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Saturday, December 07, 2002
 

Forties Bunny



(Swingin' 40's weekend continues on this web log)
("Chattanooga Choo-Choo" is here.)

You folks are thinking: "How's she going to conjure up a bunny from the forties.."

The adopt-a-bunnies can wait for a swingin' 40's weekend. There is really only one forties bunny:



Okay, so he's a 6'7.5" pooka, Harvey's bunny enough for this humble web log.

(whisper: there is another) Tune in tomorrow to discover the other forties bunny.
 

Arsenal of Democracy (with apologies in advance to the ASPCA)



(Swingin' 40's weekend continues on this web log)
("Stomping at the Savoy" is here.)

Whenever some peace-weenie raves on about the Navy training dolphins, most people roll their eyes and walk away thinking: "goodness, wait until he hears what the Army did with cattle and horses." Me, I smile and think about how the beloved Army tried making guided missiles in the time before computers.

As you know, when war breaks out, the Department of War Defense starts handing out cash to anyone with an idea for a crazy killing machine. Lots of people can make a fast buck this way, including reputable scientists like B. F. Skinner.


(via Smithsonian)

This experimental device was developed during World War II by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, who experimented with harnessing pigeons' pecking movements to steer missiles. Skinner divided this nose cone into three compartments, and proposed strapping a pigeon in each one. As a bomb headed towards earth, each pigeon would see the target on its screen. By pecking at the image, the birds would activate a guidance system that would keep the bomb on the right path until impact. Skinner's idea received initial support, but the U.S. military finally dismissed it as impractical.
(via Smithsonian)


Had it worked, it would have made for an interesting preflight checklist...

One good thing did come out of this though. Using much the same technology, pigeons are used by the Coast Guard in helping locate people stranded out at sea. They are actually much better at spotting people than humans, because they do not get tired of looking at the same thing for hours.
(via Dragonfly Experiment)


Well that's nice, and it has a happier ending than the notorious bat bombers of Muroc.

December 7, 1941, the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. On this very day, a Pennsylvania dentist named Lytle S. Adams was driving home from a vacation at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Like many Americans, he heard the news on the radio. Adams was furious and wanted to bring the Japanese to their knees. His solution was simple: Get a million bats, cool them down into a state of hibernation, and attach incendiary bombs to them. Then, when over the targeted Japanese city, release them all at one time. As they fell, the bats would reawaken and seek shelter in the dark nooks and crannies of homes and businesses. A few minutes later, all of the bombs would go off and light the city ablaze. No city could be prepared for so many fires and the Japanese would surrender immediately.
(via Useless Information)


So we refrigerated them to induce hibernation, then dropped them out of bombers into an ambient temperature of what? How did that work out?

Alas, most of the bats, too groggy from their involuntary hibernation, augered straight in and died on impact. Back to the drawing board.
(via Dental Editors)


By now you're wondering: "how did round two work out?"

[S]ome bats escaped the Muroc Lake, Calif., test site, and claimed as their first victims, the hangars and outlying buildings of the small airport as well as a general's car.
(via Daytona Beach News Journal)


Hmmm... it would appear that once we found out for which side the bats were fighting, we cancelled the project. True story: you can read the book for yourself.



A pity they aren't our allies. They would have come in handy in the caves of Afghanistan.
 

Hoss



(Swingin' 40's weekend continues on this web log)
("Pennsylvania 6-5000" is here.)



Three cheers for Patton

1. For making us look cool,
2. For saving Britain, and
3. For saving Berlin from little boy.

Berlin should have a giant statue of George. Only he could get there in time to save the day!



Patton had the best war prayers:

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen


Old George S. was also an outstanding public speaker. Read for yourself.

And how eloquently he put pen to paper. A real Renaissance man.



Forward by George Steinbrenner? That's going on the Christmas list!

 

The Swinging Forties, Hanson-Style



(Swingin' 40's weekend continues on this web log)
("Take the A Train" is here.)

