Arguably Less Disturbing Than The Previous Post
It looks like the Russians are commissioning not one, but two classes of big submarines to carry their new heavyweight torpedoes, which we've blogged about before. These torpedoes, which are variously referred to as KANYON or Status-6, are believed to have a warhead with a yield somewhere between 50 and 150 megatons. This sounds like a plot point from a summer blockbuster or comic book, but as a practical matter, these would be fiendishly hard to stop and they would utterly destroy (and render uninhabitable for years) the ports upon which we rely for our Navy and trade.
One of these submarines, a brand new ship believed to be named KHABAROVSK appears to be a dedicated carrier for six or so of these port busters and basically would serve much the same function as a ballistic missile sub, doing deterrence patrols. The other one is something of an oddball....
BELGOROD is a Russian cruise missile submarine being refitted as a sort of research vessel/spy sub/ underwater support ship. Yet this vessel is also reported to have six of these weapons fitted. While this contradictory set of requirements is perplexing, Covert -Shores is a fairly well regarded site and was way ahead of the curve on their analysis of the North Korean Ballistic Missile sub. Why an underwater reconnaissance vessel/work boat is carrying strategic weapons is unknown, but the vessel seems to be designed to support nuclear powered underwater sensor arrays in the arctic and conduct reconnaissance. This may simply be a second large hull that can get the weapons out to sea so they can start "deterring". After all, a navy needs at least three ships to keep one on patrol at all times. Alternatively, the extensive spy sub equipment might have applications for sneaking these weapons into U.S. ports.
Obviously our European allies would be vulnerable to this weapon too but
I can't see the Russians setting off something that dirty in Europe.
Japan might be a target as the jet stream and currents would carry the
contamination East, but Japan is not a threat to Russia, so this is
probably only aimed at the U.S.
Of course, there is actually a bigger story here than just operationalizing some doomsday torpedoes, and that is the ongoing construction of a series of nuclear powered sensor arrays in the Arctic. This is after all purported to be the primary function of this new submarine. Such a sensor array is reminiscent of the old SOSUS but it has the potential to be far more capable thanks to the raw power available from the underwater nuclear reactors associated with it. When completed, this sensor net has the potential to very much turn the Arctic into a Russian lake in which US or Canadian subs will exist only at Russian indulgence.
In a related story (related in that it involves Russians, submarines and breathless, apocalyptic clickbaitery) here is an AEI article that has been making the rounds in the consevosphere. It attaches some considerable significance to the names of Russian Strategic submarines. Note though, that the author's premise does not hold up with regard to the name KHABAROVSK .
1nuclear powered underwater sensor arrays in the arctic
If the people who gave us the Chernobyl disaster start installing nuclear power plants pell-mell in the Arctic, there might be some detrimental impact to the fragile Arctic environment. I'm sure Greenpeace will condemn Russia for this Real Soon Now.
This might be wishful thinking, but some of the Belgorod's gizmos look like vapourware to me. For example, the Paltus midget sub appears to be a rough equivalent of the US Navy's NR-1; does Russia have the technical capability to build it? (Note that the US Navy only managed to commission one NR-1, and they scrapped it in 2008 with no replacement.) OTOH, the basic premise of the Kanyon nuclear-tipped torpedoes seems disturbingly plausible to me.
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Tue Jul 26 23:08:47 2016 (iohoY)
They've had nuclear powered midget subs in service for decades. The Paltus, is I believe, the Russians second generation nuclear powered midget sub. The newest is a super deep diving bathyscaph type thing called the Losharik.
The Kremlinology is strong with that one. But he forgot to account for the fact that the Losharik the cartoon character only had 3 legs (the front legs walked like a normal horse and the rear one jumped like a horse with one of hind legs amputated).
Apparently, someone had the bright idea of doing a fictional pop idol group revolving around the theme of birth defects, including cyclopia, diprosopus and whatever the hell is going on with the girl in the middle.
They aren't just high octane nightmare fuel, they act pretty much like your typical pop idol group. It's one of those....unique...art meme ideas that got picked up on pixiv after a while because of the...novelty...or whatever polite euphemism we're using this week.
*Logically it has got to be up somebody's...Note that if I end up riddled with bullets from from a Charter Arms Pitbull, then we'll have to revisit our premises.
When Horror Comes in The Dead of Night
Meanwhile, In Japan: As many as 19 people are dead after a former employee walked into a home for the disabled in Kanagawa and began...stabbing. He later turned himself into Police
Asahi Shimbun reported that the suspect was quoted by police as saying "I want to get rid of the disabled from this world."
...five months ago, he sent a polite letter to the government announcing his detailed plans and asking for official
support. Itâ€™s not clear from the stories whether he wrote the letter
and then got fired when the police investigated, or got fired first.
There are many crazy theories, but this one is mine!
