Friday Linkzookery (with Star Wars) – 25 May 2007

Be sure to check out the Star Wars Linkzookery at the bottom.

UK anti-war duo acquitted of sabotaging US bombers
The pair argued that they were acting to prevent war crimes in Iraq.

F-18E Shows Its Age Earlier Than Expected
Like most of the inventory, the wear and tear is adding up. Unfortunately, the Super Hornets are among the newest planes in the air for us.

House Moves to Cut Off Spare Parts for Iran’s Air Force
Only about 28 years late. (And no, I see no irony whatsoever in a link about Iranian F-14s following a link about F-18s wearing out earlier than expected…)

Hidden costs of corn-based ethanol
I remain concerned that ethanol might not be the best route to take, but I’m certainly willing to give it a shot. Alternatives to corn-based ethanol look a lot better to me.

65.9 MPG
Post and interesting comments from R. Neal.

The Air Car
Makes 65.9 MPG look pretty crappy. Plus you can run your A/C all day long.

Much, much more Linkzookery, including Star Wars links, below >>>

A Wildcatter Pounces
US domestic oil industry making a comeback?

Lebanese Army: Not Outgunned
As unlikely as it sounds, the NYT might have something wrong.

Swarms of cicadas emerging in Midwest
Yep. Can’t wait. Looking forward to it.

11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Guidon Passing
From 2004: Vietnam Blackhorse vets passing down a guidon for today’s Blackhorse Regiment to take to Iraq. (Found this while looking for info on cavalry guidons. I want a guidon for my son’s Boy Scout troop, but they’re not authorized. I suspect that somehow the troop is going to end up with one anyway…)

ROVs help police with Port Security
Port security? You mean we have port security?

Free Trade: Under Siege
The US-China Trade War No One Expects: An across-the-board tariff of 20 percent on Chinese goods?

Woman acquitted of illegal poop use
Dem activist who left some front-porch dissent remains unstifled.

Coming Soon: Pepsi Ice Cucumber
From the comment: “Haven’t bought anything from Pepsi in years, but that looks bad enough to try.

Star Wars: 30 Years

Make-It-Yourself ‘Star Wars’
There is no chance that Murdoc will make any Star Wars clips. None whatsoever. Nada.

Now THAT’S a Star Wars cake
I had an AT-AT birthday cake for my birthday, once.

Star Wars Legacy Sneak Peak
History Channel special to air on Monday.

Star Wars Toys that Never Were
Fairly amusing.

Stars Wars: Where Are They Now?
Then and now pics of cast members.

Lucas hints at new Star Wars film
Honestly, I’m not sure if the world could take another Star Wars film. Wouldn’t mind seeing that TV series, though.

It’s Official – No More Star Wars Movies
Whew! Though now that Lucas is apparently denying there will be any more films, I’m more inclined to think there will be. He’s basically been completely untrustworthy when talking about the films.

How Star Wars shook the world
He’s wrong, though, about the opening crawl including “Episode IV: A New Hope” when the film premiered. That was added in 1981.

Star Wars 3 and Unfulfilled Expectations
Why I don’t think the new movies are as bad as everyone (including me) says they are.

Star Wars Stamps
A cool $0.41 each…

2007 Star Wars Weekends Merchandise
Cool posters.

Make your own paper AT-AT
Download .pdf, cut, assemble, and conquer the universe.

And don’t forget the Star Wars Holiday Special:

(Oh, I’ll post links to my Star Wars clips in the near future…)


  1. The alternative to corn-based ethanol is this stuff you just pump out of the ground. It can’t be used for food or animal feed, doesn’t require much land, and does not compete with food production or wilderness preservation. It’s easier to handle and less evaporative than ethanol, contains more energy content and burns cleaner. It’s called petroleum.

  2. I read an article about a month ago describing the price of corn in Mexico and how it was being negatively affected by US demand for ethanol. The price of tortillas is rising and the poor are having to pay an increasing percentage of their meager earnings to afford them. So we can pick our poison. Don’t use ethanol and be more dependent on oil imports, or use ethanol and have more illegals bum rush the border desperate for food. Maybe we could avoid the above choices if we would just drill for oil in ANWR and secure the border. But since neither will happen I guess we are stuck with the choices in paragraph two.

  3. Screw oil. We should be using nuclear and cellulose based ethanol. Screw the oil companies. Screw Venezuela. Screw the Middle East and this damn useless war in Iraq. We can put a man on the moon but we can’t kick the oil habit? How F’ed up is that? Oh yeah, we can’t put a man on the moon any more.

  4. I agree that alcohol made from waste products makes infinitely more sense than alcohol made from food. I know methanol isn’t as good a fuel as ethanol but it can be made much more easily (including from wood scraps as I understand it) and it CAN be used as a fuel. Maybe city buses can run on it or something. Of course if ethanol can be made from stuff that’s normally thrown away e.g. corn stalks, that’s even better.

  5. ‘UK anti-war duo acquitted of sabotaging US bombers’ May the fleas of 1,000 Iraqi camels migrate to their armpits!

