July 30, 2013

Not Much to Say Right Now....

....but I really had to get that post off the top spot.

Also, I always did wonder about this as a kid.

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Oh. Dear. God. No.

Via Scott Lowther.
I have no words...

It looks like we're doomed.
Diversity has finally jumped the shark. The USAF has its first squadron of....Bronies.

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I Don't Even....

Stella ∞ has been a surprisingly pleasant and even interesting show about sportsmanship, honor and the profound difficulty of truly changing oneself for the better.

Today's episode.....OK THAT was odd.

I concur with this young ladies sentiment regards this matter.

I'm mildly appalled, but I'm really intrigued as to where they are going with this.

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July 29, 2013

So, FFH Anyone?

The previous post got me to thinking about the importance (or lack thereof) of nomenclature in the assessment of warships and also how much aviation capability one might add to a surface combatant before one enters the zone of diminishing returns begins detracting from that ships mission.

This post over at CDR Salamanders got me to thinking about what the hell we might build to replace the FFG7s that's not the aluminum coffin that is the LCS.

As I have not slept much, these two thought resulted in this post...

The Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigates were much maligned in their day and are muh longed for in ours. They had a mediocre armament of a single standard missile launcher, a 3" gun forced on the navy by congress and 6 lightweight torpedo tubes. However they also had two helicopters and those, in combination with the ships hull mounted and towed sonars, made the vessel a formidable ASW craft, especially if operating in concert with one or more of her sisters. They also made the ship very useful for the peacetime roles the USN found itself required to play after the war everyone feared did not come to pass.

The were reliable, seaworthy andwere a bit faster than designed so they could be used with even  the nuclear carriers in a pinch.   USS Stark and USS Roberts proved the design could survive remarkable damage, though especially in the case of USS Stark the folly of using aluminum in the superstructure of a warship was relearned at great price.

These ships had little growth potential and were designed as cheap ships to pad out the numbers and complement the more expensive destroyers and cruisers.

Well they are at the end of their service lives now and the USN is replacing them with the Littoral Combat Ship.

Originally conceived as a corvette or fast attack craft with swappable mission modules and  helicopter capability that could be built in great numbers  due to its low cost, the LCS grew in cost to ludicrous proportions. It does have some some impressive characteristics though . 
Firepower of Coast Guard Cutter,
Speed of cigarette boat,
Cost of European destroyer
Engines that keep on  not working right, 5 YEARS after commissioning.
" Look Ma! NO SONAR! "
Fiendishly difficult to clean

"We're here to show the flag not the boat." "LOOK AT THE FLAG!"

Of course, those characteristics tend to impress in the wrong way.

Additionally, there are two distinct classes because the navy couldn't decide which one sucked more and in fairness, both designs have their own unique shortcomings, (such as improperly fitted zincs) that they each bring to the table.

They do have two good points, particularly the trimaran design. They have very good aviation capability and a large working deck. However, no amount of tweaking is ever going to make them effective and especially not cost effective in ASW.

The navy needs numbers of ships, because a ship can only be in one place at a time. That is important for showing the flag and maintaining a presence in peacetime, it is even more so when dealing with submarines, and anti-submarine warfare is something that  is becoming increasingly important as many navies acquire modern diesel electric submarines.  The USA is a merchant republic and sea control and convoy protection are vital.

So whatever we buy to replace the LCS needs to be cheap enough to buy in numbers....during a decade we are likely to be very broke, with money left over after we spent it all on LCSs.

An all steel version of the OH Perry class might fit the bill, but adding a steel superstructure would require a complete redesign. We also need to remember that cost has to be kept down so only additional capability that can be had at minimal cost should be considered.

First off, what does an ASW vessel NEED?
Sonar (towed and hull)
Torpedo  tubes

4 helicopters are the absolute minimum for maintaining one helicopter on station at all times so 5 seems like a good number if we can get it. But could one carry 5 helos on a frigate/destroyer sized hull?

Well, some years ago the German shipyard Bremer Vulkan put forth an idea for a helicopter capable Offshore Patrol Vessel.  Here is a screencap of their brochure

 Brochure via The Aviation Forum
Now this is WAY too slow, at 18 kts, but this vessel seems to be using merchant marine diesels for fuel efficiency. The OHPs have over four times the horsepower on 60% of the displacement. I'm not suggesting the USN build this design, but his gives some idea of what is possible. The carrier like configuration improves airflow over the deck and minimizes the burble. A sponson or having the superstructure moved fore or aft would allow helos to land dead amidships for safety in horrid sea states. 

