Saturday, June 13, 2015


Faith No More with Evidence. From the 1995 album King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime. Yup... twenty years ago.

American rock band from San Francisco. Formed in 1981. Singer Mike Patton joined only in 1989.

Republica with Ready to Go. From their 1996 debut album.

UK alternative rockband from Windsor, no less.

Schlafen Sie gut.



Over at American Thinker, Christopher Carson has a succinct and to the point column on the failed socialist state that is Greece:

"...Greece has become an object lesson in how not to run an economy. This week, the International Monetary Fund packed up and left its negotiations with far-left Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras over his absolute intransigence on the issue of necessary fiscal reforms.

"There has been no progress in narrowing these differences," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said Thursday. Basically, the IMF and the EU want some assurances that Greece will cut its spending from its current socialist-dream levels to a more rational basis before they grant the nation another $8.2 billion in loans.

The first Greek problem is that a huge percentage of its able-bodied population is not working and simply collecting state pensions. It goes without saying that Greece’s economy is in recession, and its official unemployment rate is 26.6%, something the U.S., for example, hasn’t seen since the Great Depression. But fully four fifths of Greece’s budget goes to pensions and state wages, and 10 percent of the nation’s entire economic output comprises pensions alone.

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Perish in the gutter, Greek losers.

The second problem is that Greek taxes are sky-high, killing incentives for hard work, enterprise, and industry. It seems likely that so few people are bothering to work because so much of their income is sacrificed to other people’s pensions and government wages. The IMF’s Rice pointed out that "[t]he policy of increasing already-high rates on a low tax base again is not sustainable. It is critical to significantly broaden the tax base." Rice did not point out that the tax base is broadened only by more people working in the private sector, which itself can be accomplished only by lowering the tax rates.

In a way, Prime Minister Tsipras is a symptom and not the cause of Greece’s cultural disease of hard socialism. He was thrust into office last January specifically on an anti-austerity pledge, and the voters kicked out his predecessor government for being too willing to compromise with the eurozone creditors and, indeed, the free market.

But whatever the reason, if Greece defaults on its debt payments due by the end of the month, as it surely will do absent IMF and eurozone funding, it will take big step in the direction of Venezuela and the Third World. Cutting Greece out of the eurozone of trade and currency would make it an international lending pariah, a dead zone of credit, with only a partial ability to pay for its own government functions.

There is, alas, as yet no sign that the Greek public would have it any other way. This week, Communist trade unionists occupied the Finance Ministry and tore down the EU flag while draping a banner that read: "We have bled too much, we have paid, stop the new measures!"...."

I don't give a rat's ass for the Greeks. Fuck them socialist lazybones. No country that allows pastry chefs, radio announcers, hairdressers and masseurs in steam baths to retire at 50 because their work is considered 'arduous and perilous' deserves even a morsel of respect.


Thursday, June 11, 2015


A great video via EarthSky:

ESA astronaut and Italian Air Force Captain Samantha Cristoforetti demonstrates how she prepares one of her favorite meals in microgravity, quinoa salad with tomato, mackerel and leek cream in a warm tortilla.

Video taken inside Unity, or Node 1. It's one of three nodes ("passive connecting modules") in the US Orbital Segment of the station. Launched in December 1998 as a cargo of the Endeavour Space Shuttle, it was the ISS's first US-built component. It's cylindrical in shape, with six berthing locations facilitating connections to other modules.

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Some essential info on Unity via Gunter's Space Page:

"The Unity connecting module, technically referred to as Node 1, layed a foundation for all future U.S. International Space Station modules with six berthing ports, one on each side, to which future modules will be attached. Built by The Boeing Company at a manufacturing facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Unity is the first of three such connecting modules that will be built for the station. Sometimes referred to as Node 1, the Unity module measures 15 feet in diameter and 18 feet long.

Carried to orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, Unity was mated with the already orbiting Zarya control module, or Functional Cargo Block (Russian acronym FGB), a U.S.-funded and Russian-built component that will have been launched earlier aboard a Russian rocket from Kazakstan. In addition to connecting to the Zarya module, Unity eventually will provide attachment points for the U.S. laboratory module; Node 3; an early exterior framework, or truss for the station; an airlock; and a multi-windowed cupola.

Essential space station resources such as fluids, environmental control and life support systems, electrical and data systems are routed through Unity to supply work and living areas.

