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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Flying over Everest – some amazing video footage

Helicopters (the Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil, specifically the B3 high-altitude version, the first helicopter to land on the summit of Mount Everest in 2005) are used to rescue climbers in difficulty in the Himalayas.  Here’s a montage of footage shot from them during their missions.  Some of it is amazing. I almost got vertigo watching some of the shots in full-screen mode.  I imagine the pilots have to be amongst the best in the world at what they do, to manage a helicopter in the extremely thin air and high winds of those altitudes. Peter

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Close encounters of the aviation kind

Here’s a fun video of a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter closing in on a light cargo plane that was being used for air-to-air photography.  The big fighter simply can’t fly slowly enough to keep in formation with the slower plane, and eventually has to break away – but in the process, the photographers get some spectacular shots. I’d have been rather nervous, watching that fighter closing in on me like that! Peter

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The mane attraction

Here’s a lovely image (found on Gab yesterday) of a male lion with a truly magnificent (and unusually dark) mane. Lions are usually thought of as the only members of the cat family with a mane, but there must be a recessive gene or two in other cat populations as well.  Our farm cat, Ashbutt, has a lot of Maine Coon in his ancestry, and he unquestionably has a mane.  Being all black, it’s hard to see unless one gets close to him – otherwise, he just looks like a very long-haired cat – but his mane is undoubtedly the same shape as the

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