and your choices that brought you to that place.

But then one of the few blogs that plugs for them, Earth Wind and Herpes, is devoted to destigmatizing individuals with herpes, so what do I know, hatey hater that I am.

Tim Newman

If you don't have to think about it, it's a privilege

Cognito ergo victimus.


Yes, well, the rest of the article writes itself really

As the posters denounce “able-bodied privilege” (among many other things) as something to be “confronted” and presumably atoned for, I was reminded of this. Specifically, the belief that people with functional hearing are wickedly “phonocentric” and are indulging in “audism,” an “institutional form of oppression” – a way of “dominating, restructuring, and exercising authority over the deaf community.” Apparently “phonocentrism” is “violent” and being “enforced,” because whatever the majority of people do or have – in this case adequate hearing – is therefore some kind of heinous imposition on those who don’t. We must therefore “deconstruct the hegemony of voice as presence, voice as being” until we achieve “post-phonocentric awareness.”

Now, it’s one thing to say that deafness is unfortunate and often puts one at a disadvantage – one might feel deafness itself to be oppressive. But for some that statement of the obvious isn’t enough for an academic career and a black belt in Grievance Studies. And so they assert that people whose hearing works fine are actually “oppressing” deaf people – “violently.”

    One aspect of Derrida’s legacies he probably did not predict is his influence on the field of Deaf Studies.

Errr … no, I imagine he very much did not predict his influence in that particular field.

God help us.


Anita Sarkeesian, she of the notorious "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" series, might approve of this video game:

I have to say I've been observing the surreal swamp that is 'GamerGate' very much from the sidelines, and have been at equal turns horrified and fascinated by the whole thing … be that as it may, I very much enjoyed the game you linked to.

I also have to say that, all other things being equal and even accepting what the GamerGater's have done wrong, I think they have a point.

Charlie Suet

I enjoyed the game as well. Some of the comments though...

The elaborate pretence that there's no middle ground between racism and agreeing with everything dull sanctimonious SJWs come up with is infuriating.


Courtesy of a bit of catchup reading elsewhere, imagine if Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds had actors instead of puppets, and involved hunting down Adolf Hitler . . . . and is out on DVD . . .


Mothership moves off


Just a bit amazing!

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