The Ether Dome at Massachussets General Hospital in 360 degrees
|Dr. John Collins Warren performs the first surgery without pain as William Morton administers ether - 1846|
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend
|Dr. John Collins Warren performs the first surgery without pain as William Morton administers ether - 1846|
|AIRBUS A-330-700 Beluga XL|
Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
Our girl, the Nightingale, is hell bent on vengeance until she kills her first attacker. After that she loses steam. She is never a super competent killer, she is running on pure emotion, so that was realistic. Not like an action thriller where the hero is successfully dispatching a string of villains one after another. The finale where the English soldier gets his is kind of a let down. Bang, the door opens, boom, Billy spears him right through the heart, poof, he's dead. Rather disappointing, really wanted to see him ground between two stones.
Billy is a little confusing. On one hand his English is perfect, which isn't surprising since he was brought up by the English. On the other hand, he is in an aborigine and I really don't know how they act. Every time I see them in a movie their behavior just seems weird.
|United States Navy's submarine New Jersey (SSN 796) was recently launched into the James River|
These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at speeds of more than 25 knots for months at a time.
"25 knots for months at a time"!?! I know nuclear submarines can go very fast, for a submarine, and I know they can stay submerged for months on end, but can they really run at full speed for that long? I mean, they are nuclear powered, so they should be able to produce lots of power continuously, but it just seems like you're asking for trouble to do that. Stress, vibration and heat can all lead to important metal bits cracking, which can lead to all kinds of trouble. So this got me intrigued.
Over at Wikipedia, I find that the submarine gang has been busy cooking up all kinds fancy stuff.
|The Virginia-class attack submarine Mississippi (SSN 782) Masts|
U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan G. Wilber
|Ford GT40 1966|
198 piece jigsaw puzzle
|1932 Hudson Martz Special|
150 piece jigsaw puzzle
Conceptcarz tells us that this car was built by a guy named Mertz. He sold it to a guy named Martz who campaigned it for a while, including a couple of times at Indianapolis. Mertz and Martz. Huh.
Do we really know what the world population is? And does having that number do us any good? Adaptive Curmudgeon read a post by Sarah Hoyt that got him all stirred up so he wrote his own post on the subject. World population estimates all seem to come from the UN. Ask Google and every reference seems to point back to the UN. The question Sarah and Adaptive are asking is how do we know the UN isn't lying to us? Even if they aren't lying, their numbers are no doubt taken from what the various countries report, and lord knows how accurate those numbers are.
So our two gadflys dive into the rathole of why the UN would lie about this. I'm not going to worry about it. To me the UN is a nice facade that the limousine Bolsheviks have pasted over their imaginary world. They may be lying, they might not, they might be accurately presenting the data they have received, but we have no idea how accurate that data might be. Most of us probably think the people who compile these numbers are doing the best they can. There are going to be some areas where the census takers are over zealous, or fearless leader demands better numbers, and there are going to be other areas where they are more lax, but overall it will average out.
To me, there isn't just one problem, there are a myriad of problems. Each country, region, shoot, neighborhood, has their own problems. Mass migration might relieve pressure on one area, but it's going to bring more pressure on other areas. And migration isn't the best solution. Some people like the idea of moving to a new place, but I suspect most people are content to stay where they are. Forcing those people to move is going to engender some discontent, discontent that will manifest itself in some subtle and some not so subtle ways.
|Melaka Straits Mosque on Malacca Island in Malacca City, Malacca, Malaysia|
24 piece jigsaw puzzle
|The cocaine was seized from traffickers this month in a police operation that took place in the commercial capital Abidjan [File: Luc Gnago/Reuters]|
Evidently west Africa is a waypoint for shipping contraband from South America to Europe. That's one way for range-limited airplanes to cross the Atlantic. Of course, it could have come by ship, but then I would wonder why they didn't head for someplace farther up the coast. Maybe they got a deal on a warehouse in the Ivory Coast, a warehouse that they thought was safe. Guess not.