There is a sketch of a 6000 ton vessel in the same design series but no brochure available.

A military vessel should posses a decent point defense system and an escort should have at least a cursory air defense system. Fortunately the USN has the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile, which is a point defense missle, meaning it's fast reacting and has a short minimum range...it also has a maximum range of 27 miles which is on a par with some nations area defense systems.  It also has a fair SSM capability. Its a small missile and 4 can be packed in a single VLS tube so every 8 standard VLS cells=32 ESSMs.

AAA systems needs a fire control system, and here is where these things go off the rails cost wise. I'd keep it very austere, though the low end SPY-1K of the aegis system (designed for corvettes) might be acceptable and could leverage existing logistics and training..
No ABM capability for this ship, just point defense and the limited area defense that ESSM implies. Minimal ECM would be carried.

The above vessel is fitted with a French 100mm gun, but the brochure indicates that guns of up to 5 inches are doable, and indeed the MK 45 was designed with ships as small as 600 tons in mind. Putting one on the bow would help keep people from thinking of the ship as a carrier (which it most assuredly is not) and provide it with the useful gun the OHPs and LCS lack. For surface combat, a few Harpoon or NSM perhaps re-loadable from the ships magazines would be adequate.
(Spanish frigates carry 60 lightweight and heavyweight torpedoes so this ship should be able to carry 100 or more lightweight torpedo sized weapons)

Steel is cheap in comparison to electronics so if we can keep from going overboard on electronics and use an off the shelf propulsion plant we should get a decent ASW platform, that is very adaptable for peacetime duties that costs quite a bit less than what we are building now.

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Why Japan Has Helicopter Destroyers

In the Late 1950's and early1960s the Japanese began seriously rebuilding their navy Maritime Self Defense Force. The reason for this was that although war as an instrument of policy was forbidden to them by their postwar constitution, the reality is that Japan imports most of its calories and virtually all of its energy and resources. Defense of the sea lanes was vital as was the ability to fend off invaders from certain of  Japan's neighbors that defined "peace" as an absence of non-communist nations.

To this end, Japan began producing destroyers for antisubmarine warfare, that is convoy protection of Japans sea lanes. This is a purely defensive operation well within the purview of Japans constitutional restrictions on its military self defense forces.  The 1950s destroyers carried fearsome torpedo batteries, but these were seen in the context of coastal defense and convoy defense, particularly with long range ASW torpedoes.

By the early '60s though, the concept of heavyweight ASW torpedoes was looking less tenable. The US and Australia were developing rocket boosted torpedoes and the Canadians, French and Italians were looking at big ASW Helicopters, which could do many of the things the US Blimps had done in WW2 but had much shorter range.

The Japanese decided to go with both options, buying ASROC from the US and developing the American Sea King as an ASW platform. The Sea King was a huge chopper, and to be effective, at least  one (preferably 2) needed to be on station around a convoy, dropping sonar buoys and dipping their big sonar  at any time. However helicopters have very short legs and the Sea King is awkward to handle on a small ship*. For destroyers the Japanese joined with the Americans in producing an ultimately abortive small torpedo carrying drone but this was no substitute for the capabilities of the Sea King.

To this end the Japanese ordered an experimental small helicopter carrier as part of the same procurement program as their prototype guided missile destroyer Amatsukaze. I've found very little on this ship.  It reportedly was to have been about 10,000 tons and armed with 8 3" 50 caliber guns and 8-10 Sea Kings. As such it would seem to be a purely defensive ship with next to no capability to do anything except guard Japans sea lanes...it also would have been exceedingly useful in that role and made Japanese convoy defense operations vastly more effective. Japan was looking at 4-6 escort groups each built around one of these vessels.

Some sources seem to imply it was actually laid down, but in any event when the Japanese legislature realized that the 'large ASW support ship" was going to have a full length flight deck, an island to the side and be called a 'carrier' they had puppies and cancelled the whole project. They decreed that the Japanese navy could only have destroyers,  frigates and patrol craft as surface combatants and the navy built a series of destroyers which could each carry 3 of the big Sea Kings instead.

However experience has shown that three helicopters is insufficient to keep even 1 on station at all times. There is also the need for a large seaworthy vessel to operate helicopters in high sea states and convoy defense requires a certain amount of command and control space beyond that of an escort. An escort carrier is precisely what  Japan need. It's  too bad they can't have any carriers isn't it ?