Since everybody's linking to Victor Davis Hanson these days (all the cool kids are doing it!), and since I'm still reading Carnage and Culture, let's look back at when he went all forties on us:

[ed note: not that you readers need reminding, but these are parodies]

President Roosevelt will call for a joint session of Congress today to discuss yesterday's bombing of Pearl Harbor and the reported loss of 2,400 Americans. I can report that our commander-in-chief is calm and will not ask for a precipitous "outright" declaration of war against the Japanese, but instead leans toward a general consensus to "hunt down the perpetrators" of this act of "infamy." Speaking for the Congress, Senator Arthur Vandenberg promised bipartisan support to "bring to justice" the Japanese pilots. Many believe that the "rogue" airmen may well have flown from Japanese warships. In response, Secretary of War Stimson is calling for "an international coalition to indict these cowardly purveyors of death," and will shortly ask the Japanese imperial government to hand over the suspected airman from the Akagi and Kaga — "and any more of these cruel fanatics who took off from ships involved in this dastardly act." Assistant Secretary Robert Patterson was said to have remarked, "Stimson is madder than hell — poor old Admiral Yamamato has a lot of explaining to do."
(Via NRO)


And of course the Classic Peter Jennings article was a hoot!

Newsflash! April 1, 1942

America Strikes Back!
Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle's Sixteen Bombers Take Off From Hornet to Bomb Tokyo!


Read the National News Roundup of American Reactions to the Marvelous Doolittle Raid!

ABC's Peter Jennings offered the following commentary from preliminary reports filtering in from Nationalist forces inside China.

It is not all clear to Americans tonight that Colonel Doolittle and his crews always enjoyed clear visual bombing over Tokyo. Clouds and antiaircraft firing — some of the surviving pilots are reporting to our Chinese sources — may have caused "weaving," made still worse by pilot panic or inattention. Yet all 16 crews, ABC News has been told, were under strict orders by Colonel Doolittle to drop their bomb loads despite clear and advanced warnings of inclement weather, resulting in significant but undisclosed collateral damage. Japanese sources tell ABC News that perhaps 50 civilians were killed and an undisclosed number of were wounded.

Whether Admiral King was aware of this "drop, don't verify" order — or, in fact, himself gave it — is something we are now investigating. Would it not be ironic that four months after we were surprised and suffered noncombatant deaths at Pearl Harbor, American warplanes in a similar fashion bombed unexpectedly and indiscriminately — resulting in a similar or even much greater loss of civilian life? Yet another — but perhaps not the last — of the ironies of this, America's most perplexing and in some sense paradoxical war.
(Via NRO)

 

Soliciting Suggestions



For today's Arsenal of Democracy (AoD) post, there's an embarrassment of riches. I was going to feature the Gabelschwanz Teufel, but with all the rest of the stuff available (inflatable tanks, tanks that swim, pigeon-guided bombs, bat-guided bombs, window, fat man and on and on) it seems to mundane.

What would you like to see? Comment away.

Besides: you should be profiling hardware on your own web logs. You don't want to make a bunny do all the heavy lifting, do you?
 

Now it can be told



The true story of the origin of "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."

The midi is here.

 

The Other Day of Infamy



Of course today is the other day that will live in infamy. I wanted to post up a bunch of Pearl harbor photographs and say something snarky, but after viewing a bunch of said photos my heart said no.

Nowadays, the people from the land of the rising sun are our friends -- good friends, too. After all, McArthur wrote their constitution and ran their country for ten years. You can see the effect he had in their movies, their television, their songs and their daffy displays of engrish. It's clear they have a deep affection for us, and I hope we return the feeling just as warmly.

Nevertheless, they weren't always all about Hello Kitty and Kikkoman Flash Animations. [ed note: interesting long-term effects of radiation exposure.] In their imperial phase, they were quite the warmongers. It's awesome to see what the blinding power of American sunshine can wreak.

Enough about them, let's talk about us. Today we should remember.


(via NPS-USAR)

Mourn the poor sailors killed outright by fire and missile clouds. Pity the men who died below decks, trapped with no prospect of rescue. Plaintively they tapped on the walls, ever slower each hour.

Pearl Harbor was not the most recent, nor the gushiest bloody nose we've suffered. And as always, we avenged the dead. We built the world's mightiest fleets. We built the B-29. We unleashed swirling, self-sustaining tornadoes of fire over Tokyo -- to eat their homes, melt their asphalt and steal the breath of life itself. And of course, we invented a whole new science just to build even bigger bombs.

