How do you punish these boys?

I don’t know whether readers have picked up the tragic story of two-year-old Milagros Belizan. Milagros was a two-year-old child, living in the shanty-town Almirante Brown neighborhood of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Two brothers, age 7 and 9, told psychiatrists they slowly, coldly tortured a 2-year-old girl to death, a revelation that has reopened a debate in Argentina over how to punish juvenile delinquents. Judge Marta Pascual said Tuesday the children confessed to slaying Milagros Belizan, their neighbor in a poor shantytown south of the capital city. But Argentine law prohibits the prosecution of anyone under 18 years old. “They

Continue reading

Great piloting skills!

I hate to see vintage warbirds crash. They’re pretty much irreplaceable nowadays, so when one goes down, it’s lost for all time. However, the pilot of this 61-year-old Australian-built P-51 Mustang did a great job. His landing gear wouldn’t come down properly, leaving one undercarriage door partly extended. He circled the airfield for forty minutes, burning up fuel and letting ground control check it out visually, then came in for a belly landing on the dirt. Whilst the aircraft was damaged, it was minimally hurt, and it’ll fly again. Great skills! (This is one of the rare two-seater conversion Mustangs,

Continue reading

OK, readers, put on your creative hats!

I see that the USAF is inviting its servicemen and -women, as well as civilians in its employ, to name the new KC-45 airborne refueling tanker. As you probably know, the Airbus A330 won the KC-X competition to provide the USAF’s next-generation refueling tanker, but the decision is being protested by Boeing, whose 767-based offering lost. I guess it’ll be some months before we know the outcome of the protest. The thing is, no matter who wins, there will be a new refueling tanker aircraft. I’m not in the Air Force, and I imagine the same applies to most of

Continue reading

Sonar’s come a long way

I’ve been fascinated to discover the advances in high-resolution imaging sonar that have come along over the past few years. My interest was sparked by the recent discoveries of the wrecks of HMS Hunter in a Norwegian fjord, and HMAS Sydney off Australia. Both were located by sonar, and have been photographed. Having blogged about both, I began investigating the ‘state of the art’ in sonar location of shipwrecks. I found that an outfit called Adus, in the UK, has developed some astonishing technology that produces sonar pictures as clear, if not clearer than, underwater photographs. This is particularly important

Continue reading

Is Mexico spinning out of control?

I don’t know how many readers keep an eye on what’s happening South of the Border, but you might want to start paying close attention to developments there. It looks like the ‘drug wars’ between the Mexican government and security services on the one hand, and the drug cartels on the other, are spinning out of control – and that’s having a direct and immediate impact on the border area. Don’t expect it to stay confined to that part of the country. To give you just a few examples of developments this month: 1. May 7th: Mexican drug cartels openly

Continue reading

The mouse that roared?

No, not the very funny 1955 film starring Peter Sellers (in three different roles). It seems that scientists are using mice as a ‘vehicle’ for gene transplants. In a world first, scientists have extracted a gene from the extinct Tasmanian tiger and successfully inserted it into a mouse embryo. It is the first time a gene from any extinct animal has been brought back to life inside another living creature. However, the researchers, from the University of Melbourne and the University of Texas, say the technology will not lead to the cloning of an entire Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine. “It’s

Continue reading

Paper Armor

My buddy Lawdog has hit another home run with the bases loaded. Check out his post on Paper Armor. If you’ve ever had to defend yourself, or if you think you may ever have to (the odds are pretty good that you will), you need to read this. Highly recommended. Peter

Continue reading

Doofus Of The Day #24

Today’s Doofus is a particularly special one. First, let me set the scene. The location is the town of Port Phillip, in the state of Victoria in Australia. CAROLINE Shahbaz’s clients and colleagues sometimes ask if she is a witch. The St Kilda-based change management consultant admits that she jokingly refers to herself as a white witch. This, she says, is due to her special powers of intuition, nurtured over many years training in eastern religion, western psychology, astrology and pranic healing. “You know, I can walk into a room and pick up what the nuance is,” she says. “For

Continue reading

When landing a plane resembles a demolition derby

I was amazed (and amused) to see reports of one light aircraft landing on top of one another near Dallas, TX. For a learner pilot, it is embarrassing enough that you have brought your plane in to land on top of another aircraft that was on the runway. But when that other plane belongs to your next-door neighbour, the situation reaches a whole new level of humiliation. Despite the odds, that is exactly what happened at Roanoke airport near Dallas in Texas when one rookie pilot attempted to touch down. The only problem was that his neighbour, at the controls

Continue reading