Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"Secondly, an ISR penetrator can be used to send a political message, reminding potential foes of their vulnerability. Early in my career as a spook, I worked for a former SR-71 pilot, then serving as a fighter squadron commander. In his office, he kept a press photo of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, getting off his plane in Havana.
In the photograph, Brezhnev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro are shaking hands, but they are looking straight up. Their odd gaze was in response to the distinctive, double sonic boom of an SR-71, then passing overhead. My squadron commander, the Blackbird pilot, had been directed to pass over Havana at the moment of Brezhnev's arrival--and embarrass Fidel in the process. Just a little reminder that the Yanqui SR-71 could fly where it wanted, when it wanted, and there wasn't much the bad guys could do about it. It's easy to envision similar flights (by the new aircraft) over places like Tehran, Caracas and Pyongyang in the future."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Yum. Improves antioxidants as well.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Their website is here. A New York Times article on their story is here. It was very cool.
LGF also links to the CityJournal article on creeping sharia which is getting attention.
CityJournal is a must bookmark.
We deserve what we won't stop-- erm, if that makes sense.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I have never reeled in a creel:
Saturday, April 26, 2008
You can even throw grenades into a fish pond.
All of which is wrong, so there.
A few links...here...here...here...and here.
"Roach: When I was in college, I got into a late-night argument with somebody about whether cows are curious. He said to me, this guy Brian, that if you go out in a field and do this they'll come over. I didn't believe him, so the next chance I got I went out into a pasture and the cows were a couple football fields away; they were pretty far away. I shouted, and they looked. Then I lay down, and they literally galloped over to me and formed a ring around me.
Roach: A little nervous when they came thundering over, but I assumed they would stop. Supposedly, it's like if a buffalo herd comes charging at you, you're supposed to just put your hand out and they'll go around you. I don't really want to give that one a whirl, though."
Friday, April 25, 2008
In 1983, Scott Yenzer had a helicopter flying service, patrolling power lines in Florida. He also had a crazy idea: If a bird could land on a power line without blowing up, why couldn't he? At the time, power companies had to either shut off the current or dispatch workers in insulated cherry pickers to repair big transmission lines. If repairs could be made from a helicopter, inaccessible lines would be easy to maintain. But could you pack 500,000 volts into a chopper without blowing up the gas tanks? Without frying the aircraft's electrical system? Or the pilot? One morning Yenzer flew out to a big line. He braced himself as the chopper approached the wire. Ppffsszzt. An arc of electricity leaped from Yenzer's helmet microphone into his lip. Another struck his leg. Another bit into his ear. But the chopper had not exploded. "I thought, If this is as bad as it gets, it's okay," he says. "I can work it out." Yenzer has since evolved methods of maintaining power lines safely from the air and does so for more than 100 utilities.
A priest who floated into the sky under hundreds of helium-filled party balloons has gone missing off the southern coast of Brazil.
Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found.
Rev Adelir Antonio de Carli took off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute.
He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials, according to Denise Gallas, the treasurer of Sao Cristovao parish.
The 41-year-old priest wanted to break a 19-hour record for the longest period aloft with balloons, to raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers in the Brazilian port of Paranagua.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Next up: Typee, by Melville.
I think he may have been at the danger altitude for cats as well, if high rise syndrome is any guide.
They actually are better off falling from a greater height?
It is a misconception that cats won’t be injured if they fall from one- or two-story buildings. They may actually be at greater risk for injury when falling shorter distances than by falling from mid-range or higher altitudes. Shorter distances do not give them enough time to adjust their body posture to fall correctly.
NatGeo video here.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Thank you Sir!
God Bless Wisconsin!
He is now up on our links at the side, so go visit and visit often!
Is a spring spleen really less accurate?
IT was the year of years, the year of craziness, the year of fire, blood and death. I had just turned 21, and I was as crazy as everyone else.
There were half a million American soldiers in Vietnam, Martin Luther King had just been assassinated, cities were burning across America, and the world seemed headed for an apocalyptic breakdown.
