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Settled Science

37

 

The Glory of Dogma

The good thing about science is the methodology by which phenomena can be analyzed, conclusions drawn, and then checked against measurable results. In theory, this means that erroneous conclusions and predictions should be discarded when found to be in error.

Climate Forecast Headline Predictions

  1. 1967 Salt Lake Tribune: Dire Famine Forecast by 1975, Already Too Late
  2. 1969 NYT: “Unless we are extremely lucky, everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years. The situation will get worse unless we change our behavior.
  3. 1970 Boston Globe: Scientist Predicts New Ice Age by 21st Century said James P. Lodge, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
  4. 1971 Washington Post: Disastrous New Ice Age Coming says S.I. Rasool at NASA.
  5. 1972 Brown University Letter to President Nixon: Warning on Global Cooling
  6. 1974 The Guardian: Space Satellites Show Ice Age Coming Fast
  7. 1974 Time Magazine: Another Ice Age “Telling signs everywhere.  Since the 1940s mean global temperatures have dropped 2.7 degrees F.”
  8. 1974 “Ozone Depletion a Great Peril to Life” University of Michigan Scientist
  9. 1976 NYT The Cooling: University of Wisconsin climatologist Stephen Schneider laments about the “deaf ear his warnings received.”
  10. 1988 Agence France Press: Maldives will be Completely Under Water in 30 Years.
  11. 1989 Associated Press: UN Official Says Rising Seas to ‘Obliterate Nations’ by 2000.
  12. 1989 Salon: New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019 said Jim Hansen the scientist who lectured Congress in 1988 about the greenhouse effect.
  13. 2000 The Independent: “Snowfalls are a thing of the past. Our children will not know what snow is,” says senior climate researcher.
  14. 2004 The Guardian:  The Pentagon Tells Bush Climate Change Will Destroy Us. “Britain will be Siberian in less than 20 years,” the Pentagon told Bush.
  15. 2008 Associate Press: NASA Scientist says “We’re Toast. In 5-10 years the Arctic will be Ice Free”
  16. 2008 Al Gore: Al Gore warns of ice-free Arctic by 2013.
  17. 2009 The Independent: Prince Charles says Just 96 Months to Save the World. “The price of capitalism is too high.”
  18. 2009 The Independent: Gordon Brown says “We have fewer than 50 days  to save our planet from catastrophe.”
  19.  2013 The Guardian: The Arctic will be Ice Free in Two Years. “The release of a 50 gigaton of methane pulse” will destabilize the planet.
  20. 2013 The Guardian: US Navy Predicts Ice Free Arctic by 2016. “The US Navy’s department of Oceanography uses complex modeling to makes its forecast more accurate than others.
  21. 2014 John Kerry: “We have 500 days to Avoid Climate Chaos” discussed Sec of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious at a joint meeting.

More recent predictions by sions of Congress:

AOC was giving us 10 years to live in 2016, bumped to 12 years in 2019. How generous from the Congressional brain trust.

 

More $90 Trillion Solutions

In 2015, Business Insider noted A Plan Is Floating Around Davos To Spend $90 Trillion Redesigning All The Cities So They Don’t Need Cars

The $90 trillion proposal came from former US vice president Al Gore, former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, and their colleagues on The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.Where is the CO2 Coming From?

Annual CO2 Emissions2

CO2 Stats

  • The US reduced its carbon footprint from 6.13 billion tons in 2007 to 5.28 billion tons in 2019.
  • China increased its footprint from 6.86 billion tons in 2018 to 10.17 billion tons in 2019.
  • In the same timeframe, global output rose from 31.29 billion tons to 36.44 billion tons.
  • In 2007, the US accounted for 19.6% of the total global carbon footprint.
  • In 2019, the US accounted for only 14.5% of the total global footprint.

CO2 is NOT a pollutant in any way shape or form. Plants need carbon dioxide to survive.

Bonus Geopolitical Q&A

Q: What happened when Merkel went along with the Greens and did away with nuclear?
A: Germany imports more coal-based energy from neighboring states and is more dependent on Russia for natural gas.

Q: What happened in France when Macron pushed through a gas tax to support the Green movement?
A: How quick we forget the Yellow-Vest Revolt that went on for months.

Thor…is Coming

25
Drone Wars

 

Those Pesky Drones

We have had some discussions her on the blog about drones and the best way to take them down. Janes Defense (h/t Claudio) reported that Thor is about ready to take on the problem …more here

Tactical High-Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR)

THOR is a counter-swarm electromagnetic weapon the Air Force Research Laboratory developed for defense of airbases. The system provides non-kinetic defeat of multiple targets. It operates from a wall plug and uses energy to disable drones.

To be fair, all services are working to deploy their variants of the basic THOR unit against the threat of individual drones and drone swarms.

 

Can you identify the building?

If you’re able, to do that, can you explain what is just to the south of that building?  (Don D, care to comment?)

 

Heather

I met Heather Locklear in Anaheim, CA, when she was nineteen, but looked about sixteen. She was with her mother, who guarded her like a pit bull. It was obvious just by looking at her that she would have a career in film. She was attending UCLA at the time. Now, she’s pushing sixty and neither time nor fame were particularly kind to her. In the world, the candle burns and you can make it burn much faster if you’re inclined to do that.

A friend who also knew her in those days called me today and I reflected back. The eighties were interesting. More interesting than the 2020’s have been so far.

Wednesday’s Child

20

 

 

The Congressional Brain Trust

The line “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” is a part of a nursery rhyme known as “Monday’s Child,” sometimes attributed to Mother Goose; it predicts that children born on Wednesday are sad.

The rhyme is a fortune-telling song, predicting that children born on different days are to lead different lives.

It doesn’t account for 2020.

 

The Electronic Security Blanket

Based on our current understanding, Earth’s atmosphere and its magnetic field protect us from nearly all cosmic rays that bombard our planet. The magnetic field is created primarily by the planet’s core, which generates the protective shield. Mars, by contrast, has a cold(er) core that doesn’t offer the same protection.

Physicists first suspected the presence of cosmic rays more than a century ago when they noticed that electrically charged laboratory objects slowly lost their charge for no apparent reason. Some electrical entity was apparently sneaking into the lab. That it came from the sky was not at all obvious until 1912, however, when Austrian physicist Victor Hess personally carried a charge-measuring instrument aloft in a balloon and found that charges increased as he ascended. Scientists assumed the culprit was some kind of invisible light from outer space, and thus was born the name cosmic ray.

It took until 1950 to prove that these were not electromagnetic beams but solid particles, even though the original name remains. Further studies showed that 89 percent are ordinary protons, while 10 percent are alpha particles — packages of two protons and two neutrons. The remaining 1 percent are electrons. All carry an electric charge and are thus influenced by magnetic fields surrounding our planet (see captioned graphic).

A cosmic ray’s energy depends on its speed because a faster-moving object does more damage than a slower one. Cosmic rays arrive in a wide range of speeds, and their power is expressed in electron volts, or eV. The most common, slower ones were created in the Sun and present little mystery. The higher-energy rays come from deep space and likely are accelerated by black holes or active galactic nuclei (big black hole). Many of them are ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECR), which are incredibly powerful. They account for a small percentage of the total, but an important percentage.

Trip

While most cosmic rays have energies between 10 million and 10 billion eV, much more energetic ones arrive, too, and these are nearly inexplicable. Cosmic rays of more than 100 million trillion eV have been periodically detected since 1991, and these are 40 million times more powerful than anything we can create in a particle accelerator. A single such cosmic-ray particle can deliver a wallop equal to a tennis ball hitting you at 100 mph (160 km/h). They’re assumed to be protons traveling at just under the speed of light.

