More Junkmail from Bob!

Thursday, February 23, 2006
Important Stuff.

Yesterday was George Washington's Birthday!

Name That Fish

The mystery fish from the last Junkmail was the Snake Mackerel, Gempylus serpens. Several people ID'd the fish for me. Mike Fullerton almost had it with Oneamus Longamus. These pictures were taken at N18°17' W42°4'.

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"The snake mackerel is characterized by its long lower jaw filled with sharp teeth. Found only in the deepest waters of tropical and moderate oceans, very little is known about the habitat or mating habits of these interesting fish. Studies have shown that fossil discoveries can date the snake mackerel back to the Eocene era."


It's old news. Vice President Dick shot a lawyer in Texas. But there are a few things missing from the story, notably, the facts.
  1. That kind of shotgun?
  2. What shot and load in the shell?
  3. How far away was the lawyer from the VP?
  4. How many shots did he take?
  5. How close to the road was the lawyer?
  6. Did he hit the bird?
Instead, the world (or at least the country) (or at least the press) seems more interested in why the White House took so long to announce the accident. That's simple.

VP Dick was hoping to keep it quiet. He apparently didn't understand that when you bring a shooting victim into a small town hospital, that people are going to talk. And people are going to gossip like wildfire if that shooting victim is a prominent lawyer/politician accompanied by secret service types. When the local paper found out about it, the VP had no choice but to 'fess up. At least he had enough sense not to deny it ever happened.

Nobody seems to care that VP Dick didn't have the required hunting stamp on his license.

I heard on the radio one idiot who said, "Those of us who hunt have all been peppered at one time or another. It depends on the wind, and a lot of other things." That's one of the stupidest statements I've heard in a long time.

There were sure a lot of funny jokes about this!

The Vice President may be just about as weak with a computer as he is with a shotgun. Somehow, he (or someone on his computer) accidentally erased a bunch of email from around the time of the Valerie Plame fiasco.

Junkmail Stuff

"Who are you and how did I get on your list?" is a common question I get. In fact, it may be two common questions I get depending on how you count compound sentences. I get this sometimes from people who like Junkmail, and occasionally from someone who considers Junkmail a violation of the constitutional right of inbox privacy.

The first part is easy. I'm Bob Webster from Pryor, Oklahoma. Or I may answer that I'm Bob Webster from Mars, depending on my mood. In the internet age, a name is no longer adequate to identify a person. Now you also need the location, just a couple thousand years ago. Like it or not, globalization has come.

Most of the names on the Junklist came from my inbox. Most people who email me get on the Junklist. Most people whose email address is included on email to me get added to the Junklist. For example, if I get a picture of the Vice President shooting a peacock, and there are 13 other recipients on the email, 13 people will likely get added to the Junklist. I also add people who give me a business card, and occasionally reporters who leave their email address on their articles. There are currently around 16,000 people, computers, and other sentient beings on the Junklist.

When I get two bounces in a row on an email address, it gets pulled from the Junklist. So if your mailbox is full or broken for a while, you may get kicked off the list. You can re-up at if this happens.

If someone wants off the list, the email address goes into the supreme, all-powerful, omnipresent exclude list. That email address will be excluded from Junkmailings forever. Unless I take it off the exclude list.

Junkmail is not considered spam, according to the unenforced Can-Spam Act circa 2001, because it's not commercial. If I were to advertise Lewis and Clark by Air, or Upperspace Internet Service, or Upperspace Software and Training, or Upperhomes, or ViaLife Home Health Care or Claremore Aircraft Service, then maybe it would be spam.

The pictures on Junkmail are usually 1280 resolution, if possible. Occasionally there will be a good photo with higher resolution stuck in a separate hi-res folder with an additional link. In photos from government sites, I usually add the caption and credits to the comments field of a .jpg file. If you want to learn more, take a look at it. If you don't know how, get Photo Mud and hit Ctrl-i when the image is on the screen. A lot of the photos I take have the latitude and longitude included in the .jpg file. You can also see this on the Photo Mud info screen.

Remote Mine Hunter

The Remote Minehunting System was first deployed on the USS Momsen, a guided missile destroyer, in 2004. The unmanned sub uses sonar to detect mines.

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Click Fraud

In case you haven't noticed, there are some advertisements on the web. You might see one or two on popular web sites. Many of these advertisers pay "per click." That means if a lot of people click on ad and go to the advertiser's site, that ad costs a lot of money. And, being the internet with a notorious lack of adult supervision, especially among adults, some people are clicking on ads to make or cost money. It's called click fraud.

You can avoid most web ads using Firefox browser with Adblock extension. I use this. Sometimes when I use someone else's computer to access the web, I am amazed at the all the ads cluttering up things. I am happy not to see them in my ordinary browsing.