  6. Corn ethanol is a very, very stupid thing. Im from Brazil and its ridiculous to see that while our cane ethanol is highly profitable, the lame corn ethanol needs heavy subsides and the usines need fossile fuels, while the usines here that use sugar cane can make their energy out of the rest of their own cane.

  7. I love the idea of the ‘Air Car’, but I have one teeny tiny little question: Where do we get the extra electricity to keep up with the demand from all the compressors that will be running? Don’t laugh…..TRANSTAAFL is alive and well. Our utility grid is already peaked, and because of all the thoughtful tree-huggers out there, we haven’t built new power plants in a long time. But demand has kept going up, and this idea will put quite a bit of strain on the system, which means we’ll be burning more coal and oil and natural gas to keep up, so we’ll be putting more pollution in the air……there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Now if we have the air car, and add a couple of dozen nuclear reactors, that would be good news.

  8. ….oh, and cellulose based ethanol (sawgrass, corn stalks, etc) is progressing nicely, so we may not have to depend completely on corn. Like any new tech though, it takes time to perfect. Personally, I think we’re going to see gas stations change to ‘power’ stations, offering gasoline, ethanol, high-pressure air, hydrogen, fuel cell swap-out, battery charging and swap-out, and whatever else the engineers come up with for new power sources. Unlike gasoline, the wonder fuel, in the future one energy source is not going to be able to do it all. Nor should it: ever hear the old one about, ‘…all your eggs in one basket’? I would think we would be learning out lesson about now, don’t you?

  9. You mean like any new technology our government would have to step up to breaking the monopoloy of big oil so it could get some investors to back it. You watch, the minute someone tries to start a plant, the price of gas will drop a dollar a gallon. It pisses me off because where our fathers were happy to contribute to the WW2 war effort through rationing programs, people today won’t lift a finger to put a stop to the mess in the Middle East. How much farther do you think Iran could go towards getting nukes if we went to a crash program to halt our dependence on gasoline? It would stop them a hell of a lot faster than a bunch of ‘smart bombs’ from a B-2. Will anyone step up? No. Better to send someone else’s kid in harms way than to lift a damn finger. Pititful.

  10. Here is a letter to NASA (via regarding many of the criticisms I have leveled against them and the rest of the defense industry. What’s their mission? What is their value to the taxpayer? It is clear that our government is out of control because they don’t feel they need to have a mission or provide any value. Here is an excerpt: A great deal has been written about NASA’s culture, especially after the loss of the two shuttles. Prior to this engagement, I didn’t understand or feel what the words were trying to describe about your culture. I now know. the culture under which you operate is anything but normal, anything but efficient or effective in the areas in which I worked. Early on in this assignment, a friend of mine on the 9th floor at NASA Hqd., when asked about NASA’s ‘value’ and that specifically of The Vision, said: ‘Basically, NASA is a bureaucracy whose sole mission is to survive as a bureaucracy – and to serve a bunch of pandering, prima-donna Astronauts, to get them to fly.’ At the outset of this work, I was a bit taken aback, as I had met some wonderful people at NASA over the years that were truly committed professionals – including Astronauts. But, as I moved through this work, asked dozens and dozens of well-respected people questions related to NASA’s relevance and the ‘value’ of Constellation and The Vision, I see his point: neither Constellation’s or The Vision’s value has been well defined or stated to me by any interviewee and thus, I have found myself reflecting more and more on his statement. To a large degree, his is correct: the mission of NASA is to protect itself as a bureaucracy. this is what you do every day: protect your jobs and your turf, and by so doing, protect NASA as an agency. See, at least it is not just me who is bitter. This is an outsider too. I’ll bet NASA won’t make that mistake again, letting someone on the inside who believes government should provide value to the taxpayer. What a quaint notion that is.

  11. Here’s one Murdoc would not want to link to for fear of being perceived as ‘hoping the terrorists will attack us again’: ——————- A newly released inspector general report backs eyewitness accounts of suspicious behavior by 13 Middle Eastern men on a Northwest Airlines flight in 2004 and reveals several missteps by government officials, including failure to file an incident report until a month after the matter became public. According to the Homeland Security report, the ‘suspicious passengers,’ 12 Syrians and their Lebanese-born promoter, were traveling on Flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles on expired visas. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services extended the visas one week after the June 29, 2004, incident. The report also says that a background check in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database, which was performed June 18 as part of a visa-extension application, produced ‘positive hits’ for past criminal records or suspicious behavior for eight of the 12 Syrians, who were traveling in the U.S. as a musical group. In addition, the band’s promoter was listed in a separate FBI database on case investigations for acting suspiciously aboard a flight months earlier. He was detained a third time in September on a return trip to the U.S. from Istanbul, the details of which were redacted. The inspector general criticized the Homeland Security officials for not reporting the incident to the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC), which serves as the nation’s nerve center for information sharing and domestic incident management. The report comes three years after the incident, which was not officially acknowledged until a month later, after The Washington Times reported passenger and marshal complaints that the incident resembled a dry run for a terrorist attack. After reviewing the report, air marshals say it confirms their earlier suspicions.