(h/t Claudio) (Implications for a Habitable Ocean)

In the late 2010s, the Europa Clipper became the main NASA mission to Europa with a significant difference in that it would be solar-powered rather than nuclear powered and engage in multiple flybys of the moon rather than orbit it. Another similar mission is the Europa Lander, a proposed NASA astrobiology mission Europa, to complement Europa Clipper. Europa Clipper is planned to be launched in 2024 and Europa Lander is planned to be launched in 2025. 

Europa Lander

There is a bias at NASA against using radioisotope thermoelectric generators even though they’re more effective and assure that the mission life will be longer than it otherwise would be.



They need to keep him in the basement.


Frank bought a new model (h/t Frank)


 Grooming your Food 


Russian Artillery Shells

It’s an older video but it’s on point.

See this illustration. It is the Aral Sea between the 1960s to 2010. You see it has dried up.

What do you think caused it to dry up? It was not an accident, but a planned event.

The diversion of Syr Darya and Amu Darya – the two large rivers which bring water to the Aral Sea – into irrigation. Namely cotton irrigation.

Cotton cultivation was put on primary importance under Premier Khrushchev. Why? Was the USSR about to seize the fashion markets of the world? Did Soviet women have extremely abundant periods? No.

It was all nitrated into guncotton.

Cellulose nitrate, also known as smokeless powder and guncotton, is the basis of military propellants and shell explosives. It can be easily made by treating cotton with nitric acid in presence of a Lewis acid*. The USSR made a mountain range of explosives out of all the cotton it cultivated over decades.

USSR knowingly caused an eco-catastrophe – just to make ordnance out of it. The result is that Russia indeed has an infinite supply of artillery shells – which may or may not work.

*  A Lewis acid is any substance, such that the H+ ion, that can accept a pair of nonbonding electrons. In other words, a Lewis acid is an electron-pair acceptor.


Vladimir Putin (age 70) is beginning to understand that he was living in an imaginary world. All heads of state live in bubbles to some degree, but in Vlad’s case, it will lead to the destruction of Great Russia as we now know it.

All those who surround him are afraid to tell him the truth so they comforted him in his bias. They thought the Russian army was overpowering. Now Vlad realizes that it cannot even take control of Ukraine.

Putin thought the West was dying, and now he realizes that it is stronger than ever thanks to him.

Putin is realizing that his country will become a satellite country of China because Russia will be ultra-dependent on the largesse of the Chinese going forward. Being Xi’s bitch is not a comfortable thing, but the Russians don’t have much choice.

Putin is holding on tight because he understands that he will not win this war. Even if he takes control of the Donbas, Mariupol, and Odessa, it will be a Pyrrhic victory for Putin because Russia will have to pay such a price for its mistakes in the medium and long term that it will no longer be able to hope to become a major world power.

I doubt that he can take Odessa despite what some pundits now predict. I think it is unlikely that he will be able to hold onto Crimea.

Putin must be wondering what to do now. The humiliation of surrendering the Black Sea to Ukraine will mean that the Russians will have to pay tariffs to Ukraine to get their grain to market.

Putin is running the world’s largest Ponzi scheme.

The rotten Soviet regime has been replaced by a rotten criminal enterprise. Rule of law had collapsed, and the Russian nation increasingly owes any stability it has to a class of organized crime assembled to steal what riches remained.

But the Russians and the Russian economy have been picked bare. A Ponzi scheme requires a constant stream of new victims.

The Ukrainians are the new victims of Putin’s Ponzi scheme. Now that the world acts to deny the sharks a new food source the sharks will turn on each other.

The problem with swimming with sharks is that everything is a source of food, even the other sharks.

Putin is on the verge of becoming food for the sharks.


Casualty Numbers

A few days ago, a Kremlin TV channel let slip that in a closed military briefing, officials gave new figures on casualties, that line up almost perfectly with Ukrainian numbers. Ukraine claims to have killed around 22 thousand and has recovered the bodies of +7000 unclaimed Russians. If the Kremlin says 13,500 are dead, and they’re missing 7000. The total number of people that were lost on the Moskva in the black Sea is 116, with over 100 people still considered “missing”. That also matches up.


  1. On a somewhat related note; The amount of surface to air rockets that have been diverted to the Ukraine has left the west with a shortage. Due to the microconductor shortage it is going to be years before that inventory is replenished.