When I think of the suicidal fanatics who hurl planes at us today, I wonder if there is anything we can learn from history. Yes there is. Pearl Harbor teaches us that the appropriate solution is nuclear.
 

Swingin' 40's Weekend



Here at triple-B, it's the Official Swinging 1940's Warapalloza Weekend.

("In the Mood" is here)



Sit back and relax. This is going to take a lot of googling.

Friday, December 06, 2002
 

Bunny



Let's meet Zoe


(via
SD-HBS)

Pretty Zoe' is a sweet young female, about 8 months old. Though somewhat shy, especially in new surroundings, Zoe' is a sweet girl who can learn to trust you through gentle interactions and sweet words. She is easy to handle, though a bit "kicky" coming out of her cage, but that is normal for most bunnies as they don't like to be held. She loves her run time and has a blast dancing up and down the length of the bunny yard. When she's done, she stretches out really long in the grass to relax and enjoy the sunshine. This young girl may be a good companion choice to a gentle-natured bunny boy.


Kicky? Yeah we get that way if you yank us out of the roof (some cages are built with roof-top doors). Any self-respecting bunny has a normal cage with a side door through which she can come and go as she pleases. I do and I do. Not to brag, but chez-Anna is sweet. But enough about me, let's look at Zoe.

So she's a dancer? Oh yeah, just like me! Anyone with the proper taste in music can charm this bunny-girl without even trying. All she needs is a Softcell fan (right-click and save) and she'll dance her way into your heart. Who doesn't love Softcell? Don't answer that. Not without proper precautions against my bunny wrath...
 

Hoss



While watching the History Channel's "Private Jets," I see Michael Dorn has own T-39. Awesome! If I weren't so astonished, I'd be envious.

UPDATE:

If IMDB is accurate, Mr. Dorn also owns a T-Bird and an '86 Saberjet. Too cool!
 

Poll



Quick question: in honor of PH-day, how many of you would like to see this web log throw a swinging-40's party this weekend? (Oh, sure -- back in the 40's they put lotsa stuff on the internet.)
 

Best of Both Worlds



As I mentioned earlier, Bunnies have crepuscular eyesight. That means we see best in the twilight of the morning and the evening. It's just another evolutionary advantage: we go outside at times when the light is poorly suited for the predators with diurnal or nocturnal vision. The rest of the day, we hide and sleep.

Why bring it up? Well the Arsenal of Democracy is looking for new night-vision goggles so it can keep on kicking butt 24/7. Now I'm sure you already know that there are two types of these glasses: image-intensifiers (or 'Starlight Scopes') and thermals (or 'infra-red vision'). Each approach has its strengths and its weaknesses, so when the AoD decided to buy new ones, it took the "your chocolate got in my peanut butter" approach, and called it ENVG:

The ENVG combines traditional night-vision technology, called image intensification, with thermal sensors. Image intensification amplifies non-visible particles of light to a level of brightness that the human eye can detect. A thermal, or infrared, imager senses the temperature differences and warmer items appear brighter on a display. The fusion of both technologies would result in night-vision goggles that merge the strengths of image intensification—a clear, sharp green-tinted picture—with the advantages of infrared—the ability to see practically under any environmental condition.

(via Global Security)

Amazing. In the future, our beloved Army will not only be omnipotent, but omniscient as well.

Personally, I don't think these goggles go quite far enough. As you know, current doctrine requires that not only must we defeat our adversaries, we must humiliate them as well. That's why we do things like drop food and bombs on the opening night of Operation Infinite Justice Enduring Freedom (note to AoD: the original name was more humiliating; change it back). And during Desert Storm, when the Iraqi Army bared its frightening teeth, we ran around behind and kicked its butt something fierce.

What could we add to these goggles to enhance their power to humiliate? Here's my suggestion:


(via USMC)

That's it! Think of the fun we could have! Next time we wound an enemy, we could walk up, twiddle the mustache and say: "I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception."
 

Not a Toomuh



Depressed people are being treated with a special CD of Austrian celebrities laughing.

