Maps and Commentary

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How United is the Kingdom?

Keep in mind that this is a view from the outside, not the inside. Opinions will certainly vary.

The United Kingdom was not born in glory. The English conquest of Ireland in the 17th century was brutal, motivated by fear of invasion, and facilitated by the superiority of Cromwell’s army. The English takeover of Scotland in the 18th century was more pragmatic, born out of Scottish bankruptcy after an ill-fated American investment and English worries about France. But the resulting union was more than the sum of its parts: it gave birth to an intellectual and scientific revolution, centered on Edinburgh as well as London; an industrial revolution which grew out of that, enriching Glasgow as well as Manchester and Liverpool; an empire built as much by Scots as Englishmen; and a military power which helped save the world from fascism.

One of my personal friends of 45 years or so is a leader in the Scottish National Party and from what he says, the divisions in the UK are deeper than ever. Yes, I know the SNP for what it is, but still and all, the dissatisfaction of Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland is not trivial.


The Temple of the Living Elvis

I spent quite a bit of time doing organized crime-related undercover police work in Las Vegas. I didn’t work for Metro or for Nevada, but the work took me there. The city has changed. As it grew, Lake Mead shrank. The place has over-built the capacity of the area to deliver water. It will become a serious problem in years to come if the growth continues — or even if it doesn’t. Vegas is The Temple of the Living Elvis. Separate from that, I taught money-laundering and Asian investigation to Nevada Gaming for about twenty years – off and on.



The Green New Deal will make it all unreliable wind and solar… and it will deliver a train wreck if it succeeds.


Soft Drinks

We discussed this on the blog a week or so ago. How do you say “soft drink” regionally? It’s a map, providing some overview without too much granularity.



You have to buy them. They are not awarded based on talent – not all of the time anyway. It’s interesting how Sunset Blvd. and that whole walk of fame area is so very dirty. And now it’s infested with homeless encampments. Very woke. And still, busses arrive and disgorge would-be actors, actresses, and screenwriters every day. They end up being prostitutes, doing porn in the Valley, waiters, baristas, etc. for the most part, spending their youth on those dirty streets with the stars on the sidewalks.




The American T28 Super Heavy Tank

T28 Super Heavy Tank, Originally designed in 1945 by Pacific Car and Foundry, was first designated as a heavy tank, then secondly as a gun motor carriage, then thirdly, and finally as a super-heavy tank. Its original role was to be the beast that would break through the German Siegfried line. When that didn’t happen, it was intended to be a powerful force multiplier used during the mainland invasion of Japan.

With this in mind, it was armed with a 105mm T5E1 smoothbore cannon, with a secondary armament of an M2 Browning .50 caliber heavy machine gun at the commander’s hatch.

It was protected by a thick hull that was over 350mm (that’s almost 13 inches of solid steel) thick frontally, and 250mm thick on the sides.

It was powered by a slightly underwhelming Ford GAF V8 gasoline engine pushing out 550 horsepower. Using this engine, the over 100-ton tank could barely reach a maximum speed of a lethargic 8mph/13 kph. It had a somewhat average combat effective range of 100mi/160km. It rode on top of a double-tracked horizontal volute spring suspension.

The War Department canceled the beast after a disastrous engine fire in one of the two test models proved irreparable, and it was subsequently sent to be torn apart to be scrapped. The project was deemed to be no longer viable, outdated, and obsolete design. Work on the project stopped in 1947 when the War department concluded it no longer wanted to move forward with such a heavy and hard to transport armored vehicle.

Of the two produced, only one survives. The only surviving T28 was discovered abandoned in the woods on the outskirts of a US army base in Virginia in 1974, and at the time military leadership had no real idea how it ended up there. It was repainted and restored and now resides at Fort Benning, Georgia.

27 thoughts on “Maps and Commentary

  1. Just ahead of its time. All it needs is a nuclear reactor for power, a couple of hellbores, and an AI to run the thing then it would fit the description of one of Kieth Laumer’s Bolos pretty darn well

    1. If a rogue AI got a hold of a T-28, things could get interesting very quickly. As you suggest, adding a nuclear reactor, and it could run forever – just not very fast.

  2. I remember that in the late ’70s, early ’80s Vegas had a huge building boom. Contractors from surrounding states picked up and moved there. A friend, a structural engineer with several patents to his name, retired in his mid-40s after making big heapum money in the building boom.

    I recently read the fedgov wants to give about 42,000 acres to Las Vegas. To put that in perspective, Vegas is currently about 26,000 acres. Lake Mead is soon to retire as the nation’s largest man-made lake.

    In the early 2000s, an acquantance from Norway wanted to sightsee Hollywood, especially Sunset Blvd. I earnestly tried to dissuade him. He insisted, we drove down, he about retched. I dared him to step out onto the bubble gum and vomit covered Walk of Fame.

    1. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood Blvd, and the Walk of Fame has been disgusting for a long time – at many levels. You think that they’d hire people to steam clean the sidewalks at night, but no. Actually, you’d need the police to protect the cleaners from pimps, gang bangers, and now, armies of homeless, barfing, and crapping. It’s all so woke.

      1. Nah, just give the cleaners live steam hoses from a high-pressure boiler – then they could clean the streets and the population problem at the same time.


        1. It’s not very woke to turn steam hoses on the homeless…but it would tend to move them along.

  3. Just finished Clanlands…the Irish and Scottish boys are not to be trifled with…history may come back around.

    Vegas- “If you build it they will come.”

    Take a patch of desert, add water…wahlah! instant city….like one of those ads in the back of Boys Life next to the seahorses and x-ray glasses. But according to the Left, taxing ourselves can make it all better…and pour rain…in the desert. Gaia must have heard Biden’s plan because up by us, normally sunny Colorado is in it’s wettest Spring in 77 years. Rather that than dry. If the sun comes out in full (by next weekend at the earliest according to the weather soothsayers) we might have a great hay crop, ni added water required.

