January 26, 2014

100 Years Ago This Year...

...the world was more interconnected by trade and communication than it had ever been before. For instance the British and German empires were each other best customers.

Then a few miscalculations sent things rather out of control...


This picture of the town of Reims, France gives some idea of the wretchedness that engulfed the world.


Source Unknown

That the long exposure of the photo reduces the towns survivors to images akin to ghosts is, perhaps, fitting.

This color photo of Verdun in mid 1916 also serves to remind us of the mistakes made so long ago.


Pic via this fascinating photo-gallery from Der Spiegel. The associated book can be bought here.

...as does this photo of a little Belgian  girl...




Via the Daily Mail.

...and this...


via

Pitiful...but enough dwelling on the ancient past. Such images are from a less enlightened world, nearly a century removed from us. We have our problems today but we live in an age of unimaginable interconnectedness. There are certainly jihadist movements, ethnocentric conflicts, and civil strife but a war between great powers is unthinkable due to interconnectedness and interdependency.

In other news, via Instapundit...this happened yesterday at Davos.

Do read the whole thing,


The Chinese professional acknowledged that if China asserted control over the disputed islands by attacking Japan, America would have to stand with Japan. And he acknowledged that China did not want to provoke America.

But then he said that many in China believe that China can accomplish its goals — smacking down Japan, demonstrating its military superiority in the region, and establishing full control over the symbolic islands — with a surgical invasion.

In other words, by sending troops onto the islands and planting the flag.




Note this addendum....


Interesting times...

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January 12, 2014

What?...What is This?

Why it's the 21st century!


We Have a Delivery for a Doctor...Quest?

Via NBF. It looks like a company called Advanced Tactics has developed a flying, off road capable van. It looks utterly impractical, but note that unlike earlier attempts at this sort of thing, the AT Transformer is actually van/truck sized with the rotors retracted and takes off vertically. Thus, it is at least in theory much more practical than the roadable airplanes that crop up from time to time.

 

I don't know if it would be robust enough for battlefield use, particularly in a world full of IEDs,  It looks like it ought to be inherently fragile since it has to be light enough to fly. Still, mobility and versatility do trump protection in some situations, and while this is unlikely to do flying or driving very well, the ability to do both may well have some niche utility,  I could see this thing possibly being useful in a civilian capacity Alaska or Canada.

Ignoring the road feature, this vehicles landing footprint and stowed size are tiny compared to most naval helicopters, (the SH 60 Seahawk is 40'x10feet...folded) so this may have some maritime potential giving very small ships the ability to operate a utility helicopter with a useful load.


More importantly....14 years into the 21st century...we finally have a flying car.

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