Review – “Did You Read That Review?: A Compilation of Amazon’s Funniest Reviews” pre-order at Amazon

Every now and again, an Amazon online product will go viral for no other reason than its customer reviews.

The first one that I’d ever heard of was for a plastic banana slicer, of all things. Weird, I know, but I got caught up in it, and even went so far as to do a Photoshop of “Chubby Bubbles Girl” absconding with a slicer.

CaptureI got a free copy of “Did You Read That Review?: A Compilation of Amazon’s Funniest Reviews” today, (which is due out for release November 18, 2014; apparently for my review of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer), and on reading through it, it’s a perfect bathroom or coffee table book.

From the book’s description:

Do you know the pros and cons of owning a Badonkadonk Land Cruiser? Amazon customers do—along with what they think of the Yodeling Pickle, the 3-Carat Diamond Pacifier, and over 100 other items. Witty and unexpected, this collection of customer reviews is sure to show you a new, hilarious, and completely candid side of Amazon products and reviews you never knew existed.

There are 100 of the best product reviews, including:

Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz

The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee (which includes a review by George Takei…Oh my….

Nearly 300 in all, most I’d never heard of till now.

It’s listed at $12.95 for the paperback version, or $1.49 for Kindle.

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And here’s 13 minutes of US Navy Hornet porn

From The Aviationist –

Published on Oct 14, 2013

A short video made by “Wingnut” for the 2013 Hornet Ball. The Hornet Ball (Strike Fighter Ball Pacific) is an annual event consisting of all the West coast Naval F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet squadrons, their pilots and guests. Each year’s ball features a video compiled from the squadrons’ last year of flying in both combat and training missions.

The only thing that even REMOTELY sucked about this video was having to endure 15 seconds of Julia Brownley attack ad against Jeff Gorell at the beginning. That woman is seriously starting to piss me off…

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Yeah, this can’t be good news for private companies doing manned spaceflight

This morning, an Antares rocket carrying a payload to the International Space Station blew to smithereens at launch.

Two companies I know of, this one launched (almost) by Orbital Sciences, and SpaceX are competing to send astronauts into orbit. These days we’re relying on Russia to do the lifting, and since that whole “Reset Button” isn’t working out too well (thanks Barry), Russia isn’t exactly a reliable partner anymore.

Both companies have already successfully send cargo to and returned trash and material from the ISS, but this one carrying 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments aboard wasn’t destined to quite get off the ground. Not by much, anyway.

More info on the differences between the two companies and their launch vehicles:

Orbital’s Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft are significantly different from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Dragon. For a start, the Antares rocket uses just two engines in its liquid-fueled (RP-1/LOX) first stage, compared to the Falcon’s nine engines. As you can imagine, these two engines are huge, each one producing about three times the thrust of each of the Falcon 9’s Merlin engines. The Antares’ engines have an interesting provenance, too: They’re Aerojet AJ-26s, which are derived from the NK-33 rocket engine used by Russia’s N-1 rocket (pictured below). The N-1, which was the (failed) Soviet equivalent of the Saturn V that took the USA to the Moon, had 30 of these monstrous NK-33 engines, totaling 11.3 million pounds of thrust — the most powerful rocket stage ever built. As an interesting bit of trivia, the second N-1 rocket crashed back to Earth shortly after launch, creating the largest human-made non-nuclear explosion of all time.


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Notice to military members on the use of social media in the age of ISIS

The following notice was passed to all hands the other day, it’s not time for panic, or even multiple exclamation points,  just some common sense OPSEC for social media to military members.
Document redacted by me:
Date: October 8, 2014 at 11:44:45 MDT
Subject:Fwd: FORWARD TO ALL HANDS!!!; RE: Domestic Threat from ISIS
BU1, This has been passed down from Intelligence through the COC.   Please pass on to all personnel, I advise to all scrub your accounts and reduce your visibility as a target!!!!!!   Deletion of your account at this time will be an individual choice, in short I would remove association that provides identitiy, phone, address, or any other objects of concern.   Thank you



The Army Intelligence Center has issued a bulletin warning military personnel to be vigilant after Islamic State militants called on supporter s to scour social media for addresses of their family members and to “show up at their homes and slaughter them.”

