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Sturgeon's House


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Everything posted by Donward

  1. A recent article positing that the Greenland Norse weren't so clueless as history has made them out to be. http://sciencenordic.com/greenland-vikings-outlived-climate-change-centuries Honestly, I don't see anything in that article which really changes what we know happened in Greenland. We know a climatic event caused the Vikings to shift from an agrarian society based on herding to fishing and hunting. This also caused an abandonment of the smaller farms and a stratification of society with haves and have-nots and an elimination of the middle class yoeman farmer. They ceased to have the ability to build and own their own trading vessels putting them at the mercy of profit-minded outside traders. And eventually the Skraelings came. The individuals interviewed seem to have built a strawman that everyone believes once the Little Ice Age took place that the Norse died off at once when we know that they clung to life and civilization bitterly and tenaciously for another couple centuries.
  2. The medium of web comics and grapefruit has crossed again. http://www.qwantz.com/index.php Sadly T-Rex doesn't weigh in on the heretics who peel and masticate their grapefruit.
  3. No. Billy Mays is God of Infomercials! Heretic!
  4. It's mainly old ships and old airplanes here in Washington state with old artillery parked in front of the usual places. Fort Lewis has an interesting collection of old armor at its museum which is visible from I-5 and if you don't mind being in the same zipcode where Brock works.
  5. So in short, a lot of times soldiers don't know what's good for them. Shocking, when you take into account most of them are teenagers or in their early 20s.
  6. This morning I helped shape the minds of three young men. They were discussing video games and the subject of how awesome such-and-such WW2-themed first person shooter was with the Garand. Not only did I have the chance to teach them the correct pronunciation of Garand but I also dispelled the *ping* myth by walking them through a combat scenario. And another small victory is won.
  7. Here is legendary Afrikaaner leader Andries Pretorius leading his men at the Battle of Blood River in 1840 using modern trapdoor VoorField carbines and Trekmaker revolvers. That battle is celebrated today as "The Day of Reconciliation".
  8. I hope so too. Although my dream would be a reliable Remington Model 53 in .45 ACP, if only to upset the apple cart of the 1911 mafia.
  9. If one must post RUSH songs, it had better be about trees or their Opus about being a middle school boy who reads a lot of fantasy fiction. U2 benefited from having a lead singer who was the third most talented celebrity by the name of Bono, lagging behind former San Francisco 49er and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Steve Bono and rock and roll pioneer, songwriter, Scooby Doo guest celebrity, Congressman, skiing enthusiast and victim of Illuminati assassins Sonny Bono. Never forget!
  10. It's professional if - at times - optimistic stuff. The Tellermines seemed to be a favorite of the Krauts at the early stages of the Eastern Front. I find it interesting that they advocate using captured enemy automatic weapons which seems a rather blatant admission of the inadequate nature of German weaponry, particularly small arms. "incendiary bottles and Tellermines, TNT, automatic weapons (our own or captured), submachine guns, Very pistols, hand grenades, smoke bottles, and camouflage material, as well as hatchets, crowbars, etc." The bit with "Very pistols" which I'm guessing to be flare guns is also innovative. Also they are advocating using and redistributing any large number of captured Soviet Molotov cocktails with the self-igniting fuse which seem superior to the German variants. Which, if the plan is "Alright lads, make sure you capture enough enemy kit because it is better than ours", I'm not sure how enthusiastic that would make me feel as a grunt shivering in the mud and snow in some miserable huddle of huts in a town I can't pronounce.
  11. Weaponize every 747, 737, LeerJet and Piper Cub now!
  12. There is a certain amount of beauty and truth when you find that your buddy has written a story about the Federal Government spending $5 million in order to dissuade hipsters from smoking. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/04/06/the-nih-is-spending-5-million-to-discourage-hipsters-from-smoking/ The federal government spent millions of dollars in recent years to discourage tobacco use among hipsters through a program that recommends “styling your sweet mustache” and listening to music “no one else has heard of” as good alternatives to smoke breaks. ... ... Ling has concluded that hipsters need something more than scary health warnings to keep them from lighting up. “Saying ‘Smoking is bad for you’ isn’t relevant to them,” she said in a 2010 article on the UCSF Web site. “But they do care about self expression and social justice.”
  13. It would instantly be a national if not world wide tourist attraction. Which can bring about its own difficulties. But I think the pros would outweigh the cons. The question would be the structural upkeep. I don't think this would be any more or less manageable than the upkeep on our state's other floating bridges and could be paid in part by local hotel/tourist taxes. There's an engineering standpoint regarding salt water erosion and tidal movement which isn't that much at point of Puget Sound. Plus the actual engineering of keeping the ships in place and the roadway connecting them. So of course the Navy will want to throw cold water on the whole thing.
  14. This might be as good of time as any to have a repository for interesting photos and news about naval vessels which are retired, about to be scrapped, are museums or are residing in one of the many so-called Ghost Fleets across the world. Living near Bremerton Naval Shipyard, I've had the pleasure since I was a kid of gawking at the pale grey figures of retired US Navy ships anchored in Puget Sound. As for an interesting article, one of our state legislators in Washington state is proposing a study on whether two to three retired aircraft carriers at Bremerton, the USS Independence, The USS Constellation and the USS Kitty Hawk can be tethered together in order to create a floating bridge. At first blush the proposal seems far-fetched. Although it would be an innovative way to quickly create a long floating bridge, a process in my state that can take a decade and cost billions of dollars. Per the article. "I know that people from around the world would come to drive across the deck of an aircraft carrier bridge, number one,” Young said. “Number two, it's the right thing to do from my standpoint because this is giving a testimony and a legacy memorial to our greatest generation." The local NPR station article is here. http://kuow.org/post/puget-sound-lawmaker-pitches-new-bridge-built-old-aircraft-carriers The Washington Post article is here. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/04/10/a-washington-state-representative-wants-to-build-a-bridge-out-of-retired-aircraft-carriers/
  15. Of course the thing that really pisses me off is Libertarians and their ilk who try to paint Lincoln as a tyrant. I get a bit annoyed when I have to meet some smug Sovereign Citizen type with poor fashion choices who tries to spout off about Lincoln arresting eleventy jillion reporters and legislators.
