Saturday, January 25, 2003
(Kansas City HBS
Schroeder is a neutered male who LOVES to eat his hay. He is litterbox trained. He is shy at first until he gets to know you then he is very friendly and outgoing. He loves to show off his favorite trick which is sitting up for treats. He loves to bump you with his nose and likes to be petted on his nose, he does not like to be picked up. He is curious and loves to jump up on things. He is quite industrious and is always working on a new project. Toys, phonebooks and lots of mental excercise is a must for Schroeder. He would enjoy the company of the right girl.
(Schroeder was unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, so he got his ear bit by another bunny, but he has healed fine and has no problems with his ear)
(Kansas City HBS)
Poor guy, Schroeder had a run in with a belligerent bunny (the bad kind, not the good kind). Even so, I bet there's someone out there who wants a bunny with a battle scar. By all means, visit Schroeder and his adoptable friends!
has been adopted
Arsenal of Democracy
You can't help but chuckle at the trick the AoD is going to play on Saddam. As mentioned a couple posts below, the air war will begin with hundreds of Tomahawks carrying cluster bomblets, precision-guided submunitions and plain old explosives (POE). All of them aimed at high-value military targets -- the kind of things the Iraqi army would least like to lose.
They can't simply ride out the storm. The sheer numbers of flying robots in the first wave represent a threat they must try to counter, if only to salvage some of their command and control.
But how do you shoot down a tiny little cruise missile? On a moonless night, you can't possibly see them. The only way to even try is to use radar-aimed artillery.
Naturally, the AoD has just the right robot for this circumstance. Meet HARM:
HARM's primary mission is to suppress or destroy surface-to-air missile radars, early warning radars, and radar-directed air defense artillery systems. Once airborne, HARM can operate in three modes: preemptive, missile-as-a-sensor, and self-protect. In long-range preemptive scenarios HARM is fired before locking onto the threat radar. Targeting is provided through pre-flight planning, or cued via on/off-board sensors. Most aircraft are equipped to fully utilize HARM as a sensor, providing cockpit displays which greatly enhance aircrew target selection and threat prosecution. Radar warning receivers (used with the self-protect mode) and other more sophisticated ESM systems provide additional capabilities for locating enemy radar emitters. Once the aircrew is satisfied with the target selection, the missile is launched. It then homes in on the selected target, makes appropriate in-flight corrections, and eliminates the threat.
HARM (and other anti-radiation missiles (ARM)) will be featured widely in second wave over Iraq. Anybody emitting a radar signal won't be for very long...
Shock, awe and the decimation of Iraq's command, control and air-defense networks.
Give the AoD a couple of days and a legion of fighting robots, and there's nothing it can't do.
Silly me: I forgot we did this before
Painting with Robots
has a link to the PumaPaint Project
Here's my masterpiece:
Thanks Dr. Stein. What a great robot!
Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage
If the Pentagon sticks to its current war plan, one day in March the Air Force and Navy will launch between 300 and 400 cruise missiles at targets in Iraq. As CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports, this is more than number that were launched during the entire 40 days of the first Gulf War.
On the second day, the plan calls for launching another 300 to 400 cruise missiles.
March? I was thinking more like next week. Anyway, everybody keep a blank tape in your VCRs. One of these days, without any warning the AoD is going to cry havoc and let slip hundreds of flying robots.
The battle plan is based on a concept developed at the National Defense University. It's called "Shock and Awe" and it focuses on the psychological destruction of the enemy's will to fight rather than the physical destruction of his military forces.
Awesome it will be. Note to tyrants: we will not let you acquire a-bombs. We will not trade cities with you. We aren't even going to go mano-a-mano if we can help it. Cross us and you will feel the fury of our unstoppable army of robots.
Your vaunted warriors are no match for our stealth, silicon and steel. We have a button bearing your name.
Go ahead: dare us to push it.
(via Drudge Report
Friday, January 24, 2003
(New Jersey HBS
Toby is an 8 lb adult male lop just brimming with good looks. He was found outside, emaciated and weak, but with good vet care and the will to live, he has bounced back. His litter habits are good and Toby has quite the mellow personality, preferring to lounge around and beg an occasional treat. Being so handsome, he could probably make a female bun a very good husbun. Any eligible girls out there? (Fostered by CM)
(New Jersey HBS)
Mellow and cute? Rescued? Too much pathos! With this bunny, you can't go wrong. Visit his web page and pay your respects.