Being crazy struck me as a perfectly sane response to the hand I had been dealt — the hand that all young men had been dealt in 1968. The instant I graduated from college, I would be drafted to fight in a war I despised to the depths of my being, and because I had already made up my mind to refuse to fight in that war, I knew that my future held only two options: prison or exile.
I was not a violent person. Looking back on those days now, I see myself as a quiet, bookish young man, struggling to teach myself how to become a writer, immersed in my courses in literature and philosophy at Columbia. I had marched in demonstrations against the war, but I was not an active member of any political organization on campus. I felt sympathetic to the aims of S.D.S. (one of several radical student groups, but by no means the most radical), and yet I never attended its meetings and not once had I handed out a broadside or leaflet. I wanted to read my books, write my poems and drink with my friends at the West End bar.
Forty years ago today, a protest rally was held on the Columbia campus. The issue had nothing to do with the war, but rather a gymnasium the university was about to build in Morningside Park. The park was public property, and because Columbia intended to create a separate entrance for the local residents (mostly black), the building plan was deemed to be both unjust and racist. I was in accord with this assessment, but I didn’t attend the rally because of the gym.
I went because I was crazy, crazy with the poison of Vietnam in my lungs, and the many hundreds of students who gathered around the sundial in the center of campus that afternoon were not there to protest the construction of the gym so much as to vent their craziness, to lash out at something, anything, and since we were all students at Columbia, why not throw bricks at Columbia, since it was engaged in lucrative research projects for military contractors and thus was contributing to the war effort in Vietnam?
Speech followed tempestuous speech, the enraged crowd roared with approval, and then someone suggested that we all go to the construction site and tear down the chain-link fence that had been erected to keep out trespassers. The crowd thought that was an excellent idea, and so off it went, a throng of crazy, shouting students charging off the Columbia campus toward Morningside Park. Much to my astonishment, I was with them. What had happened to the gentle boy who planned to spend the rest of his life sitting alone in a room writing books? He was helping to tear down the fence. He tugged and pulled and pushed along with several dozen others and, truth be told, found much satisfaction in this crazy, destructive act.
After the outburst in the park, campus buildings were stormed, occupied and held for a week. I wound up in Mathematics Hall and stayed for the duration of the sit-in. The students of Columbia were on strike. As we calmly held our meetings indoors, the campus was roiling with belligerent shouting matches and slugfests as those for and against the strike went at one another with abandon. By the night of April 30, the Columbia administration had had enough, and the police were called in. A bloody riot ensued. Along with more than 700 other people, I was arrested — pulled by my hair to the police van by one officer as another officer stomped on my hand with his boot. But no regrets. I was proud to have done my bit for the cause. Both crazy and proud.
What did we accomplish? Not much of anything. It’s true that the gymnasium project was scrapped, but the real issue was Vietnam, and the war dragged on for seven more horrible years. You can’t change government policy by attacking a private institution. When French students erupted in May of that year of years, they were directly confronting the national government — because their universities were public, under the control of the Ministry of Education, and what they did initiated changes in French life. We at Columbia were powerless, and our little revolution was no more than a symbolic gesture. But symbolic gestures are not empty gestures, and given the nature of those times, we did what we could.
I hesitate to draw any comparisons with the present — and therefore will not end this memory-piece with the word “Iraq.” I am 61 now, but my thinking has not changed much since that year of fire and blood, and as I sit alone in this room with a pen in my hand, I realize that I am still crazy, perhaps crazier than ever.
Paul Auster is the author of the forthcoming “Man in the Dark.”via Instapundit
Some people say John McCain isn't conservative enough. But there's more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo. Conservatism is also a matter of honor, duty, valor, patriotism, self-discipline, responsibility, good order, respect for our national institutions, reverence for the traditions of civilization, and adherence to the political honesty upon which all principles of democracy are based. Given what screw-ups we humans are in these respects, conservatism is also a matter of sense of humor. Heard any good quips lately from Hillary or Barack?"via Instupandit
The WeeklyStandard is a necessary bookmark.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Herbert Nisch set a record last year of 214 meters. Here is a video of him diving without air and one of the previous record dive of 209 meters set by Patrick Musimu