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Fri, 22 Nov 2019
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Monkey Wrench

Horrible, expensive failure: Boeing abandons robots on 777 fuselage assembly, hands job back to human machinists

Boeing FAUB failure
© Gail Hanusa / Boeing
Boeing is abandoning robotic production machinery, known as Fuselage Automated Upright Build, or FAUB, used to add fasteners on 777 fuselages.
After enduring a manufacturing mess that spanned six years and cost millions of dollars as it implemented a large-scale robotic system for automated assembly of the 777 fuselage, Boeing has abandoned the robots and will go back to relying more on its human machinists.

Boeing said Wednesday it is reverting to an older approach that "has proven more reliable, requiring less work by hand and less rework, than what the robots were capable of."

The robotic system entailed holding the large curved metal panels that make up the 777 fuselage sections right-side up in a cradle as the moving robots stitched the panels together, drilling holes and adding tens of thousands of fasteners.

Because this was different from the traditional build process in which the lower fuselage was built upside down, then flipped before the upper fuselage was added, Boeing awkwardly dubbed it the "Fuselage Automated Upright Build" process or FAUB.

Comment: Well, maybe the robots won't be taking over quite as soon as predicted.


Stormtrooper

Code Pink founder raided by DC police on dubious Venezuelan embassy 'assault' charges

Medea Benjamin
© Facebook / Medea Benjamin
Police have tried to detain Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin without a warrant on belated and mysterious charges of 'assaulting' a Democratic congresswoman during this summer's siege of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington.

Benjamin was accused of assaulting Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Florida) - months after the alleged incident - when over a dozen officers surrounded her home on Wednesday in Washington, DC.

In footage she posted to Facebook, Benjamin strenuously denies the accusations, explaining that she was the one assaulted - pushed and pulled by right-wing Venezuelans ("big guys") supporting the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido at an anti-Maduro press conference.

Unable to secure a warrant or convince Benjamin to voluntarily go back to the station with them without one, the police ultimately chose not to detain her, according to journalist Anya Parampil, who was with Benjamin at the embassy in May. Even though police insisted they had footage of the "assault," after reviewing it they apparently chose not to proceed with the arrest.

Jet1

High priced junk: Pentagon reveals that none of F-35 aircraft 3 variants meet reliability, maintainability metrics

F-35 fighter jet
All three variants of the F-35 fighter jet fleet do not fulfill the set metrics regarding the aircraft's reliability or maintainability, Defence Department Operational Test and Evaluation Director Robert Behler said in congressional testimony on Wednesday.
"Operational suitability of the F-35 fleet remains below service expectations", Behler told the US House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Tactical Air and land Forces. "No F-35 variant meets these specified reliability or maintainability metrics".
Behler explained that the F-35 aircraft breaks down more often and the necessary repairs take more time than expected.

Comment: The Pentagon won't be giving the Russians any competition for military equipment any time soon: Meanwhile in the USA:


Bullseye

Amen to that! Oxford students revolt over head of college's 'woke' plan to scrap saying grace before meals

Worcester College
© Alamy Stock Photo
Worcester College's (pictured) provost is now facing a furious backlash after trying to abolish the centuries-old customs of standing for dons and saying grace before meals
We're used to militant campaigns by ultra-PC students - but at one Oxford campus, the shoe is on the other foot.

Worcester College's provost is now facing a furious backlash after trying to abolish the centuries-old customs of standing for dons and saying grace before meals.

Students said they had been told by catering staff that they were no longer required to get up when senior academics entered and left the dining hall.

They have also been informed about proposals to axe the Anglican Grace, which is read before meals in Latin, and replace it with a 'range of set texts of thanksgiving from any world culture, religious or not'.

Professor Kate Tunstall's plans have infuriated students from the junior common room, who held a vote on the issue.

The majority were in favour of preserving the traditional practices and have decided to petition the governing body to reinstate the standing policy.

