I (heart) weird government publications

Obliterating Animal Carcasses With Explosives

There are times when it is important to remove or obliterate an animal carcass from locations such as recreation areas where a carcass might attract bears, at a popular picnic area where the public might object, or along the side of roads or trails. Large animal carcasses can be particularly difficult to remove, especially if they are located below a steep cut slope or in remote areas.

Explosives have successfully been used by qualified blasters to partially or totally obliterate large animal carcasses (horses, mules, moose, etc.). It is important to consider location, time of year, and size of the carcass when selecting the quantity and type of explosive to accomplish the obliteration task. Consult a qualified blaster when explosives are to be used.

The following examples illustrate partial obliteration (dispersion) for a horse that weighs about 1,100 pounds (453.6 kilograms). In the first example, urgency is not a factor. Perhaps a few days are expected before the public is to visit the area, or perhaps bears will not be attracted to the carcass. In any case, in this example, dispersion is acceptable. [Figure 1]
In situations where total animal obliteration is necessary, it is advisable to double the amount of explosives used in the first two examples. Use 20 pounds (9 kilograms) on top of and 20 pounds (9 kilograms) underneath the carcass, depending on the type of explosives used. Total obliteration might be preferred in situations where the public is expected in the area the next day, or where bears are particularly prolific.

via FlyerTalk (OMNI, so may not be publicly accessible?)

Flyertalk really needs a “Like” button…

In reply to: Does the $20 or $50 trick (bribe) work for upgrades

I represent certain AMERICAN AIRLINES INTEREST IN AFRICA. As a SENIOR ASSISTANT CHAIRMAN to CHIEF ELECTED OFFICIAL GERARD ARPEY I have recently been promoted to start NEW ROUTES TO LAGOS NIGERIA. Due to systems malfunctions during computer installation, I am able to UPGRADE YOU TO LIFETIME EXECUTIVE PLATINUM STATUS. We will require ENGINEERS to manipulate the new mainframe requiring an initial deposit to defray costs. in the future, you can purchase the status for anyone at the low price of $2500 UNITED STATES DOLLARS. Please do not let this opportunity be lost..

A first fragment of fiction: Bob discovers the multiverse.

I haven’t written much fiction in years, but I found some handwritten bits and pieces from a very boring training a few years ago. I’m not planning to ever try reusing these, so while I’ve slightly edited in retyping them, I’m sharing them here. First one today, second soon, probably limited to two. I’ll consider putting further writing exercises and shorts, and/or some of my old-old writing up here should anyone be interested. Longer pieces will be after the break; this one isn’t long enough.

“Bob, turn around,” came a voice from behind him where there should only have been empty desert. Bob turned slowly, placing a hand upon the rifle at his shoulder.
Standing half a dozen feet behin him was a short young man in khakis and a green polo shirt. His pallor, messy hair and glasses gave bob the sense of someone who studied too much.
“You don’t need the gun, Bob.”
Bob eyed the stranger carefully, then relaxed. “You’re from earth? How do you know my name?”
“This too is Earth,” said the young man, gesturing around them. “In a manner of speaking, at least. Just not one that either of us knows.”
“What do you mean? There’s only one earth, and this,” snorting for emphasis, “sure isn’t it.”
“No, it’s not the Earth from your home universe. Or my own. But it’s an Earth.”
“What? Home universe? Since when is there more than one? How did we get here, then?”
“I can’t explain all of that to you, Bob. This place has its rules, and that would be breaking a big one.” The young man paused a moment. “But I think you know in one sense how you got here, if not why.”
Bob thought for a moment. “There was a crash of light, and my car crashed. I must’ve been knocked out for a minute. I think. When I came to my senses, I sure as heck wasn’t along I-80 anymore. And Mary was gone.”

The coolest way yet to “clean” a hard drive

We finally decided that the only sure way to thwart data recovery was to melt down all the aluminum contained in the platters. Slagging the drive would have two effects on the medium. First off it would convert it from a readable disk to any shape we decided to pour it into. Secondly it would nullify the magnetic properties of the coated aluminum.

via Slashdot comments.


My blog (and personal web site, family web site, and some others I host) have moved to new hosting. Between caps from AT&T Uverse, and just wayyy too much persona data on my home server, I figured it was for the best. The down side is it’s no longer Gentoo, and not quite so bleeding edge. Plus a few bucks a month.

On the up side, I’ve got a lot more upstream bandwidth, and a much greater sense of security. Worth it!

That’s one hung duck (slightly NSFW.)

North American scientists have discovered the longest bird penis ever – a 42.5cm organ belonging to a duck.
Dr Kevin McCracken of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and colleagues, report in this week’s Nature that they have found a specimen of the Argentine lake duck (Oxyura vittata) that has a penis as long as its body – nearly half a metre long.

Very old news, but too funny not to share.

Upgraded, not that anyone cares.

I’ve been doing most of my updating on Facebook. I’m hoping I can find a way to pull my updates down here, for non-Facebook people, or to push some of the updates up. Til then, not much is new.

OTOH, I did upgrade mysql to 5.5, and wordpress to 3.2. Woot, I think.

Manually cleaning an Intel (or other TRIM-able) SSD with hdparm

Figured this might be a useful snippet of perl for other folks. When I rebuild my system last Nov, I wiped the drive with the following:
my $a = 0;
while ($a < 312581808) { my $b = 60000; if (($a + 60000) >= 312581808) { $b = ($a % 60000) - 1; }
print "\n$a: ";
`hdparm --trim-sector-ranges $a:$b --please-destroy-my-drive /dev/sdh`;
$a = $a + 60000;

To use, mount your SSD on another system (or use a system rescue CD or LiveCD with a new enough version of hdparm) and replace “312581808” with your actual number of sectors (check with fdisk -l or similar) and /dev/sdh with your actual drive.

The tricky parts were:
(1) Figuring out the syntax, although I suspect that it’s better documented now.
(2) Figuring out the 60,000 sector limit (actually 64k/65,536? Dunno. 60,000 exactly worked.) I’m not sure if this is an hdparm limit or an Intel X25M limit.

Porpoises rescue Dick Van Dyke

Since it’s been a while since I posted a good “News of the Weird” link…

Porpoises rescue Dick Van Dyke

On screen, Dick Van Dyke has been rescued from untimely death by flying cars and magical nannies. Off screen, the veteran star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins had to rely on the help of a pod of porpoises after apparently dozing off aboard his surfboard. “I’m not kidding,” he said afterwards.

{Checks if it’s April 1}

Sparing my Facebook friends, it goes here instead.

(via AmericaBlog)

Manually installing JDKs on Gentoo

In case it’s useful for anyone else, if you run the ___.bin installer and see this:

bin/java -version
Error occurred during initialization of VM
java/lang/NoClassDefFoundError: java/lang/Object

Check if rt.jar exists in the unpacked directory. If it does not, check if rt.pack exists. If it does, it means that the installer is missing a step.

Rerunning with the command-line options:

"____.bin --accept-license --unpack"

…will fix what ails you by making it unpack those files. If you no longer have the installer, google indicates that there is a program out there called “unpack200” to unpack the .pack files to .jar, but I have not had a chance to try it.