<b>Person:</b> "So what are you doing in your life?"<p/><b>Me:</b> "I'm a professional same-gender twosome tester, with remarkable abily of resistance to drownsiness and a high cerebral activity and imagination during the execution of the task, operating in multiple existing and not settings."<p/><b>Person:</b> <p/><b>Me:</b> "I ship gays."<p/></p>
The Skywall 100 is designed like the video game weapon that you only get for four shots, half of which you waste missing the final boss.
What it fires looks like it escaped from ‘60s Batman. Because it’s ludicrously awesome.
It’s a massive, shoulder-mounted, gas-powered, net-flinging bazooka, blasting a capsule which opens to reveal a net which wraps itself around the target, tangling it in weighted bolas. Then, because awesome never stops when it’s on a roll, the net deploys a parachute. It’s the world’s first functioning Rube Goldberg Gun, and it’s amazing. Because nets are drone Kryptonite – something stupidly simple that came from far earlier in history, and can utterly cripple the flying bastards. We should always have known that our future robo-toy overlords would fall to the same technology as the average Scooby-Doo villain.
The only tragedy is intellectual property laws, which mean this has to be called Skywall 100 instead of the outrageously perfect Skynet. It can be rapidly reloaded, and as a backup, you could probably use it to club a Terminator to death.
An SdKfz 303 Goliath Leichter Ladungsträger (Light Charge Carrier)
tracked mine. Goliaths were small, remote controlled explosive carriers that were primarily intended to breach enemy minefields, but were also used to destroy vehicles, fortifications, infantry formations and small buildings.
Originally powered by a small electric motor, later versions were powered by a two cylinder gas engine.
I believe this version is specifically an SdKfz 303b variant. The gas powered Goliaths could carry 220 pounds of explosive, while the earlier electrical powered ones could carry 190 pounds. (I wouldn’t exactly call 220 pounds of explosive a “light charge!”)
They were controlled by a 2100 foot long command wire at the rear of the vehicle, which was linked to a joystick that the operator could use to guide the Goliath onto target. The command cable was very vulnerable to enemy fire, and would frequently be severed by shrapnel from explosive blasts.
Even though around 7000 Goliaths of all variants were produced, they weren’t considered very effective because of their high cost, slow speed, single use design, and vulnerable command cable.
Despite being not very effective overall, they could deliver a heaping blast of explosive that would get results similar to this:
The aftermath of a Goliath tracked mine being used on an apartment block, probably in Warsaw.
Gentle Hestia whose flame burns brightly in the circle of my hearth,
I honor you first, as is proper, with this gift.
I send to you on this smoke my words of praise and gratitude,
glowing maiden whose light warms my home.
You are the fire’s warmth in winder, the chimney sending heat
throughout the homely house. I thank you for the safety and joy
that you bring to the hearth and to my family.
Mighty Hephaistos, to you I give thanks for the fire that allows us
to build and expand, for the technologies of steam and gas power
and for the mechanisms that allow us to harness the awesome powers
of fire. Your ingenuity and workmanship are seen in the spark
of human invention, and to you we owe much of our survival.
With this offering, I thank you.
Apollon, who drives the chariot of the sun, and Helios whose light
illuminates the land, I thank you for the gift of light. From Sun-Light
all other life is born and in it dies.
With this offering I send my prayers of gratitude.
Artemis Pyronia, first in my heart and in the shaping of my life,
with each breath and with this offering I honor you.
You are the light in my eyes and the torch that shows me the way.
I give thanks for the scorching flame which purifies me
and for the crackling song of every campfire I build,
for when I burn I know that you are there
and I am yours.
Phaesphoria, you shine so brightly that all I must leave behind
is burned away and I am made anew, given light to see my path
and tempered so that I may follow it.
Your gifts to me are more numerous than the stars.
I pray that this smoke will carry to you my prayers and thanks
and that you on your throne of ash and bone will hear them kindly.
To you I will sing again, again, and each day
of my life.
This is one of many pieces I wrote while sitting next to a fire for 24 hours, a process I underwent for many reasons. I hope to continue sharing some of the things I learned and created during that experience and hope that it continues to teach me even as I move away from that sacred space. Thanks to @winebrightruby for some really helpful divination and general support.
The Schienenzeppelin (rail zeppelin) Berlin, June 1931. Photographer: Georg Pahl - an aluminum bodied experimental railcar with a streamlined zeppelin airship look. Designed and developed by the German aircraft engineer Franz Kruckenberg in 1929. A rear propeller provided the propulsion for the Schienenzeppelin. On 21 June 1931, it set a world railway speed record of 230.2 km/h (143.0 mph) - the railcar still holds the land speed record for a petrol powered rail vehicle. Only a single example was ever built - due to safety concerns it remained out of service and was finally dismantled in 1939. (images via Wikipedia)
You know how the gender binary is so strong that people assign pets to masculine and feminine traits? So dogs are seen as masculine, and cats are seen (and sexualized) as feminine. Despite the fact that they’re, oh, for starters, two distinct species.
I just had a conversation that was even more surreal, and that I can only hope is not mainstream:
Apparently, according to this man, fossil fuels are masculine! And renewables like solar and wind are, therefore, feminine!
This was said in response to me talking about wanting to put solar panels on my (hypothetical) future home, and him interrupting, saying that he didn’t want a “girly house” and that I should just go get a gas-powered generator in the next aisle over (we were in Home Depot).
A short conversation ensued, with me being rather, and increasingly, incredulous as it went on, as this fellow tried to impose his (literally toxic) view of masculinity on me, and eventually just started swearing at me (using gendered slurs) for failing to conform. That part I wasn’t surprised by; it’s not the first time I’ve had such arguments with men whose masculinity is as fragile as spun glass and the only way they have of buttressing it is by imposing it on others.
No, the part that has me going “buh?” is seeing the extension the gender binary view to infrastructure.