Weekend Wings #28: The Balikpapan Raid

The US Army Air Force carried out many notable bombing attacks in World War II. In the European theater of operations, they included the infamous Schweinfurt-Regensburg missions; Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on the Ploesti oilfields in Rumania; Operation Frantic Joe, the first of the so-called ‘shuttle bombing’ raids, where US bombers flew from English and Italian bases to airfields in the Ukraine, bombing the Debreczen marshalling yards en route, then were refuelled and rearmed to bomb more targets on their return flights; and its participation in the controversial destruction of Dresden in 1945. In the Pacific theater, the incendiary

Continue reading

Not your average Christmas tree decoration!

I’m somewhat nonplussed by the latest offering at the gift shop of the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, IL. Staffers make decorations out of droppings from the zoo’s two reindeer, Ealu and Rika. The droppings are dried, then clear-coated and either painted or rolled in glitter. Zoo marketing director Susie Ohley has named the products “magical reindeer gem ornaments,” and each comes with a label of authenticity. They cost $5 at the zoo gift shop. Staffer Katie Buydos, who makes jewelry as a hobby, donated wire and beads, saying, “Susie asked me to bring some creativity to the table.” Some

Continue reading

Stunning sculptures – from driftwood!

I’m amazed at the lifelike quality of Heather Jansch‘s sculptures, made from driftwood. Click the pictures for a larger view. From a distance they are the embodiment of equine grace, three creatures ready to burst into a gallop across the sands. Only on closer examination are they revealed to be sculptures made, incredibly, from driftwood. They were created by artist Heather Jansch, whose individual works take up to three years to produce and fetch up to £55,000. Despite its fragile appearance, each horse weighs three quarters of a ton and is free standing. ‘The structure must not only be strong

Continue reading

Condemned to life together – literally

A sobering news report on MSNBC reminds us to be grateful for our good health – and that of our children. Anastasia and Tatiana Dogaru, who will be 5 in January, were born in Rome to Romanian parents. The top of Tatiana’s head is attached to the back of Anastasia’s, meaning the girls have never been able to look each other in the eye. Tatiana has had to undergo heart surgery. Anastasia has no kidney function and relies on Tatiana’s kidneys. Physicians at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland had hoped to separate the girls, but that surgery was

Continue reading

“The Church of Climate Alarm”

That’s a wonderful expression – one I wish I’d thought of first! It’s from the title of an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, accompanied by this splendid cartoon. … the real fear driving climate alarmists wild is that a more rational approach to the fundamentalist religion of global warming may be in the ascendancy – whether in the parliamentary offices of the world’s largest trading bloc or in the living rooms of Blacktown. As the global financial crisis takes hold, perhaps people are starting to wonder whether the so-called precautionary principle, which would have us accept enormous new taxes

Continue reading

Doofus Of The Day #112

This incident happened back in September, but I’ve only just learned of it. Nevertheless, it’s so daft that I have to give a belated Doofus award to Michele Allen, of Middletown, Ohio. Michele Allen, 32, will spend the next month in jail after admitting to a wild drunken weekend dressed in this silly cow outfit, said Middletown, Ohio, authorities. “Michele is pretty well known to us. She’s ‘struggled,’ to say the least,” Middletown Municipal Court Judge Mark Wall told The Post. Wall sentenced Allen to 30 days in jail for her oddball escapade. She had been hired to wear the

Continue reading

A sad finale to the Chagos Islanders’ last appeal

I’m saddened by the news that the Chagos Islanders have lost their appeal to Britain’s Law Lords over their expulsion from the Chagos Archipelago in the 1960’s. As the BBC tells the story: In the mid-1960s, the US was worried about possible Soviet expansion in the Indian Ocean and wanted a base in the region – but one without a “population problem” which might upset the base’s operation. In return, the US was willing to offer the UK an $11m subsidy on the Polaris submarine nuclear deterrent. A memo from then Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart to Labour Prime Minister Harold

Continue reading

Things you’ve done

El Capitan, over at Baboon Pirates, is circulating a meme he got from Adam Lawson. It lists 100 activities. You’re supposed to highlight those you’ve done in bold print. Anything not in bold . . . well, you haven’t got around to that yet. I thought I’d have a go. THINGS I’VE DONE: 1. Started your own blog. You’re reading it.2. Slept under the stars. Many times.3. Played in a band. Church bands, but I guess they count?4. Visited Hawaii.5. Watched a meteor shower. Many times. In the Southern Hemisphere, the skies are clearer and brighter than in the North,

Continue reading

Getting creative with vegetables

There have been a few articles in recent weeks about how vegetables can be used for creative, rather than merely digestive, purposes. An English artist, Carl Warner, draws rough sketches of his artworks, then uses vegetables and other foods to create them. Click the pictures for a larger view. Field of dreams: The countryside landscape has broccoli for trees, potatoes for rocks and basil and herbs for the grass. The path is made from nuts, while the basket is bread with a mushroom wheel. The balloons were crafted out of apple, mango, a strawberry, bananas, garlic, lemons and a lime.

Continue reading

Thanksgiving

On October 3rd, 1789, President George Washington signed the following proclamation. GENERAL THANKSGIVING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THEUNITED STATES of AMERICA, A PROCLAMATION. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God — to obey his will — to be grateful for his benefits — and humbly to implore his protection and favor: And whereas both Houses have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States, a DAY of PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of

Continue reading