The most intriguing idea is that UHECR’s materialize when theoretical dark matter particles hypothetically decay into high-speed proton pairs, one of which falls into a black hole while the other is shot across the cosmos. It’s a case where desperate, baffled astronomers are using the bizarre as evidence for the exotic.

Any sustained human presence in space including on the surface of the Moon or Mars will require shielding that works to defend the crew from UHECR’s. The Artemas project with a sustained presence on the Moon will require that excavation takes place almost immediately, to plant habitation modules under enough regolith to keep them safe.

 

Singularities in Space

Sometimes in science, when you set out to find something you had predicted, you instead find something quite different. This was the case recently when astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope examined the core of a globular cluster, a “ball” of densely packed old stars, named NGC 6397, looking for a central intermediate-mass black hole. Instead they found a swarm of small black holes…more here.

 

Firearms CornerTranter M1868 ‘Manstopper’ Revolver

Designed c.1868 and manufactured c.1869 by William Tranter in Birmingham, England and retailed by H.Holland of the future Holland and Holland fame.  The handgun fired .577 Boxer, 5-shot cylinder, double action, engraved solid frame, checkered walnut grip.

For its day, it was a very large handgun meant to outfit British colonials in distant lands from where St Patrick didn’t drive out all the tigers and snakes. Tranter’s M1868 revolver was an evolutionary step forward from his earlier cap lock and rimfire weapons, which is obvious on the large caliber variants and their two-part cylinder design.

Rather than use a loading gate to eject or load cartridges, the revolver’s axis can be pulled out and its cylinder can be removed by putting it on half cock, after which the cylinder shield can be separated from the chambers and used as a ramrod.

In earlier handguns, the shield had been part of a conversion system where either percussion cap nipples or rimfire firing pins could be installed for each chamber of the cylinder. In the more modern M1868,  it was a way to make strengthen the handgun, allowing larger rounds to be fired.

 

Commentary

40

 

 

I wonder how the CEO will feel when everybody refers to him as “bitch”? Will all manuals be written in ebonics? It would be very progressive.

 

P-61 as a taxi?

The P-61A used as the personal transport of Maj. Gen. Barnes of the 13th Fighter Command, Java, 1944

 

The ho is a different matter. She’s as dumb as a box of rocks. But according to Willie Brown she has talents that don’t require much intelligence.

 

Name the RAF Aircraft

 

Mortars  c.1450-1900

Cyrus Alger & Co. 10″ caliber US Model 1840 siege mortar

In broad terms, a mortar is a piece of artillery designed for indirect fire at very high angles to aim at targets protected by walls, trenches or rough terrain. That’s in contrast to regular cannons which are designed mostly for direct fire, with their projectile being propelled straight at their target rather than in a curve. Mortars are first recorded in military history in the early to mid-15th century in both Korea and the siege of Constantinople, and retained the same basic shape up until the Great War, similar to the apothecary’s thick-walled bowl from which they get their name.

Mortars of that time had a few main characteristics. The first one was its projectile, its shell or bomb, a very large projectile filled with blackpowder. It had a cast iron body with handles/ears for loading and thicker walls at the bottom to resist the initial propelling blast (Fig.4), said blast also being used to light the time fuse (C.) made up of a hollow wooden cone filled with either compressed blackpowder or slow-burning paper.

  French Gribeauval system mortars.

Although less propellant was used proportionally to the weight of the projectile compared to regular cannons -the latter needing large amounts to shoot with a flat trajectory- each shot still required several kilos of blackpowder to move these massive projectiles, resulting in incredible pressure building up inside the gun. To handle this, mortar barrels are built with extremely thick walls, especially around the propellant chamber atop which the bomb sits.

The final characteristic of a mortar is its very sturdy baseplate, made first from wood then from cast iron starting in the 19th century, made to absorb the recoil of the gun without being crushed against the ground. It also included a wedge and its resting block -the coin de mire and coussinet in French- which allowed the gunner to fine-tune the firing angle of the gun, which along with the amount of propellant was used to range it. Most mortars fired between a 45° and 60° angle.

image

 

These very large guns were almost exclusively used when attacking or defending fortifications to destroy targets beyond its walls, but starting in the 17th century lighter mortars started being used that worked equally well in the field.

The coehorn, named after Dutch military engineer Menno van Coehoorn, was a light artillery piece that could be carried by two soldiers and used to fire upon entrenched soldiers or large formations. Although the smaller projectiles did not fragment as well as our modern projectiles, and their trajectory could be avoided by any soldier with a keen eye and a bit of luck, it proved very effective at its main purposes of providing cover, suppressive fire and laying waste to enemy trenches. While siege mortars mostly evolved into even larger howitzers around the second half of the 19th century, it’s these smaller coehorns that evolved into modern mortars.

image

  Rail-mounted US Army 13″ caliber siege mortar “the Dictator” c. American Civil War.

 

Answer to: Name the RAF Aircraft

Grob Vigilant T.1

 

Beating the Odds

22
HMAV Bounty

 

 

Historical References

April 28, 1789 was the darkest day of Lieutenant William Bligh’s life. Early in the morning he was awakened by men of his own crew on HMAV Bounty, tied up and taken on deck. There he was told that Fletcher Christian (Acting Lieutenant), along with several others, had taken command and would now abandon him. And so Bligh found himself in an 8m long boat, together with 18 others of the crew, who remained loyal to him and provisions for 5 days, in the middle of the Pacific. Against all odds, Bligh managed the impossible, after seven weeks at sea, with no charts and only the most basic navigational equipment, he guided the overcrowded boat 4000 nautical miles to Coupang, Indonesia.

Just about everyone knows this part of the famous mutiny on the Bounty, and yet the journey had started so innocently.

The 1960 replica of HMS Bounty II, she sank during Hurricane Sandy 2012

HMAV Bounty sailed to Tahiti on behalf of the Admiralty to pick up breadfruit plants and bring them to the West Indies. Plantation owners had approached the Admiralty with this request because they needed a cheap source of food for their plantation slaves. To transport these plants, even the great cabin was converted into a greenhouse.

Bligh, himself just a lieutenant, had worked his way up from the bottom and had even sailed alongside the famous Captain Cook as Master and Captain. Before the voyage on the Bounty, he met Fletcher and developed a close relationship with him, which is why he took him along on his voyage. With 46 men on board, they set sail for Tahiti in 1787. Two deaths occurred on the way. After a ten-month voyage, the Bounty arrived in Tahiti in October 1788 and stayed there for more than five months. In Tahiti, the crew enjoyed an idyllic life, reveling in the pleasant climate, the lush surroundings and the famous hospitality of the Tahitians. On 4 April 1789, the Bounty left Tahiti with her supply of breadfruit seedlings. On 28 April, near the island of Tonga, Christian and 25 non-commissioned officers and seamen captured the ship.

Bligh was often said to have a very strict command and to have behaved like a despot. But in fact he was a strict commander and strictly adhered to the Articles of War. Something he had learned from Cook, and also learned from him, was not to punish the men excessively and to try to ensure their well-being. The crew were mainly on Bligh’s side. The actual core of the mutiny consisted of only 10 men. But since the boat was already too small, most of them had to stay on board against their will.

Some cite that the men wanted to return to Tahiti, where they had experienced months of idleness. And it was difficult to return to order and discipline. But that alone was not the reason for the mutiny, even if Fletcher, who had fallen in love with a local woman, certainly had a reason to return there.

Another point to note is that Fletcher himself was a man who had been promoted to acting lieutenant by Bligh during the voyage, but was completely overwhelmed by the task himself, and that led to his incurring the anger of his commander.

