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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.



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.


11 thoughts on “Randomness

  1. Read somewhere that, if explorers had started from the west and moved east, when they got to where the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers met, the sizes of the two would have had them call the merged river going south the Missouri River.

    Are those drones hackable?
    If not, maybe skeet shooters will make a comeback?

    1. The link that controls the drone is a challenge to hack because of modern cryptography. You can deny the drone the bandwidth, or you can shoot it down with a surface to air missile. You. can deny EVERYTHING the bandwidth too, but that can be problematic because you likely will want to use at least a portion of it.

  2. ““Turkey also sent in engineers who improved the software of the drones on the fly, while there was no similar learning curve with the Chinese UAVs operated by the UAE to assist Hifter,” said Jalel Harchaoui at the Switzerland-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.”

    So the Chinese don’t provide field support for their weapons systems. Surprise. That’s one expensive lesson to learn. If memory serves the Pantir systems allowed Hifter to shoot down Turkish supplied drones in late 2019 or early 2020. I wonder how much of the Turkish assistance is meant to improve the drone’s capabilities and how much is meant to gain further influence in Libya?

    1. Turkey has gone all in with Libya, and even though they provide third rate wares to their allies and dubious advice, the mobs they appeal to have very little, and take what they can get. Frankly I’d trust a Turk before the PRC, but that’s just me.

  3. Must be some new spa treatments.

    Which celebrities with their makeup off are those?

    It’s a damn shame about the clampdown, otherwise I’d see if they were doing tours on the Cavour, and drive on down.

  4. Interesting to see ITS Cavour out of the Med. They must be serious, and have spent a butt ton on upgrades for her! And yep, those sea lice look good! 🙂

    1. The Italians realize that the secret to longevity is a capable Navy. They seem to be willing to put their money out to show it too.

  5. Looks as though the Italians have better aircraft carrier facility than the UK. Embarrassing, true. And interesting drone recap — Russia must be working on upgrades.

    But in the meanwhile, the US nearly collapsed over the space of week thanks to global warming. Huh.

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