It wasn’t a war crime after all

I was very interested to learn that the famous photograph of South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a prisoner was not, in fact, what it’s long been reported as being.  FStoppers reports: This gruesome photograph [below] became pivotal anti-war propaganda that drastically shaped public opinion. The horrific frozen frame depicts a baptismal moment of unwavering distinction, a moment in a time that could not be undone, an elevated wartime tension that could not be unraveled. In this sense, the photograph was successful. It was shocking and characteristic in its ability to drive the anti war movement, protesting against brutality

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So that’s where they came from!

I’ve enjoyed Eggs Benedict for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never known where the name (or the recipe) originated.  Thanks to Atlas Obscura, all is now revealed. The most important thing to know about eggs Benedict is that they have nothing to do with the famed traitor Benedict Arnold. In fact, some give credit for the dish to Pope Benedict XIII, who ruled the Vatican from 1724 to 1730, and was put on a strict eggs and toast diet while there–dressed in a lemon-based sauce, at his request. But it wasn’t eggs Benedict, exactly, and that pope’s

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About that bathroom transgender incident . . .

A couple of days ago I posted (very angrily) about a father who confronted a person dressed as a woman, but who was very visibly male, in a supermarket when the individual tried to use the ladies’ restroom while his daughter was inside. It seems my uncompromising attitude has upset some people.  I’ve received a few accusations that I’m ‘bigoted’ and/or ‘closed-minded’ and/or sundry (often less polite) things.  To those who feel this way, I can only say:  Bite me.  I don’t care. Common sense is sorely lacking in this entire situation.  For 99%+ of the human population, the chromosomes

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Doofus Of The Day #900

Today’s award goes to all the idiots involved in this battle of the machines. Police in northern China say an argument between construction workers escalated into a demolition derby-style clash of heavy machinery that left at least two bulldozers flipped over in a street. . . . The construction workers were from two companies competing for business, Xu Feng, a local government spokesman in Hebei province’s Xingtang county, said Monday. He said he couldn’t disclose details about arrests or injuries until an investigation concludes. There’s more at the link. Here’s how it went down. I wonder if we could get

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Will fighter aircraft become obsolete?

I’ve questioned for some time (including in these pages) whether, with the advent of light-speed energy weapons, manned aircraft have a viable future over the battlefield.  Now Flight Global asks the same question. Despite anaemic sales growth, the defence industry somehow sustains 11 different fighter types in active production, with more in early development. Yet the future of the fighter’s core mission has never been more uncertain. Fifth-generation designs were supposed to give way by 2030 to a sixth, which would leverage advances in tailless flight controls, advanced stealth, efficient supersonic propulsion and new weapons. Now the US Air Force

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The British Raj isn’t quite dead yet . . .

. . . even though one of its more audacious throwbacks is no longer with us.  The Telegraph reports: Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Tullet, who has died aged 74, was the last Englishman to be elected president of the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. Only about a dozen Britons are to be found among the 1,200 members today. But as a tall, popular local businessman who liked to sport an eyeglass and had the swagger of one born to command, Tullet was a natural choice to keep the peace between bickering Parsees, Sindhis and others. Agreeing to take control for 1974, he set

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A spectacular view of Earth

NASA has released an ultra-high-definition 4K video of the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis, taken from the International Space Station.  It makes for spectacular viewing.  Watch it in full-screen mode for best results. I don’t suppose I’ll live long enough to get into space.  It’s the only thing that makes me wish I was younger.  The odds are pretty good that someone in his or her twenties today will be able to take a tourist flight to orbit before they die, and see such sights for themselves. *Sigh* Peter

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So you think your smartphone is secure?

Not according to CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ program. Hering is a hacker himself, he’s the 30-something whiz who cofounded the mobile security company “Lookout” when he was 23. Lookout has developed a free app that scans your mobile phone for malware and alerts the user to an attack. Sharyn Alfonsi: How likely is it that somebody’s phone has been hacked? John Hering: In today’s world there’s really only — two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven’t. Sharyn Alfonsi: How much do

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Excessive tolerance, transgender edition

This morning I received an e-mail that made my blood boil.  I’m not at liberty to provide details that might identify the persons involved or the place, but in brief, a father was standing outside the ladies’ room at a supermarket, waiting for his daughter to come out.  A transgender individual with obvious and easily identifiable male characteristics made as if to enter the ladies’ restroom.  The father stopped him, only to be told by this individual that he was female.  A certain amount of disorder ensued, and eventually police escorted the father out of the supermarket. This is complete

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