All things considered, it was probably Fletcher Christian’s unstable psyche as well as the personal problem he had with Bligh, that led him to find 9 more comrades to carry out this mutiny.

Now, however, things moved on, Bligh and his now only 12 companions returned to England in 1790, where Bligh, however, had to undergo a court martial for the loss of the Bounty. But he was honorably acquitted and received the rank of captain as a special distinction for having survived the whole thing.

In 1791 he sailed with a new expedition to Tahiti to finally finish his last one. In the meantime, Fletcher Christian was declared an outlaw and stripped of his rank. When Bligh returned in 1793, 10 of the mutineers had been captured. Among them was the midshipman Peter Heywood, who came from a very influential family. They did everything they could to make Bligh out to be the culprit in the mutiny and was partially successful. Of the 10, four were acquitted and six sentenced to death. Three of the condemned, including Heywood, were pardoned by the king. The remaining three were hanged at Portsmouth on HMS Brunswick on 29 October 1792. The others remained untraced. Bligh himself saw a great career ahead of him, even if his public reputation had suffered greatly due to an ongoing campaign of character assassination started by Fletcher’s brother.

But what happened to Fletcher Christian? It is known that the Bounty sailed to Pitcairn Island (Fiji) in the South Pacific in 1790. There, Fletcher is said to have been killed by the natives. However, there are some who claim otherwise and his schoolmate Wordsworth testified that he returned to the Lake District of Cumberland, where he is said to have lived unmolested under the protection of his cousin John Christian Curven, a wealthy landowner and politician.

Strikingly, the Pitcairn locals, who had kept many artefacts, did not have some things. These included a boat, the Bounty gold and a sextant. Perhaps he had managed to escape somehow.

 

Identify the Officer

Who is this famous statesman, shown as Cornet in the 4th Queen’s Hussar’s Cavalry, 1895? He was 21 at the time. He fought at the Somme in World War One.

 

Su-37

Was it a Russian act of desperation in an effort to find parity with the West?

 

Socialism/Oligarchy masquerading as socialism?

Or is it a form of Bill Gates champagne socialism where he proclaims, “let them eat my vat-grown meat?”

Whatever it is, it’s here.

History

24
McDonalds - Phoenix - 1954

 

Short Range Artillery (WW1)

Bombarde DR ‘Garnier’

The bombarde took its name from its credited inventor, commandant Gilbert Garnier of the French artillery, deputy to the director of the APX state arsenal, and the men who designed its projectile, Driant and Renouard.

It was introduced to the front line in 1917. Its projectile was the large DR percussive rifle grenade, weighing 600gr/1.3lbs, including a 85gr/.19lbs cheddite explosive payload. It was made up of a cast iron fragmentation sleeve, a sheet metal finned base designed to fit over its proprietary discharging cup and a wooden head housing its inertia detonation system, which itself was made up of a shock-sensitive primer and a percussive fuse. The fuse was screwed in only before firing the weapon, and came with a lead-weighted pin that would come undone during launch.

 

Image

 

The bombard itself was a very simple weapon built using steel beams, springs and DR discharging cups for the launching platform, and cut-down Gras Mle1874 rifles firing ‘Feuillette’ cartridges (blanks) for the ignition/propulsion system. The discharging cups had 9 ventholes, with a spring that could be adjusted to control how far down the grenade would fit on it. The more ventholes fit inside the grenade’s finned skirt the farther it would fly.

 

Image

Ranging guide for the Bombarde 

The Garnier bombard was a reaction to French ordnance at the time, which suffered from a severe lack of short-range artillery compared to Germany.

It’s a poor man’s trench mortar, in a hedgehog configuration.

 

This Day in History22 February 1847

American forces led by Major General Zachary Taylor won the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican-American War.

MGEN Zachary Taylor

One of the most famous engagements of the conflict, Taylor’s force of 5,000 men defended a position near Buena Vista against 14,000-15,000 Mexican troops commanded by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

The Mexicans launched various assaults against Taylor’s positions, which almost led to an American defeat. Despite his low numbers, Taylor then performed a risky counterattack that took the Mexicans by surprise. During the night of 22-23 February Santa Anna retreated and left the Mexican campfires burning so that they would not be pursued.

Taylor was hailed for his victory in the American national press and largely used Buena Vista as a springboard to run in the 1848 US Presidential Election. He was elected as the 12th President of the United States although he only served for 16 months before he died in office on 9 July 1850.

 

2021 History

There are Too Many White Employees

(more here)  Race and gender in hiring are two keys to financial success for top McDonald’s executives, according to the company as it sets its course for the future. Hiring quotas appear to be the future of corporate America, where qualifications come second to racial preferences and gender (all 36) taken into account first.

 

Different Topics

20
US Navy X-47b drone (next gen)

 

Historical Map

Map of France’s borders for about 10 minutes in 1866.

In 1866, The newly United Italy begged for Austria to give them Veneto so they could be closer to a full Italian unification, but Austria decided not to give Veneto to Italy, but gave it to France instead since Austria was backed into a corner by Prussia as well. France had a secret deal with Italy so that once Veneto was in French hands that they would give it to Italy.

And… that’s how France owned Venice for about 10 minutes.

 

“The only reason they want to take your guns, is because they are going to do something you would shoot them for”

 

But, It was a GIFT!

(more here) In the past week, two of Jeffrey Epstein’s wealthy and famous accomplices have been arrested under suspicion of rape, sex trafficking, and other related charges.

Fashion mogul Peter Nygård was arrested for charges relating to dozens of victims, who claim that the 79-year-old multi-millionaire was just as bad, if not worse than Epstein.

Now, another well-known modeling agent that was associated with Epstein has been arrested. Jean-Luc Brunel, who allegedly once gifted Epstein two 12-year-old French girls, was arrested in Paris this week while attempting to board a flight to Dakar in Senegal. Victims believe that Brunel was on his way to Dakar because he was tipped off about the arrest, as Senegal doesn’t have an extradition treaty with France.

Meanwhile, the oligarchs who visited Epstein’s fantasy island seem to be safe, the story is spiked and …Epstein killed himself (dead men tell no tales), right?

 

 

 

From Wings

When you were young and your heart
Was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(You know you did)

 

Catch and Release?

A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer has seized a cache of illicit of weapons from two dhows in international waters off the coast of Somalia. …more here

The seizures took place February 11 and 12 by the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81).

The Navy said the cache included thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, light machine guns, heavy sniper rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, along with components such as barrels, stocks, optical scopes and weapon systems.

Did the US Navy exceed its bag limit? No arrests were made. The Navy said the dhow crews were provided food and water before being released.

My personal feeling would be to try them on a drumhead, convict them there on the high seas, hang them and bury them at sea. But I guess we don’t do that anymore. Why do we have a $1 trillion a year military budget?

 

The Endless War

(link) Congress is on the move to continue the War in Afghanistan. Because the war is ESSENTIAL to the American war machine. What a world…

What would we do without a war? Ask yourself what tragedy would befall us if we ended the war that has gone on for a generation and will be kept going for another two generations. Maybe three.

The NDAA also called on the incoming Biden administration to take a second look at Trump’s executive order to pull 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany. The bill said troop levels in Germany should remain at 34,500.  Why? 

I know. “War is a racket.”

 

Sixth Generation Fighter Speculation

The Air Force announced nearly six months ago that they tested and built a sixth generation fighter. They said it broke records, but nothing specific was mentioned. Speculation from informed people think it’s hypersonic, has directed energy weapons, and is optionally manned.

It will be something well short of a space plane, but something that would leave platforms such as the F-35 in the dust.