The Democrats are about to nominate a singularly repulsive candidate for president. Hillary Clinton is a fractally-corrupt-Mandelbrot -Set of malfeasance, who has seriously endangered the country and even if one ignores the venal corruption the sheer incompetence of her tenure as America's Chief foreign policy officer caused untold suffering in North Africa, the Middle East and now Europe by destabilizing the area and creating a refugee crisis and this doesn't even get into the general weakening of the international order that happened on her watch. She's also a petty, abusive and singularly unlikeable politician, which begs the question....wHY did the democrats go all in for her.
Well, my theory is that their reasoning was along the lines of "BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Those republicans will NEVER be able to lose to us now!" (dancity dancity dancity dance).
Which dovetails into the rest of my theory...that the Republicans did not take this lying down. The establishment kept multiple of their favored sons in the race to split the vote, ensuring that Trump would get the nod. Remember above, when I said that Hillary was SINGULARLY repulsive?
Well....perhaps dually is a better word....if it's a word.
One possible explanation for this is that the Republican Party hacks are sitting in a Potpourri filled room congratulating themselves and saying things like "Those Democrat bastards, don't stand a chance. They'll never loose to this asshole!"...and yet they might.
Why the inversion this year?
Well that is the crux of my crazy theory.
Neither side actually WANTS to win, because neither side wants to be in the White House during the next four years. They do not want to be the ones tasked with the Sisyphean and possibly impossible task of dealing with the fire breathing hydra with rabies that is the deteriorating world situation. Their best case scenario is to loose, and in the unlikely event there are any survivors, come out of their bunkers and pick up the pieces, while blaming the other party for the catastrophe that they fortuitously dodged having to deal with.
I base my crazy theory in part upon the following:
At the office I ask a Russian employee about the mood in his working-class Moscow neighborhood. The old people are buying salt, matches and "gretchka,â€ (buckwheat) he tells me - the time-worn refuge for Russians stocking up on essentials in case of war.
In the past two months, Iâ€™ve traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere.
...the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia not only still exists, but is probably growing. And the place where it is most likely to begin is in a future military confrontation over three small Baltic states -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
I still would not be surprised if Trump was a stalking horse for Hillary and was intended to be this year's Ross Perot...but succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. You may remember that Mr. Perot essentialy elected Clinton in '92 and '96. In neither case did Clinton win a majority of votes, but Perot threw the electoral college to Clinton. Trump is even more of an old Clinton Crony than Perot was, and was also a reform party member for a time.
This would make Trump the troll...but that would not be a change in phase or state for him and so is likely to go unnoticed if true.
The alternative to this insane conspiracy theory is that Trump's campaign is as filthy with Mobys and other Democrat operatives as Truman's State Department was with Soviet spies...or their campaign is a complete Mandelbrot set of incompetence. Hanlon's Razor still applies of course, and there are other theories* that have been proposed to account for this thing that's happening here in reality and not in a sitcom or dystopian cautionary tale.
In any event, despair is a sin...thus I suppose purgatory is the best possible outcome for me.
Designed in the early 1960s and by far the oldest nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, the B-61 is the designation for a family of bombs that weigh around 700 pounds, are 13.5 inches wide (not including the fins) and just a bit under 12 feet long. It is a variable yield weapon which can have the amount of 'splody it provides adjusted from 1/3 of a kiloton to between 80 and 340 kilotons depending on the exact model, though as part of an upgrade being undertaken now the maximum yield is to be reduced to 50 kilotons in the near future. It can also be used as a depth charge.
The weapon is on loan to certain NATO countries, Italy(around 90), Germany (20), Belgium(10-20) and...er...Turkey, which has about 90.
In what is most certainly unrelated news.....the latest news from the coup in Turkey is that the Bosphorus is closed and there is some sort of naval action going on. F-16s seem to be launching raids on the Presidential Palace and there appears to be a near 50/50 split in public opinion between those who are cheering or opposing the ouster of the increasingly Islamist Turkish president and the Military coup, which, depending on who is talking is either securing the country, or getting routed.
I have to admit I'm completely lost regarding who's who in this coup attempt in Turkey. I had previously been under the impression that the current government has been more secular, and was coming under fire for trying to normalizing relations with Israel, which had the more fundamentalist factions upset. But what I'm reading now is indicating the opposite, at least somewhat.
Posted by: Ben at Sat Jul 16 13:42:42 2016 (VPo/J)
What is this? Australia? An unreal tsunami of boxes associated with the recent Amazon sale and Independence Day resulted in the sorts of hours we at UPS just don't normally get in July. I haven't been this sore since basic training. Internet connectivity problems and the fact that this was the week of my midterm exam combined with the amazing amounts of overtime to bring about an alarmingly long period of bloggus intteruptus.
China's economy has other potential ramifications, such as the possibility of a billion and a half angry, hungry people and a government that's willing to do anything to ameliorate or at least distract from that problem.
So...how are the Chicom's reforms going?
Well, perhaps a more in depth report would uncover some more positive developments.
This reminds me about a photoset by a Russian(-speaker), who visited Puyang city, Henan province. Scrolling down, you see:
- rows of brick "townhouses", where millions live without heat or windows
- a makeshift tent with a frozen dead body, and nobody giving a flying sh*t
- a cemetery that also serves as a field to grow cabbage for export (a close-up of a fresh grave is included)
Note that Puyang is not in the poor western provinces. It's on the border of "rich coast" and "rust belt", not very far from coast.