    • Not just the FIM-92 (Stingers), but the FGM-148 (Javelins) as well. It’s worth noting that the US is presently developing and expanding the domestic microconductor capacity. Taiwan, the leader in the production of the same is also ramping up its capacity. Most of the military chips are made in the USA. That’s not to say that the problem of semiconductors isn’t deep and troubling.

        • Is it Antonio the tiger, or is it, Antonia? Or maybe it pivots based on the whim of the day. Are you sure that it’s frosting on those flakes?

          • Could be Antoine, easy change-over by adding -ette on the end. The French affords a certain Joie de vivre.

          • Oh, they’d either:
            a) Wouldn’t hire me because I wouldn’t be a “good fit” for the woke team.
            b) Wouldn’t hire me because I’m not vax’d or masked.
            c) Fire me inside of 3 days because I’d be a a dissenter to HR (aka “personnel”)
            d) I won’t draw rainbows unless they are to depict God’s beauty after a rainfall.
            e) Wouldn’t take the job because it’s in Minneapolis, down the road from the idiotic Floyd Memorial.
            f) I don’t like ice fishing with neighbors having a fishin’ shack lake party, prefer solitude for such endeavors.

  2. What bubble is Xi living in? A few people are saying China is a big bubble that can burst at anytime. Look at what is happening in their biggest and most productive city, Shanghai. The four horseman’s hoofbeats are getting louder by the day.

    • I heard yesterday that Shanghai-style lockdowns are coming to Beijing as the purge spreads. Starving people is never a good way to win their love, but Xi doesn’t see it that way. The lockdown in Hong Kong was scheduled to end on May 5, but it’s a tentative date.

      China can balkanize and become three or four little Chinese states but only if the Army does it, or somehow sanctions it. A junta against Xi’s rule as dictator-for-life? It could happen. I don’t see it as likely, but I didn’t think that Putin would actually invade all of Ukraine rather than just annexing Donbas where he had a lot of support from the population.

  3. Putin is nearly toast…and I think he knows it but his narcissism won’t let it show. If Biden and his war-mongering Idiots in Charge (irony right there) send any more cash or weapons to support someone else’s war it’ll be a clear sign of criminal laundering and “tracks covering payback”.

    Buzzed through Sam’s and caught a glimpse of the entry stacks, on the end was “Rainbow Lucky Charms”. The Left makes everything lousy, even breakfast cereal. Lenin did say, “Give me four years to teach the children and…” The Left is using the same tactic to make their brand of twisted evil all good…for about 1% of the population that need serious mental health intervention.

        • I was standing by the refridgerator the other day having sosme coffee and looking at all the things that get stuck on refridgerator doors. Then I noticed a page from a coloring book our Little Guy had been coloring. Had a doe-eyed little girl standing in it, kind of like an anime character, and then I looked at the floor she was standing on.

          She was standing in the middle of a pentagram, with lit candles all around it…….!

          I called my Sweet Little wife over to look at at it, and once I pointed out the pentagram, she took it down and tore it up. I would have rather burned it, but it was at least out of the house.

          She’d never noticed it, and it had been hanging there a week or more before I started looking at the background details in the picture.

          I will NOT allow satanic symbols in out house. Period, end of story.

          But this is how it starts….innocent little things like coloring books (and now breakfast cereal) get perverted for diabolical uses.


  4. Putin’s problem is the same that strongman/dictators have had throughout all of history. When they fire (or firing squad) the people who tell them things that are true but they don’t want to hear they guarantee they’ll never be told the truth. Who’s going to take the bullet instead of telling “the big guy” what he wants to hear?

    I’m willing to bet nobody told him the truth about the condition of the military or its equipment and happily agreed they’d take over Ukraine in a few days.

    After all, if the big guy gets assassinated by the military or anyone else, they’re still around to suck up to a new boss.

    • Perhaps the worst life to be imagined is to be the suck up to anyone. I recoil at the very thought of being a kiss as, aka brown noser. Weak people do that.

      • That’s very Western of you. (I’m the same way.) There are entire cultures where sycophancy and sucking up are the norm. That’s their business in their own countries, but I hate that more and more of those types have not only entered the West, but are rising to positions of power and expecting the ass-kissing now that they are at the top.