In a COMPLETELY unrelated development. Japan has begun replacing it's large helicopter capable destroyers of the Haruna and Shirane classes with the somewhat larger 'destroyers' of the Hyuga class. These carry an official complement of 4 big helicopters in a VERY spacious hanger that can accommodate 16 or more in a pinch. Of course, as the JMSDF has explained to the legislature, these ships have a phased array radar and a battery of between 40 and 64 guided missiles (depending on which missile types are carried in their 16 missile tubes) so they are totally destroyers.

Though far larger and more capable than the proposed carrier of the 1960s these destroyers nevertheless are only a stopgap design. Since Japan cannot possess aircraft carriers the country needs to build the very best destroyers it can get as compensation. Thus the next class designated "22DDH" will be a bit larger....Actually they'll be about 19,000 tons standard and 27,000 tons fully loaded.  That's about the size of a Yorktown class aircraft carrier.

Here she is drawn to scale with JDS Hyuga...

...and here the new ship is seen in comparison to three historical Japanese ships: Akagi, Shokaku and Kaga.

These ships will have, in addition to their missile batteries, 7 ASW helicopters in a VERY spacious hangar. In fact the hangar is about the size of that on an early Essex class carrier.  The ship will also carry several 'search and rescue aircraft'. This SAR wing will consist of V-22 Ospreys. However, according to some sources, it will also include F-35 Bs which no doubt will bring a smile to many a stranded mariner as they drop life rafts from their bomb bays rescue equipment compartments.  (I'm a bit skeptical of the F-35 reports, if only because the whole F-35 program is in disarray).  The ships will also be able to carry a very large number of Ground Self Defense troops for disaster relief. This is a useful capability as Japan is prone to disasters such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami's, typhoons and Chinese nationals on the Senkakus

27,000 tons might seem large for a destroyer but that's the kind of inefficiency one gets when one decides to put a bunch of helicopters on a destroyer.

It's just a terrible terrible shame that the Japanese can't have any carriers.

*don't tell the Canadians that though.

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The Thin Goering

OK this is bizarre.

It seems that Reichmarshall Hermann Goering, the right hand of evil, had a brother. His name was Albert. He was an urbane, cultured sociallite with a reputation as a lady's man. He was svelte. Also, in further contrast to his zeppelenesque sibling, he also seems to have privately despised Hitler and led a secret life saving a large number of Jews and dissidents at great personal risk.

Goering was incarcerated by the US as a Class A War Criminal after the war. However, he was tentatively released to Czechoslovak custody (being a resident of Prague) when one person on a list of 34 names he had given as character witnesses was tracked down and corroborated his story.  Czechoslovakia ended up on the wrong side of the Iron curtain however, and so in 1947 Albert Goering found himself on trial for his life anyway. His workers were brought before the court as witnesses, but instead of struggling against him,  they testified on his behalf, as did grateful Jews, dissidents and resistance fighters. Goering was eventually released, but had a very hard time of it after the war, due to...well...his last name being Goering. His wife left him and took their daughter to Peru. Albert struggled for many years before getting a job at a construction firm in Munich where he died in 1966.   

It seems that Israel is now looking into whether to posthumously award  Goering their Righteous Among the Nations award for his actions.

 Decency can appear the strangest places.

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July 27, 2013

Three Minutes of Combat IN TECHNICOLOR

Though we've mentioned before that it's being released as a series of movies, it bears repeating that Yamato 2199 being broadcast right now on TV in Japan. Despite the fact that it almost never shows up in season previews, this is, IMHO the best action show on right now. In fact, despite the rather anachronistic design of its titular spacecraft, Yamato 2199 is one of the better scifi shows of the last decade.

For those of you who watched Starblazers those many years ago, here is a brief promo clip of the battle at the rainbow nebula. For those poor deprived souls that didn't, this isn't terribly spoilerish, it's one of several battles our heroes fight, this one taking place in a remarkably dense, multicolored nebula.

Yamato 2199, is being aggressively marketed internationally. The English language dub is called Starblazers 2199, and will have at least some name changes (the ship is named Argo on the English version). Bang Zoom is doing the dub which is  heartening. They've done some excellent work in the past. Johnny Yong Bosch is reportedly playing Kodai/Wildstar.

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July 25, 2013

So is it Pronounced "Ruby"?