The Navy wanted to piggy-back the program but so far, the Air Force has said, “Thanks for your interest, we’ll get back to you.”

 

Nuclear Power in the EU

Nuclear power plants provide about a quarter of EU’s electricity 🇪🇺☢️ 13 Member States operate 106 nuclear reactors in total⚡ 🔋

Largest producers:

  • 🇫🇷 France (52.1% of EU total),
  • 🇩🇪 Germany (9.8%),
  • 🇸🇪 Sweden (8.6%) and
  • 🇪🇸 Spain (7.6%)

 

Monday Madness

29
The Incredible Shrinking Party

 

What will the Republican Party Look like in 2022?

If they won’t put America First, they’re going to look very small indeed. Although with the voting machines working as they do, does it really matter?

 

Looking for Work?

(Carrier Advancement Training) I’m not looking for work, but if I was – IF I WAS – I’m sure that my recent transition from being an old, white man (right) to a young, Polynesian woman, would smooth the waters.

Coca-Cola is forcing employees to complete online training telling them to “try to be less white.” I’m sure that those employees are doing all they can to shed themselves of the white patriarchy – if they know what’s good for them. I’ve heard accounts of white people groveling, rolling on their backs and pissing on their bellies. We saw a lot of police chiefs do that last summer.  So if you decide to do that, you won’t be the first.

This week, a disgraceful New York school sent parents a “white identities” chart to find their level of whiteness. If they are too white, they may have to apologize and self-punish.  (h/t Ed for the link)

 

Taliban insurgency on February 17, 2021

The war was scheduled to end and then Jo/Ho took over and the military industrial complex stepped in and said, “Hold my beer.” And just like that, we started the war up. The Taliban were upset. But there is a big profit to be made by keeping the war going. War is a racket.

 

Where are we?

Fauci is predicting that the US will need to wear up to three masks well into the year 2023, so as not to die of the plague.

Johns Hopkins predicts herd immunity by April. …more here

“There is a 77% reduction in daily cases over the last six weeks,” said Makary. “You, as a scientist, have to ask why. We cannot explain that by vaccinated immunity. We can’t explain it by a sudden change in behavior. It is natural immunity and it’s now over 50% of the population.”

…Or they got it, treated like the flu, stayed home, and didn’t panic. Now they’re immune.

 

The Kepler 90 Planetary System 

Other stars have planetary systems like our own. The poster child for that system is Kepler-90. Cataloged by the Kepler satellite that operated from Earth orbit between 2009 and 2018, eight planets were discovered, giving Kepler-90 the same number of known planets as our Solar System. (unless you count Pluto)

Similarities between Kepler-90 and our system include a G-type star comparable to our Sun, rocky planets comparable to our Earth, and large planets comparable in size to Jupiter and Saturn. Differences include that all of the known Kepler-90 planets orbit relatively close in – closer than Earth’s orbit around the Sun – making them possibly too hot to harbor life.

Observations over longer time periods may discover cooler planets further out. Kepler-90 lies about 2,500 light years away, and at magnitude 14 is visible with a medium-sized telescope toward the constellation of the Dragon (Draco).

And as we know, the mere presence of a planet (rocky or otherwise). doesn’t suggest that there is life present.

 

What About Maps?

 

Locations of Canada’s national parks. Some might be a challenge to visit in the winter. One lump of land under 25′ of snow looks just like the next one.

 

All of North America’s skyscrapers. Every building over 150 m.

 

Subnational units closer to Washington D.C. than Hawaii.

 

It’s not surprising that there is problem with suicides in Russia.

Sunday Afternoon (Extra)

20
Living in Amerika

 

 

The Era of the Climate Coach

Just when the old idiocracy meter is pegged, there’s more room for the needle to swing. (more here) “$9.9 million will be used to hire climate coaches for all secondary schools in the L.A. school district.” Even the sci-fi writers who drop acid to “get out there” couldn’t come up with this stuff. It’s all there in the article.

Job openings in LA for those of you with the proper racial and gender (or genderless) qualifications. The schools view a chick with a stick as a chick. No need to remove your courting tackle to become more attractive as a job applicant.

It’s all part of a move to de-fund the police. On Wednesday, the LA School Police Management Association reacted by issuing a statement warning that getting rid of police will make schools less safe for students and teachers.

What a plan! It’s very progressive.

 

Going on a date in 2021

 

View – and a Different Latitude

A view from a beach bungalow – Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam

 

Dictatorships 

Above: Mother and daughter demanding to see their relatives alive during the military dictatorship, Avellaneda, Argentina, 1982 (don’t cry for me, Argentina…)

The truth is that anyone who disagrees with the dictator must be muzzled or disappeared. A disarmed public helps that happen.

 

Historical Interlude

Russian Civil War : American troops in Vladivostok Russia, marching past the building occupied by the staff of the Czecho-Slovaks. Japanese marines are standing to attention (far left). Vladivostok, August 1918.

Official names of European countries in 1914. By 1918, some of them changed.

 

This Photo is here – because of a needed morale boost

You may feel marginalized and alone, but black guns really DO matter.

 

Why Bother?

If the morons expect you to wear a mask.

 

And because it’s Sunday

Sunday Sermonette

46
Pirates are still Pirates on Sunday

 

There are All Sorts of Churches

An Old Church – Now a museum of sorts

I’ve been hanging out, recovering from surgery, trying not to use painkillers, and so forth. I’m almost back to normal. Thank you for your kind thoughts, prayers, etc.

 

Walk Softly and Carry

What do you do when you have to go to mass but you know bad people are around?
“A gun hidden within a bible, made for Francesco Morozini, Doge of Venice (1619-1694). The owner of the bible could pull the silk bookmark to shoot while the book was still closed.” Now on display at the Museo Correr in Venice

 

Lunch

You use ground beef, or sausage, or a combination, or beef filet/steak. You can use chorizo (with some restraint) too. If it’s going to be green chili based, pork shoulder works. One of nature’s most adaptable soups. I’ve also eaten some seriously good vegetarian chili. I prefer it with a scone (doughnut without sugar) if you’re going to invite me over. I have served as a judge at chili cook-offs and don’t charge as much as Al gore does for a personal appearance (see below).

 

Greta’s Fall

(more here) Democrat handlers are famous for e-mailing talking points and scripts to their puppets (such as those in the mainstream media).  The useful idiots are not supposed to acknowledge or attribute their statements/talking points to their handlers. They’re supposed to make you believe that they came up with their BS all on their own. Greta’s blunder, pulling the curtain back on the Wizard, may get her sidelined and the income stream that her mother, a witch, counts on, will dry up?

Does this mean that we’re not all going to burn up in global warming in four years from now?

The Religion of Global Warming

The sound of alarm over climate change can be traced back as far as the 1970’s. Climate Change has been a political and semi-religious article of faith for a long time.

In 1976, at 28, after joining the United States House of Representatives, Al Gore held the “first congressional hearings on the climate change, and co-sponsor[ed] hearings on toxic waste and global warming.” He continued to speak on the topic throughout the 1980s and was known as one of the Atari Democrats.

In recent years, Gore has remained busy traveling the world speaking and participating in events mainly aimed towards global warming awareness and prevention.

His keynote presentation on global warming has received standing ovations, and he has presented it at least 1,000 times according to his monologue in An Inconvenient Truth. His speaking fee is $100,000.

What we really have is a world wide fight for control of global resources. And controlling the availability of affordable energy is key to controlling the planet. This is world wide socialism and nothing else.

 

The Flaming Bayonet

The Americans invented it during World War I. The flaming bayonet was an attachment to the standard American M1903 Springfield or M1917 Enfield which was placed below to the bayonet.

