Weekend Wings #13: The Spitfire – The Legend Lives On

In the first part of this three-part series we examined the initial development of the Spitfire and its operational service through the Battle of Britain in 1940. In the second part we looked at its further development and operational service through the rest of World War II. In this final part we’ll examine the maritime version of the Spitfire; the Spiteful, Seafang and Attacker developments; and the final versions of this classic fighter to see service. 1. The Seafire. The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) of the Royal Navy expressed interest in the Spitfire very early in its development, but the

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A Gathering Of Bloggers

Light blogging tonight, because Holly, JPG, Lawdog, Phlegm Fatale and yours truly all gathered at the home of the first-two-mentioned for a day of fun. We shared a monster breakfast (well, more like brunch) of eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, potatoes and all the rest (courtesy of Holly’s cooking), and then raided the Fort Worth gun show in a massed body, enjoying a couple of hours of wandering the aisles and getting various bits and pieces. We got back home a few hours ago, spent a couple of hours in hysterics at one another’s stories (you have a lot to

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Laws for laughs

I’ve been enjoying reading about old laws in England that today make no sense at all, but are still in effect. Some examples: Ladies who bare their breasts in public in the city of Liverpool are exempt from prosecution – if they work in a tropical fish shop. Women are permitted to bite off the nose of any man who kisses them without permission. King George I decreed: “The severest penaltys (sic) will be suffered by any commoner who doth permit his animal to have carnal knowledge of a pet of the Royal House.” So, even if your pampered pooch

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On geneaology and Presidential candidates

Readers have doubtless noticed news reports (like this one, for example) about the ground-breaking study by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, demonstrating long-distant links between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. It seems that Barak Obama is a ninth cousin of Brad Pitt, while Hillary Clinton is a ninth cousin twice removed of Angelina Jolie. No word, of course, on whether this has brought the two Hollywood celebrities together in a more Democratic relationship . . . Furthermore, Mr. Obama is related to no less than six current and former US presidents, including George W Bush, his father George H.W.

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Casting frogs upon the waters?

Another interesting news report tells us of Nicolas the frog, found in a garden pond in England (and named, inevitably, for the current Prime Minister of France!). It seems Nicolas tried to get through some netting covering his pond, and broke his leg. A diligent veterinary surgeon put it all back together and placed a cast on the leg, and the frog is now recovering from his injury. What got me chuckling was the name of the veterinary hospital to which Nicolas was taken: “St. Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital”. Saint Tiggywinkles??? Good grief . . . Peter

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An unlikely rape (or two, or three, or four)

I was hugely amused to read about Arthur Ross Cradock, a New Zealand man who was sentenced to community service after claiming he’d “been left speaking Australian after being raped by a wombat“. In case you’ve never heard of the animal, a wombat is an Australian creature as large as a medium-sized dog (40-80 pounds), and is herbivorous. Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Stringer told the court that on the afternoon of February 11 Cradock called the police communications centre, threatening to “smash the filth” if they arrived at his home that night. When asked if he had an emergency, he

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Grandma’s got a machine-gun!

Two short videos from YouTube illustrate what happens when you put fully-automatic firearms in the hands of elderly ladies. In the first case, it’s a weapon of the paintball variety: In the second, it’s the real deal – an MP40 sub-machinegun: Love her comment at the end! Peter

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And newts to you, too!

This is unreal. Bureaucracy gone mad. An English couple, the Histeds, have a million-pound house that suffered flood damage some months ago. They repaired the damage, to the tune of a quarter of a million pounds. Last week, with the repairs almost complete, a blocked drainage ditch – not on the couple’s property, but part of a motorway drainage system – caused their house to flood again. They now have to re-do much of the repair work. They duly approached the Highways Agency to ask permission to unblock the ditch, so that they wouldn’t get flooded again. Would you believe

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Doofus Of The Day #13 and #14

Our Doofi Of The Day are two anonymous Canadians. CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – A war on gophers waged by two Canadian men went awry this weekend when a device used to blast the rodents in their holes sparked a massive grass fire in a rural area near Calgary, Alberta, causing more than C$200,000 ($197,000) in damages. Despite a ban on fires in the tinder-dry area of Springbank, just northeast of Calgary’s city limits, two men went into a field to kill gophers using a device called a Rodenator, fire officials said on Monday. The device pumps a mixture of propane

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