Thursday, September 11, 2014

 

A Brief Photo/Essay on the South Pole


Wisting, Bjaaland, Hassel and Amundsen at the South Pole in 1911, the first humans to stand there, along with Hanssen who's taking the photo. (They ate the dog on the way back). The only installation then was poles and tent pegs in the ice/snow.
By the late 20th C. there was a whole complex including a geodesic dome, but it kept getting covered in ice and snow.


When built, the dome entrance was at the ice surface.

So they built structures on foundations that would "float" above the accumulating ice and snow. (The dome sinking under the ice is at the extreme right). This is about 2005.

The South Pole Station pretty much right now. The dome was dismantled about 5 years ago. It's called the Amundsen-Scott Station although Amundsen and his party got there first and came back alive; Scott and his party were a month or so late and died on the way back. It's very late Winter there and still remarkably cold. The sea ice, a little under the area of Russia right now, will begin melting in earnest in about another month. In the North, our sea ice melt should stop in just over a week.

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Things Poorly Informed People Say

I was going to say these are things that stupid people say but you can be smart and completely ignorant of history and say the same thing.

1. The Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, the National Socialist and German Workers Party, the NSDAP, whom we call the Nazis, were right wingers, socialist right wingers.

2. The pro-slavery, KKK manning, racist Democrat party, after a hundred years of keeping blacks second class citizens with 'Jim Crow' laws, decided to switch racial animi with the anti-slavery, pro-freedom, non-racist Republican party, to which roughly as many African-Americans belonged as belonged to the Democrat Party, all prior to 1965.*

3. The members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Levant) are not Islamic. You have to ignore what they call themselves to make this idiotic statement, but see #1 above.

4. The city of Dallas shot Jack Kennedy in the head and not the Communist loser who was mad at Kennedy for not being enough of a leftie.

I'll return to this as other idiots reveal themselves.

*The greatest gains prior to 1965 for African Americans as Democrats were in the 30s when nearly the whole country went Democrat. I had put that a majority of African Americans were Republicans, but that was from 1865 to 1931. My mistake.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

 

List of Allies the United States Has Stabbed in the Back

This lists starts in 1950.

South Vietnam

Cambodia

Czech Republic

Poland

Great Britain

Egypt

Saudi Arabia

Iraq

Israel

Ukraine

Afghanistan (soon)

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Catastrophic Vacuum Decay

Stephen Hawking and other high-energy particle physicists fear that if we produce Higgs bosuns at the wrong energy level then the universe will end with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. We wouldn't know what hit us.

Of course given the size of the universe, this could already be happening in a galaxy far, far away and it won't reach us for several billion years.

I don't believe Higgs bosun particles actually exist, so I'm not that worried. Of course, I ain't no Stephen Hawking, either.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

 

Real Evil People


Chairman Mao Zedung, who died this day in 1976, probably is responsible for more violent deaths than any other person, ever. Also rumored to like very young girls.

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Monday, September 08, 2014

 

Real Evil People


Reinhard Heydrich, author of the answer to the Jewish Question--industrial murder.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014

 

Well Equipped Enemy


The 8.8 cm Flak 36 firing at night. Originally designed as anti-aircraft artillery, the Germans soon realized this was a superb anti-tank weapon. Flak, which quickly became the noun for all medium to large caliber anti-aircraft fire, stood for Flugzeugabwehrkanone, air defense canon. The 88s they put in their biggest tanks were the 88 mm KwK 36 L/56. KwK stood for Kampfwagenkanone, fighting vehicle canon. My cousin, who was often shelled by these during WWII often, admitted he admired how good a gun they were.

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Very Brief Movie Reviews

It appears I'm only going to SciFi movies this year:

Edge of Tomorrow is terrific. Funny, exciting, slightly profound and Emily Blunt is very sexy. Who knew? I remember a story I read in the 60s with an alien who could go back in time if attacked. I think it was by a French writer. I can't find it and Google sucks.

Guardians of the Galaxy was good. Funny, exciting but not profound at all. A good summer film.

Both were based on what I still call comic books. I have a rule against going to see a movie based on a comic book I've read but fortunately I had never read these. The graphic part of graphic novels seems to lend itself easier to movie versions than plain old books or scripts.

The tugging on the heart strings is a little awkward in both.

Looking forward to Interstellar if only because McConaughey has been on such a roll lately.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

 

Well Equipped Enemy


A German soldier some time after 1942 fires his semi-automatic rifle out a doorway. This looks like a G-43 (although it could be a K-43) and possibly it's from late in the war based on the "plywood" looking stock. The only thing these had over the M1 Gerand was the 10 round removable box clip. (You had to shove 8 .30-06 rounds held together by a clip down into the open magazine of our superb weapon, making it unlikely to ever have a scope above the action). You could make this into a sniper rifle and there is a groove visible on the receiver for just such a mounting. It shot the full sized 7.92 x 57mm round. It never was a game changer like our semi auto was compared to the bolt action K-98 (developed in 1898) or like the STG 43 was compared to every other small arms before it.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

 

The Men Most Responsible for the Fall of France


Generals Heinz Guderian (left) and Hermann Hoth chat pleasantly during the early part of Case Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the USSR, in 1941. Guderian was stripped of command after he failed to take Moscow and bitched about Hitler's interference in Russia with the successful style of Blitzkrieg he had invented and used so well in France the year before. That was ultimately a good thing as he was never charged with any war crimes after the war. Hoth, in charge of part of Army Group C in the Ukraine and Southeast Russia, on the other hand, was only relieved later in the war and his successful campaigning necessarily involved war crimes because many of his troops were Nazis which meant they killed prisoners and took hostages and murdered civilians in reprisals for the killing of German soldiers. He was sentenced in 1948 to 15 years but was released in 1954 and lived until 1971. Guderian died in 1954.

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