The Austrian society for depression-related illnesses says the disc proves the old adage that laughter can indeed be the best medicine.

(via Ananova (love the name!))

This is your medical establishment. This is your medical establishment on socialism. Any questions?
 

Beer



A jury Thursday handed a life prison sentence to a Texas man who shot and killed a longtime friend he accused of drinking the last beer in his refrigerator.

(via CNN)

Life? C'mon, it was his last beer. There are rules about these things, you know.

Thursday, December 05, 2002
 

Sneaky and Terry




(Pic and excerpt via CNC-HBS)

Sneaky was dumped by somebody, who obviously didn't recognize his wonderful personality! He was surviving by dining on someone's vegetable garden. When captured, he was very scared and wouldn't move. If you left the room, some of his food would vanish, but when you returned, he was still sitting in the same place, thus the name Sneaky. He is warming up to human companionship, and doesn't seem to mind cats either! He likes his head scratched, and begs for treats. He has a friend now, a huge NZ giant named Terry. She is about 15+ lbs and is devoted to Sneaky. Terry had a hard start in life and is just now starting to trust humans.


Aren't they cute together? And she's +2x larger! One could assume that the questions of who wears the pants and what is the default toilet-seat position are well and truly settled between them. This pair has had a life much rougher than mine. Someone, somewhere is ready to spoil them rotten.
 

Ooh, that'll leave a mark



Now that the mighty USAF is making the switch to laser beams, the other services are getting in on the act. It'll be a while before the Arsenal of Democracy can set phasers to stun. In the meantime, they can set microwaves to defrost when they deploy V-MADS.


(Pic and excerpts via Global Security.)

Active Denial Technology uses a transmitter to send a narrow beam of 95-GHz millimeter waves towards an identified subject. Traveling at the speed of light, the energy reaches the subject and penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin, quickly heating up the skin's surface. The 95-GHz energy penetrates 1/64 inch into the skin and produces an intense burning sensation that stops when the transmitter is switched off or when the individual moves out of the beam. Within seconds, an individual feels an intense heating sensation that stops when the transmitter is shut off or when the individual moves out of the beam. According to reports, a 2-second burst from the system can heat the skin to a temperature of 130° F. At 50 °C, the pain reflex makes people pull away automatically in less than a second. Someone would have to stay in the beam for 250 seconds before it burnt the skin.


This isn't really new technology. During World War II Dr. Percy Spencer noticed that when he would walk through the beams at MIT's Radiation Lab, the candy in his pocket would melt. So like any good American, he pitched the idea to his bosses at Raytheon and got rich off of the Radarange oven.

Despite the sensation, the technology does not cause injury because of the low energy levels used. It exploits a natural defense mechanism that helps to protect the human body from damage. The heat-induced sensation caused by this technology, is nearly identical to the sensation experienced by briefly touching an ordinary light bulb that has been left on for a while. Unlike a light bulb, however, active denial technology will not cause rapid burning, because of the shallow penetration of the beam and the low levels of energy used. The transmitter needs only to be on for a few seconds to cause the sensation.


Don't get squeamish. You use this technology on dead things every day. We would use it on live things to spare their lives.

I imagine a few of these 'fighting radaranges' would come in very handy in MOUT combat. Those pesky window- and rooftop-snipers won't be able even to look at us for more than a couple seconds -- let alone ready aim and fire their rifles. So overall this is a weapon which saves lives on both sides.

Maybe you're thinking: sure it the right hands it's a good thing, but what if a Democratic administration tries to use it on nutball-preachers and Cuban refugees?

Countermeasures against the weapon could be quite straightforward — for example covering up the body with thick clothes or carrying a metallic sheet — or even a trash can lid — as a shield or reflector.


And you thought my tin-foil hat was just a loony affectation, ha!

 

Wild Blue Yonder



Ooh, a contest:

The U.S. Air Force Academy is searching for a logo and motto for its 50th anniversary.

The logo and motto will be used on programs, official correspondence, reports and other items to recognize the academy's anniversary celebrations.

To contribute and idea, suggestions are due by Jan. 31. The unveiling of the chosen logo and motto is slated for April 1. Submissions can be mailed to HQ USAFA/PA, 2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 320, USAF Academy, CO 80840. For electronic submissions, include the disk or e-mail to action.line@usafa.af.mil.


