Saturday snippet: urinary frigidity

A few weeks ago, I published an excerpt from the late Brigadier Dick Lord’s history of the South African Air Force, “From Fledgling to Eagle“.  It was well received, particularly because it was very funny, and I had several requests for more of his tales of flight and fighting in the service of three different countries.  I’m happy to oblige, and I’ll post more snippets from his books at odd intervals in future. This tale comes at the end of his advanced training as a pilot in Britain’s Fleet Air Arm, during the very early 1960’s.  It’s taken from his autobiography, “From

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Doofus Of The Day #1,057

Here’s a graphic illustration of why you shouldn’t use gasoline in combination with matches to clear an ant or termite nest out of your back yard. Must have been fun explaining that to his wife! A common practice in many parts of Africa was to soak the offending nest with a couple of gallons of gasoline, but then leave it alone for the gas to penetrate fully and kill off the ants or termites by poisoning them.  We didn’t toss lighted matches at the gas-soaked ground, for obvious reasons, as illustrated above. I can still recall (with some glee) the

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A blast from the (fashionable) past

Australian reader Snoggeramus, who’s contributed many candidates for our Doofus Of The Day award, drew my attention to this 1997 report. George Alexander of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports that attorneys for Oleg Cassini phoned, saying how dare JPL put the fashion designer’s name on its Saturn probe without permission. JPL’s lawyers replied that the Cassini spacecraft was named for Jean Dominique Cassini, an 18th century astronomer. “There was a long silence on the other end of the phone,” Alexander said, “followed by an ‘Oh.’ ” Talk about an argument lost in space. Yes, that would have left egg on the lawyers’ collective faces.  I wonder

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Doofus Of The Day #1,056

Today’s award goes to the member of Congressional representative Brian Mast’s staff who posted this tribute on Twitter to the US Navy.  (I presume it wasn’t composed by Mr. Mast himself – he’s a combat veteran, and, given that background, hopefully knows enough about the navies of world powers not to make this mistake.  Even so, it went out under his name, so he owns it.) Sadly, the tribute was misplaced.  That picture shows the Russian battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy, not a US Navy ship.  The original tweet has since been corrected, and now shows a US Navy carrier task force.  Still, it was

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Not so much a flypast as a blowdown

It seems an Indonesian Mil Mi-35 gunship (an export version of the Mil Mi-24) recently made an unexpected and very low flypast during rehearsals for a military parade in the Natuna Regency, in the Riau Islands.  That proved to be not a good idea . . . I hope they had backup copies of those billboard posters.  I suspect the originals were probably damaged beyond repair. Peter

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Tugboat meat in a dockyard sandwich

A tip o’ the hat to GCaptain for finding this video clip of a harbor tug in San Francisco being ground between Pier 27 and the cruise liner Star Princess. They’ll have to inspect the pier for damage, as well as the tug.  Did you see how far its stern went underneath the pier?  I reckon that will have taken out more than a few uprights and the bracing between them.  The building on top of that section might be a bit rickety for a while . . . Peter

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Saturday snippet: A doofus in Africa

This isn’t your typical “Doofus Of The Day” incident.  It’s a tale from about forty years ago, when yours truly was still young, sweet and innocent.  (That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it!)  I came across it while re-reading the late Brigadier-General Dick Lord’s excellent book “From Fledgling to Eagle: The South African Air Force during the Border War“. The story made me laugh just as hard as it did the first time I heard it, so I thought you might enjoy it, too.  It became something of a legend among troops on the border between South West

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Doofus Of The Day #1,055

I don’t normally make Doofus awards to those who are killed as the result of doing something stupid.  However, in this case, I’ll make an exception. A carjacker died after he accidentally blasted himself in the chest while trying to smash a window with the butt of his shotgun, an inquest has heard. Officers investigating the death of Reece Ramsey-Johnson said they were satisfied there was ‘no third party involvement’ as they closed the probe into his killing. . . . Video footage taken at the time showed another masked man shouting ‘he’s shot himself — he’s f*****g shot himself’ as

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