The attachment consisted of six cartridges loaded with flammable chemicals which could fire a burst of very bright flame up to ten feet.

Its purpose was not to clear out trenches like a regular flamethrower, as it could only fire a quick burst. However it was intended to be used to distract or blind the enemy so that the user could close to within bayonet range. It is unlikely this device saw much combat.  The device had ignition problems, added too much extra weight to the front of a rifle, and was of dubious usefulness. The flaming bayonet  project was discontinued in 1919.

 

Films and Nonsense

The Lost Pirate Kingdom (trailer here)

Coming to you on the Ides of March – Netflix. The real-life pirates of the Caribbean violently plunder the world’s riches and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic in this documentary series.

Yes, I’m still thinking about finishing my pirate book, but Red Mist is up first and I’m working on that.

A New Predator Movie Movie is Needed

Build it around the Beowulf epic.

We already know the Predators limit their weapons and numbers to make a hunt seem sporting. There are clearly observable rules: only one fights at a given time, they don’t kill unarmed bystanders, etc.

If a Predator was hunting some Vikings, and the humans only ever found piles of guts or flayed skin, then they would naturally assume the monster was eating them. After all, that’s what we do to the prey animals that we hunt.

I think it would be a nice touch if the Predator was also limited to more basic technology. No invisibility, no shoulder cannon, only melee weapons to remain on roughly the same level as the Vikings.

Then some freakishly big strong human comes along and wins a one-on-one duel. You’d have to cast a gigantic actor like Hafthor Bjornson to tower over anyone large enough to play a Predator and make a one-sided thrashing look believable.

Most anatomy experts agree that simply plucking a limb off to amputate the self-destruct weapon isn’t likely possible. A more likely explanation would be a compound fracture, which has a broken bone sticking out of the skin. That could allow a tearing injury to remove a limb. But movies suspend reality all of the time.

Ripping the whole arm off, bomb included, would prevent the mortally wounded predator from nuking the Vikings. Or maybe they nuke the vikings. That can happen too. But if they don’t go critical, it would force an older, more experienced Predator to go clean up the mess and retrieve the lost technology. That would be “Grendel’s mother” stealing the severed arm and killing the biggest guy in the room, mistakenly assuming it was Beowulf (actually Aeschere, Hrothgar’s best warrior).

The ensuing fight would simply show Beowulf tracking down the Predator ship (the hidden lair) by following the neon green blood trail. Then he uses some alien trophy blade to kill the remaining Predator after the Predator’s armor stops the normal steel sword.

Many Predator weapons are highly collapsible, which could explain why the giant-sword seems to “melt” when he’s done using it.

I wouldn’t include the dragon fight that happens decades later. That always seemed like an independent unrelated story to me. It could be a mama alien or something along that line.

Idiocracy– 2006 Film

I am not recommending that you watch this stupid film, but it does explain how an idiot and a whore end up running America in the future.

It wasn’t intended to be a prophecy – but…

February 20 – in History

11

 

 

There was only one major battle fought in Florida during the War Between the States/Civil War/War of Northern aggression. That battle was fought on this day in history, 1864.

Fearing defeat in the 1864 presidential election, President Lincoln encouraged Congress to pass the so called ’10 percent plan’. The plan stated that any Confederate State would be-readmitted to the Union and its electoral votes would count if 10 percent of the population could be persuaded to vote for its return to the Union.

To encourage the vote, Lincoln sent an invading force of 8,000 men under BGEN Quincy Gilmore, who had been laying siege to Charleston, SC.  Quincy could not take the city without naval support and after its severe repulse in April of 1863, the Union Navy was not going to risk its precious ironclads to confederate Artillery bombardment a second time.

Gilmore landed at, Jacksonville, FL, which had been reduced to ruins by 2 previous federal occupations, and began making plans for his campaign in detail. At that time Florida had 2 railroads. one ran from Fernadina to Cedar Key. The Atlantic and Gulf Central ran from Jacksonville to Talahassee.  General Gilmore took the latter as his principal axis of of advance, the objective being the occupation of Lake City.

There was no regular Confederate field force in Florida. There were 5,100 Florida State Militia under BGEN Joseph Finnegan.

General Gilmore brought one locomotive with him since the Union had destroyed all of the locomotives previously. But it broke down and he had to send to South Carolina for another. He went in person,  leaving BGEN Truman Seymour to remain in garrison until his return. General Seymour remained in active for four days and they went on the offensive, having heard a rumor that the Confederates planned to remove rails from the Atlantic and Gulf Central’s lines.

General Seymour reported to members of the press who accompanied him that he planned to roll up the Florida State Militia.

He marched to Lake City with 5,500 Union troops. Having been warned of the attack, General Finnigan took up a strong defensive position behind swampy ground near Olustee, or Ocean Pond. It limited the Federal ability to maneuver or use their superiority in artillery. The Union had 16 guns, the militia had four.

The Union opted for a series of frontal attacks across the swamp, where 1861 soldiers were drowned (to be eaten later), eaten outright, or shot by the militia. 93 militia soldiers were killed.

The expedition sailed north, having failed to persuade Floridians to vote for Mr. Lincoln.

 

Historical References

15
The War of the Roses

It’s said that Civil Wars are the nastiest. I can’t disagree. America’s War for Independence, and the War of the Roses are discussed below. In many quarters America is still fighting the War of Northern Aggression/Civil War.  A simmering ‘cold war’ between globalists and nationalists – between advocates of huge government as a socialist arbiter and nationalists advocating smaller government, dare we say, a Republic,  plagues us today as the national government barricades itself behind razor wire and armed troops in the capitol.

′′ Neither laying wolf gets his cut, nor sleeping warrior, victory “.
-Havamal.

Rome fought a number of civil wars during its history. Are they inevitable?

Of course civil wars are fought for the benefit of the rich and powerful – to hold power, often legacy power, or to seize that power, authority and privilege. Today we have oligarchs in the shadows in a very similar way to the oligarchs during Roman and later, the Byzantine Empires, who push the pawns and bishops around the chessboard.

Turning in a Patriot

Most of us know that someone who knew Nathan Hale turned him in to the British. There were informers then as now, as always in history. In this case it may have been his cousin, Samuel?

Nathan Hale was a descendant of John Hale, first minister of Banby, Massachusetts. He was the sixth child of Richard and Elizabeth Hale, and was born in Coventry, Connecticut. He graduated at Yale College in 1773, with distinguished honors. Of his private history little is known. The subjoined account was published sometime after his execution in New York City.

You have to wonder if Captan Andre, the British intelligence officer gave Samuel thirty pieces of silver. Or if Samuel did it for shits and giggles.

There is a message in this account for us today. I’ll let you work that one out. The statue (pictured above) is at CIA Headquarters.

Major John Andre

People like Captain Andre exploited sources, former wives, scorned lovers, envious relatives, and business competitors.

Before Hale swung from the rope he said, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” Who would he have become had he lived?

Footnote: John André was a major in the British Army and head of its Secret Service in America during the American Revolutionary War. He was hanged as a spy by the Continental Army for assisting Benedict Arnold’s attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York, to the British.

This week in History, The Kingmaker was defeated by Lancastrian forces at the Second Battle of St. Albans in 1461.

In an effort to block the Lancastrian forces from marching on London after their victory over and the death of Duke Richard of York, six weeks earlier at Wakefield; Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (called “The Kingmaker”), gave battle at St. Albans (site of the first battle of the War of the Roses).