Episode 2 of RWBY is only about six minutes long but we do learn a couple of things.

Ruby's Scythe is named Crescent Rose....she made it herself. It seems that she's something of a geek-girl with regard to weapons.

"Vomit Boy" seems to be a decent enough fellow, but he's really not overcoming the ignominy of his opening scene. 

Today's physics lesson:

"...not only that, it collapses, so  if I get tired of carrying it after a while I can just fold it up"

"Um...but doesn't it still weigh the same?"
"Yeah....It does."

Pulling off Tex Averyisms in Poser seems to be a very hit or miss thing.

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July 24, 2013

Well This Was Nice

Former President Bush (#41) and his secret service detail shaved their heads to show solidarity with and bring attention to a child with Leukemia. More here


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Point Goes to Nintendo

This is slightly more relevant to me than the goings on in London.

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July 23, 2013

Life Altering Hairstyles

Stella WAHSDC3 has been pleasant enough thus far. The other club members are all likeably eccentric. The problem has been main character who is SO damned insecure and introverted that by episode 3 it begins to grate. Yura has problems. She is terribly introverted, indecisive and afraid of her own shadow.

However, in this episode (#3) these issues stop just being a character trait and become a plot point.

It appears that our heroine has come to grips with her problem and is growing as a character.

And I find that cool.

As an aside, the actress doing Kirishima is knocking ot out of the park as far as conveying the oddness of the character most effectively.

UPDATE: Teh Banshee has a fine analysis of Yura's conundrum in the comments.

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It's Not Our Fault Emanuel Goldstien Saved Us!

Fair warning: Clicking on this link will take you to a UK view of the intersection of hate, fear and intimidation in American public discourse. There is more on this here.

It's sad and a little troubling.

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July 22, 2013

So, You May Ask, "Where's the Post?"

Right here. It's a disquisition on the pros, cons and history of pneumatic postal systems scaled up to eleventy.

Now you, gentle reader, may wish to suggest that there is no such post here. To that I'm afraid my response must be...

Don't. You. Think. I KNOW THAT!?

 I was almost...almost done...but I pasted a url in the text so I highlighted it and hit backspace.
It's what your supposed to do right?  Blogging...b..basic word processing...imple isn't it?...and and then the screen jumped to the previous page.

A..and it was gone..all those words. ALL OF THEM!

They say that there's no devil...but there is...it came and ate my post RIGHT OUT OF HELL!!


Anyway, in lieu of any actual content,  here's a nice documentary on the making of Star Trek's The Doomsday Machine that I pilfered from Ace's sidebar.

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July 21, 2013

Nike Ajax Missile Battery N-75

By the late 1940s, faced with the fear of a Soviet bomber force that could deliver nuclear weapons, the US Army embarked on a crash program to develop anti aircraft missiles for continental air defense. This was the Nike program and the first operational product of that missile was the massive and cumbersome Nike Ajax Missile.  Despite its WW2 era radars and punch card electronics it proved quite accurate against subsonic bombers and was rushed into service defending US cities.

One of the most important strategic points guarded by the system was Hampton Roads region, which, despite its largely rural demographics at the time, had the countries largest Navy Base, a huge Air-Force Base and the enormous Army Logistic Center at Fort Eustis.

The Nike Ajax was a massive, complex missile that  had two stages, a solid rocket booster ans a liquid sustainer that was fueled with kerosene and red fuming nitric acid. It used cumbersome radar and radio command guidance. It required a huge support crew and the missiles had to be hangared like aircraft. Guiding the weapons was manpower intensive too as the weapons had to be basically flown to their targets and data from several different radars coordinated with the radio commands.  To this end three little forts were built in the farmland  surrounding the Hampton Roads, one in Kempsville, one a station code named Patrick Henry and one cut out of the forests of Isle of Wight county....today that last one N-75 is the only one of the three remaining and it is one of the last surviving and best preserved of the mass produced Nike Ajax sites in the country.

In the early 1960s the Nike Ajax gave way to the nuclear tipped Nike Hercules which had much greater range and could handle supersonic bombers. In the 1970s, the station in Isle of Wight which was never upgraded to take the newer missile was decommissioned. Several years ago it was handed over to Isle of Wight County.

