The Tetris Challenge – military edition

The so-called “Tetris Challenge” appears to be sweeping through the Twitterverse.  In it, military, first-responder and other units and organizations display their equipment, laid out in a tight pattern as if to fill up every space (as in the video game Tetris), and photographed from above.  A quick Internet search on “Tetris challenge” produces dozens of links, and “Military Tetris challenge” focuses in on that aspect of it.  A lot of people appear to be having a lot of fun. I’ve been browsing through military-related Tetris Challenge pictures.  Here are a few examples (click each image for a larger view).  First,

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It’s time for the annual Broadway Bomb again

The Broadway Bomb is a skateboarding event held every year in New York City.  It’s been declared illegal since 2012, but that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from staging it.  (The Wikipedia page for the event appears to have been hacked by people with an axe to grind – at least at the time of writing.) Back in 2013, the police deployed in force to stop the riders.  Did it work?  Like hell it did!  Here’s a video clip that I posted that year, showing the results. I’m told that police haven’t bothered to intervene like that in subsequent years.  I can see why! Peter

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An historic way of life to a different, slower drumbeat

Courtesy of Old Salt Blog, I was interested to come across a novel, centuries-old method of shrimp fishing – on horseback. Intrigued, I looked for more information, and found this longer, more detailed view of the same “industry” in Belgium.  I found it equally interesting. It’s fascinating to think that such an ancient method of fishing has survived so long;  and it’s good to know that the number of mounted fishermen in training has actually increased in recent years.  I imagine the occupation is a lot less stressful than much of modern living, which is an attraction in itself. Peter

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On the road again

Miss D. and I are headed for the Texas Panhandle, to spend time with our friend Alma Boykin and take in a little local culture at the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo.  (Yeeeeeee-haw!)  We’ll be back home tomorrow evening.  Please say a prayer for traveling mercies for us, if you’re so inclined. I’ve queued up a post for tomorrow morning.  For more reading matter, please visit the bloggers listed in my sidebar.  They do good work, too! Peter

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Tough tuggers

Old Salt Blog informs us that the 27th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race was held in New York City last weekend.  Here are three video clips filmed from Vinik No. 6, the 49-year-old winner of the tug race this year. First, the opening parade of tugboats old and new: Next, the tugboat race: And finally, the pushing contest, where the tugs take on each other head-to-head: Looks like a good time was had by all, with lots of friends, family and tourists riding along on the boats for the day. Peter

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A waffle iron stove???

I was intrigued to read that the humble waffle iron can be used as a makeshift stove, with surprisingly interesting results. We were not waffle traditionalists—just a family without an oven, desperate for new ways to heat food. After that first encounter with gridded cornbread, we grabbed the cheapest waffle maker we could find and began to experiment. We started by replicating the cornbread waffles. After some tinkering, we had the recipe down. Our first homegrown success was chocolate waffle cake. The brilliance of cake as a waffle is that all those dents fill up with frosting. To this day, despite access to

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How many of you remember this “two-faced” car?

I was amused to come across a photo essay about the Zundapp Janus, a German “bubble car” from the late 1950’s. The Roman legendary god Janus, for whom it was named, had two faces, one looking ahead to the future, and one behind to the past.  The car had two doors, one in front of the driver, the other behind the rear seat.  The two seats faced forward and aft, with the engine between them.  The car was terribly underpowered, able to reach only about 50 mph (probably downhill, with a following wind), and had very little interior space if filled with its maximum

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So… how do they navigate?

I found this pair of photographs on Gab yesterday, showing a lighthouse on Lake Michigan near St. Joseph during and after a winter storm.  Clickit to biggit. I’ve seen similar photographs before, of course, as I’m sure have most of my readers.  However, I’d never thought about one obvious question.  If the lighthouse is required by ships on the lake for safe navigation, what happens when it’s shrouded in ice and its light can no longer be seen?  Is waterborne traffic suspended until it defrosts?  Is, there, in fact, any waterborne traffic on the Great Lakes during the winter months, or does everything come

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Animals and war – still needed after all these years

I was interested to read that Chinese soldiers in Tibet are using an ancient means of transport to patrol their area of responsibility. Chinese media has, since the 1960s, regularly featured stories of the harsh conditions soldiers face in Tibet and Xinjiang, the two western provinces that border the Himalayan and Pamir Mountains as well as the high-altitude borders with India, Pakistan and Tajikistan. In effect China has the longest high-altitude borders in the world and uses a variety of methods to effectively patrol them and control smugglers and other illegal border crossers (like Islamic terrorists). For most of the border troops

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