There are roughly 750 million people in Europe. "About 40 tonnes[of cocaine] pass through the region annually, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development." - Aljazeera
40 tonnes is 40,000 kilograms which amounts to 40 million grams. If a user uses a gram a week, then 40 million grams is going to be enough to supply 750,000 people, or about one person in a thousand.
If a gram sells for 100 (dollars / Euros / pounds), that 40 million grams amounts to 4 billion in retail sales. While that is nothing like the 100 billion bills we are seeing for armaments, it's nothing to sniff at.
We aren't going to worry about whether the drug is being cut (mixed with inert material) or not. We're just going to have put that down as noise, along with how much gets stopped by the coppers, how much gets lost on the way, and how much gets stolen.
A Super Mushshak airplane crashed in Nigeria recently killing both people on board. Never heard of this airplane before, so I do a little digging.
The Super Mushshak is a French design that is currently being built in Pakistan under license. It was originally developed for military pilot training, but has since been adapted for use as light duty ground attack aircraft. Seems to be a sturdy little airplane, it's aerobatic, a label eschewed by companies building airplanes for the civilian market.
The article that got me started also mentioned that there have been 4 military airplane crashes in the last couple of years, so I do a little more digging.
|Beechcraft King Air NAF203|
Crashed May 2021
Two of the crashes were Beechcraft King Air twin engine airplanes. Both happened in early 2021, one in February and the other in May. Found an incident report for the one that happened in May that gives the registration number. Then I found a story from War Is Boring about Nigeria's air war campaign against Boko Haram that has a photo of that same airplane (above).
|Beechcraft King Air NAF201|
Crashed February 2021
|NAF Alpha Fighter Jet|
Then I found a story about the Nigerian Alpha-Jet crash on a BBC webpage that's written in Pidgin. That was a surprise. The pilot survived that crash. That story also mentions the King Air crashes. Like the Super Mushshak, the Alpha Jet also started life as a trainer and was then adapted for ground attack operations. War is Boring has good story about Alpha Jets in Africa.
|Russian Sail Training Ship Nadezhda|
108 piece jigsaw puzzle
Boy oh boy, what a mess. The show follows the life of Hugo Llor in 14th century Barcelona. Power politics is brutal. Whoever gets to be in charge pretty much uses their power to eliminate their enemies and if they don't, they are fools, because their enemies will plot and scheme to bring them down. It's the old story of the nobles believing they are god's gift to the world and anyone who isn't a noble, but has two shekels to rub together, believes the nobles are puffed up jackasses who need to be given the boot.
Hugo is nominally a Christian, but is smitten by a pretty young jewess. She dies in a purge when she refuses to convert to Christianity. She has an attractive friend, Regina, who has her eye on Hugo, but Hugo ignores her. Then he pledges to marry another young woman. The pledge entails his vineyard. If he fails to marry this girl, he forfeits the vineyard. The wedding is set for the following year. Meanwhile, Regina who has married some old fart, has been fooling around with Hugo. She gets baptized, which means her jewish marriage is annulled, so she can marry Hugo. Don't these idiots ever talk to each other? I guess not, it was the 14th century after all, maybe thinking hadn't been invented. Anyway, Regina knows some treasonous secrets about Hugo. She knows this because she was party to it. She blackmails him into marrying her by threatening to reveal these secrets knowing that she would be condemning herself as well, but she doesn't care. For her it's a case of 'give me Hugo or give me death'. Hugo marries her, but can't, or won't, warm up to her and instead takes up with a pretty, young, Russian slave. Hugo is a nice guy, he gets all the pretty girls, but he is pretty much an idiot.
This is a follow on to Cathedral of the Sea.