All of the original support buildings, except the guard shack survive. One of the three missile magazines has been covered with a skateboard ramp. but the bunker itself is unmodified. Even the flagpole is original. All the buildings are pretty much as they were in the 1950s except the guidance building, which had had all its electronics removed when the facility was abandoned. It is now a home for senior citizens. Even the off base housing survives...The Nike Park 'subdivision' consists of a dozen or so houses built as dependent family dwellings next to the administration buildings....a necessity for the integrated Army units in the then segregated south. All the dependent housing is intact, though they are owned by civilians now.

The barracks building has the original cots stacked and the only major modifications have been replacement of the asbestous insulation on the steam pipes with fiberglass and blocking off with plywood of two stalls in the latrine to create a ladies room. The barracks are used as a community center now.

To my immense chagrin, neither buffout nor stimpacks were found in the sinks...on the upside, no mirelurks either.

Station N-75 had three hardened underground missile magazines, each holding 9 missiles. The metal blast doors have been paved over but these people standing on the platform give an idea of the scale of the missile. The doors would open inwards and a single missile would rise up.

The magazines themselves were recently opened, found to be flooded and drained. They are in remarkably good condition despite the water damage. Most of the machinery is still present. Due to the ADA, a total lack of handicapped access prevents tours of the magazines at this time. However, the Isle of Wight history museum is trying to put together something along the lines of a monthly 'hard hat tour'.

That latter is problematic as according to our guides,  there is a lobby in the county to get rid of the site along with some of the old civil war sites that attract re-enactors. Recent arrivals in the county find such things gauche and unpleasant. A 1950's missile base is not something such people wish to be around either.

For now however, talk of demolishing the facility is just talk. It would take money the county doesn't have and the former missile maintenance and refueling shop houses the county vehicles. The buildings are useful as is and the talk has engendered something of a backlash.

 The former base itself is called NIKE Park and in addition to the dubious enticement of the skateboard ramp, has ball fields, a boat ramp and picinic tables.

Guided tours take place once a month and info on them and several other guided tours of historic places in IWC can be found here.

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RWBY Episode 1

Over the course of the last several months, four computer animated shorts have been released, each focusing on an "eponymous" character from an upcoming animation series called RWBY.

The first two were superb and used color and music to great stylistic effect. The second was less stylish but had a good deal of action and a voice actress whose purr was husky enough to pull a dogsled. The third had a heroine who was not particularly likeable and its pacing was uneven, but it was technically impressive (rather too much so...it had a tendency to break You Tube) with very well imagined action sequences and a fine score. These trailers have generated much anticipation for the series...and now that series is here...

In contrast to the first two trailers, which had a very ephemeral, almost European atmosphere, the first episode has a more or less conventional Japanese Shonen comic feel to it.

It seems that "Red" from the first trailer is going to be our lead.

Ruby Rose is a student at a college that specializes in training monster hunters. She's a typical shonen heroine, idealistic, enthusiastic to the point of being a goofball, and a very adept at the utilization of her .50 caliber, bolt action, magazine fed, fully articulated, rocket assisted, collapsable scythe. Her immediate goal is to graduate college and do her graduate work at Beacon University, which is required to become a huntress. Huntsmen and Huntresses are the elite monster hunters of this rather anachronistic world.

How anachronistic is it you may ask? Well, for one thing, they presumably have monsters. Additionally, they have magic (which is facilitated by a McGuffin called "dust"), machine guns, cities that look like a cross between 1930's Chicago and Vienna, airships, a broken moon, advanced tablet computer devices and villains who wear derby hats....

Meet Roman Torchwick. He is a well known criminal who has decided to rob a dust, dry-goods, jewelry, magazine and music store. Unfortunately for him, Ruby happens to be loitering in the magazine section. While Torchwick relieves the owner of his dust, an ill conceived bit of initiative by one of Mr. Torchwicks henchmen makes Ms. Rose  aware of their shenanigans and fisticuffs ensue.  Things proceed to escalate rather quickly after that, to swordplay to gunfire and eventually all sorts of magical 'splodies. 

Mr. Torchwick has formidable resources at his disposal and (despite the intervention of a professional huntress on our heroines behalf) he makes good his escape.

Afterwards,  she is questioned by the huntress, handed off to the huntres's supervisor and we learn that Ruby Rose is not just a formidable fighter, she collects huntress/ hunter autographs, is hyperactive to the point of being something of a spaz and she can eat a pile of of chocolate chip cookies as big as her head.

"...and not a single cookie lived to tell the tale."