Most Belligerent Commercial Ever!
Andrew of Pathetic Earthlings
has posted a link
to an old pitch for the prototype FIM-92 Stinger
Watch the film, it's Lileks-worthy
The Robot 500
Who needs NASCAR when you've got DARPA
The Grand Challenge is planned as a race in February 2004 from the vicinity of Los Angeles to the vicinity of Las Vegas. The prize for the first vehicle to complete the combination on-and-off-road course within the prescribed time limit is anticipated to be $1,000,000.00. The purpose of the Grand Challenge is to encourage the acceleration of the research, development, and technologies of fully autonomous ground vehicles from non-traditional sources in order to benefit the U.S. military transformation of advanced military capabilities.
Did somebody say robot road trip?
Arsenal of Democracy
It's obvious that this section of the web log has strayed from its roots. You folks come here for the fighting robots, and I haven't featured one for a while. Let's fix that fast.
By now you folks have heard about Packbot
, the plucky little robot that explored the caves
of Afghanistan. CNN even did a story about it:
And when soldiers asked Frost if PackBot could work with the computers integrated into their clothing, he downloaded the necessary code over a satellite.
[ed: surprised that got past the censors]
really is a full-service vendor. The rest of the military industrial complex should be so customer friendly.
But PackBot isn't the only autonomous spelunker. The bright lights at Carnegie Mellon University are working on Groundhog:
October 27, 2002 was groundhog day. for the first time, the groundhog robot was deployed in an abandoned coal mine, too toxic for people to enter. Oxygen levels are too low for people to remain conscious. the previously flooded mine had been partially drained in the days before the experiment, the ground still covered with toxic mud. The robot advanced more than 30 meters into the mine when the computer box flooded. It was a gift of god that it made it out again. A spectacular day.
A second experiment on October 29 led to an even deeper penetration, now with a water-sealed computer box. the robot was more than 50% submersed. Live video feed was broadcasted via satellites to a mine safety conference. Groundhog is scheduled to go again on November 5, this time into a dry mine. stay tuned as the journey unfolds.
(The Groundhog Experiment)
Follow the link to see the highly detailed maps Groundhog sent back. Note that Groundhog is considerably larger than PackBot, and could probably carry something heavy and nasty.
CMU and iRobot should put their heads together and work on even more impressive models. Tyrants like to go underground for safety. We should send our robots after them. Plus a city like Baghdad has lots of tunnels we could use for reconnaissance, or beacon delivery or who-knows-what else.
Imagine how this looks to the other side. Tyrants already worry about spies in their midst and UAVs overhead. Add our fighting tunnelbots, and they'll feel completely surrounded even if they can't see or hear anything.
Wouldn't it be cool if on D-Day, every manhole blew its lid and out poured swarms of fighting robots? Let's 'waste' a bunch of defense dollars and find out!
Keep Watching the Sleeves!
Police in South America are hunting a prisoner who escaped from hospital wearing only handcuffs.
Even if he has managed to dress himself, he should not be too hard to spot.
Families in Italy are being asked to 'adopt' a prostitute, as part of a campaign aimed at clearing the streets of working girls.
On second thought, this story is probably too PG-13 for this web log.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
This bunny's local to Sacramento (CA), but can relocate if you like. Meet Ziggy:
(Yolo County Animal Control
Ziggy doesn't have a description, but I can tell you he's a young Albino. Yolo CAC says he's friendly (and that's true of pretty much all bunnies).
If it were up to me, I'd rename him "Churchill."
I'm a Warmonger
. As if you didn't know that already. Take the test
Link via Random Nuclear Strikes
Arsenal of Democracy
At BBB, we spend a lot of time looking at how the AoD shoots and moves. But how does it communicate? It's an important question because even if a simple radio seems prosaic, maneuver warfare requires good communications. If you don't have that, the plan doesn't come together and you risk some blue-on-blue tragedies.
