The devil’s in the details – naval edition

The old idiom “The devil’s in the details” has, in my experience, been proven true time and time again.  The “big picture” may look fine and dandy, but there’s always something, some little detail that’s escaped attention, that can screw it up to a fare-thee-well. The Norwegian Navy learned that the hard way last year, when its frigate Helge Ingstad collided with another vessel, and subsequently sank.   (Above image courtesy of Wikipedia)   The subsequent inquiry revealed that after the collision, the watertight compartments of the frigate functioned as intended . . . except for one crucial detail. While there was some uncertainty as to

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I wish we’d had this when I was injured

Back in 2004, I suffered a work-related injury that necessitated two spinal surgeries.  It left me with permanent partial disability, a fused spine, and in pain 24/7/365.  Sadly, once the injury had been suffered, there was nothing that medical science could do but treat its resulting symptoms (rather than their cause), and prop up the damaged spinal structure around the affected nerves.  The nerve injuries themselves, and their permanent effects, could not be healed. Now comes news that future such injuries might be treated in a whole new way. When your body suffers trauma, its fierce army of immune cells go

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Getting his priorities straight . . . sort of

I giggled at this edition of “The Whiteboard“.  Click the image to be taken to the cartoon’s Web page for a larger view. If you aren’t already setting aside time in your day to read that comic strip, may I suggest you do so? It’s a lot of fun. I’ve known people with exactly that attitude.  As a matter of fact, many military veterans exemplify it! Peter

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A spectacular flame-out

The Aviationist reports: An Indian Air Force (IAF) SEPECAT Jaguar or “Shamsher” was involved in a bird strike incident on takeoff from Ambala Air Force Station outside the Indian town of Ambala on Thursday, June 27, 2019. Video of the accident posted in Indian media and on Twitter showed the aircraft fly through a group of birds, emit flame from at least one engine, and then jettison its underwing stores. Some of the stores carried by the Jaguar were reported to be “Carrier Bomb Light Stores” pods (CBLS) that exploded on impact. . . . The Indian Air Force praised the pilot on Twitter, reporting

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That must have been interesting!

Courtesy of Phil at Bustedknuckles, we find this photograph.  (Clickit to biggit.) Getting that fire hydrant stuck in there must have been . . . adventurous!  Also, note how it’s chewing up the tread on both tires.  Both – perhaps all four, both inner and both outer tires – are going to have to be replaced. I hate to think what might happen if the driver didn’t notice that, and tried to drive on.  The explosion of all four tires, which would be almost inevitable within yards, could cause very serious damage to vehicles – not to mention injury to their occupants

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My heart’s on fire, but it ain’t for Elvira

How many of you remember this song?  Here’s a 15-second excerpt. Turns out that a heart can literally be on fire . . . but Elvira had nothing to do with this one. … the patient, a 60-year-old man, was in surgery last year for the repair of a tear in the inner layer of the aorta wall in the chest, according to the European Society of Anaesthesiology. But the patient’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, meant he had air-filled blisters, which doctors punctured, leading to a leak. Doctors worried that the man would suffer a respiratory attack, and decided to

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THIS IS WHY YOU GO SLOWLY, AND LOOK BOTH WAYS!!!

A Midland sheriff’s deputy found out the hard way that, no matter how urgent the call you’re on, you need to look both ways before storming over a level crossing.  A tip o’ the hat to reader Glen W. for sending me the link. According to a news report, the deputy behind the wheel was “taken to the hospital with minor injuries including bruising throughout his body”.  I think he’s amazingly lucky not to have suffered anything more serious – and I bet he won’t go through a level crossing like that again! Peter

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Looks like a classic – and fatal – case of pilot error

Readers will recall the crash of an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in Moscow several days ago.  Surveillance video has been released that shows the aircraft trying to land.  It bounces and porpoises several times, in what looks like an abominable display of pilot mishandling, before touching down so hard that it collapses the landing gear.  That started a fire that burned out the rear half of the aircraft, killing 41 of those on board. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the video to see the plane touch down. And here’s how it ended up.  WARNING:  Some of the scenes in the

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Low-flying helicopters and power lines don’t mix well

A French rescue helicopter was involved in a training exercise when it had an unfortunate encounter with low-hanging power lines. Very fortunately, no-one was hurt this time. The helicopter was equipped with a wire-cutter, ringed in the photograph below (a screen-capture from the video above). That may have helped prevent a crash, by deflecting or cutting the wires before they could get tangled in the rotor.  However, I imagine all on board had a brown-trouser moment! Peter

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