8 episodes on Netflix. We watched it Spanish with English subtitles.
|The Mekanik Sizov, a super trawler belonging to a company partly owned by sanctioned businessman Gleb Frank [The Kremlin via AP]|
|Marib has faced several Houthi offensives, as the group seeks to take the Yemeni government's last major stronghold in northern Yemen [File: Ali Owidha/Reuters]|
I'm not sure just what kind of gun it is. It looks like it might be a 20 mm antiaircraft gun.
|Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir celebrates winning the women's race in the Boston Marathon, in Boston, the United States on April 18, 2022 [Faith Ninivaggi/Reuters]|
|Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday that it has received a contract totaling $74 million to produce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).|
|Babri Masjid mosque - 19th century photo by Samuel Bourne|
So I'm looking for a picture of this place and there aren't too many, it disappeared before the explosion of digital photography. I come across one with a blurb that mentions the Muslim-Hindu riots of 1936, so I go looking for information about that and I find this:
It lists well over 100 riots going back to 1832. There are 8 or 9 with death tolls over 1,000. India (mostly Hindu) and Pakistan (mostly Muslim) were partitioned in 1947 and they have been fighting a war over Kashmir ever since.
Not too long ago I posted a video - The Perils and Pitfalls of Multiculturalism - that made a certain amount of sense. Now I understand why everyone went to the Anglican church in England, and why the Spanish set the Inquisition to rooting out heresy. If you want to bind a group of people together into a cohesive whole, having a single religion can help.
However, in any established human society, you are going to have those who benefit from being on the inside of the power structure and those who suffer by being on the outside. That suffering is going to lead to grievances and eventually those grievances will boil over into riots or even civil war. So having a cohesive whole can keep things together for a while, but people being the way they are, eventually things are going to break down and then you are going to have a whole peck of trouble.
Which brings us to America and our Freedom of Religion. That worked pretty well for a couple hundred years, but now it seems a large fraction of our population has forsaken organized religion and has found new prophets on Twitter who espouse a new religion every 15 minutes. So our society is becoming very fractured.
Now we've got a fight brewing between the lords of Twitter and Elon the Great. It seems the lords of Twitter like controlling the narrative. I mean, let's not kid ourselves. That was (and still is) the primary purpose of organized religion - it's to get everyone thinking the same way. Oh, they dress it up with sound psychological advice, but when you've got a captive audience every week, you can bet that the powers that be, which included the preachers, made sure they were all selling the same story. We don't need no gadflys pointing out discrepancies in our holy stories.
|Illustration by Nicolás Ortega. Source: Belshazzar’s Feast, John Martin, 1820.|
Who loves you, baby?
The most recent Edelman Trust Barometer (an international measure of citizens’ trust in government, business, media, and nongovernmental organizations) showed stable and competent autocracies (China and the United Arab Emirates) at the top of the list, while contentious democracies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and South Korea scored near the bottom (albeit above Russia). - Jonathan Haidt
|Vaisala WXT531 Acoustic Rain Gauge|
No, what we need is a robot that can tell when the wipers need to be activated and does it automatically. I was thinking you'd need a camera and some kind of image processing software to tell when the view is obscured, but then I remembered a solid state rain gauge. It was basically a small, light weight metal dome connected to a microphone. Whenever a raindrop hit the dome, the microphone would hear it, and the computer that was listening to its signal would add one to the number of raindrops. We might be able to use a similar technique to control the wipers. Stick a microphone (technically a sound transducer) to the windshield and listen for raindrops and squeaky windshield wipers. Shouldn't be that hard, right?
|The Passport Office|
Woman I know has a job with a large corporation. Among her responsibilities are facilitating travel arrangements. Some of the company bigwigs are scheduled to fly to Europe to meet with some finance guys about some kind of big deal. Our girl notices that the head lawyer's passport is due to expire in a few months. Their destination country won't accept any passports that are not valid for at least six months, so the lawyer, possibly the most important person in this entourage, needs a new passport, or months of planning is going to get blown up and they'll have to restart the whole scheduling brouhaha.
Our girl makes some calls and learns a couple of things. The Federal Government only has a limited number of expedited passports available. There's one in El Paso and a couple in Hawaii. By the time she talks to the lawyer and gets the okay to arrange a trip to pickup one of these passports, the one in El Paso is gone, so she books him a flight to Honolulu with a return flight later that day and he manages to get a new passport.
|Oregon air pioneer Silas Christofferson. Oregon Aviation Historical Society|
Via Posthip Scott
|Galvanized Steel Nipple|
Glenn Greenwald's Outside Voices has a long post about unions, politics and nipples. Nipples are just mentioned in passing, but they point out a big problem with the liberal political machine.