Back in the '80s our beloved Army started with a clean sheet of paper and developed SINCGARS (SINgle Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System). Here's an overview:
SINCGARS was developed by ITT A/CD and the U.S. Army to meet warfighter needs for a flexible and secure combat radio. Through a carefully planned evolution, SINCGARS and its associated router has grown to become the linchpin of the U.S. Army’s emerging Tactical Internet. The SINCGARS system, which was once a voice-only radio that broadcast messages up and down the chain of command, has evolved into a software defined, open architecture system with networking capabilities. It now offers clear, secure voice and data communications that provide situational awareness and transmit command and control information across entire battlefields.
It's not just a fighting cell-phone, it's a whole wireless warLAN. Think of the fun possibilities!
SINCGARS is "frequency-agile," which means if the enemy commo guys catch your frequency, you can change on the fly and keep communicating. You can even set it to automatically change every set interval of time. The sending and receiving gear will switch together.
Best of all, the new sets have crypto gear built right in:
The first SINCGARS radio produced was the RT-1439. This radio required an external KY-57 VINSON Communications Security (COMSEC) to encrypt and de-encrypt the messages. Working closely with the National Security Agency (NSA), approval was granted to embed COMSEC within the SINCGARS radio to reduce the load of the manpack user and at the same time reducing the amount of external crypto devices needed for the Army. This subsequent version of SINCGARS radios produced, was the RT-1523.
(Crypto Machine Shrine)
So even if somebody is eavesdropping, they won't be able to decode in time to make a difference.
Note that the "A" in SINCGARS stands for "Airborne." So it's built into the Army's helicopters. Nice touch! Are the other services buying this gear? It would certainly make sense (though anyone who knows the AoD knows that alone isn't reason enough).
As far as I can see, the only thing wrong with SINCGARS is its acronym. It's not a tongue-twister, but it's hardly inspired. I would have called it:
) (right-click and save
Because that cat Shaft
, he's a mean mother...
Arsenal of Hygiene
Vacuum cleaners that resemble cruise missiles could be on the way, using technology borrowed from the Pentagon.
First they brought us the internet, then the GPS constellation. Now it's a DSMAC
-guided vacuum cleaner. Amazing!
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
at Over Coffee has news about dozens of rescued pigs
. I like Porcine-Americans. Bunnies can give and take with pigs any day. Plus they're so smart. You can train them to do anything! Just like Babe
Not to worry: this web log hasn't lost its belligerence. Helping rescue animals is part of this web log's mission statement. Americans are famous for their generosity. Who wants to adopt their own Wilbur?
((Miami) Wildlife Care Center
We still can't figure out why anyone would abandon a bunny as loving and gentle as Clover. She's docile and sweet, and loves to be held, as you can see from this picture. Her ears are huge, and since she's only about 6 months old, we figure she's going to be quite a big gal--more than a match for the family cat and dog, over whom she will no doubt be queen.
((Miami) Wildlife Care Center)
Yup, she's going to be a big'un alright. That's a teenage photo: she's going to max out at more than ten pounds. Big bunnies are actually the gentlest bunnies (except for the superlative 5-6 lb. Dutch bunnies, if you ask me).
Clover: scourge of cats. When the cat-vs-bunny balloon goes up, I want her watching my back.
Inflating the Balloon
got an important telegram:
My Army Reserve unit just got the call; we're going to mobilize starting this coming Monday.
Good luck Andrew. Our ears are crossed in the hope you do your country proud and come home to a hero's welcome!
Yes, you read it right. Jeff at Xlrq
has a Doggy
available for adoption.
Daisy is cute and ready for her new home. If you're in the market for a new pet other than a bunny (you're right, it must be a niche market), go ahead and pay Daisy a visit!
Arsenal of Democracy
As you already know, the Marines are on the way
. So let's take a look at one of their sweetest rides: I call it The Mother of All Skateboards
. The Navy, inspired no doubt by its euphoniousness, calls it LCAC.
(Navy Fact File
The landing craft air cushion (LCAC) is a high-speed, over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft capable of carrying a 60-75 ton payload. It is used to transport weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel from ship to shore and across the beach. The advantages of air-cushion landing craft are numerous. They can carry heavy payloads, such as an M-1 tank, at high speeds. Their payload and speed mean more forces reach the shore in a shorter time, with shorter intervals between trips. The air cushion allows this vehicle to reach more than 70 percent of the world's coastline, while conventional landing craft can land at only 15 percent of the coasts.