    They can have Vegas, gets my Holy Spirit spidey-sense tingling at Red Alert whenever I’ve been there, and I can’t eat like I used to so no more full spread low cost buffet’s for me.

    1. I’m sure that paying the weather tax has helped Colorado… You have to put the credit where it belongs, with Jo/Ho.

      Here in Arizona, we’re hoping that Jo/Ho delivers a significant monsoon. Last year’s summer rainfall was insufficient. Maybe if they raise taxes? Although, with prices of everything going through the roof, sales tax revenues will be healthy.

      1. Politicians have some tortured DNA factor that always takes credit for others effort, they can’t help themselves, and manage to sleep just fine in their credit thievery.

    2. Wettest Spring in 77 years? Maybe Horsetooth will get somewhat refilled.

      Too much growth being allowed here. The water people have been trying to build a new reservoir here, up by Ted’s Place, I think, but have been fighting the enviro-wackos for years to get the final approval. The developers are going strong out here, with new condos/apartments popping up all over, and new “California Sized” houses, meaning a 4000sqft house on a 5000sqft lot. Blech….no thank you.

      1. It’s a problem that has no solution, city and county managers consider growth to be a good thing so grant developers permits to build whatever suits. Always about the money.

        after 20+ years of haggling the reservoir is in process. But instead of dredging Halligan of collected silt for more storage capacity but with the same acre-feet of evaporation, they decided an additional reservoir was in order. They want the boating and camping “fee” revenue once they develop it…like Horsetooth. It’ll be a zoo on weekends, and the rerouted 287 ill be odd. Thing is the water goes to Greeley as they own the property. Funny business between city managers and councils.

  4. Ah Vegas. It’s worse than you think. They are still allowing massive growth here and the infrastructure on a whole is suffering. Also, while at the moment we have a sheriff that refuses to bend over to the woke BLM, Antifa garbage, the state, especially this piece of crap governor is trying their best to emasculate the police and open up the state to the same garbage as on the left coast.

    the worse part is the loonies from the left coast are moving here and of course are pushing the exact policies they supposedly moved away from. Pure idiocy

    1. It’s the same everywhere. Californians leave and “californicate” wherever they land.

  5. I LOVE the T-28. The Brits built something similar in the A-39 Tortoise.

    That power generation map would be even more informative if it showed the type of generation most used in each State, as opposed to most generated locally. Electric importers and exporters would be good, too.


    1. In the West, there is a lot of power exporting. California draws heavily from the grid in other states.

      1. Last I heard all the wind generated power in Wyoming goes to California…ruin our landscape here for unreliable power there…another crappy deal that never pans out.

          1. The grifter industrial wind companies , like ConnectGen out of Texas who – despite a year of massive opposition by Albany County (Laramie) and Larimer County residents on both sides of the 287 corridor border, including serious application deficiencies – was just voted 5-0 in favor by the Planning and Zoning Commission to move forward. Cowards, bought and paid for with favors and revenues touted at 100% duty cycle, whereas real life numbers are around 25%, or 40% on a good day. Environmental impact is huge yet they overlook the mess and ugly to get this junk science shoved down peoples throats.

      2. California bureaucrats appropriated the banker term for relying on other states for electricity — ‘off-shore’.
        By farming-out coal-fired plants to places such as Utah, California press-releases can sincerely claim their ‘clean green’ propaganda inside the state border.
        Unfortunately, irregardless of the smokestack scrubbers, some taint circles around to tarnish that brag.

  6. I just say soda or if I’m ordering in a restaurant, then I say sweet tea, no lemon. ;-)

    1. I don’t think that it traveled on its own power. Maybe a giant flatbed? Good point, though. I hadn’t thought of HOW they’d move it.

      1. I have relatives that are owner/operators specializing in oversized loads. Some jobs take weeks of planning. Routes are driven, bridges surveyed, state and local government permits purchased, etc.

      2. The outside tracks are a bolt-on kit, for use after it gets close to it’s war front. There is a video somewhere on the web that shows them being installed. Requires a second vehicle, I think. Each of those tracks is a complete assembly that just bolts onto the side of the chassis.

  7. re:
    Mead reservoir

    1960s, I traveled extensively through Baja California, kayaking and hiking the solitude.
    The Colorado River estuary at the north end of the Sea Of Cortez was incredibly rich and diverse, easily equivalent to the Mekong, Amazon, and Nile.
    By 2000, enough Colorado River water was diverted to the temporary flash-in-the-pan boomtowns of Las Vegas, Phoenix, south California etcetera, that glorious delta was a dusty salt-flat, hundreds of square miles of dust-devils and death.
    The egrets, the hawks, the frogs, the reeds and mangrove forests, all gone.

    I wonder at the impact on the Sea Of Cortez (aka Gulf Of California).
    Without those millions of tons of nutrient-rich silt to feed the Baja ecosystem, what happens to the whales and the rest of the interdependent marine life… including the rural rustic people working both sides of those elegant waters?

    On the issue over over-population, humans eating and drinking like there is no tomorrow, apex predators consuming everything in sight, crammed into non-sustainable prisons like Chicago-Detroit-Philadelphia-DC-LA-etcetera, I am wandering into the ‘we might want to re-think that theory’ camp.

    1. Las Vegas is taking so much water from Meade that the turbines are expected to be shut down in just a couple years. Used to supply all the electric for LV, now down to about 1/3 of the city’s needs. LV is planning on stealing all the ground water used by the eastern NV farmers, as soon as the lake goes dry.

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