Is the Woke Cultural Agenda of Union Leaders Undermining Support For Unions? by Batya Ungar-Sargon
As national support for unions approaches record levels, interviews reveal: a rarefied form of progressive leadership threatens to dampen their appeal among workers.
Glenn Greenwald, if you haven't heard of him, might be the biggest gadfly around.
|Beechcraft Super King Air 200 (N875SP)|
Flying over Falalop, Ulithi
|Russian Cruiser Moskva on Fire|
I was expecting that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would have been wrapped up by now. I mean here we have the great big Russian bear picking on poor little Ukraine, it should have been no contest, right? There has been no end of 'news reports' from the western media about how brave little Ukraine is standing up to the big mean bear, but we aren't getting any real news, or least none that I would trust.
Meanwhile we're closing in on two months now and no end of the war in sight. That might be what some people want. Here's a post on RT (formerly Russia Today, undoubtedly Putin's mouthpiece) by Timur Fomenko, a political analyst:
Rather than pursuing peace, the US and allies are doing all they can to turn the Ukraine conflict into a proxy war against Russia
. . .
Apart from its own invasions, bombings, coups, and regime change attempts imposed on countries around the world, one of America’s preferred methods of confronting its adversaries is to ‘wage war by proxy’ against them, that is, to support the war of a group or country against them without militarily engaging themselves. The history of the Cold War is littered with such examples, such as America’s backing of the Mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan, its backing of Saddam Hussein against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, or, on a more contemporary note, its failed attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad via the local rebels. Proxy wars allow the US to minimize its own losses by having someone else die for them while also procuring geopolitical gain for themselves by undermining rival states, at the same time maximizing profits for the military-industrial complex by keeping the arms flowing.
To me, this whole thing looks like class warfare. The vile, sleazy, scheming wolf pack that runs the US government and the military industrial complex is not interested in what is better for the country as a whole, they are only interested in lining their own pockets. All this government spending on defense is helping to drive up inflation which is impoverishing everyone who doesn't have a fat bankroll to sleep on. Of course, with inflation running the way it is, your fat bankroll needs to be invested in something substantial, like real estate, or an oil refinery, or, best of all, a munitions factory.
This real estate thing might be why we have such a problem with people being homeless. They're homeless because there is nowhere for them to go. All the land has been carved up. All the useful land has been claimed by someone and all that's left is the useless land. We might want to start carving up a few farms into campgrounds, give people a base to start with. Some of them will fail, but some of them might be able to build a life, and I think it would be worth the gamble. Surely a better bet than sending another billion dollars worth of guns and ammo to the gangsters running Ukraine.
|Napoleon III Celebration in Vichy France|
300 piece jigsaw puzzle
These people must be having a real good time, you'll notice that they are all floating on air. The photo was taken at the annual Napoleon III celebration in Vichy, France. Napoleon I (Bonaparte) was the one who put an end to the French Revolution and then attempted to conquer Europe and got his butt kicked by the Brits at Waterloo. Napoleon III was his nephew and lived like 50 years later. He managed to get France moving in a positive direction, but then he got the war bug and ended up getting his butt kicked by the Prussians at Sedan.
Never knew there was an actual town named Vichy, I just knew it as the portion of France that the Nazis didn't bother to actual conquer, they just put it under control of a puppet government.
|Kruzenshtern - Russian Sailing Ship|
120 piece jigsaw puzzle
|A view of Mariupol as war in Ukraine rages, on April 9, 2022 [Leon Klein/ Anadolu Agency]|
But it's a Chinese dragon. The East and the West seem to have very different versions of what a dragon should look like. The Chinese seem to prefer a snake-like body with a couple of tiny arms, while the West seems to prefer one that is structured more like a horse or bear, but with scales and wings. Some people think stories of dragons come from far away encounters with crocodiles.
|A statue of Zmey-Gorinich in Lipetsk region, Russia|
|Kudykina Gora theme park is about 350 miles north of Mariupol|