Stupid Patents

Cingular Wireless has patented the emoticon :-(

It doesn't seem very original to me.


The Mitsubishi MU-2 is a twin-engine turboprop, a little smaller than a Pilatus PC12.

They seem to crash a lot. About 25% of the MI-2's produced have had accidents. The FAA says people should train more on the MU-2.,,SB113839314051558508,00.html
      (subscription required)

Pentagon Department of State

The Pentagon can now fund foreign militaries, up to $200 million, without even asking Congress, the State Department, or Jack Abramoff.,,-5635774,00.html

State Department is expected to fund the militaries of states opposing those funded by the Defense Department. Secretary of State Connie explained, "The State Department used to sponsor wars against countries funded by Cuba and Russia, but the economy in Cuba has taken a dive and the Russians just don't care any more. Now the Defense Department will take the opposing side in our remote-control wars, and we're back in action."


Last month President Bush said about wiretapping U.S. phones, "This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America - and I repeat limited. It is limited to calls from outside the United States to calls within the United States." In fact, he explained this several different times. And then the White House staff clarified. He really meant it's not limited to calls from outside the United States. And it's not only a few calls, it's a few hundred or a few thousand.

It's just like Reagan! I liked Reagan, but it was pretty funny when he'd make a speech. He'd be followed by the White House staff explaining that what he said wasn't really what he meant.

In the State of the Union, Bush said "Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025."

The next day, Secretary of Energy Samuel said, "This was purely an example." He went on to say what the President really meant.

Bush went to visit the Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado this week. Two weeks ago, the lab laid off 32 people because of a $28 million budget "shortfall." Just before Bush's visit, the 32 people were reinstated and $5 million was transferred back to the lab. SecEnergy Samuel took care of it. I'm not sure about the remaining $23 million. Maybe it went to the Kiribati air force.

      long link

I am happy to see that Bush is promoting nuclear power plants. (Unless that's not what he meant.) Nuclear power plants don't use coal, gas, or oil, and they don't give off carbon or sulfur. And glowing fish are easier to catch at night.

Mayan Ruins

You can now spot Mayan ruins by satellite. This is a false-color image that highlights the light bands that highlight the difference between regular forest and forest that grew on top of ancient Mayan cities. It really works! They've discovered new archeological sites.

They use Space Imaging's Ikonos satellite, and NASA's Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar flown on a modified DC-8.


Ampulex compressa

This wasp is at least as scary as the snake mackerel, at least to cockroaches. The Ampulex compressa stings a cockroach twice, first to disable its front legs, and second to disable its escape reflex. Then the wasp grabs the much larger cockroach's antenna and leads it into the wasp burrow, where the cockroach is used as food for wasp larvae.

A380 in Iqaluit

The new, giant Airbus A380 flew in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada a couple of weeks ago for cold weather testing.

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Here's our TBM-700 in Iqaluit a few years ago. The TBM did OK in the cold except for a minor landing gear light. We've had the PC12 there a few times, too.


I don't think I'll make a winter flight to Iqaluit in the Aircam.


Who, Me?

A few days ago, U.S. Representative Barbara said she never signed a bill that she cosponsored in Congress.

This week, President George and Secretary of Defense Donald said they never knew about sale of shipping operations at six U.S. seaports to the United Arab Emirates. The sale was approved by the White House and the Defense Department. I don't mind the sale, but it might be good if someone in charge had heard of it.


Some people have been getting pretty riled up over some religious cartoons lately. When I ran across them, I was surprised. Those Danish cartoons are not nearly as offensive as Southpark. Here are the heretic cartoons. Don't click if you're offended.

RFID Injection

Cincinnati surveillance company has a new policy. Employees must have an RFID chip implanted under their skin in order to access to their datacenter, where video surveillance tapes are stored. The chips are injected into the bicep.

However, security is as good as its weakest link. It turns out that the RFID chips they implant are easy to scan and duplicate. Since the employees always have the chips with them, it would be pretty easy to grab the data and make a duplicate RFID.

Convention Center Lockdown

On the Saturday before last, the Los Angeles Convention Center was locked down and 30,000 people evacuated after someone popped a balloon. There were also some rowdy people causing disturbances, most likely former ViaGrafix employees. Four youths were arrested on charges of improper balloon popping. The terrorists escaped.


Even now, it's unusual to pick up a newspaper without a story about Hurricane Katrina. I think the news people need to find new news. Even so, here is some Katrina News.

900,000 out of 2,500,000 people who received aid under FEMA's emergency cash assistance program used duplicate or invalid social security numbers or false names and addresses. In other words, 36% of the people who got the money from FEMA scammed FEMA.