ISIS has begun sending tweets encouraging lone wolf attacks on military families.  Would-be Mujaheddin are being told to scour facebook and social networks for members of the Armed Forces, find their home addresses and attack them.  Since the beheading of Foley, over 28,000 pro-ISIS Twitter accounts have been created, with an estimated 3,400 new ones created per month.  Recommend seriously curtailing social media activity in connection with the Military.

There are also several social media monitoring devices that are legal to purchase and easily obtainable such as Social Lead Freak.  It is used by people who do social media marketing to generate leads.  A digital marketer can input a keyword related to the product they wish to market and find Facebook groups and fan pages related to that keyword.  This device will tell the marketer how many people are in these groups and connected to these pages, AND narrow down which members or subscribers have clicked on these pages in the preceding 30 days.  This device then builds a Microsoft excel list of their Facebook web addresses.  Digital marketers can then use these lists to send targeted invitations to view adds related to their product.  Beachbody Coaches do this too.

The social media marketers for ISIS are likely using this to recruit new members.  A more sinister use may be to use key words like “navy” or “military” or unit names to find pages or groups dedicated to military service or Command Facebook pages, then to track the activity of members or subscribers in order to target military families.  I therefore highly recommend curtailing activity on Facebook related to the command in general.  I also recommend that everyone go home and scrub their social media accounts of anything overtly military.  This is not just OPSEC related.  This is the social media equivalent of not wearing one’s uniform on a plane in order to make the plane on which we travel seem like a less attractive target.


[REDACTED] Training Officer
Port Hueneme CA

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BBQ baby back ribs for Labor Day – drool

Les the Boss and Diana the tow queen brought me some new pig seasoning to test out. So we obliged.


The baby back subjects for the test


Screaming, they are tossed to the coals



Smoky goodness


First flip


‘Nother flip, more espice


Hurry the heck up


Rats. A touch too pink yet


Leftovers. Come and get it


Jessie made Mac n Cheese, Jan coleslaw and chocolate muffins with a caramel in the center. Yum.

Need place to die…

The spice? Not too salty, a hint of sweetness. Good pig rub.

Posted in Politics

Michael Mann’s special purpose Hockey Stick filter has been exposed

H/t Mark Steyn, who also writes about the “Big Pause” in so-called Global Warming:

I’m currently thinking about courtroom strategy for the upcoming trial of the century. If I were just playing it for laughs, I’d pick climate-science assertions by Mann and me from the last 15 years and invite his witnesses to discuss which ones are closer to where the science is today. But the reality is you don’t really need to “predict” terribly much – not if you believe, as I did then and as I do now, in natural climate variablity. Judging from that Science study and other recent papers, natural variability is back in – which means Mann is increasingly out. Because his main contribution to the debate was abolishing the very concept of natural variability:

Mann’s “hockey stick” shows that there was no such thing as “global warming” until the Industrial Revolution took off bigtime. So, in Mann’s science, 100 per cent of “global warming” is anthropogenic. In that case, where did it all go in the 21st century? See Tony Allwright’s graph above: China and India industrialized in double-quick time, and it made no difference. One obvious explanation is that there is a non-anthropogenic element in play, something called “natural climate variability”.

But Mann and the other Warmanos can’t admit to that. Because the important and influential part of Mann’s hockey stick is not the blade (as Steve McIntyre says, very few people dispute that it’s warmer now than 200 years ago) but the shaft. In abolishing the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, Dr Mann wound up abolishing the very concept of “natural climate variability”. To the point where all his rube celebrity pals believe there was a millennium-long stable climate until industrial, consumerist humans came along and broiled the planet.

They believe that because that’s what the hockey stick told them.

Believe and obey.

Watts Up With That?

Jean S writes at Climate Audit:


As most readers are aware, and stated in my post few hours after (ClimateGate) CG broke out, Mike’s Nature trick was first uncovered by UC here.

He was able to replicate (visually perfectly) the smooths of MBH9x thereby showing that the smooths involved padding with the instrumental data. The filter used by UC was the zero-phase Butterworth filter (an IIR filter), which has been Mann’s favourite since at least 2003. However, there was something else that I felt was odd: UC’s emulation required a very long (100 samples or so) additional zero padding. So about two years ago, I decided to take an additional look at the topic with UC.

Indeed, after digitalizing Mann’s smooths we discovered that UC’s emulation was very, very good but not perfect. After a long research, and countless hours of experimenting (I won’t bore you with the details)…

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Amazing! 15 Qassam rockets intercepted by Israeli Iron Dome

Get you some!

H/t Lachlan

Posted in Politics