(Navy Fact File)
This boat flies up to the beach and keeps on going inland
. See for yourself
I can't get enough of LCAC. Here: lots more pictures
. The idea of a flying landing boat is just too clever. Anyone: does LCAC even need to worry about mines?
--wait a sec. The fact file says an LCAC can carry an
err, I mean M-1
. But the strakes look like they go up pretty high. I think that with enough phonebooks under the treads, you could elevate an M-1 enough to get clearance for the gun. And since the M-1 can accurately shoot on the move, presto: the world's first fightin' hovertank
. Too Cool!
Don't think the AoD hasn't considered it (though I want full credit for the phonebooks if they use'm). The concept of direct fire support delivered from a platform that can alternate off or onshore is too useful to dismiss.
An acquaintance of mine (who once won a free vacation to Haiti) once remarked: you really haven't seen one of these babies until you've seen it floating down the street
. Note to any and all Baghdad web log writers: post the pictures when you get them!
A KLM airliner had to return to Holland with no passengers after the floor of the cabin became filled with human excrement.
The incident happened when the contents of two toilets were blown into the passengers' cabin.
Pity the poor ferry pilots. And how was your flight?
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
On this web log, rescue bunnies always go to the head of the line. Here's Togo:
(Sweet Binks (Rhode Island HBS)
This is another of the Pawtucket [rescue] buns we are calling Togo. He is very handsome, and low key also. He is neutered, and becoming quite active and playful!
(Sweet Binks (Rhode Island HBS))
Togo's either a dwarf or a kitten
. If he's the former, he'll be pretty hyper (although the neutering will calm him down). Just so you know.
Who can resist a blue-eyed bunny? Stop what you're doing and say "Hi" to Togo. And by all means visit his friends.
Arsenal of Democracy
Is this section of the web log catching on
? Let's take a closer look at Joint Venture
The HSV is a leased commercial, high speed, aluminum catamaran hulled ocean-going vessel. The HSV is rapidly re-configurable and can perform a variety of missions, principal among them the ability to ferry up to 325 combat personnel and 400 tons of cargo up to 3000 miles one way at speeds in excess of 40 knots.
An SOF cargo ship: cool! Follow the link to read about how the HSV will be used to deliver SOCOM shooters, launch and recover little birds
A brief tour of the web unearths a misunderstanding about who is actually leasing the Joint Venture
. Is it the Army
? The Navy
? Can't we all just get along?
Meanwhile the United Kingdom's Triton is a ship that's one hull louder:
The Carderock Division played a pivotal role in the TIS aboard RV Triton. Under the Trimaran Demonstrator Project, the TIS was designed, constructed, and installed by the Carderock Division aboard the trimaran to fulfill the vessel's requirements for data acquisition. To acquire the data necessary to properly evaluate the trimaran vessel's hull form, a data acquisition system, capable of acquiring signals from analog sensors, as well as serial, parallel, and ethernet network interfaces, was required. The TIS is designed specifically to meet the unique requirements of the trimaran vessel. The function of TIS is to acquire, archive, display, and present the data generated from Triton's structural and seakeeping trials. The TIS will remain aboard Triton to support future trials, including the planned installation and testing of a U.S. Navy Integrated Power System (IPS).
Nice looking ship, but it's not invented here...
The last exotic ships we built were the Pegasus
fighting hydrofoils. Now there was a ship which could stand up and fight! Too bad we threw them all away
What do we have to compete with these outstanding British and Australian SWATH
How about the butt-kickingest ship in the world: the Sea Shadow
Built by Lockheed Martin in the 1980s, Sea Shadow was assembled in complete secrecy. Parts from different manufacturers were brought to Redwood City, CA, and assembled inside the HMB-1, a fully enclosed, submersible dock. Until 1993, Sea Shadow remained an unacknowledged program to test technologies in automated ship control, advanced structures, crew reduction, sea keeping, and stealth.