More than 50,000 mechanical items, 216 lines to carry fluids and gases, and 121 internal and external electrical cables using six miles of wire were installed in the Unity node. The detailed and complex hardware installation required more than 1,800 drawings. The node is made of aluminum.

Two conical docking adapters will be attached to each end of Unity prior to its launch aboard Endeavour. The adapters, called pressurized mating adapters (PMAs), allow the docking systems used by the Space Shuttle and by Russian modules to attach to the node's hatches and berthing mechanisms. One of the conical adapters will attach Unity to the Zarya, while the other will serve as a docking port for the Space Shuttle. The Unity node with the two mating adapters attached, the configuration it will be in for launch, is about 36 feet long and weighs about 25,600 pounds.

Attached to the exterior of one of the pressurized mating adapters are computers, or multiplexer-demultiplexers (MDMs), which will provide early command and control of the Unity node. Unity also will be outfitted with an early communications system that will allow data, voice and low data rate video with Mission Control, Houston, to supplement Russian communications systems during the early station assembly activities."


Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Our brothers-in-arms at Gates of Vienna recently had a topic on Udo Ulfkotte's new book, Mecca Germany - the silent islamization.

New Ulfkotte Book: Mecca Germany

... Can we still be saved? Or have we already capitulated to Islam? And what is coming down the road at each and every one of us? Did you know, for instance, that the state’s attorney has launched an investigation because German patients’ food rations are supposed to be cut in favor of Muslims? We are now doing things we would have considered crazy ten years ago. A silent majority believes that, in premature obedience to Muslims, we have given up not just freedom of expression, but consequently the core of our democracy. Our previous freedom has been replaced by a fear of injuring the religious feelings of immigrant Muslims.

When recently some few Muslims felt their religious feelings hurt by a new, oriental cream soap because the silhouette of a mosque appeared on the package, the shelves were instantly emptied. The supermarket chain capitulated. From fear of Muslims. That has become an everyday thing in the erstwhile Land of Poets and Thinkers. The primary virtue of Islam — submission — is now the chief virtue of the Germans.

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The bestselling author Udo Ulfkotte (Bought-And-Paid-For Journalists) describes in his new book Mecca Germany what specific consequences that will have for each of us: for students, apprentices, workers and officials, the unemployed and the retired. So, for instance, right here in Germany, food rations for the sickest patients are to be cut so that the money saved from the funds for the legitimately insured can be used for special cuisine exclusively for Muslims. And everybody looks the other way. Even as politicians and the media deny that there is any Islamization, separate sets of cutlery for meals are given out to Muslims and non-Muslims in the army. Ulfkotte illuminates the increasingly serious development of Islamization against the background of the massive waves of refugees from North Africa and the Near East. He concludes that a child born now in German-speaking territory will in all likelihood die in a substantially Islamized country.

In Mecca Germany, Ulfkotte shows us an absurd world, in which we are introducing sharia-compliant car insurance, life insurance and a sharia MasterCard, but are stubbornly denying that there is Islamization in politics and the media. In the new world of subjugation to Islam, where we transform churches into mosques and call for action against “infidels” to the applause of our media, there will be sharia vacations and sharia tours. And in the Federal Ministry of Justice, there is already a budget allowance for sharia law. We are training Afghans, Syrians, Chechens and Turks as hiking guides for the Alps, so that they can bring tourists closer to the beauties of Islam. Politicians and the media are lying to the public, saying that all this has nothing to do with Islamization — it’s just a natural part of our “welcoming culture.”...

Click on the picture below to buy Ulfkotte's book:

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Es ist ein Albtraum.


Monday, June 08, 2015


Watch this fascinating video of an Avro Vulcan display over Throckmorton Airfield, formerly RAF Pershore. Throckmorton is a tiny village in Worcestershire. Its airfield is now operated by QinetiQ, the UK's sixth largest defence contractor.

The Vulcan was one of the three types which made up the UK's "V-Force", it's strategic bomber fleet capable of delivering nuclear warloads over the USSR. When you look at that plane, it's hard to imagine its prototype first flew over Farnborough in 1952 (even though the delta planeform has become old-fashioned). A mere 7 years separate that event from the end of WWII, and it's amazing the strides that aeronautics and jet propulsion made during that short time span.

The RAF operated the Vulcan from 1956 to 1984. It is probably best remembered as the plane that bombed the Port Stanley runway free of Argentine aviation during the Falkland Wars. CDR Sharkey Ward's allegations about the stupidity of sending an entire fleet of Vulcans from Ascension (using a refueling scheme that ultimately allowed only one or two planes to drop bombs) may be true. But I guess he seriously underestimated the psychological impact on the Argentines. Not to mention the galvanizing effect on the home front.