Here's mine: AFA: Come for the hot planes. Stay for the math. Hey where are you going?
 

Strategypage v. Europe



Let's have another look at Strategypage. After all, Global Security doesn't have a web log of the week.

Lately Everybody has been getting on Europe's case about the whole "what the [funny] is wrong with you guys" thing. Today, Steve Cole gives'em both barrels in his web log opus: LEADERSHIP: The Euro-American Divide. Read it fast, because SP still doesn't have permalinks. Here's a taste (reformatted to make it funnier).


The US is about as fed up with Europe as the Europeans are with the US. (In most cases, the British can be regarded more as a foreign policy adjunct of the US than as a European nation. Canada is more closely aligned with Europe.) The US notes that the Europeans have an abysmal track record on recent issues.
  • They said they could fix the Bosnia mess through diplomacy (wrong)
  • and then without US help (wrong again).
  • They said that the Russians would never accept the enlargement of NATO to include virtually the entire Warsaw Pact and the Baltic nations (wrong).
  • The said the Russians would never accept a US missile defense program (wrong)
  • and that the entire structure of arms control would collapse if the US pulled out of the ABM treaty (wrong).
They insisted that the Kyoto Protocol was a good and worthwhile treaty to protect the environment; in point of fact it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with restricting US industry (as Europe has already restricted itself) while allowing third world industries to expand exponentially to fill the resulting production gap.


Steve, I can't quite put a finger on it, but I sense you're holding something back.

The Europeans, who took over the US business holdings in Cuba without compensation to the US companies that built them, have consistently demanded that the US end its embargo and import Cuba products (made by European-controlled concerns). Europe is far less interested in freedom than it is in building a continent-wide socialist utopia.


That's the spirit! All that utopia needs is a name. How about Tanstaafl?
 

Chavezinator



Via Fox News:
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez sent a navy ship Thursday to take back a tanker seized by its crew in support of an opposition strike aimed at unseating the Venezuelan leader.


I’ve been to Caracas. It could use a little spring cleaning. And democracy. And less Presidents who are buddies with Castro. But the Chavez is one tough Jefe:

"Assaulting PDVSA is like assaulting the heart of Venezuela," Chavez said. "A plan is underway that intends to destabilize the country. ... Nobody stops Venezuela."


Nobody? That’s just because you’re not on the Arsenal of Democracy’s list. You do not want to be on that list.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002
 

Another Bunny




(via HBS San Francisco)

Isabell is a 3 year-old spayed female rabbit. She weighs 5 lbs and her coat is a blend of grey and brown Chinchilla. Isabell is physically challenged but doesn't knit. She had an old injury to her leg, but nothing stops her from running and leaping into in the air! Isabell loves people, and more then anything wants to be part of a family. She is a very happy, lovable bunny.


Oh she's too cute. Say what you want about the leg-injury. She's A-1 in my book. Any bunny who can leap and binky is able-bodied in my book. She's awesome! No doubt she'll have a good home soon.
 

Available Bunnies



Let's meet Sparkey:


(via HBS San Francisco)

Sparkey is a 1-year-old male rabbit. His breed is known as White Satin. He is white with light black markings, and dark eyes. Sparkey weighs about 6-lbs. He was found on the street with a broken leg and was taken to Peninsula Humane Society where he spent two months there, while being treated and his leg was healing. Sparkey can hop and run perfectly now. He has a very friendly personality and wants to make friends with everyone he meets. He has a very confident way about him and is active and energetic. Sparkey also gets along well with dogs and cats.


He's a keeper! Some family is going to be lucky enough to take him home.
 

Mother of all Pimples




(Click for a much larger picture of the Radford in all its rusty-glory in a separate window. Via Navy)

Here's the USS Radford (DD-968), a Spruance-class destroyer. If you're like me, you're thinking:

Mmmm.. muh mmmm muh mmmmmm mast...


Just what the heck is that thing? It's the Advanced Enclosed Mast Sensor System (AEM/S). I guess you leave off the last S for savings. What does it do?

