Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bravo Castle Bravo

This afternoon during my prep as I searched Youtube for a video to show my students some archival footage of nuclear tests to impress upon them the true scale of nuclear weapons as we begin our Cold War unit, something my oral checks for prior knowledge from them earlier today have revealed most of them know dangerously little, brought me to this gem of an excerpt from the award-winning documentary "Trinity & Beyond" which I now share with you here replete with accompanying creepy-ominous sound score. The Castle Bravo above-ground nuclear weapon test on March 1, 1954, went terribly wrong as scientists miscalculated that Lithium-7 would be inert in the reaction when in fact it along with Lithium-6 were both quite reactive. The explosion was supposed to be 6 megatons strong, but actually turned out to be 15 megatons, 250% more powerful than expected. There was unexpected damage as well as unintentional injuries to local islanders and itinerant Japanese fishermen. The fireball started out at 4.2 miles in diameter and maxed out at 7 miles in diameter.

Picture of the Day - Distant Ominous Lowerings

I captured two images worth keeping while out on my walk early this evening. The first one is two posts back. This one shows some ominous clouds out to the east of Paso Robles in eastern San Luis Obispo County's "North County." Some of the cloud bases featured in this image in the distant background look suspiciously like they might be associated with funnel clouds.

Tank Duel in Cologne

I have encountered this 10-minute long rather remarkable short documentary titled "Battle for Cologne" before now. However, with my ongoing obsession with German tanks of World War Two thus far this year, I was roaming across Youtube this past weekend and encountered it once again. For reasons I cannot fathom, I have not previously shared this here. Tonight I am finally getting around to sharing it here. This is perhaps the most famous tank duel in history if for no other reason than it was filmed and photographed more than any other in history. It featured a German Panther tank versus two American M-4 Sherman tanks, of which it destroyed one of them in a single shot, killing three of five crew members and forcing the other tank to retreat. An American M-26 Pershing tank came to their aid and hit the German tank thrice, killing one of five crew members. The "Battle of Cologne" occurred on March 6, 1945, in a final stand for the Germans. The dead German gunner can be seen, legless, laying dead atop the turret of his tank as the second shot from the Pershing tank hit as he was exiting the turret a few seconds too late. Another, more detailed analysis using the same footage, but with the addition of some computer animations and more accurate analysis can be viewed below.
*NOTE: there is some graphic violence in this historic footage as the Sherman tank commander (who died a short time later) can be seen sans the lower part of one leg stumbling out of his tank and a dead German sans both his legs can be seen atop his tank as fire erupts out the hatch next to his remains.

Picture of the Day - Little Free Library

Early this evening while out walking my dog on the west side of downtown Paso Robles, I decided to walk up 8th Street to Olive Street for a change and encountered something I had never noticed before, to wit, a little free library. Certainly it was not here when last I walked this way which has been a very long time. I love the idea of these having heard of them but having not seen one before as best as I can recall. I plan to make a donation soon. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Canyon Fire Entrapment

I quite distinctly remember the Canyon Fire on the post of Vandenberg AFB last year for a number of reasons. These reasons include the fact it started and largely burned in Honda Canyon, the namesake of another fire there in 1977 which, driven by Santa Ana Winds, killed four people including the base commander and base fire chief. Read more about it HERE. I also remember last year's fire because it delayed the launch of  WorldView-4 earth observation satellite from the base's space launch complex. I also remember it for the fact it seemed to generate some of the most awesometacular pyrocumulus clouds seen on a wildfire on the Central Coast since the 1993 Marre Fire which also featured a firefighter entrapment incident sans casualties. There was even a memorable fire-related but not fire-caused fatality as Ventura County Fire Department engineer Ryan Osler was killed in the rollover of a VCFD water tender en route to the fire traveling on Highway 246 near Lompoc, CA. However, I only vaguely remember there was an entrapment situation on the Canyon Fire last year which caused some injuries but no deaths but was certainly a close call. Today I noticed a link to this on Twitter which appears to have been published a few weeks ago. This short video makes for a quite compelling post-incident analysis with some rather dramatic wildfire videography.

United Airlines Self-Defense Primer

In light of the recently recorded roughing up of a United Airlines passenger seated on a an airplane awaiting take-off who was then accosted by an airline guard who dragged him dazed down the aisle of the plane to make way for a United Airlines employee to take that hapless air traveler's seat and the ensuing brouhaha, this satirical piece really struck my funny bone.

I Really Choose To Be Free

Yesterday, the 2000 trance track "Be Free" by Trance Cowboys came to my mind fairly out of thin air. I only know of it because it is featured in Taucher's 2000 live concert recording Live @ Webster Hall New York City which I purchased only a few years after it was released. Upon thinking of this I realized I needed to listen to it again and I also realized it was a repetition (for emphasis) of the liberation them God has been communicating to me lately as it pertains to both myself and my best friend. I say "repetition" because recently I unexpectedly encountered another track titled "Be Free" which God used to communicate to me the same message which I shared HERE. The above version of "Be Free" starts at 19:11 and ends at about the 23:52 mark.
*NOTE: there is another trance track on this recording which I have shared before on this blog HERE which track I consider the theme (or one of the themes) musical scores to my life titled "Winter Love" which starts at about the 28-minute mark.