The page doesn't say whether Sea Shadow
is fast, but who cares. It's invisible
! What nobody can see, nobody can kill.
is unarmed, but so are the other ships featured in this post. Take a look at at the bridge of the Sea Shadow
. It runs on Microsoft Ship. And it's not just a bridge: it's another fighting LAN party. Best Bridge Ever!
The Navy is so happy with the results of its tests on Sea Shadow
, it's applying the lessons learned to every forthcoming class of warship, starting with the DD21
. Talk about the little ship that could!
Go back and take another look. You'll have to act fast, because in the future, our Navy will be invisible. And to think some people still think of defense spending as wasteful. Yeah, wasteful like your body's immune system. Look at the cool stuff your tax dollars are buying!
and other forthcoming ships) will be practically immune from radar sea-skimmers like Exocet
. Who said the AoD had to give our enemies a fighting chance?
An unexpected accolade: you folks rock
It's amusing to read some of the comments inspired by the pictures of the protest trash. Apparently, a certain level of pollution in a national Park
is acceptable -- for a good cause.
ANWR: here we come!
The other BUFF
Naked ushers have been signed up by a theatre in Berlin to show guests to their seats at the premiere of a new play.
The theater? Is nothing sacred?
Berliners are no strangers to nudity, and the city boasts a naked jogging club as well as several parks and holiday camps where naked Germans can be seen in the summer enjoying the sun.
Why don't we have a naked jogging club?
Monday, January 20, 2003
Do you know how hard it is to catch a stray bunny? Stealthy, agile: bunnies are the original SERE
instructors, with escape algorithms you've never imagined. That's why I'm so grateful a few, dedicated Samaritans are willing to persevere and save abandoned and terrified pet bunnies.
Adrian, for example:
(Capital (Columbus, OH) Area Humane Society
My name is Adrian. I am an adorable adult female bunny who is brown and white. I was found as a "stray" running around an apartment complex on Cedar Springs Rd. I must have gotten loose from my home. I am looking for a new home too. Can you show me yours?
(Capital (Columbus, OH) Area Humane Society)
The CAHS is being discrete. Adrian was most likely abandoned. It happens a lot every Easter
. Because (European) pet bunnies are not native to this continent, Adrian is lucky to have been rescued.
All Adrian needs is a loving home. If you are interested in a pet bunny, but don't know much about them, the HBS Bunny FAQ
is a good start.
Because this web log is the 2nd favorite flavor of the day, the extra visitors might be interested to know about the 300 bunnies rescued in Los Angeles
Bunnies can fly
-- I have flown a bit, and Continental
is my favorite (I get to stay in the cabin, and the stews make a big fuss over me). Bunny Traveling Cages
are not expensive (mine has a front door for the sake of dignity), and are sized in the carry-on luggage range. So even if you live elsewhere, you can help out a rescue bunny.
I say go for it. Rescue bunnies are the most grateful and friendly pets ever!
Arsenal of Democracy
I'd like to dispute the claim that America armed Saddam. The AoD is a force for good in a world with a surplus of evil.
May I direct your attention to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
They've published a report of arms sales to Iraq you might find interesting: (PDF
Here's the equipment we sold to Iraq in the 1980's (note the circumstances of the sales):
(31) Bell-214ST Helicopter 1985 1987-88 (31) Originally part of order for 45 for civilian use but taken over by Air Force
30 Hughes-300/TH-55 Light helicopter 1983 1984 (30) Officially bought for civilian use, but taken over by Air Force; 300C version
30 MD-500MD Defender Light helicopter 1983 1983 (30)
26 MD-530F Light helicopter 1985 1985-86 (26) Officially bought for civilian use, but taken over by Air Force
All but the Bell 214 are essentially traffic choppers. The Bell is commonly used as lifeflight ship
SIPRI appears to have missed this reference
to our alleged sale of compasses.
Compasses and Traffic Choppers. How could we?
Meanwhile have a look at the goodies Saddam bought from Brazil, China, France and the USSR. The latter's list alone spans two of the eight pages in the report. Would it be fair to say that they might have armed Saddam, rather than we?
As for the charge that we sold nefarious "dual use" technologies, I ask what isn't dual use? The same choppers that report traffic can be fitted with rockets and guns (Brazil sold Saddam the kits to arm his birds). Your truck can carry a crew-served machine gun. Ask the Somalis for advice.