The AEM/S System is fabricated with an advanced composite hybrid frequency selective surface (FSS), designed to allow passage of own-ship sensor frequencies while reflecting other frequencies. Improved sensor performance results from reduction of blockage, false targets and sensor downtime, thereby dramatically enhancing the ship's war-fighting capability.

(via USS Radford)

Well that's cool and all, but is a bit, um, silly looking -- don't you think? Like an under-inflated hot air balloon or a colon-polyp or something.

In his concluding remarks accepting the mast, the RADFORD's Commanding Officer Kurt Tidd said, "I think it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."


Gotta hand it to the Navy. Their skippers can be quite diplomatic when they must.
 

Suckers' Rally



Week after week people talk about how it's just another sucker's rally; week after week the market ticks higher. Even after its recent jog down the Dow Jones industrial average is 16 percent above its October low. The Nasdaq, 30 percent.

Wall Street's grouches think it doesn't make sense. Merrill Lynch strategist Rich Bernstein lowered his recommended stock allocation from 50 percent to 45 percent on Tuesday -- the lowest allocation level any strategist has had in nearly three years. "Perhaps the main reason we are lowering our equity allocation is that the equity market still appears to us to be highly speculative," he wrote. "Such speculation is typically indicative of the end of a market cycle, and not the beginning of a bull market."

(via CNN)

Doesn't make sense? What about the brokers who want some Christmas lovin', and their kids who want the GI Joe with the kung-fu grip? I thought Eddie Murphy already explained it all.


(via IMDB)

Now it makes perfect sense.

 

Big Creep



Addressing Democratic leaders for the first time since their midterm election losses, former President Clinton urged the party Tuesday to present a new, unified message with national security and a revived economy as priorities.


Mmmm... Donks have the best Kool-aid!

Tuesday, December 03, 2002
 

Bunnies



Before I show you today's bunny picture, I'd like to announce a change in policy at this web log. For the foreseeable future, I'm going to switch from the House Bunny Society's bunny picture archive to other sources.

Please note that the House Bunny Society has not objected to the hotlinks originating from this web log. In fact, they've been totally excellent about the load I've imposed on their server. Given the political bent of this web log, I'm surprised they haven't said anything to me. I'm changing sources only because I've had a change of heart.

I'm a lucky bunny: I live with nice people who take excellent care of me. Not every bunny is so fortunate. That's why the House Bunny Society has regional chapters and foster homes for bunnies awaiting adoption.

At the risk of being preachy, I think these bunnies need your help. Foster care is okay, but a loving home is the best place for a pet bunny. I should know. So instead of hotlinking to the HBS, I'm going to hotlink to the adoption centers, and give some publicity to the bunnies who need it most.

Bunnies are not for everyone. Some of you people are totally unfit to take home a big-eared bundle of joy. (I'm looking at you people with expensive furniture, small children and exposed wires.) There: I said it. Read the HBS rules for adopting bunnies before submitting an application. With that said, let's have a look at today's bunny.

Meet Honey:


(Pic via DC/MD/NOVA HBS Chapter)

Honey is a lovely dutch mix with a strong liking for ear and cheek rubs. Although Honey is a sweetheart, families with young children may not appreciate her boxing talents that she exhibits every now and then. Honey is a keen explorer and loves to run everywhere, binky, and run back to her favorite people.


Boxing talents (right-click and save)? Oh yeah, a kick-butt bunny after my own heart. Everybody go visit the DC/MD/NOVA adoption site and pay your respects. Honey needs a good home, and apparently needs a good sparring partner too. What self-respecting warmonger wouldn't welcome her into his or her heart?

UPDATE:

Couldn't resist posting another picture from the HBS bunny archive:



Got your nose! We bunnies love playing games.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Today is a two-fer, but Strategypage doesn't have any pretty pictures to share (which is a good thing, considering this web log is starting to look like a rebus). Strategypage hasn't any permalinks either, so go visit them quickly or else the links in this post won't make any sense.

First off, there's news about the X-45 UCAV. I love this little plane, which I first referenced in my seminal piece on the Bird of Prey. Strategypage reveals this interesting tidbit:

Most X-45s would be stored, and are designed to remain ready for action after up to ten years in their storage containers. When needed, the X-45s can be assembled and ready for action in 90 minutes.