Outnumbered half-again by the Lancastrians, who were commanded by the Duke of Somerset (accompanied by a force of young nobles and Scottish Borderers), Warwick’s army was routed. The mentally ill King Henry VI was freed from Yorkist captivity, and reunited with his family.

The Lancastrians were denied London by the wary townsmen, mindful of the Lancastrian’s reputation for pillaging.  Out of frustration, Queen Margaret executed several ranking Yorkist prisoners, including two knights who had decided to stay by King Henry’s side to protect his person, instead of fleeing to safety. One of these was Sir Thomas Kyriell, a hero of the Hundred Years War who had led the English forces to victory over the French at the Battle of Formigny in 1450. There wasn’t much gratitude for loyalty or respect for past glory.

The Lancastrians returned to the north. There, in Yorkshire the following month, they faced the new leader of the Yorkist faction, Edward of March (the future king Edward IV) at Towton, and fought the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil.

Randomness

11
Bayraktar TB2 armed drone

 

Italian Flat Top

Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550) is in Virginia as part of its effort to become certified to operate the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

The ship arrived at Naval Station Norfolk on Feb. 13 and will work with a test team from the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) “to conduct sea trials, a series of tests and functional activities to create a safe flight operating envelope for the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the 5th generation aircraft aboard the recently upgraded ship.” …more at the USNI Blog

 

The Paleo-Bell River, North America’s Vanished Amazon.

A generalized reconstruction of Paleo-Bell River drainage and evolution of other major rivers in western and northern North America, after James Sears and others.

By the Miocene, the Paleo-Bell River Basin reached its greatest extent. Rifts like the Rio Grande and Great Basin created an ancestral Colorado River that was yet to establish a course to the Pacific (location 1). Instead, it flowed north from the Grand Canyon region through structurally controlled valleys and into the larger Paleo-Bell River Basin via an ancestral Yellowstone River, whose gravels cap the Cypress Hills. This route was blocked by eruptions of lava in the Snake River Plain (location 2) associated with the Yellowstone Hot Spot. Repeated glaciation starting about 2.6 million years ago diverted north-flowing rivers like the Paleo-Yellowstone along ice sheet margins (location 3) to form the Missouri River.

The ice sheets also disrupted the Paleo-Bell River Basin, causing river sedimentation to cease in the Saglek Basin. The Mackenzie River Basin was created, leaving the Saskatchewan/Nelson River Basin as the last remnant of North America’s Amazon.

 

“I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.” – Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

 

How Many do you Give?

 

Getting an Itch Scratched.

 

Lunch

I know that they are sort of sea-lice, but they taste good.

 

Air Defense Concerns (h/t Claudio)

(Defense News) ROME — First there was the video from Libya of a Turkish drone destroying a Russian Pantsir missile defense system.

Next came the veteran S-300 air defense system — also Russian — being taken out in Nagorno-Karabakh by an Israeli-built Harop loitering munition.

In the conflicts in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh last year, unmanned platforms often made short work of the ground-based systems designed to neutralize them, paving the way for easy attacks on vulnerable troops.

What is more, experts say, is that the balance of power between drones and air defense systems is shaping up to be a key to global wars in the near future.

“Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and also Syria have just showed us that if a fielded force cannot protect its airspace, then the large scale use of UAVs can make life extremely dangerous,” said Justin Bronk, an air force research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in England.

Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 armed drone grabbed the headlines during the Libya conflict last year, which saw Turkey deploy the platform to defend the U.N.-backed Tripoli government against strongman Khalifa Hifter, who relied on Russian Pantsir systems… more here.

 

In the News

18
Virtual Mirage - The Most Trusted Name in News

 

Which would you rather have for Breakfast?

or

 

Bezos Units

 

Catalonia’s regional elections told two stories. The headline is the Socialists (PSC) won the most votes – a win for the Spanish Prime Minister. However, the pro-Independence parties secured over 50% of the vote and seats – up from 2017.

 

From Japan

A young friend who worked his way up from inner-city thug to college graduate (engineering) without taking a single government loan, and who recently moved to Japan for work, reports the following by way of dispatch.

There are people here who can’t speak or understand English who play nothing but Missy Elliot and Ludacris, even in businesses like housing offices and restaurants.

There are people who have cowboy hats and dead cow skulls in their home because they idolize what they assume American homes are like.

There are people who learn English strictly through music videos and American television shows.

There are entire karaoke bars with english songs often sung by people who have no idea what the lyrics mean.

Japan often takes American shows like the powerpuff girls and make Japanese versions of them.

They often mistake common Americans for celebrities. I have been mistaken for Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Shaquille O’Neal, Tyler Perry, and saddest of all: Queen Latifa.

The act of sprinkling English into your Japanese sentences is considered cute and cool and is popular with teenagers. Bonus points if you happen to use it correctly.

Japanese stores sell shirts with english on them and people buy them not knowing that most of those word combinations are nonsense.

 

Plastic

Straws are banned. Water bottles are embraced.

Out-of-Wedlock Births

 

From Here to There

30
Maybe we really only have four years left?

 

Global Cooling?

All of the drama from socialists about how we need to save the planet that has four years left before we’re all dead-dead-dead is very interesting if you’re looking for a way to “redistribute wealth” but the science isn’t there, is it?

Which brings to mind a completely different thing and that’s the passive nuclear reactor under our feet. Oh, I know that the left hates nuclear energy. But it’s there and it’s what keeps tectonic plates subducting carbon and keeps the planet living.

Current evidence suggests that all the earth’s heating takes place in the mantle and crust, not the core.

All models of the inner Earth depend on indirect evidence. Leading models of the kind known as bulk silicate Earth (BSE) assume that the mantle and crust contain only lithophiles (“rock-loving” elements) and the core contains only siderophiles (elements that “like to be with iron”). Thus all the heat from radioactive decay comes from the crust and mantle – about eight terawatts from uranium 238 (238U), another eight terawatts from thorium 232 (232Th), and four terawatts from potassium 40 (40K).

The nuclear reactor in the Earth is a passive heat engine that just happens due to the content of radioactive materials undergoing natural decay and releasing heat. A nuclear reactor in the human built sense is an active heat engine where natural decay is accelerated by changing the neutron flux in a core bundle of fuel rods with highly purified materials. The Sun is another kind of nuclear reactor.

This is a decay process that can not sustain a chain reaction, so nuclear explosions are not in the cards. Just heat.

Between the active heat generation and the rate of radiative cooling, it is estimated that the Earth’s core will stay molten for 91 billion years even though our sun only has 5–7 billion years left. The size and density of the earth insulates the heat very effectively. That is why the crust is cool and why it will take almost 100 billion years to cool the core of the Earth completely.

 

The Grids

Snacks

A crawdad/shrimp/crab boil makes for a powerful snack, and it will reliably diminish your hunger pains.  The problem is that the best boils are fresh and you won’t get that in Arizona.

Fried mac and cheese with a side of hot sauce for dipping is not heart heathy, but it’s good – and do you really want to live forever?

Bacon and cheese fries are unlikely to extend your life. I like them with sour cream and chives to dip, but you may prefer ranch.

Is this turning into a food blog?

Steak and garlic fries can improve your outlook on life in general.

 

How Long does DNA Remain Intact?

(full article) I suspect that the answer to that specific question is not knowable, but scientists are working on mammoth genomes. Permafrost-preserved teeth, up to 1.6 million years old, identify a new kind of mammoth in Siberia.

An illustration of the steppe mammoths that preceded the woolly mammoth

Ancient DNA retrieved from different mammoth species is illuminating a complex evolutionary picture.Credit: Beth Zaiken/Centre for Palaeogenetics

Mammoth teeth preserved in eastern Siberian permafrost have produced the oldest ancient DNA on record, pushing the technology close to — but perhaps not past — its limits.

