That’s quite a wind!

Footage from Alykel airport in Siberia shows a Boeing 737 of Nordstar being spun around by a very strong wind.  It’s caused by the ‘weathervane effect‘, which in this case was enough to overcome the inertia of the aircraft and move it over the ice. Considering that a fully fueled and loaded Boeing 737 can weigh up to about 90 tons, depending on the model, that must have been a pretty strong wind . . . Peter

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Has Ted Cruz shot himself in the unmentionables?

The National Enquirer has reported that Ted Cruz has had affairs with at least five women.  Other commenters claim to have identified at least two of them, possibly three, with one of them a consultant to the Fiorina campaign – to which a Cruz PAC donated half a million dollars not too long ago.  Hush money, perhaps?  You can read more about the allegations here, here and here. However, despite the fact that they’re already a day old, I haven’t seen any coverage at all of the Enquirer’s allegations by the mainstream media.  Why is that, do you suppose?  Are

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USS Minneapolis, battle damage, and coconut logs

Among the books I’m reading at the moment is ‘Beans, Bullets and Black Oil‘, a history of US Navy logistics operations in the Pacific during World War II. As a student of military history, logistics has long been of interest to me.  It’s an old but true saying that ‘Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics’.  (There are some great quotes about logistics from military leaders [link is to an Adobe Acrobat document in .PDF format] at the Air University Web site.)  I’m therefore enjoying the book very much, and learning a lot about what went on behind the scenes during

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Doofus Of The Day #894

Today’s award goes to a distracted driver in Baltimore. Just before 9 a.m. this morning, Baltimore County Police and Fire personnel responded to the 100 block of Allegheny Avenue in Towson for a crash. An Audi Q5 fell out of the fourth floor of a parking garage and landed upside down on the sidewalk. The driver, a woman in her early 20s, was in the car when it fell, but she was not seriously injured. She was transported to Sinai Hospital for treatment. There’s more at the link. Here’s security camera footage of the accident.  You only need to watch

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Personal security in an age of terrorism

A number of readers have contacted me, asking whether there’s anything extra they should be doing in terms of their personal security precautions, to prepare for the risk of terror attacks. My immediate answer is that one can’t (and shouldn’t) make specifically anti-terrorism preparations.  One can (and should) prepare in a general sense, so that one is equipped, trained and ready to defend oneself, one’s family and one’s home and possessions against crime.  From that perspective, terrorism is just another form of crime.  In general, one should be careful of where one goes, when one goes there, and how one

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USS Conestoga found after 95 years

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that a previously unidentified shipwreck on the seabed near the Farallon Islands, off California, has been confirmed to be that of the USS Conestoga, a US Navy oceangoing tug that vanished in 1921. USS Conestoga in 1921 Conestoga was the last US Navy surface ship to be lost during peacetime.  The wreck was found in 2009 during a sonar survey of the area, and identified during an exploratory mission in 2014. USS Conestoga today – composite image The NOAA has discussed the discovery in a press release, including several downloadable images.

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Fred on Trump

Fred Reed brings the snark in his own inimitable fashion. Once upon a time there was a fairy kingdom that lived inside a place called The Beltway, and was surrounded on all four sides by a land called America. The Beltway was aligned with another kingdom called Manhattan, inhabited by disembodied heads that spoke from the walls of bars, and with with yet another closed kingdom called Hollywood, the abode of  half-educated narcissists. These kingdoms were in eternal political syzygy, and spoke not with the people of the surrounding lands, of whom they knew nothing. The following is a chronicle

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Terrorist profiling, political correctness, and human rights

The Los Angeles Times has a lengthy article on the difficulties police face in developing a ‘profile’ of a typical terrorist or suicide bomber.  Here’s an excerpt. After 9/11, police officials in New York City stepped up their counter-terrorism efforts against overseas plotters as well as the increasing threat of homegrown jihadists. In a 2007 report posted on its website, the NYPD described how “unremarkable” individuals with ordinary jobs and ordinary lives could evolve into people who slaughter innocent civilians. Middle-class males 15 to 35 years old who spend time in Muslim enclaves were the most likely candidates for radicalization,

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Twenty years of “Voyager”

It came as quite a shock to realize that one of my favorite Mike Oldfield albums, “Voyager“, was released twenty years ago.  That seems impossible!  It seems like it was just yesterday . . .  I guess I’m getting old! Anyway, to commemorate the occasion (and simply because it’s one of my favorite Oldfield compositions), here’s “Mont St. Michel”, the final track from the “Voyager” album.  It’s a classically-oriented, celtic-themed instrumental piece.  Turn up the volume and enjoy it! Thanks for the music, Mr. Oldfield.  Please keep it coming! Peter

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A nation of sheep – Belgium edition

I couldn’t help but get angry when I read this headline: Defiant Belgian Citizens Take a Stand Against Terror With Inspirational Chalk Messages And what, precisely, will drawing messages on a sidewalk in chalk do to stop terrorism?  The answer, of course, is that it’ll do precisely as much as sending Twitter messages to oppose the kidnapping of girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram – namely, nothing whatsoever. If Belgians (or any other nation’s citizens) want to ‘take a stand against terror’, do so by recruiting, training, equipping and supporting effective anti-terrorist forces;  by stopping terrorists coming into your country

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