Storable! The mighty USAF could put these things in shipping containers, then unload them onto eighteen-wheelers and drive the squadrons to the sound of the guns. In the future, we will cry havoc and let slip the trucker-convoys of war!

Holy C.W. McCall, do we have ourselves a Convoy?

It was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
In a Kenworth pullin' logs...



The MP3 is here. Man, that makes me shed a tear...

The second item from Strategy Page is news about militarized PDAs.

One of the first militarized PDAs comes with 64 MB of working memory, a 3.77 inch (diagonal) color display and several ports (serial, infrared, USB) for connecting to other equipment. Using the Windows CE operating system, and slots for laptop cards, additional features can be added.

Meanwhile, Special Operations Command is using the same technology to build a PDA for Special Forces and commandos. JEDI, (Joint Expeditionary Digital Information) is a customized PDA with GPS and wireless communication via the Iridium satellite phone network. Running a cable to laser range finding binoculars, the JEDI can collect the targeting information and send it to bombers overhead in seconds via the Iridium connection.


So we're going with WinCE, while the People's Liberation Army is going with Linux. That means when we take them on, we can have a pc-war and a real war at the same time.

Let slip the trolls and flame wars of, er, war!

UPDATE:

Gosh, I got so caught up in the excitement of superpower Usenet combat, I forgot the best part about MILSPEC PDA's. These are just the thing for those lonely SF guys while on LRRP. You know how they say that war is "hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of terror?" The M-PDA turns that on its head. In the future, war will be moments of terror, punctuated by hours of Solitare, Minesweeper and Tetris. (Warning, pop-ups. Betcha SF knows what to do with them...)
 

Rampage



Guess who's stomping Nagano:

Fourteen women were injured Monday after a wild monkey went on the rampage in a residential area of Shimosuwa, Nagano Prefecture, authorities said.


Only women? Whats up with that? Godzilla (no link) was, at a minimum, an equal-opportunity stomper.

Police and local health officials armed with tranquilizer guns and nets launched a hunt for the 1-meter tall Japanese macaque, but it remains at large.


Trank-guns and butterfly nets: like I said, it works on college kids.

Monday, December 02, 2002
 

Snuggles





We love you people. You guys are the best! Oh yeah: those whiskers tickle both ways. C'mere and give me a hug, you big lug.
 

Milestone



I don't mean to get maudlin and self-referential, but tomorrow (December 3) marks the one-month anniversary of this humble web log.

As you already know, bunnies gestate in 31 days, come the fourth a whole new generation of bunnies will enter the world with this lodestar to guide their development. In the future, expect lots more belligerent bunnies stamping their feet and flashing their teeth. It's a good thing.

And how should you mark this milestone? I'm not saying you should make prominent mention on your web log, visit this site and refresh the page thirty-one times...

But if you must, be my guest.
 

Trilateral Commission



Frontpage Magazine put up a transcript of a Trilateral Commission meeting back in October. Don't worry: I'm not going black-helicopter on you. EU dude Chris Patten had a few kind words for us, and I thought I'd share them with a wider audience:

First of all there is the question of how the rest of us deal with the United States, and how the United States deals with the rest of us. America isn't just a super power, it is, as the former American Ambassador in London Ray Sykes pointed out: a super-dooper power. It's powerful militarily, it's powerful technologically, it's powerful economically. It has a global cultural impact and reach, its universities are magnets for the world's young, and we have to ask ourselves, again to use a Chinese expression, does this potent 'Hegemon' want partners and allies, or does it just want followers?


Um thanks Chris, but what we really want are legions of adoring fans. Not to much to ask, is it?
 

Be Quick!



Let's have a look at a cool new missile under development in the US and Australia. The Aussies call it "Nulka," which means "be quick!" in aboriginal Australian. In a fit of inspiration, the US Navy decided to call it the Mk 53. I like it because it shows that (contrary to what you've heard) the Australians have a sense of humor, and are officially the Other Americans.

What's Nulka all about? It's an anti-anti-ship missile, it's seductive and best of all: it's funny.




