Trial-by-“Fired”

Donald Trump’s presidential reality show is finally hitting its stride. Rather than betraying his promises to his blue-collar loyalists, this blogger has learned that Trump’s cabinet of big-money, corporate-welfare advocates was carefully selected for a humiliating process of elimination. The juiciest moment yet was the Russian Foreign Minister’s sneering “Really? He was fired?” response to the news of James Comey’s elimination. Rupert Murdoch and his team of script-writers at Fox are preparing even worse for the rest of the team that Trump gulled into serving in his Cabinet.

Las Vegas odds-makers are setting up betting pools now. Who will be the survivor of the ultimate reality show? The reality show that is, in fact, reality?

My money is on Kim Jong-un.

But until then, of course, every week the voters that elected Trump will be able to cheer as another swamp-monster falls. Price, Mnuchin, Tillerson: the end is near!

The Internet of Nags

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Simple Human is showing a trash can with voice command and WiFi capabilities.

There’s just a short leap to creation of a category-killer: What parent would not rush to the nearest home furnishing outlet for a pail that would hound their son on social media?

#takeoutthegarbage

Facebook timeline: Odor levels in the garbage pail have reached gas-chamber levels.

8:57 PM – Please take out the garbage

9:57 PM – Take out the garbage.

10:57 PM – Uber-mommy has been activated. Your ride will now return home.

Then What are 1000 Pictures Worth?

Reports of the dimming of the star KIC 8462852 have been debunked, causing SETI to revise its claims to have proven the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence. The news also caused a crash in Appalachian coal futures, as CO2 sequestration speculators cancelled orders.

One insider, speaking anonymously to avoid being labelled as a “Koch-head,” revealed “when my employers were convinced that no earthly engineering team could dig an ocean through the Rockies, they were hoping that the ETs would do the work in the course of removing the sub-surface CO2 stockpiles they were hoping to establish in New Mexico and Arizona. No ETs, no CO2 sequestration, no last-grasp strip-mining in Appalachia. Oh well, there’s always that land trade for the Panama Canal!”

More seriously: it turns out that the original study of KIC 8462852, drawing upon analysis of old photographic plates, had failed to account for differences in the equipment used to capture the pictures. By comparing the apparent brightness of KIC 8462852 to that of other stars in the plates, it was determined that the the relative brightness had not changed.

Systematic effects (related to the design of the experimental system) were also a large factor in fueling the “cold-fusion” hype that I got involved in debunking back in the ’80s.

Our Extraterrestrial Saviors

Astronomers tout a “high-frequency” (every couple of years) flickering in the light emanating from the star KIC 8462852 as possible proof of extraterrestrial intelligence. The extent and frequency of the flickering rule out the normal cause of such variation: temporary occlusion of the star by a planet in its orbit. This leaves open the possibility that the occlusion is due to a planetary-scale artificial structure.

The possibility of such structures was first popularized by Larry Niven’s “Ringworld” novels. However, the stresses on a ring encircling a star are inconceivably large – no material imaginable would be able to sustain the strain.

Exotechnologists thus turned their attention to another possibility: the spread of huge tree-like lifeforms rooted in Jupiter-size planets. Natural seasonal cycles would cause the density of the canopy to vary over time, thus explaining the flickering.

Given the huge quantities of carbon dioxide transferred to the stellar wind from such growth, CO2 sequestration, long pooh-poohed as prohibitively expensive, now appears to have long-term market potential. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is leading commercialization efforts, beginning with leasing of the world’s largest radio telescopes in the hope that CO2 deliveries can be arranged before global warming exterminates life on Earth.

The SETI program, in reaction to this plan, reasons that “extraterrestrial intelligence must exist, because it is impossible that intelligence not exist somewhere in the universe.”

Tea Party Bluish on the Future

Incredulous regarding claims that the Koch Brothers could be savvy enough to run the nation’s largest privately held corporation but still stupid enough to ignore the onrushing debacle of global climate change, this blogger delved deep into the records of Heartland city council meetings to discover the true goals of the freedom fighters in the Tea Party.

Tired of dominance of federal politics by the high-density “blue” states on the nation’s coasts, the Tea Party reflects the unification of the jealous red states to enjoy all the privileges of their coastal neighbors. Trained to literalism by generations of fire-breathing bible-thumpers, the freedom fighters seek to accomplish their goal in concrete terms: actually flooding the coastal states with the rising oceans generated by global climate change.

The Koch brothers, leading financiers of fundamentalist libertarians, were inspired in their childhoods by the title of their paper products company: Georgia-Pacific. The geographical oxymoron inspired a whimsical vision of uniting their lumber empires. The climate scientists in their pay have produced detailed projections of the final outlines of the US coast once Greenland and Antarctica have shed their ice.

These projections are mirrored in the placement of fracking installations across America. Confronted by the daunting barrier of the Rocky Mountains, Koch geoengineering specialists realized that accomplishment of their vision would require significant lowering of the nation west of the Mississippi.

Deep-well extraction of oil through fracking is a major part of the engineering effort. Not only is it intended to allow the Pacific to breach the Rockies, it is also being conducted to shape the coastline to ensure that the heartland states share equally in the benefits of their future status as coastline states.

This blogger, eager to relocate to friendlier climes, is now considering opportunities in the neo-coastal “blue-to-be” states.