More F-4 Phantoms at work and at play

This year the Japan Air Self-Defense Force will be retiring the last of its F-4 Phantom aircraft.  It’s one of the last Air Forces to operate the veteran type, which was a mainstay of the Vietnam War in the 1960’s.  It’s always had a reputation as a demanding aircraft to fly, but one that repays piloting skill with superb performance. A Japanese videographer has produced a couple of fascinating videos of the JASDF’s Phantoms over the past year or so.  We’ve seen them in these pages.  Here’s his latest offering, filmed in slow motion at very high resolution. It’s amazing to think that the F-4 first flew

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The lighter side of the dysfunctional apocalypse

I had to laugh at this video prediction of everything that can (and will) go wrong when the dystopian apocalypse finally happens.  It’s so dire, it’s funny. Oh, well.  At my age, I don’t have to worry about most of those problems – I doubt I’ll live long enough to encounter them.  I’ll leave them to my younger readers, who can write their own blogs (by then doubtless circulated on paper, rather than electronically) to describe them! Peter

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“There’s more than one way to skin a cat” – illegal alien edition

The headline is an old saying from the 19th century that I still enjoy.  It’s still valid, in almost every walk of life.  President Trump has just illustrated that in dealing with the invasion of this country by illegal aliens. Donald Trump’s policies to deal with the crisis on our southern border are working as intended. Mark Morgan, acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, says that daily apprehensions of illegal aliens have fallen from about 4,000 at the height of the crisis to around 1,300 now. What’s more, the 21-day average is less than 1,000 — a 78 percent drop over the

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Can Airsoft and BB gun training translate to real firearms? You bet they can!

A few years ago, I recommended the use of BB and/or Airsoft handguns as an ultra-low-cost training resource, to improve skill with a real handgun.  I repeated that advice a couple of days ago in a new article.  After that came out, I was challenged by a few shooters who insisted that “playing with a toy” could not possibly translate to usable shooting skills with a real firearm, and that I was “sucking this out of my thumb”. I’m never going to persuade everyone:  but to those willing to watch with an open mind, here’s about as much proof as you’ll ever

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Saturday Snippet: Debugging the Oak Ridge nuclear plant

During World War II, Richard Feynman, then a very newly-graduated physicist, was sent from Los Alamos, New Mexico (the heart of the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb) to Oak Ridge in Tennessee, where the nuclear material for the bomb was to be enriched.  He was tasked with making sure that the factory there would actually work, and that its design was technically and scientifically acceptable.  Needless to say, as a relative novice, he was more than a little unsure of his ground. In his book “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” he describes what happened.        I sat down

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On Iran, the Romans had it right

I’m sure many of my readers are familiar with the later Roman Empire’s famous dictum, “Si vis pacem, para bellum” (“If you want peace, prepare for war”).  It’s derived from Vegetius‘ classic fourth-century text, De re militari (“Concerning Military Matters”). It’s particularly apt to consider that reality when thinking of the targeted killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by US forces in Iraq.  Soleimani was the leading terrorist organizer and controller in the entire Middle East, head and shoulders above all others in power, influence, intellect and ability.  The West had tippy-toed its way around him and his Iranian backers for decades.  President Trump finally

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A grammatical relationship?

Stephan Pastis offers some grammatical advice to start the dating new year in the right fashion.  (Click the image to be taken to a full-size version at the comic’s Web page.) I can hear my old middle-school English teacher chuckling fiendishly at that one . . . Peter

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Will

I don’t think cartoonist Stephan Pastis is looking forward to the new year . . .  (Click the image to see a larger version at the cartoon’s Web page.) Peter

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