Comment: And in related news about cultural traditions being relegated to the dust bin....
Lily Allen has said the country should stop singing the traditional anthem "Rule, Britannia!" because of its problematic lyrics.

Writing "Sorry, what?" on her Instagram story, the singer singled out the following lyrics:
"Britons never, never, never shall be slaves. The nations, not so blest as thee, must in their turn, to tyrants fall, while thou shalt flourish, shalt flourish great and free, the dread and envy of them all."
After the anthem featured in many of the Remembrance Day services last weekend, Allen wrote: "I think we should not sing this song anymore."

Allen's comments sparked a backlash on social media, with one Instagram user writing: "You should respect the fallen, who gave you the chance to sing and make a career."

In response, Allen called the widespread criticism "pretty pathetic", adding: "Anyway, I don't really give a s***, that song is jank and should go in the bin. Besides men and women died for our right to express our opinions soooo..."

"Rule, Britannia!" is a patriotic song written in 1740, originating from a poem by James Thomson.



Take 2

Disney+ recuts own classics: Why do corporate gatekeepers think we will turn racist if they don't censor content?

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
© Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Launch of Disney+ was accompanied by an announcement that some of its movies would be shown edited to suit modern day censors. This is a cowardly, ineffective, and intellectually dishonest way of fighting social ills.

Disney+ is the studio's long-awaited multi-billion foray into the streaming wars. Its back catalogue includes classic children's films, Star Wars feature films, Marvel and new television series. This material stretches back almost ninety years, and society has changed dramatically over that period. This presents Disney with a problem. Depictions of ethnic minorities, foreign cultures and women in old material are often at odds with current views.

Once they won Oscars - but now you are not allowed to see them

Disney has taken steps to soften controversial material. The Jim Crow character - a caricature of black Americans - has been edited out of Dumbo in the version for Disney+. The Siamese Cat song from Lady & The Tramp will be changed in the forthcoming live-action remake.

One film not on the Disney+ schedule is the musical Song of the South (1946). It features Uncle Remus, a black main character-narrator (played James Baskett), telling folk tales about animals. It was an innovative color film that combined live action and animation. Despite its success, the film was later criticized as being too sympathetic towards Reconstruction Era America and reinforcing negative racial stereotypes. Disney has since distanced itself from the film. The movie has never been released on home video in the USA, though it has been released in non-American regions. This suppression of Song of the South has deprived American audiences of Baskett's Academy Award-winning performance.

Yellow Vest

Thousands of Morales supporters tear gassed by police during protests demanding resignation of self-declared 'interim' leader Anez

Morales supporters march La Paz
Thousands of supporters of deposed Bolivian President Evo Morales gathered in La Paz to demand the resignation of self-declared "interim" leader Jeanine Anez, where they squared off with riot police in hectic street clashes.

Flying national and indigenous flags and chanting pro-Morales slogans, the protest march met a forceful police response in Bolivia's administrative capital on Wednesday, facing down volleys of tear gas from armored security forces, dramatic footage captured by Ruptly shows.

Comment: Without quorum or vote, random blonde declares herself 'interim president' in Bolivia
Opposition politician Jeanine Añez has declared herself "interim president" of Bolivia without a vote, but the party of ousted President Evo Morales said that the Senate had no quorum and the legislature's session was not legal.[..]

While opposition activists claimed that Añez's declaration was in line with the Bolivian constitution, lawmakers from the ousted president's Movement for Socialism called the assembly session illegal. They have refused to attend the proceedings, saying that armed groups loyal to the opposition controlled the roads and could not guarantee their safety. [..]

Morales was one of the few Latin American leaders bucking the US line on Venezuela and supporting Maduro.



Attention

Hong Kong demonstrators savagely beat woman with a metal rod

Hong Kong protest
© REUTERS/Thomas Peter
A protester is seen in front of a fire in the Mong Kok area in Hong Kong, China November 11, 2019.
A disturbing video shows a woman being surrounded and beaten by masked protesters in Hong Kong. The unsettling footage comes as authorities struggle to clamp down on worsening violence in the semi-autonomous city.