The RAF accepted its first Vulcan B.1's in 1956; the improved Vulcan B.2 appeared in 1960. The B.2 featured a larger wing, more powerful engines, ECM and improved electrical systems. Although the Vickers Valiant and the Handley Page Victor were sound designs too, it was the Vulcan which was the backbone of the UK's airborne nuclear deterrent during the 'better' part of the Cold War.

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What a bird!!! Length 30m, wingspan 30m, maximum speed 0.96.

Vulcans are powered by four Rolls-Royce Olympus engines, originally known as Bristol BE.10's "Olympus". They are two-spool axial-flow turbojets. The arrangement is two pairs positioned close to he fuselage, not unlike the configuration of the Vulcan's civil contemporary the Comet.

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Pity I can't elaborate. Only so many hours in a day. Good night, hope you enjoyed the video.


Sunday, June 07, 2015


Sunday, June 7, 2015.

Weather good? Check.

In the mood for a walk? Check.

Daughter also willing to go? Check.

So we off to the Ardennes, more precisely the central part. There's a plethora of good walking guides but I almost always use my trusted Julien Van Remoortere books, and today I picked (two thirds of) a walk near Nadrin, some 7 kloms east of La Roche en Ardenne (La Roche for short).

Somewhere near Grimbiémont, on the N888:

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When almost in Nadrin, I took a sideroad in the little village of Bérismenil. If you follow that sideroad for 1.5 kilometer, you arrive at a small spot that's being used as a launching pad for paragliding. I don't do paragliding, but I appreciated the view. That's the tiny village of Maboge down there.

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Incidentally, Bérismenil is also the place where in May 1944 a B17 came down. There's a small memorial consisting of a prop of the bomber on a rock pedestal:

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A commemmoration plaque has some info on the B-17, which it's crew had christened "The Joker". The plaque explains that most of the crew could bail out and were either able to flee occupied Europe with the help of the Resistance, or where taken captive, spending the rest of the war in some Stalag. At least one crew member though, James Young, the dorsal gunner, perished. IIRC it was his charred remains that were discovered in the wreckage. I suppose that by this time, all of the surviving crew have deceased too. RIP gentle heroes.

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Our walk started near Ollomont cemetery:

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The view on the road from Nadrin to Filly, looking towards the wooded Ourthe Valley:

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Before the Ourthe becomes, well, the Ourthe, there's the Eastern Ourthe, actually called the Ourt, and the Western Ourthe. This is the confluence of the two:

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But barely downstream, the river is kept in check by a dam, thus creating a long, narrow horseshoe shaped "lake", the Lac de Nisramont. The crest overlooking the Lac is so wooded that you can barely make out a sliver of water though. Pity, for once trees are ruining the view.

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Okay, to the left you can make out the Barrage de Nisramont. I know, the Hoover Dam it ain't.

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Pic of La Roche:

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No way to escape the (spoils of ) the Ardennes Offensive in the Ardennes. Driving out of La Roche, you can't miss the M10 tank destroyer still holding guard over the town. La Roche was heavily contested between US and German troops in winter 44/45. Now, there's a something to be investigated here. To the best of my knowledge, the Brits did not fight in La Roche. Yet this particular M10 has some kind of commemmoration plaque fixed to its front claiming it belonged to the 51st Highland Division. In which case we should rather speak of a Wolverine, since that's how the Brits referred to their M10's. My best guess is that the town authorities needed an AFV to commemmorate the battle, somehow couldn't get their hands on an American one, and fetched a Wolverine from the 51st Highland Division. Some blokes then painted a white star on the vehicle. I guess I won't be that far off.

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As for the M10/Wolverine, it was not a "tank", but a "tank destroyer" - specifically designed to chase and destroy enemy tanks. It was equipped with a 3 inch (76.2mm) gun and was a relatively potent weapon. What you can't see is that the turret is open-topped. This may sound foolish, what with enemy infantry being able to lob grenades in, but somehow this configuration did make some sense. The open top allowed for easy observation by the turret crew in all directions, plus facilitated communication with accompanying infantry. Also, in case the TD was hit, or if a grenade was lobbed in, at least the gunner, commander and loader were able to get out quickly. The driver however...

So. That's all for today. Nite.