Genomic DNA extracted from a trio of tooth specimens excavated in the 1970s has identified a new kind of mammoth that gave rise to a later North American species. The findings were published in Nature, yesterday.

Researchers had suspected that ancient DNA could survive beyond one million years, if the right sample could be found. Once an organism dies, its chromosomes shatter into pieces that get shorter over time. Eventually, the DNA strands become so small that — even if they can be extracted — they lose their information content.

Ancient genomes: Timeline showing the ages of the oldest human and animal DNA that has been sequenced.

 

Observations

40

 

 

Name the Aircraft

 

Firearms Facts

  1. Violent crime is down in the US and has been on the decline for decades.
  2. The principal public safety concerns with respect to firearms are suicides and illegally owned/stolen handguns, not mass shootings.
  3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a firearm-related homicide. We can’t mention inner-city demographics because that would be racist, but the statistics are clear.
  4. Firearms-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people. That pool includes the felons that democrats are releasing from prison, back into the public in large numbers.
  5. Higher rates of firearms ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
  6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
  7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

 

People who focus on poverty want the poor to do better.

People who focus on inequality want the government to get larger.

 

The Plague

In Italy …more here.

(headlines) 45-Year-Old Italian Doctor “In the Prime of Life and in Perfect Health” Drops Dead After the Pfizer mRNA COVID Shot: 39-Year-Old Nurse, 42-Year-Old Surgical Technician Also Dead.

In the UK – 24 Residents Dead in 3 Weeks as One Third of UK Nursing Home Residents Die After Experimental mRNA COVID Injections

Are the Covid 19 vaccinations safe? I know people who had them and were made sick. I know people who had them and had no effect. The one friend of mine who had the shot said that he downed 3 bottles of wine and the impact was slighter. Make of that what you will.

 

Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner?

 

Thoughts on Quislings

The Church of Unending Illusions

What about this. If I see a religious leader shaking hands with the corpse or the whore, I simply ignore whatever they might say?

 

What If?

Image

Wouldn’t it be a bizarre twist if the government told the population that a physical barrier with armed guards made up of local police, federal police and the military was not appropriate to stop people who should not be in the country from coming in by the thousands, BUT, then erected a physical barrier with armed guards made up of local police, federal police and the military to protect just themselves because they are somehow more endangered than the population they serve.  That would be some crazy work of fiction right there.

 

Pie First – or Last?

 

Name the Aircraft (above): Russian Mi-35MS command and control helicopter, referred to as the luxury helicopter. It doesn’t come with a tall, thin, supermodel Viking woman with stiletto heels – she’s waiting for the general, back at base, with two flutes of champagne for after his flight.

Fundamentals

31
Lee Enfield

 

 

The Keel

We know that Sailors were very superstitious. And of course this did not stop at shipbuilding. The keel, for example, which was considered the heart of a ship, has always been subject to special rituals. And that is why the shipbuilders paid special attention to the observance of the prescribed rituals (some of which date back to antiquity) when laying the keel, in order to guarantee a successful, happy ship. After all, one did not want to be to blame for the ship sinking just because one was not paying attention.

Image

The keel is the fundamental structural member of a wooden ship. This diagram shows how the keel is put together, particularly when a single timber cannot be found to make the keel out of one piece. For this example, the keel is about 12″/ 30,5 cm wide and the pieces are fastened at scarf joints with bolts. This image is from Basil Greenhill and Sam Manning, The Evolution of the Wooden Ship, 1988, p. 99. 

Such rites could include hammering the first nail through a horseshoe or drinking to the health of the ship before work began. Red (the color of blood and therefore of life) was a suitable deterrent for witches or those who possessed the dreaded Evil Eye. This was also true for the so-called witch signs which since the Middle Ages found their way onto houses and, in the case of ships, also in the area of the cannons. It was also used miraculously in shipbuilding.

The keels were to be laid in a north-south orientation whenever possible. Shipbuilders believed that this aligned the ship’s inherent magnetism with the poles, thus reducing compass deviation. No keels were laid on Thursday, named after Thor, and on Friday, named after Frigg, the wife of Odin, both of whom were known for their fiery temperaments, at least that is what the Vikings said and did; there is no explicit evidence of this custom for modern times.

Good omens during this delicate phase were the presence of seagulls (the reincarnated spirits of the ancient seafarers), a westerly wind combined with a rising tide, or a full moon visible during the day, all of which ensured an abundant catch, a successful voyage, great prizes or cargo to be hauled.

Omens that heralded an unlucky ship included sparks produced by the hammering of the first spike (indicating that the ship would perish by fire) or accidental bloodshed, which meant that it would be a death ship.

 

Lunch

I hope that I’m not the only one who likes to dip french fries into horseradish sauce/

 

Delves

22 SAS D squadron commander Cedric Delves after the successful raid on Pebble Island’s airfield destroying 11 Argentinian aircraft during the Falklands War. May 1982

 

In the News

 

 

Mexican states that experienced rolling blackouts on 16 Feb 2021.

 

Brutal cold hung over Texas and the central United States on Yesterday, bringing chaos to parts of the U.S. not used to severe winter weather. Solar panels were covered with snow, windmills didn’t turn, and the green new deal is revealed for what it is.

Millions are facing the freezing cold without heat, as grid operators have been forced to cut power on a rolling basis to avoid wider blackouts. In Texas, more than 4.4 million homes and businesses remained without electricity on Tuesday morning.

 

Birthplaces of Top 100 Ranked Tennis Players, as of Feb. 2021.

 

Most Populated Subdivisions in the World.

 

Jewish Emancipation in Europe by Country.

As the Stomach Turns

43
Student "Gifts"

 

Amazon

(Business Insider) Amazon’s Whole Foods chain is tracking its employees with a heat map tool to determine which stores are most likely to unionize. The store’s individual risk is calculated from about thirty different metrics that include racial diversity, gender diversity (all 36), loyalty and turnover. A phone number is available for employees to snitch off the disloyal in their number. If I worked there, I’d be real active on that number. Other metrics include the proximity of a ‘union office’, OSHA violations, local economic factors include such as regional unemployment, and the percentage of families living below the poverty line.

It’s all weighted and fed into a computer to generate the map. Whole Foods lives in fear of labor organizing. And because it’s coming from Amazon, you might expect that your employer may buy into the software.

Hint: Buy burner phones and use them to make anonymous tips with various friends reading from the script that you generate.

 

I Woke Up

And had been dreaming of the scene above. But it didn’t turn out to have any connection to reality. Woke people never have that sort epiphany.

 

The Pol Pot revolution in Cambodia is possibly the closest thing that the modern era has gotten to the utter maniacal tyranny of the French Revolution and a shining example of co-opting fervor in a country to further your own power.

Remember what happened within Cambodia before you let Jo/Ho take control of your Soviet style Work Council and start ordering everyone with eye glasses to go out and till the fields.

Once the Vietnam War started, Cambodia attempted to remain neutral in the conflict until the Prince was ousted in a coup, which was countered with sudden US support for the new regime and bombing campaigns against Vietcong and other communist partisan groups operating in the Cambodian interior.

The bombing campaigns fed into the Communist Party of Kampuchea’s hands, aiding their support tremendously especially against the more and more feeble Khmer National Armed Forces. As the Americans pulled out of Vietnam, so too did support fall in Cambodia and in 1975 the CPK entered Phnom Penh. And that’s where the regime change began.

