Showing us how it’s done

Following this morning’s video of a rather fiery aborted takeoff by a Belarusian Air Force MiG-29, here’s a clip showing how it’s done.  In this case, the plane is a big military transport, the Airbus A-400M Atlas;  but the pilot handles it as if it were a fighter.  It’s pretty spectacular.  Watch in full-screen mode for best results. Impressive! Peter

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100 years ago today, the Battle of Passchendaele began

It was one of the bloodiest, most arduous, and most pointless battles of the First World War.  By the time it ended, in November 1917, well over half a million casualties had been suffered by both sides.  Over 42,000 of the dead have no known grave, their bodies never having been recovered.  To this day, farmers in the area routinely uncover human remains, weapons and explosive devices left over from the battle. The wreckage of a British tank beside the Menin Road near Ypres The Telegraph summarizes the battle thus. What took place was officially known as the Third Battle

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A sneak peek for my readers

I asked Cedar Sanderson, long-time friend in meat- and cyberspace and an author and blogger as well, to design the cover for my new fantasy novel, the first I’ve written in that genre.  (You, dear readers, helped select it last year.) Here’s what she came up with. I’m working on the second half of the book as we speak, writing the last chapters, checking for continuity errors, refining a couple of plot points, and generally getting ready for publication within the next few weeks. Watch this space for details! Peter

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A spectacular flypast at Oshkosh

The latest annual EAA Airventure is currently under way at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  A USAF B-1B Lancer bomber made an amazing flypast earlier this week.  Atmospheric conditions were just right to produce some spectacular effects. I’d have loved to have seen that in person . . . Peter

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Doofus Of The Day #968

A tip o’ the hat to the anonymous reader who forwarded me a link to this report from Florida. It happened about 5 a.m. on July 17 as Officer Robie Troutman was in his patrol vehicle at the main police station writing a report, according to his report. “While in my vehicle, I heard the rear passenger side door handle make noise and then the front passenger side door handle make noise, where I was positioned seated in the driver seat of my clearly marked Fort Pierce Police Department Patrol vehicle,” the report said. Troutman opened his door and reported seeing

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Stealing a missile . . . via the post office???

I was surprised to read that the Soviet Union learned of upgrades to the US Sidewinder air-to-air missile via an agent in Germany . . . and the German post office! War Is Boring reports: Exploiting thick fog and careless guards, Manfred Ramminger – a KGB-agent in West Germany – entered Neuburg air base during the evening of Oct. 22, 1967. Together with his Polish driver Josef Linowski and German F-104 Starfighter pilot Wolf-Diethard Knoppe, he stole an operational AIM-9 from the local ammunition depot and transported it down the entire runway on a wheelbarrow to his Mercedes sedan, parked

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Will robots rescue, or threaten, the airline industry?

Yesterday it was reported that US airlines were suffering a “staggering pilot shortage“. Passenger and cargo airlines around the world are expected to buy 41,000 new airliners between 2017 and 2036. And they will need 637,000 new pilots to fly them, according to a forecast from Boeing released this week. That staggering figure is matched only by how many will leave the profession in the next decade — particularly in the U.S. Retirements at U.S. airlines will start to rise precipitously starting in 2021 as the current crop of pilots turns 65, the mandated age of retirement. More than 42%

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Doofus Of The Day #967

A tip o’ the hat to reader Snoggeramus in Australia for sending us this report. A tip for offenders trying to avoid arrest, if you’re going to use someone else’s name, make sure that person isn’t wanted on warrant as well. Teenager Clayton Kraig Bligh knew he was wanted on warrant for not showing up at court, so when police spoke to him on the afternoon of May 25, he gave his name as “Travis Gordon”, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard. However, when police checks found Travis Gordon was wanted on warrant, Bligh was taken into custody where he admitted his

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Food fight – international version

Foodies have the best fights – or, at least, the funniest.  This one – according to its headline – concerns “crimes against the tortilla“. The British ambassador in Madrid made a daring foray into the world of Spanish cuisine on Wednesday night with an appearance on a popular cooking show where he defended UK chefs over alleged “crimes” against beloved national dishes. Simon Manley had a starring role in the 45-minute edition of El Comidista, debating the merits of British versus Spanish food and receiving a tutorial on the perfect tortilla from host and chef Mikel Lopez Iturriaga. The pair engaged

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