That is an inauspicious start to what may be a long weekend.
I'm 46. This is the worst I've seen it. However, I understand that '68 was bad and I would guess that 1863 was not a high point of civic unity, so as dreadful as this situation is, it's important to not lose perspective
I don't write about politics or "state of the union" things over at The Pond. Indeed, I created it explicitly to avoid such things; "there are plenty of good blogs out there covering such matters better than I could ever hope to, so go read them and come to The Pond for the rubber ducks."
But the despair I feel over Dallas very nearly drove me to break that rule.
Heinlein was right: the Crazy Years have come. Pray we don't get a Scudder out of the deal.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sat Jul 9 08:56:34 2016 (Hdexn)
A true American is resourceful!
Happy Independence Day.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Mon Jul 4 23:50:36 2016 (Pcnjn)
Once, after some disappointing kid-safe fireworks failed to impress, my uncle scrounged around and found some very old roman candles. He put on a welding glove and set them off hand-held, rapping them against the driveway to get them to launch every ball. Alcohol was involved, so to this day I'm surprised there were no injuries.
Army veteran rescues bald eagle dangling upside down from a rope in 75-foot tree by 'mowing down the branches' with his rifle...Galvin spent 90 minutes firing 150 shots into tree branches to free [the] bird. The eagle, now named Freedom, is recovering at a rehabilitation center.
High School Fleet Ends
Pinch me, so I know it's not a dream!
I wasn't the only one pleased to finally reach this last episode...though for different reasons than the Harekaze's torpedo officer.
Actually, the final episode was not terrible and the series as a whole would have been significantly better if episode 11 had not existed. The few good moments of that debacle could have easily been incorporated into this story.
The whole 'Captain has a nervous breakdown' plot point from episode 11 was chucked into the scuppers and the climax revolves around a fairly satisfying battle with Captain Akeno handling her ship with great verve as it is is gradually shot out from under her. Some old friends arrive to provide support at a crucial moment...
...and Akeno uses the opportunity to get her stricken vessel (and the only available stock of the anti-zombie vaccine) alongside Musashi for a desperate boarding action in an attempt to save the day.
Afterwards, the crippled Harekaze is towed into port...
... where she sinks at her moorings as the sun sets.
Note: They are explicitly in Yokusuka, which is surrounded by mountains and cliffs, except to seaward, ie: to the east-southeast. Yes, the sun is setting in the east.
However, we never do get an explanation for why this senior officer (who, I note, is outside without her combo cover) has cat ears.
"Is it over?...Is it finally over?"
All in all, High School Fleet had some neat moments but required way too much suspension of disbelief to be taken seriously, I confess, I liked its tendency towards didactic solutions to the problems the girls faced but the show devolved rapidly into a largely inchoate mess.
The one sane person on the ship...screaming internally.
I think it was Pixy who hypothesized a process whereby writers put a bunch of current tropes on a dartboard, throw three darts and build a show based upon where those darts landed, in this case 'Cute Girls in HighSchool Doing Club Stuff' 'Naval Otakuism'...'Zombies'. Sometimes it would probably be a good idea to ponder ones options...and go back to the dartboard.
There were a lot of stupid things about this series. The "Launch all torpedoes" scene, for instance: they launched 4 fish even though they had 8. We saw one launcher unload but not the other and we saw four fish hit, not 8.
But there are a few scenes that are just amazing
This is the kind of series where I will keep a list of things worth rewatching, and when I feel like visiting it again I'll pick and choose. (Musaigen no Phantom World is like that; I have a list of about 8 scenes that I rewatch and skip all the rest. GATE II is another one like that; there are about four episodes that I consider to be complete wastes of time.)
There are several languages I used professionally which aren't even on that list (e.g. PL/M). But I guess I'm not a complete dinosaur yet; I did more of my work in C than in any other language and apparently it isn't forgotten.
Lets call Shell either 1971 or 1972. It'll be right after C.
Posted by: BigFire at Sun Jul 3 23:33:28 2016 (pNmmq)
I don't see LabView there, either. It's easily the strangest language I ever used; the learning curve was really steep. That's because it's a dataflow language, not a procedural language. A program in Labview looks like a schematic.
Rails is the only reason why Ruby even exists. It's a pest like PHP (although it's way ahead as a language). Of course now that I grabbed a foothold, it's gotten into places like Puppet. So we're going to be stuck with it for another 20 years.
1I purchased a webcam and am now apparently a disembodied head in the class.
Who here remembers Max Headroom? (Heck, how many people reading this were even born when Max Headroom was on the air?)
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Sat Jul 2 12:16:01 2016 (iohoY)
I remember. Had no use for the talk show/comedy character, but the adventure show was cool when it stuck to libertarian stuff. Alas, it tended to go liberal instead. But it was a real cyberpunk show, all the same.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Sat Jul 2 18:39:41 2016 (Pcnjn)