Pol Pot and the CPK wanted to revitalize Cambodia along the same lines as the Great Leap Forward, and began a massive campaign evacuating those in the cities to work in the farms of the country. Not only that, the country would try to become ‘traditional’ in a very literal sense, burning anything associated with the West in an attempt to return to form. This also meant a purge of dissidents and ‘Western traitors’ that were as much cover for Pol Pot’s purge of political enemies as they were ideological. These purges culminated in the Cambodian Genocide, where upwards of 1-2 million Cambodians, Vietnamese and other minorities were killed by the CPK. The genocide ended when the Vietnamese got involved in 1979 following several Khmer Rouge border raids.

It doesn’t take much to get a Pol Pot. Stalin was just a General Secretary, Mao was just a librarian, Pol Pot was just another background member of the CPK. It takes just one change to everything to bring on the genocide and have your communist utopia made into another failed state that future socialists will protest as not true communism.

 

Punks c 1977

It was often said by those in the punk culture that the police didn’t like them. That wasn’t strictly true. There was usually a contest among police officers about who could make an arrest that resulted in the best booking photo. Without punks, that contest just wouldn’t work the same.

 

It’s time for Maps

 

 

Republic of Texas

The Republic of Texas, a real nation that lasted almost 10 years, 1836-1845. Some say that it’s coming back.

 

 

 

 

Tolstoy

I know, Tolstoy wasn’t progressive.

Historical Reflection

9

 

 

All Roads Lead to Rome

Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant!

There is always speculation on how things worked in any specific historical setting. Sometimes they are familiar in our modern era and sometimes they are not. There is a lot known about the Arena, gladiators, and how the system worked.

There were different classes of gladiators and different legal sentences that would land you in the arena (for different crimes).

A man, sentenced to munera usually had a three years’ contract. They fought up to three matches annually, and had a roughly 5% chances of getting killed in a munus. They’d likely see the other side of the sentence unless they were unlucky or were not good fighters.

The sentence of damnatio ad ludi, meant that you served for five years as a gladiator, and those who were sentences damnatio ad gladium, who served for one year and if they had not been killed by then, were beheaded. Beheading was considered a merciful death, very different than crucifixion or death by being torn apart by wolves, etc.

For the majority of those sentenced to gladiatorial combat, they could leave the arena after their three-year term but many re-enlisted voluntarily, as a rudiarius. Gladiators were pampered, well fed, and an adrenaline high can be addictive. (ask me how I know) They were paid well – they could make the lifetime salary of an ordinary freeman in just one match, and they were the celebrities of the era – including sex with groupies.

Contrary to the public image, death at the arena was rare. The Romans wanted to see blood but not gore and death. Gladiators were expensive to train, and the munerarius had to pay the lanista a hefty sum of money for every gladiator who died. But every now and then someone got the pollice verso – usually if wounded beyond chance of recovery.

But you’re not young forever (ask me how I know) and a free’d gladiator was not a fully enfranchised Roman citizen. He was an infamis. Being stripped of  many of the rights and legal protections a Roman citizen was otherwise entitled to could create problems for an energetic young man. In this case, their status placed them at the bottom of the social order. Prostitutes and entertainers (dancers, actors, race drivers) were also infames and were considered lower than anyone except a slave. He could not vote nor partake in politics.

What are your options?

Military Career – You could not join the military as a legionarius, because you are an infamis. You can join, but as an auxiliarius. The good thing is that it is something you have done all your life. The bad thing is the discipline, bad diet, marching, miserable field life, and if you are led badly in battle or used badly by a careless leader, you can be killed on campaign.  Auxiliary troops tended to be killed on campaign in greater numbers than legionaries did. But once your enlistment term is over, you will gain the status of a full Roman citizen.

Straight Job in the Trade – You could find employment by the lanista. Having served as a gladiator, you could now become magister, the teacher of new recruits. Or you could become a doctor – having seen gore, blood and death first hand and if you are intelligent enough, he could study medicine and become the doctor of the gladiators. They usually received first class treatment. Making the grade involved an apprenticeship and as with life in general, having a little luck by not having your patients die.

Political Job in the Trade – You could be recruited by the munerarius and become a referee, an arbiter, an official.

Job ex-officio – You could join Blackwater or another organization that we see today in the Private Military Corporation realm – or the Roman version of that. (The New World Order is recruiting now. It pays better than military service now and then.)

You could also pick up work as the bodyguard of a wealthy patrician or politician (or an oligarch like Bill Gates, a Hollywood Mogul, or a politician looking for a little more depth than the badge-wearers offer – maybe in the Clinton Global Initiative – now defunct, but you get the picture). A gladiator could put someone within an inch of his life but not kill him – that’s what you were trained for. Less lethal, up armor. Gladiators could be excellent enforcers.

Or you could drift to the organized crime side of the spectrum – cartel enforcer or hire yourself out as a knife man.

Retirement – Eventually, if you lived long enough, you would be likely to set up a small business somewhere, on the edge of the Empire, where the rules were not so closely enforced. Maybe you’ become an innkeeper or a pimp (not that fine of a distinction in ancient Rome)?

It May be History?

24

 

 

In 1968, there was a lot of speculation about what life would be like in 2000 – and no American guessed that we’d be ruled by a walking corpse and a whore, and the nation would embrace the 1984 Playbook and a reprise of the slaughter of the Jews in the Holocaust… but if you take the democrats at their word, that’s what they want.

Anyway, the car of tomorrow for the world of tomorrow. There was supposed to be a Space Odyssey in 2001…

Pussycar Automodule, 1968.

Designed by Jean Pierre Ponthieu and billed as ‘The Car of the Year 2000′, the spherical Automodule was powered by a 250cc single cylinder engine powering the single rear wheel, which caused the car to “rear-up” under acceleration. Because the other three wheels where all steerable, the car could spin on its axis. There are no words…

 

U-234

Dramatic explosion as USS Greenfish’s (SS-351) torpedo sinks U-234 off Cape Cod, Mass, 20 November 1947. U-234 was a Type XB U-boat built as a long-range cargo submarine with missions to Japan in mind. She left Germany in the last days of the war in Europe with a dozen high-level officers and advisors, technical drawings, examples of the newest electric torpedoes, one crated Me 262 jet aircraft, a Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb and 1,210 lbs of uranium oxide. She never made it Japan as her skipper decided to make for Canada instead after the fall of Germany.

Two Japanese officers on board committed suicide and were buried at sea while the sub– packed with her very important nuclear material – surrendered to the destroyer escort USS Sutton south of the Grand Banks, Newfoundland on 14 May, a week after VE Day.

The nuclear material contaminated the boat and it was destroyed by torpedo instead of being scuttled.

 

Who are you?

 

Identify the British Aircraft

Would I want to fly this monstrosity in combat? No. One should take the engineers who make these things and put a flight suit on them and send them out to die.

 

Corona – and a different latitude

 

Peaky Blinders – Season Six

The plague hasn’t stopped the show (which must go on) as the Netflix series – and one of my favorites – is filming …more here

Peaky Blinders centers around its eponymous gang (razor blades sewn into the flat Jimmy cap) which is run by the ruthless Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and his family, and sees them build their power and influence over Birmingham and beyond.

The fifth season ended on a cliffhanger, with Tommy seeing visions of his late wife Grace and turning a gun on himself following his botched assassination attempt of British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosely (Sam Claflin) at a rally. The sixth season is said to be the final one of the series. There is talk of a feature film to follow Season Six.

 

Green Energyin Cold Weather

Now there’s a shock for all of you. Nuclear energy works and it’s carbon free. Or you can burn carbon in any of its varieties. The other options – aren’t.

 

Biden’s America

But don’t despair. They’ll put you on welfare, or you can learn to build windmills at $15/hr.