Upon establishing these important facts she is scolded,  given a unique opportunity, which she decides to take. This results in Ruby reuniting with her obnoxiously loud older sister as the episode ends...

 Oh dear God...Did that woman just say her name was...Gladys Goodwitch?" "Yeah sis...I'm afraid she did."
As an aside, there is some indication from the closing credits  that this will not be quite the female sentai team people were expecting.  There is a fairly large mixed gender cast and the fellow we currently know only as "Vomit Boy" features prominently.

Well, I liked it.

It's not the least bit original at this point, but it's visually interesting, seems to have a decent story and Ruby Rose is a thoroughly likeable character. The voice acting is above average. The pacing of this episode was excellent. I was surprised to find it was only 12 minute long. They provided enough exposition and character development for a full thirty minute pilot  in that time. The music, as can be expected from the trailers is superb. Someone named Jeff Williams delivers a fine BGM that complements the fight scenes choreography nicely. The new theme song is quite catchy too.

The computer art is odd and occasionally distracting, but it can be surprisingly expressive. It certainly lends itself to fluid motion.

The 12 minute webisodes air every Thursday at 7pm (5pm for those who subscribe).

This show is pretty neat...but it is the harbinger of something neater still

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July 20, 2013

7 Minutes of Great Wisdom

Ask Auntie Barbazard: Cinematic Life Lessons and Observations is a new podcast that draws important life lessons from films and offers thoughtful analysis. It's surely worth 7 minutes of your time.

 It all makes SO much sense now!

The first episode gleans vital insights on prudence and propriety from Big Trouble in Little China...which gives an idea of the sorts of films being analyzed.

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The Changing Pace of Progress

In 1803 the population of the entire planet was a hair over a billion people. World economies were agrarian. Slavery of one form or another was practiced in all but a handful of nations.  Transportation was powered by muscle or wind, though there were a few clumsy steam engines doing the sorts of work waterwheels had done for ages in more congenial locations.

One hundred years later, there were telephones, telegraphs, steamships that could cross the Atlantic with thousands of people in 5 days.  Trains crisscrossed continents and industry had blossomed. Brazilians, Frenchmen and Germans had been flying experimental airships for a decade or more and on a cold December day at Kitty Hawk North Carolina,  a machine that was heavier than air took flight.

Less than 66 years after that (and 44 years ago today) humans set foot on another wold.

And in the 44 years since then?....well....the youtube page that is on is littered with videos claiming that it never really happened. As the 12 who walked on the moon pass beyond the veil the possibility increases that we will once again live in an age where no living person has walked upon the moon. The solar system, a vast storehouse of resources lies untouched save for a few probes, some debris and 6 flags planted there by a people who once could accomplish things.

Perhaps our children will redeem us...we have no right to expect they'll forgive us.

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July 18, 2013

Marty Gear 1940-2013

 Marty Gear died peacefully in his sleep today of congestive heart failure.

He'd been involved in cons for a mind blowingly long time, having attended his first World Con in 1953.

You may not be familiar with Mr Gear. However, if you are on the east coast and are in any way involved with cosplay at sci-fi or anime conventions, you probably owe something to Marty Gear.

   In the '80s he helped to organize the Balticon costume contest and over the years built it into a truly impressive affair. He assisted in organizing costume contests at other other cons as well including Dragon Con, Anime USA, Katsucon and he chaired Costume Con3, having succeeded in convincing its backers via the example of Balticon that a costume convention was viable on the east coast.  Mr. Gear organized the first chapter of the International Costumers Guild chapter in 1991.

There's an interview with him here.

He was always charming and professional. He will be greatly missed.

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July 17, 2013

Dowsing for Girls

Here we have 4 girls looking for a girl.
Now, being girls, they presumably know all about girls and how to find them, so it's with considerable interest that I note that in addition to he usual methods involving optical detection they have broken out the dowsing rods. I'd never considered dowsing as a means to meet the ladies....I also note that I'm single. Correlation does not indicate causation but this may warrant further study.

From episode 2 of the quirky and pleasant Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3...which as a title is rather a mouthful.

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July 16, 2013

...Or Something

Seen at Ace of Spades this morning:

So the Senate had their big joint caucus meeting last night behind closed doors. Gee, if only there was a forum where Senators could get together and debate, maybe in public even. We could call it, 'The Senate' or something.

But that's CRAZY TALK! Next he'll be suggesting that this collection of senators pass a budget or something.

Actually, I think they've got the '...or something' covered.

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