Whatever dual use equipment we sold represents not a finger-pointing victory for the anti-war left, but rather a smashing defeat. Saddam lied to us. He took advantage of our good will and turned our generosity against his people, his neighbors and eventually us.
Now he asks us to believe that he is trying to comply with the disarmament commandments. And who is asking that he be given the benefit of the doubt?
Fool me once...
Our poor planet is beset by tribal conflict. Think of Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and other places where people can't get along. Even in the first world, modern progressive states have trouble absorbing refugees and immigrants because the original tribe doesn't want a new rivalry.
I can't think of anyone in the world who did more to quell tribal conflict in the United States than Dr. Martin Luther King jr. Clearly he deserved his Nobel Prize: with words alone, he persuaded a majority of his country to his point of view.
His vision of America is straight out of the Framers' original intent. America was founded on principles, not on any hereditary claim to the land. If Dr. King was a liberal, he was my kind of liberal:
There is a dire need today for a liberalism which is truly liberal. What we are witnessing today in so many northern communities is a sort of quasi-liberalism which is based on the principle of looking sympathetically at all sides. It is a liberalism so bent on seeing all sides, that it fails to become committed to either side. It is a liberalism that is so objectively analytical that it is not subjectively committed. It is a liberalism which is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm.
(Stanford MLK Project)
That's the stuff! Go visit The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project
to pay respects to a world class Hoss.
Sunday, January 19, 2003
No bunny deserves the shame of being featured on the same day as a post about the locusts of peace. As prey animals, pet bunnies appreciate the comfort provided by the strong who will defend the weak. Nature is red in tooth and claw; so are tyrants. Let's take a look at a really belligerent bunny:
Peter, the Anti-tank bunny
Thank you, Strategy-Page
Arsenal of Democracy
Let's stick with the theme of people making messes. How can a single person make a mess of a tank? With a fifty-pound little missile named Javelin.
(Our Beloved Army
JAVELIN takes the fight to the enemy. Unlike conventional wire/fiber-guided or laser beamrider missiles, JAVELIN automatically guides itself to the target after launch. Soldiers and Marines can reposition immediately after firing or reload to engage another threat. Using an arched, top-attack flight profile, JAVELIN climbs above its target for improved battlefield visibility and then strikes where the armor is weakest. A gunner selected direct-attack mode is used when attacking tanks under cover or targets such as bunkers, buildings, or helicopters.
Got that? No wires, no need to steer it to the target. The FGM-148 Javelin is fire-and-forget: as in forget about the enemy tank. Just pull the trigger and walk away.
Like any good robot, Javelin is flexible. If you see a sniper in an apartment, select the direct-path option and pick a window. Or if he's concealed on a rooftop, select top-attack and Javelin will describe a parabola of doom.
Spot a tank with reactive armor
? Javelin just laughs it off. With its dual warhead, the first blast shaves incredibly close; the second...much much closer.
Have a look at Javelin's handiwork
. Still not impressed? Have another look
, and by all means view the film
Javelin is proof that good things still come in little packages.
The Detritus of Peace
Doesn't plastic come from oil? Then why did the peace-locusts leave so much of it laying all over our beloved Capitol Mall? And how can they be so pure of conscience, yet so full of litter? Talk about Trashing the Planet
These folks despoiled a national landmark and departed feeling smug about their contributions to the public good. They wouldn't know shame even if he handed them his business card.
Although I only managed to tidy up a small patch of the Capitol Mall, the effort did seem symbolic of an underlying truth: no matter how many messes the Left makes, ordinary Americans always step in to set things right.
Here's a medley of Lefty moral authority. Feel free to copy, redistribute and post it elsewhere.
Memo to the locusts of peace: clean up your act
The Day After
At the January 18th DC Rally for Tyrants, nobody got pepper-gassed or hurt. It was just a harmless, peaceful get-together for our moral superiors. You know: the Friends of the Earth
This is what happens when you think globally and act likewise.
Look at the ground. See the trampled and dying grass. Thanks to the peace-locusts, dust clouds are billowing across the Capitol Mall.
In order to save the planet, the Mall had to be destroyed.
The Indian with the tear in his eye, he's just outside the frame.