But there were honest people who dealt with FEMA. FEMA paid Carnival Cruise Lines $236 million to use three cruise ships for six months. It would have been a lot cheaper to book regular cruises for the hurricane victims, because cruise passengers pay a lot less. And then there were the hotel owners in New York who charged FEMA $438 per night for rooms for hurricane victims. In Panama City, they only got $375 per night. FEMA agreed to all this thievery, so it was legal and therefore not thievery.

Air Marshals

Two federal air marshals were arrested for trying to transport drugs on airliners, since they don't have to go through security and take their shoes off. They were set up by federal agents after one of them "was heard" talking about transporting drugs.

Terrorists are Everywhere!

There are now more than a quarter million terrorists, according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

      washington post article

Who is the National Counterterrorism Center? I had never heard of it before I saw it in this article. It is apparently some group within the CIA to counter terrorism. I guess 325,000 named terrorists must make their jobs pretty important, and therefore entitled to a lot of funding.

A terrorist geocacher was nabbed in Pennsylvania last week. Police were not fooled by the message on the front of the box, "This is a Game.",0,1558077.story

Germany Prohibits Airliner Hunting

Germany passed a law allowing its air force to shoot down terrorist-controlled airliners. The German courts have overturned the law, prohibiting the government from shooting down airliners.
      (subscription required)

In the U.S., Bush said "I don't need laws to shoot down airliners, detain people, or wiretap phones. I am the President. Things are different now."

A White House spokesman clarified the President's remarks, explaining "The President is a firm believer in separation of powers. 110 and 220 should always be on a separate outlets."

When asked his opinion about the constitutionality downing airliners, Vice President Dick said, "It was an accident. I thought it was a bird." Dick then went back to reclassifying documents.


The Recording Industry has decided that it is illegal to copy your own CDs to your IP, or to make backup CDs of your music. They are backing this assertion with hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to politicians.

Cell Phone GPS

Most cell phones now have GPS receivers built in. The only receive the raw data from the GPS satellites, and transmit it to the cell phone system upon electronic request. This is so 911 calls can be located.

In 1994, the FBI promised not to use this technology to track people. In 2006, the FBI said, "Oh, that. We were just joking."

Alaska L939s

The L-39 is an old jet trainer and/or fighter from east European countries. They're fairly cheap to buy, and fairly expensive to operate. A lot of people in the U.S. are buying and flying them for fun. Security Aviation in Palmer, Alaska had a few of these. They apparently had some missile launchers that went along with the L-39s. So the feds seized the jets and trucked them from Palmer to Anchorage.

At 5:00 a.m. on Lincoln's birthday, a line of semis carrying L-39's were heading through downtown anchorage to some federal storage location.

An L-39 crashed on approach to Ketchikan, Alaska last month. I'm not sure whether this was related.

Cloud Streets

Cloud streets are formed when cold air blows over terrain and then over the ocean, forming lines of clouds fitting changes in terrain. Here are cloud streets formed on the Alaska Peninsula. More info is in the image comments.

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A Bunch of Pictures of Today!

Underwater Moon:


You might wonder why the moon is so clear in an underwater photo. It's because I took the photo of the moon few days later and added it to the underwater image. I cheated.

Sponges, off Key West:


Mangroves, Stock Island, FL:


Never let Mike drive:


El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico:

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Great Inagua, Bahamas

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The airport information warned of wild donkeys on the runway.

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Flamingo Dancers

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Morton Salt gets a most of their crystal salt from salt ponds on Great Inagua. They foam up in the wind.

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A boat from Haiti:

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Conch shells, gathered for food and then discarded:

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A pristine beach. I never did know what pristine meant, but they used it a lot after the Exxon Valdez hit some rocks. I believe it has something to do with antifreeze.


There's a lot of plastic here. Maybe that's why it's illegal for boats to throw plastic overboard.


A used boat:


A used house:


A Bahamas Ship:


Great Inagua International Airport


Clouds form over islands.


Shallow water.

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Deep water. This was taken from a mile high over calm water. I'm not sure what those patterns are. It looks a little like ice, but it was over 80 degrees.


Key West Natives

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Ammo from the 1800's. The bullet-shaped cannonballs are for rifled cannons, developed during the civil war.


On the shoulders of giants.


No Longer Waiting.


Key West lighthouse.


A tree.


An Osprey


Stormy Weather

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Fair Weather


On the Grand Banks of the Bahamas:


Several of these were being towed by the boat above.


A Visitor


The Gulf Stream is deep blue.


Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas

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Parking place:


And finally, some underwater pictures at Chub Cay, Bahamas:

(c) 2010, no rights conserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution of this fine collection of tripe, whether by bits, paper, or papyrus, is fine with me. Copy the heck out of it!

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I'm Bob Webster from Saturn. You can usually reach me at
Have a nice day!