The assault was reportedly sparked by a political disagreement between the woman and a group of armed demonstrators. Video of the attack shows the woman trying to walk away, only to be thrown to the ground by one of the black-clad rioters. One of the men then uses what appears to be a metal rod to beat her over the head. The woman then sits on the pavement as the group surrounds her and taunts her. A journalist then helps her to her feet as blood trickles down the side of her face. She attempts to leave the scene, but the rioters catch up to her and begin to beat her with their rods once again. A man then shields her with his body as she sits curled up on the ground.

No Entry

Denmark tightens border controls with Sweden to halt crime involving explosives, weapons and drugs

denmark police
© Getty Images
Denmark will temporarily reinstate border controls with Sweden and step up police work along the border after a series of violent crimes and explosions around Copenhagen that Danish authorities say were carried out by perpetrators from Sweden.

The checks, which start Tuesday for six months, will take place at the Oresund Bridge between Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmo and also at ferry ports.

Lene Frank of Denmark's National Police said there will be both random and periodic checks of people crossing the border and officers will focus "particularly on cross-border crime involving explosives, weapons and drugs."

Since February, there have been 13 blasts in Copenhagen. Authorities believe an Aug. 6 explosion at the Danish Tax Agency "was committed by criminals that had crossed the border from Sweden." Two Swedish citizens are in custody.

Denmark Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup has called a June 25 double murder - where two Swedish citizens were gunned down in suburban Copenhagen - "a showdown between feuding gangs from Sweden."

Attention

'Rioters U': Student revolutionaries involved in Hong Kong's worst clashes

HongKongriot
© Reuters/Tyrone Siu
Protesters attempt break in at Legislative Council building
On a leafy college campus in Hong Kong Wednesday, the usual bustle of academic activity gave way to frenetic preparations for a revolution.

Instead of book bags, the students lugged carts full of bricks to the entrance gates, where sentries in black balaclavas monitored the steady flow of incoming supplies. Classrooms were emptied of their tables and chairs, the furniture repurposed to block unwanted traffic on the roads, bridges and nearby railway tracks on which a small fire smoldered. While lectures and study halls might have filled the schedules on any other day, this afternoon the undergraduates of the territory's second-oldest university, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), practiced throwing Molotov cocktails behind a row of empty buses. "Whatever happens, we must defend the university, we must not allow the police to take it," says Simon, 21. He studies at a different university, but he trekked here yesterday evening after students called for reinforcements as they clashed with police in some of the most violent fighting Hong Kong has seen over the past five months of unrest.

Students lobbed literally hundreds of petrol bombs at police, who responded with rubber bullets and heavy volleys of tear gas. Plumes of smoke from large fires gave the campus the appearance of a battlefield. CUHK has gained a reputation for being an epicenter of protest activity, noteworthy even among other campus hotbeds. Chinese state media has labeled it the "rioters' university," an epithet the students have sarcastically adopted. At a press conference Wednesday, police chief superintendent John Tse called CUHK "a bad omen" for Hong Kong. "A university is supposed to be a breeding ground for future leaders," he said, "but it has become a battlefield for criminals and rioters."

Comment: Democrazis run rampage in Hong Kong - Police chief warns 'society on brink of total breakdown'


Dominoes

Arizona Republican tweets "Epstein didn't kill himself" through coded messages

gosar tweets
Congressman Paul A. Gosar, who represents Arizona's 4th District, sent out a string of tweets on Wednesday that spell out "Epstein Didn't Kill Himself" if you look at the first letter of each tweet.

Watch the video below to see for yourself:


Comment: While it could be attributed to 'pattern recognition run amok', it seems highly unlikely that the first letter of each tweet would spell out the meme phrase exactly simply by chance. That said, it's a pretty ingenious way to show support for the movement while still holding plausible deniability.

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