The Nulka decoy employs a broad-band radio frequency repeater mounted atop a hovering rocket platform. After launch, the Nulka decoy radiates a large, ship-like radar cross section while flying a trajectory that seduces and decoys incoming ASMs away from their intended targets. The NULKA decoy is an active offboard decoy which utilizes a broad band radio frequency repeater mounted atop a hovering rocket. The decoy is an autonomous flight vehicle, capable of operating over a wide range of environments and of positioning the payload with a high level of accuracy. The decoy employs the hovering rocket principle and uses a solid state microprocessor autopilot and thrust vector control. The decoy is designed to counter a wide variety of present and future radar Anti-Ship Missile (ASM) guided threats by radiating a large radar cross section signal while flying a ship-like trajectory thus enabling one decoy to counter multiple threats.
(Pic and excerpt (once again) via Global Security)


Just think: next time someone looses an Exocet at us, all we have to do is flip'em the bird. Now that's panache. When it hovers in space, sneering at the sea skimmers, it reminds me of good old Robert Conrad in his Eveready commercials:


I dare you to knock this battery off my shoulder!

This missile doesn't just seduce the enemy, it humiliates them. And it comes pre-loaded with nostalgia. Talk about bang for the buck!
 

CNN tries to be all high-tech and stuff



If you get your computer news from cable TV, there's a station ready to sell you a $2,500 tv/pc.

For years, tech gurus have foretold the merging of the television and the personal computer. That day is here with Hewlett Packard's Media Center personal computer.

Besides surfing the Internet, this computer lets you watch TV, record your favorite shows, listen to music, burn CDs and DVDs, and store digital photos.


Silly me and my homebrewed desktop. I paid less than a grand, including the ati all-in-wonder card (thanks, Canada). Of course, mine only has a 100 GB HDD. That HP is definitely worth the extra $1500.

Sunday, December 01, 2002
 

Bigfoot



Now it can be told: the secret of sasquatch



Glad to clear up that mystery. Next you'll be wondering about crop circles...mmm, corn.
 

Solaris



Over the holiday, I went to see the big-budget sci-fi epic of the weekend. I'd heard this film was in the news, but thankfully the edit I watched left the controversy behind.

This post continues on the Bad Movie Shrine.
 

Catching up on my Reading



Sweet, sweet prescience:

Janes Defence Weekly: USAF may study laser in ground-attack role

The ABL [Airborne Laser] will operate in friendly airspace at an altitude of about 40,000ft. It will fire a megawatt-class chemical laser out of a nose turret to destroy ballistic missiles at standoff ranges approaching 321km (Jane's Defence Weekly 5 June). It will require only seconds to apply a lethal dose of energy on a target, officials say.

These same attributes of standoff range and quick lethality make it an attractive option for attacking fleeting ground targets operating up to hundreds of miles within enemy areas, while avoiding sophisticated air-defence networks and the long periods of time other aircraft would otherwise have to operate over them.

(From the 13 November 2002 issue, p. 6.)

Project Crossbow here we come!
 

What I did on my Thanksgiving Vacation



Another great Thanksgiving (that makes three!). It's especially vindicating to visit the family and discover that they have all changed from sensitive socialists to warmongers. Just remember you guys: I was belligerent before it was cool.

The day after Thanksgiving we drove around the northern outskirts of Philadelphia, visiting the spots where my family's forbearers fought in the Revolutionary War. Quality family time, if you ask me -- but gosh it was freezing outside. (Note to self: stay inside. It's safer and warmer.)

Just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike is a strange looking cell phone tower:



Word has it that it used to be a radar tower for a Nike site. Can anyone confirm this?

On Saturday, I caught Amtrak back home. Yes I said Amtrak: sure they don't let pets travel in coach, but bunnies are stealthy, remember? As always, the highlight of the trip is the everlasting stretch of brownfields. Looks bleakest in Winter, ugh.



Actually, the highlight is Martin State Airport, near Baltimore. Home of the 175th! Keep'em flying boys (lemme know when you sell the Albatross. I've always wanted one.).



I got home exactly at 6:00 p.m. Some poor organist was freezing his or her butt off at the Netherlands Carillon, playing "Wild Blue Yonder." Darn if it didn't make me all teary-eyed. Life is great!

 

 
   
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