Monday, March 27, 2017

Dawn on Jefferson, Chapter Eleven: The Breaking Shadstorm

CHAPTER ELEVEN:  THE BREAKING SHADSTORM

Most of the time, I despise the silly word play games corrupting our awesome town’s name ino words that are less than wholesome.  It is a temptation the young boys who think they are funny and the less than happy cannot resist doing.  Our town’s founders just walked right into it with name ‘Shadwell.’
Most of the time, as I said, very annoying.  I entirely disapprove.  However, today, right here,right now, I find myself in the midst of the perfect Shadstorm.  
What’s a Shadstorm?  Some exotic alien weather pattern unique to Shadwell?
Its a storm, alright, but its not the weather.  
Shadstorms are when the parents of to go nuts over something.  There is often a lot of angry yelling, accusations and sometimes even name calling.  There are a few grudges held over past Shadstorms and some families had stigmas ever since.  In one case, the family move away to another town!
That was because Livia Curlless and her best friend Rohan Blake decided to go right up to the cliff edge of stupid crazy and take a flying leap, head first, right off.  Base jumping edition of megaderpage.  With no parachute.  Face first.  Singing that classical music song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  
Yes, really, that dumb.
You see, they decided for their science project, they were going to study the life cycle of the taxito.  Livia, in her infinite genius, decided they needed to breed those highly deadly Jefflie bugs inside the school.  Bites from those vicious little things can cause anaphylactic shock in human beings.  I told you about them when my Dad and I were walking from his farm to school already, remember.
Yes, this brilliant plan was executed inside the school.  Inside where no one wears their leathers as protection.  Inside where a swarm of taxitos might bite many many kids and kill several before the nurses could administer antidotes.  
Yes, we have protections in case the seals ever break and taxitos get in.  No system is perfect and these two megaderps took it way past stupid.
These two geniuses started growing with the intent to breed, taxitos inside the school.  They did have a sealed terrarium.  No taxitos escaped to terrorize the school.  However!  To get eggs even into the school without being detected - I mentioned the protections from dangerous critters getting in, right? - these two megaderps disabled the sensors in the area they snuck the taxito eggs into.  They did not want to get caught - so why the school!?! derporable megaderpage! -  and they did not want the emergency drones popping out of the wall and zapping the taxito egs dad immediately.  Those drones are standard in every room in a building on Jefferson, just like a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector or nannite alarm.  Normally they sit in a small sconce on the wall until if and when Jefflife is detected in the room and they come out zapping with their mini lasers.
Raising the taxitos would have caused a small storm.  BUT!  BUT!  BUT!  BIG HAIRY STINKY SMELLY BUT!
The geniuses left the detection equipment off.  And even wild taxitos could have gotten in.  Livia and Rohan were worried the defenses would detect the taxitos in the terrarium and attack it as well as set off alarms.  And gotten them in trouble.
As if they were going to get away with their plan...In the school?!  Really?!
A teacher smelled the taxito larva hatching - they smell like cinnamon buns and Mr. Gutierrez has a serious weakness for cinnamon buns, so he followed his nose into the broom closet.  And...then he quickly called for help they removed the taxitos and left a surveillance drone waiting for whomever was doing the megaderp.
In walked Livia and Rohan and BOOM!  Totally busted.
The Shadstorm that caused was huge.  Both families decided it would be better to move away than put up with the storm.  The worst part after though was Kat’s Mom.  Kat was friend before she met Kalen.  Then she became an aderpable.  We’ll discuss all the other derp types another time.  Kat’s Mom just kept harassing Livia and Rohan’s families.  That was the final straw and they moved away.
Oh the dark side of living in a small town!
Sadly though, my Shadstorm was far, far worse than some megaderpage.
My Shadstorm actually mattered more than just my hometown.  It affected the whole of the American planet of Jefferson and, even more so, all of the interstellar United States.
Uninvited Indian soldiers on an American planet was an act of war.
So, yeah, my Shadstorm was ten times worse than poor Livia and Rohan’s.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Terminator Times #29

Drones:


DARPA seems to be revisiting the British Skyhook concept with an arrestor hook and catapult in its SideArm project.

DARPA's OFFST program is going to explore drone swarm tactics.

Australia has selected the CamCopter for its navy VTOl drone requiremen and unveiled its plans for a mix of manned and unmanned platforms.

China is offering its AR-2 missile meant for UAVs to foreign countries.

Daesh is using drones to drop bombs.

Israel's Flying Production has unveiled new UAVs.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles:

Lockheed is working on their own UGVs.

Software Bots:

MIT has an annual AI vs AI wargame.

3d Printing:

The European Defense Agency is looking at 3d printing.

Counter Drone:

The US Army has contracted SRC to develop counter UAV tech.

More on the US Navy Spike missile tests against drones.

META:

The US Navy has eliminated the unmanned systems office.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Paleolithic Papers #13

Genus Homo:

Brain size and tooth size were not linked during human evolution.

Stone tools can be examined for the types of plants they were used on.

Asian populations are genetically contiguous with their stone age predecessors.

Did the first humans arrive in North America much earlier than previously thought?

Modern Humans (Homo sapiens):

Tibet may have been occupied by modern humans by the end of the Pleistocene.

Paleolithic cave art started out as public art and became private over time.

The environment of Shanxi, China during the late Pleistocene.

Human remains of the Mesolithic of South Africa.

Foraging patterns have persisted in New Guinea since the terminal Pleistocene despite the advent of farming.

Neandertals (Homo neanderthalensis):

The underrated genius of Neandertals.

Neandertals get praised and examined in the NY Times.

Neandertals were rock collectors.

Examining the molars of Neandertals.

Reconstructing the diet of Neandertals at El Sidrón, Spain.

How did Neandetals spread to the Greek Island of Naxos?  Boats?

Homo naledi:

Examining the ribs and vertebra of H. naledi.

Genus Australopithecus:

A. sediba:

A sediba was adapted to tree climbing as well as bipedal walking.