  16. Sadly. I don't have the time just at the moment to fully opine on this thread, which is a shame since the Civil War has always been more in my wheel house. My main objections are viewing the incident and the causes leading up to it through the prism of modern politics. The second is assigning one-size-fits-all reasons for the war i.e "States Rights" or "Slavery". The conflict was complicated and multifaceted. When you have the brothers of the First Lady fighting on the side of the Rebels and Union Generals and an eventual Vice President coming from the South, things are complicated. Finally I object to the Confederacy being labeled as "Evil" and in the same vein as the Nazis which seems to be a fashionable thing to do these days with modern academics and media types resorting to this gimmick. The Confederacy and the Slavery were wrong. Very much so. We can go on at length about the ills of chattel slavery and the hypocrisy of Victorians and Christians in the South advocating for it. But equating them with Nazis seems more a tactic to discredit ones political opponents today who predominately come from a certain geographic region than honestly distilling the reasons for the war.
  17. Per the article... Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, a member of the Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party, was angry at the suggestions that the Pakistan army were mere mercenaries. “My army is not a rent-an-army,” Bilour said. The Pakistani Parliament then broke down into uproarious laughter before ending the session so the members could have enough time to honor kill a rape victim. Pakistani opposition politicians are concerned about further taxing Pakistan’s already strained military. “Forty percent of the army is engaged in the war on terror,” said Hussain. I bet forty percent is engaged in the war on terror...
  18. Yes. You are being a pedant. I was using it as an analogy that was easily recognizable where deer and elk shed antlers which look and feel "bony" and grow them back by the fall. It's occurs yearly. Whereas salmon will undergo a metamorphosis once in their life and an adult "spawned out" sockeye, chum, chinook, pink or coho salmon will look remarkably different than an adult salmon who is still in the salt water. I was using modern analogs to propose a what-if for the Triceratops vs Torosaurus theory which I disagree with by the way. They look to me to be two separate species.
  19. If some sort of shooting war started between Iran and Saudi before 2016, what is the over/under on the number of days, weeks, months that the House of Saud would stand?
  20. That is interesting about the Triceratops versus the Torosaurus. If they were the same species (which to my untrained eye they seem different) I guess it could be like an elk dropping its antlers in the spring. Or the physiological changes salmon undergo during osmoregulation when they leave salt water and enter fresh water.
  21. They keep picking fights with the Israelis! Lack of Protestant Work Ethic. I think that the comparison between Nazi Germany and your Arab stereotype falls apart in that even though the Nazi regime had all the hallmarks mentioned, the individual German soldier bought into what was being sold to them and were willing to fight hard and die by the millions to accomplish that goal. Oh know we like to bash them but the individual Kraut was a damn good soldier. I'm not sure if the individual Arab soldier (as a broad stereotype) buys into the goals that the leaders of their individual nation states are (were since this was 1999) peddling. If you were a Saudi, Iraqi, Egyptian, Syrian, would you want to die for the House of Saud, Saddam Hussein, Anwar Sadat or the Assad regime? I wouldn't. Particularly with the fractured nature of their society with tribal and religious differences which transcend arbitrary national lines and which predate these regimes by hundreds and hundreds of years. Add to the equation the notion independence is still a relatively new concept for the Arab states, since most of them were ruled by the Ottoman Turks since the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
  22. I'm not necessarily disputing anything. But we have whales, dolphins and seals whose ancestors left the oceans, grew lungs, said fuck it, and went back into the ocean. This is very much an over simplification. But it seems critters will evolve as many times as they see fit.
  23. Yes. But what is Rock and Roll music? What is Country and Western music? They are both one and the same, leaping from the same well spring of American consciousness, born in the Appalachians from the same Blue Grass parent, tempered with Black jazz and gospel revivals, reared in the juke joints and road houses of nameless American byways and finally nurtured by the same record companies and producers who discovered artists like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. The first true Rock and Roll song was "Rock Around the Clock" performed by Bill Haley & His Comets who was originally a Texas Swing and Western Yodeler performing in such bands as The Four Aces of Western Swing. So intertwined are the two that an individual term for the genre of music, rockabilly, was coined to describe the combination with singers like Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis representing the style. Perkins would have his songs covered by numerous rock and roll acts including The Beatles. The distinctive sound of Southern Rock is an offshoot of the rockabilly era of the 1950s and early 1960s with well known bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynard, .38 Special, The Georgia Satellites and the Doobie Brothers appealing to both Rock and Roll and Country and Western lovers. Lastly, so many rock and country artists have crossed over between the two genres that there is little reason to try to differentiate between the two. As my final examples. Here is Kenny Rogers and the First Edition performing the psychedelic "Just Dropped In". On the flipside, we have former rock and rollers Ricky Nelson's paeon about the reception he received from ungrateful hippies when he sang a country song at a rock and roll reunion concert. The morale of this story? Don't be a hippy. Love Rock and Roll and Country and Western.
  24. When of the best things about Seattle is watching the Blue Angels during (and practicing before) SeaFair.
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