        I unfortunately know and have endured plenty of people who exist through sucking up (and shitting down). They tend to be from specific areas/cultures.

        Apropos of that, while I was not a Dorsey fan, I like his replacement much less. Rocket Man Bad is not exactly #ourguy, but I hope he discomfits the C-level of his new acquisition good and hard. So far as THAT goes, the world’s most successful African-American has my complete support.

        • “There are entire cultures where sycophancy and sucking up are the norm.”

          That describes the Han Chinese to a T. And most Asian cultures. And also the traditional Russian autocratcy.

          • Wrong Asians, Beans.

            South Asians are miles ahead in sucking up and shitting down.
            East Asian cultures are big on conformity and slavish obedience to authority (or rather rank), but not so much on the ass kissing and back stabbing.

            In the US South Asians are the ones aggressively moving into management, politics, and finance as they tend to have higher verbal acuity which manifests as rules lawyering, specious logic chopping, playing at victimhood, and ethical flexibility — especially when it comes to other people’s property. (East Asians are practically autistic by comparison and cluster toward technical jobs.) South Asians are rapidly replacing another group often accused of the traits listed above. (Now in Southeast Asia the Chinese do in fact play the role of dominating wealth and influence to an entirely disproportionate degree, but not in the US. Also, Chinese in SE Asia are fixated on money and tasteless displays of wealth, but not much for cultural subversion. Consistent with that, their perversions are private pleasures, they do not as a rule aggressively push to normalize perversion and degeneracy.)

  5. Apropos of nothing – my diversified retirement account, several years ago, bought & sold some stock in a financial institution currently experiencing a number of class action lawsuits – one of which involves stock price manipulation during the time my account had bought/sold some.
    So…I get a letter with a form to sign, and a request for supporting documentation detailing the amount of stock as well as dates and times bought/sold.
    Filled out the form and signed it, got a copy of statements during the time in question that were added in the return envelope. Since the form said to NOT staple to doc to the form I wrote the claim number and my name on the doc as well.
    I later get a letter saying I did not sign the form.
    Two days after that I get a letter saying I did not include any documentation.
    The number of stock involved was small, so any effort on my part to re-send everything in a manner that they cannot lose would be a negative ROI.

    I’m sure they are trying to make it hard for people to get any of the settlement money, but I wonder if this will result in another class-action lawsuit they will lose.
    Since a lot of retirement money will end up going to heirs/assigns, it looks like this company is stealing money from widows and orphans – wonder if it makes them proud?

    Rant over, and thanks for your patience.

    • Stealing money from the mouths of widows and orphans purchased a lot of the yachts bobbing in the harbor at Monaco, or anchored off Capri. I’m sure that the Big Guy would help with the theft if he received his 10%.

    • “stealing money from widows and orphans – wonder if it makes them proud?”

      Yes. Kinda. More like satisfaction. They’re not PROUD of that per se, because it’s just their normal MO. (Are you proud of tying your shoes, or brushing your teeth? Of course not, it’s merely SOP.) But when they sit down and total up the pile of loot stolen, I’m sure they feel a nice little glow.

      • Anything on the planet can be yours with sufficient funds. Most of the people with that sort of scratch are by default, democrats (party of the poor and downtrodden). Occasionally somebody like Musk rises and breaks the rice bowl.

        • If it’s any consolation, I’ve found that blood money tends to spend quickly. That’s not always the case, of course. The great banking houses of Europe and the Chaozhou mafia that runs Thailand, Sun Yee On Triad in HK, has vast holdings in PR China and the Golden Triangle have obviously retained a great deal of their lucre. The various cartel types in Mexico seem to end badly (the flip side, proving my thesis).

  6. LL I have great respect for your opinions on the military situation vis a vis Russia . But with all the oil money available to the Putin Regime , I read 100 billion received since start of invasion, they can buy off the opposition. The army may suck , but the secret police are ass kickers. An acquaintance of mine with contacts in Russia says most Russians still back Putin and believe ukraine is Russian territory. Mostly he says no one has any idea what’s actually going on in Ukraine .

    • That’s true in regards Putin’s popularity. He’s generally liked mainly because there is no consensus on who should replace him. If there was such a consensus, that person would be pushing up daisies.

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