I Blame The Dharma Initiative

Polar bear spray-painted with ‘T-34’ baffles Russia wildlife experts:

Footage shared on social media in Russia of a polar bear with “T-34” spray-painted in black on its side has alarmed experts.

Experts warned the stunt could affect the animal’s ability to blend in with its surroundings and hunt for food.

An investigation is under way to determine exactly where in Arctic Russia the video was filmed.

I’ve seen this before.

Fifteen years later, I’m probably the only one still alluding to Lost.

UPDATE: It looks as though Ms. K. has also commented on the story.

Military Scientists Make The Sword and The Sorcerer Prototype A Reality

US air forces in Syria use rare Hellfire missile to kill two targets:

The projectile used in the attack in Atmeh is believed to be a rare Hellfire missile known as the AGM-114R9X — which instead of a traditional warhead, has sword-like blades that protrude out of it, according The Warzone.

Video of the field trials below:

If it were lasers, you know I’d have gone with Real Genius.

A British Summer Home

Since my first castle is here in town, I guess I’ll have to use this British castle as a summer home.

It took Anton Jones 15 years to buy what was known locally as Llantwit Castle from the Vale of Glamorgan council and another five years to transform the medieval house.

No cranes or cement mixers were used and all the materials were mixed and constructed using traditional methods.

Lime mortar was used and the solid oak beams were cut and constructed on site.

Anton was fascinated with the building since he was a child where he used to play but was also “scared to death of it.”

He said: “It was very, very creepy in those days because the ruin was totally covered in ivy.

“It was always very gloomy even on a summer’s day and there was always an eerie presence here and I actually got chased by horses here once.

“I can still hear the hooves hitting the stones now when I’m working here.”

When he bought the property for £5,000 the “conservation builder” feared he had bitten off more than he could chew when the extent of the restoration project became fully clear.

Anton said: It was completely ruined, in fact it shouldn’t really have been saved because it was too far gone.

It looks nice.

Unfortunately, it is in Britain.

Suddenly, “OK, Boomer”

So I’ve seen the rejoinder “OK Boomer” [sic] twice this week, and it’s only Tuesday. The first was on Facebook post by Bill Whittle and the second was on today’s Bleat by James Lileks. So I guess it’s a thing in Internet places where one contends with Millenials. I don’t, so I haven’t seen it, and I’m not a boomer anyway.

But I see “OK Boomer” and immediately I think of the Benji knock-off:

If you’re of a certain age, it probably triggers the theme song in your head.

Enjoy the flickering representation while it lasts, which will be until the automated copyright checking algorithms find it and I have to replace it in the post with the the German version.

I Know; I Am From Milwaukee

The Current Local, the Van Buren, Missouri, weekly paper, recently ran a piece on a local resident who once was a state trooper in Alaska.

The text, though, doesn’t think many people reading it are from Milwaukee.

In July of 1968, Stan Kaziczkowski (pronounced kozziKOWskee) stood at the unlikely doors of the Alaska State Trooper Academy in Sitka, a small city on Baranof Island south of Glacier Bay National Park.

I know how to say Kaziczkowski, for Pete’s sake. Just like it’s spelled. And, yes, Kaziczkowski is from Wisconsin.

(See also Finalists for Most Milwaukee Wedding 2017 Announced.)

The Difference Between The Old Neighborhood And The New

I check out the crime stories that mention places I’ve lived to see if I know the alleged perpetrators. Hey, it happens; once I saw the name and picture of the kid who sat behind me in 8th grade Civics class with Mrs. Padgett, but he wasn’t a kid anymore.

In the new neighborhood, I check the news stories to see how close tornadoes came to Nogglestead.

This one? Very close indeed. According to a map in the Greene County Commonwealth, it ran just a little south of here:

It was passing to our south when the weather radio alarm went off with the tornado warning. So we got away with one there.

A Fear We’ve Shared

The young kid running amok at a 5K race. 9-year-old misses turn in 5K race, accidentally wins St. Francis Franny Flyer 10K:

Last weekend, St. Cloud resident Heather Lovell was standing along the St. Francis Franny Flyer 5K route in Sartell.

She was waiting for her 9-year-old son Kade to pass by.

When Lovell didn’t see Kade when she expected to, she thought he might just be having a bad race.

Then a few other kids — whom she knew were slower than Kade — passed by. Still no Kade.

Lovell’s mother then drove the 5K race route. Still no Kade.

Lovell started to worry that he had gotten lost or injured — or worse.

“I had everyone looking for him, even a fireman. I was like, ‘You need to go find my son,'” Lovell said. “I was bawling. This had never happened before.”

Our youngest got to be fast enough that he ran by himself at about that age, and before he really learned to pay attention to cars and other moving things.

So far, so good, though.

He does want to run a 10K sometime soon, and I might join him. But this year, he’s been running in cross country meets, which are shorter distances. And I’ve not gotten the exercise I like to get for, oh, a year (notice no “What’s on Brian’s iPod at the Gym” posts lately?). So no 10K for us this year.

Unless it’s an accident.

(Link via Neatorama, but not John Farrier, who used to come around here.)

Robert Davies, Daryl Simon Have An Alibi

Gold bars with faked logo slipped into global markets, JPMorgan vaults: report:

Gold bars stamped with fake logos of major refineries have been circulated into the global market and landed in the vaults of JPMorgan Chase & Co. — part of a plot to launder smuggled or illegal specimens of the precious metal, according to a report.

Bars worth at least $50 million stamped with the logos of Swiss refineries that did not produce them have been identified by all four of the country’s top gold refiners in the last three years, Reuters reported.

As you know, gentle reader, my novel John Donnelly’s Gold includes the manufacture of a fake gold bar.

What, you didn’t know that? Gentle reader, you should buy the book that is rated at least 4 stars on various forums.

Wasted Ingenuity

I always find stories like this interesting: Fugitive lived in isolated bunker for 3 years to evade arrest in Wisconsin:

His hideout was near the Ice Age Trail, a 1,000-mile footpath that winds through Wisconsin woodlands. It’s a rustic trail, still partially in development, and in remote places like Ringle sees very little foot traffic.

Button began digging out the bunker, lining the walls with cardboard and tarps. He made a roof out of tarps and logs. When it was finished, he started moving in supplies one backpack load at a time. He bought half a pallet of canned food and brought in a TV.

When it was time for Button to finally disappear, he said he left his car, wallet and ID at his mother’s house in Richfield, along with a note that he was moving to Florida. He hopped a train in Stevens Point and covered himself with coal in one of the coal cars to avoid detection. He got off the train in Wausau, and it took him two days to walk to his bunker.

Over the years, he was able to ride a bike to the landfill to collect food, clothes, tools, electronics and other supplies.

Tennessee escapee: Affidavit says fugitive Curtis Ray Watson strangled, sexually assaulted Tennessee corrections employee

Button attached a TV antenna to a tree outside the bunker and used a system of eight solar panels and numerous car batteries to power the TV, other electronics, lights and fans. When he needed more electricity, Button pedaled a bike attached to a homemade generator.

He did better than that kid in Alaska.

I dunno why the stories of fugitives hiding out in the woods fascinates me more than kids wandering into the woods and dying. The relative success (that is, the fugitive lived)?


Two stories on the front page of NYPost.com today show a bit of false equivalency.

AOC rips McConnell over pic of young men in ‘Team Mitch’ shirts ‘groping & choking’ cutout of her:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday night after a photo surfaced on social media, showing a group of young men “groping and choking” a cardboard cutout of the freshman congresswoman — while wearing shirts that read “Team Mitch.”

“Hey @senatemajldr – these young men look like they work for you,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll,” she asked, “or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?”

Protesters shout death threats outside Mitch McConnell’s home:

Gun control supporters stood outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home in Kentucky on Sunday night — protesting and hurling death threats at him — while broadcasting on Facebook Live.

“Murder Turtle!” the demonstrators can be heard shouting on video, in reference to McConnell’s infamous nickname.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” a person says at one point, while the others continue to yell.

“The bitch home — we keep seeing the lights go on and off,” another says. “This hoe really thought he was going to get ready to be at home after he hurt his little punk ass shoulder. Bitch, don’t nobody give a f–k! F–k your thoughts and prayers, Mitch. F–k you, f–k your wife, f–k everything you stand for.”

One is shenanigans, and one is an attempt to threaten and intimidate.

Some people would like for us to think they’re the same, but they are not.

Also, the distinguished gentlewoman is probably to young to remember this:

Jon Favreau, the 27-year-old speechwriter to Barack Obama, was photographed with his hand on the, er, lower shoulder of a cardboard cutout of Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton.

Or maybe she is hoping that her audience is. And she might be right.

Marcinko Comes Out Of Retirement To Lead SEAL Team Seven

That’s what one might infer from this story: Navy SEALs platoon sent home for drinking during deployment:

A platoon of Navy SEALs deployed in Iraq were sent home for boozing on the job, the latest incident to mar the esteemed special operations force, according to a report.

The group from SEAL Team 7 was forced by a Navy commander to return to their San Diego base for violating General Order No. 1, which prohibits alcohol use, according to the Washington Post.

Richard Marcinko, whose fictional Rogue Warrior series and other books I’ve enjoyed, would approve of that sort of behavior.

Snakes Learning New Camouflage Techniques

“Don’t worry, honey, that’s not a venomous snake; it doesn’t look like a copperhead.”

A Bolivar woman who knows her snakes encountered a really weird one while riding her bike on the Frisco Highline Trail.

Near one of the first bridges on the southbound route she rode past the snake, then turned around for a closer look.

“It never moved,” said Christy Dablemont, 47. “I never got closer than two or three feet to take pictures. It didn’t move when I rode past it or when I came back.”

The snake was a venomous copperhead, but with unusual markings down its back. Instead of “Hershey’s Kisses” markings along its side, the snake’s back was mostly a pattern of bronze-colored lines.

Well, if we keep decapitating copperheads that look like copperheads with a hoe, only the ones that look different will remain to pass on their genes.

Which is why I recommend decapitating all snakes just to be sure.

Two Different Facts In One News Story?

Via Gail Heriot on Instapundit, we have this story: San Diegan featured in program about notorious D.B. Cooper skyjacking case dies in Banker’s Hill home.

Which has two different facts that seem to contradict each other in the same story.


Rackstraw completed a 15-month tour in Vietnam in 1970 with 50 decorations, including dozens of air medals. He was drummed out of the military the following year after one too many incidents of misconduct.

That sounds like insubordination or disrespecting an officer or something.


In 1991, he earned an economics degree from the University of San Francisco — two decades after getting kicked out of the Army for faking college transcripts.

Which sounds like an administrative thing.

Maybe the last incident of misconduct was faking transcripts? Perhaps. But to the layman, it looks like two different things. Or maybe just the lazyman who needs a morning blog post.